New York Yankees: Hector Noesi

Pineda officially a Yankee

January, 23, 2012
Ten days after it was made, the four-player trade between the Yankees and Seattle Mariners that put Michael Pineda in pinstripes and sent Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to the Pacific Northwest is finally official. The finalization had been held up by visa problems that kept Montero from leaving Venezuela to take his Mariners physical. Those are now cleared up and Pineda, who went 9-10 for the punchless Mariners last year with a 3.74 ERA, will likely become the No. 2 arm in the Yankees starting rotation. GM Brian Cashman will have a conference call with the Yankee beat writers at 5 p.m., after which I will have a full story up on the website.

If you see Brian Cashman in a casino . . .

January, 16, 2012
. . . don't play poker with him, because I guarantee you will never know what he's holding. The most remarkable aspect about the Friday the 13th Massacre, when the Yankees killed the competition by adding not one, but two top-shelf starting pitchers, was not that they acquired Michael Pineda from the Mariners, but that no one outside the organization seemed to have any idea the deal was even in the works. The Yankees' interest in Hiroki Kuroda, the other half of the twin-killing, had been well-known and publicized for months. But no one saw the Pineda and Jose Campos for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi deal coming although, I am now told, it has been on the table for at least a month. The toughest part for the Yankees, presumably, was parting with Montero, a big-time bat, but the club believes offense was the least of its worries. Now, the Yankees are seriously considering cobbling together a DH slot out of Andruw Jones and a rotation of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Robby Cano, with the possible addition of minor-league masher Jorge Vazquez in the mix as well. In that case -- assuming the Yankees don't re-sign Eric Chavez -- Eduardo Nunez will see plenty of fill-in time at all three infield positions.
It is actually because the Yankees like Hector Noesi so much he could end up in Triple-A. If he doesn't win a job by out-performance or injury, Noesi will likely be at Triple-A so he is stretched out when the Yankees need a starter during the season.

That is why they selected Brad Meyers from Washington in the Rule 5 Draft. Meyers will have a chance to be the Yankees' long man.

The Yankees other Rule 5 pick, Cesar Cabral, will have a chance to be the Yankees' second lefty out of the bullpen.

Here is the release from the Yanks.

In today’s Rule 5 Draft, the Yankees selected RHP Brad Meyers from the Washington Nationals organization with the 29th pick of the Major League phase. Meyers, 26, played at three different levels in 2011, going 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 25 combined games (24 starts) with Single-A Auburn, Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. Originally drafted by the Nationals in the fifth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, the Santa Ana, Calif., native recorded 116K in 138.2IP with only 15BB last season. In 2009, Meyers was named the Nationals’ Pitcher of the Year.

In addition, the Yankees acquired LHP Cesar Cabral from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. Cabral, 22, was selected by the Royals in today’s Rule 5 Draft from the Boston Red Sox organization. He went 3-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 36 combined relief appearances with Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland in 2011, recording 70K in 55.0IP. Originally signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, Cabral was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft and later returned to Boston.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees have released OF Greg Golson. The Yankees’ Major League roster now stands at 40 players.

The Yankees did not have any players from their organization selected by other teams in today’s Rule 5 Draft.

Yankees Briefing 12/2/11

December, 2, 2011
Now that the (somewhat controversial) new CBA has been agreed to, the hot stove is starting to heat up in earnest. Next week, the winter meetings will be held in Dallas, and they are often a highlight of the offseason.

Discussion of the Day: Do you think the Yankees should trade Nick Swisher? Even if it means getting significant pitching help?

Behind Enemy Lines: Gordon Edes writes that Bobby Valentine will shake things up for the Red Sox.

1) Wallace Matthews considers the relationship between Valentine and Brian Cashman.

Yankees' fans might remember Valentine from his days as Mets' manager and there will certainly be a lot of pressure on him to succeed with the Red Sox. Whether he will be as successful as Terry Francona was when facing the Yankees remains to be seen, but to some degree it will be a much different Red Sox team that the Yankees face in 2012.

