Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rotation Upgrade Options- External (NL Edition)

We touched on some potential AL targets as the deadline creeps ever closer.  Today I'll touch on some of the NL names who've been mentioned in connection with the Yankees. 

Wandy Rodriguez- The Astros lefty has been a rumored target for the Yanks going back to last year and during this past offseason before he re-upped with Houston.  Despite his earlier elbow issues, Rodriguez is once again having a solid year for the offensively-challenged Astros.  His 3.21/3.94/3.48 ERA/FIP/xFIP line is good and his 2.46 BB/9 are down from last year.  He isn't going to light up the radar gun with his fastball, but his offspeed stuff is killer and he's a lefty, something that could come in handy down the stretch against the Sawx.  The downside is that he's already 32, and with 2 more years on his deal he doesn't exactly fit into future plans that may revolve around getting younger.

Ryan Dempster- He's an NL lifer, he turned 34 this year, he doesn't generate as many swings and misses as he used to, and he's giving up a shit ton of HRs.  But for some reason, Dempster's name has come up this year, probably if for no other reason than the Cubs suck and they'll probably be sellers at the deadline.  Dempster has been snakebitten by bad BABIP luck, and his FIP (4.15) is a full run lower than his 5.31 ERA, but I just don't see the value of bringing over an older pitcher with diminishing stuff to the AL East.  The $14 mil player option for 2012 would also be a turn off for me but there is something to be said for his proven track record, even if the Yankees have already stated they aren't interested.

Carlos Zambrano- Another guy who the Yanks have expressed 0 interest in and with good reason.  On top of being vastly overrated and overpaid at this point in his career, Carlos Zambrano is a legitimate nutcase.  And with the contract he has right now, he's not worth bringing over for all the potential baggage that comes with him, even if his 1.7 WAR would be the 2nd highest amongst Yankee starters.  The big drop in K/9 this year (6.00) is another concern for me and probably the Yankees as well.  The Cubs would be happy to rid themselves of this dude, but Cash would be wise to hang up the phone as soon as he hears the "Zam-" part of his name.

Hiroki Kuroda- Of all the potential options, AL or NL, Kuroda might be the best option, both in terms of production and what it might take to get him.  Kuroda has been amongst the most consistent and undervalued starters in the NL for years now and he's continuing that trend in 2011, soldiering along with a 3.10/3.82/3.55 line and a solid K/BB ratio.  He, like Wandy, won't blow you away with his stuff, but it's better than average and he throws strikes.  Because of the ongoing Dodger money saga and the fact that he's a FA after this year, Kuroda could come cheaper than many of the other options (Phelps and another mid-level pitching prospect perhaps).  For some stretch run help, that might be a worthwhile investment for the Yanks. 

Shout out and link to Larry Koestler's post on Rodriguez and Kuroda on TYA yesterday.  Check that out for more in depth analysis of those 2.

A Huh-YUGE Series Starts Today

The 3-gamer starting today at The Stadium might very well be the most important series of the season for the Yankees.  And there's a very simple reason for that.  The Yankees are playing the Milwaukee Brewers and that gives me plenty of opportunities to talk shit and act like a jackass around the office to pretty much everybody I work with (minus a few Cubs fans).

For those who don't know, I live and work in the greater Milwaukee area.  I live about 10 minutes from Miller Park.  But for some reason, people around here seem to think that those 2 facts automatically mean I have to give up my love for the Yankees and become a Brewers fan.  The fact that I'm originally from CT, and the NY side of CT at that, and that almost my entire family is Yankee fans means nothing to them.  I can't tell you the number of times guys around the office try to start conversations with me about how the Brewers are doing or how that game went last night.  My stock response?  "Fuck the Brewers."  I couldn't give a shit less about the Brewers if they won every game or lost every game.  So to have the opportunity to walk around and talk crap to everybody here is an opportunity I'm dying to have.

The only problem is, the Brewers are actually playing some decent baseball this year.  Their rotation has been solid thanks to the additions of Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum, 2 pitchers with whom the Yankees are familiar, and despite the glaring holes in their lineup the combination of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun is more than enough to carry a team on days where they both have big games.  The Brewers' big weakness, though, is their middle relief.  That group of clowns shouldn't be pitching in a Double-A All Star Game let alone the Majors, so if the Yankees can continue to be patient and work the starters, they should have plenty of chances to tee off late in games.

So this is my plea to you, Yanks.  Go out and kick some ass.  At least take 2 out of the 3 games of this series, preferably the first and third games.  I have about 8 different Yankee shirts in my closet and a couple of different hats, and I'm itching to turn the office into a goddamn Yankee fashion show over the next 3 days.  Friday will be especially sweet if CC can shut the Brewers down and I can rock the CC shirt into work to really twist the knife.  Yes, there are some people here who still haven't gotten over CC signing with the Yanks in free agency.  For some reason they think he's an idiot for taking the Yankees money over the Brewers' $100 mil offer.  I know, it's pathetic.

So make me proud, boys.  Give me a justifiable reason to be a dick at work.  And for the 2nd time in 2 days, hit the music!!!