Link Dump: Banuelos, Montero, Soriano


Here’s a few links to check out as you wait for today’s edition of the RAB Radio Show

Even more on Banuelos

Didn’t get enough talk about why Manny Banuelos shouldn’t start the season in the big league rotation this morning? Luckily for you, Kevin Goldstein tackled the same topic today (subs. req’d), but did so a lot better than I did. “Twenty-year-old starting pitchers in the big leagues are rarities, but having a player like Banuelos, who has made just three starts above Class-A ball, in the big leagues would be nearly unprecedented,” said KG. “Make no mistake about it, Banuelos could at the very least hold his own in the big leagues right now, but the real question revolves around how long he could do it.”

It’s essentially the long-term gain vs. short-term pain argument, but I recommend reading the whole thing.

BA’s Top 20 Rookies

The gang at Baseball America compiled their list of the top 20 rookies for the 2011 season (subs. req’d), led by Jeremy Hellickson of the Rays. This isn’t a top prospect list, it’s a list of players poised to make the greatest contribution to their big league team this year. Hellickson has himself a guaranteed rotation spot, so it’s easy to see why he edged Freddie Freeman of the Braves. Jesus Montero came in at number ten, noting that in the best case scenario he’d “push his way into the catcher and DH slots for 300-400 productive at-bats.” In the worst case, Hey-Zeus could end up back in Triple-A. Big whoop.

No other Yankees farmhands made the cut, though I’m sure Ivan Nova at least garnered some consideration. The fact that Montero is ahead of guys with guaranteed Opening Day jobs like Brent Morel, Michael Pineda, Jake McGee, and Jordan Walden says a lot.

The Soriano Contract

We’ve ripped Rafael Soriano‘s contract to shreds on this corner of the interweb, but what about an objective opinion? Tim Dierkes of MLBTR examined the contract this afternoon, explaining why it’s not guaranteed that Soriano will opt out of his contract even if he has an excellent 2011 season. “A strong 2011 might allow Soriano to find a three-year deal for around $25MM,” said Tim, “but that’s not a big enough improvement over the two years and $23.5MM that would remain on his current deal.  Getting three years as opposed to one after the ’12 season has added appeal, but the Yankees backloaded Soriano’s contract so that it’ll still be a tough choice for him.”

There are a ton of closer-types scheduled to become free agents after the season, so Soriano would have to compete with several other viable alternatives on the open market next summer should he choose to go that route. Then again, when’s the last time a player had an opt-out clause and didn’t use it?

How a suspension screwed the D’Backs and helped the Yankees

When the Yankees signed Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.1M last week , most of us thought “cool” and moved on. Not the Diamondbacks though. Both Ben Badler and Nick Piecoro explain that Paniagua was originally known as Juan Carlos Collado, and had signed with Arizona for $17,000 back in 2009. MLB later suspended him because he falsified his name (but not his age) and then voided the contract for that same reason. The problem is that Paniagua went from throwing 88-90 to the mid-to-upper 90′s during the suspension, raising his prospect status considerably. Hence the seven figure payout.

“[Paniagua] was probably working out with the Diamondbacks [during the suspension], getting instruction, eating better and then they lost the rights,” said a scout to Badler. “It’s crazy.” It’s messed up and completely unfair, especially if Paniagua really was working out at Arizona’s facility during the suspension. Then again … go Yanks!

Categories : Links


  1. RL says:

    Kevin Goldstein tackled the same topic today (subs. req’d), but did so a lot better than I did.

    Mike, you ignorant slut …


  2. JobaWockeeZ says:

    But the thing is I don’t think Soriano will be content being second to Mo for these 3 years. He’ll take the money one year and leave to be a closer. Well let’s hope.

    • Gonzo says:

      In the 3rd year, he might be the Yankees’ closer. If he does well in that role in the 3rd year, he will be very well compensated in his next FA.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Why do you speculate Soriano won’t be content? If he’s making more money and playing on a winning team in a great city as an “8th inning guy”… does he want to take less money and maybe a crappy city just to generally pitch one inning later?

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Because this happens every year. Every offseason. Someone wants an 8th inning guy but the guy they want wants to be a closer.

        And it better happen in this case.

        • Ted Nelson says:


          I think you missed the boat on this one. The Yankees wanted an “8th inning guy” and Soriano signed to be an “8th inning guy.” He would have to actively change his mind mid-season. It’s not that he couldn’t get a closer job this offseason, it’s that he took the Yankees money to be an 8th inning guy instead. If no team was offering him more this offseason, is a team going to offer him more next offseason?

          If he pitches well, he better leave. Good logic. Honestly I do see the logic, but it’s not set in stone that he can’t have 3 good seasons from 2011-13. Plenty of relievers have had a bunch of good seasons in their 30s. Plenty.

  3. Gonzo says:

    Didn’t they just change the rule that got Paniagua to the Yanks?

    Also, I love that the Red Sox lost a good prospect because of this rule. I think they might have lost someone else besides Carlos Martinez, but I can’t think of another.

  4. Guest says:

    “Then again..go Yanks!”

    My thoughts exactly.

  5. Steve H says:

    There are a ton of closer-types scheduled to become free agents after the season, so Soriano would have to compete with several other viable alternatives on the open market next summer should he choose to go that route.

    I’m not so sure this hurts Soriano though. If a lot of closers are on the market, that also means a lot of teams will be looking for closers. Even bad teams have been known to overpay for the almight save, so even if there are more available closers, there’s also more available teams. If Soriano is coming off another healthy good season, he’ll be right up there amongst the most sought after.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Yeah the supply and demand ‘issue’ is overstated in baseball.

