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








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NY Post: Yankees in surprising push for once-celebrated prospect
(53 Comments - 11/17/2017 4:29:53 pm)

Yankees.com: Unanimous decision: Judge named AL ROY
(75 Comments - 11/16/2017 10:18:50 am)

NJ.com: What Yankees manager candidate Eric Wedge revealed about interview
(39 Comments - 11/13/2017 7:20:55 pm)

NYDN: Yankees can pay most for Shohei Otani, with one exception
(112 Comments - 11/11/2017 3:08:24 am)

Yankees.com: Judge up for ROY & MVP; Sevy for Cy Young
(64 Comments - 11/9/2017 1:48:23 pm)

NJ.com: Which prospects will Yankees protect from Rule 5 Draft?
(47 Comments - 11/7/2017 9:40:41 am)

Yankees.com: Tanaka declines to opt out, will stay with Yanks
(61 Comments - 11/6/2017 1:58:25 pm)

NY Post: Masahiro Tanaka is Yankees’ first offseason domino
(48 Comments - 11/3/2017 7:34:09 pm)

Yankees.com: Judge, Gardner among Gold Glove finalists
(113 Comments - 11/2/2017 11:30:29 am)

NY Times: Joe Girardi Is Out as Yankees’ Manager
(250 Comments - 10/30/2017 8:43:59 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.
-alskor

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

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.
OldYanksFan




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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yankees (21-10) @ Tigers (18-14), Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 7:05pm **Game Chatter**

NYY: He Who Shall Not Be Named (34, RHP, 1-3, 9.78) vs. DET: Rick Porcello (21, RHP, 2-3, 7.50)

Lineups
NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.286/.324/.436, 0.4 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.333/.418/.406, 1.0 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.202/.336/.403, 0.4 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, DH (.286/.381/.464, 1.0 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.353/.406/.647, 1.7 WAR)
Jorge Posada, C (.280/.365/.547, 0.7 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.306/.394/.577, 1.0 WAR)
Randy Winn, LF (.200/.250/.300, -0.1 WAR)
Ramiro Pena, 3B (.174/.200/.217, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .272/.346/.449, 5.9 WAR

Detroit
Austin Jackson, CF (.360/.408/.493, 1.3 WAR)
Johnny Damon, DH (.295/.412/.455, 0.9 WAR)
Magglio Ordonez, RF (.286/.381/.454, 1.0 WAR)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (.377/.465/.648, 1.5 WAR)
Brennan Boesch, LF (.340/.360/.638, 0.3 WAR)
Brandon Inge, 3B (.244/.305/.412, 0.7 WAR)
Scott Sizemore, 2B (.233/.316/.326, 0.0 WAR)
Gerald Laird, C (.147/.247/.250, -0.2 WAR)
Adam Everett, SS (.191/.220/.255, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .280/.353/.445, 5.4 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: -100.0%

WOE will be the cure to whatever is ailing Rick Porcello.  Mother Nature may spare us from this one, although it hasn’t been called yet.

--Posted at 4:14 pm by SG / 26 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Carig: Yankees to call up first baseman Juan Miranda

The Yankees are planning on calling up first baseman Juan Miranda from the minor leagues.DETROIT—In hopes of adding some pop to their depleted ranks, the Yankees will call up Juan Miranda today, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. The move was first reported by the New York Post.

It makes sense with Nick Johnson’s career-ending injury.  Miranda had an average projection of around .256/.330/.428, which is a wOBA of around .331.  That’s essentially league average, which is replacement level for a DH.  However, if we look at him as the left-handed half of a DH platoon, he’d have a wOBA of .311 vs. LHP and a wOBA of .338 vs. RHP using regressed platoon splits.  If we add that to Thames’s estimated .342 wOBA vs. LHP, it’s a wOBA of around .339 for the platoon.  That’s not close to Nick Johnson’s revised projected wOBA of .372, but it’s a hair above replacement level.  For 400 PAs, the difference between Johnson and that platoon would be around 11 runs, and the difference between the platoon and a replacement level DH would be about 3 runs.

So it’s not great, but it’s not likely to be the difference between making the postseason or not. 

