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

Friday, March 30, 2012

NY Times: Yankees Still Aren’t Certain About Rotation

“I know these guys are anxious to find out what we believe their schedules are going to be and when they’re going to pitch,” Girardi said Thursday before the Yankees played the Baltimore Orioles. “We’re just not quite there yet.”

Girardi said the issue would be discussed over the next few days in meetings with him, members of his staff and General Manager Brian Cashman and his staff. The hope, Girardi said, is to come up with a final five by Monday, but they are still collecting information as the pitchers make their final spring starts.

I’m pretty sure they’ve made their decision, and they’re just figuring out how to tell the one who’s not in it.  I hope they’re not considering a six man rotation, but considering how frequently this team chooses the sub-optimal option it wouldn’t surprise me.

--Posted at 9:33 am by SG / 69 Comments | - (0)


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Is there really any information that they don’t have that they think they’ll get in 2 days?

Information that someone’s being traded somewhere?  Other than that, no, there shouldn’t be.

Only about something that happens in the next 2 days. This is a decision they can defer until the last minute they need to. There’s not a great deal of value to an early decision, particularly if what they decide to do commits them to something that’s harder to undo (like a trade, etc.)

[2] - This.  I bet (hope) they are trying hard to trade Freddy somewhere he would accept.


I hope they’re not considering a six man rotation, but considering how frequently this team chooses the sub-optimal option it wouldn’t surprise me.

This.  I really have no faith in them to make the clearly right call if they can’t trade Garcia, sending Nova down.  The most encouraging thing is they said Hughes has a spot.  But yeah, their willingness to use a 6 man rotation in the weeks leading up to the playoffs last year makes me think some crazy solution could be at hand.

I dunno. I still think it will be the conservative/non-commital move: Freddy in the bullpen until the dust settles on Pettitte. They could well end up with 7 starters, meaning 2 pitchers to trade. Or injury/ineffectiveness could rear its ugly head along the way.

RAB contends the Yankees and Texas are the two best teams in baseball at present.  Do you agree and if so who is better?

[6] This is a dangerous, dangerous curiosity and you need to stop before you invoke the Perilous Curse Of The ‘27 Sox.



book it.

As long as Pettitte is ready to fill in by the end of April after Hughes’ inevitable injury, then sure, trade Garcia.

I agree with Pin—Garcia to the pen.  If Nova or Pineda or Hughes really struggles (I’m just saying IF), maybe you send them down to get right and Garcia goes to the rotation.  Garcia will be okay with relief in the meantime.  If everyone is healthy/competent, you have a great problem if and when Pettitte is ready.  This solution seems so obvious to me that I’m sure it won’t be implemented.

Yeah, I don’t think you trade away Garcia until you know what you have in the comeback Battlecat.

So either Garcia to the bullpen, or (less happily) Nova to AAA.

I would like to remind everyone who is wringing their hands over Pinata’s velocity, Hughes’ velocity, Nova’s control (and velocity), and Garcia being Found By A Stranger In The Alps and also having no velocity, that we have had absolutely no discussion of how to fit AJ Burnett into this whole mess.

Whatever else the suits do that might be suboptimal, they at least did that right. Even if AJ turns out to pitch well for PIT whenever it is that he comes back. It would just prove again that you can’t trust basket case people in important jobs in NY. Driving taxis, holding public office, real estate moguls etc., fine. But nothing important.

The 5 fattest pitchers, no?

Pettitte has also been a little chunky.

The Yankees have said they don’t think Garcia out of the pen is a good idea.  They don’t think he is suited for it.

So C.C, Hughes, and Garcia are locks.  That’s why I really think Garcia is going.

We have the fattest pitchers, good point, villainx.

[16] It’s really too bad we let Colon walk. Pontoons is still available though, right?

Pontoon is busy ruling his country.

Have you seen Bartolo’s line from his first start?  It was the Mariners in Japan, but still.

Looks like MLB has done away with the extra off days in April this year.  So barring rain, teams will need five starters right out of the gate.

I love Bartolo Calzone.

I was happy retaining either Freddy or Calzone as the 6th starter/insurance policy.

Think what our tonnage would amount to with Calzone and Joba in the rotation with CC and Phil. Hey, KoolAide !!

Oh, what might have been…

The Yankees are aiming at the first 1 ton rotation. They have the height to do it. Now they just need to fill out.

What can they learn in the last 2 days?
If someone gets hurt, they haven’t told one of the other guys that he wasn’t making it.

Even with a seven man rotation, they come in around 1700 lbs.

[26] For now. You swap out Kuroda for Betances and about a million cheese burgers and I think they can make a run at it. Too bad they got rid of Brackman, they could have used his weight potential as well.

Give C.C. enough Captain Crunch and he will get there on his own by the end of the season.

We should never have gotten rid of Calzone.



book it. “

I agree with the order, but seriously doubt Garcia starts the 3rd game.  I think they’ve as much as said Hughes is the #3, and I’d expect Pineda at #4.

I agree with the order, but seriously doubt Garcia starts the 3rd game.

So you don’t agree with the order.

Montero has a .286 OPS. Thank goodness the Yankees dodged THAT bullet!

“I agree with the order, but seriously doubt Garcia starts the 3rd game.”

