The Kennedy Administration: Inauguration on Saturday

Last year at about this time, I ran into one of BP’s Yankee experts at a talk in midtown—a man whose opinion I admire immensely. What did he think of the Yanks’ 2006 draft? Like many sabermetrically inclined pundits, he dismissed the Yankee haul. Another bad draft for the pinstripers. A year later, Yankee scouting director Damon Oppenheimer appears to be vindicated. Joba Chamberlain, the team’s second pick, needs no introduction here. And the top selection, Ian P. Kennedy, will now take Mike Mussina’s place in the rotation, starting Saturday. What roster moves will be made to accomodate this transition are yet to be announced. [Note: rosters expand Saturday, so he only needs to be added to the 40-man.] Kennedy has dominated in the minors this season. In three levels he is 12-3 with a 1.91 era. At AAA Scranton, he has a 1-1 record and 2.08 era over 34.2 innings in which he has allowed 25 hits, walked 11, and struck out 35. He was born on December 19, 1984. Perhaps this move will be read as desperation. He has already thrown 146.1 innings this year. That’s a lot for a young arm. Perhaps he could work on that walk total a bit in the minors. But he does seem ready for the jump, at least according to the numbers. His delivery is kind of quirky; a bit short-armed. We’ll see what he’s got against the Rays. A potential 2008 rotation of Pettitte, Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy—well, it’s certainly intriguing. All home grown, even if Pettitte is a prodigal son, and Wang something of an import. Let’s see what we’ve got.

128 comments… add one
  • After all the SF ribbing on this site of YF enthusiasm over Joba, including making up funny and absurd hypothetical statements re: Joba being the first pitcher in decades to do this or that, I almost laughed at Tim Kurkjian’s comment on B-ball Tonight last night/this morning:
    “Joba Chamberlain is the first pitcher since 1900 to give up 0 runs in his first 8 appearances and to have at least one strikeout in each inning he has pitched”.
    As for Kennedy, I know less about him than I did about Joba or Hughes when they came up so have no clue what to expect. I love seeing young arms come up though – it has been so long since the Yankees produced and held on to any of note.
    Glad to see the real Jeff Weaver showed up last night.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 8:55 am
  • It’s a bit of both. Moose certainly isn’t pitching anywhere close to what we need from him – and Kennedy should pitch (trivially) better.
    It’s really too late in the season to give away games, with the wild card pretty much alive. Still, Tampa Bay is Tampa Bay, so it should be a low-stress game, at least relatively.

    Lar August 29, 2007, 9:12 am
  • By comparison, Papelbon went 13 straight innings/appearances before giving up a run to begin last season. Let’s see how long Joba goes.
    By the way, did you guys see how packed Yankee stadium was last night? My Red Sox sure know how to fill road stadiums!

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:21 am
  • How is Wang “something of an import”?
    1) They signed him when he was 20 years old.
    2) It’s not like he was mastering a professional league when they brought him over
    3) They taught him the sinker
    He’s an import to the extent that Robinson Cano or Melky Cabrera are imports.
    Otherwise, love the post. Love the Yankee philosophy (let’s see what we have while it can help). And love the future.
    No matter what happens this year, the times are looking good. All we need now is to trade a bunch of the other decent arms and more for Santana.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 9:24 am
  • I’m bored at work so I did a breakdown of Papelbon’s first career bullpen stats:
    1.0 0 0 0 0 2
    1.0 0 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 1
    1.0 1 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 1
    1.0 1 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 0
    1.0 1 0 0 2 2
    1.0 2 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 3
    1.0 0 0 0 0 2
    0.2 1 0 0 0 1
    1.0 0 0 0 0 0
    13 6 0 0 2 16

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:30 am
  • Frankly, I’m glad we got what we got off Joba last night, the kid looks nasty and to get a hit and a walk off of him, well, it shows that he’s mortal.
    But count me among the people that’s glad he’s got those rules.
    Oh, Mike Lowell is Jesus and Pedroia is a ninja, just a straight up ninja.

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Woosta, he’s “something of an import” in the sense that he’s Taiwanese (Chinese). Pettitte, Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy all, you know, Americans.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:34 am
  • Great move, great decision, only thing that concerns me is the 146 innings. Other then that seems like the best move we can make right now.
    FYI don’t sleep on the D-Rays, they always give us fits!

    John - YF (Trisk) August 29, 2007, 9:34 am
  • If SF’s find Joba comparable to Papelbon, given that they tend to diefy the latter, that’s fine with me.
    And even with Papelbon’s very impressive numbers form last year, at 9 IP, 0 Runs, 2 BB, 15 SO, and 3 Hits, the Hut is on track to best even that debut.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 9:36 am
  • i’m not sure why we’re comparing papelbon’s numbers to chamberlain’s, but here are the numbers for papelbon’s first 18 innings of relief work:
    3 W / 1 L / 3.00 ERA / 18 hits / 6 R / 6 ER / 2 HR / 7 BB / 1 IBB / 19 K / 1 HBP
    not too bad at all.

    Anonymous August 29, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Ironhorse, yeah I was comparing Joba to Papelbon in the sense that they both immediately dominated in the bullpen from the get-go. Both are unusual cases, and so far Joba is narrowly out-performing Paps. I hope we get another chance to score against him on Thursday, though. Exciting stuff.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:41 am
  • Santana who? As much as I hate to admit it, that should be a really good front five. Do you not expect, or want, Pettitte to be around long?
    I am sincerely impressed by the likelihood of a homegrown Yankee rotation. That’s a goal of probably every team but it rarely happens to anyone in the FA era. And to possibly happen on the Yankees? It’s always in the last place you look!

