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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NY Times: Pettitte Exits, but Yankees Beat Rays

Compared with the injury to the Yankees’ starting pitcher on Saturday, Sunday’s mishap was merely mundane. Unlike A. J. Burnett, who cut the palms of his hands when angrily slamming them into a clubhouse door Saturday, Andy Pettitte was merely throwing a pitch when he strained his left groin muscle Sunday.

But while Burnett’s injury probably will not force him to miss a start, Pettitte’s injury could force him onto the disabled list.

Why couldn’t Burnett have strained his groin and Pettitte cut his palms?

Pettitte’s been the Yankees’ best starter this year, so this hurts.  It sounds like he could miss up to five weeks, which is not cool.  As for who fills his spot, it’ll probably be Dustin Moseley or Sergio Mitre, neither of which excites me much.  Until we know how much time Pettitte’s likely to miss, it’s tough to really assess the impact.

Pettitte’s injury put a damper on a solid win.  The Yankees were down 3-0 after only ten pitches and with AL All Star Game starter David Price on the mound for Tampa Bay.  Luckily for us, the Yankees have Robinson Cano, who put them right back into the game with a two-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit to 3-2.  The beleaguered Yankee bullpen was able to finish the game after Pettitte left, allowing two runs over the last six innings while their teammates scored seven more.  I was happy to see Joe Girardi go right to David Robertson when Pettitte had to leave with two on and a 3-1 count on Kelly Shoppach.  At this point, Robertson is probably the best non-Mo reliever in the bullpen (I really don’t give a crap what Joba’s FIP is), and the game had the potential to get ugly right there.  I’ll also throw CHP a bone and thank him for a good inning.  That makes two good games in his Yankee career I think.

This is a series we have to be happy with, as the Yankees took two of three from their chief AL East rival and opened up a three game lead in the division.  In doing so while Boston lost three of four at home against Texas, the Yankees also have managed to pick up a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the loss column.  In order for Boston to catch the Yankees now, they have to be seven games better over less than half a season.  With eleventy billion aces, that’s certainly plausible, but it’s also somewhat unlikely.

--Posted at 7:57 pm by SG / 38 Comments | - (0)


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A few sources are reporting Mitre, but I don’t know that Girardi has announced a decision yet. Where’s Darrell Rasner when you need him?

Time for a little Aaron Small lightning in a bottle!

What’s Shawn Chacon doing these days?

Where’s Darrell Rasner when you need him?

Japan.  Pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.  I can’t find 2010 stats, but he sucked in ‘09.

Eleventy billion? Have they re-signed Pedro?
I can’t go for that.

Cashman has supposedly said it will be Mitre. Per WFAN

Joba for the first!

I want to start a Joba should start campaign, but… he kinda sucks right now.

I’m all for Joba starting… in AAA.

Thurm, we see your every move.

I can’t go for that.

Why did the farmer start a punk band?

Because he was sick of Hall & Oates.

That joke works a lot better out loud.

Haulin’ Oats.

SG, is there some way to use Andy’s expected pitchinig stats compared to Mitre’s and calculate the expected number of victories Andy’s injury will cost the Yanks? My rough guess is around 2.

According to fangraphs Pettitte’s wins above replacement for the season so far is 2.0. Considering the season is more than half way over and Pettitte undoubtedly would be projected to regress some I doubt it would total 2 wins even if Mitre replaced Andy for the rest of the season. Unless you think Mitre is a below replacement level pitcher I suppose.

Swish can throw K’s.

Thanks very much, jyjjy.  This year Mitre has 0.0 WAR and he had just 0.2WAR so I suppose he’s around replacement level. Another factor is that lesser pitchers will now do the long relief work Mitre would have done if he not been moved to be the 5th starter.  I doubt that this is a big number.

All in all, I’m somewhat relieved.  Pettitte’s injury is unlikely to cost the Yanks 1st place and very unlikely to cost them a playoff spot.  Sounds like there’s no urgent need to trade for another SP.

Time to trade for Roy Oswalt?

if Pettite is out for 5 weeks, that means he’ll return when the roster expands anyway.

Oswalt might be relatively easier to land in terms of prospect due to the bigger contract, and Houston being idiots and that he wants out. they probably can’t rob them blind like they did in the Abreu trade, but something south of Montero could be concievable.

I was happy to see Joe Girardi go right to David Robertson when Pettitte had to leave with two on and a 3-1 count on Kelly Shoppach.

You know, you can sorta thank Burnett for that.  If he doesn’t slam his hands into those doors, then he probably limps through five or six innings Saturday and Gaudin would have been available yesterday.

Dan Haren may be available.  Not pitching all that well this year, but he could really help with the DH situation.

Japan.  Pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.  I can’t find 2010 stats, but he sucked in ‘09.

Yes, I know. It was.. how you say… tongue in cheek?

I read that the Yanks are showing interest in Joaquim Soria. I imagine the Royals would want a good package of prospects for him and overpaying for a reliever is never a good idea, so my guess is that’s not going to happen.

I really hope the Yankees stand pat unless a decent player falls into their laps at a very reasonable price.

