Saturday, July 10, 2004

Bullpen Shuffle 

I'm a about 36 hours late on this, but the Yankees recent losing streak (5 of 6 to the Mets and Tigers) did indeed trigger the promotion of a pair of pitchers from the Columbus bullpen. Surprisingly, Colter Bean, Alex Graman and Scott Proctor are not involved. Rather, Sam Marsonek and Juan Padilla have joined the big club with Brad Halsey and Bret Prinz taking their places in triple-A.

Both of the recalled pitchers are right-handed relievers. Marsonek was with the Yankees in spring training, where he pitched five innings allowing just one unearned run on three hits. In Columbus thus far this year, Marsonek, who turns 26 today, was the closer, earning 18 saves in 35 games with a 3.15 ERA. Over the past two seasons in Columbus Marsonek has struck out just over six men per nine innings and walked about three per nine.

The 27-year-old Padilla came to the Yankees as the player to be named later for Jessie Orosco. In Rochester last year he had a 3.36 ERA in 57 games while striking out 6.73 per nine innings and walking just 1.68 per nine. In Columbus this year he's been even better, posting a 2.47 ERA, striking out seven per nine and walking just three men in 43 2/3 innings. Just three in 43 2/3, and one of them was intentional! His WHIP in AAA this year is 0.96. Now this is exactly the sort of pitcher the Yankees need to take a chance on. Hopefully he'll actually get to pitch one of these days.

Both pitchers will work (hopefully they'll work) out of the pen. Kevin Brown threw a successful bullpen on Thursday and will throw another on Sunday. After that he'll hopefully make a long-awaited minor league rehab start over the All-Star break and return to the rotation when the Yankees need a fifth starter on Monday July 19 in Tampa. I'd like to see Brown's activation force the Yankees to demote or release Taynon Sturtze, but it seems more likely that it will force Marsonek or Padilla to return to Columbus. Okay, boys, six games to prove yourself . . GO!

posted by Cliff at 12:46 AM

Happy and Sad 

Three things that made me happy today:

1) Watching Larry Bowa get thrown out of the Phillies-Braves game for jawing at home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman from the dugout over a Rafael Furcal home run that he thought had gone foul, then come bursting out of the dugout in classic Billy Martin/Earl Weaver fashion to get his money's worth. The ESPN cameras captured enough f-bombs to make Miles Davis blush. Having had enough, Bowa dropkicked his cap into the dugout, where a bat boy picked it up and held it for him on the steps. When Bowa got to the steps he punted it out of the bat boy's hands.

Watching this I realized how long it had been since I had seen a manager really blow up during a game. That made me think about Sweet Lou managing against the Yanks tonight. Sure enough . . .

2) Watching Lou Piniella get thrown of the Rays-Yankees game for jawing at home plate umpire Dan Iassogna from the dugout over balls and strikes, then come bursting out of the dugout in classic Billy Martin/Earl Weaver/Larry Bowa fashion to get his money's worth. Crew Chief Charlie Reliford got between Piniella and Iassogna, but apparently the exchange was going both ways because just when Lou looked ready to take his seat, Iassogna said something that made Lou lurch back towards him like a dog on a leash.

3) Watching Paul Quantrill come in in the sixth inning of that game after Javier Vazquez had walked the bases loaded and fallen behind Toby Hall 2-0 with two outs and the Yankees up by one run. Quantrill's first pitch was a perfect low and away called strike. Hall fouled off the next pitch to run the count even. Hall then fouled off four of the next five pitches (the fifth being ball three) before ending an epic ten-pitch, two-pitcher at-bat by flying out to deep center. The Yankees went on to win the game 5-4 thanks in part to a perfect seventh inning from Quantrill.

Two things that made me sad today:

1) This ESPN story about forgotten 1986 All-Star third baseman Chris Brown working for Halliburton on 18-wheel fuel trucks in Iraq.

