May
03

Vazquez might be bad, but alternatives not much better

By

Once Andy Pettitte re-signed for the 2010 season, the Yankees sought just one more pitcher to fill the rotation. That would leave only the No. 5 spot vacant, ripe for a competition, in name at least, between Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. An additional veteran would afford the Yanks a bit more flexibility in the rotation. They would have a solid top four even if the No. 5 winner flopped, and would have depth in case of injury.

Photo credit: Nathan Denette/AP

A few names of interest appeared on the free agent market. Ben Sheets, who missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow, topped the list because of his ace potential. Justin Duchscherer, who also missed all of 2009 recovering from an injury, represented another interesting name. He made a successful transition to the rotation in 2008 before suffering his injury, and his ground ball stuff figured to play well at Yankee Stadium.

Finally, Joel Piniero, who found success by inducing ground balls in 2009, hit the market. While he had a leg up on Sheets and Duchscherer, he also had a far spottier past. After two and a half excellent seasons with Seattle in the early 00s, Pineiro fell off a cliff. From 2004 through 2006 he pitched 495.1 innings to a 5.60 ERA. His strikeout rate dropped precipitously during that period, going from 7.1 per nine in 2004 to 5.1 in 2005, and finally to 4.7 in 2006. The Red Sox, under the advice of Allard Baird, signed him to close games in 2007, but that didn’t work out too well. It wasn’t until last season, his second full season under Dave Duncan’s tutelage, that Pineiro showed a consistent ability to record outs.

Yet the Yankees opted to avoid the free agent market. The decision was understandable. The three pitchers who would have best fit the Yankees’ need, at a reasonable salary, all carried considerable question marks. Instead they turned to the trade market and acquired Javy Vazquez from the Braves. The cost wasn’t high in Yankees terms. They swapped Melky Cabrera, along with his eventual $3 million salary, and high-upside prospect Arodys Vizcaino for Vazquez. It seemed to complete the Yankees rotation, giving them a bunch of top-three guys in the first four spots.

As we’ve seen through his first five starts, Vazquez hasn’t worked out to this point. At the same time, neither have any of the other choices. While Sheets and Pineiro haven’t performed quite as badly as Vazquez, they’ve struggled in their own ways. Duchscherer shined after struggling in his first start. He allowed just two runs in 19 innings during his next three starts. During his last start against Toronto, however, he left the game with pain in his hip. He described it as similar to the problem that kept him out for 2009. That was certainly one of the concerns with signing him during the winter.

Photo credit: Lori Schepler/AP

Pineiro actually started off the season strong, allowing just four runs in his first 20.1 innings. He actually struck out a decent number of batters 13, nearly 16 percent of all batters he faced. For comparison, last year he struck out 12 percent of all batters faced. All the while he kept his walk rate low, 3.7 percent of batters faced, against 3.1 percent last season. It hurt even more that one of those excellent performances came against the Yankees with Vazquez on the mound. Yet things went south pretty quickly.

In his last two starts Pineiro has lasted just 9.1 innings and has allowed 16 runs, 15 earned. Opponents have hit a home run as often as they have struck out. While Pineiro has kept his walk rate characteristically low, just two of 51 batters faced, he has seen his strikeout rate tank, just 6 percent of batters faced. Thankfully, the first such poor start came against the Yankees, who lit him up for six runs on 11 hits, none of which were home runs, in 6 IP. The Tigers, another team Pineiro dominated earlier in April, smacked him around on Friday, scoring 10 runs on 10 hits, including three homers, in just 3.1 innings.

Ben Sheets’s most recent start almost mirrors Pineiro’s last effort. In 3.1 innings against the Blue Jays he allowed nine runs on 10 hits and two walks, including three home runs. After striking out 20.4 percent of all batters faced during his years in Milwaukee, Sheets has struck out just 11.3 percent this season. Meanwhile his walk rate is through the roof, equalling his strikeout rate. He has more than doubled his walk percentage this season, 11.3 percent from 5.3 percent in Milwaukee. He claims he’s having trouble with his breaking ball, an unsurprising development considering his absence in 2009.

Photo credit: Christine Cotter/AP

Again, Vazquez’s struggles at this point are a bit more severe than those of Sheets and Pineiro. Yet I feel that Vazquez has a better chance of turning it around than the others. Sheets is further removed from his surgery every day, but it doesn’t seem that his his control, or his fastball velocity, is close to being back. Pineiro impressed last season and showed that he can get through tough lineups, but how much of that can we depend on in the future. After all, before last season he hand’t been good since 2003. If all three are struggling, I’d choose Javy over the other two.

