Waiting for Philip

On the 29th of May in 1995, the Yankees blew a 7-4 lead to the Mariners at the Kingdome, losing 8-7 in 12 innings before a skimpy crowd of 18,948. (Rich Amaral, who entered the game as a pinch runner for Jay Buhner, tagged Scott Bankhead with a walkoff homer to give Seattle the victory.) This contest would be deservedly forgotten but for one fact: it was in this game that a promising young rookie named Derek Jeter made his first appearance as a Major Leaguer. It was not an auspicious debut: batting in the nine hole, the future captain drew an 0-5 collar. His first at-bat was a short fly to right. Not the best start, perhaps, but in the dozen years since, Yankee fans have had the extraordinary opportunity to follow the career arc of a player who has not only met but exceeded our every expectation. It’s been a joy and, yes, a privilege to follow Derek Jeter these many years, and we’re glad his career seems a long way from home, even if it’s now rounded second.

The Yankees have not had a prospect of Jeter’s caliber since, well, since Jeter himself. Until now. Philip Hughes, at 20, has savaged his way through the minor leagues. He’s got it all: a protypical pitcher’s body, a deadly arsenal, command, control, and—by all accounts—a maturity beyond his years. He is at or near the top of virtually every scouting report. Hughes projects as a number 1 starter—an ace, if he can stay healthy. Sox fans are rightfully excited about the addition of Daisuke Matsuzaka to their club; for Yankee fans, anticipation of Hughes’s arrival is no less special, and perhaps more, as we’ve been watching him rise through the ranks over the last few years. Matsuzaka arrives in Boston a fully formed pitcher in his prime. Hughes is still an apprentice. As with Jeter, Yankee fans will, hopefully, have the opportunity to watch the full arc of Hughes’s career. Of course there are no guarantees he will live up to his potential, that he will remain healthy, or that he will remain a Yankee for a decade or more. But the team has handled him with care, he has the tools to achieve, and the enlightened Yankee administration seems like they’re doing all the right things to manage a succesful career. Certainly they have the cash to retain him if things go well.

It appears Hughes will start the season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, where his innings can be tightly controlled, but there is every reason to believe that he will be with the big club by mid to late summer. That first game might not be a memorable one—who knows?—but we’re expecting many big ones to follow. And we’ll be watching from the beginning.

116 comments… add one
  • yet ANOTHER
    “the next jeter”
    call me when the next one comes along….

    TheTree1918 February 11, 2007, 11:46 pm
  • yo tree1918, would you prefer the next “monar”?…

    dc February 12, 2007, 1:31 am
  • Formula: SF or PaulSF write reasonable piece about a Red Sox player, noting possible highs and lows. dc complains about site being Sox-centric or Paul and SF more or less hyperbolizing about the player.
    Alternate formula: YF, Nick, or AG write reasonable piece about a Yankee player, noting possible highs and lows. Someone makes a comment in the way of calling one of the above out for hyperbolizing and dc retorts.
    These formulas may be combined to prove the existance of the hypocrisy concept.
    YF, great piece, only way it could be better would be if Hughes were in the Sox farm system. :)

    QuoSF February 12, 2007, 1:38 am
  • I prayed all through 05 and 06 that the Yanks would do something stupid with the kid…rush him up early or, better yet, ship him off to, say, Florida for Mr. Willis. But they didn’t…then I saw him pitch in my home town against the NH Fisher Cats, and my fears grew. Any other team, I’d be looking forward to the inevitable July callup just to see his stuff. Instead…well, I’m hoping Pavano and Kei Igawa stay healthy and mediocre for a while, because that might at least delay the inevitable. Hopefully Paul or SF get to write one of these about Bowden, Buchholz, or Bard some time soon.
    PS: Anyone else want to do over/unders for top Yanks/Sox prospects? Cuz, I think it’d be kind of fun to look back right before rosters expand to see who came close. Just a thought.

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 2:35 am
  • “YF, great piece, only way it could be better would be if Hughes were in the Sox farm system. :)”
    Or if it were talking about Brien Taylor. (This is part of my ongoing strategy to mention Brien Taylor every time we discuss Philip Hughes in the hopes that just a tiny bit of the BT mojo will rub off on PH).

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 2:58 am
  • Brien Taylor references make Hideki Irabu references fair game. :)
    I’ve been trying to stay calm about Hughes. The hype around him scares me. So much can still go so wrong…
    But it does appear the organization has done everything right with this kid, and he’s got it all.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) February 12, 2007, 8:45 am
  • I only hope camp breaks and he is still in Scranton. I am headed out there in May and honestly he is about 75% of the reason for going.
    Honestly, I am a fan of Pavano’s ability (Yikes do I lose credibility now?) but if I was a betting man I would say he is gone before July 31. Provided everyone stays healthy I think we see this kid for the 2nd half of the year.
    No BT here Paul, they say this kid really is extremely mature and smart enough to punch someone with his non-throwing hand.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 9:32 am
  • Wow, so already more mature than Kevin Brown. Not shabby. ;-) Of course my cat is more mature than Kevin Brown…

