Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Derek Jeter, SS (.299/.349/.430, 1.1 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.311/.397/.551, 1.8 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.220/.337/.383, 0.3 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.288/.360/.479, 1.6 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.370/.410/.613, 3.0 WAR)
Jorge Posada, DH (.291/.386/.527, 1.1 WAR)
Curtis Granderson, CF (.256/.336/.444, 1.0 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.283/.378/.350, 0.4 WAR)
Kevin Russo, LF (.194/.219/.258, -0.1 WAR)
Lineup Total: .281/.355/.455, 10.2 WAR
Julio Lugo, 2B (.213/.253/.213, -0.5 WAR)
Miguel Tejada, 3B (.264/.303/.368, 0.3 WAR)
Nick Markakis, RF (.290/.387/.410, 0.8 WAR)
Ty Wigginton, 1B (.277/.364/.518, 1.0 WAR)
Luke Scott, LF (.278/.350/.531, 1.2 WAR)
Adam Jones, CF (.246/.273/.388, 0.4 WAR)
Matt Wieters, C (.246/.316/.342, 0.6 WAR)
Garrett Atkins, DH (.214/.275/.290, -0.8 WAR)
Cesar Izturis, SS (.219/.282/.245, -0.3 WAR)
Lineup Total: .251/.313/.372, 2.6 WAR
Is that Randy Winn in a Kevin Russo mask?
Over/under on Orioles HRs tonight is five.
BALTIMORE - Shortly after the Yankees tabbed high-schooler Cito Culver in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday night, many draft experts were so harsh in their criticism it could have made Mel Kiper Jr. blush.
Baseball America had the 17-year-old shortstop ranked 168th, leading many to question why the Yankees chose the Rochester product so high. Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ VP of amateur scouting, said Culver was the highest-ranked position player left on their board when their pick came around, making the decision easy.
“The main ranking that means something to me is what ranking our guys have,” Oppenheimer said. “I had basically over 100 years of scouting experience go in to see this kid. When guys like my cross-checkers who have been doing this for a long time, former major-league hitting coaches like Gary Denbo and former scouting directors like Bill Livesey come back with a thumbs up, that means a lot more to me than the public opinion of Baseball America or some of the other publications who just aren’t able to get to these guys and don’t have scouting staffs.”
Are these the same “experts” who said the Yankees were foolish for not drafting Craig Hansen, who was ready to step in as Mo’s setup man right away?
Time will tell.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
BALTIMORE—Curtis Granderson hit his second career grand slam, while Nick Swisher homered and drove in five runs in support of Phil Hughes as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 12-7, on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
Making his third start of the season against the Orioles and consecutive starts against the same opponent for the first time in his career, Hughes took advantage of the run support, hurling six innings of three-run ball to pick up his team-leading eighth victory.
I hope Chad Gaudin is renting and didn’t buy a place in the City.
Derek Jeter, SS (.300/.348/.433, 1.1 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.305/.394/.532, 1.6 WAR)
Mark Teixeira, 1B (.211/.326/.363, 0.0 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.294/.367/.491, 1.7 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.363/.402/.611, 2.9 WAR)
Jorge Posada, DH (.299/.385/.542, 1.1 WAR)
Curtis Granderson, CF (.250/.333/.420, 0.9 WAR)
Francisco Cervelli, C (.282/.370/.350, 0.4 WAR)
Brett Gardner, LF (.311/.393/.421, 1.6 WAR)
Lineup Total: .291/.369/.466, 11.2 WAR
Julio Lugo, SS (.211/.245/.211, -0.5 WAR)
Miguel Tejada, 3B (.256/.297/.363, 0.2 WAR)
Nick Markakis, RF (.288/.387/.406, 0.7 WAR)
Ty Wigginton, 1B (.274/.364/.521, 1.0 WAR)
Luke Scott, DH (.272/.343/.532, 1.1 WAR)
Adam Jones, CF (.247/.274/.379, 0.3 WAR)
Matt Wieters, C (.236/.308/.335, 0.5 WAR)
Lou Montanez, LF (.140/.157/.140, -0.7 WAR)
Cesar Izturis, SS (.225/.289/.252, -0.2 WAR)
Lineup Total: .241/.299/.356, 2.4 WAR
Yankees 1st round pick and other prospect updates
The Yankees drafted a HS SS from NY, Cito Culver, with their 1st round pick today. So far I’ve seen mostly negative reactions about the pick, but I’m satisfied with it. First, Culver sounds like he’s a good bet to stick at SS, and his bat improved significantly as the season went on:
Culver was evaluated high on their board and got stellar grades from the MLB Scouting Bureau this spring, grades that could have pushed him into the top 25. This is an example of a club not worrying about public perception and taking the guy scouts evaluated as being best for the organization.
