Apologies for the curse word in the title, but if cable TV can say it, so can Jobu’s Rum. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I pondered when Sean Kelley and Ben Francisco would finally be removed from the Yankees’ roster. Not surprisingly, they are both still floundering away. At least Kelley can be hidden in the bullpen. Girardi doesn’t seem to understand just how terrible Francisco is, so he keeps getting sent out there. At least Iván Nova has the decency to still be on the DL. Anyway, here’s a quick update on how these two losers (I mean this only on the field, as I’ve never met either man) are fairing.
Ben Francisco: Secretly Left Handed?
Seriously. Is he batting from the wrong side of the plate? Did he create a fake identity for himself as a right handed hitter so the Yankees would sign him this spring? The Yankees can’t continue to take themselves seriously as a franchise if Francisco plays one more game (Note: I wrote this post before the Rockies series, during which Francisco started two games and played in all three). It’s official, he’s the worst player on the team and completely useless. Actually, at least he hit a home run since the last time we discussed him (still his only extra-base hit and RBI). For shame, Erik Bedard. For shame. Actually, the Astros felt the same way, as Bedard has since been removed from the starting rotation. Well deserved, if you ask me.
Anyway, through 16 games, BenFran is just 4-31. That would give him a slash line of .129/.270/.226. His five walks are the only thing that make that slash line not the worst in the world, but it’s still by far the worst on the team. He stinks. Plain and simple. Also, he’s even worse against lefties! The right handed bench specialist! He’s actually 1-3 off righties, so his slash line against lefties drops to .107/.265/.214. Brett Gardner, for example, who sat in the first game of the Rockies series because a lefty pitched, is hitting .267/.320/.467 against southpaws with twice as many homers as BenFran. Earth to Joe Girardi. Come in, Joe Girardi.
In case you’re thinking there’s no one who could possibly replace Francisco in the organization, Zoilo Almonte is currently at AAA scranton, boning opposing pitchers to the tune of .292/.392/.443. Although Almonte’s only hitting .240/.355/.280, I’d rather see him come up and hit .200 than Francisco ever in a Yankees uniform ever again. I’d even take Melky Mesa‘s .236/.274/.391 at this point. Can we get Ronnier Mustelier some reps in the outfield now that he’s healthy? Please? Someone please get Thomas Neal healthy, at least. Someone do something!
Shawn Kelley: Seriously… Come On.
I fully believe that Kelley’s still on the roster because Joba Chamberlain is hurt (someone check him for anti-oblique sprays), and can only hope the Yankees brass is waiting for Joba’s oblique to heal before they cut him loose. He’s by far the worst pitcher in the bullpen, and right now there are three rookies in there with him! I’d take Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren or newly recalled Preston Caliborne over Kelley every time. There’s no contest. Kelley has not really improved, and continues to give up runs like it’s going out of style.
His ERA has actually slightly improved, as it’s all the way down to 7.20 now, and he’s managed not to allow a home run since we last chatted about him. I really can’t argue with the 18 Ks in 12.1 innings, but I can argue with pretty much everything else about him, and I will. When you allow 18 base runners and 10 runs in 12.1 innings, you probably shouldn’t be pitching in big league ballgames. I mean seriously. He at least warms up in every game. I understand the Yankees are severely depleted by injuries (remember Robertson was unavailable with a tender hamstring for a while too), but I’d like to express my collective feelings in the following way: Come on, bro. Frankly, I’m not even sure if that sentiment is aimed at Girardi, Cashman, Kelley himself or the Ghost of George Steinbrenner. Frankly… I don’t care anymore. Somebody has to come on here, and they have to come on right now, bro. ANYBODY.
As far as possible replacements go, Caliborne pitched well in his debut, and Warren has shown a little pep of late (if you don’t count the 9-1 loss to the Astros, where he allowed some guys to score after the game was out of hand). Nuno has barely pitched, but that’s pretty much the M.O. with Joe Girardi and young players. Unless they kick his door in and write their names in the lineup themselves, they tend not to get into games. Shawn Kelley is a veteran with experience and the ability to pitch multiple innings, after all. Let’s not rush to decisions and conclusions that might improve the ball club.
Anyway, let’s wait and see what happens when Joba gets back. In my heart, I know Kelley will still be on the 25-man roster when that day comes (seriously, Mariano Rivera needs someone to create save opportunities for him if he’s gonna break the record), but I can dream.
Featured image courtesy of: The Associated Press
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