Tag Archives: Austin Jackson

Schedule, Home, Granderson…Cures?

After a mediocre month of May, (13-12 so far), the Yanks come home to what they hope will be some cures.

Granderson should be back in the lineup. Russo did nice work while there, but an OF upgrade. I wonder who goes for Granderson. Probably Russo, but to be honest, I’d kind of like to keep Russo and DFA the so-far mostly unproductive Winn. It’s one thing that Winn isn’t hitting, (.213), but when he does get on, he isn’t even stealing (1 for 1; this from a guy with 210 in his career, 16 last year).

But then, Gardner has 17 SB. The team has 31. I know A-Jax and Damon aren’t here, but I wonder. Jeter had 30 last year. Just 4 for 5 this year. This from a guy with 309. Derek’s numbers have been erratic the last few years. Since 2004, 23-14-34-15-11-30 and on pace for 14. Alex has just 2 SB. He is on pace for 7. This from a guy with 299. Who once was a 40-40 guy. Alex’s Yankee numbers are (since 2004, same timeframe as Jeter) 28-21-15-24-18-14 and a pace for 7). Age? Injuries? Why aren’t they running?

Yes, no Damon. Matsui we know couldn’t run and Nick Johnson can’t (that is, when he is healthy). Other guys cannot run. If guys who can steal aren’t stealing (Winn, Jeter, Alex), then Gardner is left alone. Pena doesn’t play enough, same for Golson (when up). As for Damon in Detroit, he is just 3 for 4 this year. Last year with the Yanks? 12 for 12. But more indication of some guys not running.

In case you are wondering, Austin Jackson is 7 for 8 for the Tigers in SB (and has a whopping 53 K’s despite his .335 BA) and Melky is at 1 for 2 in SB (and hitting .235).

So Damon / Melky haven’t been turning on the jets either, just in case you were wondering what they’d have done had they stayed in the Bronx. Matsui, who can’t run, is struggling at .238. Just so you know.

Granderson hopefully improves the defense (no more Thames in LF, for example). More speed out there with he and Gardner (moving back to LF). Granderson was 4 for 4 in SB before he went down. Granted only .225, but those 4 SB mean that even though he was out, that he is STILL tied with Jeter for second on the team right now.

Hopefully home cooking and a more favorable schedule will heat up the Yanks. Some bats have to wake up, notably Alex and Teixeira. We’ve been saying that for a while, now.

Between now and June 14, there are sixteen games. Ten at home. Those games are against the Indians, Orioles, Blue Jays and Astros. The Yanks goal should be at least 12-4. They are 4 1/2 back of the Rays. Time to make up ground. We will see on June 14 if the Yanks have accomplished anything over the next 16 games.

Now is the time to make a move.

After 47 games, some paces:

Jeter. On pace for .283 (which would be the lowest of his career)-18-97. He has only had one 100 RBI season in his career because of where he usually hits. Interesting pace of RBI considering that he bats leadoff. The 14 steals. 37 walks.

Teixeira. On pace for just 26 HR, but 103 RBI. Only .216.

Alex. On pace for just 21 HR but 110 RBI. Not bad, but where are the HR? .284. Just those 7 steals.

Cano. On pace for .342, 103 RBI and 31 HR.

Swisher. interesting with the .295 BA right now. 28-86. On target.

Gardner has been slumping, but if he finishes at .293 with 59 SB…I’ll take that.

Hopefully the return of Granderson and the schedule wakes up the lineup, and injects some speed back into it.

It is sorely needed. As Waldman pointed out, the last three wins have been by scores of 3-2, 1-0 and 2-1. 

Game 8. Fans unforgiving of 2004 as Vazquez struggles again in 5-3 loss. Don’t tell them the #3 hitter is hitting .097.

Fans are fickle, and unforgiving. Sometimes though, they need to see more numbers.

Yes, Javy Vazquez disappointed again today, giving up 4 runs in 5 1/3 in falling to 0-2 for the season. ERA 9.82. When he was removed, fans who haven’t forgiven him for giving up JD’s grand slam in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS booed him.

Yes, he was lousy. I do wonder how many fans remember who STARTED that Game 7, 2004 ALCS game?

Wasn’t Javy.

It was Kevin Brown. Who ranks with Pavano and Ed Whitson in Yankee pitcherdom.

Not to exonerate Javy. But let’s see where he is say, June 1 to 15 or so?

