Proctor going under the knife

As Mark Healey says, in an awesome diatribe about the asinine Mets-Yanks trade rumor from last week, it’s not easy finding tidbits on the Yanks and Mets right now. We have two things working against us here: The playoffs, during which MLB tries to keep non-participating teams quiet; and the fact that neither team has had organizational meetings. So allow us to move to a topic near and dear to our hearts: Scott Proctor.

You might have noticed Scotty’s absence from the playoffs this year. That’s because the former Yank is set to have surgery on his right elbow. He should be back for Spring Training. He’s having a flexor tendon repaired and a bone spur shaved down. For commentary, I’ll just say that I’m pleased with Joe Girardi spreading out the bullpen workload this year.

h/t BBTF.

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Checking in on an old friend

While the Yanks won a game last night in which Brian Bruney, Kyle Farnsworth and LaTroy Hawkins all pitched, Joe Torre’s Dodgers were not so lucky. As Scott Proctor’s Arm relates, the only member of the Dodger bullpen made his fourth appearance in seven games. Last night, he gave up four earned runs on two home runs and sports a nifty 9.82 ERA on the season. Some things never change.

The best Scott Proctor story you’ll ever hear

Courtesy of loyal reader and frequent commenter Brian comes a tip to this article on the Dodgers’ Official Site about Joe Torre. In it, relief pitcher Joe Beimel relates a conversation he had with his new manager’s all-time favorite middle reliever:

I talked to Scott Proctor today. He said to be ready to pitch a lot. He [Torre] likes to use the bullpen.

I can only imagine how that conversation went. Poor Scott Proctor. He must be beside himself.

Scott Proctor vs. Barry Bonds

It’s late on the East Coast, but the West Coast is still enjoying live baseball. I see Grady Little is mirroring Joe Torre’s patterns as our old friend Scott Proctor is on the hill for the Dodgers for the second night in a row. With one out and runner on second, Barry Bonds, who hit home run number 749 off of Proctor, came to the plate. Proctor intentionally walked him. So Scotty, who I pegged as the victim for 755, dodgers that bullet.

Update: Scotty is showing why the Yanks traded him. He faced four batters, got one out, gave up a run and is leaving the game with runners on the corners. Good luck with that one, Grady.

Maybe Scott Proctor wasn’t the problem…

Around the trade deadline yesterday, as Scott Proctor packed up his stuff and headed west, everyone assumed Proctor was traded because of his inconsistent pitching. He had after all allowed 20 baserunners in this last 10.1 IP and 40 over his last 28.2 IP. It’s amazing he hadn’t been hit harder.

But what if the Yankees traded Scott Proctor to protect the team from Joe Torre? That’s why Tyler Kepner intimates here:

On July 8, the day before the All-Star Game break, the Yankees led the Angels by 10 runs when Scott Proctor was sent in to pitch the eighth inning. To the Yankees’ decision makers, this was an obvious sign that Manager Joe Torre would probably always favor Proctor over a pitcher just up from the minors, no matter how promising that pitcher seemed.

So when the trading deadline arrived at 4 p.m. yesterday, the Yankees took away Torre’s go-to reliever, shipping Proctor to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the utility infielder Wilson Betemit.

At the time, that was Proctor’s fourth appearance in a span of six days, and it was an unnecessary one for sure.

Now, if what Kepner writes is true – that is, if the Yankee braintrust has figured out that Joe Torre’s bullpen management is actually hurting the arms of the relievers – why is the solution to trade the reliever in question? Wouldn’t a better solution be to root out the problem?

Steve Lombardi today notes that, increasingly, coverage of Joe Torre makes him sound like a lame duck manage. I couldn’t agree more. When your manager is hurting your team, it’s time for him to go.

Author’s Note: I could have sworn another blogger noted this last night, but I couldn’t find that post this morning. If anyone has it, drop me an e-mail, and I’ll add the appropriate hat tip.

Goodbye, Scott Proctor

And hopefully Miguel Cairo, too.

According to ESPN, the Yanks and Dodgers have agreed in principle on a Wilson Betemit for Scott Proctor deal. More details as they’re released.

Update by Ben: A few points: Proctor is returning to Los Angeles. He came over in the deal for Robin Ventura in 2003, and I’m sad to see him go. I’ve always liked his stuff. While his walks are up this year and strike outs are down, I have a feeling that has more to do with the 100+ innings he threw in 2006.

I know a lot of people keep saying that Wilson Betemit is insurance if (or when) A-Rod exercises his opt-out clause. Betemit turned 27 last week and has a career offensive line of .263/.338/.441 in 825 at-bats. Obviously, those numbers don’t even approach A-Rod’s output. Betemit could be used as a chit in a deal for A-Rod’s replacement, but I’m holding out hope that A-Rod stays in the Bronx beyond 2007.

Update by Joe: Just to keep you caught up on the roster implication so far, Mark Feinsand is reporting that the Yanks plan to recall Edwar Ramirez and send down Chris Basak.