Tag Archives: Colon

A-Rod, others suspended

Some dozen players were suspended for 50 games, basically the rest of this season, while Alex Rodriguez got 211 games— the rest of this season and all of 2014— for links to PEDS.

One player receiving 50 games was Yankees C Francisco Cervelli, who because of a broken hand and other ailments has played in just 17 games this year. He did have a surprising 3 HR in those 17 games. Maybe now we know why.

Others included Fernando Martinez at AAA S/WB, just picked up by the Yanks for minor league depth a few weeks ago, ex-Yankee prospect Jesus Montero, now with Seattle, Nelson Cruz of Texas, Everth Cabrera of SD (who just killed the Yanks this weekend), Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, Bastardo of the Phils and Valdespin from the Mets.

Ryan Braun ‘fessed up a couple of weeks ago and got a 65-game ban.

Players like Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera were already nabbed and won’t face double jeopardy.

All these players accepted their suspensions except for A-Rod. A-Rod is appealing his suspension and will be allowed to play while he’s appealing.

Frankly, I don’t like that at all. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works. One huge distraction. I kind of want the Yanks to win, but Alex to go 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts. I feel dirty having him on the field right now.

If I were an opposing pitcher, I sure as hell would look to deck Alex.

A-Rod apparently got 211 games for obstructing the investigation, looking to destroy evidence, repeated violations of the PED policy and allegedly recruiting others into Biogenesis.

Frankly (again), I’m tired of A-Rod. $275 MM talent. 10 cent head. At this point, I wish he’d just go away.

Thinking pitching

Michael Pineda, who the Yanks traded Jesus Montero for and who showed up overweight last year, hurt his shoulder, needed surgery, and who missed all of 2012, so far looks ok in spring training, according to reports.

For one thing, Pineda, 6’7″, showed up at camp at 260 lbs.—-20 pounds less than last year. He’s been doing well as far as his workouts go and so far, the staff is happy with his progress.

Shoulder injuries are difficult to judge. The Yanks don’t expect any help from Pineda until at least June. He’s still just 24 years old with just one season of major league ball under his belt. In that season, Pineda was 9-10, 3.74, ERA+ 101 at the age of 22. He made the All-Star team, finished 5th in ROY voting and struck out 173 in 171 IP.

He had two different seasons that year. After games of the 4th of July, he was 8-5, 2.58. He went 2-5, 5.35 from that point to the end of the year. Whether it was batters adjusting, the 22 yr. old running out of gas or a combination of both, it’s not surprising.

But if he can join the Yanks in mid-season and be anything like his early 2011 self, he’d give the Yanks a big jolt. Of course, where they slot him could be problematic, being that the Yanks have CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes and Nova or Phelps at the #5 with the other as a long man in the bullpen.

But things work themselves out. You never know about injuries, and as the saying goes, “You never have enough pitching.”

Speaking of not having enough pitching, guess who threw for Billy Connors and in Connors words, looked good? None other than 2006/2007 ace Chien Ming Wang. Now as for the Yanks actually signing Wang, bringing him back to NY and him actually succeeding, well, I’ll believe that when I see it. From the time he made his MLB debut with the Yanks to the time he got hurt in Houston while scoring a run, Wang was 54-20, 3.79, ERA+ 117 in 95 starts and two relief appearances—in other words, divide by three. You’d have 32 starts a year (the average for a full year) and 18-7, 3.79. He led the majors in wins in 2006 with 19 and was the CYA runner-up. He won 19 again in 2007.

But since the injury, Wang has gone 7-12, 6.39, ERA+ just 65 in 25 starts and 8 relief appearances. Roughly one season of work since the summer of 2008. Last year he was 2-3, 6.68, in five starts and five relief appearances, ERA + 60, for Washington. It’s sad how his career has unfolded since that injury.

But he’ll still be just 33 on Opening Day. He probably can come cheap (which, it seems, the Yanks are looking for these days). The Yanks squeezed out a 12-8, 3.62 from Freddy Garcia for $1.5 MM in 2011. They got just 7-6, 5.20 from Freddy (now trying to latch on with SD) in 2012 for $4 MM. Not as cost-effective. But for the money, Freddy was a good bargain in 2011.

Likewise Bartolo Colon. Colon went 8-10, 4.00, ERA+ 107 for the Yanks in 2011, but his success is questioned since he was nabbed using a PED in 2012 and is also implicated in the Biogenesis stuff going on now. He was 10-9, 3.43 for the A’s before the suspension last year. Regardless, 8-10, 4.00 wasn’t bad for just $900K in 2011.

So the Yanks will watch Wang as he pitches for the Taiwanese team in the World Baseball Classic. Maybe they can get a Colon/Garcia bargain out of him for a year. Maybe. It’s worth a look, and “You never have enough pitching.”

