2015 Midseason Review: Odds & Ends

Mailbag: Kimbrel, Gallardo, A-Rod, Outfielders, Severino
7/17 to 7/19 Series Preview: Seattle Mariners

Time to tie up some loose ends and conclude our Midseason Review series. The second half of the 2015 seasons starts tonight, thankfully. I’ve come to appreciate the All-Star break, but yeah, I am ready for more baseball.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

G.I. Jones and the Serial Killer

By bench player standards, Chris Young has been dynamite this season. He’s mashing lefties and playing strong defense, which are his two main job functions. Garrett Jones, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have a set role. He’s the backup at first base, yeah, but otherwise he doesn’t play regularly against righties or anything. Jones has started just 28 of the team’s 88 games, for example. He batted 28 times in April. That’s it.

Playing that infrequently didn’t exactly help Jones remain productive. He went 6-for-40 (.150) before hitting his first home run on May 22nd, a pinch-hit three-run homer into the Yankee Stadium short porch. That seemed to get him going. Jones is 24-for-89 (.270) with four homers since then, including at least one big one …

… while continuing to play sporadically. Jones is hitting .233/.277/.395 (84 wRC+) with five homers overall — again, he’s been much better since that dreadful start — and all things considered, he’s been really good for his role. That backup first baseman/fifth outfielder/lefty power bat off the bench who rarely plays. This is exactly the kind of veteran dude you want in this role. Not some prospect with an actual future.

John Ryan Murphy, meanwhile, has a total of 85 plate appearances as Brian McCann‘s backup this year, and is hitting .247/.286/.325 (65 wRC+). That’s about on par with the league average for backup catchers. Murphy’s defense has been fine to the untrained eye — he’s thrown out six of 19 attempted base-stealers (32%), so teams have tried running on him in limited action — and for whatever reason the pitching staff has better strikeout (23.4%) and walk (5.6%) rates with him behind the plate than McCann (21.8% and 7.2%, respectively). Could easily be sample size noise.

The Yankees reached the point where something had to happen with their catching depth. Someone had to go, and it was Francisco Cervelli, who was two years from free agency. The Yankees turned him into Justin Wilson, gave Murphy the backup job, and managed to keep Austin Romine in Triple-A as a non-40-man roster player. As an unabashed JRM fan, I’m happy with the way things turned out and I look forward to seeing Murphy continue to develop on both sides of the ball.

Futility Infielders

Pirela. (Patrick Smith/Getty)
Pirela. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

It feels like more, but the Yankees have had four differential utility infielders this season, not counting the just called up Rob Refsnyder. Gregorio Petit, Jose Pirela, Brendan Ryan, and Cole Figueroa have hit a combined .209/.243/.310 (~53 wRC+) in 140 plate appearances. Pirela (41 wRC+) has exactly half those plate appearances. There’s a decent chance the Yankees will stick with Refsnyder as the regular second baseman and push Stephen Drew in the backup infielder role going forward, which would still be a net upgrade even as bad as Drew has been. Young, Jones, and Murphy have been pretty good off the bench, all things considered. The infielders have … not.

Get Called Up, Get Injured

When Jacoby Ellsbury hit the DL, the Yankees first called up Slade Heathcott, and it was a great story. Slade has dealt with all sorts of on-the-field and off-the-field issues over the years, so much so that he was dropped off the 40-man roster in the offseason, but he came to Spring Training healthy and played well in Triple-A. He earned the call up, went 6-for-17 (.343) with a homer, then blew out his quad and landed on the DL for a few months. Brutal.

Heathcott’s injury opened the door for Mason Williams, who battled mostly work ethic and makeup problems the last few years, but had the proverbial light bulb go on this offseason. He played well in Double-A and Triple-A, got called up to replace Slade, went 6-for-21 (.286) with three doubles and a homer, then suffered a shoulder injury diving back into first base on a pickoff throw. The day-to-day injury turned into a 60-day DL stint. I repeat: brutal.

The only young fourth outfielder to escape the injury bug in the first half was Ramon Flores, who got called up to replace Williams and went 7-for-32 (.219) with a double. He’s been up and down a few times and hasn’t gotten the everyday opportunity like Heathcott and Williams did before getting hurt. Maybe that’s the team’s way of keeping him healthy. I’m glad the Yankees have given their young outfielders a chance. It sucks they keep getting hurt. Seriously hurt too.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

One Hundred Pitches Or Less

Through 88 games this season, the Yankees have had a starting pitcher throw 100+ pitches only 22 times, tied with the Rockies and Royals for the fewest in MLB. Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi have both thrown 100+ pitches seven times, Adam Warren did it four times before being put in the bullpen, CC Sabathia has done it three times, and Masahiro Tanaka has done it once. That’s it. The Yankees do have 38 starts of 90-99 pitches, for what it’s worth.

The lack of 100+ pitch starts is the result of many things, first and foremost ineffectiveness. Sabathia and Eovaldi have gotten knocked around a bit at times, Warren struggled in April, and even Tanaka and Pineda went through rough stretches. The Yankees also have a strong bullpen and Joe Girardi has not been shy about going to it early rather than letting his starter go through the lineup a third time. Can’t say I blame him.

That said, the Yankees rank 22nd in innings by starters (510) and eighth in innings by the bullpen (283.1), which is a bit unbalanced. Over the last five years the ratio of rotation innings to bullpen innings is almost exactly 2.0 (1.996, to be exact) in the AL. The Yankees are at 1.80 this year. I’m not saying it can’t work all year, but it would be nice to see Girardi let the starters go a little deeper into games to help avoid bullpen burnout, especially with multi-run leads. I’m not sure asking the relievers to get a dozen outs each night is a built to last strategy.

Mailbag: Kimbrel, Gallardo, A-Rod, Outfielders, Severino
7/17 to 7/19 Series Preview: Seattle Mariners
  • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

    George A. King III @GeorgeAKingIII
    Beltran not ready to leave DL; Tanaka back on the bump; Mason Williams might need surgery http://nyp.st/1TGmVey

  • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

    George A. King III @GeorgeAKingIII
    Beltran not ready to leave DL; Tanaka back on the bump; Mason Williams might need surgery http://nyp.st/1TGmVey

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      Well, the surgery for the great MW63 would suck. :(

      • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

        Might hurt his trade value.

