Items of Interest - Red Sox-Yankees

    Sunday, September 26, 2010, 6:24 PM [General]

    Today is Sept. 26 and 49 years ago, Roger Maris tied Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record by connecting off Baltimore’s Jack Fisher at the original Yankee Stadium.

    There will be no records set and the Yankees hope to avoid their season high fifth straight loss, which qualifies as a 2010 record.

    The original plan was to give Dustin Moseley a second start on a Sunday night against the Red Sox. The original plan also included an “X” next to where it says Yankees in the standings, which would have indicated a playoff berth.

    The Yankees have failed at that and not looked well at doing so over the last four games, getting outscored by 34-16 and not pitching well. Of course some of those mixed message bullpen moves have not helped matters.

    So where there is failure there might be panic and that is why Moseley does not start and Phil Hughes starts.

    That wouldn’t be that big of a deal except for that little four-game losing streak that has created pockets of doom among Yankee fans and wondering if a complete collapse is in the offering.

    Hughes threw 15 changeups the last time he pitched Tuesday, which also was the last time the Yankees won a game. If he is effective or the Yankees win, they will actually gain ground since Seattle was a 6-2 winner at Tampa Bay and Detroit beat Minnesota.

    Hughes also has a shot to break a dubious record if he allows another home run. His 20 home runs allowed have tied Scott Sanderson for the most at Yankee Stadium in team history. Sanderson did it in 1992, which was his second season in pinstripes. Hughes, Kevin Millwood and Ted Lilly are the only pitchers to allow that many home runs at home this year.

    Hughes also has come to the rescue during his career, going 9-0 in 11 starts following a Yankee loss since 2009.

    So with a 1 ½ game deficit in the AL East, Hughes gives the Yankees their best chance to win. Of course we said that about having CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte on the mound and that never transpired.

    As for the rest of the week, Girardi said the Yankees are on rotation, which means A.J. Burnett, Sabathia and Pettitte in Toronto. Of course that could change if the Yankees clinch already.

    While Girardi’s moves concerning his bullpen have not panned out since he is using too many “B” relievers, some of his moves with the hitters have been successful.

    Derek Jeter takes a 14-game hitting streak into tonight’s game and has seen his average climb from .262 to .267. Over that stretch and that includes a night off after a 1-for-7 in Texas, he is batting .322 (19-for-59) and with a hit tonight, that gives him his 12th streak of at least 15 games.

    Alex Rodriguez also is hot and has an outside shot of reaching 30 home runs. Last year he did it on the last day of the regular season and with three home runs in his last five at-bats, he has 28. Since returning from the DL, Rodriguez is 22-for-66 (.333) with seven home runs, 20 RBI and a 1,092 OPS.

    As for the Red Sox, Mike Lowell is out of the lineup but manager Terry Francona did not adjust the lineup when finding out they would face Hughes. Francona actually found out when Girardi called him about it. (Who knew managers did that? I certainly can’t figure Don Zimmer giving Billy Martin that same courtesy in the 1970s).

    And here are the lineups for the teams.


    Red Sox

    Marco Scutaro, 2B
    J.D. Drew, RF
    Victor Martinez, C
    David Ortiz, DH
    Adrian Beltre, 3B
    Jed Lowrie, SS
    Ryan Kalish, CF
    Bill Hall, LF
    Lars Anderson, 1B


    Derek Jeter, SS
    Nick Swisher, RF
    Mark Teixeira, 1B
    Alex Rodriguez, 3B
    Robinson Cano, 2B
    Jorge Posada, C
    Lance Berkman, DH
    Curtis Granderson, CF
    Brett Gardner, LF


    0 (0 Ratings)

    Yankees Stink - At Least in the last four games

    Saturday, September 25, 2010, 10:51 PM [General]

    If you have ever stepped foot in Yankee Stadium rooting for the visiting team, chances are at some point you might have chanted “Yankees Stink”.  Well not really stink, but another word starting with the letter “S”.

    More times than not, you would be totally wrong. If you have chanted that at any point during the last four Yankee home games, you would not be inaccurate.

    That is because with the exception of an aborted comeback filled with home runs Friday, the Yankees and there is no nice way to put this – have stunk and they were awful in losing to Jon Lester, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

    It is not 1990-esque stink but still something rotten and it starts on the mound with starting pitcher. A.J. Burnett gets absolved because rain washed out his three innings Wednesday but CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were awful and Ivan Nova was not good.

    Neither pitcher has gone past the sixth. The combined deficit when each pitcher’s final line was finished was 15 runs. Sabathia’s line was finished with the Yankees being down 8-3, Pettitte’s was done with the Yankees being down 7-1 and Nova’s concluded with a 4-0 deficit.

    "It’s hard to play with an edge when you’re down by five or six runs," Alex Rodriguez said after his third home run in less than 24 hours. "I think the bottom line is it starts with our starting pitching, and we have to have someone come out and step up and go six or seven innings, and the offense has to do our job."

    The next someone will be Dustin Moseley, followed by Burnett and then whoever TBA is. Then comes Phil Hughes, whose innings limit will skip him for the third time and Sabathia to get him in line to start the postseason opener.

    No matter what type of offense you possess, those are tough deficits to overcome so it is hardly stunning that the last four nights the magic number to clinch a postseason spot has stayed at three.

    "We’re still in a good spot," manager Joe Girardi said.

    Ah, the infamous postseason spot, the one we’ve been getting mixed messages about. The recordings where we hear they want the division and home field but will take the wild card if it means they can have guys healthy and rested.

    "I haven't managed any different at this time of the year than I have during the course of the season," Girardi said. "I know people have brought up the question about rest, but the one thing I said is I'm not going to hurt our guys.

    That is a nice luxury to have but what if the caliber of pitching and overall play from the last four games translates into a postseason series then what? Well, everybody will be rested – at home with their families on the golf course or in various other forms of relaxation.

    As for the Yankees, they may look like garbage on the field but the message is they are not tight. Even as manager Girardi grits his teeth a little harder, there does not appear to be any worry on the surface.

    "Bottom line, we need to win games," Girardi said.

    That is the obvious statement. A few days without those wins might erase some of the what-me-worry feeling.

    They have the talent. A team does not win 92 games without it and does not get in position where it is assured of being a playoff team without it.

