Link dump: catching depth, Nardi and Markie, former Yankees, AJ

Burnett blows his big chance in Hollywood, Yanks fall 9-4 to Dodgers
CHoP and the 2nd Inning

Marc Hulet of Fangraphs took a look at the catching depth in the minors for two teams, the Yankees and Blue Jays. The conclusion? Toronto has a slight advantage over the Bombers with “solid prospects at five different levels,” whereas the Yankees, according to Hulet, have three. Definitely worth a read.

Trenton Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore spoke with Mark Newman for a few minutes. Any large decision taking place with Yankee affiliates goes through Newman, who serves as the team’s Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. Mark discusses the possibility of moving 3B prospect Brandon Laird around the diamond a bit to create “positional flexibility,” and also talks about what he’s seen with Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman and a few other topics. A must-read.

It’s looking like a good day for Mashmore. He’s got another excellent link to check out. Mike this time sat down with Yankee pitching guru Nardi Contreras. Contreras discusses the mechanics of Brackman, the progress of George Kontos, Noesi and pitch counts, Venditte’s “novelty act,” and where Contreras would like to see Dellin and Graham Stoneburner finish out the season.

Steve S. at TYU has been keeping up with how former Yankees have been doing. Aroyds Vizcaino has done well enough to earn a promotion to Hi-A, though he’s struggled in his first get go. Take a look at that list and remember what some had been saying about keeping certain players. Not all the off-season moves have panned out, but some of the other options haven’t lit up the sky, either.

The Yankees have no plans to skip AJ in the rotation as they did when Javier Vazquez struggled, LoHud’s Chad Jennings is reporting. “I don’t think he’s necessarily going to benefit from it right now,” Girardi said.

Burnett blows his big chance in Hollywood, Yanks fall 9-4 to Dodgers
CHoP and the 2nd Inning
  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    The Yankees have no plans to skip AJ in the rotation as they did when Javier Vazquez struggled, LoHud’s Chad Jennings is reporting. “I don’t think he’s necessarily going to benefit from it right now,” Girardi said.

    I respectfully disagree. A mental and physical break where AJ spends 10 days looking at himself on film could help.

    At this point, it probably couldn’t hurt. He can’t pitch much worse.

    Switch it up.

    • Old Man

      I agree. I think he needs a mental break more than a physical break. AJ liked his stuff last night and has been happy with his side sessions. That may be AJ just trying to make himself feel better but it can’t hurt him to take a metal break at this point.

  • Total Dominication

    Pat Venditte has a sub 2 era.

  • Nostra-Artist

    Thanks for the link, JMK, always appreciated.

    • Nostra-Artist

      BTW-I just posted another one that I’m particularly proud of. On the heels of the Torre stuff, it details all the bad breakups the Yanks have had over the years. Loads of em.

      The Ruth pic alone is worth a click. Priceless photo, he reminds me of my bulldog with that sour mug in a Boston Braves jersey.

      • SteveD

        Good stuff. Thanks!

  • Januz

    It is hard to accurately project the catchers position. For example: I remember all of the hype about the Texas Rangers catching situation: Saltalamacchia, Teagarden etc, and it did not work out as well as planned. I think Romine will be their catcher of the future starting in 2012 (Or until Sanchez or Kyle Perkins (The Australian kid) is ready). Montero might be moved to a different position. On to the pitching. I really think that Stoneburner’s, Brackman’s, and Betances’s progress will be a key in what they do as far as free agency is concerned. If you assume Vazquez leaves, Jeter and Rivera are resigned, and if Pettitte is willing to return for another season, maybe you roll the dice, and don’t sign Cliff Lee, and keep the first round pick, in what is supposed to be an outstanding draft class.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I wouldn’t put Kyle Perkins and Gary Sanchez in the same sentence unless it read, “Gary Sanchez is so much better than Kyle Perkins”.

      • Januz

        There is no question that right now, Sanchez is better. But when you talk about the 2014 or 2015 Seasons (When guys like Sanchez and Perkins are projected to hit The Bronx), things can change (Injuries, trades, Romine being an All-Star etc).

