Replacement Level Yankees Weblog
The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

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Yankees (54-50) @ Rangers (41-64), Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:05pm
(11 Comments - 7/28/2014 8:22:45 pm)

USA Today: Injured Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki shows up at Yankees game
(14 Comments - 7/28/2014 7:42:37 pm) Yankees end homestand with 5-4 loss to Blue Jays
(13 Comments - 7/28/2014 4:03:33 pm)

Blue Jays (54-50) @ Yankees (54-48), Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:05pm
(92 Comments - 7/28/2014 10:14:35 am) Cashman prioritizes adding bat before August
(13 Comments - 7/26/2014 10:34:05 am)

Blue Jays (54-49) @ Yankees (53-48), Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:05pm
(52 Comments - 7/26/2014 10:13:21 am)

CBS Sports: Yankees acquire Chris Capuano from Rockies for cash
(7 Comments - 7/25/2014 10:21:16 am) Victorious McCarthy continues to stabilize Yanks
(20 Comments - 7/24/2014 9:15:12 pm)

Rangers (40-61) @ Yankees (52-48), Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:05pm
(55 Comments - 7/24/2014 5:28:17 pm) Phelps, Yanks take rain-shortened win over Rangers
(14 Comments - 7/24/2014 1:29:03 pm)

Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.

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Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yankees (43-42) @ Twins (38-47), Saturday, July 5, 2014, 2:10pm

NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 3-4, 4.26) vs. MIN: Yohan Pino (#63, 30, RHP, 0-2, 6.32)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
8. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
9. Zelous Wheeler (R) 3B

1. Brian Dozier (R) 2B
2. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
3. Chris Parmelee (L) 1B
4. Kendrys Morales (S) DH
5. Josh Willingham (R) LF
6. Oswaldo Arcia (L) RF
7. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
8. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS
9. Sam Fuld (L) CF

With the news that CC Sabathia is likely to miss the rest of the season, the Yankees supposedly made pitches to the Cubs for both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammell.  Oakland trumped the Yankees and got both, so I wonder who the Yankees will go after now?  I think they need a lot more than one or two starting pitchers to make it into the postseason, but I don’t think they have the chips to do it.

--Posted at 11:11 am by SG / 41 Comments | - (0)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Yankees (42-42) @ Twins (38-46), Friday, July 4,2014, 3:10pm

NYY: Chase Whitley (#39, 25, RHP, 3-2, 4.70) vs. MIN: Kyle Gibson (#44, 26, RHP, 7-6, 3.77)

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
8. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B
9. Brendan Ryan (R) SS

1. Brian Dozier (R) 2B
2. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
3. Chris Parmelee (L) LF
4. Kendrys Morales (S) 1B
5. Oswaldo Arcia (L) RF
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Chris Colabello (R) DH
8. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS
9. Sam Fuld (L) CF

Happy Fourth of July to all.

--Posted at 11:58 am by SG / 74 Comments | - (0)

Zelous Wheeler Ate His A

MINNEAPOLIS—For the first time in his career, Masahiro Tanaka didn’t provide a quality start. But thanks to ex-Yankee Phil Hughes, he didn’t need to.

New York used two big innings, including homers by Carlos Beltran and Zelous Wheeler in the fifth, to snap a season-high five-game losing skid with a 7-4 victory over the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field.

“The number one thing is for the team to win, and I think the offense came through and got me a lot of run support tonight,” Tanaka said through his translator.

After collecting just one hit through the first four frames against Hughes, who had beaten the Yanks earlier this season, the New York bats came alive in the fifth. Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann led off with singles, and then Beltran smacked a three-run homer—a 401-foot shot to right-center.

“The one big mistake of the game was the pitch to Beltran,” Hughes said. “The other at-bats, I went hard-in, but I thought I’d try to get a ground-ball double play and threw a two-seamer away, but it caught too much of the plate.”

The blast gave New York a 3-2 lead, and moved Beltran to fourth all-time among switch-hitters with 367 home runs.

Two batters later, Wheeler, who was called up from Triple-A on Thursday and made his Major League debut, belted a solo shot for his first career hit. The rookie crushed a 3-1 Hughes fastball into the Yankees’ bullpen in left-center to extend the lead to two runs.

“I got a pitch over [the plate], elevated up and put good wood on it,” Wheeler said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I really hit a home run!’”

Yeah, but it was against Phil Hughes so it’s really only a half home run.

