May
20

Pushing the depth limits

By

When it was announced that Jorge Posada will miss the next month or so with a hairline fracture in his foot, it was just the latest in what has become an almost comical string of injuries. Marcus Thames spraining his ankle by stepping on his own bat during last night’s game was just the icing on the cake. It was the Yankees’ version of Luis Castillo falling down the dugout steps. That’s what they’ve been reduced too.

Ramiro Pena shouldn’t be playing the outfield. (Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP)

For the most part, the reserve players have done a fine job of picking up the slack as the regulars nursed whatever it is they’ve been nursing. Marcus Thames and Randy Winn have combined for a slightly above league average .334 wOBA in 97 plate appearances since Curtis Granderson hit the disabled list, which is all you could ask for from your fourth and fifth outfielders. Frankie Cervelli has started 11 of the team’s last 14 games, riding a .485 BABIP to a .424 wOBA during that stretch. That’s not going to last forever, but even if he matches his ZiPS rest of the year projection (.334 wOBA), the Yanks will be in fine shape behind the plate.

However, every team has a limit to their depth, some more than others. If Nick Swisher‘s biceps needs a few more days on the shelf, the Yanks are going to be pressed into starting Ramiro Pena or Greg Golson or Kevin Russo or Chad Huffman in the outfield with Winn and Brett Gardner. In the spreadsheet world where only numbers matter, that’s your sixth (at best), fifth, and third outfielders. Posada’s injury not only brings the return of Chad Moeller, but it pushes Cervelli into an even more prominent role. The more he plays, the sooner his production regresses back to the mean.

The pitching staff is another story all together. Andy Pettitte‘s injury forced Sergio Mitre into the rotation, creating a a revolving door in the bullpen. Injuries to Chan Ho Park and Al Aceves only compounded that. For the last two weeks or so, the last guy on the staff has been whoever was freshest in Triple-A Scranton. That’s not the way it should be. Joe Girardi should able to use the relievers he wants to use in certain spots, not the guys he has to use because of injuries and such.

There’s going to be several roster moves made today, and right now the best thing the Yankees can do is restore a semblance of normalcy. No more of this 13 pitchers with only one of three bench players actually available nonsense. As much as we want Boone Logan to go away, he’s probably going to stick around while Mark Melancon and the 37 pitches he threw last night head back to Scranton to bring the pitching staff down to a dozen. He’s going to be replaced by one of the four minor leaguers above, though who exactly is anyone’s guess. Posada hitting the DL (and Nick Johnson being transferred to the 60-day DL) create the roster room needed for Moeller.

We can dream about the Yankees signing super-versatile established big leaguers to stash away on the bench or in Triple-A should injuries take place, but that doesn’t happen in reality. This isn’t a video game; players aren’t going to accept reduced roles just because you want them to. What the Yankees had coming into the season was a good set of bench players backed up by a plethora of minor league options both on the mound and in the batter’s box, but the sheer volume of injuries have thrown these players into more prominent roles. One or two or even three injuries is one thing, but losing two starting outfielders plus your fourth outfielder plus your catcher plus your designated hitter is another story all together. The Red Sox lost two outfielders and had to trade for Jonathan Van Every to fill the hole. At least the Yanks didn’t have to stoop that low.

If you were going to define Brian Cashman‘s reign as GM in one word, it would be “patience.” He waited more than two months to pull the trigger on the Bobby Abreu trade following the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield in 2006, and if he didn’t do that, Melky Cabrera never gets a chance to prove himself as an every day player. Cashman’s not going to run out to sign Jermaine Dye (who’s going to need a few weeks to get into game shape anyway), nor is he going to start pulling off trades. The players that will come off the DL in a few weeks are far better than any of the options out there.

The in-house replacements like Golson and Russo are going to have to pick up the slack in the time being, but now we’re talking about these guys playing a far more prominent role than could ever have been expected. The Yanks came into the season with solid depth, yet amazingly the limits of that depth is being stretched less than two months into the season.

Categories : Injuries
  • Ted Nelson

    Good, thorough analysis. I agree that patience is a virtue, but I wouldn’t rule out a signing or trade that made sense.

    • http://yahoo Anthony DeMarco

      I think they should bring in Jermaine Dye.Because,Nick Johnson wil be lucky to be back this year.Let alone be hitting like he should when he gets back.Jermaine Dye can still play.How about Bernie Williams,any body.Seriously,though we need some one to help us.Yes,its still early but wedo not need to start following behind…..Anthony

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

        Well now that’s a bad idea. Yes the DH spot does need to get solved. However, there WILL be better options coming up soon. If he can sign Dye for like a league minimum or a minor league deal, go for it…but there will be better options than Dye available soon. Five games plus the injuries is probably too big of a hill with the team as it is, so I do agree that they need someone…but that someone isn’t Jermaine Dye.

  • Slu

    The key here is not to make a panic move. Hopefully the bad luck won’t continue forever. When Granderson and Swisher get back – hopefully very soon, things will look a lot better. But I will say that the bullpen is a concern long term unless some of the guys in back of the pen start throwing some quality innings. I never thought I’d say this, but maybe when Mitre goes back to the pen, he should get some higher leverage situations.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “But I will say that the bullpen is a concern long term unless some of the guys in back of the pen start throwing some quality innings.”

      Here’s the thing, though: The bullpen will always be a concern, long-term. Since the performance of relievers/bullpens is inherently volatile, you really never have a long-term solution to a bullpen. There’s no way around that, it’s a fact of baseball life. The best you can do is gather a collection of decent arms and have some depth and the flexibility to move guys in and out of roles, and that’s exactly what the Yanks have done the last few years. Sometimes guys underperform, sometimes they get hurt… And sometimes, like, unfortunately, now, both of those things happen at once. The method/process here is fine, the results are just poor right now because that’s the nature of the beast.