--Posted at 2:25 pm by SG / 22 Comments | - (0)



How Good Are The 2010 Yankees Right Now (May 11)?

Heading into 2010, the Yankees looked like a team that projected to win around 96-97 games.

A lot of that was based on an offense that projected to be the best in baseball by most projection systems.  Here’s how the primary starting lineup looked on a per game basis using their pre-season CAIRO projections for offense and defense.

 Player (projected)  Pos PA  OBP Outs  BR RS
 Derek Jeter SS  5.0  .371  3.1  0.69  -0.03 
 Nick Johnson DH  5.0  .412  2.9  0.73  0.00 
 Mark Teixeira 1B  5.0  .379  3.1  0.84  0.02 
 Alex Rodriguez 3B  5.0  .389  3.1  0.89  -0.03 
 Robinson Cano 2B  5.0  .348  3.3  0.73  0.00 
 Jorge Posada C  5.0  .352  3.2  0.70  -0.03 
 Curtis Granderson  CF 4.6  .338  3.0   0.64  0.04 
 Nick Swisher RF  4.0  .355  2.6  0.55  0.00 
 Brett Gardner LF  4.0  .348  2.6  0.48  0.02 
 Total  42.6    27.0  6.25  -0.01 

PA: # of PA in a single game
OBP:projected OBP
Outs: Outs made at the plate, equals PA times (1 minus OBP)
BR: Linear weights batting runs for listed PA

Here’s how the primary lineup has actually performed so far.

 Player (actual)  Pos PA  OBP Outs  BR RS
 Derek Jeter SS  5.0  .324  3.4  0.63  -0.10 
 Nick Johnson DH  5.0  .388  3.1  0.57  -0.03 
 Mark Teixeira 1B  5.0  .336  3.3  0.61  0.06 
 Alex Rodriguez 3B  5.0  .381  3.1  0.73  0.05 
 Robinson Cano 2B  5.0  .406  3.0  1.01  0.04 
 Jorge Posada C  5.0  .365  3.2  0.84  -0.06 
 Curtis Granderson  CF 4.6  .311  3.2   0.52  0.10 
 Nick Swisher RF  4.0  .394  2.4  0.73  -0.02 
 Brett Gardner LF  4.0  .418  2.3  0.66  0.10 
 Total  42.6    26.9  6.30  0.14 
(Click Comments to read more)
--Posted at 10:02 am by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)




Monday, May 10, 2010

Yankees.com: Mitre unable to fill Pettitte’s shoes

DETROIT—Johnny Damon offered a familiar sight for his former Yankees teammates in their first meeting since the 2009 World Series, cracking one out of Comerica Park as the Tigers withstood a late rally and posted a 5-4 victory on Monday.

Playing his first game against the Bronx Bombers since departing as a free agent, Damon rocketed a fifth-inning solo homer into the right-field seats to chase spot starter Sergio Mitre from his five-hit outing.

I’m in the middle of moving so I didn’t get to see this game, but I don’t think that was a bad thing.

The Yankees are not at full strength right now, and they’re not the team that projected to win something like 96-97 games entering the season.  How much worse are they?  I’ll try and answer that tomorrow, but until they get back to full strength (if they even can), they’re probably going to lose some games we thought would be wins.

--Posted at 10:14 pm by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (21-9) @ Tigers (17-14), Monday, May 10, 2010, 7:05pm **Game Chatter**

NYY: Sergio Mitre (29, RHP, 0-0, 2.79) vs. DET: Dontrelle Willis (28, LHP, 1-1, 3.99) Brad Thomas (32, LHP, 1-0, 5.40)

Lineups
NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.297/.336/.453, 0.5 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.306/.385/.583, 0.9 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.202/.341/.386, 0.4 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.278/.372/.463, 0.9 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.353/.403/.655, 1.6 WAR)
Jorge Posada, C (.274/.346/.548, 0.7 WAR)
Marcus Thames, DH (.394/.475/.576, 0.3 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.344/.425/.419, 1.1 WAR)
Randy Winn, LF (.192/.250/.308, -0.1 WAR)
Lineup Total: .292/.369/.491, 6.3 WAR

