Category Archives: Yankee Mailbag
Hello Yankees fans, and welcome to another Yankees Mailbag! I haven’t done these types of articles in a while and given the current state of the Yankees, I thought it would have been the right time to do one. Let’s re-cap what’s happened so far, shall we? Yankees lost some vital parts to their team; players such as Mariano Rivera, David Robertson & Brett Gardner. The Yankees pitching has looked pretty shaky to begin the season and apparently it looks as if the Sandman sprinkled some of his magic dust on the Yankees offense. You sent your questions in via Twitter and now, I shall answer them. Let’s get started shall we.
The first question comes form @yankees_cris. As a matter of fact, he asked a couple of questions about the Yankees. Here is his first question.
@yankee_cris: Given the current rotation, would you trade for an additional starter?
With the Yankees struggles in the rotation, it wouldn’t hurt to trade for an additional starter, but I don’t believe the Yankees will make such a move. If I could, I would probably trade Freddy Garcia for another arm, but again I don’t see that happening. What the Yankees could do though is either stretch out David Phelps or they could bring up D.J Mitchell to be a starter if they need to. Both players have great numbers, so if the rotation does end up sinking those two could be a quick backup plan.
@yankee_cris: Do you think Nunez will be down at AAA for the rest of the season? When should they bring him back up?
I don’t think Eduardo Nunez will be down in AAA for the rest of the season. The Yankees originally sent down Eduardo Nunez so that he could work on his defense which he will be doing once he gets off the DL. The Yankees might bring Nunez back up if they see his errors decrease. No question Nunez has a great bat, but the Yankees want him to get the every day playing time so that his glove can catch up to the rest of him.
@yankee_cris: Are you a fan of personal catchers? Seems Stewart is only catching CC. Think CC will get too comfortable with only Stewart?
To answer the first part, I like the idea of a personal catcher because it’s the same person once every 5 days. The personal catcher really gets to know the pitcher which is important in any ball game. I don’t think CC will get comfortable with only Stewart since he has seen other catchers before. CC recently worked with mostly Russell Martin in 2011 and in 2010 he worked with Jorge Posada. CC knows how to adjust to different catchers so I don’t think Stewart being in there every 5 days for just CC is a big deal. It’s important for the catcher to know at least one person on the staff and Girardi chose to pair Stewart with Sabathia which hasn’t been a bad paring at all.
Our next question comes from @dp57. She asks:
@dp57 Why don’t the Yankees just buy their own MRI machine. It would be more economical, right?
It would help a lot for the Yankees to have their own MRI machine, but I don’t think Cashman included that in the budget when he was thinking about what the team needed this season. It would help cut down on medical bills, that’s for sure.
Our next questions comes from @secondz2late & @NataliaYank250. They basically asked the same question, so here was their question.:
@secondz2late: Why are the Yankees sucking so bad?
@NataliaYank2530: Can you tell me why the Yankees suck so much right now?
It’s a gigantic slump up and down the lineup. Usually it’s only 3 to 4 players at the most at a time but at this time, everyone decided to stop hitting. Just like hitting is contagious up and down the lineup, not hitting is also contagious.
Our next question comes from @cindy_fay. She asks:
@cindy_fay: How come the Yankees only scored a total of 2 runs in 2 games? Everybody’s slumping? Men left on base is so frustrating
That’s a question that I’m not sure of the answer to myself. It seems to me though that the Yankees are struggling up and down the lineup. It would be understandable if it was just 2-4 players, but having the whole team struggle (minus Raul Ibanez) is a very frustrating thing, I agree.
Our next two questions come from @mbrax10. He asked
@mbrax10: Ask Joe [Girardi] when is he quitting.
@mbrax10: Ask when is [Joe] Torre coming back
To sum up both of your questions, Joe Girardi is not going to quit and Joe Torre is not coming back. That’s the reality of it. Besides, it’s only May! Maybe when it’s September we could worry about stuff like this but right now, it’s far too early in the season.
Our next question comes from @elprieto80. He asks:
@elprieto80: With the recent woes/injuries, do [Dellin] Betances and [Manny] Banuelos have a chance of making ‘The Show’ this season?
Well, I would expect to see them as September call-ups like Betances was last year but as far as during the season, I don’t think so. Both Betances and Banuelos are struggling a bit (Betances is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA & Banuelos is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA) Also as of right now, Banuelos is on the DL with I believe it’s eiither a back or an elbow injury (He’s had both and I’m not sure which one it is at this point).
Our final question comes from @CarmRodr. She asks:
@CarmRodr: How is the team staying together during this slump? What are they doing as a team to motivate one another?
Well they seem to be together when they are all slumping. But seriously, Joe Girardi has tried literally everything that you can think of to get them out of their slumping state. He’s let them come to work late, he’s let them get to work early, he even had the pitchers take inter-league batting practice so the guys could ease their minds. Girardi is doing all that he can to get the Yankees back on the right track. The only thing that we can do now is just sit and wait for this team to start hitting. Don’t worry, they can’t slump this badly forever.
These were all the questions that I got for the Yankees Mailbag! Thank you all for sending in your questions!
Hello Yankees fans and welcome to another edition of Yankees Mailbag, where you send in your Yankees questions and I answer them. Before we get into the questions, let’s recap a couple of things that have happened with the Yankees the last couple of weeks.
1. The Yankees agreed to contracts with all 6 of their arbitration eligible players (Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Brett Gardner, Boone Logan, Russell Martin & Phil Hughes).
2. The Yankees traded away C/DH Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos
3. The Yanks signed RHP Hiroki Kuroda to a 1 year / $10M deal.
4. Jorge Posada officially retired from baseball after 17 years in the major leagues.
I asked fans to send in their questions on Twitter and you did! Here are your answers!
The first question comes from @AppFlyer and he asked:
Answer: Well, it all depends on if A-Rod is healthy. If A-Rod is working out his knee like he says he is, then there should be no reason that he can’t go over 99 games but right now, I don’t see A-Rod going over 100 games. Maybe it’s because of all the injuries last season, and if I were Girardi I’d make sure A-Rod takes it easy.
Our next question comes from @bootydrew and he asked:
Answer: I have a lot of favorite Jorge Posada memories, but the one that really stood out to me was the 6 RBI day that he had on August 13, 2011. The reason that the moment was special was for 2 reasons. One of them was that I was at Yankee Stadium that day and I got to witness a grand slam from the legend seats. The second reason was because it was my birthday. Jorge will always have a special place in my heart just because he made that day a day that I will never forget.
The next question comes from @brianbuck13 and he asked:
Answer: Kim Jones was obviously a great reporter for the Yankees & it’s a shame that she’s no longer with YES but I think the network will be all right moving forward. The only negative that I could think of is with Jones no longer with the Yankees is that there are no female reporters with YES Network in a channel run predominantly by male reporters. Other than that, the station should be fine moving forward.
Our next question comes from @dystmedia. He asks:
Answer: I am not a big fan of Andruw Jones but I think the Yankees made the right call with re-signing Jones. Jones has a good bat that could be used in the DH spot if the Yankees don’t sign anyone in the remainder of the offseason and he knows how to hit left handed pitchers. All and all, the Jones signing was a good deal. To answer your second question, the Yankees just may have the best rotation in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays following close behind. They even have one of the better rotations in the AL with Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, Garcia and a TBD 5th starter. I wouldn’t say that the Yankees have the best rotation though because the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish & the L.A Angels added C.J Wilson, but the Yankees are currently up there.
Our next question comes from @Magnee_ and she asks:
Answer: I think it would be a great idea if the Yankees stopped trying to make Joba Chamberlain a starter. He’s fantastic in the bullpen, why make him into something he’s not?
Our next question comes from @mikeevan1306 and he asks:
Answer: I admit that in the beginning of the offseason, I was frustrated that Brian Cashman didn’t dive into the free agent market like some teams did (ex. Miami Marlins), but after seeing the results I was glad with the fact that Cashman actually stood back. I believe that Cashman wasn’t as aggressive as others have been early in the offseason because he knows how the the process works. Sometimes patience is the key and that is what Brian Cashman showed.
Our next question comes from @willpanagiotis. He asks:
Answer: For starters, this was an interesting question. For the 5th starter, I would say that A.J Burnett would get the spot solely because of the money owed to him, and the end of the year improvement. He came up in key situations and he showed that he could deliver. But I wouldn’t just hand him the spot if he walked through the doors of George M Steinbrenner Field on February 19. A.J would ONLY get the spot if he does well during Spring Training. What would happen to the other two would be interesting. I would put Phil Hughes in the bullpen for long relief since Hughes has the stamina of a starter but has been a bullpen pitcher before. Garcia would be in the bullpen as well but if he requested a trade before June 1 would give it to him. (Garcia can’t be traded until June unless he asks.)
The most realistic DH option would be to platoon the role between Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter. That way the Yankees save money and they wouldn’t have to trade a pitcher for a bat. Another option that the Yankees could do is to look into the FA market. There are hitters such as Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez & Hideki Matsui who have had good bats, but their age would hinder their production. However, they do have veteran experience and are cheap.
