Peña up; former Yanks on the move


Update 4:02 p.m.: The Yankees have made a roster move this afternoon. Ramiro Peña has been recalled from AAA Scranton, and Anthony Claggett has been sent back down. Peña will back up both the infield and outfield while Claggett has been nothing short of terrible for the Yanks this season. When Chad Gaudin gets here, either David Robertson or Mark Melancon will hop on the Scranton Shuttle. I think Melancon stays. We’ll know soon.

* * *

As we await the start of what could be another epic Yankees/Red Sox contest this evening and as I readjust to East Coast time after a grueling day of travel, let’s talk about a few former Yankees who have seen their uniforms change stripes today.

As John Smoltz showed his age last night, Jason Giambi has been doing so all summer for the A’s. The seven-year Yankee vet who returned to the Bay Area this past winter was unconditionally released by Billy Beane today. Giambi is hitting .193/.332/.364. While the .139 IsoD is impressive, his batting average and slugging are both fourth-worst in the Majors, and the A’s have opted to give their younger first basemen extended looks.

I wonder if Giambi will land anywhere at this point. For what it’s worth, the fourth-place Blue Jays aren’t interested. It’s tough to call Giambi an impact bat, and he’s on the DL right now with a strained quad. If he’s finished, he sure went out with a wimper.

Another Yankee to symbolize the excesses and failures of the recent past found himself traded today. The Indians have dealt Carl Pavano to the Twins. This move came after the Twins put a waiver claim on Carl. For what it’s worth, the Twins are 4.5 games out of the AL Central but 9.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.

This move could be a risky one for the Twins simply because of Carl Pavano’s endurance. Right now, Carl Pavano has thrown 125.2 innings this year. He threw a combined 145.2 innings over four seasons for the Yanks. Despite his age and experience, he is definitely in the injury red zone right now. The Twins will rely on Pavano for depth, but that, as Yankee fans know, is a dicey proposition. The 5.37 ERA and 1.37 WHIP are hardly appealing.

Finally, Tom Verducci really likes the Yankees right now and doesn’t think things are looking up in Beantown. A Bronx win tonight would certainly cement that feeling.

Categories : News


  1. Whoa, it’s a Kabak sighting.

    Ahem, anyway.

    There are people actually arguing for the Yankees to resign Giambi. To which I say “fie! Fie on you!”

  2. Kiersten says:

    “3. Make no mistake, the Yankees are the best team in the AL right now. Yes, the Angels match up well against them and the Red Sox still have time to fix their flaws, but at the moment, New York is a ferocious offensive team that simply wears down opponents — not so much with its ability to draw out at-bats, but with the constant threat of power.”

    That just put a huge smile on my face :-)

    • Teix is the Man says:


    • whozat says:

      WEll…in fairness, with Damon, Tex, ARod, Matsui, Posada and Swisher….they ALSO draw out at bats. Not pathologically like Youkilis, but still.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      The Yankees are firing on all cylinders but the Angels really scare me.

      • Mike Pop says:

        The Angels are always scary. Their playoff rotation could be Bartolo Colon, Darren Oliver, and Livan Hernandez. I still wouldn’t be very confident.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          They’re playing unbelievable right now though and the Yankees still can’t beat them on at their ballpark.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

            They did lose to the White Sox but that doesn’t necessarily mean much. The Yankees lost to them too.

  3. Teix is the Man says:

    How’d the trip go, Ben?

  4. Jordan says:

    Welcome back, Ben.

    And glad to see Verducci is one writer that has seen the light and not drank the Kool-Aid.

  5. Drew says:

    Happy to see Pena on our bench, which is absolutely stacked right now. Quite the change from last year.
    Hope the Giambino sticks somewhere.
    Also, speaking of Schmoley, looks like we hurt his feelings last night. He apparently returned to the ATL to think about things. I’d just like to say, welcome to the AL and maybe, goodbye?

  6. Mike Pop says:

    Baseball news, baseball news.

    Two guys I’m glad aren’t on the team anymore, even though some argued to keep them. Eww!

    Rios claimed on waivers, damn!

  7. CountryClub says:


    I like Melancon too…but Robertson deserves to stay with the club at this point. I’m curious why you’re leaning the other way?

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      I disagree. Robertson needs to work more on his control. Melancon deserves more of a chance especially since he’s pitching better lately.

      • Frank says:

        Totally disagree. D-Rob is a strike throwing machine who is not afraid to pitch to contact. Last night’s walk was his only blip over his last 3 outings. He actually should have has an easier inning had Posada blocked the third strike instead of trying to backhand it. As it turns out, he still struck out the side. I also like Melancon, but I believe he goes before D-Rob.

      • CountryClub says:

        I understand he walks people…but he’s also striking out just under 1.5 batters per inning. And he’s not doing it with smoke and mirrors. He has legit stuff.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Yeah, but his issue is walks. I’d rather see him fix it in the minors than the majorsand give Melancon more of a shot.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          he has good stuff but the 18 walks are really bad.

