Tagged: Boone Logan

Can’t Catch A Break

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #32 – 5/12/10 – Yankees @ Tigers

In the first game of a double-header (due to the rain the night before), Javier Vazquez took to the mound to try and get the turning point he so desperately needs.
That, he did. Javy pitched wonderfully, and gave us seven complete innings, giving up two runs on five hits, walking two, and striking out seven. His season’s ERA went down by a run and a half, and it looks as though his good pitching is back. I guess he really did need that start of his skipped, to catch his breath.
I had a good feeling about Vazquez pitching in this game, before the game started. I mentioned it on Twitter that I felt that this game w
ould be the turning point of Javy’s season. Step one of my prediction is complete, now he has to build on what he did in this game, and start getting us some wins.
Too bad the guy can’t seem to catch a break.
The Yankees offense was absolutely horrendous. Just completely comatose. Yes, they were facing Rick Porcello, who is a good pitcher, but this kid isn’t exactly Justin Verlander (whom we face in the final game of the series). He’s not unhittable. Yet our offense chose to make him look like the second-coming of Cy Young in this game.
I’m not going to go into detail about my disappointment in our bats during this game. I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin. We had four hits in the game. FOUR! In nine innings, we managed to connect the bat to the ball successfully, four times. How pathetic.
I’m beyond angry about this. Not because it’s a loss. Losses happen, and it’s only May so who really cares about one little loss? I’m upset about this loss in particular, because Javy so desperately needed a win here. He worked his butt off to get the win, but our bats didn’t seem to share his determination.
Boone Logan came in to pitch a perfect eighth inning, and erased the disappointment of the game before. I’m sorry I got angry at you, Boone, you came back to remind me of why I wanted you on this team in the first place. 
Boom Boom Boone.
All in all, Javier Vazquez can’t seem to catch a [expletive] break. When it’s not the fans booing him, or his mechanics/mentality letting him down, it’s our offense not backing him up. Shame on you, Yankees Offense, for not working as hard as Vazquez did to get the win.
You better make up for it in the second game of the day/night doubleheader. 

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com.

Oh Javy…

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #23 – 5/1/10 – White Sox @ Yankees

… I want to keep defending you, I really do. You’re making it very difficult for me, though.
I almost didn’t want to write this blog post, because I’ve exhausted the topic of Javier Vazquez. I still have faith that he’ll turn it around, but I’m pretty frustrated. I’m frustrated, but I haven’t given up hope. I want to see him do well, I want to see him succeed. Obviously, Javy succeeding will lead to the Yankees succeeding. I also want him to do well because it would be a great comeback in the Bronx. After the miserable end to his first stint with us, I really wanted to see Javier Vazquez come back to New York and dominate. 
He can still do it, there’s plenty of time left in the season. He just needs to address the mechanical problems behind his horrible fastball. His fastball was his strength, he doesn’t have it right now. His current fastball is lifeless and, well, not so fast. Losing his strong pitch has caused him to also lose confidence in his pitching, which is natural. You don’t want a pitcher on the mound with no confidence. The game is largely mental, especially for pitchers. He will regain his confidence once he regains his good fastball. Until then…
… we wait.
I still have confidence in him, as crazy as that may seem righ
t now. He is exercising my patience, though. Testing it. I will be patient. Worst-case scenario, he continues to do poorly, and we don’t use him in the postseason. 
I can’t write about Vazquez anymore. I just can’t. I believe he will turn it around, but he needs a little bit of time to straighten out his mechanics. It’s not like he’s a young rookie who doesn’t know how to handle the big leagues on a mental level. He’s just an experienced pitcher who’s lost his way. He’ll find it again. I know he will.
This is what Javy had to say: “It’s tough, I can’t hide that. But I promise everybody I’m going to keep working hard at it and battle through it.”

… and I promise to keep having faith that you will battle through it, Javy.

I’m not going to go into great detail about the “glove incident” in the third inning. Ozzie Guillen said he had nothing to do with it. Yeah, right; and I have nothing to do with what I’m about to say:

Kiss my a**, Ozzie.