2) Joe Pawlikowski at River Ave Blues writes that Mark Teixeira could be a big offensive addition for the Yankees in 2012.

As Pawlikowski notes, Teixeira has been a good hitter for the Yankees, but not a great one -- certainly not the hitter one would expect with his contract. Teixeira will be 32 in 2012; while it might not be reasonable to expect Teixeira to have a monster season like 2007 Alex Rodriguez, even just a more consistent season could be tremendously helpful. The Yankees' biggest offseason need remains their pitching rotation; a more consistent season from Teixeira could provide the help that the Yankees' offense might need without the cost a big name free agent would incur.

3) Eric Schultz at The Yankee Analysts argues that Hector Noesi could be an important factor in the Yankees' 2012 rotation.

Noesi, one of the Yankees' notable pitching prospects (if not quite on a Manny Banuelos level of hype) was hurt last season by pitching largely out of the bullpen in low leverage spots -- 56 innings, with under 30 more in the minors, is not nearly enough for a 24 year-old pitcher. If his development hasn't been hurt by the lack of work in 2011, then he could certainly help bolster the 2012 rotation, but if the Yankees are assuming that Noesi can be an integral part of the 2012 rotation, they might be asking for too much.

How do you spell Nova in '12? N-o-e-s-i?

November, 29, 2011
Could Hector Noesi be the 2012 version of Ivan Nova? If you have been following Brian Cashman's comments during the offseason, it certainly seems that is what he thinks.

On Monday afternoon, I went a little deeper into the subject with the Yankees GM. Among the highlights of our talk, Cashman said of the soon-to-be-25-year-old Noesi were:

* "He is a guy we believe in and we think he has a chance to be a really good starter for a long time."

* “If you asked me this last winter, you would have said [Phil] Hughes and [A.J] Burnett were cemented and obviously Burnett did not have as great a year and Hughes got hurt. Nova ended up sliding in and winning 16 games. [Noesi] is definitely major-league capable of starting. There is no doubt in our mind about it. How it shakes out, I can’t predict.”

Cashman said that Noesi has touched 97 on the gun in Winter Ball. In Venezuela, Noesi has a 2.31 ERA in a little more than 23 innings as the Yankees tried to extend so he is ready for a full major league season.

Last year, Noesi finished 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA. He started two games and pitched a total of 56 1/3 innings. Nova in 2010 was 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He started seven games, but pitched just 42 innings. As you know in 2011, Nova finished 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA.

Right now, CC Sabathia, Nova, Freddy Garcia, Hughes and Burnett are ahead of Noesi on the depth chart, but Cashman is warning that Noesi could be the new guy on the block.

“He is going to compete with all those guys and with the guys who currently, allegedly have spots," Cashman said.

Question of the Day: Do you believe in Noesi?

Yankees Briefing 11/5/11

November, 5, 2011
With their biggest offseason hurdles out of the way – the re-signings of Brian Cashman and CC Sabathia -- the Yankees can now focus on some of the other needs for their team, most importantly help for the starting rotation.

Discussion of the Day: Since it’s now just past two years to the day that the Yankees won the World Series, what is your favorite memory of the 2009 season?

Behind Enemy Lines: Jackie MacMullen chronicles Ben Cherington's rise to GM of the Red Sox. The Yankees haven't had a new GM in over a decade, and Cherington will face unique challenges with the Boston team.

1) Wallace Matthews writes that Brian Cashman doesn’t have a clear vision for the Yankees.

The Yankees’ GM is returning to the Yankees for three more years, but the current offseason posits a quandary in that the best free agents available don’t suit the Yankees’ current needs and that the team’s most highly touted prospects outside of Jesus Montero might not yet be ready to take on a full season at the major league level. Still, the Yankees have already re-signed CC Sabathia, which was arguably their biggest offseason task, and Cashman’s ultimate goal for the Yankees – to win the World Series – remains.

2) Ian O’Connor praises Sabathia’s new deal with the Yankees.