    • Ed says:

      The problem with that is a lot of teams let their closers leave in free agency because they don’t want to spend big money, or because they have a good setup man. They’ll just move everyone in the bullpen up one spot and fill the last spot with a cheaper free agent or a minor leaguer.

      There’s always more guys looking for closer jobs than there are positions available. If he leaves because he wants to be a closer rather than a setup man, that’s fine, he can get a job. If he leaves because wants to close and get top dollar, he’ll have a hard time finding a job.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        We’ll have to see… It’s hard to speculate this far in advance. We have to see how Soriano pitches and how the other guys pitch.

  6. Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

    At least Goldstein admitted the obvious. He also didn’t hope the prospect has their ass handed to them.

    • Rick in Boston says:

      Get over yourself. All you’re doing is making yourself look petty.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

        Get your pom pom’s! Go Mike Go! M-I-K-E! Mike! Mike! Mike!

        The RAB Cheerleaders are something else. I think we should get you all uniforms.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          If you don’t agree with me, fine. Don’t insult the other commenters. I’m asking once.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

            How does this work exactly? They can insult me – defending your virginal honor – but retorts are off limits?

            Got it.

            • Mike Axisa says:

              Who insulted you? I don’t think anyone told you to get pom poms and called you a cheerleader. Quit playing the victim.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                “Get over yourself. All you’re doing is making yourself look petty.”

                That make you feel good, Mike?

                • Mike Axisa says:

                  You really don’t see the difference between that and what you’re doing by calling people cheerleaders?

                  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                    I’m not calling any one out in particular. You don’t see that there’s a group here rushing to defend you regardless of the argument at-hand?

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      What does that have to do with anything? Irrelevant to what I asked you to do.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      I was the target of Rick. No one was my target. It’s a group that now has a name even as the individuals can go nameless.

                      Funny how you don’t answer my question though. I’ll take that as a tacit agreement.

                    • Mike Axisa says:

                      I’ve agreed with one thing you’ve said today, that Joba was a better starter than Hughes. That’s it.

                    • Not Tank the Frank says:

                      Is someone agrees with a point Mike is making, that doesn’t make them his “cheerleaders,” even if it runs counter to the point you are trying to make.

                      This isn’t complicated stuff.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      So you think there are no “cheerleaders” here? Really?

                      The NoMaas guys – who are righteous to a fault – just bust your balls for shits and giggles?

                      Sorry, but smoke = fire. I’ve seen many communities online go down this path. This morning, and now threatening to ban me, shows how close you are.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      Frank –

                      It is more than that. It’s the mindless rush to defend him and his words, regardless of what they actually say.

                      What kind of writer, let alone a YF, hopes for a young player to have their ass handed to them? That’s personal in an inappropriate way. And people were just cheering him on. Read the thread. They weren’t supporting him with arguments or facts. They were simply applauding (or cheering).

                    • bexarama says:

                      The NoMaas guys – who are righteous to a fault – just bust your balls for shits and giggles?

                      Sigh, I know you’re gonna call me a cheerleader for this – I mean you already have – but you mean the NoMaas commenters that say all those Jew jokes and homophobic jokes?

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      I called you no such thing. I did ask for evidence though of your impartiality, after you applauded a post in which the author asked for a young player’s ass to be handed to him.

                      As for NoMaas, they clearly don’t care. That marks them as a group I begrudgingly respect – like Anonymous (which also has few boundaries). The real question is why NoMass picks on this site above all others.

                    • bexarama says:

                      I called you no such thing. I did ask for evidence though of your impartiality, after you applauded a post in which the author asked for a young player’s ass to be handed to him.

                      Would you like a list of posts I haven’t really liked on this site? They do exist but they’re less frequent then on other sites, and it’s a. OT and b. not really appropriate for the comment section.

                      As for NoMaas, they clearly don’t care. That marks them as a group I begrudgingly respect – like Anonymous (which also has few boundaries). The real question is why NoMass picks on this site above all others.

                      That’s not “righteous,” and who cares? They still pick on TSJC when he hasn’t posted in weeks. (And it’s not NoMaas, it’s the commenters.)

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Doesn’t Gilbert Gottfried post on NoMass?

                    • Sweet Dick Wiliie says:

                      The real question is why NoMass picks on this site above all others.

                      Maybe because this site is better than their site?

                      Maybe because they’re jealous of RAB’s traffic?

                      Maybe because they jumped the shark a couple of years ago?

                • Rick in Boston says:

                  Because you are acting petty. That’s not insulting you; that’s pointing out how you’re acting. Insulting you would be me calling you names.

                  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                    And I wasn’t you specifically a cheerleader. Though any male from Boston looks cute with pigtails and short skirts.

                    • Tony S says:

                      Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) – You are a breath of fresh air. It is very informative to read your thoughts. Keep it up.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      Aw, thanks. It’s fun to fight for the unspoken opinions. It just shouldn’t be this hard.

                      Stats should go where conformity dies.

                    • Nick says:

                      Stop being a cheerleader Tony!

        • Mike HC says:

          Good idea. I would actually probably buy a Riveraveblues t-shirt if they sold one.

        • Sweet Dick Wiliie says:

          There are really only two opinions here, one that Banuelos is ready now and the other that he needs more seasoning.

          Most, including Mike (and Brian Cashman) are in the second camp. You call that groupthink.

