As our old blogging ground is reporting rumors of one trade and Buster Olney reporting word of another, it’s clear that, even if these trades aren’t completed right now, the Yankees are angling for a new-look bullpen. Combined with Joba’s relief dominance, we could see a whole new pen soon.
On the one hand, we have the Eric Gagne rumors. Pieces of the trade aside, Gagne would be a great addition to this bullpen. This year, he’s, according to everyone who sees him, finally throwing free and easy after a few injury-plagued seasons. In 33.1 innings, he’s allowed just 8 runs on 2 HR, 23 hits and 12 walks while striking out 29. His 2.16 ERA is a full two runs lower than the Yankees’ current set-up crew. Plus, his free agent status would net the Yankees a first round draft pick next season.
On the other, Buster Olney mentions a possible Scott Proctor-for-Wilson Betemit deal. Betemit is a 27-year-old infielder with the Dodgers. He’s hitting just .231 but with an OBP of .359 and a SLG of .474. With 10 HR in 156 at-bats, he would add some much-needed pop to the bench, replacing Miguel Cairo as next in line for an infield slot.
Meanwhile, as we know, the Yanks are trying hard to deal Farnsworth. So in a few days, instead of Farsnworth, Proctor, Bruney, Vizcaino, Myers, Villone, Henn, we could have Gagne, Chamberlain, Vizcaion, Bruney, Myers, Villone, Henn. Or Britton. Or Ramirez. These moves are good ideas; we’ll see if they come to fruition.
Update: I just wanted to stress what Peter Abraham wrote here. This Gagne deal is still just a rumor, and the team is denying it. So hold your horses for now on it.
Joba tonight: 13 pitches, 10 strikes, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K He’s already better than Kyle Farnsworth. Or anyone on the Yankees not named Mariano. The key is to see how he feels tomorrow and how ready he feels to go again on Wednesday. Who really needs Eric Gagne anyway? · (23) ·
News has been scant about the Yankee Stadium construction. While my flickr photoset of the construction shows the glacial pace of building a stadium, we haven’t really had confirmation that new Yankee Stadium is, as I half-guessed earlier this month, well behind schedule.
That is, we hadn’t had confirmation until this morning. As The New York Sun notes, construction on Yankee Stadium is three months behind schedule in some places, according to people working on the site. The Sun reports:
On the other side of town, at the new Yankee Stadium, the heavy metal extending skyward, toward the baseball gods, is less visible. The concrete façade that will form the exterior of the stadium is constructed behind home plate, and workers are expanding it along both base lines. However, it extends just a short distance toward left and right field, and the steel framework for the upper deck is constructed only in the area behind home plate.
An ironworker who was working at the stadium this weekend and did not give his name said the construction of the concrete façade is three months behind schedule. He also said the portion of façade he was working on yesterday was supposed to be up by April.
The Yankees organization refused to participate in this article. A spokeswoman for the Yankees, Alice McGillion, denied that the concrete façade is behind schedule. “We are not behind. Absolutely not,” she said. “We are different than the Mets. We are not following the Mets’ way of doing things. We are doing it our own way.”
Well, if you take a look at the state of CitiField and the state of the new Yankee Stadium, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that Yankee Stadium is behind schedule. I was at Shea this past weekend, and the stadium there is much further along than the $1.2 billion behemoth in the Bronx. I’m sure the Yanks will get the stadium open in time for Opening Day 2009, but the clock is ticking.
In other stadium news, the city is having problems finding someone to run the parking garages. New York has come under fire from anti-public funding advocates for doling out $70 million to the garages around the stadium. News that the latest developers may default on another taxpayer-funded project may rankle more than a few residents.
It’s never a slow day in Yankee world. Is Kyle still on the team too?
We’re hearing and reading a lot of reports that the Rangers would trade Eric Gagne to the Yankees for Melky Cabrera. With Kyle Farnsworth’s recently ensuring his one-way ticket off the Yanks and Melky swinging a hot bad, this is a trade I would make in a minute. I don’t see Melky exceeding his current production levels, and I think his value is as high now as it will ever be. This move solidifies the pen and lands a decent return for a player who will be a fourth outfielder at best or a starter on a lesser team.
According to Ken Rosenthal, “the deal is done”. All that remains is the medical review of each player.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, A-level shortstop Elvis Andrus, and two pitching prospects are headed to Texas. No word on whether that includes Kyle Davies or Matt Harrison. The Rangers will also receive reliever Ron Mahay in the deal.
There has been some talk in the comments about the change Ross Ohlendorf has undergone since moving to the bullpen. Chad Jennings has some info on his must-read blog:
Today, I asked Newman whether the team told Ohlendorf to let it all loose in his relief appearance. Newman said that the team actually just told him to be agreesive and that he was only going to be pitching an inning or two. The results were different than they expected. Ohlendorf added about five mph to his fastball and he was grunting with nearly every pitch, something out of character for the normally reserved Princeton kid.