    And since they have conceded to accepting the wild card berth despite all the talk about desiring the division, here’s a look at past wild card teams have done in the last four weeks of the year:

    American League:

    2009 – Boston Red Sox – finished 95-67 by going 17-10 down the stretch, turning a two-game lead over Texas into an eight-game difference. (Lost to Angels in ALDS)

    2008 – Boston Red Sox – finished 97-65, by going 13-8 down the stretch, turning a 6 ½ game lead into an eight-game difference.  (Lost to Rays in ALCS)

    2007 – New York Yankees – finished 94-68 by going 18-7 down the stretch turning a two-game lead into a six-game difference. (Lost to Indians in ALDS)

    2006 – Detroit Tigers – finished 95-67 by going 11-14 down the stretch, turning a 4 ½ game lead into a one-game divisional deficit and a five-game difference. (Lost to Cardinals in World Series, beat Yankees and Athletics)

    2005 – Boston Red Sox – finished 95-67 (lost divisional tiebreaker to Yankees on last weekend) by going 18-8 down the stretch. With four weeks remaining, they held a 3 ½ game lead on the Yankees. (Lost to White Sox in ALDS)

    2004 – Boston Red Sox – finished 98-64 and won the wild card by seven games. In the final four weeks, the Red Sox went 17-6 and with four weeks remaining held a 3 ½ game lead. (Beat St. Louis in World Series, beat Angels and Yankees)

    2003 – Boston Red Sox – finished 95-67 and won the wild card by two games. In the final four weeks, the Red Sox were 17-9 and rallied from a 1 ½ game deficit. (Lost to Yankees in ALCS)

    2002 – Anaheim Angels – finished 99-63 and won the wild card by six games. In the final four weeks went 17-9 and held a 2 ½ game lead in the wild card race at that time. (Beat San Francisco in World Series, beat Yankees and Twins)

    2001 – Oakland Athletics – finished 102-60 and won the wild card by 17 games over the Twins. In the final four weeks went 22-3 and held an eight-game lead at that time. (Lost to Yankees in ALDS)

    2000 – Seattle Mariners – finished 91-71 and won the wild card by one game over the Indians. In the final four weeks, went 17-9 and held a 2 ½ game lead in the AL West. (Lost to Yankees in ALCS)

    1999 – Boston Red Sox – finished 94-68 and won the wild card by seven games over the Athletics. In the final four weeks, went 17-8 and held a two-game lead at the time. (Lost to Yankees in ALCS)

    1998 – Boston Red Sox – finished 92-70 and won the wild card by seven games over the Angels. Went 13-15 over the final four weeks and held an eight-game lead over Texas at the time. (Lost to Indians in ALDS)

    1997 – New York Yankees – finished 96-66 and won the wild card by 12 games over the Angels. Went 17-11 over the final four weeks and held a 6 ½ game lead over the Angels at the time. (Lost to Indians in ALDS)

    1996 – Baltimore Orioles – finished 88-74 and won the wild card by 2 ½ games over the Mariners. In the final four weeks, went 16-10 and trailed the Indians by two games. (Lost to Yankees in ALCS)

    1995 – New York Yankees – finished 79-65 and won the wild card by one game over the Angels. In the final four weeks, went 20-5 and trailed by two games at the time. (Lost to Mariners in ALDS)












    0 (0 Ratings)

    Yankees-Red Sox items of interest

    Saturday, September 25, 2010, 3:13 PM [General]

    Today is September 25, another way too hot day for the first few days of fall.

    A year ago, the Yankees were two days away from re-claiming the AL East title that was theirs from 1998-2006.

    Now, the defense of that is questionable despite the one-half game difference between them and the Rays. As we begin this, the Yankees are taking batting practice to Pearl Jam’s Corduroy, a song whose chorus is “The Waiting Drove Me Mad”.

    Based on some of the phone calls from Yankee fans to ESPN Radio and WFAN, that feeling is emerging with some as the Yankees have not looked very good in losing three straight and 12 of 18 following an eight-game winning streak.

    So how do you solve that problem?

    The Yankees have eight games remaining so maybe doing something like winning five or more of those games might ease some of the frantic feelings.

    Before today’s game, former Colts coach Tony Dungy briefly met with the Yankees and that was after made the rounds with the Jets. Dungy told the Yankees things about preparing for what lies ahead.

    For starters, here is today’s lineup against lefty Jon Lester, who the last time was here ended his role in a three and a half hour game by striking out Curtis Granderson, who had hit rock bottom in terms of facing lefties.

    Yankee history, especially in the last three seasons is not good against Lester. Since the start of the 2008 season, he is 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts and of pitchers with at least 45 innings against the Yankees, his earned run average is the best and the first time he faced the Yankees in the Bronx on July 3, 2008 might have been one of the lowest moments of that year.

    Lester is on the mound for the Red Sox and the Yankee history against him is not the greatest. He is 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last 10 starts

    One mechanical change later, Granderson is among the hottest Yankee hitters of late. Since August 12, he is batting .304 (14-for-46) off lefties and overall is nine for his last 27 and 6-for-17 on this homestand.

    Granderson again gets to hit eighth and man center field.

    Batting ahead of Granderson will be Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Marcus Thames, and Austin Kearns. And batting behind Granderson will be Francisco Cervelli, whose primary job is to catch Ivan Nova.

    Nova has pitched 35 innings in eight appearances (six starts). He has been removed with a lead in four of those starts and is one of two Yankees since 1980 to go undefeated in his first six career starts. The other was Joba Chamberlain, who did in his first seven starts during the 2008 transition.

    As for the Red Sox, here are the items of interest from NESN’s Tony Lee.

    If you watched last night’s game, you might have seen Mike Lowell get hit in the face by a Granderson ground ball. Lowell was removed but fortunately does not have any concussion-like symptoms.

    The Red Sox will also have a new player in Felipe Lopez. Lopez has played with Toronto, Cincinnati, Washington, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Arizona. He played 109 games with St. Louis and had a chance to join the Padres but turned that down.

    Lopez vetoed a waiver claim because he would have felt awkward getting doused with champagne in a postseason celebration. However, what if he was in a position to get the game-winning hit or score the game-winning run in a postseason clincher.

    There are two potential reasons for this move. One is that Marco Scutaro has been dealing with an inflamed rotator cuff in his shoulder and secondly is that Lopez might be a Type B free agent, giving the Red Sox a chance to get a draft pick if he departs.

    Also worth noting is that David Ortiz needs six RBI to become the second DH with a 1,000. The leader in that is Yankee-killer Edgar Martinez, who drove in 1,003 RBI.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Enough already - Yanks hardly sharp in last 72 hours

    Saturday, September 25, 2010, 2:21 AM [General]

    Enough already!

    It is apparent that the Yankees are going to the postseason. It is also obvious and maybe a little blatant that they are willing to sacrifice a few regular season games for the scope of the bigger picture.

    In other words, saying that winning the division and getting home field is all talk. It is hardly backed up by actions and that’s fine to some extent but hardly fine when you look as awful as most of the last three nights.

    Most gets thrown in there because the Yankees almost pulled it off by getting the tying run up with two outs in the ninth of last night’s 10-8 loss.

    In fact it might have been an impressive home run filled 8-7 victory if not for one of those sacrificial decisions.

