Noesi’s long-term value

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Did the 2007 draft (and Gerrit Cole) scare the Yankees?
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Hector Noesi is not long for the Yankees roster. As we discussed yesterday, the Yankees will have to demote a pitcher when Alex Rodriguez returns this weekend, and considering Joe Girardi‘s bullpen usage and the available options, Noesi is a near lock to ride the shuttle to Scranton. It won’t be a long stay; if he’s demoted on Friday he’ll be eligible to return when rosters expand on September 1. Even if he stays through the end of Scranton’s season, it won’t keep him down for much longer than that. He figures to play a role in the bullpen for the stretch run, but more importantly, he could be setting himself up for a long run with the Yankees.

Noesi came up this season in something of an emergency situation. The Yankees needed another pitcher when Luis Ayala went on the DL, and Noesi was the easiest to recall, since he was already on the 40-man roster. That happened on April 13th, but Noesi didn’t make his major league debut until May 18th (he was demoted before making an appearance). When he finally got his shot he shined, allowing just three runs in his first 18 innings, including six innings of two-run ball against the Red Sox. Outside of his drubbing against the Reds he’s been excellent this season, and has certainly opened some eyes.

One of the biggest remaining questions with Noesi is whether he’ll land in the rotation or the bullpen. It’s a familiar question, since we hear it asked of almost every Yankees back-end starting prospect. They have a handful of pitchers comparable to Noesi, including the major-league-ready Adam Warren and the already-doing-it Ivan Nova. Since they don’t have room for multiple No. 4 starters, they have to pare down the list and either ship the surplus elsewhere or else move them to the bullpen. Where does Noesi stand in that process?

In his limited time this year he’s certainly proven a lot to the Yankees. He’s made some longer appearances, seven times going at least three innings in an appearance. He’s also come in for a number of shorter appearances, and has excelled in those, too. Really, the only blemishes on his record are the 1.2-inning, six-run performance against the Reds and a one-inning, three-run affair against the Sox on a day that they rocked CC Sabathia for seven runs. In other words, he could probably hack it in either the rotation or the bullpen. That leaves the Yankees in a favorable position, whatever way they decide to play this.

His presence should leave the Yankees in a flexible position this winter. They’ll return three starters and five relievers (with Joba’s return looming), so they could have an opening in either place for Noesi. In fact, with these openings, combined with the weak market, it appears fairly certain that Noesi will start the season on the major league roster. Given his performance this year, the Yankees should feel comfortable putting him in whatever role remains free.

The only thing that could prevent Noesi from playing a prominent role on the 2012 team is a trade. But, because he has experienced success in multiple roles already this year, chances are the Yankees would hold off on trading him, just as they’ve held off on trading Nova. It’s doubtful that Noesi would get in the way of a significant trade, but they’re not going to flip him for a bench player or a back-end starter. They likely already have a back-end starter in him, as well as a decent reliever who could move into a more prominent bullpen role next year. I imagine the Yankees would much refer to trade a guy like Warren, who might be as good but hasn’t yet pitched in the majors.

He might have appeared sporadically, and he might not have filled a designated role during his time with the club, but Hector Noesi has certainly opened eyes this year. It’s tough to prove anything substantial in 40 innings, but Noesi has at least shown that he can handle major league hitters. His versatility will make the Yanks’ winter a bit easier, since they can slot him into one of many roles for 2012, when he should remain with the big league club full-time. He might never be an ace or a dominant reliever, but the Yankees have certainly found a useful pitcher in Noesi. May his stay in Scranton be short and his time in New York last for years.

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  • Jay T

    He reminds me a lot of Ramiro Mendoza. How important was he to all those championship teams of the late 90’s? I’m not saying Noesi is that good yet, but he certainly brings a lot to the table. I hope they find him a role next year.

  • A.D.

    It’s a familiar question, since we hear it asked of almost every Yankees back-end starting prospect

    Fixed

    • Jobu The Voodoo Troll

      My thoughts exactly. It feels like there are people dying to put every pitching prospect in the bullpen.