Vazquez had been using that very same glove for a few years now, yet no one said anything. Let’s assume that a new rule was implemented for gloves this year. Well, Vazquez has used that glove in his previous starts, and no one said anything. Let’s assume that the new rule was implemented minutes before the start of the game. Well, JJ Putz used the same glove, later on in the game, except the colors were reversed. You guessed it, no one said anything.

Ozzie, methinks you doth protest too much.

What difference does it make, Ozzie? Was Vazquez really killing you out there, forcing you to mess with him? It was pretty low to mess with Vazquez’s head like that, it doesn’t need any more messing with. I doubt it had much to do with Javy’s performance, but it was still pretty annoying to see.

From one frustration to another…

Curtis Granderson pulled a groin muscle and landed on the Disabled List. That’s just [expletive] great. 

What does this mean for the Yankees? Well, in practice, it means that we’ll have to depend on Joe Girardi’s management much more than we did before. Curtis Granderson’s bat wasn’t exactly the hottest in the lineup in April, but then again neither was A-Rod’s or Teixeira’s. He was still great to have in the lineup, and even better to have in the outfield. 

Now, with Grandy on the DL, we’ll probably see a platoon between Randy Winn and Marcus Thames in left field. Thames’ bat has been hot, but his fielding is atrocious. Winn’s fielding is wonderful, but his bat leaves much to be desired. It’ll all come down to the right balance between the two, to make up for Granderson’s absence. Brett Gardner will be moved to center field, and the platoon will take over left. The right balance must be found by Joe Girardi.

While it makes me quite uneasy to depend so much on Girardi’s management, the man knows what he’s doing, more often than not, when it comes to hitting. I said “more often than not”, so don’t attack me with “remember Jeter bunting in the postseason?” in an attempt to refute my statement. Girardi makes a lot of good decisions most of the time, but when he messes up, he really does mess up.

Let’s hope that he gets it right. I’m choosing to remain optimistic.

One good thing about this game was that it proved my thoughts on Sergio Mitre wrong. I didn’t want him on the roster to begin with, because I assumed that all of our starting pitchers would eat up innings. Our starters (except for Javy) have been pitching deep into games, so we haven’t seen much of Mitre. My mistake was that I assumed Vazquez would gobble up innings like he has his entire career. If I’ve learned anything from John Sterling, it’s that you can’t predict baseball. 

So, I admit that I was 100% wrong about Sergio Mitre. Having him on the roster is necessary. No shame in being wrong, as long as I admit my mistake, and learn from it.

Sergio Mitre pitched well in long-relief of Javier Vazquez. We might see him make a few spot starts this season, when our pitchers need their starts skipped for whatever reason.

Another good thing about this game was Boone Logan. He only faced one batter, and I still don’t like the whole “LOOGY” role, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about Boone’s pitching. His fastball was F.I.L.T.H.Y.

He threw four pitches. Four pitches were enough. His first three pitches were clocked at 95 MPH, and his final pitch was clocked at 97 MPH. I heard that the Yankees actually clocked it at 98, but the scoreboard showed 97. Either way, that is NASTY. Three straight 95ers, then a 97 to end it? What more can you ask from a reliever? Maybe he’ll start to get a little more respect from the fans now.

If he keeps that velocity up, he could prove to be a very valuable asset in our bullpen. He’s sure beating his fellow lefty reliever, Damaso Marte, so far. I’m glad we have Logan on the roster now. He needs to stay focused. This could be his “break out” year.

Boom Boom Boone.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

The First Win

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #13 – 4/20/10 – Yankees @ Athletics