    That would be after Andy Pettitte was shelled for seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings. The first reliever in was Jonathan Albaledejo and he eventually gave up a three-run home run to Bill Hall.

    There are not any assurances that anyone else would have kept it at 7-1 but with the “A” lineup and at least five more innings for the offense, having those three runs back would have been nice.

    Externally the type of play is not something the Yankees are doing but you have to wonder if the shoddy play is a sub-conscious display of a team getting complacent.

    There has been enough sub-standard play to reach that conclusion but it really has not been just the last 72 hours at Yankee Stadium. It has been a lot of this month as the Yankees have lost 12 of 18 after storming into the month on an eight-game winning streak.

    So the question lies what good is resting guys for the bigger picture if you don’t play well enough to even get there? It is a question that the Yankees hope that they won’t have to answer but if they do will it come down to this stretch and how it may have coincided with October disappointment.

    Nobody knows for certain but it is a possibility that can’t be ruled out and right up there with things like the Twins, Rangers or Rays playing better.

    If they absolutely have to lose, can they at least have the decency to not lose by a combined score of 27-7, which is where they were headed before the home run barrage. How about chipping away and losing something like 10-7, 9-8 or so on, which they did by hitting six home runs?

    They unofficially conceded by using Chad Gaudin in a one-run game Wednesday when rain interrupted A.J. Burnett. The results of that were consecutive solo home runs from Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria.

    Thursday they officially conceded when Javier Vazquez remained in the game despite tying a major league record by hitting three consecutive hitters. They appeared headed for the white flag stage when Pettitte had nothing but fell short  

    At some point they might have gotten the message that there is a bigger picture but that this type of performance is not acceptable.

    It might have been delivered with things like the two home runs crushed by Alex Rodriguez and by Mark Teixeira as well as the one by Nick Swisher that made things interesting. It might have given most fans a feeling that a win might soon occur and that screwing around for the sake of the bigger picture might have concluded for the time being.

    It is a nice thing to do if you have actually secured it, but what good does it really do if a team does not reach the big picture that is always mentioned and with the Yankees everyone knows where that is.

    "We've still got the division in our sights," Joe Girardi said. "But we've still got to start mapping things out. Let's just get through this weekend, and maybe we can plan some more."

    How about securing the "X" next to your name in the standings and then you can worry about more planning?

    Home field advantage does not appear to be a big deal but with an offense that the Yankees have (111 of 192 home runs at Yankee Stadium), wouldn't having the last at-bat be nice if you needed it?

    Of course none of this will be relevant a month from now if the Yankees are preparing for the World Series, but it might be if they are not.

    3.2 (1 Ratings)

    Items of Interest - Red Sox-Yankees

    Friday, September 24, 2010, 5:21 PM [General]

    Reading the papers and listening to as much sports talk radio as I can tolerate, the general opinion is that the Yankees have no shot whatsoever of winning the American League East.

    That is because of what happened the last two nights when they flushed away chances to go up 3 ½ games on the Rays with nine games remaining. Yes, they still have the wild card but the way it is being played out, there is no shot of the AL East title occurring.

    At 1:00 on WFAN, listeners were told that if they divisional series tickets that they should set aside October 9 for Game Three with Minnesota and possibly October 10 for Game Four with Minnesota.

    While the Yankees speak about winning the division and home field, it certainly is not the biggest deal this year.

    So the question is will the difference between opening on the road and opening in the Bronx come down to things like leaving the bases loaded in the fifth against David Price or the seven-run sixth inning that CC Sabathia allowed.

    I’m not going to get into the odds. That’s what the pinstripedbible is for and neither are the players or coaches. Very few if any pay attention to the chatter on the air or the headlines in the newspapers but they know some of the points are valid, things like if CC Sabathia pitches poorly in Game One repeating will be a tough order, something that can be done, but tough nonetheless.

    So while the Yankees can rest their players here and there, they can still win the division. They will have to take care of it by winning and letting three sub-500 teams win a few games from the Rays.

    "If we're going to get to the promised land and win another championship, we have to beat the best," Mark Teixeira told reporters last night. "If we're going to complain about having a tougher schedule, then we don't belong in the playoffs anyway. It's going to be a tough road, and when we get to the playoffs, it's going to be the same thing. Maybe it's better that we're going to get tested these last nine games."

    Maybe it is and maybe it is not but for all the chatter, there’s a reason why the games are decided on the field by human beings and by newspaper articles, talk shows and blog posts.

    Anyway, today is September 24 and it’s way too hot for this time of year, maybe almost as hot as the Yankees were last summer. Then they surged right after the break and on this date took a 5 ½ game lead into a three-game series with the Red Sox where they ultimately won the division.

    Of course if the Yankees did not play two games over .500 since the end of July, then they might not be in this situation.

    The rest program will start for now with Phil Hughes being skipped a third time. Hughes was skipped in June and again in September. Each time he responded differently and the Yankees will see how he responds Wednesday in Toronto.

    The move is related to the innings limit as Hughes is currently at 169 1/3 innings in 29 appearances. Since Hughes will have eight days in between starts, to compensate he will do the same things as previous situations which means he will throw a side session and some simulated innings.

    That means that Dustin Moseley will get his ninth start and second on Sunday night baseball against the Red Sox. He defeated the Red Sox August 8 while filling in for Andy Pettitte.

    In terms of other pitching items, the Yankees would like to rest others but until they finally secure the playoffs, that plan will not be revealed. They also have not discussed what the rotation would be for the playoffs though that would be fairly obvious.

    One person who will not be included is Pettitte, who is making his second start since returning from the DL and first at home since July 18 against Tampa Bay.  He is one of 26 pitchers at least 100 games over .500 and 18 of those are in the Hall of Fame.

    His next pickoff will also be the 100th of his career, which is the most since it officially became a statistic in 1974.

    The most impressive number is this. Since August 4, 2009, Pettitte is 21-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 35 starts. That includes the postseason and consists of 219 1/3 innings, 186 hits, 84 runs, 79 walks, 172 strikeouts and 21 home runs.

    As for the Red Sox, their number to be eliminated is three but in some ways by mathematically hanging around until the final week, they resemble the 2008 Yankees. In many other cities, an 89-win team is often acceptable but in cities such as Boston and New York that is only accepted if that ensures playoff berths.

    Here is some of the items of interest courtesy of Tony Lee from NESN.

    When Terry Francona was asked about Josh Beckett, he is confident that this injury-plagued season will make Beckett return in 2011 with a vengence. The problems have been fastball command and trying to avoid the middle of the plate and avoiding the big innings just like A.J. Burnett sometimes does not do.

    Stringing together a long winning streak has also plagued the Red Sox. In other words they win three straight or four in a row and then do not follow up on it. It is sort of occuring now for them. The Red Sox won four straight on the West Coast and then lost four of six at home to Toronto.

