Tagged: minor leagues

Chacon Signs With Newark Bears!

Ed Randall on his radio show “Talking Baseball” mentioned this just before interviewing Bears manager Tim Raines, another former Yankee. MLBTradeRumors oonfirms:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/05/chacon-signs-with-newark-bears.html

How great to be able to go see Chacon pitch again in person — makes me think about how the Yankees could use him again now. After all, Derek Jeter stands behind his former teammate’s character, despite what Astros manager Wade said about the altercation.

Always thought Chacon got a raw deal from the Yanks. Of course his effectiveness had declined – He’d been pitching hurt (knee?), his start dates became irregular, and then rumors about moving him to the bullpen hung unresolved too long.

Some Notes

  • I still do not understand what happened to turn Scott Proctor from a prospective starter on his way to AAA Columbus into a first-class middle reliever with a stomach lined with iron.  Or, is it teflon?  Actually, I think it is All-Clad.  (There is nothing I have burned onto an All-Clad pot that I could not wipe off, and that is saying quite a lot.  With the amount of cooking I do, I will settle for admiring it from afar, however.)  Proctor says it is a matter of confidence, which he gained during the one start he was allowed last year.  Readers know that I have felt he is a starter at heart for some time, and, yes, I felt gratified to learn that "the powers" had planned to send him down to turn into just that.  That, however, was before we lost our pitching  Now we all sigh in relief when he comes in, as we used to for Tanyon Sturtze, who, after another troublesome outing preceding Proctor’s today, finally admitted he is hurt. 
  • I think Joe Torre might really be upset.  The locker room was clear by the time Suzyn Waldman was allowed in after the game.  She compared Sturtze’s failure to report his injury (he did this last year, too) — and Torre’s apparent reaction — to the Kenny Rogers episodes back in 1995.   
  • Kerry Wood is on his way back!  He encourages me by his caution. 

My Underdogs for the Season: Reds

The Red Legs have been coming along for a couple years now, especially in pitching.  Take a look at RHP Aaron Harang,a starter who has been lowering his ERA with the Reds for 2 years.
Last year, over a career-high 211 innings, it was 3.83 despite a W-L
record of 11-13 — the latter a product of the young line-up, no
doubt.  In his 2 innings yesterday, he outpitched Boston’s Bronson
Arroyo with 0 ER’s to Arroyo’s 5 over 3 innings, all of which were
scored in the first.  Among the 7 batters Harang faced were historical
over-achievers Coco Crisp, Tony Graffanino, Trot Nixon, and Manny
Ramirez, and he held them to a single hit.  To be fair, Arroyo (0-2 in
3 starts, 17.55) seems to be having a rough spring.  On paper, his 2nd
and 3rd innings look more characteristic of him, with no runs scored,
but Arroyo uncritically attributes the difference only to "luck,"
saying that his pitches just happened to get popped up after the 1st.
I share his manager Tony Francona’s reluctance to get worked up about
Arroyo’s pitching so early in the spring.  On the other hand, I would
be concerned about his somewhat lackadaisical appraisal of the
distinction between his first inning pitches and those that followed.
That is, I would be concerned if I were not basking in mild
complacency about the threat that this Yankee nemisis seems to be
posing, for the moment.

Consider another young ace, the bait for a much-bemoaned 2003 trade
for the Yankees’  post-season lucky charm-to-be, third-baseman Aaron
Boone:  lefty Brandon Claussen,
who was then setting the air afire at AAA-Columbus (1.36 in 6 starts,
following 1.64 in 4 A-Tampa, the latter following a rapid-fire 10-month
recovery from Tommy John surgery).  He had already set Yankee hearts
aflame when he came up for his MLB debut to pitch 6.1 winning innings in the second game of a subway-style doubleheader against the Mets at Shea.
Two weeks later, after Claussen had gone back down to Columbus, George
Steinbrenner set the stage for a future acquisition (care to guess, anyone?!) that would leave
Yankee fans speechless (not a frequent occurence).  Oh, the dampening of those fiery Yankee
hearts!  Not only did we lose Claussen (and soon after, another lefty, fan favorite David Wells, who would be insulted into leaving his second tour with New York for hometown San Diego after being offered a minor league contract — yes, a story goes with it — this is not that story) — but also the first half of our switch-hitting third baseman "Robin Zeile." who was sent to Los Angeles for Scott Proctor and Bubba Crosby in another part of this contortionist multi-team deal.  Rumor had it that the whole tangle was really about blocking Boston from acquiring a certain Expos pitcher…any ideas?!  I longed for company, for historical context, for character, for, yes, Mike and the Mad Dog.  Indeed, the Yes Network reliably kept the camera on Mike Franscesa as he poured his baseball soul dourly into the microphone on the WFAN radio talkshow…. —to be continued later on today.

Seo Fine

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC ROUND 2:  Mexico @ Korea in Anaheim.   Korea 3  Mexico 2   

     It is good for New Yorkers to hear broadcasters who appreciate Metspitchers.  Of course, that is unlikely to happen while they are
pitching during a Mets game, not by local broadcasters, anyway. No need
to mention names, but whatever poisonous madness is finally working its
way out of the Mets system after some painful bloodletting could not
help but infect their announcers — and fanbase, but that’s another
story — too.  That is why we have heard mainly doom and gloom about
our New York underdogs since the 2000 trip to the World Series.
     Thank goodness for the World Baseball Classic.  Did you find it
refreshing to hear Dodger teammates Eric Karros (1B, 1991-2001) and Orel Hershiser (RHP, 1983-2000) talk about RHP starter Jae Weong Seo — who is about to join his high school teammate Hee-Sop Choi (1B) on the Dodgers — and lefty reliever Dae-Sung Koo — who debuted in the MLB in April of last year and is now a non-roster invitee to Mets spring training camp — as the strong pitchers they really are, with meaningful analysis
and insight by former players — one a legendary pitcher himself — who
analyze the game with a professionalism approaching that with which
they used to play the game?
     Seo started the first game of the second round of the WBC for
Korea against Mexico.  Through 5-1/3 innings, he allowed 1 run, which
came early and failed to rattle him.  In the Mets’ organization he was
so frequently sent down to the minors that it is no wonder that he would lose get shaken up after a mistake or bad luch at Shea.  I have to wonder if the Mets have something to learn from the coaching and mindset of Team Korea.  It is not as if Team Mexico was a lightweight opponent. 
     Before I forget, I want to add Floraine Kay’s observation that Seo showed an easy stance and release of his curveball that put into mind the seemingly effortless form of David Wells at his best.