Second Half Needs

Midseason Review: Incomplete Grades
Williams, Sanchez, and Austin crack Keith Law's midseason top 50 prospects list
(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Yankees have the best record in baseball and a sizable lead in the AL East, but the hardest part is yet to come. They have to maintain that lead in the second half because winning the division is of paramount importance thanks to the new playoff system. There is always room for improvement, and this year’s Yankees are no different. Here’s a quick look at some aspects of the team that need improvement in the second half.

More Production From The Middle of the Order
The Yankees have been a very well-rounded team this season, ranking fourth in position player production (16.5 fWAR), seventh in starting pitcher production (8.5 fWAR), and second in bullpen production (3.6 fWAR) among the 30 teams. Their offense has been the best in the game at 114 wRC+, but that has led to just 412 runs, the sixth most in the game. Blame all the struggles in runners in scoring position, and that’s why the Yankees need some of their middle of the order bats to perform better in the second half.

Specifically, they need more out of Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez is at the point of his career where you can’t really expect him to improve his performance, but I’ll happily eat crow if he has a big finish to season. I would love to see it. Teixeira, on the other hand, has continued what is now a three-year slide into mediocrity. The batting average and OBP have basically held static with last year, but he’s on pace for 29 homers with a .223 ISO. Both would be his worst marks since his rookie season in 2003. Robinson Cano can’t do it all, Teixeira needs to start mashing some taters in the second half.

A Quality Reliever
Rafael Soriano has filled in admirably for the injured Mariano Rivera and David Robertson remains a highly effective setup man, but the Yankees are still short in the bullpen right now. The middle innings are the primary concern, especially following Cory Wade‘s complete collapse. Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley have performed well but they’re specialists who shouldn’t face batters of the opposite hand, ditto the recently acquired Chad Qualls. That limits Joe Girardi‘s flexibility.

Joba Chamberlain started his minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and could be back next month, so maybe he’ll provide that extra bullpen depth. They could always go outside the organization and made a trade, but dealing for bullpen help is as risky is as it gets. Either way, the Yankees need to shore up their middle relief situation and take a bit of the load off Robertson and Soriano by adding a quality arm. Internal or external solution, it doesn’t matter. They need another quality reliever.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Something, Anything From Russell Martin
In terms of offensive production, the catching situation has been just brutal this season. Martin and Chris Stewart have combined for a 71 wRC+, which ranks 23rd among the 30 teams. The Yankees aren’t looking to trade for catching however, as Brian Cashman recently said: “We have our catching … I believe in Russell Martin, period.”

We know that Cashman and the Yankees tend to surprise us with deals and pickups, but if they’re going to stick with Martin and Stewart, fine. Martin needs to hit in that case. A .179/.300/.349 line (79 wRC+) doesn’t cut it from a starting position player even when you consider his position. The average AL catcher is hitting .241/.309/.388 (89 wRC+) this season and Russ isn’t even meeting that modest standard. Hopefully his .193 BABIP corrects in the second half — it almost certainly will somewhat to sheer luck — and the Yankees get at least league average production out of Martin going forward, preferably more.

Health!
This last one goes without saying. As strong as the bench and role players have been this season, the Yankees still need their core players to stay healthy in the second half. CC Sabathia is expected to come off the DL to start on Tuesday and obviously he’s one of the two most important players on the team. There’s a chance Brett Gardner will be back by the end of the month, adding some much needed speed and defense to the everyday lineup. Andy Pettitte‘s late-season return from a fractured ankle will be a huge lift as well.

Those three guys, plus Joba, are already hurt though. The players on the team that are healthy right now need to stay healthy, specifically guys like Soriano (history of elbow problems), A-Rod (four DL stints and two surgeries in the last four years), and valuable reserve Eric Chavez (pretty much everything). The AL East is so competitive these days that it’s not just about who has the best players, it’s about what has the best players and keeps them on the field the most.

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Midseason Review: Incomplete Grades
Williams, Sanchez, and Austin crack Keith Law's midseason top 50 prospects list
  • All Praise Be To Mo

    Mike, you forgot to list trading for Justin Upton. Get it done Cash!

  • justin Upton

    Me!

    • Ubaldo Jimenez

      Has it really been a year since you all thought it was me? *sniff*

  • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

    I think we’d all be happy with how the team has performed this season and look forward to the RISP-adjustment we’re all predicting….

