Yanks Gamers/Postmortems

Oaktown Revisited: Yanks-A’s Gamer II

Phil Hughes and Ben Sheets for more left-coast late-night baseball action. Comment away.

42 replies on “Oaktown Revisited: Yanks-A’s Gamer II”

Hughesie looking good so far. I predict as the season goes on he keeps his velocity around 92-94 throughout the start, rather than settling at 90-92 like last start.

Sabres just fucking choked again like always…I fucking hate them so much.
PHranchise looking good or what??? No runs yet in the 3rd…works for me!

I’m gunna go ahead and do it. I hope I’m not jumping the gun or anything, because that would be counter productive.

I’ve calculated that the breeze from Ath’s typing an attempted jinx has whipped up a small squall in Oakland that will give extra movement to all of Phil’s pitches, making him that much tougher.

through 7! might be a tough call for girardi if he keeps it up. at 85 pitches. what’s his max? 120?
superfun, even if it’s the a’s in oakland.

Blevins stepped off the mound strangely, and injured his leg it looks like.
Also, I’m surprised to find that the A’s are in the middle of the pack as far as offense goes. I expected them to be near the back.

Indeed. A good pitcher is certainly not defined by the number of no-hitters he has thrown.
Joba up in the bullpen now if things get a little dicey, and Mo for the 9th.

Tough AB for Hughes, walks the guy. If there wasn’t a hit there would be way more tension, heh.
But the A’s would like to remind people that there’s a game still. Joba coming in.

Gets a wee bit tense in the 9th, but Rivera pulls out a save, and the Yankees continue their awesome roll.
Looking for 12 wins tomorrow (and 7th straight win) with CC on the mound.

Great way to wake up! Wow! If Hughes is great all season long – a big if given his scattered history – this team is going to absolutely roll. I can’t believe 1998 was 12 years ago.

it’s hard not to get excited by the way this team looks right now…yet, it’s a long season, and the inevitable dry spell is going to be tough on me…

You can’t over-react to one game, but I do want to say that Hughes has shown this kind of brilliance in a starting role before – not only flashing great stuff and good control, but also real confidence on the mound and command of multiple pitches, which is the key to navigating a second and third time through a line-up.
Joba simply never has. He has shown a legit bend-don’t-break ability in the starting role, but largely manifested in very high pitch counts, early exits from games, and huge reliance on two pitches (FB/Slider). As many others have noted, he simply was never given the same opportunity to develop into a starter as Hughes – with many fewer minor league starts. And perhaps with that extra work he would be able to get his curveball up to a level where he might actually throw it in a tight spot, but I never saw Joba manage a game the way that Hughes has showed flashes of doing (latest flash being last night, which, if you watched every pitch you could not help but be really excited by).
This is all to say that we can’t point to one great Hughes start and some early flashes of the old Joba-out-of-the-pen beastliness and draw the conclusion that Cashman and Girardi made the right call. But the voices of protest have to be at least a bit muted right now as this team continues to churn and those two guys seem to be fitting very nicely into their appointed roles.

IH – really? Joba never has? There was about a 9-start stretch near the end of 2008 that will disagree with you. In fact, Phil still hasn’t demonstrated that he has the ability to dominate every time out – he only demonstrated that he was inconsistent.
Joba has certainly shown the ability to be a top-quality starter. That is simply without question. The real question is whether or not he has that ability anymore. My guess is that the Yankees saw what a full-season stint in the bullpen did for Hughes’ stuff and confidence (see how Hughes is now sitting 92-94, instead of the 89-91 he used to be at?), and feel Joba could benefit from the same path.
Of course the voices of protest are muted – the Yankees are doing great. And Cashman’s words indicate that they still view Joba as a starter in the long-term – just like they viewed Hughes as a starter long-term even when they placed him in the bullpen. The protests will rightly rise once again if Joba is never given the chance to become a starter again. He simply lost the competition this spring, to a guy who looks like he’s about to fulfill on his best-pitching-prospect-in-baseball circa 2006 promise.
Remember that Joba, too, was once the best pitching prospect in baseball (or second to Buchholz, depending on who you ask). He didn’t achieve that by relieving.

“Joba simply never has.”
I distinctly remember the stretch after the All-Star break last year and before they started to mess with his head…again.
Sure enough:
3 GS, 3 wins, 21.2 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 8 BB, 19 K
Has Hughes ever had a similar three game stretch?
There’s also this game from Joba:
Considering the teams involved, i don’t see much difference with Hughes game last night (which I was delighted to wake up to)
You’re also assuming that Joba is only a reliever for the rest of his career. That’s an assumption that no one in the organization has supported. I hope they’ll give him another shot next year. After all, they could have two rotation slots to fill and McAllister is another Kennedy. In fact, I can easily imagine that they saw a great year from Hughes last year in the pen didn’t do anything to hurt his status as a starter. Why shouldn’t they take the same lesson away from Joba? Because he’s been a better reliever AND starter than Hughes?
As for your point about the two pitches, Hughes learned his cutter – the one he featured last night – last year. Joba simply needs an adequate change. He has plenty of time to learn one.
So, no, my voice isn’t muted one bit ;) And if they make the mistake of never again seeing if Joba can be a starter, I don’t see how your opinion is vindicated. Failed starters, including Mo, become relievers. Joba has so far shown himself to be a league average starter.

Glad we’re in agreement, Andrew. There’s nothing to bitch about. I wouldn’t confuse that for muted. But if we see Mitre or even Aceves for more than a handful of starts, I sure as heck won’t be muted. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

Joba certainly has the stuff and ability to be a starter. My primary concern with him is stamina and conditioning. Frankly, when you saw the difference in his performances between (the normal) 4 days’ and (the extra day) 5 days rest last year, I had serious doubts about his ability to perform consistently in a rotation for a whole year. Plus out of the pen, he seems much less effective when he pitched the day before. I still think he can do it, but the Yanks really need to develop his strength, stamina, and conditioning.
Hughes – I liked tis start a lot, obviously. i had my concerns after his first outing, but this was quite encouraging. Unlike last time, he attacked the zone and didn’t F around with hitters. His fastball also held its velocity much later into the game, as he was still hitting 94 in the 6th-7th innings. I really like the difference between his cutter and four-seamer – great for keeping hitters off balance.
Not going to go too crazy because it’s early and it’s the A’s (seriously, that lineup is sad), but I really liked what I saw from Hughes last night.

Whoa – where did I say Joba should only be a reliever? Not only do I think the Yankees are pursuing that path with him – I don’t think they should. My comment was about what decision they made for 2010. And my specific comment relied on the arsenal that Joba and Phil have relative to one another. Joba has two plus pitches and a third that simply doesn’t get worked out when in the pen. For him to develop it into a legit third pitch, I think he’ll need more starts – but I have no problem with that work being put off for now so that he can dominate in the pen and build that confidence as you say.
This is not a debate over whether they could both be good to great starters. It is a debate about which one of them should have been given the fifth starter slot at the start of the 2010 season. With caveats about it being very very early, it would seem to me that Girardi and Cashman’s stated rationale for siding with Hughes (a legit third pitch in his change to add to his FB and curve) may be panning out. Or at least it did last night.

And it was Phil’s change that he developed this past spring, not his cutter – which you are right – he developed last season. OK – enough multi-posting. Got to do some work. But don’t put me on record as saying Joba should be a reliever for the rest of his career or frankly even for the entirety of 2010 depending on what happens with the rest of the rotation health-wise. I never said or implied that. And I don’t believe it.

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