2) The fact that my NL All-Star ballot post reported that Frank Robinson was never a starter for the NL All-Star team, when in fact he started in 1957. To make it worse, he did indeed start along side Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, thus forming the only all-500-homer All-Star starting outfield in baseball history prior to this year. My mistake was that I thought Robinson was a rookie in 1958 (conflating his then rookie record 38 homers into the actual year of 1956) and thus didn't check 1956 or 1957. Robinson started both years, though in 1956 it was with Stan Musial and teammate Gus Bell. Laziness at it's worst. My apologies.

posted by Cliff at 12:02 AM

Friday, July 09, 2004

Soaking up June Rays 

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays went 20-6 in June. How is that possible? Well, it wasn't a weak schedule. 12 of their 26 games were against winning teams (Twins, Giants, Padres, Marlins). They were 9-3 in those games and 11-3 against weaker opponents (Orioles, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays). They must have just played well. Here's a look at how the individual Rays performed in the month of June.

Here's their typical line up with their June GPAs (career GPAs prior to 2004 in parentheses):

Carl Crawford: .299 (.228)
Jose Cruz Jr.: .337 (.266)
Rocco Baldelli: .282 (.251)
Aubrey Huff: .268 (.277)
Tino Martinez: .265 (.273)
Julio Lugo: .288 (.249)
Rey Sanchez: .301 - 75 AB (.223) / Geoff Blum: .259 - 60 AB (.249)
Toby Hall: .230 (.233)
Robert Fick: .278 - 44 AB (.261) / Fred McGriff: .217 - 42 AB (.299)

With the exception of the clearly washed up McGriff (career .299 GPA, hmmm, maybe he is a Hall of Famer), no Devil Ray had a June GPA more than nine points lower than his career mark entering the year. Meanwhile, seven of the eleven players listed had a June GPA ten points better than their pre-2004 career mark. Of the seven full-timers listed, four of them exceeded their career GPAs by 30 points or more, and the top two guys in the order exceeded their career GPAs by 71 points each. That's a lot of playing over your head.

Of course this is only half the picture, here's a look at the pitching staff in June with WHIPs and ERAs:

Victor Zambrano (5 GS, 6 G): 1.55/3.48 (1.53/4.48)
Mark Hendrickson (5 GS): 1.23/2.56 (1.47/4.94)
Dewon Brazelton (4 GS, 5 G): 1.41/2.05 (1.68/6.46)
Chad Gaudin (4 GS): 1.96/5.87 (1.35/3.60)
John Halama (3 GS, 6 G): 1.36/5.32 (1.49/4.49)
Rob Bell (2 GS, 5 G): 1.55/5.91 (1.54/5.86)
Doug Waechter (2 GS): 1.22/6.00 (1.27/3.31)
Paul Abbott (1 GS): 2.25/13.50 (1.49/4.68)

Note the incidence of high whip/low ERA and vice versa, especially for Brazelton and Waechter. Notice also how Zambrano was right on target for his career WHIP, but a full run better in ERA in June. As is always the case with a Lou Piniella team, the Rays have jettisoned the underachievers. Abbott is now a Philly. Gaudin is in Durham. Waechter is on the DL. Of those that remain, Bell and Halama are pitched like themselves. Brazelton and Zambrano also pitched like themselves, but with unusually good results. Mark Hendrickson, meanwhile, was well over his head. Those last three were a combined 8-0 in June.

The Bullpen:

Danys Baez (11 G, 7 SV): 1.32/3.29 (1.37/3.92)
Jesus Colome (10 G): 0.91/1.17 (1.66/5.10)
Jorge Sosa (7 G): 1.20/2.31 (1.51/5.01)
Trever Miller (11G, 4 IP): 2.50/0.00 (1.74/5.20)
Lance Carter (7 G): 1.41/3.97 (1.16/3.78)
Travis Harper (9 G): 1.39/5.93 (1.49/4.71)

Ah, here's some more overachieving! Specifically Colome and Sosa, who stepped up to form a legitimate Big Three with Danny Baez pitching as himself, all of whom apparently did an incredible job of picking up LOOGY Trever Miller.

So you're reasons for the D-Ray's hot June?

Cruz, Crawford, Baldelli, Lugo, Hedrickson, Colome, Sosa all performed well above their established levels. As did Sanchez, Zambrano and Brazelton, though to a lesser degree.

One other hidden truth about the Devil Ray's June? Their Pythagorean record for the month was just 16-10. With almost half their team playing over their heads, they took it a step further an played a full four games over their run differential over the course of just 26 games.

