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

Thursday, May 18, 2017 Yankees’ bats mash with 16-hit attack vs. KC

The surging Yankees offense scored seven or more runs for the fourth straight game, battering Royals pitchers for 16 hits in an 11-7 win on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer, his seventh, while Starlin Castro had three hits and Gary Sanchez logged his third straight multi-hit game—as the Yanks knocked out Royals starter Jason Vargas with a five-run fourth.
“The second time through, we put a bunch of good at-bats together and got to him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve put guys on base and we’ve hit home runs. That’s a pretty good combination.”

That is, indeed, a pretty good combination.

Boy, this team sure is fun to watch.

While Gallegos sucked in the ninth, Betances probably was due to get a little work, anyways, and I liked that he won the game on making a nice play on a ground ball.

Let’s hope that Jordan Montgomery can keep the good times going on Thursday!

--Posted at 1:59 am by Brian Cronin / 55 Comments | - (0)


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At what point do the performances we see this year outweigh the projections going into this season.  In other words, is this team for real?

It’s already affected the projections in the sense that they are obviously now more likely to win, say, 90 games than they were going in.

As to when it affects what we think of each individual player, I think there has been enough games played that their results have already affected their projections a bit.

<2>  All true.  At the same time, they are not playing like a 90 win team.  They went into the season projected to win in the 80s, now projected to win 90-ish, but they are playing like a 100 win team (on pace for 105 wins right now.) 

If they were to win 90 games total this season, they would basically have to cool down to their individual projections going into the year, playing about .500 baseball from here on out (or a hair better), meaning the team is just on a hot streak to start the season, not showing a new level of play. 

I definitely don’t think they’ll win 105 games, but I don’t think 90 wins is accurate either.

At what point do they finally start playing Hicks EVERY day to find out if this is for real? They could rest TPBG and Smells more frequently to make it happen (and also reduce the chance they incur one of those nagging injuries they both seem to frequently get that don’t quite keep them out of the lineup but absolutely hinder their performance at the plate). Plus, Judge could DH some with Holiday being able to play 1B.

One could argue finding out if Hicks has finally unlocked his potential is way more valuable than getting regular plate appearances for the next salary dump (Smells).

I don’t know if hicks is an all star, but since the middle of last season when he started getting regular playing time he had certainly showed he is worthy of playing every day. I don’t think that 280 with 15-20 HRs is beyond him, and with his fielding he should be out there more.

I still don’t have faith in the pitching staff. CC Suckathia will return with a vengeance, Montgomery is a rookie, and if he isn’t already injured, then Tanaka surely will be any day now.

So…The hive mind now says Hicks just needed some playing time to adjust to the bigs ?

That would mean….that… Cashman….kinda knows what he’s doing ?


I would also like to point out the small sample size that started the year. If you throw out the first week of the season, or at least change the underlying fundamentals or something….you get a 116 win team.

The Yankees have a hell of a logjam in the OF. They have what appears to be 4 starting OF quality players on the ML level right now. All playing very well.

Then in AAA Fazier is having a solid season and Fowler is having an excellent season (even showing some improved patience!). Even Mark Payton - sort of a non-prospect is having a nice year for himself. Cave probably deserves a promotion back to AAA, but there’s just no room for him.

The total rip off of the Cubs (Castro, gleyber, etc for some short term rental) indicates cashman knows what he is doing. I still wish he kept Miller.

[2]Any individual player’s results for 2017 is still a fairly small sample size.  OTOH the hitting results of the whole team are already a substantial size.  For that reason, I expect the total hitting not to regress too much.

I still wish he kept Miller too. But can you argue with Cashman’s results? I think not.

Is… there… there….h-hope?

Hope for a wild card, maybe.

I still wish he kept Miller too. But can you argue with Cashman’s results? I think not.

Gosh, this is going to sound silly when we clamor to fire Cashman in a couple of weeks.

[3]  That happens to all teams though.  The Cubs last year didn’t play at a steady 103 win pace, they had hot streaks and cold streaks.

The wins, as they say, are in the bank, but they’re also not completely predictive.

[3] I don’t think we’re far enough into the season to rule out a hot streak, so I’d say the prudent thing to do is is project them to play .500ish ball going forward, which as you say projects them around 90 wins. I’m comfortable leaving my expectations at 90 for now.

Trading ARod and Teix’s spots in the lineup for the young guys has been huge.

[7] Yeah, it’s easy to argue for playing time for Hicks when he’s OPSing 1.000, and it’s easy to complain when he’s OPSing .500. Cashman astutely sold high on JRM and bought low on Hicks. Now his job is to decide whether it’s time to sell high on Hicks. Can he be part of a package to get a starter, or is he a keeper?