Don’t kill it. This guy (Culver) got huge scouting bureau grades late in the year.
As always, I’d recommend reading Kevin Levine-Flandrup’s articles for draft news. He talked to Damon Oppenheimer after the draft and it sounds like the Yankees knew Culver well and scouted him extensively. The Yankees didn’t think Culver would last to their next pick, and they were right: another team told Oppenheimer they would have picked him before then.
Culver’s a skinny guy with a plus arm, good range, and a loose swing. He’s not even 18 yet, and with his frame he could certainly add some power down the line. Who knows what he ends up as, but the more I find out, the more hopeful I am the Yankees got someone more talented than the hype he’s received.
As for some of our other prospects…
Jesus Montero has been a disappointment so far. After putting up a 166 OPS+ in Trenton last year (and 179 combined between Tampa and Trenton), he’s at an 85 in Scranton so far. The good news is he’s walking more than ever, and while he’s striking out more often, his contact rate is still good. He’s also had some bad luck on BIP, and since it hasn’t even been 200 PA yet, it’s way too early to panic. He’s still allowing PB at an alarming rate, and while his CS% isn’t great, it sounds like Scranton pitchers are pretty awful at holding runners. I’m confident he’ll put up a big 2nd half, and he’s pretty clearly our best prospect still.
Like Montero, Austin Romine is walking and striking out more often, but Romine’s off to a strong start. His OPS+ is 146, and while he’s not hitting many HR, he already has 17 2Bs (league average is 8). I was a bit worried that AA pitching would exploit his lack of patience, but his BB/SO ratio matches his career average (0.39) and is a slight improvement from last year.
David Adams got off to a great start, although he’s on the DL right now. He’s hit .309/.393/.507, good for a 166 OPS+. He has good plate discipline, gap power, and contact skills. Assuming he gets back pretty soon, he could be pretty nice trade bait.
One of my favorite prospects coming into the season, Corban Joseph’s performance has been excellent so far. He’s sporting a 145 OPS+ and already has as many HR as he did last year. Now onto the negative… one of the reasons I liked Joseph so much was his ability to make solid contact while rarely striking out and walking a good deal. His walk rate has picked up recently and is up to 9.5% now, but his contact rate went from 84% last year to 76 this year. I’m skeptical of guys without big power that strike out as often as he has been, but it’s early, and he’s been a slow starter so far in his career.
The position player that’s done the most for his prospect status would have to be Brandon Laird. He’s always had good power, and now he’s starting to hit for average as well. He has a 157 OPS+ thus far in Trenton, and may have had some bad luck on BIP. He looked much better defensively at 3B than I expected, and while I don’t think he has any star potential even if he sticks there, I think his upside is now an everyday player. He could always move to 1B too, which could move up his timetable significantly if the Yankees have Mark Teixeira legally declared dead.
Slade Heathcott is looking pretty sexy in his first taste of A ball. It’s only about 30 PA, but he’s hitting .346/.414/.462. I’ve read reports he may go to Staten Island once their season starts, and while it’s probably not a big deal, I’m hoping that’s not true. I thought Charleston would be our most exciting affiliate this year, and if Heathcott, Murphy, and Ramirez stay there, it probably is.
Jose Ramirez is probably my favorite pitching prospect right now, at least until Banuelos comes back from his appendectomy. He’s done a great job in Charleston so far, posting above average strikeout and walk rates and has yet to give up a HR. I’d like to see a better breaking ball, but you have to love a projectable young pitcher with a low 90’s fastball that can reach the mid 90’s and a plus changeup.