Our final question comes from @NataliaYank2530. She asked:
Answer: The Yankees have expressed some interest with Luis Ayala but now that the Yankees are overflowing with pitching I don’t think that there is a place for him anymore. Other teams have made offers to Ayala and if the Yankees had really wanted to make an offer to Ayala, they would have done it. It’s only a matter of time to see where Ayala ends up – but it will most likely be with another team.
Those were all the questions that I got for the Yankees Mailbag. If you ever have a question about the Yankees, send it to either @dfiregirl4 or @yankeefansunite on Twitter, or email Mike at email@example.com.
Have 3 questions today. If you would like your question to be answered in the mailbag, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here we go:
Q) What do you think a fair/realistic deal is for Matt Garza? Would Hughes, Phelps, CoJo and Heathcott work?
The Cubs want young pitching in exchange for Garza and its been reported that they have asked for both Banuelos and Betances. In my mind that is ridiculous. Theo Epstein is using the recent Gio Gonzalez trade as a guideline where Oakland received 2 highly regarded pitching prospects in A.J. Cole & Brad Peacock, plus 2 C-level prospects. However, this is not a perfect comparison.
Although Gonzalez and Garza have similar value as pitchers, Gonzalez is 2 years younger and under team control for 4 years at a very modest current salary. Garza has only 2 more seasons before Free Agency and will be making somewhere around $21M combined in 2012 & 2013. So for Epstein to expect the same type of package is unreasonable. In addition, most experts rate BOTH Banuelos & Betances higher than Cole & Peacock in recent prospect rankings. Scout.com had Banuelos as the #4 ranked pitcher in the minors, Betances #16, Cole #36 & Peacock #44.
A fair market value deal for Garza would start with ONE of Banuelos or Betances with the second pitcher coming from the David Phelps, Adam Warren, Hector Noesi group. The 3rd piece would be a solid position player prospect like Curtis Joseph, David Adams, Heathcott or JR Murphy and the 4th player a lower rated prospect.
Epstein will eventually come off his Banuelos & Betances asking price and realize he’ll only get one. The tough fight will be to get him to accept Betances instead of Banuelos. In my opinion, I would not deal Banuelos for 2 yeara of Garza but I would trade Betances. I think an offer of Betances, Noesi, Joseph & maybe a lower level pitcher like Jose Ramirez is fair for 2 years of Garza. The Cubs could plug Noesi into the rotation this yr and Betances could be ready by mid-season.
I don’t think the Cubs would be interested in a Hughes-headlined deal. Although Hughes is a young MLB starter, he only has 2 yrs of team control like Garza.
Joba’s rehab from Tommy John Surgery is right on schedule. He also had 2 other surgeries imediately after his elbow surgery – one for a ruptured appendix and the other for an abscessed infection. All 3 occured in a 4 week span in early summer.
He has been giving updates via Twitter and has said throughout recent months that the elbow feels great. His last update was on Christmas Eve when he said he felt great and that he’d been throwing flat ground bullpen sessions for a couple weeks. His plan was to shut it down for 2 weeks and begin throwing again right around now. Once he resumes workouts, he plans to head back to Yankee facilities in Tampa to workout up until Spring training.
It’s encouraging to hear that he’s progressing but to keep things in perspective, he will likely start the season in Extended Spring Training. Depending on his recovery, he could be available to join the team in June or July. However, although pitchers have come back to pitch in 12 months, it often takes a full 18 months for them to regain full strength and feel comfortable with their command. Expectations will be low for Joba this yr with the hope he’ll gain strength and maybe be feeling close to normal by the Sept/October post-season push.
Trading Nunez is a little less likely now that they didn’t sign Japanese SS Nakajima. The only other SS option they have behind Jeter would be Ramiro Pena but Pena’s offensive value is nil. With injury-prone ARod at 3B and aging Jeter at SS, they need a solid backup who could handle starting for a month or more if one of the vets lands on the DL.
That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a veteran Utilityman signed and Nunez traded if the right deal presented itself. Nunez is a very talented player with excellent speed, a strong arm and solid hitting skills. I think he could be an above average starting 2B or SS in MLB. However, I don’t think he’ll flourish in his current back-up role because he needs to play everyday and get comfortable in order to improve defensively.
Nunez alone, would not be enough to bring in a front-line starter. However he could be packaged with other players to attract such a pitcher. Pairing Nunez with Betances would be an attractive package to get a #2 starter but with the Cubs already having a great young SS in Starlin Castro, it remains to be seen if they’d have interest in Nunez as a 2B or 3B.
We know Seattle wanted him last yr as part of the Cliff Lee proposal and that the Braves were asking about him last yr and again this Winter. With Atlanta trying to deal pitcher Jair Jurrjens, its been mentioned that Nunez could be used to get him. Jurjens would not be a good fit for the Yanks though, because I don’t think he’d be more than a #3 or 4 starter in the AL and his knee injuries have me very hesitant.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another Yankees Mailbag. Thank you to those who sent in questions – we appreciate it. If you have a question you’d like to ask, either email Mike at email@example.com or contact us on Twitter (@yankeefansunite). Let’s get started…
I’m hearing a lot of talk about the Yankees and Gio Gonzalez. Anything is possible, so you think it’s a good fit?
- Natalia, I think Gio Gonzalez would be a good fit for the Yankees. He is the prototypical number two starter that Yankee fans desperately want after the ALDS loss to the Tigers. Gio does not get much run support for the Oakland A’s and yet still wins 16 games with a 3.12 ERA. His breaking ball is one of the best in the American League and would give the Yankees two lefties at the top of their rotation. Their GM, Billy Beane, reportedly likes the Yankees’ prospects, but I don’t see Brian Cashman pulling the trigger on this deal. I think he wants to see Banuelos or Betances grow into the system. Don’t expect the Yankees to make a trade for Gio, but Matt Garza is a possibility.
John Danks name is coming up in trade talks a lot lately, he seems like the ideal #2 starter and a solid lefty. What would it take to land him in a trade? Would Romine, Warren, Mitchell, Heathcott do it? I appreciate the feedback.
- Will. I disagree with you on John Danks. The guy has never won more than fifteen games in a season and he had a stretch in the first two months of 2011 where he did not even win a game. He would be nothing more than a back end starter in the Yankee rotation. I think the White Sox would trade him on the cheap just because they have shown no signs that they will give him a long term deal since he is a free agent at the end of 2012. I would not give up Romine or Warren for him, but I would give up a Slade Heathcott for him. I look for NY again to look at Matt Garza, Jair Jurrjens, and Gio before they explore a John Danks trade.
Good afternoon, and here is the second part of this weekend mailbag. Thank you to those who asked us their questions, and please continue to send them in!
Cashman said he’s talking with other teams about trade possibilities. Who do you think they can trade for?
You can never really tell the full extents of who’s available and who’s not available in the trade market. However, there are plenty of rumors. Some trade possibilities Cashman may be talking about could be for White Sox pitcher John Danks or Oakland lefty Gio Gonzalez. There have been the brief mentions of the Braves possibly shopping Jair Jurrjens, but not at the price the Yankees are looking for. In addition, there’s been some speculation that the Phillies may look to see what they can get for Cole Hamels, who will be in his final year of his contract; but a trade for him would be of huge cost. Beyond what I listed above, you can list other names, but really out of speculation, no real substance. I think there are definitely options out there for Brian Cashman to make a trade, if he wants to. Right now, he’s simply letting the market settle, waiting for the prices to drop.
Are they going to resign Russell Martin? If yes when are we going to know it?
To which @NataliaYank25 replied:
Do they need to sign him? He’s under team control.
Russell Martin is arbitration-eligible for the fourth time this winter as a Super Two player. In simpler words, Martin will either be offered a new contract, or he will not be offered a new contract by the Yankees. Cashman absolutely wants to retain him, and if (more like when) they do, it will be somewhere around or a bit north of $6MM in arbitration. The free agent arbitration offer deadline is actually pretty soon – at midnight on November 23. Then, the deadline to accept those offers is on December 7, so you’ll know whether Russell will be back next year (for sure) sometime very soon. But don’t worry, I’m willing bet a boatload of money that Martin will be donning pinstripes again next year.
I’d say there’s a 0.01% chance Jorge Posada will be offered a contract by the Yankees. He has already publicly said he will most likely not be returning to the team next year. There’s simply no place for him on the Yankees, and Jorge knows that. His two options will be to hang it up and retire, or to put on a different uniform than that of the Yankees.
That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 2. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask for next weekend’s mailbag, either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.
Thank you to all who asked questions for this mailbag – let’s get started!
(If you don’t see your question, it will be answered in tomorrow’s Part 2.)
What would you give up for Gio G. from Oakland?
