Sunday, July 29, 2012

Andy Pettitte Suffers Setback In Rehab

Andy Pettitte has suffered a set back in his try to come back from a broken left ankle. Andy apparently "did a little too much" while rehabbing in Seattle and the ankle is not healing the way we all were led to believe. There is no indication on if he will need to miss more time then expected yet but I am sure the Yankees are monitoring it closely with the trade deadline looming on Tuesday at 4pm ET. Apparently 40 year old bones do not heal like they used to.

Joba Chamberlain Dominant In Latest Rehab

Joba Chamberlain had his latest rehab assignment tonight this time for The Yankees affiliate AA Trenton Thunder. Joba allowed a single and got three strike outs in 1.1 IP tonight. Joba was hitting 98 MPH on the radar gun and consistently sat in the mid 90's all game. He threw 30 pitches total and 23 of them were for strikes. 

Joba will presumably make one more rehab appearance just to make sure he is sharp for the big league club. Joba has passed every test though and looks really healthy, sharp, and focused right now. He could be the best move at this years July 31st trading deadline that we will not have to make. 

We Salute You

Last night I received an email from a gentleman that's trying to help send veterans/Yankees fans to games, and he's currently looking for a veteran to go to Wednesday's game with him. So check out his website here, where you can also learn more about veterans and Yankee fans.

Red Sox @ Yankees 7/29/12

Russell Martin did all he could but the Yankees still fall 3-2 and lose the series

Hiroki Kuroda will be on the mound tonight to face off against Felix Doubront and the Boston Red Sox. These two teams have split the first two games so the winner tonight wins the series. The game will be televised on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.


Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher DH
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jayson Nix 3B

Go Yanks!

Cole Hamels is NOT a Yankee

Cole Hamels will be a Philadelphia Phillie for the next 6 years, and that makes me happy.

I think the Phillies are better than what we've seen so far this season. Not that I think they're better than the Nationals or Braves, but I think this is a team that will challenge for at least a Wild Card berth more often than not. The thing about this deal is that it doesn't make them better. It just keeps Philadelphia from getting worse.

Seeing as how Cole Hamels has been with the Phillies the past two seasons, I don't think they got tougher at all. What this move did was keep them from getting worse. And since this is a team that couldn't get past the NLCS the past two seasons, and is in a division with one of the best up-and-coming teams in MLB... the Washington Nationals, as a Yankee fans I'm happy with the way it worked out.

See?The Nationals aren't so bad.

And that's not all...

Philadelphia will need to trade away one of their other $20 million pitchers. As of right now, for 2013, the Phillies have $69 million locked up in 3 pitchers, and a payroll of just above $172 million (that's about 40%). For comparison, this season... when healthy, the Yankees have a little under $40 million tied up into their starting five (Sabathia - $23m, Kuroda - $10m, Pettitte - $2.5m, Nova - $527,200, Hughes - $3.2m) with a payroll of about $210 million (about 19%). So unless the Phillies are going to try and win while scoring 2-3 runs a game, they'll have to make a move.

Cole will make $24 million under his new contract, Roy Halladay is slated to earn $20 million, and Cliff Lee has $25 million coming his way. There has been talk of the Phillies trading away Cliff Lee, but with upwards of 4 years and $102.5 million remaining on the contract he signed about a year and a half ago (that 4th year is an option, but it won't be hard to make it guaranteed), that's going to be easier said than done. Especially when you look at the fact that Cliff's ERA+ has gone from 167, 131, 133, and 160 the past four years, to just 100 so far this year.

The Phillies could find a buyer that would be willing to give up more for Roy Halladay, as his average ERA+ the past three seasons has been 163, and he's under contract for 2 more years at $40 million (the option for year 2 is not hard to guarantee either). Then again, Roy's ERA+ so far this season sits at 92, so an acquiring team may be looking at a bit of a discount.

"Regardless of any stat, you know you still want me."

The point I'm trying to make is that the Phillies are not a team that Yankees fans need to worry about... at all. The Dodgers, on the other hand, look like a team to think about as they'll be looking to spend quite a bit this offseason (they were one team that looked to be ready to offer Hamels a big contract). Although offense has been their real problem recently, with the addition of Hanley Ramirez and others on the horizon, that could change soon.

And while the Texas Rangers are already a big threat in the American League (they've won the ALCS the past two seasons), they are looking to add a big piece or two. So if they'd gotten Cole Hamels I would have been worried, as they already have one of the best pitching staffs, to go along with one of the best offenses, in baseball.

The final reason why I'm happy the Phillies shelled out the money to retain Cole Hamels for the next 6 years is that he won't be a Yankee.

I'm one of the few Yankee fans out there that believes Michael Pineda can return next year and be a big contributor to the Yankees starting rotation. I don't think he'll be a second ace like we'd hoped when the trade for him first happened, but I believe he'll make a really good #2 pitcher. Even if the Yankees trade away a young pitcher like Ivan Nova or Phil Hughes, they'll have Manny Banuelos or other youngsters to fill out what should be a formidable pitching staff. After that I see the Yankees adding a "Hiroki Kuroda" or other veteran pitcher to shore things up. So spending $20+ million for another starter is silly to me.

No, Robbie, I'm not forgetting you.

What the Yankees should do with that money is retain Robinson Cano, and possibly Curtis Granderson. They don't have any middle infielders that could come close to filling Robbie's spot on the team. As for Curtis Granderson's contract being up after next year, the Yanks top outfield prospect is still a few years away (Mason Williams). On that note Tyler Austin is looking good, but he's just as far away from MLB as Williams is. With Nick Swisher's impending free agency this offseason, opening a spot in the outfield for a guy that can hit around 25 home runs a season, to go along with Granderson's last year coming up, a move or two needs to be made.

Oh yeah... I forgot about the catching situation too.

So there was no way I'd be okay with the Yankees spending big on Cole Hamels. Then again, I also believe the Yankees are serious about getting down to a payroll of $189 million by 2014. So perhaps I'm one of those delusional Yankee fans you hear so much about.

Trades Around The League 7/29/12

Francisco Liriano has been traded to the first place Chicago White Sox from the Minnesota Twins. What shocks me is how little Twins received for Liriano since they traded him within the division. I know he has been inconsistent at best but he has put together a nice string of pitching performances including his 15 K performance. The White Sox gave up infielder Eduardo Escobar and left handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez.

This will make it harder on the Tigers to make a run at the playoffs and that team scares me a whole lot more then the White Sox do.

Meet A Prospect : Derek Varnadore

The New York Yankees used their 9th round pick, 307th overall, on college right handed pitcher Derek Varnadore. Derek spent his collegiate career at the University of Auburn. Derek also, like Taylor Dugas, signed a well below slot deal for 10K. 

Varnadore is more of a project then any of the top 10 draft picks the Yankees took but the level of competition tends to be a lot better in the SEC then in other places. He has a classic pitchers body but still needs to develop his pitches. The body cannot be taught and the repertoire can and I think that is what the Yankees are looking for. I personally do not see Varnadore ever making the majors and if he does it will be in 4-5 years at the earliest. 

Derek is already pitching for the Staten Island Yankees in the New York Penn League. In 9 games as a reliever Derek has 18 K's, 6 BB's, a .193 BAA, and a 2.86 ERA in 22 IP. 

Follow Derek on Twitter @ D_Varnadore