    However, as I look at this team, I see the same thing I saw last year. A team built to dominate the regular season through intermittent power hitting and “good enough” pitching.

    These things have failed us in the postseason; nothing we’ve seen thus far during these 52 wins has given us cause to think this October will be any different.

    As well as Hughes/Kuroda have performed, have they really given us anything that Garcia/Colon didn’t give to us last year at this point?

    I was really amped up about the second half until this stupid All-Start Break lasted a FOURTH day and gave me some down time to consider what this team really is.

    It seems to be the same 95/98-win team it was last year except with less speed and no Jorge Posada.

    I can’t sit here and say I have “more” confidence in Nova than I did last year.

    It feels like we’re all happy about our chances of getting to October – which we should be. But….then what?

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Point of this rant was:

      2nd half needs: I was against it 2 weeks ago, but it’s pretty clear we need a solid #2. Whether it’s Garza or Dempster or whoever. I’ve convinced myself – we need it.

      • Deep Thoughts

        Among those three I prefer “whoever.” Or whomever. But I don’t think we need him.

        Just keep taking your meds till Pettitte comes back.

        • Preston

          I have no desire to deal for a starter, Hiroki Kuroda has been really good, I think Nova has proven that he really is this good, Hughes is a solid fourth starter and I have all the faith in the world that Sweaty Freddy and David Phelps can hold down the fifth spot. When Andy comes back him, CC, Nova and Kuroda will be a very good playoff rotation and Phil slides to the bullpen. A good middle reliever would be nice but I think DJ Mitchell should get a shot and hopefully Joba can help out.
          Offensively we’ve been good, but I don’t trust Ibanez to be in any way shape or form productive, so a DH/OF guy would be nice. Maybe Quentin if the price is right, Upton would be even better, though I doubt we can put together a package that works. Obviously we need a C, but Russell Martin probably won’t be this bad and it’s hard to see anything we could trade for that is guaranteed to be a lot better.

          • jjyank

            You’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts as well. The one slight disagreement, is I’m not so sure we need to go out and get another outfielder, unless Gardner has yet another set back. I think Ibanez/Jones/Wise can hold it down until then otherwise.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              I tend to agree with you. However, I do wonder if Gardner will return. Between that and the uncertainty with Swish’s contract next year, an OF pick up might be worth it. If Gardner doesn’t return, is this the OF we want in the playoffs/WS?

              • jjyank

                Yeah. I would be nervous too. Cashman said that Gardner could be back as early as July 27th, so I’d imagine there would be time to swing a trade if he has a set back before then. I would absolutely be in favor of aquiring some sort of upgrade in that scenario.

                • yooboo

                  Nah… we have Wise.

                  • jjyank

                    I don’t view Wise as an upgrade…

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      Kevin Long taught him how to hit with the gyrobat.

            • Preston

              I only want an OF if he is a good enough bat to be an above average DH, no Austin Kearns types needed.

          • yooboo

            I am fine with acquiring SP as long as 2013 is under control because of Kuroda and Pettitte.

            Garza >>> Betances, Phelps and Warren. Not even close.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              What impact does that SP have on the 2014 budget? For Garza, its $0. But, for a season and a half, the cost needs to be in alignment as well. I like having the security of knowing that someone is available for 2013 in case Kuroda &/or Pettitte don’t return (or Pineda is unable to pitch effectively) and I generally like Garza, but I’d also like some good cost-controlled pitching to help out in 2014 and beyond.

              • Ted Nelson

                Yeah, the cost for Garza is likely prohibitive for 1.5 years of a mid-rotation starter.

              • yooboo

                Only accepting arb offered by Yanks will be an impact (2014). Thats all.

                Problem is Yanks would burn several SP that would help us out for 14-16 seasons in order to get Garza. Because of that, Yanks should have contract extensions in work when they acquire Garza to ensure all meets in 14-16 budget.

      • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

        Last years playoff rotation: CC, Nova, Garcia, AJ
        This years projected playoff rotation: CC, Kuroda, Pettitte(hopefully), Nova

        I have much more confidence in Pettitte and Kuroda in the postseason than Garcia and AJ.