    FenSheaParkway August 29, 2007, 9:42 am
  • As usual, it was a SF comparing a Sox player to a Yankee player.
    Again, something I just don’t understand nor care about. I’m just glad Joba is on my team and a starting pitcher next year.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 9:42 am
  • I don’t hope we get another chance to score on him, because if he’s in the game it means the Yankees are winning. Screw that. I hope I never see the guy again.

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 9:42 am
  • Anon: I think the answer to “why” is not much deeper than some of us are procrastinating work.
    And also because he is the first pitcher since 1900 to be named after a star wars character. Though those who saw him said Shoeless Jar Jar Binks was also great in his day.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 9:43 am
  • Pettitte was thinking of retiring last year. How long he’s around for is any body’s guess. That’s why he took a one year deal with a player option for 2008.
    And young pitchers get hurt plus none are established #1’s. Santana is. Even if it takes Kennedy, the Yankees would have to make that trade.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 9:46 am
  • Anon, where are you getting those numbers from? In 2006 he gave up 7 earned runs ALL SEASON, and if I remember correctly at least 4 of those were in the last month or two.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:48 am
  • it would take a lot more than kennedy.
    a whole lot more.

    Anonymous August 29, 2007, 9:48 am
  • I am not at all ready to corronate Hughes and Joba, and Kennedy as a strong starting threesome. Bullpen Joba is fabulous so far. Starting Joba remains to be seen. Hughes is still developing, though I feel confident in him as a # 3 – 4 for next year, no more. And Kennedy clearly remains to be seen. So yeah, I agree with Woosta that the Yankees need to seek a real #1 and of course, Johan would be the best out there.
    If Pettitte opts in I still don’t think you make him any more than #2 – ideally #3 behind Wang if they land a big fish.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 9:50 am
  • i don’t know why i’m posting in cognito.
    here’s where i found the papelbon numbers:

    Anonymous August 29, 2007, 9:51 am
  • IH –
    So do you think Joba can win Wookie of the Year in ’08?

    FenSheaParkway August 29, 2007, 9:51 am
  • does logging in again reveal my identity?
    i can’t wait to find out…

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 9:52 am
  • “wookie of the year” is a lock.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 9:52 am
  • H.B. at the Soxoholix shares with us the following:
    “Today, August 29, 2007, the Yankees trail the Red Sox by 7 games, and on August 29, 1978 the Yankees trailed the Red Sox by, wait for it, 7 games”
    Since SF, it already taking the week off, my question is: Where’s Paul?

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 9:53 am
  • No doubt it will take more than Kennedy to land Santana. But Ryan will have his choice of the other arms that have performed decently this year. Throw in a Gardner to replace Hunter and a high ceiling prospect like Tabata and they could get it done.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 9:57 am
  • Woosta, Ironhorse mentioned Tim Kurkjian’s comment on how Joba was “the first pitcher since 1900 to give up 0 runs in his first 8 appearances and to have at least one strikeout in each inning he has pitched,” so I compared him to the next closest one to achieve such a feat: Papelbon (though I’m focusing solely on his 2006 stats, ignoring his spot starts in 2005).
    Didn’t know you would, uhh, take it personally. Isn’t this “Yanksfan vs Soxfan”? I know someone (YF?) got upset about all the player comparisons, but I think it’s an interesting and fun part of the rivalry.
    Plus, like Ironhorse said, we’re trying to procrastinate at work.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 9:58 am
  • keep in mind that roughly 28 other teams will also be approaching the twins with packages of prospects. whoever lands santana will have to top all of the other offers. that whole situation will be fun (and stressful) to watch develop.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:00 am
  • Through my lifetime, SF’s have insisted on forcing comparisons. I just think it’s extremely silly, especially because the Sox players almost always comes out looking worse.
    Have fun though.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:01 am
  • You guys think Johan will get traded before he hits the free market? I never really considered it a posibility, but I guess I see the logic in it. I definitely agree with Woosta–it will take a lot more than Kennedy to land Santana.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:02 am
  • I don’t know about all 28 cause how many can afford his extension?
    And when it comes down to it, the Twins will want a bunch of young arms. Few teams are as deep as the Yankees, and those that are can’t afford him.
    That said, I’d rather they break the bank on a free agent Santana next off-season. If all goes well Liriano comes back strong and the Twinkies are contenders all year.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:04 am
  • “Ironhorse mentioned Tim Kurkjian’s comment on how Joba was “the first pitcher since 1900 to give up 0 runs in his first 8 appearances and to have at least one strikeout in each inning he has pitched,” so I compared him to the next closest one to achieve such a feat: Papelbon (though I’m focusing solely on his 2006 stats, ignoring his spot starts in 2005).”
    ignoring his ’05 appearances negates the comparison, seeing as you’re supposedly comparing their first relief appearances.
    doesn’t it?
    it isn’t the same, because the kurkjian stat deals exclusively with the debut appearances.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:05 am
  • Here’s an interesting stat for tonights game:
    Josh Beckett is 9-1 with an ERA of 1.90 on the road this season, while being 7-4 with an ERA of 4.25 at home.
    For some reason I didn’t notice that Beckett is that good in away games.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:06 am
  • “I don’t know about all 28 cause how many can afford his extension?
    And when it comes down to it, the Twins will want a bunch of young arms. Few teams are as deep as the Yankees, and those that are can’t afford him.”
    fair enough. god, it still feels strange to say that the yankees have a relative wealth of young pitching…

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:07 am
  • i remember one game in particular where beckett pitched well in the bronx…
    …the jerk.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:08 am
  • Yes they do YFiB! And don’t forget the Tommy John trio:
    Brackman, Sanchez, and Melancon

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:10 am
  • RFP: I stepped out momentarily and am greeted upon my return by “Wookie of the Year” – love it. Love it. Very much my kind of on-line humor – shamelessly corny.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 10:10 am
  • YFIB,
    Yeah, I noticed that once the anon sent me that link. For some reason I thought Paps came up for a few spot starts in 2005, and never actually made any bullpen appearances. My mistake.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:11 am
  • “shamelessly corny”
    I think I have to update my business cards now.