        • Reggie C.

          Is it even a good idea to project when current GCL players make their ML debuts? Guys like Higashioka and JR Murphy are at least in Low-A and squaring off against better pitching. I’ve never even heard of Perkins.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      The way your mind builds analogies always fascinates me.

      • crawdaddy

        Yes, it is.

    • Pete

      Cliff Lee>>>>>>the 30th pick in outstanding draft class

  • Reggie C.

    Considering the relative youth of the OF, Laird doesn’t have to be much better than a ’09 Johnny Damon at a corner spot. Arod should see more days at the DH spot next season. It’d be kind of cool to see what Laird can do at the plate on those days.

    Shit … The English should be down by 1 goal right now. The Krauts are taking this one.

    • Hunter

      This is off topic. Please head to the off-topic thread if you’d like to discuss World Cup soccer. Thanks.

    • Januz

      Arod will likely NOT be at DH in 2011, because they need that spot for Posada. I am interested in seeing Laird in the OF (There is a need for a decent 4th OF off the bench). He won’t start. Remember Swisher and Gardner are there.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Reggie said:

        Arod should see more days at the DH spot next season.

        That’s not the same as saying that “ARod will be the DH in 2011”.

    • Pete

      Brandon Laird = Eric Hinske? maybe? kinda sorta? I realize you didn’t exactly say that, but for some reason what you said made me think that, and it kinda works. Decent bat due to solid contact and power ability, likely a sub-.340 OBP guy, not good defensively but not quite Frank Thomas

  • Mike HC

    I think it is time to give AJ a break. He pitched deep in the postseason for the first time in his career last year, going on three day starts for some of it. He has pitched more innings in the past three and half years than he has in his entire career (exaggeration, I know). There is obviously an issue here. Time to give him a little break, both mentally and physically.

    • vin

      I don’t necessarily disagree, but he only made 1 start on 3 days rest.

      • Mike HC

        true. I’m going to be telling my kids in 20 years how CC, AJ and Pettitte pitched every game during that 2009 postseason on 2 days rest, in oppressive heat, walking uphill both ways, ha.

        But in all reality, AJ, CC and Pettitte were worked very hard last year, especially during the playoffs. AJ threw about 30 playoff innings if I remember correctly.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Bud Selig passed a rule saying that the Yankee pitchers have to throw bowling balls during the playoffs.

          Literal bowling balls.

  • Mike HC

    Regarding AJ, I think it is interesting to point out that Torre always got tons of criticism for giving preferential treatment to the guys who won him World Series. And Girardi was supposedly different.

    By benching Javy, and making many public statements about what was wrong with him, etc … it seems like they are treating AJ completely different. Javy gets skipped and dissected. AJ does not and everything is going to be fine. Seems like preferential treatment for AJ. There are obviously differences in each circumstance, but the same could be said for the decisions Torre made. Maybe once Girardi got one championship, he is starting to play favorites a bit. It might be human nature, the fact that he has seen AJ do it before, etc … I don’t know, but I see Girardi maybe falling into some similar traps that got to Torre in the end.

    Just something to think about.

    • whozat

      Vazquez has noticeably lesser stuff this season than last season. AJ does not. That’s one key difference. Also, people are different. Perhaps Javy needed to string together a couple good bullpens to regain some confidence in his stuff. AJ seems confident in his stuff (rightfully so), his command is just off.

      There are baseball reasons for these decisions, let’s not manufacture narrative.

      • Mike HC

        There were baseball reasons for Torre’s decisions as well. The “baseball reasons” you gave for the different treatment is just as “narrative” as my hypothesis. “People are different” is the same excuse that Torre gave for basically shitting on ARod his entire time here (moving him down in the lineup, showing no confidence in him in public, etc …).

        AJ also has had diminished stuff. Did you read Ben’s post about AJ from earlier in the year? And it has only gotten worse. Everything does not come down to MPH. Look at his strikeout rate, walk rate, k’s per walk etc … Something is off, similar to like it was with Javy. Yet they are getting treated different by the Yanks organization.

