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Posts Tagged ‘Chad Gaudin’

Third in a series

Ask anyone who knows the great game of baseball, and they’ll tell you the same thing: to win, you need pitching. To win it all, you need even better pitching. Any discussion of where things went wrong in 2010 has to begin with a serious discussion of the ultimate failure of the Yankee pitching staff. Injuries played a part, but the return of Javier Vazquez was underwhelming, AJ Burnett had his worst season ever and the bullpen never seemed to mesh until the Kerry Wood acquisition. The staff needs an overhaul, not a tweak, if the Yankees are to return to the World Series next year. So, who’s in and who’s out for 2011? (Highlighted players below don’t figure to return in 2011)

Under Contract (5):

CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson, Jonathon Albaladejo

Arbitration Eligible (6):

Boone Logan, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley

Free Agents (5):

Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera, Javier Vazquez, Royce Ring, Kerry Wood

Minor Leaguers on 40 man roster (5):

Andrew Brackman, Steve Garrison, Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez

As things stand now, only five players have contracts for next year, and Aceves hasn’t pitched since May because of a bothersome back. Counting on his return is iffy at best and although he was extremely effective in 2009, there is no guarantee he will be ready or effective in 2011. As we dig into the scenarios below, new players are noted by an (*).

Starting Rotation:Projected

1. CC Sabathia

2. Cliff Lee*

3. Phil Hughes

4. Andy Pettite

5. AJ Burnett

Right now, the Yankees return two starters from the 2010 team; Sabathia and Burnett. Hughes is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, but also figures to return. The key to the 2011 rotation is Pettite, who is contemplating retirement. If he returns for another campaign, the Yankees are reasonably set, only needing one more piece – which figures to come from the free agent market. The obvious target is Cliff Lee, who would team with Sabathia to give the Yanks an awesome 1-2 punch atop the rotation. In that scenario, Burnett slides into the 5 spot (based on his erratic performance, where would you put him?), with Hughes 3 and Pettite 4. If Pettite retires, then the team is in a bind. Jorge de la Rosa (8-7, 4.22 for the Rockies) is an interesting option, in that he’s always been a high strike out guy, with decent peripherals and is left handed. Oh, and he figures to be fairly inexpensive. Another option is the well-traveled Ted Lilly. There are also minor league players who might do, led by Ivan Nova and Hector Noesi. Nova had an extended cup of coffee during Pettite’s injury time in 2010. While he impressed in spurts, he tended to get hit hard his second time through a line-up and at this point might project to fill more of a swingman role, taking the place of Sergio Mitre and Chad Guadin. As far as Javier Vazquez is concerned, I’m sure the Yankees will wish him well as the door is slamming behind him.

Bullpen:Projected

CL Mariano Rivera

RH Joba Chamberlain

RH David Robertson

LH Boone Logan

LH Scott Downs*

SW Ivan Nova

Like the starting rotation, the bullpen hinges on a Core Four member’s off-season free agency decision. Unlike Pettite, who is a 50/50 shot to retire, pretty much everyone expects Mariano Rivera to come back and anchor the pen. Expect Joba Chamberlain, coming into his first year of arbitration eligibility to be back and once again vie for the 8th inning job. If he doesn’t secure it, Joba becomes trade-bait for 2011. Robertson and Logan were wild at times, but both pitched well enough to be invited back this year. The intriguing questions come in the last two spots. Joe Girardi is known to covet left-handed relievers (why else take a chance on Royce Ring?!?), and one of the best in baseball hits the free agent market this year. He’ll be expensive, but expect the Yankees to make a major push for Scott Downs (5-5, 2.64). Finally, the Yankees have a cheaper option for the swingman role in Nova, who can fill the role. Expect Mitre to get a spring training invite if nobody else signs him, but not at his 2010 salary. And only because Girardi has some kind of love affair with the guy, going back to their days in Florida, not based on ability. Wood would be a great addition, were he to return in the 8th inning spot, but the reality is he still wants to close – and he will want closer type money this offseason. There is also the question of what to do with Jonathon Albaladejo, who looks like a classic AAAA pitcher: unhittable at AAA, but eminently more so in the majors.

On a final note, there’s been a lot of talk recently about a Joba & <insert Minor League Prospect> for Zach Greinke trade. I really hope the Yankees aren’t tempted by the idea. Greinke is a nice kid with excellent stuff. But he has emotional and confidence issues pitching for the Royals. New York would tear the kid up within a month, and the Yanks would be stuck with another Ed Whitson for the next two years – and $27 million.