Detroit
Austin Jackson, CF (.371/.420/.508, 1.4 WAR)
Johnny Damon, DH (.294/.409/.431, 0.8 WAR)
Magglio Ordonez, RF (.287/.385/.461, 1.0 WAR)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (.370/.457/.639, 1.4 WAR)
Brennan Boesch, LF (.318/.326/.591, 0.2 WAR)
Brandon Inge, 3B (.252/.315/.426, 0.8 WAR)
Scott Sizemore, 2B (.241/.319/.337, 0.0 WAR)
Gerald Laird, C (.138/.233/.246, -0.2 WAR)
Adam Everett, SS (.182/.213/.250, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .278/.349/.440, 5.2 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: 53.8%

With a Javier Vazquez start and a guaranteed loss looming tomorrow, this game is the only thing that stands in the way of a losing streak of at least three games.  That makes it important, obviously.

Go Yankees.

--Posted at 4:26 pm by SG / 255 Comments | - (0)



Should Marcus Thames EVER Play Left Field?

Since Mike K. asked about this in the prior thread, here’s a quick answer.

At this point, Thames has a projected overall wOBA of .329, which would break down as .343 vs. LHP and .320 vs. RHP using regressed platoon splits.  He projects as around a -10 defender over a full season, although that seems generous.  That’s about -0.087 runs compared to average per game.

Randy Winn has a projected overall wOBA of .318 right now, .317 vs. LHP and .324 vs. RHP.  Winn estimates as around a +9 defender in LF.  That’s around +0.060 runs compared to average per game.

So vs. LHP, over 4.5 PA, the offensive difference between Thames and Winn is 0.102 runs.  The defensive difference on a per game basis is 0.147 runs. 

Vs. RHP, it’s no contest.  Winn projects better offensively and defensively.

Obviously we have a bit more uncertainty on the defensive side due to the limitations of defensive metrics, but basically, no.  Thames should NEVER play left field.

--Posted at 3:29 pm by SG / 13 Comments | - (0)




Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yankees.com: Sox make Burnett pay for poor command

BOSTON—A.J. Burnett continues to search for answers to what ails him at Fenway Park, having served up eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings as the Yankees were pounded by the Red Sox on Sunday, 9-3.

After admitting earlier this year that he might have been too caught up the rivalry, Burnett has now allowed 31 earned runs in 22 innings pitched at Boston as a Yankee—a 12.68 ERA. He had won all three of his previous starts on Yawkey Way before donning the Yankees uniform, making his continuing struggles somewhat perplexing.

At least no one got hurt.  We were due for a complain thread anyway.

One question, though.  Romulo Sanchez, great reliever or greatest reliever?

--Posted at 10:41 pm by SG / 50 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (21-8) @ RedSox (15-16), Sunday, May 9, 2010, 8:05pm **Game Chatter**

NYY: A.J. Burnett (33, RHP, 4-0, 1.99) vs. BOS: Jon Lester (26, LHP, 2-2, 3.93)

Lineups
NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.304/.343/.464, 0.4 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.298/.381/.558, 0.8 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.207/.343/.396, 0.4 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.276/.373/.438, 0.8 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.348/.400/.661, 1.5 WAR)
Jorge Posada, DH (.290/.364/.580, 0.7 WAR)
Marcus Thames, LF (.433/.500/.633, 0.4 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.429/.500/.500, 0.6 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.348/.431/.427, 1.0 WAR)
Lineup Total: .321/.399/.517, 6.6 WAR

Boston
Marco Scutaro, SS (.282/.360/.379, 0.7 WAR)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B (.292/.347/.531, 1.0 WAR)
Victor Martinez, C (.264/.325/.400, 0.3 WAR)
Kevin Youkilis, 1B (.306/.422/.550, 1.1 WAR)
J.D. Drew, RF (.267/.358/.476, 0.8 WAR)
David Ortiz, DH (.178/.265/.411, -0.1 WAR)
Adrian Beltre, 3B (.327/.358/.442, 0.6 WAR)
Jeremy Hermida, LF (.227/.292/.424, 0.1 WAR)
Darnell McDonald, CF (.264/.350/.491, 0.0 WAR)
Lineup Total: .267/.342/.456, 4.6 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: 41.7%

Whatever.