BTW, Boos for Javy. I’m not saying to go boo this next fellow I mention, but the #3 hitter happens to be sitting at .097 right now. But in Mark Teixeira’s case, timing is everything. 3 for 31 in early April, ok. But imagine if that 3 for 31 was in late October?

He’d be getting the “choker” label Winfield got. Or A-Rod. Now, no.

…and for the people mad at Vazquez who want Melky back? Where would he play? Do they know Melky has started 3 for 29?

Taking a look around, Matsui off to a good start (before coming back to NY), but Damon and Ian Kennedy are struggling along with the Melkman.

5-3 loss today for the Yanks. After Vazquez, Aceves went 1 2/3, 1 R, Joba 1 IP, scoreless, Marte 1 scoreless.

Jeter had two hits (2759). A-Rod 0 for 3, 3 strikeouts.

It’s early. If a hitter is under the Mendoza Line on June 1st, boo. If Vazquez is 1-6, 7.50 then, boo.

But Lordy, give the guy a chance. Get over 2004 already. You can’t change the past.     

Hot commodity

Taking a school with 4800 to one three-point shot of the national championship—against a Goliath (I know, it’s been overused this week, but…) like Duke and Coach K. Think Brad Stevens stock isn’t sky high right now? And to think, only 33.

Just checking. A-Jax 1 for 5 yesterday, RBI, double. JD 2 for 5, double and 2 RBI. Godzilla 2 hits, including a HR.

Golson’s HR wins today’s S.T. game 9-8; Joba struggles, but an interesting take on the #5 slot.

Greg Golson’s 2-run HR in the 9th won today’s S.T. game vs. the Tigers 9-8. JD didn’t play, but got to schmooze with some old buddies.

Curtis Granderson also got to schmooze, as he went back to his old spring training grounds in Lakeland. Granderson flashed what Yankees fans hope to see, 2 hits and a superb over-the-shoulder catch.

Mark Teixeira had a HR— off of Phil Coke.

For the Tigers, A-Jax went 1-4 and scored a run. Zach Miner gave up 2 runs. Dan Schlereth (son of ESPN’s Mark, the ex-NFLer) gave up 2 R, 1 ER.

Pitching-wise, Joba had two scoreless innings but lost it in the third when he was hammered. 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 1 K. A grand slam given up. Not good, but Sam Borden at LoHud gives his take on it.  I worry about the “Run out of gas” part. Starters shouldn’t do that in the third. Maybe it is better that Joba be the snorting bull coming out of the pen when the gates open.

Phil Hughes came in after Joba and gave up a HR. He was also saved by the Granderson catch. 2 2/3, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Borden’s take is interesting in that both pitchers were working on various things, whether it be working inside to righties (Joba) or working on the change (Hughes). Yes, there are things normal fans don’t know about in looking at the boxscores. Borden seems to think Hughes has the lead in the #5 derby.  I do wonder however, if the 2010 Yanks would be better with Aceves (18 up, 18 down) as the #5 with both Joba AND Phil in the bullpen. There are some in the Yankee front office that feel so. Then again, there is another faction that feels that with Pettitte 38, that one or the other has to be broken in as a starter. Lastly, is Aceves more valuable in long relief or as a starter? Ace was 10-1 out of the bullpen last year—leading the majors in relief wins.

Jason Hirsh had a scoreless inning with two Ks. They say not to believe what you see in March or October, but so far he’s had a nice spring. He may be SWB-bound with a chance to be a midseason callup in case of injury. Hirsh, 28, is 8-11, 5.32 for his career, but that was as a starter for Houston and Colorado. Joba and Hughes seemed to work better from the bullpen thus far. Could Hirsh be similar in that regard?


Quiet…for now.

We never know when a story will develop, but all is quiet for now. There is rumors of possible A’s interest in Damon, although as Chad Jennings (for one from a Buster Olney tweet) writes at LoHud, it seems like Ben Sheets is more on their radar. Meanwhile, Damon is still in Clarence “Frogman” Henry mode—Ain’t Got No Home.

Nice point by Jennings on A-Jax:

Austin Jackson will go into spring training as a favorite for the Tigers lead-off spot. By comparison, the Yankees had Jackson open last season batting sixth because they didn’t want to put too much pressure on him… in Triple-A

There are rumors that the Yanks inquired about Nelson Cruz of Texas. It’d take a little. Cruz did, after all, hit 33 HR and steal 20 bases for the Rangers last year. It was a breakout year for someone 29. Was it a fluke?