Hello there, my loyal readers. Did you miss me? 
Sorry for the brief hiatus, but I’m currently on vacation. Well, I’m on “vacation”. Sort of like when your aunt checks into rehab, and your parents tell you she’s on vacation. 
No, I’m not in rehab, nor do I need to be. It’s a long story that has to do with my work visa for the United Arab Emirates. 
Let’s just say, I should probably start wearing one of these:
I’m on “vacation”. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
I think I’m going to start something new with some of my blog posts. I’ve seen it on other blogs, and I thought I’d give it a try. I’m always listening to music while I write my posts. I just put my iPod on “shuffle” and let it play in my ears while I write. So, I’ll include “Now Playing” lines in my post for this game.
ipod_spoof_02jpg (1).gif
  • Now Playing: Nirvana – “Rape Me”
The Yankees started off the series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. Well, it was Wednesday morning for me, given the time difference. The game started at 6:05 a.m. Dubai Time, and I went into work early so that I could watch the entire game, uninterrupted, in my office. Yes, I’m that dedicated to my work and the Yankees. 
Thank you, MLB.tv, for being my lifeline while I’m away from home.
Javier Vazquez got his first win of the season. I’m glad he did, he needs another win before going back home. Maybe if he comes home with two wins on the road under his belt, and a nice 2-2 record, the fans would go easy on him. Dare I say, the fans might even *gasp* cheer for him? 
Yeah, right.
Overall, his pitching wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was good enough to get the win. I have all the faith in the world that Vazquez is only warming up. He’s still getting it together. 
He’ll get it together. Don’t you worry. Once I start to worry, that’s when you’ll need to start worrying. 
Remember Sabathia at the start of last season? Things will get better for Javy, because there are no major mechanical problems. He needs to add life to that fastball of his, then everything will work out. I think the next start of his is a decider on how he’ll do this season. A starting pitcher’s fourth start of the season is when we can truly begin to judge him. So, we’ll have to see.
  • Now Playing: Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars.
Sometimes, I feel like headlines are written purely to cause trouble. Yes, I’m aware that journalists/writers have to do what it takes to come up with headlines that grab readers’ attention, and nothing grabs attention like a headline showing a Yankee struggling. Some of these headlines, however, are pretty lame.
Take the wrap for this game, for example. I’m a fan of Bryan Hoch’s. I read his work regularly, and I enjoy it. I think he does a great job reporting our Yankees for MLB.com. 
This headline, however, annoyed me: “With help, Vazquez tallies first win”. 
I’m sorry, but has a pitcher ever “tallied” a win without help? The starting pitcher can pitch nine innings of shutout baseball, and if the offense isn’t awake, he won’t get the win. Call me crazy, but I believe that a run needs to be scored for your team to win. Furthermore, without the fielders helping, the pitcher can’t win. Maybe in the National League, if the pitchers strikes out every single batter he faces in nine innings, and then hits a home run, you can say he got the win unassisted. 
When was the last time that happened? My guess is: never.
Anyway, I’m just being anal about this. It doesn’t mean anything, but this is my blog and I can write about whatever annoys me. Lame headlines annoy me.
The “help” the article was referring to, was mainly Alex Rodriguez’s home run in the sixth inning.
  • Now Playing: The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony.
BREAKING NEWS: A man in Tokyo was rushed to the hospital after being hit in the head with an unidentified object falling from the sky at great speed. It knocked him unconscious, but he woke up in the hospital and seems to be doing fine now. Upon further examination, the falling object was identified to be a baseball. The ball in question is Alex Rodriguez’s home run ball. It flew out of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and landed back on Earth today, across the Pacific. 
What a monster shot from A-Rod! It’s nice to see him back to his homering ways after starting off the season with a minor dry spell. His dry spell was very minor in relation to Mr. Mark Teixeira’s.
Mark Teixeira is off to yet another slow April. I can’t understand his regular slow starts. I see no logic behind them. Tex is one of the best hitters in the league, yet he is known for being near comatose in the first month of the season. What’s the reason for this? I don’t see anything different in his swing. Am I missing something? Why does this only happen to him in April? He doesn’t suffer from any major slumps later on in the season. 
Is it a mental thing? Has it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? 
You can see the frustration on his face when he strikes out or flies out. You can also see our frustration, as fans, when he does so. No one is slaughtering him for this, and I’m not going to, either. No one should be throwing him under a bus, because even with an average in the 100’s, Teixeira is contributing to the team defensively. Also, we know he’ll get over it, as we’ve seen before. When he finally starts hitting, watch out. He’ll have an entire month of not-hitting, to make up for. You know he will do it.
However, it’s starting to get annoying. We’re in the final week of April, Mark. Start hitting now. Thanks.
People who drafted him in their Fantasy Baseball leagues now know that if you draft Teixeira, you have to draft another first baseman as a backup for April. Only God knows why.
  • Now Playing: John Lennon – Imagine

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

The best part of the game was seeing how patient our hitters were at the plate. They worked walk after walk from the Oakland pitchers, forcing Gonzalez to be taken out of the game in the fifth inning. I like seeing our hitters make a pitcher work hard. Yankees drew a total of ten walks against the A’s pitching that game. We saw a couple of 10-pitch at-bats. That’s what we all love to see. Keep it up, boys. That’s how you win it.