--Posted at 5:31 pm by SG / 317 Comments | - (0)



Defender A vs. Defender B

 Player  G  INN  CH  PM  ZR  Avg ZR  AvgPM  Diff  RS
 Defender A 11  95.0   40  28  .700  .830  33   -5  -4 
 Defender B 17  145.0   61  57  .935  .826  50   7  5 

G: Games
INN: Defensive innings at position
CH: Fieldable chances
PM: Plays made
ZR: Zone Rating (PM/CH)
Avg ZR: ZR by average defender at the same position and in the same league
AvgPM: Estimated plays made over the same # of chances by an average defender
Diff: Difference between PM and AvgPM
RS: Runs saved above/below average

 Team C  1B 2B  3B SS  LF CF  RF Total
 Mariners -1  0   2  8  0  -1  1  2   12 
 Cardinals 1  1   -2  1  2  5  0  0   9 
 Padres 0  1   2  1  0  1  2  0   8 
 Mets 1  1   -1  -2  1  2  2  3   7 
 Athletics 0  -2   1  2  1  1  1  1   6 
 Rockies 4  -2   -5  0  2  4  3  -1   5 
 Tigers 0  -1   -3  5  2  0  0  1   4 
 Giants -2  1   2  0  1  1  1  1   4 
 Rays -1  0   1  0  0  1  0  1   3 
 Blue Jays 0  0   6  -4  -1  0  1  0   2 
 Phillies 1  -2   7  -2  3  -1  -1  -4   2 
 Braves 2  0   -1  0  0  2  -1  -1   2 
 Twins 2  2   1  2  -1  0  0  -5   1 
 Nationals -1  0   0  1  0  1  -1  1   0 
 Yankees  -1  1   -1  2   -5  1   3  0   0 
 Cubs 1  -2   3  2  -2  -1  2  -4   -1 
 Diamondbacks -2  -1   -3  2  -1  1  1  2   -1 
 Reds 1  1   -1  -1  -3  -2  0  4   -1 
 Indians -1  0   2  -3  -6  2  0  4   -2 
 Rangers -1  2   -3  -4  1  -4  3  3   -2 
 White Sox 0  -1   -1  -3  2  1  1  -3   -3 
 Orioles 1  -1   -3  -3  2  -1  2  -1   -4 
 Marlins 0  1   -1  2  -1  -2  -4  1   -4 
 Royals -2  -1   0  -1  0  1  -2  -1   -5 
 Brewers -1  1   2  -3  -1  -2  -1  1   -5 
 Red Sox -3  1   0  0  2  -3  -6  1   -7 
 Dodgers -1  0   -1  0  0  0  -3  -2   -7 
 Angels -1  1   -5  2  -1  -1  -4  -1   -9 
 Astros 1  1   1  -5  -4  -6  1  -2   -13 
 Pirates -3  -2   -5  0  -2  -8  -1  -5   -26 
--Posted at 4:26 pm by SG / 33 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yankees.com: Teixeira belts three homers to power Yanks

BOSTON—Mark Teixeira homered before and after the rains came, and Francisco Cervelli drove in three runs to pace the Yankees’ offensive attack in a 14-3 victory over the Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park.

Teixeira cracked a solo shot to give New York the lead off Boston starter Clay Buchholz in the fifth and belted another in the seventh off Ramon Ramirez, as the slugging first baseman doubled his homer output for the season in one afternoon.

With the Red Sox using reserve outfielder Jonathan Van Every to pitch the ninth, Teixeira belted a two-run homer off the light tower above the Green Monster.

Playing once again behind the plate in place of Jorge Posada, Cervelli notched five RBIs with a pair of singles, notching a run-scoring hit in the fourth and another in the fifth that chased home two runs, helping New York to its sixth consecutive victory.

Even a rash of injuries that would have made the 2009 Mets shake their heads can’t stop the Yankees right now. 

