Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a calculated move Saturday in an effort to protect Javier Vazquez’s confidence, bumping the righty from his next scheduled start.
Vazquez pitched a solid seven innings of two-run ball last Wednesday against the Tigers and was in line to take on either the Red Sox or Rays this week. But Girardi made the decision Saturday to have the struggling starter avoid both high-powered offenses. Vazquez, 33, will take on the Mets at Citi Field on Friday instead. From the Newark Star-Ledger:
“We talked amongst ourselves and discussed it,” Girardi said Saturday. “I know
Javy wants to pitch. But that was what we thought was the right
decision at this time.”
Some Yankees fans might want to call it “babying,” but this is a smart move for both the club and Vazquez himself. He is 1-4 this year with an 8.10 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP over six starts and the Yanks continue to battle for the top spot in the American League East with Tampa Bay. They need their best starters on the mound right now and Vazquez — for the time being — is not one of them.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.
Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.
Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.