Monday, August 22, 2011

Cash Drops The Hammer

I don't even care if he meant this to be demeaning or not, but in talking to ESPNNY today, Cash had this to say about A.J.:

"A.J. Burnett is having his typical terrible August. For whatever reason, he can't pitch in August, I don't know why. It is what it is. August is obviously not an effective month for him."

/waves arms


Cash just dominated whatever was left of A.J.'s manhood right there.  I don't even care if he meant that as serious or sarcasitc because it's so sad and so awesome and so hilarious and so disappointing and so true all at the same time.  And that's just the type of objective pipe-hitting comment I'd expect from Cash, not the cookie cutter garbage he said about A.J. the previous week.  After this, I really have no hope for A.J. for the rest of the way in any situation, but who cares?  Re-sign Cash to a deal right now, and just demote A.J. to High-A Tampa.  Sorry, A.J., but your candyass got...

P.S.- My new excuse for every mistake I ever make for the rest of my life is the "not an effective (blank) for me"excuse.  Straight money.

RAB's Post-Draft Top 30 Prospects List Is Out

Being a prospect nuthugger, it's always a personal joy when Mike A. at River Ave. Blues unveils his Top 30 Prospects rankings.  And the fact that he does 2 versions, pre- and post-draft, just makes the joy that much more joyous.  I'll save the space needed to post the complete list and just direct traffic to the complete list with Mike's comments here.  Instead, I'll use up some space to offer my quick take on the list, bullet point-style.

- Can't argue with the top 5 of Jesus, ManBan, Betances, Romine, and Sanchez.  That's clearly the head table of the Yankee prospect banquet right now, and anybody who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

- A little surprised to see Mason Williams so high on the list (#6) and Heathcott out of the Top 10.  Yes, Williams is having a monster year in SI, and I'm well aware of his potential, but I'd to see him keep it up at the next level before fully jumping on the bandwagon.  I understand and respect Mike bumping Slade down because of the latest shoulder injury, but Heathcott was having a big year before getting hurt.  Production-wise, he's trending in the right direction, and he's still damn young.

- Too high on Bryan Mitchell and too low on DJ.  Yes, Bryan has tremendous upside, but he's shown his rawness this year at the lowest levels.  I need to see him start to harness his stuff before I fall in love with him.  And I still can't understand the lack of love for D.J. Mitchell.  He's having a great year at Triple-A, has 3 above-average pitches, and is almost universally acknowledged as MLB ready.  If memory serves correct, Ivan Nova didn't start pitching in the Majors with 3 solid pitches, and look how he's progressed.

- Greg Bird and Jordan Cote wouldn't even make my list.  I need to see guys play and progress before I can declare them prospects.

- Mike's right on point dropping Brackman so far down (#24).  The guy has completely imploded to the point that he almost needs to be demoted and start over, and he only has 1 more MiL option year to figure his shit out.  A huge disappointment.

- Jose Ramirez and Melky Mesa?  No thanks.  There's only so long I can continue to read and hear about guys stuff and tools without seeing that translate to results before I decide they aren't worth my attention.  And it's not like these 2 are hitting the ceiling at the highest levels.  Give me production and progression over tools any day of the week.

So those are just my quick takes on the list, but check it out for yourself and make your own decisions.  The good thing to take from this is that the Yankee farm system is still very stocked with talent from top to bottom, both at the plate and on the mound.  There's still a lot of shaking out that needs to happen to determine who the true diamonds in the rough are and who the turds in the punchbowl are, but that's the fun of prospects.

And if I didn't do a good enough job dropping hints about it, I'll just come out and say it.  Yes, there will be the first annual AB4AR Top 30 Prospects List in 2011.  I've been following the Minors more this year, reading up on guys as much as I can, and formulating my own list based on my own super-secret judging criteria.  Unfortunately for you, dear readers, my list won't be coming out until after the season.  There's just too much going on with the Bombers to take time away from them, so be on the lookout for the AB4AR Top 30 as part of my "Offseason Space Filler" series later in 2011.

A Quiet Return Out Of The Gate

(Majestic.  Courtesy of The AP)

As excited as I was for it, and I'm sure you all felt the same way, it wasn't a big fireworks days for The Horse yesterday in his first game back like in '09 against the Orioles.  And that's fine.  I've said all along that it really doesn't matter what he does for the rest of the season, as long as he stays healthy and is there to produce in the postseason.  But that being said, it was apparent that there were some nerves in play as he ran his first race since hitting the DL.  In 5 at-bats he only saw 16 pitches, including 2 consecutive first-pitch swinging outs in the 3rd and 5th innings, and he damn near bucked his jockey right off on that swing in the 5th inning when the bases were loaded.

But on the positive side, the swing itself looked pretty good.  A-Rod's movement through the zone was sound, he looked good running out of the box, he just didn't have his timing down.  That's to be expected.  The fact that he was out there, he was swinging at good pitches, and he felt good after the game are all most important.  The timing will come.

In fact, I thought the best sign that he's fully healthy was the running, barehanded play he made on Ben Revere's bunt attempt to lead off the 6th.  That's the type of play that only a few guys, A-Rod included, in baseball can make, and it involves running full speed and planting that one leg to make a strong throw on the run.  After spending the early part of last week saying that he had still yet to really let go and go all out running the bases, it was great to see The Horse make that play because you can really only make it if you're going all out.

So no big offensive fireworks yesterday, but they'll come.  The important thing is that The Horse is back in the lineup, feeling good, and bursting out of the gate with no physical issues.  Now it's only a matter of time before he starts looking like a major contender for the Breeder's Cup again.