Feb
08

Open Thread: Chase Wright

By

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Whenever the name Chase Wright is brought up, you’ll inevitably think of the back-to-back-to-back-to-back homer episode of 2007. Who could forget it? It was horrible. The Yankees called Wright up straight from Double-A and he predictably flopped, and two years later he was designated for assignment and traded to the Brewers for one of the players that eventually went to Pittsburgh for Eric Hinske. That didn’t stop Steve Lombardi from comparing him to Erik Bedard, but that’s cool, we all say stupid stuff from time to time*. In a weird bit of timing, today is Wright’s 28th birthday and also the three-year anniversary of Bedard’s trade to the Mariners. Funny how that worked out, huh?

Anyway, here is the open thread for the evening. Both the Devils and Isles are in action, but talk about whatever you want. Have at it.

* One of these days J.B. Cox will replace Mariano Rivera, you watch! [/Axisa circa 2006]

Categories : Open Thread

126 Comments»

  1. bexarama says:

    I am legitimately shocked that Lombardi, who’s not exactly known for his, uh, optimism, thought Wright could be like Bedard (and this was 2007). Wut?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I’ll cut him some slack — he just pointed out some superficial similarities/scouting reports. And lefties do peak late.

      (Seriously, who had Chase Wright with a curveball grade of >55? Axisa?)

  2. Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

    Did Clippard come up in the same season? Who is Lombardi? I heard of Vince.

  3. JGS says:

    Meanwhile, Steve posted a look at the 2011 Yankees a few days ago where he managed to say something negative about every. single. player. Even Mo, CC, and Cano.

    • squishy jello person says:

      Even Mo?

      He’s a parody of himself at this point.

    • Brad says:

      To be fair, no single baseball player is without fault. But Lombardi’s presentation of those shortcomings can be overstated at times.

      • JGS says:

        Sure, but when you go out of your way to only state the negative it wears on a lot of people, especially when you have a long track record of doing so. Take Cano–his blurb was “Robinson Cano – 60 point drop in his OPS between 1st and 2nd half in 2010. Still a good player.”

        Yes, Cano’s OPS dropped 66 points from the first to second half. But it dropped all the way to….878. Keep in mind that American League second basemen OPSed a collective .719 in 2010 (even worse than center fielders) and there is really nothing to complain about.

        • bexarama says:

          This. When you’re giving like a blurb about every player and literally every single one of them is negative and you are ridiculously negative the rest of the time, well.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Cano, first half: .336/.389/.556
          Cano, second half: .299/.371/.507

          If Robbie puts up those second half numbers over a full season, he’s the Dominican Chase Utley.

        • Every player in baseball is a collection of +/- and there’s nothing wrong with pointing out a player’s weaknesses. But you should spend an equal amount of time on their strengths.

          Unless you’re talking about Kei Igawa, then you should spend all your time talking about how much he sucks.

    • “How this team is suppose to keep pace with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 is beyond me. And, there’s a chance that the Rays, O’s and Blue Jays may give them a run for their money too.”

      Seriously, the O’s?

      • Kiersten says:

        Oh Jesus, the Red Sox are NOT that much better than the Yankees. Their rotation is better. That’s it. We have a better lineup, better defense, and better bullpen (granted, it’s all close, except the bullpen).

        Spring training hasn’t even started yet and I’m already sick of this.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

          Better lineup and defense? Debatable on offense not so much so on defense.

          • Tom Zig says:

            Well let’s break it down like this:

            Their best defensive outfielder will be playing in the smallest part of their park. Kind of a waste, but he can probably position himself like 10 steps behind 3B. I’d give the edge to Crawford due to track record. But Gardner is really damn good, so it’s kind of close.

            The jury is still out on Ellsbury, one year UZR and TZ had him as one of the best, one year he was one of the worst. I’d probably give the edge to Grandy due to track record.

            JD Drew, if healthy, is pretty good defensively. Was better than Swisher for most if not all of his career. I still give the edge to Drew

            Youkilis, a very good maybe even great defensive first baseman is moving to a harder position that he hasn’t played significant time at in years. But A-rod is no great shakes defensively anymore. So who knows on how this will turn out. Probably Youkilis because of the lack of hip injury.

            Tex vs Agonz. Edge: Tex. Both UZR and TZ rate Tex better over the course of their careers.

            Defensively Pedroia > Cano.

            Jeter vs the revolving the door of SS. Jeter has the Edge (hah! Get it?!)

            Catcher: It’s almost bizarre to say the Yankees have the edge here. Varitek is on his last legs, and Salty, well who the hell knows if he can even throw it to the mound without spiking it.