The Devil Rays are 4-6 in July after dropping the first two games of their series against the Yankees. They were 11-17 in May. Both of those are very close to a .400 winning percentage. In March and April they went 7-14 (.333). Thanks to their hot June, they can win 70 games for the first time in franchise history by playing .364 ball for the rest of the way. I expect they'll do better than that, but I don't expect them to finish .500, no matter what history tells us.

posted by Cliff at 10:19 PM

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Don't look now, but the Yankees are a mere .500 (10-10) since June 16. Of course their struggles are easy to discern: pitching, pitching and pitching.

The Yankees haven't lost a game in which their opponent has scored less than five runs since May 22 (4-3 loss to Texas). Of their thirteen losses since then, their opponents have scored exactly five runs just once. Meanwhile, Yankee opponents have scored nine or more runs in seven of those losses, accounting for more than half of the total. On the flip side, in the 27 Yankee wins over that span, Yankee opponents have scored more than five runs just four times.

You could have guessed it, but the Yanks have scored 6.2 runs per game over this 40-game period. Despite losing five of their last six, they've scored 5.8 runs per game. Pitching pitching pitching. The Yankees won't pull out of their current rut until they start pitching better or get better pitching.

While we all sit and wait for the next big deal to go down, having already taken a look at the Yankees in-house solutions, the Yankees play host to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who are also 27-13 over their last 40 games. Exactly how this happened, I'll explore tomorrow.

posted by Cliff at 5:07 PM

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

All-Star Review (offense only) 

Well, the bulk of the All-Star Rosters are in and it's time to vote for the final man on each team. Let's take a quick look, shall we?

Using my AL and NL ballots as reference, I'm just going to take a look at the 19 position players picked for each team:

American League

Fan vote (8):

1B - Jason Giambi: it's good to see that Giambi still gets some respect, but he shouldn't even be at the game, let alone starting.

2B - Alfonso Soriano: second base in the AL this year is an ugly mix of mediocre performances and fluke seasons. Soriano hasn't earned this spot, but as I had to settle for Orlando Hudson, I have no real problem with seeing Sori here.

SS - Derek Jeter: after a dreadful start to the season, Jeter has played like a no-doubt All-Star since the end of May, this could look like a much better choice in another month or so.

3B - Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod is A-Rod, but he's also been just the third best third baseman in the AL thus far this season. Still, he should be at the game because one of the top two third baseman in the AL is on the DL.

C - Ivan Rodriguez
RF - Vladimir Guerrero
LF - Manny Ramirez

Exactly right.

CF - Ichiro Suzuki: the most overrated player in baseball shouldn't even be in the AL outfield picture, let alone starting. At least Jason Giambi has proven to be one of the best hitters in the game over the past three years. An awful selection.

Player Vote (8):

1B - David Ortiz: A solid choice, but how is it that neither the fans nor the players voted in Frank Thomas who has the second highest GPA (to Manny Ramirez) in the AL?

2B - Ron Belliard: Fluke season, but why not.
SS - Michael Young: Another solid choice.
3B - Hank Blalock: Amen.
C - Victor Martinez: Sho' nuff.
RF - Gary Sheffield: Ditto.

CF - Carl Crawford: The player's Ichiro. Crawford is on pace for 70-plus steals and is hitting .300 but has no value beyond those two stats. His GPA is a replacement level .261. I'd happily sub in Jose Cruz Jr. to fill the Devil Ray spot.

LF - Matt Lawton: fair enough.

Joe Torre's selections (3):

1B - Ken Harvey: With Carlos Beltran (already) in Houston (he was elected on the AL player ballot and will be at the game in an Astros uniform, but will not be on either team roster), Torre needed a Royal, and Harvey is the only one who makes a bit of sense. That said, I think the Royals should be forced to give up their right to an All-Star spot after trading their best player in June.

SS - Carlos Guillen: deserves it.

SS - Miguel Tejada: Tejada fills the Oriole spot. There's no way he should have been chosen over Melvin Mora, but Mora is currently on the DL. I wonder if Torre could have chosen Mora and then replaced him without having to do so with an Oriole. If so, this spot should have gone to Frank Thomas, pushing Tejada into the final-spot mix with Hideki Matsui, Lew Ford, Travis Hafner and Paul Konerko. Instead, Thomas is in the final-spot vote where he is a no-brainer selection.

