Open Thread: John Flaherty


(Getty Images Photo / Ezra Shaw)

Remember how many bad backup catchers the Yankees went through during the Jorge Posada era? There was Chris Widger, Kelly Stinnett, Wil Nieves, Chris Turner, Todd Greene … I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. Posada’s primary backup from 2003-2005 was current YES analyst John Flaherty, who signed with the team on this date nine years ago.

Like most backup backstops, Flaherty was terrible, hitting just .226/.261/.387 with a dozen homers in 389 plate appearances in pinstripes. He’ll always have that big hit though, the walk-off double single to left in the 13th inning against the Red Sox on July 1st, 2004. That’s the game when Derek Jeter flipped into the stands and the Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the 13th thanks to a rally fueled by Tony Clark, Ruben Sierra, Miguel Cairo, and Flaherty. That hit was easily his most memorable with the team, and also the most memorable by a non-Posada catcher in the last 15 years or so. It was pretty sweet.

* * *

Here is your open thread for the night. The Knicks and Nets already played, so it’s just the Islanders that are in action tonight. Us Time Warner folk still don’t have MSG though. Talk about whatever you like here, anything goes.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Alfredo says:

    I was wondering who here would do this trade:
    Yankees:Pedro Alvarez
    Pirates: Phill Hughes,Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine.

      • Alfredo says:

        how about if You take Hughes out of the deal?

        • Preston says:

          Pedro Alvarez is a bust. I wouldn’t trade Romine for him straight up.

          • Alfredo says:

            I think he is way better then you think he is i just think he had a bad season last year.
            I have another trade proposal:
            Yankees: Mike Moukstakas
            Royals: Dellin Betances, Eduardo Nunez

            • candyforstalin says:

              please stop.

            • Preston says:

              When you strike out 30% of the time it’s really hard to be successful. That’s Mark Reynolds territory, except Alvarez has less power, and takes fewer walks (he is better defensively). I don’t think his approach would benefit from being a part time player, if anything I think his struggles would increase.
              As for Moukstakas, why would the Royals trade him? Why would the Yankees want an unproven commodity? A-Rod needs to be the 3B, and even at his age he has a better glove than either Alvarez or Moukstakas.

              • Craig Maduro says:

                Ideally, I think A-Rod needs to DH – especially now that Montero is gone. Staying healthy has been a riddle for him the past few years and not even the Yanks can afford to have his mongloidious salary sitting on the DL.

                • T.O. Chris says:

                  Speaking of Alex I’m really excited to see him come back from this surgery in Germany. Kobe Bryant had and thus far (I’ve watched all the Lakers games) he looks at least 3 years younger in his legs. He has more explosiveness and jump in his legs than I’ve seen in 2-4 years. I’ve been quite impressed and stunned with the overall improvement.

                • Preston says:

                  Ideally A-Rod plays 3B for 4 more years and Dante Bichette Jr. takes over after that. Obviously he might not last at 3B that long and to keep him healthy we might need to move him to DH. But I don’t think we’ll do that until we have to.

            • William says:

              Wow. The Royals would be dumb to do that. You need Banuelos and Hughes to do that…..

          • Craig Maduro says:

            I can’t even express how quickly the trigger should be pulled from the Yankees POV on a hypothetical Alverez for Romine proposal.

    • Landry says:

      Why is everyone rushing to trade Hughes?

  2. Jay Kap Jr says:

    Islanders Already Played Too… Sad Night in Sports.

  3. Michael Mirabella says:

    If Banuelos (don’t know if I spelled that correctly) pitches like Edwin Jackson would you be happy? Same for Becyanes

  4. Steve H says:

    How Flaherty ever had a 27 game hitting streak is beyond amazing.

    Flaherty was actually very good his first two years with the Yankees, then morphed into Jose Iglesias in his 3rd year.

  5. CANO FAN #1 says:

    Yankees, Hideki Matsui Have Been In Contact about DH


    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I just got an email as to merchandise from yankees.com today. I’m waiting for the MLBTR post saying we’ve been in contact.