Teixeira entered today’s hitting this game hitting .181/.328/.295 and ends it hitting .207/.343/.396.  And you have to love what Cervelli’s been doing with Jorge Posada out injured, even if it’s a fluke.

Of course, no game would be complete without more injuries.  This time, it’s Alfredo Aceves who was forced to leave with lower back stiffness. 

To be honest, with how banged up they are, I had hoped the Yankees would just take one of these three games, but now anything less than a sweep would be unacceptable.

--Posted at 7:22 pm by SG / 75 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (20-8) @ RedSox (15-15), Saturday, May 8, 2010, 3:10pm **Game Chatter**

NYY: CC Sabathia (29, LHP, 4-1, 2.74) vs. BOS: Clay Buchholz (25, RHP, 3-2, 2.97)

Lineups
NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.300/.336/.458, 0.3 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.345/.433/.429, 0.9 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.181/.328/.295, 0.0 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.262/.347/.427, 0.7 WAR)
Robinson Cano, DH (.355/.403/.682, 1.5 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.290/.372/.560, 0.8 WAR)
Randy Winn, LF (.217/.217/.348, -0.1 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.395/.465/.474, 0.4 WAR)
Ramiro Pena, 2B (.111/.105/.111, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .275/.339/.427, 4.3 WAR

Boston
Marco Scutaro, SS (.283/.358/.383, 0.7 WAR)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B (.291/.338/.535, 1.0 WAR)
Victor Martinez, C (.267/.330/.381, 0.3 WAR)
Kevin Youkilis, 1B (.296/.412/.546, 1.0 WAR)
Mike Lowell, DH (.295/.392/.477, 0.4 WAR)
J.D. Drew, 3B (.265/.353/.480, 0.7 WAR)
Adrian Beltre, 3B (.339/.371/.459, 0.8 WAR)
Bill Hall, LF (.231/.375/.333, -0.2 WAR)
Darnell McDonald, CF (.265/.357/.449, 0.0 WAR)
Lineup Total: .282/.365/.452, 4.8 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: 53.6%

Whatever.

--Posted at 1:49 pm by SG / 602 Comments | - (0)



Pitcher A vs. Pitcher J

  GS  IP  H  R  ER  HR  BB  SO  HBP  BF  RA  ERA  FIP  ERA+   RSAR
 Pitcher A 73  469.0   440  219  202  45  194   454  22  2017  4.20  3.88   3.89  109  67 
 Pitcher J 66  427.7   423  214  203  48  105   405  20  1797  4.50  4.27   3.64  109  66 

RSAR: Runs saved above replacement level

Where J stands for jackass. 

I blatantly stole this from Fabian’s post here(#9).

--Posted at 9:19 am by SG / 49 Comments | - (0)




Friday, May 7, 2010

Yankees.com: Six-run sixth powers Yankees past Boston

BOSTON—Nick Swisher belted a three-run homer and Josh Beckett came unhinged in a wild six-run sixth inning as the Yankees pounded their way to a 10-3 victory over the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park.

Swisher swatted a hanging breaking ball into the center-field camera stand for his sixth homer of the year in the fourth, giving New York the jump on Beckett, but it could have had no idea how quickly it would unravel for the hard-throwing righty.

The sixth-inning implosion would force a yellow “6” to be slotted into the Green Monster, as Beckett dusted Francisco Cervelli for a run-scoring walk, Randy Winn logged an RBI single and Derek Jeter was hit in the No. 2 on his back to force in another run.

Beckett allowed run-scoring hits to Marcus Thames and Mark Teixeira before Red Sox manager Terry Francona finally brought out the hook. Alex Rodriguez logged a sacrifice fly before the carnage was complete against Beckett, who allowed nine runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The hearty cushion provided plenty of breathing room for Phil Hughes, who remained undefeated in his past nine starts dating back to last season. Hughes completed seven strong innings, limiting the Red Sox to a pair of David Ortiz RBIs—a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

I thought I could go out for dinner and some Dos Equis and if I was back by midnight I could catch the last six innings, but to my surprise the game was over.

The win was good, but this wasn’t.

