“Guys are going to have to step up”, said Yankee manager Joe Girardi, following his team’s 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees, riding on a 5-game winning streak, were struck by the injury bug once again on Thursday. Earlier in the day, they learned that CC Sabathia was headed to the DL with a groin strain, and then in the fifth inning of the team’s win over the Indians, Andy Pettitte was struck by a one-hopper off the bad of Indians 1B Casey Kotchman. Following diagnostic tests after the game, it was discovered that he suffered a fractured right ankle and would be out for a minimum of six weeks, certainly not the news the organization was hoping to hear.
In response to the injuries to Sabathia and Pettitte, the Yankees have called up 24-year-old Adam Warren to fill the rotation spot left vacant by Sabathia and have moved Freddy Garcia from the long relief role into the starting rotation.
“[Warren’s] not quite ready yet, but he’s getting there”, said one minor-league talent evaluator prior to hearing of his move into the Yankees starting rotation.
The injuries to Sabathia and Pettitte also increase the sense of urgency in the organization to make a deal and acquire an arm, although GM Brian Cashman has stated that he would prefer not to go down that route. However, if he does decide to do so, some potential targets include Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez and Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano.
Either way, the Yankees are going to have to keep producing offensively to help back their pitching staff and hold the fort down until Sabathia and Pettitte return.
Hindsight is 20-20. At least that is how we like to put it. We can only judge something after it has occurred, and if we do not, we run the risk of preemptive judgement. We see this all the time in politics, stocks, and even in our social lives. Now taking that theme, this 20-20 vision that we now possess, how can we apply it to the sport we all know and love, baseball?
On January 13, 2012, the Yankees made a pair of moves that would change the industry’s perspective of them for this 2012 season. The first, signing former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda to 1 year, 10 million dollar contract, was seen as a wise value move for the club, and it helped to solidly what had seemed to be a weak rotation at the time. The second was a move that largely overshadowed Kuroda’s deal and sent shock waves through the baseball industry; the Yankees had traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Mariners for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos.
The deal at the time was viewed by baseball analysts as a true “baseball trade”. Each team putting forward one of their best assets and getting the other in return to fill their needs. The upside present in the deal was tremendous for both teams, with Montero having been compared to Miguel Cabrera by Brian Cashman, and Pineda demonstrating an exceptional skill set that promised ace potential during his rookie year with the Mariners. The only potential negatives about the trade were that Montero was not known for his catching ability and that Pineda’s numbers dropped during the second half of the season, possibly due to arm fatigue. However, these concerns were not prominent at the time the Yankees and Mariners made the trade, and were not expected to be much of a problem in regards to the futures of the two players. One could have said that trading for a pitcher was much riskier than trading for a hitter, but it was a necessary move for the Yankees at the time as it was essential that they bolstered their depleted rotation. The cynic however, was correct in this instance, as on April 21, 2012, the Yankees announced that Pineda was shut down for the 2012 season and would need arthroscopic surgery to repair an anterior labral tear.
It was news that presented a serious problem to the Yankee organization and justified the potential risks in dealing for a pitcher. Pineda’s drop in velocity had been a constant focus of the media during Spring Training, and while the Mariners claim that Pineda was not injured at the time of the trade, one can only wonder. The loss of Pineda did not leave the Yankees with a hole in their rotation as the final spot was filled by Freddy Garcia, but it did leave them with serious doubts about their long-term investment.
Say that Pineda’s velocity does not return when he recovers from the injury and he is unable to make the adjustments necessary to succeed in the challenging AL East? What will be the Yankees’ next course of action? What if Jesus Montero develops into that Miguel Cabrera type slugger that Brian Cashman forecasts him to be? Will this trade go down as the worst one in Yankee history? Only time will tell, and that is why hindsight is 20-20.
