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Monday, December 20, 2010

Brian Cashman sez the Yankees have until July (!) to improve their rotation

At the beginning of this offseason, Brian Cashman said his priority was "pitching, pitching and pitching." Two months later, after not getting Cliff Lee -- or any other arm -- for the Yankee rotation (and no, I'm not counting Mark Prior!), and after the potential loss of Andy Pettitte, Cash now appears to be in no hurry to fix the rotation, telling ESPN's Wally Matthews:
Cashman acknowledged his team could use a major league ready starter as well as another arm in the bullpen but seemed pessimistic about the chances of getting one before Opening Day.

"Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there's just not much out there," Cashman said. "I have March, April, May, June and July, really, to come up with someone."..."

In the past, we might have gone out and traded away prospects just to get someone in here," Cashman said. "But realistically, I have until July to get this solved."
Oh, no you don't, Brian. If the reloaded Red Sox go off on a tear, you could lose the division very early on. And there's no telling when some other team in the league might be the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. To assume you have four months to fix the team is one of the more arrogant thiings I've heard anybody say in a while.

First off, I don't understand why it's apparently so hard for Cashman to pick up the phone and woo Andy Pettitte. The GM told Matthews, "If we get Pettitte back, so much the better. But I'm not waiting for him. He told me not to." Would it kill Cashman to show Pettitte some love -- and some money? And why is it that the Yankees have always seemed to take Pettitte for granted?

As for using two rookies to fill up the Yankee rotation, I tend to share some of the skepticism my friend Steve Lombardi of Was Watching has about the plan. Going with the young guns in the starting rotation didn't exactly pay off in spades in 2008. And please, I don't want to see Darrell Rasner or Sidney Ponson back again, either!

Besides, while the Red Sox can afford to do a "bridge year," the Yankees really can't. I am pretty sure Derek Jeter will have a great year this season to shut up the naysayers. But it will probably be his last one. Mariano Rivera won't be pitching into his 50s, and A-Rod isn't getting any younger, either. I'm all for playing the kids in some spots, which is why it seemed to make more sense to me to bring up Jesus Montero and have Jorge Posada work with him, as opposed to signing Russell Martin. But the idea of not one but two untested rookies in the rotation scares me more than a little.

I hope this "I have until July to fix the rotation" talk is this year's 'Bubba Crosby is our centerfielder," as opposed to, say, thinking that reacquiring Javy Vazquez and Nick Johnson would be good moves!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

15 comments:

Section 36 said...

As a Red Sox fan, I like hearing comments like that from the Yankees GM. With the team the Sox have this year, a four-month head start should be plenty to cruise to the division title.

Of course, I also remember the 1999 Sox team. They had a pathetic line-up, and a rotation that consisted of Pedro and four other guys even I can't remember. They ended up in the ALCS that year. So, the Yankees could follow that pattern. Unfortunatley, there was no team in 1999 like the 2010 Red Sox. Sabathia is no Pedro. And, the Sox lost that ALCS to the Yankees in '99. Those aren't exactly the best signs.

randombaseballstuff.com said...

If I were a Yankees fan, I'd be hoping that Cashman's comments are designed to lower the price for Matt Garza.

I would not trust him to make a deadline deal - if he had gotten Cliff Lee this year, maybe the Yankees would have added another World Series trophy to their collection. Instead, he opted to hang onto prospects that he doesn't seem to believe in.

Uncle Mike said...

The Red Sox are not running away with anything. They'd be better off just running away. Their pitching issues do resemble those of a New York team. The Mets. Also, weren't the Red Sox running away with the Division in 2006 and 2009? How'd those seasons work out? They didn't even make the Playoffs in '06, and only got the Wild Card in '09 and got swept.

Section 36 is right about one thing, though: CC Sabathia is no Pedro Martinez. CC can throw more than 100 pitches. Also, CC isn't a headhunting thug. CC is a man, on both counts. Pedro was not.

It's time for Yankee Fans to stop acting like pre-2004 Red Sox fans. There is no reason to panic. There is no better team in the American League. The Rays? No more Carl Crawford. The Rangers? No more Cliff Lee. The Angels? We've proven we can beat them in October, and they're not as good as they've been, either. We got this.

Dale Sams said...

" weren't the Red Sox running away with the Division in 2006 and 2009? "

2006: 4 game lead on July 4rth
2009: 5 game lead on June 24rth.

so...no.

Besides, neither the Yanks nor the sox won the division in 2010 or 2008, so all this division title bs is premature. Desmond Jennings will make up some of Carl Crawford, and a traffic cone could replace Pena.

Uncle Mike said...

Dale, if you think the Rays will seriously contend in 2011, I've got two words for you: As Jim Bouton would say, "Yeah, surrrre!" The Orioles have a better chance now.

Lisa Swan said...

I wouldn't give the Red Sox the 2011 AL East title just yet. However, they have upgraded bigtime this year, and look to be the favorite to win the division.

urinalfresh23 said...

