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Tag:Javier Vazquez
Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:03 pm

Vazquez joins plunkers' club

Javier Vazquez
It's not a club you'd really want to be a part of, but hey, at least it's exclusive.

Yankees right-hander Javier Vazquez tied a major-league record Thursday by hitting three consecutive batters, plunking Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings, Willy Aybar and Kelly Shoppach in order in the seventh inning.

It made him the seventh member (and just the fifth since 1900) of the Nuke LaLoosh Society, and one was quick to welcome him with punch and cookies. Journeyman C.J. Nitkowski, now playing in Korea, wrote "Wecome aboard Javy!" on his Twitter page.

Vazquez does meet one of the apparent modern-day requirements of membership in the club, which is having played with Nitkowski. The two were teammates on the Yankees in 2004. Nitkowski also played with Steve Sparks and Jeff Weaver. Dock Ellis, Pink Hawley, Wilbur Wood and Walter Thornton all were before Nitkowski's time.

Of course, it would be tough to find someone from his era who did not share a clubhouse at some point with Nitkowski. He played at the major-league level with eight organizations and was in three others.

Vazquez's struggles could land him another historic footnote: making $11.5 million this season, he might well go down as the highest-salaried healthy player ever to be left off his team's playoff roster.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: September 4, 2010 7:46 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 8:16 pm

Vazquez unhappy with early exit

Javier Vazquez Yankees starter Javier Vazquez didn't hide how he felt after Joe Torre pulled him from Saturday's game in the fifth inning, throwing his arms in the air after Joe Girardi came to the mound to get the ball form him.

After the Yankees' 7-5 victory, he still wasn't happy.

"Disappointed," Vazquez told the Star-Ledger . "Really disappointed."

Vazquez was asked if he thought his manager still had faith in him.

"I really don't want to get into that," Vazquez said. "I know I've got nothing to win here. So, like I said before, sometimes as a player you don't agree with your manager's decision but he's still the manager, he's still the boss."

Girardi said he wasn't bothered by Vazquez's actions.

"I don't mind guys being competitive and wanting to stay in games," Girardi said. "I would have a problem if Javy was calling me out to take him out. That, I would have an issue with. If I feel there's a need to talk to someone, I will talk to them. But that is something that will stay in our clubhouse."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 31, 2010 1:04 pm

Vazquez reclaiming lost velocity

Javier Vazquez All season long, Javier Vazquez has suffered from a curious drop in velocity , unable to pinpoint why.

A simple tweak in mechanics may have been all that was needed, as pitching coach Dave Eiland and Vazquez have altered the position of his leg kick, pulling it inward more to achieve more momentum forward. In addition, the righty is throwing more over the top, which adds more velocity at the sacrifice of a tailing fastball, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger .

After topping out at 87-88 mph in most of his starts, Vazquez's latest relief appearance on Monday averaged 89 mph, topping out at 92. That's a massive step forward.

Such a move may warrant Vazquez's return to the rotation. A.J. Burnett has a 7.80 ERA in his last five starts encompassing 30 innings, while Ivan Nova is currently untested in the No. 5 spot. Additionally, Dustin Moseley -- whom Vazquez relieved on Monday after 4 2/3 innings -- has been solid for the Yankees, but far from effective and with shoddy strikeout and walk numbers. And phenom Phil Hughes is creeping up on his innings limit and has struggled in the second half, perhaps due to his workload. That leaves the Yankees with just one viable starter in October: CC Sabathia.

For the Yankees to have any hope in the playoffs, Andy Pettitte must return from his injury, play up to expectations and see at least one other pitcher emerge to be a solid No. 3. That just might be Javier Vazquez, who could end up a hero instead of a goat as he has been over his two years served in the Bronx.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 28, 2010 12:19 am
Edited on: August 28, 2010 8:03 pm

Burnett's spot in Yanks rotation in jeopardy

A.J. Burnett The Yankees watched Andy Pettitte take a step toward the team's rotation before Friday's game in Chicago and then watched A.J. Burnett take the first step out of the rotation in a 9-4 loss to the White Sox.

Burnett -- in the second year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract -- was plastered for nine runs (eight earned) in 3 1/3 innings against the White Sox, allowing eight hits, walking three and striking out three. He dropped to 9-12 with a 5.17 ERA.

After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was asked about Burnett and didn't quite sing his praises:

"We'll evaluate after this weekend where we are and what we need to do," Girardi said, according to Marc Craig of the Star-Ledger . "Take it the way you want to take it… we'll do what we have to do."

