Mailbag: From Double-A to MLB

The Yanks' recent history of January & February transactions
The difference between Pettitte and Mitre
Not yet, Manny. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Jamie asks: First I’ll start off by saying I’m confident that the Yanks will sign or trade for another SP prior to Spring Training and this question becomes moot. However, if they don’t there’s been talk of using kids to fill the rotation out with names like Betances and Banuelos thrown out there. My question is, how often have teams’ top pitching prospects skipped AAA entirely and have there been many pitchers that have been successful in doing so? What’s the best/worst case scenario we could see out of ManBan or Dellin if either were the 5th starter?

I did some digging around and it turns out that quite a few top pitching prospects skipped the Triple-A level before jumping into the big leagues, including current Yankee ace CC Sabathia. He made ten High-A starts in 2000 before being promoted at midseason and making another 17 starts with Double-A, and the next year he made the Indians’ rotation as a 20-year-old right out of Spring Training. His lone career Triple-A start was a rehab outing in 2006. A.J. Burnett made the jump from Double-A to the majors in 1999, but he went back to the minors to start the 2000 season before resurfacing in June. He made all of one Triple-A start before sticking in the show.

Some of the other notable big leaguers that skipped Triple-A all together: Justin Verlander (just 20 minor league starts total, seven in Double-A), Mat Latos (nine Double-A starts), Clayton Kershaw (16 Double-A starts), Josh Beckett (13 Double-A starts), Scott Kazmir (eight Double-A starts), and former Yankee first round pick Eric Milton (14 Double-A starts). Tim Lincecum (five), Roy Oswalt (five), and Cole Hamels (three) all made a very limited number of Triple-A starts before sticking in the big leagues. The Tigers were aggressive with Verlander but he was a college draft pick; Rick Porcello was a high school kid that famously jumped from High-A to the big leagues in 2009. Half-a-decade earlier, the Tigers did the exact same thing with Jeremy Bonderman. Yeah, Detroit likes to be aggressive with their prospects. Johan Santana jumped from High-A to the big leagues as well, but he was a Rule 5 Draft pick, so his situation was a little different. I’m certain there are more examples out there, but these are just a few.

As for Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, we have to remember that if either guy started the 2011 season in the Yankees rotation, they wouldn’t be just skipping Triple-A, they’d essentially be skipping Double-A as well. Banuelos is still just 19 years old, and he has a total of three starts and 15.1 Double-A innings to his credit. Betances is older in age (22) but not in Double-A experience, his three starts at the level produced a total of 14.1 innings. Combined, the pair have faced 119 batters above the Single-A level. Throwing them to the AL East wolves with that little upper level experience is just asking for trouble. The chances of success are probably like, 5%, and the worst case scenario involves 50 or so innings with a 6+ ERA and a trip back to the minors with confidence at an all-time low.

Thankfully the Yankees have some arms in Triple-A they could turn to first. Hector Noesi and Andrew Brackman are already on the 40-man, and David Phelps can be added without a problem. We can even add Adam Warren to that mix as well. Those four can and should be given a rotation spot before turning to Banuelos or Betances. The time will come for those two, but 2011 is too soon.

The Yanks' recent history of January & February transactions
The difference between Pettitte and Mitre
  • Ray Fuego

    Hector Noesi and Brackmonster get invites to ST?

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      They’re both on the 40 man. They automatically go to Spring Training with the big club.

  • vin

    I’m always amazed at guys who skip the minors all-together. Guys like Mike Leake, Jim Abbott, and John Olerud.

    • JGS

      I’m amazed at pretty much everything about Jim Abbott’s career.

      • vin

        Yeah, good call. I’m always telling non-baseball fans about Jim Abbott. The guy was a marvel.

    • Accent Shallow

      The really odd thing about these guys (and typically others who skip the minors) is that they’re good, but not all-time great type players (Dave Winfield excepted).

      You’d think the guys who skip the minor leagues are those on the fast track to the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good.

      • Mister Delaware

        Hitters, I agree, you’d think some time would be needed in the minors to consistently face pitchers who are far better than you’ve seen before. Pitchers, like Leake, not so much. They’ve never faced major league hitters but if they’re fully developed prospects with pitching smarts and very good command/control, there really isn’t a ton for him to do in the minors. Hitting the corner in AA is hitting the corner in the majors; the results may differ but the input is the input.

