Minor League Week in Review

Notables:

Mason Williams had surgery on his left labrum and will be out for the season. He reported that his surgery went well and we can look forward to his return next year.

Saxon Butler was promoted to Charleston after putting up a 179wRC+ in the NYPL.

Both Caleb Cotham and Shaeffer Hall were placed on the DL with “injuries” to limit their innings pitched.

Melky Mesa promoted to the traveling circus AAA team.

Ronnier Mustelier (foot) and Tyler Austin (slammed the OF wall trying to save a HR) both made their return, while Abe Almonte is rehabbing with the GCL.

Breaking news as of today: RHP Corey Black is on his way to Charleston; Manny Banuelos has been shut down for the season. He may get some work in Winter Leagues.

SWB Yankees 3-3 for the week, 62-52 on the season and 1 game behind Pawtucket for first place

Eduardo Nunez got some hits in after returning from his seemingly endless DL stint for his thumb injury and went 7-23 on the week with a 2B, HR and a RBI. Dickerson went deep while going 6-20, a 2B and a pair of RBI’s. Utility man Ronnier Mustelier turned in a 6-21 performance with a pair of doubles and a lone RBI. On the pitching end the bright spots were relievers Claiborne who went 3.1IP, 1H 0ER 3K’s and Justin Thomas who tossed 3 shutout innings giving up zero walks, striking out three. Melky Mesa made his debut for SWB and got knocked around at the plate a bit. He managed a nice game on Saturday however, going 3-5 with a 2B, HR and 2 RBI’s while scoring twice. If he gets himself rolling in SWB we might see him in the BX come September.

Trenton Thunder 5-1 on the week, 69-45 with a 7 game lead in the Eastern League

The bats were alive in Trenton,this week as recently converted third baseman David Adams went 7-19 with two doubles, a HR and 3 RBI’s. Adonis Garcia who just arrived from Tampa went 6-14 with a pair of doubles, a HR and 2 RBI’s. Walter Ibarra joined in the fun with a 7-16 showing hitting three doubles, a HR and 4 RBI’ws. Not to be outdone by anyone on the squad, Zoilo Almonte had himself a 7-25 week with a pair of doubles while going deep three times and driving in eight. On the mound Brett Marshall made two starts and ended up with a line of 12IP, 8H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K. Vidal Nuno had a decent outing going 5IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but his control is outstanding; on the year his BB/K is 29/96. On the relief end Kelvin Perez tossed 4 innings of 1 run ball on 4 hits walking 3 and striking out 5. Mark Montgomery showed everyone he was human by giving up his first HR since April. He ended the week with 4IP, 2ER, 1BB, 8K’s. He’s been nothing short of outstanding this entire season so he’s certainly allowed a blip on the radar.

Tampa Yankees 4-3 on the week, 58-55 for the season, 8 games out of first place

Tyler Austin bounced back after a jarring collision with the OF wall to go 10-26, a pair of doubles and 4 RBI’s. Fellow OF’er Ramon Flores followed with a 9-26 performance and a triple. Slade Heathcott had a great week with six hits in 16 PA’s with a 2B, 3B and a HR while driving in five runners. After returning from shoulder surgery they’re taking it easy on him. This season is more or less a long rehab for him; if this kid can stay healthy he could be a major asset for the club. Moving on to the pitchers, lefty Nik Turley made on start this past week tossing 5 innings of 5 hit ball allowing zero runs on 4 BB’s and 5K’s. Branden Pinder went 3.1IP in relief, giving up just one hit and no runs, walking one and striking out 4. Jeremy Bleich is trying to make his way back up the ladder tossed 4 innings of perfect ball, walking none and striking out three.

Charleston RiverDogs 3-4 for the week, 49-52 on the season 10.5 games out of first

It’s safe to say the Dogs really miss the three headed monster of Austin, Sanchez and Williams, not to mention losing one of the best arms in Jose Campos. Saxon Butler debuted this week, going 3-9 with a RBI. He absolutely crushed it in SI, and as a first baseman he;s going to have to keep it up if he wants to keep moving. Nice start to low A; we’ll have to keep an eye on him. Ben Gamel turned in an 8-30 weel with a pair of triples while driving in 4. Refsnyder put some numbers on the board going 9-26 with a double, a HR and drove in 7. Cito Culver is doing his Ichiro! impression by building a picket fence; he’s had exactly one hit in nine straight games. He had a two-bagger and drove in three this week. Reymond Nunez went 7-19 with two doubles, 2 RBI’s and scored a run. Bryan Mitchell made 2 starts this past week and ended with a line of 10IP, 9H, 4ER, 8BB and 9K’s. Phil Wetherell made one start tossing 5 innings of one run ball while walking zero and striking out 6. Brett Gerritse went 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 1BB, 4K’s.  Nick Goody was perfect in relief throwing 2 innings of zeroes.