[17] I was thinking Oswalt as well.  Getting Oswalt makes the team better now, and then when Pettitte comes back it pushes Hughes to the bullpen right around when he would need to go there anyway.  Also, you get Oswalt for the next two years (rumors are he would insist on his option being picked up), for probably less than Lee would cost, and IDK if Lee is *that* much better than Oswalt.  If Yankees are willing to take on the full salary, maybe Oswalt could be had for a couple of “B” prospects.  Maybe Nova and Adams?  Depends on what is more important to Houston I suppose, the prospects or the money.

Okay, yesterday was a very busy day, so I didn’t get to update you guys on Saturdays SWB Yankees game.  In a nutshell, it sucked.  McAllister had good stuff - FB touched 93 which I don’t remember seeing before - but didn’t seem to have any command.  His pitches seemed to end up in one of two places.  In the dirt, or somewhere in the vicinity of the OF wall (off or over).  He left in the 3rd, and Kei Igawa - purple glove and all - came in and allowed the inherited runners to score.  But to be fair, one was a 1 out sac-fly and the other was a seeing-eye single w/ 2 outs.  After that he was fine, if you ignore the 3 solo HR.  Defense was very sloppy as well, committing an error, misplaying some singles into doubles and doubles to triples, and failing to make some other plays that should have been errors.  Other than Reegie Corona, who made several nice plays at 2nd.  Montero allowed one WP, but there were at least 20 balls in the dirt that he blocked w/ runners on, so overall I think he did fine too.

Offense actually did something, as there was ANOTHER HR by Chad Tracy, Bruntlett hit a pair, and even Curtis Golson had one.  Nothing going for Montero or Russo in his first game back, though.  All in all, disappoinging 11-7 loss.

[24] I have to tip my hat to Igawa. How awesome would it be to get paid that much money to play in the minor leagues? And the cost of living in Scranton is pretty low, so he must live like a king.

Oswalt will make $16m next season. Does that contract prevent them from pursuing Lee in the offseason?  Even if it doesn’t, it would prevent them from adding Lee and a big hitter.

Anyway, Nova and Adams seems like a relatively cheap price. I think the Astros would probably want more if McLane isn’t just posturing:

...McLane told the Houston Chronicle the team is “willing to look at anything” with the July 31 trade deadline approaching.

That includes, apparently, a willingness to eat money on one of the Astros’ high-priced veterans if it means the club can get better quality prospects in return.

“It’s totally and completely dependent on the offer you’re getting in return,” McLane told the Chronicle, describing the team’s flexibility.

I agree wit [22].

I hate the idea of getting Oswalt, not even for salary dump. I rather wait to sign Cliff Lee next season.

The idea of Soria is very good as he has been an elite reliever for a while, but I will drive crazy if they overpay for him in terms of prospects.

[23] The Astros have an underperforming switch hitting DH type, too, no?

“Why couldn’t Burnett have strained his groin and Pettitte cut his palms?”

Better yet, why couldn’t Pettitte have strained Burnett’s groin?

On a less serious note, if the Yankees were ready to trade their no. 1 prospect 10 days ago in order to add a starter, I can’t see them standing pat now, with Pettitte gone for God knows how long.

Okay, yesterday’s game was much better.  Other than the sunburn anyway.  Got to see David Phelps for the first time.  Me likey.  He struck out 8 of the first 10 batters he faced, and ended up with 10K’s in 6IP, vs. 0 walks.  He looks like he throws two FB, one at 90-92 (touched 93 once in 2nd and once in 5th), and one 88-90.  Also threw I think a cutter, 84-86, and a curve anywhere from 71-78.  He had two other pitches, one at 81 and one at 80, not sure what they were.  The 80 I’m pretty sure was a hard curve.  The 81 didn’t get a good look at - could have been a curve, bad reading on the gun, maybe even a change (it was to a lefty).

Overall he was fantastic.  Threw the FB for strikes and when he missed it wasn’t by much.  One of his K’s was a FB looking.  I don’t recall any called strikes with his curve, but he got several swinging strikes, including one for a K.  His cutter, 8 swinging strikeouts on it, also got some called strikes.  His a VERY fast move to first as well, almost picking off a couple of runners.  All in all he let up 1 run in the six, and that was a sac-fly.  In summary, 4 pitches, command of them all, changes speed on the curve, and gets swings at misses on all pitches.  He’s young enough he could still add some speed to his FB.  I think if he adds a couple of MPH, he has Mussina upside.

Sanchez relieved Phelps.  You know about Romulo.  Couple of walks and a K.  Melancon backdoored his way to a W.  Double, single, sac-fly, two weak groundouts.  One of those games where he pitched OK, but allowed a run.  Alby got all three for the save.

Okay, defense.  Much better today.  Nunez made several nice plays, saving some hits and turning a nifty DP.  One error on a potential DP ball he should have back-handed, but it handcuffed him.  Corona again shined at 2nd.  Russo had a nice running catch, and on the sac-fly for Phelps’s run got behind the ball perfectly for momentum, and made a strong throw home, two hops online.  He would have needed Raul Mondesi’s arm to have a play at the plate though.  The only defender that had any trouble was Moeller.  The runner who eventually scored stole 2nd on a busted hit-and-run, but Moeller dropped the ball when he tried to throw.  Antoher runner later he looked like he didn’t get a grip on it, and decided to eat it (runner was on 3rd).