  • Kyle

    How could you forget Dusty Baker’s latest pitcher he is trying to destroy? Mike Leake bypassed everything and is now is hurt.

    Calling up Banuelos or Betances is a short sighted move. I hate win now moves, especially when a team like the Yankees who always has a chance to win does them. These two guys should not be rushed because the Yankees put all of their eggs in one basket. The only Killer B who should get significant marjor league time this season is Brack.

    • CS Yankee

      I’d be fine with a June callup of either kid if needed though as long as they were protected (pitch counts and innings limit) and were tearing up AA or AAA.

      Bonderman suffered big time or was that his limits anyways? Verlander & Porcello haven’t really suffered (As Meatloaf sings…”2-out-of-3 ain’t bad”).

      I think the mental toughness would be the determining factor. Will they crumble like a cheap cake when the yeild a 3-run dinger, or will they realize that hey “this team can win as long as i don’t give up 6 in 6”.

      I wonder how many future HOF are lost because they didn’t break into the bigs for fear that it would ruin them?

      • whozat

        I don’t think mental toughness has really anything to do with it. I think learning how to beat hitters who study your motion, tendencies, and the break on all your pitches has a lot more to do with it.

      • bexarama

        Porcello had a pretty meh 2010.

        I wonder how many future HOF are lost because they didn’t break into the bigs for fear that it would ruin them?

        I don’t think it’s the kiddies that decide whether they’re going to the majors or not.

        • CS Yankee


          Of course they don’t decide, my thought process is how many mature kiddos could adjust quickly to MLB (at a younger age), therefore giving them the extra “stats” (i.e. 220 W’s versus 260+) to state a stronger case later in life for being in the HOF.

          Not saying anything should change, but i’m sure a few have missed out due a teams philosphy or needs.

      • Accent Shallow

        Disagree about Porcello. He hasn’t “suffered”, but he sucked for much of 2010. He clearly could have used some time in the minors to work on things.

        However, if the Tigers have him pitch all of 2009 at AA, they probably don’t make it to Game 163. (Or do they?)

      • Accent Shallow

        I wonder how many future HOF are lost because they didn’t break into the bigs for fear that it would ruin them?

        Do you mean “I wonder how many players with HOF talent didn’t succeed due to confidence issues?” or “I wonder how many players got a delayed start to their career because their team didn’t realize they were ready?” or some sort of combination of the two (“I wonder how many players had their confidence damaged when the team didn’t promote them?”)

        I can’t think of any prominent stuck-in-the-minors players — both Wade Boggs and Edgar Martinez got late starts, but that was at most one season late, rather than 2-3.

        • Mister Delaware

          Right, plus the flipside of how many potential HoF talents are lost before ever reaching the majors due to minor league injuries / poor coaching. There’s risk in bringing them up too soon but keeping them on the slow path isn’t 100% safe either.

  • CS Yankee


    Solid question and analysis.

    Out of the top choices…Noesi, Brackman, etc. (heck even SuperNova), what would be their limits as far as innings for 2011?

    I’m thinking the #5 spot has 26-28 starts and the top four having around 32-34 starts per year. If this is correct, (and no one else arrives as a SP) who could handle the heavier load as the #4 SP?

    • Mike Axisa

      Noesi: 160.1 IP in 2010, 117 in 2009, should be good for 180-190 in 2011

      Brackman: 140.2 IP in 2010 106.2 IP in 2009, should be good for 160-170 in 2011

      Nova: 187 IP in 2010, ~140 IP in 2008 and 2009, should be good for 200 in 2011

      Phelps: between 151-158 IP from 2008-2010, should be good for ~180 in 2011

      Warren: 135.1 IP in 2010, 154.2 IP in 2009, should be good for 160-170 in 2011

      Nova should be fine for whatever the Yankees need, and Phelps is a safe bet for 150 IP if not more. Noesi and Brackman should be a-okay too. The Yanks are fine in the innings department going forwards, lots of guys capable of a lot of innings.

      • CS Yankee

        Thanks, this is good news.

        • OldYanksFan

          Well done Mike. I didn’t realize that ManBan and Dellin had so little experience. They must stay on the farm a while, especially since the 5 you mentioned above, while maybe not the raw talent of ManBan or Dellin, are at least ‘safe’, experience and innings wise.

