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LOOGY Concerns, Garcia’s Postseason Importance, Mets & Buffalo, Bay in CF, Dear Jesus Montero



By Mike Silva ~ September 1st, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

I still think the biggest opportunity for the Yankees is a quality left handed pitcher in their bullpen. Boone Logan pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the first game of the Boston series, but gave up a two-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury last night during the Sox 3-run sixth inning. I just don’t think Logan can be trusted to get the job done against the type of quality left handed bats you will see in the postseason.

Situational lefties are becoming very difficult to find. The Yankees guaranteed Pedro Feliciano $8 million dollars and he may never throw a pitch for them. I thought they would give J.C. Romero a look, but they wound up releasing him after a short stint in Triple-A. 41 year old Arthur Rhodes was surprisingly released by Texas, and has hooked up in St. Louis where he has a WHIP under one. I thought he would have been a nice fit. I am not sure if there was mutual interest on Rhodes side, but he could be the one they let get away.

According to reports, the Yankees tried to acquire Mike Gonzalez, who was sent to Texas for reliever Pedro Strop. However, Andy MacPhail claims he preferred the Rangers pitcher to what the Yankees were offering. Nonsense, he just didn’t want to help his divisional foe. It’s right out of the Orioles playbook throughout the Angelos era. Hurt the Yankees, help their competition regardless of whether it’s the best deal for the team. I don’t know who the Yankees offered, but a comparable arm to Strop someone like George Kontos.

Where does that leave the Yankees? Aaron LaffeySteve Garrison, and former Met Raul Valdes. I actually like Valdes, but he performed better against right-handed batters last season. He is currently finishing up the MILB season in Double-A Trenton. He is already on the 40-man roster so perhaps he gets a call up towards the end of the week.

It looks like it will be Boone Logan or bust for the second postseason in a row. We know how that turned out last year.

***

It’s never too early to look at the postseason schedule. Unless Sabathia is willing to go on 3-days rest a few times the Yankees will have to employ a 4-man rotation. Does Sabathia, Garcia, Colon, and Nova sound about right?

The ALDS will be played on Sept 30th, Oct 1st, Oct 3rd, Oct 4th, and Oct 6th. No chance at getting Sabathia 3-times without a rainout.

A Potential ALCS is as follows:

ALCS Game One Saturday, October 8 – Sabathia
ALCS Game Two Sunday, October 9 – Garcia
ALCS Game Three Tuesday, October 11 – Colon
ALCS Game Four Wednesday, October 12 – Nova
ALCS Game Five* Thursday, October 13 – Sabathia
ALCS Game Six* Saturday, October 15- Garcia
ALCS Game Seven* Sunday, October 16 – Colon

The question comes down to whether you want to give Garcia or Nova two starts? The fourth starter goes only once. It also appears it will be impossible to get Sabathia 3 starts in this series unless you go on three days rest between Game 1 and 4, and then 3 days rest again between 4 and 7. I might flip-flop Garcia and either Colon or the 4th starter, depending on whether the Yankees are on the road. I would prefer the veteran Garcia in a hostile environment like Fenway Park. Not that Nova can’t handle that kind of situation, but I rather put the kid in a friendly environment for that type of high stakes situation. I might even flip Colon and Garcia to put Garcia in a position to start a Game 7.

When it’s all said and done, Garcia is going to be a very important role in this postseason.

***

Sandy Alderson visited Buffalo last night, and Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News writes how the Mets GM said he wants to bring back manager Tim Teufel and continue the affiliation past 2012. Back in May, I talked about the possibility of the Bisons looking to affiliate with Toronto after their agreement is up at the end of the 2012 season. There has been a whole lot of losing and a dearth of young talent since the relationship began in 2009.

With some young prospects on the way (Harvey, Familia, Mejia), things are starting to look up. You have to give the Mets a pass this year since most of the talent from Buffalo is starting in New York. I was told Buffalo Team President Jonathan Dandes is a lifelong Mets fan from Flushing and was the one that supported the affiliation in the first place.