      The long-term outlook for the bullpen is fine, because the guys in charge have shown that they understand the nature of bullpen performance and how to build a successful bullpen.

      • Mister Delaware

        100% agree. Best way to ruin a bullpen is by signing a bunch of “long term fixes”.

        • RL

          Right. We should never sign long-term bull pen solutions (if appropriate ones are available at the right price) as was done in the past with Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson.

          • Mister Delaware

            Yanks bought out Nelson’s arbitration years, he wasn’t really a long term deal. On the other hand, Stanton’s success completely invalidates my point. I think we should sign relievers to long term deals. (But only “appropriate” ones, which I assume is slang for “only ones that work out”. Hear me, you Karsay types? You’re obviously not appropriate!)

            • RL

              And the difficult part is finding the Stanton’s & Nelson’s among the Karsay’s!

              • Mister Delaware

                And since relievers are so volatile (performance and healthwise) we’re back to the initial point that bullpens-via-long-term-free-agent-deals is a bad way to go!

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        All kinds of this.

        Relievers are relievers because (for the most part) they are not good enough to start. Considering the volatility of most rotations, the bullpens, even for the best teams are going to be a concern.

      • Slu

        I don’t disagree. And you are right in that injury and ineffectiveness concurrently are a problem, but I think it is time to do exactly what you say and move guys in and out of roles to try to get some effective innings. Perhaps it is time to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle with Alby or another arm or two from the depth they currently have in the minors – be it a current reliever or a converted minor league starter. Or to see if Mitre can be moved to a setup type role and see if the long man can be filled by Nova or Sanchez when they are available again.

        • Chris

          The problem is that EVERYONE in the pen has failed recently. Mo, Joba, Park, Robertson, Logan, Marte, Melancon. It’s hard to justify shifting roles around when there isn’t anyone good to move into the high leverage roles.

          The relievers can’t continue to be as bad (as a group) as they have been the past week or so. Once their performances stabilize and they get past the couple injuries and Mitre returns to the pen… then I think you’ll start to see some moves. Probably no new signings, but guys coming up/going down.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

      Hopefully the bad luck won’t continue forever. When Granderson and Swisher get back – hopefully very soon, things will look a lot better.

      I dunno, five games back plus the injuries to Posada and especially Nick Johnson is a tough hill to climb, lets stop pretending that it isn’t. The good news in this that DH is probably the easiest position to replace. The team’s going to need to make a move to pull themselves out of this hole, but I’m confident that they will make a move and they’ll find someone that’s a good fit.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Four games back, and it’s not that big of a deal when they have 13 games left against the team in front of them. They were five games back as late as June 24th last season.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          BUT, last season they had an absolutely stacked line up plus a true lock down bullpen. When there’s only one below average player in the line up (if that) you tend to come back from large deficits…plus the team ahead of them last year was worse than the team ahead of them this year. Anyways, I don’t see what last year’s AL East race has to do with this year’s; the teams have the same names but they’re completely different teams?. Last year, this was their everyday line up (wOBA next to it)

          Derek Jeter (.390)
          Johnny Damon (.376)
          Mark Teixeira (.402)
          Alex Rodriguez (.405)
          Hideki Matsui (.378)
          Jorge Posada (.378)
          Robinson Cano (.370)
          Nick Swisher (.375)
          Melky Cabrera (.331)

          While some of those players are back their everyday production likely won’t be. Matsui and Damon’s production is missed (but not duplicated in LA and Detroit respectively). While Brett Gardner’s doing a fine job right now he’s sporting a .368 BABIP (not all that confident on that number it is Brett Gardner after all.) Gardner will almost definitely equal Melky, Curtis can probably get JD on a rate basis…Posada out worries me, and I am concerned where they will get Matsui’s production from. I’m sure a move will be made to bolster the OF and help out at DH. Until then, lets at least recognize that a team that loses the players that this team lost faces some struggles.

  • Sonny Red

    I agree with patience and that the guys in the minors will continue to step it up till the Posada and the outfield gets healthy, but I really think a move needs to be made to fill the DH spot. If Jorge was able to bat id have no problem standing pat but they really have no one fill that spot now. And rotating the guys in and making Pena a defacto starter really isnt going to cut it. At the very least Russo needs to cut into some of Penas starts, because i have alittle more faith in his ability to hit.

    • Slu

      You gotta figure Miranda gets the bulk of the starts against righties, so Pena will probably only get starts against lefties. Not that I think that is a great idea either – I’m with you – I’d like to see if Russo can hit more than Pena as well.

  • Big Mike

    Hoes does the 5.5 Million for Nick Johnson and the 1 Million for Wynn look now comapred to the 9 Million we could have used to sign Johnny Damon? Still think that was the biggest mistake of the off season.

    • pounder

      We could have gotten JD back for less than 9mil.David DeJesus, come on down.

      • Mister Delaware

        Any pro-DeJesus comment is going to win me over (even with the Damon stuff mixed in). If the price is right, I love the idea of that guy in LF with Granderson easing back into the lineup at DH. We can happily deal with the 4 OF problem when the time comes.

    • pat

      Offering Damon a 2 year 14 million dollar deal?

      • Mister Delaware

        And what do you do in 2011 when both Damon and Posada have to DH and you can never rotate the other vets through for a 1/2 day off?

