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July 31, 2006

There's More Than One


The above chart is the up-to-date Double-A stats for two pitchers that the Yankees currently have pitching for their farm team this season in Trenton.

Granted, "Pitcher A" is a year older than "Pitcher B." (He's actually about 16 months older. But, that's still just one-year in baseball circles.)

Noneteless, the numbers for these two pitchers are very close - in terms of hits and walks allowed, strikeouts earned, and their command of the strike zone. Also, they both give you a shade under 6 IP per start.

"Pitcher B" is Philip Hughes - the best pitching prospect in the Yankees organization.

"Pitcher A" is Tyler Clippard.

The Yankees had a situation like this back when Sterling Hitchcock and Andy Pettitte were coming up through their system. Two pitchers, about a year apart in age, and they both looked like good pitching prospects. But, in fact, one of them had a better career than the other one.

It will be interesting to see how it works out for Clippard and Hughes.

Personally, I hope they both go on to star in New York for the Yankees. That would be the best case scenario.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at July 31, 2006 09:59 AM


One thing to point out here:

"...they both give you a shade under 6 IP per start."

I don't know if this is true of Clippard's starts but I know for a fact that the Yankees are holding Hughes to a very strict innings count which is why he's only averaging a shade under 6 IP a game.

Hopefully both can blossom for the Yanks at the same time. Good young pitching is the lifeblood of any franchise. It's been a long time since we've had any of our own young pitchers develop and hopefully this symbolizes the Yanks turning the page and realizing that there's no substitute for a great farm system in terms of creating or prolonging a winning atmosphere at the major league level.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 10:44 AM

Woo hoo! Some prospect love for Clippard :) If you've seen YanksBlog, you know of my prospect-crush on the guy. It's good to see that it's catching ;)

Also, since Jun 9th when he turned it around, he's averaged 6.5 IP per start and should be in AAA Columbus to start next year (along with Hughes & Cox).

Also, while he struggled (mightily) at the beginning of the year, Jeff Karstens (24 in 2 months) is another guy that's starting to come into his own. He got clobbered in AAA to start the season, got sent down to AA, figured himself out and has had better results at AAA once he got back there. He's not on Hughes' level of course but he has the look of a decent starter and could reach that potential as early as next year.

Posted by: James Varghese [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 10:59 AM

But do you think the national media, outside of Hughes, will ever hype our collection of pitching prospects (which is impressive if you follow it down to the GCL and even Dominican League)the way they genuflect over the Red Sox's prospects? Consider that Craig Hansen's being shopped already.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 11:14 AM

Probably not - because, saying the Yankees have a farm system flies in the face of the lament about them buying players.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 11:19 AM

Very interesting, Steve. I guess the difference is in terms of the HR rate. I know that Clippard had a poor start. Did he give up those HR early in the season? Has he started to give up less HR?

Posted by: jonm [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 11:28 AM

Yes, jon, T-Clip was awful for the first two months of this season. Apparently he was slow in recovering from an injury that hampered him since Spring Training. But, he's pitching lights out right now and is definitely developing on schedule. Also, for people who wondered what happened to Matt DeSalvo, he's going through some tough personal problems (sounds like a divorce) and he's been unable to concentrate on pitching. The good news is that it's not physical. The bad news is he's already 25.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 11:33 AM

Honestly, I'd rather that Yankee prospects fly under the radar a little bit. The more Boston's pitching prospects get hyped, the greater the fall will be when they show up at Fenway and get their heads handed to them. I'm all for increased hysteria on Boston's part. As far as our prospects are concerned, the less pressure and hype on them, the better. If Clippard and Karstens are relatively unknown by the time they make the show in late 2007, early 2008, wonderful. They can do what Wang did last year without getting the Russ Davis treatment.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 11:44 AM

hey Jon,
Here are the splits for T-Clippard (not including his last start). He's given up 11 HRs all season and 8 of them were in the first 2 months of the season.


Posted by: James Varghese [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 12:12 PM

Good on Cashman for not giving up Clippard to get Abreu.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 01:21 PM

The main difference is that Clippard is a flyball+strikeout pitcer, and Hughes is a groundball+strikeout pitcher.

Posted by: Danny [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 01:28 PM

Thanks for the info JohnnyC and thanks for the site James. That's excellent news about his rebound. He looks like a future big leaguer to me.

The last two days have been great days to be a Yankee fan. It's amazing to me that the Phillies did not demand Clippard in the Abreu deal.

Posted by: jonm [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 01:32 PM