Open Thread: Planet Earth

Hughes working out at Athletics Performance Institute this winter
Yankees have spoken to Andruw Jones about returning

The Yankees haven’t made many transactions on November 14th throughout team history, unless you count signing some guys named Corey Lee and Marc Ronan in 2002 and 1996, respectively. Instead, I’ll leave you with that collection of time-lapse sequences from the International Space Station, which I found on Gawker over the weekend. The neatest part(s) is seeing the flashes of lightning in the clouds, that’s pretty cool.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Monday Night Football game is the Vikings at the Packers (8:30pm ET on ESPN), and that’s pretty much it in the world of sports. You folks know how this works for now, so have at it. Anything goes.

Discussion Topic: Is Phil Hughes‘ future in the rotation or bullpen?

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Hughes working out at Athletics Performance Institute this winter
Yankees have spoken to Andruw Jones about returning
  • The Big City of Dreams

    I think his future is in the bullpen. He has had success in majors but I don’t think his body can hold up as a starter.

    • YankeesJunkie

      He has not had arm problems up until this year, and this could be due to the Yankees overusing him the previous year.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        True but he has been injured over his Yankee career from the hamstring and ankle injuries of 07 to the rib issue in 08.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Hughes needs to stay in the rotation especially if the alternative if Burnett. However, I can see the point where Hughes has just never taken off as a starter, but injuries have hampered his development. It would be a shame if he was chosen to go into the bullpen because Burnett was given a spot it would be disturbing.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    He has a future in the rotation, and I think staying in shape is vital. He’s taking the right steps to get to and stay in shape for 2012. If he can do that, and use his changeup more, I bet he can be a solid number 3, or maybe a number 2, for the Yankees.

    • YankeesJunkie

      I am just looking for quality, he probably will not be able to top 200 innings.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Well, if he can get to 180 I’ll be content. Of course 180 quality innings, not crappy innings.

  • Ethan

    I’m sad that the dodgers signed matt kemp to a 8 year extension :(. I was really hoping he would become a free adgent and the yankees would push hard for him.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

      Remember when Robinson Cano-for-Matt Kemp rumors swirled during the ’08-’09 offseason?

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        I remember that well, I remember saying NO NO NO!!!

        And I also remember that if the trade was made the Yankees would have probably signed Orlando Hudson to play second.

        • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

          Yep. There was talk about moving him to SD too. Can’t remember if it was for Jake Peavy though. We’d be thrilled with by now, wouldn’t we?

          Come to think of it, Phil Hughes seems to have found himself in a situation similar to what Cano was in heading into 2009.

          Breakout –> Step back –> Bounce back

    • The Big City of Dreams

      You’re not the only Yankee fan that didn’t like hearing that news today.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      That blows. I’d prefer to not overpay to keep Swisher.

    • Dave203

      Eh, we could also trade Montero for Mike Stanton…

      /half kidding

    • Urban

      I wasn’t happy to see it but I wasn’t surprised. He’s 26. This will take him from his 27-34 seasons. Unlike pitchers, I don’t have a problem signing talented young position players to long-term contracts, similar to what the Yankees did with Derek Jeter. (I bet they also wished they had added on three years to Robinson Cano’s contract).

      Big difference between giving a 26-year-old a six-to-eight year deal than giving a 30-year-old similar.

      I think teams are getting smarter on this front (locking up younger players longer term), which is going to make it more diffuclt to go out on the market and sign free agents that aren’t already hitting their decline. Picking can knock Swisher all they want, but going out an finding a reliable 4.0 WAR RFer is not as easy as it sounds, which is why Swisher is still being paid undermarket value and the Yankees would find quite a few takers if he was put on the market. The problem is the Yankees would then have their own hole to fill.

      It’s not going to be easy to go out and pick up an quality RFer delivering roughly 4.0 WAR.

  • Ryan

    Hughes had a nice finish to the year. He had an off year and some dead arm. I bet he comes into 2012 in the shape of his life and with a vegance, he knows this is it for him. His stuff seemed to get better and better when he came back from the dl. One more year of phil the starter.

    • YankeesJunkie

      If Hughes can maintain velocity at 93-94 through six innings that will be huge.

