|Cashman has had his heart broken by his pitching staff more than a few times this year. Small, who played a huge role in pushing the Yankees on top of the Red Sox in the AL East last year, proved to be such a huge disappointment that he had to be busted down to AAA after 11 appearances this year. The other guy responsible for much of the Yankees success in the 2nd half of the 2005 season, Shawn Chacon, has also been a disaster this year, and had to be shifted to the bullpen to minimize the damage he was doing (he was averaging 1.24 hits per inning pitched and walked more batters than he struck out). And don’t forget about Pavano (left, dumbfounded as to how to explain his most recent injury), who continues to defy all laws of physiology by sustaining repeated buttock injuries and hasn’t pitched a single inning for the Yankees this year.
Alas, what’s a GM to do when his team is in 2nd place and in dire need of pitching in a market where available pitchers are few and (extremely) far between? Pick up a DFA’d pitcher with a strong history of alcohol abuse and a moderate history of major league success, of course!
Sidney Ponson (right, looking hopefully into the stands for the Budweiser vendor), who is more well-known for his run-ins with breathalyzers than for his work on the pitching mound, has joined the Yanks and will likely make his first start next Tuesday. Despite the arrests and his 6.21 ERA last year with the Orioles, signing Ponson actually may turn out to be a decent deal for the Yankees. In 13 starts for the Cardinals this season, he held a 4.52 ERA, which, while not stellar, is still better than the job Chacon and Small were doing. Since the Yanks picked up after the Cards had designated him for assignment, they are only required to pay him the minimum MLB salary ($316,000)—prorated, of course—making his signing a very low-risk deal. If he can just lay off the sauce and keep his ERA under 5.00, he may be able to help keep the Yankees in the running for the post-season.
If not, perhaps the Yankees can get him drunk and have him distract the Red Sox with some erratic driving through Fenway long enough to knock them out of 1st place.
Labels: roster moves, signings