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July 20, 2006

He Ain't Nothing But A Hole Digger

Bryan Tsao at THT takes a look at the biggest holes on A.L. contenders. (Hat tip to BaseballThinkFactory.org.) According to Tsao, here are the Yankees holes:

Sidney Ponson, starting pitcher, New York Yankees

Innings: 75.1
ERA: 5.26

That the Yankees have turned to Cardinals cast-off Sidney Ponson to solve their fifth starter woes says a lot about their pitching depth. Predictably, he pitched poorly in his first start in pinstripes, giving up four runs in 6.2 innings against the Mariners. Ponson hasn't been even a decent pitcher for a few seasons now, and his starts down the stretch could be the difference in a competitive AL East race that actually means something for once.

Bernie Williams, right fielder, New York Yankees

Plate appearances: 294
OPS: .743

There are players having worse offensive seasons than Bernie Williams, but few are as bad in the field as Williams has been this season. Once a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder, Bernie is now one of the worst everyday defensive players in the AL. And injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield have thinned the Yankee outfield.

Tsao also gave Andy Phillips an honorable mention.

It's hard to disagree with these Yankee-mentions. But, while I agree that Bernie's played the outfield this season as if he was the Black Knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail ("It's just a flesh wound!"), Williams is not the worst hitting OF in the AL this season. Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:


OK, Bernie is the 10th worst offensive OF in the AL this season.

How many days until Godzilla comes back?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 20, 2006 03:08 PM


Too bad Matsui coming back means Melky sits. If not, they'd be giving the Melk-man time in RF where he belongs.

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 03:53 PM

Do we know for a fact that Melky sits for Matsui? And, not Bernie?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:09 PM

Funny, the way I remember the Ponson game was that in the first inning he showed some rust by walking 2 and giving up a HR to Richie Sexson, a legit HR threat at all times. After that he settled down and gave up 1 other run. I thought he pitched well under the circumstances, especially since his rep is that he gets wired if he flubs the first inning. I thought he was okay.

I would think Bernie sits when Matsui gets back, and RF will be no big deal, he's been there before.

Posted by: Scott Coulter [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:15 PM

Peter Abraham has posted recently "Torre won't come out and say it, but he is pretty determined not to start Bernie against right handers."

There were other posts from Abraham that indicated Torre and the Yankees would like to get Bernie out from right field.

If Matsui's back and Sheffield's not, Melky moves to right field. If both come back, Bubba is released.

I say this because I am convinced that Hurt Matsui's defense is better than Bernie's. If, for whatever reason, the Yankees don't think Matsui can play regularly in the field, then it is Andy Phillips who is replaced as Matsui will take the DH spot and Giambi moves to 1B.

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:24 PM

No, we don't Steve. I'm just reading the Torre veteran writing on the wall. The time to get Melky RF experience is now. That it isn't happening, and Bernie is starting against righties, tells me everything. I hope I'm wrong though.

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:26 PM

I think it just says that Torre thinks Melky has the range to play LF in YS and Bernie does not.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:40 PM

You know, Abraham said that - but then look what happened - Bernie started against Pineiro, a righty.

My point is: If Melky was going to play RF when Matsui returns, they'd be giving him time there esp. with his cannon. That they're not speaks volumes. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:44 PM

Ponson was fine in his first start. He made one bad pitch to Sexson in the first inning. He has certainly earned another outing.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 04:47 PM

From Joe Torre with Mike Francessa:

Dotel has suffered a [perhaps serious] setback and will be seeing the doctor, again.

The Carl Pavano watch is at best for September..... what year wasn't specified.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 06:27 PM

Bernie is starting tonight against Hallady. Good good....

Posted by: Flaxseed Oil Salesman [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 20, 2006 06:30 PM