Tagged: Sergio Mitre

The Pulse of New York

Washed out?

washburn_250_090309.jpgBy Jon Lane
This via the AP:

Tigers left-hander Jarrod Washburn will miss his next start because of a sore left knee.

Washburn was scheduled to start Saturday in Tampa Bay. He said on Thursday that he will be replaced by Armando Galarraga. Washburn missed a start in May with Seattle for the same reason.

Washburn has an ERA 6.81 while winning one of six starts since joining the Tigers at the trading deadline. He is expected to make his next start on Sept. 10 against Kansas City.

Like last season, Washburn was a hot name on the Yankees’ radar before July 31 and many Yankees fans screamed over how they were beaten out by the Tigers and that fact that Brian Cashman’s only acquisition was Jerry Hairston Jr. Last I looked, Hairston has been a useful bench player batting .273 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 26 games. And that other ‘non-sexy’ name, Eric Hinske, has seven homers and 12 RBIs in 23 games. Cashman acquired him and $400,000 for two Minor Leaguers.

Jonah Keri today offered insight on what’s happened to Washburn since he became a Detroit Tiger.

Moral of the story: Remember Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small in 2005. The right role players blended with superstars make for the best recipe, yet a lot of these guys slip through the cracks.

One of the other Yankee no-names, Chad Gaudin, starts tonight in Toronto (YES HD, 7 p.m.). At this point, either Gaudin or Sergio Mitre will make the postseason roster as a long man.

Phil Hughes as temporary Yankees closer will be interesting to watch, for the Yankees can afford the luxury of being extra careful with Mariano Rivera (groin stiffness). No further explanations about Hughes’ breakthrough season are necessary. But, and I quote Kimberly Jones, will there be Hughes Rules next season?

If not Mitre, then who?

By Jon Lane
Most teams would love to have the Yankees’ biggest problem at the moment: the need for someone to emerge as the fifth starter. The job description is simple, provide at least five quality, at-worst average innings while keeping the team in the game. In the Yankees’ case, they have Joba Chamberlain’s innings limit to manage and with a big enough division lead would like to provide CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte extra days off any way they can.

Joe Girardi, partly out of loyalty to what he saw from Sergio Mitre in Florday and fairness since Mitre is not far removed from Tommy John surgery, is giving the embattled right-hander one more opportunity to hold onto his spot tonight when he starts against the Blue Jays (YES HD, 7 p.m.). Mitre’s ERA is an ungodly 7.50 and he’s allowed 32 hits over 18 innings; it was no coincidence that Girardi rearranged his rotation so that Mitre did not face the Red Sox.

If Mitre bombs again tonight – or even if he simply does not pitch well – he may lose his spot to new Yankee Chad Gaudin. Once a Rays top prospect, Gaudin has played for four other teams and is 32-35 with a 4.58 ERA for his career. At times he’s been really, really good, or good and terrible.

If Gaudin is a bust, there are Bargain Bin options available at Triple-A.

? Russ Ortiz was signed last week and threw six scoreless innings on Thursday, but he’s 35 and was 3-6 with a 5.57 ERA for the Astros. In 12 seasons playing for six teams, Ortiz is 113-88 with a 4.88 ERA. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2008 season. His best year came in 2003 (21-7, 3.81 ERA).

? Jason Hirsh was acquired from Colorado last month for a player to be named later. He’s last appeared in a Major League game in September 2008.

? Then there’s Josh Towers, another veteran who was called up on Saturday to fortify a depleted bullpen and designated for assignment the next day to make room for Gaudin. He’s hoping to clear waivers to return to Scranton and get another shot with the Yankees.

This shows you how far down the pecking order Kei Igawa has fallen, doesn’t it?

Claggett coming up

By Jon Lane
George King is reporting that the Yankees will call up right-hander Anthony Claggett in time for tonight’s game as insurance for Sergio Mitre. The move make sense. In the event Mitre gets bombed again, Claggett will eat innings and “take one for the team” so Joe Girardi can avoid blowing out the entire bullpen with those four games against the Red Sox on tap. I hope Mitre is thinking about this and hope it’s burning him up. He’s the Yankees’ fifth starter because he’s the best of the worst, and neither the team nor the fans have too much faith in him right now.