      In all seriousness, seeing what these former Yankees have left in the tank and, if as a part-time DH, what can be squeezed out of them offensively can be done at a low cost, isn’t the worst idea on earth. It’s also probably “Chicken Soup For the Forlorn and Hurt Yankee Fan Soul After Jesus,” although soup never won a championship.

      • Owen Two says:

        “…although [S]oup never won a championship.”

        He should have, though.

        Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • Craig Maduro says:

        Seeing old, washed up former Yankees deliver old, washed up production is not going to make anybody feel any better about the loss of Jesus.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Again, you’ve never met my mother-in-law. :)

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Also, the question is whether either of these guys could deliver solid production as a part-time DH when no one is being given the day off and/or Jones is on the bench. No one is expecting a fountain of youth here.

          • thumper says:

            If it came down to it, I’d rather have the Yankees roll with in-house options for now and pick up a bat at the deadline rather than bring back Matsui or Damon. However, if they wanted to go all in for Pena right away, I’d be all for it.

          • Craig Maduro says:

            My money is on ‘no’. The Yanks weakened the offense for starting pitching. That’s fine. On paper the rotation looks like it should be strong for years to come. You have to plug the gap in the offense though and you can’t do it with slop. Pony up and bring in Carlos Pena. It’s not like we’re demanding Prince Fielder.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              If they utilize the DH spot correctly with what they’ve got, I’m not convinced there’s that big a hole. Pena would be great, and I’d prefer him, but they can get this done without any of them.

    • Landry says:

      They actually called him about some of his old porn they found in storage room.

  6. Alfredo says:

    No for Banuelos and yes for Betances.

  7. Michael Mirabella says:

    If Banuelos (don’t know if I spelled that correctly) pitches like Edwin Jackson would you be happy? Same for Bectanes

  8. PinedaColada says:

    I wonder how much leash Pineda will be given by the yanks FO and Girardi. I mean what Do they do if he starts the season 0-3 with bad peripherals ? Does he get sent down to AAA? He has 3 options… I sure hope he is excited to be a Yankee and brings with him a positive attitude and great work ethic. With that being said I love his stuff and think he can be a stud pitcher for a long time

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Seattle would keep a .180 hitting Montero in the lineup. Seattle is also still a pretty bad team.

      I think Pineda gets more leash than that, but I also think actual outcome falls in between this and “slot him right behind Sabathia in 2012 and all will be good.”

    • T.O. Chris says:

      I wouldn’t worry about him being excited about joining the Yanks, the fans over at “Look out Landing” said he grew up a Yankee fan. So this is probably a dream come true.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      I don’t think you have to worry about him being excited about joining the Yankees. The Mariners fans over at “Lookout Landing” said he grew up a Yankee fan, so this is probably a dream come true.

  9. Pearl River, NY resident!

  10. Rainbow Connection says:

    “Rice n’ beans?”

  11. Craig says:

    Pulling my Tim McCarver for the night: As bad as Flaherty was with the Yankees as a catcher, that’s how bad he is as an analyst now.

    Seriously, the games he and Lorenz call cause me to fall asleep.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      It’s not the pace of: pitch, wait 60 seconds, pitch, wait 60 seconds, hitter steps out, wait 60 seconds, hitter steps out, wait 60 seconds, pitch….?

      • Craig says:

        Nope, it’s only those two. Every other broadcaster I’ve experienced I’ve been fine with and remained alert. The only two duos I find worse than the aforementioned Flaherty and Lorenz are the LAA Angels’ announcers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose names escape me.

  12. Avi says:

    There were only 14 hitters that hit at least 30 homers and batted at least .270 last year. Most of us expect Montero to hit at that level or better. There were twice as many starting pitchers to have a better FIP than Pineda’s 3.42 (53 starters had a better ERA).

    • Avi says:

      You also need more good hitters to have a good offense than starters to have a good rotation.

    • Steve H says:

      In American League history there have been 10 seasons by a pitcher age 24 or younger who averaged a strikeout per inning while qualifying for the ERA title. Pineda, at age 22, is one of those 10.

      • T.O. Chris says:

        Clearly you didn’t get the memo Montero = HOF, Pineda = newest Yankee ball boy.