There has been nothing encouraging about Javy’s 2010 season to date. He has no idea where his fastball is going, and isn’t getting as much speed on it as he has in the past. If he somehow gets that under control, he can recover and be the pitcher the Yankees thought they were acquiring in December. If not, we’ll see a lot of second guessing. As we’ve seen, though, there weren’t many better options on the free agent market. Despite his struggles, I still believe that trading for Javy was a better call than signing Duchscherer, Sheets, or Pineiro.

Categories : Pitching

154 Comments»

  1. paul says:

    Ol Javier cannot get this thing right. Out of those options I would take Javy every time. But what about Lackey? He was a possibility. I am hoping Javy turns it around because him being a type A free agent would get us draft picks. If we trade him, then we lose those picks. I would move Hughes up in rotation and let Javy work out his kinks in the 5 spot. Mitre and Ace are options too.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      But what about Lackey? He was a possibility.

      Giving out another 5-yr/$85M contract to another 31 yr old pitcher w/ injury problems was not an option.

      • Beamish says:

        That.

        Lackey was just too much money.

        • Thomas says:

          Also so far this season, Lackey has a 4.50 ERA with 4.12 FIP, 4.92 xFIP, and a WHIP of 1.567. His K/9 is 2.1 below his career average, his BB/9 is about 1 above his career average, and his H/9 is about 1 above his career average.

          It not like Lackey has been a stud either; better than Vazquez, but certainly not good (let alone $85M good).

          • Thomas says:

            Also look at Lackey’s B-Ref sponsorship. http://www.baseball-reference......jo01.shtml

          • Accent Shallow says:

            Throwing out the money, Lackey v. Vazquez is interesting solely from a talent POV. I think I might prefer Javy, since he’s had a solid record with respect to injuries, but Lackey has probably been the better pitcher — Vazquez is the poster boy for underperforming one’s peripherals.

            (Not that he’s been bad, mind you, but he hasn’t been as good as the K/BB ratio would suggest)

            • Put it this way: If I was Theo Epstein, running the 2009-2010 Boston Red Sox, I probably would have preferred signing Lackey to a big FA contract.

              If I was Brian Cashman, running the 2009-2010 New York Yankees, I’d prefer trading for Vazquez. Both teams had different needs, goals, and strategies this winter, and both found starting pitchers in different areas of the market that fit their needs/goals/strategies the best.

              Lackey would have been too much risk for not enough reward for this club; Vazquez was a far safer/smarter gamble. Vazquez would have been too much opportunity cost risk for Boston’s club; Lackey was the bigger but ultimately smarter gamble for them.

      • bexarama says:

        this, a lot. Too much money, too many years.

        well, it was an option. But not a particularly good one.

    • bk says:

      who cares about the other options. Let Mitre go as the fifth starter if it keeps Melky in the outfield. He makes three million. Add 5 mil to keep Matsui and you have saved yourself 3.5 million by NOT acquiring Javy problem child Vasquez… you put more runs on the board EVERY NIGHT and the guy who’s gotaa come in and mop up for him each start is in the game anyway. You also wind up keeping two very good minor league arms and with the money you have left over could re-sign BOTH Hinskie and Hairston. Has anyone noticed this is the first world series champion in recent memory with absolutely no bench?

  2. Andrew says:

    The Vazquez acquisition still makes the most sense when you consider the talent it required to make, the money commitment & length of contract to the player as well as his track record. You can’t predict how terribly he would struggle thus far but unless he’s hurt, something he and the Yankees seem to completely deny, you have to think he will get himself straightened out and pitch better. And I think he is more likely to be consistently better going forward than all the alternative starters mentioned in this post.

  3. Beamish says:

    Despite his struggles, I still believe that trading for Javy was a better call than signing Duchscherer, Sheets, or Pineiro.

    I absolutely agree – but was it better then letting both Chamberlain & Hughes have a shot at the rotation while keeping Melky and/or trading him for pure farm depth or a different component?

    Of course not being able to predict who or what Melky would have brought other than Vazquez we cannot even begin to evaluate that half of the equation. On the other end though I am still of the opinion that Chamberlain should have spent this season as a starter – he would have been no worse than Vazquez is now, but he might well have been better and we all know good young starters >>>> good young relievers.

    I cannot help but think the availability of Vazquez is what pushed Chamberlain to the bullpen and likely ended the idea that he could ever be a starter. Seeing Vazquez continually fail makes that decision even more wasteful.

    • Steve H says:

      With Hughes and Chamberlain still relative question marks heading into this year, I am fully onboard with not having both of them in the rotation. I do, however, think one of them should have been in the rotation in AAA in case of injury, ineffectiveness, etc. Going into the season with both of them in the rotation would have been risky.

      • Beamish says:

        The risk is a good point. And it really is 20/20 hindsight to see Javy’s failures and say “Chamberlain could have done that too”.

