Master Procrastinator

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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Hughes’

Questioning the Yankees’ Starting Rotation

Posted by Andrew Zercie on January 23, 2011

It’s hard to believe, with all the snow we’ve gotten here in the Northeast, that spring training is just a few weeks away. As a fan of the New York Yankees, this hasn’t been the best of off-seasons, so I would like nothing more than to fast-forward to mid-February to see how the team is going to answer all of the questions that haunt them right now.

Before we get to February though, here is the first of a series of posts regarding the direction of the Yankees, both on the field and off of it. I will pose questions that need to be answered before the season begins, beginning with what I believe to be the most important question that still needs to be addressed.

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Yankees Should Focus on Adding John Lackey, not Roy Halladay

Posted by Andrew Zercie on December 7, 2009

He'd look good in Pinstripes, wouldn't he?

With the Baseball Winter Meetings set to open on Monday in Indianapolis, expect the rumors to fly, and figure the Yankees to be garnering headlines.

In fact, some stories have already come out, with predictions that the Yankees will reduce their payroll for the 2010 season. Of course, like last year, the public pronouncements about slashing payroll could be nothing more than a smokescreen, something that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is adept at concocting.

Remember when Cashman declared that the Yankees were comfortable with Bubba Crosby starting in CF in the offseason following the 2005 regular season? Then the Yankees swooped in and signed Johnny Damon when no one expected it.

Last year, history repeated itself when Mark Teixeira, who seemed headed to Boston, signed with the Yankees, and then revealed at his press conference the Yankees had been trying to get him from the start of the offseason.

This year’s cloak and dagger act may be all about securing the best starting pitcher on the market. Reading between the lines, one gets the sense that John Lackey will be in Pinstripes come April.

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ALCS: Start Spreading the News

Posted by Andrew Zercie on October 15, 2009

Look for a big ALCS from A-Rod.

Look for a big ALCS from A-Rod.

Because the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have made it to the postseason nearly every year this decade, it’s easy to forget that these teams have not had much success in October in recent seasons. The Yankees’ ALDS sweep of the Minnesota Twins earned them a berth in the ALCS for the first time since 2004. The Angels advanced to the ALCS for the first time since 2005.

The Angels have had the Yankees’ number since Mike Scioscia became their manager. As great as the Yankees’ roster is this season, the Angels’ success over them in October casts a shadow of doubt over the Yankees’ chances to move on to the World Series.

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ALDS Preview: We Will See Sox-Yanks, IV

Posted by Andrew Zercie on October 7, 2009

Yankees Need a Big Postseason From CC

Yankees Need a Big Postseason From CC

The Yankees are back in the playoffs after finishing 3rd in the AL East last season. The hottest team in baseball may be the Minnesota Twins, winners of 17 of their last 21, including an extra game in extra innings. Do they have enough talent to match their momentum?

The Red Sox seek their third World Series title in six seasons, but can they get past the Angels, who are talented and inspired by the loss of Nick Adenhart?

With apologies to the other sports, there’s nothing better than the baseball postseason. Here now, is a quick look at each Division Series, with some predictions.

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New York Yankees: Grading the Rotation

Posted by Andrew Zercie on July 7, 2009

After handing out mid-season grades to the New York Yankees’ lineup, I felt compelled to give the starting rotation the same treatment. Well, maybe not the exact same treatment.

Uneven Season From C.C. So Far

Uneven Season From C.C. So Far

While the Yankees have scored the most runs in baseball thus far, their starting pitching hasn’t lived up to its enormous potential.

Here is a look at the six starting pitchers the Yankees have sent to the mound this season. Be warned, this report card isn’t pretty in some spots.

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New York Yankees Bullpen: Best in Baseball

Posted by Andrew Zercie on July 5, 2009

"Bridge to Rivera" Finally Fixed

"Bridge to Rivera" Finally Fixed

For the first two months of the 2009 season, the New York Yankees bullpen was considered a weakness.

How many stories were written about Mariano Rivera’s age?

How many articles were published that questioned the intelligence of having Joba Chamberlain start instead of relieve?

All along, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman professed that the answers to their bullpen issues would come from within. Few, if anyone, believed this would actually be the case. After all, these are the New York Yankees! You know how they work, they can buy any player they want!

Well, it appears that the Yankees have indeed fixed the bullpen. After holding what amounted to a two-month open audition to fill in the spots between the starting rotation and Mariano Rivera, the Yankees have settled on a combination of relievers that has put together a dominant stretch of pitching since June 1st.

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New Debate Brewing Over Phil Hughes?

Posted by Andrew Zercie on June 9, 2009

Phil Hughes: New "Bridge to Rivera"?

Phil Hughes: New "Bridge to Rivera"?

Since the middle of the 2007 season, fans, “experts,” anonymous baseball executives and countless others have weighed in with an opinion about what Joba Chamberlain’s role should be on the New York Yankees.

After seeing Phil Hughes mow down the Tampa Bay Rays during the 7th inning of the Yankees’ 5-3 win last night, perhaps a new debate could be brewing.

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Momentum Brewing in the Bronx?

Posted by Andrew Zercie on May 2, 2009

So far this season, the New York Yankees pitching staff could be described as baseball’s spaghetti western: they’re “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

Yet, after their rousing, come-from-behind-despite-leadng-early, 10-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of California of the United States of America, the Yankees have won four straight, and they seem to be building momentum.

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Yankees’ Bailout Plan: Hughes and Melancon

Posted by Andrew Zercie on April 28, 2009

The trend for the Yankees in recent seasons has gone like this: put together a team filled with 30-somethings, get off to a slow start, call up young players for an “infusion of youth,” play better baseball.

In 2005, Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang were big factors as the Yankees roared to a 95-win season after starting 11-10.

Mekly Cabrera did “all the little things” for the Yankees in 2006, including improving their outfield defense noticeably.

2007 was all about Joba Chamberlain becoming the eighth-inning savior ahead of Mariano Rivera, until the midges struck in the ALDS against Cleveland.

If Tuesday night’s 11-0 win over Detroit is any indication, the Yankees appear to be following that script again in 2009.

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