What’s Your Take On Last Night?

This is what I think the Yanks should do to appease all the critics who believe Joba should pitch the 8th inning: At the beginning of the game, put Joba in right and have Bobby Abreu pitch to the first batter. After the first batter, have Joba come in for innings 1 through 6. For the last out of the 6th, replace Bobby Abreu with a pitcher from the bullpen. The reliever than switches positions with Joba, taking over mound duties for the 7th. After the 7th, switch Joba’s and the reliever’s positions. Bring in Shelley Duncan to play right field for the reliever. Joba then pitches the 8th, and we have our set-up guy back.

I recall Davey Johnson doing something like this in the 80’s. In any case, this is basically the dream I had last night.

Hey now! So there was a game last night. It’s going to be analyzed. I’m off to work, but you can use this space below to share your thoughts about Joba’s starting debut. My instant take: What I expected. Analyze away.

98 comments… add one
  • Jobe Rules, made public.
    Joba’s pitch count as he transitions to a SP, made public.
    Can we please just be quiet? Do we need to know every detail? Maybe we can at least come up with a code that only Yankee fans would know how to read this way other ML teams don’t know exactly when Joba is going to pitch or for how long. The Blue Jays were EXTRA patient and it worked out well for them. They knew, only because the Yankees made it public, that this kid could only throw 65-70 pitches. The faster he’s out of the game, the better shot they have to win. Now on Sunday why wouldn’t you employ the same gameplan if your the other team? Wait the kid out, take some pitches and he’ll be gone by the 3rd. This transition should have been done at the AAA level, where games don’t mean as much and if the other team knows your gameplan who cares! The Yankees can’t afford to just give games away right now AND they can’t afford the amount of stress it puts on the bullpen.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 8:25 am
  • I’d say this, from the NYT, covers it:
    “Make him throw a lot,” David Eckstein said, explaining the [Toronto] strategy. “It’s tough going out there on a pitch count when the other team knows about it.”
    The walks were really the only part of his line that raise an eyebrow, and his control has historically been excellent.
    Next up = KC.

    YF June 4, 2008, 8:44 am
  • I wish there wasn’t such analysis. We already know Joba is a potentially tremendous pitcher, and an erratic appearance in a first start versus one in the eighth inning just doesn’t prove anything.
    Last night was something to be enjoyed, if just for the theater of a premiere, not something to be overanalyzed. It’s not like we haven’t seen Joba on a big stage performing beautifully, so there’s just no reason to think that last night’s troubles with control meant anything. Can we just let Yankee fans enjoy the moment, a special one for sure, without overthinking the pitch count, the location of those limited pitches, etc.? And, likewise, can Yankee fans enjoy the moment without doing this?

    SF June 4, 2008, 9:18 am
  • Joba’s performance was fine, not concerned about that. What I am concerned about is how this will effect the bullpen and the Yankees W/L record until Joba can pitch 80-100 pitches. If Dan Giese can be this good everytime out, then we will be ok. But is anyone taking that bet that he will be? My issue is this…does Tom Coughlin ever comes out and says well Eli’s arm isn’t full strength, he needs some extra time, we are just going to run the ball 99% of the time, hope that’s cool with you Andy Reid? Common sense would tell you the kid isn’t going to be able to go 9, but why do we have to attach a number to it or come up with a rule book as to which days he can pitch and how often. It does not help your cause at all.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 9:40 am
  • John nailed it.
    “This transition should have been done at the AAA level, where games don’t mean as much and if the other team knows your gameplan who cares!”
    It bodes well from the rest of the AL East though, at the very least it will slightly delay the Yankees inevitable come back.

    LocklandSF June 4, 2008, 10:23 am
  • I understand the lack of concern regarding his performance, but it certainly wasn’t fine, John.
    And both of you are correct. Every time Joba is going out there with a strick pitch count, he should be doing it at lower levels. Hurting the bullpen that much for the week in one day isn’t productive. And like you said, you can’t expect things to be as good as they were last night. What happens if Moose is knocked out in the third inning tonight?
    Oh well, too late now anyhow.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 10:27 am
  • jesus. Strict I mean.
    Sorry about that – in a rush.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 10:31 am
  • It’s fine enough.. with 65 pitches as a pitch count (and the other team knowing about it), he probably would’ve expected to go only 3 anyhow. Things could be better, but unless you bought into all the insane hype, it was within expectations.
    Hype or not, this is his first ever start (and an handicapped one, at that), so ah well.

    Lar June 4, 2008, 10:34 am
  • On some level though, that’s exactly what big league hitters are going to do to him. They’re going to make him throw strikes. What he saw last night wasn’t just a result of the hitters knowing that he was on a pitch count – it was certainly a part of it -but he’s going to get that kind of patience from hitters.
    I’m sure he’ll adjust fine to it, but if he’s not going to sit at 99, like he does from the pen, they’re going to sit 93, foul off pitches, and wait for him to strike them out on the breaking stuff, which he can do, but last night, wasn’t one of those times.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 10:41 am
  • It’s true, but I mean if he wasn’t on a pitch count, he might’ve given us 5 (maybe more if he settled down) innings and the numbers might’ve been more respectable..

    Lar June 4, 2008, 10:46 am
  • I agree.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 10:46 am
  • Giving up walks is pretty normal for a young starter, so I wouldn’t be concerned about that.
    I am curious why and how the pitch count went public. I know I’ve heard Terry Francona a couple times beg off answering questions about similar items (which relievers are available, etc.) so as not to let opponents know what to expect. I would think that’s pretty basic.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 10:47 am
  • I do agree (and question) this approach a bit though. I guess it’s needed to set a “stable” schedule, but it would’ve been interesting to tell Moose “hey, you’re pitching 5 IPs”, and let Joba take the next 3 or 4. That’ll probably be what 65 takes us anyhow.

