Link Dump: Old news edition


It’s the day after an off-day, and the Yanks are rolling. Hence, there’s nothing groundbreaking in the news. There are some tidbits we can look at before lunch time, though.

Hideki Matsui likes New York

Breaking news: Baseball player likes winning. Hideki Matsui has been part of many winning Yankees teams; since his debut in 2003 the team has failed to make the playoffs only once. In the interest of continuing on a winning team, Matsui has made it known that he does like it in New York. He won’t say that he certainly wants to return, at least not to the extent of Johnny Damon, Yet we’ve heard plenty over the past few weeks that the Yanks might not necessarily want Hideki back.

He’s past his prime and has creaky knees. That’s not a good recipe. Yet Matsui can be a very useful player. See the role Eric Hinske plays this year? Hideki can do that next year and better. The problem is that he might want a more prominent role, and an AL team might be willing to give it to him. Still, he knows that he did not live up to the four-year, $52 million deal he signed after the 2005 season. Perhaps that will factor into his decision.

Make no mistake, though: Matsui could be an excellent bat off the bench/part-time player if he were so inclined.

Rosenthal on Yanks payroll, Jeter

There’s a new Ken Rosenthal column, and in it he discusses a few things Yankees. First up, Derek Jeter. We’ve talked a lot about Jete’s improved defense in 2009, and that’s not by accident. The process started two years ago, and it seems that while it helped last year, it’s taking full form this season.

After the 2007 season, Jeter decided that he needed to work harder to combat the effects of age. He began training with Jason Riley, the director of athlete performance at the Saddlebrook training center in Tampa…

“He came in two years ago with the idea to evaluate his body, see what needs to be worked on,” Riley said. “His goal is to play many more years. We wrote up a program for him not just for the offseason, but for over the next five years.

“We’re starting to see the results of having two good offseasons under his belt. You can’t ask for a more dedicated, loyal player in terms of work ethic and everything else.”

Jeter worked to achieve more power and distance with each step while also seeking to gain greater efficiency, Riley said. The two studied video to assess Jeter’s body position, and even extended their analysis to the angle of Jeter’s toes when he is in the ready position.

It’s always a good story to see a ballplayer admit his flaws and then work hard to correct them. Jeter will never admit it to the media, but his defense was an issue. Now that he’s taken the measures to correct it, perhaps we can lay off those Jeter-to-left field arguments for just one off-season.

In a bit regarding Johnny Damon’s “very likely” return to the Bronx, Rosenthal drops a line about the Yankees payroll: “The Yankees reduced their payroll from $209 million in 2008 to $201 million this season, and they expect to further reduce that number next season.” I’m not sure where he’s getting this from, but Brian Cashman has been strumming the “lower payroll” chord for a while now. I expect they’ll enter the off-season with that goal, but if something comes along that would have them raise payroll with good reason, I don’t see why they’d shy away.

Joba throws 80 pitches, adds no innings to total

Marc Carig has a bit up about Joba Chamberlain and his extended rest. He hasn’t pitched since last Sunday in Seattle, but that doesn’t mean he’s been dormant the entire time. In fact, five days ago he threw a bullpen session, comprising 80 pitches. They don’t count towards his total, of course, because they weren’t thrown within the stressful situation of a real game. Then again, bullpen coach Mike Harkey was the simulated batter, and he’s one intimidating dude.

So Joba starts tonight on eight days’ rest. We’ll see how it affects his command. The good news is that it’s difficult to imagine him having worse command than he had his past few times out.

Categories : Links


  1. See the role Eric Hinske plays this year? Hideki can do that next year and better.

    Can he? Hinske has played in RF, LF, and 3B for us. He’ll probably also make an appearance at 1B before the year is out.

    If I only have room to bring back one of Matsui or Hinske, it would probably be Hinske. His bat is not as good, but it’s easier to get it into the lineup.

  2. Makavelli says:

    “Joba throws 80 pitches, adds no innings to total”

    Stupid. I still don’t understand this whole philosophy. It’s ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense at all.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      You don’t like limiting Joba’s innings?

