Chase Wright’s amazing feat and final career record

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On April 22, 2007, the Boston Red Sox completed a sweep of the rival New York Yankees, marking the first the first time in 17 years the Red Sox swept the Yankees in Fenway Park. Yankees starting pitcher Chase Wright made his second MLB start, one that turned out to be his last. The 24 year old was in the rotation due to injuries tp Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Chin-Ming Wang. Wright made his way into baseball history due to an incredible series events.
Two men were out with nobody on in the bottom of the third inning. Manny Ramirez then hit a home run, nothing to be ashamed of. Mike Lowell followed with a home run. Then Stephen Drew hit one. Jason Varitek homered, making it only the second time in MLB history that a pitcher gave up four consecutive homers in a game. Paul Foytack was the first for the 1963 Angels. Wright got the next batter out before being taken out of the game. He received a no decision in a game the Red Sox would win 7-6.
Wright was sent back to the minors before making another appearance. He returned to the team as a September callup. In what turned out to be his last MLB appearance on September 30th against the Baltimore Orioles, he pitched 2 innings and gave up a run while getting the win in relief as the Yankees won the game 11-4. Prior to his start against the Red Sox, he got the win five days earlier by pitching 5 innings, giving up 3 runs against the Cleveland Indians. So, for a guy who will be remembered for giving up four consecutive home runs in an inning, he finished his MLB career with an undefeated 2-0 record.
What I find more amazing was the fact that Wright never again pitched in the majors after the 2007 season. In 2008, pitching for AA Trenton and AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre, he was 10-3, 2.72 in 22 starts. He did not get a September callup even though the Yankees missed out on the postseason. Before the 2009 season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. He would pitch the next three seasons for AAA Nashville and was a free agent after the 2011 season. He pitched the 2012 season as a reliever for the Somerset Patriots of the Independent League. As of now, he is not pitching for any team. He is still undefeated as a big league pitcher.

Who Mets best free agent option is for back of the rotation starting pitcher

joe saunders

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    After the trade of Cy Young Award winner RA Dickey, the New York Mets should, and are, in the market for another starting pitcher. Ideally they would want to bring in a pitcher that can accumulate a lot of innings and keep the team in most games they pitch. Additionally, they would like to keep a spot in the rotation held for phenom Zack Wheeler, who should be ready to pitch in the majors this season. MLB trade rumors had the Mets interested in four free agent pitchers. Here is the best fits for the Mets in order of best to worst.

1. Shawn Marcum: Marcum has a track record of being a top three pitcher in a team’s respective rotation. Last year in Milwaukee, he was 7-4, 3.70 with 109 Ks in 124 IP, missing some time due to injury. He has a career record of 57-36, 3.76. During his time in Toronto and the Brewers, he has been relatively consistent, keeping his ERA in the low to mid 3.00s and having nearly as many Ks as IP. He could fill the number five spot in the rotation, with the upside of being a top three pitcher in the rotation. If I were the Mets, I would sign Marcum to a 2 year, $12 million deal with some performance incentives.
2. Chris Young: Young, of course, pitched for the Mets last season as well as in 2011. He showed he could stay healthy after undergoing anterior capsule surgery on his right pitching shoulder. I would choose Marcum first, but if that falls through, Young would be an acceptable enough option to bring back for another season. Last season, he was 4-9, 4.15 in 20 starts, with 80 Ks in 115 IP. He has a career record of 53-43, 3.79, pretty similar to Marcum, but with much more time missed due to injury. Young should get a 1 year deal, paying about $4-$5 million for the season. I can also see Young improving after being another year removed from his operation and like the fact that he feels comfortable pitching for the Mets.
3. Carl Pavano: Pavano would only be an option if both Marcum and Young don’t sign. Perhaps Pavano could be had in addition to one of the before mentioned. I think he has reached a point in his career where he should consider minor league contract offers. Despite missing some time due to injury in 2012, he was just 2-5, 6.00 in 11 starts, with 33 Ks in 63 IP. He will be 37 next season, which should not help his value. For his career, he is 108-107, 4.39 but does have a track record of throwing a lot of innings when healthy. On a minor league deal, he could help but more importantly gives the Mets flexability of being able to let him go if he no longer has the skills to be an effective starting pitcher. I am not an advocate for Pavano, just think there is little to lose on a minor league deal.
4. Joe Saunders: My issue with Saunders if the fact that I think he will take a deal for more dollars than the Mets can offer. Saunders fits the bill for a pitcher who will eat innings and can help just about all teams in the back of their respective rotations. Last season, Saunders was 9-13, 4.07 in 28 starts for Arizona and Baltimore with 121 Ks in 174 2/3 IP. For his career, he is 78-65, 4.15 and has been a workhorse in rotations for contending teams such as the Angels, Diamondbacks and Orioles. A two year contract should work, but he could get paid about $8-$10 million a season. If I were the Mets, I would only consider signing Saunders if the other free agent options, as well as possible trade options, do not work.