Jim Thome is still looking for a home for his 564 HR after being rejected by the Chisox.


Hairston to SD becomes reality

Since the WS, OF’s (and OF/DHs) Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon (it appears), Melky Cabrera and Eric Hinske have departed the Yankees. Not to mention minor leaguer Austin Jackson and Shelley Duncan.

Add Jerry Hairston to that list today, as he signed with the Padres.

As of now, it’s Gardner, Granderson, Swisher…and…who else? Jamie Hoffmann? 

Who else will there be?

Odds and ends. Who else this offseason? LF?

Interesting in that A-Jax and the Melkman are gone but nothing on LF. (Remember that Hairston and Hinske are free agents and we don’t know where they may be headed). So as of now you have Granderson, Gardner and Swisher, and despite everything, Cashman insists that Granderson is the CF.

So who plays LF? Damon has basically said that he knows that he doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll. To which I would like to add this to all the Holliday dreamers (nice pun this time of year, but unintended): If JD doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll, what makes you think Bay or Holliday will? Wouldn’t it just be easier to bring JD back? After all, he’s a proven entity in NY, unlike the others. Probably cheaper, too. But if he doesn’t fit, then Bay or Holliday won’t either.

As Mike Puma writes in the Post, Damon says that his price is too high for them right now. he doesn’t think he is their solution.

Cashman calls LF “an evolving situation.” I had my pick of Byrd. Who knows about DeRosa at $6M. It appears that JD won’t lower his demands to that range. Cashman states that he won’t be adding a major player to the OF.

What Cashman said I do agree with. It’s easier to find someone for LF than find a pitcher for the #4 spot—especially one who won 15 games last year, consistently gives 200 IP and 200K and was 4th in CYA voting.

No offense to MLBTR, but on 11/11 I pulled off their list of 2010 Top 50 Free Agents and their picks on where people would wind up. They have been consistently wrong. About the only ones they had correct were Pettitte back to the Yanks and Scutaro to Boston. That’s about it.

So who are the OF remaining on the list? Holliday, Bay, Damon (and if you believe Cashman, scratch all of them), Byrd, Vlad (if you think he can play the OF anymore; as with Matsui, I think not); Russell Branyan (yeah, I know, but I’m just listing him here because he has played LF in 150 games; no, I am not interested; great lefty power, .234 BA; 113 OPS+; tons of K’s; 162 game average .234-30-73 with 174 Ks. Last year for Seattle “all or nothing” Branyan hit .251-31-76 with 149 Ks, OPS+ 128). Jermaine Dye is also out there (mostly RF and I don’t think he would be good at switching to LF in Yankee Stadium; also 36 and if the Yanks don’t want to pay for a 36 year old JD, then Dye is off the radar, too).

…and one more name. I wonder if he fits the Yanks plans. I obviously don’t have the medical records and don’t know how that throwing arm is recovering…

but could the 2010 LF be the X-man? Xavier Nady? Nady is a free agent who has no leverage, missing most of the 2009 season (8 for 28, 4 doubles, 2 RBI). Nady is a .280 career hitter. 162 game average .280-21-78. I’d like him to walk a bit more, as his bb/k ratio is 34/107. The career OPS+ is 108.

This offseason, we look at all kinds of various lineups with possible pickups/trades. Let’s say (and I’ll use the Johnson 2nd scenario rather than the Johnson 5th, which is what I’d prefer).

Jeter SS
Johnson DH (with the OBP)
Teixeira 1b
Alex 3b
Granderson CF
Nady LF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF

I put it that way for R/L/S/R/L/R/S/L/S.  … and batting 9th is a guy who had 29 HR and 82 RBI last year. Let me say it again… insane.

I am wondering if Nady may be the rabbit up Cashman’s sleeve. He made $6.55 M in 2009 but $3.35M in 2008 and $2.15M in 2007. Unlike JD, who is coming off a great year and great postseason, Nady has no leverage, coming off a wasted year.

You wonder about his health. Maybe Cashman sees the medical records. Maybe the X-man is the answer at $2M with incentives?

Today I heard talk about that other team in NY. Are they still alive? Good point on Colin Cowherd’s show. Bay turned down Boston, and apparently the only other offer is from the Mets? Shows how badly he wants the Mets, right? The same goes with Benjie Molina, whom the Mets also offered a contract to. Neither exactly rushed to sign it. Not only that, Jason Marquis, a NY lad, didn’t sign with the Mets but went to…the Nationals.

