General Yankees

Why hasn’t Jesus arrived yet?

The Yanks have a very good farm system at the moment, but Baseball Prospectus' prospect guru Kevin Goldstein (subscription only) argues Brian Cashman and the front office "seem almost scared to bring their prospects up." For instance, why did they bring up thirtysomething Brian Gordon instead of Betances, Banuelos or Warren? One scout he talks to thinks Jesus Montero's relatively poor showing in Triple A is a result of frustration. “He looks like a player who knows he's stuck in Pennsylvania.” Hmm, that last observation seems a little too psychology 101 for my tastes, but the larger point does stand. What are the Yanks afraid of? The team has obvious needs at DH, back-up catcher, in the starting rotation. There are players in the system who can fill those positions now. They aren't playing for the Yanks right now. What's the deal?

9 replies on “Why hasn’t Jesus arrived yet?”

Well, Banuelos and Betances are not yet ready to star in the major leagues. And Warren will probably never star in the major leagues. So they brought in a guy who will approximate their production over a span of two or three starts, and could also probably make a suitable long man in the pen once the better starting options come back.
There’s a saying that you want your starting pitchers to be overripe upon promotion to the major leagues. With the Yankees constantly being in a position to contend and their margin of failure slim in the toughest division in baseball, it’s truer for them than maybe anybody.
And for Montero, well, it’s a matter of timing. What’s the use of promoting him when you have Posada actually contributing finally, and Martin, albeit in quite a slump (though still getting on base at a fine clip), actually able to defend competently? Cervelli may have started more games than is desirable recently, due to some wear and tear on Martin, but the upgrade from Cervelli to Montero is miniscule simply because neither of them would play very often. If Posada or Martin go on the DL, then you will probably see Montero. If not, he’ll be a September callup and likely a nearly every day player in 2012 (DH + backup C), which is perfectly admirable for a to-be-22 year old.
It’s a lot of hand-wringing over pretty much nothing. As usual.

i said something similar to this a few days ago nick…can’t remember where or when, so you’ll have to trust me…i’m frustrated by our handling of prospects…i know our team is different than many in the sense that we don’t have to rush guys to the majors just to fill out a roster, but we seem to be stuck to the other extreme…i conceded the point that our typical draft position might not present us with the opportunity to get too many “major-league-ready” guys, but come on already…our strategy seems to be burying guys in the minors until we give up on them or trade them away for broken down former all stars…your brian gorden example is the perfect example of suppressing growth and mismanaging the farm…we couldn’t find one pitcher, just one, in our system that wouldn’t have been a better option?…and yeah dusty, is jesus really a worse defensive catcher than cervelli?…sheesh

Why Gordon over Warren? Warren has been close to brilliant in June. He’s younger, he is more interesting in terms of their long-term plans. He has more upside. You have teams like the Braves, who do well with their prospects by the way, giving pitchers like Teheren and Minor spot starts. What’s the point of being cautious with somone like Warren?

It’s probably because the Yankees liked what they saw in Gordon, currently, more than Warren, who has what, 3 good starts in AAA and 14 in total? The Yankees probably didn’t think he was quite ready. And they’re probably right.
Teheran and Minor are stupendously better prospects than Warren. If the Yankees had Teheran or Minor, they likely would have been the guy. But Warren is truly nothing special, and not worth wringing hands over.

I also love how nothing the Yankees can do will ever please anyone. They rush Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, and people scream at them for putting short-term needs over long-term planning and declare they have no idea what they’re doing.
Now that they don’t necessarily need their prospects at the major league level and are letting them develop further in the minors, they’re ‘terrified’ of calling up their prospects…yeah, okay. I’m gonna file this one under ‘typical MSM bullshit’ and call it a day.

I understand Andrew’s rationale with the pitchers. But I don’t really get the Montero stuff. They are not maximizing his value, either production-wise for the major league team or as a minor league asset.
Yes, he’s young. But he’s being devalued every day he plays lesser baseball in AAA.

I was frustrated with the Montero stuff when Posada was a gaping black hole. But to their credit (or not, I couldn’t actually see them outright releasing a franchise cornerstone), they stuck with Posada and he has rewarded them so far. The Yankees have a top offense, and now that pretty much everyone is contributing (except shortstop, but Montero can’t help there anyway), you’re probably doing Monty (that’s going to be his lame Girardi’d nickname) a favor by not sitting him on a bench. A 21 year old always has something to work on.
I could see an argument about possibly developing him in the outfield as well as catcher and getting his bat in the lineup that way, but honestly, it’s really not a humongous deal, nor is it some sign of a deeper massive organizational failure.

“Well, Banuelos and Betances are not yet ready to star in the major leagues.”
Who needs them to star? They just need to be competent. Still, Betances is a joke, like Brackman before him. Only Baneulos is the real deal and esp. because he’s a southpaw. He could easily hold down a rotation slot and likely be better than Hughes. Hughes is terrible.
“There’s a saying that you want your starting pitchers to be overripe upon promotion to the major leagues.”
Where did you pull that “saying” from? There’s also Jaffe’s study that showed that upper level minor league experience has no correlation with MLB success in the last 30 years. You know what did have a correlation with MLB success? MLB experience. Yup, you learn to pitch in the majors by pitching in the majors once you advanced past A+.
As for Montero vs. Jorge, Jorge isn’t hitting a lick against LHP (.342 OPS). That’s when Monty could get ABs at DH. And with how much Martin has worn down – RAB had a great graph yesterday – Martin could stand to sit more. Between the two, Montero could easily get four or five starts a week. That’s perfect, especially since Cervelli is terrible.
“I also love how nothing the Yankees can do will ever please anyone. ”
Take off your pinstriped jersey for a second. Cashman promised that the days of high-priced free agents pitchers was over when he got “control”. How has that turned out? They haven’t developed a decent starter in his entire tenure. He traded away a legit pitching prospect for an absolute nothing in Vazquez. The best of the “Big 3” was jerked around into shoulder trouble and just had TJ surgery. The worst is pretty much guaranteed a rotation slot and has been even though he has a career 4.97 ERA as a starter. The one guy showing anything is pitching in Arizona.
They didn’t rush any of those guys. Joba, they changed his role how many times? Hughes got starts in 2007 and hasn’t improved since. And you know how many innings IPK got in pinstripes? 59. Then there’s Clippard, and Melancon, and Miranda, and Dunn – all useful pieces that Cashman has moved for nothing in return.
The Yankees have no record of developing starters and it shows. They’re fucking clueless. Gordon has exactly no upside. Noesi does. Warren does. Banuelos does. Even Phelps does. To choose the guy with nothing to gain is idiocy.
It’s the same thinking with Montero. Cervelli is going nowhere. Posada is finished after this year. Bring up the kid and let him learn on the job. AAA is adding nothing to his development.

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