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Fantasy Notes: Shift in Yankee Philosophy?

August 9, 2006 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
  • Although the Yanks dealt away four prospects in the Bobby Abreu/Cory Lidle deal, only one of them (C.J. Henry) was considered among the best in the system. It was hard to notice with a purge like that, but New York has subtly changed its organizational philosophy and is now protecting its top prospects instead of dealing them away to bring in some left-handed situational reliever with an ERA of about 6.00 who will last eight weeks with the club and then be history. As a result, top Yankee farmhand Philip Hughes remains in the fold. The 20-year-old righty needs to be on your radar. After going 1-0, 5.41 during Spring Training with the Yanks, he was assigned to High-A. He lasted just five starts there, recording a 1.80 ERA over 30 IP with only 19 hits allowed. He fanned 30. Hughes was quickly ushered up to Double-A, where the prospects are separated from the projects. Well, he’s clearly a prospect: in 16 starts and 91 IP, he’s gone 6-3 and has allowed a mere 65 hits and five homers while striking out 106. He’s limiting opponents to a .199 average. Uh, yeah. If Hughes is not owned in your keeper league, you must pounce now. He could be ready to contribute in the majors next year.
  • Nick Green, called up when Robinson Cano went on the DL, will get to stick around for a while now that Miguel Cairo has landed on the DL. However, with Cano being activated last night, it’s not like the Yanks are stuck relying on the struggling Green. Cairo is expected back no sooner than three weeks, so that’s how long Green has remaining to make a better impression than he had to date (.169 BA). Cano, meanwhile, didn’t miss a beat after sitting out 34 games. He was 3-for-5 last night to jack his average up to .330. Activate him immediately. As for Cairo, dump him. And if you had Green, you’re obviously in a 40-team AL-only league. Well, even then, it’s probably safe to dump him now too.
  • Still with the Yankees, Carl Pavano — remember him? — may finally be making an appearance in the not too distant future. He threw BP on Sunday and things went well (as in his elbow didn’t fall off). Tomorrow, Pavano heads to High-A Tampa for a rehab start expected to top out at 45 pitches. He’ll increase the pitch count by 15 each outing and be ready to rejoin the Yanks for the first time since June 2005 when he’s up to 90 pitches (so after four rehab outings, for the mathematically-challenged among us). By my calculations, that would have him ready to actually pitch in a big-league game three weeks from today. Of course, that’s assuming no setbacks. And we all know how likely that is for Pavano. Don’t hold your breath that he’ll help you this year, but monitor the situation. If you’re desperate for pitching, he could be someone you’ll want in September.
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