    FenSheaParkway August 29, 2007, 10:12 am
  • i was the masked commenter, atheose.
    papelbon started before going to the ‘pen though, right? i don’t recall off-hand.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:14 am
  • So if that’s the Yanks’ rotation in 2008, consider me pleased. I’d love nothing more than to see the Yanks relying on three untested, unproven rookies, no matter their promise. If you take 33 percent as the extremely optimistic end of a high-end pitching prospect’s chances of success, which one of the three do YFs actually see in the rotation at season’s end?

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 10:15 am
  • I don’t recall either, YFIB. I feel like a loser now for not remembering!
    Also, I too remember that one game he pitched in the bronx. Unfortunately he has a career ERA of 7.53 in Yankee Stadium, so I don’t think he’ll be re-enacting any 2003 games tonight.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:17 am
  • “Through my lifetime, SF’s have insisted on forcing comparisons. I just think it’s extremely silly, especially because the Sox players almost always comes out looking worse.”
    Woosta: yesterday, didn’t you bring up Nomo in comparison to Matsuzaka, apropos of absolutely nothing whatsoever?
    Is it necessary to bait SFs like you have with this quote. Yes, forced comparisons are silly. The Paps-Joba comp seems reasonable, not forced. Let’s not have the conversation go off the rails here. Matsuzaka, Paps, Joba–if you’re a baseball fan, watching these guy play is fun, period. Anyone who can’t get past “the rivalry” to enjoy the essential pleasure of the game is a sad individual. I fear that was the case for our old friend Jim Dean, who died of a heart attack watching a ballgame. He just could not find joy where he should have; only an obsessive need to be right, to prove to himself and to the rest of us his self-worth. Let’s not fall into that trap. The rivalry is something fun, to celebrate. That’s why SF and I–we are best of friends, not enemies–started this site. Not to bait each other over bullshit. In that direction lies only darkness. As Yoda (Obi Wan) would say. Because it seems we’re all about Star Wars here today.

    YF August 29, 2007, 10:17 am
  • Also, to continue a topic from last night, I have no problem with Chamberlain’s histrionics coming off the mound. My only problem is the Sox didn’t force him off the mound in a different fashion, but I’ve always loved energy and intensity from pitchers. Beckett and Papelbon do the same thing, and it reflects my feelings as a fan. It fires me up that much more to see a player as into the game as I am.

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 10:18 am
  • paul, i would imagine that hughes would be the safest bet to be in the rotation at the end of ’08 (unless he’s dealt for santana).
    kennedy is pretty much an unknown.
    chamberlain could end up in the bullpen for all we know.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Paul,
    I would guess they stick with Hughes, because Joba won’t be moved to the rotation this year and I think Hughes will settle down somewhat. Plus Kennedy will be well past his innings limit by then.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:18 am
  • The AP story on Kennedy mentions Torre didn’t say if Mussina will be coming out of the bullpen. While that probably isn’t a good use for him anyway, it seems strange to think he’ll just be completely idle. Any guesses as to what Mussina will actually be doing for the next couple of weeks?

    FenSheaParkway August 29, 2007, 10:18 am
  • Incidentally Papelbon’s last nine innings? Better than Joba’s.
    Papelbon made his major league debut as a starter, Atheose and YFiB, before moving into the pen.

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 10:19 am
  • No, Atheose, I mean by the end of the 2008 season.

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 10:20 am
  • Whoops, apparently I misread Paul’s post and assumed he was talking about 2007, not 2008. My bad.
    I would agree with YFIB, Hughes is the safest bet. I see Chamberlain moving to the bullpen as a HUGE possibility, both with his success there so far and his reliance on 2 pitches. I could see him getting knocked around after batters get 2 or 3 looks at him during a game.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:22 am
  • “Any guesses as to what Mussina will actually be doing for the next couple of weeks?”
    Looking at condos in West Palm?

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 10:22 am
  • FenShea,
    I think they’ll move Moose down to AAA, and tell him to work his shit out. “Go down there, try working on a different pitch technique, and if you do well we’ll bring you back up for the postseason roster.” I agree, I can’t see him just sitting completely idle.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:23 am
  • Re: Moose to AAA
    Wow. I mean, that makes complete sense, but now I REALLY feel badly for Mussina. As if the struggling wasn’t bad enough, to be sent to the minors without an injury just as the rosters are expanding – well, that’s gotta be demoralizing.

    FenSheaParkway August 29, 2007, 10:29 am
  • by the way, now that president kennedy has been called up, i really miss former sox van buren.
    that match up would’ve been great.
    …for me…
    …but i’m easy to please.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:35 am
  • Hehe, that would have been great, YFiB. I always liked Jermaine Van Buren. Great promise. No results.

