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August 16, 2006

Jeff Karstens Coming?

From The Columbus Dispatch -

In the opener, Jeff Karstens was carrying a five-game winning streak for the Clippers and 11 straight decisions without a loss at the double-A and triple-A levels but left the game after throwing 12 pitches (11 strikes) in a scoreless first inning.

"He's healthy, but I can't comment any further," manager Dave Miley said.

The speculation is that Karstens will be promoted to the New York Yankees because they have a doubleheader Friday in Boston.

"They told me I was done after the first," Karstens said. "I wanted to go for 12 in a row, but you never know."

I would bet that this Karstens move is just insurance, in case Ponson trips over a doughnut in the next few days and sprains something.

Still, yeah, he'd be a rookie making a major league debut, for the Yankees, at Fenway Park, in the middle of a pennant race with the Red Sox, but, I would bet that Karstens could go six innings and only allow 5 runs - if he got the start.

Sure, that doesn't sound pretty. But, it's probably better than what Ponson will do, if given the start.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 16, 2006 08:52 AM


Don't worry. Even if Ponson trips over a donut, it'll be Pavano who gets hurt -- even without being in the same state.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 09:19 AM

Pavano apparently pitched 4 scoreless innings in Tampa last night. I can't tell if this is encouraging news or not. He's already proven he can dominate rookie-league hitters with his two dozen other rehab starts at the Class-A level. If ARod is traded next year, Pavano should be part of the package.

And yes, I've officially turned my back on Alex. I'll always love him but I'm beyond tired of watching him play. He deserves to be happy and play in a place that will fully appreciate him. It's clear that this is not going to happen in NY, in part due to his inability to do what he needs to do and in part due to the fans and writers being completely unfair in how they perceive and portray him.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 11:01 AM

I say give Karstens a shot. Remember when Brad Halsley out-pitched Pedro in his 2nd or 3rd career start?

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 11:31 AM

Karstens' stuff is pretty ordinary, so he's not going to come up and surprise anyone with a dynamite pitch (a la Zach Duke and his changeup).

Why not just call up Hughes and see what the kid is made of? (I'm joking, sort of)

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 12:01 PM

If Karstens does come up to pitch, why is Ponson on this team? If they don't trust him to start a game, after he was brought here to be the fifth starter, and instead trust a guy from AAA more, why don't they just cut him? I'm not really sure what the point of having Ponson on this team is. You know Torre's not going to use him unless it's pure mopup duty. I bet he'd be reluctant to use him with a five-run lead.

Hey, how did Pavano come up in this conversation? Honestly, though, how does it hurt the Yankees if Pavano rehabs right now and maybe even rejoins the team? This bullpen has Jose Veras and Ponson in it. Wouldn't you rather one of those guys being replaced by Pavano? As much as it might make you guys froth at the mouth, if Pavano puts in two more good rehab starts, Ponson gets cut, Lidle goes into the bullpen, and Pavano is the new fifth starter.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 12:08 PM

That's so funny about Pavano getting hurt... even in another state. Although Hughes isn't really ready, I'm pretty excited about going to see him pitch on Sat. in Trenton... By the way, did anyone notice how relieved Arod's smile looked after he got that single?

Posted by: Athos333 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 01:14 PM

I think I agree with you about A-Rod, MJ, though, like you, I really do like the guy. He's never gotten a fair shake in NY, from day 1, and never will. But, to be completely fair, some of his recent struggles have also been self-imposed. I get stressed out just watching the him.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 01:36 PM

If the Yanks give up 5 runs to the Sox, they'll lose.

Posted by: Michael Black [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 02:18 PM

Add me to the chorus crying out for a call to 6" 5" 230lb phenom Philip Hughes. The Eastern League's reigning Pitcher of the Week has batters overmatched at the AA level. In his last two starts: 10 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 15 SO, 0.90 ERA.

Karstens' numbers at AAA Columbus are far less impressive: 73.2 IP, 78H, 4.28 ERA.

Several ace pitchers have made succesful debuts in the majors at a younger age than Hughes: Bob Feller - 17, Claude Osteen - 18, Jim Palmer - 19, Catfish Hunter - 19, Bert Blyleven - 19, Nolan Ryan - 19, Walter Johnson - 19, Early Wynn - 19. Steve Nelson, Seattle Mariners fan & blogger (Mariners Wheelhouse) published this thought-provoking perspective on the impact of early debuts by ML pitchers: http://www.lookoutlanding.com/story/2005/3/24/122854/619

Naysayers will undoubtedly point out that Hughes ended his first two professional seasons on the Disabled List ('04 - stubbed toe, '05 - sore elbow). But, why should he be any more prone to injury in New York than in Trenton? Mike Meyers will verify that not every arm on the Yankees roster is over-used!

Wonder about the contractural and/or Options implications of a debut this year.....

Posted by: KevinK [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 02:27 PM

While I would love for Hughes to come up to the big leagues and stay, it's not going to happen. Right now he's on a strict pitch-count in AA. They're not going to bring him up and have him pitch in Fenway.

And is it really fair? To take a kid who has gigantic expectations attached to him by fans and throw him into the rivalry? Pluck him out of AA without any notice and throw him into Fenway, where if he struggles even a little bit he'll be labeled a failure on ESPN and will be questioned about it until he makes it back to the bigs? For all the harm it could do, I wouldn't bother. And there's no chance he stays with the team, because of the aforementioned pitch count.

It would actually make more sense to start Tyler Clippard, who's slightly more experienced, but neither will be seeing anything but AA this year. Next year it's AAA and a possible call-up mid-year. And then after that, barring injury, they should be in the rotation.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 02:34 PM

I don't believe Hughes is on the forty man roster as he was a HS drafted player two years ago and he has automatic protection.

Karstens AAA stats must be looked at in the light of his first AAA stint this year and his recall after being sent to AA. Huge difference then and now.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 03:03 PM

Yup, Karstens has been red-hot (AA 6-0, AAA 5-0) since he was demoted to Trenton on 5/14/06. Wonder what suddenly clicked for the 24-yo righty with "average stuff," and how soon it'll click back off again.

Listed at 6'3" 175lb, he's downright scrawny compared to Hughes.

BTW -- Both Karstens (#75) and Hughes (#80) are on the Yankees 40-man roster.

Posted by: KevinK [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 03:40 PM

Is it possible that Karstens was pulled from the game because of a possible trade?

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 04:23 PM

Maybe this is why... http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5878410

Yanks lost out on a bid for Schoeneweis today. The Reds got him.

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 04:33 PM

Why would the Yankees even want Scho? As Steve pointed out, they've stopped using Myers -- so why have TWO guys that are basically one-man relief pitchers?

By the way, Dotel got activated and he'll be in uniform tonight. I'm sure Steve will post that soon, but I just thought I'd mention it. What this probably does is let Proctor go back to being a one-inning pitcher, which should help save his arm down the stretch.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 16, 2006 04:58 PM