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May 3, 2005

Youth Movement
by Fabian

I haven’t done Minor League Notes in a little while and I while I had planned to catch up on that last night, I didn’t do so due to the moves made by the Yankee front office. In what is looking like a very sudden youth movement, over the past few days, Chien-Ming Wang has successfully pitched his first ML start, Robinson Cano has been given The Call, and Sean Henn is on his way.

Wang’s start was exciting for me to watch and I felt he did very well for himself. Though I am somewhat of a stickler for strikeouts when it comes to banking on a pitcher’s success, I’ll let the fact that Wang had none in his first ML start pass as hitters were hacking too early in the count for him to get those strikeouts. My hope/expectation is that Wang will be about a league average starter during his stint, allowing the Yankee front office to see how dumb/unnecessary it was to pick up Wright this past offseason as well as set Wang up for an ’06 rotation slot.

Cano’s promotion came out of nowhere for me and I’m left with a few questions. The first reason I did not expect Cano’s promotion was that Womack has had a pretty BA thus far and usually that’s enough to keep your job, but I didn’t take into account whether or not the front office would own up to the Bernie Williams mistake and seek a drastic measure to rectify that situation. With Womack moving to the OF in an attempt to do so, the question now becomes how ready is Robinson Cano. While I’m glad to see Cano in the majors, I question the intelligence in making such a move when Cano is coming down from a hot streak, albeit his cooling down has still been hot by average hitter standards. In addition Cano will have to develop his selectivity on the fly, as ML pitchers won’t be giving him as many hitter’s pitches. All said, I think Cano has a more than decent shot at being a league average player, which coupled with Womack going to LF and Matsui to CF and Bernie to part time DH makes this team slightly better I feel.

I’m very weary about Henn’s promotion, as I wasn’t yet completely sold on his hot start in the minors. I think he’ll get knocked around, but it’ll still be nice to see him for at least one start.