        Again, I’m not saying for sure that is happening. I just found it interesting, and will be something I will keep an eye on in the future. We saw it go down with Torre, maybe the same will happen with Girardi. I hope not.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          The reason Javy got skipped to fix his mechanics is because his performance was totally out of line with his career norms.

          Sadly, AJ’s current performance isn’t out of line with his career norms. During his career, he’s had numerous stretches where he’s thrown 5 horrible stinkbombs in a row. He promptly threw better after those performances, because he’s mercurial and you just never know what’s coming out of his hand; not even he does.

          I think AJ should get skipped a turn just to change his mental and physical routine and see if that snaps him out of it, but I can see the reasoning behind Girardi not skipping him (even though he skipped Javy). Girardi may not want to skip him just because there’s little reason to think that skipping him will make a whit of difference.

          AJ just is what he is: a total wildcard every time he takes the hill. He’s 33 and has had control issues his whole life. Skipping him might be a waste of time.

          For Javy, skipping him to give him time to fine tune his already exceedingly complex and intricate timing was exactly what he needed.

          That’s why one makes sense and the other doesn’t. Not a loyalty/favoritism issue, just a pragmatic one.

          • Mike HC

            I get it. I’m with you. There were plenty of good reasons to bench Javy, and plenty of good reasons to let AJ pitch out of it.

            It is just something I am going to keep my eye on in the future. You get that ring, and you become untouchable in a way, maybe rightfully so, while the new guys have to “earn” their place. I thought that was a slight problem in the 2000’s. The new guys all had to earn there place. Then Cashman blew that up last year, told Swish, CC and AJ to be themselves, pie people, jump into the stands, etc … and own the team.

            Now that that group got a WS ring, I’m curious to see how the new additions will be treated. So far, Javy did not get much support from Girardi or the organization, in my opinion, during his struggles, while AJ is a different story. Only time will tell.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Fair enough, keep your eye on it.

              Nonetheless, here’s my retort to your “Girardi may pull a Torre and be extremely loyal to his guys who won him a ring and show them extreme favoritism:

              Damon, Johnny; Matsui, Hideki; Hairston, Jerry; Hinske, Eric; Cabrera, Melky; Molina, Jose.

              • Mike HC

                “Fair enough, keep your eye on it”


                Its true that Cashman is more immune to favorites and status quo for status quo’s sake, as Torre/Verducci’s book basically pointed out. It is Girardi I am worried about (I’m not really worried, again, it is just something I will have in the back of my mind).

                Step one: Win a championship.

                Step two: Repeat – – which brings new and different challenges that winning the first one did not have. Like, higher expectations (if that is possible for a Yankee team) and the ability to assimilate new parts into a WS winning team and keep that team mentality that they worked so hard to build last off season. I thought Torre obviously had trouble assimilating new players to really feel like part of the team. The new guys were always fighting for respect, while last year it did not feel like.

                I just hope the Yanks don’t fall into the same traps during this dynasty (fingers crossed) that they did the last one.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  I hope that too.

                  Girardi hasn’t given me reason to think he’d repeat that crucial Torre failing, though. And no, the differences between how Javy and AJ have been handled aren’t that reason.

                  • Mike HC

                    fair enough

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                This is the point I tried to make below, refresh-fail by me.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Consider yourself DFA’d, fat ass.

                  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                    (eats something as a coping mechanism)

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              So far, Javy did not get much support from Girardi or the organization, in my opinion, during his struggles, while AJ is a different story.

              In my opinion, Javy did get quite a bit of support from Girardi and the organization. They skipped him once. They didn’t cut his balls off, or pull an Oliver Perez and get into a pissing contest with his agent trying to demote him.

              They just skipped him once. That’s all.

              • Mike HC

                It is the little things that sometimes make all the difference.

                AJ going through similar struggles that Javy did earlier in the year, and I guess just in my opinion, the entire tone the coaches have taken in each circumstance was just different enough for me to notice something. Maybe Javy notices that too. Or even if it is not true, maybe he perceives it as favoritism.

