Godzilla Goes Down

The replays weren’t quite Theisman-level disturbing, but ugly they were nonetheless. The loss to Boston hurts. But not nearly so much as the loss of our starting left fielder. Hideki Matsui’s games-played streak will now come to an end (silver lining down the road?); he goes for surgery today, and is likely out until August (and if he’s back by then, phew.) Meanwhile, with Sheff also DLed, the Yanks are running a sorry outfield MASH unit. Melky and Bubba in the lineup together, with Bernie as DH—that’s not going to cut it. We expect an immediate move from Cashman. He’s not dealing from strength, but if Matsui is scheduled for a mid-season return he shouldn’t be that desperate either. Kevin Thompson, down at AAA, would seem to be the in-house option. It’s not a great one.

[NOTE: Wrote this before I saw in the papers that Matsui might be gone for the year, and that Sheff’s injury may be more serious than thought—he goes for an MRI today. Situation pretty dire.]

41 comments… add one
  • as we know, i am as enthusiastic a yankees-hater as any other red-blooded right-minded American, but that was awful, what happened to matsui, one of the two or three yankees ever i’ve been able to remotely stand. like you said, not quite theisman-level, but remeniscent of it. blech.

    beth May 12, 2006, 8:55 am
  • I’m agreeing with Beth here. I just cringed when Matsui went down, and as much as I’m glad the Yanks will lose that production, I feel awful that it was Matsui who went down. If I was to call any of the current Yanks classy, it would be him.

    Laura May 12, 2006, 9:02 am
  • And now the Times is reporting Sheff’s injury might be worse than feared. Losing Sheff AND Matsui, that’s not going to be easy to fix.

    YF May 12, 2006, 9:10 am
  • Over on ESPN.com, Olney suggesting a deal for Abreu a possibility.

    YF May 12, 2006, 9:26 am
  • MLB.com reports that Joe and Cash are gonna play Melky in left mostly (this is presuming that Sheff comes back soon), with Bubba also seeing some time out there and Bernie DHing. They’ll call up Kevin Reese from Columbus to sit on the bench. It they look to bring in a star, it could be Abreu or Torii Hunter or even Sori, now that he’s made the transition to OF so smoothly. You gotta figure that if they deal, whoever they trade with is gonna want Philip Hughes. Argh. Definitely a down moment for us YFs.

    Spidey May 12, 2006, 9:56 am
  • The Melky-Damon-Bubba outfield/Bernie DH plan isn’t gonna last more than a couple of games, if that. Expect a move. But from the talk around the table last night where I was watching the game (with the esteemed trifecta of Jay Jaffe, Cliff Corcoran, and Alex Belth) the consensus was that Phil Hughes will not going anywhere, and I hope that’s true. Eric Duncan, who’s scuffling, is another story. (Of course, this was before the severity of matters became apparent.)

    YF May 12, 2006, 10:24 am
  • Why panic? Why trade away the future? Sure, if Matsui’s done for the year, that’s really, really bad for us, but Sheff won’t miss more than a month, right? The Cashman has to say, “through our own fault, we don’t have good tradeable chips to use to get an Abreu, so we’re stuck.” Otherwise, a rush trade will just leave us where we were two years ago before sanity prevailed. It is what it is, we just have to hope that A-Rod and the Giambino can carry the team until at least Sheff returns.
    And maybe, just maybe, knowing that they have prolonged stints in the team may help Bubba and Melky to perform.

    Sam May 12, 2006, 10:28 am
  • I don’t agree Sam. The Yanks need to deal here, and if they can take a player with a huge contract like Abreu and not give up too much in the prospect department (and that’s what’s being discussed here), that’s exactly how the team’s financial strenth should be leveraged, IMHO. Melky and Bubba are not blue-chip prospects who have any great right to extended playing time. I would never deal Hughes. But some kind of trade would seem to me in high order here.

    YF May 12, 2006, 10:34 am
  • YF, who are the prospects that could bring Abreu here? I;m fine with letting Duncan go, but why would Philly do this? I think Abreu’s great player, and I’d be thrilled to get him.