        • mike c

          that is a better problem than the one we have now

          • Mister Delaware

            You mean the one where 40% of our opening day position players are hurt?

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              You don’t think Johnny Damon could have solved that? He is a healer.

    • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Cnight_UP

      Except they offered Damon more than 9 million, and he turned it down. Why is this so hard to comprehend.

      • rbizzler

        Yup. All sorts of this. Plus Randy Winn for a million bones is still not a bad deal, IMO.

        Obviously it sucks that NJ is out for an extended period of time, but the myriad injuries have compounded the problems created by his absence. The Yanks could have covered for Nick if they had a reasonably healthy roster, but, alas, this is not the case.

    • http://yahoo Anthony DeMarco

      Yes,we should have brought Johnny Damon back…Iunderstand Melky for Granderson.But,Scott Boris should be shot.And Johnny should be where he belongs,with us…..

    • Pasqua

      You don’t sign guys with the anticipation of injury. Period. If Cashman had a crystal ball, Damon would probably be here, but we can’t criticize in hindsight just because a bunch of guys have gone down. As Mike points out, the depth was there to begin with. That the team would lose practically 3/5 of its outfield options (for example) is a very freaky thing.

  • A.D.

    One good thing is according to LoHud from yesterday, Mitre is back available in the pen today, and his ability to give them 5 innings at this point gives a lot more breathing room out of pen.

    Personally if it’s me I go with the following:
    DL Posada – Bring back Golston
    60-Day NJ & Send down Logan – Bring up Moeller

    Then I wouldn’t be upset if Thames or Swisher are just DLed instead of wasting roster spots, and call up Huffman

    • A.D.

      Other though would be to recall Russo instead of Golson to play the OF.

      • Mister Delaware

        I’d rather see Golson just because the odds of him preventing runs are better than the odds of Huffman or Russo creating runs.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

      One good thing is according to LoHud from yesterday, Mitre is back available in the pen today …

      This is the exact reason why I felt the uproar over the eight-man bullpen was shortsighted. With Mitre thought to be unavailable until today or tomorrow and Javier Vazquez only available as an emergency option, the bullpen would have actually been five men deep if not for the extra reliever.

      Yesterday, we saw how ugly it could have potentially become if not for the extra reliever. Do to in-game action and/or getting warmed up, Joba Chamberlain, Damaso Marte, Sergio Mitre and Mariano Rivera were all unavailable. With Vazquez being treated as the emergency option and if the thirteenth pitcher was not called up, just Boone Logan, Chan Ho Park and David Robertson would have been the only available relievers.

      The Yankees had to pick a poison: a short bench or a short bullpen. With Ramiro Pena’s versatility and Nick Swisher being able to play defense and bat against LHP, they went with the short bench. I definitely do not think it was a horrendously idiotic decision – as what the consensus felt it was.

      • A.D.

        Nick Swisher being able to play defense and bat against LHP

        Not sure if this is still true, since he didn’t go in for Thames to play D. But may have just been cause they were losing, didn’t want to risk it.

        • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

          I don’t have any doubt that was the reason. Also, seeing as how Swisher can just bat from one side, I think Girardi and his staff see him as an emergency option.

          • rbizzler

            Honestly why couldn’t they use Swish for Thames on D late in games and if his spot comes up in the order only have him bat from the right side. Obviously, it negates one of Nick’s biggest strengths but Thames is a horrid defender.

            • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

              I know what happened on Tueday fucking blows, but, working with a short bench already, do you think the best management of the available resources would have been to burn your emergency OF in Nick Swisher just to upgrade defense in right field over the final two innings of a game in which your team lead by four runs?

              • A.D.

                do you think the best management of the available resources

                Yes, what are you saving Nick for? To pinch-hit against Okajima if your team blows said 4 run lead?

                • A.D.

                  I would also argue that Pena is the emergency outfielder

                  • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

                    Yeah, he very well could be – I have no idea. Me just being as cautious as possible, I would not have used Swisher in that spot. However, I definitely see why others would.

                • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

                  I don’t think it’s a case of saving Swisher; it’s more of doing your best to avoid using him. Right now, Ramiro Pena is probably above Swisher on the OF depth chart, and with the former’s inexperience, I doubt they felt he was enough of an upgrade over Marcus Thames to go the defensive-replacement route.

                  With Swisher hurt (also, I believe his biceps flared up when he swung off a tee that day), I think they would avoid going to him unless they absolutely have to. An upgrade in right field in the eight-inning with a four-run lead is not that situation, in my opinion.

                  • A.D.

                    That certainly makes sense, but then Swisher isn’t really available to play D (in my mind).

              • rbizzler

                I see your point (and I agree), but hindsight being 20/20…

        • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

          Also, the consequences of getting burned with a short bullpen are more dire than getting burned with a short bench. The Yanks got burned a bit yesterday with Pena having to play the outfield, but that situation can quickly and easily be remedied with a call-up of an outfielder today. Essentially, the Yanks had to suffer for a few innings because of their short bench.

          Now, if Vazquez would have been pressed into duty, that means he is no longer eligible to start Friday. When Mitre takes that start, you run into the same issues you did this week with having Mitre as a dead spot in the bullpen and treating Vazquez as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency guy in the bullpen. Here the Yanks would be again trying to get Vazquez a start in the next four (or five) days with a short pitching staff.

          I think the worst-case scenarios with a short bullpen >>> worst-case scenarios with a short bench.

          • A.D.

            I agree, if one has to pick their poison I’d rather have a full pen.