SI Yankees 0-6 on the week (yuck) 15-31 on the year, 15 games out of first place

Matt Snyder really came around this week going 11-24, sending one over the wall and driving in 5. He’d been looking up at the Mendoza line so hopefully this will be a turning point. Claudio Custodia had himself a nice week with 7 hits in 25 PA’s; that included a double, two triples, a HR and 6 RBI’s. Daniel Lopez rounded out the bats going 7-15, all singles. Pitcher Gabe Encinas had an up and down week, starting off with 7 innings of one run ball and then getting shellacked his next time out yielding 5 runs over 2.1 innings. Corey Black took the hill this week and gave the SI Yanks 6 innings of 1 run ball, walking one and striking out 5. He was reportedly hitting the high 90′s. On the relief side, Stefan Lopez threw 2.2 innings of shutout ball on 2 hits. He walked none and struck out four.

GCL Yankees 3-2 on the week, 25-16 on the season, trailing the GCL Tigers by two games.

Kicking off the bats this past week was Austin Aune; he went 3-9 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI’s. The big question here is, wether he’ll be able to stick at shortstop. Miguel Andujar went 3-10 on the week while Yeicok Calderon had 5 hits in 17PA’s including a triple, 3 HR’s and 5 RBI’s. He’s holding an OPS of 1.037 the last ten days. Walter Ibarra put up some numbers of his own, going 7-16 with three doubles and a HR while driving in 4. Zach Nuding headed up the pitching staff, giving the club 6.2 innings of two run ball. He walked one and struck out 5. 2012 first round pick Ty Henseley made his second appearance since inking his deal. He settled in for this one and pitched 2 innings of one hit ball. He walked 2 and struck out 5. He was in the mid nineties, so the shoulder seems fine. Rookie Davis got back on the hill for 2.2 innings, giving up just one hit, walking zero and striking out 2.

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Posted on August 6, 2012, in No Category and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Great first article Jimmy. Hopefully Banuelos comes out strong next year. Good to see Corey Black get promoted. A lot of good info. Looking forward to this feature.

  2. Thanks Matt; had an issue loading a pic; wouldn’t let me publish, kept wanting more pics. Also botched the edit. Derp.

    Looks like they’re being extra careful with both Banuelos and Campos; just hope we don’t find out they need to go under the knife and lose another year. They both have youth on their side so that’s something. Injuries have not been kind throughout the orginization this year. Started with Pineda and went right off a cliff.

    • I’ll email ya about the picture thing.

    • That’s my concern also Jimmy. Seems the Yanks have had bad luck with diagnosing injuries this year. If Manny & Campos have bad elbows, have the surgery. Don’t wait til next yr and it bothers them again then so they basically miss 2-3 years of important development time. Tommy John Surgery is far from a death sentence and they are often stronger than ever after 18 months.

      • There’s probably a couple of things at play… one being optomistic (maybe too much so?)about recovery without jumping the gun and sending them straight to see Dr. Andrews. I wonder how much a players agent comes into play as well; when Gardner went for a diagnosis earlier it was mentioned that both the team doctors and someone recommended by Brett’s agent ervaluated him before they went any further. It wasn’t until another setback or two arose that he went under the knife.

        They’re using a bone bruise as the reason for Manny’s season ender, which is a bit odd; we heard soreness and inflammation but this is the first mention that i’ve seen of a bruise, which, although i’m certainly no doctor doesn’t seem like something you would get by throwing. Could it be a non-pitching related incident?

        For both Manny and Jose they declared “no structural damage”. I would hope they exhausted every test and did a contrast dye MRI, which supposedly shows more than a standard MRI. You would think they have the very best doctors evaluating these guys, but it does make you wonder.

  3. Great article Jimmy!

    Welcome aboard! :)

  4. Saxon Butler you were right out hit in Staten Island it’s going to be interesting to see how he ends the season with the RIver Dogs.

    • He carried a .990 OPS in SI, had a ton of XBH’s and went deep every 14.2 PA, but i’d really like to see him take a few more walks. It could have been due to a lack of competition and an aggressive approach but he’ll need to show some patience at the plate or the better pitchers will tear him up.