In three years as a Yankee, Sabathia has averaged just under 20 wins a season, with an ERA that’s gotten better each year as a Yankee, and about 200 strikeouts a year. Further, Sabathia has remained health, even despite concerns about his weight. Sabathia has been worth every penny for the Yankees; had he reached free agency he would have easily become the most-sought after free agent pitcher on the market. The Yankees got to retain their ace, for less of a price than he would have commanded on the free agent market, and while rotation concerns remain, they need not be as serious as they might otherwise have been.

3) Eric Schultz at The Yankee Analysts takes a look at the Yankees in-house pitching depth.

Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances are the biggest names, as concern pitchers, in the Yankees’ system, but Hector Noesi, Adam Warren and David Phelps could all make significant inroads in 2012. The biggest issue with depth is that it only lasts as long as one doesn’t need to use it, and if Warren or Phelps or Noesi struggle at the major league level, the Yankees will need to have a fall-back plan. Banuelos and Betances might offer the highest ceilings, but the Yankees will not push their star prospects too far too fast. It’s more than likely at least one of the pitchers will be involved in a trade, though for who remains yet to be known.

4) The writers at River Ave Blues took a look at what went right, what went wrong and what went as expected for the 2011 season.

While it’s easy to say that Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia had better-than-expected seasons for the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez did not, the review of the team as a whole is a reminder that in any baseball season, nothing will go entirely to plan, and that despite the problems the Yankees had, they still had enough go right to make the playoffs and take the Tigers to a fifth game in the ALDS.

Yankees Briefing 10/29/2011

October, 29, 2011
Major League Baseball has officially moved the start of free agency to 12:01 AM Sunday, and while the biggest names -- Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder -- might not suit the Yankees' current needs, free agency can provide surprises that are almost just as entertaining as the season itself.

Discussion of the Day: Are you happy with the expectation that Brian Cashman will return to the Yankees?

Behind Enemy Lines: Gordon Edes profiles Ben Cherington, the new GM of the Red Sox. Cherington was considered the favored candidate after Theo Epstein resigned to go to the Cubs.

1) Andrew Marchand takes a look at some free agent signings that have had less than stellar results.

With the possibility of CC Sabathia opting out of his contract, Yankees fans might find themselves worried that the Yankees will end up overpaying for Sabathia’s decline. However, unlike some of the other names on Marchand’s list, Sabathia has stayed healthy throughout his career, and while there will be worries about Sabathia’s workload, he has yet to show they are warranted. It is possible, if not likely, that the Yankees will pay too much for Sabathia, but given his All-Star and playoff credentials, he might be the one free agent the Yankees can get away with paying too much.

2) Mike Jaggers-Radolf writes that Robinson Cano is overrated.

Jaggers-Radolf’s opinion will no doubt be considered controversial, as Cano is undoubtedly one of the Yankees’ best offensive players, and in 2010 was an MVP candidate. Jaggers-Radolf postulates that saying Cano is overrated doesn’t mean the second baseman isn’t good, just that he’s simply not as great as some are advertising. Cano may be in line for a substantial raise, so whether or not he is as valued as advertised is certainly topical, but the term “overrated” itself has connotations that may lead readers to think that Jaggers-Radolf is stating that Cano is not a good second baseman.

3) Mike Axisa considers the success of the Yankees’ bullpen underbelly in Hector Noesi, Cory Wade and Luis Ayala in the 2011 season.

Heading into the 2011 season, the Yankees’ bullpen was supposed to be excellent, behind Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain. When Chamberlain and Soriano got hurt, everyone else in the bullpen needed to step up – and for the most part they did. David Robertson’s season rightfully received the most notice, but the Yankees relied heavily on the work of Ayala and Wade, especially. Ayala and Wade were cheap pickups while Noesi remains a prospect as a starter, indicative of how an effective bullpen need not be an expensive one.

