A Yankees baseball blog spiked with realistic commentary & criticism.
li·ai·son - A close relationship, connection, or link.
Things looked good for Chamberlain when he got back up on the mound in the latest in a series of throwing sessions. The news has been more about shifting him back to the pen than it has about the success of his steady but slow return. There are a couple of factors that appear to be pushing him to relief work, none of them having anything to do with the injury. First is the impending end of the minor league season, making it tougher to send him down for a rehab start, and secondly the Yankees have chosen a more advanced approach to pitching management, something that has allowed them to transition Chamberlain from the pen to the rotation in the first place. Think of this as the same sort of transition, allowing him to build up stamina at the major league level while controlling his innings. The media and less-informed fans might panic, but in the end the Yankees have one starter who should be established enough for them to build around for 2009 and beyond.
This falls solely on Cole [and/or his dad]..
As you probably know, the baseball draft is an entirely different animal than the NBA or NFL drafts. In baseball, kids can get drafted out of HS [like Cole], but they can choose to go to college instead [like Cole]. However, the top prep players make sure their advisors inform clubs what the player plans to do in regards to the draft.
For example, Alex Meyer is a beast RHP coming out of High School - he made it abundently clear that he would be attending Kentucky U. next year so teams shouldn't bother picking him in the draft. The Red Sox picked him in the 20th round hoping a bunch of money might change his mind. It didn't and Meyer turned down $2million to go to college.
Cole, on the other hand, informed everyone that he DID want to pursue a careeer in professional baseball [the minors] and did not plan on attending UCLA - unless of course his financial desires weren't met. Knowing this, the Yankees jumped at the chance to draft Cole, and knew they had the financial might to sign him regardlesss of what outlandish demands Scott Boras made.
Out of nowhere Cole said he wanted to go to school and that no amount of money could sway that fact. Essentially, Cole turned down money which only top-5 picks got [and a chance to pitch for his favorite team] in order to got to school [and a just OK UCLA program].
For me and everyone else who followed the negotiations, this is completely inexplicable. There is no sound reasoning behind this decision except for maybe Cole's desire to be the big man on campus and pick up college chicks. Even so, having $5 or $6 million in the bank would probably get him more than a baseball scholarship. Hope he knows what he's doing, because an arm injury is just one greedy UCLA coach away - considering the overuse top college pitchers often face.
WFAN announced early Thursday evening that Chris Russo is leaving the company, making Mike Francesa the sole host of the popular afternoon drive time show.
The announcement of Russo's departure coincided with the announcement of a new contract for Francesa, whose deal was believed to be expiring around the end of the year.Love 'em or hate 'em, this marks the end of an era in sports broadcasting as these sometimes frustrating, sometimes dead-on, but always entertaining twosome created what sports talk radio is today.
Hits - firstIt will be fun to see Montero do damage to the Florida State League pitching next year as has solidified as a blue chip prospect in 2008.
Avg. - second
Doubles - fourth
Total Bases - fifth
RBI - seventh
Slugging - eighth
OPS - eighth
Runs - eleventh
OBP - twelfth
Joba Chamberlain plans to start a throwing program next week and expects to rejoin the New York Yankees' rotation this month.Alrighty then. Yankees docs, let's try and do your due diligence on this one. I don't want the same brilliant minds who allowed the Mets' Ryan Church to play through concussion symptoms going near Mr. Chamberlain. I'd rather the Yankees play it safe with Chamberlain and thereby risk the 2008 playoffs, then take any chance on Chamberlain's shoulder and thereby risk the next decade.
"I'll be throwing in a week. I'll probably throw the beginning of next week," Chamberlain said Friday when he arrived at the Yankees' spring training complex. "Everything feels fine now."
[Chamberlain] never thought the problem was serious.
"No. Not at all," Chamberlain said. "It would have been different if I wasn't still throwing 99 [mph]. It was a different feeling that I never had, so I just wanted to make sure."
When asked if he would be ready to start again for the Yankees by Sept. 1, Chamberlain said "I'll throw way before that in a game."
A scout who's here tonight said the scoreboard radar gun at this park can fluctuate unreliably. According to this guy's gun, Hughes' fastball was in the 94-95 mph range in the first three innings and then in the 91-93 range thereafter. The scout also said Hughes' curveball looked good, and that his slider sometimes looked a little more like a cutter, which he speculated was probably unintentional and a result of rust.If you haven't already read the Baseball Prospectus report from Phil's last rehab start in Charleston, it's pretty obvious that BP and the scouts in attendance that night were thoroughly impressed with where Hughes' stuff was at:
Philip Hughes, RHP, Low-A Charleston (Yankees)Mr. Hughes looks like he's back in the building which begs the question: has Hughes reverted back to the mechanics he used in 2006? I sure hope it is the case as I've already heard rumors Phil is back to the more athletic 3/4 armslot he began with as opposed to the more over-the-top delivery he'd been using of late. If you want to read a longwinded discussion of Phil's mechanics and velocity issues, feel free to check out this post from last year.
