Yankees Daily Briefing 08/10/11

In his last start, Ivan Nova struck out 10 and didn't walk a batter, easily one of his best starts of the season. The Yankees will hope he can continue the trend as they look to break a two game losing streak on Wednesday. Garrett Richards, from Double-A Arkansas, will make his major league debut for the Angels.

Discussion of the Day: Do you believe Jorge Posada belongs in the Hall of Fame? Why or why not?

1) Matt Imbrogno at The Yankee Analysts uses advanced metrics to argue that Posada belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Posada's Yankee career is not coming to a graceful end; losing his role as the team's DH is unfortunate but necessary, and it should not detract from what he has accomplished in his major league career. In the 10 years between 1998-2007, Posada hit .279/.382/.484, are even more remarkable for a full time catcher. Posada's case may be considered borderline, but his numbers are still comprable with other Hall of Fame catchers, and the soft factors of five All Star Games and five World Series could very well tip the balance in his favor.

2) Jay Jaffe writes about the success of the Yankees' bullpen in 2011.

Tuesday's ninth inning aside, the Yankees have the best bullpen ERA in the American League, and while the original intended bullpen of Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain didn't work out, it's hard to argue that the replacement hasn't been just as successful as the Yankees could have hoped. Three relievers in particular stand out: David Robertson, who had a 1.41 ERA and 14.1 K/9 rate heading into Tuesday's game, has in particular enjoyed a breakout season. Luis Ayala and Cory Wade, neither of whom pitched in 2010 for a major league team, have also enjoyed successful seasons. Ayala has a 1.51 ERA; he hasn't had an ERA under 3.00 since 2005. Wade has a 1.80 ERA and a WHIP under 1.000, though his limited number of innings may skew the numbers. For a team whose starting rotation has been under scrutiny all season, the bullpen takes on an increased importance; for it to perform so well as it has must be considered a combination of talent, luck, and good managing by Joe Girardi.

3) Mike Axisa argues that Eduardo Nunez has been the best utility infielder the Yankees have had in quite some times. Axisa cites the past incarnations of utility infielders, including Miguel Cairo, Wilson Betemit (whose primary value to the Yankees came from a trade), and Ramiro Pena.

Unlike the previous three, as Axisa argues, Nunez is the one who actually gets significant playing time (the injuries to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez mean that Nunez has played in the majority of games since the start of June, and has posted a perfectly respectable .282/.340/.409 line in that time. Certainly, with 10 errors in the field already, there are areas of his game that need plenty of work, but he has done a perfectly adequate job in his role.

4) Rain derailed much of the minor league day.

Triple-A Scranton won the first game of a doubleheader, beating Gwinnett 4-3 in extra innings.

Jesus Montero had one hit in three at bats, including an opposite field home run in the first game.

Scranton lost the second game 3-2; Montero again had one hit in three at bats.

Double-A Trenton lost to Binghamton, 6-5.

High-A Tampa had their game postponed while Low-A Charleston had a scheduled off day.

Short Season Staten Island lost to Williamsport, 1-0, while the Rookie GCL Yankees lost to the GCL Blue Jays, 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader; the second game was suspended due to rain in the first inning.