    One thing statistically that stands out about the Red Sox is the amount of strikeouts accumulated by their pitchers. They are the AL strikeout leaders with 1,122, four ahead of Tampa Bay. If they finished at the top of the league in strikeouts it would be the second time in three years. Breaking down that number even further, they lead the AL with 162 strikeouts this month and 511 since the break after their 611 ranked seventh in the AL.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Items of Interest - Rays-Yankees

    Thursday, September 23, 2010, 6:10 PM [General]

    Today is September 23 and obviously the big story is the matchup between CC Sabathia and David Price.

    The last time this matchup occurred it became a phenomenal game. On Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay, the Rays took a 1-0 victory decided in the 11th inning on a Reid Brignac home run off Sergio Mitre.

    Sabathia went eight innings and allowed two singles while issuing two walks and nine strikeouts. Price also went eight and allowed three base hits while issuing two walks and striking out four.

    Last year they faced each other on the final weekend of the season in a series that had little consequence. Like the start on Sept. 13, Sabathia was denied his 20th win as he allowed nine runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. Price ended 2009 at 10-7 by allowing one run and two hits in seven innings.

    Earlier that year, at Yankee Stadium on June 6, neither pitched great, winding up with no-decisions. Sabathia went eight innings, allowing four earned runs and five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Price went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and two hits to go along with five walks and three strikeouts.

    Of course Sabathia when asked about the matchup, he said he was facing the Rays’ lineup and not Price. In fact, while he knows the score, he is not really watching what Price is throwing and monitoring his pitch selection.

    Price and Sabathia also text back-and-forth but it is not about baseball, usually just idle chit-chit like the kind you’d have with of your friends on instant messager.

    As for Price, he offered a comment yesterday, saying: “What do they have seven Hall-of-Famers?

    It was similar to Game 1 of the 2006 ALDS when Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland referred to the Yankees as "Murderers’ Row and Cano".

    Of course that proved to be a ploy as the Tigers blew the Yankees away in four.

    Also, today has a three-way AL CY Young race going on. Before Sabathia and Price met, Felix Hernandez was going for win No. 13 this afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Hernandez is an interesting case for some, especially for those not believing that wins are the end all and since Zach Greinke won the award in 2009 with 16 wins. The argument is a compelling one since he has some incredible numbers for a team that ranks last in the AL in hits, runs, second-to-last in home runs, OPS and on-base percentage.

    Amazingly, Hernandez was a 1-0 loser. He allowed Jose Baustista’s 50th home run and one other hit in his sixth complete game of the season and is 12-12. The number that is just as staggering is seven as in runs scored by the Mariners in those defeats and if you consider that three of his wins against the Yankees, Hernandez has somewhat of a case.

    Last night or early this morning, we wrote extensively about how the Yankees kind of conceded the smaller battle to win the bigger war and that was a popular topic of discussion from manager Joe Girardi to GM Brian Cashman.

     "The thing that I have the advantage of is, I’m in our clubhouse, I’m in the training room and I know what guys are going through," Girardi said. "If you went around any clubhouse players are nicked up this time of year and some are fatigued. But I have the insight to that and that’s how I make my decisions."

    About a half-hour later, Cashman reiterated that belief and also praised Girardi for decisions such as resting Mark Teixeira for two games last weekend in Baltimore.

    "Home field is a priority but not at the expense of having our guys at maximum abilities to compete in October," Cashman said. "I’ve been around the block enough and put the pedal to the medal in September and maybe ran out of gas."

    One player who was not available regardless of what the Yankees were doing was David Robertson, who had his back lock up Monday. Cashman considers the level of concern low and expects the righty to return shortly.

    About the only impressive relief performance Wednesday came from lefty Royce Ring, who struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. The Yankees will not use him tonight but would like to see more in case they elect to carry a second lefty in the postseason.

    Today also happens to be Joba Chamberlain’s 25th birthday and while he was being born in Nebraska, the Yankees were 88-61 and 5 ½ behind the Blue Jays in the AL East. Fast forward 22 years, Chamberlain was on the Yankee Stadium mound in his first month in the major leagues.

    That day Chamberlain closed out a 7-5 victory over Toronto for his first career save that preserved Mike Mussina’s 250th career win. It also marked a major alteration of the first version of “The Joba Rules” as manager Joe Torre said “we’re on the move with this thing.”

    It was also the start of one of the never-ending debates of 2008 and 2009 that was repeated so often, it made you sometimes change the station to FM.

    Finally the clubhouse is a little more crowded with the arrivals of pitchers Andrew Brackman and Delin Betances as well as catcher Jesus Montero. Brackman is on the active roster and could get into a game while the other two are here to get a taste of the scene and things like numerous media members surrounding them.

    Speaking with a few Trenton sources, some insight about both pitchers was gained.

    First with Betances, who is a Brooklyn product from the Grand Street Campus in Bushwick.

    Standing 6-foot-8, his changeup is the pitch that some scouts have raved about, especially since it compliments a 98 mph fastball. He projects to be no worse than a third starter and his most impressive game was the playoffs against New Hampshire when he faced Kyle Drabek.

    That night, Betances allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one and five of those strikeouts occurred with runners in scoring position.

    When Betances encountered the New York media for the first time since pitching in the PSAL, he talked like someone who was extremely thrilled to be here, especially since he grew up a Yankee fan. 

    As for Brackman, a 2007 first-round pick, it is actually surprising he was in Double-A. He was 2-12 in the South Atlantic League last year and had an ERA over five in the Florida State League.

    He possesses a big hard fastball, a devastating curveball with a good hook. Despite his high ERA from August 1 to the end of the year, the former NC State basketball player allowed six earned runs in 37 2/3 innings.

    Right now, Brackman projects to be a fourth or fifth guy but as anyone who watches the game know the actual difference between Double-A and the Bronx is a lot longer than the train ride on NJ Transit or the trip up the New Jersey Turnpike and over the George Washington Bridge.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Losing the battle to win the war - relief pitching edition

    Thursday, September 23, 2010, 2:19 AM [General]

    When you are a team contending for the World Series, the six months you hope to be playing can be equated to a war that is played out on the field. Over the course of time, there will be small battles and occasionally a manager will concede.

    In other words you are losing the battle to win the war and that is what happened last night.

    Though Joe Girardi might not have envisioned a two-hour rain delay ending A.J. Burnett’s night after three innings and 51 pitches, he might have been thinking about the bigger picture when it comes with bullpen usage when encountering those circumstances.

    That is the advantage of 40-man rosters after Sept 1, something that has existed since 1968 and recently become a popular topic to debate.