[3] I’m fairly certain you can find .500ish teams that had streaks of playing as well as the Yankees have played over a stretch of n games.

That being said, projections should always weigh recent performance more heavily than prior performance, albeit with the thought of sample size in mind.  Also, keep in mind that some of that mid 80s team projection is built off of player projections that were of limited utility, particularly those for people like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez whose projections were primarily based off minor league performance and an estimate to translate it.

I thought the Yankees were about an 82 win team heading into the year.  Now maybe I’d say they are more like an 86 win team that’s played at a 105 win pace over their first 37 games.  The rotation still doesn’t look great, losing Chapman also means moving Betances out of more high-leverage situations and into more getting three outs before allowing three runs situations and that could hurt them in a few games. 

The Yankees lead MLB in wins above average at 7.4.  They’ve gotten average or better performance everywhere except catcher (-0.2), 1B (-0.9) and 3B (-0.2).  Interestingly, they’ve gotten almost the same value above average in LF (1.8) as RF (1.9).  TPBG FTW!

They should get more out of 1B going forward assuming Greg Bird gets healthy and more Sanchez should be good for C.  3B is what it is.  They have more regression candidates than places where I can see improvement.  The difference this year is they have players in the minors that could potentially augment them in the case of injuries or who could help them trade for pieces that would fill needs.

If they are really an 86 win team that has beeen playing over their head, then they’d project to end the year at 91 wins or so.  If they add a piece or two then they could be better than that.

If Tanaka and Sevvy both perform below their 50 percentile projections and Chapman’s injuries linger what might our win total look like?

Cashman is getting to the point where if I’m another GM, I call up asking for, say, Hicks. Then wait for Cashman to tell me who he’d accept in a deal for Hicks and then make sure to never trade those players. smile

Granted, that move could only be pulled off once, but that one time might be of great use!

We’ve played one playoff game in the past 4 years and that was a bullshit 2nd wild card game. Maybe let’s win 90 games for a change before handing out any lifetime contracts.

I’m more impressed with the work that Cashman has done these past four years than I am with his, say, signing the three best free agents on the market in 2009.

(14) I think I still have my “OFF WITH HIS HEAD” sign from last year in the basement. Never know when you’ll need it again…

If this team is the real deal still come July, how realistic is trading a Frazier or Sheffield for a Darvish-type?

Fairly realistic. Annoyingly, the actual Darvish seems to be off the table now.

[21] This has always been a weird complaint to me. It’s dinging a guy for using the best available tool to get the job done.

[23] Why do that? We are building a winning team for the next decade, not for just this year.  There is no reason to trade a top prospect this year, especially if things are going well.  We would be better off cobbling together spare parts for this year’s team through lower level prospects and promotions.

[17] everywhere except catcher (-0.2

Wow, this is unexpected, right? Romine hit well and Sanchez is hitting well. A good year for catchers or is this some small sample defensive metric issue?

[8] They have what appears to be 4 starting OF quality players on the ML level right now.

Without looking it up, have we had a season where neither or Gardner or Ellsbury got hurt for 2-4 weeks worth of games?

Wow, looking at it, Romine’s early hot start really fell off. OPS+ sitting at 79 right now.

[23, 26] Well, not for nothing, but I got blasted for suggesting trading for Quintana this past offseason.  Quintana is certainly a long term asset. I don’t know if a good looking young pitcher and outfielder is the right price (it seems high), but Quintana is not a rental.

I was all on board with trading for Quintana, as well.

This has always been a weird complaint to me. It’s dinging a guy for using the best available tool to get the job done.

It’s not a complaint, as I have no problem at all with what Cashman did in 2009, it’s just judging what is a more impressive piece of general managing.

It’s more impressive for him to keep pulling these trades out of his ass while having less money to work with each successive year than it is to sign the best three players available on the market to record-breaking (at the time) contracts.

Do .500 teams ever have streaks where they win 20 out of 25 games? I think not.  Which might mean this is not a 500 team.

[26] With all the talk about logjams and who is ready to go from AA ball to The Show (ugh, I hate that term), it kinda looks like they have spare parts in case of injury. We are a system rich in prospects.

What we probably lack is a starter/ace who can go 3 times in a 7 game series and win twice or thrice.

[32] Stolen from a poster at Baseball Think Factory:

2016 84-78 Astros 19-6
2016 81-81 Royals 18-7
2015 85-77 Angels 19-6
2015 83-79 Twins 19-6
2015 81-81 Orioles 18-7
2015 83-79 Nationals 20-5
2014 77-85 Rays 20-5
2014 82-80 Brewers 19-6
2014 83-79 Jays 20-5

Apparently .500 teams do have streaks where they win 20 out of 25 games.

