Tag Archives: Victorino

Who’s left?

Well, two people I would have been interested in are off the market. Victorino signed with Boston and Soria with Texas.

I was thinking Victorino for the OF (younger than Ichiro, and losing Swisher… 3 GG, speed) and Soria, coming off TJ surgery as a replacement for Soriano.

Now they are not there. Meanwhile the Yanks have needs at RF (Swisher leaving), C (Martin left), 3B (Alex out 1/2 a year, Chavez a F.A.),  DH (Ibanez a F.A.) and possibly SS (will Jeter be ready for the opener after that broken ankle?).

One person out there is Cody Ross. Ross, 32 soon, hit .267-22-81, OPS+113, for Boston this year and his 162 g. ave. for his career is .262-22-83, OPS+ 107. Swisher-like, but not a switch-hitter (he hits righty). He has postseason experience, having been on the 2010 WS Champs, the Giants (and he hit .294-5-10 in that postseason, winning the NLCS MVP). You wonder if he and the Yanks could reach a deal. What’s his a$king price?

But he’d fill just one hole (RF). There are many more holes to fill.

How many holes in the dike must Cashman plug?

More off the board.

So Shane Victorino, who I would have liked for RF (to replace Swisher, and in place of the aging Ichiro) is off the board, having gone to Boston as a free agent.

It does mean that Cody Ross, who hit .267-22-81, OPS+ 113 for Boston last year is available. The righty hitter could be a match for the Yanks for RF now. For his career, the 32 (soon) year old has a 162 g. ave. of .262-22-83, OPS+ 107… numbers similar to Swisher. In the postseason, he’s .294-5-10 in 51 AB. Do the Yanks pursue Ross, now?

I also wanted Joakim Soria, in part to replace Soriano, but Soria is off to Texas.

There isn’t too much more I wanted. Of those out there I was interested in, only Jeff Keppinger makes sense. He would be a better utility man than Nix, and could platoon with Chavez at 3B until A-Rod comes back.

With Jeter’s injury (will he be ready for Opening Day?), Keppinger would be insurance there.

You wonder about Nunez. If they won’t use him in a utility role, is he trade bait?

Yankees interested in Victorino, Miller dies, Keppinger injury

The Yanks are supposedly interested in Shane Victorino. I’d applaud this move (see my post of a few days ago). He’s seven years younger than Ichiro, has three Gold Gloves of his own, and provides speed like Ichiro (39). I love Ichiro, but how old of a team do you want?

Marvin Miller died today at the age of 95. It is a shame he isn’t in the HOF yet, but that could be because of the owners. Maybe also some writers with a grudge. One thing is for certain. Any player who doesn’t attend his funeral, send flowers, send condolences or give money to Miller’s charity is an ungrateful POS. Miller was the great emancipator for the players. He fought for their rights, gave them free agency and made them millionaires. Every player owes PLENTY to Marvin Miller.

Jeff Keppinger, who the Yanks have been interested in as a utility man for quite some time (and probably still are), and who hit .325 last year, and who has a .288 career B.A., fractured a fibula in an accident recently. He should still be good for spring training, but you wonder if it will scare off some teams.

Who should the Yanks target?

Now that the Yanks brought back Kuroda, and know that Mo is coming back, who should they target?

We don’t know about Andy Pettitte yet, and rumors are that they are interested in bringing back Ibanez.

There’s one problem with all that, and I’ve mentioned it a lot. Kuroda is 38 next year, Mo 43, Pettitte and Ibanez turn 41 next June.

I won’t go into Chavez (35), Andruw Jones (35), Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano or Nick Swisher here. Chavez may be back, I don’t want Jones. Martin could be back, and I hope so. Despite the poor .211 batting average, he did have 21 HR, handled the staff well, was good defensively, and let’s face it, Romine isn’t ready. Cervelli isn’t a starting catcher. Sanchez is a few years away. Stewart is a nice backup who can’t hit. Martin is still the best option for catcher for the Yanks next year.

I expect Soriano and Swisher to be gone.

We know that Jeter (39 in June) and A-Rod (38 in July) are coming back. There is an age issue.

