Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cashman's Thoughts on Key Players and Recent Moves

Yankees’ General Manager, Brian Cashman, made the trip to Scranton last Friday to watch Chan Ho Park pitch a rehab inning in Triple-A. While he was there he met with the local press and gave a quick evaluation on the performance of some the prospects at Scranton, and his thoughts on a couple of recent moves the Yankees have made. A nice summary of the interview was posted on the SWB Yankees website. Some of the key points in his interview were as follows:

On Romulo Sanchez and Ivan Nova, Cashman was more impressed with their poise rather than their performance. Called on to help eat up innings as Andy Pettitte needed to skip a start, the two did just that. Sanchez pitched 3.2 innings on Sunday against the Red Sox, allowing one hit, striking out 3 and walking 1. Nova followed that up with 2 scoreless innings against the Tigers in his first major league appearance. This helped give the Yankee bullpen a much needed rest. On the two pitching call ups, Cashman had this to say:
"In Romulo Sanchez's case, pitching in Fenway Park on an ESPN national television game, he had great tempo and threw strikes, so that didn't bother him." "In Nova's case, it was his first Major League outing, and he faced some pretty major hitters there," Cashman said. "He had great tempo, threw strikes, had good stuff and commanded the ball and he cruised."

"The sample size is tiny, but in terms of how they just carried themselves, it makes you feel good that if you're the manager and you have to give those guys the ball again, at least you know they're not afraid," Cashman said.

Regarding infielder Kevin Russo, who was recently sent back down to Scranton, Cashman said he would be seeing more time in the outfield. Sounds like the goal is to try and make him into a “Jerry Hairston type" utility player. Russo played Saturday’s game in centerfield, making a nice catch to rob Josh Kroeger of a double, crashing into the center field wall.

This was also Cashman’s first time seeing top prospect Jesus Montero since spring training. Montero has been showing signs of improving defensively but has been struggling offensively. Cashman had this assessment of the catching prospect:

"(Struggling at the plate) is probably good for him-he's a guy who has never really scuffled," Cashman said of Montero. "Like anything else, these are all good quality experiences for them to learn from and grow from and deal with adversity. You want them to deal with it down here rather than deal with it for the first time at the Major League-level."
Cashman also discussed the release of pitching prospect Christian Garcia to make room for the acquisition of Shane Lindsay.
"When he declared himself as having Tommy John surgery a month ago, I knew that at some point, if I got in a roster crunch, then he'd be released," Cashman said. "It's too bad because tool-wise, he's one of our better ability players, but physically, he just can't hold it together."
Lindsay is a 25-year-old, Australian-born flame thrower who utilizes a high-90s fastball and a sharp breaking ball. Cashman compared him to Brian Bruney in that he can throw hard but struggles with his control. In 14 Triple-A games this season, Lindsay has been averaging 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings but also 11.2 walks per nine. He hopes that the pitching coaches in the minors can fix him. But are we ready for another Brian Bruney?

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