Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yankees Lose Two, Pick Two in Rule 5 Draft

The Rule 5 Draft commenced at 9 A.M. this morning and wrapped up in about an hour. For those of you unfamiliar with the draft, here is a fine write-up by Jim Callis of Baseball America. The most important tidbit for our purposes is that a draftee must spend the entire season on the drafting team's 25-man roster, or be offered back to their previous team.

George Kontos and Lance Pendleton were selected by the Padres and Astros, respectively. Kontos is a twenty-five year old righthanded pitcher with very good stuff ... and a laundry list of injury issues intermingled with bouts of inconsistency. I was hoping he would be a candidate for the bullpen this year, as he's far more effective in short stints and in the early innings of games, but I suspect that's the Padres mindset, as well. Pendleton is a twenty-seven year old righty with middling stuff and middling results - no great loss.

The Yankees selected twenty-two year old lefty Robert Fish and twenty-four year old righty Daniel Turpen. Fish looks like a prototypical lefty specialist, with the potential for a bit more - he has a mid-90s fastball, a plus curve, and a mediocre change-up. His numbers were patently awful in 2010, as he struggled with hittability and command, but most of the damage was done by right-handed hitters. Still, the Yankees are clearly taking potential over results here. Turpen has some potential as a reliever. He throws a low-90s fastball, complemented with a solid slider and average change-up. I'm not sure he'll get many strikeouts in the Majors, but his funky side-arm delivery could fool hitters in brief appearances - and he induces groundballs at a tremendous clip.

In my mind, both players have a shot to stick in the bullpen throughout the season - particularly with Marte's return uncertain and Aceves being non-tendered. While I don't think that either is oozing with potential, I believe that they are capable of being fine contributors to a strong bullpen. With the money being given to relievers, that sounds like a very attractive option.

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