                I am saying that I may be off here. You make a ton of sense. It is more of a feeling I guess. No stats or hard evidence to back me up.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Here’s how I read it:

                  Javy: Something is off here. We should bench him and fix it.

                  AJ: Meh, whatever. Even if we magically fixed something, he’d just instantly unfix it on his next start. He is what he is. Roll with it.

          • dr mrs the yankee

            AJ’s recent string of games is not really in line with his career.

            As we all know he’ll have periods where in 5 games he’ll have given up 30 runs or something. But when you look at the 5 games it’ll have 2 total stinkers, an okay game and 2 gems.

            This is several very bad games in a row, and he hasn’t been able to get his curveball over all season.

            I don’t think skipping him would help but I also don’t think letting him “pitch it out” is going to help. Basically, I have no idea what they should do with him and neither does anyone else.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “Basically, I have no idea what they should do with him and neither does anyone else.”

              This. Honestly, if the Yanks said they were gong to skip AJ and let him have a little rest, I’d nod my head and go “ok.” And if they say they don’t see any reason to yank him from the rotation, I’ll nod my head and go “ok.” There’s no easy answer here.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder


                Sounds like there’s two easy answers here. They’re both “ok”.

            • Pete

              That’s not exactly true. I think that throughout his career that has been AJ for the most part – pitch two gems, one or two ok games, and one or two stinkbombs every five starts. But he does always seem to throw in one prolonged stretch (he did last year, starting in boston and ending a month later) wherein he simply doesn’t get hitters out, and seems like the worst pitcher ever, start after start.

              The one or two bombs every five or six starts is not his “rut”, it’s his usual.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah, but what we saw from Torre was a steady pattern of behavior, while you’re looking at one situation with Girardi. Torre, for years, consistently, favored certain guys and wouldn’t use certain players, to the point that some believe it became a hindrance to the Yankees’ ability to develop players and/or incorporate new players brought to the team.

          And yeah, you can look at this one situation and hypothesize anything you want about it… And we don’t have a very long track-record to look to with regard to Girardi… But the track-record we do have to far shows him to not be like Torre in this regard. If Girardi has shown that he has one strength as a manager, it’s been his ability to use and incorporate different pieces.

          • Mike HC

            Very true. No arguments.

            But, this is the first year he has had the challenge of assimilating new players onto a WS team. So this is all new to him. And Torre also had no problems ingratiating himself with the players on the team before anybody won anything. It was after the championships that it become a problem.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Eh… So basically you’re saying Girardi hasn’t been here long enough to say whether he’s like Torre or not in this regard, and we’ll have to check back in 5 years or so?

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                I don’t disagree with that statement/question… But if that’s where you’re going, you can’t look at this one difference you perceive in the Javy/AJ situation and say it’s meaningful while disregarding the other available evidence. If that’s where you’re going, you really have to sit back and let it play out a little more.

                • Mike HC

                  I definitely have to sit back and let it play out. It was just something I wanted to point out and there is no conclusions you can draw from it. “Just something I am going to keep my eye on, ha”

                  Like a unknown growth on your body. It is probably nothing, but you still keep your eye on it. In that vein.

                  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Mark: Joe, as of right now who is the AL MVP?
                    Joe Morgan: That’s difficult to answer because the season is not over–
                    Ken Tremendous: The question was “as of right now.”
                    Theoretical Joe Morgan: Right, and it’s hard to answer because of what will happen in the future.
                    KT: But…the question is: right now, who’s the MVP. Like, now. At this moment.
                    TJM: But I can’t answer that, because I can’t tell the future.
                    KT: Hang on, let me try something: What time is it?
                    TJM: No way to tell.
                    KT: Because you don’t know what time it will be in the future?
                    TJM: Correct.
                    KT: Fair enough.

                    • Mike HC

                      funny. Not sure it really applies here 100%, but funny nonetheless.

              • Mike HC

                hahaha, maybe.