We also know that the Yanks are watching their pennies much more than when the Boss was alive.

So who among the top free agents out there would fit the Yanks’ needs?

Here’s who I would target. You can offer your own opinions, and I’d be glad to hear them.

1) Shane Victorino.  Victorino will be 32, seven years younger than Ichiro (39). I like Ichiro, but see the age issue I mentioned above. I don’t want to see the Yanks with 1/3 of the 25 man roster 35 years old or older. Ichiro has 10 Gold Gloves in his career, Victorino three. You could move Granderson and his bad routes to the short RF at the Stadium, move Gardner to CF and play Victorino in LF. The switch-hitting Victorino could bat second and along with Gardner’s comeback, give the Yanks the speed they lacked last year. He had an off-year in 2012 (.255-11-55, 39 SB, OPS+ 91) but has a 162 g. average of .275-14-62, 30 sb, OPS+ 102. He also has postseason experience, a plus in NY.  You’d have a speedy OF. Of course, you’d have to get Granderson stealing bases again and not just hitting HR (you’d also have to get Curtis to get the batting average up and cut down on the strikeouts).

2) Joakim Soria. He missed all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Yanks are taking a flyer with David Aardsma, who’ll be 31 next year, why not Soria? Aardsma missed all of 2011, and only pitched in one game for the Yanks in 2012 (1 IP, walk, K, solo HR). Soria will be just 29 next spring and has expressed the desire to set up for Mo. He could come cheaply, loaded with incentives. His 162 g. average is 3-3, 2.40, 37 saves, ERA+ 181. If he can come back to a semblance of his old self, the Yanks won’t miss Soriano. Not only that, if he is back to his old self and Mo falters, he is a fallback. Him, Robertson, Mo and Joba could be formidable.

3) Jeff Keppinger. The Yanks have been interested in him in the past. If there are concerns over Jeter being ready on opening day or Nunez playing SS (with his shaky defense) while Jeter gets ready, Keppinger could be a fill-in. He can play 2B, SS, and 3B, and (no offense to Nix), would be an upgrade over Jayson Nix. Keppinger hit .325 last year, (.325-9-40, 127 OPS+) and is a .288 career hitter, (162 g. average .288-9-59, OPS+ 97).

4) Stephen Drew. A lefty hitting SS who had a rough year. .223-7-28, OPS+ 79 this year. Once again an option if Jeter isn’t ready. But despite a lefty bat that the Stadium may help, he doesn’t offer the versatility of Keppinger. 30 next year, his 162 g. average is .265-15-70, OPS+ 96. I rate Keppinger higher because of his versatility, esp. with the age issues of Jeter and A-Rod.

I don’t see the Yanks making a big splash. So forget B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, Dan Haren, etc.

I was looking for guys still in their prime. I also wasn’t looking at guys like Chavez, Ibanez, Pettitte and Martin who could be returning who were with the team last year.

One person I’ve heard that the Yanks should trade for is Shin-Soo Choo of Cleveland. I’m on board with that. He’s 30 (another in their prime player), who could replace the (probably) departing Swisher. Choo, a lefty hitter, hit .283-16-67, 21 SB, OPS+ 131 this past season. He provides some much needed speed. His 162 g. average is .289-19-86, 20 SB and an OPS+ of 132.

If they could sign Victorino and trade for Choo, it means Jones and Ibanez are gone, and they get younger and faster. I am all for that.

As mentioned, I’m looking for guys affordable (which guys like Soria, coming off injury and probably amenable to an incentive-laden contract are), who would fit needs, and who are IN THEIR PRIME.

The team needs to get younger.         

Game 65. The Mr. Hyde in AJ shows up as Yanks fall to the Ancient “ex” Mariner Moyer, 6-3.

47 year old Jamie Moyer gave up two HR tonight, making that 504 for his career, just one behind the all-time leader, the recently departed Robin Roberts.

But the HRs to Cano and Posada (Posada’s 252nd ties Bobby Murcer, Bret Boone, Mark Teixeira and Joe Torre on the all-time list) were all the damage the Yanks could do to Moyer. 

Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett continues to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Or like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

Tonight? Bad A.J. RBI single by Dobbs (who after that hit was 5 for 7 off AJ in his career). Bases loaded triple by Victorino in the 2nd. Back-to-back HRs by Howard and Werth in the third.    

Win #265 for Moyer.

Jeter slumping a little. Down to .286.

AJ went 3 1/3, 6 R, 6 H, 4 walks, 3 K. 6-5 (same record as Vazquez, btw) and 4.33 ERA.

Boone Logan went 2 2/3 scoreless and Chad Gaudin went 3 scoreless. Logan and Gaudin combined for 5 2/3 no-hit innings and six Ks, but by then—too late.  

41-24. Tampa losing so Yanks would stay tied for first, but I hear footsteps. Boston is winning. 39-28 if they win would put them three back.

I see Phils and Pedro could be talking…again.

A-Rod got an RBI double in the 9th.

At the game tonight? Simon and Garfunkel.

Tom Izzo turns down the Cavs to stay as basketball coach at Mich. St.

Kendrick Perkins of the Celtics tore two knee ligaments. His season is over. No Game 7 for the Celtic center.  

P.S. Should add one thing. Back to spring training basics for Yankees’ pitchers after CC and AJ in consecutive nights fail to hustle to cover first.

Phil vs. Phils. … but the story is Moyer.

Youth vs. Age in a spring training clash as Newly-Named #5 man, Phil Hughes, still just 23, took on 47 year old Jamie Moyer.

Nice tidbit from Suzyn Waldman at WCBS—with the retirement of Randy Johnson, Moyer is the last player left born during the Kennedy administration. 

No score after 3. Hughes has given up 2 hits and 3 walks–not to mention 2 WP, but has K’d 5. He walks Ibanez to open the 4th so he has hit his pitch count. He’s going on 3 days rest in order to stay on a schedule.

Zack Segovia gives up a hit, gets an out but Cervelli makes a throwing error to let a run in. Cervelli does throw out Rollins attempting to steal to end the inning.

Hughes 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 wild pitches, 4 walks and 5 K.

Still 1-0 Phils after 5. The Ancient (ex-) Mariner, Moyer, has given up just one hit. Swisher threw a runner out at the plate and Cano turned a line drive into a DP. But Moyer has been superb. 

Segovia pitched two scoreless innings.

Mo in for the 6th to face Major League hitters and get his work in. He makes it look SO easy. 1-2-3. With a K.

Marte had a 1-2-3 seventh.

Moyer went 6 2/3. 0 R, 1 H 0 walks and 6 K.

Royce Ring gave up a couple of runs in the 8th. 3-0 Phils. Both runs were unearned, error by Jon Weber. Victorino 2-run double.

The Yanks have just three hits. Sanit pitched a scoreless 9th.

Weber gets a hit but the Yanks lose 3-0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 4. Yanks at Phils. CC vs. Blanton

I’ll be at work until 10 and will miss half the game.   :-(

The Yanks hope to ride CC to a three games to one lead in the Series. Joe Blanton, 0-3, 8.18 vs. the Yanks in his career, has his work cut out for him.

Nice to see Swisher wake up last night. Now for Cano (1-11 in the series) to do the same. Not only that, Teixeira is 1 for 10. Big one, though.

A local paper ran a story I find embarrassing. The writer should not have interviewed such imbeciles, and the paper should not have given those imbeciles a forum for their rude, crude, uncivil and borderline criminal behavior. Click the link to read. 

Fans like that are why David Wells wrote this.  

Update: The Yanks jumped on top in the 1st. Jeter infield single, Damon double, Teix RBI grounder, Alex HBP (for the 3rd time in the two games in Philly) and a SF by Posada. The Phils came right back with one via doubles by Victorino and Utley.

Benches were warned after the A-Rod plunking.

The Phils tied it in the 4th on a single and SB (?!) by Howard, who scored on a single by Feliz.

The Yanks got two in the 5th. Swisher walked and Melky singled. After CC struck out, Jeter singled in one run and Damon singled in another. 4-2 Yanks.