  • Dalek Jeter

    The 2nd biggest reason I want Jones to play more (behind Young’s inability to hit RHP) is I’d really like to use this video/song more often when he does well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oqAU5VxFWs

    That said, he’s bad, like REALLY bad on defense.

  • Dalek Jeter

    The 2nd biggest reason I want Jones to play more (behind Young’s inability to hit RHP) is I’d really like to use this video/song more often when he does well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oqAU5VxFWs

    That said, he’s bad, like REALLY bad on defense.

  • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

    I honestly think that Mason gets outrighted off the 40 man this offseason if he does indeed have shoulder surgery

    • Chip

      Yankees have lots of decisions that need to be made with the 40 this offseason. I don’t know exactly which players have to be added (though I think Jake Cave is one). Capuano, Drew, Young and Jones I believe are all free agents.

      A cursory glance at the roster and I would think the following players would be likely to get DFA/Outrighted ahead of Williams:

      Cole Figueroa
      Diego Moreno
      Danny Burawa
      Sergio Santos
      Brendan Ryan
      Chris Martin

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Yup. You also know the OF logjam gets cleared up one way or the other.

        I do think there’s a non-zero chance Mason and Slade have used up the org’s patience, though.

        • Chip

          I think that Cashman would still rather keep them than say a Tyler Austin or even Ramon Flores just because they still have higher ceilings and did show at least a little bit that they can handle next level play.

      • TheEvilUmpire

        Burawa is a legit bullpen prospect, but the rest are all cannon fodder.

        • Chip

          Yeah, but the Yankees have a lot of legit pen prospects. It’s possible that someone like Burawa just gets traded for a minor league relief pitcher that they don’t need to put on the 40.

          Again, it depends on how many roster spots they need – there’s still a lot that can happen between now and then.

  • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

    I honestly think that Mason gets outrighted off the 40 man this offseason if he does indeed have shoulder surgery

  • Yankenstein

    2nd half can’t start soon enough.

  • calripyankee

    Kinda hoping G Jones doesn’t need to play more in the second half..

  • Chip

    Bringing in Garrett Jones as part of the Eovaldi trade was absolutely the right move. The Yankees had no idea what they would get from the combination of Alex, Tex and Beltran and Jones is insurance for all three either at DH, RF or 1b. In fact, before the season started I predicted that Jones would probably get more at bats than Alex based on Alex’s health. The fact that he hasn’t played much is a really good thing for the Yankees…it sucks for Jones, but it means that Beltran, Alex and Tex have been mostly healthy and productive.

    JRM and Pirela are going through what most young players go through when asked to adapt to bench roles in the bigs. They have been playing every day since they were 13, going from that to playing once every week or so is a huge adjustment and one that not every player can make. It’s why I kind of wish that the Yankees would have used guys like Pirela, Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Laird in a reserve role in AAA before asking them to do it in the bigs. Get them prepared for the role they will be playing as opposed to one they won’t. They aren’t guys with huge trade value so what’s the harm?

    Because of how few innings the starters are pitching and the inflexibility of the roster when it comes to the rotation – I would seriously focus on the pen at the deadline. Maybe not Kimbrel or Clippard, but get another high end RH relief pitcher like Maurer. One day you can close out games with Shreve, Maurer and Miller, the next you have Warren, Wilson and Betances…no one gets overworked, there’s very little dropoff from one group to the next, and you improve all your starters for less than it would cost to improve one of them.

    • Sir Didi Nakamura

      Getting Jones was a great move by Cashman. The move just looks bad to some people because bad things haven’t happened thankfully. (Teix/A-Rod DL)

      • Chip

        Exactly. It’s like insurance. You hate paying for it if you don’t use it but at the same time you don’t want to use it.

      • TheEvilUmpire

        If Tex were hurt, all we would be hearing about is how Jones is doing his best Overbay impression.

  • lewellyn

    I just ran across this article at Pinstriped Pundits about Stephen Drew.

    It makes note that Drew’s wrc+ is the 12th worst in the league. But like Mike Axisa’s hack-job with the Batted ball velocity, Pinstriped Pundits leaves out one important fact in its link. It’s obvious why they did it, of course:

    Didi Gregorius is tied with Drew as 12th worst wrc+ in the league, something they’re very careful to avoid mentioning in their article even though it’s right there in their own link right above Drew (just like Didi’s ball velocity was right next to Drew’s). It’s obvious why they did it, so as to give Didi a free pass – just as he’s been given a pass throughout the season at Drew’s expense.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      How oblivious do you have to be to think Gregorius has gotten a pass?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Obvious crush on Axisa is obvious.

        • Jacob

          I’ve decided this is a troll

          • Sir Didi Nakamura

            Or one of the classic “I love him/her but I’m gonna be a dick to them because I love them”

            How cute

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Thank goodness we were spared the profusely masturbating part.

              • Y’s Guy

                Despite supporting the trade that brought him here, I was really really hard on Didi earlier when he was struggling, calling for them to start benching him if he didn’t improve, many here can attest to that.
                However, his game has improved markedly over the past 6 weeks or so on both sides of the ball. Improvment and progress are what we were hoping from out of Didi and he’s been improving and progressing nicely as the year has gone on.
                I don’t think he’s been getting a free pass, but I also don’t think he needs one now, He’s okay and he’s getting better.
                I wish I could say the same thing for Eovaldi, who’s aquisition I also supported but whom I’ve also been really hard on due to the lack of progress.

      • lewellyn

        Considering they play the same position but it is Drew that has gotten overwhelmingly most of the negative press? And given these rather obvious and dishonest shenanigans?

        I think you’re the one who’s oblivious.

        Give me one good explanation from the Batted ball chart – and this latest bit of “lies of omission” in Pinstriped Pundits – where this was not done to protect Didi by attacking Drew?

        It’s been going on for a while now, from the NYT to the NYP…the media is ignoring Didi’s faults and is even now in full excuse-making mode for Didi as “too much pressure for replacing Jeter” or other nonsense while calling for Drew’s head.

