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Posts Tagged ‘Roy Halladay’

The first weekend of exhibition is over. For those of you keeping score (and I’m not sure why you would a this point), the Yankees beat the Phillies twice. The games were about what you would expect at this point. Some sloppy defense, plenty of mental errors and lots of guys getting playing time that are already ticketed for Scranton or Trenton. But you know what? The grass is green, the temperatures warm. The ball still makes the same sound when it hits a glove. The bat still makes a resounding *crack* when it a batter strikes a ball on the sweet spot. (Speaking of which, did you see that blast A-Rod hit off Roy Halladay today?) And grown men are earning their living, playing a game we love.

All of which means Spring is here and Spring Training is underway. Soon, we’ll be crowding into Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. But for now, enjoy the games. Debate heartily if Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia should be the #5 starter. Wonder aloud who the 25th man should be (please, not Bill Hall!). But baseball is back – and it’s the happiest time of the year for us baseball diehards!

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Ubaldo Jimenez

Some things are a given in life. The sun rises in the east. Commuter trains in New York are overstuffed and never run on time. The Yankees always make a trade in July.

Only, this year that last one might not happen.

It’s not for lack of need. The starting line-up is solid and the bench features guys who could start for better than half the teams in baseball. But the pitching staff, both in the rotation and the bullpen, is loaded with question marks. CC Sabathia is an unqualified ace; Mariano Rivera remains the king of closers and David Robertson has turned into one of the game’s most reliable set-up men. But the rest of the staff doesn’t inspire confidence on a daily basis.

The Yankees are plagued by the fact that among the presumed LCS teams, they’re the only team without a bona-fide number 2 starter. The Red Sox feature Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. The Phillies send Roy Halladay
and Cliff Lee. The Giants have Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. The Yankees keep hoping that AJ Burnett will be that number two guy – but after 2 ½ seasons of watching him implode at the most inopportune times, I can’t think of anyone who truly thinks he is. Bartolo Colon, based on his performance this year (7-6, 3.29 ERA, 8K/9) is probably the current #2, but he’s already thrown more innings than over the past 4 seasons combined and you have to worry about how much longer he can continue. Freddy Garcia keeps pulling magic acts on the mound, but his xFIP is nearly a half-run higher than his ERA; you get the feeling that sooner or later his luck is going to run out. Phil Hughes exploded on the scene in the first half of 2010, but since then he’s been less than a pedestrian pitcher (7-7, 5.76 ERA). Ivan Nova was sent back the minors earlier and despite showing signs of improvement when he was with the big club, he is nowhere near being a number two starter.

Likewise, the bullpen has a few holes. Rafael Soriano was brought in to be the primary set-up man, but he’s spent most of the season on the DL and was largely ineffective before getting hurt. Boone Logan is the supposed lefty specialist, but left handers are tuning him up to a 138 OPS+. While Cory Wade and Luis Ayala have been reasonably pleasant surprises, neither has experienced this level of success before. And heaven help us all if the abysmal Sergio Mitre is reactivated and added to the post-season roster.

So, like I said, the Yankees certainly have needs. The problem is there doesn’t seem to be anyone available in the trade market that can fill those needs. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding Ubaldo Jimenez, but the Rockies
asking price (3 or 4 of the Yanks blue chip prospects) is insane. Jimenez had a terrific first half of 2010. Otherwise, he’s a sub-.500 pitcher with a career ERA of 3.87 – while pitching in the offensively challenged NL West. If Brian Cashman adds him at tomorrow’s deadline, I’ll be underwhelmed. The other starters rumored to be on the market also aren’t overly impressive. They range from the oft-injured Erik Bedard to the recalcitrant Hiroki Kuroda
to baseball’s version of a spoiled two-year old, Carlos Zambrano. In short, barring some sort of unexpected blockbuster, there simply isn’t anyone available who provides an upgrade over what the Yanks currently have on hand.

In terms of bullpen help, the Yanks are certainly looking for a left hander – but good luck finding anyone. The Orioles probably want to rid themselves of Mike Gonzales and his bloated contract, but he has had zero success in the AL. The A’s might be willing to part with Brian Fuentes, but I can’t imagine the Yankees assuming around $8.5 million in contract for a guy who has actually been worse against lefties than Logan. The only other name I’ve seen available is the Cubs John Grabow. Like Fuentes and Gonzales, he’s been more piñata than pitcher.

So, there you have it. Unlike past deadlines, this one is looking pretty quiet for the Yankee front office.

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According to a posting on MLB Trade Rumors, Dan Haren was just acquired by the Angels in exchange for Joe Saunders, 2 Minor League pitchers and the infamous Player-to-be-Named-later. This comes on the heels of a weekend of trade rumors surrounding the Yankees attempts at landing the former Arizona Diamondabacks right-hander.