          But if most (including Cashman) were in the first group, would you also call that groupthink? Didn’t think so.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

            Until I pushed back, the thread was almost universal.

            Goldstein says he’s ready now but they they should keep him down because it’s unprecedented. Which group does he fall into?

            • Sweet Dick Wiliie says:

              By unprecedented, does he mean that no one with only 215 professional innings under his belt has been successful in the bigs?

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                No, only that no one has made the jump with so few innings the year before.

                • Sweet Dick Wiliie says:

                  I’d be less concerned with his limited innings last year if he had pitched 300-400 innings in prior years.

                  It is because of the fact that he has so few professional innings that I favor him continuing his development in the minors.

            • Cult of Basebaal says:

              No, actually, Goldstein says they should start him at AA because, “[it] is best for both the Yankees and Banuelos. His innings and pitch counts can become the core of his development, without any concern for the score or the standings, and he can still work on harnessing what is already a good arsenal, but is still unquestionably a work in progress.”

              Sure seems Goldstein believes that further development *can* occur for a prospect at the upper levels of the minors rather than only at the ML level, maybe you should post over at BP and let him know that you think Jay Jaffe’s study says he’s wrong.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                Correct, but that’s an orthogonal dimension to the one I was citing. Manny can be both ready (where we agree) and need further development. He might think that development could happen in AA or AAA. I think the best place for that development is the majors.

                Moreover, where development occurs is not mutually exclusive. They could easily start him in the majors then option him out if he really struggles. Or they could start him in AA then bounce him to AAA then to the majors. I obviously prefer the former given the state of the rotation.

                Look, Mike obviously got my goat with the “ass handed to him” opinion. If he had an editor that never would have made it into print.

                • Sweet Dick Wiliie says:

                  I think the best place for that development is the majors.

                  The problem with that is if he starts the year like IPK did in 2008. Then not only did he hurt the Yanks record-wise, but also they would then have fewer options.

                  I agree with you that the “ass handed to him” was a poor way to phrase the idea that he (Mike) would like to see how he (Banuelos) responds to adversity. But that was how he chose to convey that point, and as you pointed out, there is no editor.

                  But that is a very important point. Every person at every level who has ever played the game has experienced adversity at some point. The good ones overcome it, and those who can’t find different careers.

                  And while you believe that it is better for Banuelos to experience that adversity at the ML level, that isn’t necessarily the better option.

                  Mickey Mantle, who had never experienced adversity on a baseball diamond up to that point, absolutely tanked in 1951, so bad that he was sent back to AAA. He was ready to quit, but his Dad went to Kansas City and talked him out of it. I always wondered what would have become of Mickey had his Dad died in 1950 instead of 1952.

                • Cult of Basebaal says:

                  “Orthogonal dimension”?

                  Is that what Dr. Who uses to travel through time in his Tardis?

    • AndrewYF says:

      “and the one constant among them was a full workload the previous year, as they averaged more than 140 innings in the year prior to their debut, with all 17 pitching at least 100 frames.”

      Hear that? It’s the sound of whatever point you were trying to make shrinking into nothing.

      • Gonzo says:

        Well, KG isn’t counting AA playoffs and AZL frames.

        • Ed says:

          That data tends to be harder to get, so he probably didn’t include it for any of the players he looked at.

          Even with those innings included, Banuelos still has less innings than the other pitchers mentioned. He probably wouldn’t be as much of an outlier, but he’d still be well below the average inning count (which also would go up).

          • Gonzo says:

            My point is that he cannot make the claim that ManBan has pitched less 100 frames last season. That is of course he discounts it for a reason.

            Not being able to account for something doesn’t mean you should be able to totally neglect it to make your point.

            • AndrewYF says:

              But then you would have to look and add whatever innings those other guys pitched on top of their regular work, which is impractical, if not impossible.

              The point stands: putting Banuelos in the majors today would be a first for a guy in his situation.

              • Gonzo says:

                Like I said he made no mention of that. You are making his argument for him. He doesn’t say in his article, “I discount his AA playoff and AZL ip’s because…” I would love it if he addressed it. That’s all.

                Like I said, “Not being able to account for something doesn’t mean you should be able to totally neglect it to make your point.”

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

        Ummmm, why do you have a YF after your name? You do realize that this is a site for Yankee fans linked by the Yankee Network, right?

        Goldstein said he’s ready now. That was my point, thanks!

        • Dude, what are you trying to prove? Attacking people for disagreeing with you is worse than the “group think” you’re accusing everyone else of having. And your obvious vendetta against Mike is silly… and a little creepy. (In before you accuse me of being a cheerleader)

          Enjoy your time over at NoMaas.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

            Now it’s an attack? But I’m making myself the victim. Got it.

            I have no “vendetta”. I like and appreciate Mike’s work. Today’s fact-free post was just a low point for him. That is all.

            • Not Tank the Frank says:

              And you’ve mentioned that and made your point a hundred times over. Everyone understands and there were people who agreed with you. Let’s not make this a bigger deal than it is. Let’s move on.

        • AndrewYF says:

          Mike never said anything about Banuelos not being able to pitch in the major leagues. Actually, his last sentence implied that Manny would give the team an extra win or two over the current options.

          It looks to me like Goldstein and Mike pretty much have the same point. Which leaves you with no point, yet again.

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

            Nice try YF but Mike said no such thing. It probably would have helped if he had. Instead he pushed throughout the thread the idea that the kid needs more innings in the minors before he’s “ready”. Also he thought it would help if he was older.