Also something I enjoyed seeing: Boone Logan making his Yankees debut.


Overall, I’m happy with his performance, especially since it was his first outing in pinstripes. Well, in grays. 

He came in to relieve Vazquez with one out in the sixth inning, and retired the two batters he faced. Then, Girardi put him back on the mound in the seventh inning, hoping that he can take the game to Joba in the eighth. Logan retired two batters in the seventh, then “slow” fielding from Derek Jeter allowed a runner on base (it was recorded as a hit, so I’m not blaming Jeter for this). After that, Boone seemed to lose his groove. He then walked a batter, and allowed another hit to load up the bases. With the bases loaded, Joe Girardi took the ball from Logan, and gave it to Joba, who got us out of that situation unscathed.

Despite loading up the bases, I liked what I saw from Boone Logan. Again, this was his first outing of the season. At least he didn’t allow any runs like some of our other relievers did in their first outings. I read somewhere that Dave Eiland has been working with Logan on his pitches, and that accounts for the difference between the Boone Logan of the past, and the Boone Logan of today. In the past, however, his fastball was clocked in the upper 90s, where as now it’s lingering around 92-93 MPH. With his newfound command, he needs to get his velocity back up and he’ll be a solid bullpen arm.

I’m happy the Yankees are taking a chance on him. He can prove to be a valuable asset to us this year. If not now, then definitely later on in the season.

Boom Boom Boone.

  • Now Playing: Metallica – Orion

Overall, good game for the Yankees, especially for Javier Vazquez. Hopefully his next start, against the Angels, will get him another win. He needs to start bringing wins home if he wants to be cheered in the Bronx.

In Javy We Trust.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

A Very Happy Birthday

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #10 – 4/16/10 – Rangers @ Yankees 

I’m three blog posts behind due to my weekend off while I celebrated my birthday, so let me begin catching up on them now.

Let’s kick it off with the game on April 16th, my Birthday Game!
The game was short and sweet, thanks to Mother Nature once again being on her cycle.
You know, this CC Sabathia kid isn’t bad, he could have a bright future ahead of him. 
What can I say about Sabathia that hasn’t already been said? He has made me forget the days where the Yankees didn’t have
a clear Ace. I just can’t get enough of this man. Luckily, there’s plenty of him to go around.
Ah, my big cuddly CC Bear.

CC Sabathia never ceases to amaze me. I’ve never seen such a large man have such athleticism. He dominates when he’s pitching, he hustles when he’s fielding, and he is a workhorse. His mechanics are absolutely perfect. They have to be, he’s a big boy with powerful pitching. If his mechanics are even the slightest bit off, there is no way he’d be able to eat innings year after year.

He always has this calm demeanor about him. He is confident in his pitching, but he isn’t cocky. He’s a hard worker, while staying efficient. He’s a true star, but you wouldn’t guess it from the way he carries himself. He is humble, but not to the point of discrediting his skills. He has truly become a Yankee, and I hope he continues to be a Yankee until the day he retires.

These are my views of CC Sabathia based on what we’ve all seen from him in his career, especially in his year with us in the Bronx. His start on Friday reaffirmed my beliefs.
His game was cut short because Mother Nature decided to rain on our parade, but she couldn’t take anything away from Sabathia’s amazing start. Yes, he had it easy with the Rangers’ hitters being as impatient at the plate as Yankees fans are with Javier Vazquez, but he still dominated the innings. He pitched through the sixth, giving up one run on three hits, and struck out nine batters before Mother Nature went to town.
He got his second win of the season, and further cemented his place as our Staff Ace. I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t fair to judge the Rangers’ hitters based on their performance facing Sabathia. He made them look like a Minor League team. 
I don’t know what more we could ask of CC in his first three starts of the season. He’s usually shaky in April, but he’s shown no signs of that thus far. He’s in mid-season form early in the season, and if he continues at this pace, we could see him top last year’s results. He was third in the voting for the AL Cy Young award in 2009, could he be even better in 2010? 
I know, it’s only April, and too soon to tell, but I don’t see why Sabathia would magically lose his stuff halfway through the season. At the very least, we’ll see 20 wins from him this season. Especially with our monster lineup and top-class defense behind him. He gave us 19 wins last season, despite his rough outings to start the year off. So why wouldn’t he give us at least 20 wins in 2010?
Let’s not forget that Friday’s game was a “wet” performance from CC Sabathia. It was raining, and the ball was wet, yet he still managed to dominate. If that isn’t a testament to the dominance of our Ace, I don’t know what is.
He threw 73 pitches through six innings. Had rain not ended the game early, we would have probably seen him go to the eighth, possibly even handing the ball over to our closer of the night. I don’t know if Mariano would have pitched in the ninth, that would have depended on how big our lead was by then. I doubt we would have seen more than 1.2 innings from our bullpen, which is amazing, especially since Chan Ho Park is injured. 
It’s every team’s dream to have a starting rotation of inning-gobbling pitchers, and rely as little as possible on the bullpen. CC Sabathia is like a dream come true. As always, he showed that he’s a force to be reckoned with, dominating innings, and making the batters he faces look silly along the way.
We won the game 5-1, and continued our hot start to the season.
That was my first birthday present from the Yankees on the night. My second birthday present was something I thought I’d wait longer for.
As you all know, I’m possibly Boone Logan’s number one fan. At first, the attraction to him was purely physical. Hey, I’m a woman. I don’t see why I should hide my physical attraction to our players. I’m confident enough in my knowledge of the sport to show my feminine side. I see nothing wrong with being a knowledgeable fan of baseball, while still being female. Many women think that they need to act like men to survive in a male-dominant field. Not me. Whether it’s in my career, or in my baseball obsession, I’m confident enough to find a balance between being a woman and competing in “A Man’s World”.
Like most of you, when Boone Logan was traded to the Yankees late last year, I knew nothing about him. I looked up his numbers, and they were not impressive at all. I also saw that this wasn’t the first time he was traded as part of a package with Javier Vazquez. My first thought was “Who is this loser that we’re getting?” and I was curious to find out more. Unlike most of you, however, I wasn’t satisfied with making up my own assumptions about him based on his numbers. I’m a firm believer that numbers, while important in baseball, leave a big part of the picture hidden. So, I continued to research this young left-hander, and I came across some videos of him pitching.
The boy can pitch. There is not a single knowledgeable analyst that doesn’t agree that Boone Logan has talent. This talent, however, has been very raw until now. His numbers don’t do him justice at all. He has some filthy pitches, especially that fastball of his. I’ve explained this all before in one of my Spring Training blog posts, so let me re-post an excerpt I wrote about him last month:
Boone Logan is one of those pitchers who are betrayed by their numbers. I’ve said time and time again, numbers and statistics do not come close to telling the whole story. Yes, his numbers thus far in the majors have been less than impressive, but he has good stuff. Logan’s main problem is his command of his pitches. In his years in the major leagues, he’s lacked the control necessary to avoid being lit up in some of his appearances. 

What everyone seems to forget, however, is that Boone is still young. He’s 25 years old, and as a left-handed reliever, it’s normal to have control problems at this age. The big bright spot is that he can pitch, his fastball has been clocked at around 94 MPH, and he also has a good slider, curveball and changeup. Even with his shaky command, Logan has held the lefties he’s faced to a .231 batting average. That isn’t a bad number for a pitcher who’s yet to gain full control of his pitches. During this year’s spring training, Boone Logan has shown good command of his pitches thus far. He had one rough outing, but since then he’s been great. So there’s a big improvement.