      • Avi says:

        That sounds great Steve but pitchers’ K rates don’t usually increase as they get older and gain experience. Furthermore, pitchers don’t improve as the they get older the way hitters do.

        • Steve H says:

          His K rate doesn’t need to improve, he’s in extremely rare territory already.

          And pitchers absolutely improve with age.

        • Needed Pitching says:

          Are you claiming that pitcher’s reach their peak at age 22???

        • Craig Maduro says:

          No disrespect, but you might wanna take this one back to the drawing board Avi.

        • T.O. Chris says:

          You’re right it’s not like CC Sabathia, who parallels Pineda in many ways, had 3 sub 7 K/9 seasons before age 25. He also didn’t post his first sub 3.6 ERA until age 26, or his first good ground ball percentage season before age 25.

          • Avi says:

            No you guys are right, pitchers do in fact improve with age. I guess what I was thinking of with Pineda is that he throws very hard and isn’t gonna throw harder as he gets older. His control likely isn’t gonna get better either. The only way he improves is if he develops other pitches, preferably a changeup. I think it’s more likely he develops other variations to his fastball though, like a cutter. I took the thought too far.

            • T.O. Chris says:

              Why would he not be able to improve his control? He’s 6-7 and already seems to have a good feel for his mechanics. If anything as he gets older and understands his body more he will only further enhance his ability to repeat his mechanics, thus leading to less walks.

              He already throws a 2-seam fastball and cutter to some degree he just doesn’t throw them a ton. But he varies the movement on the fastball enough that it certainly throws off the batters.

              DRays Bay has a great scouting report up on Pineda with pitch graphs mapping the difference in his fastballs, trying to prove he is indeed more than a simple 2 pitch pitcher. Great read and I highly recommend it.


            • Needed Pitching says:

              not sure that’s true about the control likely not to get better. I just quickly checked some established pitchers (CC, Halladay, Lee, Carpenter, Beckett, Haren) and their BB% all generally trended better as they got older.

          • Steve H says:

            CC was also a 2 pitch pitcher then.

    • Needed Pitching says:

      There were 64 hitters that had better than Pineda’s 3.4 fWAR last season.
      There were only 37 pitchers that had a better than 3.4 fWAR last season.

      The point??? Just that its easy to cherry pick stats to make whatever argument that you wish.

      • Avi says:

        Based on run scoring continuing to be down, it seems to me that the good hitter is becoming more scarce and the good starter is becoming more abundant. I haven’t yet found a great way to say it or the right stat to illustrate it though.

  13. Nathan says:

    How could you guys forget Sal Fasano and his ‘stash?

    • Ralph says:

      How could they forget Francisco Cervelli and his Cervelli-ness?
      There was also the one game and done Chris Stewart. Strangely only one major league have been named Chris Stewart in the entire history of baseball (according to BR).
      There was almost Todd Pratt and Ben Davis, two guys who used to have some attention as prospects. Though Pratt got a bit putting up good stats at age 23 and 24 in AAA, while Davis was 2nd overall bust.

  14. Shamus says:

    Yankees: David Wright
    Mets: Betances, Whelan and Nunez

    yay or nay?

    Gotta figure the Mets know they will lose him to free agency next year. Why not get something for him?

    • vin says:

      Because after the trade, Sandy Alderson will be forced to stand at a podium in front of reporters and explain why he traded the team’s best, most marketable player for a pitcher with significant control problems, bullpen filler, and an infielder with an OK bat and defensive issues.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      You forgot to add Michael Pineda to the deal, which is probably who the else the Mets would ask for.

  15. RRRRRRandy says:

    Nobody has lost more cash money over the past week than Yoennis Céspedes. Naturally, some team will still give a boatload dinero, but he’s put up a stinker in these past few games he’s been playing in.

    Should have stuck with the box jumps. It worked for Cody Ransom.

  16. Soriano Is A Liar says:

    Here’s a game, drink every time this exchange happens on a Flaherty broadcast:

    “Michael Kay: That was a mammoth home run. You hit some shots like that one back in your day, right John?

    John Flaherty: Yeah, maybe in batting practice.”

    Repeat next inning. And again the inning after that.

