Igawa, LaTroy DFA; Gardner to AAA

Just a quick update before we get to the game. According to Ed Price, the Yankees have removed Kei Igawa from the 40-man roster. He passed through waivers unclaimed. To make room on the 25-man roster for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady, the Yankees have optioned Brett Gardner to AAA, and have DFA LaTroy Hawkins, according to WFAN. Oh, happy day!

According to Buster Olney, the Yanks are still working on a deal for Jarrod Washburn, which would be a salary dump move.

We don’t have the full lineups yet, but Nady is in the lineup, playing left field and batting 7th. You have to assume it’s the lineup as usual through five, Cano hitting sixth, and then Cabrera 8th and Molina 9th.

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Rosenthal: Yanks “aggressively shopping” Hawkins

The word comes from Ken Rosenthal, via MLBTR:

The Yankees are aggressively shopping right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, two rival executives say, intending to clear a spot for a reliever who currently is at Class AAA. Righty J.B. Cox, who missed all of last season after undergoing elbow-ligament transplant surgery, is one candidate; he began the season at Class A, but has since moved to AAA, where he has allowed one run in 12 1/3 innings. Righty David Robertson, who began the season at AA, also has been impressive at AAA. Hawkins, signed to a one-year, $3.75 million free-agent contract, has a 6.08 ERA in 22 appearances . . .

I’m not sure exactly what team would take him on, and what we’d get in return. What’s more likely is the Yanks DFA him and deal him after that. The sooner, the better.

No one feels worse than LaTroy Hawkins

LaTroy wasn’t too happy with this performance last night. Gee, I wonder why. “It was just bad,” he said after the game. “I didn’t do the job, plain and simple. I’m embarrassed. It would be one thing if I made good pitches, but I didn’t. I made terrible pitches.” Meanwhile, Mark Feinsand notes that there are recent historical comparisons should the Yanks opt to release Hawkins soon. Both Paul Quantrill and Mike Stanton — making a combined $7 million — were let go at the end of June 2005. I guess that gives J.B. Cox, Mark Melancon or someone else about a month to make an impression in the minors.

At least Bob Watson is consistent

LaTroy Hawkins has been issued a three-game suspension for throwing near Luke Scott’s head on Tuesday. While the circumstances are clearly a bit different, this is the same sentence Kyle Farnsworth received for throwing at and missing Manny Ramirez in April. Hawkins plans to appeal.

Moving out the mop-up man

Tonight’s game — a closer-than-it-should-have-been 6-4 win over the White Sox — proved that, yes, Mike Mussina can keep hitters off balance. In fact, he pitched like a more effective version of Jamie Moyer tonight. Funny how Hank nailed that one.

On the evening, Mussina went after hitters. He threw inside fastballs and had his slow, slower, slowest stuff out in full force. Except for two solo home runs, he largely silenced the White Sox. In seven innings, he gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three. He’s 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA, and if Mussina can keep that ERA around 4.50-4.75, the Yankees and their fans would be thrilled. With this game tonight, Mussina silenced the criticism for a few more trips through the rotation.

Meanwhile, the story of the night by the end of the game wasn’t Robinson Cano‘s utter bad luck, and it wasn’t Jason Giambi‘s utter lack of mobility at first base. Although both were out in full force tonight, the development from this game was LaTroy Hawkins and his inability to get hitters out. While I know that 9.2 innings does not a season make and I know that the Yankee fan reaction is “he’s not producing; let’s trade him,” I firmly believe that LaTroy Hawkins is simply wasting a roster spot on the Yankees.

For the season, Hawkins has made nine appearances, and he’s given up runs in four of them. He’s thrown 9.2 innings, given up 12 ER on 15 hits and four walks while striking out five. By any measure, he is right now the Yankee mop-up man, and I have to wonder about the wisdom of keeping him on this team for longer than necessary.

At AAA, the Yankees have three guys who have been throwing well — Chris Britton, Jonathan Albaladejo and Edwar Ramirez — along with Scott Patterson who is off to a slow start. Of those three, Britton and Albaladejo have successful, if limited, Major League track records, and Edwar has flashed bouts of brilliance in between bad outings.

If we assume that the Yankees could get something for LaTroy Hawkins — he is, after all, and Established Name with a track record of success — then they should look to move him. Britton, Albaladejo and Ramirez are all significantly younger than the 35-year-old Hawkins, and their upsides are much higher than Hawkins’. We didn’t need Hawkins in the pen when Brian Cashman signed him out of some requirement for veteran bullpen stability, and we don’t need him now when three guys at AAA could outperform him. If an offer sounds good, I say make the move.

What Paul said

At the risk of inciting a numbers-based riot, I direct your attention to Tyler Kepner’s latest notebook in The Times with a quote from Number 21 himself:

“I’ve always been blown away by the way the fans have treated me there,” O’Neill said in a telephone interview. “I have absolutely nothing against LaTroy Hawkins, but it’s unbelievable what the fans have done. It makes you feel good as a player, obviously, because that tells you they appreciate what we did as a team.”

To me, it sounds like Paul would love to see his number retired. That is a rather pregnant “but” after the LaTroy Hawkins mention. Either way, perhaps we should put this story to rest for now.

Hawkins rewards Yankee fans’ maturity

Nice work, folks. We’ve booed LaTroy Hawkins into submission. I hope everyone feels good about that. Hawkins, previously wearing number 21, will switch to 22 tonight after fans couldn’t deal with someone else wearing the number seven years after Paul O’Neill retired. No word yet if the Omar Moreno or Jimmy Key fans plan on booing Hawkins for the switch.