    So what Girardi tried to do is get through a game with his secondary group of relievers. Following Burnett were Royce Ring, Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin and Jonathan Albaladejo. Of that group only Ring pitched well as he struck out two in 1 2/3 innings and was charged with a run in his Yankee debut.

    So why would Girardi do that?

    For one thing, the Yankees are going to the playoffs and secondly, he is thinking big picture with his relievers, especially with the key guys in Boone Logan, David Robertson, Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera.

    Of course if Burnett has a normal night of pitching six or seven innings, would the bullpen use have gone differently?

    It’s certainly possible but Robertson would not be used since the Yankees said an MRI on a muscular back issue that he said does not concern him.

    As for those relievers, here’s how September has gone for them:

    Logan - 11 appearances, six innings, six hits, three runs, one home run, five walks, 11 strikeouts, 135 pitches to 29 hitters.

    Robertson – 9 appearances, 9 2/3 innings, eight hits, three runs, five walks, 10 strikeouts, 187 pitches to 42 hitters.

    Wood – 10 appearances, 10 1/3 innings, four hits, five walks, 11 strikeouts, 147 pitches to 39 hitters.

    Chamberlain – 9 appearances, 9 1/3 innings, five hits, one run, one home run, one walk, 10 strikeouts, 121 pitches to 34 hitters.

    Rivera – 9 appearances, 9 1/3 innings, 10 hits, four runs, one home run, three walks, six strikeouts, 146 pitches to 41 hitters.

    One thing that might have countered Girardi’s approach was CC Sabathia pitching the following game. Sabathia has pitched 224 innings in 32 starts and for the most part extensive pitching changes are not part of his games but the next three games after that will feature Andy Pettitte in his second time back from the DL, Ivan Nova, who has trouble around the fifth and Hughes. So with that in mind, Girardi might be thinking there will be extensive bullpen use and the circumstances of rain and Sabathia can keep the key guys even fresher in case they are needed in more than consecutive games.

    One trend that Girardi likes to stay away from is using those key pitchers three nights in a row. There have been exceptions but that is Girardi’s preference.

    Chamberlain and Hughes the reliever definitely had have not had relief outings on three straight nights. Robertson also has not pitched three days in a row over the last two years and neither has Wood or Logan.

    Rivera has pitched six times in three straight games under Girardi.

    The most recent instance was July 17-19, 2009 against the Tigers when he pitched the ninth in a 5-3 win and a pair of 2-1 victories. It also occurred June 6-8, 2009 against Tampa Bay when gave up three earned runs in a 5-5 game in the ninth followed by saves in 4-3 and 5-3 victories.   

    Two years ago, Rivera pitched in the final three games at Yankee Stadium. That probably was more that Girardi felt Rivera should be on the mound for the final out at the ballpark.

    On that same homestand, he pitched 2 1/3 innings in three straight games, 6-5 and 8-4 wins over Tampa Bay and a 4-2 win over Chicago. The middle game of that stretch was a one batter appearance when he struck out Willy Aybar with two outs and two on.

    It also occurred August 22-24 in Baltimore when Rivera pitched 3 2/3 innings after being idle for five games. Necessity also dictated that as the Yankees were five games behind Boston in the wild card race.

    Rivera also did it twice in June of that year. He pitched the ninth of an 8-0 win over San Diego on June 17 after being idle for four days and then saved 8-5 and 2-1 wins.

    A week earlier, he was actually used in four straight games. He blew a save in a 12-11 win over Kansas City June 7, saved a 6-3 win, blew a save by allowing a Jose Guillen home run and then saved a 3-1 win at Oakland on June 10.

    Of course the full ramifications of conceding this game have yet to be determined. The Yankees only hold a 1 ½ game lead and as good as Sabathia has pitched facing David Price has been a daunting task.

    "Sometimes I get some questions and people don’t understand why I’m doing certain things," Girardi said before the game. "But it’s what my heart and gut, and what we talk about, tells me to do."

    For managers,whether you agree, disagree or are indifferent, it is about the bigger battle as opposed to the little skirmish - though a September game against the team nearest in the standings should not necessarily be treated like the latter.

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    Items of Interest - Rays-Yankees

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 6:19 PM [General]

    Today is Sept. 22 and a year ago the Yankees clinched their first playoff berth with a manager other than Joe Torre since the last day of 1995 when they were the American League’s first wild card winner under Buck Showalter.

    The spot was secured with a 6-5 win at Anaheim when Brett Gardner scored on Alex Rodriguez’s ninth-inning sacrifice fly.

    The celebration that night was low key because like this year, the Yankees are aiming for the divisional. If the Yankees decide to celebrate differently manager Joe Girardi will leave it up to the players but since winning the division seems to be the priority, chances are the big celebration will be saved for if and when that occurs.

    Currently the Yankees have a magic number of three to clinch the playoff spot, meaning if that they win and the Orioles knock off the Red Sox clinching can occur Thursday. But first things, first and that pertains to A.J. Burnett, who is feeling positive about himself after a few encouraging starts and also happy that manager Joe Girardi shares his belief about living in the present and forgetting the negatives that have occurred up to this point.

    There is not a whole of lot of other things going on but at some point Mark Teixeira will get a break for three to four days. Teixeira has been dealing with thumb and toe injuries and is 12-for-65 this month. A year ago batted .343 in September but then those injuries were not bothering him.

    One thing the Yankees will do to rest him is tell him not to take groundballs, hitting and only just exercise. One thing they will not do is panic as they know what the back of the baseball card says.

    "I think the one thing that we learned to do here is you don’t panic if Mark Teixeira doesn’t hit for a couple of weeks, because it just means that he’s probably going to start hitting a lot." Girardi said.

    Lance Berkman is in the lineup again and is batting .360 since returning from the DL. Since he is hitting so well and such an affable player who offers tremendous insights into hitting, he is a popular person to talk to.

    Since two Q and A’s have been done in this space already, here is some of the back-story. That flaw that he described earlier which put his swing and mechanics out of whack seems to be cured. Berkman suspected something was amiss but did not notice it until hearing from longtime teammate and new hitting coach Jeff Bagwell.

    If there’s anyone who would know, Bagwell would be it and shortly after taking over the team with the NL’s worst on-base percentage and OPS, he had a short exchange with Berkman.

    The exchange went something like this: “Dude you’re not using your legs at all on your swing. You’re not using your legs.”

    Kevin Long also noticed and mentioned it to Berkman. Still it was up to Berkman to actually apply it to his at-bats.

    "Not really. I could tell that there was something not right. I couldn’t tell exactly," Berkman said. "You see different things and the way I would describe it was I felt like I wasn’t staying back. I felt like everything was coming forward when I go to swing and that’s a product of not sitting back.

    "I was never worried about because number 1, I didn’t have much strength and number 2, maybe sub-consciously your body will protect itself and I wasn’t consciously thinking “Oh Man it hurts but maybe there was some kind of (thinking) it doesn’t feel good."