Other options for the Yankees to add a starting pitcher

Other options for the Yankees to add a starting pitcher

Will The Pirates Stretch For Carl Pavano

John Heyman of MLB network, reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals are the front runners for Carl Pavano.

PavanoPavano would most likely come with a hefty price tag. Last season his salary was $7 million and he did nothing to diminish his value.

He enjoyed a very good season with Minnesota last year going 17 – 11 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, his best since 2004 with the Florida Marlins when he was 18 – 8 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

This may stretch the Pirates budget but in November Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com reported that Neal Huntington may be will to do so.

"We would love to add a starting pitcher, but we have to do so with intelligence," said Huntington. "There are going to be times where we have to stretch. But we have to stretch for the right reasons and not just out of desperation to get a pitcher or get a player."

CoonellyPirates president Frank Coonelly may think differently. He said yesterday "As we indicated at the outset of this offseason, the one thing we did not want to do is to block the talented young starters who led the Altoona Curve to the Eastern League championship last year, such as Rusty Owens, Bryan Morris, Justin Wilson and Jeff Locke."

However in November Langosch reported Coonelly saying "There is no question that wee need to improve our pitching in 2011, particularly our starting rotation. We have identified the starting rotation as a priority this offseason and we'll aggressively pursue adding at least one starting pitcher during the offseason."

Yesterday we chated with Coonelly about this and Steve Pearce's rehabilitation.

Pirates Digest: In your November online chat you said in response to a question about pitching "There is no question that we need to improve our pitching in 2011, particularly our starting rotation." Do you feel the addition of Scott Olsen and Kevin Correia meet that need?

Frank Coonelly: I very much believe that adding Kevin Correia to the rotation and acquiring Scott Olsen to compete for the 5th starter spot has bolstered our starting rotation for 2011. I am also convinced that the most significant improvement in our rotation will come from pitchers who were in the organization in 2010, whether they be pitchers who pitched in Pittsburgh or our minor league system.

Pearce PD: How is Steve Pearce recovering from knee surgery?

FC: Steve Pearce has been working hard in his rehabilitation and should report to spring Training ready to compete for a job on the Major League club. Steve's injury last year was unfortunate because he had worked extraordinarily hard to get in the best shape of his career, and that extra work was evident in his play.

I believe the direction the Pirates will go is to give the young talent an opportunity and pass on Pavano.

GO BUCS

Boof is Bound for Boston

The Twins were awfully busy at the winter meetings (well, busy for them),
and I haven't been able to write much about it (still on restrictions
for at least another couple of weeks, though I am feeling much
better).  It's taken me about four days to finish this:

  • Bonser DFA'd, traded to the Red Sox

Losing
Boof kind of sucks, actually.  Oh, I understand perfectly why the Twins
felt justified in moving a 28 year-old coming off of shoulder surgery
who hadn't put up decent numbers since his rookie season in 2006.  He
and his agent reportedly wanted a $1.5 million raise, while the Twins'
offer was substantially less than that (and probably much closer to
what he's actually worth).  The Twins' 2010 opening day payroll is already pushing $90 million,
and that's without a contract extension to Joe Mauer or addressing the
infield, so it makes sense to cut expensive, mediocre middle
relievers.  But man, I'm going to miss chanting "BOOOOOOOF!!!" whenever
he would come trotting in from the bullpen. Besides, Boof could
probably be a useful middle reliever, or maybe even a
back-of-the-rotation starter.  That's a lot more than can be said about
Bobby Keppel,
who is still on the 40-man roster for some reason (probably because
he's making the league minimum whether he likes it or not).  However,
as much as I hate to see him go, moving to Boston might be the best
thing for Boof.  Boof has struggled against left-handed pitching for
the past few seasons, and the Twins have little use for what amounts to
an expensive ROOGY.  The Red Sox, on the other hand, have one of the
deepest bullpens in MLB, and a manager who knows how to best utilize
the strengths of his relievers (not to mention the fact that $1.5
million amounts to pocket change for the Sawx).  And it's still better than signing Brandon Lyon.

  • Carl Pavano agrees to arbitration

The Twins had to DFA Boofer to clear space on the 40-man for Carl Pavano, who decided to accept the Twins' arbitration offer.  He explained his decision to forgo free agency thusly:

"There
were different ways to look at my decision. I could have continued to
sit back and wait for the market to unfold more, take a chance and end
up with a team that is not a winner and in a place I don't want to be.
Or I accept arbitration and work out a deal with a team that is strong
in character and talent, as I have already experienced, with a staff
that is the one of the best I've had in baseball, and in a division
where our rival last year is rumored to be unloading some of their top
players with other teams in the start of a rebuilding phase. That
doesn't ensure us anything, but I like our chances."

Aww,
we love you too, Carl, and it's good to have you back.  I'm not
surprised other teams may have shied away from signing a 33-year old
with a dubious health history and a 5.10 ERA to a multi-year deal
(although the 3 years, $29.75 million to Randy Wolf is a bit of a head-scratcher).  However, as Parker Hageman notes,
Pavano pitched much better than his ERA would indicate and should see
some improvement in his numbers next season.  How much his numbers will
improve is debatable (he will be a 34 year old finesse pitcher, after
all), and I'm not sure how much stock I would put in his peripherals. 
There obviously isn't much data available on his performance over the
past four years, and he did pitch against a lot of terrible teams last
year.  He did post a decent strikeout rate while walking a mere 1.8
batters per nine innings though, and he got a lot of ground balls
without giving up too many home runs, all of which is very encouraging
(the acquisition of J. J. Hardy should help shore up the infield
defense, too).  I wouldn't expect Pavano to put up Greinke-like numbers
next year, but an ERA somewhere around 4.00 isn't unreasonable (EDIT:  I should have just checked with Bill James before posting.  He projects a 4.46 ERA for Pavano next year.  That sounds about right).  A
Baker, Slowey, Blackburn, Pavano, Perkins/Duensing/???? rotation might
not be the best in the division, but it looks pretty solid so far.

  • Third Base:

The Twins have been linked to both Mark DeRosa and Kevin
Kouzmanoff in various rumors.  Briefly, I like Kouzmanoff better
because he's younger and cheaper, and a trade would probably get Glen
Perkins off the roster (although it does make me wonder who else the
Padres would demand in return, since a straight up Kouz-for-Perk deal
is unlikely).  Heck, if I were Perk, I would be pushing for this trade,
and not just because of the whole grievance thing.  Petco Park, with
its cavernous outfield, is perfect for someone like Perk: a somewhat
homer-prone finesse pitcher who walks almost as many batters as he
strikes out.  He could feel free to attack the strike zone more
aggressively, since one of his 90-mph gopher balls is more likely to
end up in a fielder's glove than in the seats. 