      • Makavelli says:

        Limiting “innings” doesn’t make any sense. An innings throwing 7 pitches and another inning throwing 40…are entirely different. I don’t see how they can be compared at all. There has to be a limit, I understand. “Innings” should not be what is limited.

        • 27 this year says:

          We don’t know how Cash, Girardi, and the other personnel are planning his innings. We just know that it is probably around 165 but we also know Cash and company are tracking pitch counts and such. Those details are not available to us but I am sure they are accounting for the 7 pitch vs 40 pitch innings.

    • Makavelli says:

      In other news:

      “A married Makavelli sleeps with 8 women, doesn’t count as cheating”

  3. Then again, bullpen coach Mike Harkey was the simulated batter, and he’s one intimidating dude.


    He kinda looks like a meaner, more athletic, more imposing, and more masculine version of Raul Mondesi.

  4. I’m slowly hopping on the “Hideki Matsui should return for one year” bandwagon. His 128 OPS+ is fantastic, and he is a big reason why the Yanks are tops in the DH field. Only Adam Lind who plays half his games in LF has a better slugging among DHs. As I wrote a few weeks ago, we shouldn’t discount a DH who can actually hit, and letting Matsui walk in favor of some rotating DH with a lesser hitter taking up a spot in the lineup could do some harm to this team next year.

    • Makavelli says:

      Agree. I’ve been lobbying for him for a while now. It seems like he’s getting the hang of not playing the field as well…and he’s (knock on wood) staying healthy enough to help us the best he can this year. It might be his walk year…but it also might be that he’s staying healthy DH’ing and a healthy Matsui is a dangerous Matsui. He can hit with the best of them.

      Healthy DH’ing Matsui >>>>>>> Healthy sub-mediocre Eric Hinske

    • CountryClub says:

      I’d like to see him come back too. But Girardi was on with Francessa last week and he said he likes the idea of using the DH as a half rest day for the veterans. The vets have told him that they feel refreshed after DHing. I think he’ll probably try to convince Cash that this is the way to go (assuming Cash doesnt agree).

    • Can we count on his health again, though? Granted, I’m sure his deal won’t be for $13MM and if he does get hurt, the rotating DH can come in to play. I’ve been adamantly opposed to bringing Hideki back, but I suppose if it’s just like this year, strictly DH, then sure, bring him back. However, after ’04, his SLG has dropped each year (IsoP’s been up and down) until this year and I don’t know if we can reasonably expect his reverse platoon split to carry over. Then again, the average DH OPS’s .795 and Matsui does still have an .870 OPS vs. RHP.

      • Incomplete thought: The OPS v. RHP, i.e. his lesser split is still great this year.

      • The slugging issue is tied into his health. In 2006, he missed most of the season after breaking his wrist. In 2007, he was coming back from a bad wrist injury and managed to lose just .008 from his 2005 slugging. Last year, his knees couldn’t handle the pressure. This year, not playing the field at all, he has been mostly healthy, and it shows. So if the Yanks feel he can maintain his 2009 health levels, bring him back, I say.

        • DreDog says:

          What would you say is fair value though? What comps would you use?

        • Would you bring back Damon as well or just one of them?

          • If the only other options are over-committing to Bay and/or Holliday, probably. The Yanks can get Damon and Matsui for far fewer years and dollars. The marginal drop in production probably won’t even be that significant.

            • Between Matsui and Damon, it’ll probably cost somewhere between 15-20 mil, right? I’d say you could bring back Damon on a one year deal, worth between $8-10MM. The $10MM might be a little pricey, but it is still better than Bay/Holliday. I have faith in Damon keeping up his changed approach (less contact, more power) and continuing power hitting into next year. For Matsui,. I don’t think I’d go any higher than $9MM (he’s been worth 7.7 this year, but sometimes you have to overpay a bit to keep a guy, right?)