I’m far from a big Brackman fan, but he’s starting to intrigue me. He got off to a horrible start, but has been superb of late. His walk rate went from 6.44 per 9 last year to 1.26 this year. His stuff wasn’t great earlier in the year, but since his strikeout rates have jumped up recently, I’m hopeful that his curve and fastball have picked up as well.
Perhaps our most impressive pitching prospect this year has been Graham Stoneburner. He’s used his mid 90’s fastball and average slider to post great strikeout and groundball rates. He needs to be more consistent with his slider and improve his changeup to make it as a starter, but if he doesn’t, he has the stuff to be a late inning reliever.
There’s a couple other pitchers I’ll try to write-up soon, and now that my semester is finished, I’ll try to write more often.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Yankees Log5 Checkpoint Through June 7, 2010
As requested by Andrew in a thread last week, here’s a look at how the Yankees have played compared to expectations so far this season. I’m using Bill James’s log5 method to calculate the estimated win probability for each game. Team strength is based on a combined 35% YTD Pythagenpat record and 65% pre-season projected record.(Click Comments to read more)
Has Robinson Cano Ever Hit This Well For This Long?
I have a confession to make. As much as I’ve enjoyed how well Robinson Cano has hit this season, I keep waiting for him to slump. As great as he’s been to this point, we’ve seen him hit very well for periods before. What I am not sure of is whether or not this is the longest stretch of this type of hitting in Cano’s career. Let’s see if that’s the case.
I’m looking at every stretch of at least 200 PAs in Cano’s career. Here are the best such stretches in each season.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
So what Cano’s done so far this season is not something he hasn’t done before. The real question will be whether or not he can avoid one of these going forward…
On a completely unrelated note, I helped Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times run a simulation to determine who the best team of the Aughts (2000-2009) may have been. Anyone who’s interested can check out the article at the following link.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Obviously we know how poorly today’s starter had pitched to start the season. Because of that, it’s tough to gauge how much better he’s pitched lately since his season numbers to this point are still pretty ugly, so here’s some selective end point data.
|4/9 - 5/1||23.0||32||25||25||8||15||20||9.78||9.78||8.07||.358||13.4%||17.9%||16.0%|
|5/12 - 6/6||32.7||19||10||10||3||12||31||2.76||2.76||3.69||.211||9.6%||24.8%||5.8%|
The good thing I see here is the improved walk rate combined with the improved K rate. I’d expect the BABIP(batting average on balls in play) to regress back towards league average as well as the HR/FB rate, but I am now cautiously optimistic that he will end the season above replacement level.
The other correction I was thinking about was that of Phil Hughes. A lot of Hughes’s early season success was built on a few things that were not sustainable, primarily an extremely low BABIP and homeruns per fly ball rate. The question was how Hughes would pitch going forward as those regressed to more realistic numbers.
|May + June||45.7||41||14||14||3||9||46||2.76||2.76||2.63||.297||4.9%||25.1%||3.9%|
As we can see from these numbers, Hughes’s BABP against HAS regressed to just about league average. Fortunately in this case, his performance hasn’t suffered and has actually improved, as he’s cut his walk rate down significantly. Even though his ERA is a bit higher in May and June than it was in April, his peripherals indicate he’s actually pitching better.
The HR/FB rate is still unsustainably low, but that’s pretty much the only cautionary thing I see in this data. If you correct for that by using xFIP, which converts fly balls to HRs based on the league average, Hughes still looks good at 3.60. That ranks sixth among AL starters.
Now if only some of the offensive underperformers would correct…
TORONTO—Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each delivered a pair of RBI doubles to the opposite field on Sunday in a four-run eighth inning that lifted the Yankees past the Blue Jays, 4-3, at Rogers Centre.
A win is a win. But WOE lives.
A bunch of bums
A bunch of All Stars.
