Christian lighting it up in winter ball

There were no Arizona Fall League games today, but here’s what happened yesterday…

AzFL Phoenix Desert Dogs (12-6 loss to Mesa)
Jose Pirela, 2B: 2 for 4, 3 R – seven for his last 18 (.389) after an 0-for-20 stretch
Ryan Pope: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1-0 GB/FB – 18 of 32 pitches were strikes (56.3%) … that’s his first walk of the AzFL season

Time for the other winter leagues…

Dominican Winter League
Wilkins Arias: 4 G, 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) – for games in a week, such is the life of a LOOGY
Jon Ortiz: 2 G, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Zack Segovia: 2 G, 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)

Mexican Pacific League
Justin Christian: 16 G, 27 for 67, 12 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 BB, 2 K, 9 SB, 0 CS (.403/.452/.597) – he always kills it in winter ball
Walt Ibarra: 16 G, 17 for 59, 14 R, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 1 SB, 1 CS (.288/.338/.339)
Francisco Gil: 4 G, 6 ER, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP (10.50 ERA, 2.17 WHIP)
Eric Wordekemper: 7 G, 7.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 WP (7.36 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Puerto Rican League
Rene Rivera: 5 G, 4 for 17, 4 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K (.235/.350/.588) – still hitting homers

Venezuelan Winter League
Jose Gil: 12 G, 13 for 38, 4 R, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K (.342/.366/.553)
Edwar Gonzalez: 6 G, 1 for 8, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 4 K (.125/.222/.250)
Luis Nunez: 7 G, 2 for 10, 1 R (.200/.200/.200)
Marcos Vechionacci: 14 G, 16 for 49, 4 R, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K, 3 SB, 1 CS (.327/.389/.408)
Josh Schmidt: 4 G, 3 GS, 17.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 9 BB, 17 K (2.08 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)

Still no sign of Juan Marcano, Emerson Landoni, Eduardo Sosa, and Jesus Montero, all of whom are playing in the VWL. Montero might still be taking it easy after his late season leg surgery. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Jon Albaladejo is also playing in the PRL, but hasn’t appeared in a game yet.

Rift between Girardi and Eiland shot down

You may have seen this report yesterday, indicating that former pitching coach Dave Eiland felt his opinions were “de-emphasized” after his return from a month-long personal leave of absence this past June. Well, Mark Feinsand spoke to Eiland himself, who said the report was “absolutely ridiculous and simply not true.” Glad he cleared that up. He also declined to speak about the circumstances of his dismissal, which should come as no surprise.

Even if the the relationship between Girardi and Eiland did deteriorate after the leave of absence, it’s still pretty much a non-story. When established big leaguers like A.J. Burnett and Javy Vazquez pitch as poorly as they did down the stretch, they’re to blame. Not the coaching staff.

Football Open Thread

The Jets are playing the Packers (1pm ET) while the Giants have their bye week. Talk about all of the gridiron action here.

Who I would trade Phil Hughes for: AL Edition

Based on a recent Twitter conversation, yesterday I took a look at the National League for players that I would trade Phil Hughes for. Today I’m back with the American League.

Baltimore Orioles
I might be in the minority on this one but I’d trade Hughes for Brian Matusz. He’s lefty, younger than Hughes and just put up a very good season as a rookie. A year younger than Hughes, he outperformed Hughes in both bWAR and fWAR. I’m on the fence on Matt Wieters but will say no for now. He hasn’t been Johnny Bench reincarnated as many had predicted, but he’s been decent his first two years in the league and should still develop into a solid player. He’s not a sure thing though, so I’d stick with Hughes. Would the Orioles trade Matusz for Hughes? No. Would they trade Wieters for Hughes? I don’t think so, they have some solid young pitchers and Wieters probably fills a bigger need.

Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester is a no brainer. I’d lean towards no on Clay Buchholz, but the argument certainly could be made. Dustin Pedroia would likely be a yes if the Yankees didn’t already have the best second baseman in the AL. You could also make an argument for Kevin Youkilis, but he’s on the wrong side of 30, isn’t very durable, and wouldn’t fit a need for the Yankees. Would the Sox trade Lester for Hughes? No.

Chicago White Sox
John Danks is just a year older than Hughes but has 3 seasons better than Hughes’ 2010. This is a close one, but since Danks is lefthanded, I would make the trade. It’s pretty close and I’d consider that the tiebreaker, especially in Yankee Stadium. Would the White Sox trade Danks for Hughes? Doubtful.

Cleveland Indians
Shin-Soo Choo, like his Ohio counterpart Jay Bruce would be too good to pass up, despite a lack of glaring need. Since getting a chance in 2008, Choo has been a beast, putting up a 144 OPS+ with wOBA’s of .402, .389, and .388 the past three years. You could sway me on Carlos Santana, but coming off a pretty nasty leg injury and duplicating what Montero might bring (if you think he’s sticking at catcher), I don’t think I’d make this trade if I’m the Yankees. Would the Indians trade Choo for Hughes? I think they probably would as Choo will soon get expensive in arbitration.