Yankees Briefing 10/24/11

October, 24, 2011
The World Series remains in full swing, as the Rangers have now drawn even with the Cardinals, effectively reducing the series to a best-of-three finale. The Yankees' main interest in the series might very well come in the form of a certain left-handed pitcher who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Discussion of the Day: What do you think is a reasonable offer, if any, the Yankees should make for C.J. Wilson?

Behind Enemy Lines: Adam Rubin writes that payroll restrictions will hurt the Mets. The Mets’ financial woes are well known; the team hasn’t been to the postseason since 2006, and it looks like it might be a while before they return there again.

1) Wallace Matthews writes that the Yankees are expected to make a play for Wilson.

Wilson, who is not having a great postseason, is arguably the best free agent pitcher available this offseason (CC Sabathia excepted). The Yankees, who got lucky with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia in 2011, could certainly use the pitching help, but Wilson won’t come cheap and is on the wrong side of 30. Should Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances live up to the hype, a Wilson signing would perhaps be superfluous, but, as with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, hype and actual results are two separate things. Whether or not Wilson wants to sign with the Yankees might be another story entirely, but there’s every reason to expect that the Yankees will make a push for the Texas pitcher.

2) Steve S. considers the dilemma of Phil Hughes.

Hughes, as Steve notes, will be entering his age 26 season in 2012 (and, more importantly, his fifth in the majors). Thus, excuses of Hughes being a young and inexperienced pitcher no longer have the weight they might have had a year or two ago (if they still have any weight at all), and Hughes’ constant injuries have to be considered a concern. The inconsistency in which Hughes has been used for the Yankees, both as a starter and out of the bullpen, has very possibly hurt his effectiveness, and, as Steve writes, the pitcher who was once a top-ranked pitching prospect in all of baseball will again have to earn a starting job in the spring.

3) Bill Madden compares general manager Brian Cashman’s tenure with the Yankees to that of Theo Epstein with the Red Sox.

Madden writes that Cashman has remained loyal to the Yankees, but this shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise: the Yankees have been consistently good, missing the postseason just once, and there’s no bigger market than New York in professional baseball (if not professional sports). On the other hand, had the Red Sox not collapsed in September (perhaps the worst collapse in major league history), it’s not a given that Epstein would have left the Red Sox. Should a similar collapse happen in New York, calls for Cashman’s job would likely grow very loud indeed.

4) The winter leagues remain in full swing.

Hector Noesi has made just one start in the Dominican league, and will certainly benefit from more innings after spending so much of the 2011 season in the bullpen for the Yankees. The Puerto Rican winter league starts in the first week of November; rosters for that league have yet to be released.

Yankees Briefing 10/19/11

October, 19, 2011
While the World Series is set to start on Wednesday, the Yankees' offseason is getting into full swing, as decisions loom about which players' options to pick up, which players to let walk, and which up-and-coming prospects playing in winter ball deserve the most notice.

Discussion of the Day: If it was your choice, would you have the Yankees pick up the option of Nick Swisher?

Behind Enemy Lines: The fallout from the Boston Red Sox collapse continues to grow, as now reports have surfaced that pitchers were drinking beer in the dugout during games. Pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey, along with ex-manager Terry Francona have since issued statements denying the allegations.

1) Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews argue over whether or not the Yankees should sign Albert Pujols, once he becomes a free agent at the end of the World Series.

Pujols is a historically great baseball player; despite breaking his wrist, he still managed to hit 37 home runs in 2011. The question thus isn’t whether or not Pujols could help the Yankees, but whether the Yankees would have a spot for him, especially concerning the likely cost of the contract. Pujols, in his age 31 season is not young, and the Yankees already have a first baseman signed through 2016. Even though the AL has the designated hitter option, the Yankees will likely need that spot to spell Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter; furthermore if Jesus Montero does not stick at catcher, it could make more sense for the Yankees to keep the cheaper Montero than go after the expensive and older Pujols.

2) Mike Jaggers-Radolf at The Yankee Analysts compares the salaries of Yankees’ pitchers to their actual worth to the team in 2011.