    • Slu says:

      I agree. I was for this plan before they traded for Javy and after they did, I was in favor of the “loser” of the 5th starter battle going to AAA to be a backup in case of injury or ineffectiveness. What surprises me us that Vazquez is the one who is ineffective. I thought he would be solid.

    • RCK says:

      I agree. Every time Javy pitches I feel more frustrated about the decision to put Joba in the pen.

  4. Steve H says:

    With almost $250 million tied up in CC and AJ, I think signing Lackey for another $80 mil+ would have been a mistake. He’s aging and has been injury prone the last few years. If they sign Lackey, there is zero chance at a Cliff Lee this coming offseason. Lackey’s just not good enough to choke away your positional flexibility going forward.

    • Rose says:

      Cliff Lee gets injured quite a bit too though…

      • Steve H says:

        He’s made 30+ starts every year since 2004 except for 2007 when he made 26 (including minors). He’s been pretty healthy. At this point, he’s also a much better pitcher than Lackey so worth more risk.

      • Thomas says:

        Since 2004, when Lee became a full time ML, he has started 30+ games in 5 of 6 seasons and pitched 200+ innings in 4 of 6 seasons (the last two over 230 IP). The only year he failed to hit 30 starts (he also failed to get 200 IP) was in 2007 when he started the season with a groin strain and returned in May. Then, he posted a 6.29 ERA, and was demoted to the minors. The other time he failed to get to 200 IP was his first full ML season and he still pitched nearly 180 innings (with a 5.43 ERA though).

        He has had 2 injuries that I can find (the start of 2007 and this season) and missed about a month for both. He certainly hasn’t missed a ton of time with injuries.

  5. paul says:

    I was all for letting Lackey pass for Javy, knowing Lee was on the horizon.

  6. Rose says:

    Javy’s fastball is averaging 88.9 mph

    Andy Pettitte seems to get away with a similar fastball

    The difference is Pettitte’s BB/9 is 2.91 while Javy’s is a robust 5.9 BB/9.

    That’s just awful.

    • bexarama says:

      Javy’s fastball is averaging 88.9 mph

      Andy Pettitte seems to get away with a similar fastball

      The difference is Pettitte’s BB/9 is 2.91 while Javy’s is a robust 5.9 BB/9. usually throws a fastball at that velocity, even in years when he was totally awesome like 2002 and 2005 (his fastball was actually at its slowest in 2005, when he completely ruled) whereas Javy’s is usually 91+. That is a big difference. (the high walk rate isn’t helping, though)

      That’s just awful.

      • Or:

        The difference is Pettitte’s BB/9 is 2.91 while Javy’s is a robust 5.9 BB/9, despite the fact that his career rate is an excellent 2.4 BB/9, his rate over the past decade (2000-2009) has been a sparkling 2.2 BB/9, and he hasn’t posted a single season BB/9 north of 3.0 since the Bill Clinton administration, meaning that this current spate of control problems is either a totally unpredictable sign of the apocalypse or a momentary SSS blip that will likely be ironed out in no time and we’ll all wonder what all the fuss Rose was making was about.

        That works too.

        • bexarama says:

          Yep. I just thought Rose was concentrating on the fastball velocity, and comparing Pettitte and Javy there isn’t very helpful. When Pettitte hits 92 it’s like WHOAH ANDY TURNED ON THE GAS! You’d expect Javy to hit 92 fairly frequently.

          • Rose says:

            I was concentrating on both I guess. When half of the pitches you are throwing are with a pitch that isn’t the same as it was last year or as your career average…you have a lot of problems that may even affect your control.

        • Beamish says:

          I would agree with the small-sample-size assessment if it were not for Javy’s seemingly weak mental side of the game. Wasn’t there a post here during Spring Training that showed that Javy’s number do not indicate he steps up in big games or high-leverage situations? He collapse in 2004 has been blamed on a “sore shoulder” – and whether he had one or not it still does not show us a smart player (if he had one and ignored it) or a mentally strong one (if it was the pressure he wilted under).

          So, maybe the bad numbers are a SSS problem – but I think it is now a mental hole that Vazquez has not shown an ability to deal with.

          • I would agree with the small-sample-size assessment if it were not for Javy’s seemingly weak mental side of the game.

            And I would lend more credence to the seemingly weak mental argument if it there was evidence indicating that he was weak mentally (there isn’t) or if it wasn’t an argument commonly hewed to that is often totally fabricated utter bullshit by horrible writers who don’t think deeply.