        If anything, they are the equivalent players with the same level of production – but the manner in which the press is treating that production is totally different. What, if anything, does that entail but prejudice?

        • Chip

          The difference between the two of them that the media (and majority of the fan base) is smart enough to see is that Drew is at the end of his career and in decline. Didi is at the beginning of his career and hopefully his best days are ahead of him.

        • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

          Have you watched Didi’s performance the last 3 or 4 weeks? Unlike Drew, Didi is starting to show stability with the bat and the defense and really, he’s not being Ian Desmond and making us panic on every ball hit to him. Calling Mike oblivious is crap.

        • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Sure sounds like you’re the one with the agenda here.

        • blake

          Didi has been worth almost a full win more than Drew…..so even if you continue to totally ignore that they are two totally different players with regards to where they are in their careers…..didi has been a better player this year than Drew has for the Yankees…….and has been significantly better recently

        • Deep Thoughts
        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          Last time I checked, shortstop and second base were different positions.

          • ruralbob

            Then it must be Drew feeling the pressure to replace Cano.

        • Some Asshole

          You didn’t hear it from me, but the Pinstriped Pundits are actually joint task force teams between the CIA, OSS, and the Cheka monitoring your bath time rituals.

          • TheEvilUmpire

            SAVAK makes sure all of Mark Teixeira’s food is gluten free and the Stasi watches Hideki Matsui’s porn collection.

            • Some Asshole

              And that’s about all that the Stasi was good for.

              • TheEvilUmpire

                These defunct secret police agencies need something to do with their time!

    • Jacob

      This is blasphemous.

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      Let’s be honest here, we can make an argument without having to trash Mike for writing it. It’s hard to take you seriously with it and I credit Mike for not ripping your face off below.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It’s a conspiracy against you and Terry. We’re all in on it; and we would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you rascally kids. Scooby Dooby Doo!

      • Jacob

        Dumb, meddling kids

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        It’s meddling you rascal.

        • Some Asshole

          Rascal = using a Rascal. Jorge is teh oldz.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Schooled on Scooby Doo by a couple of guys twenty years younger than me. S’all good, folks. S’all good.

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            I still watch it weekly. Kthx.

      • Sir Didi Nakamura

        I’m so disappointed in you for either getting “meddling” wrong or purposefully putting “rascally.”

        Respect -100

      • Deep Thoughts

        Most important life lesson you’ll get out of a cartoon.

        http://d.justpo.st/media/images/2014/01/52aab6fe3e1ef399575f4e6fb51e6d6a.jpg

        • Sir Didi Nakamura

          If this was really their goal then that really went over my head.

        • Dalek Jeter

          That the real monsters are humans rich white guys usually trying to cheat people out of money or property.

          Yeah, that’s right, the Scooby Gang where a bunch of commies.

          • TheEvilUmpire

            The Scooby Gang is the 99%!

          • Some Asshole

            New nickname for captainmike, sweet.

    • blake

      maybe because Drew and Gregorius are apples to oranges as players…..Gregorius is a 25 year old long term project…..Drew is a 31 year old on a one year deal trying to hang on to his career. It’s not the same thing…..also Didi has been killed most of the season until he started to play better….which is has for awhile now.

    • Patrick

      I don’t think Didi has been that bad. His hitting and fielding have gotten better every month. There is definitely a positive trend. He’s in the upper third of all shortstops for defense, and in the bottom third for offense. About what we would expect I think. His hitting will continue to improve too, IMO

    • Sir Didi Nakamura

      Drew > Didi

      • TheEvilUmpire

        I think you missed that math class in grade school about the greater than/less than signs, and how the shark mouth always wants to eat the side with more fishies.

        • Sir Didi Nakamura

          Drew is a huge seafood enthusiast

          • Jacob

            Hideki Matsui is an avid porn collector

            • Sir Didi Nakamura

              The prostitute opens her mouth to the side with the most dicks?

              • Some Asshole

                Who wouldn’t?

            • TheEvilUmpire

              At least he has the money to devote a whole house to porn if he wishes.

        • Some Asshole

          A real shark says “fuck that, I’m eating them all.”

          • Sir Didi Nakamura

            Yeah and people actually purchase 32 pineapples in one shopping trip.

            • TheEvilUmpire

              Maybe if you were throwing a Hawaiian luau for 200 people?

              • Sir Didi Nakamura

                Then it’s 200 pineapples.

            • Some Asshole

              31 up the butt doesn’t leave me feeling satisfied.

              • TheEvilUmpire

                You’re on fire in the dick joke department today!

                • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

                  He’s from Canarsie, he’s probably heard and seen his fair share.

                  • Tom

                    He’s gonna have a kid too.

                • Some Asshole

                  My dick is on fire? This might complicate the pregnancy.

    • Dalek Jeter

      There’s a few key differences between Drew and Didi. First and foremost is age, Didi is 25, where as Drew is in his early 30s. Didi’s a pre-prime player where as Drew’s best days (even if he hadn’t been awful) are almost certainly behind him. Secondly is their actual production, basically all of Drew’s 71 wRC+ has come from his 12 homers. Take that away and he’s nothing. They may work out to the same but Didi’s production has been far more consistent. Third, Didi plays a harder defensive position, where league average production is lower than Drew’s position. Fourth, Didi has shown but steady improvement, and has been league average at SS since the begininning of may, while Drew has continued to be “occasional homer, but nothing besides.”

      Now that I’ve defended Didi, if anything Mike and the rest of the media have been (fairly or not) hard on Didi. Go back and read Mike’s halfway review on Didi, he focuses far more on his early season troubles than he does on his improvement since. As for the rest of New York media, find me one article or podcast praising Didi when discussing him and not talking about how underwhelming he’s been.

    • Some Asshole
    • The Great Gonzo

      Hey guys, is this when we rip off our shirts and expose out #TeamDidi’ shirts, NWO style?

  • dkidd

    the serial killer has made better contact than his stats indicate. seriously bad babip luck this season

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      The entire season seems like BABIP fail at times.