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 10:37 am
  • YF –
    Spare me the lecture. You guys police this place with an uneven hand, and when Lockland went off the deep end yesterday it barely registered a slap.
    The forcing the comps is silly when it’s exclusively Yanks-Sox. Like I said last week, Joba is unlike any pitcher Yankee fans have cheered for in over thirty years, if ever. That’s enough for me.
    Nomo, by contrast, is the gold standard for Matsuzaka and he has yet to reach even that while SF’s call him “awesome”.
    As for “baiting”, no one’s told me yet how to say “Who’s your daddy?” in Japanese.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:41 am
  • Can’t wait until IPK faces Cleveland, and we get the chance to write Kennedy defeats Nixon! Only about 50 years late.

    YF August 29, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Joba has four legit pitches. He’s a starter.
    And no way Moose goes to AAA since he has the right to deny the assignment. He’ll work in the bullpen and either retire, get traded (Phillies?), or come to camp and compete for a slot.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:43 am
  • Wow, Van Buren vs Kennedy would have been quite the Democratic showdown! Can you imagine the headlines?
    Not to mention if Johnson was still a Yankee, or if Edwin Jackson was too.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:44 am
  • if the yankees and brewers faced off in the world series (heh), there is a possible kennedy/bush match up.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 10:47 am
  • I think the minor league thing is not much of an option for Mussina for the reasons Woosta gives. Sept 1 expansion call ups around the corner. If they deem he does need game-time testing they better hurry – SWB plays their last regular season game on Sept 3 and so the most they could count on would be 2 starts depending on playoff games and only if he is sent there fast.
    No, he’s staying and, as hard as it may be to imagine given recent performance, I think they’d really want to have him for any possible October games. Then again, they may not have a choice if he continues on his current path of ineptitude.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 10:51 am
  • Here’s to “no runners left behind” as the Yankee slogan if Bush/Kennedy pans out in October.

    IronHorse (yf) August 29, 2007, 10:52 am
  • Moose has the right to deny assignment, but I think if the Yankees said “If you go down and work on your pitches for 2 starts, and improve, we’ll put you on our postseason roster” I think he would do it. I think MOST people would do a little grunt work in AAA (even if it’s just 2 starts before the SWB season ends) in order to pitch in the postseason.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:55 am
  • To get back to the point of the post, I can’t say enough how impressed I am with the Kennedy promotion.
    At the very least he struggles but still gives them the length Moose hasn’t been (6 IP 6 ER). Then he has something to build on in the few starts he could have down the stretch and going into next year.
    At the very best he throws a quality start and has something significant to build on. Plus, his trade value would sky rocket for a Santana.
    Either way, just an impressive call by the organization. Much better than relying on “proven” arms like Wright, Loiaza, Lidle, Vazquez, Weaver.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 10:57 am
  • Also, I would LOVE to see Moose in the bullpen for the Yankees. He could replace Farnsworth as that guy who comes into the game, gives up a ton of runs and puts the game out of reach, and then complains about stuff.
    I do feel sorry for him though, like Ironhorse mentioned. Terrible way to end your career.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 10:58 am
  • I still don’t understand the “Joba to the bullpen permanently” talk. It doesn’t make sense, even if Rivera goes elsewhere this offseason (extremely unlikely). Joba is an elite starting pitching prospect, mostly because he maintains the high-90s velocity throughout his starts. He put up amazing numbers starting throughout the minors this year. You don’t just throw that away because he’s shown he can pitch extremely well in the majors, one inning at a time.
    If he really was a two-pitch pitcher, I could see the reasoning behind the bullpen talk. But every single scout that has watched him have said that his other offspeed stuff is solid. Not that he’s going to be using his changeup and curveball as out pitches, but they’re major league ready and he can throw them, which is really all you can ask for when the guy’s 98mph fastball is his second-best pitch.
    Look at Johan Santana’s 17K start this year. I think 90% of all the pitches he threw were fastballs and changeups. When you have two extremely dominating pitches, even as a starter, you don’t need too much else. Now, I’m not saying Chamberlain is the heir apparent to Johan as the best pitcher in the world, but I think he’s shown, by facing the Tigers three times, that his stuff isn’t the kind you can ‘pick up’ after a few viewings. The fact that he’ll throw that nasty, nasty slider (that looks like a fastball until the bitter end) in any count, and the fact that he can also throw 98mph, you don’t just ‘figure that out’. Hell, he even throws a changeup and a curveball in there from time to time.
    He’s a starting pitcher that’s getting his feet wet, in a big way, in the bullpen. Sure, he has the mentality and composure to be a big-league closer, but honestly, it would be a waste of his talents to limit him to that role.
    He and Kennedy will be competing for the number 4 spot in the rotation next spring training. I’m going to say Kennedy will probably get it, depending on his showing in September, just because he’s already so polished he would be wasted in the minor leagues. But honestly, as long as Pettitte and Wang are around next season, I don’t think their rotation will be any weaker than the start of this season. Now, that’s not saying much, but to predict disaster over other ‘veteran’ options just because you’ve got two rooks and a sophomore in the rotation is silly. Hughes, except for some rookie mistakes in recent outings, has shown he belongs in the majors, and Chamberlain too. Kennedy remains to be seen, but with the numbers he’s put up this year in the minors, and the scouting reports on him and his increased velocity, I would not be surprised at all to see him slot right into a number four starting role. Andy Pettitte was that guy right out of the gate, and at the same age. It’s not unprecedented for rookies to succeed in their first year in the majors, and it’s not like these are a bunch of fringey Tyler Clippards and Chase Wrights. These are the top arms in the minor leagues, who have been developed, and who have already been promoted to the majors. Paul can be perfectly happy to see 3 young guns in the Yankee rotation, just like he can be perfectly happy to see Melky Cabrera as the center fielder next year. But honestly, two rookies and a soph with sky-high ceilings are by definition better than 30-year old retreads and Kei Igawa.

