Monday, November 30, 2009

Best Yankee of the Decade: Round Two Coming Friday

Hideki Matsui defeated Miguel Cairo 9-2 last round.

I'll be in Washington D.C. for the next few days so the next poll will be Friday.

Song of the Day: Tonight's Gonna be a Good Night by the Black Eyed Peas (sorry YouTube isn't working for me again, so no link)

Look Back - Alex Rodriguez's 2007 Resiging

Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

There are a couple ways I wanted to go with this particular look back. I wanted to go back to when the Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez initially but then there would be too many possibilities. But, I found that it was a lot more feasible to discuss what might have occurred if the Yankees had chosen not to resign him in 2007.

After all it was perfectly reasonable that the Yankees would not resign A-Rod. Scott Boras operated in such a way that it was certainly possible the Yankees had had enough of dealing with Alex Rodriguez’s massive contract. They had offered him $230 million dollars and had previously said that they would not play around with A-Rod if he opted out.

So the Yankees do not sign Rodriguez which leaves 3rd base open. Here are a few possibilities:


Despite the idea that Boston would never want to sign A-Rod because they dislike Boras or did not believe that A-Rod was a “Boston” guy, in reality it would make complete sense for them to sign him. With Mike Lowell’s contract up, they could sign Rodriguez to a huge contract and generate even more publicity for their campaign to defend their World Series title.


In need of a 3rd basemen, the Yankees sign Mike Lowell away from Boston. This has the added benefit of slighting the Red Sox while gaining Lowell, who at the time, was regarded as a very potent third basemen. There was serious interest in Lowell on the part of the Yankees so do not mistake this as just a rumor. They might have even signed him even if they brought A-Rod back.


Pretty easy to see that this signing would still have occurred.

YANKEES MOVE ROBINSON CANO to third base and sign (gulp) LUIS CASTILLO

Of all the other free agent second basemen available, Castillo makes the most sense for the Yankees. His career average was around .300 and he was a fairly good defensive second basemen who might have have been able to replace Cano’s production at 2nd base.

Recap of the Yankees Starting lineup:


1. Jeter SS
2. Damon LF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Matsui DH
5. Posada C
6. Cano 2B
7. Lowell 3B
8. Swisher RF
9. Cabrera CF


1. Jeter SS
2. Damon LF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Matsui DH
5. Posada C
6. Cano 3B
7. Swisher RF
8. Castillo 2B
9. Cabrera CF

I have to say, even if one were to take into account the extra money that could be freed up to buy a pitcher, it would have been a very bad move to put Cano at 3rd and sign Castillo, or really any other 2nd basemen because the 2007 class was not stellar at that position. With Lowell and Teixeira in the lineup it looks infinitely better but, upon comparison to the lineup the Yankees have today with Rodriguez both of these lineups simply do not compare.

Jeter wins Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year

*Photo Courtesy of SI*

Derek Jeter was named the SI Sportsman of the Year today. Jeter is the first Yankee in the awards 56 years to win.

Derek batted was third in the AL with a .334 avg, second with 212 hits, and led the league with reaching base 289 times. He also won his 4th Gold Golve, Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, Roberto Clemente Award, and of course passed Lou Gehrig as the Yankees all-time hits leader. Congratulations Derek!

Ross Ohlendorf: Yankee, Pirate, and...Government Intern?

Photo by AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Thats right Ross Ohlendorf is interning with the U.S. Government at the Agriculture Department. Some stories even if completely and utterly useless just have to be posted, and this is one of them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #4 Hideki Matsui or #5 Miguel Cairo?

Paul O'Neill defeated Gary Sheffield 9-2 in the last matchup.

No song of the day, sorry! YouTube is malfunctioning so there will be no song of the day. If interested in finding it yourself, today's would have been Sweet Child O' Mine by the Guns N' Roses

LIVE CHAT: Tonight 8:30 EST

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Jorge Posada or #8 Shane Spencer

Last matchup Andy Pettitte beat Luis Sojo 15-0.

