Sunday, May 19, 2013
Melky Cabrera(S), DH: .283/.319/.376, 0.4 bWAR
Jose Bautista(R), RF: .250/.369/.523, 1.3 bWAR
Edwin Encarnacion(R), 1B: .248/.332/.497, 0.7 bWAR
Mark DeRosa(R), 2B: .222/.302/.463, -0.2 bWAR
Brett Lawrie(R), 3B: .191/.256/.345, 0.2 bWAR
Maicer Izturis(S), SS: .218/.242/.331, -0.6 bWAR
Colby Rasmus(L), CF: .233/.306/.414, 0.6 bWAR
Henry Blanco(R), C: .138/.167/.172, -0.5 bWAR
Emilio Bonifacio(S), 2B: .196/.224/.324, -0.6 bWAR
Lineup Total: .233/.297/.403, 1.3 bWAR
The Walking Dead
Curtis Granderson(L), CF: .267/.313/.267, 0.1 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .295/.337/.563, 1.7 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .286/.343/.506, 1.4 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .260/.378/.530, 0.8 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .259/.297/.475, 0.8 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), 3B: .232/.310/.286, 0.2 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .241/.281/.328, 0.2 bWAR
Reid Brignac(L), SS: .250/.294/.375, -0.4 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .182/.217/.273, -0.2 bWAR
Lineup Total: .262/.320/.444, 4.6 bWAR
NEW YORK—Twice this month, the Yankees have traded with the Rockies for a reserve infielder. New York acquired Reid Brignac from Colorado for cash considerations on Saturday, using the same avenue that brought Chris Nelson to the team on May 1.
Nelson has since been designated for assignment, and he was claimed off waivers by the Angels on Saturday. Brignac’s acquisition moved Alberto Gonzalez off the active roster. General manager Brian Cashman said Saturday that Brignac will platoon with Jayson Nix at shortstop and David Adams at third base, giving the Yankees more depth.
“This is just an evaluation of Alberto Gonzalez vs. Reid Brignac,” said Cashman of Saturday’s trade. “We feel we’re upgrading. It’s incrementally, but an upgrade nonetheless.”
Let’s see if CAIRO agrees with Cashman. Here are Brignac’s projections.
Here are Gonzalez’s.
So yes, the Yankees have upgraded offensively from a .272 baseline wOBA with Gonzalez to a .285 baseline wOBA with Brignac. The upgrade is bigger if you assume Brignac will play mostly against RHP and you factor in their respective platoon splits (.283 vs. LHP/.267 vs. RHP for Gonzalez vs. .260/.291 for Brignac). Brignac’s .291 projected wOBA vs. RHP is actually identical to Jayson Nix’s projected wOBA vs. righties, but he’s probably a better defender (projects around +1 per 382 innings at short vs. Nix’s -1 at 224 innings). Gonzalez didn’t project much differently than Brignac defensively. Joe Girardi also noted that Brignac is a fly ball hitter and may be able to take advantage of playing in a disgraceful bandbox. Not necessarily his exact phrasing, but something along those lines.
So you have a lefty bat who can play SS, 2B and 3B reasonably well defensively.
With the way this season is playing out, seeking out every marginal upgrade no matter how insignificant it may seem makes sense. The Yankees’ depth is being tested heavily so adding to it whenever the opportunity presents itself is logical, especially when the cost is minimal.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Every day, the spotlight that follows the Yankees seems to be trained on the players who aren’t with the team. But that changed Saturday, when Robinson Cano, the lone regular in an infield decimated by injuries, hit two home runs to lead New York to a 7-2 win over Toronto.
Cano, the only Yankees hitter this season to have a multihomer game, went deep twice off Toronto starter Brandon Morrow, accounting for four of New York’s seven runs. Cano, a quarter of the way into the season, leads the Yankees in batting average (.295), home runs (12) and RBIs (31).
And while that production may not be surprising, the circumstances might qualify as a shock. Established stars like Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have yet to play a game this season, but Cano is batting .362 (34-for-94) with seven home runs as New York’s No. 2 hitter.
Cano continues to put up an MVP-caliber season.
David Phelps, meanwhile, is showing that he is so much more suitable to a starting role than as a situational reliever. He pitched really well after needing a miraculous pick-off at second base to get out of a rough first inning.
