Fan Confidence Poll: December 27th, 2010

Season Record: 95-67 (859 RS, 693 RA, 98-64 Pythag. record), finished one game back in AL East, won Wild Card, lost in ALCS

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.


Christmas Weekend Open Thread

Update (12/26/10 7:00pm ET): It’s technically still Christmas weekend, so let’s just bump this thread up top instead of creating a whole new one. There’s no late NFL game because the Eagles and Vikings were snowed out, so they’re going to play on Tuesday instead. The Devils and Isles are supposed to play at home as well, but I have no idea if those games were postponed as well. Either way, talk about whatever you want.

Original Post (12/24/10 4:00pm ET): Happy Holidays to all of our readers out there. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, take the weekend to hang out with some family and be merry. Don’t expect any Yankee news until at least Monday, but use this thread to talk about whatever you want this evening. Happy Holidays.

Webb hooks on with the Rangers

Via MLBTR, the Rangers have reached an agreement with Brandon Webb. Hopefully you weren’t expecting the Yankees to sign him, because all indications were that they had minimal interest at best. Can’t say I blame them, expecting a guy to rebound from major shoulder surgery after throwing four innings total in the last 26 months isn’t much more than a pipe dream. They need sure innings more than anything.

Ivan Nova, the mystery winter ball pitcher

Apparently Ivan Nova has been pitching in the Dominican Winter League according to Tim Bontemps, but I can’t find anything supporting that. He’s not listed on the roster and his page doesn’t list any stats. Bontemps says Nova threw 25.2 innings in the DWL (17 K, 4 BB), which would push his 2010 total to 212.2 IP. That’s a jump of 73.1 innings from last year. Nova’s been a horse as a pro, throwing at least 140 innings every year since 2008 (he was two outs short in 2009, close enough), but he’s never eclipsed the 200 IP mark, or even come close to it really.

Anyway, here’s the latest update from the various winter leagues…

Australian Baseball League
Nathan Aron: 9 G, 6 for 19, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 K, 2 HBP (.316/.364/.579)
Kyle Perkins: 3 G, 0 for 5, 4 K – hey look, he finally made contact

Dominican Winter League (season ended Dec. 21st)
Colin Curtis: 14 G, 12 for 50, 9 R, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 9 BB, 9 K (.240/.356/.300)
Eduardo Nunez: 7 G, 8 for 23, 4 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K, 1 CS (.348/.333/.391) – still hasn’t played since fouling a ball off his face
Francisco Santana: 13 G, 4 for 16, 2 R, 2 RBI, 4 K (.250/.250/.250)
Wilkins Arias: 17 G, 14 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 19 K (3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) – finally got back on the mound after last week’s incident … one of those walks is intentional

Mexican Pacific League (season ends Dec. 30th)
Walt Ibarra: 51 G, 46 for 147, 29 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 37 K, 5 SB, 2 CS, 1 HBP (.313/.356/.401)
Ramiro Pena: 29 G, 26 for 110, 14 R, 6 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 21 K, 1 CS (.236/.298/.318)
Jorge Vazquez: 36 G, 46 for 133, 24 R, 10 2B, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 41 K, 1 CS (.346/.401/.647) – boy he sure does strike out a lot
Francisco Gil: 4 G, 6 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP (10.50 ERA, 2.17 WHIP)
Andy Sisco: 14 G, 14 GS, 72.2 IP, 61 H, 35 R, 31 ER, 42 BB, 60 K, 6 WP (3.84 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Eric Wordekemper: 21 G, 19.1 IP, 21 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 11 BB, 19 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (6.05 ERA, 1.66 WHIP)

Venezuelan Winter League (season ends Dec. 30th)
Gustavo Moliva: 29 G, 13 for 80, 7 R, 2 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 2 BB, 17 K, 2 HBP (.163/.202/.375) – at least his ISO is really good
Luis Nunez: 11 G, 5 for 22, 2 G, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K (.227/.320/.227)
Jordan Parraz: 25 G, 22 for 72, 12 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 9 BB, 20 K, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.306/.393/.389)
Jose Pirela: 25 G, 28 for 88, 16 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 7 K, 1 CS (.318/.368/.420)
Romulo Sanchez: 18 G, 14.2 IP, 19 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 11 BB, 15 K, 2 WP (7.36 ERA, 2.05 WHIP)
Amaury Sanit: 4 G, 4 GS, 18.1 IP, 21 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 12 K, 1 WP (3.93 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Josh Schmidt: 13 G, 12 GS, 66 IP, 46 H, 21 R, 20 ER, 32 BB, 62 K,  (2.72 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) – he’s also hit seven guys

Surprise Surprise: Yankees have no interest in signing Manny

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez. The other day we heard that the team held internal discussions about him simply because he fit a need (right-handed hitting outfielder), but obviously it doesn’t make sense. Jorge Posada is the full-time designated hitter and they already have three very capable outfielders on the roster. Good to see this one shot down in relatively short order.

I’m guessing the internal talks went something like this: “Okay, righty outfielders, first candidate is Manny Ramirez.” “Nope, next.”

Yankees are keeping an eye on Brandon Webb

Via George King, the Yankees are monitoring the progress of free agent right-hander Brandon Webb, but “they don’t appear to be in a hurry to do anything.” The now 31-year-old former Cy Young Award winner has started one game in the last two years because of major shoulder surgery, so the chances he turns back into the guy that racked up 19.9 fWAR from 2006 through 2008 are the longest of long shots. The truth of the matter is that no one has any idea what he’s capable of right now, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks target a little more a sure thing instead, even if it’s just Jeff Francis. At least he got on the mound for 100+ innings last season.

Yankees unlikely to consider bringing back Thames

Via Buster Olney (Insider req’d), the Yankees are unlikely to consider bringing Marcus Thames back for the 2011 season. With Jorge Posada, a switch-hitter, slotted in as the full-time designated hitter, any right-handed bat off the bench would need to provided defensive flexibility to get playing time. The same logic applies to Manny Ramirez, another long shot signing.

Thames was awesome for the Yanks in 2010, but he’s unlikely to match the carer high (by frickin’ far) .345 BABIP again. His defense is also unusable, so he’s the very definition of a one-dimensional player.  It just doesn’t make sense given the present construction of the team.