Rain out sets up pitching staff for Texas series

Betances wild again; Charleston walks off with eighth straight win
Fan Confidence Poll: April 23rd, 2012
(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Yankees had nine games postponed by rain last season, the most in the majors. They had their first weather-induced postponement of 2012 on Sunday, and I think the baseball gods just decided to have mercy on the Red Sox given their recent performance. Either way, we’ll get to enjoy Saturday’s amazing comeback while the Sox have to wallow in the stench of defeat for another day. That works for me.

After the postponement was announced, Joe Girardi confirmed they’ll simply push their starting pitchers back a day. That means CC Sabathia on Monday, Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday, and Phil Hughes on Wednesday against the Rangers. The Yankees have the option of throwing Ivan Nova on Wednesday instead of Hughes, though it doesn’t sound like that will happen. No decision has been made about Freddy Garcia, but I have to think they’ll use Thursday’s off day to skip his next start.

The bullpen was actually in pretty good shape despite Garcia’s short start on Saturday, though the extra day of rest will only help. Mariano Rivera and David Robertson will each have two straight days off, so we could see them in all three games against Texas knowing that they’ll get a breather come Thursday. Girardi also confirmed that they’ll still with 13 pitches through the series with the Rangers, so Cody Eppley survives the roster crunch for another few days. He was originally drafted and developed by Texas, so I’m sure the trip to Arlington will be special for him.

It’s unfortunate the Yankees won’t get to beat up on these Red Sox one more time because they’re definitely down and out at the moment. Plus their bullpen is trashed after Saturday’s game. Now this game will be delayed until at least July, when things could be much different. That’s life though. The Yankees will instead enjoy the breather and head to Texas for their biggest test in this young season.

Betances wild again; Charleston walks off with eighth straight win
Fan Confidence Poll: April 23rd, 2012
  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    The Sox bullpen was well rested and still got trashed yesterday. Some rumblings already that the Bard experiment will be ending. Not a moment too soon. And all indications are that’s the configuration Valentine wanted from day 1, but was over rules from upstairs. So the bullpen failures are on Cherington more than him.

    • Plank

      Valentine Vs. Cherington 2: This Time it’s Personal

      • Plank

        That should be Lucchino Vs. Cherington.

    • V

      I don’t understand why Bard as a starter is an ‘experiment’. Pitchers with mid-90s velocity and solid breaking pitches should be starters if they have the stamina to handle it.

      • V

        Joba Chamberlain never wases :-(

        • JohnnyC

          Unlike Joba, Bard sucked as a starter in A/A+ ball (7.08 ERA) in 2007 (78 walks in 75 IP). Joba had 4 above average pitches, Bard had a four-seamer.

      • Sarah

        Bard had not started since the low minors. He was not successful as a starter, so they turned him into a reliever. He wasn’t a Feliz or Ogando, starting in the high minors and breaking in via the ‘pen.

        • Bo Knows

          It was 6 years ago people don’t change at all in that time? If a pitcher wants to test out being a starter and the team is willing to try then it should happen. Also Ogando started 3 games before last year. He was a failed position player who converted into a reliever who became a starter.

          • sangreal

            Sure, but that is what you call an experiment. So now we are back full circle

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Mike E

        Problem is Bard only has 3 pitches, four-seam, slider, and changeup. Against righties, he rarely throws the changeup, so now we’re talking about 2 pitches against righties. It’s way too easy to be predictable against a guy with 2 pitches and someone who only goes up and in/ down and away. You could be a guess hitter and have luck. As a reliever you can get away with guess hitters in such small sample, but when you’re starting you have to deal with hitters also picking up on pitch break.

        Likewise, Bard shows indications of dropping his arm slot when he’s tired. He did so in 2011, and is doing it even more in 2012. His four-seamer is showing wide spin angles, thus wide break, and thus he has little control. Control has truly been his biggest weakness as a starter through his career, so its no surprise he has the same habits.

    • AndrewYF

      “Some rumblings already that the Bard experiment will be ending.”

      Damn, I wanted to see them waste an entire season of Bard, watching their bullpen implode around them. Perhaps this will be the last gasp of the Theo-esque ‘cleverer than thou’ organizational philosophy.

      • JohnnyC

        They still have to figure out how to get to Bard to close. And putting Aaron Cook in the rotation is not an improvement.

    • JohnnyC

      If things don’t work out with Valentine, Lucchino will simply go for the trifecta and smear him like he smeared Epstein in 2005 and Francona last year. He is, after all, a shyster by profession.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    McDonald looks like Manny Ramirez in that picture. LOL.

    • JohnnyC

      It’s the synthetic estrogen. The bloating.

  • Typical MIT Nerd

    I don’t understand how Hughes keeps getting second chances. Nova should be getting the start on Wed. If Hughes sucks again, it should be time to move him back to the pen and DFA Garcia. Go with Pettitte and Phelps.

    • Havok9120

      Not for a few more weeks. And while Phelps would almost certainly do better than Garcia at this juncture, the same cannot be said for his doing better than Hughes. Middling rookie pitchers don’t come in and outperform middling pitchers with years of experience regularly enough that people should expect it. Heck, it almost never happens. Phelps is no phenom. Phelps will make the rotation if Pettitte implodes or Hughes shows absolutely no silver lining in 2 or 3 consecutive starts.

      • mustang


    • YankeesJunkie

      Because he was a top prospect who has shown glimpses of being a front end starter. Only if Joba got the chances that Hughes got…however that time has passed. It seems that by the ASG Hughes will be back to a relief role in which he has shown the capacity to excel.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Very small glimpses these past two years. While I wanted Hughes to get as much chances as he can get it can’t be at the expense of others who are actually performing like Nova…

        • Havok9120

          Agree completely. I think the time when that was a possibility is passed though, even from the perspective of fans. For Girardi and Co, I’m not sure that that was ever going to happen, unless Pettitte had somehow been ready for Opening Day. I think fans jumped the gun on the anti-Nova feelings during his rough Spring.

