Got a Pulse?

News out of Yankees camp is that the Yanks have inked Erubiel Durazo, Richard Hidalgo and Jason Romano to minor league deals. In addition, Shawn Chacon has been put on the DL with a bruised shin, leading to the promotion of world-beater Terrence Long to the big club. What to make of all these moves?

Terrence Long’s promotion reminds me a lot of the decision to move Scott Erickson up to the majors. Both players are veterans; both are below-average; and both are blocking younger, more capable players from contributing to the Yankees. In other words, thank you Joe Torre and Brian Cashman for teaching me in the ways of the metaphysical. Your decisions to look beyond reason, to act regardless of the facts of the physical world (eg. Erickson is awful, Long has never been good) are an important piece of my continuing education.

The signing of Richard Hidalgo is another matter. The scouting report on him is that he’s an above average corner outfielder, with potential at the bat. The injured Yanks could obviously use him.

Erubiel Durazo makes David Ortiz look like Keith Hernandez at first base, so I’m not quite sure how he’d fit on a roster in which Jason Giambi is the first baseman. I guess he’s decent insurance in case Giambi goes down, and his offensive contributions might make the issue of first base defense irrelevant.

Finally, I don’t know who Jason Romano is, but according to Steve at Was Watching "he’s a super-sub (who can play the infield and the outfield) with a great attitude. I think Yankees fans are going to love this guy."

All told, with the glaring exception of the Long move, these seem to be decent moves for a team in New York’s position. At least, none of the farm was sacrificed, and all of these players arrive at a cheap price.

32 comments… add one
  • Sorry for an off topic post, but this article’s amazing.
    http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2006/05/22/thought_processor/?page=full
    “I hit solid with an accelerated bat head.”
    I can’t even bring myself to comment or make a snide remark here.

    rk May 22, 2006, 1:56 pm
  • That phrase is destined for t-shirt glory.
    Particularly funny on this topic:
    http://www.soxaholix.com
    ARod is Stuart Smalley.

    Hudson May 22, 2006, 2:03 pm
  • Actually, all these moves just look like a flailing Brian Cashman hoping to find exactly what he found last year with Small and Chacon… Guys that absolutely nobody wants, who may go on a hot tear for a week or two, and help the Yankees get some wins. To me, it reeks of desparation on Cashman’s behalf. Last years saviors were nothing short of phenoms stepping out of their true skin for half a baseball season, and if it were to happen again, Cashman deserves more credit than any of us have EVER given him. That being said, the chances of that happening are not likely, and I love watching the reality of the situation setting in for Yankee fans.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 2:39 pm
  • “To me, it reeks of desparation on Cashman’s behalf.”
    Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield go down. Pavano’s basically done for the season. The Big Unit’s turned into Tanyon Sturtz. Might this be a desperate situation? And, except for the Long move (which is, indeed, awful) these moves don’t strike me as unreasonable. You have to go for the unwanteds at this point. And 3 of these players might actually come in useful. Theo’d probably do the same thing.

    Nick-YF May 22, 2006, 2:44 pm
  • What reality is that Brad? That the Yanks being banged up as they are; are a mere game and a half behind the Sox? It would be interesting to see how fast the Sox would freefall if they sporting out a “C” team on a daily basis for a 3 week stretch. There were a lot of Sox fans such as yourself who last year were saying things remarkably similar about the Yanks, who were at the time, 5 or 6 games behind the Sox. We all know what happened at the end, right?

    bloodyank78 May 22, 2006, 2:56 pm
  • Bloodyyank: I’m sure you’ve been crying buckets for us Sox fans who have been missing our center fielder and a key starter for much longer than you’ve been missing Sheff/Godzilla.
    I know this must be true because Yankee fans are known for their class and consistency.
    /snark

    Hudson May 22, 2006, 3:01 pm
  • I’m not going to defend Long and Erickson, but the other pickups are smart. Desperate times = Desperate measures, and Cashman isn’t giving anything up here. You make the moves you need to make. (Brad: if he went out and traded prospects/cash for a name, then you’d be complaining about that–so you can’t have it both ways.) Also, Carlos Pena has been raking in triple-A over the last week or two; I don’t know what that means regarding the future of Durazo. The Yanks have a logjam of backup 1st basemen. Phillips, Durazo, Pena.

