New York Yankees
Mariano Rivera: 21 games, 27.1 innings
On track for: 71 games, 89 innings
Scott Proctor: 25 games, 34 innings
On track for: 81 games, 110 innings
Kyle Farnsworth: 25 games, 24 innings
On track for: 81 games, 78 innings
Thoughts: Joe Torre earned a whole lot of praise for the way he handles players emotionally, finding ways to take pressure off them; he was a hugely important figure during the Yankees' dynasty. His handling of the bullpen the last five years has been a problem, and it's a problem again this year. He effectively overworked Paul Quantrill, Tom Gordon and Tanyon Sturtze, and he's doing it again with Proctor this year. He simply doesn't trust enough relievers, relies on too few, and by August and September, the workhorses are exhausted. Rivera pitched three innings Tuesday, which is the kind of thing that feels right in May and can really hurt a team later in the summer
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has a torn hamstring tendon in his left knee and will be sidelined at least a few days.
Posada wasn't placed on the disabled list following his MRI exam that revealed the injury, but the club said Thursday that it planned to call up a catcher from the minor leagues on Friday. Posada is scheduled to be evaluated in the next few days.
Jeff (New Orleans): Who gets drafted first Almonte or Maier?
Jim Callis: Danny Almonte has a higher ceiling than Jeffrey Maier. If Almonte were considered unsignable, it's possible Maier could go ahead of him.
Chip, NYC: Melky Cabrera or Jose Tabata?
Jim Callis: Cabrera now, Tabata for the long term.
Chip, NYC: Steven White or Alay Soler
Jim Callis: Soler. Never been a big White fan.
Alex (columbus, oh): Clemens: Astro or Yankee?
Jim Callis: Astro.
Jason, New York: Cano or Anderson Hernandez
Jim Callis: Cano by a mile. Not even close.
Alex (marlboro, nj): Cano or Kinsler?
Jim Callis: Cano. Look, I've picked Cano TWICE today.
Chip, NYC: Melky Cabrera = a young Bernie Williams?
Jim Callis: Noooooooooo.
Jeff (Iowa): Best looking CWS girls - South Carolina or Texas?
Jim Callis: Can I go with my alma mater and say Georgia? [from what I saw last year, I'd say Texas, but there's really no wrong answer]
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So much for Eric Duncan's big turnaround as a prospect, huh? The first baseman is hitting .228/.295/.277 in a season when Jason Giambi has a .500+ on-base percentage. Duncan's strikeouts are down, which is nice, but where oh where are the power numbers? ... If you think the support Cole Hamels has gotten for his call-up has been extensive, think about Phil Hughes' upcoming promotion. No, it won't be too soon, but an August injury could bring a phenom to New York.If not Hughes, then who's this phenom they're going to call up? Darrell Rasner and Matt DeSalvo are the one's likely to get the call if needed, (in that order) and they ain't phenoms.
Moose didn't throw a first pitch ball until the leadoff batter in the 3rd inning, the 10th batter he faced. He had the Sawx hitters off balance all night with the way he mixed up his pitches, 4 of his 5 K's were of the called strike 3 variety. The only blemish in his game was David Ortiz, who managed to go 4 for 4 on the night before being rolled back into the ocean. He looked like the Moose of old, minus the 93-95 mph fastball.
Melky Cabrera was damn impressive. His outfield play was adequate, as he got a smattering of sarcastic/encouraging cheers after each fly ball he tracked down. He's got a real quick bat at the plate, and even though he didn't get a hit, he engaged Curt Schilling in some serious battles in his 2 ABs against the Sox ace. He fouled off a total of 8 pitches in those 2 ABs (4 when he had 2 strikes), working deep into the count both times. It looks like he's put last year's call-up well behind him.
As far as Melky's prospect brethren, Jose Tabata was featured in yesterday's Daily Dish by BA:
It was just another night for the Yankees' Jose Tabata. The 17-year-old had three more hits, including a double, for low Class A Charleston to extend his hitting streak to eight games and raise his season line to .368/.398/.552.
"He is just a pretty special kid," Charleston manager Bill Mosiello said. "He uses the whole field, and his power numbers are going to get even better as he learns to command the strike zone. "He has great barrel awareness. (He) always gets the fat part of the bat on the ball."
The outfielder's name is littered among the South Atlantic League leaders. He ranks third in hitting with a .368 average while leading the league in hits (46), and he's second in RBIs (31), doubles (14) and extra-base hits (17).With just four walks as opposed to 23 strikeouts, plate discipline appears to be his only flaw as a hitter. But when you are hitting .338 in your pro career, that just seems like nitpicking.
