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June 27, 2006

How to Deal, by Randy Johnson
by SG

Last night, Randy Johnson probably had his best start of the season in the Yankees' 5-2 win over Atlanta. Johnson had a very good slider and threw it a lot. His fastball wasn't particularly overpowering, mostly in the 92-94 range, but he had great command of it and pitched seven innings, walking none and striking out nine. It was a classic exhibit of a pitcher just plain dealing.

Since allowing five runs in five innings against the Tigers back on May 24, Johnson has done the following:

IP: 37.2
H: 24
R: 14
ER: 13
HR: 4
BB: 13
K: 36
ERA: 3.11
FIP: 3.70

He's still been inconsistent, but he looks to be getting better. If he can stay at that level for the rest of the season, it'll be a tremendous help to a team that is fighting the injury bug.

Jason Giambi has apparently put aside all his issues when it comes to hitting as a DH, with two more HRs last night and all 5 RBI. This season, as a "1B", Giambi is hitting .275/.444/.592. As a DH, he's hitting .253/.406/.613. The best thing about this is that it gets Andy Phillips on the field. Phillips has had his struggles at times this season, but they all seem to come after he has not started a few games. When he has gotten consistent playing time, he has produced. With his 3 hit, one walk game last night his season line is now .294/.323/.496 which is a touch below the average 1B. However, he has been one of the best defensive 1B in the league so far, saving around 4 runs above average. Over 150 games, Phillips's glove would be worth 40 runs over Giambi's. That is a massive difference, on the order of four wins. Let's put it in perspective based on zone rating.

The average 1B would see 281 plays in their zone in 1440 innings(a full season). Phillips has a Zone Rating (plays made on balls in his zone) of .915, Giambi's is .724. That means that over 1440 innings, Phillips would make 54 more plays than Giambi. That's the equivalent of eighteen innings that do not have to be pitched by the pitching staff.

Phillips needs to play almost every day from here on out.

From the infirmary, the news is good on Octavio Dotel.
Octavio Dotel was grinning and laughing so often yesterday afternoon, a reporter joked that he needs to smile more. Dotel felt ecstatic after throwing 30 pitches at a distance of 45 feet from flat ground.

The righty reliever, who was shut down last week with tendinitis in his right elbow, said it went "great."

"I was kind of worried about it today," he said before last night's 5-2 victory over Atlanta. "I was like, 'Shoot, how's it going to be?'

"But it feels unbelievable. So now I just have to take my time. No rush."

It's not as good for Robinson Cano.
Following Monday night's game, manager Joe Torre said that while no decision has been made with regards to the DL, it was unlikely that Cano would be on the field in the immediate future.

"It's not too bad, but that doesn't mean he's going to play in the next week or 10 days," Torre said. "We'll have to make a decision."
This is a bad situation made worse by allowing Joe Torre to bat Miguel Cairo second. I like Cairo as a backup and utility man. He's one of my favorite bad players. However, in no way does it make any sense that he gets more AB than Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, or Jorge Posada. Hopefully Torre will come to his senses on this as it looks like he'll playing for a while.

Bold prediction for tonight, Jaret Wright will not pitch a complete game.