The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Citizen’s Voice: Mitchell brilliant as Yankees down Buffalo in 2011 finale

D.J. Mitchell had just worked eight dominant innings. Jorge Vazquez drove in three runs and hit as long a home run as he hit in his record-setting season. And 2011 ended on a clean, crisp, 5-1 win over Buffalo.

In that clubhouse, one disappointed days ago that it couldn’t secure the franchise’s unprecedented sixth straight playoff berth, there was a sense of finality to it all.
...
As he was giving his postgame interview, Mitchell’s eyes lunched toward the television. The slugger who helped spark the Yankees offense all season, catcher Jesus Montero, had just hit his second home run of his big league career.

The [Scranton Wilkes/Barre]Yankees players milling around the clubhouse flocked to any television they could find to watch their former teammate trot around the bases.
...
As his old teammates watched Montero take his curtain call, Miley had the last big job of the season. He called outfielder Greg Golson, infielder Ramiro Pena and pitchers Hector Noesi and George Kontos into his office to deliver the news they had been hoping for or, in one case, waiting for an entire lifetime.

They were going to the big leagues.

“I can’t even describe this feeling. It’s surreal,” said Kontos, his cell phone in hand and tears welling in his eyes as he pondered who to call next to talk about his first big-league call-up. “It’s everything I worked for, my whole lifetime. To think that I’m going up, it’s unreal.”

More reinforcements on the way. 

And in case you’re curious, here’s an update to the AL postseason odds after yesterday’s action.

TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Yankees 100 62 892 651 72.5% 27.2% 99.7%
Red Sox 97 65 864 692 27.4% 71.5% 98.9%
Rays 88 74 692 609 0.1% 1.3% 1.4%
Blue Jays 80 82 756 743 - - -
Orioles 64 98 688 864 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Tigers 90 72 759 726 97.3% - 97.3%
White Sox 82 80 654 683 1.8% - 1.8%
Indians 81 81 683 707 0.8% - 0.8%
Twins 70 92 629 801 - - -
Royals 67 95 715 781 - - -
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL
Rangers 91 71 827 700 88.1% - 88.1%
Angels 86 76 665 638 11.9% 0.0% 11.9%
Athletics 76 86 651 675 - - -
Mariners 68 94 559 675 - - -

W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)

--Posted at 9:31 am by SG / 54 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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I’ve learned not to root for a specific first-round matchup, unless it’s with the Twins.

I’ve learned not to root for a specific first-round matchup, unless it’s with the Twins.

Or A’s.

Very unfortunately missed the game last night, but I’ve been watching the encore this morning. One thing that kind of jumps out at me about Montero on his homers is that there seems to be something kind of old-fashioned about his swing. It looks more like a Mike Schmidt or Jim Rice swing than an ARod or Pujols swing. Is it just me?

[0] So verge of ...?

[4] Someone on the internet said the swing seem long, but it seem pretty compact to me. Almost a hard quick stab.

The Yankees seem to be calling up a ton of guys this year, which for some reason I feel like they haven’t really done in previous years.  Is that just me having a faulty memory?  Not saying it is a bad thing, just seemed a bit abnormal to me.

Montero OPS+ 240.  Where’s the Yankeeography?

[5] I don’t recall ever thinking his swing was long in AAA.  Of course, it’s so quick I have to go off the sound, so I could be wrong…

[7] Needs a game-winning hit in the post-season first.

Singleton certainly didn’t think Montero’s swing seemed long, commenting on his ability to wait on a pitch and attack it late to drive it the other way, a la Alex.

ONe announcer did say he might have a bit of a hole inside. I guess we’ll see when there’s a more in depth ML scouting report out on him. He looks good so far though, hitting balls all over and out of the park.

His swing isn’t long.  It’s short and powerful.

It looks more like a Mike Schmidt or Jim Rice swing than an ARod or Pujols swing. Is it just me?

He doesn’t let go of the bat with one hand on the follow-through, which is somewhat unusual for a power hitter. Contrast these two images.

arodvmontero.jpg

[12] That’s what she said…

OT, and not sure if anyone saw this.  But RAB pointed me to this column on Granderson’s defense.  Basically - and something I’ve been saying for a while - there have been a handful of plays he’s botched.  Some of them for environment (sun, dome in Tampa), some miscummunication (play w/ Swisher).  We can discount those in our minds, but the metrics correctly debit him for them.

[13] Letting go of the bat on the follow through has nothing to do with how quick and short he is to the ball. It’s a comfort/preference thing.

Letting go of the bat on the follow through has nothing to do with how quick and short he is to the ball. It’s a comfort/preference thing.

Where did I say anything like that?  All I was doing was suggesting a reason why Montero’s swing might look old-fashioned to Mental Drifter.

[13]
Or this guy:
mlb_a_granderson_b1_200.jpg

[17] Oops. I got my wires crossed and thought your blockquote was about the long swing comment, not the comparison to Schmidt/Rice.

I didn’t get to see Montero prior to yesterday’s highlight. I imagined he’d be bigger or bulkier, especially with the remarks that he should have been pinch ran. But he looks good.

[20] Yeah, he’s smaller (still a big dude) than I expected, but he’s got really easy power. Montero is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Didn’t Granderson take a hand off on his followthrough before Long’s magic trick last year?

The power Montero generated on both those HR swings was very impressive.  Those were not DNYS homers.  He got into both of them.  I look forward to seeing what he looks like when turning on a major league fastball.

So… Montero makes the new Core One?

Or Montero & Robertson are Core Two? Gardner counts? Nova? Hughes and Chamberlain are bust, so I know they don’t count. Or it’s going to include the B boys?