Careful Mikey, your Yankeritis is rearing it's ugly head again (see "Is losing Cliff Lee a "PR nightmare" for the Yankees?" for the full medical definition).

Yep, CC is no Pedro. In fact, Pedro is only half the man that CC is. CC weighs roughly 300 pounds and Pedro was maybe 150 soaking wet? Depending on the exact numbers, it's roughly half!

"...There is no reason to panic. There is no better team in the American League...."

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Section 36 said...

The Yankees are lucky that there really aren't many great teams in the AL. Their line-up probably will let them win lots of games against TB, Baltimore, and Toronto. That will be the bulk of their early schedule. So, they may stay in the WC hunt until July. I'll take the four-month head start for the division though.

If I need to win one game because my life depends on it, I want 1999 Pedro on the mound. I don't have a second choice.

Uncle Mike said...

Then you're dead, S36, because we can just wait Pedro out until he throws Pitch 100. Has there ever been a great pitcher whose weakness has been so well-known? Has there ever been a more overrated pitcher?

Steverino, you laugh, yet you do nothing to refute that at which you laugh. (At least you're consistent.) Really, laughing at the Yankees never ends well. It usually ends in October with the laugher wondering why God hates him and loves the Yankees. I don't know the answer, but I don't mind not knowing, as long as the result comes.

urinalfresh23 said...

Billy Joel once said "you should never argue with a crazy mind-mind-mind-mind-mind-mind" (I think he was talking about you Mikey), so I won't add anything more to this particular thread, except this:

"...laughing at the Yankees never ends well. It usually ends in October..." Usually? Wait a second here, "usually" typically infers a rather high success rate, perhaps somewhere north of 50 percent maybe? What has been the Yankers success rate? Of the 106 World Series that have been played, the Yankers have purchased 27, so that comes out to about 25%. So 25% gets a "usually" now? Is this the new math? Or are you just carrying on the "just say NO to YES" tradition of telling a lie often enough so that people start to believe it?

And since 1961 (the expansion era), the Yankers have purchased 9 trophies, so that's 9 in 50 years, or 18%. Again, "usually"?? I don't think so.

Oh sure, I know they have purchased more WS than any other team has won, but that still does not earn a "usually". "Occasionally" is more accurate, but not "usually".

And laughing at the Yankers is almost as much fun as watching my team win, since that is what "usually" happens in October, about 75% of the time! The-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankers lose!!!!

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Lisa Swan said...

I have to agree with Section 36. 1999 Pedro Martinez is pretty much as good as it gets.

And Uncle Mike, Pedro had 23 starts over 100 pitches that year, and 13 of 120 pitches or more that season.

Alex Taffet said...

Random Baseball Stuff, I highly doubt the Yankees would get Garza, being in the AL East. I am not saying the Rays wouldn't trade Garza within the division, but the price would surely be higher, in which case another team, like say, the Mets, would swoop in.

Section 36 said...

Thanks Lisa. I'm pretty sure Pedro was pitching pretty well the night he struck out 17 Yankees at the stadium.

I hate the "over 100 pitches" flaw people give Pedro. Of course he pitched worse over 100 pitches. But, it's not like at 99 pitches he threw 97 mph on the corner, and #100 was an 85 mph meatball. He also pitched worse over 115 pitches than he did under 115. Every pitcher does. If you're pitching well, you don't throw many pitches. So, just by throwing over 100, by definition, he's not pitching as well as if he was under 100. Plus, there are more pitches under 100 (99, to be exact) than there are over 100 (20, maybe) so the number gets skewed. Chances are, if you're pulled from a game it's after giving up a hit. So, the last pitch you throw has a 1.000 BA. There's not enough quantity to bring that number back down. It's simple statistics.

Uncle Mike said...

<< Billy Joel once said "you should never argue with a crazy mind-mind-mind-mind-mind-mind" (I think he was talking about you Mikey), so I won't add anything more to this particular thread >>

A, You haven’t added ANYTHING to this thread, and B, Billy Joel is a Yankee Fan. So is Bruce Springsteen. So is Paul Simon. Getting younger, so are Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. The biggest singer who’s a Met fan is… Liza Minelli? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

As for Pedro's 17-K game: If Andy Pettitte doesn't allow that home run, Pedro pitches a one-hitter with 17 Ks and LOSES. But in the most important game he ever pitched, 4 years later, he went over 100 pitches, and neither he nor his manager had a clue that he was spent. Sure, he might have won a Game 7 in 1999... but his team has to be good enough to get there first. He started 3 World Series games; in 2004, the Sox were already up 2 games to 0, so there was no pressure; in 2009, he was 0-2. Not as clutch as you think.

Lisa Swan said...

Section 36, my brother and I were just talking about that 17K game. He was visiting New York at the time, and saw that game in person!

Here's an article about the event:

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/11/sports/baseball-1-hit-17-strikeouts-no-way-for-the-yankees.html