Sunday, August 06, 2006

COH Grab Bag

The Yankees are making me very happy recently. Things are looking up and we've managed to squeeze a 2 game lead on the Red Sox (3 in the loss). The win today was a perfect remedy to the one hit fizzle against Chad Loewen, and the flameout by the Red Stockings bullpen helped to make things even better. On top of all that, my wife and I bought an HDD recorder/DVD burner this weekend, so I can record and watch all the Yankee games that I miss while I'm at work. This week there is a full slate of games on the NHK schedule, as the Yanks take on Iguchi and the White Sox. Oh happy day!!

Yesterday's little rant against the Devil Rays, Joe Maddon, and the notion that anyone on Earth would hit Travis Lee cleanup paid off, as the belabored first baseman went 1-5 with a big 8th inning home run in the rally to snuff the Red Sox from contention. Thanks Travis. You can go back to sucking now.

I decided that I'd look at a couple of random minor league things today, as a change of pace. I've been particularly interested in the Gulf Coast Yankees since the Amateur Draft and the International Signing Period. The guys I want to watch are Jesus Montero, who will join the team next year, and Dellin Betances of Grand Street, Brooklyn fame. Montero is on the radar for later on, but Betances is a 6'9" Christmas present from the 8th round of the draft. The potential signing bonus apparently scared off a lot of teams, but you know what that means for us. Home grown talent.

Betances has sprung into action after finishing his high school career only months ago. In 4 appearances, all starts, with the GCL Yankees Betances has thrown 9 innings and sports a 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and has 9 strikeouts. That's a really small sample, but you have to like what you see. The potential is tantalizing, and it appears that he's going to carry over his success as a New York high schooler and Team USA representative into the pros. Keep an eye out for this kid. In 5 years I'd love to see Matsuzaka, Hughes, and Betances at the front of our rotation.

The other minor league note I wanted to pass along was an update on Kazuo Matsui's status in the Colorado Rockies system. It's not really Yankees related, but he was a lightning rod in the New York papers for his awful defense, weak bat, and frequent injuries. He was an All-Star shortstop in Japan and a regular MVP candidate. Failure was predictable for Tsutyoshi Shinjo when the Mets gambled on him, as he was nothing more than a mediocre ballplayer over here. Kaz was coming on the heels of the Yankees success story with Hideki Matsui (no relation) and figured to be a nice addition to a young ballclub. It didn't pan out, and I still scratch my head at just how bad he has been. I never thought he'd be a star on the level of Ichiro or Godzilla, but I also never thought he'd be a AAA second baseman in the Rockies organization. Hard to imagine.

It's to his credit that he still clings to his Major League dream. He could have said, "F-it. I'm going back to Japan", and reclaimed his status as an elite player, but he seems genuinely interested in making it in the Majors. Again, scratching my head that Iguchi, Johjima, and Taguchi have all made nice names for themselves in the States and Kaz is a mediocre farmhand. In Japan he was a career .309/.361/.486 player and was blistering between 2000 and 2002 when he posted three consectuive years of excellent numbers. He was 25, 26, 27 years old then, in his peak years of production. The respective OPSs in that stretch were .861, 1.006, and .914. See for yourself. Let's look at his numbers in his current stint in Colorado.

In 18 games and 63 ABs with the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Kazuo Matsui sports a line of .286/.352/.365 with one homer, 8 RBIs, and 16 runs scored. He has 6 walks and 12 strikeouts which tells me he still can't hit. What's the market these days for a light hitting middle infielder with defensive issues? I'm guessing that he opens the 2007 season in training camp with Seibu again. Meanwhile, his Mets' replacement, Jose Valentin, has 12 homers and is hitting around .290 to date.

That's it for today. Keep it rollin' Yanks. See you tomorrow.


rabid stan said...

I had been grumbling to myself about the Sox going into August playing 13 consecutive games against the teams with the four worst records in the AL (Cle, TB, KC and Bal) before playing the Tigers and the Yanks.

Well, they're just past the mid-way point and 3-4 so far vs. Cleveland and Tampa Bay. And they could easily be 1-6 or 2-5. Thank you very much, Fausto Carmona and Eric Wedge. The way the Red Sox are playing, perhaps KC and Baltimore can play just as pesky.

Life is good.

Stick it to those ChiSox and Angels, boys!

RollingWave said...

Next games lineup is just making me drool

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-rod 3B
Giambi DH
Posada C
Wilson 1B
Cano 2B
Melky LF


That's almost better than our starting day lineup... espically considering that it's younger.

Mike Plugh said...

That lineup is truly sick. Should be a good one.

Anyone know the link to the Taiwanese newspaper that used my blog?

Mike Plugh said...

Thanks rollingwave.

I saw your last post in the prior section. Any chance you could scan the article and e-mail it to me. If so, I'll give you my e-mail address.

I'd love to feature it on the blog.

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