Trafis Hafner returned to the lineup and hit a homer run off of a lefty! Hafner’s production against lefties this year is really impressive.
With R.A. Dickey pitching a little bit better as of late, this was a big win to guarantee a series victory. Let’s hope Ace C.C. shows up tomorrow!
Melky Cabrera(S), LF: .284/.320/.373, 0.4 bWAR
Jose Bautista(R), RF: .254/.366/.532, 1.1 bWAR
Edwin Encarnacion(R), DH: .247/.328/.481, 0.6 bWAR
J.P. Arencibia(R), C: .230/.245/.480, 0.4 bWAR
Adam Lind(L), 1B: .275/.398/.450, 0.2 bWAR
Brett Lawrie(R), 3B: .198/.265/.358, 0.3 bWAR
Colby Rasmus(L), CF: .233/.308/.419, 0.5 bWAR
Maicer Izturis(S), SS: .217/.242/.333, -0.7 bWAR
Emilio Bonifacio(S), 2B: .194/.223/.327, -0.6 bWAR
Lineup Total: .239/.302/.421, 2.2 bWAR
The Walking Dead
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .261/.333/.398, 1.1 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .291/.333/.529, 1.4 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .287/.345/.513, 1.4 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .260/.383/.510, 0.7 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .259/.299/.481, 0.7 bWAR
Curtis Granderson(L), RF: .364/.417/.364, 0.2 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .231/.312/.287, 0.2 bWAR
David Adams(R), 3B: .364/.417/.545, 0.2 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .158/.200/.263, -0.2 bWAR
Lineup Total: .268/.332/.454, 5.7 bWAR
The Yankees of 2013 were expected to be an old story, not one rehashed and retold, but one with wrinkles, one that prompted observers to count the rings in the trunk and gray hairs on their heads. Aged to perfection was 2009. This season was merely about age, too much of it. The Yankees were the appropriate age to fall and not get up and to finish among the also-rans in the American League. And when injury visited them and then became guilty of felony piling on, the adjusted assessments were for an even more bleak season.
At the same time, the Blue Jays of 2013 were expected to move north in the standings, one year after the fall of the Red Sox and simultaneous with the decline of the octogenarians in the Bronx.
Now, 42 games into their seasons, the Yankees are in first place in the AL East, the Jays are in last, nine games back. And the status of each is due, in large part, to the Yankees’ dominance of the team from Canada.
The Yankees had their way with the Jays again Friday night. Their 5-0 victory was their seventh win in eight games against John Gibbons’ disappointing team. This one was a byproduct of wonderful pitching by 38-year-old Hiroki Kuroda and the exploits of a couple of kids who have yet to earn their (pin)stripes.
Damn, that was some purple prose right there from Marty Noble.
Hiroki Kuroda was once again dominant as he continues to make a strong case for his first All-Star Game appearance.
The offense was fascinating tonight with 4-5-6 doing nothing and yet the team still scoring five runs. Austin Romine looks a lot more comfortable at the plate. Perhaps being handed the starting job has calmed his nerves a bit? David Adams, meanwhile, looks like a legit big league hitter. When everyone gets back, he’ll obviously have to go back down to the Minors, but boy, he looks like he won’t make it an easy decision.
Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte is going to the disabled list. It sounds more like the Yankees just being extra careful with such an older player. Pettitte likely was going to miss his next start no matter what, and Cashman figures why go with one less bullpen pitcher than normal when they can just call up Vidal Nuno and keep things the same in the pen and make sure Pettitte is healthy. I think it is a smart plan. Surprisingly, though, the Yankees are playing it risky with Chris Stewart, choosing to instead just give him a couple of days off and hope he gets better. The issue with Stewart, of course, is that if he went to the DL, the Yankees would have to make a 40-man move and I guess they are not interested in doing so at the moment. Stewart apparently is even technically available if Romine were to get hurt. Alberto Gonzalez is the emergency catcher.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Melky Cabrera(S), LF: .279/.316/.364, 0.2 bWAR
Jose Bautista(R), RF: .262/.376/.549, 1.3 bWAR
Edwin Encarnacion(R), 1B: .240/.324/.474, 0.5 bWAR
J.P. Arencibia(R), C: .236/.252/.493, 0.6 bWAR
Adam Lind(L), DH: .286/.411/.468, 0.3 bWAR
Brett Lawrie(R), 3B: .204/.272/.369, 0.4 bWAR
Colby Rasmus(L), CF: .238/.314/.429, 0.5 bWAR
Emilio Bonifacio(S), 2B: .200/.230/.337, -0.5 bWAR
Munenori Kawasaki(L), SS: .235/.337/.279, 0.4 bWAR
Lineup Total: .244/.314/.427, 3.7 bWAR
The Walking Dead
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .253/.324/.380, 0.8 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .231/.306/.287, 0.3 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .298/.341/.542, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .295/.354/.527, 1.5 bWAR
Ben Francisco(R), DH: .125/.239/.200, -0.3 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .260/.300/.489, 0.7 bWAR
David Adams(R), 3B: .286/.375/.429, 0.1 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .239/.280/.328, 0.2 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .063/.118/.125, -0.3 bWAR
Lineup Total: .256/.313/.419, 4.5 bWAR
NEW YORK—Yankees catcher Chris Stewart could be heading for the disabled list after injuring his left groin running the bases in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Mariners.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Stewart was sent for an MRI after he had some trouble reaching third base on Robinson Cano’s run-scoring infield single in the seventh inning.
Stewart was seen by Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue after reaching the bag and stayed in the game for one more batter, but he was replaced by Austin Romine behind the plate when the eighth inning started.
“When he went around the base and stopped, he said he felt something,” Girardi said. “He said it didn’t pop. He said he was OK, but when we saw him run, he said it continued to hurt.”
It just doesn’t stop, does it?
Obviously the Yankees would have to make a 40 man roster move to get another catcher on the roster. That probably means the end of Ben Francisco’s reign of terror, most likely for Bobby Wilson. J.R. Murphy’s the only other possible option but if this is a temporary thing it doesn’t make sense to put him on the 40 man roster yet since the Yankees are already going to have a heap of problems getting their six players on the 60 day DL onto the roster at some point.
Add Wilson, give Austin Romine a legitimate chance to play 75% of the games, DFA Francisco, and then you can DFA Wilson when Stewart is back.
It was the grimace on Andy Pettitte’s face that set off alarm bells up and down the Yankees’ bench in the fifth inning on Thursday, the veteran lefty stiffly pacing around the mound after throwing a 77-mph slider past Kyle Seager’s bat.
Pettitte shielded his mouth with his glove, trying to plead his case for staying in the game, but he has been around long enough to know how this usually works. Pettitte lost his battle, and the Yankees did, too, suffering a 3-2 loss to the Mariners.
“Obviously, I’m realistic,” Pettitte said. “I know how these guys are. I asked them if I could stay out there and try to get through it out there. I’m hoping it’s a spasm and it settles down.”
The Yankees announced that Pettitte had a tight left trapezius muscle (neck, shoulders and upper back), and manager Joe Girardi—no stranger to injury updates in a season that has already been filled by them—is hopeful that Pettitte will not have to miss his next start.
Perhaps I’m just hopelessly naive, but I really do think that Pettitte’s injury is not bad enough for him to miss time. I was already working through scenarios for who would get Pettitte’s next start when I realized that, yeah, odds are Andy will be okay. The problem is that Chris Stewart, however, will likely not be okay. Stewart injured his groin and while it does not look like a major injury, it looks bad enough that they’ll probably need to put him on the disabled list since he’ll likely miss at least a week and you can’t very well have Austin Romine start every game without a back-up, so the Yanks will likely need to put Stewart on the DL and call up Bobby Wilson (who was himself a late scratch in tonight’s game, so he might not even be available). That means another 40-man move. I have no idea who it will be. Could Ben Francisco’s luck finally be out?
As for tonight’s game, it was a terribly frustrating loss. Jayson Nix came up twice in big spots and failed to get the job done either time. It kills me that the Yankees’ bench is so weak right now due to injuries that there was not even anyone for them to pinch-hit for Nix in the ninth with the tying run just a sac fly away.