You agree with the order, but not the ordering.

Edit: or what WP said…  Amusingly, “rotation” has the same issue.

[32] But Cespedes has a 1.429 OPS! Why didn’t they sign him!?!

“You agree with the order, but not the ordering.”

Yes, badly worded on my part.

I agree who the top-5 are, but not the order in which they will pitch.

I also agree with the ordering, but would like to substitute Nova for Garcia.

Edit: Actually, I would like to substitute Pinata for Garcia, and Nova for Pinata. But retain the order, it’s fine.

In the course of a season, wouldn’t it make sense to have your starting pitchers go in an order like 1-4-2-5-3 in order to spread out the workload on the bullpen? The idea is to alternate pitchers not likely to need a lot of innings from the bullpen with pitchers who do.

The idea is to alternate pitchers not likely to need a lot of innings from the bullpen with pitchers who do.

I guess that gets to the question of how to decide who’s a 1, 2, 3 etc. If you are doing it on the basis of “stuff”, you may find you have a number 2 who gets lots of strikeouts but explodes after 2-3 innings more often than a #5 soft tossing innings eater.

Oh wait, we just traded away our volatile “number 2”.

I agree that the order should be #1 through #5. But I disagree as to which pitchers should be assigned to which spot in that order.

There’s also the question of who gets the most innings.  You probably don’t want your third best starter pitching what, 40-50 fewer innings that your #3—in the abstract.  But maybe “#3” has great stuff but is fragile, where “#4” isn’t so good but is a hoss.  Or all kinds of other considerations, like…am I going to win the Megamillions?

[37] [38]  Prior to the playoffs, it’s probably best to think of rotation order mainly as a management tool, like employee of the month.  You don’t just want your SPs to be content knowing they are among the top 5 pitchers on the team, you want them to know roughly where they stand in relation to one another so as to incentivize them to move up the pecking order.  It’s playing on the players’ natural competitiveness.  I think this is pretty well engrained into the mentality of baseball players and managers.  If Pitcher A is considered a better pitcher than B (or at least has accomplished more in his career), then A wants and expects to pitch the day before B, strategic considerations be damned.

Pineda and Garcia are sharing the last spring training game with Garcia starting. Does this sound like a recipe for terribleness to anyone else?

[42] Sounds fine. What could go wrong ?

Apparently Pinata is back down to 89-91. The curse of…oh, let’s say, Carl Pavano.

[44] Don’t worry so much about velocity. As long as he keeps locating like this, he’ll be fine.


That. Settles. That.

Silver lining ? We won’t have to worry about being embarassed like this until the World Series.

Bandbox South.

There is no way Mo can keep pace with Papelbon’s performance at this rate.

How do you incur a “Too Many Men On The Field” penalty in BASEBALL ?

Luv, Luv, Luv that this is happening to Papelbon.

Edit: I especially like that they didn’t even send the manager out to pull Papelbon. Who’d they send ? Pitching coach ? Bat boy ? Locker attendant ?

No. Musta been the “Beer Here!” guy.

And Pineda with shoulder soreness. F.

[44] Pavano sucks. Oh wait.

[52]Inevitable. Death and taxes.

[54] It’s now being called “normal soreness.” Which I guess is less bad, but this start might have sent him to AAA.

Damn you Pete. I was thinking death.

And Pineda with shoulder soreness. F.

MRI scheduled.

It sure feels like the Yankees have either been very unlucky with or very poor at the development of young frontline starters.  I know the old “There’s no such thing as a pitching prospect” axiom, but it feels like the Yankees have suffered especially bad luck in this area.

Furthermore, it seems like prospects with any sort of pressure on them seem to not make it, while guys like Wang and Nova with lower expectations find some success.

This sucks. I’d still make the trade, but fuck.

Just this admission will probably take Pineda out of the mix for April, even if there is no structural damage. (knock on Kerry Wood) They could shut him down, schedule two AAA ‘rehab’ starts, then reassess. Or maybe I’m being overly pessimistic.

That sounds pretty optimistic to me. Something similar happened to Hughes last spring and he sucked.

Ofer fuchsache.

Wish Don were here to pan the Jesus trade.

I know where you can get that fix if you’re interested.

Looks like I have the answer to my question of what can happen in 2 days. Oof.

Inability to develop top pitching prospects is nothing new for the Yankees.  Plenty of guys have come through the Yankee system with the “can’t miss” tag who did.  Who can forget Brandon Claussen and Ryan Bradley.  Or Brien Taylor.

Al Leiter was the last highly touted Yankee prospect to have a very good big league career…. and he only did it after being moved to the Blue Jays. 

Pettitte was never a marquee prospect.  How good a prospect was Ron Guidry? Guidry was on the list of minor league pitchers made available to the Orioles in the Rudy May-Rick Dempsey-Ken Holtzman deal in 1976.  The Orioles took Scott McGregor instead.  Mariano Rivera was such a good prospect that the Yankees considered trading him for Felix Fermin.

This means that Montero puts up a 150 ops+ right?

Looks like I have the answer to my question of what can happen in 2 days. Oof.

Maybe now people will acknowledge my genius. I’m not just a pretty face !

Pin, don’t you mean MY genius (see [25])?

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