Despite 75 walks and 14 hit batters in 96 innings in Triple-A this year, Andrew Brackman was promoted to the majors by the Yankees on Tuesday.
Brackman, a 2007 first-round pick rated by Baseball America as the game’s No. 78 prospect entering this season, did manage to turn his season around late. He had a 7/20 K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings in July, but he came through with a 17/3 mark and a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings out of the pen last month.
Brackman was first tried as a reliever back in June, and he was moved exclusively to the pen after walking nine in 3 1/3 innings in his final start on July 29. The 6-foot-10 right-hander seems destined to stay there now, and he has the stuff to be a dominant short reliever if things break right.
Fortunately, Brackman, who got a major league contract out of N.C. State, is likely to be awarded an extra option year next season after missing all of 2008 following Tommy John surgery. Otherwise, the Yankees would have been forced to carry him as a reliever next April or try to send him through waivers. He’s not ready for prime time just yet, but no one is giving up on him.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?