Monday, July 18, 2016
1. Adam Jones (R) CF (.262/.309/.447, 1.1 bWAR)
2. Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B (.302/.335/.515, 2.5 bWAR)
3. Manny Machado (R) 3B (.312/.369/.558, 4.2 bWAR)
4. Mark Trumbo (R) RF (.287/.339/.571, 2.0 bWAR)
5. Matt Wieters (S) C (.253/.307/.408, 0.6 bWAR)
6. Pedro Alvarez (L) DH (.254/.322/.497, 0.2 bWAR)
7. J.J. Hardy (R) SS (.268/.298/.417, 0.8 bWAR)
8. Nolan Reimold (R) LF (.273/.329/.445, 0.4 bWAR)
9. Ryan Flaherty (L) 1B (.234/.314/.355, 0.7 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.278/.329/.487, 12.5 bWAR)
1. Brett Gardner (L) LF (.260/.354/.364, 2.1 bWAR)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury (L) CF (.275/.334/.389, 2.0 bWAR)
3. Carlos Beltran (S) RF (.297/.334/.542, 1.2 bWAR)
4. Brian McCann (L) C (.244/.340/.451, 1.2 bWAR)
5. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH (.214/.259/.367, -0.8 bWAR)
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS (.299/.330/.471, 1.6 bWAR)
7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B (.257/.294/.395, 0.4 bWAR)
8. Chase Headley (S) 3B (.254/.328/.384, 1.9 bWAR)
9. Rob Refsnyder (R) 1B (.267/.330/.356, 0.5 bWAR)
Lineup Total: (.265/.325/.420, 10.1 bWAR)
Challenged in what manager Joe Girardi described as “probably as important a game as we’ve had in July,” the Yankees responded behind six strong innings from Masahiro Tanaka to post a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, salvaging the finale of a three-game series.
Tanaka limited Boston to just three hits in an 87-pitch performance as he walked one and struck out seven to outduel David Price, who surrendered 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. All of New York’s damage off Price came in a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by run-scoring hits by Starlin Castro, Austin Romine and Jacoby Ellsbury.
“We didn’t necessarily have a meeting and talk about how important tonight’s game was, but I think everybody understood the importance,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “We needed to win today.”
Sure, it was the challenge, Not Tanaka giving up just one run, It was the response to being challenged. Surprisingly, they won’t respond to the challenge tonight when they have a shittier pitcher going.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
NEW YORK—Things are becoming awfully silly around Yankee Stadium these days. First, there was The Wave breaking out when the home team was losing 5-1. Then, a raucous ovation for David Ortiz when he lined a ninth-inning single, a sure sign that there were few, if any, Yankees fans remaining in the building.
Finally, there was this gem from the manager after his team had to start a pitcher whose ERA was 8.59 and was making his first appearance after a three-week banishment to the minors:
“[Tomorrow] is probably as important a game as we’ve had in July in a long time.”
I mean, who is kidding whom here?
Sunday night’s finale of the three-game series against the Boston Red Sox may be an intriguing pitching matchup—the always-steady Masahiro Tanaka versus the very puzzling David Price—but for the Yankees, it’s about as important as the first day of pitchers’ fielding practice in spring training.
If the Yankees win it, good. They will draw, once again, to within one game of .500 and, with luck, within 8 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles.
And if the Yankees lose it, better. That will mean they are one day closer to the trade deadline and, presumably, one loss closer to convincing the holdouts in the club’s front office to do what every rational mind knows must be done to this roster: dismantle it and start over.
Sabathia has not won a game since June and has now lost his past three decisions. He has allowed 25 earned runs, 39 hits and five home runs in his past 28 1/3 innings—and surrendered five runs (four earned) in five-plus innings on Saturday.
I expected Sabathia to regress. I didn’t expect him to completely implode. A few weeks ago he may have been an interesting trade piece for a contender, although the Yankees would have likely had to pay some of his salary along side him. Now, I can’t see anyone taking a chance on him, especially with him being under contract through 2017 as well.
Anyway, yay loss. Eight more to go in my dream of the Yankees coming out of the All Star Break and going 0-10.
I am certain they will win tonight just to spite me.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Ryan Hanigan, Travis Shaw and Xander Bogaerts each celebrated their return from the All-Star break with homers off Yankees starter Michael Pineda, leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
The trio of blasts supported a strong effort by right-hander Steven Wright, who retired the first 14 men he faced and held the Yanks scoreless until the sixth. Wright permitted three runs and three hits over six innings, improving to 4-1 lifetime against the Yankees.
“Very good combination,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Steven came out, was throwing a lot of strikes, there was quite a bit of violence to his knuckleball. We’ve been swinging the bat better. When we finished out the homestand right before the break, it started to carry through here right in the middle innings.”
The win was the eighth in the last 10 games for the Red Sox, who remain two games behind the Orioles in the American League East. New York is under .500 after the All-Star break for the first time since 1995.
This team is bad. However, Steven Wright also owns the Yankees, so as bad as the team is, this loss really wasn’t all that bad.
But yes, they’re bad. And they should sell. Just saying that as far as losses go, this really wasn’t that bad. The team, though, definitely IS bad.
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…