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 9:39 am
  • I’d take five Kevin Brown years in his prime from this kid…As a Yanks fan, I am hoping if called up this year it will be as a “soft” call-up. Meaning, we do not need him to pitch like Doc Gooden (with or without the coke) out of the gate to save the season. Maybe a seven game lead in the division, Pavano gets a mystery injury which removes his 5.95 era from the rotation, and in comes Hughes to try and hold down the five spot for the rest of the year…Worst case scenario: he breaks camp with the club and has a horde of writers following his every breath from his home country and he crumbles under the weight of a number 9 hitter who can take you yard most days and the pressure of performing in front of such intense fans…oh wait, wrong guy ;)

    jrirish February 12, 2007, 9:51 am
  • 9 hitter who can take you yard most days and the pressure
    Since most number nine hitters in the AL Easy are better than anything he’s ever seen before, this is a possibility. I don’t think it will happen, but it could, and I’d love every second of it. Tears are what I’m really looking for; complete meltdown after back to back to back jacks by someone. But, I don’t think it will happen.
    I’ll say it again, if they don’t need him, they should never consider bringing him up this year. Unless they think he has Papelbon or Prior potential, they should just leave him alone and let him grow.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • Mark Prior potential? Ehhhh let’s hope he is much much more healthy.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • yeah, you know what I mean though.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Well he is often compared to Mark Prior

    Rakim450 February 12, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • Nit-picking a little, since we know you were talking about Hughes, Brad…but jrirish’s 9-hitter comment was referencing Matsuzaka…

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • yeah, I know. I was just using the same line of logic.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • also, I didn’t mean to say AL Easy. Clearly, there’s nothing easy about the AL East. Well, maybe Baltimore on most days.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • …thanks for the clarification desturb, I was a bit confused by the response as well. I understand where your counter argument was going Brad, but I was at most just being tongue in cheek…We could go back and forth on the question marks regarding both pitchers with equal measure. Time will tell as always for both.

    jrirish February 12, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • Yep.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 1:45 pm
  • http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070211&content_id=1799875&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    Check out this article. Apparently Wang is a front runner for 20 wins this season. Santana, Oswalt and Big Z are also listed. Verlander and Halladay round out the list. If I were a betting man I would take the under on Verlander, Halladay and Wang. Not a snow balls chance any of those 3 make it to 20.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • Not a snow balls chance any of those 3 make it to 20.
    It’s never a great bet if too many factors are needed to get there. If he’s healthy I’d bet Moose gets closer than Wang simply because he needs much less to get much more. Using the same criteria of health, Halladay is two heads better than both of them – actually, he’s better than any guy on either of our staffs. Health is the main issue with most of the guys who can reach twenty, but not Wang. He a guy that needs a lot of balls hit to the right spot and for things to go his way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ll put my money on strike out guys who let the ball in play much less.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • The comparison to Mark Prior was the supposed “perfect mechanics” delivery, I think. Mark Prior’s mechanics were supposed to be flawless and therefore wouldn’t cause any injuries. We saw how that turned out…
    That said, Hughes’ delivery does look pretty smooth though. Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of Prior..

    Lar February 12, 2007, 3:18 pm
  • Let’s hope he doesn’t go the way of Prior..
    yeah, especially that big year, but after that, here’s hoping to a mirror image.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:23 pm
  • not injuries of course, but results.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • not injuries, of course, but results.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:27 pm
  • sorry for the double-dip.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Halladay absolutely has the talent, but he has a tendency to find his way on to the DL very frequently.
    Verlander has the talent also, but let’s see how the 200 innings take a toll on his arm. Plus with Bonderman and others, chances are slim he would win 20 unless the Tigers win 100 games.
    Wang, I love the Yankees, but I think we will see the “Real” Wang this year.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • Wang, I love the Yankees, but I think we will see the “Real” Wang this year
    oh man, I love it. Where’s Nick when i need him?

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:42 pm
  • Trisk,
    You’re walking on eggshells there, man. Suggesting such things will bring the wrath of the stat-haters upon you. But, I whole-heartedly agree!

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • He will be a good pitcher, but not nearly the stud from last year. Unless he starts striking people out at a higher rate. Too many variables needed for him to win without that.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • man, Trisk. I like you more and more.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • You’re probably right…but even if he’s just solid, a healthy 220 innings might be all he needs to come pretty close. With that offense, assuming it manages to stay healthy this time, I bet even a 4.2 gets him 17 or 18.
    That is, of course, assuming the bullpen is still strong. There’s nowhere near the uncertainty that there is in Boston, thanks in large part to some guy named Mo, but there are some definate issues.