            • Beamish says:

              Well, how does one find evidence of being mentally weak? Do we get a report from his therapist? Or is it enough to see him wilt under pressure in the second half of 2004 or simply be too stupid to report a shoulder problem? (Fact: He sucked in the second half of 2004. Fact: the two excuses out there both show a mentally weak or stupid player)

              “Metally weak” is the kind of element right up there with “heart” and “hustle” that old school scouts talks about when they dismiss numbers. While they are wrong to dismiss meaningful numerical stats I think we are just as wrong to dismiss the idea that there are elements to a players make-up beyond the numbers.

              I found that article I was thinking of: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....tch-21979/

              It was short and Mike just looked at a few stats but there is some numerical back-up to support an “unclutch” accusation which, to my mind, goes hand-in-hand with being mentally soft.

              Yes, Javy can turn it around – historically he has been a much better pitcher over season long sample sizes, but he has also shown a tendency to be notably worse when the heat is on; and every start from here until his ERA is under 5 and his wins more than his losses will be surface of the sun intense.

              • Jon says:

                Javy sucked during the second half of 2004 because he was pitching through injury.

                • Jon says:

                  I hit the reply button too soon. I meant to say that I don’t think it was a mental thing that he didn’t tell anyone. Rather, at the time, the Yanks had no alternative to turn to for pitching, so he sucked it up and pitched through it. If anything, I call that mental strength.

  7. Matt says:

    Trade Javy to Houston for Roy Oswalt. Javy goes to the NL on a bad team. He’ll shine. We’ll probably have to eat some of Javy’s salary, but I think that it makes sense.

    • Steve H says:

      but I think that it makes sense.

      Ok, explain that from Houston’s side.

      • Matt says:

        Roy is in the last year of his contact. He makes $11 mil which is a lot for a rebuilding team currently stuck at 8 wins. Basically a salary dump for Houston.

        • Steve H says:

          Javy is in the last year of his contract and makes the same money. How much of his contract would the Yankees eat? It makes no sense for Houston. If the Astros have no use for Roy because they are rebuilding, they have even less use for Javy.

        • Thomas says:

          Oswalt is making $15M in 2010, $16M in 2011, and has a $16M club option for 2012 ($2M buyout). Vazquez makes $11.5M this year and is a FA next year.

          Assuming the Yanks eat $5.5M of Vazquez salary, Houston would save $9M this year, $16M in 2011, and $2M in 2012 (total of $27M). However, there franchise would be no better, since they added a player for a year they aren’t competing and no prospects. For Oswalt, the Astros should easily be able to add a top 100 prospect (bottom part of it) or 3-4 B level prospects while taking little to no salary.

    • Slu says:

      And, even assuming Oswalt wants to come to NY, he’d want something to waive his NTC.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I’m sure Javy would perform better in the NL (what pitcher wouldn’t?), but something is clearly wrong with him. If he were throwing like this in the NL, his ERA would probably still be over 9.

    • Trade Javy to Houston for Roy Oswalt… I think that it makes sense.

      It doesn’t, though.

  8. Rose says:

    Decent article on Javy’s struggles…

    Doesn’t really give you much to look forward to…but certainly puts things into perspective.

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news.....70484.html (SAFE)

    • Rose says:

      This is also another decent read but it was posted on 4/27/10…before he threw yet another stinker against Chicago. But the bulk of it is still all there…

      http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....vy-vazquez (SAFE)

    • JGS says:

      “Wang reached Vazquezian levels of incompetence”

      Vazquez has only now given up as many runs as Wang did in his first 9 innings last year. People throw around Wang’s early 2009 as a comparison for being generally awful but he was so far beyond that as to make most comparisons silly

  9. Patrick says:

    Talk radio has been absolutely BRUTAL to Javy. I know his start has been terrible, but I think it’s laughable what people were saying yesterday. Talking about Mitre and other options already? Wow!

    Slow starts happen. A caller on ESPN mentioned C.C.’s slow start and the host (Jon Rothstein) jumped on the caller for comparing C.C. to Javy, but to be fair, Javy was brought in to be a number 4 this year and C.C. was brought in to be the ace of the staff last year. Based on ace standards, C.C.’s start wasn’t great (not awful), but we knew he’d turn it around. I’d like to think that Javy will turn it around, too.

    Heck, if the guys at NoMaas are willing to give him some time, then I think everyone should.

    • Chris says:

      I think it’s fair to compare CC in 2008 to Javy this year:

      CC in 2008, first 5 starts: 24IP, 10.13ERA, 16BB, 25K
      Javy in 2010, first 5 starts: 23IP, 9.78ERA, 15BB, 20K

      And just like CC turned it around, I expect Javy to turn it around as well.

    • Talk radio has been absolutely BRUTAL to Javy. I know his start has been terrible, but I think it’s laughable what people were saying yesterday. Talking about Mitre and other options already? Wow!