      • dkidd

        every fan of every team thinks:

        they’re getting screwed by babip
        they’re terrible at hitting with runners in scoring position

        i swear it’s something to do with how the brain processes information

        • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

          Yeah well, everyone wants BABIP to be good. Hell, so do I.

        • Gregory Eckes

          Yankees BaBIP is ,283. Only the Reds, Mets, and Mariners are lower

          • dkidd

            yankees also have the smallest difference between team avg and team babip

            i have no idea what this means

            • Sir Didi Nakamura

              Aliens

        • Sir Didi Nakamura

          So true

        • Dalek Jeter

          Also Umpires are screwing their team and favoring the other team. It’s a simple case of confirmation bias. Every time a line drive finds a glove it’s “those never fall for us” because you just saw it happen and your mind wants to be right so it makes forget that your team netted a baserunner on a bloop 2 innings ago.

          • Sir Didi Nakamura

            “That was a solid double/2 RBIs my team had on that BOOMING popup.”

    • Gregory Eckes

      Murphy’s BaBIP this year is .333

      • dkidd

        but my eyes!
        feels like every start he gets robbed of a hit

      • http://batman-news.com nyyankfan7

        oh gregory, you and your silly facts

  • Gregory Eckes

    Interesting that the starters throwing less than 100 pitches isn’t affecting the Royals who have the best record in the AL.

  • Gregory Eckes

    NEED SOME GODDAMN YANKEES TRADE NEWS. COME ON BRIAN! ;)

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      IT’S ONLY JULY 17. IT’S TOO EARLY. WHY ARE WE SCREAMING?

      • Gregory Eckes

        BOREDOM

      • Sir Didi Nakamura

        SHUT UP ADAM, TRYING TO GET SOME GODDAMN SLEEP.

        • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

          IT’S 1:46 IN THE AFTERNOON

          • Some Asshole

            So early.

          • Sir Didi Nakamura

            I SAID SHUT UP

            • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

              NO!

          • Dalek Jeter

            I’d absolutely be sleeping if I wasn’t at work. All about that sleep when I can life.

          • Some Asshole

            Hey, waiddaminute, it’s 12:54 here. Someone is lying!

            • Dalek Jeter

              Time, social construct, yadayada.

            • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

              Screw CDT.

              • Some Asshole

                Agreed.

                • TheEvilUmpire

                  Damn Commie plot!

    • Tom

      The fish from Anaheim must be lured east.

    • Some Asshole

      Uh…the Yankees trade…erm…Anthony Claggett to the…*dart board* …Adelaide Bite in exchange for…two tickets to Taylor Swift and…1994 Rick Cerone.

      • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

        What was Cerone doing in ’94? He last played in ’92. Was he already broadcasting by then?

        • Some Asshole

          I don’t remember if he started in the booth by ’94, but he was definitely doing his best James Woods impersonation at the time.

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            He was in the booth for 1996 and 1997 only.

            • Some Asshole

              August ’94 through around August ’95 is a black hole in my memory. Not just because of the strike.

              • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

                94 was Dewayne Staats’ last season with the Yankees along with Tony Kubek. Interestingly, we gained Steve Palermo.

  • blake

    OT but Funkhouser didnt sign with the Dodgers….going back to school

    • TheEvilUmpire

      Dodged that bullet!

    • Sir Didi Nakamura

      Ouch that blows

      • TheEvilUmpire

        Like your prostitute and her bag of dicks?

        • Sir Didi Nakamura

          I wish

      • Tom

        Judge didn’t sign with the A’s.

        • Sir Didi Nakamura

          In like the 30th round I think. Losing Funk is like us losing Cole a few years ago.

          • blake

            sorta…..hopefully it’ll make the Dodgers scared to draft anyone good for like 5 years right ;) I see a lot of Cito Culvers in their future

          • Patrick

            Dude you are triggering me .. I tried to block out the fact that the Yankees drafted Cole.

            No but seriously … can you imagine if he HAD signed? Ugh ..

            • blake

              he’d still be in AA according to Yankee fan lore

              • Patrick

                I know you are joking but I think he probably would have gotten to the majors right around the same time if he had signed out of high school. Jake Odorizzi was also a HS pitcher drafted in 2008 and he started contributing at the major league level around the same time as Cole.

                Honestly, just thinking about missing out on Cole is almost physically painful. He’s just so good, and the Yankees should have been able to get him. I can’t think about this anymore

                • blake

                  I try not to think about it as well…..

            • Sir Didi Nakamura

              He’d have busted cause our farm doesn’t develop prospects well.

    • CashmanNinja

      I just saw that. He turned down $2M. Geez. The guy is *really* banking on his next season or else he’ll have made a mistake that could ruin his future. Starting out your adult life with $2M in your pocket is HUGE and I just don’t get players some times. How much higher does he think he could go? The guy had a string of “meh” outings and just wasn’t that consistent. The potential is there, but I think it would have been smarter to sign with a pro team and get started ASAP to work on the flaws while also having the $$ to fall back on. He wasn’t considered a tough sign because he really wanted to go to school…he just really wanted money. We took Kap at #16 and he gets $2.6M…that’s only $600K more than Funkhouser was offered at #35. I don’t think Funkhouser is a better overall prospect than Kap — especially since he’s so damn raw.

      • blake

        next year’s draft is a lot deeper…..ballsy decision to by pass 2 million bucks with a really good organization. Oh well…..

  • Tom

    Will everyone call Hal cheap if they don’t make a big move by the next 2 weeks and 2 hours?

    • Some Asshole

      Hal is always teh cheep no matter what happens.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      No. Just the people for whom that’s baseline.

      • blake

        don’t talk about me when I’m not paying attention

        • Robinson Tilapia

          :)

    • MTU

      My first question would be do we even need to make a BIG move ?

      • Tom

        I don’t think they do. A SP and 2B are the positions where they could make an upgrade.

      • Austinmac

        Add a good starter. The oddsmakers say we are essentially a coin flip to make the playoffs. A God pitcher changes that. Hal won’t spend the money so my wishes are pointless.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      Is a supervillian cheap if he fills up his doomsday rocket with low grade rocket fuel instead of premium? Or is he just frugal?