      If he doesn’t have a plus glove he’s gonna need his bat to carry him as a first baseman.

  5. Very good work Jimmy! These guys you are writing with are, all-stars and do a very good job in their own right.
    The only problem you may have is with that nutty guy that writes in the third person…he calls himself t something oh, yes twasp. So be careful of him! He isn’t a writer but, he is trouble!

    Just kidding, all are good people, yes, even the nut, T-something!
    Good job, good luck and always have fun! :)

    • Thanks. I’ll be doing the MiL reviews for Mondays and when I can i’ll throw in a feature article here and there. All the doom and gloom talk around the blogosphere about Manny being out for the season is spurring on a piece about prospect expectations, and keeping a perspective that the grass isn’t exactly greener on the other side. Every team sees injuries and failures; it’s not exclusive to NY.

      • Jimmy, you’ll do just fine on this site.
        Doom and gloom and prospect expectations go hand in hand around here sometimes. lol :)

        • It isn’t doom and gloom when it the truth is spoken or REALLY SHARP folks make the right calls.
          In preseason SOME people here told me i was wrong about the Montero trade being a disaster, I was right.
          In preseason SOME people told me I was wrong about the Granderson trade being a wash at BEST. I was right.
          In preseason and shockingly into this season, some very delusional people told me I was wrong about the Burnett trade and right now I’m laughing at their unknowledgable existences everytime he takes the mound.
          Call them like you see them, then give credit(If you’re a man) when someone is right and take lumps and admit when you are wrong. Wish more people would man up. Anyone can break down numbers AFTER they are in, the REAL sharp guys make predictions and get them right.
          Oh, lol, and hi guys. I’ve been VERY busy and can’t wait to dive back into commenting. Hope everyone is doing well!

          • Michael P….
            1-The Montero trade is still up in the air, most trades with young players, take a few years to check the results…maybe 2013/14!
            2-Most all of us said about the same thing about the Granderson trade, some even said we got hosed!
            3-Burnett is a good pitcher but not for the New York Yankees, Rogers was the same way years ago. Never could handle the stress of New York but, was very good in the National League (Rogers in Texas)!
            I guess you are smart enough to make your thoughts known, nothing wrong with that. On the other hand some of us don’t make predictions that are obvious…Burnett, is a much better pitchers then he showed with us…most knew that!
            Some of your conclusions may be off somewhat but, no-one is perfect.
            One thing in your favor is you will stick your neck out, whereas most won’t, good for you…keep it up!

            • AJ was just fine and dandy for us in 2009, which completely nullifies and renders void any notion that he couldn’t do it in NY. He can, he has, and he did.
              He was mauled by two pitching coaches(both dumber than sacks of flour) who wouldn’t stop screwing with him.
              It was a nightmare trade for the ages considering they signed Freddy to a 4 million dollar deal and got nothing back. The Yankees are paying Burnett 10 million dollars this year to win a Cy Young with the Pirates. You take that one blowup start where he allowed 12 runs in a 2 1/3 innings out of his line and he’s had a BRILLIANT season.
              Montero’s average away from Safeco(an awful hitting park, especially for a guy like him with opposite field power) is now .314 after his first inning single tonight in Camden Yards. In Yankee Stadium for half of his games this year? What would his average be.
              Brian Cashman is a disgrace.
              Consider this, he offered Martin a three-year deal that thankfully he turned down.
              I have never hated a Yankee more than I hate Martin. Not only can’t he hit, but he calls awful games with fastballs called on seemingly every pitch. He’s a clown, and he stinks.

              • 2009 was his first year, and the only year Burnett had a winning record (13-and?) with the Yankees. After that he went down hill, as has many players that try the Yankees on for size, some just don’t fit. What he is doing in the other league has nothing to do with the fact he was a AAA pitcher for us! He could win 5 Cy Youngs in a row and it won’t change the outcome of his stay with us.
                Monty isn’t hitting well at safeco so, it still means it was a bad trade right…not really! It is not what a player could do or has done, it is…can and does he do it now, for his team?
                Your opinion of Martin is shared by a few others but, not by me or the Yankees. Yes I would like to see him hit more but, I can live with a very good defensive catcher. As for his game calling; he calls what the pitcher has that night along with the scouting report they went over before the game. The other night he called for a lot of split fingers, why would he do that if he where calling FB as you say? Very simple, that was Freddys best pitch that night and his SO pitch.
                If one looks hard enough at the play of every player on this Yankee team, one can find things that make them less then a hero, but why do that?
                I will do that to get a reaction from someone and have fun but, what I say is what I read or saw happen. Anyone having the same set of stats can pick and choose which way they interpet them.

