'98 Yanks rally to tie All-Time Yankee series with '51 team

Series tied: 2-2
Knobby, Jeet, sparkplugs!
Gil takes El Duque downtown!
In dramatic appearance, Joe D ignites stadium!
Mo flubs lead, then comes through!
Billy fails!
Next up: Vic Raschi v David Cone!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Next up: The Corey Kluber Colon Conundrum

According to an unimpeachable source - (Google) - scouts from "20 to 25 teams" yesterday gathered to watch former Cleveland ace Corey Kluber throw "25 to 30 pitches." (The site hopes to someday develop precise counting technology.)

Kluber seeks to return after missing two years with a Swiss Army Knife assortment of injuries, including a broken right arm - yep, the one he throws baseballs with. In April, he'll turn 35, putting him up there with Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Zack Grienke, Charlie Morton, and Cole Hamels. (Also, Adam Ottavino.) Whatever he's got left, it's 2021 or bust. According to the acclaimed insider baseball site Forbes, Kluber's radar readings came in about 4 mph below his halcyon days. He was:

... getting clocked at 89 to 91, which even with slightly diminished velocity might make him a buy low candidate for any team whether it is one with a desire to add more depth or a desire to fill a need.  

Hmm. "... a desire to add more depth, or a desire to fill a need..." Hmm... 

Surely, Brian Cashman's Linkedin page is spiced with tales of reclamation, up and down. Perhaps his greatest move: signing Bartolo Colon in 2011 - age 38 - after injections of Captain America super solder serum. Bartolo threw 164 innings, went 8-10, then signed with Oakland. He managed to pitch until 2018 - age 45 - four times throwing more than 190 innings and making the all star game. Astonishing. Cashman also signed a pile of Aaron Smalls and Vidal Nunos - hits and misses - but seldom does a guy like Kluber come around, with so much past success and so many heavy questions.

For example: What part of "fractured arm" do we not understand?  Could we ever feel secure about Kluber's next pitch? Yes, he was certifiably great in 2018 - 20 and 7, on his way to Cooperstown. Now...? 

What to do? Don't look at me. Why would I know more than scouts? In fact, Kluber is linked to the Yankees because he's been working out at one of their facilities. That's good. It might give us an edge in evaluations. So I leave it to the experts. 

Soon, though - once D.J. LeMahieu makes up his mind - Cashman must start seriously chasing pitchers. He'll probably need to make trades, starting with either Clint Frazier and/or Miguel Andujar. We will hate losing either. But with an owner demanding austerity, it's almost surely to happen. 

But here's a small nugget of hope. We mentioned Colon, the great reclamation. But I believe Cashman's greatest pitching deal came in 2015, when he traded LH Justin Wilson to Detroit for two Triple A starters, Chad Green and Luis Cessa. Both have endured, and Green remains a stalwart. The Yankees need a deal like that.

We won't win in 2021 with big names whose careers are behind them. I'm all for signing Kluber - not my money. But to outlast Tampa, we have to start beating them at their own game - with young, ascending arms. 


JM said...

I'll be amazed if Cash doesn't try to get him.

By the way, has anyone ever added up the small-ball payments to failed scrap heapers? I wonder who else we could have got for that money? Maybe somebody a little more reliable?

ranger_lp said...

The key statement is this...

"getting clocked at 89 to 91"

is a double entendre...

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could sign Randy Johnson. I'm sure old age has mellowed him.

Doug K.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I'm trying to figure out how the NYYs could possibly AVOID signing this waste of time.

He fits right in with the plan, if the plan resembles what we all have seen (and hated) over the past decade.

Something to shoot for: He might be capable of 4-5 quality starts in August. Maybe.

Might only cost $2.5 million per start, or thereabouts. A bargain!

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Maybe we could sign Randy Johnson. I'm sure old age has mellowed him.

Perhaps, but I bet he's still really ugly.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love the "precise pitch count technology," Duque.

Of course Cashman has so many tricks in his bag. Don't forget the, "Sign Jon Lieber for 2 years, knowing he will have to sit out one, recovering from TJ or some other big surgery and then, after he pitches decently in season 2, winning 14 games...don't re-sign him" maneuver.

After which Lieber went on to win 17 games for the Phillies.

Oh, Brain has a million of them, the joker.