Mailbag: Gardner, Pitchers, PTBNLs, Mo


Got four questions for you this week. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us anything — questions, comments, links, complaints, etc. — throughout the week.



Paul asks: I know Brett Gardner was never really a highly talked about prospect, but I don’t remember anything about him before making it to the show. Can you give a brief history of how the Yankees got and developed him?

You’re right, Gardner was never touted as a top prospect. He was more of a second tier guy, someone I ranked 13th (2007), 19th (2008), and 11th (2009) in my annual preseason top 30 prospects lists. In retrospect, I under-rated his elite defense and should have had him higher. Not many prospects have an elite carrying tool, but Gardner did.

The Yankees drafted him in the third round of the 2005 draft out of the College of Charleston, signing him for a modest $210k. Gardner went to Short Season Staten Island that summer and put up a .752 OPS with 19 steals in 73 games. The Yankees sent him to High-A Tampa to start 2006 season, then bumped him up to Double-A Trenton at midseason after he hit to a 150 wRC+ with 30 steals in 63 games. He posted a 95 wRC+ with 28 steals in 55 games with the Thunder to close out the season.

Sent back to Double-A Trenton to start 2007, Gardner missed almost the entire month of May when an errant pitch broke his right hand. He hit to a 120 wRC+ with 17 steals in 52 total games for the Thunder before being bumped up to Triple-A Scranton and managing a 91 wRC+ and 21 steals in 45 second half games. The Yankees sent Gardner back to Triple-A to open 2008, where he put up a 134 wRC+ with 37 steals in 94 games while getting a few cups of coffee. He was in the big leagues for good in 2009, meaning he went from third rounder to big leaguer in the span of three and a half years. Not bad.

Brian asks: Suppose either Hiroki Kuroda or Andy Pettitte returns next season. Beyond CC Sabathia you have three rotation spots open. Let’s say you can keep three of the following while the other two are, say, traded before the deadline for a corner outfielder with at least 1.5 years of team control left: Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno. Who do you keep?

So I assume this means Hughes would be re-signed to a whatever contract? Of those five, I’d keep Hughes, Pineda, and Phelps without much of a second thought. Nova has been dreadful for a full year now and I have little faith in Nuno as a soft-tossing lefty who can’t miss bats, especially in a small ballpark in the AL East. If Pineda comes back from the DL and pitches terribly or looks like a right-handed Nuno, then I’d probably take Nova over him.

Ultimately, I say keep all of these guys unless there happens to be a trade they just can’t refuse. Most of them have minor league options, and that flexibility and depth is always great to have. Sabathia and Pettitte/Kuroda aren’t getting any younger, plus young pitchers tend to go through ups and downs (in case you haven’t noticed). Having a whole bunch of pitchers is a good thing! As badly as they need a bat, I’d much rather hold onto these guys and deal prospects.

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

Paul asks: Trades are frequently done for a Player To Be Named Later (PTBNL). Does that PTBNL ever end up being useful? Have the Yankees ever gotten a useful one? Or lost a useful one?

Every so often a PTBNL will turn into a useful player, but it’s not common. Marco Scutaro might be the most famous PTBNL in recent history after going from the Indians to the Brewers in the Richie Sexson trade back in 2000.

I went all the way back to 1990 and dug up every PTBNL either traded by or acquired by the Yankees. Only five are noteworthy:

  • OF Lyle Mouton: PTBNL to White Sox for Jack McDowell in 1995. Mouton produced a 98 wRC+ from 1995-2001 as a part-time player for various teams.
  • RHP Jim Mecir: PTBNL to Red Sox for Mike Stanley in 1997. The Devil Rays plucked Mecir from Boston in the expansion draft a few weeks later, and he pitched to a 3.53 ERA (3.63 FIP) in 448.1 innings from 1998-2005.
  • 3B Scott Brosius: PTBNL from Athletics for Kenny Rogers in 1998. I think we all know what happened here.
  • IF Joaquin Arias: PTBNL to Rangers for Alex Rodriguez in 2004. Arias was one of the Yankees top prospects at the time and he’s bounced around as a utility infielder over the years. Won a ring with the Giants last year. Pushing the limits of “useful” here.
  • RHP Zach McAllister: PTBNL to Indians for Austin Kearns in 2010: McAllister has a 4.14 ERA (4.16 FIP) in 208.2 career innings for the Tribe, including a 3.43 ERA (4.22 FIP) in 65.2 innings this year.