    Lar June 4, 2008, 10:49 am
  • I can’t agree, John. Right now, either Joba or Igawa was starting that game. From that there’s really no question. I would rather have Joba throwing those innings in a meaningful game, instead of the other options. Simply, there aren’t any, not now any ways.
    Otherwise, the 8th inning or starter question is really one about this year or next year. If you only care about winning this year, then he should have stayed in the bullpen. However, if he doesn’t push his innings and routine this year, the starting window really begins to close.
    The Yankees are choosing the future with their moves this year. Hard for me to complain – regardless of the outcome. I know I would much rather watch Joba make the transition than watch a fat Colon succeed only to eventually stink the joint out in an important game.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 10:50 am
  • When you’re down 7 games (to the Rays?) and 2 games under .500, you can’t give away games like that, though minus the one inning the Yanks were respectable. I don’t have the saber stats (and too lazy to research) but I’m pretty sure giving away two wins is already as bad as it gets – unless he really really dominates as a starter..

    Lar June 4, 2008, 10:51 am
  • “you can’t give away games like that, though minus the one inning the Yanks were respectable”
    See, that’s the difference between win-at-all-costs this year versus setting up the organization for the future. Based on the non-moves this past off-season, it was pretty clear which direction they’re now headed in. It’s actually made this year very easy for me as a fan. The expectation isn’t only on winning, so I can enjoy the other highlights. Like:
    The kid fanned three people last night in two innings, and had two strikes on three other batters. Once he learns to put batters away, he’ll be a fine starter. And that wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t making transition now.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 11:00 am
  • I know I would much rather watch Joba make the transition than watch a fat Colon succeed only to eventually stink the joint out in an important game.
    Sometimes you just can’t resist.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 11:11 am
  • I’m pretty sure most YFs would love to have Colon right now, so I will let his childish jab slide this time.

    LocklandSF June 4, 2008, 11:18 am
  • They’re not mutually exclusive – you can set up the future without giving away today. I’m not against Joba being a starter, I’m against giving away games in the middle of the season. If you’re going to make Joba a starter, do it at the beginning of the season! See: Johan Santana.

    Lar June 4, 2008, 11:26 am
  • again, I agree, Lar.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 11:31 am
  • I agree, Lockland. I mean, off the top of my head, I can’t think of one single Yankee who succeeds all year and blows up in important games later in the year. Not a single nineteen game winner comes to mind. Not a single one.

    Brad June 4, 2008, 11:34 am
  • Why is letting Joba work his way into the rotation “giving away” anything? Why let him throw his valuable innings in AAA? The Yanks brought up Giese to relieve the pressure on the pen and it worked.
    The Yanks “giving away” the Joba pitch count is a non-issue. His switch to the rotation has been a public affair. Opposing teams already know that he’s going to be controlled going into the game, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to calculate where he’ll be capped. So, yeah, “knowing” gives them an advantage, but its slight. And for the Yanks, it’s worth the cost. Even with this knowledge he was hardly torched by the Jays offense.
    A LOT of overthinking here, as SF suggests.

    YF June 4, 2008, 11:50 am
  • And in either case, I think it’s too early in the season to concede it – if that’s what you’re arguing, then we’ll just have to disagree and leave it there.. =P

    Lar June 4, 2008, 11:51 am
  • “I’m pretty sure most YFs would love to have Colon right now, so I will let his childish jab slide this time.”
    It should be obvious that the jab at flab was not Sox-centric. Rather, signing Colon is a nice representative of what the Yankees have done in the past. They’ve made a clear pivot away from that strategy. And for good reason: If Colon continues to “perform”, Buchholz stays at AAA. I’m very glad the Yanks didn’t sign Colon, thanks.
    Funny though how quick some of you are to defend the fat Colon. Nice one! Bartolo to the rescue!
    “They’re not mutually exclusive – you can set up the future without giving away today.”
    There was no other way to transition Joba this year. It WAS an either-or. If he started from April he would have been through his innings in August. Just like last year – if they hadn’t moved him to the pen, he would have sat in August. If anything, they are trying to have it both ways – win now AND later. And that’s what opens the controversy.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 11:51 am
  • YF – I agree that it’s probably better to do the transition here rather than AAA, but I just disagree with the move in general, I suppose. We still have something to play for.
    I don’t know enough saber math off my head, but giving away two-three games right off the top is usually very difficult to “even out”. Yesterday’s game was *mostly* not his fault, but it certainly fueled it.
    Keep in mind that (a big if right now) if the Yanks are to finish 90-92 wins, those 2-3 wins are worth quite a bit. I don’t know if he’ll catch up, but it’s certainly a hole already.
    Re: Brad – Eh, stuff happens, but you might’ve forgotten that if it was say, 12 wins instead of 19, we might not have made the playoffs. One playoff series is better than none, if you ask me.

    Lar June 4, 2008, 11:57 am
  • Future can be dealt with in the future, how old is Joba again?

    Lar June 4, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Lar –
    Look at this way: If not Joba, who starts yesterday?
    See, just because they still have something to play doesn’t mean they shouldn’t make the best decisions now. Joba helps more, right now, by throwing more innings, not less.
    Keeping him the bullpen, hurts the team and him, now and later. Having him pitch 60 innings this year versus 140 is exactly what we’re talking about. And those 60 do no good to make him a starter for any year in the future.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 12:03 pm
  • Lar: I just think this “giving away 2 wins” argument is nonsense. It’s like someone said “moving him to the rotation now is tanatamount to giving away 2 wins,” and this has become received wisdom, despite the fact that it has no basis whatsoever in reality. My guess is the cost of the move is negligable, when all peripheral information is factored in.
    If the argument is whether Chamberlain should be in the rotation at all; this to me is a non-starter, at least right now. We’ve been down that road. A dominant starter is far more valuable than a dominant reliever. The team is obligated to see if they have the former before they settle on the latter. It’s the only logical move.

