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July 6, 2006

Moose, Chacon, and Guiel
by SG

The Yankees beat the Indians 9-3 11-3 last night, in an encouraging game all around. Mike Mussina picked up his tenth win of the season in the season's 82nd game, which keeps him on pace to perhaps reach the overrated 20 win mark for the first time in his career and help his still middling Hall of Fame case. I think Moose is a Hall of Famer, but I don't get a vote.

Another encouraging sign in yesterday's game was Melky Cabrera's newly discovered power stroke. Cabrera's been respectable in regards to batting average and his on base percentage, but his power has been very poor, particularly for a corner OF. However, by going 3 for 4 with a HR and a double, Melky has pushed his Isolated Power (SLG - Batting Average) over .100 for the first time this season. Melky's power is still way too low for an OF, although he's slugged .446 since June 15. If he can maintain the AVG and OBP and get his SLG up to .450, he'd be about as productive as Hideki Matsui was in his rookie season.

The Kris Wilson era has begun and it is a resounding success. Well, it went better than the Tim Redding era anyway. I though Wilson looked ok. He faced six hitters and retired all of them, four with groundouts and one with a strikeout. He was working with an 88-89 mph two seamer and what looked like a pretty good overhand curve. His biggest problem in his prior major league career has been the HR ball, so if he can keep the ball on the ground he could be a possible contributor in the back-end of the pen or as the fifth starter. He may be taking Ron Villone's spot in the pen if Villone ends up replacing Shawn Chacon in the rotation.

Speaking of Chacon, it appears he's worn out his welcome this season.
It appears unlikely that Shawn Chacon will make his scheduled start Sunday, but that could be the least of his concerns. With Chacon failing to show any of the magic he had last season, his time with the Yankees could be coming to an end.

...But it is not just Chacon’s performances that have been discussed. Sources indicated that his attitude has also become an issue, particularly as it relates to how often he’s been used and how much patience Torre has shown him during his outings. There are also questions about his work ethic. One source said the Yankees have become so irked with Chacon that he’s “not in their plans” for the future.

I wonder what the Yankees could have gotten if they traded him in the offseason?

The Yanks claimed Aaron Guiel off waivers yesterday. Guiel's a 33 year old lefty hitter with experience in all three OF spots and a career batting line of .245/.320/.412. The scouting report on Guiel:
Powerfully-built, Guiel is a different hitter depending on the role he's given. As a leadoff man, he'll patiently wait for a pitch to slap into the outfield. With runners on base, however, he'll aggressively attack the first hittable pitch, trying to pull the ball for extra bases. Guiel crowds the plate and doesn't yield to inside pitches. He has trouble against lefties who pound the ball in on his hands. A hustling player who goes all-out in the field and on the bases, Guiel can steal bases but occasionally runs into outs. He has an adequate arm for a corner outfielder and improves his range by running intelligent routes on flyballs.

His ZR are very good at all 3 OF positions in limited playing time. Based on his career in the OF, here's how he'd rate over 162 games at each position:

LF: +8
CF: +16
RF: 0

Since he's spent the bulk of his career in RF it's probably safe to say he's closer to average than the LF or CF ratings would indicate, but he appears to be at least competent defensively. He's nothing special, but he's a cheap free pickup who gives the team depth and a lefty bat to platoon with Bernie Williams. If the Yankees would replace Bubba Crosby with Kevin Thompson now I think they'd be in business. With Johnny Damon joining the list of the injured, more OF depth is a good thing, not a bad thing.

The Yankees go for the series split today with Randy Johnson facing Cliff Lee. Johnson had a disastrous start against the Mets last time after appearing to have found some consistency. There are rumblings that he was tipping his pitches against the Mets. Cleveland traded Eduardo Perez so that may help.