            Of course, no one in that thread made Goldstein’s point. The problem is for the best pitchers, “unprecedented” is a word that is often used.

            • Rick in Boston says:

              Actually, Mike said it in the last sentence of his Banuelos article, which you then quoted in the comments.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                No, he implied that Manny could help the team. But he argued strongly that he wasn’t ready, thus needing more innings/years to develop.

                • AndrewYF says:

                  “Nice try YF but Mike said no such thing.”

                  “No, he implied that Manny could help the team.”

                  And you wonder why people don’t take you seriously.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        In fairness the fact that something hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.

        • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:


          I also said that if the Yankees had the slots filled appropriately, I wouldn’t be pushing this solution. Hell, if they got Cliff Lee and Nova was competing against the scary fly ball guys for the 5th slot I wouldn’t be pushing this.

          Unprecedented is a $200M team with two holes in the rotation.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I was not at all agreeing with you.

            A. I don’t think Manny is ready to pitch in the MLB right now.

            B. I think Garcia is a decent rotation option and the Yankees will figure out a solution to those 2 spots. That may include Manny at some point this season and it very well may not.

            If Manny had given up a few runs so far this spring I don’t think you’d be calling for him to start. 7.2 innings is not a meaningful sample. Mitre hasn’t given up a run yet, either… why aren’t you outraged about him? Why aren’t you talking about Brackman, Betances, Noesi, Phelps or the other prospects who could also get a spot? I have a feeling it’s due in large part to those 7.2 scoreless innings.

            A $200 mill payroll is unprecedented, so everything the Yankees do is unprecedented for a $200 mill team.

            • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

              Glad to see you taking a stand.

              A. Then you agree with Mike and disagree with Goldstein and I.

              B. We’ll find out. The Yankees also thought Sidney Ponson had something to offer – twice.

              I honestly don’t care how many runs the kid has given up. His stuff, handedness, and poise mark him as ready especially with their needs. It would be harder to make this point if Pedroia’s weak grounder scooted through but not one of those balls was hard hit.

              As for the $200M, it’s not unprecedented in Yankeeland. Having no good options for two rotation slots certainly is. At least in 2008 it looked like two of Hughes, Joba, IPK would claim those slots.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                …disagree with Goldstein and I.

                Goldstein made a case against Banuelos in the bigs you know.

                • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                  But said he’s ready now. His case was based on historical trends, not based on this pitcher. If this pitcher is as good as he seems to be, then many things about him could easily be unprecedented.

                  Simple question, Mike: Is Manny ready now?

                  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:


                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    “If this pitcher is as good as he seems to be,”


                    And Goldstein specifically quotes one of the Yankees top decision makers who says BANUELOS IS NOT READY.

                    Goldstein says: “Banuelos could at the very least hold his own in the big leagues right now…” Hold his own does not mean he’s ready. That he might be replacement level or above does not make him ready. Garcia and Nova will most likely be above replacement. There’s nothing to be gained there, except that impatient fans like you would get to watch Banuelos.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And when Banuelos struggled in the MLB, I’m sure you’d be the first one upset he wasn’t everything you dreamed of based on the 5 meaningless innings you saw in ST.

                    • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                      Umm, no. I expect if learning is to occur, then you need to let it occur. Better that and with a possible upside then throwing guys like Colon and Garcia. They have no upside and no development ahead of them. The Yankees need to make a habit of giving guys a chance to learn in the majors especially since that seems to be the best way to develop major league pitchers. They’ve been kinda insistent with Hughes, but Joba they gave up on way too early.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Your opinion honestly means nothing at all to me. You can think whatever you want.

                  • pete says:

                    Kevin Goldstein, who’s seen Manny pitch a bunch of games (maybe 10? 20? who knows), and who watches – almost exclusively – minor leaguers facing minor leaguers, thinks he can pitch in the big leagues now. The Yankees FO, who have had multiple coaches and scouts see just about every game the kid has pitched for the past 3 or so years since they started scouting him in mexico, don’t.


                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And it’s not only that they don’t think he can pitch in the big leagues… Maybe they think he could “hold his own” as Goldstein says. But maybe they don’t think that’s best for him and/or the org in the short and/or long run. They’re in the business of running an organization, not writing articles on individual player’s prospects.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I’ve been taking a stand all along, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

                A. I agree with Newman and Cashman. Not because that’s what they say, but I happen to agree with two of the Yankees top decision makers with whom you disagree.

                B. My opinion on Garcia has nothing to do with the Yankees opinion of him. He made more quality starts than Phil Hughes last season and the Sox won the majority of his starts. He threw in some stinkers that brought his averages down, but he had a solid season.
                My belief they’ll figure out a 5th starter comes from having so many options. They’ve got tons of guys in the high minors and can also trade for someone, in addition to the guys that open the season in the rotation. They moved Ponson along pretty quickly when he didn’t work out.

                Again, this is based on the 5 innings you may have seen. 5 innings is too small a sample to base anything off. I’m sure Perdoia has hit soft grounders off tons of lousy pitchers. Guys who are lousy starters occasionally throw no-hitters or complete game shut outs… doesn’t mean anything. You continue to say that stats and evidence are needed, yet you offer known whatsoever.

                Your article about AA and AAA being meaningless also seems incredibly flawed, with no statistical basis. Proving, based on a limit sample so you probably can’t even call it proving, that there’s no difference between 80, 100, 170, and 200 innings says absolutely nothing about 15 AA innings. Not to mention that there’s an inherent selection bias where the guys who got to skip levels or were promoted quickly will largely tend to have advanced stuff. There is no way you could statistically “prove” that AA and AAA are meaningless. You can show that there’s no correlation between innings those levels and big league performance within a certain innings range… that’s about it, though. You certainly can’t statistically prove with any certainty which players are ready to make huge jumps based on their A-ball stats.

