Musings on Sports, Politics and Life in general

What a Week!


What a Week!

June 28, 2010

The Yankees are now home after completing a tour of the NL West. Well, a half-tour, anyway – and considering the way the games against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers went, I don’t think anyone in the Bronx is exactly sorry to have missed out on seeing the Giants and Padres. So, what did we learn about the Bombers this past week?

  1. Even when this team plays like crap, they’re still better than most. The series finales against Arizona and LA were hardly well-played, crisp games. Despite Andy Pettite uncharacteristically trying to literally throw a game away against the Dodgers, the team rebounded with four runs in the 9th and two more in the 10th to win. And after Dontrelle Willis and Javier Vazquez proceeded to try and walk everyone in the ballpark (including the hot-dog vendor in section 235); after both teams managed to run themselves out of big inning after big inning; the Yanks won a game that set baseball back to the Snuffy Stirnweiss era.
  2. Dave Eiland may be more important than anyone realized. While the rest of the pitching staff has rolled on this month while he took a leave of absence, AJ Burnett’s implosion worsened on this trip. He managed to pitch to a 16.71 ERA in two starts. The rest of the numbers aren’t any better (unless you’re masochistic enough to think a 1.432 OPSa is great). Most alarming is that as a strike-out pitcher, AJ only managed 13 total swings-and-misses over 7 innings. That’s less than two per inning. AJ simply cannot succeed if bats are finding his pitches. If Eiland’s imminent return doesn’t cure AJ it will be time for the Yankees to forget looking to the Marlins for pitching help. After Kevin Brown and Carl Pavano before, it may just be that the chemicals in Miami’s water cause combustion when mixed with NYC water.
  3. Forget Cliff Lee and David DeJesus. The Yankees aren’t desperate for starting pitching or outfield health. The emergence of stable play from farmhands Chad Huffman and Colin Curtis have given the Yanks solid OF options (which may be needed more than ever, depending on Brett Gardner’s health). And despite AJ Burnett’s problems (see above), I doubt he’ll continue to pitch this poorly. Infield depth, though, is another matter. I like Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo, but they’ve proven their bats are not big-league ready. There are available infielders out there – Ty Wiggington, Jeff Keppinger, Garrett Atkins and Johnny Peralta, just to name a few. Will the Yankees get one? Time will tell, but it’s hard to imagine this team rolling into August without a veteran manning the reserve IF spot.

Finally, what are the Yanks to do with Chan-Ho Park? In two appearances, Chan Oh-No proved to be more arsonist than fireman. It’s hard to imagine the team cutting bait on this guy. Brian Cashman hates admitting mistakes and after having to DFA Randy Winn earlier this year, dumping Park would be another admittance of failure. But at this point, the manager has expressed reservations about using him in anything other than a mop-up role. My bet is once either Alfredo Aceves or Sergio Mitre comes off the DL, Park should pack his bags in anticipation of a one-way ticket out of New York.

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