• Cashman: Don’t hold your breath
    By

    Following last night’s loss at the hands of the Orioles, Brian Cashman addressed the circling vultures New York press corps eager for word on rumored Yankee moves. According to Pete Caldera, Cashman does not expect to make any more moves before Thursday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, but that’s just Cashman being Cashman. A Major League GM can’t come out and admit that they’re interested in and close to acquiring another player for fear of giving a potential trading partner more leverage. The Jarrod Washburn talks appear to have cooled, but I wouldn’t be surprised either way. · (56) ·

Here’s your game wrap up: At least Boston and Tampa lost as well.

But enough of that. The sooner we forget tonight’s 13-4 debacle, the better off we are. Mussina didn’t have it; David Robertson didn’t have it; Kyle Farnsworth picked a good game to give up a few runs; and the Yanks got shellacked. It happens. We move on.

So instead of waxing philosophic on the Yankee loss, how about we look at some longer-term trends from our boys in the Bronx right now? We’ll start with the offense. Offensive numbers are through Sunday night’s game.

Melky Cabrera since May 6: 275 plate appearances, .233/.283/.289
Bobby Abreu since June 1: 205 plate appearances, .258/.341/.396
Jason Giambi since June 18: 112 plate appearances, .216/.375/.364

Interestingly, Cabrera and Abreu have both been hot, short-term, as the Yankees’ bats have come alive. What these numbers tell us, however, is that with Jose Molina in the lineup perpetually, the Yankees are facing decreased overall production from a number of key offensive spots. Center field has been a black hole of offense for three quarters of the season, and Abreu has scuffled since hitting a line drive off of Nick Blackburn’s face. We all await a Jason Giambi hot streak.

On the pitching side, let’s play around with this idea. According to long-time RAB reader and frequent commenter Jamal, statistically, Edwar Ramirez is having a better season than Francisco Rodriguez. You’d never know it though because Francisco Rodriguez is challenging the all-time single-season saves record while Ramirez is just some middle reliever.

Edwar Ramirez: 38.1 IP, 21 H, 10 ER (2.35 ERA), 15 BB, 44 K. That’s 10.33 K/9 IP and a K/BB of just under 3/1.
Francisco Rodriguez: 47.1 IP, 31 H, 13 ER (2.47 ERA), 28 BB, 49 K. That’s 9.32 K/9 IP and a K/BB of 1.75/1.

Of course, where these two relievers differ is in the type of innings pitched. K-Rod has faced 127 batters in high-leverage situations while Edwar has faced just 18. To that end, K-Rod’s OPS against in those situations is actually .100 lower than Edwar’s. At the same time, K-Rod has faced opponents with a combined .754 OPS while Edwar has faced opponents with a .727 OPS. As K-Rod has pitched more innings than Edwar, he has the edge but not by much.

Now make of this what you will, but it’s interesting to see that, in age that has seen the save devalued, Rodriguez will earn a very large contract in the off-season based on that one stat. Meanwhile, Edwar Ramirez is showing that other, low-cost relievers can put up similar peripherals to the elite closers. When the Angels opt to let K-Rod walk instead of signing him to a $10-million-per-year contract, they’ll head into 2009 with a new closer, and one that will do the job just as well. Yet, teams will race to sign K-Rod. Such are the state of things.

Anyway, those are my random musings tonight after a boring Yankee loss. Feel free to muse on anything in the thread tonight. Nothing — within reason — is off-topic.

Categories : Game Stories
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Update (10:38): Mike Ashmore’s got the word on a few promotions/demotions: Mark Melancon & Chase Wright up to Scranton, Wilkins Arias up to Trenton, Steven White down to Trenton, Eric Wordekemper down to Tampa.

Zach McAllister is your Florida State League Pitcher of the Week, Brandon Braboy took home NY-Penn League honors. Brian Baisley took home NY-PL Hitter of the Week honors for the second week in a row.