  • Kilgore Trout

    Noesi’s one hell of a pitcher. He should get a shot next year to be in the starting rotation. Right now he’s being wasted and it’s stunting his growth. It’s just another example of a young pitcher that they’ve mishandled. We either mismanage these young kids and they get injured or we trade them away and they become 20 game winners like IPK.

    • Mike Myers

      Lets not but the mishandled tag on him yet. Dont forget we got a lot in return from IPK.

    • Pat D

      I don’t think “we” have anything to do with it.

      • Mike Myers

        you know what I mean.

    • jsbrendog

      oh yeah getting rid of ipk sucks cause we didnt get anything for him. nope. now we dont have a cf. and we’re in last place. OH WHERE ART THOU IPK?!~

      • Mister Delaware

        Remember, he wasn’t even a key piece to the deal. Cashman just threw him in, told either Arizona or Detroit they could have him because he was so useless. Cashman sucks!

      • boogie down

        Deny thy GM and refuse thy team
        Or, if thou wilt not, be but my sworn ace
        And I’ll no longer be a rational Yankee fan.

    • steve (different one)

      Wow, you said 2 days ago that the Yankees are stunting Montero’s growth by not calling him up to serve a part time role instead of starting in the minors. In other words, your positions on Noesi and Montero are totally contradictory.

      Noesi can either be starting in AAA or getting big league experience in a part-time role. Same goes for Montero. Yet people are opposed to both decisions. How can you have it both ways?

      Should Girardi use Noesi a little more? Sure, but he’s now thrown 42 innings despite being with the big club for a little more than half a season. That really isn’t an unreasonable total for a reliever.

  • MattG

    Forget the Bs, we need a nickname for the Killer Ns! Nova, Noesi…and lets be generous and put the blossoming Nunez into the club.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Zach Nuding?

    • http://twitter.com/cecala Cecala

      “Killer Ns”

      Thinks about it

      /couldberacist’d

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I was fighting the urge to say “Kei Nigawa”.

        • http://twitter.com/cecala Cecala

          I am glad you didn’t got a good laugh out of it

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Personally, I watched him and thought his upside was more than Nova’s who I like. With next years rotation being CC, Hughes, Nova, AJ unless some trades are made with Hughes, Nova ad or AJ involved. Noesi has a spot on the 25 man roster. He throws well and has the secondary pitches. I would hope the Yankees could get a #2 or solid 3 added with the remainder of the pitchers mentioned which would keep us very competitive. I hear much about ML ready Warren. It all sounds good.

    There have been many pluses this year. The development of Nova, Noesi, Nunez, and further development of D-Rob, Gardner. Next year should bring about more advancement of Montero and some of the killer B’s. The Yanks are sitting nice as an organization.

    • Tags

      Totally agree with you Larry. I have always like Noesi. He throws strikes and good be an excellent middle of the rotation guy in the future. I never thought of Petitite as an ace but I’ll take a guy like that any time.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    The Yankees are the Rays of number four starters.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s a pretty good way to put it.

    • MannyB ace2be

      I know he hasn’t had long to prove himself yet but what I’ve seen of nova and even noesi’s upside I think they are more than a #4 maybe on the yanks if we can make a trade for another legit ace they would be 4 but I think on several other clubs they would be 3s and nova possibly a 2 on an NL club in a weak division. Am I wrong to think this way?

      • A.D.

        nova possibly a 2 on an NL club in a weak division.

        The idea isn’t could we find a team where there aren’t 2 better starters than him already, but instead where would he mainly slot in and type of performance he would put up

    • jsbrendog

      which, realistically, is much more than you could even ask when drafting in the bottom quarter of the draft every year, no?

    • steve (different one)

      So when Keith Law doesn’t like a Yankee draft pick, his word is gospel. But when he says Nova is better than a 4/5 starter, it’s to be ignored. Just checking.