    YF June 4, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • “Rather, signing Colon is a nice representative of what the Yankees have done in the past. They’ve made a clear pivot away from that strategy.”
    Huh? Was Colon a high priced veteran free agent?
    He is absolutely no risk, all reward.
    Yeah, having starting pitching depth is certainly a bad strategy.

    LocklandSF June 4, 2008, 12:19 pm
  • The risk/reward is not simply about what Colon does or doesn’t do. He also now blocks either Masterson or Buchholz when both are more than ready.
    Cashman knew the same would apply if either Hughes or Kennedy struggled, or if Joba was still doing the 8th inning. The pressure would be on letting Colon fill a rotation slot. Problem is, he does nothing good long-term for the team.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 12:26 pm
  • “The team is obligated to see if they have the former before they settle on the latter. It’s the only logical move.”
    I couldn’t agree more.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 12:27 pm
  • “I can’t agree, John. Right now, either Joba or Igawa was starting that game. From that there’s really no question. I would rather have Joba throwing those innings in a meaningful game, instead of the other options. Simply, there aren’t any, not now any ways.”
    Dan Giese is already up…Chase Wright could have been, Karstens until he hurt himself and so on and so on…Don’t simplify it to prove a point. I don’t disagree that Joba should be a starter, I just don’t agree with the process they are using, that’s my right. If Joba was sent down this could have been solved by calling up Giese or Wright or anyone other than Igawa and it would have been a 2 week stay at MAX. Instead we tell all of MLB that our starter can only go 65-70 pitches and then hope that gets us through 4-5. This is not only going to play havoc with the bullpen, but it could possibly hurt the Yankees come September.
    Another point is how does Jeter, Abreu, Damon, Giambi, etc…guys who are not getting any younger feel about this move? According to Sweeney Murti on WFAN, he could see this causing some issue with the guys who have limited time left. Sending him down for 2 weeks would have solved this whole dilemma.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 12:32 pm
  • “See, that’s the difference between win-at-all-costs this year versus setting up the organization for the future.”
    You could build for the future and still win games. Nobody will disagree that they direction the Yankees are going in is a good one, it’s just the road they are taking, that’s all. Again over simplifying things.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 12:36 pm
  • The Yanks “giving away” the Joba pitch count is a non-issue.
    Really? Knowing that a guy can only throw 65-70 pitches is a non-issue? Last nights game plan by the Jays and Ecksteins comments afterwards seem to prove otherwise. Coming out and giving a number was a mistake. You are right when you say they would have figured out he wasn’t going 9, but to give a number is a definite advantage to any team. I am sorry YF, I disagree.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 12:39 pm
  • signing Colon is a nice representative of what the Yankees have done in the past.
    Yeah, the Yankees have a long history of acquiring cheap pitching depth with high upside… like Jaret Wright, and Carl Pavano. Or was that not what you meant?
    The risk/reward is not simply about what Colon does or doesn’t do. He also now blocks either Masterson or Buchholz when both are more than ready.
    Masterson pitched last night, and the Sox just had two starters on the DL, including Buchholz. Colon is blocking no one, but he is providing exactly what the Sox hoped — solidity for the rotation in the event of inevitable injuries. The Sox have a combined 5-0 record from Colon and Masterson essentially in replacement of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz. I will most certainly take that any time, regardless of the team’s long-term goals.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 12:39 pm
  • Really, you think Giese or Wright starting that games gives them a better chance of winning?
    Next time out, Joba will throw 85 pitches. And the time after that – 100 pitches. So we’re talking, really, about two starts (ten days) where the other team knows he’s on a short pitch count. And those two games, I’d much rather have two – four innings of Joba than zero innings.
    “This is not only going to play havoc with the bullpen, but it could possibly hurt the Yankees come September.”
    You haven’t justified this statement in any way. If you’re assuming the team would be better off in September with Joba pitching in the bullpen, then we’re back to arguing this year versus the future.
    Obviously, the Yanks need some bullpen help. But the pitchers are in the system (Cox, Robertson, Melancon). Moving Joba actually opens things up to give those kids a shot as well.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 12:40 pm
  • “I will most certainly take that any time, regardless of the team’s long-term goals.”
    Me too!
    (for the Sox).
    All I know is I would much rather face Colon than Masterson or Buchholz. And I have no doubt that once Dice-K returns, both Masterson and Buchholz will be throwing their innings in the minors so long Colon is healthy. Works for me!

    A YF June 4, 2008, 12:46 pm
  • Seems to me the “Empire” is in a bit of a tizzy right now. Things just seem to be at a crossroad right now with this team. The influx of youth is exciting but at the same time like others have said…what about the vets? Seems to me that if Cash sticks around, this team will get even younger next year. I’m all for the youth movement…but it would be great if they could win some games in the process. This team has too much talent to be this bad. Something else is going on. Injuries play a part no doubt but it seems like some players aren’t playing that hard? (no way to prove that I know)

    krueg June 4, 2008, 12:47 pm
  • Masterson and Buchholz are on innings restrictions, so I don’t imagine Colon is “blocking” them. Considering that every team needs contingencies in case of injury, Colon was a smart, low-risk move for the Sox. I don’t see how his positive impact and presence this year can somehow be used as a negative. The Sox will get their young pitchers their innings even with Colon around, such is the way things work with nicks and bruises in MLB. Clay or JM may still end up eating middle innings, such is the generally weak state of the Sox’ bullpen, recent strength notwithstanding.
    It’s disingenous to claim it wasn’t a jab at the Sox, since the signing was cheap; the Yankees’ past that A refers to was more about signing aging, expensive veterans or trading youngsters for instant help (Colon came at the cost of no talent, only short money), and Colon’s signing with the Sox had little in common with that kind of ethos. Right now the Sox are where they are in part because Bartolo Colon is not David Pauley, we could be looking at our teams in third and fifth respectively had Colon not done what he has done these past few weeks, and this blog would be even more morose than it is were it not for the fatso.
    As for how he does later in the season against the Yankees? Who knows, he’ll probably stink – he’s not known to pitch well late in the season against teams that have nothing riding on the outcome and are just playing a spoiler’s role.
    ;-)