Name Age 2010 Salary 2011 Contract
Alfredo Aceves

28

$ 435,650.00 $ 436,000.00
A.J. Burnett

34

$ 16,500,000.00 $ 16,500,000.00
CC Sabathia

30

$ 24,285,714.00 $ 23,000,000.00
Jonathan Albaladejo

28

$ 403,075.00 Under team control
David Robertson

26

$ 426,650.00 Under team control
Dustin Moseley

29

$ 235,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Boone Logan

26

$ 405,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Phil Hughes

24

$ 447,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Joba Chamberlain

25

$ 487,975.00 Arbitration Eligible
Chad Gaudin

28

$ 737,500.00 Arbitration Eligible
Sergio Mitre

30

$ 850,000.00 Arbitration Eligible
Kerry Wood

33

$ 10,500,000.00 Free Agent
Javier Vazquez

34

$ 11,500,000.00 Free Agent
Andy Pettitte

38

$ 11,750,000.00 Free Agent
Mariano Rivera

41

$ 15,000,000.00 Free Agent
Royce Ring

30

Unknown Free Agent
Potential Free Agent Signings
Jason Frasor

32

$ 2,650,000.00 Free Agent
Scott Downs

34

$ 4,000,000.00 Free Agent
Jorge de la Rosa

29

$ 5,600,000.00 Free Agent
Cliff Lee

32

$ 9,000,000.00 Free Agent
Ted Lilly

34

$ 13,000,000.00 Free Agent
Potential Trade Targets
Zack Greinke (KC)

26

$ 7,250,000.00 $ 13,500,000.00

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As we prepare for tonight’s tilt with the Rays, there are numerous questions surrounding the Yankees. Will Andy Pettites groin be fully healed before the playoffs? Will Phil Hughesinnings limit result in him being ineffective? Who will be the fourth starter? Will the offense ever remember how to hit? Can Derek Jeter regain the form that made him a Yankee icon?

But the biggest question of all has to be this: Why is Joe Girardi still the manager?

Yes, I realize Girardi was the manager last year for #27. But many observers, myself included, felt the team won despite his managerial hijinx, not because of them. And the job he’s done this year – well, this current road trip pretty much sums up his season.

A manager’s job is two-fold: one, to put his players in the best position to do their job; and two, to motivate and inspire his squad to shine. Girardi consistently fails to do either. He insists on putting in line-ups where there are as many reserves as regulars. (How else do you explain bench players accounting for 21% of the teams plate appearances this season?). Quite frankly, I’m getting tired of seeing a bottom of the order consisting of Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. (That particular duo has started together an incredible 15 times this season – better than 10% of the season). It’s nothing against either of those guys, but this is supposed to be the Yankees, not the Orioles. Or the Cubs.

Girardi over-relies on the bullpen; the Yankees only have 3 complete games as a staff – 11th best in the AL. Don’t forget; this is the same guy who was run out of the Marlins clubhouse largely because he burned his bullpen so badly in 2006, they fell out of contention. It makes you wonder if Alfredo Aceves‘ workload contributed to his (possibly career-threatening) injury.

He also rubbed that clubhouse the wrong way, as the players simply got tired of his act. I doubt we’ll ever hear anyone on this team complain about the skipper – they’re all too professional for it – but I defy anyone to tell me this team actually wants to win for Girardi. To be blunt, lately the Yankees look as though they would rather be taking a nap than playing baseball. That type of lethargy is direct reflection on Girardi’s leadership -or lack thereof.

Last night’s game – with the odd bullpen choices (Kerry Wood and Boone Logan combined to throw fewer pitches in 1 1/3 innings than Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre did in 2/3 of an inning), lackadaisical hitting, base running blunders – was a microcosm of the season thus far. Lost in all the noise about the bullpen maneuvering and Brett Gardner’s inexplicable attempted steal of third were two other moves that make absolutely no sense. In the 5th, Jorge Posada was caught stealing. On a straight steal. With two out. Later, in the 11th, after Austin Kearns led off with a sharp single, Girardi had Curtis Granderson bunt. If you have the heart of the order coming up, that makes sense. But not when the next hitter is Colin Curtis.

I’m sure the infamous binder had all kinds of percentages for each of the weird moves we saw. But games aren’t won in a computer model; they’re won by players on the field. Speaking of computer models, the Pythagorean prediction says the Yankees should be 89-55 or two games better than they’ve played. Why do you suppose that is?

Managers can rarely win a game. But when they insist on managing like the league idiot, they can certainly lose them. For that reason, Joe Must Go.