I would give up anybody except Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos. However, considering Gio Gonzalez is under team control for quite awhile, Billy Beane has no reason to ask for anything less than one of those two. Gio is young, talented and has plenty of low-dollars years ahead of him. However, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Banuelos for him. Although he generates a lot of striekouts (8.6 career K/9), I am not keen on his fastball command issues (4.4 career BB/9). If the Yankees are to give up Montero or Banuelos, it has to be for a sure thing elite starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez, in my opinion, is not a sure thing. Would I like to have him pitching in pinstripes? No doubt about it…but not at the price Oakland is asking for.
Which prospective pitcher would you consider to be in the NYY rotation: Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson or Roy Oswalt?
Out of all those three, my favorite for the Yankees to acquire would be Yu Darvish. Although there is always the “Japanese-import” risk, its money the Yankees can afford to gamble on. Cashman may say he’s on a budget, but you can never put too much weight into comments like that. I think he has the highest “upside” of the three you mentioned. Also, if they were to make a trade for a John Danks etc., in addition, there would be less of an absolute necessity for Darvish to be as elite as he was in Japan.
C.J. Wilson would be a great pitcher to have…on a three-year deal. However, he is reportedly looking for a six year, $120MM deal, which is absolutely absurd. If I’m Brian Cashman, I walk away after the four year mark. His upside simply doesn’t match up with the enormous risk of a 5-6 year contract. Delia took a look at whether the Yankees should pursue Wilson, earlier in the month, before we found out what kind of lucrative contract he was looking for. I would take a pass on Wilson.
Oswalt would be a nice addition, since it would be on a relatively short contract, such as a two-year deal. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, never having a FIP over 4.00 in 11 MLB seasons. Matt examined the idea of Roy Oswalt on the Yankees earlier in the month. Oswalt has consistently manufactured plenty of ground-balls, and successfully limited the walk. However, his back is definitely something to think about, as back problems are a tricky thing to come back from, although there are always exceptions. I would not want Oswalt to be the one pitcher the Yanks acquire for the rotation next year, as if his back problems flare up again, well…
What are your thoughts about Albert on the Yankees?
Although it’s impossible as a Yankee fan to not want to see Albert Pujols in pinstripes, there’s really no spot currently open for him. Ricky, a few weeks ago, shared his thoughts on Pujols. Some have said they could trade Tex, but that’s just typical Yankee-fan greediness. His ability to drive a pitch anywhere in the ballpark at a far distance is something we would all drool over to have on the team. But as long as A-Rod, Tex, and Montero are on the team, there’s no reason to sign Pujols. If, however, Jesus Montero was traded for an elite starting pitcher, then there is a scenario where I would absolutely, positively go after Albert. You could sign Pujols to play third base, move A-Rod to DH, and keep Tex at first. That is, if Montero is traded, which I don’t exactly advocate.
That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 1. Anybody that asked any questions that weren’t on today’s mailbag, will be answered tomorrow by Ricky. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask, either email me at email@example.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.
Hello Yankees fans, and welcome to another edition of Yankees Mailbag, where you send in your questions via Twitter and I answered them. A lot has happened since the last Yankees Mailbag, so let’s recap a bit shall we? The Yankees were eliminated by the Tigers; Tigers were eliminated by the Rangers. Nice food chain, now is it?
Now, you sent in your questions about the offseason to my Twitter account and they were all fantastic. Now let’s answer some questions!
Our first question comes from @MurfnTurf. He asked:
A: Well, with CC we are speculating that he is going to opt out of his contract. Unfortunately, Soriano said he is not going to opt out so were stuck with him for the next two years. Now with Swisher & Posada, Posada won’t be back with the Yankees next year as much as we want him to come back. Nick Swisher on the other hand most likely will come back. The Yankees are talking about picking up his option.
Our next question(s) come from @PrimoBledBlue. He asked a series of questions over the last couple of weeks that I thought were just simply amazing. So here are the questions!
Q: Which pitcher would you recommend to be signed onto the Yankees rotation?
A: Well, I would definitely re-sign Freddy Garcia for one thing. On the Yankees rotation last year he seemed the most consistent, even a bit more consistent than CC. But one free agent that I have been looking at that I think would be a great fit with the Yankees would be Mark Buehrle. He’s won more than 10 games in the last 13 years and I think he would do well in a playoff environment. Also if CC stays with the Yankees, having 2 Aces in your rotation would be a huge turning point for the Yankees.
Q: The only thing saving a struggling Alex Rodriguez is his contract. Do the Yankees sign another third baseman just in case?
A: Well, the Yankees should look into the free agent market for a third baseman. Eric Chavez is contemplating retirement and without Chavez the only reliable 3rd baseman that you have on the bench is Eduardo Nunez (but then again, Nunez will commit errors like there is no tomorrow.) The Yankees might want to spend this offseason going fishing in the free agent market. They never know. They might just get the big fish.
A: I would consider moving the Yankees batting order the same way that Joe Girardi had it towards the end of the year; Robinson Cano 3rd and Mark Teixeira 5th. It had seemed to work for Robbie’s sake at least during the postseason as he was one of the only 3 Yankees really hitting (Cano, Gardner and Posada). I would keep an eye on Alex Rodriguez though as he was slumping towards the middle & end of the year. And if there is the chance that A-Rod isn’t performing I would have no problem moving Cano 4th and moving A-Rod & Tex down the order a bit. As a matter of fact, if A-Rod and Tex are BOTH slumping in 2012, then I would have the lineup in the beginning look like this: Gardner, Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Teixeira, Rodriguez. Not sure if it will work though, but it’s just my hunch as what would happen if Cano ever needed to bat cleanup.
Our next question came from @ehom87. He asked:
Q: Will the Yankees try Montero at different positions or are they committed in using him as a catcher?
A: Well, I would see no problem in trying to find a different position for Montero. Even though he is a catcher, it wouldn’t kill him to learn another position. Players like Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera didn’t come up as closers and catchers. Posada was a shortstop and Rivera was a starting pitcher when they were drafted, but they found they were most comfortable as catchers and closers. In 2011, Posada was at first base a couple of times when Teixeira was out of the lineup because he knew how to play the infield. So the point there being, it wouldn’t be bad to see Montero in another position, but the Yankees don’t want to do that to him just yet. They want to see if his catcher skills have improved over the offseason.
The next question comes from @gardnerbrett11. He asked:
Q: What free agents should the Yankees look at during the offseason? (Ex. Wilson, Buerhle)
A: I would like the Yankees to go after Mark Buerhle only because of how he has performed in his long career. He has had 10 or more wins every season and he is very effective with his stuff. I like C.J Wilson, but after watching him in the postseason the chances that he could become a Yankee diminishes less and less. The Yankees are all about going to the postseason and winning the whole thing, and they can’t do that if they have a pitcher that doesn’t perform in the postseason as well as he does in the offseason. As of right now, C.J is still winless in the postseason and has yet to find his groove. I say that the Yankees don’t go after C.J because remember, they want to win the World Series.
The next question comes from @tousenthesnake. He asked:
Q: Is Jorge going to stay or go and who is a gimmie pick up during the offseason?
A: I’m going to put it the nicest way I know how. The chance Jorge is coming back next year in 2012 is the chance that I have at becoming the next Yankees general manager. Slim to none. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Jorge back, but I don’t think that Cashman is going to re-sign him. Now as for offseason pickups, I would say that the Yankees should re-sign Russell Martin (he has grown to be a Yankee favorite) and obviously Robinson Cano. Nick Swisher I know the Yankees are going to pick up his option, but I wouldn’t want them to. He doesn’t perform in the postseason at all. Even though he is good in the regular season, the postseason is all that matters once it hits October. Now, the Yankees also need to keep CC Sabathia if he opts out of his contract to get more years, but I was reading articles that Derek Jeter might be the reason that CC doesn’t come back. It’s not Derek Jeter personally, it’s the fact of how they publicly handled Jeter’s contract last year. I don’t think CC wants to deal with that but the Yankees will keep making a push for CC to stay.
And our final question comes from @David747Heavy. His question is:
Q: Will Joba be in the pen next year?
A: Yes, he will be in the pen next year if everything goes according to plan with the progress of his Tommy John Surgery. There’s no point in making Joba a starter since he shines better in the bullpen. (Note to Joe Girardi: Put Phil Hughes back in the bullpen. He works better there.) So to make a long story short, the Yankees should and will keep him there, and if they don’t then I wonder what Brian Cashman was thinking.
Those were all the questions that I got for the Yankees Mailbag. Throughout the offseason you can always send your questions to my Twitter at @dfiregirl4 and I will always be glad to answer them. Thanks for sending in your questions!
Hello there Yankees fans! And welcome to a special edition of Yankees Mailbag where you send in your questions and I answered them. Before we begin, let me recap what has happened since the last Yankees Mailbag. Yankees clinched the AL East, have the best record in the American League and get home-field advantage in the ALDS and the ALCS if they make it that far. Also the Rays had clinched the AL Wildcard while the Red Sox were eliminated and went home. Now that we got that covered let’s answer some questions!