I too was surprised with his stance/swing. All the comparisons had me thinking Manny.

Gardner’s already 28…if you count him don’t you count Cano too?

Can we count Granderson since IPK was traded for him?

[24] What are the year limitations on a Core? I think you can go 2 years from a center point, so a four year total. If Montero is going to be the centerpoint, You have Nova and can make an argument for Garnder and Robrtson. Hughes and Joba don’t count neither does Cano.

Frankie C!

[28] I’d go with the +/- 2 years from center point, ‘cept not sure how well Gardner can sustain high level of production to maintain core status. Hoping TSBG stays true, of course.

[20 & 21]  We’re not selling jeans here, folks.

For future reference:

The Big Ten
The Divine Nine
The Great Eight
The Magnificent Seven
The Gang of Six
The Fab Five
The Core Four
The Key Three
The True Two
The Man

[20 & 21]  We’re not selling jeans here, folks.

He better be careful with those sideburns.

[28] A lot of speedy, low-power hitters have aged really well, like Kenny Lofton and Brett Butler to name a couple. Ichiro was good until this season at age 37, which is still almost a decade away for TSBG. That said, his hitting ability has always seemed somewhat tenuous, what with his ridiculously deep slumps and middling batting average. It seems like it wouldn’t take much of a drop off for TSBG to become an offensive liability in the outfield.

That said, assuming he’s saving 30 runs a year on defense now, how long would it be predicted to take for that to erode to average? Anybody have any insight on that? Ideas for comps? Andruw Jones went from outstanding to average in two years from 29 to 31, but I think we can trust Brett to control his appetite a little better than Andruw did.

[34] It’s really sort of sad that Andruw Jones probably ate his way out of the Hall of Fame.

[22]  Yep.  That photo of Granderson is after Long fiddled with his swing.

[35] About the same fWAR as Jeter - he should really make the Hall.

[37] Yeah, but I don’t think he will.  A part time player by the time he was 31.

Wynegar, Jesus’s AAA hitting coach, on Michael Kay says Monty is the best hitting prospect he’s seen in 20 years of coaching and has a chance to be as good as Manny or Miguel Cabrera.

[28] I think you need to be a contributor for at least 3 world champions.  So for Gardner, Robertson, Hughes, Chamberlain and Cano have good head starts on that (may be missing someone).  If you don’t need to be homegrown, so does CC (I don’t think AJ has much left to “contribute”).  IDK if Teix or Swish will be around/effective long enough to get into the discussion.  But I would certainly love if we could have a Magnificent Seven out of who is already there.

[39] Depends on a few things, including how much longer he sticks around (and how effective he is), and who the voting population is when he becomes eligible.  Anything productive he does from here on out - including (hopefully) post-season heroics - will only help his case, if only a little.  Then on top of that sticking around a while will allow more SABR-minded voters to be voting for the Hall.  E.g. I think Posnanski will vote for Andruw.  I think - if they get the chance - Neyer and Law would as well.  There are others (Kristina Kahrl?) I’m sure I’m missing, and hopefully there will be more added to the BBWAA in coming years.

[39] Easily.  I’m actually disappointed he’s started off so slowly…

It’s not the same unless the mediots insistently bleat the word “core” whatever.

Okay. [31] is a reference to Moneyball, but what’s [33] referring to ?

But I would certainly love if we could have a Magnificent Seven out of who is already there.

Sounds definitely better than, say, the Narcoleptic Nine.

[44] - I’m guessing a Steinbrenner/Simpsons “Talkin’ Baseball” episode.

And of course after Jesus’ big day, he get’s to sit on the bench.

[32] Nice list, though “Fab Five” isn’t going to catch on as long as the Fab Four are remembered - strike that, google says I’m just wrong.

That said, assuming he’s saving 30 runs a year on defense now, how long would it be predicted to take for that to erode to average? Anybody have any insight on that? Ideas for comps?

I think studies have shown a decline of about 1 run per year through 29, then 1.5 or so per year from 30-35, then a steeper decline after that. 

So if Gardner’s a true talent +20 LF right now, he’ll probably hold his defensive value for quite awhile.

FWIW, Gardner’s bat/baserunning is good enough to make him about a 2.5-3 WAR player even if he was average defensively.  Barring catastrophic injury there’s no reason to think he’s not going to be a valuable player for at least the next five years or so.

Nice list, though “Fab Five” isn’t going to catch on as long as the Fab Four are remembered

How about Fantastic Five?

“Gardner’s bat/baserunning”

You can’t steal first…  Apropos, I don’t understand about steals - at the break-even point, there’s no reason to steal.  He’s at 42/54, or 78%.  If break-even is 75%, he’s 1.5 steals to the good, if I can multiply.  I imagine that’s worth less than a run.  For all the wear/tear involved, why bother?

I was talking about his non-SB baserunning.  It’s been worth about 3-5 runs per year over the last three years.

You can’t steal first…  Apropos, I don’t understand about steals - at the break-even point, there’s no reason to steal.

There are different break-even points depending on leverage.  Late inning SB against closers who are harder to score off are worth more so the success rate doesn’t have to be as high, stuff like that.

Sure, and even for stolen bases he’s at 83% career, and I would guess 75% is too high in the current run environment (but maybe too low given how many HR the Yankees hit).

(but maybe too low given how many HR the Yankees hit).

I think since Jeter’s almost always hitting behind him and his specialty at this point is singles and ground outs, there’s more reason for Gardner to steal once he reaches.  I do agree that he probably shouldn’t try to steal much in front of Granderson/Teixeira, but I’d have to look and see who was batting on all his attempts.  I’d guesstimate at least 75% of them were with Jeter up.

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