        • Charlie says:

          i love d-rob, but melancon has a better shot to pitch his way into a more important role. melancon’s been pitching better, and is a better pitcher overall than d-rob

    • Slu says:

      I agree. I don’t get the attention Melancon gets. He has been OK, but he is no way clearly better than Roberston. And he has pitched more innings in the majors, strikes out way more guys, and only walks a tad more than Melancon.

      I am not saying Melancon won’t be good or anything like that, but he needs prove something first.

  8. Steve Farr says:

    who claimed Rios?

  9. E-ROC says:

    This might be the end of the road for Jason Giambi. I don’t see any team in the AL giving him a shot at DH-ing. Most teams are going with young players right now. Giambi would only be a pinch hitter for NL teams. I think he walks away.

    Pena, Hairston, Hinske, and Molina = A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

  10. Mike Pop says:

    Do you think the Yankees are confident that Pena can play the outfield now and this is why he’s back up so soon?

    • Salty Buggah says:

      I think so but even if he can’t, we have Hairston for the OF, who is pretty beastly defensively out there.

    • jsbrendog says:

      what’s crazy is how many positions how many of our benc guys cna play. gone are the days of miguel cairo/luis sojo/et all who can play 1 of the if positions well, 1 servicably, 1 terribly, and could trot out to lf in an emergency.

      dude we have hairston who can play according to BR LF, RF, CF, SS, 2B, and 3B. WOW. and he has played each of those this year already between cincy and here. DAMN!

      and hinske can play the corners in the OF and IF.

      Pena can play 2B, SS, 3B, and I’ll def give him LF/RF, and maybe/most likely CF

      and Jose Molina can play C and…..dude what a great bench. wow.


  11. DaveinMD says:

    Sending Melancon or Robertson down would be stupid. Both are better then Gaudin or Mitre.

  12. Jordan says:

    WFAN reports Smoltz DFA’d

    • jsbrendog says:

      how mah ass taste theo?

      (pitching depth my ass)

    • Salty Buggah says:

      If he wasn’t on Boston’s team, I’d be pretty sad for him.

    • SO.

    • Thomas A. Anderson says:

      I may be in the minority, but I really felt bad for John Smoltz last night. And that hideous performance may be the last innings of his career.

      I respect the hell out of him and he has been a class act his entire career.

      As glad as I was the Yanks whipped that BoSox ass last night, I still felt for him. Dude’s a nice guy, proud guy, fierce competitor, and may have just had his career end like that.

      Hopefully he gets his PGA Champions Tour card.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        …Nah I didn’t feel bad. Perhaps I’m just cruel, but every time we scored a run I cheered.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        I was too but I wanted that win sooo bad so I was hoping from an implosion by him.

    • Frank says:

      I feel bad for Smoltz. He was a class act and a great pitcher but it’s clearly over for him.

    • Bob Stone says:

      The Yanks not only knocked Smoltz out of the game, they knocked him off the team and probably out of his career. Tough way for him to go. He was a great pitcher and a class act.

      • wilcymoore says:

        Tell you, it’s a heartless game sometimes, isn’t it?? I didn’t figure he’d be cut loose that quick! Well, if this is the end I’m sure Smoltz hates that it’s over after last night’s performance, but he’s had a great career, he’s won a world championship … there’s nothing for him to be down-hearted over.

    • A.D. says:

      Tazawa called up

    • Stryker says:

      watch the mets grab him.

    • E-ROC says:

      Throw your splitter, Smoltz! Maybe his previous arm troubles may have prevented that from happening. He could be a quality bullpen arm for somebody.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      Smoltz should have taken Marsellus Wallace’s advice to Butch,

      “The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.”

    • JGS says:

      anyone else think the Sox picking up Woodward means that Lowrie is probably finished and they don’t want to move forward with Nick Green?

      • whozat says:

        I think it means that they know he can’t play this weekend, and don’t want to have literally no one on the team to play SS if Green goes down.

    • jsbrendog says:

      do you read the threads above you before you post? lol there’s like a 10+ convo about it directly above you

  13. Andy says:

    How could they possible send down Robertson??? He is one of their best guys!!! The dude struck out 45 guys in 30 innings for the love of god! With a 3.50 ERA! And for Pena? Dude’s rockin’ a .250/.346/.376 line in AAA, and has never been able to hit. Send down Coke and his 4.80 ERA. Hell, even Ace has a higher ERA with not as many more innings than Robertson as you’d expect. I’d rather they send down Melancon, because as much as I like the guy, Robertson is money.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      We need Coke. He’s just had a few blips recently, but in general he’s a really reliable leftie.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      18 walks are really ugly though and that’s not good for a reliever. Other than that, he’s excellent.

    • Coke has a 4.80 ERA ’cause he got smacked around in one game; before that game in Chicago, he had a 3.77 ERA.

      • Andy says:

        Again, take one outing away from anyone and their ERA will be better. You can’t use that as an excuse. The dude is not as good as Robertson, pure and simple.

        As for Robertson’s BB, they are a little high, but if you watch him pitch he is hitting his spots, they just aren’t getting called his way. He has very few balls way out of the zone. Plus, the high K rate makes up for the walks. Keep Robertson.

