"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Pinstriped Bible Breakdown

One advantage of today’s game being canceled is that it gives me room to share this roundtable discussion about the fifth-starter competition and spring training competitions in general that Jay Jaffe and I participated in over at Steven Goldman’s Pinstriped Bible on YES. A quick sample:

Cliff: . . . what Girardi is looking for (I assume and hope) is execution of pitches, game planning, the ability to set-up hitters, work out of jams, miss bats, avoid hard contact, turn lineups over, etc. This is the one time of year when I agree with those who diminish the importance of statistics. The sample is indeed too small, thus one bad outing, due to the after-effects of the flu or fatigue toward the end of an outing in which the pitcher in question is extending his pitch count, can ruin an ERA. Also, as Girardi has said, the first couple of spring starts are really tune-ups in which starters don’t use all of their pitches and are just trying to build arm strength and get a feel for things. So for Hughes and Chamberlain, as well, the charge is to execute in a high-pressure situation, to show what they can do, but I don’t think that necessarily means the pitcher with the better ERA is going to get the job. If Joba continues to struggle but suddenly finds it in his last two spring starts and looks like the guy from 2007 again, I think the job will be, and should be, his.

Read the rest here.


1 The Hawk   ~  Mar 12, 2010 4:54 pm

... if Joba "finds it". Yeah that's what I said pretty much all last year.

2 The Hawk   ~  Mar 12, 2010 5:07 pm

The Red Sox / Yanks pitching match up as Cliff presents it is a little twisted, I think. Just cause you can find some similarity doesn't mean the pitchers are somehow equal. I mean really, Burnett = Beckett because they're both fragile ex Marlins with great stuff??

Go I'm sick of typing obscured by banner ads!

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 12, 2010 5:28 pm

[1] And he appeared to after the All-Star break but then the Joba Rules kicked in and screwed him up.

[2] Slight edge to Beckett there, sure, but I think they're closer than you think.

As for the banner problems, what browser are you using? I've never had that problem using Firefox.

4 a.O   ~  Mar 12, 2010 5:33 pm

My prediction is that Girardi cites Joba's enthusiasm for pitching in relief situations and lack of starter-level stamina later in the Spring when announcing that Joba will be in the bullpen this year while Hughes pitches from the fifth spot.

5 monkeypants   ~  Mar 12, 2010 7:48 pm

[4] I just wish that Hughes had not gotten hurt in 2008 and/or the Yankees simply wrote that year off earlier. Then he would have been (I predict) a fixture in the rotation by now---a back-end guy no doubt---and we would be spared some of this endless joba-hughes-eighthinning!-reliever-stater discussion.

6 a.O   ~  Mar 12, 2010 8:01 pm

[5] Yep. That injury was particularly tough to take given the game situation at the time as well.

I think Hughes' sucess as a starter this year will depend greatly on how well he is able to throw his new change. Do Girardi and Eiland even consider him rotation-ready if he cannot use it confidently and throw it for strikes?

And if Ace keeps throwing as he is, how do you tell him no?

7 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 12, 2010 8:58 pm

[6] a.O., the no-hitter hamstring was 2007. I think monkeypants is talking about the stress-fractured rib in '08.

As for the changeup, Hughes already has fastball, curve, cutter, the change is a fourth pitch, so I think they'd be willing to let him continue to try to develop it in side sessions and pitch with the three that brung him.

8 a.O   ~  Mar 12, 2010 9:01 pm


9 The Hawk   ~  Mar 12, 2010 9:22 pm

[3] I'd give more than a slight edge to Beckett but I am also thinking postseason, and I guess that's another story. However I would much rather have Lackey than Vasquez. Of course, I'd also much rather have Sabathia than Lester.

Keep the flame burning for Joba! Those three games last season are like Hanukkah!

I'm using g-d Safari. It's killing me here but otherwise it's faster than Firefox. On this computer anyway.

10 The Hawk   ~  Mar 12, 2010 9:25 pm

I'm with whoever says let's get these young pups settled ASAP. However if, say, Aceves can do the job significantly better it seems perverse not to give him the spot.

Often on a Friday night I'll try and do SOMETHING outside the homestead, but I'm laid up with leg injuries. So, yeah I'm thinking about Aceves - sue me.

11 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 12, 2010 9:58 pm

[9] Have you looked at Beckett's postseason numbers recently? Last two postseasons: 7.71 ERA, Red Sox 1-3 in his four starts in which he's allowed seven homers. So two good postseasons (following his two best regular seasons) and two poor postseasons.

Also, Lackey last two years: 3.79 ERA, 51 GS, 339 1/3 IP
Vazquez last two years: 3.75 ERA, 65 GS, 427 2/3 IP

Meanwhile, sorry to hear about the legs. Get well soon.

12 The Hawk   ~  Mar 13, 2010 1:23 am

[11] Point taken re: Beckett. He made quite an impression, I guess. But despite his recent struggles (and wasn't he hurt last post season?) at least he has some history of utter dominance when it was needed most. Not so with Burnett. Of course he hasn't had the chances, but either way the jury is out.

My impression of Vasquez leans heavily on what he did here before and the fact that he's been good lately as an NL pitcher. I know an injury may have inhibited his performance as a Yankee but it still makes me nervous. But the NL thing is probably a more substantial caveat.

13 The Hawk   ~  Mar 13, 2010 1:24 am

[11] Oh and thanks! It's just one leg - I hurt my foot and knee. I haven't been outside in a week!

14 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 13, 2010 2:04 am

[12] Well that's my point, that Beckett gets hurt often and isn't very good when he's pitching at less than 100 percent. The Josh Beckett of 2003 and 2007 hasn't shown up any other season for that reason.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver