A Fully Loaded Trojan Horse

April 29, 2008

The University of Southern California is known for its prestigious baseball and football programs, and the Yanks seem to be aware. Look at these current Yankees, each of whom attended USC:

  • Ian Kennedy
  • Morgan Ensberg
  • Jason Lane
  • Chad Moeller

Ironically enough, Ensberg and Lane played together with Houston for several years, then followed each other to San Diego last season, and are now with the Yankees. Think they’re friends?

IPK stills wears his socks the right way, at least.


The Ultimate Putdown

April 29, 2008

The next time a Red Sox fan is bragging about the championships he can count on his two hands with fingers to spare, just give him this line:

No response is neccesary, it\'s rhetorical...

Time’s Up

April 29, 2008

Chris Britton was sent down to AAA Scranton once again, without making a single appearance with the Yanks big-league club. Can’t say I’m surprised, considering that he’s logged just 12.2 innings in over a year in pinstripes. Edwar Ramirez has been called up to replace him.

Texas Gunslingers for Hire

April 29, 2008

With the somewhat erratic performance from the rotation this year, you would have to think that a starting pitcher acquisition would be helpful, specifically an American League veteran. And by AL veterans, I mean Vicente Padilla and Kevin Millwood of the Texas Rangers.

Both have been off to good starts this year, but the relatively weak strikeout rates and mediocre WHIPs are definitely not going to help Texas in trade negotiations. Financially, it doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding club to hold on to a pair of eight-figure pitchers who are overachieving. They should sell while the item is hot. Of course, you don’t see many blockbuster trades in April/May, and there’s the likely scenario that both pitchers fizzle out by July.

Padilla doesn’t interest me much but a Millwood acquisition would be nice. You would have some competition, and you would also eliminate the chance to get A.J. Burnett in the future (more on this later). If I could snag KM for Jeff Marquez and some castoffs, I’d think about it, but anything more would be illogical. I see this as a parallel to the Bobby Abreu trade in 2006, when the Yanks preyed upon an overpaid player and got him for junk, as they were willing to take the whole contract.

Coralling the Bullpen

April 26, 2008

In an effort to get more consistent performance from the ‘pen, the Yankees made some roster moves over the past few days. Jonathan Albaladejo, Chris Britton and Shelley Duncan were recalled from Scranton. Britton and Albaladejo will see regular work out of the bullpen, with the latter being more likely to pitch in high-pressure situations. Duncan will return to the bench as the team’s most dangerous pinch-hitter, and will also get a few games in as the first baseman each week.

Let’s decipher these relatively low-key moves.

Chris Britton. Brian Bruney was placed on the 15-day DL and this guy has never gotten much of a chance at the Major League level, his very respectable 2006 season with Baltimore nonwithstanding. This also means that the Yanks would rather give Britton a shot than bring Edwar Ramirez back up to the bigs (Edwar had been recalled recently before being sent down shortly thereafter). His stuff translates to your typical middle reliever, as he features an 89-91 mph fastball and a decent slider. Overall, his command is pretty good and helps him overcome his lack of power and a great breaking pitch.

Jonathan Albaladejo. The more I see him throw, the better the chance I feel he has to challenge for that coveted eighth inning role that should be available this summer, when Joba Chamberlain leaves for the greener pastures of the rotation. He’s pitched very well in his short career and is deserving of a greater role than “mop-up janitorial custodian”. Typically he’s in the low-90’s with his sinking fastball (usually using the two-seamed variety) and a good slider. He gets ground balls and is very economical for a reliever.

Shelley Duncan. We remember his power surge last summer – how he came out of nowhere and became an instant threat to left-handed pitchers everywhere. Now, Duncan is a platoon/reserve player, but Jason Giambi’s durability is always a question mark, so his value is high in the case of a severe injury. I think he would have to get the nod over Morgan Ensberg because of his aggressiveness and higher upside (though limited, in my opinion, as he did play in the minors for several years). Most were concerned for Giambi because of lousy play of late, but over the past few games he’s really picked up the pace. Duncan probably won’t get a ton of action right now, but an injury or prolonged slump will change that.

A few other players could see time with the Pinstripes soon, most notably Darrell Rasner, who has been throwing gems down in AAA.


April 26, 2008

Hey, if you’re reading this, you are probably one of the first (if not the first itself) viewer to see the Right Field Porch blog! I hope to get at least some traffic so that updating has a purpose. Please check back soon for content on anything and everything Yankees!