Dustin Moseley to join Yankees on Thursday

Via Mark Feinsand, righthander Dustin Moseley will be called up to join the Yankees sometime before Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. It’s unclear who will get the axe, but my money’s on Chad Gaudin, especially throwing 48 pitches tonight.

The 28-year-old Moseley would have been able to opt out of his minor league contract if he wasn’t added to the roster by July 1st, which of course is tomorrow. He put up a 4.21 ERA (~3.50 FIP) in a dozen Triple-A starts, generating his usual high percentage of ground balls (59.4%). In 168 IP spread over four seasons with the Angels, Moseley posted an unspectacular 4.61 xFIP. I don’t expect much out of him, but there’s no harm in seeing what he has to offer when we know all that Gaudin brings is mediocrity (at best).

Productive nights for all the top prospects

We have notes…

  • Grant Duff has been placed on the DL for an unknown reason, but it’s not surprising after he got rocked last time out. J.B. Cox takes his place on the roster.
  • Kevin Goldstein had a little something on Hector Noesi today (sub. req’d): “He doesn’t have a pitch that any scout would put a 60 on, but his fastball has average to plus movement with some cutting action, his curveball is solid, his change is good, and he absolutely pounds the strike zone and pitches without fear … It’s not a crazy high ceiling, but Noesi sure looks like a major-league starter and could be a nice trade chip in the coming month.”
  • Jesus Montero, Eduardo Nunez, and Jon Albaladejo were all named to the Triple-A International League All Star Team, so congrats to them.
  • Robert Pimpsner reported that 32nd round pick LHP Kramer Sneed has signed and will report to Short Season Staten Island tomorrow.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 loss to Pawtucket)
Justin Christian, LF: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Marcus Thames, DH: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K – obviously, he’s on a rehab assignment … all four at-bats came against lefties … singled after falling behind in the count 0-2 & working it back full … on the other hand, he had a 3-0 count later in the game, only to fly out on a broken bat after the count ran full
Jeff Natale, PH-DH: 1 for 1, 1 R, 2 RBI – took over once Thames got his four at-bats
Eduardo Nunez, SS: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 2 K – four for his last 23 (.174)
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB – ten for his last 26 (.385) with three doubles & two homers … I have to say, it’s good to see his AVG/OBP/SLG all go DOWN after a night like this, shows his numbers are back in the realm of respectability
Jorge Vazquez, 3B: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 2 K
Reid Gorecki, RF: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 SB
Reegie Corona, 2B: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
P.J. Pilittere, 1B: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E (fielding)
Greg Golson, CF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K – still six for his last 33 (.182)
Romulo Sanchez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 6-3 GB/FB – 52 of his 90 pitches were strikes (57.8%)
Jason Hirsh: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4-2 GB/FB – 30 of 44 pitches were strikes (68.2%)

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Game 77: The King is in town

Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson, AP

No, not that King. His time will come. I’m talking about King Felix, who will face the Yankees tonight as he tries to clinch a series victory for the Mariners. The Yanks have to stick with the same game plan as last night, jumping all over the first hittable pitch Felix gives them. If they get passive in an effort to drive up his pitch count, they’ll be staring at 0-2 counts all night.

Heeeeeeeeere’s the lineup…

Jeter, SS
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Posada, DH – this really better not be an every day thing
Granderson, CF
Curtis, LF
Cervelli, C

And on the bump, they man they call Javy. Javy Vazquez.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day for baseball in New York, and there’s no reason this one won’t start on time. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET, and can be seen on good ol’ YES. Enjoy.

2010 Draft: KLaw on Dan Burawa

Keith Law got a look at Yankees’ 12th round pick Daniel Burawa during his outing for the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League last night, and wrote an absolutely glowing report about him (Insider req’d). He dubbed Burawa’s fastball as electric, noting that the St. John’s righty “sat 93-96, dipping below that just twice in his one inning of work” with “so much downward life that it often finishes below the zone.” KLaw also noted that Burawa has an upper-70’s curve that serves as a change-of-pace pitch, but otherwise “it’s a premium arm that would play pretty quickly in a late-game, one-inning role.” Like I’ve been saying, it’s clear the Yanks’ sought out guys with big time arm strength in this draft.