    SF June 4, 2008, 12:52 pm
  • “The Yanks “giving away” the Joba pitch count is a non-issue.
    Really? Knowing that a guy can only throw 65-70 pitches is a non-issue? Last nights game plan by the Jays and Ecksteins comments afterwards seem to prove otherwise.”
    That’s ridiculous. The game plan would have been to work him regardless, because it was obvious, given his last outing, that he was on a short leash. I think you’re MASSIVELY overstating the significance of this factor in the outcome.

    YF June 4, 2008, 12:52 pm
  • “Really, you think Giese or Wright starting that games gives them a better chance of winning?”
    I do. I think Joba is light years more talented than either of those young men BUT they are not on pitch counts and nobody from the Yankees has come out and said Dan Giese is only going 65 pitches today.
    “So we’re talking, really, about two starts (ten days)”
    And I agree with you, 10 days + the intial transition and everything is done in 2 weeks, like I said. Just disagree where it’s being done.
    By “Havoc” I didn’t mean losing Joba from his role would create Havoc, but rather the amount of stress it puts on them when he provides them 3 innings. Giese isn’t going to be lights out everytime…Ramirez gets used more etc…
    Bottom line is I agree with the move, like I said, BUT it should have been done in Scranton, not in the Bronx. Again though just my opinion.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 12:53 pm
  • Krueg:
    I don’t think it’s not trying. That’s a pretty serious charge. The Yanks have had some bad injuries. They went into the season with a risky rotation (no matter the upside, starting the year with Hughes and Kennedy was a risk). Add in Cano’s beyond-awful performance (707th out of 713 players in VORP – that’s brutal!) and you have some issues. But the Yankees are only a few games under .500! That’s pretty amazing to me, and reason to feel better about the coming days. Cano should progress to the mean, and Joba is going to help a ton. Brighter days ahead, for sure.

    SF June 4, 2008, 12:59 pm
  • “I think you’re MASSIVELY overstating the significance of this factor in the outcome.”
    Especially since we’re talking about a grand total of two starts where this is even an issue.
    “Clay or JM may still end up eating middle innings, such is the generally weak state of the Sox’ bullpen, recent strength notwithstanding.”
    But then what about the pressure to keep them both as middle relievers next year!? Cause surely they’ll be successful in that role!!
    Except the Sox now have Buchholz in AAA and starting games. And Masterson will be back soon too. Both are ready for the majors, but Colon will be sucking up their innings. The kids may get some starts here and there, but they’re now both behind Colon on the depth chart. That’s sad, really.
    Like I said, I’m very pleased the Yanks didn’t sign Colon.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 1:00 pm
  • I am with YF here – Major League managers don’t live in the Biosphere. Whether the Yankees went public with the pitch count or not the Blue Jays were going to try to work Joba. It was on him to hit the plate – if he’s got more control then he forces the Jays’ bats. The idea that keeping the number close to the vest would have altered Toronto’s approach is, to me, a bit silly. The only thing that would have changed Toronto’s approach would have been slightly better pitching.

    SF June 4, 2008, 1:02 pm
  • That’s your opinion YF and I respect that.
    Working him is one thing, but knowing what number you have to work to is another. The Jays and now the Royals have a tangible # rather than inning, that’s my only problem. The Jays knew one big inning from him (the 1st = 38 pitches) and he was done. Your approach as a hitter, a team and manger changes drastically when you have that kind of information.
    It’s not the same level, but here you go…
    Last season we played SHP, Rick Porcello pitched…By state rules a pitcher can pitch 10 innings in 4 days. He had already pitched 7…That left him with 3. Now I am not comparing what we do to what the big leaguers do BUT we knew innings 4-7 OR 1-4 would be our time to score and when he was in to WORK him. It changes your approach to the game. That’s all I am saying.

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 1:02 pm
  • John, WTF are you talking about? You would have preferred starting Giese over having Joba pitch 2 innings and then turn it over to Giese? I’m sorry, but that makes absolutely zero sense.
    Paul: the introduction of Pavano/Wright into this discussion about the acquisition of midseason pitching depth seems completely inappropriate and not really moving the direction in a positive way. Also, it always makes me wonder what the thinking is when Sox fans lambaste the Yanks over Pavano, knowing that the Sox were also in the bidding for his services. Perspective please.

    YF June 4, 2008, 1:03 pm
  • John: we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one!

    YF June 4, 2008, 1:05 pm
  • That’s sad, really.
    Why is it “sad”? I don’t understand your point, frankly. If Colon blows up (as you yourself seem to think he will, quite bluntly) then the Sox can just slot in one of the youngsters. So they have insurance for their insurance. In structural engineering redundancy is vital; I would argue that in MLB redundancy is good, as well, even if somewhat incalculable.
    To me it seems as if the Sox have some damn good flexibility at cheap dollars, they can continue to develop their kids and still get them good innings. I think your position, that because Colon would have been a bad signing for the Yankees he is similarly a bad signing for the Sox is overly dogmatic, reflexive.

    SF June 4, 2008, 1:07 pm
  • At this stage, I just don’t see how it could be argued that Colon would have been a bad pick up for any team, especially a team with some unexpected starting pitching issues.