I think the quality start streak people have been bandying about with Tanaka is bogus, because the definition of quality start that I am familiar with does not exclude unearned runs.  Ergo, he lost his quality start streak when he gave up four runs to the Cubs in his ninth game of the season even though only three were earned.

Anyway, back to .500 for a day.  With Chase Whitley going today it may not even be 24 hours at .500, but what can you do?

--Posted at 7:22 am by SG / 8 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Yankees (41-42) @ Twins (38-45), Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:10pm

NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 11-3, 2.10) vs. MIN: Phil Hughes (#45, 28, RHP, 8-4, 3.58)

Don’t know, don’t care

A better lineup than the one the Yankees will be using

In one corner, one of the best and most exciting young pitchers in baseball will be toeing the rubber.  In the other corner, it’ll be Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka has been great, far better than the Yankees could have hoped for.  But the problem is he’s on the Yankees, which makes his games effectively meaningless.  Maybe one day he can pitch for a contender.

--Posted at 2:38 pm by SG / 45 Comments | - (0)

TGS NY: Refsnyder second to none in 2014

Refsnyder, who didn’t rank among the Yankees’ top-10 prospects at the start of the year (despite an on-base percentage of over .400 in Single-A last season), has played his way into a potential recall in the near future. He’s hitting .343, including .348 at Triple-A. He’s hitting .420 in his last 38 games, which is why Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated Refsnyder is closing in on a recall.

“I said to him the other day ‘I knew you were good, but I didn’t know you were this good,” said Scranton hitting coach (and former Yankees catcher in the mid-80s) Butch Wynegar. “He’s intelligent, he’s a hard worker and he makes adjustments pitch to pitch. He’s short and quick with his swing. He’s really coachable. He does a lot of things I’m very impressed with. He’s bigger than Dustin Pedroia, but he plays the game like Pedroia does. If I was asked, I would say yes, (he’s major-league ready). I see no reason why he’s not going to be a good major-league hitter.”

Getting Refsnyder up and playing 2B every day could potentially be the easiest way for the Yankees to upgrade their pathetic offense.  Granted, he’s only got 338 PA above class A, and his defense is likely still a work in progress, but he’d certainly make a team that’s really tough to watch a bit more interesting.

--Posted at 11:24 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees To Sign Eight Top International Prospects

The Yankees have agreed to a $2.25MM bonus with international prospect Nelson Gomez, reports’s Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter). Gomez is an infielder out of the Dominican Republic. Murray also approximated a $2.25MM bonus for Gomez last month (Twitter link).

Prospect analysts agree that Gomez is one of the best players available, with ranking him second overall and Baseball America putting him at sixth. He has a large frame and offers power at the plate and with his arm. Those physical tools could play anywhere on the diamond, but of course his value depends in part upon his position. Though says there is some chance he could stick at short, BA sees him as a third baseman who could have to shift over to first or into the outfield.

If all these guys end up panning out, the Yankees could be pretty good again as soon as 2022!

--Posted at 10:45 pm by SG / 18 Comments | - (0) Yankees Stink

NEW YORK—It has been a disastrous homestand for the Yankees, who have lost five straight games and nine of their last 11 to fall below the .500 mark. If they’re going to straighten out their issues before the All-Star break, it’ll have to happen on the road.

Sean Rodriguez didn’t do them any favors, blasting a go-ahead, two-run homer off Shawn Kelley in the sixth inning on Wednesday. The shot lifted the Rays to a 6-3 victory over New York, completing a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium.


--Posted at 4:07 pm by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)

Rays (37-49) @ Yankees (41-41), July 2, 2014, 1:05pm

TBR: Jake Odorizzi (#23, 24, RHP, 3-7, 4.14) vs. NYY: Vidal Nuno (#57, 26, LHP, 2-4, 5.42)

1. Desmond Jennings (R) CF
2. Ben Zobrist (S) DH
3. Brandon Guyer (R) LF
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
7. Sean Rodriguez (R) SS
8. Ryan Hanigan (R) C
9. Kevin Kiermaier (L) RF

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Brian McCann (L) C
4. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
5. Kelly Johnson (L) 1B
6. Alfonso Soriano (R) RF
7. Ichiro Suzuki (L) CF
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Yangervis Solarte (S) 3B

Everything’s blue in this world.
The deepest shade of mushroom blue.
All fuzzy.
Spilling out of my head.