Melky may have tweaked a hammy. He leaves. Gardner in CF for the bottom of the sixth.

AJ will go on 3 days rest in Game 5 vs. Lee.

Before the game, Pujols and Jeter were awarded the Henry Aaron awards.

 

Jeter and Damon have four of the Yanks five hits after 5 1/2. The middle of the lineup is doing nothing.

Blanton has been better than I thought he’d be. 4 R in 6 IP, but 7 Ks.

CC gutting it out…just like Pettitte did. He’s given six. How much more? 4-2 Yanks after six.    

Park replaces Blanton for the 7th. Jeter gets a one-out walk. That’s it. 4-2, seventh inning stretch. Recap tomorrow.

Phils blowing out Dodgers, about to go up 2 games to one.

Hitting the sack soon. Tired.

I see the Phils are up on the Dodgers 8-0. Lee has been everything tonight that the Phils hoped for when they traded for him at the deadline. A 3-hit shutout through 7, no walks and 8 K. Hmm…ex-teammates Lee vs. CC in the WS?

Howard tripled in 2 in the 1st. Werth (very underrated) a 2-run HR in the first and Lee has just taken it from there.

NFL. Remember the Titans? Remember that they had the best regular season record in the AFC last year? Titans fans better remember. For today was embarrassing. 59-0. Blown out by the Patriots.

Happy the Steelers beat the Browns. Surprised to see the Giants lit up by the Saints. Also a shocker in that the Eagles lost to the Raiders.

College football. AP puts ‘Bama #1 and drops FL to #2.

Finally, it’s official. After Andy in Game 3 tomorrow, it’s back to CC on 3 days rest for Game 4.

Update: 11-0 final as Victorino hit a 3-run HR. Lee went 8. Durbin the 9th. 3-hit shutout.

    

Up in the Air. Rain suspends Game 5 with score tied in the 6th.

The WS MVP? The Weather Channel?
Maybe they should just give the WS MVP to the Weather Channel.

There have been a lot of strange things in this WS. First of all, Tampa Bay is playing in it. The Trop. The Phils (after all, it’s just their 6th pennant). Bad umpiring. A game started after 10 p.m. A pitcher hitting a WS HR (for the first time in 34 years)…and now the first WS suspended game.

There have been tie games in the past, due to games called because of darkness (in those pre-night game days). 1907, 1912, and 1922 saw games end in ties (no rules regarding suspensions) because of darkness. Not the case here. The game will be resumed, but the question is when and under what conditions?

The situation is this: After 5 1/2, the game is tied 2-2. The Phils scored two in the bottom of the first as Rays’ starter Scott Kazmir hit one batter and walked two. Shane Victorino’s 2-run single gave the Phils the lead. Kazmir, who walked six in his four innings of work, then gave up a single to Pedro Feliz to load the bases. He then got out of the inning by getting Carlos Ruiz to fly to left. The Phils could have really broken open the game there.

The Rays came back to tie as Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria, who entered the game a combined 0 for 29 with 15 strikeouts in this WS, finally woke up—too late? Pena doubled and scored the first Rays run on Longoria’s single, and then…with the field becoming unplayable in a driving rain and wind, singling in Upton to tie the game in the 6th. Soon afterward, the game was stopped.

Cole Hamels was superb again, until the weather intervened, the ball got slippery, the defense slipperier, the wind howled and the field became a swamp. According to Commissioner Bud Selig, calling the game after five (and thus handing the game and the SERIES to the Phils) with the Phils holding a 2-1 lead wasn’t an option. Rightfully so. You can’t have the Rays lose a WS in a rain-shortened game.

And now the problem. The weather forecast for Tuesday in Eastern PA is thus: A HIGH of 40 degrees today. That’s a HIGH. TODAY, not TONIGHT. Rain is in the forecast today. Tonight? A good chance of snow flurries. Ok, maybe not so much in Philadelphia, but definitely in the Poconos. Me? I’m in between those two places. In other words, YUK. Winds out of the NORTH, 12-25 MPH, gusting to 45. Windy and rain AM, Rain/WET SNOW PM. Temperature tonight? A low of 32. That is the forecast for where I live—about 60 miles from Philly.