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Stat haters, LOL. Stats are reality and they don’t lie. Players who K less the 5 per 9 don’t succeed very often. See Westbrook as an example. Great season….then Ehhhh just another innings eater.
    Hey I hope I’m wrong, it happens. Not since ’82, but it happens.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • *definite…

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • I hope Rich Garces rubs some off also on Clay Bucholtz. Bucholtz will become a fat and overweight like Rich Garces :)

    Ulyssess February 12, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Brad February 12, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Advice, you say?
    Preview, then post.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • “I hope Rich Garces rubs some off also on Clay Bucholtz. Bucholtz will become a fat and overweight like Rich Garces :)”
    Dude Rich Garces tore sh*t up in the Dominican winter league this year. I can’t find his stats, I just remember reading about it…don’t rag on the Beautiful One. He could be Boston’s next closer. Haha….

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Trisk, lies, damn lies, and statistics =P
    Can Wang strike people out *when he wants to*? Part of me feels that Wang isn’t pitching for K’s, but with mid-90s pitches, he could get them when he needs them..
    I know the K/9 don’t really jump around (at least, not that significantly) but ya, it’s a special case.
    On the over/under 20, it stands to reason that on most years, you bet under… it’s kind of like betting against Ortiz hitting 50 HR’s. It’s obvious that Ortiz is good enough, and there’s a reasonable chance that he will.. but it’s a long season, and ARod didn’t even hit 40 last year..
    So, no point in stating the trivially obvious..

    Lar February 12, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Lar, that’s rediculous. If he could strike guys out when he wants to, he wouldn’t have two or three guys on base all the time when he’s saved by one of those league leading double plays. I mean his groundball rate is staggering, but I’d imagine he’d rather not take that chance when the bases are juiced, but he does.
    As Hogan would say: “that’s crazy, brother”.
    ha. I love Hogan.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • From Espn – Red Sox’s rotation filled with several potential aces
    The Title should be Red Sox’s rotation filled with questionable several potential aces. that’s better..
    Matsuzaka – Another Hideki Irabue Part2 in the making
    Papelbon – How’s your shoulder young man? I hope Kris Benson Karma rubs off in on you, so your out for season with rotator cuff surgery
    Schilling -Overweight? According Weei Holley
    Beckett – ” He’s The Only Redsox Pitcher in history with most homerun allowed last year
    Wakefield- Knuckleball? How’s your back?

    Ulyssess February 12, 2007, 4:15 pm
  • Who is this dope? Uggh you are making Yankee fans look bad.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • The “he’s not trying to strike people out” argument is something the Wangers like to use, but I’m not sure how defensible it really is. It really doesn’t matter if he’s capable of being a strikeout pitcher if he doesn’t try. The fact remains that right now, a little bad luck can kill him and, like Trisk said, the precedents don’t look good. Or, they don’t look like aces…just solid No. 3 types.
    Ulysses, wishing injury on someone is pretty low. In fact it’s well beyond that…Paps ain’t exactly a Barry Bonds type.
    “The Title should be Red Sox’s rotation filled with questionable several potential aces.”
    And that’s pretty illegible…

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • Oh…and as good as Boston’s rotation could be, I’d still take the Angels’ any day of the week. That whole staff is absolutely terrifying; facing them in a short series in the playoffs would be beyond intimidating.

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • The Wang debate. I love it! I’ve said my piece. I think he’s brilliant, DIPs and LIPs and all stat-head rubbish be damned. Brad, who has never for a day in his life respected the great Wangster (I suspect the uniform plays a part) has yet to eat the crow he promised he would eat if Wang had a good 2006 (you can look up this promise in the archives) has now extended the debate another year. That’s fine. Wang will be Wang. We’ll hear the same arguments after another great 2007 and the anti-Wang crew will remain cocky (the puns just can’t help but come), armed with their inhuman stat books and computers and technology stuff.
    Again, I can’t wait for the games to begin already. These debates are getting tired…a bit.

    Nick-YF February 12, 2007, 4:29 pm
  • Well, Brad, I’m just stating it not as defense, per se, as more of a “we should wait and see”, instead of using the already tired “regression to the mean” argument, which, if you want to be anal about it, is a correlation and not a casuation, and is technically a logical fallacy..
    My reason for believing it (other than the Yanks bias) is because he’s young, and he has some stuff. I honestly think it’s a bit of a catch-22 logic -> Wang will be an excellent sinkerballer for his career.. _if and only if_ it stays excellent! What I mean by that is that, if/when major leaguers start to figure out his sinker, it’ll be up to him to make the adjustment to either learn another pitch, etc. Just like Roger Clemens relied on his power for quite some time before adding that splitter that added so many years to his career..
    Not saying Wang will be Roger Clemens, obviously, but saying that I believe Wang is an excellent pitcher, and he’ll make these adjustments as time goes by.. he throws 85% sinkers now, and it’s odd to extrapolate his entire career assuming that he’ll never change!

    Lar February 12, 2007, 4:35 pm
  • Oh ya, I also meant the part about “striking people out if he wants to” as a question, thus the “Can he..”. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, and what I mean isn’t changing the approach for individual batters within a game, but as an overall kind of thing – maybe adding/improving a curveball, etc..