  • Ted Nelson

    Problem is also compounded with 2 guys at the top of your line-up struggling: Jeter and Texiera. If Jeter’s OBP is .412 instead of .312 and Tex’s OPS is 1.000 instead of .737 the Yankees could absorb the injuries a lot more easily. Pitching has also struggled in ways not necessarily related to injuries… for example AJ’s poor start last night doesn’t necessarily relate to anyone else’s injury as far as I can tell.

    • A.D.

      Well Tex has been hitting of late, so that’s less the issue right now, but Jeter has gotta be on one of the weakest 7 game hit streaks ever, 250/314/281.

  • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

    I just think they are getting carried away with the Cerveli thing. There is no way he maintains what he is doing and considering the lack of depth in the outfield, you need to spice things up. I would gamble on Montero, the kid has a mature approach at the plate and probably could be productive. This could be a step in his development, rather then some major hindrance. If you are forced to have an outfield of Golson, Gardner and Wynn, then you really do need to supplement in other spots. If Montero had the same track record but played right field, then he would be up in a heart beat. I understand the importance of the defensive side of catching, but we have a mostly veteran staff that really should be able to handle it and Posada’s defensive abilities have eroded to a degree so the Yankees are inherently willing to accept lesser defense for a better bat (and I am not saying Montero’s defense is equivalent or close to Jorges).

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “I would gamble on Montero, the kid has a mature approach at the plate and probably could be productive.”

      Montero is 20 years old, is batting .230/.304/.385 at AAA, has a grand total of 316 at-bats between AA and AAA, by all accounts is not ready to field his position at the MLB level and was recently disciplined for an attitude issue. It would be the height of short-sighted folly to call him up to MLB now, especially when you consider that you’d be starting his arbitration clock.

      • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

        If the Yankees were ever concerned about arbitration clocks, I would question Brian Cashman’s intelligence and sanity, so i am not even going to address that point.

        Yes his performance at AAA has not be eye opening but that shouldn’t diminish what he has done at every other level. I just dont see the damage of calling him up. What happens? If he struggles, then he goes back down. If he can’t handle struggling then hell never make it.

        And even if he plays the entire year in AAA and suceeds, he’ll struggle at some point in ML anyway. I just don’t see how its logical to use 122 ABs at AAA to make the determination that he isn’t ready. Sometimes you have to make the evaluation based on the players talent and not on small sample sizes. His career minor league OPS is over 800, that has to mean something. And his age should be irrelevant when he has been a professional baseball player for 3 years.

        My point is that they really dont have a lot of different avenues to go down. I just dont know how a roster with Chad Moeller is so logical and we have essentially made Cervelli and every day player for two months of this season, that is pushing our luck, which is already at its max considering the guy is gitting .370. Cervelli should be a back up and you have a chance to get a preview of where Montero’s development is actually at, which you will never know until he actually gets to the Bronx.

        Plus, I really do not see the downside to his development. Explain to me how three-four weeks of ML exposure could damage him.

        • rbizzler

          As Mike emphasized in post, Cash’s MO has been patience, so that doesn’t bode well for a premature Jesus experiment. While I don’t think that a few weeks of failure at the ML level will retard his development, I don’t really see how it could help him (outside of the long shot of him mashing from day one).

          Honestly, what is wrong with giving Miranda, who has much more MiL seasoning than Jesus, the bulk of the DH AB’s and ride out Cervelli’s hot streak and enjoy the benefits of his D (last night not withstanding).

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            While I don’t think that a few weeks of failure at the ML level will retard his development

            I agree with you, and will add to that, a few weeks of failuer at the ML level certainly won’t help the 2010 New York Yankees. Putting development aside, the dude is struggling in AAA, what are the odds he comes in and immediately helps in MLB?

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          That’s fine, disregard the arbitration-clock thing. I actually chose the wrong word (“especially”) in that sentence, that’s probably an ancillary issue.

          “I just dont see the damage of calling him up. What happens? If he struggles, then he goes back down. If he can’t handle struggling then hell never make it.”

          Oh, totally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a player going through some adversity. It’s probably a really good thing for their development. But this kid is already going through some adversity at the AAA level. It’s not like the Yankees need to move him up a level right now because the current competition is beneath him and he’s not being challenged.

          “And even if he plays the entire year in AAA and suceeds, he’ll struggle at some point in ML anyway.

          Surely. I’d just prefer if he goes through those struggles at a time when he will be on the MLB roster for a while and will have the time to grow and pull through those struggles, not when he’s ticketed for a ride back to Scranton a month after his arrival.

          “I just don’t see how its logical to use 122 ABs at AAA to make the determination that he isn’t ready.”

          Look, I’m not saying we need to downgrade our expectations for what he will develop into just because he’s not hitting well in a very small sample of at-bats at AAA. What I’m saying is that he is currently struggling in the minors, so why are we in such a hurry to bring him up to MLB where he’ll face much better competition? Let the kid play in one minor league level for a while, there’s no need to keep bumping him up so quickly.

          “And his age should be irrelevant when he has been a professional baseball player for 3 years.”

          I couldn’t disagree with you more. He’s still a 20 year old kid and that must be considered. I’m sorry, but frankly, if you don’t think his age is relevant then I think you have a poor understanding of what it means to develop these kids.

          “Plus, I really do not see the downside to his development. Explain to me how three-four weeks of ML exposure could damage him.”

          You can’t seriously be arguing that pushing a kid too far, too fast, has no effect on their development (and can’t have a negative effect). You don’t think there could be a possible negative effect on the kid if he comes up here, maybe looks awful behind the plate, and doesn’t hit at all for a month, then gets shipped right back to Scranton? I just can’t agree with that opinion.