          My guess is JG goes with Mitre for at least a month (remembering that the #5 starter can usually be skipped twice or so early on), and hope he can hold a 5-ish ERA.

          My guess is it’s best to let the 5 minus Nova get their feet weet and warm at AAA before taking a shot at the bigs. This is afterall our #5, and if we face the other teams #5, hopefully we can just mash them to death. Unless Mitre is really bad, we can stand a month or so of him.

          You can almost bet on Cashman picking up an above average SP mid-season. He’s smart not to waste money now on the junk heap, have 3 months to assess our SP and farm situation, and then make his Ninja move.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        And average innings at that. How great would it be to see those five get 600 innings between them? Shuffle and option them as necessary and needed.

        Mike – care to guess the likely order and circumstances we will see them?

        Here’s my take:
        1. Nova (out of Spring Training with Mitre in the rotation)
        2. Noesi (in May with Mitre sucking)
        3. Phelps (in June with Hughes on the DL with hammy tightness)
        4. Brackman (in June for bullpen reinforcement)
        5. Warren (in August with Noesi and Phelps innings controls)

        A guy can dream, right?

        • Kiersten

          Your dream is for our No. 2 starter to hit the DL?

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            My dream is to see all of these guys in the majors this year. In order for that to happen something has to go wrong.

            As for who gets hurt among Hughes and Burnett – I call it a pick’em.

            • Kiersten

              That’s idiotic.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                Yes, it is, the way it sounds! Sorry, I didn’t mean I’m hoping for someone to get hurt. I’m expecting it. There’s a difference, no?

            • bexarama

              How ’bout we not wish anyone gets hurt, okay? Geez.

              • Mister Delaware

                Except Papelbon.

                • bexarama

                  I don’t even wanna see him get hurt, just be terribly ineffective.

                  • Mister Delaware

                    What if he got hurt doing that stupid jig of his?

                  • joe lefko
                  • whozat

                    Yeah, him on the Red Sox roster blowing games is WAY better than him sitting on the DL. he can’t hurt them if he’s hurt!

              • Juke Early

                How about hoping Burnett earns his huge paycheck in 2011. Plus a major miracle from the arm of Mark Prior – for his sake & the NYY. It would also be nice if Pud Sellout didn’t manipulate deals i.e. C. Lee from the Ms to Tx. And Greinke to Brewers – how obvious can he get. Not to mention all those GMs who try to rip off the Yankees then take a much lesser deal elsewhere. Anyone who can’t see this is still believing McGwire & Sosa did it naturally.

        • Matt Imbrogno

          I don’t think we’ll see Brackman in the Majors until, at the earliest, right before he’s going to hit that guesstimated 160-170 IP. It’s more important to get him innings at this point, especially because of missing ’08 and essentially starting his career late.

      • danimal

        I thought I was reading somewhere on this site that Nova actually has tallied something more like 200+ innings with winter ball. Is that incorrect?

        • Mike Axisa

          That was wrong, the NY Post incorrectly reported that he was in winter ball when he is not.

          • Steve H

            Didn’t they even report stats for him? How is that possible? I can see them getting it wrong that he’s pitching there (though it shouldn’t happen), but how can they come up with bogus stats for him?

            • Mike Axisa

              They used his 2009 stats. Andy in Sunny Daytona dug it up.

              • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                Hard to believe that anyone at The NY Post could make a mistake….

                • Total Dominication


  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

    “Those four can and should be given a rotation spot before turning to Banuelos or Betances.”

    Exactly, and between the four I see no reason they can’t outperform Vazquez of 2010. Brackman seems like the furthest away. Of Nova, Noesi, and Phelps they could easily get through June then re-evaluate. Too bad they’ll give significant innings to Mitre. You know, cause he was the epitome of replacement level in 2010.

    • whozat

      I could believe that. The problem is that Nova is already in the 4 slot. And what happens when someone gets hurt? All of a sudden, you’re depending on THREE of those guys?

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Right, but if they’re pitching at league average, and they all have that talent, then why not? It’s not like they’d break in three new arms all at once. Nova has gotten his feet wet. Someone will hopefully replace Mitre early in the season after he sucks. And then the third will come in for injury replacement.