Nice piece by Joel Sherman today. Apparently the Yanks were aware that Holliday would require too much (and Toronto would prefer keeping him out of the division), the Phils wouldn’t like dealing Lee to the team that just beat them in the Series, and despite looking at Harang, Zambrano and a free-agent crop including Piniero, Washburn (looking at him yet again) and Garland, they weren’t bowled over by any of them.

Also interesting in Sherman’s take that Vazquez may have better stuff than Lackey but the fortitude question comes up.

I see Sherman (as I read his column now) raised the point I discussed yesterday: about Vazquez being a 4, and not the projected ace of 2004. Sherman also points out what I pointed out above: Nady on a low-base, high incentive contract could be an option. Lastly he points out something else I mentioned yesterday: either Hughes or Joba gets #5 with the “loser” setting up Mo. Some loss. Other teams would like “losers” like that, right? So it may appear that those who wanted Joba in the bullpen all along (and then take over for Mo) may be getting their wish.

Sad news today for one like me who was a child in the 1960’s (that is age-wise; child IN the 60s not OF the 60’s!): Connie Hines, who played Mrs. Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed, died.

I know he is doing well with the Vikings but I can’t take the Brett Favre drama anymore. The wanting to go back with the Pack after announcing his “retirement.” The going to the Jets. More wishy-washiness. Now the incident(s) with Childress. It seems like Favre thinks he is bigger than the NFL sometimes. I respect his accomplishments… as for the man himself, not so much.

Lastly, let’s hope that Vazquez has a bit of “Ralph Terry” in him. Vazquez, of course, gave up the grand slam to JD in Game 7 of the ALCS that ensured Boston’s 2004 comeback. Let’s hope for redemption, ala Terry. After all, it was Terry who gave up Mazeroski’s WS-winning HR in 1960, only to win two games in the 1962 WS, becoming the MVP of that Series. A 1-0 shutout in Game 7. Granted he got a little lucky when McCovey’s liner went straight to Richardson, but after Maz, Ralph could use the luck.

For those bashing the trade because of what happened in 2004, they best remember their Yankee history and hope the redemption Terry received in 1962 is experienced by Vazquez.  

Yanks rumored to be near Granderson deal

It’s not official, but all reports are that barring someone failing a physical, a 3-team trade between the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks is going to be completed in which the Yankees will get OF Curtis Granderson from the Tigers while giving up Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Tigers and Ian Kennedy to the D-Backs.

The Tigers would also get Max Scherzer and Dan Schlereth (son of ex-NFLer and current ESPNer Mark) while Arizona gets Edwin Jackson from the Tigers along with Kennedy.

Granderson comes with good and bad points. A good, from Chad Jennings at LoHud:

One thing to like about Granderson: He’s at his best when he’s pulling the ball. And managed to pull the ball roughly 50 percent of the time last season. And pulling the ball is a good thing for a left-handed hitter to do in Yankee Stadium. (My note: dead pull lefty hitter at Yankee Stadium. I’m thinking Maris and Nettles here).

A good, from me:

Granderson is 28, 29 in March, as opposed to Damon 36 and Matsui 35.  

A bad, from LoHud’s Sam Borden (stat by me):

“He can’t hit lefties”: No doubt, Granderson’s lefty splits last year were bad. But for those who use this as the cornerstone of their argument, how about you take a guess at how often the average player faces a lefty pitcher in a given season?

Stats by me (451 AB vs. RHP .275-28-62 with an OPS of .897; 180 vs. lefties, .183-2-9 with an OPS of .484; Career .292, OPS .894 vs. RHP, .210 OPS .614 vs. lefties)   

Borden: Last year, the Yankees faced lefties in just about 30 percent of their plate appearances – to me, that’s hardly enough to use it as a determining factor, especially when a) you have a hitting coach who you ostensibly trust to improve your players; and b) you’re talking about a correctable skill.

Consider this: In 1993, the Yankees brought in an outfielder who had an OBP of .273 against LHP the previous season. By 1994, he had a .439 OBP against lefties. That player was Paul O’Neill

Good point made by Borden here, emphasis mine, although I admit to hate losing the kid:

Coke wasn’t a closer of the future, which means that – as a bullpen piece – he’s certainly expendable; and Kennedy, while certainly talented, wasn’t nearly on the same level as Hughes/Chamberlain and had irked some Yankee officials with his ego. (A point from me: He irked some of us FANS, also. Jason called him “What Me Worry?” Ian E. Neuman Ian E. Neuman? on his Heartland Pinstripes blog).  So basically it comes down to how you feel about Austin Jackson and, as I’ve said before, when you’re talking about a team like the Yankees it’s almost always the right play to go with the established player over the player who is only potential.

