Friday, July 15, 2016
1. Mookie Betts (R) RF (.304/.344/.525, 4.1 bWAR)
2. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B (.304/.368/.438, 2.9 bWAR)
3. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS (.329/.388/.475, 2.9 bWAR)
4. David Ortiz (L) DH (.332/.426/.682, 3.6 bWAR)
5. Hanley Ramirez (R) 1B (.288/.367/.435, 1.3 bWAR)
6. Jackie Bradley (L) CF (.296/.378/.548, 3.8 bWAR)
7. Travis Shaw (L) 3B (.269/.332/.456, 2.1 bWAR)
8. Brock Holt (L) LF (.258/.327/.402, 0.5 bWAR)
9. Ryan Hanigan (R) C (.189/.250/.230, -0.4 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.298/.366/.492, 20.8 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.257/.353/.355, 1.8 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.279/.338/.398, 2.1 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.299/.338/.550, 1.2 bWAR)
4. Brian McCann (L) C (.248/.347/.462, 1.2 bWAR)
5. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B (.193/.272/.317, -0.5 bWAR)
6. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.220/.260/.382, -0.6 bWAR)
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.298/.328/.468, 1.5 bWAR)
8. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.256/.293/.395, 0.2 bWAR)
9. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.255/.329/.378, 1.6 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.260/.321/.415, 8.5 bWAR)
With second half starting, it’s not hard to think up a list of Yankees concerns and questions—most leading back to the ‘buy or sell?’ question that’s engulfed baseball’s most famous organization for the first time in years.
Here’s a wrinkle to add to it, and it could have a major impact on how the Yankees proceed: The second half schedule is brutal. How tough? ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked it the toughest second-half schedule in the sport:
Well, that can’t be good, can it?
Home/road: 41 of their last 74 games are at home.
This is good news. The Yankees have hit .252/.323/.423 at home vs. .251/.304/.377 on the road. They’ve also pitched better at home, with a 4.29 ERA at home and 4.61 ERA on the road.
Games left against teams over .500: 58
This is good news. The Yankees are 24-30 against teams that are .500 or better, compared to 20-14 against teams that are below .500. Wait, I guess that makes this the opposite of good news, aka bad news.
The Yankees schedule coming out of the break has a pretty good chance to make or break their season. They are at home with three against Boston starting tonight, followed by four against Baltimore and three against San Francisco. At that point they’ll have 64 games left in the season. If they go 5-5, they’ll have to win 37 of those games to get to the 86 wins that it took the Astros to qualify for the second wild card last season. 86 wins may not be enough this year, but it would likely be enough to keep them from selling.
Is it bad form to root for the Yankees to lose the next 10 games?
Thursday, July 14, 2016
NEW YORK—As they head into the second half of the 2016 season, the New York Yankees are the definition of mediocrity with a 44-44 record. They face a daunting task to make the playoffs, sitting in fourth place in the AL East, 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles and needing to leapfrog a half-dozen teams to qualify for the second wild-card berth.
And yet, there is a division within the inner ranks of the organization as to whether the team should be buyers or sellers at the upcoming non-waiver trade deadline.
According to a baseball source who spoke to ESPN on condition of anonymity, the opposing factions are composed of the baseball operations people, led by general manager Brian Cashman, who believe the team should sell off its assets and plan for the future, and the business side, which is led by owner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine, who hold to the belief that the club is still in contention.
According to the source, the baseball people would be willing to trade the core of the team, players such as closer Aroldis Chapman, first baseman Mark Teixeira, starting pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova, and right fielder Carlos Beltran, who has been the team’s best hitter all season and its only position player to make the All-Star team.
Chapman, Teixeira, Beltran and Nova will be free agents after the season; Eovaldi is arbitration-eligible this winter and will be a free agent in 2018.
