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.

Anatomy of an effective bullpen

In 2007, the Padres and the Red Sox topped their respective leagues in bullpen ERA and batting average against. Thing is, entering the season, neither team had much to boast about in that department. In fact, the Sox pen was in such shambles that Jonathan Papelbon told Tony Francona that he wanted to move back to the closer role (or at least that’s how Boston tells the story). So how did these two teams come out ahead?

Skilled closer

Obviously, the first step in building a bullpen is creating a viable endgame. Both Trevor Hoffman and Jonathan Papelbon qualify as such. They keep things relatively stable at the end — Papelbon more than Hoffman, though, as he blew just three saves last year (and we remember a couple of ’em), while Hoffman was the goat in seven games, including the most important one for the Padres.

There’s not much else to say about this. We have it in Mo, who I think we all can agree is better than Hoffman at this stage of his career.
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How to manage the bullpen without really trying

I too would like to keep Brian Bruney an arm’s length away from pitching ever again for the Yanks. (Photo courtesy of Bombers Beat)

On the one hand, it’s hard to get too worked up over last night’s loss. On a night when the Yanks’ pitching staff hands out 11 walks and Kei Igawa throws the ugliest five shut-out innings you’ll ever see, it’s tough to expect a loss.

Furthermore, the Yanks, in need of just one win to clinch a postseason berth, will record that victory before the season is out. And seeing Alex Rodriguez crush a grand slam is a comforting thought for those of us a bit worried by his recent dearth of power.

But on the other hand, haven’t we seen this before? A Yanks starter struggles through five innings with the lead, and Joe Torre cannot once again put together a good combination of relievers to hold a five-run lead for four innings.

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