Anyone who says they know what Jackson is going to be is lying. No one knows. Those who say the “best he could be is Curtis Granderson” don’t know that, just like those who say “he’ll be better than Granderson in three years” don’t know that either. All we do know is that RIGHT NOW Jackson is a player who has done very well in the minor leagues and Granderson is a player who has done very well in the major leagues. To me, that’s the part that makes this trade a steal – you traded a player who MAY be good for a player who IS good, and also happens to be young and economically friendly. (Granderson is said to be only $5.5M for 2010, $8.25M in 2011 and $10M in 2012, which, considering Damon and Matsui both made $13M in 2009, seems cheap). 

(By the way, it’s natural to compare Jackson and Granderson but the two aren’t similar players; Jackson has more speed, but also has yet to show anything close to the kind of power that Granderson has shown.)

(My note: .300-4-65 with 24 steals at AAA this year. .285-9-69, 19 SB at AA in 2008. .304-13-59 with 33 SB combined in 2007. A-Jax will be 23 in February. Granderson had 30 HR this year and Detroit isn’t as friendly as Yankee Stadium’s RF would appear to be for Granderson. Granderson has gone 19-23-22 and 30 HR over the last four years. On the downside, the average in that time has been .260-.302-.280 and .249. He was 10th in MVP voting in 2007 and an All-Star last year. Gardner-like speed with 23 triples in 2006 and 13 in 2007, both times leading the league, and a good basestealer, 26/27 in 2007, 12/16 in 2008 and 20/26 in 2009. One bad thing: his strikeouts. Over 140 of them in 2006, 2007 and 2009 with a whopping 174 (led league) in 2006. His 162 game average is .272-25-72 with 16 SB. OPS+ 113. 66 walks but 149 whiffs.)

Another good point made by Borden, emphasis mine again:

The Yankees are hardly done dealing this winter. With Hughes/Joba/Montero still on the roster, they can still at least talk about Roy Halladay. And with Granderson in the fold, the Yankees can take a harder – and appropriate – line on Damon.

Scott Boras has said Damon has multi-year offers and this is the Yankees calling that bluff. If Damon would come back for one year (or at most two), then he gives the Yankees a DH who can play the OF on days when someone else needs to DH – or just what they’re looking for in that spot. If anything, the Granderson trade may affect Hideki Matsui’s chances of returning to the Yankees more than it does Damon’s.

Of course, you now wonder about the domino effect. Ideally, the Yanks would like to have Damon back to DH and let Matsui go. I love Matsui, but Damon could still, as Borden states, play the OF once in a while while DHing most of the time—as opposed to Matsui who didn’t play an inning in the OF this past season. Granderson provides the Yankees with youth, and let’s face it…they were one of the older teams (Posada 38, Pettitte 37, Rivera now 40, Damon is now 36, Matsui and Jeter 35, Alex 34) to win a WS.  

Of course you also wonder about the effect on Melky and on Gardner. The Yankees could re-sign Damon, put him and his weak arm at DH and move Melky and his stronger arm to LF. Gardner could be a backup OF/defensive replacement (think Swisher)/top PR. You know how I feel about having two CFs—one in LF the better one in CF—in Yankee Stadium given its 399 LCF. This would accomplish that.

Of course the Yankees aren’t done. Maybe Melky or Gardner gets used in another deal, and I wouldn’t just write Godzilla off yet.   

Kennedy was expendable given his injuries and the emergence of Joba and Hughes. He will be 25 soon and has just 14 MLB games under his belt. 1-4, 6.03. Due to an aneurysm, he only pitched in four minor league games and one major league game this season, totalling 23 2/3 IP. In 2008, between 77 IP in the minors and his disastrous 0-4, 8.17 stint with the Yankees, Ian only totalled 116 2/3 IP. Even if he makes the D-Backs starting rotation, how many innings can he provide given his lack of them the past two seasons? How will Arizona use him?

Does trading Jackson mean the Yankees will try harder to keep other prospects like Zach McAllister or Jesus Montero? Does this rule out Halladay? 