Triple-A Scranton (7-4 loss to Rochester)
Brett Gardner: 0 for 5, 3 K
Alberto Gonzalez & Ben Broussard: both 1 for 4, 1 R – Broussard hit a solo jack & committed a fielding error
Matt Carson & JD Closser: both 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Juan Miranda & Chris Stewart: both 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K – Stewart doubled & scored a run
Cody Ransom: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
Alan Horne: 1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 1-2 GB/FB – 16 of 43 pitches were strike (37.2%), yikes … Chad Jennings said he was on a 50-pitch count anyway
Chris Britton: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K – 25 of 38 pitches were strikes (65.8%
Brian Bruney: 0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HB – threw one pitch, hit former Trenton cleanup hitter Randy Ruiz in the back of the head, and was ejected … Ruiz charged the mound, but never made it to Bruney
Billy Traber: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP – allowed Bruney’s runner to score
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Scott Strickland: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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So the Yanks 8-game winning streak came to an abrupt, but predictable end last night. Tell me that game didn’t have that “eh, we’ve won 8 in row, we can mail this one in” feel to it right from the start. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

The Yanks have lost 5 or 9 to the O’s this year, getting outscored 46-35 in the process, but they haven’t played each other since a three game set at the end of May. The O’s are 8-15 this month, and have lost 5 of their last 6. Their staff has a 5.85 ERA since the break, and tonight’s starter, Jeremy Guthrie, has an 8.10 career ERA in Yankee Stadium. Moose has a .588 winning percentage against his former team. This sounds too easy, so you know what that means…

1. Damon, DH
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. Giambi, 1B
6. Cano, 2B
7. X Nady VI, LF
8. Melky, CF
9. Molina, C

And on the mound, Mike “why are you surprised? I’ve won 263 games in my career, bitches” Mussina.

Notes: This series will be a nice test for new addition Damaso Marte; lefties Nick Markakis & Aubrey Huff have combined for 96 XBH and a 133 OPS+ this year as the O’s 3-4 hitters (yikes) … still no progress on the Jarrod Washburn front, apparently we bloggers are to blame … Jose Molina has caught all but one game since the break … the last time Moose faced the O’s, it got ugly quick … apparently someone actually wants LaTroy Hawkins on their team…

Update by Joe: Jorge will have surgery on his shoulder, ending his season. At this point, it’s for the better.

Categories : Game Threads
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The New Stadium Looms

Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News (and one of the newest additions to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame on Friday) has the latest on the Yankee Stadium funding scheme. Congress, he reports, is looking at the valuation the city and team put on the land for the new Stadium. A few representatives charge that the Yanks and New York may have overvalued the land to float more bonds than they should have.
Gonzalez reports:

A Congressional committee has launched a probe into whether the city and Yankees wildly inflated the value of the site for the team’s new stadium to float nearly $1 billion in tax-free bonds. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) last week demanded “specific documents and reports” that could show the city claimed the land beneath the new Yankee stadium was worth nearly seven times its true value.

The massive switcheroo allowed the city to sell $941 million in bonds for the stadium, which must by law be linked to a site’s actual value. That means taxpayers are getting rooked because bondholders avoid paying tax on the interest they earn – and it could jeopardize the financing of the whole project.

Kucinich, who heads the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is zeroing in on dramatically different estimates the city offered for the stadium land – one of $275 per square foot and another of just $45. A hearing is set for September. “There’s no way vacant land in the Bronx is worth $275 a square foot,” said a veteran city assessor, who asked not to be identified.

According to one survey — that conducted by the city — the parkland in the Bronx was worth $204 million or $275 per square foot. But in other documents, the Parks Document said the land was worth $45 per square foot. With unnamed Finance Department officials alleging something akin to fraud, this story could get interesting.

In the end, odds are that nothing will come of this. The new stadium is nearly finished; the old one is destined for the wrecking ball in a few months; and nothing short of an act of God is really going to stop that now. However, as more and more information has come to light, it seems clear that taxpaying New Yorkers got a raw deal on the Stadium. I’ll be curious to read the book on the history of this project that someone will write in a few years. I can’t imagine the Yanks will come out in a positive light.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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  • Hughes’ return delayed
    By

    Phil Hughes’ return to game action after missing three months with a fractured rib is going to have to wait one more day because today’s Gulf Coast League game was postponed due to rain. I’m guessing they’ll just push him back to tomorrow, and push Carl Pavano’s scheduled rehab appearance back to Wednesday, assuming he doesn’t give himself a concussion brushing his teeth first.

    I apologize if I gave you a heart attack with the title.

    Update (2:00): Nevermind, looks like he’s going to make the 35 minute trip with the High-A Tampa Yanks and pitch tonight in Lakeland instead. The rain is supposed to let up a little later tonight.

