AL East Notes: Robertson, Granderson, Aviles

A few items of note out of the AL East, where the Yankees lead the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games through Thursday's action …

  • Yankees setup man David Robertson has pitched so well this season that Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders whether we're watching the development of Mariano Rivera's heir apparent as New York's closer. Rivera is under contract through next season.
  • Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson is in the thick of MVP talks because of his stellar season, writes Jerry Crasnick of, but he's also an affable, charitable, humble and highly intelligent person. He's the Yankees' player rep for the MLBPA and is one of two league-wide reps along with Craig Counsell of the Brewers. Crasnick's piece is an excellent read.
  • Not much was thought of it when the Red Sox acquired Mike Aviles from the Royals, but the utility infielder is preparing himself for what could be an important postseason role, writes Rob Bradford of Aviles isn't a prototypical burner but is an efficient basestealer, according to Bradford, and could pinch-run in the postseason in a big spot — a la Dave Roberts in 2004.

43 Responses to AL East Notes: Robertson, Granderson, Aviles Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 4 years ago

    Originally I heard Yankee fans (including myself I admit) say Joba was Mo’s repalcement. Then they made him a starter, back to a reliever, and messed it all up. I do not expect Robertson to ever become a starter. He certainly can be Mo’s replacement, but there will only be 1 Mo.

    • jjs91 4 years ago

      Then they made him a starter he was always a stater until those 27 innings in 07. If they messed him up why was he pitching well this year hell he was even doing well as a starter i dont get why they put him back in the pen. 

  2. MB923 4 years ago

    “a la Dave Roberts in 2004″

    Still pissed off the Yankees did not pitch out on that first pitch. Roberts was safe but it was still a close play even with the poor throwing Posada behind the plate. If there is a pitch out, there’s a better chance he’s out. Obviously the first step and one of the biggest moments in the series for the Sox comeback.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      That was the first moment when I really thought, hey they might be able to pull it off. Heck, the Sox should retire Roberts’ number for that alone.

      • MB923 4 years ago

        I think Sox fans have to thank Tom Gordon more in that series than Mo. Kevin Brown too. I also blame Gordon for the Blown Save in Game 5 more than Mo.

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

          A friend of mine and I still refer to Brown as Kevin “I fought the wall and the wall won” Brown.

          • MB923 4 years ago

            I was hoping Brown would win Game 7 and add a 5th B name- Babe, Bucky, Buckner, Boone, Brown

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            That’s perfect

  3. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Yeah, Aviles looked just like Roberts last night when he was thrown out to end the game (yes I’m still a little bitter about the whole thing, so what?)

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      totally bailed out franky frank on that one 

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        The Sox didn’t deserve to win the game at that point anyway.  Francona’s managing cost them that game and if they had come back and won it, it would only have bailed him out of his ignorance. (and this is coming from someone who spends tons of time defending Francona to other Boston fans)

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          He’s puzzled me a lot in the series

          I mean you don’t pitch hit A gonz in the 9th with runners on?

          Doesn’t make sense. .. Also letting Bard Implode was weird too.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            felt terrible for bard. short of turning his hat around backwards and pitching left-handed, the kid did everything he could to tell his manager I DON’T HAVE IT TONIGHT. HELP ME.

            felt bad for albers, who no doubt pooped his pants before even taking the field

            felt bad for wakefield, who sucks but could have died happy finally

            even felt bad for papelbon, who is in a contract year, has pitched once in the month of september, and i’m sure would have loved to come in and save the day. 0-for-7 with 7 strikeouts with the bases loaded this year

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Yes, yes, 100 times yes.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Yeah, he’s friggin’ aggravating sometimes.  The Bard thing really gets me, I just don’t get it.  It was painfully obvious that it just wasn’t there for him several batters before he ever gave up a run, plenty of time to get Papelbon warmed up.  By the time he did something (the wrong thing) it was already too late.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          bullpen managment and his fetish for pinch-running at first base for middle-of-the-order guys with 2 outs in the late innings are the two things that drive me nuts about francona. i like him a lot in general, but knock that off dammit

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

             I just couldn’t believe Gonzalez didn’t pinch hit in todays game

            #1 he’s awesome
            #2 Frankie Frank loves the long ball

            I don’t know if you’re not allowed to pinch hit for pedroia, but he had a pretty rough series, with a righty on the mound, I definitely was looking for a pinch hit there.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            #3 gonzalez loves frankie frank. what is he, 3-3 with 2 HR? something crazy like that

            but tito is kinda obsessive about “when i give a guy a day off, it’s a day off”. bad baseball managment, but possibly good people management. theo has made clear that the latter is why francona is in boston

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

             but he put on his batting gloves and everything, came in to the on deck circle…

            and then it was like, hey adrian, come back in the dugout, nevermind I don’t want to win.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            that’s because adrian doesn’t even like days off. he’s taken a few begrudgingly this year basically because he was told to, but he came into the season saying stuff like “dude, i play first base…it’s not that grueling. i don’t want to sit on the bench”

            he averages like 161 games per season in san diego over the last 4 seasons, but the red sox and especially francona are very … passionate? … about resting their star players, particularly in september

            clearly one at-bat in the ninth inning would have taken a lot out of him

  4. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    All I want is one iota of proof that Mariano Rivera is not a cyborg. 