        But even if the young arms struggle, they have others to try. Warren seems like a fast mover, even as he’s already started twice as many mL games as Joba. Sigh…

        • whozat

          They would be breaking multiple new arms in at once, though. Nova is not “broken in”, and none of these other arms you’re talking about project any better than, say, Ian Kennedy. And it’s REALLY easy for guys to struggle or get hurt, even guys like Hughes with a lot more talent than Nova, Noesi, Phelps or Warren.

          Given how badly they got burnt trying to break Hughes and Kennedy (who had more potential than all of the above) in at the same time in 2008, even knowing Joba was going to take one of those slots…there’s no way this is going to happen — and it’s because trying it is not a high-percentage play. The odds are that you get burned.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            Bah! 2008 was one year and other pitchers. That conclusion seems very premature.

            Plus, when IPK entered he actually did well. Hitters hadn’t seen him yet.

            Pitcher development has to ride waves. The pitching motion and even individual pitches are based on the need to consistently repeat mechanics. That requires repetition and refinement. As the kids are hot, let them pitch major league innings. When they go too cold, send them down. Imagine shuffling the best among 8-10 legitimate arms over the next few years. There’s a lot of value to be played.

            The question is how good they get at the shuffle. So far, the evidence doesn’t look good. But I have hope. And the arms to appear next year are as good if not better than Hughes. So why not practice and hone an approach this year?

            • whozat

              So you’re going to have all your young pitchers constantly worrying that a couple middling starts will get them sent back to the minors? That’s a recipe for disaster.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                If they’re that fragile they will never be good enough for the Yankees,

          • hello9

            Ian Kennedy would have had the second best xFIP amongst Yankees starters if he was on the club last year.

  • Teh Comp Pick

    Great analysis Mike. All of these guys should be given keys to the rotation before Surge in my opinion. Surge is the longman out of the pen if you ask me, he’s done a lot better in that role. Give the kids all the chances to start if you ask me.

  • GermanYankee

    Mike Leake would be another example. The Reds drafted him in 2009, he didn’t play in the minors at all and was part of their rotation this season. That considered, his numbers were pretty decent.

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Mike Leake was already a polished, major-league ready pitcher coming out of the draft, but he will never have the stuff to become a great pitcher in my opinion. He is all about control and command, which is just enough to get by and succeed in the MLB.

      • vin

        Ian Kennedy-esque.

      • Mister Delaware

        And again, I suck because I didn’t read all the way down before posting. Basically said the same thing above, 45 minutes later. You win again, LaMotta’s left hook.

  • bottom line

    “Banuelos is still just 19 years old, and he has a total of three starts and 15.1 Double-A innings to his credit. Betances is older in age (22) but not in Double-A experience, his three starts at the level produced a total of 14.1 innings.”

    I keep seeing thse numbers cited, but actually, they don’t include playoff starts. I believe they each made two. So it’s really five starts each, and at least a couple against top-notch AA competition.

    I would think a strong start by either vcould result in a mid-season promotion to AA. From there, anything can happen. But I agree that it would be a stretch to think ManBan or Betances could make it to the Bronx next year.

  • bottom line

    meant to say…would result in mid-season promotion to AAA

  • mike c

    so how about a betances watch for 2011? he’s the most exciting new kid we have

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      1) He isn’t exactly new, since well, he always injured but he’s been around since 2006.

      2) False. Banuelos is!

      • Joseph Cecala

        Agreed, Banuelos > Betances > Brackman

  • Accent Shallow

    You know who else didn’t have many AAA starts before his MLB debut? Phil Hughes.

    He had 5 AAA starts in 2007, and I believe at least one of those was a rehab start.

    • YankeesJunkie

      That is true Hughes, but Hughes was rushed due to injuries in the Yanks rotation in 2007. It did not help his development, but that was a lot less worse than him being injured for a couple years as well. Joba also did not make any AAA starts if I am correct.

      • AndrewYF

        Oh stop it, he wasn’t rushed, that’s a ridiculous Peter Abraham myth. He was clearly ready for prime-time (as evidenced by his eventual 72 IP of 102 ERA+), and the Yankees decided to use their resources. Why would extra time in AAA have anything to do with a hamstring? Hughes’ hamstring wasn’t ready for the major leagues?