                The Yankees have 4 set starters and may well know what they’re doing with the 5th spot too. Get over it. Having a competition for the 5th spot is not unprecedented. Picking up or promoting a starter mid-season is not unprecedented.

                • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James) says:

                  Garcia is on a minor league contract for a reason. His being better than Hughes in 2010 is more an indictment of the latter than a defense of him.

                  Watch yourself with the “no statistical basis” bit. That’s the best thing it has going for it – lots of data with correlations. Of course there are problems, but that’s why I eagerly await any follow ups. The problem is those will suffer much more from selective sampling. Throwing everything into a model is a nice way to show effects. I was floored by the no correlation. We’ve all be conditioned to think AAA and AA matter. To think they don’t is mind blowing.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    I think Garcia has a good chance to be a decent starter. If the Yankees sign Lee and Garcia is the 5th starter… I don’t think anyone on this site would be able to stop talking about what a steal Garcia was on a minor league deal.

                    “No statistical basis” as in showing a correlation for guy who pitched over 15 innings in AA + AAA says ZERO about a guy who pitched 15 innings there. Banuelos is not part of the population that article is looking at, unless a representative portion of his sample had 15-ish AA + AAA innings. It does not prove all AA + AAA experience is meaningless… what it proves is that there’s no historical difference between some AA + AAA experience and a lot, not that AA + AAA are unnecessary. And again, there’s the selection bias: guys only advance because their teams feel they’re ready.
                    This is all stuff every undergrad business student learns… Very basic statistics.

                    “We’ve all be conditioned to think AAA and AA matter. To think they don’t is mind blowing.”

                    That’s not what the study proves.

        • nsalem says:

          Jackson Brown

        • Ed says:

          Of course not.

          However, you shouldn’t intentionally put yourself in a situation where need something that’s never happened before to happen.

  7. Monteroisdinero says:

    Still waiting for Montero to crush one to left. Batting practice is one thing but, maybe tonight…

  8. Charlee says:

    That’s a Ninja move right there !

  9. A.D. says:

    You would think MLB would give the team the option to void the contract.

  10. Brandon W says:

    Goldstein’s article is also on BP, with about twice the content of the ESPN article available to non-subscribers. I’m assuming there is still more available to subscribers, but either way, you can read it there too.


  11. Gonzo says:

    KG keeps saying that ManBan had only 65ip last year. Did someone try to e-mail him and ask why he didn’t count the AA playoffs and AZL?

  12. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    There are a lot lawyers on here so I’ll ask this. Doesn’t MLB have to void a contract that is signed by someone with false name. It seems to me they would have no choice.

  13. Ed C says:

    I’ve greatly enjoyed all of the ManBan discussion. I recognized the now infamous Jaffe piece from somewhere other than BP and found that he infact discussed it in a little more depth at the PinstripedBible. The link is below.

    I think some of the highlights are that he says “From there, I limited the data to pitchers 23 and under, and then to 21 and under. In neither case did I find any useful correlation between upper level innings and big league success in the short or long term.”

    But then he seems to back off his own findings by stating the following at the conclusion of the article.

    “The bottom line is that these kids may be able to help at some point in 2011, but the Yanks are best served by giving them enough time to show they’re ready. That’s not going to happen over the next five weeks of spring training, so it’s probably for the best that the Yankees have taken the pressure off them to make the opening day cut.”

    Interesting stuff, and to me shows that there probably isn’t a clear cut right and wrong.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I haven’t read the article… However, if there are no 20 year old who didn’t pitch more than 15 (plus playoffs) innings in AA, then his findings are pretty meaningless. If his finding is that there is no difference between 80, 120, 170, and 200 AA + AAA innings, that says nothing about the difference between 15 and 80 innings. Nothing at all. I hope this is not the case, because if it is this guy’s statistical analysis is not worth reading. That’s something you learn in an undergrad intro to econometrics class, if not before. So, I hope I am jumping to conclusions here.

  14. Ted Nelson says:

    I don’t agree with all of Goldstein’s arguments…

    The only effective arguments I see are that he’s not ready/will benefit from more time in the minors. That’s what matters. This is the basis of Newman’s points, and thankfully he’s the one actually employed by the Yankees.
    Some of the other arguments seem to be: he’s ready, but, but, but, but… He’s not ready, and that’s why he’s not up yet. My guess would be that “NL exec” works for the Pirates (or is not on the baseball side of things).

    I don’t know how you factor AzFL into his 2011 innings limit, but I don’t think Goldstein even acknowledges that he pitched in the playoffs and AzFL. 100 seems like a really conservative innings limit.

    PR? Who cares? Again, I don’t buy that his confidence will be permanently crushed. If it is he was never going to be a MLB pitcher anyway.
    I DEFINITELY don’t buy that he could come up and pitch “too well.” If he reaches his innings limit, YES you shut him down. The Yankees are the kings of innings limits even for big league contributors (and rightly so, IMO). If he’s 9-2 (which is of course pretty meaningless) and the Yankees are in the race… that’s the reason they are in the race. If Colon had his spot all along they’d probably be out of the race. *If* Banuelos were ready to be a dominant MLB pitcher, yes you pitch him till his innings limit. Then you can probably replace him with a trade acquisition or more mature prospect. He still has to prove that he is ready to be a good MLB starter before making that jump, though.
    Furthermore, those are the two extreme outcomes. Much more likely, if the Yankees feel he’s ready, is somewhere in between. Maybe he pitches ok, maybe he pitches poorly enough to be demoted but not horrifically, or maybe he pitches well but not “9-2″ well. There’s a lot of room between phenomenal and horrific.