    LocklandSF June 4, 2008, 1:14 pm
  • John:
    When Masterson was promoted to AAA this year (after he made his debut in Boston), he was on an announced pitch count – 90. This didn’t prevent him for excelling. That’s because he was accurate. I think the pitch count thing is a red herring – the simple fact is that if Joba throws a little more accurately (or gets a call from the ump or Molina does his job) he goes three innings, maybe 3+ and gives up a run, which would have been a terrific debut. This is much ado about things outside the pitch count announcement.
    From the Providence Journal, I think the last line says it all:
    Though he hadn’t pitched in nine days, Masterson was sharp off the bat. He retired the first three Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hitters he faced on only 13 pitches. Johnson said Masterson would be on a 90-pitch count, and that’s exactly what he needed to go six full innings.
    In that span, he allowed four hits, two runs (one earned), struck out four, and walked one. He also had a hit batsman and wild pitch. Fifty-nine of his 90 pitches were for strikes.

    SF June 4, 2008, 1:14 pm
  • “If Colon blows up (as you yourself seem to think he will, quite bluntly) then the Sox can just slot in one of the youngsters.”
    He’ll get a longer leash. That’s more starts. Why? Cause the choice won’t be to send him back down. It will be whether to DFA him. They’ll want to be sure they’re doing the “right” thing.
    The Yanks are seeing the Sox at the beginning of July. The chances are Colon gets a start in that series where Buchholz and Masterson get none. That works for me!

    A YF June 4, 2008, 1:16 pm
  • To repeat: Colon himself isn’t the problem (though chances are he soon will be). It’s the side effect on roster management and player development that’s the issue. In this regard, the Sox and Yanks are very similar. If anything, on paper, the Yanks needed Colon’s “experience” much more. I’m just glad they didn’t buy into that argument.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 1:19 pm
  • “John, WTF are you talking about? You would have preferred starting Giese over having Joba pitch 2 innings and then turn it over to Giese? I’m sorry, but that makes absolutely zero sense.”
    It does make sense. The hitters approach versus a guy who’s limit in 65-70 versus a guy who can guy who has a normal limit changes. It’s not Giese Vs. Joba, that’s not the argument it’s the advantage it gives to the other team. At least I haven’t upset you to the point that you lost your ability to respect other posts and ideas.
    SF, I agree that it’s Joba’s job to be more accurate and effecient with his pitches, I won’t argue that. But 90 pitches versus 65-70 is a little different. As we saw last night one big blow up inning (pitch count wise) negates Joba’s ability to be Joba for the game.
    From John Gibbons:
    “He’s going to be good once he builds up the stamina,” said Jays manager John Gibbons. “But we worked him pretty good.”
    That was the plan from the start or, as Gibbons had put it pre-game: “We know he’s on a pitch limit. Hopefully, we can kick that up on him pretty quick.”

    John - YF June 4, 2008, 1:25 pm
  • not really moving the direction in a positive way
    Except to point out the blatant dishonesty of using Colon as an example of the Yankees’ “old” way of doing things, which as SF points out, was to sign aging veterans to questionable deals of significant length and monetary commitment — NOT signing aging veterans with potentially high upside to small, low-risk, low-dollar, one-year deals. Bartolo Colon is a signing in the mold of David Ortiz, not Jaret Wright, and that’s a perfectly relevant point to this conversation and a rebuttal that needed to be made, even if I did so inartfully.
    True, Pavano doesn’t quite fit in either category, as he ws younger, but he had only had one good season, and the dollars involved were insane for a pitcher with his experience, if not his pedigree. But since you bring up relevance, what does the Sox’ interest have to do with it? We’re discussing the Yankees. For what it’s worth, I was opposed to the Sox signing Pavano at the time, for the reasons I stated above.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 3:48 pm
  • “blatant dishonesty”
    Hyperbole, much?
    I’ve bent over backwards to explain my reference to Colon. Taking it completely of context doesn’t change that.
    “Bartolo Colon is a signing in the mold of David Ortiz”
    This absurd. How does a former CY winner compare to an underpowered platoon bat dropped by Minnesota?
    The Ortiz signing at the time was more like Aaron Small. You know, like how the Sox also signed Jeremy Giambi for the same role (and the Yanks signed Tim Redding).
    By contrast, the Sox signing Colon was like the Yanks signing Scott Erickson.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 4:03 pm
  • By contrast, the Sox signing Colon was like the Yanks signing Scott Erickson.
    Well, not quite. Erickson was almost seven years removed from being even remotely useful as a pitcher – he had thrown only 90 innings over the previous two seasons and missed 2001 and 2003 entirely and absolutely stunk in ’04 and ’05, while Colon made 10 starts last year and 19 the prior season, only two season removed from throwing over 220 innings. Erickson was never really in the plans for the Yankees – they signed him for organizational depth not as a future viable rotation guy – he wasn’t even used as an emergency starter in his short stint (he never made a single start, only appeared in spot relief and was gone by June), but yeah, the signings were just like each other. Beyond “signing guys who were past their prime”, which describes scores of signings across the league every year for teams needing to add depth over all levels not just at the majors, they really aren’t alike once you dig deeper.
    Steve Lombardi is/was probably wise to the difference, not that you care:
    http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/02/throws_like_lis.html

    SF June 4, 2008, 4:15 pm
  • So Colon is Ortiz but with a better track record? That’s fine.
    The idea is that it’s a one-year, low-risk, high-upside deal, which is exactly what Ortiz’s initial contract was (and Giambi’s, and Wade Miller’s, and a host of other failed-and-forgotten deals). It’s good practice because you never know what’s going to happen, and sometimes these guys pan out. Having Colon there when Matsuzaka and Buchholz both went down was a boon the Sox otherwise would not have had (David Pauley, anyone?). It is a clearly positive signing, and it would have been even had it not worked out. Your contention that it is a negative signing (because it IS working out, no less) in the mold of the old Yankee practice of high-dollar, multi-year cotnracts for aging veterans is intellectually dishonest, and blatantly so. No hyperbole.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 4:18 pm
  • The idea is that it’s a one-year, low-risk, high-upside deal
    The Erickson signing was not this. Erickson had no upside, at all.
    It’s a faulty comparison.

    SF June 4, 2008, 4:19 pm
  • Ummmm, Ortiz had no track record. Zero. Zilch. Nada. He had exactly nothing in common with the Colon signing. It’s like the Yanks signing Ben Broussard. Pretending otherwise is “blatant dishonesty”.
    Erickson is at least in the vicinity of the same ballpark. Ponson too.
    The point is the Yanks have been down that road, exactly because they needed to be. The 2008 Yanks and Sox didn’t need to be.
    Again, I’ll be enjoying the Colon signing best when he’s starting against the Yanks in a month (and while both Buchholz and Masterson are in the minors). You Colon-loving SFs enjoy it all you want for now! :)

    A YF June 4, 2008, 4:23 pm
  • For purposes of maintaining his confidence, the first start, if not the first three starts, should have been in the minors; one in double-A, then two in Triple-A. He should have been able to feel as though he accomplished something. The way things went yesterday, it would be easy for him to think it was a complete failure..
    The hype surrounding this transition has been enormous, up there with Clemens’ (Oh, my goodness gracious) return last year. Michael Kay said on his afternoon radio show yesterday that Chamberlain would mow down the first nine batters on order. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
    There was no way the kid could live up to the hype.

    Leave it to A YF to start the juvenile jabs at the Red Sox. Not that I or anyone else expected differently.

    I'm Bill McNeal June 4, 2008, 4:28 pm
  • “It’s a faulty comparison.”
    And still, it’s much better than Ortiz to Colon! That one was “blatant dishonesty”.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 4:30 pm
  • Oh, if only I had explained how Ortiz and Colon were an accurate comparison…
    Oh wait, I did.
    The idea is that it’s a one-year, low-risk, high-upside deal, which is exactly what Ortiz’s initial contract was
    I understand how that might have been missed, though. It’s a lot more fun to ignore the stuff that doesn’t support your point.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 4:34 pm
  • Ummm…
    Ortiz, at the time, as an underpowered platoon bat did not equal “high-upside”. He had as much upside as Jeremy Giambi. Whoops. Jeremy Giambi had more – the Sox gave him more cash.
    Colon, at the time, did not equal “high upside”. Not one baseball team wanted to give him a major league deal. Hard to call that “high upside”. Just like Scott Erickson.
    Indeed, the Wade Miller deal is a better example of what you cite. He, at least, had league average performance (and for a total of 270 innings) for the two prior years. Colon had well-below average pitching for two years (and 150 innings).
    See, it’s “blatant dishonesty” to read into example what was never there and then pass it off otherwise.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • Wait, A. Paul made the Ortiz/Colon comparison. You retorted with a Colon/Erickson comparison, which is what I responded to. Now you are fixated on the Colon/Ortiz comparison, which I never touched. And you have nothing to respond to about the Erickson/Colon critique, which comparison was yours.
    Stop moving the goalposts around.

    SF June 4, 2008, 4:48 pm
  • So, according to your take, Ortiz was low-risk, low-money, low-upside and Colon is low-risk, low-money, low-upside.
    So, according to your take, the two deals are still comparable.
    Yet, according to your take, the two deals are not comporable.
    Interesting.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 4:48 pm
  • Shit, the Yankees signing Jon Lieber, at the time, had more upside than the Sox signing Colon. And no, I wouldn’t call that “high upside” by any stretch of the imagination.
    Meanwhile, I can’t stop chuckling that, to the 2003 Sox Front Office, Jeremy Giambi had more upside than David Ortiz.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 4:50 pm
  • Upside?
    Getting anything from Colon or Ortiz, at the time they signed, is upside, getting a monster bat and perennial all star or a 15 game winner out of either of these signings would be high upside.

    LocklandSF June 4, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • Exactly. And both signed for low money, making them superficially comparable signings — far moreso than any signings typical of the old Yankees, which I’ll remind everyone was A’s original point (which he is now conveniently ignoring): That signing Bartolo Colon to a low-risk, low-money, whatever-upside deal is somehow comparable to the signings the Yankees made a few years ago (Randy Johnson, I guess, and Jason Giambi. Jaret Wright. Carl Pavano, to some extent, given the dollars).
    I don’t blame A for veering the conversation off course by nit-picking comparisons when his is so badly (blatantly) off-course (intellectually dishonest).

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 5:35 pm
  • how is the lieber contract even comparable? that contract was back loaded with close to $3 million coming to lieber the next year. it was low risk for ’03 at $550,000 then high expense for ’04. he was getting that ’04 money even if he bombed in ’03. this is nowhere near the same boat colon is on.

    sf rod June 4, 2008, 5:51 pm
  • Now you’re really being “blatantly dishonest”. Show me where I referred to specific signings. You ass-u-me-d something that wasn’t there – never was.
    In fact, I was specifically thinking about Erickson, Small, Ponson, etc. Potential short-term gains with exactly nothing to offer the club long-term. The funny thing about Erickson and Small – both were minor league deals – exactly like Colon. No other major league teams wanted any of them!
    By contrast, Ortiz (and Giambi) got major league deals. If anything, Colon was even less risk (and exactly comparable to Erickson and Small). But good luck trying to quantify “upside” instead of blatantly pulling it from your Colon.
    “nit-picking comparisons”
    Like Ortiz’s “high upside” when he signed. Hahahahahahahaha! Tell it to Jeremy Giambi! Hahahahahahaha!
    Since you’ve rightly given up on shoveling “high upside” BS, now you’re just saying:
    “Colon was a “low-risk, low-money” deal”
    Brilliant analysis! Thanks!
    Me, I’m still looking forward to Colon starting against the Yanks in a month while Buchholz and Masterson sit in the minors! Great signing!

