Monday, May 15, 2006

Scott Proctor - Is he for real?

When the Yankees moved Robin Ventura on deadline day back in 2003, the club could never of expected to get much for him. Instead they got two prospect from the Dodgers, Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor, both of whom are on the Yankees 25 man roster. We all know what Bubba is, a decent 4th or 5th OF, nothing more, nothing less, but Proctor has always been the interesting one, a great arm but it just has never come together for him, until now.

The 2006 Proctor has one major difference from the pre-2006 version, he can throw his curveball for a strike, and not just a get over strike, a quality strike. This changes the whole dynamic of an At Bat against the Yankees right hander. You've always had to respect his 96 MPH fastball but now he can get over that curve for a strike, you have to respect that pitch also.

The AB against Manny this week was the perfect example, he threw a bad curve to Manny who turned on it and crushed it foul. Proctor then reared back and blew the fastball past Manny who obviously had to respect the curve meaning he was late swinging on the fastball.

Since his opening outing in Oakland, Proctor has fast become a very important part of the bp. He is the go to guy in the 5th/6th/7th in important spots, he has earned the manager's trust, but with this comes a lot of outings. He has appeared in 17 out of 35 games so far this season and has thrown more pitches than any other reliever so far this season (431). So there is certainly a bit of worry about overuse but who else is there in the bp that Joe could trust?

Got little or no idea why Eriksson came up to replace Sturtze, why not give Veras or Bean a chance? Sturtze looks done and has as much confidence in his pitches as fans do in Jason Giambi successfully stealing a base (and yet he did the other night!) so a trip to the DL is the very least I hoped for with regards to Sturtze. The Yankees do need that second righty who Joe trusts to go to in the 5th/6th/7th to give Proctor some off time.

Scott Proctor is finally turning it around and looking like a good Major League reliever, let's just hope we don't blow his arm out.

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