What if things fall apart after 2012? There aren’t many options. The Mets can go to Las Vegas (assuming Toronto comes East to Buffalo), but that would put them in the undesirable Pacific Coast League time zone. Other potential locations with expiring Player Development Contracts are Rochester (Minnesota), Syracuse (Washington), Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia), Toledo (Detroit), Pawtucket (Red Sox), and Indianapolis (Pittsburgh). Staying locally in Buffalo, Rochester, or Syracuse would make the most sense for the organization. Those are also locations that could be up for grabs. Las Vegas would be the worst case scenario in terms of time zone and location.

Although an affiliation with Toronto would make more sense for Buffalo, it would behoove Alderson and the Mets to do whatever they can to continue their partnership. Trying to find an alternative does not appear to be easy, and could ultimately leave them in an undesirable location ala New Orleans in 2007-2008.

***

A day late on this, but I had to weigh in on the Jason Bay to centerfield talks. I think Howard Megdal at the Journal News says it best, but I do believe the talk of Bay to centerfield is somehow being used to motivate Angel Pagan.

Despite the fact he’s show less than a winning attitude, embarrassed the club in Philadelphia by getting caught in the bathroom when it was his turn at-bat, and regressed offensively, there aren’t any affordable alternatives on the free agent market.

Pagan will likely make around $5 million dollars next year in arbitration. If you get the Pagan from 2009-2010, it will still be a good buy. During the month of August he hit .330 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI.

Jason Bay in center has the potential to be disastrous. Let’s see if they can get his bat turned around before moving positions.

How bad can it be? Take Megdal’s quote as warning: “Bobby Bonilla in right, HoJo in center, Chico Walker in left- can that be topped?”

Yes Howard, with Bay in center it can. I love Bay’s hustle. He’s been better defensively here than advertised- specifically by the Boston media. But Mets fans remember HoJo in the outfield, and how the Mets tried Juan Samuel in center. No thanks to the third CF project in team history.

***

Jesus Montero will be called up to the big leagues as rosters expand starting today. Montero has been a hot topic on this site throughout the season. We have been debating his position, trade value, and overall prospect status. It seems that Montero has replaced Joba Chamberlain as the “golden boy” amongst the Yankees fans. Every fan base needs a young player to rally around. Yankees fans have elected Montero.

NYBD contributor and long time scout, Chuck Johnson has gone on record as being skeptical. He wrote a controversial piece about the Yankees development of their prospects. He had this to say about Montero on July 8th:

The Montero situation reminds me of those Carfax TV commercials. Keith Law and Jonathan Mayo and the rest of the media hype machine are the car salesmen, and Montero’s the car.

They can BS us all day long about what a great product is, but when you ask for the Carfax, what you eventually see is a lemon.

I’ve seen Montero play forty times at least over the past two seasons, and if you looked up lemon in the dictionary, you’d see his picture.

Last week, he took it one step further and wrote an open letter to Montero at Dugout Central. He described it as truth in content; satire in delivery. It’s a bit harsh, but I see some of his points.

Look, I’ve personally been around professional baseball for many years, both as an employee and fan, and even spent time in the media.

I’ve seen the game through a pair of eyes not many people have, and I’m honestly sympathetic to you.

You didn’t write all those nice things said about you.

You are fortunate to have come from a pretty deep gene pool, and while most fifteen year olds are more worried about the strange sensations they feel in their pajamas in the morning, you were already a strapping six foot three and crushing any pitch you saw while playing street ball in your hometown.

But as time has progressed, you are now physically and mentally on par with your peers, and have discovered at this level talent, and not strength, is what Will Carry you to the next level.

Heading into Spring Training, the backup job in New York was yours. Instead of grasping the bull by the horns, or the hooker by the ears, you decided to puke on yourself.

The back up catcher job was yours. The righthanded DH job was yours. Instead we have to watch Frankie Cervelli and Andruw Jones filling those roles.

The only reason Cervelli is in the major leagues is because he has pictures of Cashman and Theo Epstein in the backseat of a limo with a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a copy of Moneyball.

Andruw Jones?

I don’t know, maybe Theo talked Cash into getting some tats.

Bottom line is God gave you a gift, and you gave it away.