    AndrewYF August 29, 2007, 11:03 am
  • i hate to be a wet blanket, but at the very least kennedy gives us exactly what moose has been of late.
    i hope that doesn’t happen, and don’t expect anything that nauseating, but it is a possibility.
    also, when a team is weighing options for a guy like santana, i would imagine that it would take more than a single start to skyrocket someone’s value. he could conceivably start a string of games that would have that effect, but i doubt one start against the rays would do that.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 11:03 am
  • I agree, Paul. If the Yankee’s rotation has Kennedy, Joba, and Hughes in it next year, I’m a happy guy. Not that they all won’t have moments of good, but the full year of rookie rotation blunders is a near certain no matter who they are or who they play for.
    Also, Woosta, if you think Minny will offer up Santana for Kennedy, Tabata, and Gardner, I think you underestimate the man’s intelligence. There will be a slew of teams, including the Red Sox, Angels, Mets, and Dodgers that will be in that mix.
    I don’t think the Red Sox or Yankees will give up what other teams may; it just would not make sense to work so hard (both clubs) on building viable farm systems just to tear them apart for one player, and Minny’s asking price will be throught the roof – especially to NY, LAA, or Boston.
    I don’t see it happening for any of them.
    I do think however, that whomever ends up with A-Rod after he opts out, will not have the flexability to get into the Santana race.
    Just my thoughts.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:10 am
  • Andrew –
    That’s quite a post!
    I agree completely on everything you say.
    On Joba – Whenever someone says it they’re either ignorant (about his pitches) or anxious (about Mo). Just cause other unnamed teams have made the call to place a good youngster in the bullpen is not a reason for the Yankees to follow. Closers pitch maybe 40 high leverage innings a year. As a starter (in 0-0 ballgames), Joba can give them 200.
    The rest of the rotation I have absolutely no problem with. The money they save on crappy “proven” starting pitching (cause Schilling will be out there), they can give to A-Rod, Jorge, and Mo. Then all the youngsters need to do is be league average innings munchers and the offense will take care of the rest. And Hughes and Joba have already proven to me that they can be that.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 11:11 am
  • Holy crap, Andrew.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:11 am
  • The Yankees might not have a choice, thanks to the weakness of the free-agent market, vut that doesn’t make a three-rookie starting rotation any less risky/unwise.

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 11:17 am
  • Joba has proven to you that he can be a league average innings eater? And, on that note, Hughes? I mean, one has never started a game yet in this league, and the other spent half the year on the DL. When did they prove that to you?

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:17 am
  • Brad –
    I didn’t say that would be the package. The Yankees have plenty of pitchers for Ryan to choose from. And unless the Sox want to trade all of their upper level prospects (Buchholz, Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Masterson), I don’t see how they have enough. Meanwhile, the Yankees can match that package and more.
    But as I’ve thought about it, I bet Ryan makes a run next year with a rotation of Santana, Liriano, Garza, and Silva, and a very deep bullpen. They just need to find a way to replace Hunter’s offense.
    Then it just comes down to whether they are in it at the trading deadline. And I hope they are.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 11:20 am
  • At what point have you seen evidence that Joba is going to give you 200IP without hickups? Have I missed something?
    In 2005, he offered up 118IP to the tune of about 2.8ERA, and in college he never went close to 200IP (clearly). Are we just tossing out the >10% IP/year = bad news theory when it comes to this situation?

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:21 am
  • yeah, okay Woosta.
    Once again, you’re right. I mean, I’m sure that this plethora of young arms to choose from that doesn’t involve both Joba and Hughes is just as exciting as Buchholz, Ellsbury, or Carter/Moss.
    C’mon man.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:26 am
  • The bottom line is that unless the Yankees are going to offer Hughes/Joba and about four other top guys, a lot of teams can match the offer.
    I don’t think the Yanks, or the Sox for that matter, will part with their top guys to get Santana. I just don’t see it, and unless the following guys are involved in the deal, it aint happening:
    I don’t think either team parts with these future players. Not for one guy, who may or may not file for FA.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:29 am
  • Who said there won’t be hiccups? But yeah, call me crazy for thinking (based on their ages, makeups, and minor league performances) Hughes, Joba, and IPK can be league average starters. Cause that’s all the Yankee offense needs to compete.
    Based on the “expert” site SF loves to cite, the Yankees had the third best organization for pitching prospects this year. No doubt after this year, they’re #1.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 11:30 am
  • “Incidentally Papelbon’s last nine innings? Better than Joba’s.”
    True, but you’re kind of splitting hairs, no? Neither one has given up a run…
    That these two are even being compared makes me a happy yf.