            • Makavelli says:

              The only problem is that Griffey might retire after this season. Leaving Nintendo salivating at grabbing Matsui for cheaps to play DH for them…

              I’m sure Matsui won’t mind that option one bit.

              • Usty says:

                Except that from everything I’ve ever seen written Matsui is Godzilla and Ichiro is Mothra…only in movies where they’re not friends.

        • SM says:

          Meh, His slugging is the highest of his career for a 35 yo with injury history. I would not think that this is likely to continue. He is not a 400 obp guy to make up for what could be a likely drop in power.

    • Klemy says:

      But aren’t we handing that spot to a resigned Damon? Hinske isn’t really the replacement for that spot, is he? Matsui would be a pinch hitter, and DH only if Damon plays the field. Keepingboth matsui and Damon? Doesn’t seem to be enough room for that luzary, does it?

    • Tank Foster says:

      Just depends who else is available, and at what price. But before you do it, you have to remind yourself that at some point, he’ll lose the ability to keep his knees healthy enough to be an effective hitter. That point could come next May for all we know, and as the old saying goes, better to get rid of them a year early than a year late.

      But I’ll sign myself up for being a True Believer in Hideki. I’m fully invested in the Bullshit Dump which contains the intangibles of clutch hitting and the ability to hit good pitchers as they describe Hideki. He is indeed a Godzilla-esque Beast.

  5. Mike Harkey is the most feared bullpen coach in the Majors.

  6. Mr.Jigginz says:

    As for Matsui,I WAS against bringing him back but you can’t deny those slugging numbers.Now,are they somewhat ballooned because of the 4hr’s in Fenway?Sure,but he’s actually been quite good all year,and IF he can somewhat maintain his #’s and health for the remainder of the season?Well,I don’t see it being a major problem bringing him back so long as it was to be for the right price,as TSJC said…Heck,knowing Matsui,he may look at his inability to hold up to his most recent contract well,and feel he needs to give something back.I know that’s EXTREMELY rare of a player these days,but I could see Matsui looking at it from that perspective.

    • You can’t say the slugging numbers are ballooned because of this past weekend in Fenway. Those count on his slugging just as much as anything else does. In the end, his totals are his totals.

  7. mryankee says:

    Not a favorable pitching matchup-Joba on eight days rest against Millwood. The Rangers lineup while not patient is very good. Hopefully Joba can harness his stuff and not look mediocre again.

    • I’m confident in Joba today.

      Texas offense at home: .255/.317/.454
      Texas offense on road: .240/.295/.417

      • mryankee says:

        True but the problem with Joba is way to much inconsistency. He cannot be leaving sliders up in the zone or unlike seattle this team with put them in the stands. Kinsler-Young-Hamilton-Cruz-Blalock are all power guys.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          Eh I wouldn’t put Kinsler in there. He has a .409 career SLG% on the road instead of the shiny .543 he has at Arlington.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            Actually, even Cruz OPS’s almost 200 points lower on the road. Young and Blalock OPS near 150 points less. Only Hamilton has a good enough SLG on the road out of all of those guys and even his OPS is a 100 points lower on the road.

          • mryankee says:

            Yes but my point is you cannot get away with mistakes against this lineup like you can against seattle. I also wonder do you think Joba does not feel comfortable pitching at 94-97-that he prefers to throw light? It seems he can get teh fastball up there when he wants to but like he prefers to throw weaker fastballs.

            • On that, this is totally subjective so bear with me, it seems as if he’s willing to save himself earlier in games but then nibbles too much and his PC gets too high so he either gets taken out before he can dial it up or gets too tired to dial it up. Hopefully, the heat loosens up his arm tonight and he can let it fly a bit more.

              • mryankee says:

                Well I read about Verlander how he went through a kind of dead arm period when he was younger. Now he throws 97-99-consistently-I mean this guy threw 100 against Bostonin the eigth inning. Can Joba throw at that level in teh coming years?

            • Yes but my point is you cannot get away with mistakes against this lineup like you can against seattle.