It’s worth noting the Yankees acquired IF Charlie Hayes as a PTBNL from the Phillies for Darrin Chapin in 1992. That was Charlie’s first stint in pinstripes. He stayed with them in 1992 before being selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft after the season. New York eventually re-acquired him from the Pirates for the stretch drive in 1996. Otherwise, that’s it. Five, maybe six noteworthy PTBNL’s in the last 23 years.

Jaremy asks: Mariano Rivera struck out the side to beat the Mariners on Saturday. How many times has he struck out the side to register a save? How does that compare to his fellow closers?

You can thank the magic of the Baseball-Reference Play Index for this answer in advance. I’m going to limit this to one-inning saves since 1997, when Rivera officially got the closer’s job. Here’s the list (doesn’t include yesterday’s games, but I don’t think that changes anything anyway):

Rk Player #Matching ERA SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 Billy Wagner 35 1.03 35 35.0 17 4 2 9 105 0.74
2 Trevor Hoffman 31 0.00 31 31.0 15 0 1 7 93 0.71
3 Brad Lidge 24 0.00 24 24.0 10 0 0 13 72 0.96
4 Francisco Rodriguez 22 0.00 22 22.0 11 0 0 10 66 0.95
5 Craig Kimbrel 22 0.00 22 22.0 9 0 0 5 67 0.64
6 Eric Gagne 21 0.86 21 21.0 10 2 0 7 63 0.81
7 Robb Nen 19 0.95 19 19.0 8 2 1 4 57 0.63
8 Francisco Cordero 19 0.47 19 19.0 4 1 0 5 57 0.47
9 Jose Valverde 17 1.59 17 17.0 8 3 3 3 51 0.65
10 Jonathan Papelbon 16 0.56 16 16.0 10 1 0 5 48 0.94
11 Armando Benitez 16 0.56 16 16.0 7 1 0 5 48 0.75
12 John Rocker 14 0.64 14 14.0 8 1 0 7 42 1.07
13 Mariano Rivera 14 0.00 14 14.0 5 0 0 1 42 0.43
14 Joe Nathan 14 0.00 14 14.0 4 0 0 5 42 0.64
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/13/2013.

I don’t think it’s terribly surprising Wagner tops the list with 35 instances of striking out the side for a save; he has highest K/9 in baseball history among pitchers who have thrown at least 500 innings at 11.92. He’s actually tied with Lidge, who ranks third in the list above.

Rivera has only done it 14 times in the regular season believe it or not, but he’s never really been a super-high strikeout guy either. He’s been over a strikeout per inning just five times in his 17 years as a closer. Mo’s thing is broken bats and weak contact, not racking up strikeouts and overpowering hitters.

Categories : Mailbag


  1. Above and Beyond says:

    Wasn’t Cano supposed to be a choice for the PTBNL in the ARod trade? Or am I just making up things?

  2. Eddard says:

    For the rotation I’d keep Phelps, Nuno and Pineda. Phelps is consistent, Phil Hughes isn’t. Nuno showed promise in his 3 starts and is a LHP. They made the big trade for Pineda and we still need to see what he can do. Hughes needs to go. Nova needs to work more on his stuff. If they can get a good bat for Hughes/Nova they should do it immediately.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      If I could get a good bat for Nova, I’d do it as well, but I have a feeling the best bat I could get for him reads “Louisville Slugger” on it.

      I’m very divided as, while my tolerance for Nova has reached its, dare I say, BOILING POINT AAAAARGH, I do agree with Mike’s assessment that Nuno could become exposed rather quickly. Then again, soft-tossing lefties do actually go on to productive MLB careers if their location gets to a very precise point.

      • The Bastard says:

        Nova has more value than Hughes. Trade Hughes. He’s been worse and is hopefully gone after the year. Hope a NL team is willing to part with a platoon bat.

        The only way to know if Nuno gets exposed is by giving him a legit shot. BTW: Three teams gave up on Jaime Moyer, as one example.

        • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

          Hughes worse than Nova? That is nonsense talk. The numbers this season and last do not agree.