Burnett allowed six runs to the lowly Mariners in his last start and also had an eight-run outing against the Blue Jays on Aug. 2. He's also had a complete game loss this month, dropping a 1-0 decision to Kansas City two starts ago.

"It's the same as Groundhog Day again," Burnett said. "It's the same situation."

In five of his 26 starts this season, he hasn't allowed an earned run. But in nine he's allowed six or more earned runs. It's easy to forget Burnett's 34 -- his talent and inconsistency are always reminiscent of a younger pitcher, but it's his inconsistency that shines a light on his talent. Burnett has such talent that he keeps getting chances. His powerful right arm is why the Blue Jays and the Yankees have both showered him with large contracts he has never quite lived up to.

The Yankees could move Javier Vazquez back into the rotation for Burnett. Vazquez (9-9, 4.96) was moved to long relief last week following his three-inning, four-run outing against the Mariners. He was replaced in the rotation by rookie Ivan Nova.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 27, 2010 5:31 pm

No trouble for Pettitte in bullpen session

Andy Pettitte Andy Pettitte threw 25 pitches in Chicago before the Yankees' game with the White Sox on Friday and according to multiple tweets, he said he felt good about the outing.

Pettitte also said he'd had trouble sleeping in anticipation of today's bullpen session -- Joe Girardi may have had similar feelings.

Pettitte had been shut down the last 10 days after he aggravated a groin strain in a simulated game on Aug. 13. He hasn't pitched since leaving the game on July 18 against the Rays after 2 1/3 innings.

"It was good," Pettitte said (via Twiter from the New York Daily News ' Mark Feinsand). "I didn't have any discomfort at all."

Still, the New York Times ' Ben Shpigel reports (via Twitter ) Pettitte's 25 pitches were "not at full intensity."

Pettitte's return would be a boon to the Yankees for the postseason. Even if today's results don't indicate he will be back in the immediate future, the fact there was no setback was a huge positive for Pettitte and his team.

While there were talks of pitching abundance and a trade of Javier Vazquez leading up to the trade deadline, now it seems the rotation's only sure spot is at the top with CC Sabathia. After that, Phil Hughes is on a pitch limit and slowed from his fast start. A.J. Burnett has been A.J. Burnett -- wildly inconsistent, and Ivan Nova has replaced Vazquez in the rotation.

You can believe the Yankees would love to have Pettitte available down the stretch and in the playoffs. And for now, the lack of bad news is as good as good news.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 12, 2010 2:01 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 2:15 pm

Drop in velocity worrying Vazquez

Javier Vazquez In mid-June, Javier Vazquez remarked on the sudden drop in his fastball velocity , adding that he wasn't worried about it.

He's worried now.

"I reach back, and I see 88," Vazquez told the New Jersey Star-Ledger after giving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Rangers. "The fastball is not there. I don't have any zip on it."

Vazquez, back in Yankee threads for the first time since his forgettable 2004 season, has turned from a pitcher throwing 91-92 mph into one who tops out at 88-89 mph.

"I don't have any life on the fastball," he added. "I get a lot of swings and misses on my fastball. But all the swings and misses I'm getting are on my changeups and curveballs, not on my fastball."

Vazquez may not be able to build off his fastball any longer, but his secondary pitches have kept batters honest enough that he's still a member of the rotation, even with a 4.90 ERA in 123 innings. If the velocity really is gone for good, Vazquez says he'll have to do a better job locating.

His BB/9 in 2009 with the Braves was outstanding at 1.81, but that's crept back up to 3.51, well above his career rate of 2.4. It's his worst walk rate by far since his rookie year with the Expos in 1998. His whiff rate, 6.95, is the lowest since 2004, with a career average of 8.09.

Even if he gets his walk rate back down, the Yankees will likely allow Vazquez to test free agency, as the 34-year-old has essentially morphed into a NL pitcher.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 19, 2010 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Trade deadline buyer: New York Yankees

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Every transaction talk, be it trades or free agents, seems to start with the Yankees and this time is no different.

Brian Cashman Record: 58-33, three games ahead of the Rays and 6 1/2 in front of the Red Sox.
GM: Brian Cashman
Expectations: Anything short of another World Series title is failure, plain and simple.
Payroll status: Not that it matters, the Yankees had an opening day payroll of more than $213 million and already have more than $144 million on the books for 2011.

