• Checking in on Kei Igawa
    By

    It’s time for the once-a-month look back at Kei Igawa! This time, it’s brought to you by Rainer Sabin and The New York Times. Reading about Kei’s predicament in Scranton and his constant trips to New York to visit his wife, I feel bad for the Yanks’ expensive left-handed flop. He just wants to do well. · (19) ·

For those of you who get to the bottom of the DotF comments, there’s some video on the Pat Venditte incident from last night. It’s a bit long, but if you want to make him play the hitter for a fool, fast forward to the last few seconds.

Categories : Whimsy
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Is it too early to think about 2009? It seems as though, in Yankee-land, it is not.

Toward the end of Jayson Stark’s latest (and voluminous) Rumblings & Grumblings, the ESPN columnist drops in a note about Jason Giambi and the Yankees:

Price of the Giambino: Two months ago, we would have set the odds of Jason Giambi’s returning to the Bronx next year at approximately, well, zero. But we’re hearing the Yankees have sent signals to Giambi that, assuming he stays healthy and reasonably productive, they would be amenable to bringing him back next year. There’s zilch chance they’ll pick up his $22 million option. But a modest one-year offer, on top of his $5 million buyout, apparently is no longer out of the question. Who’d have thunk it?

Who’d have thunk it? Well, outside of our own Jamal, approximately no one. We knew Giambi wasn’t going to be terrible all season; we didn’t realize he would start putting up MVP-caliber numbers over a significant stretch of the season.

Now, I don’t need to rehash Giambi’s numbers since he broke out of his slump. I’ve done that recently here and, in a more in-depth post here this week. Suffice it to say that Jason Giambi is having a stretch right now that ranks among his best in pinstripes.

So what are the Yankees to do next year and beyond? The Yanks hold a $20 million option or a $5 million buyout for Giambi. There’s almost no chance that the Yanks would opt to exercise that option. Stark’s sources speculate that the Yankees would be more inclined to exercise that buy out and sign Giambi to a much lower one-year deal.

There are of course a few factors involved in this decision. One of those factors lies with Jason Giambi. If Jason continues to mash this year, the odds are pretty good that he could land a deal longer than one year. He’ll have to decide if he wants to stick around New York or go for a longer contract. I highly doubt the Yanks would be willing to do more than a year-to-year situation with Giambi. Maybe they would give him a two-year deal with a lower salary but some high incentives.

The other factor, of course, lies with the Yankees. If Jason Giambi can be a productive offensive player, the Yankees will definitely look to bring him back. He hasn’t been terrible in the field this year, and he more than makes up for it at the plate. Furthermore, the Yanks seem to believe that Hideki Matsui is no longer as durable as he once was and are hoping to prolong Jorge Posada‘s career by spelling him behind the plate as often as possible. Giambi could do a bit of 1B/DH platooning next year.

But if the Yankees want to go young — or younger — and take a long, hard look at Mark Teixeira in the off-season, they probably wouldn’t opt to retain Giambi and Matsui. Despite the age difference, I’d almost take Giambi over Matsui with that lineup. Of course, economics play into it too. If the Yanks are going to be paying Giambi $5 million not to renew his contract, they’ll probably want some of that money to go to on-field production and would thus be more willing to bring him back for the right price.

In the end, of course, despite Stark’s assertions, it’s way too early to be making this decision. We still have over half the season to go, and questions of frailty surround Jason Giambi. It’s interesting to think about it, and if Giambi stays healthy and keeps producing, the Yanks will have to make a decision this October that probably doesn’t have a right or wrong answer.

Categories : Analysis
Comments (95)

Mike is out of commission for the next few nights. So I’m taking over the Down on the Farm reins for a few days. Don’t worry; I’m not staging a coup. I’ll have a link to the box scores and a few stat lines but not nearly as many as Mike features. Feel free to add more depth in the comments.

AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre lost to the Toledo Mud Hens 4-3(box score).
Alan Horne – 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K – He threw 96 pitches but only 53 for strikes in a losing effort
David Robertson – 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
Shelley Duncan – 1 for 4 with his 7th AAA HR of the year

The Mud Heads featured former Yankee farm hand and Major Leaguer Fernando Seguignol as their clean-up hitter. The Yanks owe a thanks to the 33 year old as he was once traded by the Yanks to the Expos for a pitcher named John Wetteland.

Read More→

Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • Open Thread: Evaluating RAB
    By

    So things are good in Yankee-land tonight. While the Yanks have the evening off, an afternoon win brought the Bombers their seventh victory in a row. With a plethora of open threads lately, we figured now would be a good time for some site evaluations. Thanks to Mike’s tireless draft coverage, we’ve had a huge month traffc-wise, and today, Joe debuted first RAB podcast.