  17. gageagainstthemachine says:

    Please, please, please spare us (in regards to back-up catcher open threads) and never do a Sal Fasano one. The horror…the horror!!

  18. Shamus says:

    Fasano, Giambino:

    Fear the Stache

  19. vin says:

    Required reading for everyone obsessing over Pineda’s splits.


    • Needed Pitching says:

      and one more, about a slightly more worrisome split


      • T.O. Chris says:

        I really don’t find that split to be all that worrisome. Especially when you look at his triple slash line against lefties, which while worse than against righties was still very dominant despite the lack of a true left handed neutralizing pitch.

        Vs LHP- .237/.296/.357, with 8 HRs in 325 ABs
        Vs RHP- .184/.261/.326, with 10 HRs in 304 ABs

        He actually gave up less HRs to lefties in more ABs than he did to righties despite the slightly higher OBP and SLG%. If he can develop any sort of a split or change he is going to be a serious beast. Bottom line the kid can pitch!

        • Needed Pitching says:

          I agree, I’m really not worried about it. I just used that terminology because that was the point the article was trying to make. Yes, he had a platoon split, but its not like his numbers against lefties were bad, they just weren’t quite as elite as his numbers against righties.

      • vin says:

        Yeah, I’ve got to admit that he lost me after he tried declaring alarm because Pineda *only* had a 7.7 k/9 against LHB. Are you kidding me? And linking to a Jim Bowden tweet was just icing on the cake. Eno lost a lot of credibility with me.

        Of course Pineda would benefit from adding a 3rd pitch to help neutralize lefties. Of course being a RHP in Yankee Stadium can be difficult. Of course the Red Sox are stacked with lefties. No one is saying Pineda is Greg Maddux. He’s a 23 year old with 5 years of team control left coming off a very good rookie season.

      • Steve H says:

        There’s so much garbage in that.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      That is a really good read and it should be noted Dave Cameron is a Seattle Mariner fan, so he wouldn’t have any sort of Yankee bias. He was also on MLB Network today saying pretty much this exact stuff and confirmed that in his opinion the Yankees got the slightly better side of the deal.

      Yesterday someone tried to compare Michael Pineda’s second season to Phil Hughes’ 2010 season saying both started strong but finished with a bad second half. The truth is there are very few if any similarities between those two seasons.

      When you break there numbers down through June you see Pineda was by far and away the better pitcher over pretty much the entire course of the year.

      Through June Pineda pitched 102.0 innings and posted a 2.64 ERA, he then posted a 5.34 ERA over the final 69 innings of the season.

      Through June of 2010 Hughes pitched 88.0 innings and posted a 3.57 ERA, he then posted a 4.80 ERA over the final 88.1 innings of the season.

      Pineda really had only one really bad month, in July when he gave up 21 earned runs in 28 innings (6.75 ERA). But even in this really bad month he posted a 3.74 FIP and a 3.14 xFIP. So he likely didn’t even pitch all that terribly in that month, especially when you consider his .294 BABIP in that month was the highest of any month that season.

      Pineda FIP by month:
      Mar/Apr- 2.26 FIP
      May- 3.15 FIP
      June- 3.90 FIP
      July- 3.74 FIP
      August- 4.20 FIP
      Sept/Oct- 3.41 FIP

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Young players can be inconsistent. You don’t even need to break down a monthly FIP to make that point, although it helps.

        • T.O. Chris says:

          If anything he was amazingly consistent throughout the year peripheral wise. His BABIP, LOB%, and ERA just fluctuated towards the end of the year. The deeper you look into the numbers the more and more solid his overall season looked.

          • PinedaColada says:

            So rough translation is let’s not worry and let the kid continue to develop into what we can all hope is a younger right handed CC Sabathia

  20. Plank says:

    2B (Prospects only)

    MLB: Cano

    AAA: Corban Joseph

    AA: Dave Adams

    A+: Anderson Feliz (Non-Prospect?)

    A-: Angelo Gumbs

    SA: Jose Rosario (Maybe a SS though)

    Please feel free to critique the list.

