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Rest Assured

Javy Vazquez will not pitch against the Red Sox this weekend in Boston.

Yesterday, Jay Jaffe, took a detailed look at Vazquez over at BP:

Taking a more dramatic route, if not necessarily a smarter one, the Yanks could also start Sergio Mitre in Vazquez’s stead, though it’s tough to imagine Mitre’s lone supporter (Girardi) subjecting a pitcher with a career ERA of 5.48 to such brutality even given Boston’s recent struggles. More elaborate solutions are unlikely, at least at this juncture, given that the Yankees have few places to stash an $11.5-million pitcher in a funk. In years past, struggling pitchers like Jeff Weaver or Jose Contreras have been sent to the team’s spring training facility to work with pitching guru Billy Connors, taking the so-called “Tampa Cure.” But that would require a DL stint, and thus far, nobody has suggested Vazquez is injured. Short of a serious injury which could shelve the struggling starter for awhile, the one thing the Yankees almost certainly won’t do is haul Chamberlain back to the rotation, particularly given the concerns they have about their set-up corps, with Chan Ho Park lost to a hamstring injury and David Robertson and Damaso Marte just lost, period.

So the Yankees and their fans will have to endure Vazquez for the foreseeable future. Which shouldn’t be so hard, given that they sit at 16-8, with the second-best record in the AL, and that despite the weight of his personal history in the Bronx and in the league, Vazquez’s current rough patch still amounts to only five starts. In recent years, upstanding hurlers such as Sabathia, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Justin Verlander have overcome similarly ugly season-opening patches to wind up ranking among the majors’ top pitchers, and a change in Vazquez’s fortunes may only be a mechanical tweak or two away.

Even with his patchy situational stats, it’s simply too early to resort to panic over a pitcher not expected to carry the team, one whose overall track record is as long and as solid as Vazquez’s is. Expect Cashman, Girardi, and company to resist the temptation to resort to more drastic measures—firing squad, stoning, trepanning, or Clockwork Orange-style loops of the 2004 ALCS—while riding out the storm for a while longer.

[photo credit: YOM]


1 Sliced Bread   ~  May 4, 2010 10:09 am

No meatballs for Boston. Spaz will not be on the bus to Camp Mohawk.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  May 4, 2010 10:13 am
3 Bama Yankee   ~  May 4, 2010 10:18 am

[1] & [2] LOL at the Spaz reference...

4 Sliced Bread   ~  May 4, 2010 10:42 am

[3] Javy's next bullpen sessions will probably include cup stacking.

(whisper chant) Vaz... Vaz... Vaz... Vaz.. Vaz...

5 Yankee Mama   ~  May 4, 2010 11:09 am

Math was never my specialty, but Spaz + Vaz = Inspired.

Or is it Spaz + Inspiration = Vaz

Do the math.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 4, 2010 11:13 am

I checked fangraphs velocity charts and from 2007-2009 his fastball averaged below 90 only 4 times total. in 2010, he's been under 90 all 5 starts.

"shoulder fatigue" and a DL stint to follow quickly if he can't turn it around in the next couple of starts, right?

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 4, 2010 11:15 am

[4] brilliant

8 a.O   ~  May 4, 2010 11:19 am

I guess you guys are all regular readers of Joel Sherman, but today's piece on Vazquez's free agent status (Type A v Type B) and arbitration is a pretty concise read on exactly what the Yanks have riding on this guy.

9 ms october   ~  May 4, 2010 11:23 am

[6] i think so. if an extra bullpen is not enough to show some strides, i think a trip to the dl makes sense and will be needed.

i still think he can turn it around, but i think he needs to be given an appropriate chance to turn it around.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  May 4, 2010 3:50 pm

NYY lineup vs BAL 5/4: Jeter DH, Swisher 9, Teixeira 3, Rodriguez 5, Cano 4, Thames 7, Gardner 8, Cervelli 2, Pena 6, Burnett 1


11 rbj   ~  May 4, 2010 3:54 pm

[10] Thankfully, it is Baltimore the Yankees are playing.

12 cult of basebaal   ~  May 4, 2010 4:22 pm

[10] Gah. Beat me to posting it!

That looks like the lineup to a spring training split squad game ...

13 Diane Firstman   ~  May 4, 2010 4:25 pm


I'm paying X $ to see that live tonight .... sigh.

14 cult of basebaal   ~  May 4, 2010 4:48 pm

Wow, this is something really interesting, from the guys over at RiverAvenueBlues:

Through 25 games, Gardner has struck out in just 12% of his at-bats and put the ball on the ground 56.9% of the time. He’s not striking out as much because he’s simply making much more contact. Believe it or not, Gardner has yet to swing and miss at the pitch in the strike zone this season, and he’s the only player in the game that can make that claim. Marco Scutaro is second in baseball with a 99.1% contact rate in the zone. If the ball was over the plate and Gardner hacked at it, he’s gotten at least a piece of the ball every single time. His overall contact rate is 91.7% (73.5% contact rate on pitches out of the zone), which is tied with Ichiro for the tenth best in the game. A player like Gardner can’t make up for strikeouts by hitting for power, so he needs to slap the ball around the infield to be successful. So far this year, he’s done exactly that.

A hearty OINK! to that!

15 a.O   ~  May 4, 2010 4:54 pm

[14] Wow. Thanks. That is indeed very interesting and an excellent harbinger for Gardner's season. Another few months of this might move Jeter back to No. 2.

Here's an intriguing piece from Verducci on making contact generally and its effect on the game:


16 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 4, 2010 4:56 pm

[10] Errr, is that some kind of house money lineup? Except that this game's not even for house money?

17 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  May 4, 2010 4:57 pm

Or maybe NJ's sick. I'll bet that's it.

18 Raf   ~  May 4, 2010 5:06 pm

but today’s piece on Vazquez’s free agent status (Type A v Type B) and arbitration is a pretty concise read on exactly what the Yanks have riding on this guy.

Given Cashman's track record on offering FA's arbitration, I doubt it.

19 OldYanksFan   ~  May 4, 2010 6:48 pm

I expect Gardner to get better over the next year or 2. Not better then the nutzo .825+ OPS he has these days, but better the the .700 OPS most of us are expecting.

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