Song of the Day: Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who (my favorite song of all-time)

Price for Doc Halladay Remains Too High

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees would have to part with quite a bit if, as Peter Gammons reports (MLB Trade Rumors), the Red Sox would have to part with both Casey Kelley and Clay Buchholz. I can only imagine that the Yankees would have to give up Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, and maybe one other prospect to get Doc and then an additional $20 million a year to keep him. That is a really hefty price to pay and while I do love the idea of having Doc in our rotation losing three top prospects is not easy to stomach. Add onto that the fact that the Yankees made three blockbuster deals last year and it seems a little unreasonable that they would need to sign Doc. The rotation is far from set but resigning Pettitte while tinkering with Hughes and Chamberlain as well as with a healthier Chien-Ming Wang sounds like a perfectly reasonable option. After all, the Yankees won the world series doing just that.

Would I love to have Doc? Absolutely. But is he worth giving up three top prospects and 20 million a year? If that is the case, Doc might not be the Yankees huckleberry, even if he wants to be.

Talk About Something All Yankee Fans Appreciate...


Sources are saying that the Yankees longtime PA announcer Bob Sheppard has officially called it quits and is retiring. Sheppard took the helm as Yankees PA guy in 1951, and is known as "The Voice of God" amoung the Yankee Universe. Yankee stadium hasn't been the same without him in the recent seasons, and it would've been nice to have heard him at the new Yankee Stadium. Mr. Sheppard is one of the greatest Yankees who ever lived and even at 99 years young we wish him another long 100 years. We have held at hope he'd come back but now reality has set in and a new era will have to begin.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What do you Appreciate?

As I thought of what to do for the blogs first real ThanksGiving...I realized: I shouldn't do anything!

This blog is for the readers and only the readers (and the occassional forum for me to vent my baseball opinions)

So heres what I want you, the readers, to do:

Tomorrow there will be NO POSTING here at The Pinstriper.

INSTEAD this will be an open forum for you to comment anything that you appreciate in life.

I will be checking in every hour to see the comments and reply and I will also post my own things that I appreciate.

PLEASE COMMENT ANYTHING THAT YOU APPRECIATE...anything...can be your family, your sports team, ANYTHING!

Thank you so much and one thing I definitely appreciate are you, the readers!

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Andy Pettite or #8 Luis Sojo

Roger Clemens defeated Jason Giambi 11-2 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother

**Since there will be no posting tomorrow, please excuse the 2 days of voting for this better Yankee of the Decade post.**

Montero and McAllister named Top Organizational Players

RHP Zach McAllister and C Jesus Montero were named the Yankees' top organizational players of the year. Montero had an outstanding year at FSL Florida and Double-A Trenton, hitting .317 with 17 HR and 70 RBI, along with a .562 SLG and .951 OPS. McAllister went 7-5 in 22 starts at Trenton, and had an organization-best 2.23 ERA. In 121 innings, he allowed just 98 hits, 33 walks and 4 home runs. McAllister was called up to the Triple-A SWB Yankees for their playoffs. Both players were named EAS All-Stars this year.

photo from

Also a quick congrats: Class A Charleston RiverDogs manager Mike Williams was named South Atlantic League Manager of the Year.

Shelley Duncan Becomes a Free Agent

Reported by's Bryan Hoch posted on his twitter account that NY Yankees utility man Shelley Duncan has elected free agency after being outrighted to the minors the other day. Shelley a fan favorite during his few stints with the Yankees will likely not return to the club and we hope he finds success wherever he may land!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Roger Clemens or #7 Jason Giambi?

#6 Orlando Hernandez upset #3 Scott Brosius 9-8 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple

Monday, November 23, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #3 Scott Brosius or #6 Orlando Hernandez

Chuck Knoblauch upset Ruben Sierra 13-8 in the last matchup.

Song of the Day: Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne

MY MVP Voting

Photo courtesy of SI

Here is how I would have voted for the MVP:

1. Joe Mauer C- Minnesota Twins

2. Derek Jeter SS- New York Yankees

3. Mark Teixeira 1B- New York Yankees

4. Kendry Morales 1B- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

5. Kevin Youkillis 1B- Boston Red Sox

6. Ben Zobrist SS- Tampa Bay Rays

7. Alex Rodriguez 3B- New York Yankees

8. Michael Young SS- Texas Rangers

9. Aaron Hill 2B- Toronto Blue Jays

10. Ichiro CF- Seattle Mariners

Big question: Why no Miguel Cabrera?

You may have heard that he had a fight with his wife the night before one of the last games of the season. He was busy getting drunk while the rest of the teammates were working hard to make the playoffs. I don't care about stats, that is the poorest excuse of a teammate I have ever seen and that shows no respect for your teammates or your team. No value in that at all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vance Wilson is still in the MLB?

A report by mentioned's Dick Kaegel said the Kansas City Royals have REsigned catcher Vance Wilson. I must be honest y'all I wasn't even aware the ex-Metropolitan was still playing baseball.

Just sayin'.

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #1 Mariano Rivera or #8 Kyle Farnsworth

I think I know who will win this one!

Song of the day: TNT by AC/DC

Yankees Finalize 40-Man Roster for 2010

MLB teams finalized their 40-man rosters Friday. Only teams with spots still remaining can partake in the December 10th Rule 5 Draft, where teams can basically steal players from other organizations that are not on their 40-man roster, to give these players a fair chance. In this case, the Yankees filled up 7 of their 8 remaining spots on the 40-man, leaving one empty, giving them one selection in the Draft. The 7 players added to the 40-man from the Minor Leagues were OF Austin Jackson, right hander pitchers Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez and Hector Noesi, and 2B Reegie Corona, SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B Kevin Russo; keeping them all safe for another year.

Austin Jackson is now safe, which is most important, because it would ensure him a spot on the 25-man roster in the event that the Yanks don't sign another long-term outfielder. Note: DH/OF Shelley Duncan was dropped from the 40-man roster, making him eligible to be drafted by another team. After winning IL MVP with 30 HR and 99 RBI, it is likely that we can say goodbye to Shelley.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Tino Martinez or #7 Bobby Abreu?

Who was better for the Yankees this decade? Vote!

Alfonso Soriano defeated Mike Stanton 32-20 in the last matchup.

-Thanks to MLBTradeRumors and Big League Stew for mentioning us!

-Walk Up Song of the Day: Hurt by House Carpenter *This song was suggested by Stephen A. Crociata*

Nick Swisher's Appeal Ranges Beyond His Baseball Skills

Photo Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Trading Nick Swisher would be a poor choice by the Yankees brass. Recent rumors about making Swisher available have been dismissed by the management but Swisher's place on the Yankees is clearly not set in stone. He is not the greatest player but his positive externalities have a lot of impact. Clearly Economics 120 has taught me a lot. Swisher definitely had a positive impact on the Yankees this year and no one is denying that. Those who defend Swisher primarily point to his help off the field first and his abilities second. People who think Swisher is overrated are saying that his abilities, average by all accounts in the field, good at the plate, and his mythical clubhouse appeal, are not necessarily worth keeping if he is a part of a trade that might bring Curtis Granderson or Roy Halladay to the Yankees. In the end it comes down to determining just how important Swisher is to the Yankees. The only problem is that externalities are exceedingly difficult to measure. So while his talent alone might not justify keeping him, it depends on whether his positive impact on the team justifies keeping him. Since we will never know just how much he helps, it is not easy for management to make that determination.

