Yankees Mailbag: Prospects, Posada, Montero, Pitching, Hughes vs. Nova, Jimenez
Here is this week’s mailbag. If you would like your question to be answered in the mailbag, email Mike at email@example.com. Here we go:
Can the prospects provide real help this season? Can Montero’s offense really contribute to the lineup as the DH? If he does DH for them, what what happens with Jorge?
Darrin, I think the prospects can provide some help this year. Jorge Posada is now on waivers and even though its tough to see him on there, he did go back to his struggles from April and May during the month of July. Montero could bring some instant power to the DH position that Posada just can’t do. Manny Banuelos is rising up to AAA and his swing and miss ability will be a reason why New York uses him as the second lefty in their pen with Boone Logan in September. Adam Warren is another guy the Yankees like in their organization and he could get a start or two towards the end of the season if the Bombers have everything clinched.
This one was from @marka42. His question was:
“With 3 highly regarded catching prospects in the system and Montero the poorest defensively, why not try another position for Montero?”
Marka, the reason Montero would have to be at catcher is because most of the other positions Montero does not fit and the Yankees have sufficient backups at those positions. The only other place where Montero could play is at DH. Montero’s catching skills are not the best, but he is the most Major League ready because of his bat. They could use him as the backup to Martin down the stretch, get him some at-bats, and give him some vital experience should the Yankees want to use him on the postseason roster.
This one was from @GeneMoney13. His question was:
“Could we get another pitcher for a small price?”
Gene, in terms of a starter, I think the Yankees will stand pat at the waiver wire deadline. They have six quality starters as Joe Girardi is showing Yankee fans by going with a six man rotation at this point and time. I could see them adding another lefty, but right now, all signs point to maybe Manny Banuelos being the second lefty that is called up into the bullpen in the coming weeks. I would like to see the Yankees obtain Randy Choate from the Marlins if he is put on wiaivers, but Florida is looking to get as many wins as they can go into their new stadium next year. Look for the Yankees to go with basically the same pitchers for the rest of the season.
This question was from @gardnerbrett11. His question was:
“Will Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova’s next starts be observed as to who gets the rotation spot?
GardnerBrett11, it appears that the organization is observing their next starts. If they are, they have to be very impressed from what they got out of Phil Hughes last night. He took a gigantic step in re-establishing his spot in the 2011 rotation and his importance to the team in October. Putting Hughes in the bullpen would be a Joba-esque move that could really mess with his development. If Nova continues to succeed, the Yankees will find a place for him, even if it is as a long man. However, that will cause Hector Noesi to probably go back to down to Scranton.
The next question was from @YankeesGalaxy. His question was a 2 part question:
“Do you think the Yankees standing pat will pay off? Can you trust Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon in October despite their success?”
YankeesGalaxy, I think the Bombers standing pat will pay off. They got a great start from Phil Hughes last night and getting Hughes back to form is just as good as making a trade for a top line pitcher. Brian Cashman made the right decision by not pursuing Wandy Rodriguez and the $39 million he has left on his contract. I am starting to trust Garcia and Colon a lot more. Garcia, I trust a lot because he continues to put up quality starts despite the lack of velocity on his fastball. He has been in postseason baseball before with the Seattle Mariners and a pitcher can dwell on that experience in October. Colon has shown great resiliency especially when everyone thought he lost it after that debacle against the Blue Jays. If these two have to pitch a closeout game in October, I would have trust in those two over say A.J Burnett.
The next question was from @PrimoBledBlue. His question was:
“If Phil Hughes begins to struggle, will he be sent down and reduce it to a normalized Yankees 5-man rotation?”
Primo, even if Phil Hughes struggles again, he is not going back down to Scranton. The more likely scenario would be that Hughes go back to the bullpen and Ivan Nova would take his spot in the rotation. We will see next week if Hughes can continue his positive progression to let Girardi go back to a five man rotation.
And the final question is from @nyerkid625. His question was:
“How do you think Ubaldo Jimenez will do for the Cleveland Indians?”
Nyerkid, even though the Indians paid a lot to get Ubaldo, I think they will get a good return this season. Jimenez has pitched better the last two months and is starting to re-gain the control on his fastball that he had in the first half of 2010. The one reason I did not want the Yankees to obtain him was that he had a lack of control. Take a look at his game logs for this season and you will find a lot of games where he walks three batters or more. Kind of reminds you of A.J Burnett, doesn’t it? He will keep the Indians in the pennant race, but it will be tough to take down the Tigers and Justin Verlander with just one guy. They will need pitchers like Justin Masterson and Carlos Carrasco to give him some supporting help.