              • Michael P. Welcome back….as usual your analysis is MONEY in the bank. please excuse Ken for contradicting you. He has always been a CashMan apologist.

                • Maybe I am mistaken but, it seems as though more agree with me than you two (read below). Therefor, I’ll just pass on the nice words I had thought of writing as an answer to your HATE of Short People. You should be more careful of your words, they could be said to be HATE speech. Shame on you, for being such a big bully, picking on us smaller people. Shame, shame, one more time, shame on you…you bully! lol :)

                  Got ya! :)

                  • Ken – you were against trading prospects like Montero. I have an old excerpt of a comment you made. Montero has been a disappointment so far as JT has detailed. Pineda has big upside potential.

                    Also you have always defended CashMan getting the headcase named Burnett ….until he imploded. I have excerpts from iYankees where you applaud Blackeye Burnett.

                    • Come on Twasp…
                      You know I have never wanted to trade any of our prospects but, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t trade one for the right deal. Monty was the right deal as far as I am concerned but, we won’t know for a while will we? I get upset with some of the god awful trades put forth by some writers…give up three Top guys for one player, doesn’t make any sense to me.
                      I don’t ever remember saying much about Black-eye, his trade or anything else even getting rid of him as they did.
                      I think you are working a bit overtime trying to discredit me. Are you sure you are not an eastern NY Democrat?

                    • Ha ha good line Ken….eastern NY democrat. You da man oldjeterhater!

          • The Montero trade being a complete bust is a load of horsehockey. Monty hasn’t done crap, and Noesi is back in AAA stinking up the joint. When you have a trade that includes 22 years of team control and you proclaim anything after the first year for three of them you’re outright fooling yourself into thinking you have any business assessing the value. Call me when they’ve all either expended their years with their teams. If any of them happen to be traded, then it could take even longer. Those two ding dongs in Seattle have combined for -.5 WAR this season, so even without Pineda we’ve still come out on top, and it looks like Seattle knows full well he isn’t going to be a catcher long term otherwise he’d actually be, well, catching. Wanna blame his hitting woes on the park? Bollocks. They’ve always had slight splits away from home, but never this bad. I chalk it up to the fact that they suck. Sharp guys don’t look at a trade in the first year and deem it an official bust. Sorry.

            As far as Burnett….. i gotta laugh. That guy flat out admitted that he had a hard time in the pressure cooker. He stated that when he started to implode in NY he would hear it from the fans and melt. In Pittsburgh he could be as horrible as possible and hear nothing. His whole problem lies right between his ears and everyone knows it. One half cocked season and a solid game in the playoffs means nothing. He couldn’t be consistent to save his soul. Add to that getting knocked out by his wife and bring his personal problems to the club punching doors and it was a recipe for disaster. After three years I had enough of that headcase. His mechanics aren’t any different… it’s all in his tiny little head.

            The Grandy trade is what it is…. the Yanks are a NOW team and they traded a “could be” for a guy that was doing it. AJax is coming into his own and it would be nice to have him, i’ll admit that. The IPK babbling has finally stopped now that the polish has worn off the apple and he isn’t lucking his way through lineups in one of the worst leagues in baseball.

            I like Martin, but i’ve been irritated with his hitting althoug he’s been turning it on lately. Without looking it up i’ll bet he has a similar OPS to a guy who isn’t even catching and couldn’t hit lefties or a slider if they threw it underhand. Blame it on SAFECO i guess.

            • Montero’s average out of Safeco isn’t a coincidence. He’s a guy we really could have used this year and THEN traded.
              The difference between him and Martin is that Martin can’t hit on the road or at home.

              • Michael “money” P. …….. Your response to JT’s criticism of your post on AJ, Montero/Martin …….not your best defense. Stay strong…..

            • Agreed on everything Jimmy great stuff. Montero wasn’t catching here full time this year so comparing him to Martin doesn’t matter. DH wise he would not have been better than the production of the Jones/Ibanez/Chavez trio.

  6. Love this. Especially about the lower levels. I try and do as much homework on them before they make it to tampa high a squad i am a semi regular at their games. Not so such on the 8 games back for yankees last i heard they are leading for division playoff spot. Could you expand on that tid bit please?