  • Some Asshole

    I wonder what the level of noise may be in the bullpen innings ratio. You take that long Boston game and put it to nine or ten innings and the ratio gets to about 1.85. I suppose it all evens out in the end and other teams have had long games and they tax the bullpen no matter what, but I wonder if certain teams are more prone to letting starters completely air it out or not.

    The Yankees starting rotation hasn’t always exactly performed, so that may affect the ratio more so than Girardi’s preference.

  • grandedan

    http://nypost.com/2015/07/16/rob-refsnyder-on-being-doubted-canos-swing-and-jeters-mind/

    Can somebody please smack this guy upside the head? They haven’t even posted the lineup card yet. Hell, he may not even be on the team this evening. And he’s giving one on one interviews about his first day in pinstripes?

    This is why I’d trade Harvey too. Too much me. Of course if Harvey were a Yankee I’d never trade him because he would be unique, but with the Mets, they may already have three other Harveys.

    If your Refsynder, there’s no reason to give a one on one interview. You say you admire Jeter, well emulate him. He would never do such a thing. It’s a minefield. You end up with “the straw that stirs the drink.” You have to talk to the press after a game, and that’s it. And even then, be Jeter and say nothing. We don’t need to hear about your parents or fiancée.

    I think it took Joe D about five years in the bigs to give an interview like this.

    • Preston

      Take a Xanax.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The media Joe D faced, and the media Rob Refsnyder faces, couldn’t be more different from one another.

      • grandedan

        And yet Joe’s approach to the media is more relevant than ever. The more access that’s available, the less one should give.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Not giving access to the number of microphones and notebooks running around the Yankee clubhouse at any given time is not something that would go over well. The best are the ones that give a big smile, don’t say anything controversial, and make everyone feel like their his best friend. It took Randy Johnson about one interview to figure that out.

          • Y’s Guy

            DiMaggio was a messed up recluse who hated people and craved to have them kept at arm’s lenght throughout his lifetime. Nobody should try to emulate his persona unless they want to die alone and unhappy.
            Great ballplayer of course, but not a happy man.

          • grandedan

            If you read closely I’m not talking about post game media contacts or structured events like Super Bowl week. You have to talk then. But there are no requirements for one and one interviews with reporters and they should generally be avoided and especially by ballplayers who have not yet played a week in the majors.

            • Dalek Jeter

              Why?

              • grandedan

                Little upside, high risk of saying something stupid and the vets on the team generally don’t appreciate rookies running their mouth.

                • Dalek Jeter

                  I feel like this is a trope. There’s no evidence that anybody in the Yankee clubhouse would have any issue with this interview being allowed, and even less issue with anything said. Except maybe Drew and Ryan, who are probably being demoted and losing their jobs, respectively. And they’re probably a bit resentful of Refs even before this interview because of it.

                  • grandedan

                    That’s not something that ever gets reported contemporaneously, but it you’ve read sports non-fiction over the last fifty years or so there has been a ton written about the atmosphere in the clubhouse regarding rookies and vets and vets almost universally take the position that rookies should be seen and not heard.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              They’re still in the clubhouse before and after games. Ask Chad Jennings about this, if you wish.

    • Dalek Jeter

      This place is just desperate for baseball.

      • Tom

        If 4 days off was bad, how will it be when the WS ends?

        • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

          Normal.

      • Patrick

        No kidding. I’m dying for some baseball ..

        The last two days have been brutal, I think I’ve read every single midseason review article on the internet.

        • The Great Gonzo

          I was feening for baseball so bad last night that I watched a Pawtucket-Durham AAA game. And enjoyed it.

          But had had drank a fair share beforehand, so who knows.

          The night before? flipped between the AA & AAA all star games. Sober as a judge.

    • blake

      what are you talking about Dan…..so a reporter comes up to Refs and asks for an interview….what’s he supposed to say? Get lost reporter!

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        That’s what I’d do personally. Might get me in some trouble though.

        • blake

          That’s a clown question bro…..get lost…..I’m Rob Refsynder…..I don’t do interviews.

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            I’m just saying literally in that situation, I’d be pulling my best Marshawn Lynch impression.

            • blake

              that just draws bad attention to yourself and the club

              • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

                Yeah well, I’m also known for being blatantly honest and uncensored (and at times not serious) so….I’m not exactly the type you want to interview.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                If I were on the Yankees….

                “Hey R-Tils, can we have an interview?!?!”
                “Sure, talk to this.”
                *whip out penis*

            • Tom

              Would he get fined if he didn’t answer questions?

          • Patrick

            “That’s a clown question bro” remains my favorite interview answer of all time.

            • Dalek Jeter

              “Things that happen when you put a 19 year old in front of cameras and microphones.”

              • Patrick

                *Awesome things that happen when you put a 19 year old in front of cameras and microphones :)

            • blake

              It’s possibly the greatest line ever uttered by a baseball player

      • grandedan

        “No thank you.” And be very gracious. The media actually respects that and the guys that practice that approach are warmly received sometimes years later.

        Bob Costas was talking about this yesterday. Sandy Koufax has never given Bob an interview until yesterday’s (recorded) yet Bob has asked him dozens of times. He’s just very gracious about it. Jeter is the same way. That’s how you stay away from trouble and end up beloved.

        • blake

          that doesn’t fly in 2015…..you know that.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Also, Jeter doesn’t say “no, thanks.” Jeter gives the interview and works the media perfectly.

            • grandedan

              You have no idea how many times Jeter declines because it would never be reported since it’s not news.

              See how it works? The player shouldn’t be the story and Jeter understood that better than anyone. And by not being the story, you actually groom the best possible persona. That was how Joe D. did it.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You also have no idea how often he hasn’t declined. See how it works?

                The player is not the story here. The only story being made here in on baseball blog comment section by……

          • grandedan

            Flies perfectly. How many one on one interviews has Jeter given in his career? Did he give any as rookie? Before his first home game?

            As I said above, the more media that’s available, the less access you should provide. It’s not like he’s the president of the United States. There’s no rule that says an athlete needs to give an interview except in very limited instances (after games, Super Bowl week). A polite decline is always the best approach.