        I would hope that, if Betances or Banuelos were showing that they were ready for the big leagues, and if the Yankees had a need, that they would bring them up rather than give more starts to Mitre or Pontoon.

        • whozat

          I do think that they brought him up before they strictly would have liked to. I mean, I think they’d have liked to bring him up to 150 or so innings in AAA that season, and then have him good for about 180 in 2008, whether he showed he was ready to start with the MLB team or not.

  • OldYanksFan

    We should remember that these kids are hopefully our future. in 2013, if we have 2 plus Phil pitching good baseball, that will really change the ‘team building dynamic’, which seems to be quasi-desparate for SP almost every year.

    It would not be smart to hurt the development of any of them, simply to try and Win 2 or 3 more games in 2011.

    We should remember that realistically, we only need to compete for the WC. It ain’t bad to retool this year if we still make the PS. By October, Cashman will probably have gotten us someone good, and the kids will have another full year under their belt, and the best one able to help in the PB.

    • Jorge

      This type of common sense would get you banished from a lesser blog.

      I agree. I don’t think this team is at this point of desperation, and where there are no better options. If these guys remain with the team, they should be given the time to develop so that, in two years, the days of fans thinking “Cliff Lee or Bust” are a thing of the past.

    • Mister Delaware

      “It would not be smart to hurt the development of any of them, simply to try and Win 2 or 3 more games in 2011.”

      I don’t totally agree with that, there are definitely instances where you can justify short term gains. If there isn’t much of a trade market for Phelps and you see him being passed in 2012 by better prospects, risking his development for 2 or 3 wins in 2011 is probably worth it. Same with Brackman, if you think simply throwing a baseball is a risk with him and think there’s a decent chance he won’t throw 400 more career innings, may as well try and get something out of him at the MLB level.

      Guys like Banuelos that you think have room to develop into a #1/#2, you take a conservative approach with. Guys whose value very possibly might never surpass an immediate 2 or 3 wins (worth ~$12-$15MM, more if its the difference b/w making the playoffs and not), its worth the risk.

      • whozat

        If these guys could come up and be a 2-3 win player right now, then they’re basically solid major leaguers TODAY, and that’s the only way they’d be “worth” 12-15MM. I think OldYanks was suggesting that they could maybe contribute to 2 or 3 more team wins, not be worth 2-3 wins on their own. In which case…yeah, if you think they won’t even be a league-average starter for a couple seasons…sure, maybe throw them into the fire now. But unless you’ve got a team that you think is in good shape to WIN in the post-season, blowing one of these kids out just to get there isn’t worth much. I mean…what was the point, really, of Joba in 2007? That team wasn’t winning anything. Sure, it was exciting…but I think the Yanks might have been better off in 2008-2010 if he had debuted some time in mid 2008 as a starting pitcher.

        • Mister Delaware

          Ah, I misread. I was thinking it was one guy; like if you knew there was a chance Phelps could produce like 2006 Jaret Wright at the cost of his long term growth, it would still be worth it given his presumed lack of a long term rotation spot.

          • whozat

            Still, I dunno…if you have a guy that’d be capable of being a 2-3 win starter at age 23 or less…I think that’s a guy whose potential you don’t WANT to stunt — unless he’s putting you over the top for a world series. And I think that the age questions and front-of-the-rotation questions that this team has make it hard for me to say that I’d cash in a youngster’s future to go all-in for 2011.

            If they’d gotten Cliff Lee, it’d change the calculus…with him and Sabathia (and the burden that he’d cause in 2014-2017), I’d feel more inclined to make a big push NOW.

    • Jerome S.

      what team isn’t looking for SP every year?

  • YankeesJunkie

    There are a couple reasons that Banuelos and Betances should not be brought up.

    1. They don’t have enough AA-AAA experience. Banuelos has only made 5 starts in AA (including in the playoffs) and AzFL as his competition against higher minor league opponents. Betances has only made 5 starts in AA and while both were decent none showed dominant stuff that was ready to be jumped to the majors.

    2. Neither have the workload experience to be called up to the majors yet. The most that either of these pitchers has thrown in a single season is about 100-110 IP so that means they are only good to go about 130-150 IP next year. After seeing what happened to Joba due to innings limit it would be better to let these guys start every fifth day in the minors whether it be AA or AAA and see how they fare throuhghout the marathon of a baseball season before they call them up.

