Yankees reassign Nardi Contreras, hire Gil Patterson as minor league pitching coordinator

Report: Yankees considering moving Gardner to center in 2013
Frankenstorm Open Thread Day IV

Via the NY Post: The Yankees have reassigned minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras and replaced him with Gil Patterson. Patterson has held the same role with the Athletics since 2008 and he’s had a number of coaching stints in the New York system dating back to the mid-80s. The Yankees interviewed Patterson for their pitching coach job before hiring Larry Rothschild in 2010. Contreras had been the club’s minor league pitching coordinator since 2005.

Between this move and the recent Billy Connors firing, it seems pretty obvious that the Yankees are not happy with how their minor league pitchers are developing, and they shouldn’t be. The only starting pitcher to really reach his ceiling under their watch in the last 10-15 years was Chien-Ming Wang. We all focus on the draft and international signings and all that, but acquiring talented amateur players means little if you can’t develop them properly. The Yankees have really struggled with their young pitchers in recent years, so change was in order.

Report: Yankees considering moving Gardner to center in 2013
Frankenstorm Open Thread Day IV
  • Eddard/Syrio Forel/Occasional Troll

    Great move. Ready for this team to finally develop a young homegrown ace.

  • vin

    Nardi and Billy were part of the old regime. I’m shocked they lasted this long in the organization.

  • Blake

    I would say the As have developed a pitcher or two since 2008…..

  • Robinson Tilapia (We go hard)

    I’m pretty surprised. It really seems like they’re finally looking in a different direction with pitching development. Nothing wrong with that. Those sour on pitching development absolutely have a leg to stand on, and perhaps a change of direction after having the same faces in charge for a while now is a good thing. I like.

  • viridiana

    Seems like an excellent move, especially with the A’s stellar record in developing pitching. At the same time I wouldn’t totally diss Contreras. He may or may not be responsible for the disappointing Betances and Brackman, but he did help develop D-Rob, IPK, Phelps and Nova. Hughes has delivered two years of 16 and 18 wins and a third lights-out bullpen year. Joba? Well, I wont touch that, though i have a feeling his best days lie ahead.

    Still, a different approach probably in order. And wasn’t Patterson once a highly regarded young Yankee prospect himself?

    • Bo Knows

      Phil, and Joba had Ace ceilings. Phil especially had his 16 and 18 wins but considering he was a guy who was supposed to be better than Lincecum (at his best) there is a huge issue with that. Same arguments could be said with Joba, Betances and Brackman’s inability to throw strikes and on top of that the fact that the yankees have been especially bad with keeping prospects healthy.

      • viridiana

        Well. most guys never reach their “ceilings” — and many reach them after age 25-26, which is where Phil and Joba are right now.
        The smartest thing the Yankees could currently do is extend Joba, when he is still very cheap and they will need late inning help. Two or three year deal would be smart. he’s only slated to make #2 muill or so next year so it would also be relatively cheap. Hughes IMO should be extended or traded (deals for Hughes and Grandy could bring back an outfielder and pitcher respectively). Both these guys have a lot of value left.

        • Bo Knows

          Of course most dont reach there ceilings but the yankees have developed exactly one pitcher since Andy P. That could be considered a consistently above average pitcher…..that is one person what will be 17 years since andy’s 96 debut. That flat out sucks. Phil is what he is right now which is a mid to back end starter, there is more hope for nova because he’ll be in just his 3rd year starting.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    Glad to see the Yankees are starting to be proactive for once. Benching stars when they don’t perform and now this. Would like to see more.

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      I’m happy with the move, too.

      But “proactive” is the last thing this move is. It’s reactive to the failures at producing successful young pitching. And it’s long overdue. The antithesis of proactive.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    I welcome the change. I agree change for the sake of change is wrong. But, the Yanks have had small successes compared to other clubs. Yes, they pick late in the draft for the most part which hinders some progress. Its a total plan and a new face and mind may move things in the right direction and for the better.

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    I like Nardi but this seems like a move that was needed.

    Anyone remember the short but fervent buzz for Ryan Bradley?

    Prospect loving is the triumph of hope over experience.

    • KeithK

      Yes, prospects are about hope. But that’s part of what makes baseball fun. And if one of the prospects turns into the homegrown ace it all seems worth it.

    • Ghost of Joe Dugan

      Let me guess, you write for a fortune cookie company.

  • Bartolo I hurt my Colon

    I’m Bartolo and I approve this message.

  • Joe

    It can’t get worse. Let’s see if they change the way they baby the pitches under Patterson.

    • Nolan Ryan

      That’s right! Next year we’re going to have a contest to see who can put more pitchers on the DL.

  • Bo Knows

    I like this, something was seriously wrong since essentially 5 yankee pitching prospects have actually become starters (including IPK) at the MLB level, and as Mike noted, only one reaching his ceiling….something is seriously wrong with that, even if you take into account the inherent danger of pitching prospects.

    Oakland has had a very good program with developing starters, so hopefully Patterson can keep things up with the yankees

  • TomG

    Hughes is a major league pitcher. As is Kennedy. And Chamberlain. And Robertson. Tyler Clippard is a solid reliever. As is Phil Coke. To play devil’s advocate, who projected Wang to be a top of the rotation starter? Nobody thought that was his ceiling. I’m not so sure that minor league development was the problem here.

    • Bo Knows

      Hughes and Joba were supposed to be well above average starting pitchers, that didn’t happen, the Yankees have never had problems developing relievers, they are arguably one of the best at developing relievers, but their record with starting pitchers leaves much to be desired (and that’s being kind

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I’m not so sure that minor league development was the problem here.


      It was the problem

  • mick taylor

    i suggested on this website a month ago that the yanks should sign patterson. i guess cashman agreed

  • lordbyron

    It’s about time these moves were made!

  • http://msn patrick

    Great pitching coach the Yankees will prosper under him. He has had sucess everywhere he has gone.

  • judy Estill

    I am glad to see Gil back with the Yankees. I met Gil in 2002 when he was at the Chattanooga, Tn airport. He had been to TN for a family funeral and I was at the airport flying to Tampa to see my son. This was the first time I had flown since my husband had died and was a little apprehensive about flying. Gil made me feel relaxed and made the trip much more pleasant. I have followed his career and am very glad he is back with the Yankees. Hope he just keeps going up and up! Good Luck Gil. Judy Estill