To review:

1B - Jason Giambi, David Ortiz, Ken Harvey: Just awful. Giambi shouldn't be there and the Royals shouldn't have a representative. Frank Thomas and Travis Hafner have both been better than all three of these men.

2B - Alfonso Soriano, Ronnie Belliard: A bad pool this year. Mark Bellhorn and Jose Uribe could feel slighted, and again, my vote was for Orlando Hudson, but there's no use arguing over which apple is least rotten.

SS - Derek Jeter, Michael Young, Carlos Guillen, Miguel Tejada: all have earned it, though the fact that Jose Valentin's name hasn't even come up is a bit of a shame.

3B - Alex Rodriguez, Hank Blalock: with Mora injured, this is exactly right.

C - Ivan Rodriguez, Victor Martinez: Jorge could gripe a little, but he's been scuffling pretty badly of late.

OF - Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Ichiro Suzuki, Garry Sheffield, Marcus Lawton, Carl Crawford: Two awful speed and average picks amid four solid choices. Jose Cruz should take Crawford's D-Ray spot. Lew Ford should take Suzuki's starting assignment. Matsui could then join Paul Konerko, and some combination of Posada, Bellhorn, Uribe, Jermaine Dye and Vernon Wells in the final-man vote.

National League

Fan vote (8):

1B - Albert Pujols: Jim Thome's actually blown him out of the water this season, but you can't complain about Pujols.

2B - Jeff Kent: yup.

SS - Edgar Renteria: doesn't deserve it this year, but I'm glad he beat out Adam Everett, who was chasing him down to the wire. Actually, considering the other choices, I don't mind seeing Renteria get the "reputation" vote here.

3B - Scott Rolen
C - Mike Piazza
LF - Barry Bonds


CF - Ken Griffey, Jr.: great to see him having a strong season, but there are better candidates for this position

RF - Sammy Sosa: his sneeze-induced back injury cost him a lot. There are better candidates here as well, but you can't really complain about the first ever all-500-homer starting outfield in All-Star history.

Player vote (8):

1B - Sean Casey: Okay, Casey's a nice guy having a great season, but isn't Jim Thome supposed to be a nice guy to? He's fighting Manny Ramirez for the second best season in baseball after Barry Bonds and he doesn't get the fan or player vote? What is going on here?!

2B - Mark Loretta: solid choice.

SS - Jack Wilson: possible fluke, but fair enough.

3B - Mike Lowell: legit, but I wonder how close Aramis Ramirez and Adrian Beltre were in the voting.

C - Johnny Estrada: word.

OF - Lance Berkman, Miguel Cabrera, Moises Alou: Berkman's dead right. Alou and Carbrera are having strong seasons, but Bobby Abreu is having a monster season and has gotten the Thome/Thomas treatment, and he's not even a first-baseman/DH whose name starts with "Thom." J.D. Drew and Adam Dunn also have a lot to complain about here.

Jack McKeon's picks (3):

1B - Jim Thome: sanity at last.

1B - Todd Helton: he needed a Rocky and Helton deserves to go.

SS - Barry Larkin: My vote for starting shortstop, a Hall of Famer having a last hurrah. That said, with Abreu, Drew, Dunn, Ramirez, Beltre, heck even Lyle Overbay sitting home, there was no need for McKeon to take a third shortstop from a shallow pool. McKeon managed Larkin in Cincinnati for three and a half years. I smell favoritism.

To review:

1B - Albert Pujols, Sean Casey, Jim Thome: that'll do.

2B - Jeff Kent, Mark Loretta: just fine.

SS - Edgar Renteria, Jack Wilson, Barry Larkin: Had the fans voted right we might not be in this mess. No need for three shortstops in a shallow pool. Then again, on it's face, this doesn't offend me.

3B - Scott Rolen, Mike Lowell: just fine, tough luck for Ramirez and Beltre. If only that extra SS spot could be used here.

C - Mike Piazza, Johnny Estrada: correct.