    • Ross in Jersey

      [b]After seeing what happened to Joba due to innings limit it would be better to let these guys start every fifth day in the minors[/b]

      How do you know that Joba’s ineffectiveness was due to his innings limits? And how is that an argument for keeping them in the minors? They have innings limits either way.

      • YankeesJunkie

        I am talking about 2008 where he was switched between reliever and starter because he only pitched 100 IP in 2007. I would rather see a starter in the minors get at somewhere between 130-140 IP so he can go into an MLB season and start throughout. It would be awful to see the whole Joba situation happen again, but that was also due to the Yankees poor managing of the situation IMO.

      • OldYanksFan

        Can we at least agree that we really don’t want our current prospect’s path to mimic Joba’s? That’s not the very best we can do, is it?

        For the 3 months before Hughes was brough up, Cashman must have said 50 times that Phil was NOT coming up… was NOT going to be rushed. And there was absolutely NO desire to bring Joba up when they did. Both were brought up because we were in PITCHING TROUBLE.

        Now… I am not blaming. I am not saying bringing kids up early aways fails. What I am saying is we need to try and put the development of our best prospects ahead of MAYBE winning a few more games THIS YEAR.

        Look at the Core 5. Ten years and more of high quality play for each of them. Imagine if for some reason we had stunted any one (or more!) of their growths, to win a few extra games in ’95 or ’96.

        We should also consider that in George’s day, his ability to ‘open the checkbook’ all but assured we got all the big FAs we went after. NO MORE. Many other teams, including KC and Washington has signed big FAs. It’s much closer to an even playing field then it was 10 years ago. Our money is an advantage, but not as much now as then.

        Again, the dynasty was built on the backs of the Core 5. OUR FARM. 5 studs (all center of the fielders) at a modest price. Mix in one part good trades, one part expensive FAs and bingo… you have a killer team.

        But it starts with the farm.
        And Cashman knows this… but he must walk a fine line between Winning Now and building for the future.

        I mean…don’t you want to leave the kids a Dynasty?
        If so… ya know… ya gotta make a few sacrifices now.

  • Jimmy

    Assuming either Pendleton or Kontos or both are returned, where would they fit in the Noesi, Brackman, Phelps, Warren pecking order?

  • steve s

    FWIW the precedent in Yankee history for giving Banuelos a shot is Jose Rijo, who, at 19, basically performed more like the worst case scenario Mike referenced above but who, by the age of 21 (of course with Oakland by then), was a very decent power starter.

    • Mister Delaware

      And a top 10 guy on any list of players from the last 25 years you’d love to see get injury free career do-overs.

      • steve s

        I agree and would add Mario Soto to that list as well (both he and Rijo had remarkably similar careers and were both done before 30).

  • joe lefko

    I’m a little uncomfortable assuming that any of those guys (Nova, Noesi, Phelps, Warren) are capable of even close to league average. If they aren’t the definition of replacement level, who is?

    • AndrewYF

      “If they aren’t the definition of replacement level, who is?”

      Javy Vazquez in 2010, for one. Sidney Ponson is another.

      It takes some really awful performances to be considered replacement-level. By all accounts, all these pitching prospects are notable and above-average. Why wouldn’t we assume that they, as a group, are capable of putting up league average stats? Is it guaranteed? No, but it’s not a terrible bet.

      • whozat

        I don’t know that any of them project as much more than back-end starters…which, for a prospect, IS notable. It doesn’t mean there’s much reason to think that they’d provide that level of performance before they’ve shown they can succeed in AAA, even.

        Nova…sure. I think we’ve seen what he is, though he will probably learn to keep it together better when guys are on base, leading to fewer big innings and a lesser need for an early hook. Noesi…I don’t know how he’s getting lumped in here, I don’t see much difference between him and a guy like Mosely. Not a bad 7th starter, but you don’t want to be depending on him. The other guys, I don’t see how one could think they’re ready yet.

  • Joseph Cecala

    Other than confidence issues, is there really any downside to having an early callup? I understand with Joba his innings were messed up but one of these guys would go into the rotation so their innings would be around normal. By AA their mechanics have to be pretty polished at this point, but honestly is skipping levels more just an overhype?