    YF May 22, 2006, 3:27 pm
  • We’ve officially moved on from the Evil Empire era to the Accelerated Bat Head era. Sox fans should put away those Yankee Hater hats and buy one of these for whenever ABH-Rod visits Fenway:
    http://www.halloweenexpo.net/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=3254

    Hudson May 22, 2006, 3:30 pm
  • For all the press the Yankees are getting for their injury woes, the Sox, as Hudson points out, are missing a number of important players as well. Crisp, Wells, and Riske were all supposed to be key components of the team this season, but injuries have limited them all. Fortunately, Theo got Wily Mo to back up Crisp, Dinardo to back up Wells, and any number of minor league relievers to back up Riske, while Cashman is left scouring the scrap heaps for anything that might resemble major league talent.
    Bloodyyank is right that Theo would probably do the same thing if necessary. The difference is setting your team up so it does not come down to that in the first place. For a major league team, the Yankees bench and bullpen are lousy, and for a $200M major league team their bullpen and bench are downright unacceptable talent-wise. This is the fault of the GM. You can’t field a very old team and then be surprised when injuries strike.

    mattymatty May 22, 2006, 3:33 pm
  • “Dinardo to back up Wells, and any number of minor league relievers to back up Riske,”
    Dinardo?!! You’ve watched the games, so I’m assuming you’re not overly impressed by Lenny’s performance. The 5th spot situation is a situation for the Sox. It hasn’t been fixed. Just because Dinardo is young, doesn’t mean he is/was a viable option to fill the role. And Holtz and Tavarez and Seanez haven’t exactly done a competent job in Riske’s stead.
    Good points in general though. Just take issue with those details.

    Nick-YF May 22, 2006, 3:37 pm
  • Mattymatty – I agree that the Yanks are in a bad situation because they lack depth. I also agree they’re old.
    But these current injuries didn’t occur because the Yanks are old. Matsui at 25 could have just as easily landed wrong on his hand, and Sheff at 25 could just as easily have collided and landed badly. Crosby, Strutze, and Chacon are relatively young as well, right? Age has little to do with their situation.
    This isn’t to comfort YFs – it should be scary, because injuries due to age haven’t even really started yet. I’m wondering when Damon’s finally not going to be able to play hurt, and pull a Sturtze (not that he’s an old fart, he just injures himself a lot). Bernie? Jeter? Giambi? How long can they play healthy – and will we start to see even more injuries this season?
    To be fair . . . as much as we SFs can laugh about the state of the Yanks’ age, bench and farm, and as good those trades were, wouldn’t we like to give Gonzo something to worry about with the younger Ramirez breathing down his neck by tearing up AAA right now?

    rk May 22, 2006, 3:47 pm
  • Nick, I think DiNardo’s done fine in his role. The guy had 2 real bad starts (that skewed his stats), but in the other 4, he at least put the Sox in a position to win. They are 3-3 in his starts.
    I agree that Dinardo does not look like a real option should Wells get hurt again, but a .500 record in games started by your temporary fill-in man isn’t exactly catastrophic.

    airk May 22, 2006, 3:53 pm
  • Whoa there, Bloody.
    I said the moves reeked of desparation, but nowhere did I say that there was anything wrong with them. Anytime you sign guys like that, it’s a move made out of need. In fact, I said that Cashman deserves credit for the moves if it works.
    Calm down, guy. I don’t think the moves are bad, but I also don’t think they are going to work out.
    PS – You would not be running out a “c-team” every night if your manager and GM had any clue as to how build a bench. When you snatch up so many big players, it’s harder to actually get decent guys to sit the bench, and I understand that, but there is a happy medium between a good bench guy and a Melky Cabrerra, and the Yankees are proving that right now.
    Also, I’ve never discounted the Yanks, but if there ever was a year, this is it. There is absolutely no way the current pitching staff residing in the Bronx can hold down a decent lineup for a short series, and if you don’t believe that, it’s time to remove the blinders.
    But, good luck anyhow..