          Nova has almost no value now. He is in AAA with no record of recent success. We may be disappointed that Hughes is not more consistent and has not developed as we hoped, but that has led to a negative impression of what he has done. If the Yanks made Hughes available, several contenders would be interested. Not sure any real contenders would drop Nova into their rotation.

          • The Bastard says:

            The last two years are mighty close. And Nova peaked higher as a starter than Hughes ever did in a full season. You can’t simply cherry pick Hughes’ best starts. He’s never, ever sustained it over a full season. Nova has.

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:


              Wait, you’re serious, aren’t you?

              • The Bastard says:

                Look at the numbers, last four years.

                Hughes: 103, 74, 98, 83 ERA+
                Nova: 97, 116, 82, 80 ERA+

                Hughes has never shown the peak that Nova showed. And Nova has more to work with because he doesn’t give up bunches of homers.

                • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                  Nova was sent down for a month in his “full season” because he was so genuinely shitty, he then came back and got hot for 11 starts. Those 11 starts and June of 2012 are the only stretches in Ivan Nova’s professional career that he has been an above average player.

                  Hughes had a better first 11 starts in 2010. He also had a better 11 starts in 2012. The reason that he had worse stats overall those years is that the Yankees never sent him down to AAA, because he was getting mediocre results at the MLB level, rather than awful ones.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    Actually, no. Nova was getting better before they sent him down. CHeck the monthly splits.

                    Otherwise what you’re doing is the epitome of cherry picking. Hughes has never had a full-season as good as Nova’s. That’s a fact.

                    Nova has also never given up homers in bunches the way Hughes regularly does.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      Nova just gives up a bunch more singles and doubles to make up for it. He did have a league worst .511 SLG against last year after all.
                      Nova gave up 28 HR’s to Phil’s 35 last year, while pitching 21 fewer innings. They both give up huge power.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      Nova’s never had a good full season.

                      I will spot you “prolonged” success, but we simply have more of a track record with Hughes to know what he is/isn’t than Ivan Nova.

                      I stand firmly convinced that Phil Hughes can continue to be an inconsistent mid-rotation guy. I am not convinced in the least that Ivan Nova can be a back-end starter. That, to me, is the difference.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                      Exactly, R-Til.

                      Phil Hughes has been about league average 3 out of the last 4 seasons. In 2011 he was hurt all year.

                      Nova has been a major league caliber player for 1 out of the last 3 seasons. He was very good for the last 11 starts of that season, but otherwise he has been the same guy he has always been.

          • mitch says:

            Agreed. Nova’s value is at an all time low. I think it’d be best to keep him in AAA the rest of the year (assuming injuries don’t require otherwise). Hopefully he can straighten things out and then come back in spring 2014 and try to reclaim a rotation spot.

        • LK says:

          Nuno might be an MLB pitcher, but the Jamie Moyer comparison has got to stop. When Moyer was Nuno’s age he had already pitched a 200 inning season in MLB. Nuno’s career high is 140 innings last year. Just because they’re both lefties who can’t throw hard doesn’t mean they have anything to do with one another.

          • The Bastard says:

            It’s an existence proof and others have pointed other soft-tossing lefties. Just because Nuno is of that ilk doesn’t negate the need to give him a legit shot. No one is suggesting he’ll be great shakes. But to be better than Hughes, he doesn’t have to be. He only needs to be average. As a lefty in Yankee Stadium, the odds are on his side.

            • LK says:

              Sure. But there are differences between Moyer and Nuno. Can you find a soft-tossing lefty who had a handful of MLB innings before turning 26 who went on to have a career as an average starter? There might be one, but this would be a rarity, even more so than Moyer was.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            The Moyer comparison can resume in 2033.

      • Pat D says:

        Stop telling Mike what he can and can’t post.

      • Will in NJ says:

        Agreed that soft-tossing lefties can be successful, but Nuno’s peripherals don’t bode well:

        4.05 K/9, 2.70 BB/9, and 34.8% GB rate ain’t too pretty

        • The Bastard says:

          1. It’s a very small sample size. His mL peripherals suggest there could be more there.

          2. Check out Jaime Moyer’s peripherals. Yes, more Ks but also more walks and hits.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Nuno is 25. Moyer didn’t become the soft-tosser he was remembered as until he was in his mid-to-late-30s.