The bullpen was good again, though. That’s something!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Michael Saunders(L), CF: .278/.359/.506, 1 bWAR
Jason Bay(R), LF: .241/.344/.430, 0.6 bWAR
Kyle Seager(L), 3B: .286/.355/.483, 1.3 bWAR
Kendrys Morales(S), 1B: .266/.354/.417, 0.6 bWAR
Mike Morse(R), RF: .252/.313/.481, -0.2 bWAR
Raul Ibanez(L), DH: .224/.272/.526, -0.4 bWAR
Jesus Montero(R), C: .211/.258/.344, -0.2 bWAR
Dustin Ackley(L), 2B: .234/.291/.282, 0.5 bWAR
Brendan Ryan(R), SS: .133/.202/.133, -0.4 bWAR
Lineup Total: .241/.311/.403, 2.8 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .255/.327/.386, 0.7 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .243/.319/.301, 0.3 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .301/.345/.552, 1.6 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), LF: .301/.357/.538, 1.4 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .266/.301/.500, 0.5 bWAR
Curtis Granderson(L), DH: .143/.250/.143, 0.1 bWAR
David Adams(R), 3B: .250/.250/.250, 0 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .238/.281/.331, 0.2 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .258/.292/.394, 0.5 bWAR
Lineup Total: .268/.320/.437, 5.3 bWAR
Aaron Harang was originally supposed to start but now it looks like it’ll be former Yankee Hector Noesi toeing the rubber.
I had a big long intro typed up then Phil Hughes came over and unplugged my computer so I’ll just say I hope the Yankees win but I think they will lose because their actual record is still too good for their Pythagenpat record and they are not done correcting yet.
You can click on the title to see the list of all 222 games by a starter who didn’t last one inning and gave up at least seven runs, but here is the list of Yankees who have achieved this memorable feat.
|1||Phil Hughes||5/15/2013||NYY||SEA||L 2-12||GS-1 L||0.2||6||7||7||2||0||1|
|2||Bartolo Colon||7/14/2011||NYY||TOR||L 7-16||GS-1 L||0.2||6||8||3||2||0||0|
|3||Mike Mussina||5/20/2008||NYY||BAL||L 2-12||GS-1 L||0.2||5||7||1||2||1||0|
|4||Orlando Hernandez||6/18/2000||NYY||CHW||L 4-17||GS-1 L||0.2||6||9||9||3||1||1|
|5||Wade Taylor||6/14/1991||NYY||TEX||L 4-8||GS-1 L||0.2||4||7||7||2||0||1|
|6||Andy Hawkins||9/26/1989||NYY||BOS||L 5-9||GS-1 L||0.1||5||8||8||3||0||0|
|7||Tommy John||7/11/1979||NYY||SEA||L 1-16||GS-1 L||0.1||6||7||7||1||1||0|
|8||Ken Holtzman||7/20/1976||NYY||CHW||W 14-9||GS-1||0.1||5||7||6||2||0||1|
|9||Steve Kline||7/24/1970||NYY||OAK||L 0-11||GS-1 L||0.2||4||7||7||3||1||0|
|10||Vic Raschi||7/25/1953||NYY||DET||W 15-11||GS-1||0.2||5||7||7||2||0||0|
|11||Atley Donald||1945-05-20 (1)||NYY||SLB||L 1-10||0.2||5||7||5||2||1||0|
|12||Bump Hadley||8/18/1936||NYY||WSH||L 2-9||0.1||2||7||5||4||1||0|
|13||Roy Sherid||1931-05-25 (2)||NYY||PHA||L 4-16||0.2||3||7||7||3||0||0|
|14||Allen Russell||1919-07-05 (2)||NYY||WSH||L 5-11||0.2||6||8||3||0||0||1|
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
NEW YORK—Raul Ibanez definitely hasn’t forgotten how friendly Yankee Stadium’s dimensions can be.
Last year’s postseason hero belted a grand slam into the right-field bullpen and then served an opposite-field two-run homer over the left-field wall, leading the Mariners to a 12-2 trouncing of the Yankees in the Bronx on Wednesday.
The early portion of the display came at the expense of former teammate Phil Hughes, who was battered for a season-high seven runs and could not make it out of the first inning.
Seattle sent 11 men to the plate in the first inning, 10 of them against Hughes, who allowed six hits and two walks in a 17-minute appearance before being removed from the shortest start of his big league career.
