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December 4, 2006

12/4/06: Odds and Ends
by SG

With baseball's Winter Meetings beginning to roll, there's no shortage of rumors and speculation rampant.

According to Newsday, the Yankees are holding a roster spot open for Andy Pettitte should he decide to come back to the Bronx, even though it's not very likely. Pettitte wouldn't be a bad option, as he'd likely come with a shorter time committment than someone like Barry Zito. He was overrated during his Yankee tenure, but he's a solid pitcher, and could probably put up an ERA in the 4.00 area while giving the team innings as long as he can stay healthy, something that is occasionally a problem for him.

In good news for Yankee fans, Tanyon Sturtze has signed with Atlanta. For some reason, the Braves are guaranteeing him $750,000. I guess a bellyful of guts is a valued commodity. There are rumors that the Yankees may look to deal Kyle Farnsworth. I don't think it'd hurt the Yankees to see what he could bring back, although I don't necessarily think he has to be dealt or anything. He had his good stretches and bad stretches last season, just like he has throughout his entire career. He's a decent bet to be useful next year, although his 2005 is pretty apparently the outlier in an inconsistent career.

A reader emailed me this page of Kei Igawa's 2006 splits from Yahoo! Japan. Since I can't read Japanese real well, I ran it through the World Lingo translator. Igawa had a Defense Ratio (ERA) of 2.97 last season. He had 3 Nothing Point Victories (shutouts). He suffered 180 Hits, 17 book Base Hits (HRs), got Three Swings (Strikeouts) 194 times, he gave 49 Annie Oakleys (BB, WTF?), and also gave six dead spheres (HBP). He allowed 77 losing points (Runs) and 69 Self-reproach points (Earned Runs).

Fun with translations aside, the lefty/righty splits were interesting.

Vs. Righties
AB: 518
H: 106
HR: 7
K: 138
BB: 33
HBP: 4
AVg: .205
OBP: .258
K/PA: .25
BB/PA: .06

Vs. Lefties
AB: 251
H: 74
HR: 10
K: 56
BB: 16
HBP: 2
Avg. .295
OBP: .342
K/PA: .21
BB/PA: .06

One year's splits can have a lot of noise, and it's also probable he was facing only the better lefties in Japan, but these aren't very good splits for a team that will be facing David Ortiz 19 times this season. This also tells me he's probably primarily a changeup pitcher, and his breaking ball is not very good.

The Yankees are still in the market for a 1B, backup C, and a utility IF. They may bring Miguel Cairo back, who isn't great by any means but isn't as bad as his offensive numbers make him seem thanks to his ability to play multiple positions quite well defensively. I still think Mike Lieberthal as a backup C makes all kinds of sense. As far as 1B, I still think Craig Wilson would be the best option, because he can help balance what's become a very heavily left-handed lineup. And yeah, I know he had 105 bad AB as a Yankee. Putting stock in that over the 1848 other AB he's had in his career is not really good player evaluation.

I pray the rumors about the Yankees interest in Shea Hillenbrand aren't valid, because I don't think I can stand rooting for him, and he's just not that good. I've seen mention of Doug Mientkiewicz. I'm not a huge fan of his, although he's a decent OBP guy and a pretty good glove. He's also a lefty with no pop, and spelling his name all the time on this blog would be a royal pain in the ...