Cano, Johnson exit with injuries

I’d expect Cano to be ok in a few days, but Johnson I’m expecting is done for the year.  Are we ready for Juan Miranda, DH?

--Posted at 11:02 pm by SG / 35 Comments | - (0)



Yankees (19-8) @ RedSox (15-14), Friday, May 7, 2010, 7:10pm **Game Chatter**

NYY: Phil Hughes (24, RHP, 3-0, 1.44) vs. BOS: Josh Beckett (30, RHP, 1-0, 6.31)

Lineups
NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.310/.341/.474, 0.4 WAR)
Nick Johnson, DH (.171/.396/.314, 0.0 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.178/.325/.297, 0.0 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.253/.345/.414, 0.6 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.362/.405/.695, 1.5 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.295/.380/.547, 0.7 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.346/.430/.432, 0.9 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.371/.436/.457, 0.3 WAR)
Randy Winn, LF (.158/.158/.316, -0.1 WAR)
Lineup Total: .271/.359/.441, 4.3 WAR

Boston
Marco Scutaro, SS (.284/.362/.388, 0.8 WAR)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B (.303/.350/.557, 1.1 WAR)
J.D. Drew, RF (.253/.345/.465, 0.6 WAR)
Kevin Youkilis, 1B (.295/.409/.552, 1.0 WAR)
David Ortiz, DH (.171/.266/.414, -0.1 WAR)
Adrian Beltre, 3B (.343/.375/.467, 0.8 WAR)
Jeremy Hermida, LF (.250/.318/.467, 0.2 WAR)
Jason Varitek, C (.324/.378/.824, 0.6 WAR)
Darnell McDonald, CF (.267/.365/.467, 0.0 WAR)
Lineup Total: .276/.352/.506, 4.9 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: 46.6%

Whatever.

(Click Comments to read more)
--Posted at 4:40 pm by SG / 365 Comments | - (0)



The Many Faces Of Phil Hughes

Since debuting in the majors in 2007, we’ve seen several distinct versions of Phil Hughes.  In his debut 2007 season at age 21, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his second game before injuring his hamstring, but upon his return pitched pretty well overall, ending up slightly better than league average over 13 starts and 72.2 innings.

With the hopes that he’d build on that in 2008, he instead had a season that can really only be called a disaster.  His first start of the year was ok, but he then proceeded to give up 21 runs over his next 16 innings before a fractured rib put him on the shelf for most of the season.

In 2009, Hughes began the season in AAA Scranton’s rotation until getting called up to replace an injured and ineffective Chien-Ming Wang. Hughes made seven starts and had a 5.45 ERA/5.39 FIP, but that was skewed by one particularly bad game where he allowed eight runs in 1.2 innings at Baltimore.  In his other six starts he put up an ERA of 3.55/FIP of 4.84. 

Wang’s return to the rotation meant the Yankees had two options with Hughes.  One was to send him back to AAA and keep him as a starting pitcher, but instead Hughes was moved to the bullpen.  Hughes thrived in the pen, eventually becoming the eighth-inning setup man, which is the most important role on any team.  Hughes put up the best FIP of any AL reliever from June 8 to the end of the season.

So heading into 2010, there was some uncertaintly about Hughes’s ultimate role.  With the Yankees deciding to take a flier on Javier Vazquez 2, Electric Boogaloo, there was only one open spot in the starting rotation, and Hughes would have to compete with Joba Chamberlain for it.  It seemed like Chamberlain had the edge, at least in my mind, since he’d built up to a full starter’s workload in 2009, but Hughes showed enough in camp to win the job. 

So far, it’s been a smashing success.  However, a lot of his success is coming thanks to an unsustainably low BABIP against of .162.  In his career, Hughes has actually a better BABIP against than the league (.286 compared to .304 for league average), although given the sample size it’s too early to say he has a skill to sustain that going forward.

Even though he’s outpitching his peripherals (FIP of 3.11 compared to an ERA of 1.44), that FIP is tied for ninth best in the AL.  He’s obviously pitching very well no matter how you look at it.

I wanted to look at the PitchFX data for each of the faces of Hughes, because he’s clearly not the same pitcher he was in 2007 or 2008, but I think it might be interesting to see exactly what he’s doing differently. 