  • The Tigers were kind of busy, too:

I think Joe Posnanski best summed up
the trade that got Curtis Granderson out of the AL Central, and brought
in Max Scherzer and Austin Jackson to (probably) haunt my dreams.  I
don't have much to add, other than I don't think Arizona got hosed
quite as much as it looks right now.  Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson
will probably do just fine in the weak NL West, and there are
legitimate concerns about Scherzer's pitching motion and durability. 
Obviously, if the D-Backs were trying to get younger and cheaper, they
didn't exactly accomplish that goal when they picked up Jackson.  But
if their fears about Scherzer turn out to be well-founded, then it
isn't such a bad deal after all.

  •  Non-baseball related:

Benoit Pouliot is already considered the fourth-worst draft pick of the decade.  It's amazing, then, that Chuck Fletcher actually got something useful for him:

Oh, and be sure to check out Dan Wade's interview with 2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer.  There will be riots in the streets if Joe ever plays for someone else.

On Gardy


This season has been disappointing for Twins fans, to say the least.
Naturally, whenever a team fails to live up to expectations, the
manager and the coaching staff are the first ones to get the blame,
even if those expectations may have been somewhat unreasonable to begin
with (more on that in a minute). Not surprisingly, there is a growing
contingent of Twins fans who feel that Gardy and his staff should be
fired. Which is kind of funny because so many people were quick to
praise him and his staff when the same team exceeded expectations last
year.

I don't think the Twins' lackluster performance this
season is all Gardy's fault. Or Andy's fault. Or Joe Vavra's fault
(Especially since offense hasn't really been a problem this year. At
least somebody on the staff is doing his job, right?). I don't think
American League managers really have that much influence over the
outcome of the game. Oh, I think there are a few great managers who are
certainly hall-of-fame bound once they decide to retire, and maybe
those managers really do win ballgames. I mean, if you can win so
goddamn much while bouncing from organization to organization over the
years, you must be doing something right. But in the grand scheme of
things, Billy Beane
is probably right.
Most AL managers tend to be pretty average, not really brilliant
strategists but not incompetent enough to cost their team many wins,
and Gardy certainly fits in that category. Perhaps the role of the modern
AL manager is simply to manage all of the different personalities in
the clubhouse, and Gardy seems to do a pretty good job in that respect.

That
isn't to say that Gardy is without fault. We all know how he loves
scrappy, light-hitting middle infielders who play hard but don't have
much in the way of actual talent. He will always find a way to work
these guys in the lineup (usually batting second, one of the most
important spots in the lineup *sigh*), while a more capable player
(especially a young player) rots on the bench. And that's another
thing: his distrust (dislike?) of young players. Whenever a young
player makes a mistake (which they inevitably will), Gardy banishes him
to the doghouse and bashes him in the press, while a veteran player
gets free reign to screw up as much as he wants and Gardy will
vigorously defend him. I realize that a lot of managers are like that,
but this organization tends to depend heavily on the contributions of
young players. In that context, maybe Gardy isn't the best man for the
job. It's definitely something the front office will have to think
about during the offseason.

As for the season being a
disappointment, I guess that's kind of true. This is a weak division,
and the Twins do have some very good players, so it is disappointing
that they just can't reach out and take it. But, to be honest, this
team didn't look like anything to get excited about before the season
started. This is essentially the same team the Twins trotted out last
year, and while they came within a game of winning the division, that
team was clearly playing above its head (and benefiting from an
extremely weak division). Projection systems such as PECOTA aren't
always right (most of them picked the Red Sox to win the AL East), but
most picked the Twins to finish 79-83. And that looks about right,
though the Twins might actually exceed those expectations and finish
81-81, so it isn't as though they've underperformed based on their
level of talent. Obviously, fans should expect a lot from their teams
and shouldn't have to settle for mediocrity, but a mediocre team just
isn't going to be anything more than that no matter who is at the helm.

