Tuesday Night Open Thread

Sherman: Yankees sign J.R. Murphy to one-year contract for 2014
Report: Yankees sign Australian right-hander Brandon Stenhouse

That short video above is a look at Yankees farmhand SS John Murphy, the team’s sixth round pick out of Sacred Heart University in last summer’s draft. He signed for $20k as a fifth year senior and had a rough pro debut (38 wRC+ in 137 PA) with Short Season Staten Island. The video focuses on Murphy’s family and how his outlook changed after his father’s death. It’s pretty neat, so check it out.

Once you’re done with that, use this as your open thread for the night. The Devils and Knicks are both playing, so talk about those games or anything else your heart desires right here. Have at it.

Sherman: Yankees sign J.R. Murphy to one-year contract for 2014
Report: Yankees sign Australian right-hander Brandon Stenhouse
  • Nathan

    AJ Burnett has decided to pitch this season.

    Who hangs up first, on a one-year deal? Yankees or Burnett?

    I personally think he’d be OK as the #3-#4 guy as he wouldn’t be expected to be anything more than an inning eater.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The Yankees will never do it but he makes lots of sense, especially on a one-year deal. Burnett as the fifth starter and put Phelps into a relief role, then bam, you’ve improved both the rotation and bullpen with one signing.

      • Farewell Mo

        You think he’d have success pitching in NY after essentially being run out of town on a rail posting an ERA over 5.00 in each of his last 2 seasons as a Yankee?

        I think he’d be more likely to have a nervous breakdown on the mound.

        • Dale Mohorcic

          A.J. Burnett in Spanish is pronounced Javier Vazquez. True story.

          • Farewell Mo

            That is true though I don’t think you can say the Yankees wouldn’t have won the WS that year without Burnett.

            He pitched a strong game 2 in the ALDS in a Yankee sweep over Minnesota

            He pitched a strong game 2 and got rocked in game 5 in a 4-2 series win over the Angels in the ALCS

            He pitched a strong game 2 and got destroyed in game 5 in a 4-2 WS win over the Philles.

            He was also pretty mediocre in the regular season pitching to an FIP of 4.33 and the Yankees won the division by 8 games in spite of that.

            If you’re talking about Arod or Sabbathia, absolutely but not so sure about Burnett.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting


              • Farewell Mo

                Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Jorge’s comment that flags fly forever he made in regard to Burnett.

            • Steve (different one)

              He got destroyed in game 5 of the WS on 3 days rest, a fact history has forgotten.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Seems lazy to assume his problems are New York related and not pitching is hard related. Did he not have a nervous breakdown in 2009 but had one from 2010-11?

        • hogsmog

          Or we can go with Phelps who posted a 5.00 era his last 1 season as a Yankee…

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Pass. I just don’t see how the movie is any better the second time around, even at the #5. Flags fly forever, though.

    • RetroRob

      All I know is I hope he doesn’t sign with the Orioles, because he will kick the Yankees butt as he did in Toronto.

  • TWTR

    According to the New York Post, the Yankees signed some Australian pitching prospect :


    • Alex Rodriguez

      A Melbourne teenager has signed a lucrative professional contract with the Yankees that will make him a millionaire before he can legally drive.

      • Farewell Mo

        I also noticed that a 19 year old Australian basketball player, Dante Exum, might be the best player entering what is supposed to be a loaded NBA draft this year.

        The Aussies have some good athletes.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Best PG at least.

    • RetroRob

      The return of Graham Lloyd? Loading up for a brawl with the Orioles!

    • Chris W.

      If he works hard he can be the next Mark Hutton,

  • Another guy named Mike

    I played for the University of Melbourne’s baseball team back in the mid 90s when I was an abroad student. We had 5 divisions of teams (and one was a full WOMEN’S team) and we had some guys who could stick and a few who could probably make it through the high minors. It was really weird playing ball on a footy (Aussie Rules Football) field. They had an academy in Melbourne that was run by a former MLB Catcher (I want to say it was Tom Nieto but Wikipedia says that timeframe he was an instructor with the Yanks) … helluva lot of fun.

    Australia has produced MLB guys aside from Lloyd – Craig Shipley, Dave Nillson, Grant Balfour, Damian Moss, Peter Moylan as well as a host of guys nobody will remember. While this kid’s stats are unimpressive, throwing 93 at 17 can’t be a bad thing if he can harness it – Aussies are tough customers.

