Open Thread: Chase Wright

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Whenever the name Chase Wright is brought up, you’ll inevitably think of the back-to-back-to-back-to-back homer episode of 2007. Who could forget it? It was horrible. The Yankees called Wright up straight from Double-A and he predictably flopped, and two years later he was designated for assignment and traded to the Brewers for one of the players that eventually went to Pittsburgh for Eric Hinske. That didn’t stop Steve Lombardi from comparing him to Erik Bedard, but that’s cool, we all say stupid stuff from time to time*. In a weird bit of timing, today is Wright’s 28th birthday and also the three-year anniversary of Bedard’s trade to the Mariners. Funny how that worked out, huh?

Anyway, here is the open thread for the evening. Both the Devils and Isles are in action, but talk about whatever you want. Have at it.

* One of these days J.B. Cox will replace Mariano Rivera, you watch! [/Axisa circa 2006]

Yanks trade Wright for minor leaguer

Via Sam Borden, the Yanks have acquired minor leaguer Eric Fryer from the Brewers in exchange for Chase Wright. Fryer was the Brewers’ 10th round pick in 2007 out of Ohio State, and last year hit .335-.407-.506 for Low-A West Virginia while spending most of his time in left field. He didn’t make the Brewers’ top 30 prospects in the 2009 Prospect Handbook. When Wright was designated for assignment to make room for Andy Pettitte on the 40 man roster last week, the Yanks had ten days to trade the lefty before exposing him to waivers. Teams don’t have much leverage when trying to trade DFA’ed players, so this is the typical return you can expect.

For Pettitte, Wright DFA’d

While I had pegged Dan Giese as the likely man designated for assignment, the Yanks had other ideas in mind. The AP reports that Chase Wright has been designated for assignment to make room for Andy Pettitte. Wright, 26, is a lefty famous for giving up back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Red Sox in 2007 when he was rushed into an emergency start. As a young lefty with a good MiLB ERA but mediocre peripherals, I doubt he’ll clear waivers. I guess the Yanks like Giese as a potential long man instead. (Hat tip to MLBTR.)

Chase Wright: Clearly not the best option

Ben, Mike, and I have made no attempt to hide our sincere opinion that Phil Hughes should be called up in the wake of the Yankees recent pitching injuries. Over the course of the season, they will face even more injuries and find that certain pitchers — I won’t even sugar coat it: I’m talking about Igawa — aren’t going to be consistently effective. Therefore, if called up now, Hughes should manage to stay in the rotation for the remainder of the season. People claim that he still has stuff to learn in the minors, but he can learn all of that in the majors. And he’ll learn it against bona fide competition, not the retreads that fill AAA rosters.

Yet, the Yankees decided to call up Chase Wright as a temporary replacement. The reasoning: he impressed them in the spring, and he’s had two dominant outings so far in AA. All of which, of course, means that he’s a better option than the guy with the most talent. At least that’s how the Yankees brass — and many fans — are assessing the situation.

People often cite psychology as a reason to not promote Hughes. He’s not ready, they say — though I wholeheartedly contest that. If you bring him up now and he gets rocked (they say), you can mess up his head and ruin our blue chip prospect. However, if we’re going to talk psychology — which is often an exercise in futility — we have to bring up the damage the Yankees are doing to him right now. First was Spring Training, when they flat out told him he wouldn’t make the team. And now we have him passed over promotion by Chase Wright. How do you think he feels now? At least if he got the call and got smacked around, he could make a learning experience of it.

He says he’s ready, the scouts say he’s ready, but for some reason, the Yankees organization is obsessed with babying its pitchers. Yeah, you don’t want to see your blue chipper bust, but holding him back is going to have adverse effects at some point. He’s mentally ready, and his stuff is ready (and if I hear that he needs a dominating changeup one more time, I’m going to put a fist through my freakin’ wall). Call him up and let him help this team. Keeping him on pitch counts in AAA isn’t doing him any good — or at least compared to the good that can come from a stint in the majors.

I digress, though. My objective wasn’t to campaign for Phil Hughes — again. If management is going to be set in their ways, I’m doing nothing but wasting breath. My objective is to debunk this Chase Wright myth. Even if they are refusing to call up Hughes, there are four other options in the Scranton rotation that are better than Wright.

[Read more…]