    NickYF May 12, 2006, 10:49 am
  • Note also that the New York tabloids (Post/News) are both reporting that Johnny Demon re-injured his shoulder and ankle last night. You could see him wincing after the play, and he is quoted as saying they are “not good.”
    Damon has a history of playing through pain but at his advancing age, you wonder how much success he’ll continue to have with that.
    I’m also interested that Bernie Williams basically seems to have been written out of the outfield discussion. I guess after that misplay that turned into the winning runs last night, I can see why, but you’d think Williams would be higher on the list than Melky Cabrera.

    Hudson May 12, 2006, 10:59 am
  • Sadly, Hudson, Bernie’s skills have declined so much recently that I’m more optimistic about Melky’s potential performance than his.

    NickYF May 12, 2006, 11:01 am
  • Damon hurt himself too. According to the Daily News he reinjured his shoulder and his foot. I didn’t know his foot was ever injured, but his shoulder is what pulled his production into the toilet during the second half of last season.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/417103p-352365c.html
    I knew there would be a thousand rumors about who the yankees are going to trade for without Matsui, and possibly Sheffield. The thing is, I don’t know who they have to deal. The Phils are close to first place, and they’d be insane to trade their best hitter for any pitcher on the Yankees right now. I suppose the Twins might be talked out of Tori Hunter, but I’m sure the Yankees would have to give up Duncan and Hughes. It’ll be interesting to see what they do.

    mattymatty May 12, 2006, 11:02 am
  • My hope would be that Cashman blows so much dough on fixing his outfield that it lessens their offer to Clemens. But knowing Steinbrenner, the sky’s the limit. Just imagine the Yankees’ luxury tax this year.

    Hudson May 12, 2006, 11:03 am
  • Who cares about the Yankees luxury tax? I don’t pay it.
    Buster Olney’s argument is that the Phillies want to get out of Abreu’s contract, which is $30m for the next two years. Therefore, it will be a contract dump for them, with Delucci taking over from him, and the Yanks hand over two “Grade B” prospects – whatever that means, I’m guess it’s not Duncan or Hughes.
    While that makes more sense, I still say give Melky a run. He has been tearing up AAA, and the Yanks think enough of him to call him twice in a year. Might as well give him a shot…

    Sam May 12, 2006, 11:09 am
  • They can (and I’m sure will) throw a ton of money at Clemens. I don’t think he’ll go back to NY though. I don’t think the Sox are going to get way out bid, and I think the Astros’ offer is already a good one with perks that NY can’t match (location mostly).
    I think that if the Yankees throw their few remaining prospects at getting an outfielder (like Hunter) then they won’t have anything left to pick up pitching which they’ll surely need at the deadline. I think their best bet is to go with Cabrera and/or one of the Kevin’s (the one that they didn’t call up yesterday is the better choice if you ask me) and hope the production dropoff isn’t that severe.

    mattymatty May 12, 2006, 11:11 am
  • The Phils are going to give Abreu up for two “grade B prospects?” Uh, no, Sam. Sorry. While yr at it why don’t you get Pujols for three grade B prosects and a ham sandwich. Not gonna happen.

    mattymatty May 12, 2006, 11:13 am
  • Yeah, I don’t see how Cash’ll be able to get Abreu, Hunter, or anyone else of similar ilk without giving up someone of serious value on the prospect end. We’re just not dealing from a position of strength, here, regardless of the Phils wanting out of Abreu’s contract. I mean, hell, Mattyx2 is right–if I was Gillick, I’d ask for Hughes *and* Duncan and go from there. And what about the non-prospects like Cano? Or Wang? I wonder how the scales tip with our OF decimated at the moment. Proctor as part of deal? His value is up as of late. Jeez, how things change in the course of a week or two.
    Time to step up, Melky.
    (I’d trade 3 Bs plus a ham sandwich for Pujols. I’d even throw in a ice-cold Fresca.)

    Spidey May 12, 2006, 11:44 am
  • Well, at least one complaint against NY has been depressingly addressed. They just got younger. One wire report on Yahoo that I read said they are bringing up 28 year-old Kevin Reese, but I read another that mentioned 26 year-old Kevin Thompson; either would likely be a bench player. Melky’s 21. Bubba’s 29. A youth movement. At least by Yankees standards.

    attackgerbil May 12, 2006, 11:51 am
  • Uh, guys – I just relaying what Olney said in his blog this morning – he reasons that it would just take a couple of B prospects to land Abreu. Don’t shoot the messenger.