… I would love to take a risk and give Boone Logan a chance. With the rest of our arms – I like to call them the “12 Arms Of Fury” – adding Boone Logan would be a low-risk/high-reward move. Give him a chance, if he doesn’t pan out, we still have Marte, and with the other right-handed relievers that we have, losing Gaudin wouldn’t be a tragedy.
I still stand firmly behind my words. I would love to see us take a chance on Boone Logan. 
I’ll admit, I’m not 100% confident in Boone yet, but I do see a big upside to him. He’s no Damaso Marte, not now at least, but Logan would only be Marte’s backup. It’s only April, and we should look at Chan Ho Park’s injury as an opportunity to test our young arms. It’s better to test them in the beginning of the season, than to take a risk on them during the final stretch of the year when we’re in the playoff race. 
If Boone Logan doesn’t pan out, no harm, no foul. We have Marte in the bullpen as our “lefty specialist”, and Chan Ho Park’s injury isn’t season-ending. He’ll be back in no time. If Boone does live up to my personal expectations of him, then we would have yet another solid arm. I don’t know how it will work out when Park is ready to return to the bullpen, I have a feeling that Logan will be sent back down regardless of his performance. Even if he finds himself back in AAA, we would at least know whether or not we can rely on him in the second half of the season, should we need another pitcher.
Calling up Boone Logan in the middle of April is a very low risk/high reward move. Worst case scenario, he gives up a grand slam and doesn’t face another batter until Chan Ho Park comes back to us. If that happens, so what? It’s only April, and that grand slam won’t mean anything. Isn’t it better for him to make a mess of things now, when the results dont matter much in the grand scheme of things, than to do so in September?
Best case scenario, he dominates, and shows that he is a great backup lefty in the bullpen. So, the upside is much stronger than the downside. I’m happy that Boone Logan got the call-up. He now has to prove that he is worthy of the pinstripes. 
Also, I’m happy that I once again get to end my blog post with this…
Boom Boom Boone.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com


Praise the Lord! Our 2010 starting rotation has been set! 
Yesterday, Joe Girardi announced the final piece to our starting rotation puzzle: Phil Hughes. He will be our 5th starter in 2010.
I have no idea what took them so long to make the announcement. Most of us following spring training saw it coming, it was obviously going to be Hughes from the start. Alfredo Aceves was most valuable to us working from the bullpen, as was Joba Chamberlain. So, why the wait? I think the Yankees wanted to build up anticipation, and provide drama to an otherwise boring spring training. 
If the aim was to glorify this decision, then I give you a short clip that I made. 
I present to you, The Arms Of God:
Now, we can sit here and argue over Joba’s situation, and curse the day that the seemingly pointless “Joba Rules” were enforced, but it would be a waste of time. This year, it doesn’t look like Joba will be a starter. Those of you who were pulling for him to start this year should get over that dream.
Who knows if Joe Girardi will put Joba in the rotation for the second half of the season, should Phil Hughes make a mess of things. “You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn”, and you definitely can’t predict what Girardi will do. I highly doubt that will happen, though, and I don’t recommend it. I’ve been saying all along that Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen. With a relatively light work load, and the opportunity to regain his confidence in his own pitches, we could have our next closer-in-the-making with Joba. I hope that God [Mariano] will take him under his wing and teach him how to “accidentally” throw his cutter. 
We’ll have to wait and see how this season unfolds.
I have confidence in the abilities of Phil Hughes. He’s done really well this spring training, and we’ve seen him improve the command of his pitches. Joe Girardi said that he will limit Phil’s innings to 170. With the rest of our inning-gobbling starting rotation, 170 innings from our 5th starter will be wonderful.
I was surprised by some of my fellow Yankees fans’ reactions to the announcement yesterday. Some people responded to it like it was the end of the world. While I respect the opinions of those of you who think that Hughes is the wrong man for the job, I kindly ask you to calm the [expletive] down. 
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Phil Hughes isn’t as great a starting pitcher as Girardi thinks he is. So what? He won’t be worse than the mess we had in our 5th rotation spot last year. Let’s also assume that Hughes won’t be able to pitch deep into games. Who cares? Have you seen our bullpen pitchers recently? They’re more than capable of picking up the slack. Also, don’t forget who our top 4 pitchers are, chances are we won’t need much work from the bullpen when CC, AJ, Andy and Javy start the game. So if Phil needs help from the bullpen, they’ll be more than ready to take over.
Furthermore, look at the other teams in the American League. Who has a starting rotation that is better than ours top to bottom? No one. The Red Sox come close, but we get the cigar. While some of you are panicking over our 5th starter not being as great as our top four, other teams don’t even have one solid pitcher in their rotation. Remember when, as a child, your mother said to you “You better finish your dinner plate. There are starving children in Africa who would love to have the food that you’re tossing aside”? Look at the pitching problems the majority of teams in Major League Baseball have. 
Relax. Stop being so spoiled.
I think Phil Hughes will be just fine in the 5th rotation spot. He won’t win the Cy Young Award, and his ERA will probably be around 4.50, but that will be more than enough for us this year. I believe that Hughes will be a starting pitcher for a very long time, but as I said before, we’ll have to wait and see.
Now that Phil Hughes is “The Chosen One”, and we no longer have to argue about it, we can fill the void by arguing over who will be in the bullpen. I can focus all my energy on campaigning for my boy Boone Logan.
boone logan.jpg
Boom Boom Boone.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

