Tag Archives: Santana

A game of dominoes

As we wait for the process of Tanaka being posted, then the wooing and signing, other pitchers wait.

It seems like a game of dominoes. For Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jiminez, A.J. Burnett (the Yankees won’t do a Javy Vazquez and go there again, we hope), and Bronson Arroyo are still out there. But it seems like they have to wait until teams get their crack at Tanaka.

So we wait to see where Tanaka, the biggest domino, falls to. After that, it seems, the rest of the dominoes should come tumbling down in quick order.

Tanaka not to be posted?

Reports are coming in that Japanese ace Mashahiro Tanaka will NOT be posted. The star, who was 24-0, 1.27 for Rakuten this season, would be a prize catch for any team that landed him, and yes, the Yanks would be very interested in the 25-year-old.

Without Tanaka, where do the Yanks turn? They still need a #4 starter. Behind CC (who had an awful 2013), Kuroda (39 soon) and Nova, there is a gap at #4. For #5, you can have a battle between Pineda, Phelps, Warren and Nuno… or bring in a retread like Johan Santana on a minor league deal to see what he has left.

But if Tanaka is unavailable, then you have to look. Still available are Garza, Jiminez and Ervin Santana. (A.J. Burnett is also available, but let’s not go there).

Sin-Soo Choo was apparently offered 7 years, $140 MM from the Yanks AFTER they signed Ellsbury but he wanted Ellsbury $$$. The Yanks turned to Beltran on a 3-yr. deal after that happened. Apparently Choo has left an offer by the Rangers on the table for now. Houston is said to be involved. Good luck, there, Choo.

Ex-Yankees Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez have found teams, Chavez going back to AZ, and Ibanez leaving Seattle to go to the Angels.

Waiting for reality.

As always with the Winter Meetings, there are rumors and then there is reality. I love the hot stove league and the chess-like maneuverings. Who goes where, rumors of trades, etc.

But for the purpose of the blog, I don’t have the time to report on every rumor, and there are many of them out there. What I will do is try to focus on the reality and report and comment on what actually happened or went down. But here is a brief rundown, some of which are rumors and hasn’t happened yet (if it will at all).

That said, the Yanks did turn down a Gardner for Brandon Phillips swap. Yes, the Yanks need a 2B after Cano’s departure, and Phillips (.261-18-103 for the Reds in 2013) would have fit the bill. However Phillips is owed $50MM over 4 years, and has a no-trade clause. He also wanted to renegotiate his deal as part of a possible trade. Checking out various info on Twitter, Gardner (who obviously doesn’t have Phillips’ power) had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.2 to Phillips’ 1.7. Also, Gardner had an OPS+ of 108, Phillips a 92.

With some recent acquisitions (Cano, Hart, Morrison), one-time Yankee prospect Jesus Montero is available. His stock has dropped (PED suspension, poor defense).

The Astros could be interested in Joba. So are the Tigers. Ex-Yank Raul Ibanez is talking with the Angels.

The Yanks could have interest in Joaquin Benoit. Also Johan Santana, but Santana would have to be on a minor-league, “Let’s see what you have left” deal.

Omar Infante wants 4 years at $8MM+. This could be a deal-breaker when it comes to the Yanks getting him. As with Beltran, KC could be the Yanks’ main competition here.

The Yanks picked up an A-ball pitcher from the Pirates in return for Chris Stewart.

The minors today. Weather a problem.

Before getting to the minors, a no-no for Johan Santana of the Mets. The first one in Mets history. In year 51. Nope. Not Seaver, Ryan, Matlack, Koosman, Gooden, Darling, Cone, Fernandez….and on and on. Took 8020 games.  Even at that, Santana benefitted from a call (Beltran ball, called foul, hit the line, should have been a double.).

AAA: SWB with a DH. Or, supposed to be a DH. Game 1, 7 innings: lost 4-3. Ramon Ortiz 3 R in 6 IP. Manny DelCarmen 1/3, 1 R, the loss. Corban Joseph solo HR. Ronnier Mustelier 2 h, .299, Rbi. Game 2 postponed.

AA:    More weather issues. Suspended, tied at 2 in the 8th. Vidal Nuno 7 shutout innings. Kevin Mahoney 3 hits.

