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

RSS 2.0 Atom Phelps, Yanks take rain-shortened win over Rangers
(1 Comment - 7/24/2014 12:40:17 am)

Rangers (40-60) @ Yankees (51-48), Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 7:05pm
(64 Comments - 7/24/2014 12:07:59 am)

Dan Szymborski: Headley RoS ZiPS in Yankee Stadium
(9 Comments - 7/23/2014 3:55:59 pm) Newcomer Headley Yanks’ walk-off hero in 14th
(9 Comments - 7/23/2014 12:39:08 pm)

Rangers (40-59) @ Yankees (50-48), Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7:05pm
(107 Comments - 7/23/2014 2:16:59 am)

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Acquire Chase Headley
(24 Comments - 7/22/2014 7:12:54 pm)

NYDN: Yankees commit five errors in 4-2 loss to Texas Rangers
(19 Comments - 7/22/2014 2:05:03 pm)

Rangers (39-59) @ Yankees (50-47), Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:05pm
(46 Comments - 7/22/2014 7:38:53 am)

NY Times: A Bloop Leads to a Blooper, Lifting the Yankees to a Sweep
(19 Comments - 7/21/2014 5:55:59 pm)

Reds (51-46) @ Yankees (49-47), Sunday, July 20, 2014, 1:05pm
(45 Comments - 7/21/2014 9:57:06 am)

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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Wednesday, July 2, 2014 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)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Red Sox (36-43) @ Stinkees (40-37), Friday, June 27, 2014, 7:05pm

BOS: Brandon Workman (#67, 25, RHP, 1-0, 2.88) vs. NYY: Vidal Nuno (#57, 26, LHP, 1-4, 5.88)

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

Brett Gardner and eight players that stink

--Posted at 3:43 pm by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)

NYDN: Do Yankees have the prospects to make a trade?

Brian Cashman is on record saying he does not want to wait to make a trade. That approach is wise; with the American League East so tight, this thing could be decided by one move, and the Yankees need a starting pitcher now.

It has become almost cliche to say that the Yanks do not have the prospects to swing a big deal, and that might turn out to be true. The organization itself concedes that the farm system is middle-of-the-pack, but a few players have emerged this year as curiosities, at least.

On the major league team, only Dellin Betances is marketable in the type of trade the Yanks need to make, and it is hard to imagine Cashman dealing the breakout reliever (unless, of course, he agrees with the scouts who see Betances as a “slinger” whose delivery leaves him at risk for shoulder problems).

So who are some minor leaguers that the Yanks will have to push, in order to obtain a Jeff Samardzija, or even a Jason Hammel?

Why do I get the sense the Yankees are going to wind up making a bad trade that is not going to end up making a meaningful difference on their deeply flawed roster?

--Posted at 12:02 pm by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

j’s look at Greg Bird

As part of Mike and Clay’s look at the Yankees minor league depth, I’ll be putting together some quick looks at the swings of some noteworthy minor leaguers. Today, it’s Greg Bird.
Bird put up a .944 OPS in his 2012 split between the Gulf Coast Yankees and Staten Island Yankees in a little over 100 PA’s, which I’m sure got some folks wondering what could be. Well, the .288/.428/.511 in nearly 600 PA’s he put in 2013 at Charleston only stokes that fire.
Despite his success, clean, high quality video of Bird as a professional from the side angle isn’t anywhere to be found on the internet.  I did find a prospect profile of him front high school. His current swing looks fairly unchanged, and it’s what we have, so let’s look at that first.

Full Swing

My goal in evaluating a hitter’s swing is to determine (1) if he’s deriving his power from his hips and core, (2) if he has habits that lead to overall inefficiencies, and (3) if he has adjustability issues in any direction.  The way to do this is to evaluate how the hitter progress between specific milestones. I’ll go through that in detail with Bird:

(Click Comments to read more)
--Posted at 3:53 pm by Snuggles T. Porcupine / 32 Comments | - (0)

NY Post: Derek Jeter unfazed about turning 40

TORONTO — The baseball universe is fascinated that Thursday is Derek Jeter’s 40th birthday.

It’s a feeling the Yankees’ shortstop doesn’t share, and it has nothing to do with being ungrateful that people care how old he is.

“It’s like turning any other number, I don’t pay attention to numbers,’’ Jeter said before the Yankees’ 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays Wednesday night at Rogers Centre. “I really don’t sit down and look at my age and adjust or compare. I really have never done that and I probably shouldn’t start now.’’

Happy Birthday to the Captain.

There have been three players in MLB history who played at least 75% of their games at SS and got at least 400 PA in their age 40 season.  Honus Wagner averaged an OPS+ of 114 in the three seasons he did it, Luke Appling average an OPS+ of 121 in the three seasons he did it, and Omar Vizquel had an OPS+ of 61 in the lone season he did it.  Jeter’s current OPS+ of 83 is at least better than Vizquel’s   At his current pace Jeter would end the year at around 1.2 bWAR, although I think the number of shifts the Yankees have been deploying this year is making his defensive numbers look more favorable than they should.

I was hoping Jeter would be a bit better than he’s been so far this year, but that probably wasn’t realistic.  At the very least, he’s far from the biggest problem on a team that has quite a few of them.

--Posted at 8:35 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 They Still Stink

TORONTO—A four-run third inning gave the Stinkees the boost they needed as they avoided the sweep and downed the Blue Jays, 5-3, at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night.

Mark Teixeira’s two-run shot capped the early-inning rally as the Stinkees snapped a four-game losing streak heading into an off-day on Thursday.

Hiroki Kuroda recovered from a leadoff home run by Jose Reyes in the bottom of the first inning—on the first pitch he threw in the game—to improve to 5-5 on the season. The right-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.

After allowing the leadoff homer followed by a single to Melky Cabrera, Kuroda settled in and limited the Blue Jays to three singles until the fifth inning, when he ran into trouble.

--Posted at 9:35 pm by SG / 6 Comments | - (0)

Stinkees (39-37) @ Blue Jays (44-35), Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 7:07pm

NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 39, RHP, 4-5, 4.23) vs. TOR: Drew Hutchison (#36, 23, RHP, 5-5, 3.86)

Brett Gardner and eight players that stink

Blue Jays
1. Jose Reyes (S) SS
2. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
3. Adam Lind (L) 1B
4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
5. Dioner Navarro (S) C
6. Juan Francisco (L) 3B
7. Colby Rasmus (L) CF
8. Munenori Kawasaki (L) 2B
9. Anthony Gose (L) RF

--Posted at 5:35 pm by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Blue Jays withstand Yanks’ rally, walk off with win

TORONTO—Jose Reyes hit a leadoff double in the ninth inning before third baseman Yangervis Solarte threw away the ball on a sacrifice-bunt attempt as the Blue Jays walked off with a 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night.

Reyes’ double came on 1-0 changeup from right-hander Adam Warren and put the Blue Jays within striking distance of the dramatic victory. Melky Cabrera followed with a bunt down the third-base line, and while the intention was to advance the runner, it ended up doing a lot more than that.

Solarte fielded it cleanly, but the perfectly placed bunt caused him to rush the throw. It would have been a close play at first, but the safe or out call became irrelevant when Mark Teixeira was unable to get a glove on the ball as the throw sailed well wide of the bag and Reyes easily came around to score.

I checked the score once while stuck at work and saw it was 6-0, then checked it again when I got home to see the final.  I’m glad I didn’t have to witness the CT.  My condolences to those of you who did.

I stand by my prediction.  By next Monday the Yankees will be below .500.

--Posted at 9:38 pm by SG / 17 Comments | - (0)

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