New York Yankees: Ubaldo Jimenez

Some alternatives to Masahiro Tanaka

December, 19, 2013
NEW YORK -- Although it's not official, it seems fairly certain we will not see Japanese stud right-hander Masahiro Tanaka in Yankees pinstripes this season, and likely not before 2016, since the Rakuten Golden Eagles appear determined to hold on to him for the remaining two years he's under their control.

In that event, the Yankees are going to need starting pitching, and badly. So where do they turn?


Assuming Masahiro Tanaka is off the board, which pitcher would you prefer the Yankees to pursue?


Discuss (Total votes: 13,029)

Their first look, according to indications sent out by GM Brian Cashman and other industry sources, is that they will look within -- to David Phelps, Michael Pineda, Vidal Nuno and perhaps Adam Warren.

The rundown:

• RHP Phelps made 22 appearances (12 starts) last year, going 6-5 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.

• LHP Nuno made five appearances (three starts) and went 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.

• RHP Warren made 34 appearances, mostly in middle relief, and just two starts, never going beyond five innings. His overall numbers were 3-2, 3.39 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, but one of his wins came in a start against the Astros in the final series of the season in which he threw five shutout innings.

• RHP Pineda missed the entire season after undergoing shoulder surgery in 2012. The club has said he will compete for a job in spring training, but his status is very much in doubt.

The Yankees say they have no interest in Matt Garza, Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, the three big-ticket pitchers still on the board. And although the Tampa Bay Rays seem inclined to listen to offers for David Price, if the Dodgers couldn't get it done by offering Matt Kemp, it is highly unlikely the Yankees could put together a strong enough package since their only tradable major league player is Brett Gardner.

There could be other alternatives via nonroster invites to some veteran pitchers who remain without a home. Bronson Arroyo, Jason Hammel, Tommy Hanson, Jeremy Hefner, Colby Lewis, Paul Maholm, Jason Marquis, Roy Oswalt and Johan Santana remain out there. All of them are suspect in one way or another, but the Yankees caught lighting in a bottle with minor league deals to Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon a couple of years ago and are likely to buy some tickets in that lottery again this spring.

Personally, I think Oswalt, despite his history of back problems, and Santana, coming off two major shoulder surgeries, might be worth a look if they agree to low-risk minor league deals with incentives built in if they make the club. One of the beautiful things about being the New York Yankees is you can invest a modest amount of money in guys like this and not be hurt if the investment doesn't pay off.

QUESTION: Assuming Tanaka is out of play, whom do you think the Yankees should take a flyer on for their rotation this spring?

W2W4: Yankees vs. Indians (June 27)

June, 27, 2012
Pettitte Stats To Watch

Andy Pettitte was very unhappy with his last start against the Mets, in which he yielded five runs in the first inning, but it should be noted that after that, he pitched very well.

Pettitte retired 15 of the last 17 hitters he faced in the second through sixth innings and the slider that has been so important to his success netted him nine outs. Pettitte got Mets hitters to miss on 10 of their 17 swings against the slider in the last five innings.

The first inning does bear watching for Pettitte. Take the Mets start out of the mix and opponents were 1-for-21 against him in the opening frame in his other starts.

The Indians are one of two current AL teams that Pettitte does not have a winning record against. He’s 8-8, but has won his last two decisions against them. The other is the Mariners, against whom he is 11-12.

Jimenez Stats To Watch

Ubaldo Jimenez is among the major league leaders in walks and wild pitches, a combo that wouldn’t seem to be a good fit to face the Yankees. But he did survive a shaky beginning in his lone start against the Yankees last season, allowing two runs and and four hits over seven innings in a win with the Rockies last June 24.

Jimenez’s average fastball velocity has dropped from 96 mph in 2010 to 92 mph this season. In 2010, Jimenez was getting misses on about one of every five swings against fastballs, but that rate has now dropped to one of every nine.

Jimenez has 26 strikeouts and 40 walks with his fastball this season. That -14 differential is the worst in baseball among ERA-title qualifiers.

Jimenez does have good numbers against one Yankee. Mark Teixeira is 0-for-10 in his career against him.

RISP-y Business

The Yankees have shaken out of their runners-in-scoring-position struggle by going 5-for-11 through the first two games of this series. The one player not yet out of it is Alex Rodriguez, who is hitting .206 in such situations this season. What’s particularly odd for Rodriguez is that he’s 0-for-8 against what our pitch-tracking system describes as “middle-middle” pitches with runners in scoring position -- those that a major league hitter most typically crushes.

Just in the Nick of Time

Nick Swisher is in the midst of a pretty good roll right now, hitting .410 over the last two weeks. The thing to watch when Swisher is at the plate is his pitch selectivity. He’s been much less apt to swing at pitches out of the strike zone during this hot streak.

Prior to this tear, Swisher was swinging at about one of every four pitches thrown out of the strike zone, a rate he’s dropped to one of every six in this good run. It’s helped that he’s a scalding 16-for-his-last-27 in at-bats that end with pitches in the strike zone.