What they need

Starting pitcher: With Andy Pettitte on the disabled list and A.J. Burnett's recent hissy fit, the Yankees suddenly look to need at least one starter. Until now, the opening day rotation of CC Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, Javier Vazquez and Phil Hughes had started all but two of their games. That could be matched this week alone. The team may also be wary of letting Hughes' innings add up through a pennant race and the playoffs. Sergio Mitre is scheduled to start in Pettitte's place, but until now, he's been more successful as a reliever than a starter.

Bullpen help: Starting pitching isn't the only pitching concern the Yankees have as Joba Chamberlain's days as the bridge to Mariano Rivera may be numbered, and it's not as if Chan Ho Park is going to step up and replace him.

Damaso Marte was placed on the disabled list this weekend with Boone Logan called up as the team's only left-handed reliever.

Big bat: Marcus Thames has been better than expected as the Yankees designated hitter, hitting .287/.396/.437 with three homers and 13 RBI in 87 at-bats, but he's hardly a difference-maker. This spot -- especially if Jorge Posada is healthy enough not to need a DH safety net -- could be upgraded, especially if that upgrade could be a spot starter in the outfield.

Bench help: After the regulars, the Yankees feature the likes of Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis. The team could certainly upgrade its depth in both the infield and the outfield.

Who may fit

Ted Lilly Starting pitcher: Cliff Lee would have been a great fit, but he's gone. Lee was the marquee name available and there's a decided step down after the newest Texas Ranger. Other starters out there are Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren and maybe even someone like Brian Bannister.

Reliever: There are stop-gap attempts like David Aardsma and Leo Nunez, or the Yankees could go for the kill with someone like Royals closer Joakim Soria. Soria is under club control until 2014, so it would take more than just cash, but also top-flight prospects to get the Royals closer and team him with Rivera to make a formidable back of the bullpen.

Other, less expensive, fits could be either of the Blue Jays pair of relievers, Scott Downs or Jason Frasor.

Bat: Again, going for the kill would be Adam Dunn. Dunn in new Yankee Stadium would be a marriage made in heaven. Dunn doesn't want to DH and he doesn't really have any other value, but he would flourish both in the American League and in pinstripes. Still, the Yankees may not want to give up too much for a player they can just buy in the offseason.

If the Yankees can find a top-end starter, they could send Vazquez to Philadelphia for Jayson Werth. David DeJesus would upgrade the outfield, as well.

Bench help:
Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton are corner possibilities and Wigginton can play second, as well. Xavier Nady and Austin Kearns are possible outfield bats that may not be big, but could work for the Yankees.

Trade chips

Jesus Montero Catching prospect Jesus Montero was reportedly only available for Lee, however the almighty dollar is always available. Any team looking to clear cash off the bottom line will talk to the Yankees, who could send middling prospects loaded up with money sacks to any team that's interested. And there are always teams interested in that kind of prospect.

Right-hander Zach McAllister is 7-6 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts at Triple-A. He doesn't have dominant stuff, but has good control and projects as a back of the rotation-type pitcher.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, 23, has better stats than McAllister (7-2, 3.21, 78 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings) and has an impressive fastball. Nova has impressive talent, but has also struggled with consistency as a pro. This season is his best yet, and there's a question as to whether he's reached his ceiling. Still, he's got enough talent to be intriguing to other teams.

Mark Melancon has long been bantered about as the replacement for Rivera when Mo decides to turn his sights to Cooperstown, but Melancon has yet to live up to that hype. He could be one of those players that need a change in scenery to live up to his potential, and there's enough potential for other teams to take a chance on him.

Other possibilities include SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B David Adams, who was one of the other guys mentioned in the Lee trade.

Predictions: The Yankees will add a reliever and a starter -- possibly Lilly and the lefty Downs. Other than that, the team may think it doesn't have to do too much to keep ahead of the Rays and Red Sox.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 13, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 2:02 pm

Yankees paid more than Steinbrenner's invesment

George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees for a net price of $8.8 million from CBS in 1973 (it was $10 million, but then sold two parking lots back to CBS for $1.2 million). Here's a list of the 10 Yankees with base salaries more than that for just this season:

Alex Rodriguez $32 million
CC Sabathia $23 million
Derek Jeter $21 million
Mark Teixeira $20 million
A.J. Burnett $16.5 million
Mariano Rivera $15 million
Jorge Posada $13.1 million
Andy Pettitte $11.75 million
Javier Vazquez $11.5 million
Robinson Cano $9 million

Forbes magazine valued the team as worth $1.6 billion in April.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or