Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A-Rod In, Jeter Out

The Yankees managed to lose again last night in humiliating fashion by a final score of  "way too many runs" to "pitiful number of runs".

Alex Rodriguez made his first start after coming off the DL and hit a home run. With his powerful bat back in the lineup the baseball fates found it necessary for Derek Jeter to get hit in the hand with a pitch, forcing him out of the game.

Yankees pitching slid back into familiar territory with Mussina not making it out of the first inning and Ohlendorf giving up quite a few in relief. Mussina is just cooked. There is no way he can contribute to a team that doesn't have a decent long reliever ready to come in at any time and finish out the game for him. The Yankees don't have that for him. On a related note, Ohlendorf isn't a long reliever. I think he could turn out to be a decent one inning guy, but he is not a long reliever. Three innings is too much for Ross. He's done it before this year with satisfactory results at times, but he's also gotten shelled in some of those extended appearances on the mound.

In minor league action, Jeff Karstens was roughed up a bit in his first appearance of the DL. Don't look for him to fill in as a long reliever anytime soon. Also, Girardi and Cashman seem to believe a long reliever isn't necessary. I have no idea why they think this, but they do. The evidence for this notion is the fact that Rasner was sent to the minors after spring training. Most of the media had assumed that after Karstens was injured that Rasner was a lock to make the team but Joe and Brian decided otherwise. Despite that fact that Pettitte, Mussina, Hughes and Kennedy all frequently got knocked out of games early, Rasner was never called up for long relief.

Mark over at the Baseball Hot Corner has a good look at the current Yankee situation. He points out that there is no short term cure and that the market for over the hill veterans is nill. I'd like to argue a small point that over the hill veterans can always find a home in a Steinbrenner led team like the Yankees, but his point that the Yankees won't find a trade partner for it's current over the hill veterans is spot on. Another good point, to quote Mark, "The payroll drops as Giambi, Mussina, Farnsworth, Abreu, Hawkins and Ensberg go away." This is as close to good news and optimism as you'll see. None of these guys will be around next year. The one possible exception is Farnsworth, who Girardi seems to love.

Earlier this week Hank Steinbrenner said there is a chance that Brian Cashman could be back. I don't see it happening. Personally, I don't think Cash is the end all be all GM. I don't see a whole lot of his labors paying off at the moment. The only success story that seems to have come out of his revamped scouting and farm system is Joba and the Yankees can't even seem to handle him. My prediction is that Cashman is done in New York. I don't envy whoever fills his shoes, but I can only hope they can do a more sensible job while still dealing with the likes of the Steinbrenner family.

2 comments:

Brad said...

Jeff,

In the insane world of Yankee bloggers I think yours is the one I enjoy the most. You seem to have a realistic grasp on the situation and you tell it like it is. Keep up the good work.

I don't think that there are too many surprises here. This team just isn't that good and won't be any time soon. I guess the worst thing that could have happened last year was that we came back just enough to slip into the post season. That seemed to convince some in the organization, the media, and the fan base that we were just a few pieces short of winning it all. In fact we are more then a "few" pieces short. The two biggest notables so far this year are this:

1) I am surprised that Joe hasn't tried to re-mold this team more in his image. I know this team doesn't bunt well and they don't steal well either but I am bothered by the fact that he hasn't tried to work with what he does have. When you have young guy's like Melky, Cano, and even Gonzalez you still have a chance to mold them. This is what he did when he was with the Marlins and it worked pretty well. To me he looks like a dear caught in the headlights.
2) Cashman. I'm not a huge Cash fan to begin with but so far this year, his failures have been front and center. We did nothing in the off season and it really shows. We spent $400 million dollars to bring back what we had and we passed on a chance to get the best free agent to be pitcher on the market. Youth is nice but that was a luxury the Yanks couldn't afford. Mussina was done before last year and Pettite was good last year but no where near what he was in his prime. We had to have a top end 1-2 punch to protect the 4th & 5th guy's. I also agree with you regarding long relief. I won't miss Cashman.

Jeff said...

Brad,

Thanks for the compliment!

I agree with your first point completely. I'm surprised Joe hasn't done more "Girardi things." He doesn't seem to bring much to the team as far as coaching other than a new lineup every day and some odd pitching moves. When Torre came to town, I quickly had the impression that he brought a different style of ball with him. I don't get that impression at all with Girardi.