    • gc

      Then what? We take our chances like every other playoff team. They are good enough to win it all and I don’t think anyone would really be surprised. They’re also capable of losing a short series and I don’t think anyone would really be surprised. But can’t the same thing be said about all the other contenders? Did anyone confidently see the Phillies not even getting out of he first round last year before we actually saw it with our own eyes? If people are looking for post-season guarantees, they’re following the wrong sport. Get to the post-season, hope that you’re as healthy and as balanced as possible, and take your shot. Anyone who thinks this Yankees team, as currently constructed CAN NOT win the World Series, is out of their minds. But nobody said it would be easy.

      • Get Phelps Up

        Seconded.

        • jjyank

          Thirded. Well said.

          • Paul VuvuZuvella

            4th’d

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Fifth-ed.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                6th’d.

      • The Guns of Navarone

        I won’t say 5th’d.

        But I do agree and I think that just because this team didn’t get “the big hit” last postseason doesn’t mean they won’t do it this postseason. I think the rotation can match up with anybody in the AL.

        • Get Phelps Up

          Also, even though they were only 10/47 with RISP, they managed to outscore Detroit by 11 runs in the 5 games. I would gladly take my chances if they did that again this year.

      • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

        Ok. And I’m glad you started a train of seconded, thirded, fourthed, etc. Although I’m not certain what all the trained monkeys that followed are seeing as flawed in my comment.

        This team is NOT better than last year’s team without Mo and Gardner. Kuroda doesn’t tip those scales.

        I, like everyone else, was thrilled with what Pettitte came back with. But facts ar facts. He got hurt. And everyone believing he’s going to jump right back on the horse in October seems to want to blind themselves to what happened with Pettitte in 2010.

        The prevailing sentiment here is precisely what I stated in the first sentence of my post : “We’re all happy with how the team performed so far….”

        But other teams (Texas, Anaheim, and yes, Tampa Bay) are teams built to win in the postseason. Argue the point if you like. They’re built better than us to win short series – period. PERIOD. Quote it if you like.

        I also don’t believe that anyone here truly believes that our chances of getting “hot” offensively during the playoffs is just ad much a crap shoot as anyone’s. Swisher and Teixeira aren’t victims of small sample sizes. Subtract 2009 and you can thhrow A-Rod in there too.

        To an individual, every reasonably objective fan looks at our postseason winning formula as hoping that Cano, Jeter and supplementary players + awesome pitching can overshadow the (best case -scenario) mediocrity we’re going to get from Tex-Arod-Swish. If they can’t make it “up to” mediocre and hit a combined .200, to an individual we all know we’re fucked.

        Our crap shoot is NOT equal to everyone else’s in the playoffs because how we’re built.

        Just like our crap shoot has much BETTER odds in the regular season to actually make it to the playoffs.

        All things are NOT equal. And you can look to the construction of the team. Sure, we’ll win 95-98. But like I said, then what?

        • gc

          Why are you even asking if you simply tune out and categorically dismiss any and all responses, insisting you know better than anyone else and can predict the future? You’ve convinced yourself about this and you’ve made it abundantly clear that nothing will change your mind. So I guess…congratulations?

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

          “And everyone believing he’s going to jump right back on the horse in October seems to want to blind themselves to what happened with Pettitte in 2010.”

          He may come back fine, he may not. If he does, Kuroda and Pettitte represent a huge upgrade in playoff chances over Garcia and AJ. What happened with Pettitte in 2010 has nothing to do with whether he’s able to come back strong and healthy or not this season.

          “I also don’t believe that anyone here truly believes that our chances of getting “hot” offensively during the playoffs is just ad much a crap shoot as anyone’s. ”

          I do truly believe that ( with the possible exception of Texas, because their offense might be better to start with). Any other team the Yankees are likely to see in the playoffs are just as likely to underperform in the playoffs as the Yankees, and they are starting with weaker offenses to begin with. Especially compared to Tampa, who you think is “built to win in the playoffs”, despite no Longoria, a much weaker offense, a likely weaker bullpen (even without Mo), and no true #2 starter (at least by the standard you seem to be holding the Yankee starters to).

          “To an individual, every reasonably objective fan looks at our postseason winning formula as hoping that Cano, Jeter and supplementary players + awesome pitching can overshadow the (best case -scenario) mediocrity we’re going to get from Tex-Arod-Swish.”