(Click Comments to read more)
--Posted at 8:03 am by SG / 66 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, May 6, 2010

Player A vs. Player B

  PA  BB SO  HBP GDP  babip FB  GB LD  fb% gb%  ld% bb/pa  k/pa
 player a 123  20   21  2  4  .205  33  33   14  41.3%  41.3%  17.5%  16.3%   17.1% 
 player b 125  21   22  2  1  .189  46  26   9  56.8%  32.1%  11.1%  16.8%   17.6% 

babip: batting average on balls in play
FB: fly balls
GB: ground balls
LD: line drives

--Posted at 5:18 pm by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)



Yankee WAR Pie Chart Through Games of May 5, 2010

At 19-8, the Yankees have played at a pace that the mighty 1998 Yankees would have been proud of.  More impressively, they were able to do it through what on paper looked like the hardest part of their schedule, although our estimates of the strength of the opposition may change as we move through the season.

So why have the Yankees been so good so far?  It’s Pie Chart time!

WAR stands for wins above replacement.  For position players it consists of batting runs above position-adjusted replacement level plus defense saved compared to average using an average of zone rating and UZR.  For pitchers it’s just runs saved compared to a a replacement level pitcher using runs allowed per nine.  These are context-neutral values, so they aren’t going to necessarily line up with actual game values once you factor in context.

Negative values don’t work with pie charts, so here’s the full list:

 Player  WAR
 Andy Pettitte 1.5 
 Robinson Cano 1.5 
 A.J. Burnett 1.4 
 CC Sabathia 1.2 
 Phil Hughes 1.1 
 Brett Gardner 0.9 
 Jorge Posada 0.7 
 Nick Swisher 0.7 
 Alex Rodriguez 0.6 
 Mariano Rivera 0.5 
 Curtis Granderson 0.4 
 Derek Jeter 0.4 
 Marcus Thames 0.4 
 Francisco Cervelli 0.3 
 Joba Chamberlain 0.3 
 Sergio Mitre 0.2 
 Alfredo Aceves 0.1 
 Boone Logan 0.1 
 Nick Johnson 0.0 
 Damaso Marte 0.0 
 Greg Golson 0.0 
 Mark Teixeira 0.0 
 Chan Ho Park -0.1 
 Randy Winn -0.1 
 Mark Melancon -0.2 
 Ramiro Pena -0.2 
 David Robertson -0.6 
 Javier Vazquez -1.1 

As a team, the Yankees have been 10.2 wins above replacement level.  I set replacement level at around 50 wins per 162 games, so over 27 games a replacement level team would win about 8.3 games.  So those eight wins plus the 10.2 WAR = 18.5 wins, which is essentially what the Yankees have actually done.

Random fun with small sample sizes:

- Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes have combined for more than half of the team WAR at 5.3.

- Robinson Cano has been more valuable Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira COMBINED.

- TSBG = 0.9 WAR.  A-Rod + Jeter + Teixeira = 0.9 WAR.

- The Yankee bullpen has combined for 0.4 WAR.  Mariano Rivera has been worth 0.5 WAR.

Anyway, as always, remember that sample size is an issue, and that we should still expect players to play closer to how they projected to play going forward than how they’ve done so far this year.  However, what’s happened so far can inform our going forward projections, so we shouldn’t ignore that either.

--Posted at 8:56 am by SG / 58 Comments | - (0)




Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yankees.com: Yankees hang on for fourth straight win

NEW YORK—Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher belted solo homers, while Andy Pettitte hurled five sharp innings before exiting as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 7-5, completing a series sweep at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte limited the Orioles to one run on six hits, getting the benefit of three double-play grounders, but yielded the mound duties to long reliever Sergio Mitre for the sixth inning.

Permitting just a bases-loaded walk to Nolan Reimold in the fourth, Pettitte owns his lowest career ERA (2.08) through six starts of any season and is now undefeated in his past nine starts against Baltimore.