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      5 blown saves?

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Still love the guy and wouldn’t want anyone else on the mound in a pressure situation though.

      • Rabbitov 4 years ago

        Even Cyborgs sometimes need a tune-up.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Little known fact: Bobby Abreu is a well regarded individual in the computer hacking field.

        • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

          Then he should be credited for those 5 blown saves!

  5. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Granderson really is an awesome person. Super humble, and very involved in charity.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      He’s like Vernon Wells except good at baseball!

  6. yankswin28 4 years ago

    Robertson will replace Mo.

    Mariano said so himself.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

       no one will ever replace mo.

    • jwredsox 4 years ago

      yeah with that 4.8 BB/9

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Robertson’s having a phenomenal year, but yeah, that walk rate’s still pretty high up there for a closer. There’s questions in some of his other peripherals too, a 2.7% HR/FB rate and a ground ball rate seven points higher than his career average both just scream regression candidate. The latter could be just turning the corner, but the former is almost certainly going to regress and when you combine his walk rate with a closer to average HR/FB, you get trouble.

        That point aside, even without that, nobody replaces Rivera. I think I speak collectively for the Red Sox fanbase when I say I will do somersaults when that dude finally retires.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          if robertson could somehow inherit the rivera strike zone, those walks wouldn’t be so much of a problem

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t completely remove Joba from the equation. Some pitchers come back throwing much harder than they did prior to TJ surgery. If he comes back with a 96+ mph FB and shows some hunger and guts he could pitch himself back into the equation.

      That being said Robo is Mr. Houdini and he does with what looks like should be a hittable FB.

      • 0bsessions 4 years ago

        Velocity was never the issue for Chamberlain, so you can throw that rationale right out the window. Joba’s issue is, simply speaking, that he’s a mystery. I’m not sure I’ve seen a guy whose career numbers are so remarkably inconsistent (And I’m not talking consistently inconsistent, I’m talking no discernable trends whatsoever) that it’s almost impossible to predict what he’ll be like. This is mostly sourced in the fact the Yankees took years todecide what they’d do with him, but year to year there is no way of predicting his likely future performance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher put up the kind of peripheral inconsistency he has and then thrown TJ surgery into the mix. What few trends we CAN gather (His FIP as a reliever has generally hovered below 3) indicate that, long term, he’ll be a reliever.

        Stuffwise, I’d honestly pick Joba over Robertson assuming Joba recovers from TJ okay. Robertson just doesn’t seem to have the stuff for a closer long term. Rivera got by for the better part of two decades by having what is effectively the MLB’s best cutter. Robertson doesn’t really have that one elite pitch that Rivera had. His fastball’s probably his strongest pitch, which is great for a middle reliever, but it’s not so great that he can live forever on it (Sits in the low nineties as a reliever). He needs a secondary pitch that works consistently in order to generate regular outs as a closer. His curve’s been good this year, but he needs to demonstrate the ability to utilize it well consistently before I consider him the heir to Rivera.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        I guarantee Joba shows “guts” (well gut anyway) when he comes back…

  7. cookmeister 4 years ago

    I’m far from a Yankee fan (actually an Angels fan), but Curtis Granderson has become one of my favorite players.  Seems like a very well spoken and genuine guy that really cares.  I remember watching one of those E:60 specials about him and he was just a true class act.

  8. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    PS- Still pretty amazed at the 2006 draft class the Yanks had and what those guys have done.

    IPK- Possible 20 game winner, 3.37 FIP, 4.2 WAR, 7.9 K/9

    Joba- Up and down career but collectively: 3.62 FIP, 9 K/9 and 47 GB% in 382 IP.

    McAllister- Rebounded with a bad year with the Yanks @MaineSox:disqus  AAA in 2010. A decent looking starting prospect for the Indians w/ a 3.19 FIP AAA in 2011.

    Betances- A top 25-50 consensus starting pitching prospect.

    Melancon- The original “Mo replacement” when drafted. Has produced well for the ‘Stros with a 3.69 FIP with 7.5 k/9 in 102 IP in his first 2 seasons. With 17 saves last year he looks like their closer of the future.

    Robertson- Another great late rnd pick (17th) and became and all-star reliever this year. Career 2.91 FIP, 12 k/9 and 78% LOB rate.

    McCutchen- Will most certainly regress next year but he was very productive for the Pirates with a 2.96 ERA. However, his 4.34 FIP and horrible walk/ko rate of 4.64/3.67 in 76 IP doesn’t project well.

    What the class lacked in high impact guys in made up for in two all-star caliber pitchers, a top prospect and some very usable mlb arms.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      2006 was a good year (Though no 2005). We got Bard, Kalish AND Reddick that season.

      Still, it’s no 2005 (Ellsbury, Buchholz AND Lowrie).

  9. Fangaffes 4 years ago

    “Aviles isn’t a prototypical burner but is an efficient basestealer,
    according to Bradford, and could pinch-run in the postseason in a big

    Y’know, like he did with the game on the line on Wednesday and ended his slide short of 2B.

  10. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Is it just me, or have there been like three “heir apparents” to Rivera in the last like year?

    Joba to Soriano to Robertson. Next week, it’ll Cory Wade or Luis Ayala.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      Yeah. I would say Soriano is the “heir apparent” if he stays thru his deal.

  11. I am a legend !

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