For me, however, the choice is very clear. KEEP HIM. Does any Yankees fan remember the team ever being this upbeat or together? Make fun of the pool tournament and pies all you wish, those things are great to see. Could you ever imagine the 2007 team hitting each other with pies? I feel like they would have started fighting each other. Swisher played an integral role in changing the culture of the Yankees from a group of players to a team and that, in my mind, is the difference between missing the playoffs and winning the World Series (getting three of the best free agents doesn’t hurt either). The point is, Swisher might not be the best player in the world, but he is important to the Yankees in other ways than just on the field.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to club house morale, it’s important or it isn’t. Pundits absolutely crushed the 2004-2008 Yankee teams for being too business-like or a collection of 25 players rather than a team. But, as soon as the Yankees become a fun team rather than a bunch of stiffs with the additions of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett, and most importantly Swisher, club house morale is suddenly overrated. I don’t quite see how this works.

I feel that the answer is that a happy club house helps but in the end talent is what determines a team’s success. In that case it would be a mistake to trade Swisher for anyone other than Halladay. He is the only person that the Yankees appear to be targeting that has the talent to justify the removal of Swisher’s swagger if talent is what wins out in the end. Is talent the key to winning and happiness overrated? Or is talent important for success and good team morale important as well? What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

The Nick Swisher Rumor

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Bob Nightengale of USA Today posted on his twitter the other day that the Yankees were making Nick Swisher available, and this morning Yahoo! Sports Rumors said the Yankee brass are claiming Swisher is not on the trading block. Mark J. Miller who wrote the Yahoo! Sports Rumors article also mentioned some people thought Swisher would be in a package deal for Roy Halladay. Personally I can't see Toronto taking any package that includes a player 29 years of age. Either way my question to the fans out there is: Can you at all justify any trade of Nick Swisher?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #4 Alfonso Soriano vs. #5

Who was the better Yankee this decade?

Alfonso Soriano or Mike Stanton?

Mark Teixeira beat Johnny Damon 11-10 in the last matchup

Minor Leaguers Filing for Free Agency; Who to Re-sign and Who to Look Into

Key Yankee Organizational Players That Filed

-RHP Humberto Sanchez (AAA) [acquired in Gary Sheffield trade] Good stuff, possible MLB future
-C Chris Stewart (AAA)- Backup catcher, hit .280 with 18 RBI
- 3B Eric Duncan (AAA)- 2003 1st-Round draft choice, a fan favorite who can field the ball and can also hit for power.
- IF Cody Ransom (AAA)- Backup for most of the 2009 season for the MLB Yanks, but also filled in for Alex Rodriguez at 3B for the first month of the season until he hurt his own quad. In 122 at-bats in the MLB in 08 and 09, he has a .230 avg, 4 HR and 18 RBI, and can also play the field.
-OF Freddy Guzman (AAA) [if you consider him a SWB Minor Leaguer, acquired from the Orioles at the '09 deadline], extremely fast, can cover ground in the field. However,very little power. Solid player off the bench.
-OF John Rodriguez (AAA)- Signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996. Spent time with the Cardinals, Mets and Rays. Good power.

I would re-sign Sanchez and Duncan, because they still have MLB futures ahead of them.
My Players to Watch that Filed from Other Teams

- RHP Clint Everts (*WAS)- Picked by the Expos (Nationals) 5th overall in 2002 draft. Good stuff, went 8-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 68 Ks, 26 BB in 60 IP in the minors in 2009. Just 23 years old.
- LHP Rich Hill (*BAL)- With the Cubs and Orioles, a career record of 21-20. Nasty curveball. Would make a good long relief man or spot starter.
- LHP Chris Capuano (*MIL)- Another lefty with a good curve. Has been hit by some injuries in recent years, but the Yankees could take their chances. I like him as another long reliever/spot starter.
- OF Chris Denorfia (*OAK)- Good all around player, can come off the bench if needed.
- LHP Gustavo Chacin (*PHI)- You may remember him as the guy with the glasses from the Blue Jays a few years back. 25-15 in his MLB career, went 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA for AAA Lehigh Valley.
- RHP Chad Cordero (*SEA)- Longtime Expos/Nationals closer, led the league in 2005 with 47 saves. Career 20-14 with a 2.78 and 128 saves. Could be a great pickup to pad the back end of the bullpen.
Other players to watch: 3B Travis Metcalf (*TB), LHP Javier Lopez (*BOS), RHP Phillip Humber (*MIN), C Eliezer Alfonzo (*SD), 3B Joe Thurston (*STL), 3B Dallas McPherson (*SF), OF Tim Raines Jr. (*KC), 2B Josh Barfield (*CLE).
*=Former team