If
anyone deserves the blame for the outcome of the season, it is the
front office. Bill Smith had opportunities during the offseason to
upgrade the middle infield and the bullpen on the cheap, and he
repeatedly failed to do either. Instead, he decided to spend $8.5
million on Nick Punto (a decision that actually didn't seem so horrible
at the time, considering what Orlando Cabrera was asking and Punto was
coming off a decent year offensively). He gambled that the starting
rotation would either improve or at least perform to the same level it
did last year, and lost. When it became clear that the team wouldn't
compete the way it was currently constructed, he spent a lot in
resources to provide modest upgrades. Carl Pavano has pitched
competently, and I wouldn't mind bringing him back if the price is
right, but is he worth
Yohan Pino? Is Jon Rauch worth Kevin Mulvey? The Twins better hope that Tyler Ladendorf doesn't turn into anything special, either (ugh, they won't even get any draft picks
when Cabrera signs elsewhere). Smith traded away a couple of
major-league ready pitchers and middle infield prospect, areas in which
the Twins have the greatest need, for a few mid-season rentals that
aren't going to put them over the top (at least Rauch will be back next
year). I do have to give Smith some credit for addressing the
third-base problem by signing Joe Crede, and I do think the signing has
been a good one, despite Crede's lingering health issues. And he locked
up
Scott Baker and Jason Kubel
in contract extensions that look to be bargains so far. Still, it
doesn't take a genius to realize that it's in the best interest of an
organization to lock up its young talent on the cheap, and Smith's
other moves don't exactly inspire a lot of confidence.

For No Reason Here’s the Clash

I
wasn't planning on writing anything today, since it's an off day.
Besides, what is there to say? The Twins lost in underwhelming fashion
to the Orioles last night, blowing a huge chance to both take sole
possession of second place and gain ground on the Tigers. And that will
probably cost them, since the Pale Hosers are whooping the Red Sox as I
write this(UPDATE:  Yep, they did). But what else is new? The Twins have been blowing chances
like this all season long, much like they did all last season. There
are only so many I-am-so-disappointed-in-you posts I can write before I
start sounding like my mom. Much to my surprise and delight however,
the front office has apparently been busy today, claiming
Brad Penny off waivers and maybe Rich Harden as well. It will be interesting to see if Bill Smith can swing a deal for either one or (preferably) both.

Penny
has obviously had a rough season in Boston, but he would be a good
pickup for an organization desperately in need of pitching help. Both
Parker Hageman and Dave Cameron
did in-depth analyses of Penny, and his peripherals show he is pitching
better than his 5.61 ERA indicates. While he probably won't lead the
Twins to a deep postseason run, he is a much better option than the
likes of Armando Gabino and Philip Humber to round out the rotation.
Penny won't cost much, and at least I could stop covering my eyes
whenever someone besides Scott Baker and Carl Pavano (yes, you read
that right) take the mound.

Rich Harden, on the other hand, is more intriguing. He's pitched very
well for the Cubs, posting a 3.99 ERA, 3.69 xFIP, and 2.75 K/BB ratio
in innings. Harden is a flyball pitcher, and his home run rate is up a
bit this year, which is something to be a little concerned about should
he move back to the American League. However, his 10.38 K/9 rate is
among the best in the National League, and he's been getting
a lot of swinging strikes.
He will be a Type A free agent at the end of the season, so the Cubs
will likely want a decent prospect or two in return. I would be really
surprised if the Twins actually landed Harden, though I'm keeping my
fingers crossed. The Twins will probably deem his asking price too
high, and it seems more likely that he would go to an NL team anyway
(UPDATE: Apparently
an NL club put in a claim on Harden, so there goes that dream. Oh well, it was a fun ride while it lasted. UPDATE: The Twins did claim Harden
and have until noon on Monday to work out a trade. I'm not optimistic,
but I am keeping my fingers crossed. At least it's good to know that
the front office still thinks the team is in the pennant race
).

From
the Department of God, I Hope Not: The Twins are also rumored to be
interested in Ron Mahay. Because that's exactly what they need: a
soft-tossing, mediocre left-handed reliever. I guess Gardy can't stand
not having a LOOGY in the 'pen now that Jose Mijares has proven he can
be trusted against right-handed hitters. (UPDATE:
GAAHH!!
And if one mediocre reliever weren't enough, Bill Smith got us Jon
Rauch too. Yay. Maybe the two can combine for a couple of innings to
make one replacement-level starting pitcher).

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