Our first set of questions come from @PrimoBledBlue. He asked a couple of great questions and I will address them all here. His first question was:
Q: Which team would the Yankees be suitable facing in the postseason: Rangers or the Tigers?
A: Since the schedule was set and stone they will be facing the Tigers, but I was hoping that the Yankees would face the Rangers instead since they are 7-2 in the season series vs. the Rangers and the best part would have been no Cliff Lee. But the Yankees have to take what they can get and play the Tigers and hopefully they can send the Tigers home.
His second question was:
Q: For the ALDS, Should the Yankees have a 4 man starting rotation, which 4 would you select? (CC, Nova, Colon, Hughes…IMO)
A: Well, for the 4 man rotation it would be difficult, since Colon hasn’t performed well, but if I was to choose the rotation for the 4 man, it would be CC, Nova, Garcia, Burnett. I would give Burnett the 4th spot in the rotation because he has pitched better as of late, and is not struggling like Bartolo Colon is. I would use Phil Hughes in the bullpen due to his back, and I feel that he can produce better in the bullpen than in the r0tation during the play-offs.
His third question was:
Q: Would you rather have Montero DH in the play-offs or Posada? Or both?
A: I would choose both of them to DH during the play-offs. Montero would go vs. left handers and Posada would go vs. right handers. And it would be wrong not to give Jorge a spot on the roster, just saying. As you know by now, it has been announced that Posada will be the DH against Detroit’s right handers in the ALDS.
His 4th question was:
Q: Which team would you prefer making the AL Wildcard: The Red Sox, The Rays or the Angels
A: I wanted the Rays to win the AL Wildcard and I’m glad that they did make the Wildcard. I’m going to leave my dislike for the Red Sox out of this and just say that the Red Sox didn’t deserve to go to the play-offs. For crying out loud they only won 7 games out of the whole month of September. The Angels tried to mount a comeback vs. the Rays but the Rangers helped put a halt in that. But the Rays deserved to go, it would just be a shame if it came back to bite us.
His final question was
Q: Do you think A.J Burnett deserves a postseason start? Why or why not?
A: Burnett should be able to get a postseason start in my opinion. Burnett has pitched better than Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon towards the end of the year and he had that very impressive outing last time around. (plus that one batter relief outing he had really impressed). So Burnett should get a start in the postseason. However, we now know that A.J. will be in the bullpen at least for the ALDS.
Our next question comes from these followers @Southyank, @Nick_Eustaquio, & @mannyberrios. They all asked the same question so I figured I would nip this one in the bud here. Here was the question.
Q: Who’s the #3 starter?
A: The #3 starter is Freddy Garcia. Colon hasn’t pitched well towards the end of the year, Burnett pitched to a batter yesterday so the pitcher would be Freddy Garcia. He has been the most consistent besides Nova (CC hasn’t been very consistent in September). Burnett would probably pitch in relief or if the Yankees needed an emergency starter, that is where Burnett would come in.
Our next question comes from @ehom87. He asked:
Q: Will Valdes be the 2nd lefty in the bullpen on the postseason roster?
A: Unfortunately Valdes wasn’t picked to be on the postseason roster for the ALDS series. The Yankees are going to have him go to Tampa so he can work on throwing and if the Yankees play the Rangers in the ALCS then Valdes will come back, but as of right now Valdes didn’t make the cut.
The next question comes from @tazc23. She asked 3 questions so I am going to answer them. Her first question was:
Q: How did the Yankees feel about Betances’s first pitching outing? I know it was short.
A: The Yankees figured that Betances was nervous, which was why he had a 27.00 ERA going into Game 162 vs. the Rays. But Girardi liked his pitches. He just feels that Betances could work on it a bit more which is what the off-season and Spring Training is for.
Her second question was:
Q: In A.J’s last outing vs. the Red Sox did he approach the game differently, or was it because the Red Sox were playing bad?
A: Burnett did approach the game differently. He felt that the game v.s the Red Sox was a tryout for him to make the postseason roster, and Burnett did pitch outstanding. Burnett pitched well against the Red Sox when they were in Fenway in late August, but Burnett had a no-decision. I think the Red Sox slumping had something to do with it, but Burnett looked extremely sharp, and his breaking ball was working for him.
Her final question was this:
Q: What did Seattle do to A-Rod for his initiation?
A: Unfortunately I searched for hours on this but found nothing. Apparently some things pre-Yankees you will never find out about.
Our final question comes from @Baseballblahs. His question was:
Q: Does A-Rod’s health questions change the roster at all?
A: It might, since there is no time-able on A-Rod’s return. After working with Kevin Long before the Rays game he had hit another setback which could ultimately decide what happens to him and the Yankees from here on out. I wouldn’t expect a dramatic roster change, but A-Rod might not be in the games like we all want him to be.
That’s all the questions I got for this Yankees Mailbag! If you have any questions, just send them to my Twitter @dfiregirl4 and I will make sure to answer them in the next Yankees Mailbag.
Good afternoon Yankees fans and welcome to another edition of “Yankees Mailbag” where you send in your questions and I answer them. Yesterday on my Twitter account I asked you to send in questions and you sent them in. Let’s try 15 questions! More questions than last week’s Yankees Mailbag! Thank you all so much for sending them in! Now let’s get to answering those questions!
Our first question comes from @rockstarii. His question was:
Q: With the regular season coming to an end, what was your biggest concern and what you think they can do about those concerns?
A: I believe the biggest concern that has happened during the regular season would have to be a mix between pitching and the Yankees offense. The starting rotation has been good with CC, Nova, Garcia & Colon. My concern shifts towards A.J Burnett & Phil Hughes. Hughes and Burnett have been doing better as of late but during the middle of the season they have been struggling mightily. The main issue would be Burnett who would blow up. Lately my concern has became CC Sabathia. Ever since Joe Girardi had placed the 6 man rotation, CC’s numbers are 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA. If your ace isn’t performing up to standards with a 6 man rotation then it’s time to go back to the 5 man rotation which means making a decision. Now with the offense, 3 of our key players are struggling right now: Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira & Brett Gardner. We need these 3 in order to be successful in games, which means they need to pick up the pace and become hot hitters by the time the play-offs come around.
Our next question comes from @canodontyano. He asked 2 questions so I’ll address them here. His first question was:
Q: Who is the meanest person in any sport?
A: I’m guessing that you read the article on NESN or Bleacher Report about who was the meanest person in baseball. Now they claim that A-Rod and Mark Teixeira are the meanest on the Yankees but if it’s in any sport…I would say Jonathan Papelbon. I’m not sure if it’s more if I think he’s mean or if his face that he makes when he pitches is scary. I would go more with Papelbon is scary.
His second question was this:
Q: Why is Robinson Cano so attractive?
A: I’m not exactly sure. I think it’s the way he plays baseball. His defense is amazing and his offense is powerful. That’s pretty much why girls (and sometimes guys) find Robinson Cano attractive.
Our next question comes from @Bill1984. His question was:
Q: Where the hell is A-Rod?
A: Well to answer that question simply, A-Rod’s didn’t play yesterday because he chose not to. The original plan that Girardi had was to have A-Rod play yesterday, give him the day off today and then play him again tomorrow. Alex didn’t want to take a day off after playing which makes sense. He wants to play a couple of games in a row so he can get his swing back in motion and be ready for the play-offs.
Our next question comes from @addie623. She asks:
Q: Can you rate the every day starters on their defense 1-9?
A: Well, of course I can! Here is how I would rate each of the Yankees defense.
Let’s start with the outfield:
Brett Gardner: If I could give Brett Gardner a grade it would be a 1,000,000…but you said 1-9 so it would be a 9. His defense is one of the best in baseball…and Brett never lets anyone forget it with his athleticism and canon arm. Other teams have learned not to run on Brett Gardner, because Brett Gardner will run on you.
Curtis Granderson: Curtis would get a 9 as well. Granderson is just like Gardner. He’s fast, athletic and makes a lot of good catches. It helps to have 2 CF’s in the outfield doesn’t it?
Nick Swisher: I would give Nick Swisher a 8. His defense has improved since last year, but the thing that really has me thinking is his arm. He has a good arm, it could use improvement, but Swish is loveable so, 8 it is. :)
Now let’s do the infield:
Derek Jeter: Jeter would get a 9 in the infield because…well, he’s Derek Jeter. His Derek Jeter spin to get runners out has been done for 15 years, and it never gets old.
Robinson Cano: Robbie of course would get a 9 as well. He makes plays that I don’t think any other second baseman can make. Cano always leaves you stunned with the question “how does he do it?”
Mark Teixeira: Another one that if I could grade he would get 1,000,000…but again it’s from 1-9 so Mark would get a 9. Mark makes plays that save runs. That is what makes Mark so good at his job, the way that he saves runs, singles and/or potential doubles.
Russell Martin: Russell would get a 9 most definitely. Ever since Martin has came to the Yankees he has been absolutely brilliant. I just feel bad that he has to catch A.J Burnett who throws the curveball into the ground in like, every at-bat. I can imagine how sore he would get.