    • Gonzo says:

      I posted on the other thread that this comes down to two simple questions.

      Will having him in the Majors be detrimental to his development? According to some baseball scribes, no. If you disagree, that’s cool.

      Would 150ip of ManBan + 20-30ip of scraps be better than 170-180ip of Colon/Nova/scraps? I don’t know, but I think so.

      It’s cool if you disagree with one or both. I just want to think about it logically.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah, I think that’s pretty much what it comes down to.

        Both those question, though, come down to a more basic question of whether he’s “ready.” If he’s ready, I would answer No and Yes. If he’s not ready, though, I would answer Yes and No.

        Newman, a decision maker for the Yankees, says he’s not ready. So, he at least thinks the answer to #2 is no.

        Along with whether Manny is ready, #2 also comes down to the Yankees other pitchers. I don’t think it’s clear Manny is even better than Mitre. He struggled in a small sample against AA hitters last season. 7.2 meaningless innings and suddenly he’s a first ballot HOFer.
        The Yankees can also trade for/promote a pitcher mid-season, so it’s not necessarily 170-180 innings of one of those guys.

        My stance on the issue is basically: let him prove he’s “ready” in AA and/or AAA to start the season because I don’t think he’s proven that yet, and then bring him along according to his “readiness.”

        • Ted Nelson says:

          To emphasize my point… Mitre also hasn’t allowed a run in pre-season, right? None of us are taking that to mean Mitre is a Cy Young candidate in 2011. Banuelos’ ST innings are close to meaningless.

          There are 191 pitchers who have not allowed an earned run so far in spring training, in IP varying from 0.1 to 11.

          If Banuelos has given up just 3 or 4 ERs in his 7.2 ST innings, I don’t think people are clamoring about how he’s ready for a rotation spot.

          • Not Tank the Frank says:

            If Banuelos has given up just 3 or 4 ERs in his 7.2 ST innings, I don’t think people are clamoring about how he’s ready for a rotation spot.

            Excellent point! If he had run into some bad luck and some runs crossed the plate, if some of his five baserunners in 2.2 IP against the Sox had crossed the plate, this probably wouldn’t be as big of an issue.

            He wouldn’t be considered any less a prospect however. People can see the effortless delivery, the velocity, the changeup that they’ve been reading about in scouting reports. And we should all be rightfully excited. But the perception probably wouldn’t be the same if he had given up three runs or so when he was wild that night against Boston.

            • pete says:

              all of this is maddeningly true. a meaningless shift in circumstance and ManBan could have 6 innings and a 4.50 ERA, and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

          • Gonzo says:

            I think people are basing his “readiness” based on his performance (stuff, poise, etc…) not his results. Two different animals.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I don’t think so.

              • Gonzo says:

                I don’t think KLaw would ever say he is basing it on ST results. He would rather say he likes wins as a stat.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  KLaw says he can pitch in the major right now. He’s probably right. That doesn’t mean he says he’s a good option for the Yankees rotation out of ST.
                  And he’s one guy anyway.

                  My point is not about KLaw, but posters here. I don’t think they’d be calling for Banuelos is his ST results were worse. If Betances or Brackman or any other prospect had 7.2 IP and no runs including a nationally televised game where he got Youk and Pedroia out… I think that pitcher would replace Banuelos in their arguments easily.

                  • Gonzo says:

                    KLaw made a comparison to the Jason Heyward situation last year in that it is in the best option for the big league club right now. It blew my mind when he said it.

                    I can’t agree or disagree about other posters’ thoughts or decisions on this post.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I disagree. Heyward had 195 AA PAs in 2009 and just ripped that level up. Banuelos had 15 innings in AA and struggled.

                      Law also had Heyward #1 in 2010, and Manny #15 this season… so clearly he doesn’t think of them in the same terms. Just that Banuelos may be ready to pitch and may not benefit from the minors any more than MLB experience. As an organization I think the Yankees are smarter to see how the veterans do to start the season, what trade options become available when, and then can promote the appropriate prospects as need be. Things will tend to work themselves out in the end. As an analyst Law can say what he wants with few repercussions.

                      Again, though, that’s one opinion of a guy who doesn’t even work for an org. If he was held in the same esteem as Cashman and Newman around baseball, he’d be making a lot more money in a FO than he makes at ESPN. I’ll bet you that. He may talk to scouts, but so do Cashman and Newman. And while those guys talk to scouts whose jobs depend on their approval, Law talks to scouts who can be feeding him misinformation at times to promote their org’s own agenda.
                      If you have more than Law’s opinion we can start to talk. Law vs. Cash/Newman/etc. and I’ll take the Yankees’ braintrust every time.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I think you misunderstood me.

                      His point was that they are similar in situation in that they are both the best option for their respective clubs.

                      Obvioulsly Jason Heyward has the higher ceiling. Their celings have nothing to do with the statement above. Neither does their prospect rankings.

                      Again though, you are sounding like the FO can do no wrong. Did Posey need more seasoning in the minors last year? He started the season in the minors even though most writers thought he was ready. Does that make Sabean right and everybody else wrong?