Coke, 27, was 4-3, 4.50 for the Yanks in 2009 after going 1-0, 0.61 in a brief stint in 2008. He went 0-0, 0.00 in the ALDS and ALCS but gave up 2 HR in his 1 1/3 IP in the WS, 0-0, 13.50.

I wonder about the other lefty reliever. I saw a rumor about Mike MacDougal, a righty reliever but am not thrilled about that. Right now the only lefty would be Marte, unless the Yanks want to give a good, hard look at Zach Kroenke, who was 7-1, 1.99 at AAA in 2009 and who is 25. Kroenke was 7-0, 2.85 between AA/AAA in 2008. Other than that, I wonder who they have interest in as far as a lefty.

Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration from the Braves, so forget that interest unless there is a trade. Soriano could join Wagner and Saito in the Braves bullpen. It’d be interesting to see how outgoing manager Bobby Cox keeps all three happy.  

Interesting to see that Ivan Rodriguez signed a two-year deal with the Nats (no, he won’t be the player to come later in the Bruney deal! That will be the Nats top Rule-5 pick). Seeing what Pudge gave the Yanks in 2008 (very little), none of us thought the 38 year old had two years left.

Thanksgiving Thoughts and a look ahead.

The one and only “Yankee Truth”, Josh, sent me a gift this week. It’s a Yankee Trivia Teaser book first printed in 2007. While appreciative (you know the saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth?), I do NOT recommend the book.

It has more errors in it than the gloves of the 1962 Mets. Let’s see, if I call the publisher (that is, if it is still in print) and get paid X amount of dollars for each error I caught, I’d make…

Here’s one. When discussing Vic Raschi, the book states that he gave up Hank Aaron’s first MLB HR in August of 1953. There is a problem. Hammerin’ Henry did touch Vic for #1 of his 755, but Aaron didn’t come up to the majors until 1954 (1st HR, April 23, 1954). Raschi was still with the Yanks in 1953 (as part of a killer quartet of Reynolds, Raschi, Lopat and Ford—Reynolds was used mostly in relief, though).

I picked up Baseball Insider this week, which I usually don’t do. I did it because they have a feature where they analyze projected 2012 lineups. Interesting, since who in 2006 had CC, AJ or Teixeira on the Yankees? Who in 2006 would have predicted the decline of Wang due to injury? Who would have predicted Swisher? You don’t know about free agency, injuries or trades.

Nonetheless, here is what they had (lineup order from me, as to where I’d put them if their prediction becomes true).

Gardner CF
Jeter SS (at 37 on Opening Day 2012, with some 3140 hits in tow?)
Teixeira 1B
Alex 3B (at 36 Opening Day 2012, which makes you wonder about the D on the left side of the infield; in the spring of 2012, A-Rod shouldn’t be too far behind Mays’ 660 HR and should have about 2830 hits himself as he hopes to end 2012 with #3000).
Cano 2B
Montero DH (at the age of 22)
Jackson RF (that’s Austin at age 25, not Reggie!)
Cabrera LF (ummm…Melky, not Miggy).
Cervelli C (but as Baseball Insider points out, possibly Austin Romine at 23).

Young with A-Jax, Montero and Romine. You wonder about some power, which Montero is expected to provide (.325, 37 HR in 257 minor league games so far and still not 20 yet—a few days away). Austin Jackson hit .300 at AAA this year at age 22, but had just 4 HR. 24 SB. You hope the power starts to develop.

No Damon (38), Matsui (37), Swisher, or Posada (40). But as I’ve noted, this doesn’t take into account any free agent signings or trades from now until 2012.

Now for the pitchers.

CC, AJ, Hughes, McAllister and Brackman as the starters with Joba closing.

Ok, Pettitte would be 39 and most likely retired. Mo would be 42, and who knows about him?

Hughes would still be just 25 on Opening Day 2012. Joba would be 26.

As for Zach McAllister, he would be 24 at that time. This year the 21 year old went 7-5, 2.23 for AA Trenton in 22 starts. He is 30-22, 2.81 in his minor league career. He and CC could be power forwards for the 0-14 Nets (maybe they should be). McAllister is 6’6″ and weighs 230.