            And STAY THE HELL OFF TWITTER!

            • Robinson Tilapia

              We’re certainly not going to change your mind here, but what you’re suggesting doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of happening in 2015, or beyond.

              Twenty years ago, in the scope of information technology, might as well be when Joe D played.

        • Robinson Tilapia
        • Septhinox

          Huh? Jeter gave tons of boring interviews JUST like this.

    • Y’s Guy

      i agree that a good knock upside the head is called for here, but for you, not for RR.
      What is this, 1947? rookies are to be seen and not heard? you might have noticed that young stars and prospects are all the rage and what’s keeping people tuned in these days. (apparently not…)

    • Dalek Jeter

      Man…I was hoping for something at least a little bit incendiary for you to get all hot and bothered. This is the most stereotypical, phoned in, cliche interview ever. He is emulating Jeter in the way that oh my god, be more boring.

    • Vern Sneaker

      It’s important to comment. That’s why I post on RAB: I’m grateful to be here, and just want to contribute. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity Mike Axisa gives me.
      Oh, and hi, Mom.

    • Still Stucky

      Newsflash, this was approved by the Yankees PR office.

      • grandedan

        And you know that how?

        • Still Stucky

          Because that’s now the way the media works.

          Ask Mike Axisa, he’ll tell you. Any and all communication from media with a relationship with the team gets approved BY the team.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            And, if it wasn’t, we’ll be sure to hear about it.

          • grandedan

            That’s simply not true. Harvey is a living breathing recent example of that. The Mets over the last year have been internally furious over some of his comments to reporters.

            • Dalek Jeter

              Because they have no chance to work anything he says in a press scrum. An organized sit down interview is completely different.

            • Still Stucky

              What he says AFTER a game in the locker room and a separate media opportunity are two different things.

              • grandedan

                And what is a separate media opportunity? One and one interviews can occur anywhere. Reporters do not seek team approval advance.

                • Still Stucky

                  YES, they do. Media outlets are GRANTED access to games, press conferences and locker room BY the teams. They can write what they LIKE about the team, but they will not go rogue and seek out a rookie for an interview outside a press conference or locker room.

                • Dalek Jeter

                  And you don’t think a rookie who has been in the league for like 8 minutes isn’t gonna at least call his agent, if not the number he was (almost absolutely) given to a Yankee PR guy before granting a 1 on 1 interview?

                  • grandedan

                    Based on the events over the last twenty years or so, it’s a mistake to assume any modest level of intelligence and common sense by professional athletes. They can’t even handle a 4th of July celebration without risking their career these days.

        • Dalek Jeter

          Because approving interviews granted by employees and screening them is exactly the PR department’s job for literally any company?

          • grandedan

            Carmelo Anthony? Twitter? The examples are too numerous to list.

            Teams do not routinely approve statements made to the media before they are made. Never have, never will.

            • Still Stucky

              You’re not paying attention. The interview occurring was approved by the Yankees. Thy probably got to see it before it was published.

              Has it occurred to you that somebody might actually have direct, relevant experience in this area?

              • grandedan

                Again how do you know that this interview was approved in advance or are you simply speculating? Do you even know where this interview took place?

                • Still Stucky

                  Hypothesis based on extensive relevant experience.

                • The Great Gonzo

                  How do you know this specific example wasn’t?

    • Patrick

      Huh? What about that interview was bad? Seemed like pretty generic answers.

    • Y’s Guy

      The suggestion that a guy who had the rookie year he did shouldn’t do an interview is crazy. The fact that he didn’t isn’t something to celebrate. I’m sure that was his choice and not the Yankees.

      • MG2015

        he’s waiting for the Yangervis Solarte cover page on SI just before his HOF induction…

    • MG2015

      when did you write that Refsnyder would never make it to the major leagues?

    • Dalek Jeter

      Abe Lincoln, I wish he would’ve expanded on that answer a bit.

    • Chip

      Yes, because media coverage in 1936 was the same as it is today.

      The Yankees likely wanted him to do the interview and set it up. It helps build connections between the players and the fans.

    • Some Asshole

      Softball questions. Softball answers. Wake me up when he admits to having a pile of shrunken skulls in his locker.

  • blake

    I like the Refs interview…..as a fan it makes me more connected to his story and makes me want him to succeed. That’s why the Yankees had him do the interview…..

    • Robinson Tilapia

      If only Stephen Drew would give an interview like that.

      • Tom

        Being a father and a baseball player is hard work.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Being a Drew and a baseball player*

      • blake

        I already know everything about him…..

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

    Fredi Gonzalez and Co. extended through the end of 2016 with a 2017 option. Interesting, going to be a tough few years for Gonzalez given the fact that Heyman confirms that the Braves will sell at the deadline.

    • Dalek Jeter

      What do they even have to sell? Freeman’s hurt, Markakis’ little power has vanished completely, AJ Pierzynski is a dick that nobody wants. Simmons, Miller, Teheran, and Peterson all have value but I’m guessing that’s the core they’d like to build around.

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        Cameron Maybin, Jim Johnson, Juan Uribe and Chris Johnson would be the main 4.

        • Dalek Jeter

          I may give up Bird for all 4 of them, and I’m only being a tiny bit facetious.

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            You want Jim Johnson? :p

            • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

              Also, there is Kelly Johnson, Jonny Gomes, He Who Shall Not Be Named, Adonis Garcia, the other David Carpetner, etc.

              • Dalek Jeter

                Okay, Bird and Pirela for all 9 of them.

                • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

                  Your roster moves are disasters. Also, you want He Who Shall Not Be Named? He’ll stop hitting!

                  • Dalek Jeter

                    I’m pretty sure the team would be next to unbeatable with Lord Voldemort on the team.

                    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

                      I’d prefer Hagrid. At least he can crush the damn ball.

                    • The Great Gonzo

                      That beard tho

  • Tony Wilson

    If Refsnyder hits up to his capabilities then a move to upgrade 2B won’t be needed, leaving the rotation which by all accounts won’t be filled by Hamels.

  • MG2015

    Did the Yankees lose any of their lead in the AL East since Sunday?