    Lar February 12, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • ulyssess or is it ESK? i started your brewers blog over at sportsblog.com/brewers/royals/pirates/marlins/rockies/devilrays/teamsnoonecaresabout. check it out. you can talk to yourself allday.

    sf rod February 12, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • I know I’m not supposed to feed the trolls, but you’d think they could at least get the basic stats right. Josh Beckett finished with the second-most homers allowed. Not the first.
    Nick is clearly a believer in the law of inertia: Wang and Beckett are physically incapable of changing their respective momentums — Wang as a Cy Young winner in the making, Beckett as the worst being in the Milky Way (and possibly the Andromeda). :-)

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • Esk? Who’s is that guy? Sorry I don’t know him. Does he speak spanish and Is he’s currently enroll in Esl classes?

    Ulyssess February 12, 2007, 4:47 pm
  • Bucholtz could be next rich garces or Josh Beckett who knows?

    Ulyssess February 12, 2007, 4:49 pm
  • I surrender and give up , The Redsox starting rotation is number one and one of the best in majors.
    Schilling will win 30 games
    Matsuzaka will win 20 games
    Beckett will win 18 games
    Papelbon will win 16 games
    Wakefield will win 14 games

    Ulyssess February 12, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • Schilling’s win total might be a little high, but otherwise I think you’re about right, Ulysses.

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 5:18 pm
  • You are an idiot, go play somewhere else. Regardless of our team affiliation, you are a moron.
    Lar and Nick I hope you are right, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Who has to field a strikeout? Nobody. Who has to field one of the numerous ground balls he throws, the Yankees defense. Sometimes, regardless of how good they are they make errors and balls find holes. There really is no history of a guy with such a low K/9 succeeding long term as a #1/2. Who knows maybe he’s the first.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • My apologies to YF for turning this into a Wang debate. It was not my intentions to take away from your great piece.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • Yankees should look ahead to ’08
    no chance to win it all in ’07 because:
    -Twins,Red Sox, White Sox are hungrier and more hard-nosed
    -Tigers will be more disciplined
    -Dice-K will dominate
    -one of these teams will suprise this season (Angels,Blue Jays, Orioles, Rangers)
    -all over-priced Yankees are one year older

    ElDominican February 12, 2007, 5:38 pm
  • Did we get a link somewhere to drive all the crazy people to the site?

    Paul SF February 12, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • Yeah, Trisk is right. This was a great post by YF and it’s unfortunate that it became another pissing contest. Back to the original subject at hand. I still have a memory of picking up the Daily News sports section one day in Junior High (or perhaps it was early HS) and reading in a small piece that the Yanks had taken this high school short stop named Jeter as their first round pick. The write-up talked about how strong a throwing arm he had. He had been clocked at above 90 mph throwing across the diamond. It said nothing about him as a hitter. Just that. It’s been very enjoyable watching him develop into a superstar. Let’s hope Phillip Hughes follows a similar path.

    Nick-YF February 12, 2007, 5:58 pm
  • Your right El Dominicano or would you rather us call you Nostradamus?
    Sangano, no worries El will know what that means.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • now back to hughes:
    …hype/scmype…yf’s are hoping he’s the real deal, while sf’s are hoping he stinks up the joint…as it should be…nice writeup yf…
    quo, your formulas lack a couple of elements: your predictability and sensitivity…i never realized my comments had such an effect on you…you actually proved my point, so thanks man…

    dc February 12, 2007, 7:58 pm
  • Did we get a link somewhere to drive all the crazy people to the site?
    Best line in this whole thread, hands down. Also Lar, I was playing the devils advocate there, and despite what Nick thinks, I know the kid can pitch. I just don’t think that luck will hold up over the long haul, or at least this year. I think he, like most groundball pitchers, will get bit by that spout of bad days more often than not. The kid is totally capable of throwing a gem, but it depends as much on the infield that day as it does his prowess on the mound. That’s all I’m saying.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 9:27 pm
  • Hey Trisky,
    Why do you call the Yank fan (Ulyssess) who gives his opinion of how the Sox will do a dope, an idiot, and a moron, but praise the Sox fan (El Dominican) who says the Yanks don’t have a chance, tell him he’s right, and call him Nostradamus (the great prophet)?

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 9:29 pm
  • Uhh, I’d be willing to bet everything I own that Trisk was being sarcastic w/r to Dominican…

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 9:35 pm
  • Oh, I see. Light, humorous sarcasm for the guy who think the Yanks will be lousy, and crude personal insults for the guy who thinks the Sox will be lousy.
    Just what I’d expect, coming from a Yankee fan who hates the Red Sox.

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 9:53 pm
  • Oh, I see. Light, humorous sarcasm for the guy who think the Yanks will be lousy, and crude personal insults for the guy who thinks the Sox will be lousy.
    Just what I’d expect, coming from a Yankee fan who hates the Red Sox.
    duh.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 9:59 pm
  • According to Brad, I was the only person in the world who thought Wang would be better than Wakefield in 2006. Instead of thinking that makes me a good judge of baseball he thinks it shows how little I know.

    john February 12, 2007, 10:08 pm
  • “man,Trisk. I like you more and more.”
    Down on your knees, huh guy?