          I’m an entirely reasonably objective fan. No reasonable fan thinks the Best Case Scenario of generally good hitters is mediocrity. That is the Best Case Scenario for spoiled, completely un-objective fans. A reasonable fan would think the best case scenario would be at least the player’s best past performance (maybe less for ARod, considering the effects of age/injury). Swisher’s best postseason series: 333/385/750. Since he’s done that before, I would consider that his “Best Case Scenario”. Likewise for Tex’s best series: 308/357/615 as Yankee, 467/550/467 overall. No reasonably objective fan would ever consider the “BEST CASE SCENARIO” of above average hitters to be “mediocrity”. That’s certainly a possible scenario, but by no means “BEST CASE”.

          “This team is NOT better than last year’s team without Mo and Gardner. Kuroda doesn’t tip those scales.”

          Mo is a huge loss, especially for the postseason, but Gardner will likely be back, or a replacement will be acquired. Kuroda, with the addition of Pettitte (if he comes back healthy) represents a huge upgrade over last season’s CC, Nova, Garcia, AJ rotation.

          “They’re built better than us to win short series – period. PERIOD.”

          Oops, I missed that. I guess there was no point in arguing. You said period, so it must be true.

        • G

          The main flaw in your argument is that last tear’s team was generally speaking good enough to win it all. They out scored the Tigers in the ALDS but lost due to some bad breaks. In a best of 5 series, the best team doesn’t always win. This team is as good or better than last year’s team once Joba and Gardner return, and the starting pitching is unquestionably better. They have the pieces to win it all. As do a few other teams. Let’s just hope things break our way.

    • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      Kuroda’s been preforming this well for a number of years, it’s not like Colon/Garcia who either straight up hadn’t pitched in a couple of years or were league average for a bunch. “…no Jorge Posada.” Our current DH is doing much better than Jorge was last year let’s be real. Also finally everybody likes to point at RISPFAIL as the reason we didn’t win the ALDS last year, yet absolutely nobody seems to remember the fact that Ivan Nova left game 5 after just 2 innings. Our bullpen was outstanding that game, don’t get me wrong but who knows if Nova settles down and doesn’t allow another run?

      • jjyank

        Agreed with your point, but Nova left due to injury, right?

        • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          That’s what I’m saying. If he doesn’t get hurt then who knows how he preforms the rest of the game.

          • Ted Nelson

            Or even how he’d have done to start the game. I got the impression he was taken out because he was already hurt.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, forearm as I remember.

    • Ted Nelson

      They have two potential #2s on the DL as we speak in Pettitte and Pineda (plus Banuelos). Pettitte should be back this season.

      Kuroda has been a top of the rotation starter for several years. His shoulder isn’t duct taped on like, well, either Colon or Garcia. Colon especially hadn’t dealt with that work load in years. Kuroda doesn’t throw essentially 1 pitch like Colon and he’s not a junk baller like Garcia.

      Nova was lights out his first playoff start last year as I remember. He got hurt in the second. That doesn’t happen and who knows how far the Yankees make it?

      Garza is a mid-rotation starter. Not sure if Dempster is much better. I doubt either is worth giving up any real assets for compared to the Yankees’ in-house options.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    I have not seen Jose Gil catch that much, thus, I do not know what kind of defense he provides, but I know he can hit and if given a chance probably could do better than Stewart. I also am of the opinion that we do not need another reliever as we have Mitchell who can be a middle man. I do hope that Cody finds his way back. I know Gil is in double A but the times I saw him in Spring training he impressed me by his hitting to right field on a few occasions. Anyway, there are precedents of guys jumping from double A to the majors.

    • Ted Nelson

      Good call on Mitchell. Would like to see him step up.

      • yooboo

        yuck! I hate his style.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’d ask for you to elaborate, but I know better.

        • Ted Nelson

          What does his style have to do with hoping he steps up?

          • yooboo

            nothing. It is just the same as I hate Girardi’s overusing mix and match strategy.

            • jjyank

              You mean the strategy that has worked remarkably well?

              • yooboo

                yup.

                • Ted Nelson

                  You would prefer he leave Rapada in to get rocked by RH or Eppley in to get rocked by LH so the Yankees can lose more games?

                  Bullpen specialists are not a Girardi specific thing. Most managers use them, if not all.

                  • yooboo

                    are you trying to tell me that hating means I want to change or upgrade a specific part intensely? I guess I should not hate Derek Jeter for banging Minka Kelly.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’d be nice for sure to get a better idea of who he is at the big league level in the second half.