          I think you’d acknowledge that it’s entirely possible that he won’t hit well if called up to MLB right now, and we’d all acknowledge that to the best of our knowledge, he’s not ready to play behind the plate in MLB… Then explain to me why, exactly, you want to bring up Montero again? What’s the big rush to call up a 20 year old kid who is definitely not ready defensively and probably not quite ready offensively? I just don’t understand why it’s so imperative that the Yankees promote these kids so often and so fast. I feel like there are a lot of people who may think they understand the long-term nature of prospect development, but who in reality are unable to see the long-term game and realize that sometimes things don’t happen so fast.

          • rbizzler

            Let’s call it the ‘Shiny New Toy’ syndrome. The downside of more fans following the farm is that you will get some impatient people calling for premature promotions because they have been following a guy for a few years and want to see their dedication come to fruition.

            This phenomenon also corresponds well with the ‘Premature Bust’ syndrome where a hyped prospect gets called up and underwhelms and is immediately labeled a permanent failure who should be included in all hypothetical trade proposals for Hanley or Pujols (we can also call it the IPK Corollary).

            • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

              (Btw – To the Steve S. involved in this conversation… Are you Steve from TYU, or someone else? Because if you’re someone else you should probably choose a different commenting-name. Just a heads-up.)

              • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

                I dont know TYU but I have been here since inception, along with steve the different one.

                • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ok… Well just a heads-up that there’s a guy who writes at TYU (theyankeeu.com) and who comments here quite regularly and goes by the name “Steve S.” You might want to change your name just so people can differentiate between the two of you, most people who read/comment here know that other guy as “Steve S,” not you.

                  • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

                    I have had conversations with you in the past and TSJC. I think they can live with two different guys using the same tag.

                    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                      Yeah, and I had no idea that there are 2 commenters going by the name Steve S.

                      Whatever, just trying to be helpful. Not my concern.

            • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

              I don’t have shiny new toy syndrome and I have all the patience in the world. I am still devastated with the decision on Joba and how they have handled Melancon thus far. There are perhaps a segment of fans that are a little troubled with the organizations inconsistent approach to developing prospects and therefore I am willing to suggest something like this and not simply go down the path of least resistance. It seems that they have long term solution when it suits their needs. I also understand that every player’s development is unique to a certain extent. That is why I think the calls for Romaine are jumping the gun since there was a reason Montero has progressed faster then him at this point and is younger. Of course, if I had my preference Posada would stay healthy the entire year and Montero could gradually be built in next year. However, this scenario is absolutely perfect to give him a shot. Plus, if he does produce then you may have an alternative if the DH becomes a major concern considering Johnson’s paper mache bones.

              • rbizzler

                I disagree in that I think that you are jumping the gun in your espousal of throwing Jesus into the fire. Honestly, there is nothing to suggest that he is ready for the show. He needs work behind the plate and the prudent thing to do is to leave him in SWB to learn his craft and adjust to a better quality of pitching.

                How can you say that you have ‘all the patience in the world’ while you are advocating promoting a player who is clearly not ready to compete on an ML level, and has had 3/4 of a year in AA?

                Best case scenario after a promotion is that his bat is decent right away, but odds are that he will be a disaster behind the plate.

                What does a Jesus/Miranda C/DH combo give you that a Cervelli/Miranda combo doesn’t when you factor in defense behind the plate?

                Not trying to be a jerk, but I am really curious as to your reasoning.

                • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “How can you say that you have ‘all the patience in the world’ while you are advocating promoting a player who is clearly not ready to compete on an ML level, and has had 3/4 of a year in AA? “

                  The same way he can say:

                  “I understand the importance of the defensive side of catching, but we have a mostly veteran staff that really should be able to handle it and Posada’s defensive abilities have eroded to a degree so the Yankees are inherently willing to accept lesser defense for a better bat (and I am not saying Montero’s defense is equivalent or close to Jorges).”

                  It’s gibberish. He decided what he wants, then tried to find/bend the evidence to fit his conclusion.

                  • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

                    Attacking me for having a minority opinion doesn’t make you seem smarter. The two points you reference are not incongruent. But the Yankees have spent the last 12 years valuing offense at the catcher position, that was the point of the later comment, so to do it for the next two weeks wouldn’t be crazy.

                    And I don’t know how you guys became the determinative factor on who is ready for the ML. You guys can pontificate all you want but in the end development of prospects is an imperfect science. And the perfect example of unexpected success at the major league level is the guy who is catching at the ML level now.

                    I don’t understand how it is impatient to suggest (and its merely a suggestion, not a demand or some call to arms) that the Yankees promote their everyday AAA catcher to become their starting catcher for a short period of time, when the starting catcher is placed on the DL. I think its gibberish to come on to a blog and pretend like you have some kind of expertise on the development of young players. There are guys who get paid to do it who haven’t pieced it all together, and yet somehow you guys have.

                    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                      I never claimed to be any sort of authority… But that doesn’t mean I can’t point out that your argument is weaker than the opposing argument, and that some of the things you’ve said don’t really withstand scrutiny.

                      You’re not being attacked for having a minority opinion. People disagree with you because what you’re saying isn’t very well-reasoned nor very persuasive.

                      Since this conversation is no longer about baseball, I’ll bow out.

                • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

                  I get what everybody is saying but I don’t see how patience and calling him up for three-four weeks is mutually exclusive. I think there is a reason Miranda has spent this much time in the minors. To me, Miranda is solid bench player. My whole reasoning is that you have now lost your starting centerfielder, your starting catcher, your DH and your starting right fielder (I realize that Swish may come back relatively soon), therefore you can supplement to a certain extent with bench players, however this is exactly the type of scenario where I think the organization can give a premium prospect a chance to get a taste because he gives you the potential of being a legitimate every day player, so long as the major league coaching staff is committed to fostering and helping his development. Everyone here acknowledges that he will probably be a September call up which is part of his development process. Why can’t this be a similar situation? Again, like I said I don’t see the downside to either the player or the organization because of all the extenuating circumstances and the alternatives. This is not calling him up out of panic, its calling him up because you have the second best record in the league and therefore have the luxury to allow him to learn and perhaps flourish at the major league level.

          • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

            I understand everything you are saying but the reality is that this organization has a track record of being very inconsistent with the development of prospects. If what you are saying is true then they completely mishandled Hughes. And I really don’t think there is a debate on how badly Joba has been handled (at least within the confines of this blog). I think this situation lends itself to allowing the kid to come up. There are a lot of premium position players who make the jump directly from AA to AAA and it has worked, especially with hitters who have good strike-zone discipline. And I agree that this is a gamble. And I agree you can rush a kids development and cause damage. I just dont see it with someone who has Montero’s track record. But someone who has demonstrated for three years that he is not just a good player but could be a dominant offensive player could be one of those types that succeeds at this level. I think you are gambling by relying on Cervelli to be an everyday player and to provide adequate production when your outfield has been reduced to essentially Brett Gardner. I just don’t know how much more of a gamble it could be to let Montero catch 20 games right now. It is really a low risk, high reward kind of move, whereas the proposed Chad/Cervelli combo is low risk and low reward.

            • Ed

              Keep in mind that Montero being in AAA right now is already putting him on a very fast track. He ended 2008 in Low A. He spent about a third of 2009 in High A, a third of 2009 in AA, and missed the remainder of the season. Promoting him to the majors would be promoting him from Low A all the way to the majors with less than a season’s worth of playing time along the way. That’s insanely fast, even for a stud prospect.

              • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Another good, and very relevant, point.

                I actually posted a comment during the preseason saying that I would have preferred to see Montero start the season in AA. I’m sure some, if not most people disagree with that, but I just bring it up to note that the fact that this kid is in AAA, at age 20, is already remarkable and means he has rocketed through the system.

                The kid barely played in AA and has barely played in AAA. Let’s let him actually spend some time at the upper-levels of the minors before we think about pushing him further.

                • rbizzler

                  I, for one, would have been fine with Jesus starting in AA, if only to avoid this type of knee jerk scenario. Odds are, he is not going to help the big club this year so spending a month or so in Trenton wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.

                  I also understand the need for the org to get both him and Romine innings behind the dish, so a AAA start was fine in that regard, but an aggressive placement has brought the clamoring for a faster track than Jesus is already on.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        It would be at the height of short-sighted folly Mets to call him up to MLB now…

        FTFY

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    IT is pretty funny. Fluke injuries are the only thing that is happening to the Yankees. I love how the Rays haven’t had any injuries except to JP Howell so they are moving along. Yankees have the 2nd best record and have had a ton. I doubt Tampa stays completely healthy all season.

    • A.D.

      Rays have a bit more flexibility with Hellickson & Jennings waiting at AAA, but like any team, multiple injuries at a position will hurt.

  • AndrewYF

    Melky Cabrera has put up a 39 OPS+ this year. THIRTY. NINE.

    That’s simply Womackian.

    • Accent Shallow

      Yikes, but we know he’s a much better hitter than that.

      Or he misses Robbie and is done.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I wonder how long it will be until we see guys like Huffman and Winfree getting a chance. There may not be a ton of upside there, but I like Huffman’s MiL track record, and Winfree has shown a history of power (.173 IsoP) down there. If Golson proves he can’t be anything more than a defensive replacement or pinch runner, I’d like to see one of these guys get a look.

  • JeffG

    I know this sounds silly but I wonder how much it would take to get Melky back. He has been horrible with the Braves.

    The reality is in two weeks we should have our full outfield (knock on wood) and that should be a real difference maker. Thames/Miranda should be fine as DH. We just can’t have Thames in the outfield.

    • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Cnight_UP

      AndrewYF says:
      May 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      Melky Cabrera has put up a 39 OPS+ this year. THIRTY. NINE.

      That’s simply Womackian.

  • nick blasioli

    i agree with the huffman call up…just wish logan was at swb..a small trade for an outfielder dh type would be good…but for miranda to be the dh is crazy…he is after all a swb player at best…he is a great ball player but he needs a little more seasoning for the pressure cooker type atmosphere….

    • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Cnight_UP

      Miranda is not young. He is the best of what is available at this time.

    • First Time Poster

      More seasoning?! Three years at SWB is not enough? Miranda is the perfect guy for the Yanks to have right now. He has enough AAA games under his belt and so far has not looked 0ver-matched by any means. You have no evidence to back up your statement that Miranda is a SWB player. Give him a chance… so far he has done quite well as DH.

    • A.D.

      but for miranda to be the dh is crazy…he is after all a swb player at best…he is a great ball player but he needs a little more seasoning for the pressure cooker type atmosphere….

      And what would be the factual backing for this?

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      he is after all a swb player at best…he is a great ball player

      I didn’t even need to edit that. How can he be both at the same time?

    • Mike HC

      Who do you have in mind for that “small trade for an outfielder dh type?” I’m sure Cashman would love to add another hitter in the mix but who is on the market right now, for a small price, that could hit as well as the Winn, Miranda, Thames group.