                      Again, it’s an opinion. I am basing my points on my two questions:
                      “Will having him in the Majors be detrimental to his development? According to some baseball scribes, no. If you disagree, that’s cool.

                      Would 150ip of ManBan + 20-30ip of scraps be better than 170-180ip of Colon/Nova/scraps? I don’t know, but I think so.”

                      I understand you agree with Cash/Newman. That’s fine. Like I said in my post above. That’s cool. I am just clarifying for you. As you said in your posts, “I don’t think so.” “KLaw says he can pitch in the major right now. He’s probably right. That doesn’t mean he says he’s a good option for the Yankees rotation out of ST.”

                      In both instances you were wrong in respect to my post. I am just clarifying it for you. Are you above that?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      The only thing I read from Law offered very little behind his thinking… just basically this might be a Heyward situation and Manny is MLB ready. I don’t know if he’s clarified since. The original point didn’t spell anything out. Nothing I read had him saying that in his opinion the Yankees should break camp with Manny in the rotation. I don’t follow him too closely, though.

                      I don’t really think the Yankees need to do anything different with Manny than they would with a better rotation. They could still fit him into a better rotation if he were ready, and should not overreact to not signing Lee by panicking with Manny.

                      I did not say the FO can do no wrong.
                      A. I said that I trust their opinions over Law’s. WAY, WAY, WAY more. How many times do you even this Law’s seen Manny pitch? You brought up Law and I brought up the FO in response.
                      B. The Giants won the WS last season. How could bringing Posey up sooner have possibly made their season better?
                      Why do you assume he would have been as ready in April as he was later in the season? He got an extra 200 PAs in AAA, and brought his OPS up 100 points compared to his 2009 AAA OPS. You’re just speculation with hindsight.
                      Posey was much more advanced than Manny. He was 23 last season, he was a college guy, and had 151 very successful PAs in AAA in 2009. Manny is 20 and struggled in AA last season in the small sample he had there… apples and oranges.
                      Posey is also one guy. I can also cite one example on the other side… Take IPK and Hughes (2 examples actually). 1 example (of an outlier no less) doesn’t prove a rule.

                      I don’t agree with Cashman and Newman because they said so. I think he needs more MiLB time, and they happen to agree (or vice versa). You busted out KLaw’s opinion as some all-mighty authority on Manny Banuelos, and that’s the only reason I brought up the FO’s opinion. They are more highly regarded and know more about Banuelos. They are also running a MLB org and not just writing articles on ESPN.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Well, you got my point, and I got your point. ‘Nuff said.

                      As for the KLaw’s point, you didn’t follow him closely enought o know his position with Heyward. It was also implied when based off the question. But, it shouldn’t matter to you what he said. He could be comparing their homerun capabilities for all you care.

                      I busted out KLaw’s opinion because I thought he was a respected baseball scribe. I didn’t realize you didn’t see him as so since “Law talks to scouts who can be feeding him misinformation at times to promote their org’s own agenda.”

                      You’re a trip man. I disagree with you and I continued our banter, not because I wanted to prove you wrong (both of our beliefs are opinions, so neither could be wrong), but because you misinterpreted my factual statements. Have a good night.

            • pete says:

              but perceptions of his performance are based on small samples. Half a season against mid-level minor league competition does not define a legit MLB starter.

        • Not Tank the Frank says:

          He struggled in a small sample against AA hitters last season. 7.2 meaningless innings and suddenly he’s a first ballot HOFer.

          This. I think once it circulated that KLaw said he could pitch in the majors now; he created a monster. Now, fans of a “pitching starved” team are grasping at whatever article they can find, any tangible evidence, to support the idea of giving ManBan a rotation spot.

          Right or wrong, I think it was created by the nature of the media and how we follow prospects today. I personally agree with your assessment. I think he has more to prove in AA/AAA. But at the end of the day, I trust the judgment and opinions of Brian Cashman and the Yankees more than Jay Jaffe, Kevin Goldstein, or Mike Axisa (or the Ultimate Warrior for that matter).

          • Gonzo says:

            Not trying to start something, but KLaw also said he doesn’t have much to work on or prove in the minors. That’s the kicker.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              KLaw is one guy. He’s not even a guy employed by a MLB team. He’s a journalist.

              Cashman and Newman are each one guy and together they make up a huge % of the brainpower for one of the most successful orgs in sports. The org Banuelos actually plays for. Newman specifically says he’s not ready.

              • Gonzo says:

                It’s not just KLaw, and give the man credit. He does talk to scouts and other people that are employed by MLB teams.

                I assume you are a Joba to the pen guy because the FO wants it so? Gawd, I didn’t want to open that can of works. Look what you made me do!

                • pete says:

                  Ted isn’t a Joba-to-the-pen guy. He’s a “the FO probably knows more than I do, so I’m going to consider their perspective/opinion to be the most likely to be the best, and therefore be extremely thorough in examining both their opinions and opinions that disagree with theirs, even my own” guy. Which is why he’s such a valuable contributor. Unlike a certain somebody who seems to have taken an extraordinary amount of offense to the fact that a prevailing opinion here is not one that he shares, TN is always level-headed and is extremely thorough and objective in his counter-arguments (of which he has many more than most of the sites’ regulars).

                  • Gonzo says:

                    Um, I don’t even know how to respond. What does all that have to do with my post. I never called Ted’s integrity in question, nor did I take extraordinary offense to his opinion.

                    What was that all about?

                    • pete says:

                      Sorry I think that I was a little bit aggravated from reading some other commenters’ comments and probably sounded too harsh or critical or whatever.