I remember saying back in April (though I’m not searching through the archives right now) that the Yanks could have a backup bullpen for the second half. The Yanks could conceivably add three arms in the very near future: Ohlendorf, Joba, and Karstens — and that’s not even counting the currently-injured Britton and the never-used Edwar.
This has to mean Kyle will be packing, right?
It’s one thing to not be pitching well. Take Scott Proctor for example. He’s not finding the same kind of success he had last year, but he places the blame on himself (or his equipment, but a baseball player should be one with his equipment, and I’ll cut the faux philosophical baloney for now). Many people don’t want to see Proctor pitching right now, but fewer are calling for his immediate departure. That’s because the dude doesn’t bitch and whine.
Kyle Farnsworth, though, is not nearly as affable. He has been disastrous all year, and instead of taking the blame himself (which he apparently does when his PR guy tells him to), he blames external factors. From Pete Abraham’s blog”
“I don’t like [not pitching regularly] at all,” he said. “I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. That definitely doesn’t help.”
Well soooorrrry, Kyle, but you kind of have to earn playing time. It would be one thing to complain if he was rotting in the bullpen like Ron Villone was for the first few months of last season. But Farnsworth gets chance after chance, yet continues to fail. Hell, his manager even went out of his way to say he hasn’t seen any inconsistency from him, when any dunderhead with 20/40 vision could tell you otherwise.
The worst thing you can do to lead off the 8th inning is to walk a backup catcher with an OPS+ of 54. Likewise, the worst thing you can do after pitching poorly is to complain about your usage patterns. This isn’t to say we approve of Joe Torre’s bullpen usage; that’s an issue I’m just not prepared to address right now, because it’s reaching term paper level. There is, however, one golden rule of the Torre pen:
If you walk dudes, you’re going to sit for prolonged periods of time.
Of course, the more money you make the longer it takes for you to find a seat on the bench. But eventually you’re going to find your way there. The move for Farnsworth was long overdue, and that’s obvious to even the most staunch Kyle supporter — if there are any.
Our next game is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday; the trade deadline is at 4. Anyone think that Krazy Kyle will be sitting next to Mariano at that point?
Scranton (def Rochester 3-0)
Justin Christian 2-2, R, BB
Eric Duncan 2-3, R
Angel Chavez 1-3, 2 RBI
Philip Hughes 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K. In the last 5 starts by Hughes (2x), Joba, Kennedy & Krastens they have given up 1 ER in 35 innings.
Ross Ohlendorf 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB & K. Reached 97, when told to let it go for 1 inning. The normally reserved Princeton Kid was grunting with each pitch.
Jose Veras 1 IP, 0’s across the board (Save)
Trenton (Reading wins 6-2)
Juan Miranda 1-2, 2B
Dan Conway (C) 2-4, HR
Bronson Sardinha 1-4, HR, 2 K
Jason Jones 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K 2.56 ERA
Tampa Scheduled day off
Charleston Scheduled day off
Staten Island (Tri-City defeats SI 10-5)
Justin Snyder 2-4, 2 R, BB
Taylor Holiday 3-5, 2B, HR,
Braedyn Pruitt 2-3, Hitting .428
Damon Sublett 2-4, R, 2 RBI
Adam Olbrychowski 3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 k
Nick Chigges 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
GCL Yanks Scheduled day off
I don’t like this move, but as I sit here and suffer through a Kyle Farnsworth implosion in a six-run game, I guess the Yanks have no choice. As everyone watching the game knows, the Yanks are moving Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen.
Here’s how the move is breaking down: Chamberlain, scheduled to start tomorrow, will instead work out of the bullpen at some point during the game. He will then relieve again on Wednesday, and the Yankees will evaluate the 21-year-old at that point.
I’m not a huge fan of this move. Chamberlain is pitching in his first professional season, and he’s been starting all year. Now, in August, the team is moving him to the pen because the pieces Brian Cashman has put in place on the big league level aren’t getting the job done. Someone’s gotta step up and
cover Cashman’s ass get the job done. The Yanks are hoping it’s Joba. And that’s not even touching upon the injury risk.
Meanwhile, as Ed Price notes, the Yankees insist that Joba’s future remains as a starter. That is a no-brainer really. I would always take 180+ innings per season of Joba the starter than I would of 70 IP of Joba the reliever. I hope the Yanks aren’t lured into using him as a middle reliever/set-up guy for too long.
At this point, I guess we should expect Chamberlain to arrive in the Bronx sometime after Hughes’ return in August. I’m guardedly skeptical of this decision.