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August 08, 2006

Skipping Lidle

I have to go on record and say that I hate the idea of skipping Cory Lidle's turn in the rotation (today) because of the off-day yesterday.

First off, Lidle's been a hot pitcher lately. Why play with that and give him 8 days between starts now?

Secondly, couldn't the other members of the Yankees rotation use an extra day's rest now?

Worm Killer Wang has pitched more innings this season than he ever has in this life. And, don't forget, thirteen months ago, he was on the D.L. because of a sore arm.

Randy Johnson has been toast since his taxing starts of July 19th and 24th. The pitch count on the former and the heat of the latter have killed him. He could use some extra rest.

Mike Mussina is no spring chicken and has had arm injuries in the two seasons prior to this one. Jaret Wright doesn't have the strength to go past 5 innings in a start, on a regular basis. Think these guys can't use an extra day?

Don't get me wrong here. If this was Sidney Ponson that we were talking about instead of a hot Cory Lidle, I would understand the skip. But, this move makes no sense to me.

And, with all the games that the Yankees have in the next three weeks, this decision could come back to haunt them.

Torre should ask Gene Mauch about what happened in 1964 when he overused his star pitchers.

Man, this is just a stupid, stupid, move - if you ask me.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 8, 2006 10:39 AM


I thought the same exact thing when I saw that they'd decided to skip Lidle. The biggest problem in all of this is what's happened to RJ. He was trucking along nicely before Torre decided to run him out there vs. Seattle two weeks ago. Now we went from having a nice top 3 to having 2 pitchers and RJ being worse than Wright. Hard to fathom what the FUCK Torre's thought process has been in this regard.

Bottom line is for Wang to go out there tonight and kick butt. Then hope we split the RJ and Moose games.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 11:25 AM

I'd be concerned if Torre had a response from Mauch. By the way, today's the first anniversary of his death.

Overuse is one thing but if I remember correctly Mauch went to a 2 man rotation the last 2 weeks of the season.

I wouldn't mind Lidle staying on schedule but the die is cast. I might be more in agreement with you if you had brought this up earlier.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 11:34 AM

Yikes, I forgot about Mauch's passing. :o

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 11:52 AM

The person this makes look bad is Cashman. He had a very public on-air fight with Russo about Lidle being part of the Abreu deal, saying that he had to have him, and then Torre skips him. If he was so important, why is he being skipped?

This might be a bit of a stretch, and I would never presume to know the mad, insane thinking of one Joe Torre, but here's one theory: Torre wants to keep his two main guys, Wang and Moose, on their regular schedule; he wouldn't mind giving RJ the extra day, but he'd rather him face the White Sox rather than the Angels, who have beaten him up in the past.

Honestly, it's probably not too big of a deal. Lidle pitched on extra rest in his first game and came out fine. I hope he can do the same again. This is a big start for RJ. If he comes up short again, we're back to a two-man rotation. If he doesn't get his stuff together, it makes a short series look bleaker.

One thing I find annoying is how the Yankees coddle RJ's ego. As recently as the All-Star Break Cashman said "RJ is still our number one." You get the feeling that even if RJ totally fell apart, they would still start him in a game one if they had the chance. Is his ego worth more than a win? Maybe in some insane, you-can't-figure-out-baseball twist, Pavano will be our number three in the playoffs. If that happens, then God truly is a Yankee fan.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 12:11 PM

Bailey, you're my most like-minded pal on this site except for the Pavano thing. There is really next to no chance that Pavano produces anything for the Yankees in 2006. I know he's in Tampa right now and is supposed to get a rehab start tonight but, really, given his track record since 2005, it's safe to assume that he'll have another setback.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 12:30 PM

"As recently as the All-Star Break Cashman said "RJ is still our number one." Well, that's Cashman's take but, obviously, a manager who would risk over-extending a 43 year old pitcher who's got a precarious grip on his stuff (we're being told it's a "mechanical" thing recently with RJ)just for the sake of not going to his admittedly over-taxed bullpen of 3 1/2 pitchers in the 8th inning of a tie game at home...well, you connect the dots. As Scott Proctor knows, it is as dangerous being on Torre's good side as it is being on his bad side. Either way, you arm turns into linguine.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 01:01 PM

The only reason I can imagine for skipping Lidle is to save him for tomorrow when, not if, Randy Johnson implodes in the second inning or so.

There is no other reason with 21 games in 20 days to use a 4 man rotation, so I have to think it is damage control on Johnson's next outing.

Posted by: Paul [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 02:21 PM

Interesting point Paul.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 03:52 PM

I think Torre is skipping Lidle so that we'll have Wang, Mussina, and Johnson in the first three games of the Boston series rather than going with Lidle or Wright to kick things off.

Posted by: Xopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 04:23 PM

Wang and Mussina are pitching in the Friday day-night doubleheader? And Mussina's pitching on 3 days rest? Sounds like a great plan to me.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2006 05:20 PM