From Baseball Prospectus. Unfortunately, you’ll need a subscription to read the whole thing:
A high-profile signing (the Yankees stole Jackson from the college basketball ranks), Jackson made his debut in Low-A last season with unimpressive results. His return to Charleston was headed down the same path this season until Jackson caught fire in June, and he hasn’t looked back, dominating the Florida State League. Jackson has more power than most on this list, and he’ll take a walk when he needs to. The question will be contact. Jackson deserves some credit for cutting down on his strikeout rate from last year–when he whiffed 152 times in 134 games–but I’m not sure I buy it completely. Jackson has just 27 strikeouts in 168 at-bats in Tampa, but can we count on such a torrid streak continuing? Jackson’s strikeout rates in 2008 will be the best indicator of his future.The article also mentions Brett Gardner, comparing him to Jason Tyner except with more discipline at the plate. That doesn’t bode so well for Brett. But the outlook for Ajax is a bit more impressive. · (3) ·
Via this mailbag comes some word on the Yanks draft picks. According to Peter Abraham, Scott Boras, agent for Andrew Brackman, the Yanks’ number one pick, is confident the two sides will reach a deal before next Wednesday’s deadline. Abraham also notes a rumor we’ve heard for a while: The Yanks and Carmen Angelini (10th round) have come to terms on a deal for which MLB is delaying approval due, unsurprisingly, to the fact that the Yanks are well over slot. Angelini had been ticketed for Rice before the Yanks’ wallet intervened. · (7) ·
Abreu: .333/.412/.550 Cano: .345/.393/.570 Melky: .341/.387/.511 Matsui: .300/.365/.554 In fact, since that date, the only Yankees with an OBP below .350 are Johnny Damon (.343) and Andy Phillips (.333). The only Yankees below a .500 slugging percentage are Jeter (.452), Damon (.343), and Phillips (.396). OPS. It’s what chicks dig. · (2) ·
According to reports out of Omaha, Nebraska (linked above) and ESPN TV, Joba Chamberlain is heading to Toronto to join the Yankees. It’s a move that we have been anticipating for a while, and a move that, if Joe Torre can handle it, should pay dividends for the Yankees nearly immediately.
Harlan Chamberlain, Joba’s dad, broke the move to the Omaha World-Herald. “To be happening this quick, it’s just a dream,” he said to reporter Mitch Sherman. “It’s a dream that was always there, but to achieve it this quick, it’s unbelievable. It’s surreal.”
In a corresponding move, according to ESPN, the Yanks will keep Jim Brower around and send Jeff Karstens, who was shaky during his first appearance back from the DL last week against Chicago, to Scranton. There is still no word on who will be dismissed when Jason Giambi is activated tomorrow, but we’ll have more on that when it happens.
The Yankees’ Front Office would like Joba Chamberlain to become the 7th or 8th inning guy for the Yanks. He’ll replace Kyle Farnsworth outright. Farnsworth will now be the mop-up man for all intents and purposes. Chamberlain will also take some pressure off of Luis Vizcaino, the current set-up man who has been great recently but has appeared in 33 of the Yanks’ last 59 games. Vizcaino, in danger of becoming this year’s Steve Karsay or Ron Villone, is rapidly approaching career highs in innings pitched and appearances.
Chamberlain, 21, is pitching his first season of professional baseball this year. He has rapidly moved up the list of Baseball America’s top prospects and is currently regarded as one of the top five best players not in the majors. In three levels of Minor Leagues, his numbers are downright nasty. He’s struck out 135 in 88.1 innings and opponents are hitting just .198 against him. Impressively, he’s walked just 27.
As a reliever over the last few days, he’s been flat-out nasty. He’s thrown 4 innings and has gotten 10 of those 12 outs through a strike out. He’s given up one hit, and that’s all.
While many people are concerned that Joe Torre will ruin Joba, I have to think that Brian Cashman won’t let that happen. While Torre seems to be a lame duck — and trading and releasing his crutches proves that — Cashman will exert influence to keep his prized possessions in a good start. There just isn’t enough of the season left for Torre to run Joba ragged.
For the team, this is huge. They’ve got a bona fide power pitcher — and not a power thrower like Bruney or Farnsworth — coming out of the pen. He can dial it up to 98 and mixes in some stellar off-speed pitches. Considering how bad the Yanks pen looked a few weeks ago, things are looking up for the Yanks.
We’ll see your Eric Gagne, Boston, and raise you a Joba Chamberlain.
ESPN says that Karstens will be swapped for Joba on Tuesday. We shall see.
Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Buffalo)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 2 K
Justin Christian: 1 for 3, 1 BB — starting to really like this kid
Angel Chavez: 0 for 4, 1 K
Erubiel Durazo: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 HR
Eric Duncan: 1 for 3
Wil Nieves: 0 for 2
Kei Igawa: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K — 8 K? don’t care. suck suck suck
Sean Henn: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Edwar: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K — I’d rather go lefty-less than have Villone in the majors and Edwar in AAA
I was stuck watching the Blue Jays’ MLB.tv feed for reasons that aren’t important. At the start of the 9th, the boring Blue Jays announcers said that Mariano is “not quite as intimidating as he used to be.” So how does Mariano respond (to a comment he obviously didn’t hear)? Well, by throwing 11 of 16 pitches for strikes and striking out Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas to nail down the save. Take that, Toronto. · (15) ·
Some ruminations on Roger Clemens’ season numbers, if you will.
Clemens is getting paid approximately $1 million per start, and recently he’s failed to deliver. Alarmingly, his hits allowed are up and his strike out numbers are well below his career low. If the other options that we’ve seen – Kei Igawa, Tyler Clippard, Chase Wright – weren’t so dreadful, we’d be a whole lot more concerned about Clemens’ longevity and pitching than we are right now. · (6) ·
Starts IP IP/Start H ERA K/9 IP K/BB 1-6 38.6 6.4 33 3.49 6.5 3.11 7-11 26.3 5.2 35 5.13 4.8 1.75
Remember back earlier in the season when we absolutely needed a starter? The Yanks, citing the ease of the move due to his being on the 40-man roster, called up Chase Wright. They were chastised, and rightfully so. You don’t make a move like that just because a dude is on the 40-man. Hell, he was only there to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft, which he easily would have been.
There were three names floating around to get the callup for Myers: Edwar, Joba, and Jim Brower. Of them, only Edwar is on the 40-man. In this case, it would seem acceptable to call up Edwar. It’s the easier move, and he’s been stellar all year — except when he’s been on two-weeks’ rest.
However, Brian Cashman decided to clear another 40-man roster spot for Jim Brower. The casualty is yet unknown, but this is a rather suspect move, especially at this time. The Yanks just DFA’d Colter Bean to make room for Hughes. Now they have to DFA someone else to make room for Brower. Plus, once they deem Joba ready, they’ll have to axe someone else for him — though that could be Brower if he doesn’t work out.
We are completely advocates of making the right move, regardless of roster implications. However, it just seems strange that Brower got the call in this situation when he is the hardest one to accommodate.
If this is a “we’ll try Brower, and if he doesn’t work out, we’ll DFA him and go with Joba” kinda move, then it’s okay — I guess. There doesn’t seem to be any reason not to use Joba right now, though.
Update: I’m an idiot. Myers’s 40-man spot goes to Brower. Still, another spot would have to be cleared for Joba.