-Yesterday’s rain out benefits the Rays more than the Yanks, as Mark Topkin of the ST Petersburg Times writes.
-Wang’s stuff looked much better early on than it did as the game progressed, so it appears he’s back on track. He was hitting 94 on the gun with good, hard late movement on the 2-seamer. I know the final line didn’t look great, but he should get better as he builds up arm strength.
-With the 2009 Draft fast approaching, Mark Hale of the NY Post takes a look back at the 06 draft, the year Brian Cashman took control of the draft process and brought in a haul which is becoming more legendary with every passing year, as the players selected get closer to the bigs. He writes:
In 2006, the Yankees drafted Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mark Melancon — all of whom have reached, or are excelling in, the majors — while also landing Dellin Betances, Zach McAllister and George Kontos, all of whom could get there at some point.
“It has a chance to be one of the better drafts of all time,” Cashman said.
-It will really bridge the (already small) lineup gap between the Yanks and the Red Sox if the Sox get Nick Johnson to replace Big Papi, as Buster Onley suggests. But the good news for Yankee fans is something we already know from Nick’s time with the Yanks, he’s always hurt. Theo has already selected a slew of players that are banged up this past off season with Penny, Baldelli, Saito and Smoltz. Of the 4, only Saito has performed well for them as of yet. Everyone assumed Theo knew something everyone else didn’t this off season, and it turns out he didn’t. They lost out on Tex and simply looked to replace him with quantity over quality.
-For all the talk of today’s pitching match up (CC vs Price) tomorrow’s is every bit as good with Joba Clamberlain going against Matt Garza.
-I thought the story of the week was how open ended the Yanks left the Hughes to the bullpen move. They linked his fate to Brian Bruney, who’s been on and off the DL twice already this year. If Hughes performs out of the bullpen, it will be very hard to send him down even when Bruney comes back. The Yanks are 3rd from the bottom in bullpen ERA wheras the Sox are #1. Anything they can do to bridge that gap will be very difficult to reverse course on. Girardi said on Francesa’s show yesterday the same thing I’ve been saying all along, Hughes working out of the bullpen should aid in his development, not hurt it. And the first priority on the MLB level is to win, not put any one player who can help the team above the needs of the club. If Phil is mediocre out of the pen, expect him to be demoted. But if Hughes performs well, he’s not going anywhere.
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