Below are my Fantasy Baseball Rankings for the top 50 players in 2012
2.Miguel Cabrera (1B/3B- Tigers)
3. Matt Kemp (OF- Dodgers)
4. Troy Tulowitzki (SS- Rockies)
5. José Bautista (3B/OF- Blue Jays)
6. Robinson Cano (2B- Yankees)
7. Prince Fielder (1B- Tigers)
8. Adrian Gonzalez (1B- Red Sox)
9. Evan Longoria (3B- Rays)
10. Justin Upton (OF- Diamondbacks)
11. Jacoby Ellsbury (OF- Red Sox)
12. Joey Votto (1B- Reds)
13. Justin Verlander (SP- Tigers)
14. José Reyes (SS- Marlins)
15. Hanley Ramirez (3B/SS- Marlins)
16. Mike Stanton (OF- Marlins)
17 . Clayton Kershaw (SP- Dodgers)
18. Matt Holliday (OF- Cardinals)
19. Curtis Granderson (OF- Yankees)
20. Ian Kinsler (2B- Rangers)
21. Andrew McCutchen (OF- Pirates)
22. Roy Halladay (SP- Phillies)
23. David Wright (3B- Mets)
24. Ryan Braun (OF- Brewers)
25. Carlos Gonzalez (OF- Rockies)
26. Brian McCann (C- Braves)
27. Tim Lincecum (SP- Giants)
28. Mark Teixeira (1B- Yankees)
29. Dustin Pedroia (2B- Red Sox)
30. Josh Hamilton (OF- Rangers)
31. Ryan Zimmerman (3B- Nationals)
32. Felix Hernandez (SP- Mariners)
33. CC Sabathia (SP- Yankees)
34. Adrian Beltre (3B- Rangers)
35. Cliff Lee (SP- Phillies)
36. Jay Bruce (OF- Reds)
37. Jered Weaver (SP- Angels)
38. Buster Posey (C- Giants)
39. Brett Lawrie (3B- Blue Jays)
40. Elvis Andrus (SS- Rangers)
41. Carlos Santana (C- Indians)
42. Michael Young (1B/3B- Rangers)
43. Hunter Pence (OF- Phillies)
44. Alex Rodriguez (3B- Yankees)
45. Nelson Cruz (OF- Rangers)
46. Desmond Jennings (OF- Rays)
47. Starlin Castro (SS- Cubs)
48. Pablo Sandoval (3B- Giants)
49. Dan Haren (SP- Angels)
50. Carl Crawford (OF- Red Sox)
Oh So Close :
51. Brandon Phillips (2B- Reds)
52. Mike Napoli (C- Rangers)
53. David Price (SP- Rays)
54. Michael Bourn (OF- Braves)
55. Paul Konerko (1B- White Sox)
56. Matt Cain (SP- Giants)
57. Jimmy Rollins (SS- Phillies)
58. Craig Kimbrel (CL- Braves)
59. Alex Avila (C- Tigers)
60. Dustin Ackley (2B- Mariners)
Oh and by the way, Brett Lawrie is going to rake this year.
Problem: The Yankees have too many starters.
Question: How do you get rid of A.J. Burnett?
Answer: Deal him to the Pirates.
When the Yankees signed him during their massive offseason shopping spree in 2008, it looked like a fairly good deal. Burnett was coming off of an 18-10 season with the Blue Jays, during which he posted a 4.07 E.R.A. Those were pretty appealing numbers, leading the Yankees to sign him to a 5 year, $85 million deal to fill in the vacancy left by 20 game winner, Mike Mussina. In his first year with the club, Burnett pitched decently, posting a 13-9 record with a 4.04 E.R.A., but things just went downhill from there. In his last two years with the Yankees, he has a combined 21-26 record and a 5.21 E.R.A., along with control and attitude issues. He is also being paid $17 million a year lest we forget, and has now become the New York’s biggest enigma since the Mets had Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. Luckily, there is a shining star in the distance, it being that there is a way to deal Burnett. The Pirates, coming off one of their most successful seasons in the past 20 years, are engaged in serious trade talks with the Yankees involving Burnett, and are even looking to take on $10 million of his salary for the next two years. However, the Yankees do not believe that this is enough, and are seeking to acquire a player such as Garrett Jones in addition to having the Pirates take on the $10 million.
I say that the Yankees deal Burnett while he still has any interested trade suitors left and still holds any trade value. With the position that the Yankees are in with their solid rotation, and their willingness to get under the luxury tax in the coming years, having a $17 million long reliever does not make any sense for the club. If the Yankees truly want a player back in the deal, they should go after a Double A prospect or something along those lines, not a potential key players for the Pirates in 2012. They should deal Burnett while they still can.
What do you guys think?
Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz. That rotation (with the exception of C.J. Wilson) was the one that won the Rangers their 2nd consecutive AL Pennant. Now add Yu Darvish to that mix. Good luck Angels.