Another win, but another potential injury scare, this time with Andy Pettitte.  Nick Johnson had his best game of the year, raising his batting average by .037 points, and his SLG by .09.  The bullpen, well, let’s not go there.  Although I will say that I don’t think Girardi was playing platoon percentages when he made his pitching changes, I think he was trying to get some of the relievers some work in what seemed like a low leverage situation at the time.  That they didn’t execute isn’t his fault.

Andy Pettitte Update: Chad Jennings is reporting that:

This is the latest from the Yankees regarding Andy Pettitte:

MRI results, taken today at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, on Andy Pettitte, revealed mild inflammation of his left elbow. It will be treated conservatively and will be evaluated on a daily basis at this point.

--Posted at 3:38 pm by SG / 68 Comments | - (0)



Orioles (7-20) @ Yankees (18-8), Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 1:05pm **Game Chatter**

BAL: David Hernandez (25, RHP, 0-3, 4.55) vs. NYY: Andy Pettitte (38, LHP, 3-0, 2.12)

Lineups
Baltimore
Adam Jones, CF (.225/.250/.367, 0.0 WAR)
Ty Wigginton, 2B (.295/.391/.654, 0.7 WAR)
Nick Markakis, RF (.314/.413/.500, 0.7 WAR)
Miguel Tejada, 3B (.311/.357/.500, 0.5 WAR)
Garrett Atkins, 1B (.270/.289/.338, -0.2 WAR)
Matt Wieters, DH (.277/.340/.404, 0.6 WAR)
Nolan Reimold, LF (.179/.282/.299, -0.3 WAR)
Craig Tatum, C (.100/.100/.100, 0.0 WAR)
Julio Lugo, SS (.125/.176/.125, -0.3 WAR)
Lineup Total: .239/.295/.379, 1.6 WAR

NY Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS (.315/.347/.486, 0.4 WAR)
Nick Johnson, DH (.134/.363/.224, -0.2 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.175/.322/.289, 0.0 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.253/.342/.421, 0.6 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.376/.420/.723, 1.6 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.293/.375/.522, 0.6 WAR)
Brett Gardner, CF (.346/.427/.436, 0.8 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.387/.457/.484, 0.4 WAR)
Randy Winn, LF (.125/.125/.313, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .266/.355/.435, 3.9 WAR

Yankee Win Probability: 62.5%

Derek Jeter + Nick Johnson + Mark Teixeira + Alex Rodriguez + Nick Swisher = 1.4 WAR.
Robinson Cano = 1.6 WAR.

Whatever.

--Posted at 10:36 am by SG / 184 Comments | - (0)




Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yankees.com: Battery of Burnett-Cervelli steps up in win

NEW YORK—Francisco Cervelli stole the show with a triple, bunt single and a tumbling catch over the dugout railing, leaving A.J. Burnett content to work in the background and pitch the Yankees toward a 4-1 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday.

I thought that was Brett Gardner in a Francisco Cervelli mask.  Cervelli’s performance was reminiscent of the speed game the last Yankee backup had, Jose “Wheels” Molino.

Burnett was nasty tonight, especially his curve.  By allowing only one unearned run over 7.1 innings, he lowered his ERA on the season to 1.99.  His FIP is 3.18, so we probably shouldn’t expect him to maintain a sub 2 ERA all year.  He’s probably been a little fortunate in allowing just one HR so far, with 3% of his fly balls going for HRs compared to around 10.1% in his career, and I’d expect that to normalize some going forward.

The more encouraging thing to me is he’s cut down on the walks.  Last season, Burnett walked 12.1% of the batters he faced, while striking out 21.8%, and led the league in walks allowed.  This year, he’s walking just 6.7%, while striking out 17.0%.  Also encouraging is that his GB% has gone from 42.8% last season to 48.5%.  He’s thrown a higher percentage of fastballs this season at 74.3%, compared to 65.8% last year, and it seems to be working. 

Right now, the starting pitching is carrying this team (with one notable exception), and it’s been fun to watch.

On an unrelated note, I was saddened to hear about the passing of Ernie Harwell.  I used to listen to the occasional Tigers games on 760 out of Detroit, and Harwell was a great announcer, and by all accounts a wonderful person.  RIP Mr. Harwell.

--Posted at 9:12 pm by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)



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