    So I want to take this opportunity to ask you, our readers, to evaluate the site with a critical eye. If you think we’re doing a great job and shouldn’t change a thing, thank you, but we’re not fishing for congratulations. We’d rather reserve this thread for comments about what we aren’t doing or aren’t doing well. What would you do to improve the site? What would you like to see added to our coverage? Leave your ideas in the comments, and we’ll sift through ‘em over the next few weeks. The feedback would be a massive contribution to the site.
    · (95) ·

Just two days ago, I wrote up a 14-strike out game tossed by Andy Pettitte and the Yankee bullpen. It was the first time in nearly two years that the Yanks had reached that lofty K plateau. Little did I know they would reach — and exceed — that level again less than 48 hours later.

Behind a strong, 100-pitch outing from Joba Chamberlain, four Yankee pitchers combined for a whopping 15 strike outs of the San Diego Padres. Joba started off the fun with 2 K’s in the first and hardly looked back. On the day, he threw a few too many balls (42) and issued a few too many walks (3), but in 5.2 innings, Joba struck out nine and gave up just four hits. Outside of a rough first outing, his transition into the rotation has been about as smooth as we could expect.

On the season, Joba has yet to pick up a win as a starter, but to anyone who follows the team, that matters very little. The Yanks are now 3-1 in Joba’s four starts, and the right-hander has thrown 18.1 innings while striking out 19. For all the analysts who said Joba couldn’t keep up his velocity and strike out totals, Chamberlain is doing a good job of proving them wrong so far.

Of course, it’s still early on in Joba’s career, and he’s still finding his way as a Major League starter. The walk total — 12 in 18.1 innings — is, point blank, unacceptable. It will get better.

After Joba’s departure, Jose Veras, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless, one-hit relief. The trio struck out six with Mariano Rivera’s continuing to utterly dominate the Padres. He faced San Diego three times this week and nailed down seven strike outs.

Offensively, the Yankees took advantage of the Padres’ weakness. While Josh Banks continued his stellar pitching this season, the Yanks exploited the Padres’ catchers. Melky Cabrera scored the Yanks’ first run of the game off a walk, two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly. A Derek Jeter stolen base put him in position to advance to third on a Bobby Abreu ground-out and score on an A-Rod single. Who says the Yanks can’t run?

With that win, the Yanks win their seventh in a row. It is their longest winning streak since they won nine in a row against the White Sox, Pirates and Diamondbacks in June of 2007. The Yanks, it seem, love beating up those weak NL teams.

Riding high on a win streak and just 2.5 games behind the Wild Card-leading Tampa Bay Rays, the Yanks will meet the Reds, another last-place NL team, this weekend. Edinson Volquez and his sub-2.00 ERA go on Friday. The Yanks are finding ways to win big and small, and I’m lovin’ every minute of it.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (24)

Update: After listening to the mixdown through the internal audio player, I changed the levels and uploaded a new version. So if you caught a broken link, it’s back up and running now.

We’re going to try something a bit different over the next few weeks, leading up to the July 31 trading deadline. It’ll be a weekly podcast going over the trade environment at the time. We’ll talk about needs, wants, rumors, and other potential maneuvers.

This week, it’s me going solo, though I’ll be joined by Mike and Ben as time permits. Also, if you’d like to “call in,” so to speak, just hit me with an email and we’ll try to work something out.

Today I talk about — what else — starting pitching, Cleveland’s situation in evaluating a return for C.C. Sabathia, bullpen help, and a defensive first baseman.

If you want to download the podcast, you can right click here and hit “Save As.” Otherwise, it will launch the podcast in a new screen. Otherwise, you can just use the audio player below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Categories : Podcast
Comments (13)
Jun
19

Game 73: 100 pitches

By in Game Threads. · Comments (90) ·

Can you believe that, by the end of next week, we’ll be at the mid-point of the 2008 baseball season? It seems like only yesterday we watched the Yanks emerge victorious on Opening Day against the Blue Jays.

The story today, as it is every five day, is Joba Chamberlain. While Joba has yet to pick up his first win a starter, he’s done quite well for himself so far. In three starts spanning 12.2 innings, his ERA is 2.84, and he’s maintaining a high strike out rate. While he’s walked nine — that’s too many — his stuff has looked good. Today, he’s up over 100 pitches, and by all accounts, he’s basically off the pitch count now. It will be interesting to see how he does against a weak Padres lineup.

Hideki Matsui is out again. He says he’s available to pinch hit.

Game time is 1:05 p.m. Apparently, MLB likes to schedule getaway-day day games for teams that aren’t the Yankees or Mets. Go figure.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Posada DH
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Molina C

Chamberlain P

Site Notes: Check back later this afternoon for the first RAB podcast, and we’ll have an ever-popular Open Thread tonight, topic TBD.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (90)