Meanwhile, sometimes I see people down on Phil Hughes. Yes, Hughes ERA isn’t the greatest, but how many teams can boast of a #4 starter who hasn’t turned 27 yet (Hughes will in June) but who can still boast of an 18 win season (2010) and a 16 win season (2012)? Granted Hughes’ ERA’s in those years were pedestrian (4.19 and 4.23, ERA+ numbers of 103 and 99—average) but still, 18 and 16 wins are 18 and 16 wins. He tied Kuroda for the team lead in wins last year (while leading the team in losses). Yes, those 35 HR given up drove you nuts, but think of what I wrote. How many teams would like to have a #4 starter who is just entering his prime, not 27 yet and who already has won 16 or more twice?

Starters disappointing, a retirement, and guess who’s doing well?

Phil Hughes starts tonight, and the hope is that he stops a couple of bad outings by Yankee starters and straightens his own self out. So far Yankee starters haven’t been impressive in their April auditions, what with Pettitte and Pineda waiting in the wings. Twelve games into the season, the Yanks are 6-6. It’s a good thing no one is running away to a 10-2 or 11-1 start in the A.L. East. It’s early, but you never want to fall behind by too much too soon. It could be worse. Boston is 4-8.

I always want to end April .500 or over. The thing is, after the Twins, things don’t get easier. The Yanks go to Boston and the red-hot Texas, then come home and face Detroit. The starting pitching must improve or else the Yanks could end April under .500.

But three quality starts in twelve games isn’t going to get it done. Here are the starters so far. No time for panic, too soon for that, but definitely time for a correction.

CC 1-0, 5.59; Kuroda 1-2, 5.00; Nova 2-0, 4.15; Garcia 0-1, 6.97 and Hughes 0-2, 9.00. That’s downright ugly.

Meanwhile, guess who is 3-1, 2.63 for Oakland right now? Would you believe Bartolo Colon?

You wonder how big a start tonight is for Hughes. I’m all for giving someone a chance, and realize that Hughes is still 25, but there comes a time when a guy runs out of chances.

Meanwhile, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez announced his retirement. It’ll be interesting when his name gets on the Hall of Fame ballot. There have been suspicions of steroid abuse regarding him, and that is a shame. A catcher who was a 14x All-Star, 1999 A.L. MVP, 13x Gold Glover, 3 other top-10 MVP finishes, .296 hitter, over 2800 hits, over 300 HR, one of the best catchers EVER, should have been a first-ballot, no-brainer. But now?

Rodriguez was terrible when with the 2008 Yankees, but had a fabulous career that spanned 1991-2011 for the Rangers (1991-2002), Marlins (WS Champ 2003), Tigers (2004-2008), Yankees (2008), Astros (2009), Rangers II (2009), and Nationals (2010-2011). He hit .255-4-25 in 40 postseason games.

Yanks rotation could be decided on experience, options

The NY Post is reporting that Freddy Garcia is all but in the rotation, along with Phil Hughes, thus leaving Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda fighting for the last spot… for now (Pettitte on the horizon).

For today, it looks as if Ivan Nova will pitch in the minor league game while in S.T. Game #27 tonight, it’ll be Garcia.

This report from the Post goes against what the general consensus has been in the past couple weeks—that Garcia would be the long man, and that Pineda would be in the rotation.

It appears that experience, as well as who has options, has won the day along with perfomance.

Hughes, Nova and Pineda have options and can be sent down. CC (32 this summer), Pettitte (40 this summer), Kuroda (37) and Garcia (35) have the experience and the track record. Hughes has more MLB time than Nova and Pineda do.

So, if we go by that reasoning, what can we expect? Well, maybe something like this: Pineda gets sent down. Cashman will take the heat for that, being that he traded Montero for Pineda, and Pineda wouldn’t be producing from the get-go. There is concern that Pineda’s arm strength isn’t where it should be, that instead of hitting 96-97, he’s in the low 90’s. Sending him down would let Pineda hopefully work it back up…or for the Yanks to see IF he can work it back up. Pineda has options, and it appears as if the Yanks will have to use them. It’s tough to send someone down that was on the All-Star team last year and had a 3.74 ERA but… let’s consider someone ELSE…

… because this scenario would leave Nova to be the #5 starter… for NOW. Once Pettitte is ready in early May, Nova would then drop down to be the long-man out of the bullpen, as well as a spot starter. Should something happen to one of the other starters (and two of the five would be 35 or over, three of the five when Pettitte returns), either Nova would be ready to step back into the rotation for a spot start (and a AAA kid like Warren could be temporarily brought up to fill the long man role) or Pineda could be brought back up to start. Either way, Nova would be bounced from #5 starter to long-man/spot starter. I don’t see him going down…but he DOES have options and COULD go down. Now, if you think it’s hard to send down an 2011 All-Star in Pineda (9-10, 3.74), then how hard do you think it’ll be to drop Nova from the rotation into a long-man role or even send him to the minors after he went 16-4, 3.70 last year?

So, if I’m following the Post story correctly, Opening Day should see CC, Kuroda, Hughes, Garcia and Nova in the rotation, with Wade (who has had an awful spring… more on that in a bit) in the bullpen as a long-man. Right now it looks as if Clay Rapada could make the team as a second lefty in the bullpen along with Logan. So the BP would have Wade, Logan, Rapada, Robertson, Soriano, Mo… and a seventh member. I don’t know who that seventh member could be. If not Pineda, it wouldn’t be surprising to me to see maybe Adam Warren make it to be a mopup guy for a bit, until Pettitte is ready.