Technically, he's not really a prospect any more, but he's still a young unproven player. Based on what Hughes showed on Saturday, though, he could be a factor in the post-season race. Once the top pitching prospect in the game, Hughes made his second rehab appearance since coming back from a rib injury, absolutely dominating Sally League hitters on Saturday, allowing one hit in 3
2/3shutout innings while striking out five. More important was how good Hughes' stuff was, as his fastball sat in the low 90s and consistently touched 94-95—the kind of velocity he showed frequently in the minors, but rarely with the Yanks. While neither he nor Ian Kennedy have played the expected roles at the big-league level this year, they both might come September.
The early word is that his muscle tightened up due to a combination of the blistering heat (I sat in that heat the night before, and yeah, it's a huge factor) and fatigue. It's the latter that's most worrisome given Chamberlain's switch of roles. While he built up his arm strength, no one has any idea how the fatigue will be affected by the shape of his season. He's headed back to New York for tests, so we'll know more soon, but early reports and sources tell me that things look relatively positive, based both on the pain's location, and on his reaction. Expect the Yanks to be ultra-conservative, and for Chamberlain to miss a start at least.
Prediction: Ian Kennedy takes over for Darrell Rasner the next time through the rotation, and Phil Hughes comes back on the next homestand. Phil made his way to Scranton last night, and he will slot into the Class AAA rotation this week. (He drove up with Shelley Duncan, who’s back in Scranton after a quick rehab for his separated shoulder in Tampa.) I can’t imagine Phil would need more than two starts until he’s ready. That could mean the end of the Sidney Ponson Era, part 2, although Ponson has done a good job.
Pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras is here with Hughes and watched both of his rehabs in Charleston. Contreras said Hughes looked about as good in his last start as he ever has with the Yankees. His fastball command and velocity were both very good -- 93 to 95 mph, not 101 like the stadium gun showed -- and Contreras said the curveball was as sharp as it's been since 2006 when Hughes was so good for Trenton.Considering how well Nardi knows Phil's development and ability, [as well as his tendency to downplay pitchers] this is some exciting stuff. Looks as if the real deal Philip might actually show up in '08.
"At the end of the day you're taking the field with a guy who doesn't want to play with you, doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to … obviously effort-wise is just not there and that's disheartening and disappointing," Schilling said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program."
"I enjoyed pitching with Pedro, but I watched Pedro for a year come and go as he pleased, and do whatever he pleased, from a schedule standpoint and to a point, All-Star break heading home and no one ever said a word …The things that Pedro said going out of town about Terry [Francona], that crushed me because of what I saw Tito do for him. Manny's the same way …"
"Just a year [after the surgery], to have everything back with his kind of stuff . . . that's exceptional," the scout said. "A kid can't come back the way he did without working hard."The article also cited the scout as saying Melancon's plus fastball currently sits 92-94 mph and his filthy power curveball is between 81-84 mph. When I saw Melancon at Trenton his fastball topped out at 95, so that sounds about right.
"There are some guys who are middle relievers, that don't have the mentality to come in at the end of the game," the AL scout said. "But the way he goes about his business and gets the job done . . . once you see him, you'll know."
A great trade for the Yankees? Absolutely.
A gut-punch for many Yankees fans? Definitely.
Like the old adage goes, when making an important trade each team should feel some pain once the deal is done. This one was no different.
Though the original reported trade was incorrect, the the actual deal announced today is as follows:
Yankees get: LHP Damaso Marte and OF Xavier Nady
Pirates get: OF Jose Tabata, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Dan McCutchen and RHP Jeff Karstens
July 2nd..... 5.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 5 strikeoutsAnd finally, De La Rosa's career stats as a minor league pitcher:
July 7th...... 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 ER, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts
July 13th.... 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
July 18th.... 6 innings, 7 hits, 2 ER, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
2.32 ERA, 93.2 IP, 63 hits, 119 strikeouts, 44 walks, 1 HRIt's safe to say that Wilkins has catapulted himself from an underwhelming outfielder limited to minor league limbo into a bona fide major league pitching prospect.
11.49 K/9 - 1.15 WHIP - 6.08 H/9 - 0.10 HR/9 - 4.25 BB/9
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July 10th.. 6 innings, 7 hits, 2 ER, 6 strikeouts, 1 walksJuly 5th.... 9 innings, 5 hits, 0 ER, 10 strikeouts, 0 walkJune 30th. 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 ER, 5 strikeouts, 1 walkJune 25th. 6.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 ER, 3 strikeouts, 3 walksJune 14th. 9 innings, 6 hits, 0 ER, 4 strikeouts, 0 walks