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • rk – never in a million years would I give Beckett and Lowell back for Ramirez. One of them is an ace, and the other is likely the starter for the AL at the all-star game. Lowell has lead the Red Sox charge to the best defense in all of baseball, hands down- and Beckett would be the ace on any team outside of Toronto. I’ll take what we got and never look back.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:03 pm
  • “but there is a happy medium between a good bench guy and a Melky Cabrerra, and the Yankees are proving that right now.”
    What’s wrong with Melky? He’s got a .395 obp. I think he’s been fine. His defense is a tad scary, but I hope the Yanks have more patience with him than you do.

    Nick-YF May 22, 2006, 4:05 pm
  • Nick – DiNardo hasn’t been impressive, but as a fifth starter he’s been adequate. He has started five games and the Sox are 3-2 in those games. He’s not a guy I’d want in there all season long but for a temporary fifth starter, I’ll take it.
    rk – The problem with being old isn’t that your hip just breaks, or your arthritis acts up. The problem with being old is that you get injured more easily, and take longer to heal than a younger player.
    Sheffield’s injury is a case in point. Its debatable if a younger player took the same fall its debatable if he would have been injured. If he were it likely would not have caused him to miss the three weeks (or however long) that Sheffield has missed.
    I agree that the Matsui injury is not due to age, however the fact that the Yankees are sporting three starting outfielders age 32 or older means that it was negligent for the GM to not be prepared for an injury regardless.
    Crosby (29), Sturtze (35) and Chacon (28) might be young for the Yankees, but they are not particularly young.
    And, boy are you right about Hanley Ramirez. Sure would be nice to have him around. That said, he isn’t out-hitting Mike Lowell, and he isn’t out-pitching Josh Beckett, so I can’t fault the deal now.

    mattymatty May 22, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • “It would be interesting to see how fast the Sox would freefall if they sporting out a “C” team on a daily basis for a 3 week stretch”
    When did Matsui’s injury happen? Talk to me in two weeks and we’ll see what the standings are then. Like mattymatty and others said above, the Sox have had key injuries. The difference is we have a bench and a farm system to compensate for our losses. Cash goes out and signs world-beaters Terrance Long and Erubiel Durazo…

    Mayday Malone May 22, 2006, 4:16 pm
  • Nick, I wasn’t mashing on Melky, but rather saying that with a good bench, the need for Melky would have never existed and he could have stayed in the minors getting better. I understand that he’s a good player, but in an immediate fill in position, I and I’m sure you, would have been much more comfortable with a guy who has a few years under his belt and has seen big leauge pitching on a regular basis.
    But yes, his defense is scary at best.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • “I and I’m sure you, would have been much more comfortable with a guy who has a few years under his belt and has seen big leauge pitching on a regular basis.”
    Not if that guy’s named Terrence Long;)
    Hey, Brad, without butting too much into your business, may I ask what you decided regarding the baseball team?

    Nick-YF May 22, 2006, 4:26 pm
  • Lets not forget that in addition to Crisp, a short stint with Nixon, Wells, and Tavarez for suspension, the Sox have also not had the services of David Riske all year. It may not sound like the end all, but Riske is a proven veteran bullpen guy that in his abscence has put a huge strain on a good Boston Bullpen.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:28 pm
  • I decided to not do it. My job, mortgage, and other stuff led me to believe that it’s better to not do it. However, I did take a spot on a Connecticut wood bat leauge that is a lot like extended college team for guys not drafted or playing in the independent. It’s much more laid back and fun. No money, but fun and local, and I get to mash like I never have:)
    Thanks for asking Nick.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:30 pm
  • FWIW, however, I am getting to work out with them on a regular basis over at Yale.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 4:32 pm
  • “Bloodyyank: I’m sure you’ve been crying buckets for us Sox fans who have been missing our center fielder and a key starter for much longer than you’ve been missing Sheff/Godzilla.”
    I sure hope you’re not coming close to equating Coco Crisp with Sheff AND Matsui – he doesn’t approach either, let alone both. It’s amazing how Crisp has become so massively overrated just because he’s replacing Damon and the Sox NEED him to be on par.
    And while Cash’s latest moves aren’t for top tier bench talent (I’m not psyched about Hidalgo whatsoever. Look at the bang-up job he did in Arlington before he was injured.), all three cost the Yanks nothing in terms of talent.
    “but there is a happy medium between a good bench guy and a Melky Cabrerra, and the Yankees are proving that right now.” – Brad
    “What’s wrong with Melky? He’s got a .395 obp. I think he’s been fine. His defense is a tad scary, but I hope the Yanks have more patience with him than you do.” Nick – YF
    The funny thing is that Melky IS the guy that Yankee-haters claim does not exist – just like Cano was last year.
    The other funny thing is that when the ‘haters shoot their mouths off about a $200 million payroll, they suddenly get silent when asked to build their own roster of available players. And they get even quieter when they have to do it going forward – as opposed to Monday AM QBing, which is their specialty. A-Rod triggers their hypocrisy in all its glory.
    They remind me of the clueless art critic who looks at a Warhol and says, “What’s so great about that. Anybody can draw a soup can.”