      • nick blasioli

        konerko….for one….more seasoning for miranda..check out last nite in the ninth….and many other at bats…you will see…stay tuned….

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Bring back Sheff!

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Not sure if serious.

      /wouldn’t be that awful of an idea and as a DH only he may be better/cheaper than Dye

      • A.D.

        Even if they threw him in the OF, could he actually play worse than Thames does?

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Not completely serious for short term but if we were looking for long term help, I’d certainly give Sheff as long of a look as Dye.

        • rbizzler

          Don’t get TJSC started on Sheff again! I think that the list of available retreads has been exhausted and there is no need to rehash undesirable options.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            What makes Sheff undesirable vs. Dye?

            • Mister Delaware

              Less smiley.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                If Sheffield has just left his initials in gold on his 2 front teeth, he’d smile more to show it off.

            • rbizzler

              Honestly, they all are equally undesirable IMO.

              Sheff’s rate stats look a tad bit better than Dye’s but he put those up in the NL.

  • Brian

    Jamie Hoffmann called…

    • Brooklyn Ed

      he’s calling from LA? wow…

      • Mister Delaware

        You’d be amazed what people do with telephones these days. Conversations can even cross oceans!!!

    • Thomas

      Is he saying something about how the Yankees choice of Marcus Thames over him seems to be the right one at this point.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Maybe we should have used that secret 26th roster spot?

        Thames vs. Hoffman was the final spot.

        Thames is hitting .357/.465/.536. I’m ok with the call they made.

  • mike c

    i’d kick the tires on dye/dukes, they would be a valuable bench asset especially when we get later into the season

  • Tom Zig

    Just gotta weather the storm

  • larryf

    When Grandy comes back-is it in CF where he has to run more or in LF for awhile?

    Please put Gardner at leadoff since he takes/sees a lot of pitches and please have the #2 hitter take a strike by order of the manager.

    Don’t panic everyone-we r a lock for the wildcard-worse case scenario

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Grandy will be back in CF unless they decide to make a permanent switch.

      • Anksy

        Never thought I’d see the day where we’d want Gardner leading off.

        You just cant predict baseball.

  • Alison

    ok so this may sound insane but I would take a chance on Pat Burell- this guy was a career 30 home run guy granted didn’t play well in Tampa but he also didnt have arod, tex and cano to bat around- he cleared waivers- would have to give up nothing to get him and pay the league minimum. Gotta be better then Dye or Dukes.

    • Yankeegirl49

      Agreed..pay him next to nothing, give him a couple of weeks till Granderson gets back and if he still sucks, release him.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I don’t think it’s insane, but I don’t think the time is right either. If Swish/Thames’ injuries were more serious and required long DL stints I could see taking a chance. My guess is that he’d turn out like Sexson, but worth a shot in the righ scenario.

    • Mister Delaware

      I find it highly entertaining that 2 of the 3 posters advocating Burrell are girls.

      (And my wife would totally sign off. Might even watch a game or two with me if he were in the lineup.)

      • Yankeegirl49

        And I find it highly entertaining that I knew someone would say that. For the record, I do not find him the least bit attractive, so you are off the mark as far as Im concerned. I don’t advocate for players according to what they look like.

        • Mister Delaware

          Tongue was firmly in cheek, not intending to be chauvinistic.

          (And come on, I’ve been voted “Straightest Guy Alive, Northeast Division” for 9 years running and I think Burrell is a good looking guy.)

          • Yankeegirl49

            Not my type…in fact, very few baseball players are.

          • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

            As someone who finds a lot of baseball players pretty attractive (no, that’s not why I watch baseball), I just don’t see it with Burrell. I didn’t even know he was considered attractive.

            And I don’t think I would want him on the Yankees unless they could pay like literally nothing.

            • Yankeegirl49

              Thats what they would be paying…league minimum.

              • A.D.

                …prorated league min.

                • Alison

                  thats all I am saying- I think his salary would be like 300,000- nick johnson is not coming back anytime soon- If he even came back before aug or sept I would be shocked- he is always hurt. He was a monster waste of money- As far as Burrell- I honestly have no idea what he looks like- I just know that before he came to the Rays he was a monster hitter- give him some time with Kevin Long and he will figure it out… Plus he kill the Mets all the time lol

    • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Cnight_UP

      You’re right he only had Crawford, Longoria, Pena, Upton surrounding him. Pat Burell is D-U-N DUN!!!

      • Mister Delaware

        He’s also as streaky as they come (although he’s been more down streaky than up streaky for almost 24 months now). There’s always that lightning in a bottle potential.

      • Alison

        upton is hitting 224 and pena is hitting 195

  • Aj

    Anyone hear about Delgado’s agent reaching out to the Yanks? If Dye is out of the question, I’m sure he’d be even worse?

    http://nybaseballdigest.com/?p=24784

    • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

      Delgado is still on crutches…

  • Aj

    There’s no reason to destroy our clubhouse for someone like Dukes who can’t hit anymore.

    • pat

      We aren’t the Marlins or Natinals dude. One punk won’t be able to fuck up a clubhouse fll of veterans.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      There is zero chance Dukes would destroy a clubhouse with Jeter/CC/A-Rod/Posada/Grandy, etc. Worst case scenario he’s a pain and you cut him, no harm, no foul.

      As far as not being able to hit anymore, the dude is immensley talented and 25 years old with a career OPS+ of 104. Writing off his ability to hit at the age of 25 is crazy.