              And Matt and Salty’s point is that this Rangers offense, from top to bottom, is far, far, far, far less fearsome away from their Texas launching pad. All of these guys, ALL OF THEM are just mediocre hitters on the road, because The Ballpark at Arlington is Coors Field South.

              It makes YS3 look like Petco Park.

              So, you needn’t fear for Joba getting lit up by the Rangers tonight by a powerful Rangers offense, because their offense isn’t really powerful.

              • mryankee says:

                Yankee stadium is not exactly yellowstone park either. You see guys like Hamilton( I agree not as good as last year) and Young and the like and the way Joba has been serving up sliders for bp I do get concerned. Millwood though not dominant is no Brad penny

                • Seriously, do some research. Go look at the Rangers lineup and show me someone who hits well on the road.

                  I’ll wait.

                • jsbrendog says:

                  “Millwood though not dominant is no Brad penny”

                  except that, prior to this year, since 06, he was. exactly brad penny. Well at least, he was brad penny of this year.

                  and since 06, brad penny was the kevin millwood of this year. so basically they are the same pitcher having alternating years.

                  so wait for the market correction. maybe it comes and starts tonight

                • Texas Rangers, Road splits (sorted by AB’s, min 100):

                  Michael Young 231 AB, .299/.340/.537 (.877)
                  Marlon Byrd 205 AB, .268/.303/.400 (.703)
                  Ian Kinsler 195 AB, .190/.258/.364 (.622)
                  Hank Blalock 189 AB, .265/.305/.513 (.818)
                  Elvis Andrus 169 AB, .219/.275/.302 (.577)
                  Nelson Cruz 168 AB, .232/.291/.500 (.791)
                  David Murphy 150 AB, .267/.333/.413 (.747)
                  J. Saltalamacchia 141 AB, .227/.268/.312 (.581)
                  Josh Hamilton 125 AB, .320/.377/.488 (.865)
                  Andruw Jones 120 AB, .192/.290/.425 (.715)
                  Chris Davis 118 AB, .212/.268/.441 (.708)

                  Young and Hamilton are solid. The rest of that lineup? Meh.

                • Tom Zig says:

                  But they are coming to teh BaNdBoX!

        • I think he needs to not fall in love with the breaking stuff and abandon the fastball. He seems to like to pitch backwards a lot lately and it gets him in to trouble.

  8. Makavelli says:

    I was talking with my friend and he was saying that “Matsui wants to play the outfield though…” I’m trying to get confirmation on this. He’s not playing like he’s miserable or unhappy in the DH role that’s for sure. He must know that his times in the outfield are over with…and if he stays as a DH…the odds of his staying healthy longer and thus contributing more, skyrocket.

  9. Makavelli says:

    So Joba starts tonight on eight days’ rest. We’ll see how it affects his command. The good news is that it’s difficult to imagine him having worse command than he had his past few times out.

    Career: 6+ days of rest – 29.0 innings, 28 hits, 4 HR, 16 walks, .255 BA, .474 SLG, .835 OPS. 5 HBP, OPS+ for opponents 145.
    1.517 WHIP, 1.75 SO/BB ratio.

    2009: 6+ days of rest – 23.0 innings, 22 hits, 4 HR, 15 walks, .250 BA, .500 SLG, .883 OPS. 4 HBP, OPS+ for opponents 129.
    1.609 WHIP, 1.33 SO/BB ratio.

    Like I’ve said all along. I don’t like the long inning stretch. I guess you have to do it…but you’re basically STILL replacing an effective Joba Chamberlain…with somebody not NEARLY as good.

    His hits are roughly the same all around and his WHIP is pretty bad all around. But the SO/BB ratio is way up, SLG %, and OPS+ against is way down with less rest.

    Small sample size or not…it’s common sense for now.

    • Ironically enough, Joba’s ERA is actually at its lowest, 2.74, despite the shitty peripherals.

    • Zack says:

      “but you’re basically STILL replacing an effective Joba Chamberlain…with somebody not NEARLY as good.”