            So it’s actually pretty close defensively. Of the 4 positions that Boston had the edge, 2 (LF and 3B) are kind of close. But then again SS and maybe catcher might be kind of close as well.

      • The O’s had the best record in baseball after Buck took over, but its hard to imagine them winning more than 78-82 games.

  4. Jerome S. says:

    Speaking of Hinske, where is he? I hear that whatever team he ends up on goes to the playoffs.

  5. Jimmy McNulty says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa.....id=6100759

    Usually when Yankee draftees (the toolsy ones with upside) decide to go to college and not sign (like spineless coward Gerritt Cole) I end up pretty mad. It looks like Kevin Jordan, on the other hand, made the right decision to choose Wake Forest. Wish him the best.

    • squishy jello person says:

      2nded

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Because Girardi would prefer to keep his kidneys? Because you don’t want the Yankees on the hook for dialysis?

      (Seriously, though, I wish young Mr. Jordan the best, hope he comes through with no issues, and has a long and happy life after he makes lots of money playing in the majors)

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        I mean…if a kid’s coach is giving him a kidney…the dude obviously made the right decision to play baseball for them.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      When you draft a kid who fell because of signability issues, it’s sort of implied that he might not sign…

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yes, and when the Yankees play a better team than them in the Red Sox it will be sort of implied that they might lose. It doesn’t make it suck any less.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          It does make it suck less, because the Yankees took a calculated risk in drafting someone like Cole or Jordan. They had an opportunity to draft a guy whose talent was well above slot, but knew they had a lower chance at signing him than other available players. Cole was considered to have the best stuff going into that draft, it’s not like people didn’t know how good he was. He fell because of signability. Yankees could have drafted any other available, eligible player, but they took the risk on Cole. You don’t have a say in your schedule, you do have a say in who you draft.

  6. “How this team is suppose to keep pace with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 is beyond me. And, there’s a chance that the Rays, O’s and Blue Jays may give them a run for their money too.”

    WE. ARE. DOOMED.

  7. Avi says:

    Posada DHing is gonna hurt the Yankee offense.
    2010 Yankee DH’s >>> Russel Martin
    This is a substantial downgrade that I don’t see many people talking about.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Depends on:

      a) Martin’s health, and whether he returns to being the hitter he was in the past
      b) How much Martin’s defense is an improvement over Posada’s

      Additionally, the Martin signing allows the Yankees to rest Posada in the DH slot, and avoid rushing Jesus Montero.

      And if Martin sucks, we’ll see a reshuffling. I don’t see a big downside.

    • Steve H says:

      Posada only started 83 games at catcher last year though, so you also need to consider Cervelli’s bat as well.

      • Avi says:

        Getting Cervelli out of the lineup is huge although Martin was pretty much as awful as he was last year. If Martin returns to the hitter he was from ’06-’08 which to me is extremely unlikely, he still won’t replicate the production the Yanks got from the DH spot last year. To me Montero has a much better chance to be productive. If he can produce like the DH’s did last year as a 21 year old rookie I’d be thrilled. Again, it isn’t likely.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          You can look at it that way, but you also look all the crap PAs going out the door: Nick Johnson, Lance Berkman… 200 PAs mostly at DH and no better than Martin or Cervelli last season. Winn and Kearns are another 200 PAs at a Cervelli level. Thames was great, but in less than 300 PAs. Add some more PAs Cervelli got that Martin can steal. So, Andruw Jones and Martin have about 800 PAs they can replace right there, and only 300 of those were above average.

          It’s not really a straight position by position analysis. The roster is somewhat dynamic. If Martin, Cervelli, and Montero all can’t hack it… Jorge will be back behind the plate himself.

    • Jerome S. says:

      what are you talking about? Po will play in about 120 games at most, probably hit 15-20 HR, and have an OBP around .360.

      • Avi says:

        I think Posada will at least replicate the production the Yanks got out of the DH spot last year. I’m saying Martin won’t be as productive as the Yankee catchers were in 2010, thus the downgrade.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Yea but Cervelli played a lot last year and he was awful on both sides of the plate. And Posada was terrible defensively. Getting a competent defensive catcher alone will help. And he has the upside to outhit cervelli..

    • We have to wait and see how Jorge takes to his role. Maybe DHing rejuvenates his career, or maybe he’s just too antsy to sit on the bench and winds up thinking too much between ABs and slumping. Time will tell.

  8. bexarama says:

    A-Rod in his Mariners career: 36.8 WAR.