      Obviously I am being a wiseass, but I thought that was interesting that he said Nova is better than a 4/5 starter b/c I believe he was saying before the season that his upside was in the bullpen.

  • Dan

    I wonder if Noesi’s emergence might remove some of the need to potentially overpay for someone like CJ Wilson in the winter. I would think Cashman could probably feel pretty confident in offering Bart or Garcia a one-year deal again and have Noesi move from bullpen to rotation if someone gets injured (similar to what Colon did at the beginning of this year).

  • RRRRRRandy

    Unfortunately, I think that the Yanks are gonna end up signing a free agent pitcher (CJ or Jackson) which would then push Noesi out the rotation. A damn shame.

  • RRRRRRandy

    Unfortunately, I think that the Yanks are gonna end up signing a free agent pitcher (CJ or Jackson) which would then push Noesi out the rotation. Shame.

    • RRRRRRandy

      Classic double post

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      I’m pretty sure Colon and Garcia’s spots will open up next year. Colon’s been great this year, but he’s definilty not as effective as he was…and rightly so. He hasn’t pitched this much in years.

      Garcia probably has a better chance but he will be competing with the youngsters.

      Having all of these options for starting pitchers is a good thing…a luxury the yanks haven’t had in years.

    • http://bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

      Terrified of the prospect of signing either of those guys, but you’re probably right.

  • CBean

    I like Noesi a lot. I’d love to see the kid become a viable starter, hopefully on our team.

  • MikeD

    If he goes to Scranton for two weeks, does he stay in the pen down there or go into the rotation? He’s not stretched out, so it would seem questionable to put him in the rotation.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I bet they leave him in the pen. With six other aces starters already, there’s little chance Noesi gets a September spot start; just let him keep relieving.

  • Jorge

    We see so often treat “projects as a #4″ as if it’s a bad thing. Pitchers who give you innings, and keep the team in the game, even if they don’t have shutdown stuff most of the time, are part of winning championships. Sometimes, these pitchers wind up better than their billing, especially when they’re still young and developing. Noesi has shown a ton of composure on that mound, and I look foward to the Yankees having the “how do we fit all these successful young guys in the rotation” problem.

  • Monteroisdinero

    I think the Yanks should start a new trend by having Bartolo Garcia be a starter next year. 3-4 innings for each guy in the SAME game every 4th or 5th day. Two vets with very different stuff and they can let it all hang out for the time they are in there. No worries about going past 4 innings for each guy. You can alternate who starts and don’t tell the opposition to keep them guessing-game time decision.

    Prolong their career$.

    /outside the box

    Noesi can be a starter ready to come up from AAA if need be for any of our starters who get hurt etc.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Mmmmmm… I burned my tongue.

  • Mike HC

    Another added benefit is that with the success of guys like Nova, Noesi and IPK, maybe other teams will start to value the Yanks successful AAA pitchers more highly in the future.

  • A.D.

    (with Joba’s return looming)

    Fingers crossed that he returns as a starter

    • jsbrendog

      give it up man.

  • jon

    so whats the rotation look like next year

    cc
    ????
    aj
    hughes
    nova

    with guys like all 3 Bs now in AAA would you really give another pitcher a long term deal? maybe just 1 more year of colon or freddy

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      who’s this ???? guy you are talking about? what are his stats, perfipherals…you know, his WHIP…is there a posting fee? we need to get this guy.

      /Steinbrenner’d/

      • nsalem

        ahhh Fuck Yu

        • boogie down

          Fuck HUGH… Fuck HUGH…

          • Austin Power

            Fuk Me?…Fuk Yu!

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        who’s this ???? guy you are talking about? we need to get this guy.

        /Steinbrenner’d/

        My baseball people, they loved Ken Phelps’s bat. They kept saying, “Ken Phelps! Ken Phelps!”