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig Maduro

    Hughes’ short-term future should be in the rotation. I think he has too much talent to be stuck in the ‘pen. But then again the same could be said about Joba.

    As far long-term, I’d have to imagine that Hughes’ future with the Yankees (let alone ‘pen vs. rotation) hinges on a usable change-up and the way their pitching prospects and the trade/free agent markets develop over the next couple of Hot Stove seasons.

  • Urban

    I’m willing to give him one more season as a starter, but if he doesn’t step up his game, then I think he’d be very good out of the pen in 2013.

    He basically features a two-pitch repertoire and the extra velocity he gets out of the pen might just mean he’s destined to join that list of failed starters who make excellent relievers. I wouldn’t be shocked it if was Hughes who ended up as Mo’s replacement if indeed he leaves after 2012, or if Robertson takes that role, than Hughes takes over the multi-inning 7th-8th inning role from Robertson. Either way, I think he has more value to the Yankees than trying to trade him at his low point.

    Right now, though, I’m going to be optimistic about him as a starter. He’ll be in the best shape he’s been in after his workouts at API, a full season removed from his heavy workload, a determination out to prove something, and hopefully a good deal wiser from what he’s learned — good and bad — over the past two seasons. Hopefully he’ll be someone we can all point back to as an example of how it can take a few years to develop quality starters.

    If not, then it’s off to the pen where he can add value. At least unlike Joba, we won’t wonder if he was given the chance to prove himself.

  • nsalem

    In my mind starting the season with both Hughes and Burnett in the rotation is a scary proposition. I think Noesi should get a legitimate shot at a spot and I have more faith in Garcia to stay healthy and be more consistent (with less upside and downside than Hughes) if we decide to re-sign him. Much will depend on who we may acquire in the free agent/trade market. Then there is always the BurHuMo experiment. AJ innings 1-4 Phil 5-8 and Mariano to close. Maybe both AJ and Phi knowing they are there for 70 to 80 pitches and will only go twice around a batting order will somehow yield better results. I know this will never happen but having them as 40% of our starting rotation coming off of the seasons they both had can be an accident waiting to happen.

    • Ethan

      I find it quite funny that at the end of last year everyone was saying we only had Hughes and Sabathia to rely on. I was thinking that hughes was no guarantee.

      This year, everyone is saying that after Nova the rotation is uncertain. I really don’t think we can rely on nova to be a sure thing, just the same that we should not have relied on hughes to be a sure thing either.

      • Brian S.

        Darvish and Jackson come on down!

        • Urban

          Edwin Jackson? You mean AJ: Part Deux!

          Pass.

          • Brian S.

            Except not at all. Edwin Jackson has nowhere near the control problems AJ does.

            • CP

              AJ From 2005-2008: 3.3 BB/9 (3.4, 2.6, 3.6, and 3.5 in those 4 seasons)
              Jackson from 2008-2011: 3.2 BB/9 (3.8, 2.9, 3.4, and 2.8 in those 4 seasons)

              Jackson is (maybe) slightly better in terms of walks, and has improved significantly since he started out with the Rays, but overall he looks very similar to AJ when the Yankees signed him.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Yeah I even remember hearing the MSM saying that too, regarding they only have CC and Phil to rely on, but I didn’t buy it for a second.

      • nsalem

        After Hughes second half last year, many were skeptical of him being effective for a full year in 2011. Nova is not a certainty but his performance in 2011 was more consistent then that of Hughes in 2010.

    • Brian S.

      Burnett is a toxic asset at this point. If we can acquire two pitchers I really hope we can “Derek Lowe” him and trade him to San Diego or something.

    • Kevin

      I always thought it would be kind of interesting if the Yankees just had their Bullpen pitch a whole game, especially once Joba comes back. Joba for two, Soriano for two, Robertson for two, GOAT for two, and then Boone Lo(l)gan to close it out. Would be pretty dominant.

