Tag Archives: Ramiro Mendoza

A bullpen savior? Aceves may be one. Now for others.

As we know full well, the bullpen has been very disappointing this year. Veras, Albaladejo and Edwar have greatly underachieved, Coke has pitched like what he is—a rookie— and injuries have robbed the Yanks of Marte and Bruney.

Not having a long man to start the season also didn’t help.

Aceves to save the day
Here I come to save the day!

But lately, the Yanks have found a savior. Alfredo Aceves has been great since he was called up. 3-1, 2.75, ERA+ 167. Do you want to know the best part? (Listen or read up, Veras, Edwar, and Alby…) He throws strikes. 19 2/3 IP. Three walks.

Let’s compare.

Edwar. 17.1 IP  15 walks.
Alby.    21   IP   10 walks.
Veras.  19.2 IP   14 walks.
Aceves 19.2 IP     3 walks.

See what happens when you don’t walk people, guys?

Aceves was 1-0, 2.40 last year as a late-season callup. He has 15 games under his belt for his career. 4-1, 2.54. It’s still too early to judge him, but so far, he has been great. He was roughed up a bit down in Texas, but what a job he did last night. The game could have gotten away when Aceves came in. 3 strong innings of relief. (Pettitte had back issues but should be ok for his next start). What about the Orioles game in which Joba took one off the leg in the first inning? Aceves came out of the bullpen in that one and got the win with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Fans remember the troika of Mendoza, Stanton and Nelson that helped the Yanks to three consecutive WS titles. Already Aceves is being compared to Mendoza because of his spot starter/long relief ability.

Mendoza:

1996 4-5, 6.79 ERA+ 74  11 starts, 1 relief  53 IP
1997 8-6, 4.24  106         15 s  24 r      133.2
1998 10-2 3.25  136       14 s   27 r      130.1
1999 9-9   4.29  110       6 s     47r        123.2
2000 7-4   4.25   114      9s        5 r         65.2   injured
2001 8-4   3.75   119       2s      54r        100.2
2002 8-4   3.44   129       62 games all in relief  91.2

Ramiro Mendoza

Can Aceves match this guy’s productivity as a ss/lr?

after 2002, Mendoza went to Boston. He had a lousy 2003.

3-5, 6.75  69  5s 32 r  66.2 IP

He improved in 2004, but the injuries started catching up and he was basically done at 32.

2-1, all in relief, 3.52, 27 games, ERA+ 138. 30.2 IP.

His last hurrah was with the 2005 Yankees. 1 game in which he gave up 2 R in 1 IP.

Postseason 20 games total. 2-2, 2.51.

The Yanks may have found their 2009 “Mendoza” with the 26 year old Aceves.

Now to get Marte (unknown when he’ll be back) and Bruney (3 weeks?) back to be the “Stanton and Nelson” of the bullpen. Either that or hope Robertson or Melancon develop.

If that doesn’t happen, we know what Cashman may be looking for at the trade deadline.

But at least Aceves is starting to get the bullpen back on track. You have to start somewhere.

 

Game 48. Yanks beat Indians 3-1, take over first place.

After two, the Yanks lead 2-0. They surely haven’t been without their chances against last year’s CYA winner, Cliff Lee.

In the first, the Yanks loaded the bases with one out but Cano and Posada both struck out. Andy gave up a hit in the first, nothing else.

The Yanks struck for two in the second. Swish walked. Gardner (heating up, .284 after that hit, see the game preview) singled and Jeter singled in a run (his 2nd hit put him at .304). Damon singled to load the bases and Teix hit a soft grounder to bring in the “Road Runner”. After putting the first two runners on in the second, Andy got a flyout and DP.

If you didn’t hear it already, Rockies’ manager Clint Hurdle got the boot today. 19 months ago the Rockies were in the WS. Jim Tracy (the ex-Dodger/Pirate Mgr.) gets the job.

Have you seen what Manny’s “replacement” is doing for the Dodgers? With Manny suspended, Juan Pierre is playing LF. He is hitting .407. I remember someone arguing for the Yanks to get Pierre last year or so. I argued no. Why? Pierre does have a .302 career BA. His 162 ga. average is .302-2-46 with 54 SB. But his OPS+ is just 85. He earned $8M last year. I felt that if Gardner could hit .270, he might steal 35-40—not quite Pierre, but at a much lower cost.

The Yanks get a run in the 3rd on a SF by Swish. 3-0.     

Still 3-0 in the 5th. Posada has two hits. It’s amazing what he is doing offensively at his age. .325 after starting 2 for 3 tonight. Let’s throw out an injured 2008. He hit .338 in 2007. Let’s not forget that Jorge doesn’t get any “leg” hits either.

3-0 after five.

Andy had a problem and came out after five. In the sixth, he left a two on, none out situation for Aceves, who came out of it with only one run allowed. Andy 5 IP 1 R; Aceves (with a brilliant job) 3 IP and Mo closed it out. 3-1 YANKEES.

I love Aceves right now. Hate Veras.

Pete Abraham compared Aceves to a 1998-1999 Ramiro Mendoza. We can only hope. So far, so good and a great comparison.

Pettitte did get #220 tonight, which ties Jerry Reuss on the all-time list.

Rivera save #492.

I ran into a buddy tonight. He’s known me since we both 12 or so. We were in the same graduating class in high school. If I ever needed a tag-team buddy for baseball trivia, “Huffy” is my guy.     