            Successful pitchers tend to wind up as soft-tossers, not start out as one.

            • The Bastard says:

              Not true. Moyer was there when he was 25 too. He never had the Ks and struggled with the control. When he was sent down in 1992 he came back with the control permanently. The Ks never improved.


            • Gonzo says:

              I thought Moyer was always a soft-tosser? He was 85 MPH in college, and he carried around scouting report that said he always had low velocity.

              Did he gain velocity with the Cubs and lose it again? Not that matters because I think Moyer is an outlier and a huge exception to the rule.

            • jon says:

              nuno is a soft tossing lefty who averages 88.3 mph

              but somehow phelps isnt a soft tossing righty this his blistering 89.7mph fastball

              • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                Phelps gets his fastball up to 94 when he needs to. When Nuno reaches back, he throws 89.

                This is why I like to do something called “research.” It’s awfully helpful in making sure I don’t look like an idiot.

  3. The Bastard says:

    3.5 years out of college is not all great. It’s another problem with the Yankees. The 2008 club had Melky scuffing. Gardner was repeating AAA and smoking. He deserved more of a shot. Instead they traded a bunch of depth for Nady and Marte. Those two wound up giving them a total of 0.9 bWAR. They lost 3-4x that in the guys they gave up. They clearly lost that trade ’09 Series and Marte, included. And all that when Garder was clearly deserving as he would prove one year later. As a third round pick out of college, 3.5 years was 1-1.5 years too long. Those guys deserve to move quickly if they are producing at all. Gardner was relative to his skillset.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “3.5 years out of college is not all great”

      Becoming a starting outfielder in the majors, at all, for a perennial contender, is.

      • The Bastard says:

        Your evidence is what? They actively held him back and traded for OF help when he was ready. His skillset – speed, defense, and OBP – was always there. There was nothing left to develop in 2008 and there’s an argument he was ready in 2007 and they had the need too. 1.5 years would have been impressive.

        When’s the last time the Yankees jumped someone into a starting role direct from AA?

        • The Real Me says:

          His statement was to your comment of 3.5 years out of college is not great. What’s your evidence to support that? I am curious to see if your comment is accurate.

          • The Bastard says:

            Sure, me too. But in Gardner’s case you can see where they needlessly held him back. I’d argue a guy like Neal should be up now too. Even if he’s initially worse than Ichiro or Wells, he has some upside left. They have only downsides. Why wait? Because that’s the Yankee Way? What are they waiting for?

            Gardner though was ready in 2007. The Eastern league isn’t a great hitter’s environment and he showed his skillset by that point.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              “I’d argue a guy like Neal should be up now too.”

              We agree there. At this point though I’d be happy if they brought up any of our AAA outfielders and gave them a full 2-3 weeks to let them sink or swim. Can’t be any worse than what we’ve been putting out there.

            • LK says:

              I mean, Gardner might’ve been ready in 2007, but he was also atrocious when they did give him a shot in 2008. You’re arguing your point (which has some validity) with far too much certainty.

              • The Bastard says:

                Atrocious in very limited at-bats. Meanwhile, Melky sucked up almost 4x as many at-bats that year and wasn’t much better. There was room to play Gardner.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          My evidence has been standing out in leftfield, other than injury, for a few years now. What other evidence do you need?

          Melky Cabrera got a cup of coffee in CF straight from AA and needed a map to find his way around.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        It’s funny to me that people assume that Gardner would have had the same level of success under any different circumstances. The Yanks’ farm system can be criticized on a lot of different levels, but criticizing the development of Gardner is pretty funny to me.

        • The Bastard says:

          You assume farm systems develop college players? Why? Just as often they screw them up.

          In Gardner’s case, his skillset didn’t need to be developed by any coach. You can’t teach speed. Without that, Gardner isn’t a MLBer. Clearly he also has good instincts in plate discipline and in the outfield. He had the same skills in college.

          • Jim Is Bored says:

            I have no idea where you’re getting any of these ideas. But you’re privy to your own opinions.

            • The Bastard says:

              When’s the last time a team taught a guy speed? Or plate discipline? Seriously, find me one guy. Those skills are either there or they are not. You don’t think the Yankees have tried to teach Mesa or Almonte how to read pitches? If you are going to give them credit, then you also have to blame them for their failures.