    • Mike HC

      It is going to be interesting to see what Garcia and Colon get this off season. I can’t imagine a team goes more than two years, and really they should only be on one year deals at this point. But you never know, if Pavano was able to get a two year deal from some idiot GM, then anybody can.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        even thought both of them have pitched well for the Yanks I don’t even like the idea of them coming back. The Yanks would not be where they are without them but the probability of them repeating their performance is very low.

  • Dan

    How much does the fact that Noesi hasn’t pitched as many innings this year hurt his chances of being a starter next year? He went from throwing 160 innings last year to 60 innings so far this year. I doubt he will throw much more than another 20 innings. Throwing him back into a rotation role full-time next year might cause him to develop arm troubles similar to what Hughes had this year, as he will possibly double his workload from this year.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Good point Dan. His lack of work might lead to his return to AAA.

    • jon

      the yankees dont go by last years total pitch but rather their highest over the last few years like they did with hughes

      • Dan

        Yeah, and look what happened to Hughes this year. He went from a minor league starter to bullpen/starter role to a full-time starter role, and then this year he came back with some arm problems. I think they need to be more careful with Noesi if they want long-term production from him.

        • MikeD

          The Hughes data point doesn’t mean much of anything. Young pitchers suffering a loss of velocity has been part of the game since there’s been a game, and it happens equally in situations where there’s a big increase in innings as there is in instances where no such increase occurs.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    The Yank organization is in a good place, so long as they let the young guys get a chance to show their skills.

    We all know the high price and 50/50 probability of big money free agent signings. The lack of strong pitching prospects is what leads to an AJ Burnett contract, and for teams to trade entire farm systems for 4+ ERA in the NL pitchers (Ubaldo).

    Assuming CC is resigned (which assumes he opts out), then you have Sabathia, AJ, Hughes, Nova, and some mishmosh of Noesi, Warren, Banuelos, Garcia/Colon. Maybe the Yanks might go the low risk, incentive route with an injured guy. But having too many choices is better than having too few. With the offense, defense, and bullpen that the Yanks have, they can withstand a kid or three working out the kinks as the 5th starter.

    When you consider the Yanks have a young SS/3B in Nunez to caddie for the HOFers, Montero/Romine at catcher, and Joba and Robertson (Joba will be back, most Tommy Johner’s add velocity when they are right), the Yanks have few if any issues going forward. Now the kids have to play well, but it’s better to break them in now with the vets and learn from Derek, Alex, Mo, Russell Martin, Tex, CC, about what it means to be a big leaguer and a Yankee.

    • jon

      the problem is unless hughes steps up or AJ regains something its CC and a bunch of fringe #3 but most #4 pitchers

      • Mike HC

        Which is what this year was. The key is the CC part. As long as we have CC, we will be able to figure out the rest of the rotation. And if we get another ace to pair with him at some point, even better.

  • nsalem

    Noesi is a victim of his own competence. He was brought through the system in a thoughtful manner. Progressing from approximately 20 innings to 50 to 115 to 160 last year. He is around 40 innings this year and now it may take a year or two to get him back where he was after the 2010 season. The shame of it is although he has been quite impressive as a Yankee, there has been no great need for him by the parent club (as reflected by his inning total and long stints of non usage). In the case of Hughes and Joba here was at least some valid justification for the way they were manipulated (being needed”to fill a hole in the bullpen). That doesn’t seem to be the case with Noesi. I also would take these ” back end of the rotation” projections with a shaker full of salt. What you are at a young age is more often not what you become.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      You are so right.

      Joba was needed in the pen in 2007, as they had noone who could get the ball to Mo. Joba took to the role, and was sooo good, that it led the organization to contemplate where he best fit.

      Hughes was a derivative of Joba’s movement from minor league starter, to 8th inning guy, back to start. Phil had injuries derail his 2007 and 2008 campaigns, so in 2009 he wasn’t fully prepared to start the full season anyway. They had a need in the pen as an 8th inning guy, and he was dominant as well. Last year he set an innings high, won 18 games and started 3 playoff games.