    A YF June 4, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • Lieber had more “upside”. He got guaranteed money for two years and as part of a major league deal.
    See, that’s exactly the problem with calling a deal “high upside” and why Paul gave up on trying to describe anything that way. It’s completely meaningless outside of the context in which the player was originally signed.
    Colon’s deal this Spring was the lowest possible risk a major league team can take. And given that there was no real competition for his services, it’s exactly equivalent to Erickson and Small. If anyone expected Colon to have “upside” he would have gotten a major league deal. They didn’t so he didn’t.
    End of story (but likely not the end of some folks pulling arguments from their Colon).

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:03 pm
  • but the Lieber contract ended up being very good for the Yanks precisely because of the structure of the contract, which effectively locked him into a well under-market contract for the year he gave them. In Boston’s and New York’s approaches, I do see similarities, made different by circumstances (Colon’s contract is one year because he is ready to pitch now; Lieber’s is two because he was out for the first year). There was more risk, in terms of money, for the Yanks in the Lieber situation, but the difference is fairly minimal.

    Nick-YF June 4, 2008, 6:05 pm
  • “Show me where I referred to specific signings.”
    Um, ok:
    “By contrast, the Sox signing Colon was like the Yanks signing Scott Erickson.”

    SF June 4, 2008, 6:07 pm
  • you’re looking forward to that one start by colon in july as much as sox fans are looking forward to all of the AL facing hughes, kennedy, and freddy garcia for 3 summer months.

    sf rod June 4, 2008, 6:09 pm
  • The Lieber signing was a very good one by the Yankees. It didn’t hurt their farm, it cost them minimal money, and it had upside. If that’s the benchmark, it’s a good one for the Sox – take a chance on a guy who knew how to pitch (and reasonably recently, unlike Scott Erickson, who had forgotten many years earlier), see what happens. Even knowing Lieber was a year away it was still a shrewd move by the Yankees – just like taking a shot with Colon was a good one for the Sox.

    SF June 4, 2008, 6:11 pm
  • Umm, right, like I just said.
    There’s much more in common in Colon’s deal with Erickson and Small, even than there is with Colon and Ortiz or Colon and Lieber.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:13 pm
  • SFand I are in agreement and we root for different teams. It’s not that difficult, folks!
    Hey is Freddy Garcia still available?

    Nick-YF June 4, 2008, 6:14 pm
  • “High-upside” means the player could provide a large amount of return for relatively little money. Ortiz was coming off a 120 OPS+ season with no full year below 100. He was a low-risk, high-upside signing as the term is commonly used.
    Nit-picking on the upside phrase when you yourself admit Colon and Ortiz had similar amounts of upside is moving the goalposts, being intellectually dishonest (again) and refusing to admit you have lost your own argument when confronted with the facts that contradict it.
    But don’t worry. Despite the reams of evidence on this thread, I’m sure you’ll manage to self-justify your way to another “notch” in your keyboard.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 6:15 pm
  • “reasonably recently”
    Really, as in three years ago?
    If there was any upside, at all, to Colon, another team would have given him a major league deal. There wasn’t and they didn’t. That was the context in which he signed.
    Just like Small and Erickson.
    Lieber was coming off 1000 IP of league average performance for the preceding five years.
    Colon was coming off 150 IP over two year at well-below league average.
    It’s perfectly obvious why one got a major league deal, and for two years, and the other got minor league money (just like Erickson and Small).

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:18 pm
  • No, there is nothing in common with the Erickson deal, at all. Or Small, either, who had no proven track record as a pitcher – that was sheer lightning in a bottle, luck. That year was a complete anomaly and utterly unpredictable, it sticks out on his career stat line like a positive drug test (no insinuations meant, just used as a metaphor).
    Lieber, the Chacon trade even, and that too is a stretch. Not Erickson. Erickson was completely done, a warm body, nothing else. Not Small, either. The Lieber deal is the best comparison of all of those. The others just aren’t comparable.

    SF June 4, 2008, 6:19 pm
  • Can you just change your screen name to “A Tautology”?

    SF June 4, 2008, 6:21 pm
  • “[Ortiz] was a low-risk, high-upside signing as the term is commonly used.”
    Just cause you say so doesn’t make it true.
    Fact is: Ortiz got about half the guaranteed money as Jeremy Giambi. Money talks and quantifies expectations much better than any notion of “upside” pulled from a Colon. Jeremy Giambi had more upside, to the 2003 Sox FO, than David Ortiz.
    “yourself admit Colon and Ortiz had similar amounts of upside”
    I don’t admit that at all. Based on the contexts in which they were signed, Ortiz had significantly more “upside” (but still not as much as Jeremy Giambi).
    Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Paul to point to where I referenced Pavano or Wright in this thread …
    Whoops – do I detect “blatant dishonestly”?

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:23 pm
  • “No, there is nothing in common with the Erickson deal, at all.”
    Sure there is. They both got minor league deals and with no other offers.
    Beats a comp to Ortiz, by far…
    Colon was exactly “a warm body” for the Sox and nothing more – just like Erickson and Small. What you’re failing to understand is that Colon’s 2005 meant exactly nothing to every major league team. Much more important was his 2006 and 2007 – that’s exactly why he got a minor league deal. Give up on 2005 already. It’s completely meaningless then and now.