    • Hmmm… I think you’re looking at the second half standings, not overall. I did the same thing at first and then noticed the number of games they had played. They show first half, current, and overall. Looks as if they should label “current” standings “second half” to avoid confusion.

      Any questions feel free hit me up and I’ll answer as best I can.

  7. Ken – it’s not this site that is doom and gloom on prospects…..it’s your friend CashMan who would rather go with veterans like Andrew Jones, Raul Ibanez, Iichy and journeymen like Nix and Stewart rather than give our prospects a chance.

    • Who would you have liked to have seen in those spots to start this season TWASP?

      • Hey JT…..I like Jones/Ibanez …I think they have gotten a lot of big hits this season. The starting season roster was fine with me.

        • As far as the bench is concerned I’d like to see a mix of veterans who have been in big spots before and some youth. Unfortunately Romine has been out all year and Nunez showed that he needs to focus on fielding one position. Joseph has been hitting well in AAA but doesn’t fit into a role, while Mustelier doesn’t bring quite the defense that Ichiro does.
          You could probably make a case for Dickerson in the OF instead of Ichi, but he’s not exactly an up and comer. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him in September, along with Adams.
          Been a rough year all around for injuries; hopefully they’ll have better luck next season and some of them can push their way to the big club. The middle of the system has a lot of talent…if someone like Pirela, Adams, Z. Almonte or Mesa finishes strong and makes a good showing in ST next year that would be great. I’d love to see an OF’er or two push their way up as well as Adams come up to spell Alex and eventually take over at third full time.
          We definitely need to inject youth into the lineup, and with any luck well have several of these kids wearing pinstripes over the next few years.

          • Morning Jimmy. Fishjam always mention a theory that the Yankees should abide by. By having one prospect of a pitcher and position player on the team every year. To help inject youth.

            I’m sure he can explain better his reasoning for this.

            • I can get on board with that. Being around major leaguers isn’t a bad thing as long as they are completely overmatched. I think we have a couple of pitchers and a couple of position players that, barring injury could make a serious push to the majors next year, and for the next couple of years.

            • Absolutely Matt. There is no reason why David Phelps shouldn’t be the #5 starter getting valuable innings/experience right now. The difference in results between he and Garcia is negligible but with Phelps you are building something.

              Last year Montero could have DH’d all year or at least the 2nd half when he was red-hot. This year, Nunez should have had an extended role ESPECIALLY when Gardner went down. Even now, Nunez could be on this team getting ABs and stealing bases instead of McGehee.

              The Yanks are veeery tentative to give a lot of playing time to young players. They def prefer veterans which has some benefits, but I think it’s more important to have some degree of youth and energy on your team and it builds for the future. It’s also even more important since they are serious about reducing $30+ Million from the payroll in 2014.

              • I’d easily agree about Phelps getting more time, but at least he’s getting *some* innings. Freddy has actually been serviceable…. not as good as last year but for a #5 i can deal with it. In the big picture, i’d rather have Phelps in relief than Garcia. He’ll either be trade bait or get a shot at the back end next year; I would like to see him back and get that spot.

                In Montero’s case, he could have been brought up sooner, but let’s face it; he was on the road to get traded. He was offered up for both Lee and Halladay at different points in his MiL career (and who knows who else). They sold high on him when they could and i’m fine with that. I would have liked to see him in pinstripes but I wrestled with the fact that he had a “chosen one” attitude and a not so great work ethic. When Arod had to get on him about taking extra BP and tried to push him and he resisted I started to lose the love. Bringing him up a bit earlier (what… august?) when he finally started to get some motivation wouldn’t have made a difference for the big club. It wasn’t like he was trying to get used to AAA, he was labeled by many as “bored”. Screw that, see ya later.

                Nunez is where I can’t agree one bit. That guy needs to play full time; wether at one position or as a utility guy. He finally shined last year when Jeter went down and he got to p[lay his natural position every day. Other than that he was an unmitigated disaster in the field. I like his bat, and think he can be a good fielder, but he needs regular work, and playing a bench role serves him no good. Bouncing him from the OF, then third and short…. nope. I’d love to have his speed on the bases, but I don’t think it’s worth sacrificing actual development playing every day. Of course, as was our luck he got injured and he lost valuable time, but I can’t use that to prove he shouldn’t have been in AAA.

