Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Phil Coke vs. Alfredo Aceves

I posted the best Yankee to make his major league debut in 2008 poll about a week ago, for the express purpose of making it a Phil Coke vs. Alfredo Aceves battle. Brett Gardner, Justin Christian and David Robertson have all seen more action, and if anyone chooses to vote for one of them, that would be fine with me, but Coke and Aceves have looked impressive in very brief debuts. With the Yankees all but eliminated from playoff contention, they should continue to get playing time, so I suspect this poll will come down to the two of them.

Aceves took a huge step forward last night, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits in 7 innings to earn his first major league win, in his first major league start, so I find it interesting that Coke received his second vote last night to pull even with him. Since the game was a late starter on the west coast, I'll cut whomever cast that vote some slack...unless it was Lee, of course.

Coke and Aceves were both born in 1982 (Coke has already turned 26, Aceves will later this year), but they took two completely different routes to reach the major leagues.

Coke was drafted in the 26th round by the Yankees in 2002. He's worked his way through their system since, posting a 26-21 record, 3.61 ERA, and 413 SO to 163 BB in 495 2/3 minor league innings. Until moving up to AAA this season, he was primarily a starting pitcher, but the Yankees have been using him in relief.

Aceves pitched for six seasons in the Mexican League until he was signed by the Yankees this off-season. At three different minor league levels this year, he posted an 8-6 record, 2.62 ERA, and 114 SO to just 27 BB in 140 2/3 minor league innings, primarily as a starter.

After today's brief appearance by Coke, here's how they stack up, with 16 games to go:

Phil Coke - 2 votes (4 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 HLD, 0.00 ERA, 0.23 WHIP)
Alfredo Aceves - 2 votes (14 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP)

I'll wait until the end of the season to cast my vote. This and Mike Mussina's quest for his first 20-win season are pretty much all we Yankees fans have left to be excited about this season.


  1. Update: immediately after posting this, I noticed that Aceves had received another vote this evening to take a 3-2 lead.

  2. Thanks - now that you have piqued my interest, I will have to watch some Yankees' games.

    A Sox Fan

  3. You couldnt tell us some more about Coke could you? V little info out there.