It’s probably not a surprise to find Bartolo Colon -- whom the Yankees signed in the offseason to a minor league deal -- and David Robertson, who ranked fourth in WAR among all qualified relievers. On the other end of the spectrum, Rafael Soriano and A.J. Burnett aren’t surprises, either; Soriano missing significant time due to injury, and Burnett being generally ineffective for a second season. What probably will surprise readers is Mariano Rivera’s name so close to the bottom – although this has less to do with Rivera pitching poorly (since he didn’t), and more to do with that it’s usually hard to justify $15 million for 60.1 innings of work.

3) Joe Pawlikowski considers the Yankees’ options should they choose to decline Nick Swisher's option, or otherwise pick it up and trade their right fielder.

When the Yankees originally signed Swisher, the thought was that he could back up Xavier Nady in right field, or else be a fall-back option for first base should they have failed to sign Mark Teixeira. Swisher has since turned into an All Star, and the Yankees’ starting right fielder. Although Swisher’s postseason slump might be frustrating to sum, it would be hubris to make a decision based on such a small sample size.

4) Montero will not play in winter ball this year, although teammates Eduardo Nunez and Hector Noesi will (the latter exclusively as a starter). Montero played in 127 games combined this season, catching most of them, so there seems little need to give him extra reps when rest might be more beneficial at this point.

Yankees Daily Briefing 10/02/11

October, 2, 2011
After taking the first game of the ALDS behind Ivan Nova's stellar technically-a-relief-appearance, the Yankees will attempt to push the Tigers to the brink on Sunday afternoon. Detroit will have Max Scherzer on the mound, as they will try to even the series and neutralize home field advantage.

Discussion of the Day: What do you think is the most impressive postseason performance from a rookie Yankee pitcher? Andy Pettitte? Ivan Nova? Someone else come to mind?

Behind Enemy Lines: Vincent C. Mercogliano writes that the future looks bright for Scherzer.

1) Wallace Matthews and John Harper reflect on the likelihood of A.J. Burnett starting a postseason game for the Yankees (Matthews; Harper).

Burnett, of course, had anything but a solid season for the Yankees, but the other options for a fourth starter are not without their own drawbacks. Phil Hughes missed part of September with back spasms, and Bartolo Colon was noticeably less effective in the second half, likely a result of fatigue from pitching more innings than he has since 2005. In the best case scenario, the Yankees sweep the Tigers and the fourth starter is a moot point (at least, until the ALCS), but as long as Joe Girardi has a quick hook with Burnett, the Yankees should be in decent shape.

2) Rob Parker writes that the Yankees are making the right decision sending Garcia to pitch in Game 2 of the ALDS, and not CC Sabathia on short rest.

The decision might be more debatable had the Yankees lost Game 1, but ahead in the series there seems to be no reason not to give Sabathia an extra day of rest. Garcia's season numbers might not pop, but he's certainly been effective for the Yankees this season, posting an ERA and WHIP favorably comparable to another former Yankee.

3) Brendan Prunty reflects on the discussion about whether to build a roof while constructing the new Yankee Stadium.

New York weather in April and late October can be unpleasant, rainy and cold (and snow is not out of the picture, either). Still, the Yankees have played in the Bronx since the 1920s, and they've done for so long without a roof that unless there's more to climate change than anyone realizes, it would seem perhaps an over-indulgence for a roof in New York. More importantly, however, is the cost -- even without a roof, building a stadium isn't exactly cheap, and adding a roof would have been an unnecessary addition. Weather at the start of the season and towards the end of the playoffs, and being able to play in the cold weather can be turned into an advantage -- as the Angels might recall.

4) Tim Bontemps writes that it was a mixed bag for Yankees' prospects in the minors this season.

The Yankees' farm system didn't necessarily have a bad season; Hector Noesi, Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine and others all made their major league debuts with the team that had drafted and/or signed them, and some prospects, such as Mason Williams, did have big years. Compared to the resounding success of last season, however, 2011 for the Yankees' system looks far more ordinary. Andrew Brackman took a step back, while J.R. Murphy, Slade Heathcott and Gary Sanchez had their seasons hampered by injuries. Even so, the Yankees system still remains in better shape than it was in the middle of last decade, and there's every reason to believe it will continue to produce.