              As for outfield instincts, if they could be taught someone like Granderson would have learned them. He’s inherently coachable. He’s just not good at getting reads.

              Do you not watch games?

              • Jim Is Bored says:

                Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed.

                Of course you can’t teach speed. But you can teach work ethic, film study habits, how to read pitchers, how to work the count, how to position yourself.

                How do you know Granderson is “inherently coachable”. That’s such a weird thing to say.

                I’m not continuing this line of discussion. No one’s going to be changing any minds, and obviously I never watch any games so I know nothing about baseball.

                • The Bastard says:

                  You’ve ignored my point. Gardner’s skillset – the one that makes him a MLBer – is inherently not coachable. A player either has those skills or they don’t. All the stuff you mention is at the margins.

                  Again, you can’t claim a win for the Yankees farm in Gardner if you’re not also willing to count guys like Mesa and Almonte against them.

                  • Jim Is Bored says:

                    Major leaguers are made out of the margins.

                    And of course I’m willing to count guys like Mesa and Almonte against them(assuming they never contribute). The Yankees haven’t been very good at developing position players. I admitted that in my post.

                    But criticizing the development of the one success is weird to me. There are so many other low hanging fruits to choose from.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      The post was about Gardner. And in his case the margins didn’t matter. The skill set did. His is not a case like Jeter or Posada – guys with talent who needed good development time.

                    • Jim Is Bored says:

                      “And in his case the margins didn’t matter.”

                      If you really believe there’s ever a case where the margins don’t matter…then I have to ask you your own question. Do you ever watch games?

                  • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

                    TB, you are so far into your argument that you are missing the forest for the trees. You are right in that Gardner’s relative strengths– great defense and speed– are pretty much intrinsic. However, great D and speed are not sufficient if you hit .179. What Gardner had to learn in the minors was the ability to recognize and hit an increasing variety, quality and intensity of ML-caliber pitches. You’re not born with that, and you don’t get that from college. It’s purely a matter of speculation how much time Gardner needed in the minors to elevate his pitch recognition to the ML level, but it undoubtedly took SOME time. It’s not enough to just have a few strengths that are ML-quality– you also have to deal with the areas that are not strengths, in order to develop an all-around ML-quality player.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      And my point: he was there in 2007. Those numbers in AA showed he was ready. Those were not fluky numbers, not with his skillset. It was clear he would walk and make contact enough to make use of his speed.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth says:

                    Hah. Joey Gathright disagrees that you don’t need coaching.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      JOEY GATHRIGHT!

                      There were also about 20 Nixon brothers back in the day who could run real fast.

          • jjyank says:

            I don’t know if that’s true. I agree that you can’t teach speed, but college programs can also create bad habits for players that pro instructors have to fix. That doesn’t mean this happened with Gardner, but he spent 3.5 seasons in the Yankee system. There has to be some credit to give them for that. I highly doubt the Yankee coaches did absolutely nothing for Gardner.

    • The Real Me says:

      It would be interesting to see what the median & mean length of time college OF’ers take to make it to the Show. You’d want to limit this to players that stayed up (outside of some first year ups & downs) at least 3 seasons and look at the success they had compared to Gardner. Not sure if you could do this and I certainly don’t have the time to research it, but definitely think it would be interesting to compare Gardner to others.

  4. The Bastard says:

    I don’t see why Hughes, after all this time, is still being discussed as being worth anything and especially relative to guys who are proving to be better. Even Nova’s 2011 is far better than any season Hughes has ever put together as a starter. Hughes is at a career 4.70 ERA as a starter with a 88 ERA+ in the last three years. Nova is at a 4.50 ERA career-wise as a starter with a 95 ERA+ over the last three years. At what point does Hughes lose all of his first round shine. He’s a bullpen arm at-best. Nova still has a shot at being a league average starter. Hughes does not.

    As for Nuno, that’s typical Yankee fan arrogance. Soft-tossing lefties have storied histories. Jamie Moyer racked up 50 WAR (sure over 25! seasons). Look at his career peripheral of not missing many bats. In Yankee Stadium, Nuno could be plenty valuable if given a shot. He certainly deserves more of one than Hughes at this point.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      “He certainly deserves more of one than Hughes at this point.”