    • Tony Wilson

      They lost a game to the Rays.

      • MG2015

        how did they do that without playing any games?

        • Some Asshole

          Cashman failed.

        • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

          The played the 25 Invisible Men vs. 25 Invisible Men game.

        • Tony Wilson

          Just going along with your question. Lol

          • MG2015

            the question was since Sunday, meaning the beginning of the ASB

        • Some Asshole

          Yankees lost one game to Boston; Tampa swept the last series.

  • Tony Wilson

    With the left hander going tonight, I’m sure that means no McCann.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I doubt it, First game after the break, everybody plays and the entire bullpen is available.

      • Tony Wilson

        I really hope you are right. Great to be able to watch some Yankee baseball again, seemed like forever!

    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

      He played against the last lefties too and showed good performance.

    • Patrick

      I doubt it. McCann isn’t even doing that badly against LHP this season.

      • Tony Wilson

        Good, his bat needs to be in there.

  • blake

    grandedan does drive the comments number up

    • Dalek Jeter

      He’s the straw that stirs the drink. Eddard can only stir it bad.

    • Chip

      Also the facepalms.

    • RetroRob

      Your comment convinces me to look no lower.

      • Chip

        NOOOOOO….we’re already lost…save yourself.

        • MG2015

          it was only about a 6 on the Eddard scale of trolling…

          • Chip

            yet it was enough to remind me of why Dan was banned.

          • RetroRob

            He is a troll. A smart troll, and certainly a Yankees fan, but a troll nonetheless. Since I don’t believe he disappeared for several months (unless he was banned), the real question is which one of the regulars is he? It could be our own form of McCarthism!

    • MG2015

      but not in a good way…

  • Chip

    Since Girardi can’t really extend his starters based on injury history or general suckishness and Cashman can’t bring in upgrades for the rotation because of contracts then I say go out and deepen the relief corps. Make it so you can deal with having a few five and fly starters in the rotation without killing Betances, Wilson, Miller, Shreve and Warren.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Well that’s 5 guys right there. Capuano is the long man makes 6. Leaves you room for one more reliever if you’re gonna go with the traditional 12 pitchers+13 position player roster. Mitchell’s been great as that 7th guy. Honestly the biggest improvement the team could make is getting another starter and putting CC out to pasture as the long man. I don’t think that’s happening though.

      • Chip

        If you go out and get one more really good guy – not Clippard or Kimbrel, but the next level down, then you can basically run out an A-Team and a B-Team with Betances and Miller splitting the closer role and the other guys falling in behind them pitching on alternating days. Everyone stays fresh, no one works too much.

    • Y’s Guy

      I don’t accept the “cashman can’t bring in upgrades for the rotation” part, it’s not true, there will be many available at all levels of competence and cost and I’m sure they’re going to do something to help the rotation. Which needs upgrading sooooo much more than the BP.

      • Chip

        I’m not talking about the contracts of the pitchers on the market, I’m talking about the contract of the pitcher in the rotation who needs to be deleted for a trade for a starter to make sense.

        I’m sorry for being redundant – but trading for a mid-level starter makes zero sense if you’re not taking CC out of the rotation – something the Yankees recent history and current stance suggests they’re not willing to do. If you’re leaving CC in the rotation then all you’re doing is replacing Nova or Eovaldi with a pitcher who is basically Nova or Eovaldi…and costing yourself prospects to do it.

        • Y’s Guy

          bringing in a #3 improves the rotation no matter whether you’re taking nova eo or cc out of the rotation. It just upgrades more if it’s cc.
          At least a #3 is needed even more for the PS. You need at least 4 for a deep playoff run and right now they have 2 and a maybe…

          • Chip

            Depends on the #3 – the guys who fit that category who are out there (reportedly) are:
            Mike Leake – nice ERA, keeps the ball in the park in a hitter haven
            Mat Latos – near 5 ERA in the NL East
            Dan Haren – Veteran having a nice season
            Scott Kazmir – Huge home vs. road splits and dealing with Beane should be avoided at all costs.

            The first three all have one thing in common – they are NL pitchers. And while Leake has pitched in a bandbox akin to NYS – the track record for the Yankees getting good performances from mid-level NL starters (save McCarthy last year) is not good.

            I don’t think you can say with any sort of certainty that any of them represents a clear upgrade from Nova or Eovaldi…at least not at the prospect price they will likely cost.

            And even if it did, you’re still trotting out Sabathia once every fifth day. Deepening the pen on the other hand improves all your starters’ efficacy, including Sabathia.

            • Y’s Guy

              so you are saying there’s just no way to upgrade the rotation. i’m not buying that.

              • Brazen-NYY

                There has to be a team that needs some middle relief for a number Three in their rotation? We have plenty in the minors. Depending on the stats of the number three of course.

              • Chip

                That’s not what I’m saying – there are two ways they can upgrade their rotation:

                1. Go get a legit top of the rotation starter who represents a no-doubt upgrade from Eovaldi or Nova (Cueto or Hamels)
                2. Go get a mid level starter and push CC to the pen.

                Problem is that neither of those two scenarios seem particularly likely.

                • Austinmac

                  That’s what it looks like to me. Well said. I hope we’re wrong.

                • Y’s Guy

                  I still totaly disagree. Your first point is incorrect. It rests on the premise that only a top of the rotation SP is better than Eovaldi or Nova which is not true.
                  On top of that, even just adding a mid rotation guy who’s as good but not better than Eo improves the rotation because then you wouldn’t have to throw Nova or CC in a PS game, plus if gives depth and help if any of the back 3 miss any starts.

                  • Chip

                    What pitcher would you like to add and who are you willing to give up to add him? What I’m saying is that for what it would cost to acquire a mid rotation starter I would rather keep Nova and Eovaldi in the rotation. If you’re getting me Cueto or Hamels, fine, bounce one of them or use one of them in the trade…no problem. But if you’re getting me a Mike Leake, at the cost of a prospect + Nova’s starts – thanks, I’m fine with Nova and the prospect. The only way that deal makes sense to me is if Leake is replacing the worst starter in the rotation – CC.