This was an obvious salary dump by the Diamondbacks, who will realize approximately $20 million in savings over the next two seasons. While Saunders is a serviceable major league starter, Dan Haren is a proven top-of-the-rotation type starter. This may also be the Angels way of stocking up for next year. Haren is a nice addition, but if the Halos are going to make a run at Texas, they need a power bat (or two).

As for the Yankees, I’m not certain if Brian Cashman was simply trying to up the ante for other team in the Haren Sweepstakes or if he really felt that the rumored package Arizona wanted (headlined by Joba Chamberlain) was too steep a price. Either way, it looks like Cashman lost on this one. If the former, he didn’t drive the price nearly high enough, since the prospects the Angels sent to Arizona are not exactly world beaters. If the latter, he failed to trade a struggling reliever for a proven ace. Look, I like Joba’s potential as much as anyone – but this would be the third time Cashman has failed to land an ace because he wouldn’t trade Joba. First it was Johan Santana. Then it was Roy Halladay. And now Haren. At this rate, Joba better turn into the second coming of Walter Johnson or else Cashman is going to end up with a whole carton of eggs on his face.

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  Phil Hughes #65 Of The New York Yankees Pitches

In a word…nothing. Much like everyone else, I was wondering if Phil Hughes recent struggles are endemic to something we should panic over. So, I decided to do a little statistical research by comparing Hughes this year to the age 24 seasons of five of the best fastball/curveball right-handed starters from the past decade. The reason is semi-obvious, I hope: Hughes is predominantly fastball/ curveball, so it seems best to compare him to other pitchers with a similar repertoire at the same age. I didn’t want to dig too far into history, since comparing Hughes with Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson or Tom Seaver wouldn’t be fair. Besides the fact that they are all Hall-of-Famers, they pitched in different eras. (Though it would be nice to think that in 15 years we’ll be talking about Hughes in the same vein!).

I chose 5 pretty good pitchers: Roy Oswalt, Ben Sheets, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy and A.J. Burnett. Let’s face it, any team that had those five in their starting rotation would be the odds on favorite to win their division and go deep into October. For you math geeks, I extrapolated everything to a 162 game season to make comparisons fair. See the chart below for comparisons. (more…)

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Phillies (32-29) at Yankees (40-23)

Pitching Matchup 

LHP C.C. Sabathia (6-3, 4.01) vs RHP Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96)

Lineup 

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Posada DH
Gardner LF
Cervelli C
Pena 3B (more…)

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Tonight, the Yankees open up a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Bronx. Here are the pitching probables for the series:

Tue: LHP C.C. Sabathia (6-3, 4.01) vs RHP Roy Halladay (8-4, 1.96)

Wed: RHP A.J. Burnett (6-4, 3.86) vs LHP Jamie Moyer (6-6, 5.03)

Thurs: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-1, 2.46) vs RHP Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.80)

(more…)

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Now, with pitchers and catchers due to report in under 30 days, I think now would be the time to unveil our picks for the 2010 season.

My picks are in blue and Zell’s picks are in red

American League

AL East: Yankees, AL Central: Twins, AL West: Angels, AL Wild Card: Red Sox

AL East: Yankees, AL Central: White Sox, AL West: Mariners, AL Wild Card: Red Sox

Division Series

Yankees def. Twins 3-1, Red Sox def. Angels 3-2

Yankees def White Sox 3-0, Red Sox def. Mariners 3-1

ALCS

Yankees def Red Sox 4-3 (MVP: CC Sabathia)

Yankees def Red Sox 4-2 (MVP: Mariano Rivera)

AL MVP: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander
AL Batting Title: Joe Mauer, Ichiro Suzuki
AL Rookie of the Year: Brian Matusz (Only because I am having a brain fart), Brian Matusz
AL Home Run Crown: Alex Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez (more…)

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Richard Griffin reports that the Yankees offered Jesus Montero straight up to they Jays for Roy Halladay. The Blue Jays turned it down.

It’s understandable why they turned it down. They would be dealing within their division, and they were trading the best player in the franchise’s history for a top prospect. You know the Toronto fan base wouldn’t have been happy about the move. (more…)

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Here are some news and notes from Yankees land today as the day turns to night. If there is anything else that comes out, we’ll update this post.

  • Granderson will wear No. 14 instead of his old number, 28, because Girardi will likely take that number next season. Girardi wore No. 27 as the Yankees sought and eventually won their 27th title. Granderson went on to say:

    “I know how tradition is and superstition is from an outside standpoint, so I don’t want to mess with that,” Granderson said. “Hopefully he’ll continue to wear it and we’ll move forward and keep on knocking people’s numbers out of the way.”