Detroit Tigers
Despite a lack of a need and a big contract, Miguel Cabrera would be a no-brainer. Justin Verlander would also be no-brainer. Would Detroit trade either of these two for Hughes? No.

Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke is a no brainer. I would not trade Hughes for Joakim Soria though. Some people would, I wouldn’t. As a starter expect Hughes to provide more value going forward for less money. Would the Royals trade Greinke for Hughes. No. Would they trade Soria for Hughes? They should if that offer came across their table, but being the Royals they likely wouldn’t.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I’m pretty torn on both Dan Haren and Jered Weaver (primary for financial reasons) but I think I’d pull the trigger on Weaver but not on Haren. Weaver is younger and cheaper than Haren and is coming off an outstanding 2010 season. Would the Angels trade Weaver for Hughes? No. Would they trade Haren for Hughes? Yes.

Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer and Francisco Liriano are easy ones. You could argue Justin Morneau but I think I’d keep Hughes. Would the Twins trade Mauer or Liriano for Hughes? No.

Oakland A’s
Brett Anderson? Yes. Trevor Cahill? No. Would the A’s trade Anderson for Hughes? No.

Seattle Mariners
King Felix. Enough said. Would the Mariners do it? Of course not.

Tampa Bay Rays
David Price is easy as is Evan Longoria (would love to have that contract). That’s probably it from the Rays. The Rays would not trade either of them for Hughes.

Texas Rangers
If Cliff Lee had a contract I would trade Hughes for him. Since he’s a soon to be free agent I wouldn’t, and hypothetically if you could have gotten Lee for Hughes in July, I don’t make the trade. Josh Hamilton is a yes. You could argue Neftali Feliz if you thought you could put him back in the rotation and then be better than Hughes, but I’m not willing to go out on that limb. The Rangers wouldn’t trade Hamilton for Hughes.

Toronto Blue Jays
I’m not the biggest Ricky Romero fan but as a lefty I’d consider this trade but in the end I’d stick with Hughes. Brandon Morrow has (ridiculous) upside and came on strong last year but is still volatile. Hughes to me is more of a sure thing going forward, but Morrow could be better if everything goes well. I’d stick with Hughes.

With my 25 guys in the NL and 15 in the AL I have 40 players in the majors now I would trade Hughes for. How about you?

Open Thread: World Series Game Three

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The first two games have been pretty awesome in a “haha the Texas bullpen sucks so bad it’s hilarious … hey where’s Neftali?” kinda way, but I want to see all seven games dammit. The Rangers need to straighten themselves out and starting winning some games to make this one interesting. A sweep would be the most boring and anti-climatic thing in the history of things. With any luck Colby Lewis will treat the Giants like he treated the Yankees and the bats will wake up against Jonathan Sanchez.We can only hope.

Anyway, here’s your thread for the game and the night. The Knicks and all of the hockey locals are playing as well, and there’s a zillion college football games on well. Plenty to talk about, so take your pick and do it here.

Cashman: “I would like to always get younger and better”

Chad Jennings passed along a lengthy, but certainly interesting quote today that Brian Cashman delivered during yesterday’s conference call. I suggest clicking the link and reading the whole thing, but here’s the money line: “I would like to always get younger and better. That’s the double-edged sword. I don’t want to get younger and worse. I want to get younger, but while doing so, remain championship caliber. I think that’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish the last few years. I think we’ve done a good job. At the same time, if we have older players who can still do it for us, I don’t have any problem whatsoever in retaining older players who perform at a high level.”

The Yankees have been able to do that to a certain degree over the last three years, most notably by replacing players like Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui with Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Curtis Granderson. They’ve also successfully incorporated Phil Hughes into the rotation and a host of young arms into the bullpen. It’s easy to get younger, but getting younger while remaining competitive can be tricky. The Yanks have done a nice job with that the last few years, but it’s a never-ending cycle.

Yanks want to add another lefty reliever

We missed one little detail in yesterday’s conference call notes, but Pete Caldera saves the day: Brian Cashman said he would like to add another lefthanded reliever this winter. Boone Logan will again be the primary LOOGY next year with Damaso Marte out until after the All Star break, and Royce Ring didn’t exactly impress in his late season cameo.

Looking at the list of free agents, I’d cross guys like Brian Fuentes, Pedro Feliciano, Arthur Rhodes, and Scott Downs off the list. They’ll want too much money (and some are Type-A free agents) for a role designed to throw about about three percent of the team’s total innings next year . More than likely they’ll look at someone from the Joe Beimel/Randy Choate/Dennys Reyes/Will Ohman group. Cheap, short-term commitment, just as likely to be effective (or suck).