Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pitching Rotation-Immediate Options

At the trade deadline I wanted the Yankees to pick up Jarrod Washburn. However, the Mariners really screwed up and held out for more than the Yankees were willing to give up. So both teams get screwed now. The Mariners are stuck with his contract and the Yankees are minus one reliable starter. I had hopes they could trade for him before August 31, the waiver trade deadline, however, that doesn't seem to be possible either. So, the Yankees will have to look inside the organization to help out their rotation.

Lets assume their are no injuries which is actually a pretty big if considering Mussina and Pettitte's age. However, they can't really plan for injuries injuries to their top three because if any of those guys get hurt it`ll be near impossible for them to make the playoffs and go deep. Right now the rotation is something like this:

1) Mussina
2) Joba
3) Pettitte
4) Ponson
5) Rasner

After Rasner's start today he will probably be DFA'ed to make room for another pitcher. Although, I have been a big defender of his I can't say I`d be to upset with the move. Ponson will likely undeservedly stay after his lucky 7 inning shutout for another start or two but he`s destined to be gone eventually.

Immediately available they have these pitchers they may consider calling up:

1) Ian Kennedy
2) Alefredo Aceves
3) Kei Igawa (Just Kidding)

I have to admit, I had never heard of Aceves until this year when he started pitching to an ERA below 2.00 in AA. He`s not a great prospect because he`s 25 but you never know I guess. On the other hand, Kennedy has been hyped probably more than he really needed.

Kennedy was literally about as bad as you can be in the majors. His biggest problem was his control absolutely dissapeared. His BB/9 went from 2.86 in AAA in 2007 to 5.97 while he was in the majors this year. It was also very obvious if you just watched him. The lack of control also resulted in much more HR's being given up. Control doesn't just dissapear because the hitters get better which suggests the problem was just his head. Its also interesting that I don't remember them specifying what the injury was to Kennedy (although I may just be forgetting). Kennedy seems to have made a succesful return to AAA as well. He may be ready for the big leagues after all.

However, all this ignores the fact that Aceves has flat-out outpitched Kennedy in the minors this year. Kennedy has been good but he`s also benefited from extraordinarily good luck. He has a .210 BABIP in AAA this year. So far Aceves pretty much average luck in AAA (although he was pretty lucky in AA with a .243 BABIP). Aceve's FIP's have been below 3.00 in each level except AAA in which it is 3.01. Aceves has displayed incredible control this year walking less per nine innings in each level this year then Kennedy ever has, although, he has struck out less.

Personally I think both Rasner and Ponson should be replaced. I think ultimately this is what will happen. However, until his next start Ponson is probably safe. I would call up Aceves first. He`s clearly done better than Kennedy ever has. While Kennedy is the big name Aceves has done better in fact.

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