Down on the Farm


WHY DIDN’T YOU…oh forget it, there’s too many to list.

Triple-A Scranton
Game 1 (8-2 loss to Syracuse in 7 innings)
Alberto Gonzalez: 3 for 3, 1 R, 1 3B – 4 XBH on the year, 3 of ’em are triples
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 3
Andrew Beattie: 2 for 3
Tyler Clippard: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HB – I’m not his biggest fan, but I’m willing to cough this one up to the 9 day layoff between game action…
Erick Burke: 1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – you on the other hand…I’m not willing to be so forgiving with…
Game 2 (3-2 loss to Syracuse, walk-off style)
Omir Santos: 2 for 3,  R, 1 2B, 1 K
Jamal Strong: 1 for 3, 1 RBI
rest of lineup: 2 for 16, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K – both walks by Sardinha
Mighty Matt: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HB – so much for this
TJ Beam: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – served up a walk-off bomb to one of the Jays best prospects

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Kontos pinched


The Greek God of Pitching got busted:

Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Green Iguana Bar & Grill on Anderson Road just before 2 a.m. Management at the establishment told investigators that George Kontos attempted to re-enter the business after he was asked to leave.

The 21-year-old right-hander with the Tampa Yankees of the Class A Florida State League was again asked to leave. A HCSO deputy attempted to escort him from the premises but he kept pulling and was ultimately taken into custody.

No word if he had to resort to the “don’t you know who I am???” line. I sure hope he did though, for comedic purposes only.

(hat tip to Steve)

New mechanics for Phil Hughes

From BA’s Prospect Blog:

“He was drifting through the balance point of his delivery a little bit, and it wasn’t allowing him to be as sharp,” Eiland said. “The command and life on his fastball were still OK, but it wasn’t Phil Hughes-like. He worked on that between starts.”

That’s not to say Hughes is not a self-aware pitcher. Eiland credits the 20-year-old with having high pitching aptitude and a sound delivery. “You’ve got to tell him just one small thing and he’s back where he needs to be. Every now and then your delivery is going to be a bit off. He corrects himself,” the pitching coach said.

“Our goal is to just keep him going, to help him develop his changeup. He just needs experience and innings. He’s just 20-year-old, and I think a lot of times we forget that. He needs to pitch in big situations–men on second and third with one out–to see how he responds.”

Though Hughes came out of high school with an advanced slider, the Yankees have helped him develop a curveball, a pitch that generates more swings and misses and reduces arm strain.

“He still throws the slider two, three, four times a game, if at all. He still throws it on side days,” Eiland said. “That slider’s still there.”

I’m glad to hear he’s still got the slider, but I’m sorry, the kid is as ML ready as you can possibly want a prospect to be. He won’t face many of those “big situations” in the minors, he’s just too good.

I know I sound like a broken record, but he should be in the bigs right now. No doubt about it.

Some statistics you ought to be familiar with

Over the course of this season, and hopefully many more to come, we at River Ave. Blues (and by “we” I mean Ben and me; Mike doesn’t believe in this VooDoo bullshit) will be using various statistics to back up our arguments. While stats don’t always tell the whole story, they’re very useful in helping illustrate a point. If I read a mediot extolling the virtues of, say, Miguel Cairo, I like to look at his statistics and say, “uh, dude, this guy makes a ton of outs.” Or something along those lines.

However, the traditional statistics — Batting Average, Home Runs, Runs Batted In — don’t tell the whole story. In fact, using only those three stats can be very misleading when talking about a player’s value. Yes, it would be nice if Player A drove in 110 runs this season, but his ability to do so hinges on the work of the hitters around him — particularly those ahead of him. Who knows: they could have plugged in a better player at that lineup spot and he might have had 130 RBI.

What those traditional stats lack is context. For a simple and more full explanation of traditional stats, I urge you to read Dayn Perry’s explanation at Baseball Prospectus (this article, along with the one linked later on, is free).

Okay, done? Good. Now let’s take a look at some of the stats you will see here on River Ave. Blues this season. This will be permanently linked in the menu bar of this site.

A-Rod caps historic comeback

I found this tidbit inside Olney’s blog today (Subscription required):

This game was the Yankees’ first nine-inning win ever at Yankee Stadium in which they trailed by at least four runs with no one on base and they were down to their last out. They had won once previously in extra innings when they trailed by at least four runs with no one on base and they were down to their last out. On August 11, 1923 (the first year of Yankee Stadium), the Yankees trailed the Tigers, 7-3, going to the bottom of the ninth in the second game of a doubleheader. With two outs and no one on base, Babe Ruth hit an inside-the-park home run to get the rally started. The Yankees tied it in the ninth, then the Tigers scored in the 10th to take an 8-7 lead, but the Yankees scored twice in the bottom of the 10th to win, 9-8.

So, uh, wow.

The real question is, will he leave his mask on?

From commentor “Triskaidekaphobia” in this YF vs. SF thread:

One thing I would like to see happen, but it’s doubtful, lol. Bruney is pitching to Varitek, he hits him, nothing crazy like career threatening, just maybe in the a** or thigh. Alex runs in from 3rd base while Varitek is all fired up and says “We don’t throw at .189 hitters” (See 2004 for an explaination)

Too funny.