Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Karstens’

Friday Notes

March 28, 2008

Thunder alum Jeff Karstens essentially took himself out of the race for a spot in the Yankees bullpen, and Scott Patterson nearly did as well.  Also, we’ll update you on Jamal Strong.

** Karstens, who’s been shaky this spring, pulled a groin and is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season.  It also complicates things at the Triple-A level…because when he does return, does he join the rotation?

As for Patterson, he was nailed in the back by a line drive, but recovered to come back and pitch another inning.  Patterson has been the story of spring training, but it seems unlikely that he’ll actually make the team out of camp due to his lack of experience.  But if it were based solely on performance, there’s no doubt that they’d be putting his nameplate on top of his locker in Yankee Stadium.

** Also, Jamal Strong, who played for the Thunder last season, has resurfaced with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.  Strong, who has big league time with the Mariners, shuttled back and forth between Trenton and Scranton last year.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Thunder Alums Shine In Intrasquad Game

February 28, 2008

Well, most of them did.  Over at his frequently linked to blog, Pete Abraham’s got the pitching line’s from yesterday’s intrasquad game.

Jeff Karstens, Scott Patterson, Steven Jackson and Edwar Ramirez pitched for “Team Goose,” while Dan McCutchen and Sean Henn laced em’ up for “Team Gator.”  Here are the pitching lines for pitchers from Thunder past.

Team Goose
Karstens: 2 IP,  1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Patterson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Jackson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Ramirez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Team Gator
McCutchen: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Henn: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

So most of the pitchers really stood out for good reasons.  For Sean Henn…well, I guess it’s more of the same.  I wonder if he’s ever recovered from getting the call straight out of Double-A.  In the Yankee clubhouse last season, Henn told me that he felt like he was ready at the time, but didn’t really feel like he’d showed it.

Three years later, and there are still questions about whether he’s a ready for primetime player.

Another thing that may be working against him, at least in the long term, would be the loss of Ron Guidry.  While did pitch on Guidry’s team, Dave Eiland is the pitching coach now, and Henn also told me last year that he credited Guidry with helping him with “certain situations and how to attack guys and what to look for and things like that.” 

Best of 2007: Moment #20

January 4, 2008

Jeff Karstens / Photo by Mike Ashmore (2006)

Moment #20 – Jeff Karstens Rehab Appearance
July 17, 2007
Trenton, NJ

Moment #20 takes us to Waterfront Park in Trenton, where pitcher Jeff Karstens made his one and only rehab appearance with the club against the Binghamton Mets.  While it was overshadowed by Phil Hughes, who had appeared four days earlier and would make his final start one day later, Karstens pitched well, allowing one run on four hits in five innings for the win.

Only a small media contingent showed up to see his latest stop on the comeback trail from a broken leg that derailed one of the more surprising Thunder-related success stories of 2007.

A line drive off the bat of Julio Lugo on April 28th fractured the fibula of the Thunder alum, who spent all of 2005 with the team and part of 2006.  The 19th round pick put up some pretty pedestrian numbers in his first season with the ballclub, going 12-11 with a 4.15 ERA in 169 innings pitched, but established himself as a legitimate prospect in 2006 after a 6-0 run with the Thunder after being sent down from Triple-A Columbus early in the season.

Karstens pitched well in limited action for the Yankees in 2006 after being called up in late August, and entered the 2007 season as a member of the starting rotation in the big leagues after a so-so showing in Spring Training.

But a season that started with so much promise never really got back on track, at least at the big league level, with Karstens allowing 11 earned runs in 10.1 innings in the five games he appeared in after eventually returning from the injury after a few starts in Triple-A Scranton.

But even with a rough first inning and sitting through a brief rain delay, you’d have never predicted Karstens would have faltered after seeing him on that gloomy mid-summer day.

“My body felt good for the most part,” Karstens said at the time.

“I didn’t throw as good as I thought I could, I was kind of off on a few fastballs and changeups, but it got better towards the end.”

Karstens was also impressed with Thunder pitching coach Scott Aldred, who will be returning to the team this year.

“He’s been good, he’s got a lot of insight on a lot of things,” he said.

“All pitching coaches are different, you’ve just got to take certain things from all of them and just go from there.”

Where does Karstens go from his 2007 season?  It would seem highly likely that he’ll be starting the year in Scranton, as so many pitchers seemed to pass him in the organization.  Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez and possibly even Daniel McCutchen all whizzed by Karstens on the depth chart and unless the Yankees think he can help their bullpen, it seems hard to believe that he’ll get a chance as good as the one he had at the start of 2007.

Right now, he’s probably on par with Steven White and Darrell Rasner, although a strong showing in the Baseball World Cup might have buoyed his stock in the organization, if only slightly.

However, considering Tyler Clippard was sent all the way down to Double-A after making his big league debut earlier in ’07, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see Karstens make a cameo in Trenton as well…but if things ever reached that point, the Yankees might be better off following the path they did with Clippard and try to get a quality prospect in return for him.

Needless to say, this is a make or break year — pardon the pun — for Karstens.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com