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News of the Day – 7/28/09

Today’s news is powered by a couple of classic promos for Yankees telecasts on WPIX:

  • Tyler Kepner wonders who will fill out the back of the rotation down the stretch:

So here’s my question as the trade deadline approaches: who starts Game 4 of a playoff series? The Philadelphia Phillies used four starters in all three playoff rounds in winning the World Series last year. If the Yankees want to win it all, they have to know who starts Game 4. And right now, they have no idea.

It won’t be Chien-Ming Wang, who may need shoulder surgery. I doubt it will be Joba Chamberlain, because he will have reached his innings limit by then (making him a tremendous bullpen weapon). Phil Hughes is too valuable in short relief to switch him now. That leaves Mitre.

The wild card in this is Alfredo Aceves, who still has time to transition back to the rotation. But to remove Aceves from the bullpen, the Yankees probably need to trade for a reliever. That’s why I think there’s no chance they’ll stand pat before Friday’s 4 p.m. nonwaiver deadline.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the feeling is that the club needs to carry a 13-man pitching staff — right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo was recalled on Sunday from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — because of a tired bullpen.

“Right now, we need the pitching,” Girardi said. “But it’d be nice to have another outfielder that could help out there.”

Even though Phil Hughes is considered unavailable after throwing 39 pitches in the Yanks’ 7-5 win over the A’s on Sunday, there will almost certainly be a move for an outfielder made soon. The Yankees are coming off of a 9-1 homestand at Yankee Stadium and begin their road swing to play the Rays, White Sox and Blue Jays.

Though Cabrera was productive on the homestand, batting .308 (8-for-26), with three runs scored, two doubles and one RBI, one major concern is that five of the nine road contests will be played on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field and Rogers Centre.

That is less of a threat to Cabrera than to Johnny Damon, whom Girardi acknowledged that the Yankees will need to find a way to rest. Should Cabrera need to be spelled in an emergency, Girardi said he would look to either Damon or Nick Swisher to take over in center field. It is a scenario they want to avoid.

So far this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Jackson is hitting .311 with four homers, 38 RBIs and is 17-for-19 in stolen base attempts.

Jackson still needs to improve on his plate discipline — through 92 games, he has already struck out 89 times.

“You have some guys up there now who made it based on natural talent and for the rest of us, it takes a little bit more work,” Jackson said. “You can be going good for a long time, then all of a sudden you meet people in the sport you play who are just as good, if not better. You have to keep working hard to try and better your game.”

  • Mr. October participated in an on-line chat at MLB.com.
  • On this date in 1983, American League president Lee MacPhail decides George Brett’s ‘Pine Tar’ home run should count. The remainder of the game will played on August 18 with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.
  • On this date in 1995, the Yankees get P David Cone from the Blue Jays in a trade for minor league pitchers Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. The team also trades OF-DH Danny Tartabull to the Athletics for OF-DH Ruben Sierra and minor league P Jason Beverlin.
  • On this date in 2000, David Cone is sent to the team’s minor league camp in Tampa by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The struggling veteran will be under supervision of Billy Connors, the Yankees vice president of player personnel.

OK folks . . . I’m off for the next week or so.  I’ll be in Washington, D.C. attending my first SABR convention, then I’m off to Dayton, Ohio to help out at the annual National Scrabble Championships.  I hope to get a post up on the Banter while I’m in D.C.

Be good!

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 RIYank   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:11 am

Have fun, Diane!

Mr OK JT, if you're still around, here's a question for you.

This article is, according to David Pinto and WEEI, is an interview with Dice-K in which he basically blames the Red Sox training program for his pitching problems.
Can you fill us in? Are people buzzing about this over there?

2 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:21 am

[1] If I were Dice-K, I would be mad at the Sox too. After all, they seem to have forbidden him from ever throwing the GYROBALL!!! What a waste...

3 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:24 am

Start stretching out Hughes and call up AJack to split time with Melky. Problem solved.

4 monkeypants   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:30 am

[3] I will not comment on Hughes, lest I annoy certain people. I will say, however, that Melancon--who has not appeared in a game since July 10, the day that he was called up--should be sent down.

