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August 11, 2005

Small, Wright & Leiter

I know that many are upset that Torre has elected to replace Small in the rotation with Wright. On the surface, this would bug me too - as Small has been one of the Yankees best starters over the last three weeks.

But, I think this move makes sense for a few reasons.

First, Wright's not built for the pen. His arm condition does not probably lend towards warming up quickly, pitching days in a row, warming up and not throwing in the game, etc.

Secondly, while it would make sense to keep Small in the rotation, with Wright, and then move out Leiter, this does not help the team as Leiter, with his control issues, is not someone that you want coming out of the pen.

Lastly, Aaron Small can pitch out of the pen. In fact, in his best major league season, 1997, he was the number two man out of the pen for the Oakland A's.

And, all last month, what were people saying? "The Yankees need another RP in the pen to go with TanGorMo, to cover the 6th inning." Well, now you have that man - Aaron Small.

And, say what you want about Jaret Wright - but, he was one of the ten best starting pitchers in the NL last year. And, he has heart. To comeback from imjury as he has done this year says something - he could have easily mailed in the rest of the year and enjoyed a summer vacation in Florida.

This all said, I cannot join in with those who object to the Small-Wright move.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 11, 2005 04:50 PM


Agreed, Steve. I also think the much-maligned Wright might actually be able to contribute something in the last weeks of the season. While Small should do a good job in the pen, it makes you wonder what the organization has against Colter Bean (and I'm not saying he's the next Ramiro Mendoza). Is there a speed threshold you have to meet in order to pitch out of Torre's pen? That works for the Angels but we don't have their bullpen.

Posted by: JohnnyC at August 11, 2005 05:20 PM

Like the Wright signing or not, he's here. May as well see what he has. who knows maybe he'll be able to contribute something.

I agree that out of the 3 (Leiter, Small, Chacon) Small may be best suited for coming out of the pen.

FWIW, Wright pitched 2003 out of the pen. But you're not throwing that kind of $$ at him to be a pen man.

Posted by: Raf at August 11, 2005 05:41 PM

randy should be moved out of the rotation hes terrible and has been terrible all year, we would be in first place if he had pitched even half as good as he had last year. money shouldnt be a concern anymore this team is on the verge of missing the playoffs they need to go with who is producing and who isn't.

Posted by: hah at August 11, 2005 06:17 PM

I agree the Wright has start, and that Leiter has control problems . . . but I'd still like to see Leiter replace Franklin in the pen, and Small continue starting. If you make Leiter just a LOOGY - don't know if the numbers support it - and as long as you don't bring him in when a walk would kill you, he might work out.

OTOH, if you use Small in a Mendoza like role, he could be the long guy out of the pen whenever Leiter fails early - and when Leiter doesn't, the righty reliever we all agree the Yanks need. I'd be happy with that.

Posted by: Shaun P at August 11, 2005 06:50 PM