    ALL OTHER MARINERS SHORTSTOPS COMBINED, 1977-2010: 24.2 WAR

  9. Steve H says:

    In an earlier thread people were discussing how good the Red Sox offense is going to be this year. It’s going to be great, but it’s not going to be largely improved over last year. They lost two big bats, and even though they had some injuries (which could happen this year) their bench bats really stepped up last year and they didn’t lose too much offense. In AL ranks:

    Runs: 2nd
    HR: 2nd
    RBI: 2nd
    BB: 3rd
    OBP: 3rd
    SLG: 2nd
    OPS: 1st
    OPS+: T-1st
    wOBA: 2nd

    • Accent Shallow says:

      So are you saying they’ll be worse than that?

      It’s tough to project them — is Lowrie for real? Will playing 3B hurt Youkilis’ offense? Are Pedroia and Ellsbury 100%?

      • Steve H says:

        I’m not saying they’ll be worse, but if they do improve, I don’t think it will be by some great margin. For the long term Crawford and Gonzalez are great additions, but they likely won’t bring too much more to the table than Beltre and and Martinez did last year.

        And as you mentioned, they certainly have some question marks with health. I’ll be very interested to see if Youk can hold up for a full season at 3B at the age of 32, when he’s never even played 150+ games at 1B, and hasn’t played 3B in a long time. His body type isn’t exactly perfect for the transition either.

        • Jerome S. says:

          I get the impression his defense will be Jeterian. But like Jeter, his offense will probably blow away any defensive suckiness.

        • Avi says:

          Youkilis, Pedroia, and Ellsbury getting all the AB’s that the Daniel Nava and Darnell Mcdonald types got last year will help more then the upgrade A-gon and Crawford provide over Beltre and Victor M.

          • Steve H says:

            Jacoby Ellsbury career OPS+: 92
            Darnell McDonald 2010 OPS+ : 103

            They also got a very strong fill in performances from Bill Hall and Lowrie at 2B.

            There’s also questions regarding the health of the 3 guys you mention. Pedroia’s foot is not 100% (and he’s mentioned Yao Ming and Grant Hill’s foot injuries), Youk hasn’t stayed very healthy playing 1B, and Ellsbury wishes he was as tough as JD Drew.

            Last year they were the 2nd best offense in the league. This year they’ll likely be 1st or 2nd again. They’re not going to turn into some 950 run juggernaut. They’re replacement players last year played very well.

            • Avi says:

              Yeah Lowrie and Hall filled in better than people realize. I think they can reach juggernaut level this year though. Papi, Drew and Cameron are all in walk years (of their contract) and if they get better than expected performances from one of them they can approach the 950 runs level. Would anyone be shocked if Drew hit 25 homers this year and got another huge Boras induced contract next winter?

              • Steve H says:

                They are going to have a major step back at catcher.

                Ortiz is going to be 35, and that’s an old 35. Is this the year he doesn’t break out of his horrible early season slump.

                Drew is going to be 35 and is already dealing with a bad hamstring.

                Cameron is going to be 38, and if he gets any major playing time, that means that Drew, Ellsbury or Crawford have gotten hurt.

                No way is this team going to score 132 more runs than they did last year.

                • CS Yankee says:

                  Mostly agree (they likely score more, but not much more),

                  1) Ortiz has been taking those DR shakes don’t you know?

                  2) Nancy Drew would play with a little pain…JD not so much.

                  3) Cameron is fighting Mathews Jr on pay-per-view to see who the better 4th OF’er per WAR is…Cameron leads, but is looking old and tired.

                  Also, Jete was in a walk year and put up his best worse year since T-ball.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Steve,

                  I am also tired of hearing people act as if the Red Sox can’t lose in 2011… However, acting as if they can’t get healthy and can’t improve offensively is just as annoying. You can point out the question marks, but can’t act as if you know for a fact a certain player will get hurt or Bill Hall’s league average bat replaced Pedroia’s bat. Not all uncertainty turns out negatively, and there’s no reason to make definitive predictions in February.

              • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                Would anyone be shocked if Drew hit 25 homers this year and got another huge Boras induced contract next winter?

                raises hand

  10. Steve H says:

    The Yankees worst position last year offensively, by OPS, was SS at .699.

  11. just read a story on espn about the yankee draftee kevin jordan. it’s a really amazing story and i suggest you all give it a read.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa.....id=6100759

  12. rbizzler says:

    So, I just noticed Steve Berthiaume’s enthusiastic twitter posting about the RS signing Aceves, so I decided to check out his twitter page and noticed two things:

    1) His twitter bio states that he is a ‘Boston Guy’

    2) He refers to the Yankees a having ‘thrown away’ Ace and hopes that they do the same with GGBG and Cervelli (presumably so the Sox can also acquire them).