--Posted at 11:10 am by SG / 42 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 Yankees Stink

NEW YORK—James Loney hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning off Hiroki Kuroda and David Price took it from there, holding the Yankees in check over seven strong innings as the Rays posted a 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees were sent to their fourth straight defeat and their eighth in the last 10 games, dropping to .500 at 41-41 after managing just four hits against the hard-throwing Price, who blocked out the swirling winds of trade speculation to log his seventh victory of the year.

A prime subject of discussion as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, Price held the Yankees hitless until Derek Jeter’s double to open the fourth. The double was the 534th of Jeter’s career, tying Lou Gehrig for first place on the Yankees’ all-time list.

Kuroda turned in a solid outing, holding Tampa Bay to a pair of runs on nine hits over eight innings, but he toiled waiting for run support that never arrived thanks to Price’s nine-strikeout performance.

.500 is here.  Below .500 coming shortly.

--Posted at 9:37 pm by SG / 29 Comments | - (0)

Rays (36-49) @ Yankees (41-40), Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 7:05pm

TBR: David Price (#14, 28, LHP, 6-7, 3.63) vs. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 5-5, 4.23)

1. Desmond Jennings (R) CF
2. Ben Zobrist (S) SS
3. Matt Joyce (L) LF
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
7. Cole Figueroa (L) DH
8. Jose Molina (R) C
9. Kevin Kiermaier (L) RF

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
6. Alfonso Soriano (R) RF
7. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
9. Yangervis Solarte (S) 3B

I said for most of last week that the Yankees would be below .500 by today.  I was wrong, but probably only by a couple of days.

--Posted at 4:15 pm by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)

Can The Yankees Offense Regress Their Way to a Better Second Half?

Last night’s loss to the Rays was the Yankees’ 81st game of the season.  If you double what their offense has done this year and compare it to last season, you can get a sense of how much the Yankees’ big offseason spending spree has helped improve the offense.

2014 times 2 33.1 162 6144 652 1402 248 30 138 116 32 492 1128 .254 .318 .384 .703 95 120
2013 31.9 162 6024 650 1321 247 24 144 115 31 466 1202 .243 .308 .377 .685 88 121


Obviously, the Yankees had hoped to get a lot more offense out of Alfonso Soriano, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran than they have to this point.  They may have wishcast better than they’ve gotten from Jacoby Ellsbury, but if they did they were idiots because he’s basically doing what he was projected to do.  Some might say that it’s not worth $153M for seven years, but I digress.

Anyway, despite the disappointing play of Soriano, McCann and Beltran I’m not sure the Yankee offense has been particularly unfortunate.  But you can’t just double what the team has done so far and assume that’s what they’ll do the rest of the way.  So, let’s do a quick and dirty estimate using the Steamer rest of the season forecasts available on Fangraphs.

If the Yankees get the exact same playing time over the second half of the season as they did over the first half of the season,

Player PA ytd_wOBA ros_wOBA Improve?
Brett Gardner 342 .348 .324 No
Jacoby Ellsbury 342 .334 .332 No
Yangervis Solarte 270 .333 .306 No
Brian McCann 285 .286 .340 Yes
Mark Teixeira 253 .357 .351 No
Derek Jeter 315 .297 .314 Yes
Kelly Johnson 180 .309 .319 Yes
Ichiro Suzuki 174 .304 .300 No
JR Murphy 65 .299 .287 No
Scott Sizemore 16 .327 .289 No
Zoilo Almonte 19 .206 .312 Yes
Brian Roberts 265 .299 .303 Yes
Austin Romine 1 .000 .286 Yes
Dean Anna 25 .227 .314 Yes
Brendan Ryan 38 .295 .266 No
Francisco Cervelli 25 .266 .288 Yes
Carlos Beltran 230 .296 .352 Yes
Alfonso Soriano 227 .273 .303 Yes
Total 3072 .312 .321 Yes
Runs 325 349 Yes

ytd_wOBA: Weighted-on base average for 2014 through June 30
ros_wOBA Steamer’s projected wOBA over the rest of the season

A lot has been made of Yankee injuries, but I actually feel they’ve been a bit fortunate on the position player side.  Teixiera has missed some non-trivial time, but I expected that.  Jeter has been healthier than I expected, and of course this is the season that Brian Roberts decides to impersonate Cal Ripken by never missing a game while impersonating Enrique Wilson’s offensive value.