      If this has any merit, it’s because Hughes is about to hit free agency, and it’s probably not worth paying him what he’ll think he’s worth. Nuno’s cheaper.

      • The Bastard says:

        Nuno’s cheaper, younger, and a southpaw. His mL peripherals were also plenty good enough.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          Hughes had even better ML peripherals. They’re only worth so much.

          • The Bastard says:

            And so he’s been given far more MLB rope than he deserves. By now it’s clear he’ll never be a starting pitcher in the AL East. It was clear two years ago.

            Nuno’s barely been given a chance and has pitched far better than Hughes. He deserves the rotation until he;s exposed or proven himself.

            In these cases, the Yankees completely waste the option years. Ride the hot hand in Nuno and then send him down if necessary. Do that for all three option years. By the end they’ll know if they have something if he gets a few hundred innings. They have nothing to lose by trying. Hughes certainly isn’t helping.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              I have no problem letting Hughes pitch the rest of this season. But I’m on your side moving forward; unless Hughes is dirt cheap, I’m cool with saying goodbye.

              Regarding Nuno though, if you’re going to let him pitch up here, I don’t want to send him down at the first sign of trouble. Give him some peace of mind, let him work through some bad outings. At least give him as much rope as Nova has been given.

              • The Bastard says:

                Sure, that’s my point. Give guys like Nuno a month or two at a time. 6-8 starts is plenty enough to evaluate. If they need to work on stuff, then you send them down with areas to work on. Over three option years they could give him 50-60 starts. That’s plenty good enough to figure out who he might be.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

              By now it’s clear he’ll never be a starting pitcher in the AL East. It was clear two years ago.

              Huh? He is a legit starting pitcher in the AL East. Disappointingly only a back end starter, but clearly a legit starter.
              Last calender year: 33 starts, 4.28 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 4.33 xFIP
              For reference, AL average starter last year was 4.09/4.14/4.09
              Hughes is slightly below average for an AL starter, while pitching in a hitters park in a generally tough offensive division. That’s plenty legit for a back-end starter.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                *My mistake. AL average starter last year was 4.37/4.31/4.16/
                AL average starter this year: 4.23/4.15/4.02

              • The Bastard says:

                You want a below average starter on a team that strives for championships? That makes no sense. You don’t carry a below average starter. That’s why they traded Burnett. And his time with the Yankees was better than anything Hughes has been giving.

                88 ERA+ over the last four year is not *slightly* below average. 12% below average is huge.

                • The Bastard says:

                  P.s. The calendar year is selective cherry picking. Hughes has more than enough time as a starter to judge him for what he really is. That’s a well-below average starter.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                    I used calender year to get a bigger sample size- for a more accurate determination of what he is. I’ll give an even larger sample: past 2 years: 4.42/4.45/4.41. Still slightly below average for an AL starter. Factor in ballpark and division, and he’s very close to league average. That’s plenty good for a back of the rotation starter on a playoff team.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      Calendar year for bigger sample? He’s been a starter for the last four years. There’s no need to cherry pick.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      Really doesn’t matter.
                      2010-2013: 4.53/4.46/4.36.
                      Still slightly below average.
                      Still legit back of the rotation.
                      I would say more recent results are more relevant, but the point stands either way.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      You said:
                      *My mistake. AL average starter last year was 4.37/4.31/4.16/
                      AL average starter this year: 4.23/4.15/4.02

                      That’s distinct *not* slight below most especially when you rely on the peripheral-based stats. It’s horrid, really.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      really it’s not.
                      It’s about a 1-run/month difference from average. And that’s not accounting for park/division differences.
                      And I’m much more concerned with actual results than peripherals.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      So you present xFIP but want to rely on ERA? The difference in FIP and xFIP is far from 1 run a month. There the variance puts him far below average. Worse and for his age, he’s gone backwards each and every year. It used to be that folks would claim that Hughes was going to get better as he matured. I’m glad that argument is finally gone. Now, we get to argue about how far below average he is? Suffice it to say, he’s done and damn well should be. Let him go pitch for the Pirates or Padres.