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:09 pm
  • According to Brad, I was the only person in the world who thought Wang would be better than Wakefield in 2006. Instead of thinking that makes me a good judge of baseball he thinks it shows how little I know.
    No, it shows that you correctly predicted one of the strangest outliers of probability any of us ever saw. You chose to take a stand based on bias and fandom more than common sense, and I don’t offer credit to your baseball knowledge for doing so. Instead, I offer congratulations for catching that lighting. Wang enjoyed an enourmous amount of luck and good will not normal for a guy who gives up that many hits and strikes out that few. Your prediction was formed from a basebline of empty admiration for the uniform, and could not have possibly been based on any statistical data whatsoever, so no, I don’t think your “baseball knowledge” is anything more than a gut feeling we all get for the players on our teams.
    Besides, if you’re saying that your baseball smarts is what gave you your insight into Wangs year, you were the only one. No one, and I mean no one, predicted the kind of success he needed last year to get what he got. Now I’ve said that I think he can pitch at this level, but I stand by the idea that he’s nothing more than a Jake Westbrook type pitcher; in any given year, Wakefield can be just as good or better. That is all it boils down to, and if the kid can do this unbelievable feat once again, I’ll lighten my critical analysis of his ability significantly.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:18 pm
  • Fun fact: Josh Beckett gave up 36 home runs in 204 innings last year. Chien Ming Wang gave up 12 home runs in 218 innings.

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:18 pm
  • Down on your knees, huh guy?
    What the hell is that supposed to me? Dude, do you think about some of the personal puke you spout at times around here? I’m not going to retalliate, and I think you went over the line there. You should try to keep it at least related to, if not all about, sports and/or baseball.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:21 pm
  • I didn’t like that “duh” Brad. YOU got it rollin’. Take it easy now boy.

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:25 pm
  • BTW Brad, it’s funny you’d accuse John of empty admiration for a uniform, and then say Wakes, who stunk last year, is as good or better than Wang, who was 2nd in the Cy Young voting last year. I mean wtf?

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:30 pm
  • 1. not your boy.
    2. I said “duh” as a response to the fact that you’re suprised that a sox fan paints a good picture of Boston, and v/v for the Yanks fan. It was meant as funny, not an attack on you. In other news, we’re at war, and JFK was murdered.
    3. You should think before you say shit like that. None of us may really know each other, but we’re all pretty good pals when it comes to this site. There’s no need to reach across that line and make a joke like that.
    I’m sorry if the “duh” offended you, but I’m done with this silly argument. Let’s just get back to baseball.

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:31 pm
  • WE,
    my analysis is based on over ten years of service in MLB. It’s not based on opinion or fanaticism of the uniform. I’ve said, and stand by, the fact that Wakefield is an average pitcher, who eats innings, and will win in a big spot more often than not. It was based on numbers, not biased. One good year does not a great pitcher make. Wakefield has had himself a nice little baseball life, and in retrospect is as good as Wang, who I believe is an average pitcher himself. Granted, he’s one who had a great year, but the statistical data that goes along with the type of pitcher Wang is (groundballs, alot of baserunners, and a ton of hits into play) seem to favor the idea that he will regress to the norm.
    Why is that so hard to understand?

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:37 pm
  • WE,
    my analysis is based on over ten years of service in MLB. It’s not based on opinion or fanaticism of the uniform. I’ve said, and stand by, the fact that Wakefield is an average pitcher, who eats innings, and will win in a big spot more often than not. It was based on numbers, not biased. One good year does not a great pitcher make. Wakefield has had himself a nice little baseball life, and in retrospect is as good as Wang, who I believe is an average pitcher himself. Granted, he’s one who had a great year, but the statistical data that goes along with the type of pitcher Wang is (groundballs, alot of baserunners, and a ton of hits into play) seem to favor the idea that he will regress to the norm.
    Why is that so hard to understand?

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:39 pm
  • First of all WE, I did insult Dominicano I called him a Sangano, which is the same as what I called Ulessyes, except in Spanish.
    Secondly keep your mouth shut. I forgot more about this game then you will ever know. You want to make this personal and be a big mouth and insult me, come to a game and do it in person. Don’t EVER insult me like that, you don’t know me BOY.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 10:43 pm
  • Brad, go back and read my 9:15 post and think about it. Wouldn’t a Yankee fan(Trisk) normally have a little more tolerance for the Yankee fan as opposed to the Sox fan?

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:45 pm
  • I apologize to the others who are here, but I come here to talk about the sport and team I love, not get insulted by some loud mouth punk. I am sorry we got off topic.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 10:45 pm
  • alrighty, I’m out. It’s getting ugly here tonight. Geez, one week without football and we’re all oozing toughness out our ears. Take it easy, guys. It all starts this week! Be happy!