      Would you rather replace Joba in Aug/Sept with someone not as good when you have a 7 game lead, or do you want to replace him in October?

  10. jsbrendog says:

    what do you believe everything you read from websites telling you the yankees are ona budget? they print money there’s no budget! take your blinders off!


  11. Chris P. says:

    I’m not as opposed to having an essentially full-time DH as many, though I certainly see the other side. That being said, I think that if the Yanks let Matsui walk this offseason they should defenetly look into a trade for Adam Dunn. He’d be an obvious upgrade of Matsui, and at least is physically capable of playing a position. Also, he’d hit like 300 homers next year if he played at Yankee Stadium….

    • V says:

      The problem is, what do you give up for Dunn? You willing to deal Melancon+Robertson? Romine?

      The Nationals won’t give him up as a salary dump.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Exactly and one of the main reasons we might not sign Matsui is because Girardi wants flexibility in the DH spot for his veterans.

        • Makavelli says:

          Why can’t you rest veterans in the DH spot with Matsui still on the team? I don’t understand that…

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Yeah I don’t understand that either. How long are you going to rest the vets? It’s not going to be everyday. It’s not necessary. Whenever someone needs to rest then you give Matsui a rest too.

      • Chris P. says:

        Melancon + Robertson? Yea i’d do that. I think i would at least. Just Romine? I think I’d do that too.

      • You think it would take that much? I’m not sure it would, but I’m probably wrong.

        • Chris P. says:

          I can see it taking that much. But I’d still do it. Melancon and Robertson, though they have high ceilings, are just relievers and are easier to replace than other positions, and Dunn is a monster that is very reasonably priced.

          And in terms of Romine, that would hurt but I’d do that too. With Posada having two more years and Romine in double A AND behind Montero I think it would be worth to trade him for a bat like Dunn’s

          • Mike Pop says:

            I’m a big Dunn fan but I wouldn’t do this trade.

            Robertson and Melancon’s value to the Yankees for 2010 and beyond > Dunn’s in 2010. The Yankees offense is ridiculous anyway, bring back Damon. Wait for Dunn to be FA, then we can pursue him again.

            • Ready for an unrealistic dream? Damon one a one year deal, Matsui on a one year deal. Both leave after ’10; Crawford is signed for LF, Dunn for DH.


                • Bo says:

                  Why do you think Cashman would ever trade prospects for a rental like Dunn?

                • One more thing… I’m cringing while typing this since I know how much some of you love Adam Dunn… But the dude will be in his age 31 season in 2011. Are we really hoping the Yankees bring in a 31 year old, lumbering, no-defense, 3-true-outcomes hitter in 2011 to take the DH spot? Especially when the Yanks will probably still have a few guys hanging around who could use a day or 2 every week in the DH spot to keep them fresh?

                  Sorry… I just think, if you want to get Dunn, you want to get him now or not at all. He doesn’t profile as the type of guy who will age gracefully and be very valuable in his 30s. I kinda thing the window during which Dunn would have held value to the Yanks is probably closing very quickly.

                • Well, I don’t think all four could happen. Damon may not want a one year deal, Matsui may get more money elsewhere, Crawford, if tra
                  ded, may get an extension.

                • Why cringing? You’ve got a very fair point, HCM.

                • I just know how much love Dunn gets from some of you guys. I don’t know… I just don’t see a great fit in 2011… Or earlier, really. Which is unfortunate, since he’s awesome. But given the Yanks’ current and likely future roster, Dunn’s contract situation and age and skill set… I think he’s probably just not a fit.

                • Damnit, Bo, READ BEFORE YOU REPLY.

                  Matt ACTY/BBD says:
                  Ready for an unrealistic dream? Damon one a one year deal, Matsui on a one year deal. Both leave after ‘10; Crawford is signed for LF, Dunn for DH.

                  tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside says:
                  That’s not really all that unrealistic.

                  Bo says:
                  Why do you think Cashman would ever trade prospects for a rental like Dunn?