The point here, Jeezus, is whatever doubts the Yankees had about picking up Russell’s option for next year are pretty much gone.

Your chances of being in the Yankee organization by Christmas are significantly less than they were when you woke up this morning.

Look, I’ve been a Yankee fan for a really long time, and I’ve seen highly rated prospects like you shit the bed more often than I care to admit.

But the truth is, you can’t play.

You can’t catch. You can’t throw. You’re a six foot three, two hundred and thirty pound middle of the order guy who hits like Jeter.

You have the worst footwork I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised you can climb stairs, much less play baseball.

I know the Yanks have been your family since you were sixteen, and you missed out on some things other kids your age experienced.

Like your dad kicking you out of the house because you were hanging around, accomplishing nothing, and sucking his bank account dry.

Just think of Brian Cashman as your father. Same situation, different scenario.

Now that Montero has made it to the big leagues it’s time to “put up or shut up.” Fans complain about Johnson’s position, but Montero now has a chance to show up he belongs, and isn’t the catching version of Joba Chamberlain.

Do I agree with Johnson? Not 100%, but he has a wealth of scouting experience that I never will possess. That counts for something in my book, which makes it important we at least listen.

The Triple-A numbers mean nothing. Let’s see if the process he used translate to the big league.

***

Move over Selana Roberts as a new A-Rod book is set to hit the stores in April 2014, according to the Daily News:

Richard Ben Cramer could drop a bomb on the Bronx Bombers in a few short years.

The noted author is writing a book about Alex Rodriguez, say multiple sources, that will highlight the slugger’s exploits on and – more interestingly – off the field.

The book, now “under contract” and tentatively titled “The Importance of Being Alex: A Life With the Yankees,” will be published by Twelve. The $31 million question (that’s how much A-Rod reportedly will make this year) is: When?

Although one source says there’s no projected publication date for the book, which was originally to be published by Simon & Schuster, another insider says the biography isn’t slated to hit stores until April 2014.

Chalk up the long lead time up to a combination of writer and subject. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Cramer is known for taking years to complete a book and for bristling at deadlines.

Then again, the story of A-Rod’s life is as meaty as he is.

“There will be things in the book that A-Rod will certainly not like and were never revealed before,” says an insider.

Judging from Cramer’s best-selling 2000 biography of Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio, “The Hero’s Life,” readers can expect a thorough examination of A-Rod’s personal life, with Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz pinch-hitting for DiMaggio’s famous love, Marilyn Monroe.

***

Leave it to Nomaas to weigh in on the comments by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Who knew “Salty” visits Home Depot every morning?

***

Check out Knicks nemesis Reggie Miller at last night’s Brewers game. What the heck happened to Ryan Braun when circling the bases?

http://youtu.be/QmURgGbd7xM

It could be worse; he could have given Braun the Spike Lee treatment

http://youtu.be/UrtVZftjbhk

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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7 Responses to LOOGY Concerns, Garcia’s Postseason Importance, Mets & Buffalo, Bay in CF, Dear Jesus Montero

  1. Stu B

    “It’s never too early to look at the postseason schedule.”

    It is too early; it’s silly to consider the ALCS schedule and rotation before the Yankees have won a division series.

  2. Joseph DelGrippo

    “It looks like it will be Boone Logan or bust for the second postseason in a row. We know how that turned out last year.”

    Last season ALCS loss to the Rangers had nothing to do with Boone Logan. When your starting pitching gets pummeled in almost every start, one lefty reliever means nothing, especially when he faced only three batters in 6 games.

    But the Yankees had great pitching in the ALDS series against the Twins. Did Logan have influence on that, too?

    The Yankees have several relievers including Wade, Robertson, and Rivera who are good to great this season against both righties and lefties, plus Soriano, who has four unscored appearances (15 PA/ZERO hits) versus the Red Sox this season, getting both righties and lefties.

    Yankees are fine without another lefty for the Red Sox and the post season, and if they get good starting pitching you can argue they don’t even need to use Logan.

  3. Joseph DelGrippo

    “Now that Montero has made it to the big leagues it’s time to “put up or shut up.” … Montero now has a chance to show up he belongs, and isn’t the catching version of Joba Chamberlain.”