    So how do you do that? Just like memorizing the 50 state capitals, the presidents of the United States or anything else, it is all repetition.

    "You just have to keep doing it and doing it,” Berkman said. “The key to this game is repletion and being able to take your muscle memory from the batting cage into the game and you just have to engrain it in your mind. You just have to do it so much in the cage that when you go in the game it’s the same."

    So after being puzzled and baffled about how his mechanics could become so flawed, Berkman appears to be regaining some of what he lost from that knee injury and poor mechanics, which he says sub-consciously may have been caused by the injury.

    "It was a mystery to me," Berkman said. "This is such a high level and you slip a little bit, it’s like a pack of wolves. The competition is too good. You have to be right on top of your game and if you’re not, you’re going to get snowballed and that’s kind of part of what’s happened to me."

    On the Tampa Bay side, Ben Zobrist makes his eighth start in center field while Carlos Pena is not playing and since CC Sabathia starts Thursday, don't expect to see Pena for the finale at least not until the bullpen has been deployed.

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    Items of Interest - Rays-Yankees

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 5:12 PM [General]

    Today is September 21 the last full day of summer. It also is exactly two years ago the last ballgame inside original Yankee Stadium was played.

    Like last night, the game seemed secondary to the pageantry associated with the history of the place. Also like last night, the Yankees took care of business beating the Orioles 7-3

    As for the actual activity on the field, Phil Hughes is pitching and making his second straight start against Tampa Bay after being skipped. Hughes started last Wednesday and retired 12 in a row at the outset but allowed four runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.

    While Hughes has not been so hot recently, Derek Jeter appears to be heating up slightly. It likely will not be enough to finish at .300 but he is 11-for-33 since getting that night off in Texas on Sept. 11.

    That is hardly surprising from someone who has the track record and is confident in his abilities as Jack Curry wrote this morning.

    One theory that might have some validity is the fact that Jeter played in every game during Alex Rodriguez’s absence and started all but one. During those two weeks (Aug 21-Sept 5, Jeter was 8-for-49.

    "The way I look at it is he went through some tough times this season but if you look at the last seven, eight days going back to where we sat him, he has swung the bat pretty good," manager Joe Girardi said. “If this is the time to get hot (this is it). There’s a right time to get hot and this is the time – the end of the year and hopefully the postseason."

    In other items of interest, Jeter spoke briefly last night of not approaching things based on what has already occured. In other words live in the present and that is what Girardi mentioned to A.J. Burnett last week.

    Burnett, who starts tommorow, said that has been his mentality all year and just to hear another voice channeling that was refreshing to hear and while his track record of inconsistency loom, what occurred between April and now means nothing for his final few regular-season starts.

    If you’re watching and the Yankees are locked in a close one in the late innings, you might not see Mariano Rivera or Kerry Wood. While both are veterans with loads of experience, pitching them three straight nights is something Girardi would prefer to avoid.

    Andrew Brackman is not here now but is expected to be here Wednesday and placed on the roster.

    Joining Brackman will be catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Dellin Betances. Montero is the Yankees’ big positional prospect and Betances is a Brooklyn native, who pitched at Grand Street Campus located near the Grand Street Station on the L train in Bushwick.




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    Don't look now, but Jeter is surging again

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 2:37 AM [General]

    Before diving in, there is no doubt that .264 represents a down year for Derek Jeter. He has slumped for lengthy periods, including a 7-for-61 slide that recently prompted a night off.

    That night off was a Saturday in Texas and 24 hours after Jeter went 1-for-7 in a five-hour loss. That night he channeled his Paul O'Neill side by slamming his helmet in frustration.

    That week also capped a stretch that if you elected to turn into various sports talk radio, you'd hear all sorts of theories about what is wrong with Jeter. You would hear things like how this will impact his next contract, how much longer he will play and where he should bat in the lineup.

    If there's anything most of us have learned and judging by some of the chatter, a lot of us have not is don't count out Jeter.

    So it seemed fitting that on the night the Yankees honored George Steinbrenner's memory with a monument in Monument Park, the last Yankee to be named captain by "The Boss" had the game-winning hit.

    The hit was a single up the middle on a 2-0 pitch from Matt Garza. It also was his second hit of the game and also continued a recent surge that has seen him go 12-for-40 since Sept 10 and 11-for-33 since getting that night off.

    "Well, you just want to have good at-bats and I was happy with my at-bats tonight," Jeter said. "I'm swinging at strikes, and when I'm hitting the ball the other way that's when I feel the best."

    Jeter definitely is not having the standard season and he will be the first to tell you that if you ask nicely. He also is on pace for 176 hits (three fewer  than 2008 when he batted .300), 111 runs (four more than 2009 when he batted .334).

    "Let me tell you something," he said. "We've played what, 150 games? So after 149 we were tied  So they didn't mean nothing. Now the only thing that matters is from this point on. That's the approach you have to take."

    And if it results in a 28th World Series title, will anyone really remember that Jeter was 7-for-61 in early-September.

    And if Jeter hits .300 during any postseason series, will anyone really be surprised?

    Regardless of where you stand, Yankee fan, Red Sox fan, Met fan, Phillies fan and so on, Jeter's track record leaves little reason for doubt.

    As Mark Teixeira tends to occasionally say, check the back of the baseball card. Most baseball cards do not list postseason statistics but if room remained, you might see the following:

    2009 World Series, .407

    2009 ALDS, .400

    2006 ALDS, .500

    2005 ALCS, .333

    2004 ALDS, .316

    2003 World Series, .346

    2003 ALDS, .429

    2002 ALDS, .500

    2001 ALDS, .444

    2000 World Series, .409

    2000 ALCS, .318

    1999 World Series, .353

    1999 ALCS, .350

    1999 ALDS, .455

    1998 World Series, .353

    1997 ALDS, .333

    1996 ALCS, .417

    1996 ALDS, .412

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    Items of Interest - Rays-Yankees

    Monday, September 20, 2010, 7:31 PM [General]

    Today is Sept 20 and the big focus is on the unveiling of the monument for George Steinbrenner in Monument Park. He became the sixth figure in Yankee history to get such a distinction.

    As this is being started at around 3:30 PM, Robinson Cano has stepped into the cage for some early batting practice. Cano became the third Yankee infielder to reach 100 RBI Saturday and that was the first time the feat was accomplished in Yankee history.

    Also joining Cano were Lance Berkman, who hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the 11th Sunday. Andy Pettitte is also taking in the session as a spectator and there’s no doubt he felt good after watching his teammates for two months.

    While Jon Lane has the specifics about things like Brian Cashman and Joe Torre burying the hatchet and ending nearly three years of silence, here are the baseball items worth noting.