Alex Rodriguez: Alex would get a 7. He’s good at defending but his past injuries have stopped him from being the full potential 3rd baseman that everyone saw when he was younger. That and he’s 35 years old.
Our next question comes from @dp57. She asked 2 good questions that I would like to address. The first question was:
Q: Why does it take the NYY 2 hours to get through Canadian customs?
A: Well, I would guess that since the Yankees are in a completely different country it would take some time to get through customs and come into the city of Toronto. Then again that’s just my guess but to me it makes a bit sense. By the way, who told the Toronto Blue Jays they could be in Canada anyway? ;)
Her second question was this:
Q: I also want to know how to get brownies to players, and get them to trust that they are safe to eat?
A: Well, that would be a difficult task…but I suppose that if you give the brownies to the body guards, they would go through extensive testing then they will go to the players…but the players might find an empty basket when they get them. And I’m not entirely sure if Girardi will let them have brownies knowing that he has a strict rule on no junk food .
Our next question comes from @PrimoBledBlue. His question was:
Q: Since Cano is a better hitter, should Girardi switch Teixeira & Cano in the lineup?
A: If I were Girardi that is exactly what I would do. You want your #3 hitter to be the best hitter on the team and by looking at the lineup, it’s Robinson Cano (sorry Tex). At least Girardi should try that for a game at least.
Our next question(s) come from @tazc23. She asked 3 questions and I shall address them all here!
Her first question was:
Q: What has happened to our 2 and 3 positions? Is Grandy tired? Or is he injured?
A: There’s nothing wrong with Grandy or Tex. There’s only one thing that may be going on and that would be that they are both slumping. Other than that Grandy is not either tired or injured. He just had a day-off the other day.
Her second question was:
Q: Where did they stay during Hurricane Irene?
A: They were in the Baltimore hotel room all day during the storm that day. CC Sabathia actually brought his wife and kids to stay with him in Baltimore during the storm, Joe Girardi called his wife and kids and told them to stay safe (and away from the windows) and Brett Gardner was telling a story about when he was younger around 7 years old when he witnessed a damaging hurricane in Charleston, South Carolina. He said it happened around midnight when he was resting and he saw things flying. He also said the damages were about $2 Billion after the storm passed.
Her final question was:
Q: How is Montero feeling now that he’s having some good quality hits? How did he like catching?
A: Jesus is feeling more comfortable at the plate for sure. Remember in Spring Training he didn’t hit a lick because he was trying TOO hard. Now that he’s not competing for a job he’s gotten more comfortable and is showing everyone the power that he really possesses. And catchingwise, Montero loved it. Montero is a catcher, so getting the chance to catch really made him happy. But even though he’s a catcher he might want to work on his catching skills a bit. He still has a lot to learn.
Our next question came from @secondz2late. He asked
Q: Do you think the 6 man rotation is adversely affecting CC and his command?
A: As a matter of fact yes, I do think it’s affecting CC. CC usually pitches well every 5 days or either on short rest, but with the extra day, Sabathia now pitches every 6 days, which can take a toll on his stuff. Sabathia’s numbers in the 6 man rotation are 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 9 starts. Sabathia usually posts MUCH better numbers than that. And as of right now, Sabathia isn’t slated to pitch Game 1 of the play-off due to the 6 man rotation. Not exactly sure who would be slated in game 1, but with the rotation I think it would be Ivan Nova, and Ivan Nova is a Game 2 starter at most. In order for CC to be slated for Game 1, he would either have to throw on short rest once (not an option) or have 2 extra-long rests (seems like the only option). Reason I say short rest is not an option is because Sabathia threw 120 pitches yesterday in 5 innings. Don’t think he’ll be ready after throwing that much.
Our next question comes from @HTFDWhalers. His question was:
Q: Is Mariano Rivera the greatest Yankees player of all time? If not, who is?
A: Greatest Yankees player of all time? Maybe. Greatest closer in all of the Major Leagues? Yes. Only reason I say maybe for Mariano being the best player on the Yankees is because it’s between him and Derek Jeter. They both have had fantastic careers and they both are going to the HOF no doubt. If it wasn’t for Jeter then Mo would be the greatest Yankees player of all time, but Mo is definitely the best closer…ever.
Our next question is from @OllieNYankees. He asks:
Q: What role do you see Joba Chamberlain taking on in 2012 and will he see regular playing time after Tommy John Surgery?
A: Well, that’s a tricky question. Joba might be trying to rehab the arm in 2012, by doing throwing, pitching simulated games, doing rehab assignments. I wouldn’t expect to see Joba in the beginning of 2012 with the Yankees, but IF he came back either in the middle of the year or at the end of the year then I wouldn’t expect him to take on a 7th inning role or an 8th inning role. Maybe just another arm in the bullpen along with Boone Logan. I say no to the 8th inning, suggesting that Cashman will re-sign David Robertson.
Our final question comes from @yankeesky. He asked:
Q: With Swish’s sore arm why not Jones or Dickerson in RF and Nick DH?
A: Swish said his arm wasn’t bothering him as much anymore, but I figure there was no Jones or Dickerson move because then Montero wouldn’t be able to bat if they needed him in a game and Swisher DH’d. That would pretty much be the reason.
And that was all the questions that I got for the Yankees Mailbag! Thank you all so much for sending in your questions! If you ever have any questions send them to my Twitter at @dfiregirl4 and I will answer them. Until next time.
Welcome to a special Part 2 edition of Yankees Mailbag. Part 1 was answered yesterday by JamieFish and I’m here with some of your questions for Part 2. Before we get started with the questions, I would like to take some time to honor all the lives lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks, and let them know that even though they are gone, they are never forgotten.
You sent me your questions via Twitter and I got some really good ones, so let’s get started shall we?
The first question comes from @rockstarxii. They asked:
Q: What do you think the Yankees need to work on the most to get through the playoffs and into the World Series?
A: What the Yankees need to work on is a couple of things. Their pitching needs to be more consistent meaning that you can’t be like A.J Burnett and throw 3 innings and give up 7 runs. That’s not possible to make it through a postseason run. Also, the Yankees offense needs to be more consistent. If you noticed they lost their juice and lost 4 straight. Luckily the Red Sox also lost 4 straight, so it’s all good so far, but Tampa Bay is slowly catching up to the Red Sox & Yankees. But the thing that the Yankees need the most, is rest. Let’s face it, Baltimore messed up the Yankees schedule in September leaving them only 1 day off during the season, but not even September 15 can be counted as a day off because the Yankees are going from Seattle to Toronto. Besides that the other day off that the Yankees have is September 29, but that’s the day before the ALDS. So to recap, the Yankees need good pitching, good offense and some rest.
Our next question comes from @addie623. She asked:
Q: What do Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada & Mariano Rivera plan to do after they stop playing?
A: We we all don’t know what they plan on doing after their careers, but here’s an idea that I want each of the Yankees players to do when they finally stop playing. Derek Jeter, I can picture him in the YES booth doing commentary during Yankees games. Either that or as the manager of the New York Yankees. Mariano Rivera will be the pitching coach and teach the rookies his famous cutter. And Jorge Posada? He gets the best job of all. He’ll be the hitting coach & he’ll teach the rookie catchers the art of catching. I think Jesus Montero learned a few things from Jorge yesterday when Posada caught for the first time in 2011.
Our next question comes from @idontwearredsox. They asked:
Q: Do you think Noesi should start at least once in place of either Hughes, AJ, or both?
A: Well, I would like to see Noesi start in the place of A.J Burnett. Phil Hughes hasn’t pitched sharp but he hasn’t been terrible. Burnett on the other hand has not pitched well, but in his last 2 starts there’s a small slight promise that Burnett is doing better. He’s kept the Yankees in both games that he’s pitched which is different than his usual outings but I would like to see how Noesi can come in and pitch as a starter.
Our next question comes from @YourFaceIsThere. They asked:
Q: If Mark Buehrle joins the team, how will he fit in the rotation?
A: I think Buehrle will fit well in the Yankees rotation. The only question would be who comes back and who leaves the team during the 2011 off-season. Ivan Nova is an automatic lock to stay with the team as well as Burnett, CC Sabathia has an opt out at the end of the season which I believe he will take, and we don’t know what will happen to Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon & Phil Hughes. Hughes might be trade bait to get a better starter so if Hughes goes or if Burnett doesn’t make the rotation then there’s the spot for Mark Buehrle.
Our next question comes from @YankeesandJets8. They asked:
Q: Why can’t the Yankees win when the Red Sox lose?
A: Because like the Red Sox the Yankees are also worn out. They haven’t had a day-off in what feels like a century in a half. If the Yankees can regroup and relax a bit then they will be a more offensive team, and maybe when the Red Sox lose, they’ll win.
And our final question comes from @gardnerbrett11. They asked:
Q: Would it be possible if Jesus Montero joined the team in 2012, instead of going to Triple-AAA?