The source also said the Yankees would like to move center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and catcher Brian McCann, a much more difficult proposition because of their contracts. Ellsbury is signed through 2020 at $21 million per year, with a club option for 2021 that includes a $5 million buyout, and McCann is signed through 2018 at $17 million a year. The Yankees are also said to be “willing to listen’’ on setup man Andrew Miller, who had an excellent first half and accompanied Beltran and reliever Dellin Betances to San Diego for the All-Star Game.
As rygel said in the last post, if the owner thinks the team shouldn’t sell, then they probably won’t be selling.
Question. If you could remove a single contract from the Yankees, which one would it be? It would have to be Ellsbury, wouldn’t it?
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
SAN DIEGO — Call it the must-win homestand for the Yankees.
Should the Yankees be buyers or sellers? That’s the question that ended the first half for the team and answers should come quickly as the Yankees open up at home after the All-Star break with 10 games, three against the Red Sox, four against the Orioles and three more against the Giants.
There is one way to become a buyer: Win games. And start on this homestand.
“We do need to start playing well, .500 is not going to cut it anymore,” Yankees All-Star reliever Andrew Miller told The Post before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Petco Park.
“It’s really good teams we play this homestand,” Miller said. “We’ve played well against some really good teams and what we just did in Cleveland [winning three of four] was certainly a testament to that. We know the challenges ahead of us and it will be more rewarding if we beat teams like that.”
The biggest problem for the fourth-place Yankees has been in their own division with the three teams ahead of them in the AL East — the Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Against those three teams, the Yankees are 6-15.
Log 5 using year to date winning percentages and accounting for home field says the Yankees should go something like 4.5-5.5 on this home stand. Using Fangraphs’ rest of the year projections instead says 4.8-5.2. If they go 5-5, then they’ll be sitting at 49-49 and would have to win 37 of their last 54 to get to the 86 wins it took the Astros to qualify for the second wild card, which may not even be enough this year. And even though 5.5 games back of the second wild card doesn’t seem insurmountable in a vacuum, it is a lot harder when you have to get past six other teams.
You can’t predict baseball, but I’d be surprised if the Yankees even managed to pull off 5-5 here.
But you never know.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
2016 Yankees Actual vs. Projections at the All Star Break
As requested yesterday.
PA: YTD plate appearances
proj_avg/obp/slg Pre-season CAIRO projected average, on-base average and slugging percentage
proj_BR: Pre-season CAIRO projected linear weights batting runs adjusted for PA
act_avg/obp/slg: YTD average, on-base average and slugging percentage
act_BR: YTD BR
delta_BR: act_BR minus proj_BR (positive means exceeding projection, negative means below projection)
I ignored the players who didn’t accure at least 20 plate appearances here since they don’t really change anything.
Nothing that you really needed a chart to see. Beltran and Gregorius have been great, McCann, Ellsbury and Romine have been better than projected. Ackley, Rodriguez, Hicks and Teixiera have stunk. Everyone else is reasonably close to where they were projected to.
The main takeaway here for me is that the offense has essentially done what they were projected to do, although I guess you can’t project playing time. But this didn’t project to be a good offensive team coming into the year and they haven’t been. And they probably won’t be over the remainder of the season either.
But they’ll keep pretending they’re a contender, of that I’m certain.
Think the Yankees are having second thoughts on being outbid by the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada?
The 21-year-old Cuban infielder, who signed with the Sox for $31.5 million in March of 2015, is living up to the hype as a hugely touted prospect, and adding to the Red Sox frightening collection of young talent.
Frightening to the Yankees, anyway.
Only a few days ago Moncada was named as the No. 1 prospect in the minors by Baseball America in its mid-season rankings of minor league talent. And on Sunday he earned MVP honors at the Futures Game in San Diego, hitting a two-run home run as part of a 2-for-5 day that included a stolen base.
At the time GM Brian Cashman admitted they saw great potential in Moncada but felt compelled to draw the line financially at a certain point.
“We went to where we were comfortable going,” he said.