There have been just seven other starters in Yankees history to complete two-thirds of an inning or less while allowing seven or more runs; Orlando Hernandez was the most recent, permitting nine runs in two-thirds of an inning on June 18, 2000, against the White Sox.
So, about that Hughes extension…
It normally takes Seattle a week to score 12 runs.
Michael Saunders(L), CF: .267/.345/.480, 1 bWAR
Dustin Ackley(L), 2B: .231/.273/.281, 0.5 bWAR
Kyle Seager(L), 3B: .280/.348/.462, 1.3 bWAR
Kendrys Morales(S), DH: .261/.353/.418, 0.6 bWAR
Mike Morse(R), RF: .244/.303/.481, -0.2 bWAR
Justin Smoak(S), 1B: .235/.355/.311, 0.2 bWAR
Raul Ibanez(L), LF: .211/.263/.451, -0.4 bWAR
Jesus Montero(R), DH: .200/.250/.341, -0.2 bWAR
Brendan Ryan(R), SS: .129/.202/.129, -0.4 bWAR
Lineup Total: .234/.307/.378, 2.4 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .253/.327/.387, 0.7 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .306/.351/.563, 1.6 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), DH: .300/.353/.521, 1.4 bWAR
Curtis Granderson(L), LF: .000/.250/.000, 0.1 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .256/.293/.488, 0.5 bWAR
David Adams(R), 3B: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .246/.289/.341, 0.2 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .258/.294/.355, 0.5 bWAR
Alberto Gonzalez(R), SS: .241/.281/.379, 0.1 bWAR
Lineup Total: .270/.321/.450, 5.1 bWAR
Congratulations to David Adams on making his MLB debut. It’s too bad he’s going to be part of a losing effort, but I’m sure it’s cool for him anyway.
If you thought last night’s game was as epic of a mismatch as you could possibly have, I’ve got some bad news for you. While Iwakuma’s ERA of 1.74 is a smidgen higher than Felix Hernandez’s ERA of 1.53, the gap between Hughes and Iwakuma (2.79) dwarfs the gap between Hernandez and Sabathia from last night (1.7) and we saw how that turned out. Fortunately I turned off last night’s game with the Yankees trailing 3-1 and didn’t have to see the end of it. I’m guessing I won’t have to wait more than an inning or two to do the same tonight.
There is some good news despite all this doom and gloom though. Is if you were to triple Iwakuma’s ERA, it’d be higher Hughes’s. Or I suppose you could divide Hughes’s ERA by 3 and it would be better than Iwakuma’s. I think that means that if you put Hughes on Jupiter and put Iwakuma on Pluto, Hughes would have a lower ERA.
The problem is it would take years to move the teams to the other planet between innings. Well, technically Pluto is no longer considered a real planet, more of a dwarf planet. Also, the current distance between Jupiter and Pluto is 30.2374 au which is roughly equivalent to 2,810,741,928 miles. That means it would take something like 6625 days on a space shuttle to go from one to the other.
So basically, unless you have 381 years to kill, there’s no way to make Hughes look better than Iwakuma.
I’m really not sure why the Yankees haven’t forfeited yet.
David Adams Officially Called Up
According to Josh Norris, the beat writer for the Yankees’ Triple A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, David Adams has been officially called up for tonight’s game.
David Adams has been officially called up.
That’s what we know for sure (if you trust Norris, that is, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t). The rumors going around are that Adams might actually start tonight at third base and that it is Chris Nelson, not Ben Francisco, that will be DFAed to make room for Adams. I can only presume that the Yankees feel that Francisco’s ties to the community are just too strong to let him go just yet.
Congrats to Adams! I can’t wait to see what he can do. As Jon Heyman notes, it is interesting that his Major League debut comes against Seattle, who he would have been traded to back in 2010 had he not gotten hurt.
It’s the day before a foul tip off the bat of Rajai Davis will fracture Francisco Cervelli’s hand, and the Yankees’ still-intact starting catcher is in excellent spirits. After spending almost all of 2012 in the minors, he’s happy to be back in the Yankees clubhouse. He’s also happy to be off to a good start with the bat, a start that’s about to get better; in a few hours, he’ll take Mark Buehrle deep for his third home run of the season. But how Cervelli hits is secondary, even to Cervelli.