    Andrews August 29, 2007, 11:31 am
  • No doubt after this year, they’re #1.
    How? I mean, if all three are in the rotation, they aren’t prospects. They are rookies, albeit probably too soon, but rookies nonetheless.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:38 am
  • I’m not doubting their talent level, Woosta, but rather their durability, which if comprimised by stints of injury, doesn’t make them league average starters. It makes them young, tired arms, that quickly get into the realm of higher IP than ever before. But, I’m sure that after all of them throw more innings than they ever have by the end of July (or June for that matter), it should work out well in September.
    I just don’t think it’s smart to depend on eveyone doing something that they’ve never even approached athletically. Just as I think Hideki O. is going to have some level of consequences for his IP this year, I hold the same theory for any guy who’s in over his head.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:41 am
  • Just as I don’t expect CB to be a league average starter next year. His makup, minor league numbers and age are comperable, if not better than Joba, Hughes, or Kennedy. I can’t bring myself to predict that he’s going to get through 210-230IP because he’s never done it. If he makes the year, uninjured, I’m happy with him.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:44 am
  • That’s exactly it, both are considered rookies next year just like Matsuzaka was considered the best prospect in all of baseball on that infamous top 100 list.
    Further, it’s not like the Yankees only have Kennedy and Chamberlain. Alan Horne was the pitcher of the year in the Eastern League. Jeff Marquez was right behind him. Tyler Clippard had a tough year, but for reference is the same age as Masterson and has better numbers across the board. There are others under 27 and with rotation potential. Plus, the Yankees had a solid draft – Ryan Pope has already been fantastic. And they have Humberto Sanchez coming back from Tommy John. Suffice it to say – They’re stocked.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 11:48 am
  • ha. okay, man.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:53 am
  • BTW:
    Buchholz hasn’t exactly been lights out in AAA:
    1 W 3 L 3.96 ERA 8 GS 38.2 IP 32 H 17 ER 5 HR 13 BB 55 K
    And, small samples aside, that’s a good bit worse than Hughes, Kennedy, or Joba in the exact same league. Meanwhile, he’s older than all of them.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 11:57 am
  • and I agree. They are stocked with pitchers, all of whom worth mentioning in trade talks about Johan are, in reality, now playing in NY. Not the eastern League or just been drafted.
    If Brian Cashman were to mention Tyler Clippard in trade talks for Johan, he’d get a dial tone. I feel the same way about Lowrie and Masterson, so it’s not that I’m picking on NY here, it’s just I don’t think they are top flight potential. What about Tyler Clippard impressed you while up? The fastball? C’Mon, Woosta. We’re talking about Johan, and neither team is going to get him without parting from guys that are currently on the roster – not the minors. Those are throw ins.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 11:58 am
  • Holy Shit, Woosta. Really? You’re going to tell me that the last three weeks (not including the spot start) at AAA is what Buchholz is, and not the absolutely dominating numbers before that?
    Are you fucking serious?
    Is there is difference between being 21 or 23? I mean, if anything, the extra two years at that age is in Buchholz’ favor.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • Okay, you’re right. All of them are better than CB. In fact, they’re better than anyone on earth. All of them are surely to dominate like no other person in history, only competing with each other for bragging rights.
    Jesus Christ.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • Actually, you must have missed where I said I hope Ryan wants to compete next year with a rotation of Santana, Liriano, Garza, and Silva plus a deep bullpen.
    I would much rather blow the bank on Santana than trade for him.
    As for Clippard, he’s just a prospect (who was rushed and depends on control) as much as Masterson is. Check out their minor league numbers at

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • I’m just saying Brad that’s there’s little to support this assertion of yours:
    “His makup, minor league numbers and age are comperable, if not better than Joba, Hughes, or Kennedy.”
    Most especially because he’s older than all of them and has yet to prove himself at the highest levels (like they have).

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • He also stole some PC’s in high school, so he’s obviously a criminal too. In fact, I bet he’s on steroids. That explains the AA numbers, when he was better than Hughes or Joba, or Kennedy, or anyone for that matter. He probably kicks puppies too.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:06 pm
  • Actually, Woosta, there is little to support your claim that based on his AAA starts he’s not as good as any of them. In fact, you can’t just cast aside the small sample size. If we’re going to compare them, we have to compare partially full/full seasons at the same level, and since the only place we can do this is AA ball, those are the numbers I have to go on. Not the insanely small sample size you’re love to use for your argument. What’s next, he has to prove that he’s not Nomo?

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • “Joba has proven to you that he can be a league average innings eater?”
    I think Joba has proven he can be more than that. Say what you want about him not starting a game in the major leagues, but you’ve seen him. Stretch that out over 6 innings, and you don’t think he’s a better option than some other number 5 guy?
    Hughes has shown flashes of excellence. It’s not like he’s out there walking the bases loaded every inning. In fact, his WHIP is, I think, the lowest out of all the Yankee starters, and he is still striking out a batter an inning. For all the woe and misery that has been professed about Hughes, he has been better than the useless ERA stat has shown, and is a great bet to be better next year. As good of a bet, I think, as Wakefield or Schilling or whoever the third starter is for the Sox next year.
    Meanwhile, I think a lot will hang on how Kennedy and Chamberlain do next year. Kennedy, by all accounts, was the guy in the 2006 draft that everyone guaranteed would have success in the majors. He’s got the stuff and the pitches to be a number four guy right out of the gate. This isn’t someone who doesn’t trust his stuff or needs years of seasoning, his minor league stats have shown that he is ready, now, and doesn’t plan on going back down. I could be signing a different tune on Saturday after he pitches 3.2 innings giving up 5 or 6 runs to the lowly Devil Rays, but let’s put this ‘Yankee rookies don’t all belong in the same rotation’ business in perspective. The Yankees have two bonafide starters in Wang and Pettitte. They are as good a bet to succeed as most pitchers. Then you get to the young guns.
    Like I said, Hughes, even with decreased velocity and not completely healthy, is striking out nearly a batter an inning and has gone 6, 5, 6.1 and 6 innings in his last four starts. The outlook on him is negative, understandably, but his WHIP is 1.21. He’s going to get better as he regains arm and leg strength, because even now he’s getting killed on just one or two pitches, not the whole ballgame. But that’s now. Please name me the number 3 starter for the Red Sox next season. If it’s Schilling, I’d say that’s an advantage, assuming his health holds up and his velocity stays above 90. Otherwise, who is it? Wakefield? Don’t go crapping on the Yankee number three starter when your own is completely up in the air. We’d all like to have Johan Santana in our rotations and Pettitte as a number three, but it’s just not reality. You can count yourselves happy, but really? You wouldn’t be happier if the Yankees had Kei Igawa or Mike Mussina in there instead of Kennedy or Chamberlain? I’m not saying it’s ideal (the ideal situation would be to have a Johan Santana/Roy Oswal/Jake Peavy type and Pettitte as a number three guy), but what other options are there?
    The free agent class is ridiculously weak, and I really don’t think Santana is going to be dealt in the offseason. Minnesota has a win-now team, especially with Liriano coming back, and they would essentially give up for the next couple of years if they traded Johan. It’s not happening. Next year is their best shot at contention for the next several years, assuming Johan goes elsewhere afterwards.
    Anyway, I should stop rambling. The Yankees best option next year is to put these guys into the rotation. Each of them are better than any of the alternatives. Maybe Igawa fights for a job during spring training. Maybe Mussina reinvents himself. But would anyone bet on Mussina and Igawa being better next year than Kennedy and Chamberlain? I really wouldn’t. I guess you could think of it like having a King Felix and two Yovani Gallardos in the rotation. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t take that over washed-up veterans and screwed up Japanese imports who are almost guaranteed to fail.
    That’s all I’m tryin to say.