Walk Up Song of the Day: Runnin Wild

The song of the day is Runnin Wild by Airbourne.

Remember the first 30 seconds would be the walk up music.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #3 Johnny Damon or #6 Mark Teixeira?

Next matchup:

#3 Johnny Damon vs. #6 Mark Teixeira

*Remember this is best of the DECADE not of the year....and only for the Yankees

Bernie Williams beat Ramiro Mendoza 19-0 in the last matchup

MLB Free Agent Predictions

After slaving over this for many days, here are my free agent predictions! It is separated by current teams. I have written their new team next to their name. A/B=Elias Ranking. To make the list they must be ranked OR interesting free agents to me.

B - Anderson, Garret OF-Atlanta Braves
A - Gonzalez, Mike RP-Washington Nationals
B - LaRoche, Adam 1B-Arizona Diamondbacks
A - Soriano, Rafael RP-Houston Astros

B - Davis, Doug SP-Milwaukee Brewers

B - Mora, Melvin 3B-San Diego Padres

A - Bay, Jason OF-Boston Red Sox
A - Wagner, Billy RP-Tampa Bay Rays

A - Grabow, John RP-Cubs (already happened)
A - Gregg, Kevin RP-Baltimore Orioles
B - Harden, Rich SP-New York Yankees

A - Dotel, Octavio RP-New York Mets
A - Dye, Jermaine OF-Kansas City Royals

B - Hernandez, Ramon C-Cincinnati Reds (already happened)


B - Beimel, Joe RP-Atlanta Braves
A - Betancourt, Rafael RP-Colorado Rockies
Giambi, Jason 1B-Los Angeles Dodgers (pinch-hitting role)
B - Marquis, Jason SP-New York Mets
B - Torrealba, Yorvit C-New York Mets

B - Lyon, Brandon RP-Chicago Cubs
A - Polanco, Placido 2B-Chicago Cubs
B - Rodney, Fernando RP-Seattle Mariners

B - Calero, Kiko RP-New York Yankees
B - Johnson, Nick 1B-Oakland A's

B - Brocail, Doug RP-Houston Astros
A - Hawkins, LaTroy RP-Houston Astros
A - Tejada, Miguel SS-Oakland A's
A - Valverde, Jose RP-Toronto Blue Jays

B - Olivo, Miguel C-Seattle Mariners

A - Figgins, Chone 3B-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
B - Guerrero, Vladimir OF/DH-Texas Rangers
A - Lackey, John SP-New York Mets
A - Oliver, Darren RP-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

B - Belliard, Ron 2B-Los Angeles Dodgers
B - Garland, Jon SP-Boston Red Sox
A - Hudson, Orlando 2B-New York Mets
B - Mota, Guillermo RP-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
B - Ohman, Will RP-St.Louis Cardinals
B - Padilla, Vicente SP-Colorado Rockies
A - Wolf, Randy SP-Minnesota Twins

B - Cameron, Mike OF-San Diego Padres
B - Kendall, Jason C-Milwaukee Brewers
B - Looper, Braden RP-Houston Astros
B - Lopez, Felipe 2B/3B/SS/OF-Los Angeles Dodgers
B - Weathers, Dave RP-Pittsburgh Pirates