“I’ve been focused on my defense, and that’s it,” Cervelli says. “And I’m going to keep doing that no matter what happens with my bat.”
A lot of eyebrows, and maybe a few middle fingers, were raised over the winter, when the Yankees — the team with the catching legacy of Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson, and Posada, not to mention the $200 million–plus payroll — entrusted their catching duties to Cervelli and backup catcher Chris Stewart, a duo that entered the season with a combined .249/.315/.332 line in the big leagues. In the past, the Yankees would have dipped into the free-agent market and signed someone with a bigger bat and a bigger name — A.J. Pierzynski, perhaps, who was coming off a 27-homer season, or another offense-first option like Mike Napoli, who signed with the rival Red Sox. Both players agreed to one-year contracts, so they wouldn’t have hampered the Yankees’ goal of getting under the $189 million luxury tax threshold for 2014.1
Instead, they stuck with two players who are earning barely more than the major league minimum. And they’ll probably be better off. Cervelli and Stewart can do more to help the Yankees win with a subtle shift of the glove than Mariano Rivera can with his cutter, than Brett Gardner can in the outfield, than Ichiro can with his arm and his base-running ability combined. They have an ability that not only doesn’t show up in the box score but doesn’t show up in advanced stats like UZR and WAR. Baseball teams have always known it existed, but they haven’t known what it was worth until now. And one need only look at the lineup card to see how valuable the Yankees believe it is.
“They’re both exceptional defenders,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said of Cervelli and Stewart in a recent interview with Mike Ferrin on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio. “Tremendous pitch framers. We’re big into that.”
Perhaps the Yankees are smarter than some of us give them credit for?
H/T to his highness King Jon.
NEW YORK—The Yankees got Curtis Granderson back in the lineup on Tuesday, but they may have a developing injury situation with another veteran. Travis Hafner got the day off due to pain in his right shoulder, but an MRI exam came back clean, alleviating the team’s concern.
Hafner, who also received a cortisone injection to help manage the inflammation, said after the Yankees’ 4-3 victory over Seattle that he initially injured the shoulder when he was hit by a pitch and that the pain has lingered for the last few weeks.
“It’s good; it just showed some inflammation in the shoulder,” said Hafner of the MRI. “I got an injection in it and hopefully that clears it up. It should be good to go in a couple days.”
Good news, for now at least.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
NEW YORK—The Yankees are deeper than they were on Monday, and they haven’t lost any of their trademark resilience. New York welcomed Curtis Granderson back to the fold against Seattle on Tuesday, and then it employed a patient wait-and-see approach against Felix Hernandez.
The Yankees couldn’t solve Seattle’s ace—a common cause celebre among American League teams—but they took advantage of his early exit. Hernandez left with a two-run lead after six innings, and the Yankees used a key seventh-inning rally to earn a 4-3 victory over the Mariners.
Remember how annoying it was last year when the Orioles were winning all those one run games?
Michael Saunders(L), CF: .286/.366/.514, 1.1 bWAR
Jason Bay(R), LF: .253/.360/.453, 0.7 bWAR
Kyle Seager(L), 3B: .283/.353/.464, 1.4 bWAR
DH 1B: .262/.351/.415, 0.6 bWAR
Mike Morse(R), RF: .230/.292/.468, -0.2 bWAR
Kelly Shoppach(R), C: .264/.371/.472, 0.4 bWAR
The Shockmaster™(L), DH: .194/.250/.403, -0.6 bWAR
Robert Andino(R), 2B: .159/.221/.206, -0.5 bWAR
Brendan Ryan(R), SS: .122/.198/.122, -0.3 bWAR
Lineup Total: .234/.313/.400, 2.6 bWAR
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .252/.323/.388, 0.9 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .299/.341/.554, 1.5 bWAR
Vernon Wells(R), DH: .299/.349/.526, 1.4 bWAR
Curtis Granderson(L), LF: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Lyle Overbay(L), 1B: .252/.292/.480, 0.6 bWAR
Jayson Nix(R), SS: .253/.324/.313, 0.3 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), RF: .254/.298/.352, 0.4 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .224/.260/.296, -0.7 bWAR
Austin Romine(R), C: .100/.182/.200, -0.1 bWAR
Lineup Total: .263/.314/.426, 4.3 bWAR
Yay, Grandy’s back! Boo, where’s Hafner? Isn’t the point of adding players back to run a better lineup out there?