OF: Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa, Lance Berkman, Moises Alou, Miguel Cabrera: Only two of the top three NL outfielders made it. Bobby Abreu is a tremendous oversight that needs to be corrected in the final-man vote. That said, Abreu and J.D. Drew should replace Alou and Cabrera. Let the fans have their 500-homer starters, even if it is unfair to Adam Dunn, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, Jim Edmonds, Craig Wilson, Pat Burrell, Cabrera and Alou.

Final thoughts:

Vote for Frank Thomas and Bobby Abreu in the final-man vote. Their omission thus far is a joke. Beyond that, while one can easily argue that there are more deserving players in many spots, there are only four players who should not be at this game. Two of them, Giambi and Renteria, can get by on previous accomplishments. That leaves Ichiro Suzuki and Carl Crawford as two most undeserving All-Stars among the position players. And don't get me started on the presence of Juan Pierre (.259 GPA, 61% SB rate) in place of Drew, Dunn, Beltre or Overbay on the NL last-man ballot.

posted by Cliff at 1:10 PM

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Catching Up 

After the Red Sox swept the Yankees at home in April I wrote the following:
"The best my inner optimist can do for this team right now is to say that they've got to hit bottom before they can climb back up, and perhaps a four game losing streak that includes getting swept at home by the Red Sox and shut out in the final game is them hitting bottom."

Indeed, the Yankees, who were 8-11 (.421) after The Sweep, promptly went on an eight-game winning streak on their way to a 28-10 (.737) record from April 27 through July 1.

It's tempting to invert that sentiment in reference to last week's sweep of the Sox and Thursday's dramatic extra-inning victory, but that would be laziness at it's worst. Rather, last week's sweep of the Sox and it's heart-stopping finale were a fitting climax to the first half of the season. The only problem is that it came with ten games left to play before the All-Star break.

This past weekend's sweep at the hands of the Mets--the first time the Mets have ever swept the Yankees, the first time the Mets have ever taken a season series from the Yankees (4-2), and much more importantly, the first time the Yankees have been swept since that April series against the Red Sox--strikes me as a combination of fluke, hangover, and anti-climax. As expected, the regulars were a bit hungover from the Red Sox finale on Friday, posting just two runs on just four hits. That simply wasn't enough for Mike Mussina, who's been struggling to return to form since his groin pull (more on that in a bit). The other two games were one-run affairs. The middle game was a wild, 19-run affair in which the lead switched hands seven times. In that one, Tom Gordon let an inherited runner score to earn just his second blown save of the year. The game was then entrusted to Tanyon Sturtze, who was on the hook for the loss in the 13th inning of Thursday's game if you'll remember. It should surprise no one that in a high-scoring game like that, Sturtze was unable to keep the Mets from pushing one across to end the game. The deciding run in the finale was just the second home run hit off Tom Gordon this year, and the only hit off Gordon in his one inning of work in that game.

What cost the Yankees that series wasn't a hangover from the Sox series (though if I had the choice of the Yankees winning Thursday night's game against the Red Sox and getting swept by the Mets, or losing to the Sox and taking 2 of 3 from the Mets, I'd take the former--note that with the Sox losing 2 of 3 to the Braves last weekend, the effect on the standings in each scenario is the same). It was horsesh*t pitching, as Steve Goldman points out in the latest Pinstriped Bible. Taking a quick look around, Mariano Rivera has gotten the rest he's needed of late, appearing in just four games since June 15 (by the way, he's allowed just one run since May 11). Paul Quantrill, who lead the NL in games each of the last three years, doesn't need the rest, and recovered from an ugly May (5.51 ERA) with a tremendous June (1.04 ERA, just one walk and 2 earned runs in 17 1/3 IP). Gordon, however, is still being overworked. While his back-to-back failures in Shea might be some indication that it's finally getting to him, they were just as likely flukes. Still, Gordon is on pace to pitch almost 100 innings, something he's not done since his last year as a starter in 1997. He appeared in a career high 73 games the next year but then was plagued by injuries over the next three seasons (though Stephen King didn't help matters). He's on pace to pitch 85 games in 2004 and won't be getting the All-Star break off because his own manager has added him to the American League squad.