      Slow starts happen. A caller on ESPN mentioned C.C.’s slow start and the host (Jon Rothstein) jumped on the caller for comparing C.C. to Javy, but to be fair, Javy was brought in to be a number 4 this year and C.C. was brought in to be the ace of the staff last year. Based on ace standards, C.C.’s start wasn’t great (not awful), but we knew he’d turn it around. I’d like to think that Javy will turn it around, too.

      Heck, if the guys at NoMaas are willing to give him some time, then I think everyone should.

      Fixed.

  10. Frank says:

    There is more than just the results when comparing Vazquez and these other pitchers. Vazquez’ mental state is shot. This guy has no confidence in himself and each bad start makes matters worse. It’s very clear in his demeanor/body language. I’m not saying the other pitchers mentioned could have done better in NY, but the fact remains Vazquez has not. I believe keeping a guy like this around will negatively impact the team if they also have no confidence in him when he takes the hill. At the very least he needs to be swapped to the pen with Mitre who has actually pitched very well.

    • Steve H says:

      Seriously? Looking at a month of stats vs. careers, and you want Mitre? Mitre has 7.1 innings this year, and you want to replace a guy who got Cy Young votes last year and has a long track record of good pitching?

      • Frank says:

        Look at the here and now and not what Vazquez did last year in the NL. And why does everybody continue to bash Mitre? Because his career numbers aren’t good? So far this season, he’s pitched well. In fact, he kept the WS off the board on Saturday in 3 innings of work (in relief of Vazquez) and was in line for the win, yet was never even mentioned in yesterday’s recap by Mike. The fact of the matter is he’s pitching better than Vazquez and deserves a chance. He really can’t do much worse.

        • Steve H says:

          So far this season, he’s pitched well.

          7.1 innings.

          The fact of the matter is he’s pitching better than Vazquez and deserves a chance.

          Everyone was pitching better than CC last April, should they have gotten chances over CC?

          • mike c says:

            CC > Javy, not even close
            at this point, until Javy figures out what’s wrong with his mechanics, Mitre is a better pitcher

            • at this point, until Javy figures out what’s wrong with his mechanics, Mitre is a better pitcher

              I concede your point; if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same.

              Your point is moot, however. Yes, Sergio Mitre is, at the moment, a better pitcher than Javier Vazquez. No, this does not mean that Sergio Mitre should replace Javier Vazquez in the rotation post-haste, because baseball doesn’t work that way. Oftentimes, good players who are temporarily playing like shit must be given playing time at the expense of lesser players who are playing exceedingly well, because the season-long roster construction strategy demands it.

            • Steve H says:

              So if CC goes out and pitches 1.2 innings, gives up 8 runs, and Mitre comes in for 4 perfect innings, that would make Mitre “at this point a better pitcher” right?

              I know CC>Javy. Not my point at all, and it in fact helps my point, good pitchers like Javy struggle, and great pitchers like CC struggle.

              The Sox just brought up Dice-K, why didn’t they send Beckett to the pen, he was pitching worse than Wakefield?

              • The Sox just brought up Dice-K, why didn’t they send Beckett to the pen, he was pitching worse than Wakefield?

                Repeated for emphasis.

                Giving players with a track record of big league success extra leeway to succeed or fail in the hopes that they can succeed >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Winning an extra game or two in April/May because you have a lesser player who you think might momentarily be a little less sucky than your established successful big league player

          • Thomas says:

            Everyone was pitching better than CC last April

            Except Edwar and Veras.

        • The fact of the matter is he’s pitching better than Vazquez and deserves a chance.

          No, the fact of the matter is Javier Vazquez has demonstrated that he is a far better pitcher than Sergio Mitre, so he deserves way more chances than Sergio Mitre does.

          The fact of the matter is the season is not about what happens in April, it’s about making the smartest long-term decisionmaking to build a team that can reach and then win in the playoffs.

          Mitre doesn’t deserve a chance (yet, at least), Javy deserves the benefit of the doubt and the organizational patience to let him right his ship and return to being the pitcher we feel he can be. It’s way too premature to make the move to Mitre, which is why the org wouldn’t do it.

          • Frank says:

            He deserves way more chances than Mitre? Organazational patience? Then why will he likely be skipped this Friday vs. the RS?

            • Steve H says:

              Yes, just like Josh Beckett deserves more chances than Tim Wakefield.

              And Tim Wakefield deserves more chances than Sergio Mitre.

            • Because skipping a guy a turn in the rotation to let him work out mechanical issues is not a sign of organizational impatience.

              Demoting him permanently to the bullpen to replace him with Sergio Mitre, permanently… THAT’S organizational impatience.

              Seriously, is this the first time that you people have heard of a veteran guy getting skipped a turn in the rotation? Beckett and Pettitte both got skipped a turn last year; the earth kept rotating on its axis.

    • bexarama says:

      I dunno, he looked pretty happy in the dugout yesterday.