Anyway, this will be the first time that CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez have matched up. What should we be looking for in this battle of former Cy Young award winners? Let’s look at the cold hard facts.
- Hernandez has thrown 58.2 innings this year, Sabathia has thrown 53. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed 45 hits this year, Sabathia has allowed 51. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed 12 runs this year, Sabathia has allowed 21. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has allowed three home runs this year, Sabathia has allowed seven. Hell, CC allowed three home runs in ONE GAME. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has walked eight batters, this year, Sabathia has walked 13. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez has struck out 56 batters, this year. Sabathia has struck out 44. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez’s ERA+ this year is 244. Sabathia’s is 127. Advantage, Seattle.
- Hernandez’s average fastball this year has been 91.1 mph. Sabathia’s has been 89.9 mph. Advantage, Seattle.
- Over his last five starts Hernandez has pitched 38 innings and allowed four runs (three earned). Over his last five starts, Sabathia has pitched 33 innings and allowed 15 runs (14 earned). Advantage, Seattle.
- Opposing batters have hit .213/.240/.336 against Hernandez so far this year and .254/.300/.398 against Sabathia. Advantage, Seattle.
- The Yankees have won two of the last nine games Hernandez has started against them. Advantage, Seattle.
I count 11 advantages for Seattle and a big fat none for the Yankees.
You don’t have to be a math major or a stat dork to make sense of this litany of numbers. There is no conceivable way the Yankees can win this game.
How Should the Yankees’ Outfield Be Configured Going Forward?
With the news that Curtis Granderson is likely to be activated tonight, the Yankees find themselves with a suddenly crowded outfield picture. These things generally have a way of working themselves out, but let’s take a look at the various ways the Yankees could deploy their outfield for maximum benefit.
The first thing to look at are the projections for everyone for the rest of 2013. Since I haven’t run CAIRO to include 2013 yet and we have close to one-quarter of the season of additional data I’ll just use the ZiPS rest of the season projections available at Fangraphs for this.
First off, here are the overall projections for the six outfielders on the 40 man roster who have seen or will see the bulk of the playing time for the Yankees this year barring more injuries.
I should note that the fielding is based on primary position played over the time that is included in the projection and it doesn’t account for position changes. I should also note that it’s based only on UZR and may not give a completely accurate picture of the defensive ability of these players. That being said, we can assume that Curtis Granderson would project better defensively in an OF corner than Vernon Wells and we can assume that Brett Gardner would project a bit worse as a primary CF. So consider it more of a rough proxy for defensive ability and less a hard and fast number to use.
If you were to go strictly by these numbers, the player that should lose the most playing time of the four primary starting outfield candidates is Ichiro. Vernon Wells’s solid start has made his projection pretty respectable, albeit with a bit less OBP than you’d like to see.
Of course, we also need to consider the platoon advantage. Here’s the same list sorted by projected wOBA vs. LHP.
This is purely looking at offense. RAA/150 PA is runs above the league average wOBA of .314 in 150 PA. That’s for all players, not just outfielders.
It’s hard to justify Ben Francisco’s spot on the roster when he’s not a better platoon option than Granderson or Gardner, particularly since his defense is not likely any better. Although the Yankees don’t need to clear a 40 man roster spot to activate Granderson, I’d assume Francisco is the most likely candidate to go. Clearing the 40 man roster spot would also clear the way for an eventual call up of David Adams in a couple of days, presumably with one of the extra arms in the bullpen sent down.
Let’s look at the platoon splits for wOBA vs. RHP, using 250 PA instead.
It doesn’t look good here for Ichiro either.
If were to look strictly at offense using these projections, Wells and Granderson should play the most going forward. Of course, we shouldn’t just look strictly at offense which means Gardner should not lose much playing time either. So the primary outfield going forward should probably be Wellsy in LF, Gardy in CF and Grandy in RF. Actually, it may be better to have Grandy in LF and Verny in RF but Verny has only played 28 games in RF in his career and may not be comfortable there.