The key to reducing Gordon's workload is fixing the back half of the bullpen (or front half, depending on your point of view). Tanyon Sturtze and Felix Heredia are just not the answer. Goldman points to Colter Bean, who has a 2.17 ERA and 62 strikeouts against just 15 walks and a lone home run allowed in 49 2/3 innings at Columbus. Alex Graman, who had one awful start with the big club back in April, is worth a look as a LOOGY or a long man. He has a 2.90 ERA, 77 K and just 73 hits in 83 2/3 innings (all as a starter) in Columbus. His 32 walks aren't great, but they're not awful either. Same with his 10 homers allowed in 14 starts. Scott Proctor has very similar numbers, though all in short relief (2.78 ERA, 33 K, 16 BB, 3 HR in 32 1/3 IP). From what I saw in spring training Proctor's fastball is straighter than Bret Prinz's, so I'm not sure he'll have any more success than Prinz has had, but then he seems to be doing a decent job of missing bats in triple-A and thus couldn't be that much worse than Sturtze or Heredia.

Of course there's always the possibility of a trade. In addition, Orlando Hernandez (with Columbus: two solid starts, one bad one) and Steve Karsay (AAA: 3 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 H, 2 K) are still on track for late-July activations. But there's no reason for the Yankees not to cut bait with Sturtze and/or roll him or Heredia into a trade and promote one of their young pitchers in the meantime.

As for the Rotation, Kevin Brown is expected to be activated after the All-Star break. Jon Lieber has turned in two consecutive solid starts. Brad Halsey, with a strong start tomorrow, could force his way into the bullpen picture, if not start breathing down Jose Contreras's neck for the fifth spot in the rotation. Javy Vazquez is simply a pitchers pitcher, able to turn in a quality start even when he has nothing working, as was the case on Sunday against the Mets. That leaves Mike Mussina, who as I wrote recently, has been the Moose of old since escaping his awful April (62 IP, 61 H, 51 K, 7 BB, 1.11 WHIP, 3.63 ERA). Well, not so fast. Those numbers don't count his bomb against the Mets on Friday. What's more, here are the lines Mussina's three starts since returning from his groin injury:

5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 6 K
5 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 3 K

Totals: 16 IP, 20 H, 16 R, 13 ER, 6 HR, 3 BB, 10 K, 1.44 WHIP, 7.31 ERA

Mussina is pitching tonight against the Tigers on short rest so that he can make one more start on Sunday before the All-Star break. As I've mentioned in this space many times, Mussina does not pitch well on long rest. This move allows him remain on regular rest despite the break. Vazquez should get the first start after the break on five days rest, followed by Mussina on four days, with some combination of Contreras, Lieber and Brown completing the rotation on extended rest. The fact that this decision was made decreases the concern about the lingering effects of Mussina's pulled groin playing a part in his poor showing since returning (the Yankees wouldn't start him on short rest if he was still hurting). That said, a solid outing tonight would do a lot more to reduce concern about his ability to regain his pre-injury form.

Speaking of injuries and such, the big news last night was not Jon Lieber's solid outing (holding the Tigers scoreless through six), nor the Yankees convincing 10-3 win. It was the return of Jason Giambi. In his first start since June 26, Giambi collected two hits in three at-bats, scored a run, drove in another, and drew a walk for good measure, upping his average seven points in the process. Giambi DHed, and I would expect him to continue to do so until the All-Star break, at which point we can all discuss whether it's better to have Kenny Lofton in center or Tony Clark at first. The starting first-baseman for the AL, Giambi will play the field in Houston, and currently expects to participate in the Home Run Derby. All of which is indicative of his recovery.

Since turning his ankle in Texas on the 21st of May, Giambi has made a noticeable contribution to just four games (game-winning hits in his first two games off the DL, a three-hit game in a losing effort in LA, and last night). While the team has played well in his "absence" (26-12 .684 from 5/22 to 7/4), Giambi remains one of the elite offensive weapons in the game. Nothing short of having Jim Thome, Albert Pujols or this year's Frank Thomas on hand as a replacement would make the return of a healthy Giambi to the line-up anything other than a huge improvement. And speaking of healthy, for all the concern over the strength of his knee earlier in the season, Giambi has now had more than his fair share of rest, missing eleven games during his DL stay and riding pine for eight more during the worst of his battle with giardia. That's 19 of the Yankees last 39 games that he's not started. Here's hoping all that time away will payoff come September and October.

posted by Cliff at 5:11 PM

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