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In an earlier post, I discussed Javier Vazquez‘s recent ineffectiveness and his “dead arm.” I postulated the idea that this is the perfect opportunity to skip him once or twice through the rotation, see if his arm strength returns in September and take it from there. I fretted about the cumulative effect of having an ineffective Vazquez, an inconsistent AJ Burnett and Phil Hughes’ innings limit will have on the team as a whole and on the bullpen in particular.

If you watched last night’s game, you saw everything I’m worried about in a nutshell.

I realize the offense was pathetic and if the team had hit – even just a little bit – they likely win that game. I realize, too, that mid-August is not the time for a team-wide slump (but anytime your line-up includes Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner you’re not likely to see much offense, anyway). And I know Joe Girardi publicly blasted the team for the overall horrible way they played yesterday. But let’s have a reality check here: Javy’s performance last was the epitome of “it’s better to be lucky than good.” He pitched with men on base throughout his four innings of work and every ball the Tigers hit seemed to leave a vapor trail. Once again, his average fastball clocked in at 87mph – below his season average of 89mph and more than 4mph below his career average.

At this point, the question isn’t if Javy can be effective pitching without velocity. The answer is patently obvious – he can’t. The question now is, what do the Yankees do about it? I can’t see them throwing him out there again without having Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre warmed and ready to go in the first inning. Much as the Mets found themselves doing earlier this season with John Maine, it may be time for the Yanks to tell Javy he’s hurt and DL him. Even though you might think that Vazquez would let somebody know if he’s hurt, this is a guy with a track record for hiding injuries. The last time he was in pinstripes, much the same thing happened – and it can be argued that it cost the team a chance to repeat as AL Champions that year. And this year, facing free agency at the end of the season, Vazquez has even more reason to hide an injury – even if it costs the team a chance to defend their World Championship. As bad as he’s been lately, he still has a chance at a decent contract with a 2nd division team. But nobody will give a 35 year old pitcher coming off an injury much in the way of a contract – a fact Vazquez has to be aware of.

Regardless of his health, the team simply cannot let him pitch until they know he can be effective. The race is too tight to let the bullpen eat up this many innings on a nightly basis. If they aren’t going to DL him and bring up a serviceable starter in his stead, then the least they can do is skip his next turn or two and let Mitre or Gaudin take the turn. While they’re not exactly world-beaters (there IS a reason they’re in the bullpen, after all), it would give Vazquez a chance to rest his arm and the Yankees a chance to see if he can be counted on for the stretch run.

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The Pitching:

Javier Vazquez hurled a quality start today, bringing his season recover over the .500 mark. Javy’s ERA has gone down a lot over the past few weeks,  from 9.78 on May 1st to 5.43 today. His pitching line was: (W, 6-5) 7.0IP 6H 3R 3ER 0BB 6K (95 Pitches, 58 for Strikes). In Javier’s last 6 starts, he is (W-L) 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Robertson took the 8th, Gaudin the 9th, and they both posted up scoreless frames.

The Offense:

Jorge Posada broke out of his recent funk, going 2-for-3 on the game and knocked in 4RBI’s. He hit a grand slam off of Wandy Rodriguez in the 3rd inning. Derek Jeter hit two home runs in today’s game. One off Rodriguez in the 1st inning, and the other in the 6th innning off Fulchino. It was Jeter’s 9th career multi-homer game. The last one he had was on August 27, 2006. Nick Swisher went 1-for-5, picking up a run and an RBI.

The Yankees will wrap up this three-game series tomorrow, as they face the Astros at 1:05PM ET at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. They’ll be going  for the sweep. The pitching matchup is RHP Phil Hughes vs RHP Brian Moehler. (more…)

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 Manager Joe Girardi Of The New York Yankees Presents Former Teammates Edwar Ramirez #59 And Chad Gaudin #57 Of The

The Yankees were reunited with some of their former teammates prior to yesterday’s game. Joe Girardi gathered his troops on the ball field, as they hand delivered 2009 World Series championships rings to Edwar Ramirez and Chad Gaudin. I’m sure those guys are going to miss New York. Oakland doesn’t cut it when you played in the Big Apple. Now onto the game….

The Pitching:

Javier Vazquez was trying to improve on his previous two starts, and he did exactly that. He was far from spectacular, but he’s taking a step in the right direction. Javy pitched pretty good in his first five innings, giving up only one run (a solo shot to Travis Buck in the bottom of the 5th). It took Vazquez over 20 pitches to get past the 90mph mark on his fastball, but it eventually came around. According to Javy, he felt that his off-speed pitches were more crisp this game.