  • nsalem

    Wonder how much of Ubaldo’s end of season success can be attributed to some really weak offensive oposition. Royals,Twins Astros and WhiteSox were all worse than the Yankees in many offensive categories.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I think you make a valid point. In his final 12 starts, spanning from his last start in July through the end of the season he faced Texas, Miami, LAA, Oakland, Minnisota(twice), Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, Chicago (Twice), and Huston. Of all of those teams, he faced what? Maybe 3 good line ups in, in Texas, Oakland, and Baltimore. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t sign him, but the rumor of 3/39 is probably my personal ceiling for Ubaldo.

      • nsalem

        I’m not positive but just glancing at his last 4 starts the only qualifying batters he faced with 100 or over OPS+ were Brain Dozier (100) Adam Dunn (103) and Chris Carter (112). He did have some nice starts against some quality offenses but only made it into the 7th 3 times Cincinatti, Texas and Atlanta. The other 4 or 5 starts that were very good against top flight offenses he was always out of the game in the 5th or 6th inning. I just speculate how much the teams looking to sign him take this into account. His second half sort of reminds me of Phil Hughes 1st half in 2010 when he faced a lot of bad teams and then he had several starts against better offensives who were either resting or had injured key offensive key players. I always considered Phil’s first 1/2 of 2010 very much a luck of the draw and am starting to feel the same way Ubaldo’s 2nd half of this year. Maybe I’m wrong. Who know’s?

        • Dalek Jeter

          One other thing I noticed…the more he faces a team the more poorly he seems to do against them. He faced Detroit 3 times last year (granted, it is Detroit, probably the best offensive team in baseball last year):

          First time: 6IP 1ER 8/1 K/BB
          Second Time: 4IP 6ER 3/3 K/BB
          Third Time: 3IP 3ER 3/3 K/BB

          I mean, I’m not a scout, and it’s not like I watched a second of any of those games…but it looks like…he did the opposite of make adjustments.

          • nsalem

            True but on the other hand he was pretty effective twice against Texas, Toronto and Oakland although he didnt really get to deep into those games. His career certainly has been a mysterious one. Seems like he wants 4 years, but it looks like he’ll after settle for 3. Would be curious to see him as a Yankee and get a closer look, buts as you said not for 4 years. If we don’t sign him I hope he wnds up in the NL. I’m going to sleep, nice chatting with you.

  • RetroRob

    So Andy Pettitte, 7th best big game pitcher since 1952.


    Surprised no one had tried to quantify this before. Problem is the material is behind Bill James’ pay-wall, but a few stories have leaked out.

    • nsalem

      Andy was indeed a great big game pitcher but he did have some really big imposions in big spots. There was Game 1 an 1996 WS, Game 6 in the 2001 WS. I think one of his worst regular season starts was on September 5 2003. Sox came in 3 1/2 down and Andy gave up 8 runs in 2 1/3 innings. They beat Clemens the next day 11-0 but Wells saved us on Sunday giving up 0 ER in 7 1/3 for a 3-1 Yankee win. That was the start of an 8 game winning street which essentially wrapped up the division title which seemed meaningless except it did give us the HFA for the 7th game of the ALCS. The Monday game of September 8th was one of the stangest games I have ever been to. It was an afternoon game and the first day of school. It was the make-up game of a July 22 rainout vs the Jays. The crowd was announced as 8848 but seemed much smaller the Yankeees won the game going away 9-3. Another odd game was played the next week with the Yankees playing an afternoon game vs the Orioles with an approaching hurricane. The wind was incredible and the game was called a tie and an official gameafter the 5th making it a 163 game season for the Yankees in 2003. Wells was a great big game pithcer IIRC wonder if he’s anywhere on that list.

      • jg916

        The story has it that Pettitte was tipping his pitches in Game 6 of the 2001 WS. Which would certainly explain his dreadful performance in a game that would have won the Series for the Yanks.

      • RetroRob

        Absolutely, but he’s pitched so many big games that of course he will have some clunkers mixed in. James’ approach looks at the entire career and attempts to come up with a formula for big games that are not even necessarily post season games. Any clunkers would be part of the results.

        From his analysis, Pettitte ranks as the 7th best big game pitcher since early 50s.

        I just thought it was interesting. I don’t expect any pitcher to be perfect, but I always felt comfortable with Andy took the mound.