    The only real problem I would want to avoid is super 2 status.

    • whozat

      Why would their mechanics be polished by AA? How many innings have these guys thrown? That’s a much more reasonable metric.

      In addition to confidence, they need to polish their breaking stuff in order to be able to have sustained success at the MLB level. They’re not going to be able to do that work when the big league team is depending on them to get outs. So…Do you have Joba, with only his fastball and slider forever, or does he actually develop the command of his curve to the point that he has a legit third pitch he can use to change speeds on hitters?

      And then there’s learning to pitch against guys who actually have plate discipline and you can’t get out just by throwing your 3-2 slider off the plate…because they learn to spit on that pitch.

      • Joseph Cecala

        They had to get to AA because they shown some polish in the levels that preceded AA. I never said they were 100% ready to go, few pitchers are and there is always room for improvement. It is not like they are stopped from learning things once they reach the ML level, if they were why would we even need a pitching coach? Secondary pitches come with experience, look at CC and his changeup over the years, even Hughes with the change, all these pitches can be taught at the ML level not just in the minors.

        • whozat

          Pitching coaches in the big leagues are there to help correct issues that crop up during the season, help guys make in-game adjustments, and help develop game plans for attacking opposing hitters.

          Guys don’t develop pitches in the bigs. They may work on them in the offseason, try to hone them in the spring, and then break them in if they feel comfortable with them, but the process is WAAAY faster in the minors, when you can mandate how often guys need to throw their developing pitches and absorb the bad things that happen when a guy is throwing a pitch that he’s not comfortable with because winning and losing don’t matter as much.

          Moving them to the bigs will slow their development at this stage. At a certain point, when what they need is to be challenged by the best…then, yeah, the big leagues is the best place for them. but moving guys up too early stunts their growth.

  • Jerome S.

    How good is Noesi?

    • whozat

      “Noesi’s best pitch is the old number one, a fastball that he manipulates by “adding and subtracting velocity from it, putting it where he wants despite its solid life and showing the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate.” They have his two-seamer at 88-92, and the four seamer up to 96. His changeup is a fringe pitch, but he also throws a slider and curve, with the latter showing more promise.”

  • Plank

    Out of curiosity, how did you find players who skipped the minors/AAA? Is there a list somewhere, or was it from personal knowledge?

    • Mike Axisa

      I knew Porcello and Bonderman made the jump, but for the other guys I just looked at BA’s top ten lists and check out the top pitching prospects. Lots of trial and error.

      • Plank

        Wow, that’s impressive.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Based on the info provided by Mike which was very comforting to know. The AAA level if it has even a 20% success rate with the pitching call ups then we’re in good shape.

    In my opinion to call the two younger pitchers who have limited AA level work is wrong. The Yankees have the finances and chips to secure a MLB ready pitcher from another team.

    If Banuelos is 5’10 and all of 160lbs. As I have read. In know way can you rush this guy up until he has matures physically as to innings pitched and mentally to some of the rigors of AAA ball.

    The Tigers are extremely aggressive with their prospects as are some of the lower end teams looking to fill seats. The Yanks have no problem putting a$$es in the seats.

    I slot Mitre to fill in when the weather is not conducive for valuable pitchers to throw on a given day. Sorry, Sergio, its a business.

    • YankeesJunkie

      I think he has gotten up to about 180 as he bulked up a bit, he looks pretty thick for 160 lbs.

      • Shaun

        Yeah he’s alot bigger than 160, his velocity jumped because he was gaining muscle mass from working out. I beg him for 180-185

        • Shaun

          peg him for 180-185

          (typo in last post)

  • Mondoas

    The picture of Banuelos looks like a very young Fernando Valenzuela.

  • The Professor

    Banuelos is the Yanks’ best LH prospect since Pettitte. That’s 15 years. That’s a long time.
    And Banuelos isn’t just their best LH prospect. He’s their best pitching prospect, period.
    I’d happily trade Banuelos for Clayton Kershaw or David Price or Francisco Liriano.
    But since none of those guys is available….

  • Pounder

    Rollie Sheldon made the jump after one spectacular year in Auburn, class D ball back in 1960.Class ‘D’ ball to the 1961 Yankee starting rotation that was noteworthy.