A - Cabrera, Orlando SS-Toronto Blue Jays
B - Pavano, Carl SP-Cleveland Indians

B - Delgado, Carlos 1B-New York Mets
B - Tatis, Fernando 1B/3B/OF-Houston Astros

A - Damon, Johnny OF-New York Mets
Hairston Jr, Jerry 2B/3B/SS/OF-Seattle Mariners
Hinske, Eric 1B/OF-Texas Rangers
Matsui, Hideki OF-Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Molina, Jose C-Los Angeles Dodgers
B - Nady, Xavier OF-St. Louis Cardinals
B - Pettitte, Andy SP-New York Yankees

B - Duchscherer, Justin SP-Los Angeles Dodgers

B - Eyre, Scott RP-Philadelphia Phillies
B - Park, Chan Ho SP-Philadelphia Phillies


B - Giles, Brian OF-Tampa Bay Rays

B - Howry, Bob RP-St. Louis Cardinals
B - Johnson, Randy SP-San Francisco Giants
A - Molina, Bengie C-Detroit Tigers
B - Winn, Randy OF-Washington Nationals

B - Bedard, Erik SP-New York Yankees
B - Beltre, Adrian 3B-Philadelphia Phillies

B - DeRosa, Mark 3B-New York Yankees
B - Glaus, Troy 3B-San Diego Padres
A - Holliday, Matt OF-New York Yankees
B - Pineiro, Joel SP-St. Louis Cardinals

B - Shouse, Brian RP-Tampa Bay Rays
B - Springer, Russ RP-Detroit Tigers
B - Zaun, Gregg C-Tampa Bay Rays

B - Byrd, Marlon OF-Texas Rangers
B - Rodriguez, Ivan C-Texas Rangers

B - Barajas, Rod C-Kansas City Royals
A - Scutaro, Marco 2B/SS-Boston Red Sox


If you have any questions on why/who/where or anything PLEASE comment. I like comments and I will always comment back. I appreciate any feedback. Thanks for reading and please show this to anyone you know!

New Feature: Walk Up Music of the Day

Here at The Pinstriper we like to keep things fresh. So from now on, I will be posting a new walk up song of the day!

The walk up song will be as if the pitcher was walking up for it (i.e. Mariano Rivera-Enter Sandman)

Todays Song:

The Kids Aren't Alright by the Offspring

We take suggestions for new songs on our twitter account and our other twitter account.

*Remember: The first 30 seconds or so would be what appears for the Walk Up Music

Scioscia, Tracy win Manager of the Year

"This award is a true honor and a testament to the perseverance of our players and staff," Scioscia said in a release. "As a team, we overcame several obstacles to put together a successful season in 2009." (Photo courtesy of Stephen Brashear)
"One guy doesn't win an award like this," Tracy said in a conference call. "The Colorado Rockies won this award." (Photo courtesy of Associated Press)

The Roy Halladay Discussion

No Doubt about it all fans of the MLB know the simple fact is that Roy "Doc" Halladay is an absolute beast. His career numbers pitching on a team that has never been able to get over the hump are outstanding, 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA. All teams in baseball would love to have him, but only a select few can steal Halladay from Toronto. Our beloved Yankees are one of those teams. What exactly should the Yankees brass look at when discussing bringing over Halladay? Here are the important numbers:

  • Highest ERA in a season with 16 or more starts: 4.20

  • ERA under 3.80 for 5 straight seasons

  • Less than 50 BB in every season but 1999 and 2002.

  • 200+ Ks under 40 BB last two seasons

  • WHIP under 1.40 since 2001

  • ERA career Home/Away: 3.23/3.64 (Unlike most Yankee Starters who are only good home or away not both)

  • A slightly slow starter, 4.12 ERA in April, but under 4.00 in every other month and under 2.50 in September.