I can’t figure out how Brackman made this list. Granted Baseball Insider (USA TODAY) states that Brackman was slowed by TJ surgery, but his 2009 numbers were horrendous. He will be 24 on December 4th (meaning 26 on Opening Day 2012) but has a LONG way to go after a 2009 which saw these numbers:

2-12, 5.91 at LOW A Charleston. 19 starts out of his 29 games. 106 2/3 IP.
103 K, but 76 walks. 10 HBP and 26 wild pitches.

But hey, he is 6’10” and 270…there’s always the Nets…(BTW, my local newspaper’s NBA coverage is so poor you need a magnifying glass to see it).

Interesting signings. This year the Chisox let Jim Thome go (right after he passed Reggie on the HR list with #564). The 39 year old’s chances of hitting 600 don’t look good unless he can find an AL team. After going to the Dodgers at the end of August, he was just 4 for 17, all as a PH. He hasn’t played in the field since 2007. With the White Sox in 2009 he was .249-23-74, OPS+ still a good 122 (Overall .249-23-77, 118). He does still whiff a lot, 123 times, but the OPS+ numbers show something may be left. The White Sox let him go in August…presumably to get younger??? (Trade for a minor leaguer).

But who do they sign this week? Andruw Jones. Yup. Andruw Jones, who will still (believe it or not) is just 32 but whose last couple years have been like this:

2007 .222-26-94 OPS+ 87 Atlanta
2008 .158-  3-14 OPS+ 35 (you read that right; pitcher’s stats) 75 games. Dodgers 
2009 .214-17-43 OPS+ 100 (league average; 82 games in the hitter’s park in Texas).

You may talk about Andruw’s defense (10 GG) , but consider this…he only played 17 games in the OF for the Rangers this past season. The rest of the time, it was DH… 

Before that signing this week, the Pale Hose signed Omar Vizquel, who is 42. Omar did decently enough this past year, .266-1-14 as a backup for Texas. Vizquel’s career OPS+ is just 83. He’ll be an interesting HOF case. Over 2700 hits, .273 (same as Rizzuto), 389 SB. 11 GG.

I don’t see the upside in Andruw, and wonder how much Vizquel has left.

Heck, Ozzie Guillen is just 39 months older than Vizquel. Ozzie will be 46 in January.

Guillen’s last full year came at the age of 33 in 1997. His last year was in 2000. The ROY in 1985 and Manager of the Year in 2005 (when the White Sox won their only WS since 1917) hit .264 as a player (3x AS, 1 GG). The OPS+ was only 68 because he NEVER walked. His 162 game average was .264-2-50 with 14 SB but just 19 walks. AN OBP of … ugh…. .287.

Alex Gonzalez (of Game 4 2003 WS Jeff Weaver infamy) left Boston to go to Toronto. MLBTR states that Boston has interest in Scutaro.

Shelley Duncan, taken off the 40-man, refused an assignment back to AAA SWB and is now a free agent.



A prospect list.

Top Prospect Alert has their top 10 prospects for the Yanks in 2010.  

No surprise at #1 or #2.

Update: I see more people on various blogs talking about Mike Cameron again. Lord knows, Cameron will be 37 in January and whiffs as often as Granderson. I have no desire for a 37 year old CF and feel no need to trade one of the top two prospects in the system who will be just 23 next year (Austin Jackson).

But then, some of these same people probably wanted Joba AND Hughes and more (Cano? Melky?) gone for Johan Santana a few years ago….which would have meant NO CC.

Granted Santana is great. But the Yanks won the WS with Joba, Hughes, Melky, and Cano on the team. I don’t get rid of A-Jax.  The power needs to develop from him, but you don’t give up on the kid…especially for a 37 year old Cameron. For Granderson, who is 29, hmm….but there is no way I give up on an A-Jax for someone 14 years older. Some may say it’s “buying time for A-Jax” but what if A-Jax proves early next year that he is ready NOW. What do you do with Cameron then?

Lord knows that the Yanks have age issues with Damon and Matsui. Has anyone looked at Cameron’s birth certificate to see that he is older than both of them? How many over 35 players do you want?           

It’s an old story, though. People don’t want to give youngsters chances but will rely on a “name”—even if that name is past its prime and won’t recapture old and lost glories.

Patience IS a virtue….especially with young ballplayers.

Update II: I do see a lot who are down on Gardner. I don’t have time to get into that now, but BG, while not providing power, does provide speed and defense…things sorely lacking in previous years. There is concern about his ability to hit in the majors, but he did hit .270. His postseason wasn’t so good. Maybe not an everyday CF, but for the D and speed, still worthy. More at another time.