 

Mendoza fails physical; Cairo to Phils; ex-Twin Uhlaender dies

In the transactions today, news about a couple of former Yankees.

Ramiro Mendoza, signed by the Brewers to a minor-league deal last week, failed his physical and departed Brewers’ camp.

Miguel Cairo signed a minor-league deal with the Phils. Cairo, 35 in May, hit .249-0-23 for the Mariners last year. OPS+ 75. For his career, Cairo is a .266 hitter, OPS+ 75.

Ted Uhlaender died at the age of 68. He played for the Twins, Indians and Reds from 1965-1972. Uhlaender hit .263, OPS+ 86 for his career. In 1967 the Twins finished second, one game behind the Red Sox. That year Uhlaender hit .258-6-49, OPS+ 89. He finished 27th in MVP voting in 1968, when Uhlaender hit .283, OPS+ 110. Remember that 1968 was the year that Carl Yastrzemski won the AL batting title with a .301 average. Uhlaender finished 5th. The Twins won the AL West in 1969 and Uhlaender hit .273-8-62 with 15 SB (OPS+ 89). He went 1 for 6 in the ALCS loss to Baltimore. After the 1969 season, Uhlaender was (from Baseball Reference) traded by the Minnesota Twins with Dean Chance, Bob Miller, and Graig Nettles to the Cleveland Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams. He was a full-time CF for Cleveland for two years then was traded to the Reds for Milt Wilcox. He was a backup for the Reds in his final season of 1972. In the 1972 postseason, he went 1 for 2 in the NLCS vs. the Pirates and 1 for 4 in the WS vs. Oakland. 

 

Light workout today, Big 3 get work tomorrow and Karstens role

I hope this comes out ok. I am coughing and have one of those splitting headaches where you can hardly see your monitor, as well as a fever and the chills. Oh well.

The Yanks will just have a light workout this morning. They’ll play a college team tomorrow in a game in which each of the “Big 3”–Hughes, Joba and Kennedy–will get some work in.

I heard a little of Steve Phillips this morning on ESPN sucking up to Torre, wondering why the Yanks let him go, etc.. Geez, let it go, will ya? If you’ve heard our LV Yankee fan club Radio Show, you know what we think of Phillips. Anyway, it was time. Sure, you have your long-time-in-one-place managers, like Connie Mack (who just happened to co-own the team), John McGraw, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa…but for the most part, after a certain amount of time, it is time to go. McCarthy hit the wall, so did Casey, so did Torre. Time for a change. Let it go already.

People elsewhere are quick to give up on Karstens (he’s 25 for goodness sake, and we haven’t seen enough of him) and write him off. Some said he wasn’t that good in the minors. Baseball-reference.com has his minor league ERA at 3.48. Not great, but not as bad as some want to make out. Let’s remember Karstens had a broken leg last year. Throw last year’s stats out with the garbage. Please don’t talk about the guy in relation to last year. It’s not fair. Karstens pitched well for Team USA in the offseason. Some want to pooh-pooh that. I won’t. He pitched well, I believe, because he finally got healthy—much like Phil Hughes finally got healthy after Labor Day last year; so healthy he went 3-0, 2.73 in his last five starts and went 1-0, 1.59 in the postseason.

Some were surprised when I mentioned that Karstens (or Rasner or Igawa) will have to give 12 starts this year. Why are they surprised? They shouldn’t be. Let’s look at the numbers. You have a five man rotation. 162/5 is 32.4. Figure if healthy (and no depositions) that Wang gets 34 starts, Pettitte 33. In order to keep their innings down, Hughes and Kennedy will not get 30 starts apiece. It isn’t happening. Let’s say, 27 apiece, ok? Then you have Mussina for 30 starts. Well, I just listed 151 starts, right? So who gets the other 11? I may even be too generous in giving Hughes and Kennedy 27 starts apiece or a 39 year old Mussina 30. What if it is 24 starts apiece for Phil and Ian, with 25 for Mussina? That may be more reasonable. I just lopped off another 11 starts, right? So that is 22 starts that someone else has to fill. 22 starts. Who gets them? Maybe Horne shows something and gets five to 8. That still leaves 14 to 17 starts. Karstens? Rasner? Some may go to Joba, but if he is starting the year in the bullpen as predicted then going to the rotation, he won’t be making that many starts. Do you really think Joba is getting 10 or more starts, especially if he isn’t switched to the rotation until July? Maybe 12 starts is too high an estimate for that 6th starter (Karstens, Rasner or Igawa) but 8 is certainly within reason. Ramiro Mendoza averaged about 10 starts and 47 relief appearances a season, and a record of 9-6, 4.30. If Karstens (or Rasner or a combination of the two) can do that in a spot starter/long relief role, I’d be happy. People mention Karstens isn’t a strikeout pitcher. Well, what was Ramiro? Karstens goal should be Mendoza’s 1999 season (1998 is pushing it, that was excellent). In 1999, Mendoza was 9-9, 4.29. Six starts, 47 relief appearances.

I think the thing to look at here is not to look at Karstens as far as the rotation goes, but instead, look at him in terms of what role can he best fill? No, I wouldn’t want him as part of my rotation. But in terms of a 10 start/30 to 40 relief long man Villone or Mendoza-type role? Ok, and hopefully he is better than Villone ever was and as good as Ramiro. Is he up to that?