      • Mister Delaware

        And wouldn’t it be fun to read all the articles about how Jeter and CC and Granderson and Thames and Winn would be great roles models for him?

        • pat

          Jeter? Not black enough. Sorry.

          /

  • Jammy Jammers

    The Yankees were very fortunate to not have too too many crazy injuries last year. They had injuries, but this is insane in scope.
    I hope Swish and Grandy get back soon.

    Is Monahan back with the team yet? (not that he could’ve prevented a hairline fracture)

    • nathan

      ARod was out for a while. Nady, Wang were out forever. Posada was out for a longer while and Molina went down at the same time as Posada. Marte was ineffective and out for a long while too.

      I think the extent of injuries last year was equally bad.

      • pat

        Unfortunately, our AL East competition is much better this year.

        • Chris

          I’m not so sure about that. The Rays are obviously better, but the Sox seem to be down this year (although they may not stay that way). It’s definitely going to be harder to win the AL east than last season, but it won’t necessarily be harder to make the playoffs.

  • Chris

    I think we need to put things in perspective a bit before jumping off a bridge. The Yankees are currently 1st in the AL in runs scored and tied for third in runs allowed (3 behind second place).

    And only 16 of the 48 games they have before the AS break are against teams with winning records – and 6 of those are against Toronto. That’s not a very challenging schedule to contend with while nursing some injuries.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Perspective FTW.

  • Sizeole

    I agree that the Yanks need to weather the storm and just get thru this snake-bitten period and hope nobody else goes down. (Imagine if Gardy hit his head on the ground when it whipped back on that catch last night?) However, how do we just now know that Jorge has a hairline fracture? For the past week we’ve either lost the DH or had Pena playing in the outfield due to a dead roster spot. That’s inexcusable. I’m afraid they might be making the same mistake with Swisher too. Injuries are one thing, but even running SWB roster out there gives Girardi some maneuverability.

  • http://twitter.com/Cnight_UP Cnight_UP

    Mike Axisa mikeaxisa

    Jermaine Dye hit .174-.293-.284 in his last 222 plate appearances last year. Yikes.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      As scary as that is, he was very unlucky and posted a strong K/BB ratio in the 2nd half than in the 1st. I’m not necessarily pro-Dye, but I don’t think he’s necessarily cooked based on those horrible stats.

  • Aj

    Still finished with 27 HRs. He could be our david Ortiz, you know, without the roids.

  • Cecala

    Has there been any words on the call ups for tonights game? Our bench is extremely weak right now and with Thames not going on the DL nor Swisher, thats 2 dead spots. Also how many days are left between Grandy and Aceves on the DL? Ace has _ days left and last I heard of Grandy was that he was running pain free but just feels a little out of shape.

  • nsalem

    Frankie Cervelli?? is that like Bobby Clemente?

    • rbizzler

      Or like ‘George’ or ‘Goergie’ Posada.

      • Mister Delaware

        It just sounds stupid. – Dwight Randolph Winn

        • rbizzler

          Which one sounds stupid?

  • RR

    Calm down everyone. Burrell? Dye? Sheffield? Hell, why not give Bonds a call??? This time of year, the dregs are all that’s available – and none if it any better than the likes of Golston or Huffman.

    The depth issue in the OF was a concern once Cash traded away Melky, and bringing in the over-the-hill gang of Thames and Winn didn’t exactly help things. As for waiting for the Rays to get their rash of injuries, keep waiting. Old teams have to deal with more injuries. Period. It was simply Cash’s lack of recognizing that for what it is that left the team in this mess. The best thing the FO could do is forget about the 8 reliever nonsense, cut the pen to 6 and force Girardi to make the a couple of starters bit a bullet when they falter. Or make a reliever pitch to more than two hitters. Or both.

    Doubt it will happen, though. Too many of you are too spoiled to understand that sometimes you have to lose a couple of battles to win a war.

    • Alison

      are you really comparing Pat Burrell to Barry Bonds? thats a bit of a stretch. I guess if we are going that route we can always see if Ted Williams’ head can be reattached and then see if he wants to play for the rival team…

    • nsalem

      Great analysis However I would like to think that Cashman was hyper aware of the depth issues facing this aging team and was denied the funds by the FO. Obviously Winn and Thames were not his first tow choices. The good news is that we are approaching the quadruple A portion of our schedule. What really scares me is that the bridge to Mariano has become more of a dark murky tunnel. If Joba had done is job
      perhaps we would have won at least 3 of the last 4 games and our mindsets would be as beautiful as the weather instead of the uncertainty we face especially if we lose tonight and suddenly find ourselves 5 games out of first place. The offensive woes can be dealt with by 7/31, don’t think you can say the same for the bullpen issues.

    • Mister Delaware

      “… and force Girardi to make the a couple of starters bit a bullet when they falter.”

      If the goal is to more evenly spread the injuries (rather than have them concentrated in the OF and bullpen), I think this is a great idea.

    • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

      The best thing the FO could do is forget about the 8 reliever nonsense, cut the pen to 6 and force Girardi to make the a couple of starters bit a bullet when they falter.

      No. No. No.

      Unless you want a bunch of hurt starters to go along with the hurt position players.

      (And boo, Mister Delaware beat me to it.)

  • Kiko Jones

    I never understood not re-signing solid bench guys like Hairston Jr. and Hinske. The latter, in particular, wielded a decent bat and was certainly a better fielder than Thames. (Actually, he makes Johnny Damon look like Willie Mays out there.)

    Oh, and the Nick Johnson experiment yielded the exact results I feared it would: no production and a lengthy DL stint. Here’s to going younger and more athletic, hooray!