A: Well, I think that Montero should join the team in 2012, but to make roster moves for the more veteran players, Montero might start the year in Triple-AAA even though we don’t want that to happen. But if something happens to Cervelli or Martin (if he resigns with the Yankees), then Montero would be the first one called up in my opinion. He has awesome power, but I would like to see how he catches before we completely set and stone add him to the roster.
Well, that was all the questions I have! If you ever want to ask a question that’s Yankees related, then reply to my twitter account @dfiregirl4 and it will be answered on the next edition of Yankees Mailbag! Until next time Yankees Universe!
This week’s mailbag will be broken into 2 parts with Part II being answered by Delia tomorrow. If you would like your question to be answered in the mailbag, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here we go:
@yankeesky asks: How many of the Killer Bees make the big club in 2012 ?
Well if you are talking about Opening Day 2012, I would say zero – though all 3 should be up at various points during the season. I would say the one with the best chance to make the team out of Spring Training is Andrew Brackman. Not that he is the best of the 3 (quite the opposite IMO), but he’ll be 26 in December so he’s getting to the point where he needs to show some results. And his move to the bullpen this year seems permanent which will increase his chances of making the Yankees.
Brackman’s season as a starter was a disaster as he totally lost the plate, walking 54 in 59.1 ip and allowing a .253 batting average against. He walked 9 in his last 3 inning start on July 29th and was banished back to relieving. But something clicked in the pen as he walked only 6 in his last 20.1 ip with 17 k , a.155 batting avg against & 1.34 ERA. So if he pitches that way in ST, he has a legitimate chance to make the team.
I expect the Yankees to go with 1 rookie starter in 2012 but the likely candidates to start the season are DJ Mitchell, Adam Warren, Hector Noesi or David Phelps. All of these pitchers have more AAA experience than Betances & Banuelos and are further along in their development. Betances & Banuelos both need to improve their command and overall consistency. I expect 1 or both of them to pitch well in AAA and get called up to the Bronx some time around June or later depending on needs of the big club.
Personally, I love Banuelos. His stuff is good enough to pitch in the AL East right now but his 4.95 BB/9 rate is far too high. It puts unneccessary runners on base and prevents him from going deep into games. It’s important to remember he is only 20 years old in AAA, so he is far ahead of schedule.
@djpostl asked: Is Joe Girardi functionally illiterate or does he ignore the statistics showing Boone Logan is better vs righties than lefties?
Many of Girardi’s moves leave me scratching my head and he is a hard manager to think along with at times. In the case of Logan, I think it’s because Girardi and most teams tend to use multi-seasonal or career stats as well as in-season stats. In-season stats can often be skewed due to small sample size and it often takes a larger view to judge trends.
This season Logan has been better vs righties but last year and for his career he is significantly better vs lefties. His SO and Walk rates are still much better vs lefties but he has given up all 4 of his HRs this year against lefties which tilt the SLG/OPS in favor vs RHH.
Girardi has used Logan, Wade & Ayala to get the team through the middle innings til he goes to Soriano, Robertson & Mon in the 7th-9th. Since Wade & Ayala are almost exactly neutral in their splits and Logan is a bit of an enigma, Joe would be best served just going with the hot hand rather than trying to match up lefty/righty.
@YourFaceIsThere asked: What do you think should happen with Phil Hughes in the long run?
I think the Yankees should look to trade Hughes this Winter. I don’t see him ever being a top of the rotation starter and it seems he would be best served pitching in the bullpen. If that’s the case he may bring more in a trade than he is worth to the team as a reliever who will make about $3M next yr in arbitration. Phil had a dominating season in 2009 out of the pen but when he starts he doesn’t bring the same velocity.
In his last few starts, he has come out very strong but loses his good fastball after the 1st or 2nd inning. That is a big concern because when he doesn’t have his good fastball, he struggles to get by because he lacks a true swing and miss secondary pitch. As a starter he sits 90-92, maxing 93-94, with an average curve, cutter and seldom used change. He often gets 2 strikes but can’t finish hitters and his throwing motion prevents him from getting good downward action on his pitches so he is a flyball pitcher.
As a 1-2 inning reliever, he can sit 93-94, maxing 95-96 with a harder, sharper cutter and the average curve. The extra 2-3 mphs on his FB & Cutter make the difference in getting strikeouts. So if he stays next yr, I’d rather see him in the pen.
@ehom87 asked: what free-agents will the Yankees go after? How would their rotation look next year?
The entire starting 8 position players will be back next year. Posada is the only semi-regular who won’t be back but the DH spot should go to Jesus Montero with ARod & Jeter getting some time there to keep them fresh. So I don’t see the Yanks going for the big FA hitters like Pujols, Fielder or Jose Reyes. What they do need is starting pitching.
The starters that should interest the Yanks are CJ Wilson, Mark Buehrle, Hiroki Kuroda and possibly Japanese League pitcher Yu Darvish. They also need to re-up with CC and possibly retain Freddy Garcia or Colon. No matter what, they need to come up with a strong starter to eat innings and complement CC. Wilson and possibly Darvish are quality pitchers who could fill that role while Buehrle and Kuroda are veteran pitchers who could serve as stop-gaps until next yr when a lot of quality arms could be Free Agents. Matt Cain, Jon Danks, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Shawn Marcum, etc. could hit the market. Buehrle is a tough, durable lefty in the Pettitte-mold but would require a sizable commitment. This year will be his 11th in a row with 200+ IP and 10+ wins.
If they get CJ, the rotation would be CC, CJ Wilson , Ivan Nova, AJ Burnett and either Hughes, Garcia, Colon or a young starter like Hector Noesi, DJ Mitchell, David Phelps or Adam Warren.
If I was in charge I would do what needed to be done to get rid of AJ. Let’s face it, no one wants a pitcher with a 19-26 record and back to back 5.27 ERAs the last 2 seasons and $33M owed to him. The only way to move him would be to eat a huge portion of the money or to deal him for another terrible contract. Carlos Zambrano, Jason Bay, Vernon Wells, Chone Figgins type contracts.
If they could clear AJ’s rotation spot, you could keep Hughes as your #4 or preferably get creative and look to deal for a young pitcher that could develop into a future #1/#2. I’d love to get Gio Gonzalez but he’d be hard to get. I’d shop a package of Hughes along with 1 of the Noesi/Mitchell/Phelps/Warren group and other prospects to see the best pitcher I could get…preferably under 30 with strikeout stuff and low HR rates. Maybe someone like that guy from Arizona, Ian Kennedy. Doh!
Welcome to another segment of Yankees Mailbag, where you send in your questions and we answer them. Before we get started with the Yankees Mailbag, I just want to recap what happened since the last Yankees Mailbag. The Yankees still have a 6 man rotation, but Girardi is planning on cutting it down to 5 on Tuesday, the Yankees finally beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park and took the series & the Yankees made some call-ups on September 1st, with one of them being Jesus Montero. Now that we have established that, let’s start answering some questions!
Our first question comes from @VamosYankees. He asked:
Q: What do you think of Scott Proctor making his return to the Yankees?
A: Well, from what I know, it’s nice to have Proctor with the Yankees…as long as he doesn’t pitch in a big situation. Proctor wasn’t exactly everyone’s Yankees dream when we last saw him and now that he’s back, I’m sure everyone is just cautious with the fact that they don’t know what damage Proctor can do. I can see Proctor as a good mop up guy, just like Sergio Mitre.
Our next question comes from @LeeAnn726. Her question was:
Q: How many years have the Yankees & Red Sox been such rivals?
A: That is a very good question! I would say that it ALL started back with Babe Ruth. As we all know, Babe Ruth was on the Red Sox before he became a Yankee. There’s rumor that the Red Sox manager was trying to make a theater production and traded away Ruth to the Yankees for money. Since then the Red Sox were bitter with the fact that Ruth was performing so well with the Yankees, that they just became rivals, but the Red Sox weren’t the Yankees only rival though. There were 2 other teams that played in New York during that era: The Brooklyn Dodgers & the New York Giants (Who are now the San Francisco Giants). But to get back to your question, the Red Sox & Yankees have been rivals for many years, but I don’t think they’re exactly rivals now. Derek Jeter and David Ortiz seem to get along well.
Our next question comes from @tazc23. She actually asked 3 questions, so I am going to address them all here. Her first question was:
Q: Is there any worry about the number of nagging injuries coming up at the end of the season?
A: I would say that there would be some worry with the number of nagging injuries, but as long as the players are healthy and ready for the post-season then we should be fine. It’s bothersome yes, and it can affect your team when it matters the most. Just look at Nick Swisher & Brett Gardner from last year. Both of them had nagging injuries and it affected their playing time. It was so bad for Gardner that he needed surgery last year in December, but he came back and was healthy. Just like A-Rod & Chavez, they both suffered injuries but they are back and healthy for a good post-season run.
Her second question was this:
Q: How did the club feel about Jesus Montero’s debut against Boston? How did he feel about being put in a high profile situation on his first AB?