Another of many reasons why it bodes well for Mitre to get it done tonight: Claggett was smashed for eight runs on nine hits (two home runs) in 1 2/3 innings of relief for Chien-Ming Wang on April 18, a game the Yankees lost to the Indians, 22-4.

Both King and Peter Abraham speculate Cody Ransom will be designated for assignment, for Claggett to be sent back to Scranton and Ramiro Pena to be promoted back to the big club.

3:57 p.m.
Abraham has confirmed that Ransom has been DFA’d.

Showdown Series countdown: One day

longoria_250_080509.jpgBy Jon Lane
Because the Yankees knocked Roy Halladay out of the park three times, because Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera survived self-inflicted storms, and thanks to Evan Longoria’s second home run that capped a four-hour and 57-minute game, the Yankees are ensured to remain in first place when they come home to meet the Red Sox Thursday night.

New York defeated Halladay and Toronto, 5-3. Boston fell to Tampa Bay, 4-2, in 13 innings. The Yankees lead the AL East by 1 games. While the Yankees sweated out a victory, the Red Sox blew a 2-0 sixth-inning lead. Instead of riding a five-game winning streak, the Red Sox enter tonight deflated, exhausted and looking for bullpen help.

What does this mean for this pivotal four-game series? Nothing. Every day, every game, a story is re-written. And until the Yankees take significant steps to erase their 0-8 record against their rivals, the Red Sox own a major psychological advantage.

Onto a few of a latest storylines from both sides:

? Terry Francona got heat in Boston this morning for pitching to Longoria, who tied the game by going yard off Daniel Bard in the eighth, with first base open. The Rays’ sophomore slugger is second in the league with 81 RBIs and has eight homers and 24 RBIs lifetime against Boston pitching. He’s also dusted right-handers this season (.281-16-61) and in his brief career (.283-35-128). On Sports Radio WEEI, Dale & Holley were wishing that Francona walked Longoria, pulled Takashi Saito and brought in Clay Buchholz to face Ben Zobrist with the thinking if he loses Zobrist, he has a favorable matchup with Joe Dillion.

Walking Longoria was not an option, reported The Boston Globe. Francona indicated he felt he also would have had to walk Zobrist to make the decision worthwhile, which would have left the control-challenged Saito facing Joe Dillon with the bases loaded and the possibility of a game-ending walk. Furthermore, Buchholz wasn’t coming in until the 14th.

? Since Francona’s bullpen is worn out after using six relievers, and with Brad Penny (7-5, 5.07 ERA) coming off a July when he pitched three five-inning games, expect a roster move to import help from Triple-A Pawtucket.

? Remember when Jason Bay started Boston’s 8-0 run against the Yankees with a two-out, game-tying ninth-inning home run off Rivera on April 24? A bum hamstring has kept Bay out the last two games and he has just five RBIs since June 24. In July, Bay batted .192 with a homer and 29 strikeouts in 79 at-bats.

? Pettitte’s fine second half continued when he allowed only a run in 6 1/3 strong innings Tuesday night. The left-hander is approaching incentives that could earn him an additional $6.5 million in bonuses, writes Peter Abraham. Pettitte, starting Sunday night against Jon Lester, has worked 134 1/3 innings. When he reaches 150, he earns $500,000.

? Big start tonight (YES HD, 7 p.m.) for Sergio Mitre, the Yankees’ fifth starter by default. Despite his ugly numbers (1-0, 7.90, 1.98 WHIP, .400 BAA), Mitre isn’t pitching for his job (yet) simply because alternatives are limited. Unless the Yankees trade for a reliable back-end starter after he clears waivers, you have Josh Towers, who hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2007 but was named International League Pitcher of the Week after going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts. And there’s Kei Igawa. Enough said there.

Mitre cited a flaw in his delivery that’s been flattening his sinker, one he’s confident he can fix, writes Anthony McCarron.

The Pulse of New York