    Tonight’s starting pitcher is Ivan Nova. Nova is making his seventh career start and second against the same team.

    He faced Toronto August 23 and allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings and then 10 days later allowed three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

    This will be the first time Nova has faced the same team in consecutive starts. He faced the Rays Wednesday and allowed six runs and six hits in a 4 2/3 innings while throwing 74 pitches. That outing drove his ERA up from 2.92 to 4.30 and while his postseason status is not yet being closely discussed, the Yankees like his poise and it would be interesting to see how he does against the same team in such a short span.

    Nova is one of five Yankees since 1980 to go unbeaten in his first five starts. The others were Alfredo Aceves (2008), Joba Chamberlain (2008), Chuck Cary (1989) and Ray Fontenot (1983).

    Not much going on injury-wise but Mark Teixeira is back in the lineup. Teixeira missed two games and was 5-for-30 on the road trip and Girardi placed him in the lineup without consulting the first baseman.

    Nick Swisher is also in the lineup and given the nature of the series (two teams duking it out for AL East supremacy), Girardi would like to have Swisher, Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira for the entire series and who could argue with that?


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    Closing Time - Not as easy as it seems

    Monday, September 20, 2010, 12:44 AM [General]

    Every time Mariano Rivera blows a save, people are amazed. 

    Through Sunday, Rivera has 557 saves in 605 opportunities. Since becoming a full-time closer in 1997, that means he is averaging 3.4 blown saves per season, which is a remarkable number.

    Yesterday was the fourth blown save for Rivera, who has never blown more than seven saves (2001) and last year blew two out of 46. All of this is astounding for a man, who was left unprotected by the Yankees in the 1992 expansion draft. Further proof if the Rockies or Marlins knew then what all of baseball knows now.

    The best indication of how challenging an occupation closing is and how great Rivera’s career has been is to look at every team’s closing situation in the last 14 years. That means finding the guy who led the team in saves during that year even if they were traded or missed significant time due to injury.

    Closers by team since Rivera became the full-time closer in 1997:

    Tampa Bay Rays
    1998-2000 - Roberto Hernandez (free agent)
    2001-02 - Esteban Yan (expansion draft)
    2003 - Lance Carter (free agent)
    2004-05 - Danys Baez (free agent)
    2006 - Tyler Walker (trade)
    2007 - Al Reyes (free agent)
    2008 - Troy Percival (free agent)
    2009 - JP Howell (trade)
    2010 - Rafael Soriano (free agent)
    Total - 9

    Boston Red Sox
    1997 - Heathcliff Slocumb  (trade)

    1998 - Tom Gordon (free agent)

    1999 - Tim Wakefield (free agent) Derek Lowe (trade)

    2000-01 - Derek Lowe (trade)
    2002 - Ugueth Urbina (trade)

    2003 - Byung-Hyun Kim (trade)
    2004-05 - Keith Foulke (free agent)
    2006-present Jonathan Papelbon (drafted)
    Total - 8

    Toronto Blue Jays
    1997, 2002 - Kelvim Escobar (non-drafted free agent)
    1998 - Randy Myers (free agent)
    1999-2001 - Billy Koch (draft)
    2003 - Aquillino Lopez (Rule 5 draft)
    2004, 2009 - Jason Frasor (trade)
    2005 - Miguel Batista (free agent)
    2006, 2008 - BJ Ryan (free agent)
    2007 - Jeremy Accardo (trade)
    2010 - Kevin Gregg (free agent)
    Total - 9

    Baltimore Orioles
    1997 - Randy Myers (free agent)
    1998 - Armando Benitez (non-drafted free agent)
    1999 - Mike Timlin (free agent)
    2000 - Ryan Kohlmeier (draft)
    2001 - Buddy Groom (free agent)
    2002-2004 - Jorge Julio (trade)
    2005 - BJ Ryan (trade)
    2006 - Chris Ray (draft)
    2008-09 - George Sherrill (trade)
    2010 - Alfredo Simon (free agent)
    Total - 10

    Minnesota Twins
    1997-98 - Rick Aguilera (trade)
    1999 - Mike Trombley (draft)
    2000 - LaTroy Hawkins (draft)
    2002 - Eddie Guardado (draft)
    2003-2009 - Joe Nathan (trade)
    2010 - Jon Rauch (trade)                                                                                                                                               

    Total - 6

    Chicago White Sox
    1997 - Roberto Hernandez (trade)
    1998 - Bill Simas (trade)
    1999 - Bob Howry (trade)
    2000-02 - Keith Foulke (trade)
    2002 - Antonio Osuna (trade)
    2003 - Tom Gordon (free agent)
    2004 - Shingo Takatsu (international free agent)
    2005 - Dustin Hermanson (free agency)
    2006-present - Bobby Jenks (waiver claim)
    Total - 9

    Detroit Tigers
    1997-2000, 2006-2008 - Todd Jones (trade)
    2001 - Matt Anderson (draft)
    2002 - Juan Acevedo (free agent)
    2003 - Franklyn German (trade), Chris Mears (free agent)
    2004-05 - Ugueth Urbina (free agent)
    2005, 2009 - Fernando Rodney (free agent)
    2010 - Jose Valverde (free agent)
    Total - 8

    Kansas City Royals
    1997-1999 - Jeff Montgomery (trade
    2000 - Ricky Bottalico (free agent)
    2001-02 - Roberto Hernandez (trade)
    2003, 2005 - Mike MacDougal (free agent)
    2004 - Jeremy Affeldt (draft)
    2006 - Ambiorix Burgos (non-drafted free agent)
    2007-present - Joakim Soria (Rule 5 draft)
    Total - 7

    Cleveland Indians
    1997 - Jose Mesa (trade)
    1998-99 - Michael Jackson (free agent)
    2000 - Steve Karsay (trade)
    2001-2002, 2004-06 - Bob Wickman (trade
    2003 - Danys Baez (international free agent)
    2007 - Joe Borowski  (free agent)
    2008 - Jensen Lewis (draft)
    2009 - Kerry Wood (free agent)
    2010 - Chris Perez (trade)
    Total - 9

    Texas Rangers
    1997-2000 - John Wetteland (free agent)
    2001 - Jeff Zimmerman (purchased from Northern League)
    2002 - Hideki Irabu (free agent)
    2003 - Ugueth Urbina (free agent)
    2004-05 - Francisco Cordero (trade)
    2006 - Akinori Otsuka (trade)
    2007 - Eric Gagne (free agent)
    2008 - CJ Wilson (draft)
    2009 - Frank Francisco (trade)
    2010 - Neftali Feliz (trade)
    Total - 10

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
    1997-2002 Troy Percival (draft)
    2003-2008 Francisco Rodriguez (non-drafted free agent)
    2009-present Brian Fuentes (free agent)