                    If you want a mid-rotation guy, I’ve got one for you. He’s pitched very well this season in the AL East. Would cost nothing in terms of prospects to acquire. Adam Warren.

                    You want to upgrade the rotation: put Warren in CC’s spot.

                    • Y’s Guy

                      you’re preaching to the choir or even the pastor there. I advocated strongly dropping CC and throughout the asb i’ve been saying they should send either Warren or Mitchell dow to stretch them out
                      But outside, I havent really looked but what about Iwakuma (5 starts back from dl now) or happ (just throwing out names

                    • Chip

                      Right – but I don’t think they’re going to do anything other than run CC out there.

                      We’ll see Iwakuma this weekend – Happ, I think, is on the DL, I just looked and he’s not part of the active roster. I’m not opposed to either of those guys, but the marginal upgrade Iwakuma (I also am not a Happ believer) would represent over Eovaldi or Nova doesn’t really strike me as worth it.

                      Shark is somewhere between a 2 and 3 in a good rotation so maybe he’s the guy, but I don’t know what Rick Hahn would want for him – probably something the Yankees can’t pay since that’s a team that’s going to want to compete next year and so he’s going to want ML ready players.

                      That’s the other problem, the trade market has a couple of aces (Hamels and Cueto) and then some back end guys but not much in between. Hamels and Cueto are hella expensive and the back-end guys only represent upgrades if you’re willing to ditch CC, which they’re not. So that leaves Cashman with very few potential targets that fit into the small category of “Better Than What We Have Yet Not Terribly Expensive”

                    • Y’s Guy

                      i stil don’t agree, i think there will be lots more guys available. For instance the whole Texas pitching staff might be available. what about the Marlins, seems like their whole staff is probably available. (and i dont accept your dismissal of nl pitchers especially given your belief that Eovaldi is good enough)

                    • Chip

                      I gave you the two most likely guys on the Marlins staff who are going to be available: Latos and Haren

                      Texas you’re talking Gallardo and I agree with Mike’s sentiment above on him. Beyond that, Colby Lewis and Wandy Rodriguez are barely upgrades from CC let alone Eovaldi or Nova.

                      Is it possible Latos or one of these other guys comes in and has a Brandon McCarthy type of resurrection? Sure I guess…but those types of turn arounds aren’t something you can really bank on. More often you get what you get. McCarthy’s case was that the Diamondbacks tried to have him pitch one way and the Yankees completely re-structured him…that doesn’t happen often.

                    • Y’s Guy

                      So Kohler and Phelps can’t help this team? I’m not buying that

                    • Chip

                      Phelps is what he is. I don’t believe that to be better than Eovaldi or Nova. Koehler makes no money and is a serviceable starter so I’m not sure why the Marlins would be motivated to trade him.

      • Austinmac

        I don’t see a real upgrade either. I don’t think they will spend the money or player for one of the top potential starters. If they add pitching, and I definitely agree they need a good one, I think it will be someone to help deal with innings.

    • RetroRob

      The imbalance that Mike refers to between rotation innings and bullpen innings was most likely by design. It’s why the Yankees brought in so many reliever arms in the offseason, and in essence have extended their bullpen down through AAA even more than in past years. They planned for Tanaka, Pineda and CC to pitch less innings in the hopes of keeping them healthy. The problem is Carpenter failed and Lindgren was injured, so they lost two key arms that were supposed to be part of the attack.

      They could upgrade in one of two ways. Bring in another quality reliever and bump Warren back into the rotation, or bring in another starting pitcher, similar to what they did with McCarthy last year. Both scenarios necessitate one of the current starters being removed. I disagree with the conventional wisdom that the Yankees will never remove CC from the rotation. I understand why they’ve been giving him the opportunities to try and reinvent himself, and yes it’s based on his contract, but that doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed for the entirety of the year, especially during a pennant race. If they find a credible way to upgrade, they will send CC to the pen, tell him that’s where he’s needed now, remind him of Mike Mussina, and basically let him know they consider him part of the rotation for 2016.

      My guess is they will give him another chance at the rotation next year, but if he fails again he’ll be back to the pen and that’s where his career will end. I don’t see the Yankees marching him out there every fifth day through 2017.

      • Chip

        Here’s the thing – I look at CC this year and I see AJ Burnett his last two years in pinstripes. Just brutal every time out but they kept running him out there. They could have gone out and acquired a pitcher to replace him, but they didn’t because of the money tied up in him.

        They only opted to remove him when the financial burden in doing so was lessened (the last year of his contract)

      • MG2015

        Mussina actually only made 1 bullpen appearance in 2007, every other game he pitched was as a starter: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=mussimi01&t=p&year=2007

        They essentially skipped him for two weeks with one good relief appearance. He pitched better after that and we all remember how good he was in 2008.

        • RetroRob

          I remember it well, if not the exact specifics. Mussina was pushed to the pen basically for the postseason. They actually did skip a start if I remember correctly towards the end of the season (it was either late August or September), and he came back pitching some of his better baseball before ending the season on a very sour note his last start. I had a game plan that year and I swear I kept get getting Mussina’s starts. I feel like I saw half of his games in person. It was painful. What’s scary is CC is pitching worse (by the flawed ERA+) than both AJ and Mussina.
          My CC comparison was not meant to be exact on timing, but could let him know he’ll get another shot at the rotation next season when/if they send him to the pen. What I don’t believe is CC will be taking the mound every 5th day through 2017. Fans like to find a blueprint to see how they think the Yankees will handle this situation, but each situation is different. AJ Burnett is not CC. Mike Mussina is not CC. 2007 is not 2015. 2011 is not 2015, etc. This team is a different team, with different needs, strengths, flaws, etc. I remember discussions on RAB when AJ was on the Yankees and I suggested he could be moved. Many thought he wouldn’t saying things like “not a single team would want him,” “he could be cut and wouldn’t be picked up,” or “the Yankees would never pay enough money to move him.” They were wrong. Those who think CC will remain in the rotation through 2017 are also wrong. It’s a question of when. (Unless he somehow he turns it around, but I have no faith there as much as I would like to!) I’m not saying it will happen this season, but I’m more open to it than most it seems.