[26] Ideally, the team would probably trade for someone they can re-sign or control long term. And if not, depending on who they would have to give up, we can get someone to make a title realistic THIS YEAR without destroying the future. I think for the right piece, we can afford to lose a top prospect or two. I’m not suggesting Cashman trade Torres, Frazier, Sheffield for a guy or may or may not make the difference.

Trading for Quintana might not be a bad idea, but “the Yankees system is so loaded we can afford to deal” might be a tad overconfident.  Prospects bust or get hurt all the time.  That’s why it’s good to have a lot of them.  For example I think I need to see a full year of Judge before I really believe he’s this kind of player.

[37] Agreed. But that’s also why I’d be willing to part with 1-2 prospects, depending on who the prospect is, if the return is someone who can help us win…NOW. Let’s say it is Darvish. You add that to Sevy, Pineda, and hopefully a better Tanaka…I like my chances in a playoff series against Houston or Cleveland. 

I definitely fall into the “don’t ruin the future for a short-term gain” but if it’s mid-July and this team is still playing this well, I’d rather go for the title.

That actually might mean you don’t fall firmly into the “don’t ruin the future for a short-term gain” category.

I am a broken record, but Ellsbury is the biggest c*ckblock on this team. If they don’t have his $21m on the books, they could actually absorb a big contract back without giving up more prospects AND still stay under the luxury tax.

[40] A-freaking-men!  And it was painfully obvious this would happen before the ink was dry on his ridiculous contract.

Oh well, only three and three-quarters more years left.

Preach. I don’t remember any Yankees fans being happy about Ellsbury. It was a rare instance when the guys sitting in the seats was smarter and had greater foresight than the pros making the decisions.

[39] In a very specific case, I suppose. If it was Gleybar or anybody can’t miss, hell no. But Frazier OR Sheffield (not both), worst case, for a great return? Absolutely. Especially since an OF prospect should be expendable with our projected OF going forward if you buy the Harper hype.

(34) AG you are da man!
So there are some 500 teams that win 20 of 25.
The obvious follow up is how many teams win 20 out of 25.
If that has happened say 30 times and in only 3 cases was the team a 500 team…that might tell us something too.

Nevertheless I stand corrected as you have substituted facts for my impressions. Bravo

500 team winning 20 of 25 = monkey typing out Hamlet or monkey typing out In A Station of the Metro?

Isn’t it an easy statistical question? Flip a coin a million times how many times will you get 20/25 somewhere in your sample? Or do the math.

The image of these faces in the crowd
Poop I fling while gibbering loud

Also, before we love on Cashman too much (and I like him as a GM!), let’s not forget he ALSO wanted to sign Choo IN ADDITION to Ellsbury.

FGas, are you saying it’s *more* or *less* probable?

[42] Assuming Hank & Hal and Levine are “pros”. Shame on you.

[48] Monkeys suck at haiku. QED

There once was a monkey from Newcastle,
Who 3tjpsdgm w9-Kf. sdugp2
-92tnsdajls asdvujzcxbhn zcnvpdsgjf;lasdf

If you had an infinite number of dr.colins at an infinite number of typewriters, you would eventually get exactly that.

...wait, actually it only takes one.

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Yankees (50-45) @ Mariners (48-50), Saturday, 7/22/2017, 09:10p ET
(71 Comments - 7/23/2017 2:06:41 am) Judge gives CC a huge b-day bash in Seattle
(55 Comments - 7/22/2017 8:54:43 pm)

Yankees (49-45) @ Mariners (48-49), Friday, 7/21/2017, 10:10p ET
(86 Comments - 7/22/2017 9:50:18 am) Severino, bullpen handcuff Mariners
(44 Comments - 7/21/2017 7:58:55 pm)

Yankees (48-45) @ Mariners (48-48), Thursday, 7/20/2017, 10:10p ET
(92 Comments - 7/21/2017 1:42:28 am) Montgomery hit hard as Yanks fall in finale
(62 Comments - 7/20/2017 9:28:50 pm) Yanks acquire Frazier from Sox in 7-player deal
(60 Comments - 7/19/2017 4:59:12 pm)

Yankees (48-44) @ Twins (47-46), Wednesday, 7/19/2017, 01:10p ET
(67 Comments - 7/19/2017 4:38:53 pm)

Yankees (47-44) @ Twins (47-45), Tuesday, 7/18/2017, 08:10p ET
(135 Comments - 7/19/2017 12:40:31 am) Cooper’s three hits not enough in Minnesota
(28 Comments - 7/18/2017 3:58:50 pm)