                  Nobody said anything about trading for Dunn. We were talking about signing him when he’s a free agent after the 2010 season.

  12. mryankee says:

    I just saw something terrible-Mitre is pitching against Buehrle on Friday. That cant be right-Mitre was so bad friday in Boston I was actually worried about a 9 run lead.

    • Makavelli says:

      Who else are they going to put there? They refused to move Hughes into the rotation. They won’t sign another guy due to their new “budget”. Aceves is just as bad as Mitre right now probably. Who else is there? You pretty much HAVE to start him. At least he’s going up against Burhle though. Him going up a different pitcher…he would have a good chance to lose. And Buerhle against one of our better pitchers…there’s still a decent chance we lose. This way we scrap one game…and we have our better pitchers against their slightly above average pitchers…

      Although their pitching has been pretty good…particularly against us this year.

      • mryankee says:

        I would rather see Gaudin if anyone. I hate Mitre what I saw Firday made me sick that was a joke. You dont cough up games against anyone. The red sox can still mount a charge and a guy like Mitre is the cooler he can have a bad affect on all the pitchers. The next pitcher ater him was Burnett on saturday. I dont like the idea that losing games is ok.

  13. Nigel Incubator-Jones says:

    Matsui -> better to cut ties with him a year too early than a year too late.

    Jeter >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jim Rice

    Joba >>>> Jabba
    Joba >> Jabba with a collared Princess Leia

    Now that I’m on topic, I’m flying into NY tomorrow. Landing at LaGaurdia around 5:30. Gotta go to the hotel, then subway to stadium. I haven’t got tix yet. Thought about stubhub, but since there’s a chance I could have travel problems I don’t want to lay out a couple hundred dollars and miss the game. Anyone know how the “outside the stadium” ticket sales are?

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      Sorry, but Jabba with a collared Princess Leia >>>>>>>> Joba any day of the week.

      /inner geek’d

  14. mryankee says:

    Any ideas on what it would take (besides a miracle) to get Verlander from Detroit?

  15. mryankee says:

    I would throw joba in that deal anytime to get Verlander-maybe even some others

  16. Mike Pop says:

    I’d bring Matsui back, if he were cheap enough. I agree with some here though, be more useful than Hinske? Not too sure bout that, Hinske can play 4 postions(5 if DH included), but Godzilla is awesome and it’s fun to see him crush a ball over the rf fence.

    About payroll…. I’d like to see the Yanks bring Wang and Pettitte back and then take a shot on Rich Harden or Brandon Webb assuming Webb’s option is declined.

    It would be good depth.

  17. [...] Confidence Poll « Link Dump: Old news edition Aug [...]

  18. Weisdog says:

    I agree with Ben that I am now on the “bring Matsui back” bandwagon. In my mind they have the following options for next year:

    1) sign Holliday/Bay to a big deal, which probably means no Damon (he wants a full-time role because he has a shot at 3,000 hits). This wouldn’t prevent a Matsui return but probably would due to the dollars it would take to sign the FA.

    2) Bring back Damon and find another DH. Jim Thome comes to mind, but he will cost more than Matsui for a slight offensive upgrade (before people jump on me, Matsui’s OPS+ is 128 vs. Thome’s 126 this year and he is 3 years younger).

    3) Bring them both back. This is the cheapest option and provides the most flexibility. Yes they won’t get younger next year, but signing Holliday or Bay ensures they will have another player in their 30′s signed to a long term deal which we don’t want.

    FYI – here are the career road OPS numbers for Holliday/Bay/Matsui, in no particular order:


    The first is Bay, second Matsui, third Holliday. I trust Cash and co will do their homework – I think he would be a terrible signing.

  19. Makavelli says:

    Red Sox acquire Billy Wagner…

    Theo the genius. Gamble on an old beaten down Hall of Famer just off Tommy John surgery…and when that fails…gamble on an old beaten down NON-Hall of Famer just off Tommy John surgery…LOL

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