    Oh, so getting 30 to 50 at bats in September now will define a career?

    Wow. Real unbiased comment and thoughts.

    Do you realize that a 21 year old David Wright’s first 10 games in 2004 (39 PA), he was hitting .216/.256/.378/.656 OPS with a single HR and TWO RBIs?

    Or how about this guys late season callup in 2006?:

    .191/.258/.303/.561 OPS with two HRs and 7 RBIs in almost 100 PA.

    That guy, Dustin Pedrioa, struggled early on in 2007, too, but went on to win the 2008 AL MVP.

    Whatever Montero produces in September 2011 has absolutely no bearing on what his career in pinstripes will be like.

    In Montero’s first 100 games next season would everybody be OK with a line of .278/.327/.441/.768 OPS with 14 HRs and 59 RBIs?

    Well, that is basically what the same age Eric Hosmer has done this year in low-pressure Kansas City.

    I have said it many times before, Mike, but if Joba, Montero and Banuelos were Mets prospects, then you would be singing the praises of all of them all the time (like you do now with Harvey, Familia and Mejia).

    Why is it OK for the Mets (and other teams) to have quality prospects on the way to make things look up for the franchise, but you constantly take shots at the Yankees guys?

    Can we all just let these kids play the game and leave the snarky comments out of it?

  4. Hot Carl

    you are a pure Met’s toolbox

  5. Get the mets out of NY

    Well said Delgrippo. Mike’s bias is so apparent on this website that it should be renamed nymetspropaganda.com

  6. Mike Silva

    Guys

    I don’t get the Yankees-bias. Like I said on Twitter the other day, I praise Granderson, even admitted I was wrong about not liking the deal; I also praise Russell Martin; I talk about Nova as ROY. None of that is pointed out. I criticize the Yankees handling of prospects and a middle reliever with a bum arm and I am biased against the Yankees? It’s patently unfair. Fernando Martinez and Lastings Milledge were top Mets prospects that I criticized. I was called a racist and anti- Mets for it. I discussed with Joe Matt Harvey’s issues. I have gone on record criticizing Minaya, Wilpon, Bernazard, and the Mets infrastructure pre-Alderson. Mike Pelfrey gets the Joba treatment from me. Have I lightened up this year? Yes! But my expectations were different. I judge both teams on different scales because they are in different cycles of development. I would be saying the same things about Joba, Montero, et al if they were Mets prospects. My history of writing supports that.

  7. Chuck Johnson

    Mike,

    You don’t owe anyone anything; this is your site and you write what you want, when you want.

    People can rip me all they want; I’ve never backed down from something I said, and, quite frankly, have been wrong more than I’ve been right.

    Every single baseball person has. Just like the best hitters fail 70% of the time, so does every scout or scouting director or general manager.

    The first time I saw Alex Rios play, I said he could be a Hall of Famer.

    It was in Puerto Rico in November, 2000, and Rios was a month past his 18th birthday.

    Anyone reading this who says they heard of Rios before 2003, and can prove it, I’ll buy them a beer.

    I said Travis Lee would win a batting title.

    I don’t understand, AT ALL, how someone can look at Jesus Montero’s numbers and believe he will be a good major league player.

    Like my good friend Jayson Stark said many years ago;

    “The best thing about the internet is it allows everyone to have an opinion, the worst thing about the internet is it allows everyone to have an opinion.”

    Take that how you wish.

    There’s two articles on RAB about Montero, and they make me embarrassed to be a Yankee fan.

    I want quality, legitimate content from quality, legitimate sources.

    I don’t always agree with you, Mike, but I read everything you write.

    I don’t always agree with what my buddy Joe D. writes, but I read everything he writes.

    Reason being is because you’re both qualified to write it.

    I respect everyone’s opinion, but at the same time I can tell by what they say what they know.

    Sometimes it’s intelligent and mind-opening.

    Sometimes I can tell right away they could stand naked in front of a mirror and not find their whatever.

    You’ve been doing this a long time, Mike, and you have (hopefully) more friends than enemies.

    Without this site, you’d have neither.

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