There’s reportedly five Yankee draftees playing on the Cape this summer, including Burawa, RHP Tommy Kahnle (5th round), and RHP Martin Viramontes (27th round).

Oppenheimer among the game’s best GM candidates

When we think of prospects, we usually think about players and minor leaguers. Of course, field personnel and front office executives can be considered prospects as well, for coaching and managerial positions. Will Carroll ran down a list of the ten best GM candidates in the game (sub. req’d), one of whom is Yankees’ scouting director Damon Oppenheimer.

“There’s really nothing left for Oppenheimer to prove with the Yankees,” said Carroll. “His staff has developed players who have come through and have been traded out. There’s the advantage of the big pockets, but with those big pockets comes big scrutiny … Since it doesn’t appear Brian Cashman is going anywhere soon—Cashman is younger than Oppenheimer—it appears that Oppenheimer will have to move on to get his shot, unless the Yankees pay GM-like money to keep him in place.”

I don’t know when Oppenheimer’s contract runs out, but teams will almost never block someone from making an upward move. I also don’t know who would replace him, but I imagine it would be someone from within. It’s never a bad thing when your top level executives are mentioned among the best GM candidates in the game, I do know that much.

Tickets available for tonight’s game

Kinda short notice, but a reader has two tickets available for tonight’s game. The seats are located in Row 13 of Section 414, and they’re going for $25 each. They can be emailed, making everyone’s life easier. If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll put you in contact with the seller.

Update (5:17pm): The tickets have been claimed.

With Hughes, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

As he fielded questions from Yankee fans on Monday evening during a talk at The Times Center, Yanks GM Brian Cashman spoke about doing his job in one of the loudest and most volatile media markets around. With two tabloids competing for readers and two sports talk radio stations on everyone’s dials, New York fans are fed constant outrage over their favorite teams’ decisions. Everything is scrutinized, and few in the media have faith in the process.

Cashman, though, knows that he has to tune out the noise to be able to do his job. “If you listen to the fans,” he said, “you’ll be sitting with them soon enough.” The same, he noted, applies to the media. If Brian Cashman and Randy Levine ran the Yankees as Mike Francesa and those columnists in The Post and The Daily News want him to, the team would be a train wreck of contradictions with a $300 million payroll and no farm system. Baseball requires an even keel.

Yet, the fans carry on and on. Last night, Phil Hughes had a bad outing. Against a poor offensive club, Hughes couldn’t escape the sixth and walked away with just his second loss of the season. He allowed 10 hits and two walks in 5.2 innings while surrendering six earned runs. After the game, he claimed to be too strong after 10 days off, and that set off the fan base.

They shrieked, “The Yankees don’t know what to do! Didn’t they learn from Joba? They can’t develop young pitchers! Just let him pitch! Off with their heads!” It was a typically expected response devoid of reason or context.

The Yankees have a plan. After last night’s start, Phil Hughes was on pace for 188 innings, and the team will not have him throw that many. Last year, they tried limiting Joba’s innings by having him throw stunted starts, and it clearly did not work. This year, they’re going to do what teams do with many pitchers and allow Hughes extra rest. They’ve done it with Andy Pettitte; they’ve done it with Javier Vazquez; they may even do it with A.J. Burnett. Hughes will get his rest, and that’s that.

Yet, the fans bemoan no matter what. If the Yanks had to shut Hughes down at the end of August, they would complain that the team is without one of their more effective starters for the stretch drive. If they give him rest now, they complain. Such is the nature of New Yorkers.

This approach — what I would call 20-20 managing — is nowhere more evident than in the bullpen as well. When Joe Girardi brings in a reliever and that reliever struggles, the 20-20 managers would have left in the starting pitcher. When the starting pitcher faces one batter too many and the game slips away, the 20-20 managers would have gone to a reliever. The 20-20 managers always push the right button and are never wrong.

But baseball doesn’t work like that. The Yanks know what they want to do with their young arm, and right now, that will involve keeping his rhythm regular and his innings under control. The real issue with Phil Hughes is that his last eight starts have been unspectacular. He’s 5-2 over that span but with a 5.33 ERA, and opponents are OPSing .798 against him. It is, though, only about innings to fans who think they know better.

The Yankees will always be scrutinized. They’ll always be second-guessed. Even when they win, someone will say they could have won faster or better or sooner. Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.