So it looks like seven losses in a row â€” four of them to the Red Sox â€” were enough to bring out the ire in George Steinbrenner. George King reports today in The Post that the Boss is considering replacing Torre. Over at ESPN, Buster Olney believes this report to be coming from the mouths of influential higher-ups in the Yankee organization. In other words, the Yanks better start winning of Torre wants to stick around much past April this year.
Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. That’s all.
I understand it’s only April and it’s only A-ball, but it’s hard not to get excited about what Ian Kennedy is doing this year. And what about that David Robertson kid? Man is he dealin’ or what.
Hey look, at least the minor league squads won…
Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Columbus)
Kevin Thompson: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 E (fielding)
Andy Phillips: 3 for 3, 2 R, 2 BB
Bronson Sardinha: 0 for 5, 2 K – is it too soon to start thinking demotion to Trenton?
Shelley Duncan: 3 for 4, 1 R
Alberto Gonzalez: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)Â – is it too soon to start thinking utility role in the bigs?
Raul Chavez: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB – catcher picked a runner off first
Tyler Clippard: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 3-6 GB/FB – best start since Opening Day, and that’s not saying much
Ron Villone: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – that’s a funny line…here’s what happened: Kevin Thompson committed a 3-base error (I’m guessing a ball went under his glove and back to the wall), and the runner was driven in by a sac fly
Chris Britton: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – 4 for 4 in save chances
Is it okay to hate Doug Mientkiewicz? I mean, it’s not his fault he’s starting — it’s Torre’s. But he’s a backup first baseman at this point in his career, and if the Yankees wanted an efficient roster, Jason Giambi would be the backup first baseman.
Not saying Phelps is the answer by any means. However, he’s a much better option at this point, regardless of which hand the opposing pitcher throws with.
Is it too much to ask a team with a $190 million payroll to go find a league average first baseman? Chris Shelton is rotting away in Detroit’s AAA system. That’s a start. Follow that lead.
So I’m digging through the pitch-by-pitch recap ofÂ last night’sÂ game, and I noticed something: of the 7 hits Hughes gave up, only 1 came after he was ahead in the count – Frank Thomas’ single in the first, which came afterÂ Hughes had the Big Hurt down 1-2 in the count earlier in the at bat. What does that mean? Two things actually:
- He needs to do a better job of getting ahead in the count (duh, that’s prettyÂ much the key to being an effective pitcher), and
- He knows how to put guys away with 2 strikes.
Most young pitchers have trouble putting guys away with 2 strikes, often nibbling at the corners when they should be attacking the zone. Heck, some young guys don’t even haveÂ a legit put-away pitch, which often leads to their downfall. Hughes didn’t show that tendency last night, which obviously is a positive.
It looks like Hughes’ next 2 starts will be at Texas on Tuesday, then homeÂ against the Mariner’s next Saturday. The Rangers and Mariners both have lineups full of undisciplined hitters (both clubs have a team OBP of .304, tied for second worst in the bigs), and if Phil can keep up his “get ahead and finish’em off” routine, and limit how much he falls behind in the count, these next 2 starts could do wonders for his confidence. Assuming they keep him in the rotation of course…
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Unlike most new blogs, we came into this endeavor with a solid readership base already intact, thanks to our past blogging lives.Â However, over the last month or so we’ve seen our traffic increase steadily and pretty substantially, which was capped off yesterday with our best traffic day ever, as we grabbed over 2,000 unique hits (2,011 to be exact) and nearly 7,000 page views in all. As of this writing, we’ve already received over 830 unique hits and 2,750 page views today alone.
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Nerves struck Hughes in the first (understandable, heck I was nervous for the kid just watching on TV 3,000 miles away) and fatigue struck in the 5th (because of those ridiculous pitch counts from last year), but in between, Hughes was awesome. I thought he absolutely proved himself as ready for The Show.
He got squeezed on some pitches, but that’s not an excuse. He’s a rookie and he needs to establish himself before he starts getting those borderline calls, just like every other pitcher in the history of baseball. His curveball was good, filthy at times, and it’s got a chance to be absolutely devastating once he acclimates himself. His changeup was what I said it was – a quality pitch. He got a nice amount of swing-and-misses on it.
Alex Belth made a great point: Hughes is the only starter the Yankees have that can consistently throw a fastball by a batter. That’s why their starting pitching has been sucky, they aren’t overpowering at all. The “outsmarting the hitter” schtick can get old when you see it 3 days in a row. Once in a while, you just need to reach back and use some brute force.
For a 20-yr old kid making his debut in Yankee Stadium admist a losing streak that seems longer than it really is, he did about as good as you could possible want. Too bad I won’t be able to talk about him as a prospect much longer.
A good friend of mine – also named Mike – was at the game and got some video footage of Hughes. I was hoping for some better shots as well as better quality, but that’s what you get for trusting a Canadian I suppose. Video after the jump…