Offense, not much today.  Russo’s 2nd AB he started to look better, hitting a long flyout, and then his 4th with the tieing run on 1st in the 8th he blasted a double into RCF.  Golson hit another HR, lucky for him the wind shifted to blowing out to LF.  The hit of the game, after the Russo double, Corona turned on the first pitch and hit a fliner to RCF, that two-hopped the wall for a go-ahead triple.  Not much else.

Okay, Montero.  DH yesterday.  Two major-league popouts.  He also hit a towering flyout to pretty deep LCF, while the wind was blowing in.  No wind, probably still an out, but on the track.  Wind that was blowing when Golson hit his, Montero has a HR.  Last AB solid single to CF.  I forget in my last post, once of the differences when comparing how a player does in Scranton to DNYS.  Saturday, Montero hit what was recorded as a foul-out to RF.  In DNYS it may have been a HR.  It’s 330 down the lines in PNC Field, and Montero’s ball was slicing to RF, and was caught about 2-3 feet foul, right on the track, 315-320 feet.  IMHO, it likely would have hit the pole in DNYS.  Maybe would have been just foul.  Either way, wouldn’t have been caught.

[29] They were ready to give their best prospect in order to get the best starter in the AL, so don’t expect to get a good starter noe just because they failed to get their man. Lilly could be an alternative, but who knows what it would take to get him.

The Yankees didn’t get Cliff Lee, did they?

Mike, is Albaladejo improvement, from your perspective, real/sustainable?  Sitting on that type of AAA results/performance and not getting a call up is kinda tough.

SG, is there some way to use Andy’s expected pitchinig stats compared to Mitre’s and calculate the expected number of victories Andy’s injury will cost the Yanks? My rough guess is around 2.

jyjjy’s basically correct, estimating an impact of two wins is way too high.  Although, Fangraphs WAR underrates Pettitte’s contributions so far this year by crediting the defense for the difference between his FIP and ERA, which is wrong IMO.

Think of it in terms of runs and starts.  In general, 10 runs equals one win.  So estimate the difference in runs between n starts of Pettitte and Mitre and divide by 10 to get the impact.

First of all, you can’t assume that Pettitte will continue to pitch as well as he has so far this year, but let’s assume he can maintain an ERA around 4.00 for the rest of the season.  Let’s also assume he’ll miss five starts, and pitch seven innings per start.

So Pettitte would allow something like 15-16 earned runs.

Let’s now assume Mitre can’t pitch more than five innings per start, so he’ll pitch 25 innings, and the 10 inning difference will be filled by replacement level, which I’ll label as CHP for short.

CHP ERA is probably in the area of 5.30 in the 2010 AL, but let’s put it at 6.00.

So 25 IP times Mitre’s expected ERA plus six runs (10 innings of CHP) = ?

If Mitre’s ERA =

4.50: 19 runs, = -0.3 wins
5.00: 21 runs, = -0.5 wins
5.50: 22 runs, = -0.7 wins
6.00: 23 runs, = -0.9 wins

So it may end up costing them around a win if Mitre goes Igawa on them, but it shouldn’t be much worse than that.

[29, 31]  Cashman has made it pretty clear that a) they considered Lee a special case, and b) they are going to see how they do with internal options for the rotation before considering a trade for a starter.  Pettitte’s spot comes up twice more before the deadline, as does Burnett’s.

Also, I’m a little bit surprised that Hughes is starting tomorrow.  With the off day, they could have skipped him this time through to help keep him under his innings cap.  Even with Pettitte’s injury, they wouldn’t have had to use him until Friday.

Also, I’m a little bit surprised that Hughes is starting tomorrow.  With the off day, they could have skipped him this time through to help keep him under his innings cap.  Even with Pettitte’s injury, they wouldn’t have had to use him until Friday.

Blame the bleating of the people who blamed Hughes skipping a start for his worst start of the season.  There should be no Hughes rules, he should be allowed to pitch 300 innings.

Sterling and Waldman have spent the last few days giggling about pitchers who could go over 300 innings. They have also used the phrase “sample size” several times over the last couple of weeks, so who knows.

[32] He seems to be throwing a little harder, like 94-96.  I remember him being more 92-94.  Perhaps my memory is faulty (in that he always threw this hard), or maybe it is the gun at PNC Field.  I’m not sure if he’s really had any improvement, as much as he’s dominating AAA hitters during what should be his prime years.  IOW, if you were to flip he and Joba, Alby might have the 5+ ERA while Joba is dominating in Scranton.

At the same time, his results certainly appear to indicate he should be called up.  Who knows?  Maybe the Yankees feel he has more trade value dominating AAA than being OK in MLB?

Odds of Torre bringing in Robertson that early yesterday about equal to Pena’s chances of winning the triple crown next year.

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