Ichiro can play all three spots and can be used to spell all three. Since Kevin Youkilis is likely done for the year., the Yankees can also DH Wells against LHP and use Ichiro in the OF if they want to shore up the defense and give Travis Hafner some much-needed rest.
The Yankees have gotten 492 PA out of their outfield in 38 games which means they should have about 1600 over the rest of the season. I think they’ll figure out a way to get everyone at least 300 PA, with the ones who perform better earning more.
Curtis Granderson “On The Way Back to NY”
Late late night, Curtis Granderson tweeted the following:
Just finished 5 games with @swbrailriders now in the car on the way back to NY #RoadToRecovery
Is it possible that Granderson is coming to New York for some other reason (like a medical check-up)? Sure, it’s possible, but it sure seems much more likely that Granderson is, indeed, back to the Yankees just in time to join the team against Felix Hernandez Tuesday night. Some welcome home present! At least King Felix is a righty! Imagine if Granderson’s first game back was against a tough lefty? Welcome back, Grandy, you were missed!
Monday, May 13, 2013
CLEVELAND—The Yankees’ pantheon of starting pitchers is chock full of legends such as Whitey Ford, Roger Clemens and Ron Guidry.
At this juncture, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno aren’t legends. For the time being, though, their Yankees teammates should treat them as such.
The fill-in starters provided New York with quality efforts to help the battered, bruised and worn—yet surging—Yankees to a split of Monday’s doubleheader in Cleveland. Nuno delivered five stellar innings to guide the Yankees to a 7-0 win in the second tilt after New York dropped the opener, 1-0, despite 6 2/3 effective frames from Phelps.
I’m very happy with a split of the doubleheader, especially coming off an already successful road trip. And really, the Yankees swept this doubleheader Pythagoreanally which is the more important consideration.
David Phelps deserved better in the first game, but he continues to make his case for a permanent spot in the rotation. Vidal Nuno was effective for five scoreless innings, which I’m sure wasn’t easy given the fact that he hasn’t seem game action in weeks.
Adam Warren was also outstanding to close out the second game, and he’s been a revelation so far in the pen.
It was also cool to see Corban Joseph get his first MLB hit. Joseph looked pretty good defensively at 1B in the first game. Not quite so good at 2B in the second.
A 6-2 road trip with the roster this team has right now is amazing. I keep waiting for the bubble to burst, but I hope I keep waiting.
Brett Gardner(L), CF: .259/.329/.403, 0.8 bWAR
Ichiro Suzuki(L), LF: .263/.307/.364, 0.4 bWAR
Robinson Cano(L), 2B: .311/.354/.581, 1.7 bWAR
Travis Hafner(L), DH: .269/.387/.527, 0.8 bWAR
Brennan Boesch(L), RF: .205/.244/.436, -0.3 bWAR
Chris Nelson(R), 3B: .221/.257/.295, -0.6 bWAR
Corban Joseph(L), 1B: .000/.000/.000, 0 bWAR
Chris Stewart(R), C: .254/.292/.356, 0.5 bWAR
Alberto Gonzalez(R), SS: .217/.269/.391, 0 bWAR
Lineup Total: .262/.320/.433, 3.3 bWAR
Michael Bourn(L), CF: .304/.350/.518, 0.7 bWAR
Jason Kipnis(L), 2B: .224/.287/.414, 0.3 bWAR
Asdrubal Cabrera(S), SS: .238/.304/.429, 0.3 bWAR
Nick Swisher(S), 1B: .265/.370/.479, 1.2 bWAR
Jason Giambi(L), DH: .225/.304/.450, 0 bWAR
Carlos Santana(S), C: .336/.437/.626, 1.5 bWAR
Mark Reynolds(R), 3B: .291/.372/.624, 0.9 bWAR
Michael Brantley(L), LF: .306/.365/.388, 0.8 bWAR
Drew Stubbs(R), RF: .250/.296/.362, 0.6 bWAR
Lineup Total: .272/.346/.473, 6.3 bWAR
It would have been nice to have played these games when Cleveland stunk instead of when they are the hottest team in baseball, but them’s the breaks.
I’m hoping for a split, but I’m expecting Cleveland to sweep.
Game 2 Link:
NYY:Vidal Nuno (25, LHP, 0-0, 0.00) vs. CLE:Trevor Bauer (22, RHP, 1-1, 2.70)