    AndrewYF August 29, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • “Is there is difference between being 21 or 23?”
    Yes, two years. And normally with prospects younger is better because it suggests they have more room to improve.
    Look, Buchholz is a fantastic prospect. I wish the Yankees had him. But I’m also happy with the guy they do have.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • And how much of a difference in development is 2 years when we’re talking 21 and 23? I mean, I know it works for you to cast that out there, but really?

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • Brad, did you actually mention recently-acquired future-DH Chris Carter as a legitimite top prospect that would be a significant factor in acquiring Santana?

    AndrewYF August 29, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • There is absolutely no physical difference, or potential upside when we’re talking about 21 or 23. Either ends up great or terrible, but those two years won’t matter for six years. But, think whatever you want to think.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • No, Andrews. I was talking about what each team will have to use as throw-ins. I did not mean as a viable chip. But in reality, look at those numbers. He gets a glove, even an average one, and he’s in the mix. For now anyhow.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Fantastic post Andrew.
    I only say about league average because that’s the threshold they need to meet to help the team win consistently. Anything more is gravy (and gets SF’s riled up about unknowns).
    As for Hughes, I simply see he gave up 4 hits in 6 innings to the second best offense in baseball in his last start. And that’s with his velocity down.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Plus, Minny plays in the AL too! They need a good one, and on the short surface, he appears to be one. But, I put very little faith into small sample sizes, so for now, no way.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • As for Hughes, I simply see he gave up 4 hits in 6 innings to the second best offense in baseball in his last start. And that’s with his velocity down.
    So, you base your predictions on that start, ignore the others, and you know, the two months on the DL? Unknowns, as they are everywhere, are a huge factor.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • On a side note, Terry Francona just said that if it came to it, he’ll use Lugo in LF and Cora at short. I guess Lugo was out there with LA last year? That doesn’t sound to fun to me.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • “So, you base your predictions on that start, ignore the others, and you know, the two months on the DL?”
    Well, he did ignore the Texas and the Cleveland starts, which were excellent.
    And the two months on the DL were due solely to freak leg injuries. These aren’t arm or shoulder injuries, which would actually raise a red flag.

    AndrewYF August 29, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • You must have missed this sentence cause you perfectly embodied it:
    “Anything more is gravy (and gets SF’s riled up about unknowns).”
    Meanwhile, Andrew has done a fine job pointing out Hughes’ upside potential. If next June he’s still struggling, feel free to gloat. I know you will, if so.
    But yeah, based on what I’ve seen, he’s a much better choice than any “proven” retread. Same with Chamberlain. Same with Kennedy.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • I think Lugo would be fine in LF. What’s the concern?

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • Tell that to Jr. Not Dale, Ken.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • I know you will, if so.
    Nope, because as I’ve said numerous time, he’s a lock for Cooperstown some day, so if it doesn’t work out, I’m going to look pretty silly.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • BTW: I wish the Yankees had Carter too. They need him more!

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • I’m not riled up. I just think it’s stupid, and I know you hear that a lot, to ignore the IP factor. To assume that one, or any of them, are going to be league average is a huge statement.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • and I meant, that statment, not you.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • “On Joba – Whenever someone says it they’re either ignorant (about his pitches) or anxious (about Mo). Just cause other unnamed teams have made the call to place a good youngster in the bullpen is not a reason for the Yankees to follow. Closers pitch maybe 40 high leverage innings a year. As a starter (in 0-0 ballgames), Joba can give them 200.”
    I guess I am ignorant then, LOL. I have said from the beginning that no matter what happens this season there still might be a chance that Joba ends up in the bullpen next season. As we have seen he has been fantastic thus far. We don’t know what happens in the offseason in regards to SP, Mo, etc. I am not saying it’s a DEFINITE, I am only saying you can’t discount the idea of Joba staying in the pen. It’s rare to find a kid with such composure and electric stuff, he has handled (thus far) a position that has chewed up and spit out many of those who have tried.
    As for Mussina, can we let Kennedy pitch a game before we give him Moose’s spot? Let the kid pitch, let Moose rest and see what happens. Seems like Yankee fans are putting WAY TOO much pressure on this kid to succeed. Let’s see how it plays out first.

