Friday, January 10, 2014

Article Revisit: Joe Blanton As A Plan C?

If the Yankees miss out on Masahiro Tanaka and really do not like the other options in Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, & Matt Garza to name a few what would the Yankees do to fill their razor thin rotation? Would Brian Cashman dumpster dive, which he has already stated that he would, would he build the rotation from within, or would he just throw his hands up and say the hell with it? Obviously the latter is not happening with Cash in a contract season and with so many question marks down on the farm right now Cashman may have to try and catch lightning in a bottle again. Enter Joe Blanton.

The bad on Blanton is obvious but the good you may have to look a little deeper to see. Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA in the first year of a two year deal worth $15 million, which is bad. The good thing is he is on a one year deal, is affordable with a $7 million AAV, and would be easily obtained for scraps, a PTBNL, or cash in a trade, which is good. The Los Angeles Angels are even reportedly willing to eat salary to move him and if they don't they are prepared to release him before Spring Training, again good. Why would we want him though, right? Keep reading.

Blanton, using advanced metrics, was an average pitcher or maybe a tick above in 2013 in the American League. His xFIP was a respectable 3.84 which was 26th best in the AL. Yankees ace CC Sabathia's xFIP was 3.76, albeit in a down year, Jimenez's xFIP is 3.62 in 2013, and Santana's xFIP was 3.69 in 2013.

Blanton still misses enough bats, 7.33 K/9 in 2013, and keeps it in the strike zone, 2.31 BB/9, which is another attractive element to look at. You would also have to think that Blanton's 2013 BABIP, batting average on balls in play, has to come down from an insane .346 and come back closer to his career .305. One alarming rate though is his fly ball rate which produced a home run which was a staggering 19.1%, up from a career 11.0%, would probably not translate well into Yankee Stadium if this were to come to fruition.

Blanton's numbers may not look great, pitching in the batter friendly Citizens Bank Park for four of the last five seasons has not helped that,  but the guy can give you 175-200 innings and has all the signs of improving next season with a change of scenery. If it comes down to Spring Training and we still need a starting pitcher lets make sure that change of scenery happens in the Bronx.


  1. JOE BLANTON ?...plan C ?.....I'm plan Q, and Blanton is in my rear view mirror.

  2. I must disagree with you Patrick...
    Blanton is not any more than an innings eater, but he can fill a spot in the rotation. He is a bit better against leftys, that is a help! He is not an AAAA pitcher at all...another thing in his favor! He will pitch better with a staff to make him follow them as a one wants to be the guy giving up games with the Yankees, when we have one or two kids showing how it is done!
    I say...take a chance with him if we have and no down side that I can see, Spring training he would be in competition with a few others. By the end of forsaid games, we will know if he is good enough to pitch in the "Beast of the East". Also, it could be he needs a little coaching or a change in his mechanics!
    Sometimes (as Daniel said) change is good, we have sure seen it many times before, why not with him?

  3. Blanton is a plan c if we miss out on Tanaka. At that point we build up an awesome and deep bullpen and you get a guy or two that can eat innings. Didnt say he was a great option.

    1. Daniel...
      I didn't mean to imply he was anything but a pitcher. One that could be in the mix, come spring training. Not someone we would go after to fill a # 3-4-or 5 spot unless he can hold up his end.

  4. Rocket Reed.....I'm tied up tonight. Anne Marie has my full attention.
    From what I see, Daniel is guiding Tanaka onto our landing zone. Good.
    Good feeling about all of this.......................Take care.

  5. I just wanna add his wife to the wives and girlfriends section....


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