                      Nice try though.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                  88 ERA+ relates to all pitchers. I’m comparing him only to starting pitchers, since that’s his role. He’s slightly below average compared to the AL SP average.

                  As for not carrying a below average starter, having a slightly below average starter filling one or two back of the rotation spots is perfectly fine. They traded AJ because he was horribly below average.
                  AJ’s last 2 years with the Yankees: 5.20 ERA/4.80 FIP/4.17 xFIP.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    Do you even read your own stats? A 4.17 xFIP is not horribly below average. It’s actually above average.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      I like how you choose to ignore the actual results part of that triple slash.
                      A 5.20 ERA is horribly below average.
                      That he consistently under pitched his peripherals doesn’t make the results any better.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      *It was his actual results that were horribly below average.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      Hmmm, except you’re the one presenting the the raw and normalized stats. So you know better what to trust and where noise masks actual performance. Folks pointed to those peripheral stats and showed that Burnett would likely be better. And no surprise, he has been.

                      See, if Hughes weren’t so homer prone there would be some hope he’d live up to his K/BB. The problem is that’s not the pitcher he has ever been. And he’s had more than enough time to prove all naysayers wrong.

            • LK says:

              “Nuno’s barely been given a chance and has pitched far better than Hughes.”

              Nuno’s peripherals at the MLB level are very bad. The sample small enough where he might be better than that, but once again you’re taking a point that has some amount of merit and acting like you can be 100% sure, which you definitely can’t.

              • The Bastard says:

                And where I suggest sending him back to the minors if he’s not up to snuff? That’s me acting like I’m 100% sure?

                • LK says:

                  You seem 100% sure that he should start getting starts over Hughes. I don’t think that’s anywhere close to a slam dunk.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    Hughes should not be starting anywhere for this team. He’s had four straight years. He’s 12% below average. Put him in the bullpen. Even Adam Warren deserves more of a shot. Hughes is what he is.

    • Kosmo says:

      the Yanks had Eddie Lopat in the late 40´s and early 50´s one of the all-time great soft tossing lefties. Tommy John ? The Yanks gave Larry Gura away to KC, another soft tossing LHP. Quintana ?
      I´m all for giving Nuno a shot.

  5. Gonzo says:

    I can’t tell if I’ll be bummed if Hughes and Joba leave or relieved at this point.

    • The Bastard says:

      And yet both will be, and should be, gone by next year. Joba they completely wasted. Hughes they gave way too much time to and have seen no improvement at all justifying it.

      • Gonzo says:

        Then the mixed emotions will arise again if they succeed elsewhere.

        • The Bastard says:

          Not for me. Hughes got four straight years. Joba though never got a legit chance. The competition was rigged.

          My mixed emotions are tied to the Yankees inability to develop the talent they get and their inability to draft well.

    • mitch says:

      I’ll be bummed when Hughes leaves, but not Joba. The Yankees certainly didn’t do him any favors in his development, but plenty of his trouble is self-inflicted.

    • LK says:

      I’d be fine either way. They’re both OK MLBers, but nothing special. They’re certainly good reminders of why you should never fall in love with prospects.

      • Gonzo says:

        I agree that thy’re nothing special, but I’m talking about sentimental value.

      • The Bastard says:

        And yet you assume the Yankees developed them well? Joba was very special with two pitches. And Hughes always had a good fastball. That they didn’t reach their talent is a sad fact of the Yankee farm more generally.

  6. FEED.ME.MORE! says:

    I love Gardner, but I wonder if he should be trade bait at the end of the season, especially after having a good season. You worry that speed-first guys will decline once they reach 30, and then he’s nearing free agency. We would be wary of signing him long-term, but then we’d lose him for practically nothing.

    Now, I’m not saying trade him just to trade him. The return would have to be worthwhile. But it’s an issue we should look into.

    Slade and Mason playing better would be a part of the equation as well.

  7. Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

    Looks like the David Adams first BB watch will be put on hold, giving Romine the temporary edge in the pool.
    Hopefully they give Neal a legit shot to play.

  8. RetroRob says:

    Mo is not a super-high K pitcher, but I will say that as much as any reliever, he does overpower hitters.

  9. Darren says:

    Cojno, everyone’s in such a bad mood!

    To quote Paul Stanley,

    “People! Peeeeeooople!”

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.