In his recent column, SI’s Jon Heyman has three quick bullet points on the Yanks. Nothing big, but there are a few discussion-worthy topics.
Andy Pettitte begged the Yankees to keep pitching through his shoulder fatigue — though it appears he’s going to make almost all his incentives and more than double his $5.5 million salary, anyway. Yankees people realize they need Pettitte in the playoffs.
I doubt Andy wants to pitch just so he can reach his incentives. He knows as well as anyone what’s at stake right now, and if his shoulder really was an issue he wouldn’t be begging into September games when the team has a playoff spot all but locked up.
Andy has a $5.5 million base salary, plus another $6.5 million in incentives. He’s going to get all of the $2 million roster bonus without a doubt. He’s already earned $1.5 million in performance bonuses, and will add another $750K to that with his next start. The one after that should add another three-quarter million. If he starts three more times, it could be yet another bonus. So Pettitte stands to make $10.5 to $11.25 million this season. Not bad.
While Jorge Posada’s feistiness generally makes him a beloved figure around the Yankees, club personnel were not pleased Posada ignited a brawl with the Blue Jays. As Toronto manager Cito Gaston pointed out, the Yankees were the ones with something to lose. The Yankees didn’t fight Posada’s three-game suspension (perhaps they knew he got a break).
The Yankees shouldn’t have been pleased with that. Jorge doesn’t like to be a target at the plate, and was rightly upset when Carlson threw behind his back. But it never should have escalated to that point. The Blue Jays are a fourth place team. The Yankees are headed for the best record in the AL. There’s no need for a petty fight in that situation. Nothing good can come of it.
The Yankees think they may have detected the flaw in Joba Chamberlain’s delivery that’s caused him to be so mediocre lately. Pitching coach Dave Eiland is said to have noticed something was awry.
This always sounds dubious to me, no matter what pitcher it regards. We heard stories earlier this year about how John Smoltz was tipping pitches with the Sox. Ditto Luke Hochevar. Sure, there might have been a hitch in Joba’s delivery, and getting into the rhythm of pitching every five days might have helped him work it out. To me, it sounds more like a confidence booster than anything. If it works, hats off. An effective Joba gives the Yankees a distinct advantage in the playoffs.