    Total - 3

    Oakland Athletics
    1997-1999 Billy Taylor (free agent)
    2000 Jason Isringhausen (trade)
    2002 Billy Koch (trade)
    2003 Keith Foulke (trade)
    2004 Octavio Dotel (trade)
    2005-2006, 2008 Huston Street (draft)
    2007 Alan Embree (free agent)
    2009 Andrew Bailey (free agent)
    Total - 8

    Seattle Mariners
    1997 - Norm Charlton (free agent)
    1998 - Mike Timlin (trade)
    1999 - Jose Mesa (free agent)
    2000-02 - Kazuhiro Sasaki (free agent)
    2003 - Shigetoshi Hasegawa (free agent)
    2004-05 - Eddie Guardado (free agent)
    2006-08 - J.J. Putz (draft)
    2009-present David Aardsma (trade)
    Total - 8

    Philadelphia Phillies
    1997 Ricky Bottalico (undrafted free agent)
    1998 Mark Leiter (trade)
    1999 Wayne Gomes (draft)
    2000 Jeff Brantley (trade)
    2001-03 Jose Mesa (free agent)
    2004-05 Billy Wagner (trade)
    2006 Tom Gordon (free agent)
    2007 Brett Myers (draft)
    2008-present Brad Lidge (trade)
    Total - 9

    Atlanta Braves
    1997 Mark Wohlers (draft)
    1998 Kerry Lightenberg (purchase from independent league)
    1999-2001 John Rocker (draft)
    2002-2004 John Smoltz (trade)
    2005 Chris Reitsma (trade)
    2006-07 Bob Wickman (trade)
    2008 Mike Gonzalez (trade)
    2009 Rafael Soriano (trade)
    2010 Billy Wagner (free agent)
    Total - 9

    New York Mets
    1997-98 John Franco (trade)
    1999-2003 Armando Benitez (trade)
    2004-2005 Braden Looper (free agent)
    2006-2008 Billy Wagner (free agent)
    2009-present Francisco Rodriguez (free agent)
    Total - 5

    Florida Marlins
    1997 Robb Nen (trade)
    1998 Matt Mantei (free agent)
    1999-2001 Antonio Alfonseca (minor league draft)
    2002 Vladimir Nunez (trade)
    2003 Braden Looper (trade)
    2004 Armando Benitez (free agent)
    2005 Todd Jones (free agent)
    2006 Joe Borowski (free agent)
    2007-08 Kevin Gregg (trade)
    2009-present Leo Nunez (trade)
    Total - 10

    Washington Nationals
    1997-1999, 2001 Ugueth Urbina (non-drafted free agent)
    2000 Steve Kline (trade)
    2002 Scott Stewart (minor league free agent)
    2003 Rocky Biddle (trade)
    2004-07 Chad Cordero (draft)
    2008 Jon Rauch (trade)
    2009 Mike MacDougal (free agent)
    2010 Matt Capps (free agent)

    Total - 8

    St. Louis Cardinals
    1997 Dennis Eckersley (trade)
    1998 Juan Acevedo (trade)
    1999 Ricky Bottalico (trade)
    2000-01 Dave Veres (trade)
    2002-07 Jason Isringhausen (free agent)
    2008-present Ryan Franklin (free agent)
    Total - 6

    Chicago Cubs
    1997, 1999 Terry Adams (draft)

    1998 Rod Beck (free agent)

    2000 Rick Aguilera (trade)

    2001 Tom Gordon (free agent)
    2002 Antonio Alfonseca (trade)
    2003 Joe Borowski (free agent)
    2004 LaTroy Hawkins (free agent)
    2005-07 Ryan Dempster (free agent)
    2008 Kerry Wood (draft)
    2009 Kevin Gregg (trade)
    2010 Carlos Marmol (non-drafted free agent)

    Total - 11

    Milwaukee Brewers
    1997 Doug Jones (free agent)
    1998-2000 Bob Wickman (trade)
    2001 Curtis Leskanic (trade)
    2002 Mike DeJean (trade)
    2003-04 Danny Kolb (free agent)
    2005-06 Derrick Turnbow (waiver claim)
    2007 Francisco Cordero (trade)
    2008 Salomon Torres (trade)
    2009 Trevor Hoffman (free agent)
    2010 John Axford (minor league free agent)
    Total - 10

    Cincinnati Reds
    1997-98 Jeff Shaw (free agent)
    1999-2002, 2004 Danny Graves (trade)
    2003 Scott Williamson (draft)
    2005-07 David Weathers (free agent)
    2008-present Francisco Cordero (free agent)

    Total - 5

    Houston Astros
    1997-1999, 2001-2003 Billy Wagner (draft)
    2000 – Octavio Dotel (trade)

    2004-07 Brad Lidge (draft)
    2008-09 Jose Valverde (trade)
    2010 Matt Lindstrom (free agent)
    Total - 5

    Pittsburgh Pirates
    1997-98 Rich Loiselle (trade)
    1999-2003 Mike Williams (free agent)
    2004-2005 Jose Mesa (free agent)
    2006 Mike Gonzalez (trade)
    2007-2009 Matt Capps (draft)
    2010 Octavio Dotel (free agent)
    Total - 6

    San Diego Padres

    1997-2002, 2004-2008 Trevor Hoffman (trade)

    2003 Rod Beck (free agent)
    2009 Heath Bell (trade)
    Total - 3

    Colorado Rockies
    1997-98 Jerry Dipoto (trade)
    1999 Dave Veres (trade)
    2000-03 Jose Jimenez (trade)
    2004 Shawn Chacon (draft)
    2005-08 Brian Fuentes (trade)
    2009-present Huston Street (trade)

     Total - 6

    Los Angeles Dodgers
    1997 Todd Worrell (free agent)
    1998-2001 Jeff Shaw (trade)
    2002-2004 Eric Gagne (non-drafted free agent)
    2005 Yhency Brazoban (trade)
    2006-2008 Takashi Saito (free agent)
    2009-present Jonathan Broxton (draft)
    Total - 6

    San Francisco Giants
    1997 Rod Beck (trade)
    1998-2002 Robb Nen (trade)
    2003 Tim Worrell (trade)
    2004 Matt Herges (trade)
    2005 Tyler Walker (free agent)
    2006 Armando Benitez (free agent)
    2007 Brad Hennessey (draft)
    2008 Brian Wilson (draft)
    Total - 8

    Arizona Diamondbacks
    1998 Gregg Olson (free agent)
    1999-2000, 2003 Matt Mantei (trade)
    2001-02 Byung-Hyun Kim (non-drafted free agent)
    2004 Greg Aquino (non-drafted free agent)
    2005-07 Jose Valverde (non-drafted free agent)
    2008 Brandon Lyon (trade)
    2009-present Chad Qualls (trade)

    Total - 7


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