        • YankeesJunkie

          I agree as well, he basically has until Pettitte and Pineda to come back too prove himself.

    • mustang

      DFA Garcia without having an idea if Andy is going to workout. Put Hughes in the pen (which BTW doesn’t need him right now) without knowing what’s going to happen with Pineda and give that rotation spot to a kid that has 12.1 innings of MLB experience under his belt.
      All this after 15 games and a 9-6 record and we even manage a small “joba the starter” jab. Now that’s impressive!

      I have a site that I just discover yesterday for you guys.

    • Plank

      You only get one second chance. The next chance is the third chance. Hughes got his second chance a few years ago. He’s on his 9th chance or so.

      • gc

        And circumstances continually change that require a different evaluation of the situation. If Pineda was on the team throwing gas, we might not be having this discussion and Hughes would already be in the pen. Things change in baseball all the time. When that happens, you look around at what you have, evaluate the pros and cons, and proceed the best you can with the personnel at hand. Then when things inevitably change again, you go through the whole process again. The team is obviously at a point where they feel they still have some time to work with Hughes as a starter, throw him out there every fifth day and look for signs that he’s coming around. If it doesn’t happen by the time those circumstances change again and more options are available, then everyone around here will have gotten what they wanted and Hughes will be back in the pen. Or maybe the guy reels of five or six decent starts in a row and makes that decision even tougher. At this point, nothing would surprise me.

    • forensic

      Better that Hughes starts Wednesday instead of Friday. That way, assuming it’s a painful start either way, at least fewer Yankee fans spent their hard earned money to see them in person only to have to watch Cabrera and Fielder hit 3 or 4 homers off him. This way, they can just change the channel or watch it on DVR and fast forward a bit.

    • mustang

      Has anyone seen the Yankees starter scorecard lately?
      1-CC, Nova and Kuroda


      2- Hughes has issues

      3- Garcia looks done.

      4- Phelps looks promising but it’s only been 12.1 MLB innings and like Havok9120 he is no phenom.

      5- Pettitte I think he will come back, but even I admit it won’t be easy.

      6- Pineda medical issues.

      7- if they are looking at the minors for help one B hurt the other B needs GPS to find the strike zone these days.
      Yankees are in no place to be DFA anyone or moving possible starter to the pen.

      • MannyGeee

        Nova was no phenom, but that seemed to play out OK. Not making light or saying that Phelps is the answer, but if memory recalls Hughes was the phenom and Nova sorta fell into this job (again, not making light… b/c Nova’s been legit)

        • .zip file

          I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a guy like Phelps or Warren, guys who have command of 3 or 4 pitches and have decent stuff, develop into good solid starters and have more success than the B’s, who have much better “stuff” but seem to have no command (Betances) or have lost their command (Banuelos).

      • .zip file

        I agree with most of what you say, but let’s not downplay Phelps here. While he was no phenom, he was no middling prospect either. He always seemed to have command in the minors, to go with decent stuff, while the B’s have better stuff, but with less command (I would venture to say much less command at this point). Granted, he would have to be allowed time to develop and adjust to major league hitters, but if he is allowed the chance to develop, he actually may be the guy who develops into the next solid Yankee starter instead of the B’s.

    • Steve (different one)

      I don’t get your point. Nova is simply taking his regular turn in the rotation. What are we complaining about exactly? The pitching order?

      Hughes is in the rotation for the time being, what does it matter what order they pitch in? What “chance” is he getting over Nova?

  • Pat D

    My only problem is that if they skip Garcia this week, he’d have to pitch the day after Hughes next week. That would only be against the Orioles, but it would mean having them potentially kill the bullpen back to back days.

    Eh, whatever.

  • Bonnie Parker

    There was bad news due to the rain out as well. The Sox are a division rival and they are down right now. We had our ace on the mound going for the sweep. The division is far more important to win this year so those divisional games are crucial. We lost a great chance to put a division rival in a bad spot. Who cares about Texas? We won’t be in competition with them for a division crown.

  • blooper

    The Sox just sent down half their bullpen and called up a couple of batting tees from AAA to replace them. Neyer says that the tees have “excellent repeatability” and jumped Boston seven places in the organizational rankings. Gammons reporting that the Padres are willing to trade their top three position players to the Sox for the tees because the players are only five or six years away from being lost in free agency anyway.

    • Dick M

      That’s a good one Blooper.

      And Jim Callis reported that the tees have been ranked in his Top 100 prospects, following in the fine tradition of Lars Anderson, Bowden, etc.

  • Dick M

    Have we been tweeking Batances mechanics? Something’s not adding up here. A yr or 2 ago AA hitters are batting like .150 against him and now he’s lost.

    We need to leave these young pitchers well enough alone.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Betance’s control has been a problem most times I’ve seen him. He tends to overthrow and not square up at his release point. His stuff is not in question. I have no idea about his mental makeup.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    I have no problems pitching the crappy pitchers against Texas and taking our lumps and saving better pitching if possible for the O’s so we can beat the crap out of them. I do not care as much about how we do against Texas at this point in the year, I care how well we play against them in the playoffs.

    I do not expect both Hughes and Garcia to both be on this team come the playoffs.

    The year is young but not signing Bart this year and reupping with Garcia looks like a mistake, but I would have resigned both of them as well as Kuroda and traded Hughes or let him start the season in AAA, and not have traded Jesus.

  • Monterowasdinero

    I see Phelps as having an IPK ceiling.

  • velocitee

    This pic is sooo my Facebook cover photo.