THEN, when Pettitte is ready in early May, he joins the rotation. Now you have CC, Kuroda, Hughes, Pettitte and Garcia, with Nova dropping down into long man/middle relief and maybe Warren (if he makes the team) then going back to AAA—or, maybe doing something with Wade. This is just my reading of the tea leaves provided by the NY Post.

A lot depends on what the Yanks will be doing with Pineda.

But it appears as if experience will win out…as well as who has options. It’ll be an interesting week of news regarding the rotation. Stay tuned.

In other Yankees related news: Bartolo Colon had a good debut for the A’s today over in Japan. 8 IP, 1 R, and the win. The A’s and Mariners are opening the season with a couple of games in Japan, then will come back to the U.S., resume S.T. for a week to get readjusted to the time change/jet lag, then pick up the regular season again. But a good game for Colon. Cespedes hit his 1st MLB HR today, and Montero, I believe, has started out 1 for 8.

Kei Igawa has gone back to Japan, signing a two-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes.

Neither Austin Romine and Russell Branyan have played an inning in S.T. due to back problems. Branyan could be released. Romine won’t be able to start the season for Empire State.

Update: I mentioned Warren above, could have said Kontos… but you know what I mean. I can’t see Pineda going to the bullpen, but think they rather would keep him stretched out as a starter—thus AAA or extended spring training. What they do with Nova… anyway, one thing I DID NOT mention above is the trickle down effect. You have the good rotation of youngsters at AAA—how does THAT get affected if Pineda or Nova is sent there? What do you do then? Bump one of THOSE guys (Warren, Phelps, Betances, Mitchell, Banuelos) down to AA? There is a lot to think about here.

BTW, my friends over at the BBD blog have a post up reporting that Banuelos has now added a fourth pitch— a cutter. Let’s hope he, at age 21, gains command. He’s coming along…

Fantastic finish.

I don’t know how today’s NFL games can top the finish of that 49ers/Saints game yesterday. What, four TD’s back-and-forth in the last 5 minutes or so? Once you thought it was over, it (as Yogi said) wasn’t. 49ers win and now find out if they host the Giants or go to Green Bay.

As for the other game, a blowout. Tebow (6 for 28) did what I thought he’d do against my Steelers. I give him credit for beating Pittsburgh, but New England was having none of it. A fabulous game by Brady (6 TD passes) as it was a blowout by halftime.

Today, Texans at Ravens, Giants at GB. As for GB, cue that old Three Dog Night song, “Eli’s Coming.”

It appears that Bartolo Colon found a new team. It could be the A’s.

Just some reminders. There is an RSS feed. Comments are welcomed (just keep it clean in case there are kiddies reading), and if you want to advertise, you may, but there are rates.

Oh, Btw, Cespedes isn’t impressing in some games right now. It may take him a while to get his bearings, but so far… trouble with the slider and it’s making his stock drop…

Yanks bring Wade back.

The Yanks are bringing back Cory Wade, who can earn a bit over 1/2 a million if he stays with the Yanks for all of 2012.

Wade had a decent 2011 with the Yanks, going 6-1, 2.04 in 40 games (39 2/3 IP), ERA+ 218. He had 30 K and just 8 walks.

The Red Sox offered Jason Varitek a minor league deal. That sounds kind of like what the Yanks offered Bernie Williams around this time five years ago. Cue the Clash song for Varitek, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”. Go meaning, join Posada in retirement. (Rumor of deal denied by Boston’s GM).

D-Backs have interest in Colon (or as one wit on Twitter suggested, at this stage of his career, semi-Colon) ;

Rumors are that Oswalt’s asking price is down to $8M, Kuroda’s $10-11M, with Kuroda having interest in Boston or NY. Hmm. Now you have to multiply x 1.4 because of the luxury tax, but I’m all for Oswalt, 1 year at $8 million ($11.2 with cap). The question is… his back. Oswalt was 9-10, 3.69 for the Phils in 2011, ERA+ 105. He missed 10 starts or so. He is just 34. A one-year deal could be ok, but is he healthy? The year before, Oswalt split the year between Houston and Philly, and was 13-13 but with a 2.76 ERA (ERA+ 146), led the NL in whip, and finished 6th in the CYA voting.

Oswalt is 159-93, 3.21 in his career (ERA+ 133).

Kerry Wood back to the Cubs.

 

Selig: Commissioner for life?

Bud Selig, 77, has been given a two-year extension as baseball’s commissioner. Hmm… is it time to call him Kenesaw? Commish for life? Heck, he’s been in that position LONGER than Landis was.

You wonder if baseball does have a successor in mind.

I read reports of Boston possibly bringing the (Vincente) Padilla Flotilla to Fenway. Padilla, 34, pitched just 8 2/3 innings for the Dodgers in 2011. (0-0, 4.15). He was 6-5, 4.07 in 16 starts (ERA+ 95) for the Dodgers in 2010. For his career, 104-90, 4.31, ERA+ 100. It looks like one of those “take a flyer” deals that worked for the Yanks (with Colon) for most of last year.