                      What I meant was that calling out Ted’s deference to FO opinion (though, as I said, it isn’t really deference as much as respect for and therefore thorough analysis of) is not really a valid objection; he’s right to think they are right, so long as he does not do so blindly. It seemed like you were suggesting that he does.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      A. You are giving KLaw credit, and then criticizing me for giving Newman and Cashman credit. Look at their respective resumes and tell me who deserves the credit. You are guilty of the same Joba-to-the-pen thing you accuse me of, but with KLaw instead of the FO.

                      B. I thought Joba should be given a chance to start given the other rotation options and all the bullpen options… however, I also accept that maybe he can’t be a good starter, maybe he can be as valuable in relief as he would as a starter because he’s so much better in that role (and that WAR isn’t an accurate way to value relievers), maybe the Yankees are not ridiculously stupid and have considered all the points people bring up but just draw different conclusions, that maybe his shoulder is messed up, that maybe he’s asked for a stable role or the FO thinks entering the season with a stable role would be good for him, that him being a middle reliever in 2011 doesn’t mean he isn’t a starter or closer sometime soon… And most importantly that there’s no way to prove the Yankees are wrong. We don’t know what he’d do as a starter. We don’t even know 100% why he’s not a starter. We can’t even necessarily say that if he turns out to be a good starter down the road the Yankees should have started him in 2010 and 2011.
                      The only argument to make is “this is what I’d do based on the knowledge I have for x, y, and z reasons”… The Yankees have the same knowledge we have and maybe more and have made a different decision than you might have.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      To be honest, the Joba thing was supposed to be a funny canard that everyone took too seriously.

                      Your point is fair about me giving KLaw and others too much credit. It’s not just him either though. However, I don’t mean to sound like one of those Cash does nothing right camp, but please do look at Cash’s record on handling pitching prospects. Tell me that he has a sterling track record in this regard after you look at it.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      If you’re going to criticize Cashman’s recent record with P prospects, though, I think it’s mostly a criticism of rushing them. The Big 3 may not be doing any better right now with a slower development path, but if you want to criticize Cashman that’s probably what you have to say: he rushed them. If you want to criticize that, it’s hard to say he should rush Banuelos. Of course every prospect has his own development path, but I don’t see how much you lose by letting a guy pitch at least a few AA/AAA innings.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      My point goes back to my two questions. If it won’t hurt his development, and you think it’s an upgrade, you lose actual games, the meaningful games.

                      Those are big ifs though, and I understand if you don’t agree with either of them. Like I said, that’s cool. Otherwise, you lose games that are going to mean something in the AL East this year.

                      BTW, I get it. You don’t think he’s ready. I respect that. Can you respect someone else’s opinion even if it just KLaw’s?

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Thanks. Appreciate it.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Ted, I never called your integrity into question nor would I. I apologize if I offended you as Pete has implied.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      No, I didn’t take any offense. I just appreciated pete’s kind words.

        • nsalem says:

          Right as usual Ted. Banuelos has nothing yet to prove he can pitch consistently on a MLB. For every Gooden you can name there is a Clyde and Van Poppel. Bringing Banuelos north in April would be absurd. If he shows he can master his levels in AA and AAA move him up the later. 7 effective innings in ST doesn’t do it for me. If he is that good he will be here soon enough.
          I do believe there is a groupthink mentality in the panning of Colon and more notably Garcia. One or even both of them may flame out but I strongly disagree with Mike’s assessment that this is inevitable. I think the roots of this mindset is from the Sox 2009 decision to count on Penney and Smoltz and the failure that ensued.
          Just because the 2009 Sox decision failed does not mean the outcome will be the same for the 2011 Yankees.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Great points.

          • Gonzo says:

            I actually think Garcia might surprise. I just think Colon is not going work. If he pitched last year in the bigs, I would have more faith.

            • nsalem says:

              Saying you think so is certainly a legitimate opinion and quite possible. To write that both of them will inevitably flame out as Mike and many others repeat over and over is plain silly. If Garcia remains healthy I don’t see why his success would be a surprise. He’s been succeeding his whole career. On certain levels he was more effective than Hughes was last year (yes Hughes has much more upside). I think if
              Bartolo remains healthy he to will contribute also. BTW I think Joba should be starting.

              • Gonzo says:

                When I mean Garcia will surprise I mean surprise positively relative to projections specifically.

                As for Colon. He has logged only 257 major league innings in the past 5 years with none last year. He turns 38 this year, and he hasn’t logged over 100ip since 2005. Those are the facts that formulated my feeling.

  15. pete says:

    I just don’t get how anybody could expect ManBan to be capable of being a major league caliber starter yet. There’s nothing to suggest it’d be impossible, of course, but nobody would have suggested that he could do it at this time last year, and what has he done since then? Thrown half a season’s worth of innings, only 50 of which came against an even moderately high level of competition? Do people honestly believe that in 100 innings he went from being “Manuel Banuelos, solid pitching prospect” to “Manuel Banuelos, future Hall of Famer”? Because that’s the kind of pitcher who jumps essentially two levels of the minor leagues and starts pitching in the majors at age 20.

    Banuelos is a great pitching prospect, don’t get me wrong. But he’s not Felix Hernandez. Hell, he’s not even Phil Hughes. People seriously need to chillax.

  16. cano is the bro says:

    wow, i tried to read the comments because I wanted to know what other people thought of Paniagua and all i see is that giant “bumble-fuck” of comments up there, reading through it a little bit it seems really ridiculous…

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