Where’s Logan?

This series snapped a streak of five straight series in which Boone Logan made at least two appearances. Logan’s rest comes during what has been a very effective stretch. He’s got six holds and two wins in his past 16 appearances and has only been charged with two runs in that stretch (he’s allowed two of 10 inherited runners to score). Remember that dating back to the Mets series, Logan has whiffed each of the past four lefties he’s faced.

A.J.: I'm a big part why we can win this

July, 28, 2011
A.J. Burnett thinks it could be 2009 all over again for him.

After effectively pitching as the team’s No. 2 starter that season and playing an instrumental role in the team’s 27th World Series, the righty doesn’t see why similar events can’t take place over the course of the remainder of the season.

“There’s no doubt in my mind (I can be the No. 2 pitcher), but I also understand that I haven’t pitched up to my capabilities either, I’ve had some good games and some bad games,” Burnett said at a HOPE Week event Thursday in Staten Island. “I do know I’m a big reason that we can win this too.”

In 2009, Burnett had his best season to date in pinstripes, going 13-9 in his first year of his five-year deal. In the World Series that year, with the Yankees down 1-0, Burnett pitched perhaps the finest game of this Yankees career, stifling the Phillies and helping the Yankees get even in a series they went on to win in six games.

This season, as Burnett is 8-8 with a 4.21 ERA, has been a bounce back from last year’s disastrous results as he went 10-15, but Burnett still has struggled with some inconsistency. In his last 15 starts, he has won just four times and has not won since June 29.

While others might not be as quick to label Burnett as the Yankees No. 2 starter right now to complement ace CC Sabathia, Burnett think he’s just been the victim recently of making one bad pitch and it costing him his starts.

“I’ve been doing really well, it’s just one bad pitch here or there and that’s easy to correct, as opposed to having struggles where you can’t get people out and stuff,” Burnett said. “I’m looking forward to getting on a little run and helping us out.”

Burnett added that he pays attention to the rumors involving the Yankees staff, as the team is reported to be inquiring on Rockies’ righty Ubaldo Jimenez and Dodgers’ lefty Hiroki Kuroda, and said that he’s all for whatever moves the team feels it needs to make to contend. He also has faith in the current staff.

“The guys we have are battlers and gamers,” Burnett said. “With the exception of (Ivan) Nova, and we do miss Nova, but that situation is out of his control. Let’s see what happens.”

Rockies' Jimenez wants to stay in Colorado

July, 18, 2011

Coveted Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez wants to play his entire career in Colorado.

At least that's what he told the Denver Post on Monday.

"As a player, you always want to be on the same team for your whole career," Jimenez said. "I'd like to finish my career here, but that's something you can't control. Baseball is a really good game, but there's a business side."

Jimenez, who has a team-friendly contract with the club through 2014, has a number of teams interested in his services as the trade deadline approaches. But the 27-year-old starter has spent 11 years in the Rockies organization, and fancies himself a guiding light for young pitchers rising through the club's ranks.

"You want to be an example when you talk to other guys about being in the organization," Jimenez said. "You always want to set a good example for guys coming from another team or the minor leagues."

Jimenez stifles Yankees

June, 25, 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez

Starting Pitcher
Colorado Rockies


2011 Season Stats
14 3 7 37 74 4.50
The Yankees faced Ubaldo Jimenez for the first time on Friday night.

They hope they never have to see him again.

The Rockies righty settled down after a rough to start to hold the Yankees to just four hits and two runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked four, improving to 2-2 with a 2.14 ERA away from Coors Field this season.

"I thought he was terrific," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It took some touch and feel early on, but once he did, his mix of pitches was excellent."

The Yankees missed an opportunity against Jimenez early on.

With one out in the first, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira reached on walks. Alex Rodriguez drove in Granderson with a double down the line. It looked like Teixeira had a chance to score on the play because Colorado left-fielder Charlie Blackmon had trouble coming up with it in left.

But Teixeira couldn’t pick up hitting coach Rob Thomson waiving him home.

Robinson Cano hit a bullet up the middle that second baseman Chris Nelson caught. He then stepped on second to double off Rodriguez.

"There’s no question that big horses like him you have to get on them early and you have to capitalize early," said Rodriguez, who drove in both Yankee runs. "Maybe if that ball that Robbie hit to second, maybe if that goes through, maybe there’s different results."

HE WANTS TO BE APART OF IT: Troy Tulowitzki hit his 14th homer of the season. It was also his sixth career homer in New York. In 14 career games in New York, Tulowitzki is hitting .415 with six homers.

OPENING BELL: The Yanks fell to 12-14 in season openers …. Robinson Cano (0-for-4) had his 11-game hitting streak snapped.



Brett Gardner
.283 14 47 68
HRM. Teixeira 18
RBIM. Teixeira 50
RB. Gardner 68
OPSB. Gardner .816
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135