Obviously we don’t know how playing time will shape out over the rest of the season, and there are a few players who have overachieved to this point so even if the Yankees who have not played as well as expected start to better it doesn’t appear that they are going to be all that much better on offense.  I mean, 20 runs over half a season is certainly a difference, but is it enough of a difference?  The Yankees have been outscored by 33 runs this season, so even if they pitch/defend the same as they have over the first half that makes them a slightly below average team over the second half.

It’s hard to see a trade or series of trades that will make this team particularly good.  I suppose it’s possible they bring up Robert Refsnyder, who has an MLE of .287/.341/.436 in 328 PA split between AA Trenton and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season and is likely a better offensive player than Brian Roberts right now.  They could also give some of the playing time that was going to Alfonso Soriano to Zoilo Almonte, although he’s really only likely to be good from the left-side and Joe Girardi doesn’t seem to prefer him playing over Ichiro.  But it’s hard to see them improving their offense much with what they have in-house.

If they add a second top-flight starting pitcher they could be dangerous in a short series if they can get there, I guess.

In conclusion, yes, the Yankees offense should be better than they have been.  But the difference is not that big.  They just aren’t that good of a team.

--Posted at 9:40 am by SG / 15 Comments | - (0)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Rays (35-49) @ Yankees (41-39), Monday, June 30, 2014, 7:05pm

TBR: Chris Archer (#22, 25, RHP, 4-5, 3.29) vs. NYY: David Phelps (#41, 27, RHP, 3-4, 4.35)

1. Desmond Jennings (R) CF
2. Ben Zobrist (S) SS
3. Matt Joyce (L) DH
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
5. James Loney (L) 1B
6. Brandon Guyer (R) LF
7. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
8. Ryan Hanigan (R) C
9. Kevin Kiermaier (L) RF

1. Brett Gardner (L) LF
2. Derek Jeter (R) SS
3. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF
4. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Kelly Johnson (L) 3B
8. Brian Roberts (S) 2B
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF

In his career, Chris Archer has faced 103 Yankees and has held them to a line of .155/.194/.227. 

--Posted at 3:06 pm by SG / 48 Comments | - (0)

NY Times: An Adjustment Essential to the Yankees’ Future

Brian McCann made seven All-Star teams in nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves, but he also offered something intangible. He became, in some ways, the soul of his team. To the Yankees, McCann’s talent and character were worth $85 million in free agency.

Unfortunately to this point, McCann’s offense has not been worth $85 million.  While it’s most likely the Yankees will trade for a pitcher before a position player, I don’t see how this team makes any noise over the rest of the season with the offense they have now.

--Posted at 8:29 am by SG / 21 Comments | - (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Red Sox (36-44) @ Stinkees (41-37), Saturday, June 28, 2014, 7:15pm

BOS: Jon Lester (#31, 30, LHP, 8-7, 3.14) vs. NYY: Masahiro Tanaka (#19, 25, RHP, 11-2, 2.11)

Red Sox
1. Brock Holt (L) RF
2. Daniel Nava (S) LF
3. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
4. David Ortiz (L) DH
5. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
6. Stephen Drew (L) SS
7. Xander Bogaerts (R) 3B
8. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF
9. David Ross (R) C

Brett Gardner and eight players that stink

--Posted at 5:42 pm by SG / 141 Comments | - (0) Yanks blank Sox behind Nuno, trio of blasts

There was a spark of defiance in Joe Girardi’s voice on Friday afternoon as the Yankees manager defended—yet again—a decision to keep his team in rotation, handing the ball to Vidal Nuno for the opener of a three-game series with the Red Sox.

It was a move ripe for second-guessing, and there was plenty, but it also turned out to be the correct call. Nuno spun 5 2/3 innings of scoreless two-hit ball in his best outing of the season and the Yankees hit three home runs, fueling a 6-0 thumping of Boston on Friday.

“It’s a confidence booster, to show that I can still belong here and attack these guys,” said Nuno, who retired 10 straight through one stretch and exited to a standing ovation from a sellout crowd of 48,522.

Kelly Johnson and Brett Gardner hit back-to-back home runs off Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, and Brian McCann added a long two-run shot off Craig Breslow as the Yankees won their second consecutive game.

This is just going to make the Red Sox beating Tanaka Saturday night all the more painful.

--Posted at 4:40 am by Brian Cronin / 21 Comments | - (0)

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