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News Update – 2/18/10

This update is powered by the Peanuts gang, cause its still a kid’s game (smile):

. . . Will Joba Chamberlain start or relieve? Or will Phil Hughes get the job? Or will both tyros be in the pen, opening up the rotation slot to a more classically defined fifth-starter type like Chad Gaudin or the reliably bad Sergio Mitre? Or will Alfredo Aceves swap places with Hughes and Chamberlain and get the skippable fifth man’s job? . . .  With the decisions to acquire Javier Vazquez and retain Andy Pettitte, the fifth starter’s slot ought to be skippable given an expensive quality front four; a quick run through the Yankees schedule suggests that the they could avoid starting anybody on short rest and reduce the fifth slot to 25 turns on the year. . . .  it also has the nice advantage of having the fifth starter face the Red Sox or Rays just once in 13 September games against their two most likely rivals, and they could easily turn that number into zero if they felt the need.

Of course, any such proposition relies on the front four being healthy and delivering, and I’ve already expressed my doubts about Javier Vazquez. . . .

. . . If the Bombers were to leave Hughes and Chamberlain in the bullpen for a combined 150-160 innings, it isn’t hard to envision a dramatic improvement, and if Aceves ends up manning the middle innings, that might add up to a historically outstanding unit by any flavor of relief metric.

As for the outfield, I don’t really see the contest as that dramatic, since I expect an initial job-sharing arrangement not unlike what happened last year between Gardner and Melky Cabrera. However, Winn’s the sort of hurdle Gardner should be able to beat out over time, and regardless of the outcome both players should get plenty of at-bats, especially once the Yankees decide there’s not much to be done about Curtis Granderson’s issues against lefties.

“Be yourself, be yourself,” Sabathia said. “That’s all I can say. That’s what I try to do: answer questions as honestly as I can and have fun out on the field and enjoy it and then go and win the World Series.”

Bob Arum, the boxing promoter, has seen his share of great fighters: Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton, Manny Pacquiao. He can add Jonathan Ballan to that list.

Ballan, the lead bond lawyer for the financing of Yankee Stadium, reserved the stadium for his son’s bar mitzvah on Saturday, June 5. In addition to providing lounges, the Yankees promised to give the Ballan party access to the stadium’s giant scoreboard in center field for 30 minutes.

But now the Yankees are negotiating with Arum to hold the first boxing event at the new stadium on, you guessed it, June 5. The 30,000 or so fans expected at the bout would probably not enjoy seeing a montage of Ballan family photos on the scoreboard.

Poll time!

[poll id="48"]

  • Chad Moeller (part of the “Posada non grada” group of 2008) turns 35 today.
  • John Mayberry (249 way-way-way-past-prime PAs in 1982) turns 61 today.
  • Back on Monday!

    Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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    13 comments

    1 rbj   ~  Feb 18, 2010 8:42 am

    Yay! Bitchers & codgers!

    Joba needs a full season to prove what he can do. Stop treating him like a hot house flower and unleash him. If he fails, ok, then send him to the pen, but let's see what he can do free of the uncertainty of innings restrictions.

    2 ms october   ~  Feb 18, 2010 9:02 am

    what is a classically defined 5th starter - a shitbird?
    why are these people so insane that they want both joba and phil in the pen?
    make joba the 5th starter use hughes as a 2-3 inning guy and when someone gets injured/throws like crap you transition him to a 6-7 inning starter. that's it.

    3 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 18, 2010 10:29 am

    [2] Agreed. The 'compromise' with whomever gets banished to the pen is to NOT make them the '8th inning' guy, but a long reliever and the first guy called from the BP. If they need a guy in the 6th, bring in Phil/Joba and let them stay in until/unless they are not effective,

    I don't see Andy coming back in 2011. We need both Phil/Joba ready and qualified to start. I think next years need trumps the 'more effective 8th inning use'.

    4 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 18, 2010 10:36 am

    I keep thinking AJ/Andy will be hurt a lot this year.

    5 ms october   ~  Feb 18, 2010 10:56 am

    [3] yep agree completely. plus javy is probably gone next year too.
    long-term they absolutely have to give both a viable chance to start.

    6 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 18, 2010 10:58 am

    [3] Not just Andy - Vazquez might not be back in 2011 either.

    What I want to see someone ask Girardi/Cashman is what is Hughes's innings floor? To me, the only way that Hughes is a viable starter next year is if he gets at least 130 innings this year. Of course, the closer he gets to his ceiling without going over, the better.

    And there's just no way Hughes gets to his floor if he's a one-inning reliever, injuries to starting pitchers or not.

    7 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 18, 2010 10:58 am

    [5] You beat me to it, ms october! Great minds and all that. ;)

    8 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 18, 2010 11:16 am

    [2,3,5,7] Unfortunately, the Yanks won't go this way. Phil/Joba in the 8th I'm afraid.

    9 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 18, 2010 11:17 am

    I really think the solution to this issue is simple. Joba should be installed as the 5th starter, while Hughes is used as a 2 inning/appearance type reliever (not an 8th inning guy). If there is never a need for Hughes to enter the rotation, he would average 6 innings a week if he had 3 appearances, which would equate to about 140-150 innings. However, if there was an injury, or Andy needs another period of rest, Hughes could slip into the rotation. Either way, he would get to the innings level he would need to become a starter in 2011.

    Putting Hughes in the rotation and Joba in the bullpen, however, serves no purpose.

    10 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 18, 2010 11:52 am

    [9] Agreed. Joba needs at least a full year of completely sucking as a starter - that is, 175 innings of 5+ ERA ball - before I'd ever think of putting him in the bullpen.

    I think there is another way the Yanks could get Hughes his innings, though. They could start him out in the minor leagues, then call him up to work as the long man in the pen/or the two-inning+ reliever, and spot starter as needed.

    11 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 18, 2010 1:58 pm

    according to his attorney, the kid who's having his Bar Mitzvah at the Stadium on June 5th will be the Yankees fifth starter this season.

    12 williamnyy23   ~  Feb 18, 2010 2:18 pm

    [10] I don't see the point in wasting Hughes innings in the minors. They are too valuable.

    13 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 18, 2010 4:18 pm

    [11]

    but he won't be available to pitch on the Sabbath ....

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