Vazquez was approaching that 100-pitch mark, and even though I don’t believe in pitch counts..he wasn’t at his very best. I thought he was going to be done after 5 innings, but Girardi had different plans. I’m not going to get all over Girardi because it really wasn’t a crazy decision, but it didn’t work out so well. In the bottom of the 6th inning, a pop fly from Kevin Kouzmanoff’s bat fell in between Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. That base hit didn’t help out Javy’s case. Vazquez wound up serving up a 2-run blast to the next batter, Kurt Suzuki. Girardi walked out to the mound and motioned to the bullpen for Boone Logan.

All in all, it was an improvement for Vazquez. He picked up his first win of the year, which hopefully puts Yankees fans minds at ease. His line was: (W, 1-2) 5.1IP 6H 3R 3ER 3BB 6K (107 Pitches-72 for Strikes). It would’ve been nice for him to end on a high note, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. He pitched better than what his pitching line displays…I’ll tell you that.

Boone Logan tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. The ball was than handed off to Joba Chamberlain. He did the same thing, while striking out three batters. Damaso Marte came out for the 9th inning, walked Jake Fox, and was immediately pulled for Mo. Rivera tossed a perfect frame to close out the game and picked up a strikeout in the process. It wasn’t a save situation.

The Offense:

Alex Rodriguez hit a 3-run A-Bomb off of Craig Breslow in the top of the 5th inning. It was his 585th home run of his career, leaving him only 15 away from the 600HR mark. Alex picked up two runs on the game and walked three times. Jorge Posada went 1-for-5, and knocked in 2RBI’s.  Swisher went 1-f0r-4. and also picked up 2RBI’s. Derek Jeter went 0-for-5

(Interesting Info: Courtesy of ESPN.com)Yankees ace CC Sabathia, back home in his native Northern California, threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night at the North Vallejo Little League Spring Classic on a field his foundation helped rebuild.” (more…)

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I thought I would wrap up Spring Training before the game starts tonight. Here are some things you might have missed:

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Today, we begin our look at the fourth year of Brian Cashman at the helm of the Yankees baseball operations. The previous iterations can be seen here, here or here.

Signings and Re-Signings

Re-signed Damaso Marte to a 3 year/$12 million deal.

Signed Sergio Mitre to a 1 year deal with a team option.

Re-signed Chien-Ming Wang to a 1 year deal.

Signed AJ Burnett for 5 years/$82 million.

Signed CC Sabathia for 7 years/$161 million.

Signed Mark Teixeira for 8 years/$180 million.

Re-signed Andy Pettitte for 1 year/$5.5 million plus incentives.

Trades

Traded Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez for Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira

Traded Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson for Eric Hinske

Traded Jose Veras for $3.12 in pesos (Cash Considerations).

Traded Chase Weems for Jerry Hairston

Traded Cash for Chad Gaudin

Notable Draft Picks

Zachary Heathcott

Grade for the Year: A

For the most part, this year was great for Brian. There was speedbump or two, but nothing that $500 million couldn’t fix in the long run. My favorite move? Getting rid of Jose Veras, god I hated him, but that’s neither here nor there. Everything Brian did in this year worked out like a charm as the Yankees marched on to their 27th World Series championship. Many of the moves he made also set up the Yankees for long term success as well, atleast one would think or hope.

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Via Twitter: (Ed Price)

Source: #Yankees have put RHP Gaudin on waivers. Once he clears, Yanks can send to AAA & pay entire $2.95M or release & pay 1/4 of total.

The Yankees don’t have much use for him anymore. It will be interesting to see if Gaudin falls through or not.

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Game #1:

Pitching

CC Sabathia made his fourth start of the spring, and it looks like he is shaping up for the regular season (77 pitches, 47 strikes). He worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits.  In the process, he fanned 8 batters. Albaladejo came on in relief, recording the last two outs of the 6th inning. It’s about time he finally recorded a few outs. Rivera, Ring, and Pope all tossed a scoreless frame in relief to finish up the game. All three picked up a strikeout. Sabathia picked up the win, moving his spring record to (W, 1-1).

Offense

Derek Jeter drove in two runs on a single in the bottom of the 2nd inning. A-Rod hit a monstrous home run shot that cleared the scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field. It was his first homer of the spring. Cano picked up a base hit, and has now hit safely in seven of the 10 ST games that he’s played in. Weber went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Golson went 2-for-4 on the game.

Game #2:

Pitching

Sergio Mitre got the start tonight, and he gave it his all.  He tossed five solid innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits. He walked only one and struck out 7 batters. His spring ERA moves to 3.21. Gaudin tossed 2 1/3 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks. He picked up the loss, which moves his record to (L, 0-3). His ERA this spring jumps up to 8.68. Amaury Sanit entered the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out. He recorded the two outs with ease and picked up a strikeout.