A True Blessing

This year’s spring training has been a relatively quiet one for our Yankees. No scandals, no controversy, nothing very Yankee-esque. We’re not used to the lack of drama from the Yankees camp, so we have to find something put all of our energy into.

With our starting lineup set (not much to debate other than whether Cano should bat 5th or 7th), we’ve turned our attention to pitching. The main debates amongst Yankees fans involve four names: Hughes, Aceves, Gaudin and Logan. 
Phil Franchise vs. The Aces
The fifth spot in our rotation is up for grabs. The main candidates are Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes. Very few people still think Joba Chamberlain should be a starter, and I’m not one of them. Joba needs to clock that fastball of his in the mid-90s, something he hasn’t been able to do as a starter. I think he’ll be our next closer. 
Between Hughes and Aceves, however, I’m somewhat torn, yet confident about which one will become our fifth starter. Both have shown strength this spring training, and they’ve shown that they deserve to be starters.
Aceves has done wonderfully so far in spring training. In three outings, his record is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA. That is absolutely amazing. He started out as a long-shot, but quickly became the frontrunner for the rotation spot with his great outings. Many have also said that if Aceves earns the spot in the rotation, Hughes and Joba will be in the bullpen, providing one Hell of a bridge to Mariano Rivera.
This is all very true, and I am very impressed with Aceves’ performance in spring training so far. He was also wonderful for us last year. 
In my opinion, however, Hughes edges him out in the race. As you know from my previous blog post, we weren’t able to watch the game against the Astros, so I wasn’t able to see Hughes’ last start. What I’ve read about his start, however, really made me happy. Not only were his numbers great in that outing, but he’s worked on his fourth pitch. He’s now confident in his changeup, adding it to his previous arsenal of curveball, fastball and cutter. He threw it as a first pitch at one point, and as a 2-1 pitch with men on base at another. I like the sound of that.
With his dominant start against the Astros, my vote is currently going to Phil Hughes for the 5th spot in our rotation, with Aceves as a very close second. I’d much rather have Alfredo Aceves in the bullpen.
Sixth Righty vs. Second Lefty
This argument depends on who wins the coveted fifth rotation spot. If Aceves is our fifth starter, and Hughes is in the bullpen, then it would probably be a good idea to add Chad Gaudin to the bullpen, since he can be our long reliever. If Hughes is our fifth starter (which is more likely), then we would already have our long reliever in Alfredo Aceves, and we therefore would have no real need for Gaudin. Who should we add to our bullpen instead? I’m a fan of adding a second left-handed pitcher, so my vote goes to Boone Logan.
Boone Logan is one of those pitchers who are betrayed by their numbers. I’ve said time and time again, numbers and statistics do not come close to telling the whole story. Yes, his numbers thus far in the majors have been less than impressive, but he has good stuff. Logan’s main problem is his command of his pitches. In his years in the major leagues, he’s lacked the control necessary to avoid being lit up in some of his appearances. 
What everyone seems to forget, however, is that Boone is still young. He’s 25 years old, and as a left-handed reliever, it’s normal to have control problems at this age. The big bright spot is that he can pitch, his fastball has been clocked at around 94 MPH, and he also has a good slider, curveball and changeup. Even with his shaky command, Logan has held the lefties he’s faced to a .231 batting average. That isn’t a bad number for a pitcher who’s yet to gain full control of his pitches. Phil Coke’s numbers against LHB weren’t much better, and he was great for us last season. During this year’s spring training, Boone Logan has shown good command of his pitches thus far. He had one rough outing, but since then he’s been great. So there’s a big improvement.