    Sam May 12, 2006, 12:18 pm
  • Abreu is going to be harder to get since Delucci might have to play center after Rowand broke his nose last night.

    moe May 12, 2006, 12:26 pm
  • Last night Olney was talking up the possibility of a deal for one of the Reds outfielders (Griffey or Austin Kearns), or possibly Shannon Stewart. Griffey is tantalizing, but not exactly where you want to go to address your “injuray-ravaged” outfield.
    As a Sox fan I won’t miss seeing Matsui in the lineup, but as a baseball fan it sucks. Really good player who I love to watch.

    MJL in L.A. May 12, 2006, 12:36 pm
  • Rowand’s nose isn’t that big of an issue. Worst case scenario he gets a little gun-shy at the track. He’ll be back this weekend (as a veteran of multiple broken noses, one on the field, trust me). So that isn’t a major issue IMO. The Phills have been very vocal about their unhapiness with Abreu’s contract. B-prospects is a loaded term though and could mean a variety of things. Remember, about pitching, PHI signed a guy (Franklin) who everybody knows stinks. Floyd showed up last night, but his brilliance is few and far between. If Hamels isn’t the savior they think he is (see injury history) Abreu could be had. Again, I’m not saying any of this goes down, but it’s not unfathomable.

    Nate May 12, 2006, 12:59 pm
  • Hey, no messenger-shooting intended, Sam. Just trying to point out that Olney needs to lay off the crack if he thinks it’s gonna be that easy.

    Spidey May 12, 2006, 1:20 pm
  • Sam, that you don’t “care” about the luxury tax just goes to explain why so many people dislike the Yankees. Lose a couple of stars to injuries? No biggie, just go shopping. Money is no object.
    Yeah, yeah, the Sox have a high payroll, too. But they don’t have unlimited funds like Steinbrenner. And the Yankees are so far in their own leage as far as spending, it’s ridiculous.
    You can luxuriate in the knowledge that all your players could get injured and the Boss will just buy you new, shiny toys.
    But doesn’t it take any of the shine off the Yankees’ successes knowing that they are just a function of money? How much heart or brains does it take to buy all the top players?
    Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Microsoft. Neither needs your support.

    Hudson May 12, 2006, 1:40 pm
  • Actually, my freakin’ Microsoft Office Suite needs a buttload of support. IT Dude practically lives in here.

    MJL in L.A. May 12, 2006, 1:45 pm
  • “But they don’t have unlimited funds like Steinbrenner.”
    Hudson, Henry’s richer than Steinbrenner. Not being critical of the Sox way, but their cost-effective approach is a choice.
    And, I only take issue with Sam when he says it doesn’t affect him that the Yanks spend so much, because it actually ends up hurting the working-class consumer. Ticket prices, cable package costs, they go up for a reason every year.

    Nick May 12, 2006, 1:49 pm
  • How freaking tiresome is the crybaby attitude about the Yanks and their spending?
    It’s much easier to to love a team that spends money to get and keep players as long as possible versus a team who treats their players as commodities whose entire worth is calculated by an egomaniac GM and his band of MBA would-be investment bankers. How could anybody root for THAT?
    I love sabermetrics as much as the next guy, but when your team’s management is your biggest star, that’s way more “corporate” than a crazy old man with a thick wallet and a big mouth.

    bj May 12, 2006, 1:59 pm
  • Hudson – you’re right. I should stop supporting the Yanks. So should all the YFs on this site. We’ll all leave things to the SFs, and you can rename this site SoxFan v The World.
    Check your facts: in baseball history, the team that has won the pennants has usually been the team that has one of the highest, if not the highest payroll. The success of the 2003 Marlins was an anomaly. This isn’t the NFL; money’s always been a part of the game, and it’s pretty rich (no pun intended) to hear SFs moaning about the Yankees’ funds. As Nick points out, the Sox could choose to spend more, but don’t. Same with a lot of other owners out there.
    This is not to say I agree with what the Yankees payroll is, but the “don’t support them because they’re the monster” argument is pretty tired and I’m surprised to read it on this site.
    As for the luxury tax issue, Nick – well, Yankees tickets seem pretty comparable to other big league parks I’ve been to, and I don’t think Time Warner is ripping me off because it carries YES. Seems to me the bloated payroll is a function of 1) the team’s popularity, 2) the size of the local market 3) George spending more of his (league-leading)revenues than other owners do. But I could be wrong.