    lp May 22, 2006, 4:54 pm
  • Gotta take issue with bloodyyank’s characterization of the Yanks as playing their C-Team the last two weeks. The’ve been without Sheff for two weeks, without Matsui for one. They’ve run into all these other injuries within the past week. In that week, they’ve gone from a half-game up to 1.5 back…

    Paul A. May 22, 2006, 4:59 pm
  • I cannot get my head around the fact that TLong is starting in the OF for the Yanks tonight against the Sox. When exactly did we morph into scrubs who couldn’t make the Royals’ roster? It’s like Lost Highway where Bill Pullman inexplicably changes into Balthazar Getty. Straight up horror.

    Spidey May 22, 2006, 5:00 pm
  • T.Long in the line-up; WTF?! I’m praying the groundball fairy visited Wang last night and hooked him up, since it’s the only way of having a fighting chance tonite. Schill has been dealing this year in Fenway, and I suspect that despite his trouble lately, he’ll pitch well tonite.

    bloodyank78 May 22, 2006, 5:14 pm
  • lp – please see Spidey’s comment above. You’re the only one that does not see it. Also, everyone in the world that claims the Yanks are depleted in the system can’t all be haters or wrong, so maybe you should look within. Or just be happy with Melky, either way, you’ll come to the same conclusion – you’re wrong.
    On a side note, I take Crisp over Sheffield ten days a week. I happen to like Matsui, alot, but he is old(er) and about a ten times more expensive, so no, I wouldn’t choose him either.
    Oh, anyone CAN paint a can of soup – just not as well. Like say, Melky Cabrerra. Anyone can stand in the outfield, but some just do it better than him.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 5:16 pm
  • Why, isn’t Melky Cabrerra a great outfielder as LP is suggesting? I mean he should at least be able to track down balls in Fenway.

    Brad May 22, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • lets’ get this lineup and game thread going, Nick.

    Anonymous May 22, 2006, 5:20 pm
  • I sure hope you’re not coming close to equating Coco Crisp with Sheff AND Matsui – he doesn’t approach either, let alone both. It’s amazing how Crisp has become so massively overrated just because he’s replacing Damon and the Sox NEED him to be on par.
    It’s not such a stretch: Crisp was our leadoff hitter and one of the few guys with whells on this team.
    Wells was crucial to the rotation and I have to assume Arroyo would never had been dealt if Boomer’s health issues had been predicted. (Note: They should have been.)
    As great as Wells/Sheff are, losing your leadoff hitter and replacing the guy who was arguably Boston’s best starter last year with the likes of DiNardo/Alvarez is probably roughly equivalent in win shares.
    And as others have pointed out, with our middle relief so shaky, the loss of Riske has proved to be a big deal.
    With all of the above healthy, the Sox could likely be 4 games up, instead of 1.5. It explains why the Yankees haven’t lost as much ground as they should have. Other factor: the healthy Yankees still make up a payroll roughly equal to Boston’s.

    Hudson May 22, 2006, 5:21 pm
  • (That should have been “wheels,” not “whells” above.)
    Anyway my biggest problem tonight is that the two-hour finale of “24” starts at 8 pm. Planning to watch the play-by-play on GameDay and turn the volume up on the radio broadcast during commercials.

    Hudson May 22, 2006, 5:23 pm
  • Just one comment. Durazo should not be considered part of the 1B logjam in NY. I’m trying to think of someone worse defensively at 1B than him, and I’m not even coming up with Giambi. He could, however, prove to be a decent DH option for the Yanks…

    Quo May 22, 2006, 6:27 pm

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