Friday, June 11, 2004
FREE HIMFREE HIM
Free Brad Halsey. With rotation issues cropping up at the major league level, due to Kevin Brown’s health and Jose Contreras’ ineffectiveness, it makes no sense not to free Brad Halsey sometime in the near future. Halsey had a complete game shutout last night where he allowed 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 6. This brings his season totals to: 77 innings, 70 hits, 24 runs, 22 earned runs, 1 home run, 19 walks, and 46 strikeouts. He has pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings. Brad Halsey should be freed by the Yankees in one of two ways. If they like him enough, they should promote him to the majors, release Felix Heredia, and use Halsey out of the bullpen as a long man and lefty specialist (assuming he gets lefties out). If Contreras or any other rotation issue arises, Halsey can be immediately plugged in and he will already have major league experience to boot. The other path to free Halsey, is if the Yankees do not have enough faith in him, use him as a main part of a package for one of those vaunted “veteran pitchers” the Yankees love to get. Brad Halsey is no sure thing, he still has the K rate issue. Despite this, he has done nothing to dissuade the thought that he could be a potential innings eating middle-of-the-rotation starter, which is valuable. Surely there must be some better use for a 23-year-old left hander excelling at AAA with solid stuff, 88-to-92 MPH fastball and good splitter.
Since I last posted about minor league results, much of the Columbus hitting has crapped out. Andy Phillips played 1B yesterday and was 0 for 4 as his average dropped to .338 on the year and is now at .337/.401/.585/.327 (AVG/OBP/SLG/GPA), good numbers, but not as jaw-dropping as they once were. Caonabo Cosme had a good game, 1 for 3 with a single, to raise his average to .245. Jeff Deardorff was 2 for 4 with 2 singles while DHing, and Bubba Crosby was 1 for 3 with a K as he waits for another old Yankee OF to come up lame.
Kenny Lofton began his rehab assignment going 1 for 3 with a double from the Trenton leadoff spot. Hitting 3rd, Dioner Navarro continued to drop singles all over the field as he went 1 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout as his average crept up to .287. Navarro also threw out the lone player attempting to steal against him. Robinson Cano also managed a single in his 4 at bats last night and is now hitting a very solid .284.
There were no important Trenton pitching performances last night, but the two previous games were started by “Tiger” Wang and Sean Henn, who do hold some importance in the Yankee prospect universe. In his first start since his Contreras-like meltdown, Wang was sub-par. He went 5.2 innings and gave up 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, and struck out 6 as he lowered his ERA to 4.99. Wang has been decent this year, despite his ERA, which is marred by the Contreras outing, but I think he would move more quickly and prove more valuable if placed in the bullpen. I believe this because if moved to the bullpen he would be able to live off of low to mid 90s heat and his splitter rather than focus on developing a better repertoire, plus, he’s been great as a reliever in my All-Star Baseball season. Sean Henn made his second start since “discovering” the sinker and was back to mediocrity, 7.1 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts. Henn now has a 5-2 record and a 3.99 ERA. He is another pitcher that I would love to see converted to the bullpen where he can just rear back and throw mid 90s from the left-side, a unique ability.
After Tampa’s conclusion of a suspended game loss to the St. Lucie Mets, 7 to 6, Melky Cabrera’s average has fallen below .300. In 13 games and 57 at-bats at the A level, Cabrera is now hitting .298/.328/.421/.253. The average FSL GPA is .242, so Cabrera is above league average, just not as good as he was in the MWL, which is fine for a teenager playing an up-the-middle position in an Advanced A league. Bronson Sardinha got his singles, 2 for 4, and pushed his average to .329 as he continues to plug along, waiting for the elusive call to AA.
Battle Creek did not play yesterday, but the recent performances there can be easily summed up. Eric Duncan is in a slump and the pitching staff has been torn apart by Cardinals’ stud Daric Barton.
FREE BRAD HALSEYbr>
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