Yankees Daily Briefing 09/28/11

September, 28, 2011
For the last day of the regular season, the Yankees have yet to announce their starting pitcher, but it will likely be a bullpen game of some sort as none of the regular starts will be available to pitch. This, of course, should be welcome news for the Rays, who will start David Price (12-13, 3.35), as they now largely control their own destiny (although one way or another, the Red Sox will have to lose for Tampa to make the postseason).

Discussion of the Day: Which Yankee do you think has been the most underrated in 2011? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Behind Enemy Lines: Gary Shelton writes that a season of wonder is coming down to the wire for the Rays. Indeed, deciding a team's fate on the last possible day is coming down to the wire in the extreme, but given that the Rays were as much as nine games back earlier this month, that they still have something to play for (besides pride) is all the more remarkable.

1) Wallace Matthews notes the decisions the Yankees have to make ahead of the playoffs.

It would appear that the majority of important decisions, such as the rotation and which starting catcher will make the roster, have already worked themselves out based simply on necessity dictated by injuries -- Phil Hughes’ back and Francisco Cervelli’s concussion make the former an unlikely rotation candidate and the latter an unlikely roster one. Still, World Series have been won because of utility infielders in the past, so while the 25th man on the roster may not seem hugely important, it’s not a decision that should be undertaken too lightly. Fortunately, the Yankees are in a situation where this and not, say, who will start the first game is their biggest concern.

2) Matt Imbrogno at The Yankee Analysts takes a look at the preseason projections for Yankees’ outfielders and infielders and compares them to their actual performances.

The most amazing thing here might not be any individual projection per se, but instead the way that so many of the different projections were so close (and some even have managed to get the exact wOBA measures), indicating just how far projection models have come in terms of accuracy. Of course, projections can’t predict everything (they can’t, for example, predict injuries, nor has Imbrogno yet run the comparisons for pitchers), and they certainly shouldn’t take away the fun of watching games for viewers, but for those in front offices (or even serious fantasy owners), the projection tools now available are an invaluable resource.

3) Jay Jaffe at Pinstriped Bible comments on the new Yankees batting order, in which Mark Teixeira is hitting fifth.

As Imbrogno states in the link in #2, Texeira is having either the worst good season, or the best worst season of his career. Going from third in the order to fifth in the order is probably not as significant a move as it might seem, but having a Derek Jeter/Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano top of the lineup would indeed be imposing. While the Yankee lineup might not be perfect, there don’t seem to be any egregious holes in it, and if the Yankees can’t make it far in the postseason it seems unlikely that it will be the fault of the offense.

4) Mark Carig writes that Monday’s loss to the Rays was alleviated by the humor of rookie hazing.

Rookie hazing is a well-known tradition, with the first year major leaguers forced to don embarrassing costumes (and sometimes travel in them as well). The Yankees have been creative with the choice of costumes in the past, providing a laugh for the team (and the fans) before the stress of the postseason sets in. Some rookie classes are certainly more memorable than others, and 2011’s, with Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances both involved, may be one of the more memorable rookie classes in recent years.

5) The Mets have blocked the Yankees from using Newark for their Triple-A affiliate next season; Scranton's home ballpark is set to undergo extensive renovations in 2012 and the team is still without a place to play.

Rookie dress-up day

September, 27, 2011

Courtesy New York Yankees
Traditionally the Yankees' rookies are forced to dress up during the last road trip of the season. This year's theme is 80's pop acts. Pictured from left to right are Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances as Milli Vanilli, George Kontos as George Michael, Hector Noesi as Prince, Joe Girardi as himself, Austin Romine as Madonna, Jesus Montero as MC Hammer and Brandon Laird as Slash of Guns N' Roses.

Click here for a full size photo.



Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146