    • There is more than just the results when comparing Vazquez and these other pitchers.

      Yes. Now, let’s all pull up a chair and watch as you fail to list them, but instead spout out a bunch of irrelevant, speculative, nonsensical bullshit.

      Vazquez’ mental state is shot. This guy has no confidence in himself and each bad start makes matters worse. It’s very clear in his demeanor/body language.

      I’ll take Unfounded Speculation and Impossible to Defend Character Accusations for $400, Alex.

      I believe keeping a guy like this around will negatively impact the team if they also have no confidence in him when he takes the hill.

      What you believe has a very tenuous grasp on logic or reality.

      At the very least he needs to be swapped to the pen with Mitre who has actually pitched very well.

      Boverreaction FTL.

      • Frank says:

        Let’s just see how he’s doing come July/August and then we can judge who is overreacting and full of shit.

        • You’re on. I’ll wager my normal $1 bet that between today and the end of the season, Javy has a lower ERA than Mitre.

        • Big Juan says:

          Either way, you really have no idea what his “mental state” is or where his confidence level is at. This is because you, like myself and the rest of us, don’t spend any time with him. So it’s pretty useless to base your argument on something that is purely speculative.

          If you think Javy sucks and will continue to suck, fine. Maybe you’re right. And if you are, I won’t be afraid to admit I was wrong come August. But for now, we’re still in extreme SSS territory, so factual evidence such as his entire body of work throughout his career still hold more water than your perception of his mental state.

          • Either way, you really have no idea what his “mental state” is or where his confidence level is at. This is because you, like myself and the rest of us, don’t spend any time with him. So it’s pretty useless to base your argument on something that is purely speculative.

            That.

            Even if you’re ultimately proven right (that Javy will be bad this year), your argument is flawed (because you’re basing it on faulty premises).

            • Frank says:

              Read Preisler’s article on the YES website. I guess he’s just speculating about Vazquez’ mental state as well.

              • I just read it. He clearly is speculating. There’s nothing concrete in there whatsoever. Unless you think having pictures of his kids on his computer is a sign of mental fragility.

  11. jon says:

    Jobas ERA last april 3.13

  12. A.D. says:

    Vazquez might be bad, but alternatives not much better

    You guys did just ignore the internal options. They could have not given up the money & players for Javy, and instead allowed: Gaudin, Mitre, Joba, Hughes, Aceves fight for 2 spots. Given current hindsight that actually would have been the best since it would have been the cheapest (in terms of players and money) and likely one of those guys would be as effective if not better if Javy thus far this year.

    That said I agreed with the trade at the time, so not going to bash it after 1 month

    • Chris says:

      and likely one of those guys would be as effective if not better if Javy thus far this year.

      Javy has a 9.78 ERA, so it’s hard to argue that anyone would be worse than he has been so far. The real question is whether any of those pitchers could be as effective as Javy for a full season. I don’t think that any of those options (with the possible exception of Joba) would be as effective as Javy over a full season.

      • Bob Stone says:

        I totally agree. Javy will turn it around and have a decent season.

      • A.D. says:

        Agreed Javy on paper coming into the season is far and away the best option compared to everything else, but the idea is the internal alternatives have been better so far, if for no other reason than lack of lost opportunity cost.

        • …but the idea is the internal alternatives have been better so far…

          We don’t know that, though. I’d surmise it’s probably false.

          Joba might have been better. The other internal options, Gaudin, Mitre, etc… they probably all get exposed in a larger sample and suck like Javy sucks.

          • A.D. says:

            The other internal options, Gaudin, Mitre, etc… they probably all get exposed in a larger sample and suck like Javy sucks.

            Probably, but at a fraction of the cost, so I’ll take shitty production from players that cost the organization less.

            That said not actually trying to argue against the Javy trade after a month (or really ever, it never will be the wrong move at the time, just in hindsight might not pan out), but given the whole post is looking at the current 1 month of production for a bunch of 4th starter options, figure it should be included.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Sure, one of Gaudin/Mitre/Joba/Aceves would almost certainly have better Javy’s results thus far, but assuming health, I’d take him for the rest of the season over any of them.

      (Now, if he is hurt, and we’re slotting Mitre into that spot, I’m not thrilled, since he’s probably the worst of those options, but he’s definitely going to be a 9.00 ERA)

  13. Frank D. says:

    So I know this is off topic but I need to ask someone. Im being offered J.Werth for J.Guillen and C.McGhee. I think Its a good trade for me. Opinions.

  14. steve s says:

    How about having held on to younger, cheaper and performing better so far this year Ian Kennedy (which, perhaps, would have set into motion retaining Damon as well).

