The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NY Times: Cashman Defends High-Priced Burnett’s Pitching

Cashman obliged by launching into a spirited defense of A. J. Burnett, the high-priced, often disappointing starter for the Yankees who lately has found himself nominated to be the odd man out in a rotation that is about to go from six pitchers to five.

Those nominations are being made by members of the news media and sports talk radio callers, and Cashman, who over the last year has become increasingly blunt in his comments, made it clear he was not amused by any of it.

“He’s being treated differently publicly because he has money attached,” said Cashman, who spiced his remarks with a profanity. “So forgive him for saying yes to a contract. If you want to blame someone for his contract, blame me. But the man can still pitch.”

I realize it’s Cashman’s job to defend his players.  But I say bullshit.  I don’t think it’s the contract.  It’s partially the chronic underachiever thing, where he’s always seemed to have the stuff to better than he was.  Now that stuff has diminished and he hasn’t learned to compensate for it.  It’s also partially the disaster potential in every inning no matter how well he’s pitched to that point.  You just need to look at his last start for an example of that.

Seriously, does anyone really care about how much Burnett’s making?  The only starter you can make a case for Burnett over in terms of results this year is Phil Hughes, and that’s because Hughes has been hurt and is working his way back.  If Hughes can follow up his last start with a couple of good outings it gets that much harder to defend keeping Burnett in the rotation.

One wonders if the team would willingly piss away a chance in a postseason series by stubbornly starting Burnett when there are clearly better options.  It wouldn’t surprise me.

--Posted at 11:29 am by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

I think it’s clear Cash is gone this year.  He’s good at his job but not great.  His willingness to throw high priced free agent pitcher contracts, especially to pitchers on the wrong side of 30, is not something I’m going to miss.

I believe Cashman will stay after this year, and I can’t imagine a better GM for the Yankees. If the last few year have taught us anything, it’s that it’s absolutely vital to develop your own pitching prospects, because there are simply no good starters available on the free market, or they are, of course, on the wrong side of 30.
Cashman has done a great job in improving the Yankees’ farm system and in holding onto their prospects even in a perceived great time of need.
Go Cashman !

[2] Cash might be a good fit for the job, but I think he’s gone after this year. Maybe a year or two off from baseball and he’ll come back with another team.

Nah, I think that the Steinbrenners and Levine have realized that Cashman is better at GM-ing than they are and will do everything necessary to keep him.

I’m not sure there are “clearly better options” for making a playoff start than Burnett.  I’d feel confident in starting CC and Colon.  After that, I’d be worried no matter who it was.  The case for starting AJ, ISTM, is you could use him UNTIL he starts falling apart, then bring in Hughes, for example, to minimize the damage.  I’m not defending AJ per se, but it does seem to me that he’s either got it going or he doesn’t, but WHEN he’s got it going, he’s as good as any of them.

Realistically, how can any of us know whether Cash will be back next year?  We don’t know what he’s thinking.  His willingness to go public with his differences with ownership and other recent behavior are susceptible of more than one interpretation.

And AJ sucks.  I cringe when I watch him pitch because he all too frequently seems on the precipice of disaster.  I’d rather see him air it out for an inning or two out of the pen.

I don’t think I’d be concerned with Nova starting.  Groundball pitchers rarely have days where they get smack around and usually get in trouble because of walks and defensive failures.  In Nova’s (short) career he’s given up more than 5 ER in exactly one game (you mean twice - ed).  His worst game, arguably, was against KCR last May and he was beaten by a couple of bad errors (on groundballs) and a few Pastadivingjeters.  Otherwise the hard hit balls wouldn’t have been so damaging.

Cashman is a good GM, but he’s also aided by having a large pocketbook.  He made a few nice pick-ups off the scrapheap this season (Colon, Chavez, Garcia), but the Yankees have the deep pockets to absorb those risks - whether it’s a million or five million - should they not pan out (Prior, Nick Johnson, Posada, Jeter (I kid I kid ... kinda).  Few other teams in baseball can throw away money for back-ups and projects like the Yankees.  Granted, a lot of other teams don’t spend their more limited funds in a prudent fashion either (Nationals, Royals) or at all (Marlins, Pirates).

I’d like him to stay, as long as he doesn’t try and trade for Javy Vasquez again, because he does well with the farm system and knows how to use the Yankees advantages to their best ends (regardless of how much of the payroll is devoted to Jeter and A-Rod in their dotage).

[7] The Swisher trade was really good too.  Cash isn’t faultless, but he’s good, whether he’s a few IQ points short of a Theo or not.  I don’t think you can blame the A-Rod and Jeter deals on him either. Also, considered ex ante, the second Vazquez trade was defensible.  A certain SG of the intrawebs trumpeted the acquisition at the time, iirc.  Who among us anticipated his drastic descent into suck?

I loved the Vazquez trade and hated the Granderson trade. I certainly shouldn’t work for the Yankees.

And AJ sucks.  I cringe when I watch him pitch because he all too frequently seems on the precipice of disaster.

“AJ Burnett on the mound” = “Runners in scoring position”.

AJ is a Saturday Afternoon serial cliffhanger from the 40s except the bad guys usually win.

sure, AJ is a great weapon—you just use him until right before the bad inning is gonna happen, then yank him!

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