A: I think the club felt that even though Jesus Montero didn’t have any hits, he has potential and he showed that he had some great AB. He worked the count against Lester, got him to throw pitches outside the strike zone, he had a good swing and shows he has power. He was probably nervous being put in a situation like that. Think about it. He’s in Fenway Park, Yankees v.s Boston series, going for a play-off run. That would make any player nervous and a little intimidated, but I believed that he did fine. He has potential, that’s for sure.
Her final question was:
Q: Is A-Rod frustrated with the number of injuries he’s fighting through? Do you think it will effect his rhythm of swing?
A: I could see A-Rod getting frustrated over this. No player wants to go through multiple injures when they plan on having a great season, but it happens sometimes and they just have to work through it. Unless his thumb is still bothering him, I don’t think it will effect his swing so much, but he has to make sure he stays healthy so he can be apart of the Yankees postseason run. Think about it, A-Rod is no use to the Yankees if he can’t hit or play defense. The Yankees would want a happy and healthy A-Rod.
Our next question came from @ehom87. His question was:
Q: Would the Yankees re-sign Russell Martin?
A: If I were Brian Cashman, definitely. Russell Martin is playing great baseball, but I am so impressed with his work behind the plate. He seems to be the only one who can actually catch A.J Burnett (since Burnett throws a lot of bouncing breaking balls) and he has a 31% caught stealing ratio, which is great for a catcher. Russell Martin is also having a good year offensively. Remember, his average means nothing if he has hit a lot of HR’s and has RBI’s and I don’t see Russell Martin severely struggling if he is able to produce for the team.
Our final question comes from @dp57. Her question was:
Q: Why does Brett Gardner wear rubber bands on his wrists?
A: I personally love this question. If it was the green rubber band that he had on his wrist yesterday on post-game then he was just wearing a Silly Bandz. They are rubber bands that make funny shapes. I have some that have the Yankees logo in it, and they are awesome! I was also told that Gardy’s Silly Bandz was a glow in the dark one. Super cool. :)
Well, those are all the questions I have this time! Remember, if you have any questions about anything Yankees related you can go to Twitter and send a tweet to @dfiregirl4, and I will gladly get back to your question! Once again, thank you to all you wonderful Yankees fans who sent me questions and I’ll answer more of your questions next time on Yankees Mailbag.
Here is this week’s mailbag. If you would like your question to be answered in the mailbag, email Mike at email@example.com. Here we go:
Well, it’s assumed that Sabathia will exercise his right to become a Free Agent. Task #1 for Cashman is to do whatever it takes to lock the big man up. #1 Starters/Horses are VERY difficult to obtain so CC can basically write his own check. Cliff Lee got 5 yrs $120M with a team option so look for CC to get about the same plus a few mil.
Beyond that, look for Cashman to make a move for that elusive #2 starter to team with CC. The top Free Agent pitcher is lefty C.J. Wilson from Texas. He’s a combined 27-13 over the last 2 seasons with a 3.28 era, 7.8 k/9 & 3.6 bb/9. He will be 31 next year but has only been a starter for 2 seasons so he doesn’t have a lot of mileage on his arm. He’s a true 5-pitch pitcher who limits HRs and gets a lot of ground balls.
If Wilson can’t be signed, Cash may look at Hiroki Kuroda or Mark Buehrle on a 1-yr deal and take a chance on the 2013 Free Agent market where there are a lot of quality pitchers.
There are some big name position players on the market in Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz, Lance Berkman & Jimmy Rollins. However, the Yanks are locked up at most positions. If they pick up Nick Swisher’s $10.25M club option as expected, the only opening will be at DH. While those big names would look great mashing in the Bronx, I don’t think the team will sign a long-term DH since ARod will need to DH more and more over the next few years. Plus they have highly regarded Jesus Montero in AAA who should get a lot of ABs as DH next season. They may look to team Montero with a veteran lefty hitter such as Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui or Jim Thome – or ideally just bring back Eric Chavez.
@PrimoBledBlue asked: Do you think the Yankees will use a 4-man rotation in the playoffs?
In 2009, Girardi rode a 3-man rotation of CC, AJ & Pettitte throughout the post-season to win the World Series. This was only possible because of the numerous days off that year but MLB changed the schedule in 2010 to reduce the number of days off during and in-between series. Now there are only 2 scheduled days off per series making 3-man rotations difficult.
I believe the Yanks will use 4 starters but pitch CC on 3-days rest whenever needed. In the Division Series, the Yanks can employ a 3-man rotation by pitching CC in Game 1 and again on 3-days rest in Game 4 if needed. The other starters could be used on regular 4-days rest. In an ideal situation, if the Yankees sweep the Division Series in 3 games, CC could then be set up to pitch Game 1 of the ALCS on full rest, then again in Games 4 & 7 on 3-days rest. CC is far and away the best starter and he’s an absolute horse who’s had success pitching on short rest. In 6 career starts on 3-days rest, Sabathia is 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA including successful starts vs the Angels & Phillies in the 2009 playoffs.
The question of who the 2, 3 & 4 starters will be won’t be answered until the end of the year. All of the starters are basically auditioning for the remaining 6 weeks of the season but if I had to choose right now I’d go with Nova, Garcia & Hughes with Colon in the pen and AJ back home watching on TV. I’d have my non-CC starters on short leashes. Adding Colon to an already stacked bullpen, Girardi will have many weapons to use at the first sign of trouble.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award has only been awarded since 1957 so many of the all-time great Yanks weren’t eligible. But the Yankee with the most Gold Glove awards is Don Mattingly with 9. Donnie Baseball won every year at 1B from 1985 to 1994 with the exception of an injury shortened 1990 season.
Current Yankees with Gold Gloves are Eric Chavez (6), Derek Jeter (5), Mark Teixeira (4), Alex Rodriguez (2) , Russell Martin (1) and Robinson Cano (1). If I had a vote, I would vote for Martin, Tex, Cano & Brett Gardner to win Gold Gloves in 2011.
@tazc23 asked…….Are the Yankees concerned that the final Royals’ game may have an effect at the end of the season?
Dana DeMuth made a terrible decision on Billy Butler’s HR that wasn’t, and that run was the difference in a 5-4 loss. Girardi should have protested the call since the umpires clearly made a decision against the rules. However, a blown call in the 4th inning of Game #121 of the season shouldn’t be the reason why the team doesn’t win the Al East or Wild Card. The Yanks had several opportunities in the game to score but went just 1-for-10 with RISP and Cano & Posada both failed to deliver with the bases loaded in the 9th. So while the call was horrible, the team has moved on and will not dwell on it.
@tazc23 also asked………Are teams told what actually constitutes a HR in some stadiums ?
Yes, the umpires go over the stadium grounds rules and exchane lineup cards with a manager or coach from each team prior to the first game of every series. Yankees 3B-coack Mick Kelleher went over the rules before Monday’s series opener. Kelleher said that his understanding was that the ball needed to also clear a chain-link fence and padded railing to be a home run.
“We went over the ground rules and they were pretty explicit and clear, but there was one question that I had: it was about the top rail in left-center field,” Kelleher said. “It was padded; the ball had to leave the ballpark. We talked about that twice. … It doesn’t make sense to me. The ball never left the ballpark, so how could it be a home run?”
In this case, replay verified what the umps saw live but the problem was with misinterpretation of the stadium ground-rules. Someone from the league office should have been called to clarify the ground-rule. Steve Palermo, an umpires supervisor who was in attendance at Kauffman Stadium, took the crew out to the left-field fence after the game and pointed out the discrepancy between the ground rule and what was called. If Palermo was at that game, why didn’t he intervene during the replay? I think an umpire supervisor or league exec should be on call to answer questions like these during replay reviews.
Hello Yankees fans and welcome to another segment of Yankees Mailbag where you send in your questions & I answer them. Since my last Yankees Mailbag, a lot of news has happened. Yankees lucked out on Ubaldo Jimenez and signed no one at the trade deadline. The Yankees also had a series at Fenway Park which they unfortunately lost.
I asked followers on my Twitter account to send in their questions and they have responded. Let’s answer some questions shall we?
Our first question comes from @HTFDWhalers and he asked:
Q: Given CC’s ineffectiveness against Boston this year, would you start Ivan Nova in Game 1 of an ALCS against the Sox?
A: I can see your concern for CC Sabathia being 0-4 against the Red Sox, but even though that Ivan Nova has pitched well, I cant’ see him starting Game 1 of the ALCS against the Sox. Nova’s a very good starter but not having CC pitch Game 1 sounds like you’re giving up on him too fast. CC has beaten the Red Sox before and he can do it again, so just because he lost 4 games v.s the Red Sox, there shouldn’t be really a high alarm. CC will come through when it really matters and if it has to be during the ALCS, then so be it.
Our next question comes from @treyalex09. His question was:
Q: I think Jorge would make a great coach, especially for young Yankees catchers. Do you think the Yankees will offer a spot & will he accept someday?