  • Tony

    Bring Back Cervelli – Please…..

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    All I see them doing is strengthening the bench…maybe upgrade over Nix.

  • yooboo

    SP to be free agent.

    Sabby – 2017
    Nova – 2017
    Pineda – 2017
    Hughes – 2014
    Kuroda – 2013
    Pettitte – 2013
    Garcia – 2013

    Phelps, AAA – 2018 or 2019
    Warren, AAA – 2018 or 2019
    Betances, AA/AAA – 2015, 2016 or 2019

    Garza, Cubs – 2014

    Garza should be making double or triple what Hughes would make so if Yanks successfully acquire Garza then an extension must be ready and signed. Can’t let Garza walk in 2014 if Yanks trade a bunch of pitchers with multi years under control.

    • yooboo

      Because of that, it would be nice if Pettitte was not on DL and Phelps was a durable SP. That way Yanks could ship Hughes to Cardinals for Shelby Miller. Miller wont have to be on 40 man until after next season. Miller could be the man to count on with Sabby and Nova deal with new contract or whatever after 2016 season.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’d be nice if Whitey Ford was 25.

        • yooboo

          I dont have any time machine to dream on. Try again.

          • Ted Nelson

            Instead you dream of teams trading their top prospect for a mid-rotation starter with next to no track record of consistency?

            • yooboo

              Miller being next to no track record of consistency? Are you FUCKING kidding me?

              Miller for Hughes is not a straight up trade. It is hot name of per team as all lesser additions are to right the difference between two teams. Don’t expect me to dig deeper to finish off the trade completely.

  • Ted Nelson

    Good, thorough, well-reasoned article.

  • Jersey Joe

    RAB brought up Kottaras as a trade target and I think he and one of Martin or Stewart could form a good catching platoon. I think they could split the playing time 60/40 in Kottaras’ favor, giving Martin/Stewart starts against 5th starter righties and most lefties. If Kottaras’ arm wasn’t so ineffective, I’d say it would 80/20 playing time in his favor.

    I also think the Yankees should try switching Cano and Grandy because Grandy leads the team in HR but isn’t getting enough RBIs, also Cano’s .374 OBP could be really helpful in the #2 spot.

    • yooboo

      Really? what does Kottaras have that Cervelli lacks of?

      Yanks did not acquire Stewart because he was better than Cervelli.

      Martin and Stewart stay with Yanks and the season is already midway as there are a plenty of washed up catchers in FA pool to take Cervelli’s job in AAA as Cervelli will replace Stewart if Yanks want to change the catching depth.

      • Ted Nelson

        He’s a LH hitter and Cervelli’s not.

        • yooboo

          ah… Cervelli hit RH better than Kottaras. sorry.

          Cervelli’s problem is he can’t hit against LH. Ditto for Lefty Kottaras. No good difference.

          • Ted Nelson

            That is factually incorrect. Cervelli has a career .288 wOBA vs. RHP and a career .362 wOBA vs LHP. Kottaras is a career .332 wOBA against RHP.

            Why would you state something blatantly incorrect as a fact?

            • yooboo

              My bad. wrong player. When I rechecked and I saw big different numbers. Apologies.

              multi-tasking on 17 inch monitor is not recommended. I still wait for 40 inch monitor to be delivered here.

      • Jersey Joe

        .430 OBP, nuff said.

        ALSO………

        Martin: .300 OBP (.179 AVG))
        Stewie: .276 OBP

        Also he has Potential of hitting 15-17 bombs given the opportunity to be a starting catcher.

        • yooboo

          Kottaras is tough to strike out. LH power and short porch.

          Gotcha.

        • Ted Nelson

          That’s half a season.

          • Jersey Joe

            .370 career OBP in minors.

            Nuff said.

            Again.

            • yooboo

              Kottaras and Cervelli are similar when it comes to salary. Cervelli is 3 years old younger but it is irrelevant.

              It is clear that Cervelli is not a starting caliber right now. Do we agree to that?

              Kottaras has played more than ever this first half. His streaky power and OBP will bring some stability to the low portion of the lineup.

              Kottaras’ defense is terrible. So What? I am not sure about that. However, there is no evidence that he is a starting caliber. Russ Martin is.

              Ideal plan with Kottaras.