    Sam May 12, 2006, 2:21 pm
  • Oh, and Hudson, if you’d read my earlier post you’d see that I was advocating that the Yanks don’t go out and get “new, shiny toys” but that we stick with what we have.

    Sam May 12, 2006, 2:23 pm
  • I just don’t see the Phillies parting with abreu for anything less than alot.

    walein May 12, 2006, 2:25 pm
  • Ummm, How would the Yankees be trading the future? Isn’t the future usually in Steinbrenners wallet? Posada, Jeter, Cano and Mariano are homegrown, but beyond that?

    Travis May 12, 2006, 2:27 pm
  • Hey Walein, they have an extra outfielder and would love to get playing time for Dave Delluci so the asking price wont be too high for Abreu.

    Travis May 12, 2006, 2:29 pm
  • Have you watched abreu play? He’s a bonafide star. If Brian Cashman can get him for Gary sheffield and two prospects I would do it.
    It won’t happen. If it does, for anythig less than the above I will consider Cashman some kind of Svengali.

    walein May 12, 2006, 2:31 pm
  • Travis: Don’t forget Bernie. Most nights, the Yanks have four homegrown players in their line-up, which isn’t bad for a big-market team, and with Melky in LF(!), that’ll increase to five. By comparison the Red Sox have Youk and Nixon in their line-up…who else is homegrown? The White Sox have Crede and Anderson. Both Sox teams have more farm-raised pitching, though, but the Yanks actually have a healthy portion of homegrown talent.

    Sam May 12, 2006, 2:35 pm
  • With Delluci in place the Phillies could be looking to unload Abreu’s contract. Abreu is set to make 15 Million next year with a 16 Million option for 08 add in his 2006 salary of 13 Million and thats a lot of cash they can save by letting him go.
    He hit 24 Homeruns in 05.
    Delluci hit 29 Homeruns.

    Travis May 12, 2006, 2:36 pm
  • Jonathan Papelbon, Curt Schilling (He was drafted by Boston and played in the minors here before being traded to Baltimore) Add in Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and Craig Hansen…all of whom will be wearing Sox uni’s by the end of July and the Sox will have a large contigent of homegrown players on the 25 man roster.
    The new ownership has turned around the system from the days when its mismanagement by Dan Duquette. The Yankees continue to trade away a majority of its prospects and that is a trend that will not end.
    I’d love to see a day when both the Sox and Yankees play a whole game with nothing but homegrown players, that would be great.
    As of now both Boston and New York’s plans have the same number of homegrown players in them.

    Travis May 12, 2006, 2:44 pm
  • I should have said similar number of not the same number of.

    Travis May 12, 2006, 2:45 pm
  • Curt Schilling does not count as a homegrown player.

    walein May 12, 2006, 4:46 pm
  • Let’s remember one thing here about trading, which Olney seems to forget. The Phillies would love to do a deal with the Yankees and ditch Abreu’s contract, but they know how desparate the Yankees are, so they are going to hold out until Cashman gives up an A-list.
    I don’t doubt the Yankees will make whatever move they can, which is fine by me. The more they give up now (and teams will be asking for a lot, knowing how badly the Yanks need the players), the less they have — and they didn’t have a lot to start with — at the deadline for a Willis/Zito-type pitcher or Miguel Cabrera (whom I want very badly for the Sox).

    Paul A. May 12, 2006, 4:50 pm
  • That’s what I was just thinking, if you have to upgrade the talen given up, why not go for it all and chase Cabrera?

    Nate May 12, 2006, 5:15 pm
  • outside looking in: it seems to me the Yanks and their fans need to take a breath and chill a little bit. Even with Matsui gone and Sheffield iffy, they still have one of the strongest lineups in the league. What, only 6 all-stars in the starting lineup now? A little perspective, please.
    My point is simply that if they shore up their pitching, there’s less pressure on the batters to carry the team.
    A solid starting pitcher will make a bigger difference in the long run than a new outfielder.

    airk May 12, 2006, 5:41 pm

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