A: There’s no denying that Jorge Posada was an amazing catcher for the Yankees. I have a feeling that the Yankees might offer a spot for him to coach in the future, but with all that Posada’s been through this year he might feel some resentment towards the Yankees. I wouldn’t expect him to take it right away as Posada is a very proud man and has not been very proud of how the 2011 season turned out. But I do hope that Jorge Posada would be involved with the Yankees even after he retires.
Our next question(s) come from @secondz2late. He asked 3 very interesting questions so I will address them all. The first one is:
Q: Should Jorge be on the postseason roster?
A: Jorge should most definetely be on the postseason roster. If Jorge is going to be a bench player then that means that the Yankees could use his bat during a game. It would be exciting to see Jorge in the postseason even if it’s for an AB.
Here’s @secondz2late’s second question:
Q: Should us fans be worried about Mariano Rivera?
A: Mariano Rivera always goes through mini-slumps like this, just like any pitcher & any hitter. Mariano is the best closer in baseball, and he will be back in his true form in no time. Trust me, Mariano will pitch like his old self very soon.
Here’s the last question from @secondz2late:
Q: Who do you think should be the odd-man out in the rotation?
A: Obviously it’s not Ivan Nova. Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon & Freddy Garcia have all pitched very well all year. If it were me it would have to be between A.J Burnett & Phil Hughes. Hughes is not having a good season at all, and Burnett is not doing so well himself. In 29 1/3 innings, Burnett has a 6.44 ERA which is not good at all. If it were me, I would send Burnett to the bullpen no matter how much he gets paid. He has to learn that he can’t get lazy and that this is a job that he’s fighting for. Hughes I believe has room for improvement, but Hughes can pitch well. He won 18 games last year.
The next question was from @199827NY61. His question was:
Q: Have you ever seen a 6 man rotation before?
A: Sure I have. CC, Hughes, Garcia, Burnett, Nova, Colon :). But seriously, I don’t think I have seen a 6 man rotation before. If anyone that’s reading this has seen a 6 man rotation before, put it in the comment section below. It would be interesting to find out.
Our next question comes from @tazc23. Here’s the question:
Q: How is CC handling the struggling losses to Boston. Does he worry about the playoffs?
A: CC is aware of his struggles against the Red Sox, but when he was asked about it all he answered was, “I have to pitch better.” I don’t think CC is worried about the playoffs at this point. His main priority is making sure that he helps the Yankees win the division, then he will worry about getting the Yankees through the playoffs.
Our next question (one of my favorites) comes from @Nick_Eustaquio. He asked.
Q: Why doesn’t Brett Gardner have a twitter?
A: I have no idea. Mark Teixeira? Do us all a favor and hook your buddy up to the 21st century. :)
Our final question comes from @VamosYankees. His question was:
Q: Who do you see as the starting 5 pitchers for the Yanks next opening day? Who do you think Yanks will covet this off season?
A: I hope to see CC Sabathia back with the Yankees since it has been said that he most likely will opt out of his contract at the end of the 2011 season. I also hope that the Yankees resign Bartolo Colon & Freddy Garcia. Here’s how I would like to see the Yankees for opening day: Sabathia, Colon, Garcia, Nova, Burnett & Hughes either to the bullpen or trade bait. Who the Yankees might get this off-season might be hitters since Jorge Posada is in the final year of his contract but you can never go wrong with the bullpen.
Well, that was all the questions that I had! Thank you everyone who sent in your questions! If you ever have anymore questions for me to answer send it to my Twitter @dfiregirl4. Thanks everybody!
Here is this week’s mailbag. If you would like your question to be answered in the mailbag, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here we go:
Can the prospects provide real help this season? Can Montero’s offense really contribute to the lineup as the DH? If he does DH for them, what what happens with Jorge?
Darrin, I think the prospects can provide some help this year. Jorge Posada is now on waivers and even though its tough to see him on there, he did go back to his struggles from April and May during the month of July. Montero could bring some instant power to the DH position that Posada just can’t do. Manny Banuelos is rising up to AAA and his swing and miss ability will be a reason why New York uses him as the second lefty in their pen with Boone Logan in September. Adam Warren is another guy the Yankees like in their organization and he could get a start or two towards the end of the season if the Bombers have everything clinched.
This one was from @marka42. His question was:
“With 3 highly regarded catching prospects in the system and Montero the poorest defensively, why not try another position for Montero?”
Marka, the reason Montero would have to be at catcher is because most of the other positions Montero does not fit and the Yankees have sufficient backups at those positions. The only other place where Montero could play is at DH. Montero’s catching skills are not the best, but he is the most Major League ready because of his bat. They could use him as the backup to Martin down the stretch, get him some at-bats, and give him some vital experience should the Yankees want to use him on the postseason roster.
This one was from @GeneMoney13. His question was:
“Could we get another pitcher for a small price?”
Gene, in terms of a starter, I think the Yankees will stand pat at the waiver wire deadline. They have six quality starters as Joe Girardi is showing Yankee fans by going with a six man rotation at this point and time. I could see them adding another lefty, but right now, all signs point to maybe Manny Banuelos being the second lefty that is called up into the bullpen in the coming weeks. I would like to see the Yankees obtain Randy Choate from the Marlins if he is put on wiaivers, but Florida is looking to get as many wins as they can go into their new stadium next year. Look for the Yankees to go with basically the same pitchers for the rest of the season.
This question was from @gardnerbrett11. His question was:
“Will Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova’s next starts be observed as to who gets the rotation spot?
GardnerBrett11, it appears that the organization is observing their next starts. If they are, they have to be very impressed from what they got out of Phil Hughes last night. He took a gigantic step in re-establishing his spot in the 2011 rotation and his importance to the team in October. Putting Hughes in the bullpen would be a Joba-esque move that could really mess with his development. If Nova continues to succeed, the Yankees will find a place for him, even if it is as a long man. However, that will cause Hector Noesi to probably go back to down to Scranton.
The next question was from @YankeesGalaxy. His question was a 2 part question:
“Do you think the Yankees standing pat will pay off? Can you trust Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon in October despite their success?”
YankeesGalaxy, I think the Bombers standing pat will pay off. They got a great start from Phil Hughes last night and getting Hughes back to form is just as good as making a trade for a top line pitcher. Brian Cashman made the right decision by not pursuing Wandy Rodriguez and the $39 million he has left on his contract. I am starting to trust Garcia and Colon a lot more. Garcia, I trust a lot because he continues to put up quality starts despite the lack of velocity on his fastball. He has been in postseason baseball before with the Seattle Mariners and a pitcher can dwell on that experience in October. Colon has shown great resiliency especially when everyone thought he lost it after that debacle against the Blue Jays. If these two have to pitch a closeout game in October, I would have trust in those two over say A.J Burnett.
The next question was from @PrimoBledBlue. His question was:
“If Phil Hughes begins to struggle, will he be sent down and reduce it to a normalized Yankees 5-man rotation?”
Primo, even if Phil Hughes struggles again, he is not going back down to Scranton. The more likely scenario would be that Hughes go back to the bullpen and Ivan Nova would take his spot in the rotation. We will see next week if Hughes can continue his positive progression to let Girardi go back to a five man rotation.
And the final question is from @nyerkid625. His question was:
“How do you think Ubaldo Jimenez will do for the Cleveland Indians?”
Nyerkid, even though the Indians paid a lot to get Ubaldo, I think they will get a good return this season. Jimenez has pitched better the last two months and is starting to re-gain the control on his fastball that he had in the first half of 2010. The one reason I did not want the Yankees to obtain him was that he had a lack of control. Take a look at his game logs for this season and you will find a lot of games where he walks three batters or more. Kind of reminds you of A.J Burnett, doesn’t it? He will keep the Indians in the pennant race, but it will be tough to take down the Tigers and Justin Verlander with just one guy. They will need pitchers like Justin Masterson and Carlos Carrasco to give him some supporting help.
Hello all. Only one question submitted to us today regarding the trade deadline, but here it is!
Darrin asks: Will the Yankees eventually get Jimenez? I think he is too good to pass up and when Cashman sees the holes in this rotation he is clearly the best upgrade for the long term. Kuroda is just a 1 year fix.
Well Jimenez is one of what looks to be just 2 starting pitching options on the market for Cashman and the Yanks. He is a very good pitcher with great stuff and I’m sure he could handle tough lineups like those of Texas and Boston. Not only does Jimenez help with this second half and postseason, but in future years as well. Kuroda would only be under contract for this year and is not a long-term rotation solution, as you said. The only few things that are holding the Yankees back from trading for Jimenez are (1) the asking price which is for at least 2 or 3 of Banuelos, Betances, Montero, Nova, Hughes, and Romine, and (2) his consistency. The Yanks would be willing to give up the farm system (exaggeration) for Felix Hernandez, but not for Ubaldo, as he is a lesser pitcher, and less of a sure thing. Because of the Rockies’ high asking price, the Yankees haven’t made significant strides in a deal for Jimenez. I’m sure when and if Colorado lowers the price for Ubaldo, Brian Cashman will jump right on him, as he would be a very, very solid option for the #2 spot in the rotation moving forward.