              Martin and Kottaras will share duty in 2nd half as Yanks assay this situation for next year as a starting catcher with Cervelli backing up. Let a winner stay as far as he can until Romine or Murphy is called to assume the catching duty by Yanks.

              Russ Martin could wake up and smell Brazilian coffee beyond Atlantic Ocean or Kottaras could be a lethal offense in short time with short porch.

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t understand why people lump Martin and Stewart together. Their production is not remotely close. Martin is far better.

      I don’t think Kotarras is as good as Martin, so I think he’d backup Martin.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Agree on all of these, and good to know that most of this can be fixed in-house. The most important things to me are the healthy returns of those who are on the DL and set to return this season, as well as a step up from Russell Martin. Nothing is a guarantee and every team has to fight for every win, but this has been a damn resilient team thus far.

  • Reggie C.

    Upgrading the catcher position …Sounds like it’ll be a popular topic for the weekly mailbag and likely more posts to follow as Martin & Stewart struggle to give the position a modicum of offensive respectability.

    I’m hopeful Teix can avoid a repeat of a disastrous June stretch going forward this summer. I’m hopeful… It’d be a great internal “fix” for the lineup.

  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    Semi off-topic, but what are the odds that the Braves pick up their option on McCann? Everybody wants to push hard for Hammels this off season, but if Hughes and Nova finish off the season strong, plus Pineda coming back next season, and maybe another year of Kuroda if he’s up to it (if the team feels uncomfortable w/ Banuelos/Mitchell/Warren/Phelps starting full time) I think our rotation is fine going into next season. If Martin doesn’t bounce back in the second half and the Braves either fall apart by the deadline or decide to not retain McCann next season I think we should make a very VERY strong push for him.

    • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

      I would guess there is about a 99.9% chance they pick up McCann’s option

      • yooboo

        100 percent. No argument.

        • Ted Nelson

          The know it all stuff gets old.

          • yooboo

            what do you mean?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              You state your opinions as if they were absolute facts way too often.

              • yooboo

                Do I sound like that? umm..

                okay..

                I think Braves will pick McCann’s option as they keep adjusting players and contracts around McCann. Right now, Braves are working on Bourn and few trades that may replace Bourn. Bourn is making 6m and change this year and will become a FA after this season so his arb would probably 8m or more, that $$ will cover partial of McCann’s option. Nationals and other teams like Bourn that much.

                That is why I think it is easy to call. Plausible logic.

      • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

        That sucks…because there is no good offensive catching in the upcoming FA market…except Napoli (who defense makes Mike Piazza look like a gold glove) and his offensive showing this season is nowhere near what it was even last season.

        • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          Maybe Ronny Paulino as a back up/veteran Caddy for Romine if he’s ready next season?

    • yooboo

      Hammels just has a good season. It is crazy to have three starters with one successful season in the rotation.

      Colby Lewis or Anabil Sanchez should be solid 2nd tier FA. Lewis is working on new contract with Texas but he is extremely a fly out pitcher. I have no idea about Sanchez’ contract in work but he is able to generate enough ground out to get more innings for Girardi.

      Brandon Webb? Where is he?

  • Jersey Joe

    Could Jones be the 3 hitter for a few games until his streak wears off?

    • yooboo

      Depending on pitcher, Jones is still killing fastball. If he bats 3rd in front of Cano, Teixeria or Arod then he will deal with more breaking balls than usual, which is a difficult task.

      • Ted Nelson

        Generally speaking you see more FBs hitting in front of better hitters, not less. The logic being that they don’t want to walk you.

        • yooboo

          You are referring to hitters in front of 3rd hitter. 3rd spot is usually for a hitter with solid all around and selective in front of a pure clean up hitter. That is why La Russa the genius put Jim Edmonds in 2nd spot to take an advantage of that.

          Backward pitching changes that. When you know a fastball killer is at plate you don’t throw a fastball.

  • Rich in NJ

    Cashman could double as Martin’s agent..

  • Kevin

    Cuso,those other teams you have as locks built to win in the postseason all have their flaws as well,even the Angels.
    The Rangers have plenty of offense but their rotation is a bit thin,with the Angels,Weaver is a lock but some of the others are easily hit and miss.
    And the Rays…they’ll bust out runs in a couple of games but without Longaria,they have trouble hitting their way out of a paper bag.
    Do the Yanks have their flaws? Yes they do but no more than the other teams that will be in the postseason this year.