Thursday, July 06, 2006

M is for Melky and Mussina

Aaron Boone.021

(What's this?)

Sweet, sweet redemption is what the Yanks got last night. The supplier: Melky Cabrera. He walloped the ball all night, allowing Mike Mussina and Co. a little margin for error.

I overheard Michael Kay say something about Mussina being 5-1 following Yankees losses this season. I’m not sure of the exact significance of this stat. Of course it’s important to get a win following a loss, as to not let the loss turn into a losing streak. But isn’t important to get a win every time you go out there? Furthermore, I don’t think this a repeatable stat (though that’s just a hypothesis; I have no research to back up my running mouth). So, uh, I guess it’s good that Moose is picking the team up after losses. I, uh, hope the Yankees continue to lose the games prior to Mussina’s outings so he can, uh, keep winning those games.

[MORE]Kris Wilson, the man touted in this space yesterday, spun two perfect innings in relief. Whether he’ll pitch Sunday on three days rest remains to be seen, but having only worked a pair tonight, I would bet on it. He seems a better choice than Villone, both because he presents more long-term potential as a starter and because Villone is valuable in the bullpen. I’m not saying Wilson is the savior this year, but he should at least get a few starts to prove that he can outpitch Chacon – which isn’t a daunting task at this point.

My wonder is what they’ll do with Chac. His lack of control makes him a liability in the bullpen, and his worst season prior to 2006 was his lone stint in the Rockies ‘pen. It’s unlikely any team would trade for him, given his inflated arbitration value and the fact that he’s not good enough to be a half-season rental. Don’t be surprised if you see Chacon DFAd by mid-August.

(Note: I still like the guy and wish for nothing more than his return to 2005 form. However, evidence is beginning to mount against him, and the Yankees just don’t have time to wait for him to come around – because there’s always the chance he never will.)

Seeking a low-cost alternative to the Sorianos and the Abreus of the trade market, Brian Cashman claimed Aaron Guiel off waivers from the Royals. Now, this sounds terrible at first. In fact, if you didn’t look up Guiel’s stats, you might immediately write off this move as insane. I mean, got released by the freakin’ Royals! However, the circumstances are extenuating. New GM Dayton Moore has no use for the 33-year-old Guiel, as he’s got Reggie Sanders, Joey Gathright, and David DeJesus manning the lawn. I’ve described Guiel as a homeless man’s Adam Dunn – and been ridiculed for it. But they both strike out a lot, walk their share, and hit with some power. Obviously Dunn is the superior player by a few furlongs, but in style they’re comparable. Kinda like when amateur bands compare themselves to Radiohead.

Randy’s going tonight, and understandably that gives some of you the jitters. However, his start against the Mets may have been an aberration, according to’s Jon Heyman:

Here's the real reason Randy Johnson was pounded by the Mets while throwing 97 mph: He was tipping his pitches. "Definitely," one Yankee said, adding that Carlos Delgado is the master at detecting pitch tipping. "I don't know what you're talking about," Delgado said with a smile. "I was on the third-base side. I couldn't see." Delgado was asked whether he'd admit to tipping off teammates to Johnson's tipping, and Delgado responded, "I wouldn't tell you."

Hopefully Heyman’s hit the one on the head. The discrediting point, however, lies in Heyman’s next paragraph, where he speculates that Jeff Weaver may end up back with the Dodgers. Of course, he was traded to the Cardinals yesterday, ostensibly hours after Heyman’s article was published.

Baseball Tonight, which I watched in spurts tonight for the first time since May, noted that historically, the Yankees go on tears after getting ripped like they did on Tuesday. If we can rattle off nine of 10 going into and coming out of the break, I think we should start thinking about getting blown out every once in a while. Think about it: if we get blown out the game before each Mussina start, we’ll be unstoppable! I nominate Chacon to take those starts. He gets killed, we rattle off four straight, he gets blown out again, repeat 32.4 times over the course of a season, and you have 130 wins. Brilliant!