Sorry for the long lay off in writing folks…hang with me.
First, it is good to see the offense play over its potential compared to being so far below it for so long. I want to back to something I said earlier in the year which was that our bullpen is the best in baseball. While I would like another lefty specialist, Soriano, Robertson and Rivera could shut down the final 3rd of the game. They also have Cory Wade who has been really good and Logan who is a decent solid guy. Then you have a long guy in Noesi who has very good stuff.
A few people have asked me what I would do with the team at the trade deadline and now…I know I am late with the deadline and part of this may seem a little more obvious after AJ got creamed, but I will tell you what I thought anyway. I would have tried to trade Ayala and Burnett. Ayala has no good future in my eyes as he is pitching above expectations and I would have moved him while whatever value he has is higher than it will ever be. The Yankees also have no need for him. Burnett I would have picked up 60% of his salary and moved him for any prospect they could get…
As for what I would do now.
Burnett: I have said in the past, that AJ should be in the pen because his stuff could play really well out there. Usually guys pickup a few MPH when they are going out firing and if you told AJ he had 1-2 innings, that would could work well because his stuff is good. He is mentally inconsistent, but you know what you have with him and you take him out when 2 guys get on base. Now, I actually have more faith in Burnett than Hughes though at this point;
Hughes: I have said that he is the type of guys who really needs to throw 94-95. Last outing (out of nowhere), he hit 95 a few times and that was very encouraging. It is not a coincidence it was his best outing of the year. However, he is still not sharp with his command even though he threw strikes. He missed from one side of the plate to the other too frequently. One thing I noticed was when he threw harder he got lower and “drove” more form his lower body. If you remember I made the comment that he was throwing kind of upright a few starts ago. As the game went on his velocity went down when he was not driving down as well. If I could notice this on the TV, I am sure Rothschild noticed it. It could be that Hughes is not in the best shape (which is pretty sad) because as he tired his velocity dropped back to 92-92.
As I have said all along, I have more confidence in Nova than either Burnett or Hughes and I still don’t get this crap with him going down and now they were going to do it again, but now that he pitched so well they don’t know what they are going to do??? The guy is 10-4 with a 3.81 ERA. He has had as many quality starts as Colon.
Last year everyone was so excited about Hughes because “he won 18 games.” Well, I hope by now, people understand that wins for pitchers is as much about run support as it is about the way they pitch. Hughes had a respectable 4.19 ERA last year and an OPS about the same as Nova’s this year…why aren’t people as excited about Nova? He has more movement on his fastball has as good a curve and slider and throws harder? He hit 96 a few times yesterday.
So if we are going to continue with Hughes, I am ok with it for now, but not too long if he struggles…AJ gets sent to the bullpen. If the monies were reversed would there be any chance AJ would be on the team right now? So the money is sunk cost; go with what is smart. If you won’t do that Hughes gets knocked from the rotation IMO.
Posada is the next on my radar. He has not been terrible since his horrible start, but he clogs up a roster spot and right now is only playing mediocre against righties. I expected more form him this year, but with Chavez healthy, when ARod comes back I could see those two share time in the field and DH and when lefties are on the mound you could bring Andrew Jones to DH or Swisher. The Yanks still may want to look for a DH; my hope was that it was going to be Montero, but he hasn’t gotten it going this year. If he could get hot, he could be a Shane Spencer or Shelly Duncan type of boost for us.
Tied up going into Boston. This first game is big for a few reasons. One, we are playing well and I would like to keep that going. It is also a favored matchup for them and then we get CC against Lackey. Let’s get 2 of 3. Again tonight is the swing game (at least on paper) Enjoy!