I’m torn between watching this game and bludgeoning myself with a tire iron. When Toronto and Boston win today, they’ll both have as many wins as the Yankees. Sweet.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Marcus Thames LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner CF
Toronto Blue Jays
Babe Ruth, C
Babe Ruth, 1B
Babe Ruth, 2B
Babe Ruth, 3B
Babe Ruth, SS
Babe Ruth, LF
Babe Ruth, CF
Babe Ruth, RF
Babe Ruth, DH
Friday, June 4, 2010
Derek Jeter, SS (.302/.353/.427, 1.0 WAR)
Nick Swisher, RF (.318/.399/.553, 1.6 WAR)
DH 1B (.220/.337/.383, 0.2 WAR)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B (.300/.377/.505, 1.6 WAR)
Robinson Cano, 2B (.373/.414/.632, 2.7 WAR)
Jorge Posada, DH (.323/.404/.594, 1.2 WAR)
Marcus Thames, LF (.303/.422/.455, 0.3 WAR)
Curtis Granderson, CF (.269/.350/.452, 1.0 WAR)
Chad Moeller, C (.167/.167/.333, 0.0 WAR)
Lineup Total: .289/.361/.485, 9.6 WAR
Fred Lewis, LF (.310/.344/.518, 0.8 WAR)
Aaron Hill, 2B (.188/.286/.369, 0.2 WAR)
Adam Lind, DH (.221/.283/.389, 0.0 WAR)
Vernon Wells, CF (.306/.355/.603, 2.2 WAR)
Jose Bautista, RF (.247/.370/.584, 1.6 WAR)
Alex Gonzalez, SS (.264/.297/.505, 1.2 WAR)
Lyle Overbay, 1B (.228/.300/.411, 0.0 WAR)
John Buck, C (.269/.310/.538, 1.1 WAR)
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B (.203/.283/.519, 0.3 WAR)
Lineup Total: .249/.315/.493, 7.4 WAR
2010 Yankee WAR through Games of June 4
|Chan Ho Park||Yankees||AL||RP||-4.1||-0.4|
BRAR: Position-adjusted batting runs above replacement level
aRS: Runs saved compared to average defender at all positions using an average of zone rating and UZR
RSAR: Pitching runs saved above replacement level using RA (earned + unearned) / 9.
WAR: Wins above replacement (BRAR+ aRS +RSAR) divided by 10
Should We Be Worried About CC Sabathia?
Despite pitching pretty well against Baltimore yesterday, CC Sabathia continued a disturbing trend of allowing HRs. He’s now allowed 12 this year in 78.1 innings compared to 18 in 230 innings last season.
In his career, Sabathia’s allowed HRs on 8.6% of his fly balls, including 7.4% last season. So far this year he’s at 13.0%. So we should expect that to drop going forward.
What about the fact he’s striking out 6.8 batters per nine innings compared to 7.7 lst season and 7.55 in his career?
|6/6/09 - 8/2/09||77||78||40||38||19||58||10||2||4.44||4.20||6.0%||18.2%|
|4/4/10 - 6/3/10||78.3||68||38||36||24||61||12||2||4.14||4.63||7.5%||19.2%|
His 2010 performance is not out of line with a subset of 12 starts from 2009 (incidentally he faced exactly 318 batters in both samples).
Sabathia’s average fastball this year is down about 1.2 mph from his average last year, but it’s basically the same as it was in 2007 when he won the Cy Young.
I don’t see any reason to think we shouldn’t expect Sabathia to pitch better going forward, even if he’s not necessarily going to be as good as he was last year.
So no, we should not be worried about CC.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia put an end to his personal winless drought and Alex Rodriguez hit his 591st career home run as the Yankees posted a 6-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, completing a three-game series sweep.
Strasburg > Sabathia.
Cano > Strasburg.
I’m shuffling off to Buffalo to watch Stephen Strasburg, so here’s the early Game Chatter thread.
Feel free to stop sucking any time now CC.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Hughes collected his seventh win of the season, continuing his hot start to the campaign as the Yankees won their fourth straight game. The right-hander blanked the Orioles into the sixth, allowing just one run in a seven-inning effort.
The Yankees gave Hughes plenty of support, rocking Brad Bergesen for six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Red-hot second baseman Robinson Cano, riding a 16-game hitting streak, offered more padding in the seventh with his team-leading 12th home run, a two-run shot off Matt Albers.
Cano’s home run total is approaching dangerous territory. He may hurt the team if he’s not careful.