    So, not only is he a RS homer, but he also clearly values the grit factor.

    • CS Yankee says:

      I’m puzzled as well that the Yankees gave up on Ace.

      It might be a smart business decision, but I’ll play my “if George was still alive” card for the first (and hopefully last) time. George was a jerk, but loyal to a fault…when that fault costs like the profits for selling hotdogs in game 158 between the 2nd and 8th innings.

      WTF, is Cashman poor boying this team or what? Couldn’t the PR dept come up with a “Teix-Mex nite” to overcome this low costs?

      • bexarama says:

        WTF, is Cashman poor boying this team or what?

        Or what.

      • Zack says:

        He’s poor boying the team now, yet when Ace ends up on the DL by May Cashman would be a “check-book GM” amd just throws money at his problems by signing an injury prone player while cutting someone else from the 40 man roster.

        • CS Yankee says:

          Whoa Zach…

          Two things (as a positive logic based Yankee fan) I always do;

          1) Trust the FO…they have always drafted shitty (well since the Reagan years) and yet produce an all Star every few years. Amazing in a non-Met way.

          2) Never complain about the money…not with Soriano, AJ, Jete, arod or whatever. Would the Arod contract hurt the NYY in signing the next “Arod”? NFW, they are business people who have the deepest fanbase, great income streams from their customers and clients, and could likely overcome Katrina in a few weeks.

          Check the prior threads and you’ll know I believe in Cash & CO.

          • Zack says:

            Wasn’t meant to be directed at you, just that line of thinking that fans (not you) have. Remember 6 weeks ago it was all about the Steinbrenners cutting payroll to 170m because they just wanted to pocket the money? While they ignored the 150m offer to Lee 4 weeks before that.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        a) It wasn’t a money thing since they could have renewed him at the minimum.

        b) It wasn’t a roster spot thing because they had plenty of those at the time of non-tender.

        c) It wasn’t a performance thing either, because has always performed well.

        That leaves…

        • CS Yankee says:

          Dead hookers?

        • rbizzler says:

          I think that you are getting at his medicals being a sincere concern. The fact that he ‘passed’ his physical gives me pause about when players actually fail these things. Obviously, with a pitcher a shoulder or elbow injury would be a big concern, and one would have to factor in the contract commitment due a player, but it seems like the physical process could be used to nullify some ‘cold feet’ decisions and is, in some cases, a sham.

          • Steve H says:

            A team can pass or fail as they choose. If a guy is hurt they can fail him, and if he’s healthy you can be damn sure they find something wrong to fail him.

  13. Lombardi was right, Chase Wright is very similar to Eric Bedard.

    In both cases, neither has pitched in the major leagues for the past two years.

  14. monteroisdinero says:

    It was mentioned earlier in this thread that Cervelli was awful from both sides of the plate. Not true. He was good against lefties. He just has no power.

    I agree with those who think Sado will drop off with the bat. Gonna be 40 and lots of mileage. Not optimistic that we can squeeze an excellent year out of him at DH.

    Montero will outhit all of our catchers although maybe not in his first month. Dude is ready. Would probably still outhit Tex in April.

    • Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

      Montero might be our best DH option by July or for that matter the next 10 yrs.

      • monteroisdinero says:

        So who puts up better #’s as everyday DH for the entire season?

        Montero or Posada?

        • mbonzo says:

          If we’re talking about 2011, Posada would have a better year as DH. Posada is incredibly underrated as a hitter, and I wouldn’t expect much of Montero in his first year facing major league hitters.

          • Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

            always thought Po was a good hitter with nice blend of patience and power which in term made his offense even more of a premium at C position. If to evaluate him as hitter alone, I say he has been a good hitter. A guy who is capable of putting 280/360/480 slash line every year. At 40, i expect Po put up 260/340/440 for the season. Montero has the potential to surpass that.

            • mbonzo says:

              He slugged .488 over his last two injury prone years playing catcher. I expect him to hit even more as the DH, despite him getting a year older.

              • Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

                reason enough… but you can also argue that gave him a breather. Anywho, that’s my expectation for him this year.

          • monteroisdinero says:

            And why not? A guy like Posey (notice I didn’t say a 21 year old Pujols) had a pretty good first year with the bat. Better than Posada will have next year. Why can’t the top hitting prospect in all of baseball have a better year than an ancient catcher? Because we are the Yankees?

            • Because he’s still an untested talent? Don’t get me wrong, I want Montero to come up and mash like Posey did, but I personally think it’s unlikely. It took him an entire half to start hitting, so what makes you think he can adjust to MLB pitching so quickly?

              • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

                How do we know his first half struggles are indicative of him being like that in the majors?

                I mean sure it’s probably going to happen regardless but that didn’t happen at all from A+ to AA which is a bigger jump.

                I think the first half of AAA is getting a bit overblown. For all we know his injury at the end of the 09 season affected him in the start of 2010.

                • mbonzo says:

                  The jump from AAA to the majors is the biggest, and to assume a player’s numbers will carry over is pretty ridiculous. He just turned 21, I don’t expect him to hit like potential hall of famer Posada.

            • mbonzo says:

              If you think Montero will come up and hit like Posey, you will most likely be disappointed with him. Believe it or not, pitching in the major leagues is a lot better than in the minors. Posada has OPSd .848 over the last two years, and now that he’s moving to DH I expect him to be a slightly better hitter. He might be old, but he’s a better hitter than anyone in the minors.

              BTW, Posey came up last year for a few ABs and OPSd .235 in a short stint. Posey already saw major league pitching by the time he started catching last year and he is two years older than Montero. He still ended up OPSing .862. I’ll put my money on Posada having a better year hitting than Posey or Montero.

  15. Is RAB doing fantasy leagues this year? I want in, I didn’t have time last year.

  16. My roommate at UConn knew barely anything about baseball and was watching that game with me. He said “That’s something really rare…right?” I could only nod in horrified amazement.

  17. ultimate913 says:

    About the Posada/Martin/Montero/Cervelli situation, I’d like to see Posada start at DH, Montero at C and Martin off the bench. With Montero catching about 65 games, Martin catching about 60 and Posada getting the other 40 or so games. Montero’s bat just seems too great to keep out of the lineup for too long.

    Cervelli can be traded, I guess.

    • CS Yankee says:

      1) Montero is way young, let the bread bake. He led AAA in passed balls I believe in 2010…21 is still very young…one could agrue very, very, very young for a MLB catcher.

      2) If Montero is promoted after 6-1-11, they save at least a year in arb.

      3) Let’s get some value out of the 13M$ Posada will make and rake this year.

      • monteroisdinero says:

        I can wait until 6-1-11. It will allow me to see The Jesus up close for $15 in triple A. A few more autographs/pic will be fine. Fun fact: We got him to sign a few balls at Scranton before a fundraiser. They were selling his autographed baseballs for $150 at the event.

    • Not happening. Cashman has made it clear that Posada’s their DH, period. He will only catch in case of emergency.

    • mbonzo says:

      I’d like to see Martin be the starting catcher and Cervelli the backup catcher. Posada will of course be the DH with the ability to sub at catcher if they need to put in a pinch hitter for the starter. Posada should not be the starting catcher for any game, unless its in September and the non-Cervelli catcher needs rest. If Montero rakes in AAA like he did at the end of 2010, I’d like to see the Yankees trade Martin and bring Montero up. This would ensure that he continues to develop regularly, it would make him a super two, and it would let the Yankees use Martin (hopefully as a centerpiece) in a trade for a starting catcher.

  18. Bryan L says:

    I posted this on Twitter but I’ll put it here as well.

    If Vladmir Guerrero retired today, do you believe he is a Hall of Famer? Why or why not?

  19. Dream of Electric Sheeps says:

    What do you guys think of Jim Thome as a HOF candidate. Yes or No?

  20. Ryan says:

    what are the Yankees and Red Sox respective payrolls for the 2011 season? Anybody know?

    • Sean C says:

      A gagillion $$$ that can’t buy starting pitching for the former, and just enough for the grittiest, BEST TEAM EVER (whatever amount of money that ends up being…).

      Sorry… just got home from a long day at work.

  21. T-Dubs says:

    Check out a UConn QB doing trick shots/throws. It’s awesome. So so awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  22. Mattchu12 says:

    Anybody else like Ross Ohlendorf?

    Sounds like things aren’t exactly silky smooth as he starts to earn some bucks in Pittsburgh. I know we all remember him as the bullpen failure in pinstripes, but he’s been rather solid in the NL. He probably could be had at this point pretty cheap, the Pirates don’t seem keen on paying him. Just a thought as I pass the Ohlendorf/Pirates Arbitration headline.

  23. Pat D says:

    My dad always thought JB Cox would be Mo’s replacement, too. When he first left the organization for those personal reasons a year or two ago and I told my Dad, he looked positively heart-broken.

    Ooh, Lombardi bashing! Yes, please!

    /taking his Winfield hate to extremes’d

  24. Brian says:

    Oh yeah…Chase Wright’s ’4-Straight HRs Game’ at Fenway…I was there…it was horrific.

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