  15. Niv says:

    Lets get Joba back into the rotation! He is way cheaper and would be better than Javy or any high priced starters that we could get via trade this season!! Movy Javvy to the pen!

  16. Clueless Joe says:

    Why are you most Yankee fans and looking at has-beens to put on a team? We have great pitching n AAA as well as great outfielders( well at least better than Thames and Winn). Why mist the Yankees have old timers n their roster? Try McCalister or Nova they would be a number 5 they can not be worse than Vazquez. Can we trade Vazquez back to Atlanta and get Melky back?

  17. Niv says:

    I just have to say. Its so sad watching Joba come out and pitch to 1 batter and don’t even see him for another week. What a freaking waste of talent! Let the freakin guy develop into a servicable starter. At this point he could be better with Javy with a greater upside.

  18. Rose says:

    Question regarding Pitch FX and Vazquez’s fastball.

    How accurately does it depict a 4 seam fastball from a 2 seam fastball?

    There doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference in velocity between the two (2 seamer is a tad faster)…but I was just curious anyway.

  19. steve s says:

    Holding onto Kennedy doesn’t necessarily mean that the Granderson trade wouldn’t have been made with different pieces. Now that Cashman has been basically proved correct in not trading Hughes for Santana I think that the Yanks also need to have the courage of their convictions with their good (not just their stud) prospects as well.

    • Holding onto Kennedy doesn’t necessarily mean that the Granderson trade wouldn’t have been made with different pieces.

      In order to give the Tigers the prospects they demanded in the deal to give up Granderson, the Diamondbacks demanded two big league ready starters they could put in their rotation on Opening Day. Those two starters were Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

      How do we make the deal without Kennedy? What other big league ready starter who was expendable did we have this winter? I don’t see him.

      • A.D. says:

        How do we make the deal without Kennedy?

        Only thoughts would be trying to convince that Nova is ML ready, or perhaps could have subbed Aceves.

        I’d say probably all about a wash to slight favor of just sending IPK for my opinion.

      • steve s says:

        Well, since you made me think, how about Ace (although he would be subject to deportation/in jail at this point in Arizona) or D Rob (talent wise that may have intrigued Arizona as well). Once you start throwing out other names the dynamics change quite a bit though.

  20. AJ says:

    I can’t believe Bill Madden keeps saying ridiculous things in his articles. Apparently Granderson for Austin Jackson was a horrible deal and so was Vasquez for Melky.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....brian.html

    • pat says:

      Well he can’t criticize the way the team is playing. So of course he has to try and find something to bitch about.

    • A.D. says:

      There are many of these articles discussing the Santana trade, but gotta love players being locked into a season’s worth of production off of one month, regardless of it being good or bad.

    • Andrew says:

      Will Bill Madden write a follow-up article rescinding that statement when Jackson’s performance comes back to earth and Granderson is healthy again and not slumping? Yeah probably not…

    • JGS says:

      I’m not sure why the fact that he has struck out one more time than he walked is a shot at Johnson–only 13 guys last year qualified for rate stats with more walks than strikeouts. Yes, Johnson was one of them, but Luis Castillo and Yadier Molina are hardly offensive paradigms

  21. Am I the only Kevin? says:

    My big regret all along with the trade was the inevitability of one of Hughes or Joba being put in the pen. I rather would have stuck with the internal options, meaning give the 4/5 rotation spots presumptively to the homegrowns and keep Aceves, Mitre/Gaudin, and McCallister on speed dial. I say this even though I believed a Javy + Phil/Joba 4/5 combo would likely have a better season than Joba + Phil 4/5 combo would have, all told.

    I have every expectation that Javy will come around and be above league average. That being said, I still would rather have had Phil and Joba both in the rotation all season for developmental purposes despite the expected performance downgrade.

    It’s a shame. The team was gun shy because of the 2008 fiasco and thus unwilling to have both “given spots” in the rotation. One can only dream what would have been had we been able to use Melky, IPK, Dunn and Vizcaino, not to mention Javy’s salary, for other purposes (reshuffling of the Granderson deal, a bullpen acquisition, a deadline deal, etc.).

    • A.D. says:

      My big regret all along with the trade was the inevitability of one of Hughes or Joba being put in the pen.

      I hear this, was the main downside I also saw acquiring Vazquez.

  22. Marcos says:

    I think getting Javy was a good move. However, as of now the only good thing the trade has brought has been making Gardner the starting LF/CF (and a few good performances from Logan). As of now (and for the future), I’d rather see Joba in the rotation.

    As for Javy himself, if it IS mechanical like most people are saying, then he’ll eventually fix it. However, I have this gut feeling that he might be hiding an injury…

    • nathan says:

      I think its in Javy’s interest to reveal any injury now, atleast it gives him a pass. Infact, this might sound crude, an injury is the best case scenario for the player and the team. It gives him time to cool off, maybe take a couple of starts at AAA away from the glare and work it out.