    Update (2:25): Scratch that. Both Hughes & Pavano will pitch tomorrow for Low-A Charleston.
    · (51) ·

  • Xavier Nady VII
    By

    Tyler Kepner has an amusing piece up about one of the newest Yankees. Xavier Nady’s wife just gave birth to the couple’s first child about two weeks ago. The son’s name is Xavier Nady, making him the seventh consecutive male in the Nady family to carry the name. That’s a long dynasty. · (27) ·

  • What do you take us for? A fool?
    By

    According to Kat O’Brien, the Mariners must think the Yankees are complete and utter fools. A few days after acquiring Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte for pennies on the dollar, the Mariners are holding back on dealing all of Jarrod Washburn’s contract to the Yanks because they want Hank Steinbrenner to step in and demand the Yanks acquire the starter. Clearly, the Mariners have not been paying attention. While Hanks is adept at running his mouth, all his words do are garner headlines. No moves or signings have been consummated or rushed after Hank issues his diatribes. It’s actually rather effective, and the Mariners are deluding themselves if they feel Hank is going to cause a sea change in thinking over Jarrod Washburn. MLBTR speculates that the M’s want Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera. · (115) ·

Allow me to quote myself from six days ago:

Every time Sidney Ponson takes the mound, I half expect that to happen, and one night, it will. It may not be his next start which happens to fall against — gulp — the Red Sox, but it will come. Tonight, Ponson managed to win yet another game for the Yanks. He went 5.2 innings and allowed his customary 11 base runners. Somehow, he has to keep up that 1.94 WHIP.

Somehow, indeed. Last night, in a losing effort against the Red Sox, Ponson managed to put 11 runners in 4 innings for a WHIP of 2.75. While the portly Aruban lasted three outs longer than I predicted he would, seven of those 11 runners scored, and the Yanks wouldn’t be able to overcome that deficit.

Since joining the Yankees, we’ve seen a lot of the same out of Sidney Ponson. He’s thrown 26.2 innings with a 6.08 ERA. He’s allowed 39 hits and has both walked and struck out 11. His WHIP is 1.88. Stick a fork in him, folks, because he’s done. I can’t really see him making his next start against the Los Angeles Angels this week.

In Toronto, Jarrod Washburn strengthened the Mariners’ position with a solid outing, and as Sunday’s game unfolded, I couldn’t help but imagine how things may have turned out differently had the Mariners been more willing to consummate what seems like an inevitable trade. But Washburn or not, someone — Ian Kennedy, Al Aceves — has to replace Sidney Ponson. He’s just not doing the job.

* * *

In the end, I can’t, outside of my condemnation of Ponson, be too critical of the Yanks. Jon Lester has the team’s number, and he pitched a brilliant game. The Yanks, since the All Star Break, are now 8-1, and they sit three behind Tampa in the AL East and two behind Boston in the Wild Card. There’s a lot of baseball left, and the Yanks are a better team today than they were three days ago.

Game Notes: I no longer wonder why Richie Sexson was released by the Mariners. Whenever Joe Girardi wants to bat Jason Giambi against a lefty instead of this abomination of a player, count me in…Dan Giese threw an effective four innings, but don’t let those results full you. He had a 0-12 GB-FB ratio. I wouldn’t be too keen on seeing him make a start…Derek Jeter has now hit into 15 double plays this season and 36 since the start of 2007.

Categories : Game Stories
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Brian Foley from The College Baseball Blog made the trip down to Chatham yesterday to take in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game, so make sure to check out his write-up here. As you can see, there was a small army of scouts in attendance.

Triple-A Scranton (10-5 loss to Rochester)
Bernie Castro: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
Alberto Gonzalez: 2 for 5, 1 2B, 2 K – SLG .322 this year between AAA and the bigs
Matt Carson & Cody Ransom: both 0 for 4 – Carson K’ed twice … Ransom K’ed all 4 times & missed a catch for an error
Ben Broussard & Nick Green: both 1 for 3, 2 R, 1 K – Broussard doubled … Nick Green ripped a 3-R homer off a pretty decent pitcher
JD Closser: 1 for 4, 1 K
Chris Basak: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Al Aceves: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2-9 GB/FB – 51 of 74 pitches were strikes (68.9%)
JB Cox: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4-1 GB/FB – only 21 of 41 pitches were strikes (51.2%)
Steven White: 1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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