Bet The House

Certain things are inevitable. The swallows always return to Capistrano on March 19th and the Yankees will bring Sergio Mitre back to the Bronx.

Mitre was DFA’ed by the Brewers last night and I would bet anything the Yankees bring him back. Chad Jennings already posted this depressing piece– it’s really just a matter of time now. And don’t be fooled by Mitre’s ERA of 3.27, it’s an illusion. His strikeout rates are down to 3.8 per 9 in the NL while his other numbers have stayed almost constant from last year. What hasn’t changed is his incredible luck on balls in play. Hitters are only averaging .227 when they put the ball in play against him. When that changes, and it will, that ERA is going to soar.

Mitre part 2 will be depressingly familiar. It is just a continuation of the Yankees insistence on looking outside the organization instead of inside of it. We saw it with Ivan Nova last year and we can see it with Hector Noesi this year. Instead of being given the opportunity to pitch in meaningful spots, they are used inconsistently or demoted to the minors.

Noesi came into the season ranked the #8 prospect in the organization by Baseball America and while he wasn’t projected to be an ace, he was projected to be a starter in the majors. Yet, nearly halfway through the season he has thrown a total of 39 innings between AAA and the bigs. The Yankees have wasted 1/2 a season of potential development by not using him consistently.

It’s weird because the Yankees did the “right” thing coming out of camp and gave Nova a rotation spot. They could have given it to Colon, he had certainly pitched well in camp, but they went with the rookie and while he hasn’t dominated, he has shown enough to say their decision was a good one. But instead of trying to find the next Nova, they keep looking for the next Aaron Small or the next Shawn Chacon, two guys who had miraculous seasons in 2005 and then never came close to repeating them again. In baseball terms it is swinging for the fences every at bat. Sometimes a solid double is all you need.