Offense

Nick Swisher knocked in the first run for the Yankees with an RBI single, scoring Brett Gardner. In the 4th inning, Juan Miranda hit a solo home run blast off Jeff Niemann to put the team ahead 2-0. Those were the only two runs they scored in the game. Jesus Montero went 1-for-1 with a double. (more…)

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Yankees (4-5) vs. Orioles (2-7) / Tigers(4-5)

Pitching Matchups:

RHP Javier Vazquez (0-0, 4.50) vs RHP Jeremy… Guthrie (0-0, 0.00)

RHP Chad Gaudin (0-1, 6.75) vs RHP Jeremy Bonderman (0-1, 20.25)

Lineups

vs. Orioles: Gardner CF, Johnson DH, Posada C, Cano 2B, Granderson LF, Winn RF, Miranda 1B, Brandon Laird 3B, Ramiro Pena SS

vs. Tigers: Jeter SS, Swisher RF, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Thames LF, Cervelli C, Hoffmann CF, Winfree DH, Nunez 2B (more…)

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We’ve heard the first impressions about the rotation competition, that the Yanks want Hughes to work on his change, that Joba is better in the bullpen, and then Mariano Rivera said on WFAN that Joba belongs in the bullpen. You would think that the fans would agree with whatever Mariano Rivera says.

I have to admit, I haven’t always been a Joba to the bullpen guy. It sure seems like I’ve always been one because we’ve debated this for so long. When he first got the call up to the majors, I was all ready for him to be a starter. I wanted him to get his chance to display his talent. Over the last few seasons, he has done exactly that, and it pushed me over to the “Joba to the pen” argument. The high pitch counts, loss in velocity, and his mentality made me lose all interest in him pitching in the Yankees rotation. Joba rarely ever completed seven innings, and he was draining the bullpen everyday. He showed us a lot more coming out of the pen.

As for Hughes, he showed us a lot of signs that he can be a starting pitcher. Sure, he showed us that he could pitch effectively out of the pen, but I think most fans still see him as a starter. He has shown us flashes of greatness at times. Just this past season, he made a start where he went 8 full innings, allowing 3 hits, no runs and he struck out 6 batters. And he only got to start 7 games last year. Let’s not forget the no-hitter had going in Texas (W, 6.1IP 0H 3BB 6K), before getting yanked from the game with an injury. Joba Chamberlain started 31 games last season, which is more than Hughes has in his entire major league career. Chamberlain has started 43 games for the Yankees, which is 15 more than what Hughes got (28). That’s not even giving him a  full season under his belt as a starter. That just shows you that Hughes hasn’t been given enough time to prove himself. At this point in his development, this should be the year where he explodes on the scene. The guy has matured, developed a change-up, has postseason experience and he has all the confidence in the world coming out of his impressive 2009 campaign.

Hughes & Joba’s 2010 Spring Training Statistics:

Hughes: 2IP  (W-L, 0-1) 4.50ERA

Joba: 1.1IP  (W-L, 0-0) 33.75ERA

To be honest, I only think it’s a two-man race. The very idea of having Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre owning the 5th spot is outrageous, considering you have two better candidates. I don’t see anything happening there. Management will get a lot of criticism otherwise. There are 26 more Spring Training games left to be played. That means that Chamberlain and Hughes will have a lot more time to make a case for themselves until the start of the season. Neither of them showed us anything special in their first outings, but I think we all know who was better. Right now, it’s 1-0 Hughes.

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Chad Jenning over at the LoHud Yankees Blog released the Yankees spring training rotation. According to him, the starters will be limited to about 35 pitches. The first player listed will be the day’s starter, and the names that follow will pitch in relief. Chad Gaudin will get the honor to start the spring opener.

March 3 vs. Pittsburgh- Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves

March 4 at Philadelphia- CC Sabathia

March 5 vs. Tampa Bay- Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain

March 6 vs. Toronto- A.J. Burnett

March 7 at Minnesota- Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin

March 8 vs. Philadelphia (ss)- Javier Vazquez
March 8 at Pittsburgh (ss)- Alfredo Aceves

March 9 vs. Pittsburgh- CC Sabathia

March 10 at Detroit- Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes

March 11 vs. Atlanta- A.J. Burnett

March 12 at Washington- Andy Pettitte

March 13 vs. Baltimore (ss)- Javier Vazquez
March 13 at Detroit (ss)- undecided

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