    Brad February 12, 2007, 10:48 pm
  • This is hardly oozing toughness, I am not going to be called “Gay” and be questioned by someone while I am defending the intergrity of this site. I come here for enjoyment, not stress.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 10:51 pm
  • My that was impressive Trisky. But seriously, you call those gentle words insults? Did you pass out from too much booze and suddenly wake up in a drunken stupor? That’s what you sound like. Tell ya what though. I’ll stop insulting you if you stop kissing ass on all the Sox fans that hang around here. How’s that?

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 10:57 pm
  • seems a little harsh guy’s. i think we’re suppoused to be discussing how hughes is gonna bust. i get the feeling wang’s career will go the same way d. lowe’s went/is going. when the sinkers on your team will put up enough runs for the w. the same can be said for wake and the knuckler. it’ll be hard to predict either of those guys from start to start.
    oh yeah….i’m in the hughes will bust camp. but that just has to do with the color of my sox.

    sf rod February 12, 2007, 10:58 pm
  • Trisky, Quit trying to twist things to the point that your “defending the integrity of this site.”
    It has nothing to do with this site. It’s about you.
    Your either a Sox fan in a Yanks jersey or else your the biggest brown noser of a Yankee fan I’ve ever seen.

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 11:04 pm
  • Trisky,
    How do you think Ulyssess felt after you called him a dope, an idiot, and a moron?
    Oh, but that’s OK huh?
    BTW, you think you have to defend this site every time some troll drops in to raise a little hell? I think the boys around here have dealt with a few meatheads over the years. Don’t sweat it.

    Whatever February 12, 2007, 11:15 pm
  • we- i don’t see it man. trisk has been pretty even keel across the board on all topics.

    sf rod February 12, 2007, 11:19 pm
  • Yeah you are right, because I never stand up to the Sox fans, LOL.
    Why am I a brown noser? Because I don’t think Wang is a “Stud?” Please. Numbers don’t lie, he is not a stud and perfomed well over his head last season. Now do I hope he does it again, sure. But I am not going to side with Yankee fans simply because he’s a Yankee. I want you to look this up for me, who was the last 20 game winner who avg less then 5 K’s per 9? Am I brown noser because I think Josh Beckett has the talent to be very very good? Am I a brown noser because I don’t think the Sox are in dire straits without a closer for the regular season? Who you root for shouldn’t cloud your judgement. Facts are facts. Wang pitched over his head. Josh Beckett has the potential to be a 20 game winner and Cy Young winner. The Sox are in a great spot having 6 plus SP’s and the prospect of running Papelbon out there come October. I am not going to lie, change my opinion simply because I dislike a team, that’s ignorant.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 11:21 pm
  • I don’t think any of these gentlemen need my assitance when it comes to trolls, but that doesn’t mean I can’t speak up. I am a newby, been here about 4 months, I know this site doesn’t need me. But I enjoy coming here and don’t see the need for random people to try and crap on the integrity that this site has.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 12, 2007, 11:24 pm
  • Irrelevant…but The Police are playing Fenway Park on July 28. Preeetty cool.

    desturbd1 February 12, 2007, 11:26 pm
  • trisk- don’t sweat the WE attack. i think he’s got a long standing beef with brad. WE is actually funny as shit on the game threads around here. god i can’t wait for those to start.

    sf rod February 12, 2007, 11:40 pm
  • WE:
    Just because Trisk doesn’t blindly back all things Yankee doesn’t give you any right to start accusing him of the silly third grade insult of “brown-noser”. I have had disagreements with Paul, Brad, and commenter Beth (to varying degrees of intensity) over Red Sox moves, and I’ve had differences of opinions with some Sox fans over their attitude towards the Yankees. It doesn’t make me any less of a Sox fan or a Yankee hater. But intellectual honesty is a check on blind loyalty, and I’ll take Trisk’s open mind over Yankee (or Red Sox, for that matter) jingoism any day of the week, and I don’t care if that means he’s eventually going to take the piss out of the Red Sox, which is an inevitability. At least I can trust that the piss-taking will be deeply thought through.

    SF February 12, 2007, 11:49 pm
  • Trisky,
    Every blog out there has idiots that fly in and try to rattle the cages. No big deal, and it’s not going to compromise the integrity here a bit.
    Didn’t mean for things to get a little heated here, it just sort of happened.
    I’ve studied this blog and the characters here for a few years now, and even though I don’t have time to post too much, I know the personalities here. Maybe I’m still learning yours.
    I’m not against saying good things about the Sox, I’ve done so myself a few times recently, but if something arises that I question, or feel the Yanks are getting unfairly trashed, I may bring it up. I’m not always right though, for damn sure.
    Anyway, hope you won’t hold our little disagreement against me and hope you keep enjoying yourself here.

    Whatever February 13, 2007, 12:07 am
  • Uh SF, I’ve heard the term brown-noser used by lawyers and politicians, but anyway, your point is taken.

    Whatever February 13, 2007, 12:12 am
  • Gotta get to bed now, good night and good luck.