We have Damaso Marte who is definitely going to be in the bullpen, so Boone Logan would be his “backup”. My main concern with Marte is his health. He’s not getting any younger, and he had injury problems last year that kept him out of games for a chunk of the season. Yesterday, he got hit in the back hard with a comeback ball off of a Phillies’ bat. That scared me. He seems to be fine right now, but I’m still concerned.
When Marte is healthy, he is solid. I have very little worries when I see a healthy Marte coming out of the bullpen. To keep him healthy throughout the season, we can’t overwork him like Coke was overworked last year. Look, let’s not kid ourselves here, we all know that Joe Girardi likes to go overboard with mixing and matching pitchers to batters. That is no secret. With Girardi’s style of bullpen management, I fear that Damaso Marte will be overworked, and we’ll lose him for the second half of the season due to injury. 
Some people have said “Well, let’s start out the season with Marte as our only lefty, and if he’s hurt, we can call up Logan, or acquire a new LHP, for the second half”. That’s all fine and dandy, but why not avoid Marte’s injury and have a backup for him right from the start? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see Marte healthy all season long and have him pitch during the crucial games in August and September. The way to minimize the risk of Marte getting injured is to give him a well-balanced work load right from the start. Joe Girardi will not do this if Marte is the only LHP in the bullpen. He will overwork him, you know he will.
Others (including Joe Girardi) have said “There are right-handed pitchers, like Robertson, who are good against left-handed batters”. That is true, Robertson has been impressive against both righties and lefties; but again I’ll go back to Girardi’s bullpen management. Do we want Robertson to turn into Joe Girardi’s Scott Proctor? If our only backup for a lefty pitcher is one of our best righties, then said righty will become the “go-to guy” in many games. We’ve all seen what that did to Scott Proctor’s arm, do we want to see it again with Robertson? I most certainly do not.
So far, this is how I see our bullpen:
– Mariano Rivera RHP
– Alfredo Aceves RHP
– David Robertson RHP
– Joba Chamberlain RHP
– Damaso Marte LHP
– Chan Ho Park RHP
That leaves one spot left for a reliever. Of course, I’m already calling Phil Hughes our 5th starter. 
With our inning-eating starting rotation, we don’t need two long relievers in the bullpen. Alfredo Aceves is more than enough as a long reliever, especially since we also have Park and Robertson to share the work load when short relief is needed. Chan Ho Park could also be a second long-reliever if necessary. The addition of Chad Gaudin, albeit a fine pitching addition, would be redundant. Gaudin’s main strength is his ability to be a solid long-reliever. In short relief, I’d rather have Robertson and Park on the mound. What we’re missing is a “lefty specialist” behind Marte. I hate the term “lefty specialist” and, if I believed that Girardi doesn’t depend on these specialists, I wouldn’t be bringing it up. Knowing that Girardi loves lefty specialists, however, I
cannot be comfortable with having Damaso Marte as our only option. We need a second lefty.
Unless Cashman acquires another left-handed reliever, we’re stuck with choosing between Boone Logan and Royce Ring. Yeah, I’ll take Logan. Thanks.
I would love to take a risk and give Boone Logan a chance. With the rest of our arms – I like to call them the “12 Arms Of Fury” – adding Boone Logan would be a low-risk/high-reward move. Give him a chance, if he doesn’t pan out, we still have Marte, and with the other right-handed relievers that we have, losing Gaudin wouldn’t be a tragedy.
We are Blessed.
We’re unbelievably blessed that these are the only tough decisions the Yankees face in spring training. We are practically complaining that we have too many solid pitchers. All teams wish that the only problem they face going into the season is the problem of choosing which of the plethora of good pitchers make the roster. No matter who makes the cut, and who doesn’t, we will have 12 solid arms going into the season. We are truly blessed.

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