High A: Tampa PPD.

Low A:   Charleston lost 13-3. Bryan Mitchell 5 R in just 1 IP. Sanchez 2 H, RBI. 2 RBI Rey Nunez.

S.T. Game #15. Hughes shaky, Yanks lose 6-2.

The Yanks have a split-squad today. For the sake of clarity, this game the one at home vs. the Braves, with Phil Hughes starting, will be S.T. Game #15.

With both games afternoon games and running concurrently, updates will be slow. I’ll try to update each as I can but please be patient.   

One thing that’s interesting. After losing out on Lee, many wanted the Yanks to rush into a free agent signing or a deal. Now, some pitchers were already off the board when Lee made up his mind. I’m trying to recall if Jon Garland was one of them or not. Anyway, it’s interesting to see that Garland is now hurt. Out 4-6 weeks. This after Zach Greinke (who many wanted the Yanks to trade for, social anxiety disorder & ability to cope with NY be damned) broke a rib two weeks ago. Just goes to show… then you think about what could have been. Beltran is hurt (and yes, I advocated the Yanks get Beltran; the alternative at the time was Randy Johnson. Beltran would have helped short term better than the Big Unit did, but long-term, neither would have turned out well, would they?) and look at Santana, for whom Yankee fans were willing to give up some kind of package involving Hughes, Cano or Joba.

Checking out Twitter. Here’s the morning tweets:

Buster Olney: Some rival evaluators have red-flagged D. Matsuzaka, clocked at 87-90 today. They wonder if he’s just slowly building arm strength. Or not.

Another from Olney: The perception of Francisco Liriano’s spring problems this year, from one club official: “He just can’t seem to get the ball down right now.”

Jon Heyman tweets that Juan Miranda (yes, THAT Juan Miranda) appears to be winning Arizona’s 1B job.

Jeter SS
Jones LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Posada DH
Nunez 2B
Romine C
Maxwell RF
Krum CF

Hughes RHP

Off the bench: C Gustavo Molina, 1B Addison Maruszak, 2B Corban Joseph, SS Carmen Angelini, 3B Bradley Suttle, LF Ray Kruml, CF none, RF none, DH Brett Gardner

In the bullpen: Rafael Soriano, Steve Garrison, Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano, Eric Wordekemper, Andrew Brackman, Hector Noesi and Luis Ayala. My guess is that everyone listed after Feliciano is a backup today.

Hughes goes 4, not terrible, not great, in & out of trouble. 4 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 1 walk, 2 K, gives up HR. He gave up hits to each of the first three batters he faced (double, bunt single, single). Eduardo Nunez made an interference error. Soriano replaced Hughes in the 5th. 1-2-3 with 2 K. Jorge Posada with a Solo HR. After 4 1/2, Braves up 2-1.

One thing to remember about Hughes. It seems as if he’s been around forever, and maybe expectations are very high, but it worth it to remember that he hasn’t turned 25 yet (and won’t until late June).    

Joba a scoreless 6th, gave up 2 Hits, got one K. A-Rod had an RBI forceout. Tied after 6.Joba a scoreless 6th, gave up 2 Hits, got one K. A-Rod had an RBI forceout. Tied after 6.\

Steve Garrison gave up 4 runs in the 7th. 1 IP, 4R, 5 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Eric Wordekemper and Luis Ayala had scoreless innings but the Yanks lost 6-2. 

Cuts should be coming this weekend. Once cuts are made, and the regulars get more time (heck, Mo hasn’t pitched yet! He’ll get his first action on Sunday) then I’ll get more concerned about wins and losses. Right now, I’m more concerned with individual performance. 

This drops the Yanks to 6-7-2 and they are losing the other game. See next post. 

Esquire names Jeter’s girlfriend (fiancee?) 2010’s sexiest.

Jeter is a lucky guy. Yeah, I think my batting average would drop 64 points if I had Minka Kelly to think about besides baseball. Esquire named her 2010’s Sexiest Woman alive. If the video and gallery don’t get your heart going…you are dead.