  • As expected, Rodriguez said he will not need a second surgery on his right hip. After being re-examined by his hip specialist, Dr. Marc Philippon, Rodriguez learned Monday that no further surgery would be needed. “You can never say never, but I think he is saying for the immediate future, the next two or three years,” Rodriguez said. A-Rod said he will not need to see Philippon again this offseason and has been cleared to begin his usual offseason workouts.
  • The Yankees appear to be at a standstill with free agent Johnny Damon. Yankees co-chairman Hal Steinbrenner said, “We all love Johnny Damon and he was a big part of the reason we won that championship. But I think right now there’s just a difference of opinion as to what the pay is, quite frankly.”
  • Girardi, whose contract runs through the end of next season, said there has been “zero” talk about an extension. “I don’t worry about my contract,” he said. “I worry about this year, and I wouldn’t expect them to talk to me until it’s over. I’m under contract. So I don’t really worry about it.”
  • Cashman said the Yankees talked to the Blue Jays about a potential trade for Roy Halladay and talked to the Phillies about Cliff Lee, “but we were far from matching up.”

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As a part of ESPN’s end of decade ‘Best of Series’ they have been having, they have named Mariano Rivera as the most valuable pitcher of the 2000’s (Cy Young of the Decade, if you will). Mariano had some stiff competition in being named this award (See: Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Greg Maddux, etc al), but all his competition had various reasons for not being named for this award (Injuries, Off Years, Not Playing all of the 2000s, etc al).

For Mariano, this is yet another accolade he is deservant of. While it is hard to quantify what Mariano has meant to the Yankees, Rebecca at Purist Bleeds Pinstripes tries to quantify how many wins Mariano has meant to the Yankees and does a damn good job and ESPN’s article does a damn good job as well. Enjoy ESPN’s article after the jump.

(more…)

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Recently, Mark Feinsand had a chance to talk to Jorge Posada about a variety of subjects while Jorge promoted two new DVDs — and The New York Yankees 2009 World Series Collector’s Edition and New York Yankees 2009: Season of Pride, Tradition & Glory — and had this to say…

Jorge was asked between Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes who was better suited to be a starter.

“It’s tough; both of them are very good with what they’re able to do in the bullpen,” Posada said. “Chamberlain did a hell of a job last year in the starting role early, and we know Hughes is capable of doing, too. Right now they’re in the rotation, but we’ll see if we can add someone.

“I would like to have one more starter and keep one of those guys in the bullpen. You can never have enough pitching, so I think we need one more arm in the starting rotation.”

“I’m going to miss Matsui,” Posada said. “I love the guy; everybody loves him. He’s a great player and a greater guy off the field. He stands out when you think about what it took for us to win that championship this year.”

On whether or not he can be a full-time catcher the next two years

“You have to understand where you are in your career; there are 162 games, and while I don’t think I can catch 135 or 140 games anymore, I can definitely still catch 115 or 120,” Posada said. As for Montero’s future, Posada sees himself playing a mentor role for the youngster, assuming he’s ready to play in the big-leagues while Posada is still here.

“I would love to have him there with me and teach him like I was taught,” Posada said. “I have to be a teacher now. I would like that. We’ll see if we have to do that.”

On Roy Halladay’s departure from the AL East

“Roy is awesome,” Posada said. “You can’t say enough about him. He’s a workhorse. We’ll probably see him later on.”

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According to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Yankees have interest in Matt Capps. Agent Paul Kinzer told Kovacevic that the interest in his client is “enormous”.

Here are a few more updates and rumors from MLBTR: 

  1. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney hears that the Red Sox are looking at righty outfielders such as Xavier Nady to contribute in a utility role.
  2. Newsday’s Ken Davidoff doesn’t expect the Yankees to commit to another nine-figure salary and sign Matt Holliday, especially since they need pitching.
  3. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the Yankees are glad to see Roy Halladay leave the AL East. I’m sure Yankees fans agree.
  4. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Yanks would be comfortable playing Melky Cabrera in left and using Johnny Damon as the primary DH.
  5. One veteran talent evaluator tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that the only clear winner is Seattle. Olney hears from some Yankees people who believe the Jays got less than what they were demanding from Brian Cashman & Co.
  6. Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a package for Halladay, but not Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.

My take:

  • With Hughes and Chamberlain expected to be slotted into the rotation, Capps could fill a void in the Yankees bullpen.
  • I wouldn’t offer Matt Holliday that kind of contract. How often do eight-year deals pan out anyway? The main priority right now is to bring back Johnny Damon.
  • It’s really nice to see the Yankees organization sticking with the young guns. They were asking for too much, and I’m just glad that Doc Halladay is out of the AL East. I’m sure Jesus Montero can get some sleep now…

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