I would not call up AJax unless he is to be used everyday. But I agree that the team could use another bat off the bench more that pitcher #13, especially if Girardi will refuse to use that pitcher despite the staff being a little tired.

5 seamus   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:36 am

[4] definitely a good time to make the switch of Melancon for an bench player/backup.

6 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:41 am

I would rather keep Melancon up than Albaladejo, who is probably not a MLer.

Girardi isn't ruling out AJack.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:49 am

I remember the Rickey promo like it was yesterday, but not the Donnie Baseball. How can that be!!??

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:50 am

That humble and sensitive quote from AJax makes me hope he has Bernie's phone number. Good ole #51 would be a great person for the kid to talk to, and learn from. I'd invite Bernie to camp next winter just to tutor AJax.

I'm with those who say leave young Austin where he is for now, and call him up for a little September exposure.

Pitching-wise, Hughes to the rotation, and Joba to the pen seems logical to me, but I understand the organization's hesitancy to do so right away. Last thing you wanna do in baseball is eff with things when they're going good. The Yanks havent hit the fork in the Joba-Hughes road yet.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:51 am

[8] should add: but they do need to decide which direction they'll go when they hit that fork.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:52 am

I'd like to see AJ promoted for at least a cup of coffee. We are really talking about a defensive replacement anyway, so I'd imagine AJ could handle that. It might also be nice to give him a taste of Yankee baseball in a pennant race.

11 Jim in Binghamton   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:54 am

Disappointed in Tyler's logic, or rather lack there of. He's one of the best so it's surprising that he jumps from a focus on who will start game 4 of the playoffs to saying it can't be Hughes because he's too valuable as a reliever at the present moment.

It's obvious, no, that if Joba is moved to the bullpen then Hughes becomes unnecessary in the pen. In fact its equally obvious, given his need for innings, that Hughes is the man to replace Joba.

Unless Tyler is now in the camp of those who believe a relief pitcher is more valuable than a starter. In which case, why don't we make Joba the 8th inning guy, Hughes for the 7th, CC in the 6th, AJ pitches the 5th, Mitre the 4th, and Andy the 3rd every night. Aceves can start and pitch the first and second, with Roberts taking over if he falters. Problem solved -- and the perfect "bridges to Mo."

12 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:54 am

[8] I think the Yankees can hold off on the switch until at least late-August and still have both ready to go in the post season. In a perfect world, the Yankees would sprint out to a nice size lead, which would give them plenty of room to tinker.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 28, 2009 9:55 am

[10] If Melky gets hurt, I'd say, why not? Surely, the Yanks would need a defensive replacement for Damon, and Swish in CF.

I'm fine with letting Melky do the heavy lifting for a few weeks.

14 Rich   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:02 am

[13] Then who is the late inning defensive replacement for Damon and/or Swisher? Who pinch runs? AJack is the only option who possess that skillset. Two or three weeks won't harm his development.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:13 am

[14] If Damon or Swisher start in CF, I'd bring Melky off the bench late in a tight game.

I just don't think there will be enough late game situations over the next few week to justify calling up AJax now. Mind you, I wouldn't be too upset if they called him up, I'm dying to see the kid, but I think it's better for him to stay in Scranton right now.

16 Paul   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:24 am

Yeah, AJax needs to work on taking pitches and developing power. He won't do either in Scranton. With how bad Damon is, Duncan would be a LIDR.

17 Paul   ~  Jul 28, 2009 10:24 am

I meant he won't do with in the Bronx.

18 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 28, 2009 11:21 am

I would rather have Bernie come back and play center than Nick Swisher.

No way, no how, no Swisher.

19 PJ   ~  Jul 28, 2009 12:25 pm

[0] Feel better and have a fun and safe trip, Diane!

: )

20 Yankster   ~  Jul 28, 2009 2:25 pm

Part of the concern must surely be that the clock will start on Ajax if he gets called up. If something happens to Melky, put him on the first plane. Otherwise, fill in with Pena until Grit comes back. It's just a left hand thumb - it's not really THAT big of a problem or that variable in its outcome. Gardner will almost certainly be back pretty soon. Why upset the cart for a temporary problem?

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