How many people who bashed Cashman for not getting Santana (and waiting a year for Sabathia, albeit a year without a postseason) are bashing him today after what Hughes did in ALDS game 3? Santana’s been good for the Mets, don’t get me wrong, but injured again. CC has been a workhorse, and you keep Hughes, who we hope continues to develop. By the way, Hughes is just 24 and has already pitched in 12 postseason games. Considering how Pettitte is a postseason staple, could Phil become the new Pettitte?   




Game 133. Late inning lightning carries Yanks to victory, but I have issues with Girardi.

The great Yankees teams of the past were known for late-inning lightning. From the 7th inning on, they were dangerous.

Look at how many walk-off wins this years Yankee team has. A good omen.

Once again, the “keep it close and the Yanks will win it” mantra held true.

It was 1-1 in the 7th, with the Yanks’ run coming on a HR by Hinske. (Less than 60 AB as a Yankee but 7 HR). He and Hairston have been superb pickups by Cashman. Give the guy credit. (Also, with Santana done for the year, and CC winning #16 tonight, will the people who knocked Cashman for not trading Joba and/or Hughes for Santana finally give Cash his due? He waited a year for CC. Yes, it cost the Yanks a playoff position in 2008. But instead of having an injured Santana and not having Hughes and/or Joba now, you now have CC, you now have Joba, you now have Hughes … and you may have 105 (!) wins ). 85-48 now. 29 left. The way this team is rolling, 20-9 is NOT out of the question!

Boston is losing as I write. The magic # could drop to 24. The lead could be 7 1/2 with 29 games left.

Forget about that time switching ESPN did with the 9/27 Boston game—unless that is the clincher. The AL East could be over by then. 

A-Rod drove in two in the seventh, and added two in the ninth. Late-inning lightning. CC went 7 and was superb again. 7 IP, 1 R, 7 Hits, 1 walk and 9 K. Bruney got an out in the 8th, but gave up a solo dinger to make it 3-2. Coke got his man. Hughes got his (lowering the ERA to 3.21….considering it was 5.45 when he went to the bullpen, what a job).

4 hits for JD tonight, 4 RBI for Alex.  

Talk about late-inning lightning? Those two RBI by Alex in the 9th gave the Yanks a cushion. From 3-2 to 5-2.

Then an RBI by Godzilla. Another by the Melkman.  Molina joins the Hit Parade with a ribbie.

Jeter gets hit # 2713 and an RBI. Damon follows with a hit and a ribbie. Seven runs in for the top of the 9th. 

I don’t know what Girardi will do now. 10-2.

I will tell you what I would do. NOW is the time for Michael Dunn (just brought up) to make his major league debut.

Ninth inning. An eight-run lead. Let the kid get his feet wet. See what he has got.

Let’s see what Girardi does.

I AM PISSED (and the “Truth” and I texted each other…he doesn’t like this one bit either...in his words, “we baby Joba but let Hughes pitch the 9th with an eight-run lead?”).

Hughes stays in. WHY???????? This is the PERFECT time for Dunn to make his MLB debut. No pressure. 8-run lead. Let the kid get his feet wet.

Hughes was fabulous, K’ing the side in the 9th. ERA down to 3.16.

But I have to blast Girardi here. You have an EIGHT-RUN LEAD. Why use Phil? What if he takes a liner off his leg or pitching arm? IT IS SEPTEMBER 2nd! Put the kid, Dunn, in and see what he has.

Had Phil gotten hurt, I would never—ever—have forgiven Girardi.

After all, that is what September callups are for!   

One last thing:

#6 to why I’d go with Burnett in Game Two and NOT Game Three. Suzyn Waldman while doing the radio broadcast of the game tonight mentioned how much Burnett likes to follow CC. 

There you have it. Six reasons why Burnett should go in Game 2 of the ALDS instead of Game 3. Yet Abraham, Feinsand and others have it backwards.

Sorry. I say CC/AJ/Andy/Joba/CC in the ALDS.

Funny how recently released (by Boston) Brad Penny goes to the NL and tosses 8 shutout innings at the Phils. You have so many pitchers going from AL to NL (Clemens, Randy, CC, Lee…now Penny) and just lighting up the NL —some after struggling in the Al. Between that the AL dominance in All-Star games recently…  and remember that Smoltz has done well since HIS return to the NL…