Grumble, grumble, grumble…
Monday, July 11, 2016
Jacoby Ellsbury launched a key home run to help the Yankees capitalize on an uncharacteristically sloppy day for the American League Central-leading Indians, who made three errors on Sunday afternoon as New York took full advantage in an 11-7 win at Progressive Field to wrap up the first half.
“It’s a positive thing. We beat a very good team three out of four games,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “To end up 5-5 on a road trip where it starts off pretty poorly, it’s good. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum to after the break.”
Thanks in part to some miscues behind him, right-hander Carlos Carrasco lasted only 3 2/3 innings for the Tribe, which dropped three of four in the series. Carrasco allowed five hits and five runs, but only one of the runs was earned.
Some time ago, when the Yankees were just starting to right their ship after falling about 29 games under .500 (give or take 20), I noted that if they hit the All-Star Break at .500, you would have to be happy with that. So, well, I guess I’m happy with that.
Still, they are definitely not a good team and stand 5 1/2 games behind the Second Wild Card with a remarkable five between them and the Second Wild Card. So, well, this is not a good situation for the Yankees to be in. But heck, .500 is at least not that embarrassing, either.
Odds are they still DO end up selling at the very least Aroldis Chapman. Hopefully they get someone good for him.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
The hits keep coming for Brian McCann. In a 7-6 win in 11 innings over the American League Central-leading Indians on Saturday, the Yankees catcher collected three more hits, including the decisive blow in extra innings at Progressive Field.
After New York’s late-inning duo of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman dodged trouble in the ninth and 10th innings, McCann came through in the 11th. The catcher pulled a pitch from Tribe reliever Tommy Hunter over right fielder Abraham Almonte, the double scoring pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes to break a 6-6 deadlock.
Aroldis Chapman goes 2 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, striking out four and earning his third win of the season vs. the Indians
“It’s really big,” Chase Headley said. “That’s a really good team over there. That’s as good of a team as I have seen this year. To be able to come in here and have a chance to win a series against a really good team, that’d be a huge thing for us.”
Over his past 15 games, which include an active 10-game hitting streak, McCann has hit .373 (22-for-59).
This team is still bad, but boy, they occasionally win some entertaining games.
Didi Gregorious was amazing today. The bat has really come along and the defense has always been there - he saved the game tonight in the seventh when Betances gave up the lead. Outside of the bullshit loss against Texas, they haven’t lost a game yet this season where the Big Three all pitch.
Carrasco is a tough matchup for the Yankees. Hopefully Tanaka does well so that they only lose 2-1.
Yankees right-hander Chad Green turned and watched the baseball soar over the towering left-field wall. Almost immediately, he turned his stare toward the ground as Mike Napoli’s ball landed three-fourths of the way up the bleachers at Progressive Field.
Napoli’s two-run mammoth shot in third was the deafening blow to Green’s first start against an American League team. The rookie was handed the loss in his third big league start after giving up four home runs to the Indians in Friday’s 10-2 loss.
“I didn’t execute some pitches, and a team like this is going to take advantage of it,” Green said. “I made four mistakes all game, but those four mistakes cost me seven runs.”
All eyes were on the young hurler as he toed the rubber against the first-place Tribe. Green was given another start in the rotation after throwing a gem in a spot start against San Diego on Sunday. With the Yankees’ rotation still in flux for the second half, Green was making a case for a permanent role in the rotation.
But his bid for a home in the starting staff got off on the wrong foot. Green surrendered back-to-back jacks to the first two batters he faced, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis. Things took a turn for the worse when Lonnie Chisenhall took the rookie deep on a two-run blast to right, completing a four-run first inning.
I am cool with confidence, but come on, dude, you just gave up four home runs in a single game, don’t give me this “I made four mistakes.” Seriously.
Oh well, at least this game was over early rather than making us think that there was a chance of the Yankees winning. Especially since the first inning was all that Kluber was going to need to win tonight.