  • vs. BOS: 14-14 4.28 ERA, 4.09 ERA @ Fenway (Better than most)

  • vs. NYY: 18-6 2.84 ERA

  • vs. TB: 12-11 3.67 ERA

  • vs. BAL: 20-4 2.89 ERA

  • 6'6'' 230 (We saw this season what big pitchers can withstand)

  • My favorite: Still only 32 and you know he has years left in that tank

So the evidence is there, and I was even surprised by some of the dominance. It seems essential the Yankees find away to swipe Doc up, and more importantly keep him far far away from Red Sox Nation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #2 Bernie Williams or #7 Ramiro Mendoza?

Vote in the poll on the right.

Last matchup #3 Alex Rodriguez beat #6 Tom Gordon 23-3

Greinke wins the AL Cy Young

Kansas City Royals' ace Zack Greinke runs away with the American League Cy Young Award. Greinke's 16 wins and 8 losses with a 2.16 ERA earned him 25 first place votes. It is a testament to how truly dominant Greinke has been this year, starting the year 5-and-0 with a 0.50 ERA and ending the year 5-and-0 with a 1.29 ERA. (Photo courtesy of AP)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Better Player of the Decade for the Yankees: #3 Alex Rodriguez or #6 Tom Gordon?

Vote on the poll to the right.

Robinson Cano beat Jeff Nelson 12-6 in the last poll.

Bailey and Coghlan Earn Rookie of the Year Honors

Garnering 13 first place votes Andrew Bailey wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Bailey’s performance in relief was solid all year, posting 26 saves with an impressive 1.84 ERA. The 25 year old beat the Ranger’s Elvis Andrus and the Tiger’s Rick Porcello whom received 8 and 7 first place votes respectively. (Photo courtesy of of Chris Lockard)

Out of a substantial list of contenders including the Braves’ Tommy Hanson and Phillies J.A. Happ, it is Chris Coghlan of the Florida Marlins who runs away with the National League Rookie of the Year Honors. Coghlan had a season average of .321 with 9 HR, 47 RBI, and 162 hits through 128 games earning him 17 first place votes. (Photo courtesy of Lenny Ignelzi/AP)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Joba Back to the Rotation?

Getty Images By: Nick Latham

It has not been more than a few weeks since the Yankees won the 2009 World Series but already the team well known for its off season acquisitions is making a splash in the free agent market. Rumors of pursuing John Lackey, Curtis Granderson, and Roy Halladay have permeated the rumor basins. These kinds of things are nothing new to any Yankee fan who has watched the team make major moves almost every off season this decade. The big announcement that I believe has the most impact on the team, however, is not the pursuit of big name players but Brian Cashman’s statement that Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will be starters next season (NY Daily News). My question is, why?

Hughes for the most part of the season was nothing short of spectacular in the bullpen. He became the 8th inning guy that Chamberlain was before the experiment with Joba as a starter. Hughes had a stellar 2009 campaign in the bullpen, posting an ERA of 3.03, a WHIP of 1.12, and striking out 96 while walking only 28 in 86 innings pitched. If the Yankees resign Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang returns to be at least somewhat effective then Hughes’s presence in the starting rotation would not be absolutely necessary. But, if you absolutely had to put one of them back in the rotation it would be Hughes.

Joba simply isn’t cut out to be a starter with such stringent pitching limits. When he came up in the bullpen with the Yankees he was electric, energizing, and dominant. I watched his first save as a Yankee in a meaningless game against the Blue Jays late in the season a few years ago and the crowd went wild as Joba struck out the last batter on a fastball that clocked at 100 mph. His stretch as a starter ultimately ended with him traveling back to the bullpen so the Yankees management can say what they want but he was ineffective as a starter. Their unwillingness to pitch him during the playoffs speaks to that. Mariano cannot pitch forever and Joba is a better fit for being a closer than a starter with a pitch count.

If the Yankees go and get Halladay or even John Lackey putting Joba back out in the starting rotation would not be worth it if they were still going to protect him with a pitch limit. The only way it would make sense is if they simply let him pitch until his arm got tired the way Nolan Ryan has his pitchers work for the Texas Rangers. Otherwise he needs to be left in the bullpen where he is incredibly effective.