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Mark Melancon Update

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Saber-Scouting stopped by the Tampa Yankees game yesterday, and brought us a report on Mark Melancon:
[Melancon] proceeded to pitch at 90-93 with some solid movement and deception from his funky delivery. His spike curve was a 78-80 and flashed above-average with some late snap while his change was a 80-81 with late sink and deception and also flashed above-average.
The pre-injury crispness to his command and stuff isn’t back all the way, but that’s just more upside for the kind of talent should move quickly.
Melancon is, of course, one of several pitchers coming back form TJ surgery. Serendipitously, I'm in the middle of Will Carroll's excellent book Saving the Pitcher (it came out back in 2004, but I've always been a little behind the times). Remember a couple weeks ago, when we discussed why Melancon is starting the season in Tampa? Carroll writes that the Yankees possess a secret weapon in the TJ recovery process: head minor league trainer Mark Littlefield. Many other teams have tried to interview Littlefield over the years, and every time the Yanks pay him more money to keep working his magic in Tampa.

When I read that, not only did starting Melancon in Tampa make perfect sense, but I also felt infinitely better about the trade for Humberto Sanchez and the drafting of Andrew Brackman (the Yanks knew they were TJ candidates).