        • Charlie says:

          no, coke>> robertson, especially considering he’s the only lefty in the yankees bullpen. personally, i wish they would just put gaudin right into the rotation and DFA mitre, but we all know that’s not gonna happen

          • Andy says:

            How is Coke >> Robertson? Robertson has an ERA almost a run and a half lower, a K rate significantly higher, less hits per inning pitched, .014 points lower in BA against, and the descrepancy in BB isn’t that great. Put in Robertson’s >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> minor league numbers, Robertson’s clearly superior stuff, and you have a clearly superior pitcher.

            • jsbrendog says:

              robertson: 30.2 innings 2.50 k/bb 1.393 whipe

              coke: 45 innings. 2.45 k/bb 1.039 whip

              coke is a lefty.

              just saying

              • Andy says:

                You’re right, Coke ain’t horrible. I just think Robertson’s clearly better. But I imagine there is a less than 1% chance the Yanks agree with me and send down Coke instead of Robertson…

                • Charlie says:

                  they shouldn’t, because its really stupid to not have a single lefty in the pen. your idea just wouldn’t work

                • whozat says:

                  It’s also the case that Coke has soaked up higher leverage innings than Robertson.

                  Coke’s big problem is that he’s homer-prone, which is an issue — don’t get me wrong. But it also means that his suckiness tends to be confined. He’ll go out there and give up a homer, or he’ll go out and not give up runs. Whereas a guy like Robertson will go out and put a bunch of guys on, and, while he has the strikeout ability to get out of it, he’s also pitching out of trouble more often.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          But one outing only effects one game, which means for the majority of the season he has helped the Yankees.

          • jsbrendog says:


            • Andy says:

              Argument that does not pass the common sense test. First, his adjusted ERA is still higher than Robertson’s not-adjusted ERA. Moreover, take away Robertson’s 3 run game, and his ERA is at 2.78, way better than Coke’s adjusted ERA. So he has helped the Yanks more the mahority of the time regardless of that one outing.

        • Again, take one outing away from anyone and their ERA will be better

          Yup. And add one bad outing, especially for a reliever, and it balloons his ERA. This is what’s happened to Coke.

    • wilcymoore says:

      He’ll be back. His control needs work, but he’s only 24 and he’s shown a lot.

  14. A.D. says:

    Surprised they didn’t try Smoltz in the pen

  15. wilcymoore says:

    Yep, Tanawa called up to replace Smoltz. The Sox have every reason to think Tazawa will be good, although I suspect bringing him up into a pennant race almost straight from AA is not their preferred advancement procedure.

    I see Billy Traber was also cut loose along with Smoltz. So much for last night’s game impacting the Red Sox bullpen for this series. They only had 1 IP by a guy who’s still with the team today.

  16. Bob Stone says:

    Traber was DFA’ed along with Smoltz. I don’t remember ever seeing two pitchers in the same game, got the same team get DFA’ed the next day. Has anyone ever seen that?

  17. Andy says:

    Anyone up for taking a flier on Smoltz, sending him to AAA to take Towers place in the rotation?

    • E-ROC says:

      I am, especially if he re-establishes his splitter, or throws a changeup. I’m up for it if he’s inserted into the bullpen.

  18. Frank says:

    We are all guessing which pitcher goes when Gaudin joins the team and no one has mentioned Bruney. What has happened to this guy? Has he really fallen down that far? I mean this guy din’t even pitch last night in ablow out.

  19. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    My guess is that the Mets grab Smoltz but he injures his pitching hand due to a papercut from the sports section of a paper containing the boxscore of yesterday’s game. Then he goes on the DL and in desperation Angel Berroa is converted to a starting pitcher and rises to the top of the pitching world en route to a HOF career.

    You heard it here first.

  20. Jordan says:

    And the Sox acquired Woodward from the Mariners. Amazing.

  21. Jordan says:

    Tazawa (Wakefield)



  22. james says:

    Any chance we pick up Smoltz and try and make him a relief pitcher…he still has a really good slider, even with a fringy fastball he can get outs for an inning or two…especially against righties.

  23. Mike bk says:

    why call up pena, hairston has been fine as the backup infielder that way gaudin could go to the pen without sending out either d-rob or melancon and then a move on them might be made for marte instead. any chance the move is to dl bruney again?

    • whozat says:

      Because Gaudin can’t really pitch til Sunday anyway? And they don’t really need/want a 13-man pitching staff anyway?

      They might send Pena back down to add Gaudin. They might send DRob or Melancon down. They might DL Bruney. We’ll see.

      • Mike bk says:

        my point was i would rather send pena down but it was presented as if that was an option so i said rather not call him up to have to then send d-rob or melancon down. there is no faith in bruney right now so might as well dl him.

  24. Moshe Mandel says:

    So for the postseason, assuming Marte and Mitre dont make the roster, the bullpen is


    The first 3 guys can give you length if necessary, Gaudin is death on righties, Coke is there for the lefties, and Robertson/Bruney/Melancon can get you a K when you need it. That is a nice, versatile bullpen.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.