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enemy Lines
Stephen Canned
August 13, 2001
Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard last week:
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August 13, 2001

Enemy Lines

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Two advance scouts, one from each league, reflect on what they saw and heard last week:

I'd still love to have him on my team, but Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is going backward defensively. He backhands balls he should be getting in front of, and I don't think he's getting the jump on slow rollers that he used to. Maybe the leg he injured in spring training still bothers him, but he's not the player he was last year....

For that matter, neither is Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. His velocity is fine, but he doesn't have the consistent movement he had in the past. His ball has straightened out just enough that he's no longer unhittable....

Righthander Ugueth Urbina's velocity is coming back. I had him at 93 to 95 mph when I saw him right before the Expos traded him to the Red Sox last week. He doesn't have the power he had before surgery [to remove bone chips from his right elbow]; he's more of a finesse guy now. He's throwing sliders and changeups instead of just pounding the fastball....

Indians righthander Dave Burba started 8-2, but he has been terrible lately. The reason: He refuses to pitch inside. He won't run his fastball in on hitters. I think he's afraid of giving up home runs, but he's giving up plenty of them anyway....

Braves righthander John Smoltz [who was moved to the bullpen upon returning on July 22 to Atlanta after his minor league rehab stint] is instantly one of the top three setup guys in the NL. He's throwing around 93 mph, and he has great command and presence. He'll definitely help Atlanta in that role for the rest of the season.