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August 5, 2006 - Club adds another arm to 'pen
by SG

Adding Jose Veras to the pen is not the real story. The real story is that the DFA watch has claimed it's 4th victim. Following in the storied steps of Terrence, Long, Aaron Small, and Scott Erickson, Bubba Crosby has been designated for assignment by the Yankees.

BALTIMORE -- Feeling uneasy with only 11 pitchers, the Yankees added Jose Veras to their bullpen before Friday's game, designating Bubba Crosby for assignment in the process.
Designating Crosby was a "very tough" decision, Torre said. Crosby, who made the team's Opening Day roster, made 19 starts with the Yankees this season. He got 87 at-bats, hitting .207 with a homer and six RBIs.

Hopefully Bubba latches on somewhere and gets a chance to show that he's not a major league caliber player. At this point I'm pretty happy with the roster. 12 pitchers isn't ideal, but with Randy Myers having such a restricted role it sort of makes sense. I don't think I have anyone that I want to DFA now. Any pleas to put Miguel Cairo on watch will be ignored. I don't care what his OBP is.

Regarding Veras, I'm curious to see him pitch. Veras was a starter in the minors until 2004. He had a decent season for AAA Oklahoma last year out of the bullpen (61.2 IP, 72 K, 33 BB, 4 HR, 3.79 ERA) and was picked up by the Yankees in the offseason when Texas re-assigned him to the minors. He's had a solid year for Columbus (52.2 IP, 58 K, 18 BB, 3 HR, 2.73 ERA) this year. What's interesting is that he gave up 5 of his earned runs in just one appearance, May 28 versus Buffalo in 1.2 innings. Over the other 51 innings he's pitched, he's given up 11 ER, an ERA of 1.94. You can't just pull out a bad game, but he's been pretty solid overall.

Here's a very old scouting report I found on Veras from 2003 when he was a starter in the Tampa organization.

Jose Veras is an interesting prospect. He has never really put up great numbers in the minors, but scouts are still by his fastball. He has one of the better fastballs in the organization, regularly touching the mid-90's. He also throws a slider, but that needs work. He also has control problems, walking a batter every 2 innings. He has come up through the system as a starter, but is better sutied to pitch out of the bullpen. Jose should go back to AAA Durham for the start of the 2004 season, with a possible late season promotion, depending how he progresses.

Veras is still fairly young, turning 26 in October.

The Yanks edged Baltimore 5-4 last night. I watched the game on TiVO after a night of binge drinking so I don't really have much to add to the line score, except that the Yankees should have scored more than four runs off Chen, and that Jorge Posada kicks all kinds of ass. Craig Wilson is making his case for being the full-time starter at first base, flashing a decent glove and hitting well so far.

Randy Johnson was pretty bad, although he kept the team in the game. A Johnson that's not K'ing anyone is a problem, given his propensity for gopheritis. At least he didn't walk anyone either. Maybe he's trying to out-Wang Wang?

Did my eyes deceive me or did Mariano hit 98 on a pitch in the ninth? That was on the Baltimore broadcast. Incidentally, by finishing yesterday's game, Mo's option for 2007 has vested. Rivera has mentioned that he wants to pitch in the new Yankee Stadium, due to open in 2009. Let's hope he achieves that goal.

Robinson Cano played for Trenton yesterday, DH'ing and going 3-for-3 with a double and a walk last night. He's supposed to play two more games at Trenton and come off the DL Tuesday. I'd guess he'll take Nick Green's spot, although he could take Andy Phillips's.