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:27 pm
  • Unless Paul can point to where I referenced Wright or Pavano in this thread, I’m claiming another notch for my keyboard…

    A YF June 4, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • For those wishing to not spend two hours reading all these posts, here’s a handy summary:
    A says: “Colon bad move for Red Sox, similar to old-school Yankee moves.”
    Paul says: “Colon good move for Red Sox, not similar to old-school Yankee moves,” lists old-school Yankee moves as examples, gives alternate signing as better comparison.
    A says: “I can’t hear you!” Puts hands over ears, redirects to criticize secondary comparison and ignore initial point, lists Yankee moves of little relevance to discussion and are not considered old-school Yankee moves, stamps feet, runs away from debate, shouting, “I win! I win!”
    There. Just thought I’d help out.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 6:32 pm
  • How’s that, SF?

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:33 pm
  • Still, waiting for you to show, Paul, how you weren’t expresssing “blatant dishonesty” by putting words in my mouth that I never spoke.

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:35 pm
  • And for the record, as was my original point, my happiness with the Colon signing will come to fruition in a month when he’s starting against the Yanks and Buchholz and Masterson are in the minors.
    The sweetest victory is when reality proves you’re right.
    Have a great night party peeps!

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:40 pm
  • Colon was exactly “a warm body” for the Sox and nothing more
    “It takes more than five starting pitchers to get through a season. Obviously he’s an accomplished guy, and if we can get him back to a point where he’s throwing well, he can certainly help us at some point during the season.” –Theo Epstein, 2/25/08
    “All of our scouts think, and our analysis dictates, that David has a very high ceiling. Due to injuries, he hasn’t necessarily reached his ceiling. You’re looking at a player who can be an impact middle of the lineup bat. An everyday player. That is his ceiling and we hope he reaches it with us.” — Theo Epstein, 1/22/03
    My comparison stands.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 6:43 pm
  • Great! What was Theo saying about Jeremy Giambi in 2003?

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:48 pm
  • Tell ya what, A. Show me where I said that you listed specific examples. You listed what in essence was a timeframe. I pulled out the most obvious examples from that timeframe as proof that you were wrong. Then you accused me of putting words in your mouth.
    Here, I’ll save you the research:
    Yeah, the Yankees have a long history of acquiring cheap pitching depth with high upside… like Jaret Wright, and Carl Pavano. Or was that not what you meant?
    is somehow comparable to the signings the Yankees made a few years ago (Randy Johnson, I guess, and Jason Giambi. Jaret Wright. Carl Pavano, to some extent, given the dollars).
    Where do I quote you as using those names? Oops. I guess I never do.
    Another day in A’s world: Always right, never wrong, even when he is.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 6:49 pm
  • Don’t see how it’s relevant. I already said the Giambi signing was in the same mold as Ortiz and Colon. Another redirection attempt with little backing…
    The fact remains: You made a blatantly intellectually dshonest comparison of Colon to a series of signings you know have nothing to do with Colon. You have since tried each one of your (very old, very tired) tricks to squirm away from that fact.
    Guess what? You were wrong. You refuse to admit it, so you tried to accuse me of misquoting you, but it turns out I didn’t do that. You nit-picked the phrase “high-upside,” but it turns out the Sox DID actually think both Colon and Ortiz had high upside, so you were wrong there, as well. And in all of this, you have yet to justify how signing Colon is actually the bad move you keep claiming it is. Because you can’t.
    The game’s over, A. You lost. Have a good night.

    Paul SF June 4, 2008, 6:54 pm
  • BS. You read what you wanted to into what I was saying just to show how the Colon deal was “different”. Except that wasn’t what I was saying. Glad you’re backtracking now, but an apology would be better.
    Meanwhile, my original point still stands: I’m looking forward to Colon vs. NYY while Bucky and J-Mast throw to minor leaguers.

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:54 pm
  • Why even bring up Pavano and Wright? YF asked you the same thing earlier? I had said nothing about them. No one had. Except you.
    If anyone’s making false comparisons, it’s you, Paul.
    All along I was thinking of cheap, one-year deals for experienced arms. That’s Erickson. That’s Small. That’s *Colon*. That comparison works perfectly well. Why?
    They were all minor league deals!
    Ortiz is very different – he got a guaranteed roster spot! And for less money than Jeremy Giambi.

    Little A YF June 4, 2008, 6:58 pm
  • Besides all the arguments about which signing is more like Colons I can’t see how having the option of Colon is worse than not having the option.
    Yes there will be pressure on not dropping him if he is performing (even if the kids are ready), but surely thats better than the alternative of not having the kids ready and having to roll them out there anyway if Colon wasn’t around?

    Dan June 4, 2008, 8:31 pm
  • “Like I said, I’m very pleased the Yanks didn’t sign Colon”
    What a disingenuous boob you are. If for no other reason than his presense would slow the merry-go-round of crappy kid pitchers forced into duty because the Yank’s roster lacks alternatives, he would have been an excellent acquisition. Number 3 starter, at worst, and Yank ‘Nation’ would be gloating about how bright Cashman was in signing him.
    As it was, and is, Theo signed him instead. And because he did the Sox roster can now afford to have Buchholz (and once Dice is back – Masterson, as well) continue his development on the farm, where player development for teams not GM’d by Cashman occurs.

    Dirty Water June 5, 2008, 7:47 am
  • This is such a ridiculous argument. Colon was a great low-risk move, and now Buchholz (ERA: 5.53) has a chance to recover his form in Pawtucket. Masterson may be ML ready, but in the mean time we have a former Cy Young winner hitting 97 on the radar gun for the first time since 2005. Saying “He’s going to get shelled by the Yankees in July! Haha!” is the type of reductive, childish argument that we’re always trying to avoid on this site.

    Atheose June 5, 2008, 9:47 am
  • By the way YF, why do you say “I’d rather see the Yankees face Colon than Buchholz in July!” ? The Yankees have scored 8 runs in 9.2 innings against Buchholz this season.
    Sure seems like you’re just making shit up for the sake of being argumentative.

    Atheose June 5, 2008, 9:57 am

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