      Had teams listened to all the “#4 starter”, or “potential ace” claptrap, some of the best pitchers in baseball would’ve been on someone else’s roster. If you have a starter and he’s one of your 5 starters, let him pitch, learn and then decide where he fits into your team. Making these determinations after a season is stupidity.

      • nsalem

        in the early nineties Mo was projected to be a back of the rotation guy.

  • jon

    2012 rotation?

    CC
    aj
    hughes
    nova
    Joba

    boom that just happened

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      barkeep…I’ll have whatever jon is having…

      • jsbrendog

        make it a double

  • Michael P.

    Hopefully we can do a similar ‘handshake’ deal with Garcia that we did with Vasquez and collect the draft pick (he currently projects as a type B free agent). I dont want to see Garcia or Colon back with this team next year. Rather I would prefer to resign CC (assuming he opts out), and then just simple minor tinkering with the depth of the team.

    Rotation would be CC, Hughes, Burnett, Nova, and a rotation battle between Adam Warren, David Phelps, DJ Mitchell, and Hector Noesi. If Noesi doesn’t win I would stick him in the bullpen to serve as the Aceves role, which he has shown he can handle this year. Banuelos, and Betances should not be with the club next year. We have seen what happens when prospects are rushed when they clearly aren’t ready.

    • Dan

      I agree, I think the rotation should be fine as it is with Noesi fighting for a spot with some of the AAA arms and if Noesi loses the battle in ST, he can always be tried again during the year if any of the pitchers get injured or are ineffective. I would start Betances and Banuelos in AAA and try to limit their innings a little during the year so that they can maximize their innings at the end of the year on the ML club. Maybe call them up toward the end of August and give them a chance to make their way onto the playoff roster.

    • jon

      I like the idea but there are just too many question marks that i dont think the yankees are willing to take

      no one knows what youre going to get out of hughes, aj, nova, or the 5th starter

    • nsalem

      Terrific idea. Let’s get rid of the guy who has the second most quality starts for us and start next season with CC and a whole bunch of question marks You must have been a big fan of 2008.

      • Michael P.

        I am more a fan of what happened in 2009. But actually 2008 is kind of what i had in mind. If spending big bucks on CJ Wilson or Edwin Jackson means that the Yankees wont be involoved in any of the aces that will be available in 2012 then yes I do think its a good idea. Id take one year of not making the playoffs (and this team is a lot better than the 08 team we would still make it) for a sustained run of the Yankees getting into and winning World Series titles which a rotation headlined with CC, and Jered Weaver or Cole Hamels or Zack Grienke would provide

  • Bronx Byte

    Noesi could be a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in 2012 but first Cashman has to find a way to dump Burnett.

    • steve (different one)

      There is only one way to do that, and unfortunately it involves carlos zambrano…

  • Your mom

    I wouldn’t mind signing CJ Wilson this offseason. He’d be a solid #2 behind CC. There’s no room for all these back end starters. Who are we kidding? We can’t develop frontline starters, we buy them.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      You don’t develop them, you run them off the first time they hit a bump in the road.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      1- CC
      2- Wilson
      3- Burnett (le sigh)
      4- Hughes
      5- Nova
      ——–
      6- One of Colon/Garcia on a cheapish, no-promises deal
      7- Noesi
      8- Warren
      9- Banuelos
      10- Betances

      • Your mom

        Looks good to me.

  • mike

    an effective staff has a talented swingman – aaron small, mendoza, aceves, tidrow, wakefield etc – who can spot start, pitch 2+ innings when needed – but may not be a top-flight pitcher at that time, or would suffer from over-exposure.

    some of the swingmen will develop, some are on the wrong side of their career, but IMO having that flexability is a difference-maker.

    let Noesi fill that gap, get him 90-100IP next year, and see what happens

  • Now Batting

    Guys…we are in first place with 40 games left. Please stop contemplating next year like Atros fans.

    • Midland TX

      Word.