  • JonS

    I hope he stays in the rotation. There is no need to give up on his stuff yet, he is only 25 years old. Josh Johnson didn’t have his best season till he turned 25, Shields didn’t develop into a front of the line type guy till he was 26 and the list goes on. Let the kid grow, but they need to push him to use that change up. There is no reason for him not to learn from CC on how to throw his great one. They have to force to throw it.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

      It would be great if he had a change he believes in, but so far he doesn’t. You don’t want a pitcher throwing a pitch he doesn’t believe him, that’s a recipe or disaster. Also, the curve acts as a change of pace, so unless he develops a good change that fades and is a weapon facing lefties, don’t bother. A bad change up is nothing more than a BP fastball.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    Look at Phil’s career batted ball numbers

    http://www.fangraphs.com/stats.....battedball

    He’s a right-handed fly ball pitcher who pitches half his home games in YS3. And we wonder why his H/R splits have always been stark His career ERA is 5+ at home and 3.88 on the road.

    If they want to send him to the bullpen, fine. His stuff plays up there, and he actually misses bats as a reliever. If not, let him rebuild his value and trade him someplace like Petco or ATT where his style will fit.

    He’s not a fit for the Yankees as a starter. Not unless he finds a way to generate ground balls and/or reinvent himself.

  • Mykey

    I go to school in Philly, so take this with a GIGANTIC grain of salt, but some of my buddies around here are talking about Banuelos and Montero for Cole Hamels rumors. I don’t buy it at all, seeing as Hamels has one year left on his deal, and for whatever personal reason I just don’t think of Hamels as the caliber pitcher that I would want to give those prospects up for (my roommates claim it includes “another top yankee prospect too!”). What would you guys think about that. Am I just being my typical anti-Phillies self dismissing this as just conjecture, and furthermore a totally unlikely scenario?

    • Pat D

      Sounds like something fueled by ESPN’s Rumor Central.

      For one year of Hamels, that’s entirely too much to surrender. I’m not sure if I’d do that deal even if he agreed to an extenstion before the trade was completed.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        I laughed at the ESPN Rumor Central remark. So true.

        And yeah I’d never make that deal.

      • Mykey

        Yeah, I agree with you there. No question Hamels is good, but I just have higher expectations for a kind of package involving Jesus and Manny. I may be totally misled, but I would be pretty disappointed with that trade, extension or not. To but it bluntly, Hamels is kind of a bitch. Free agency, sure, but giving up future prospects for him, I just don’t see it.

        • Mykey

          /Reply fail.

        • FIPster Doofus

          How is Hamels a bitch?

          • Mykey

            He’s often criticized here in Philly for excuse making, and complaining rather than taking responsibility for poor performances and things of that nature. Doesn’t mean Phillies fans don’t like him, it’s just something I hear a lot here.

      • Sarah

        Yeah Buster Olney wrote his column about the Cole Hamels “crossroads,” and everyone is buzzing with “Trade Cole Hamels.”

        I’m sure the Yankees would be in on that though. I hate to think of the cost in prospects…

    • Brian S.

      Tell them that they are full of shit.

      • Mykey

        Don’t worry sir, I’ve already done you proud.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Not happening. Banuelos and Montero are cheap for many years. We have NO right handed power bats looking forward other than a creeky ARod.

      Dumb trade.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    My prediction is Phils phuture is in another teams starting rotation. How bout him + Soriano and we pay both their 2011 salaries, for Cole H (since there is talk of such nonsense on the board) and he agrees to an extension? If we are going to talk stupid made up never going to happen trades, let us make sure it is really stupid. If any of you call WFAN with this idea please make sure to take full credit for it.

  • http://twitter/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Did anyone notice how totally awesome that video is?

    • Pat D

      Michael Kay’s favorite movie had an interesting shot of the Earth being incinerated by the Sun when the Sun burns itself out. Then it shows the barren rock that the Earth would become next to the white dwarf remainder of the Sun.

      Good thing we’ll be dead before any of that happens.

      • Billion$Bullpen

        My favorite movie would have Michael Kay being incinerated along with the radio broadcast team we currently have in place and then Charlie Steiner would come back and do radio and Jim Kaat would come back to the YES booth.

        • Billion$Bullpen

          …and then the ghost of Suzyn Waldman would say “Charlie Steiner is in my box”” speaking of her former workplace the WB Mason WCBS broadcast booth… damn might be a good night for an early bed time.

        • CMP

          Charlie Steiner?? He’s just a horrible baseball announcer.