"For his age, he just needs at-bats," Mosiello said. "He puts the ball in play so often, he doesn't get so many walks because doesn't miss his pitches when he gets them."
"Last year he had one more walk than strikeout, so it is not like he has a history of not walking."
"He needs to see the difference between swinging at strikes and swinging at your strikes."
If he does learn the difference, the sky is the limit, because simply swinging at strikes has been a successful formula thus far.
And in grand Thursday tradition, here's the highlights from Jim Callis' ESPN chat:
Mike A. (Chico, CA): Thanks for taking our questions Jim - Jose Tabata has been tearing the cover off the ball with a .950 OPS; only 8 players in baseball have more RBIs than the 17 yr old (5 of them are in the bigs). Do you think the Yankees will rush him and promote him to Tampa sometime this season? Being rushed certainly didn't help Eric Duncan any. Thanks again.
Jim Callis: Duncan got rushed primarily to try to boost his trade value. Tabata is younger, and I would hope the Yankees would have the sense to let him tear up low Class A for a while. If he continues to do so, I could see promoting him in mid-July or so. Duncan was having a good but not great year when he got promoted, and he was older to boot.
Jordan(CT): Robinson Cano or Rickie Weeks
Jim Callis: Let's go to the lightning round of either/or questions . . . Weeks. Neither guy looks like a 2B, though.
James(NYC): Lester or Hughes, and if you say Lester after how he's pitched this season I might flip out...
Jim Callis: Don't flip out. I'd take Hughes right now, too.
aaron (allston ma): AA: 148.1 ip, 163k, 57bb, 10HR, 2.61 ERA or HiA: 30 ip, 30k, 2bb, 0 hr, 1.80 ERA. You just chose the latter because of a slow start in AAA?
Jim Callis: I'm fickle. There's not a huge difference between Lester and Hughes, and right now Hughes is throwing better.
Andrew (Boston, MA): Tabata or Andrus?
Jim Callis: Jose Tabata.
pete, nyc: tabata or fernando martinez?
Jim Callis: Fernando Martinez
Carl(Boston,MA): Beckett or Schilling as your Game 7 WS starter? Same Question Mussina or Johnson?
Jim Callis: Schilling and Mussina.
Rick H. (Yakima, Wa.): Whats wrong with the Big Unit? Hurt or washed up?
Jim Callis: Neither. He's lost something off his fastball but he can still win if he trusts it more.
Reggie (New York): Jim Leyland or Joe Torre?
Jim Callis: Torre.
Henry(Hartford, CT): how can Papelbon be compared to Mariano rivera when papelbon has what is it,10 saves?? Come on now!!!
Jim Callis: Agreed. Anyone who does that is getting way ahead of himself. Now I'm heading back to the draft phones . . .
Down on the Farm:
Triple-A Columbus rained out
Double-A Trenton (5-2 win over Portland, I coulda sworn there was a doubleheader yesterday, but I guess not)
Justin Christian: 0 for 5, 2 K, 1 SB, 1 CS - first time caught stealing all year (18 attempts)
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB
Randy Ruiz: 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Shelley Duncan: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K - if only he could rub some of that off on the other Duncan
Tommy Rojas: 1 for 4, 1 RBI
Phil Hughes: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP - allowed 1st HR in over a year (2nd career)
TJ Beam: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K - the first of hopefully 300-400 times we see Beam relieve Hughes
Charlie Manning: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
High-A Tampa (3-2 win over Jupiter in 14 innings)
Brett Gardner: 4 for 6, 2 R, 1 K, 1 CS - why is he not in Trenton yet?
Eduardo Nunez: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) - XBH parade continues
Cody Ehlers: 2 for 6, 3 RBI, 2 K, 1 SB
Matt Carson: 2 for 6, 3 K
Marcos Vechionacci: 0 for 5, 1 BB, 2 E (throwing & fielding)
Tim Battle: 0 for 5, 2 K
Ben Himes: 0 for 4, 5 K
Jeff Marquez: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K - troubling 3-8 GB/FB ratio for the sinkerballer
Phil Thorp: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Gerardo Casadiego: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Jeff Kennard: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Low-A Charleston rained out (doubleheader today)
Mindblowing Jose Tabata stat of the day (I'll try to keep this going for as long as possible, I'm shooting for 7-10 days): When Tabata drives in a run, Charleston is 14-4. When he doesn't? 5-9.