A Pitch f/x look at Bugs Bunny

Thanks to a trio of abysmal Chien-Ming Wang starts, the Yankees’ bullpen has thrown 46.2 innings this year, fourth most in the AL. Edwar Ramirez has bit the bullet twice in relief of Wang, throwing a then-career high 51 pitches on the 13th before establishing another career high with 58 pitches on the 18th. All of that extra work gave us a meaningful enough sample of pitches that we can use to take a closer look at Edwar’s one trick pony act.

Let’s get it started with the usual, the pitch trajectories. I’m only going to look at Edwar’s fastball and changeup, but he does through the occasional slider and it’s clearly his third offering. In fact, he’s thrown just eight this year according to Pitch f/x’s classifications, and that’s out of 162 total pitches. As with all of our Pitch f/x graphs, you can click these for a larger view. Let’s start with the bird’s eye view:

Bird's Eye View

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Mo looks fine in bullpen session

Despite undergoing minor shoulder surgery after last season, this spring has been pretty typical for Mariano Rivera. As has become his routine in recent years, he doesn’t begin throwing until he gets to camp, and even then he works himself into his full routine. He only pitches in about five games before he’s ready to start the season. So while he’s taking it slow for his rehab, it’s also nothing out of the ordinary. Still, fans have to be just a wee bit anxious to see him get on the mound and test his shoulder. That happened today, and by all accounts Mo’s bullpen session went well.

According to Rivera, via Bryan Hoch, he was at about 90 percent velocity. His command was a bit off, as he missed inside a few times to BP hitters Jesus Montero and John Rodriguez. That’s to be expected at this point, injury or not, as it was Mo’s fourth pitching session of the spring, first with live batters. Afterward, he sounded like a guy on track to start the 2009 season:

“It’s getting stronger,” Rivera said. “Every time I throw, it’s feeling better and better. I have no doubts.”

This should allay any fears at this point. Figure on Mo getting his first game action some time next week — Hoch thinks Monday against the Phillies. He’ll probably go two games a week at that point until the season opens on April 6.

Edwar Ramirez, out since the beginning of camp with shoulder bursitis, threw 30 pitches to live batters as well. He said he felt good as well, though he’s in no position to say otherwise. There’s no word when he’ll see game action, but the sooner the better for him. With plenty of competition for the final four bullpen spots — and Phil Coke is making an emphatic argument for one of them — Edwar needs game action to prove he’s up to snuff.

Squawking Baseball talks to John Coppolella

In a true must read piece, Shawn Hoffman of Squawking Baseball interviewed Braves’ Director of Baseball Administration, and former Yanks’ front office member, John Coppolella. The interview mostly covers the arbitration process, but there’s also a bit on how Coppolella, area scout Mark Batchko and intern Kiley McDaniel (of the now defunct Saber Scouting) discovered bullpener Edwar Ramirez through a routine check of independent league stats. Make sure you check it out. (h/t dan and EJ Fagan)

Open Thread: Edwar on the shelf

edwar-pitchingAfter cutting his Sunday bullpen session short because of a sore shoulder, an MRI has revealed that Edwar Ramirez will be out of action for about three days with bursitis. I’m skeptical that it’s not something more serious, especially since Edwar complained of similar pain at the end of last season. Mark Feinsand reminds us that Steve Karsay and Ten Run Sturtze were both diagnosed with bursitis before undergoing major surgery. However, as Ben noted, this gives someone else a chance to win a job.

In other news, here’s who’s going to making the trip to Dunedin tomorrow for the team’s first exhibition game, courtesy of Roderick Boone:

Infielders: Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Justin Leone, Eduardo Nunez, Ramiro Pena, Cody Ransom, Kevin Russo.
Pitchers: Brett Tomko, Jose Veras, David Robertson, Steven Jackson, Kei Igawa, Dan Giese, Christian Garcia, Michael Dunn, Anthony Claggett.
Outfielders: Colin Curtis, Shelley Duncan, Brett Gardner, Austin Jackson, Todd Linden, John Rodriguez, Nick Swisher.
Catchers: Kevin Cash, Jesus Montero, P.J. Pilittere, Austin Romine.

And because I’m a nice guy, here’s a schedule of televised games over the next few days:

Wednesday: Giants @ Indians (3pm, MLB Network); Red Sox @ Twins (8pm, MLB Network)
Thursday: Rays @ Yanks (1pm, YES); Marlins @ Mets (1pm, SNY); D-Backs @ Indians (4pm, MLB Network)
Friday: Cards @ Mets (1pm, SNY/MLB Network); Indians @ Padres (5pm, MLB Network)
Saturday: Twins @ Yanks (1pm, YES); Rays @ Phils (1pm, MLB Network); Twins @ Yanks (5pm, MLB Network, guessing it’s a repeat)

Hooray for baseball. Oh, and open thread … blah blah blah … be nice … yadda yadda yadda.

Photo Credit: Flickr user shamimsm

Lose an arm; gain an opening

In the PeteAbe post to which Mike linked earlier today, we learn more than just who will pitch next week. Additionally, Abraham tells us that Edwar Ramirez is suffering from soreness is his throwing shoulder. While aches and pains are normal this time of year, Ramirez’s potential injury just goes to show how easy it will be for another Yankee pitcher — Phil Coke, Mark Melancon — to earn his chance to shine in the Bronx this year. A team can never have too much bullpen depth.