    • Plank says:

      Pretty decent spread of talent throughout. No names really pop out. Dave Adams could have been something, but has been decimated by injuries. Methinks Cano gets a contract extension so these guys are working their way to be the 25th man in a few years. I don’t see anyone who looks like much more.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      Isn’t Gumbs likely to move to the OF at some point in the near future?

      • Plank says:

        Is he? I hadn’t heard that. Strike that name off the list, then.

        On a similar note, when looking at minor league 2B, it’s important to remember that lots of minor league SS become 2B in the near future.

        • T.O. Chris says:

          I’ve heard talk of a possible move to CF because of his athleticism and the fact that with Cano he has no future at 2nd. If he does move we end up with a pretty high stock of young, low minor, outfielders like we haven’t had in a long time.

          • Plank says:

            Gumbs is the only name that pops out on that list that seems like he could be a major league regular. He’s young and far away, but he’s one of the guys I’m looking forward to following next season, no matter where he plays.

  21. MattG says:

    Would any ESPN Insiders here like to share with me what Keith Law had to say about THE TRADE?

  22. T.O. Chris says:

    Can we just agree that anyone thinking rationally, and not talking from emotions, has to agree that Pineda has tremendous potential and is already a very solid pitcher better than anyone we had before this not named Sabatha. He may or may not become an ace going forward, but he certainly could become the next Sabathia if things go right. Also barring injury he should at the very least be a very solid middle of the rotation pitcher for years to come.

    • Monterowasdinero says:

      Agree with this and I like Montero a bit.

      I also think Campos may be in the rotation before Betances.

      • T.O. Chris says:

        I could certainly see Campos as a rotation piece before Betances. I’ve always sort of seen Betances ended up in the pen due to his control problems. Campos seems to have as good of velocity as Betances, maybe no secondary pitch as good as Dellin’s curve, but markedly better with the control.

  23. ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

    All Flaherty talks about is catching Randy Johnson… As I recall, Johnson wasn’t really prolific with the Yanks. no bragging rights for flash on that one

    • T.O. Chris says:

      This is actually not completely true. Randy had a very good first year with the Yankees, he was hurt most of the second year and people tend to remember that season more.

      17 W, 8 L, 225.2 IP, 8.42 K/9, 1.87 BB/9, 3.79 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 4.6 WAR

      Keep in mind he was 41 years old, striking out close to 9 per 9, walking less than 2 per 9, and had a pretty good ERA for his first jump back to the AL in years at such an advanced age. He was every bit the ace we wanted in that first year.

      • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa says:

        I never said he was bad. He was the randy they expected for year, but not after that. When I said prolific I was talking bird-killing mariners and D-Backs Randy

        • T.O. Chris says:

          Ahh. At 41 I think we all knew we weren’t getting the 100 MPH Randy. I do feel he gets undeservedly written off as a Yankee bust by many and he was clearly anything but, he was hurt the 2nd year but he still took the ball many times when he shouldn’t have so he wouldn’t let us down. The guys deserves credit for what he accomplished in his two years here, we’ve definitely done much worse.

        • GardnergoesYardner says:

          He wasn’t bird killing Randy, but he was cameramen shoving Randy.
          Still just as dangerous.

      • Steve H says:

        He was also 5-0 against the Sox.

  24. GardnergoesYardner says:

    Need opinions from everyone. I was considering getting ESPN Insider, as it is 50 percent off and I’m tired off clicking an ESPN article only to be able to read only the first few paragraphs. Is it worth it? And what are the other benefits besides reading more articles, ie. fantasy baseball insight, etc.

    • Plank says:

      I’ve never paid for any baseball content except the MLB radio package. That’s the best value in all of sports.

      I would never pay for talking heads on ESPN.

    • CMP says:

      I think it’s pretty good. The football and basketball content is good plus you get all the Klaw columns which are nice. I think it’s a pretty good value

  25. Pineda, Piñata. Potato, Potahto (Formerly Jesse) says:

    Everyone save this article.


  26. Kevin says:

    Remember when he popped up with the bases loaded in game 4 of the 03 World Series?

  27. Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan says:

    Low blow on Nieves. Bush league, Axisa, bush league.

  28. Rich in NJ says:

    As bad a ML hitter as Flaherty was, he is less good at broadcasting.

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