Notes from around the league

NO YANKEES TONIGHT
What a drag. Although it would have been nice if they Ernie Banks-ed it on Saturday, they pushed the sucker off into the future instead. And thus, a few quick notes on the landscape:

?    It was a great week for youth, with Andrew McCutchen, and Gordon Beckham coming up, and Tommy Hanson officially due up on Sunday, and let’s throw in Matt Wieters, who made his debut a week ago today. All ranked among the top 50 or so prospects in the game, and three of the four are closer to the top than the bottom (McCutchen is the least promising of the bunch, but it’s a tough crowd).

carmona300_060509.jpg?    It was more than past time for the Indians to send Fausto Carmona to the Minors. He was wonderful in 2007, but his 2008 was bad and his 2009 has been miserable, with the former’s five walks per nine innings turning into six walks per nine. Carmona can still induce those grounders, but he wasn’t getting the double plays when he needed them, perhaps because he was more likely to pass the batter than get him out. Resultantly, just two of his 12 starts have earned the quality start seal of approval. His 2008 and 2009 combined: 10-13 in 34 starts, 6.10 ERA (including a shutout!), 181.1 innings, 195 hits, 111 walks, 94 strikeouts.

?    Billy Butler of the Royals is batting .288/.348/.440, which would be great if he were a shortstop, but it’s not that exciting coming from a first baseman/designated hitter. Butler is only 23, so he could find another gear, but right now he’s Shea Hillenbrand.

?    If the Yankees were to bail out on Hideki Matsui before the end of the year, would you be comfortable with it if the reason were that it would allow them to block the Red Sox off of Nick Johnson? Part two of that question is, would it be worth it for the Yankees to get into a prospect bidding war with the Red Sox in order to accomplish that goal?

?    It’s sad that the era of making “great man” movies ended 60 years ago, before Paul Muni or Edward G. Robinson could portray Branch Rickey.

?    As much as the Orioles have improved their club of late with graduates of the farm system and the occasional perspicacious trade acquisitions (Adam Jones, this means you), they’re still desperate for a quality shortstop. Whoever the next great, or even decent, Orioles shortstop is, he’s not presently in the organization.

?    Rumor has the Braves wanting to add Brad Penny, which seems like insurance for the kids. Their rotation has been the least of their problems. Nate McClouth isn’t a great bat; the reason he was a great add for the Braves is that despite this he’s still leaps and bounds above any other outfielder the Braves have played.

?    Given their many injuries and lack of organizational depth, by the time the Yankees see the Mets next week they might be starting Wayne Garrett and John Milner again. Parenthetically, Omar Minaya was nuts to put so much faith in former Yankees farmhand Omir Santos. He’s going to be far below the replacement level with the bat when all is said and done. He’s close now, actually … The Mets have played 12 games since Jose Reyes left the lineup, and though they’re 7-5 in those games, they’ve hit .252/.336/.378. We should probably only give them half-credit for their three-game sweep of the Nationals.

?    I keep hearing how after Randy Johnson there will be no more 300 game winners forever, but with health (the big caveat for everyone) CC Sabathia is going to have a shot at it. If he averages only 15 wins a year over the duration of his Yankees contract, he’ll hit his mid-30s with something like 220 wins. It would be a steep climb to 300 from there, but not any steeper than Johnson’s. As with the Big Unit, Sabathia is a weird physical specimen, so it’s hard to project his chances of staying healthy into old age.

?    “Up” was a terrific picture, and one that will speak more to the adults than the kids, though the kids will dig it, too. Next spring, when people are debating the Academy Awards and this film has been ghettoized in the “Best Animated Film” category, it’s a good bet that no, erm, inanimate film will have been better.

MORE FROM ME
Wholesome Reading has been updated with new entries, and there will be more throughout the weekend. Warning: Politics and fish! I’ll be back here if breaking news demands it, or if I just feel lonely for you. 

5 Comments

The Brad Penny story will be an interesting one to follow. The Braves claim they don’t want him – but lord knows stranger things have happened!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

is tonights game going to be a rainout?
i hope not..yankess are playin awesome right now..

this team definitely is exciting to watch..though i would really like to see marte..veras..nady..come back and increase this lead in the al east race.
watchin wang is stressing..but somehow..we all know that sinker is going to be in effect at sometime this season..and any type of wang is better than no wang.
dont get me wrong..wang is a good pitcher..not a great pitcher..but a damn good one if anything.
lets jus give him credit..he hasnt pitched regularly in about a year..came back from a serious injury..so be patient.
i’d still like to see a hard throwing reliever addition..like huston street.
i hope they dont take experiments like eric gagne or keith foulke..both teammates in some independent league right now.
and please no major bats..but matt holiday would be good..though our offense is pretty good right now..another right handed bat would be nice.
if brett gardner could hit a lil better..though i think he’s batting a tad better than .270(which is amazing and fantastic)..this offense would be ridiculous for years to come.

i guess my point here is..

if the yanks are in first place right now..with all their woes..without even being 100 percent..
imagine when they have all their soldiers healthy?

i still say now is the time to make their move..keep winning..keep increasing their lead..before the red sox make their blockbuster trades by august..
so by september..we should be 20 games over 500…have a 10 game lead in the east..and 2 weeks before the playoffs..we can give our pitching some days off..
and when those playoff games bein on tnt…all our pitchers should be hittin 95 on the radar gun..except pettitte of course.

if they win it all this year..im not only goin to the parade..
but im going to connecticut..where ESPN is based,,where everyone in ESPN are red sox fans..
and im gonna moon the hell outta everyone there.
and i wont even change my boxers for a week.

this was written due to boring rain weather.
bad weather has been known to affect behavior..

search:suicide causes in seattle and portland the last 20 years.

The beginning of Up was perhaps the saddest part of any movie I’ve ever seen.

I love Nick Johnson, living down in DC, I get to see him plenty. Johnson and Youkilis back to back would certainly make pitchers earn it. But if the Red Sox are really gonna end up giving away Justin Masterson or even just Manny Delcarmon for a 2/3-year rental player who has played 0 full seasons in the 6 that he’s been part of the Nats franchise, you let them do it.

How would the Yankees part ways with Hideki? Outright cutting him would not go over well I don’t think. I mean he could be a useful pinch hitter, lefty with some pop off the bench for the rest of the season.

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