                But i am also saying the difference in treatment between Javy and AJ could be the start. In this one instance, there are plenty of rational reasons for why they should legitimately treat then differently, having nothing to do with favorites. As I think for each individual case, you could have said the same about Torre’s decisions. It was the totality of Torre’s decisions that gave him that rep.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ok… But if you want to play that game, you have to look at the entire universe of available evidence, and analyze whether your hypothesis about this one situation is more reasonably classified as evidence of a trend or as an outlier. Do you see any other evidence that Girardi is like Torre in this regard, or do you see evidence, outside of this one situation (and I disagree with your take on this situation, just btw, but that’s irrelevant to my point), that he’s not like Torre in this regard?

                  If it’s the latter, then you don’t really have much of a case. (Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not saying you’re crazy and I know you’re not really living or dying on this one argument, you’re just fleshing it out as you go along… But I think when you look at it and really consider what you’re saying and what the evidence shows, you’ll probably change your mind.)

                  • Mike HC

                    I get it. I see it like I wrote above.

                    “Like a unknown growth on your body. It is probably nothing, but you still keep your eye on it. In that vein.”

                    • Mike HC

                      Just because I’m bored.


                    • Mike HC

                      I think I had it right the first time. I don’t know now.

                      (reminder not to use that expression again)

  • Don W

    Can’t say I’m at all impressed with Hulet analysis of the two system’s catchers. He seems to take little notice of the age each player at their relative level. Their AAA catcher is 24 and is repeating AAA. His numbers look good but it is Vegas of the PCL. Their AA catcher has been out of this world lucky, (.449 BABIP), and is 25. Giving the Jays the nod because we have a catching hole at A+ is pretty laughable.

    That being said, the Jays do seem to have some solid lower level prospects and the AAA catch might be decent.

    • vin

      I agree. He also called the Sancez vs. Perez matchup a “draw.” Saying “but we also have 2+ years of very impressive data on Perez.” You have 2+ years of data because he’s 2 years older, and at the same level!

      • zs190

        To be fair, Gary Sanchez has one good week in the GCL, it doesn’t tell you squat about him except he had a good week. I think he just doesn’t have enough data for comparison purpose yet.

        I am annoyed that he chose to count Higgy as the catcher for Low-A and totally disregard JR Murphy just because Higgy is listed as the catcher for Charleston and Murphy as DH (even though he catches about half of the time)

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          They listed both Higgy and Murphy as the co-catchers at the level. Did a whole blurb about each of them.

  • Mrs. Peterson-Kekich

    Another link for those of us who lived through the Wayne Tolleson era:

    • Januz

      That was an irritating article. Do you mean they can’t discuss the current season, the July 2nd IFA signing date, the draft or the College World Series? Instead of all of that, they bring up the 80s. This is more Yankee bashing. I guess Boston never made mistakes? Letting Wade Boggs, Fred Lynn, Roger Clemens, Carlton Fisk, and Bruce Hurst go, the Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson trade, and signing Bill Campbell were not errors in judgement were they?. If they want to rehash the 80s, save it for January when there is nothing to talk about. ps: Don’t forget Bill Buckner in 86.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Do you mean they can’t discuss the current season, the July 2nd IFA signing date, the draft or the College World Series? Instead of all of that, they bring up the 80s.

        THT makes 2-4 posts every single day. That post is the only one about the 1980s or the Yankees this week that I can find on their homepage. Several of the other posts are about the current season, the College World Series, the summmer wood bat leagues, the sale of the Rangers and the Rays stadium update, etc. Current stuff.

        Calm down, Januz.

  • ADam

    would love to figure out a way to get mike dunn back

    • vin

      Who would you rather have?

      25 year old loogy – 1.104 WHIP in AAA with 3.8 bb/9 and 12.2 k/9


      25 year old loogy – .659 WHIP in AAA with 1.3 bb/9 and 11.2 k/9 (pretty small sample size because he’s spent a lot of time on the big league roster)

      First guy is Mike Dunn, I’ll give you three guesses to get the second guy.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Loone Bogan.

        • vin


          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Schmoone Schmogan?

  • gospel song

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