Checking the forecast for Philly Intl. Airport for 8 p.m. this evening, here is what you get: Showers/wind. 42 degrees, real-feel temperature 32. Winds WNW at 27 MPH. 50% chance of rain.

Who knows when Game 5 will resume or how it will affect both teams or the Series itself.

Morning Musings.

Hmmm… Mike Vaccaro gets a fact wrong, and it’s a big error. Nice piece by him about how the Rays became men on March 8th (known to Yankee fans as the Cervelli incident—the collision at home, broken wrist…led to the Shelley incident, etc.). He makes the point of 3/8 in sports history,  stating that Joe D. died on 3/8/99 and the first Ali-Frazier fight was 3/8/71. One thing though, Vaccaro. Frazier did NOT knock Ali OUT in that fight. Frazier won a 15 rd. decision. He knocked Ali DOWN in the 15th. Ali was up at the count of three. Big difference.

Wait a sec. Mike Timlin tied Mo for ALCS games pitched? Timlin? Toronto, Seattle and Boston…and the first game came in 1991.

The names of Bowa and Randolph come up in King, George A. III’s column regarding Meacham’s replacement as 3B coach. As I’ve stated, Bowa seems happy in LA with Torre, and Randolph would be like the “Sword of Damacles.” (Check out what it is if you don’t know….in short, a sword hanging by a thread ready to kill the person below on a moment’s notice). Younger readers may not remember this, but after Billy IV (you need terms or upgrade numbers for the Yankee managers of that era) ended in 1985, Billy went to the broadcast booth while Lou 1.0 had its reign. Sure enough, Billy criticized a Lou move on the air and trouble ensued. Should Willie be a 3B or bench coach, what do you think would happen at the first four-game losing streak? There would be all kinds of talk about the sword (Willie) about to fall on Girardi. No one can work under that kind of cloud or pressure. Sure enough, in 1988, Lou 1.0 was followed by Billy V, soon followed by Lou 2.0. Having someone looking over your shoulder is NOT good.

Interesting column by Sherman as I continue to peruse the Post. Comparing Manny to Bonds as far as problems (tanking vs. steroids), popularity in the clubhouse, home and away, the fear factor in being pitched around, and now age vs. money and contract. Good analogy. Someone said that they saw a report stating that Manny was Bronx and homeward-bound. I refuted it. I don’t know if the individual got mad or not that I refuted it, but I basically told him his source was full of it. You have to consider some things here.

Where would he play? He is a bad OF. DH? Then you have to move Matsui, and Matsui is coming off surgery. Think Godzilla would be easy to move? Think Manny and Girardi could get along? It could be worse than Billy and Reggie. Age. Manny is 36 and Boras wants a six-year deal for $20 to $25M per year. A-Rod is locked up into his forties. Posada, Rivera. Jeter probably will be too. You already have six guys, the youngest of whom turns 34 next July (A-Rod), making $106.1 million for 2009. Six. Now they are going to add a guy they don’t need (probably at the expense of the pitcher or 1b that they DO need)? I heard it was Comcast making this report. If so, they have absolutely NO clue what the hell they are talking about. Irresponsible reporting. Just taking a superstar and Yankee money and throwing them together without doing any kind of research or analysis. Pathetic.        

I don’t know if reader Mike F. is still in L.A., but if he is, apparently he has seen or heard that the lovefest LA had with Torre is on the rocks after Torre’s managerial decisions in Game 4. Apparently the criticism of his bullpen moves isn’t just confined to NY and the end of his Yankee days. It’s an LA thing now.

Speaking of LA, I see that Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch, now has a book out in which he says she dealt sex for cocaine. It also says where she lives now that she’s cleaned up. Not exactly what I wanted to read. I have family in the town inhabited by Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Hoo-boy.

On a last note, nice piece by Bart Hubbuch in LA in comparing the spunk Victorino is giving the Phils in 2008 to that of Lenny Dykstra in 1993. I do have lots of reservations and suspicions about “Nails” and some others from that 1993 “Macho (or whatever) Row” however. But good for Victorino, who just lost his grandma last week.