Darvish was a star in Japan, to a level that arguably eclipsed that of Daisuke Matsuzaka. He doesn’t have a “gyroball” but this was a guy who dominated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and posted a 18-6 record with a 1.44 ERA. After years of waiting and anticipation, Darvish was finally posted by the Nippon-Ham Fighters this offseason. As soon as Davish was posted, rumors began to fly, with teams from the Blue Jays to the Yankees all being interested in the stud right hander. In the end, it was the Rangers who came out on top, putting up a $51.7 million posting fee to acquire the rights to negotiate with Darvish, and then signed him 6 year, $60 million contract to lock him up for good. Now with six talented starters, how do the Rangers format their rotation? Here’s how I have it set up:
2012 Rangers Rotation
1. Yu Darvish (R)- 18-6, 1.44 ERA (Japan-2011)
2. Derek Holland (L)- 16-5, 3.95 ERA
3. Colby Lewis (R)- 14-10, 4.40 ERA
4. Matt Harrison (L)- 14-9, 3.39 ERA
5. Neftali Feliz (R)- 32 SV, 2.74 ERA (Closer-2011)
When it’s all said and done, the Rangers will have a fearsome rotation in 2011 and will be a force to be reckoned with in the now competitive AL West race. The addition of Darvish moves Alexi Ogando back into the Texas bullpen, which gives the team another weapon in a talented bullpen that already includes studs Matt Adams, Koji Uehara, and the newly acquired Joe Nathan, who will serve as the closer for the club. I do not believe that the Rangers should go after Roy Oswalt as there have been rumors circulating that they may make a run for him, and frankly I don’t think that they will need him with the dominant rotation that they already possess.
The 2012 AL West race will certainly be an interesting one to watch, don’t Yu worry. (I just had to throw a Yu pun in there, had to 🙂 )
In 2011, the Nationals finished in third place in the NL East with an 80-81 record, only playing in 161 games because of a game that never was made up since it had no effect on the playoffs. Over the winter, teams in the NL East have made moves to strengthen themselves, such as the Marlins completely upgrading their team with the signings of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, and the Phillies adding Jonathan Papelbon to shore up the back end of their bullpen. However, you cannot discount the moves that the Nationals have made to keep pace with the rest of their division. Between trading for Gio Gonzalez and currently being the frontrunner for Prince Fielder, the Nationals are showing that they are not afraid of their talented rivals and that they plan to pack a punch in 2012. Coupled with the return of Stephen Strasburg and the arrivals of top prospects such as Bryce Harper and Stephen Lambardozzi, the Nationals with be fielding a strong team in 2012, and it would be wise for the other teams in the division to watch out for this team on the rise, before they sneak up and grab the NL East crown right out from under their fingers.
Right now the MLB offseason is waiting… Just waiting for that one flame, that little spark, that will cause it to light up like a Christmas Tree and start the wheeling and dealing. It’s true, there have been some minor deals like the Iannetta for Chatwood swap and the Melky for J. Sanchez trade, but right now it’s like a standoff. Who will fire the first shot?
Can’t wait until next week.
This post is a post to explain why I should be featured in a MLBlogs Jumbo Panel.
If you would like to read some other really cool baseball posts, please scroll down the page. 🙂
You could say that it all started in 2008, when my dad boldly predicted the Rays had a shot to make it to the playoffs, if not win it all. I was pretty young back then, but I knew my stuff, and I strongly disagreed with him on that point.
“The Rays?”, I had said. “Really, are we talking about the same baseball team?”
Little did I know about the remarkable journey that was about to unfold for a team that went from worst to first in one year, and from then on, I was hooked.
I started this blog in the December of 2008, a month after the World Series, and while at times my post frequency has been sporadic, I always ensure that when someone reads my articles, it is worth their while. I personally enjoy discussing about the “What if” in my posts, and outlining how I feel that organizations should be run to ensure success for their teams. Posting posts with simply polls and photos are also a habit of mine, as I feel that they are able to inform the reader with the big story behind it, without requiring the reader to endlessly search for the true message being delivered. I take true joy in letting my readers know what is happening throughout the baseball world, and really conveying the inner mechanisms of my die-hard baseball mind to them as well.
Mark, if you are reading this, thank you for your time, and please consider making my blog a Jumbo Panel as it would mean a lot to me.
By the way, did I mention I’m a Yankees and Rays fan? 🙂