    John - YF (Trisk) August 29, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • Brad, relax man. Woosta is being very polite and you’re being somewhat angry.
    You can state your points intelligently without getting riled up–and yes, riled up is what you are.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 12:38 pm
  • We’re conflating performance and innings.
    I have no problem seeing Hughes, IPK, and Joba performing as league average pitchers.
    The innings is a fine point, and I’m not sure how the Yankee will handle it. Hughes was supposed to throw ~180 innings this year to be on pace for 210 next year.
    Joba threw about 130 innings last year (don’t forget the ~40 IP in the Fall League). That would put him on pace for ~150 innings this year. He’ll only get there if he pitches through the series. Either case, he’s looking at a limit of about 180 innings next year. That’s fine if he’s a #5, but not if he’s much better than that. I’m sure the Yankees will find a way to deal with it when the time comes.
    As for Kennedy, he’s just about at his limit (150 IP). So I bet, they’re willing to go a tad over with a few more starts (do they even need 3 from their #5?). After that they’ll shut him down. That puts him in line for about 180 innings next year. Again fine for a #5.
    So, sure, it looks like Kennedy or Chamberlain would come up short next year. But as we know from every year, a lot can happen with young pitchers.
    But I still don’t see how it’s stupid to depend on them. Unless you think the Yankees should go out and sign Bart Colon or Fred Garcia. That’s seems even more stupid given the depth they have in the system and just a tired repeat of what they’ve tried for the last seven years.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • I forgot to mention that they’ll have to deal with Hughes still building arm strength next year. He didn’t get his 180 innings this year and pushing him towards it next year could cause injury.
    My guess is the Yankees are thinking if any of the studs gets hurt or needs time off, they have the system depth to cover it. And they do!

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • Meanwhile in NY….
    “It’s taken a number of players to replace me,” Damon said of the Red Sox. “I’m Johnny [Bleeping] Damon.”

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • What does this thread have to do with Damon?
    The topic is, in case you haven’t noticed, the young Yankee pitching.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • Funny, because it’s taken a number of players to replace Damon — in New York!

    Paul SF August 29, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • Penalty flag! Baiting! Off-topic! Penalty! Where are the “ban” police!?!?!?!
    Hey Lockland and Paul – you guys must know the translation of “Who’s your daddy” into Japanese?

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 12:58 pm
  • Yeah, what’s Damon got to do with Kennedy’s start on Saturday?

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Yeah, because we never discuss anything else other than the post topic in the comment section, ever.
    Just thought it was a funny quote from JD, nothing more, relax.

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • I’m relaxed. Perfectly so. I’m a Zen mofo, in fact.
    Back on topic. One guy I would like to see the Yankees sign: Mark Prior. He had significant surgery and will be non-tendered by the Cubs while he recovers. But he’s 27 years old and he could still have something left. Maybe not, but he could. Sign him to a two-year incentive laden deal and see if he’s back in time for the stretch next year.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • Prior would be good, assuming he’s able to get back up to full strength. Who would you like to see bumped from the rotation to make room for him though?

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 1:39 pm
  • Eh, there are too many if’s before the Yankees get to that point. I’d just rather see them sign a Prior cheap than overpay for a Colon or Garcia.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • I agree. I think Prior is worth the risk. On a related note, I think if Matt Clement is healthy, he’s worth the risk as well on the cheap. They’re both pretty talented guys, who are able to get guys out.

    Brad August 29, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • wow… matt clement…
    i had forgotten he’d ever existed.
    a blast from the recent past.

    Yankee Fan In Boston August 29, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • Holy crap, I remember that guy. Tall, black hair, looked like Abe Lincoln?
    Geez, is he even alive still? He must be in his 80’s now.

    Atheose August 29, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • Alive and pitching…
    As of Aug. 22nd:
    “I just feel that I’m ready to pitch to hitters,” said Clement, who turned 33 last week. “I threw 50 pitches the other day, and I remember last year when my shoulder was bothering me, if I’d throw 120 pitches in a game, the next day I could barely lift it.
    “The day after I threw 50 pitches, I was ready to throw the very next day. I didn’t, because I’m following a program, but I felt good enough to do it, and that really excited me.”

    LocklandSF August 29, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • Doug (DC): since so few Yankee fans ever participate in these chats, let me be the first to ask about your thoughts on Ian Kennedy starting this Saturday instead of Mussina. And by “first,” I mean, “first Doug (DC)” to ask this. Okay, maybe 12th.
    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:03 PM ET ) I have 112 questions already in the queue–and 20 of them are about Ian Kennedy. Good move for the Yankees, because Mike Mussina sure looks done and Kennedy is a much better option than Kei Igawa and Steven White. I doubt Kennedy will be as spectacular as Joba Chamberlain, because he’ll be starting and doesn’t have the same stuff. But if Kennedy is just competent, and he should be, that should be enough to win some games with New York’s offense backing him.

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 3:00 pm
  • I have to say, even if not all three of these young pitchers turn out to be studs at the major league level, I’m really impressed with what Cashman has been able to accomplish in the farm system very recently. I may be mis-remembering, but as of last year the prevailing opinion was that the Yankees minor leagues had been completely decimated by trades and loss of draft picks from FA signings. For three very hot young pitchers to rise from those ranks and be anywhere near ready to pitch – and pitch extremely well – in the majors is a huge accomplishment.

    Jackie (SF) August 29, 2007, 4:23 pm
  • Ask and you shall receive: Buster’s ode to Cashman –

    Woosta YF August 29, 2007, 5:06 pm

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