    Whatever February 13, 2007, 12:14 am
  • Wow, that was interesting to read. I have a lot of respect for you, Trisk. I’ve enjoyed your four months here, and this site needs all the intelligent commentary and debate we get from guys like you. :-)
    Anyway, fun fact:
    Chien-Ming Wang hits allowed: 233.
    Josh Beckett hits allowed: 191.
    Josh Beckett strikeouts: 158
    Chien-Ming Wang strikeouts: 76.
    I mean, hey, if we’re gonna cherrypick, might as well use the other two sets of numbers regarded as the key components to determine pitching effectiveness.
    In fact, Beckett had better K/9, BB/9, K/BB, WHIP and BAA rates than Wang. Wang did beat Beckett in ERA and HR/9, so keep holding onto that, WE.

    Paul SF February 13, 2007, 12:39 am
  • it is a fact that more pitchers that reach the major league level fail to meet the standard of being a contributor to a big-league club for multiple seasons, which is the baseline one needs to reach before one can even be considered in the conversation of being an “average” pitcher. For that fact alone, it’s a fair consideration that Hughes may not cut the mustard. The same can be said for Matsuzaka. I’m more inclined to believe that Matsuzaka will succeed in the bigs since he has proven himself many times over at a higher level of competition than Hughes has yet to face. That said, both of those guys are garnering praise from sources that don’t throw around compliments lightly, and in addition I wish I knew what that mustard idiom really means.
    Brad talked earlier of a comparison of Hughes to Prior regarding potential. I thought that was a pretty apt analogy, and no, I don’t think Brad had any intention of wishing recurring physical problems to Hughes. If you didn’t follow the Cubs closely at the time when Prior came up, you probably missed that Prior was the real deal from day one. Amazing control, amazing stuff. Phenomenal, natural delivery. Command over a multiple-pitch arsenal that belied his age. Lower body built by Freightliner. Sounded like a compliment, really. His physical problems have been a shame, because he’s a remarkable hurler.
    I look forward to Wang pitching, regardless of what statistics people want to throw around. Really, as much as I love stats, what on earth do they have to do with the pure enjoyment of the game itself? The game makes the statistics, not the other way around.

    attackgerbil February 13, 2007, 2:11 am
  • There is a serious mischaracterization happening in this thread, and it needs to stop. There is not a divide between “stat guys” and “Wang guys.” That’s a false dichotomy. It’s easy to toss around numbers and pretend that we know what they mean. A little knowlege can be a dangerous thing. Baseball is an extremely complex system. Though there are a few sabermetric “rules of thumb,” these need to be understood within larger systems and with respect to the fact that they absolutely do not explain all phenomena. There are very few analysts truly capable of understanding the full complexities of sabermetric modelling, and even these experts are prone to mistakes (see Bill James on this) and constant revision (check out the terrific interview by Rich Lederer on Baseball Analysts with BP’s Nate SIlver) on this front.
    So let’s get a few things clear regarding Chien Ming Wang. He is not a one year anomaly, and he is not a “league average” pitcher.
    In 2005 Wang made 17 starts, won 8 times, and posted an era of 4.02. In 2006 he made 33 starts, won 19 times, and posted an era of 3.62. 2006 is a better year, but, if you project the performance for 2005 over the same number of starts, and keep the era, you get 16 wins and a 4.02 era. So, yes, it’s not quite as exemlary as 2006, but it is certainly consistent with it. I haven’t looked at the various projections for Wang for 2007, but my guess is that if he pitches another 33 or so games, he’s going to come up with around 16 wins, and an era in the low 4.00s. That would technically be a “regression,” but not to the league mean—a repeat 19-win performance is an incredibly difficult feat, even for an ace, and Wang isn’t quite one of those, as good as he is. And he is good.

    YF February 13, 2007, 2:35 am
  • It’s Over, The Orioles sign The Great Steve Trachsel. Yankees have no chance to win the Al east. I still remembered last year outing against the Yankees on July 1, Trachsel gave up two runs..

    ElDominican February 13, 2007, 9:10 am
  • Credit the Orioles for quickly filling the “hole” left by(and in) Kris Benson’s rotator cuff. They found the “best” possible candidate (though, I might have chosen Redman given the probably real AL/NL difference) and found him cheaply.
    Hey, at least they didn’t sign Jason Johnson, Jose Lima, Scott Erickson, Sidney Ponson, Kyle Snyder, Runelvys Hernandez…

    QuoSF February 13, 2007, 9:32 am
  • In fact, Beckett had better K/9, BB/9, K/BB, WHIP and BAA rates than Wang. Wang did beat Beckett in ERA and HR/9, so keep holding onto that, WE.
    And W’s. 19 – 6 v 16 – 11.

    john February 13, 2007, 10:27 am
  • Here’s what Brad missed: in 2005, Wang had a better ERA than Wake, and Wake had shown that his age was going to make him less reliable than he had been.

    john February 13, 2007, 10:29 am
  • Wins AND Losses! ;) How did we get to this again?