                • I totally agree that Nunez should not be a utility man. Pick a position and let him concentrate on that. With Gardner out all season, Nunez could have had a lot of playing time as a SS & DH. Jones & Ibanez have platooned in LF and you could have used ARod/Chavez/Jeter/Nunez for 3 positions – 3B, SS & DH. None of those 4 players are suited to start 162 games for different reasons. Great way to get Nunez ABs and keep the 3 veterans fresh and rested.

                  • I hope twasp is reading your and JT above you.
                    I tried to convey the same thoughts before but, thank goodness you two do a much better job of it, plus your other insights surpass mine.
                    Good thunken guys!

                    • TWASP agrees with JT ….. CashMan screwed up trying to make Nunez a utility man. Give him time in minors to learn his craft.

                      You never said that before Ken…..you have been pushing to get rid of Jeter for 3 years. I have the iYankees archives to prove it. Want me to publish them?

                    • Twasp…
                      What are you talking about, I have never said to get rid of Jeter (I don’t think I did), if it sounded as so, I am sorry you took it that way. I had said Jeter could become a liability, also I wouldn’t have given him the contract he got from Cashman (on orders from dumb and dumber). I also think next year he should shear SS, DH with Nunez.
                      Nunez had talent but no where to play a couple years ago so, Cashman and others, thought maybe he can become a good utility man…that is something they do with talented guys that are stuck behind another player. It didn’t work out, so what, one never knows unless tries it out, now does it?
                      All year I have been saying that Nunez is a SS, in fact I started saying it last year.
                      I don’t understand what you are getting at…”you never said that before Ken”, what is it about? :)

  8. I get that they might not be leading in the overall standings but to my understanding they have a first half winner and a second half winner. doesn’t really matter in the long run as long as they make the playoffs. would be great to see this team get there.

  9. I think the Yanks are a little different than most teams, with their making the playoffs every year. They can’t afford to bring up prospects and play them unless they will be productive. I even thought Girardi stayed with Joba too long the other night. They might have won that game if they pulled him, but it’s always easy to second quess. We all second quess more when the team isn’t winning. Phelps has been good this year and deserves a chance at the 5th spot year. I like all of Cashman’s moves this year, Pineda, Ibanez, Kuroda, and Ichiro. The Yanks have been hit with too many injuries in the majors and minors to really have a grip on their future. Major prospects like Pineda Baneulos, Romine, Williams, Campos, and Nunez have clouded the picture for the Yanks. The biggest problem the Yanks have right now is the loss of A-Rod, even at 75% he has a presence that is missing with the club right now. The team is still scoring runs this year, but it doesn’t seem to score enough late when they are behind. They need to win some close games late to build some confidence down the stretch.

    • not being able to come from behind and all the one run loses are brutal. In the past I always felt they had a chance to win in the bottom of the 9th. Now I don’t feel that way.

      • It comes down to managing, it really does. Girardi has the most uncanny ability to choose poorly when given an option that I have ever seen. Just now he sent Jeter for that strike out/throw out double play and I was shaking my head when I saw Jeter go the first time on the foul ball. Why? Why do you do that with no outs? With Cano up next?
        The other night after Chavez doubled and Ichiro was up I was furious that he didn’t bunt. Why not bunt there? You’re facing Verlander and manufactured runs are at a premium. Then the same exact scenario occurs a few innings later and once again he doesn’t bunt Ichiro.
        It isn’t luck after 5 seasons Matt. Kay said last night “Girardi has set himself up to be second guessed again” after he yanked CC for Robertson in the 7th. “Again” is the key word there.
        I don’t think I second guessed Torre as many times in his Yankee managing career as I do with Girardi in one season.
        I don’t mind contrarian tactics, and I love guys who think out of the box EFFECTIVELY.
        Stewart is hitting 70 points higher than Martin is, and I really don’t see any defensive difference behind the plate. If there is a difference, its negligible. Yet Girardi refuses to make Stewart the everyday catcher.
        Granderson at leadoff?
        I just don’t understand most of what Girardi does. It’s really frustrating.

  10. I agree Matt, teams develope an idenity during the season, the O’s and A’s have been tough late in games and have many walk off wins this year. I don’t think either has the talent to win the world series at this point. Interesting enough, their could be a three way tie for the second wild card or both wild cards this year.What happens then? One of these momentum teams could make a run right through the playoffs.

    • Doug – why don’t you think the Os or As can win the WS? If they make the playoffs ….anyone can win……it’s random.

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