Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Score Unprintable

No way I’m running last night’s game through the WE tracker. Maybe on a day that I’m more bored and more stoned, but definitely not today.

I think we’re beyond the realm of doubt now: Shawn Chacon isn’t going to cut it in 2006. His second half performance in 2005 had us all wondering if he could repeat, but the answer is an apparent no. In order for the Yanks to have a fighting chance at the postseason this year, Cashman’s No. 1 priority must be the acquisition of a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. Too bad there won’t be any available.

The only question that remains now is if Chacon will indeed make the final start of the first half. While it would be nice to see him on normal rest, I don’t think it’s a risk the Yanks can really take now. There are two possible outcomes, neither of which is beneficial to the team. First is that he bombs, in which case they would have been better off calling up Steve White (or even possibly, if he’s no longer hurt, starting Darrell Rasner). The second is that he pitches well, which would only be giving the team false hope.

All this considered, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chacon DFAd in the near future. He’s completely untradeable, both because he stinks and because he has one more year of arbitration at which he’s currently commanding $3.6 mil. At $1 mil, he’s a project for a team with patience. At $3.6 mil, he’s a veritable bust. Surely someone would pick him off the waiver wire, probably before Boston would get their chance.

I nominate Kris Wilson to take Chacon’s next start. In 92 innings at Columbus, he’s the owner of a 2.84 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. This is in addition to excellent peripherals: 7.14 K/9, 1.47 BB/9, 0.39 HR/9, and 4.87 K/BB. He may be 29, but that’s no reason to write him off. If Aaron Small can put it together for half a season, surely Wilson can.

A younger option would be 25-year-old Steven White, but I would think the Yanks consider him more of a trading chip than this year’s answer. It wouldn’t hurt to take a look, but a floundering appearance could erase all potential trade value.

Not only did the starting pitching problem rear its ugly head tonight, but the bullpen is waving red flags of its own. Working two innings of mop-up was Scott Proctor, who was believed in April to be the 7th inning man. Unfortunately, Torre, per protocol, overused him and has left him completely ineffective. Whether some time off can heal Proctor’s woes remains to be seen, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to get a breather any time soon.

T.J. Beam, once the hurler of 38 consecutive scoreless innings this year for Trenton, also hit the wall yesterday, allowing six runs over 2/3 of an inning. I fully expect his demotion tomorrow, with Jose Veras coming up as a replacement. I don’t mind this so much, as I’m willing to be patient with Beam. Send him back to Columbus, allow him to regain his dominating form, and try, try again next year. Or even later this year, if the situation is appropriate.

On the plus side in the bullpen, Ron Villone pulled his ERA under two with his 2.2 scoreless innings. Now, if the starters could only go deeper into games, Villone could be putting away the seventh inning rather than the second, third and fourth.

And I know that the bats haven’t been as lively lately. But with quality pitching, you can overcome the occasional lineup failure. These guys are going to score runs; it’s just a matter of the pitchers picking up for off-days. And vice versa.

Man, am I tired.