    Lar February 13, 2007, 10:38 am
  • No, John. I didn’t miss it. I made an EDUCATED prediction based on Tim Wakefield’s long line of performance in comparison to a very limited (and injury shortened) body of work for Wang. You act as if you had some kind of insightful future info on the situation, and deserve credit for taking a wild guess that came to fruition, and quite frankly, it’s BS. Any realistic person would have looked at the situation, and estimated that if Wakefield stayed healthy (which has never been a concern), he would be as effecient as a guy who gives up as many balls in play as Wang does. No matter how YF likes to spin the data, which I in fact, do understand, the trend for Wang’s style/type of pitching does not often end in Wang’s results. Period. If you asked me again, I’d say that Tim Wakefield is just as good on any given day if healthy.
    Yes, YF. Until he replicates his feat, he is a one year pitcher/wonder. If he does it again, we’ll all have nothing to say, but until that time, I think most resonable people believe that unless he starts striking some guys out, and allows fewer guys to run to first, he will regress to a lower result plateau.
    He’s good, but I just don’t think he’s 16-19 wins good.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 11:55 am
  • Wake had shown that his age was going to make him less reliable
    what had Wake shown? Did he spend some period of time on the DL for serious problems before last year that I missed? I mean, I know all pitchers spend some short stints on the DL, but I don’t recall Wake showing any signs of anything. Please refresh my memory as to what signs Wake was showing that he was getting older and less reliable. As I see it, the link below suggests that in all of his years, injury never really played a major player in any of his performance results. In fact, minus last year, Wake was over 180IP in each of the last three years? Where are the signs of age and deterioration, John? His numbers are staggeringly consistent, and I’m sure you can cherry pick some stats that show some type of regression, but when it comes to the durability, I don’t see the signs you’re talking about, buddy.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • Brad February 13, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • Brad, in fairness to John, he wasn’t the only person who made a wild guess about Wang last year. Peter Gammons and Tom Verducci both thought he was going to have a great year before the season started. They have the benefit of talking to hitters who actually face the guy. In other words, there’s more to the data set than the stats you’re relying on.
    Just wondering, what do you think Wang’s final line will be for 2007?

    Nick-YF February 13, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • Nice, the only way anyone could’ve seen Wang had a good season is by wild guess! How is DMat looking?
    By the way, let’s compared the number of good seasons of “success” in the AL East:
    Beckett – Zero. Wang – One.
    So anyone that claims Beckett will have a good year is probably just wishing/guessing!

    Lar February 13, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • Nice, the only way anyone could’ve seen Wang had a good season is by wild guess! How is DMat looking?

    Lar February 13, 2007, 1:47 pm
  • So important I had to say it twice! (Nah, this page is loading really oddly for me, apologies for the second post..)

    Lar February 13, 2007, 1:52 pm
  • Home for lunch and only have time for a quickie.
    Paul, yeah, I did cherry pick that HR stat comparing Wang and Beckett, just in response to the argument that Wang would regress because of his low K total, my point being that keeping the ball in the park is something else that will determine a pitcher’s success.
    For those of you that haven’t seen it, if you want a Red Sox homeboy’s opinion of Beckett’s first year with the Sox, go to Boston.com, scroll down to Nation on the Net, click on Eric Wilburs blogs, and scroll down to the Feb 6 blog titled “Proof positive” for Eric’s take on Beckett’s 2006 season.
    Gotta go.

    Whatever February 13, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • My estimate for Wang’s 2007 line:
    14 – 10
    4.10

    Brad February 13, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • My estimate for Wang’s 2007 line:
    14 – 10
    4.10
    190IP
    220 hits allowed
    14-16HR allowed
    46BB
    66k
    Bad? Not quite. Like I’ve said all along, he’s a good pitcher, just not to the tune of 19 wins a year.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • sorry for the double-dip. I’m having some sort of issue with posting today for whatever reason.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2762971
    Good story. Good read. Good for him.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 2:30 pm
  • Brad, I didn’t know you liked Wang so much. That’s #2 starter numbers in the AL East.

    Anonymous February 13, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • for the record, I think I was generous and without bias in those projections. I don’t fully believe in them, but I think it’s a possible projection, and for what it’s worth, those are nearly the same I have for Tim Wakefield.

    Brad February 13, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • If I bet (which I don’t, for the 1000th time), I’d take you up on that prognostication. I seriously doubt Wakefield will have as good a year as Wang, whatever the numbers might end up being.
    I subscribe to the idea that “Wang is a bit fortunate, but also darn good”.
    But I am still waiting for Phil, frankly. Maybe YF should change the title of this thread to “Wanging for Phillip”?

    SF February 13, 2007, 5:42 pm
  • Let’s just say that if Wang was on the Sox, we SFs would be incessantly harping on the fact that he’s an extreme groundballer pitching in Fenway, and how that was a great thing, and not about how lucky he was/will be.

    SF February 13, 2007, 5:44 pm

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