      I feel so sorry for him, he sounds like a genuine guy and given the unfair treatment for 2004, I will root for him from now until he hangs up the gloves. Its unfortunate for him that he did so well last year, without which he was not going to be traded away from NL and that too with imppending FA.

      All along my gripe was not abt Javy’s stuff or metal, but what it did to the rotation prospects for Phil and Joba. I think below teh surface of this terrific Yankee run this little mess is a bit disconcerting. We can hope they will make the right call for team and players and good luck to all of them.

      • Am I the only Kevin? says:

        I don’t know if I would say it is the best thing. We would get a whole lot of Ivan Nova or Mitre (no 40 man move needed for these jokers), instead of Joba or someone else capable of being at least MLB average. Ugh. Having a young potential top of the rotation guy who needs regular innings to develop, who also happens to be your sixth best starter, in the ML bullpen in favor of replacement level crap is idiotic.

        The more I think about it, the more certain I am that Mitre will be the first to get the nod as a rotation fill in. The Cashman Yankees, for whatever reason, have a pattern of going with the trusted vet (read: crap journeyman) as your rotation depth callup instead of young guys. Small, Pontoon, Leiter, Redding, Loaiza, Mitre, Gaudin – I am sure I missed one or two.

  23. mike c says:

    Mejia for Vasquez from the Mets? They need another starter bad, and the NL Javy is a pretty good pitcher from what I hear

  24. Anal Hershiser says:

    I think a little patience is required for Javy – which is easier when you’re 16-8. Last year was a little different with Wang and CC struggling early and them not making the playoffs the year before. Vazquez is a veteran who has had success in the past – have confidence that he and Eiland can make adjustments.

    • bexarama says:

      a. perspective, yay!
      b. ahahaha your username is awesome.

    • mike c says:

      if this was last year then definitely yes, but from the way it looks now, we have 4 stud pitchers, and the 5th spot is just gravy… if we could trade for another prospect or bullpen piece we’d be stronger in the fall and next year

      • Anal Hershiser says:

        Elsewhere – like every 7th grader in Orel’s class. I’m really not a blind homer, but I really don’t see anything wrong with the way the roster is built. Maybe a power bat off the bench – but I am absolutely reaching for that. The bullpen is loaded – and the starters have been great save the one that got Cy votes in the NL last year.

  25. Bill says:

    Vazquez has a track record of being at least mediocre throughout his career. With Hughes stepping up we only need him to be our #5 starter, so even if he has a down year based on his track record which is extensive we can reasonably expect him to bounce back enough to give us what we need out of that role.

    The mistake really was in being so quick to make Joba a reliever. If you didn’t want to commit him in the rotation at least put him in AAA and keep that door open if something like this were to happen. The organization has really mismanaged him and marginalized his future.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      yea they should have at least left the option of him starting open and put him in AAA. Maybe they felt it would put pressure on hughes because joba would be kinda looking over his shoulder. There is still time for javy to turn it around and contribute but if he struggles all yr than the move was not a good one especially in terms of what happened with joba

  26. mike s says:

    Hey Braves fan here,we’ll take Javy back if you take D Lowe and you can have Melky back if you want him.

  27. Paul says:

    What’s the big deal? Just go buy another pitcher.

  28. JT says:

    The Alternatives wouldn’t have cost the Yankees their top pitching prospect.

  29. Tim says:

    Man, I’m really disappointed in Javy. I wanted him to be good so bad. Melky was a fan favorite but lets be real people there are alot of Melky Cabreras out there, to get Javy for him was a good deal. I really hope Javy can turn this around and truly turn this rotation into what everyone thought would be the best in baseball. Dont forget Boston was more worried about us picking up Javy then any other player in the offseason. Javy’s got a tough road ahead of him…and it doesnt help when he gets booed off the mound every start lol.

  30. Daren says:

    Don’t forget that Carlos Zambrano was a rumored target for a week or so before we got Javy. Maybe the Yankees’ brass leaked that name to cause a misdirection, but Zambrano would have been a more expensive disaster here.

  31. Felipe Lopez says:

    How about you don’t get anybody!!! Why not have Hughes #4 and Mitre #5. Cashman had PLENTY OF OPTIONS! He didn’t need to give up Melky and Arodys Vizcaino for him.

    The bigger issue is why isn’t Dave Eiland fired? Javy is tipping his pitches!!! He has basically two arm slots, over the top and side arm. He uses fastball for one, off-speed for the other and sticks to it for each batter. So after you’ve seen one pitch you now know what’s coming based on his arm angle.

    I noticed this just from watching him pitch for one inning. How can Eiland not see this, he watches him everyday!!!

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