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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 Yanks’ HRs pave way as CC keeps KC at bay

Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia was in desperate need of a solid outing after his previous three starts had yielded 18 runs in 17 2/3 innings. The Royals provided the perfect tonic for Sabathia as he fired 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 7-1 win on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Sabathia won his 20th career game against the Royals and lowered his career ERA against them to 3.11. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four.
“The cutter was a lot better today,” Sabathia said. “And the guys played great defense behind me. We figured out by the second inning they were coming out hacking. We just had to make some pitches on the edges and get some quick outs.”

“Back in the day, he was really good,” Royals catcher Salvador Perez said. “He can still do it. He keeps the ball down and works both sides of the plate really well. It was his night.”

Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer and Chris Carter added a two-run shot to fuel the Yankees’ offense.

Oddly patronizing answer from Salvador Perez.

Good for CC! Nice to see an actual GOOD performance from a Yankee starter for a change.

And as for Sanchez, he had been hitting better recently, but not with power - if the power is coming back, then watch out!

Let’s hope that Michael Pineda can keep the good times going on Wednesday night in the scorching heat of Kansas City!

--Posted at 5:41 am by Brian Cronin / 23 Comments | - (0)


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That start was nice! And surprising.

I love Aaron judge.

Is there another answer to favorite Yankee other than Aaron Judge?


I asked this at the end of the last thread, but I’ll repost it here. 

If Gleyber Torres plays well enough in a few months that his promotion is the next obvious step, what actions should the Yankees take?

Would they keep their best SS in the system down in the minors for the rest of the year to avoid starting his playing time clock?  Should they promote him and have him split time with Didi?  Do they have Didi as a supersub?  Does Didi move him to third base, benching or cutting Headley?  Do they trade one of their infielders to make room for Torres?

I know, I know.  These things tend to work themselves out, but if everyone keeps playing at their current levels in July, what should they do?

[2] Torres has been good, not great so far this year (although he has been picking it up lately) in AA. I think the Yankees will want to see him log some time at AAA before they promote him to the MLB, never mind straight into a starting position.

If the Yankees are still in it for the division lead, I think he’ll have a hard time breaking in unless he’s tearing it up and one of Didi, Castro or Headley are really scuffling. Especially with Wade having a good year so far in AAA and actually being groomed as a super-sub.

Sanchez’s hit was an absolute bomb. And the way it kept carrying reminded me of Arod.

Good call. I was thinking the same thing.

[3] Yeah, Wade is doing really well and I fully expect him to be in pinstripes the second one of Castro, Didi, or Headley are injured or moved for some reason.

<3>  All valid points.  I suppose the question could be asked for the start or even middle of next year without the situation changing dramatically (hopefully).

A very similar question could be asked about the outfield with our 4 starting worthy OF of varying quality, in addition to Fowler and Frazier waiting patiently in AAA.

So far in his career, Sanchez has produced some really interesting contact patterns. He doesn’t really have an obvious contemporary comparable.

He’s a pretty extreme pull hitter - 3rd highest pull rate in baseball last year (200 PA minimum ) and highest this year (50 PA minimum). But unlike most other pull hitters, he puts a ton of balls on the ground. And he hits the ball hard. Last year he had a 41.8% hard contact rate (3rd in baseball), this year he’s at 37.5% (a less impressive 68th - Bird is at 30th)

Fortunately, when he does elevate the ball, he fucking destroys it. He had a 40% HR/FB last year and so far has followed that up with a 30% HR/FB this year.

Our 4 OF of varying quality:

Games: (31, 32, 28, 33)
OPS+: (108, 141, 180, 207)
dWAR: (-0.1, 0.4, 0.0, 0.4)

BTW, if you go back to 2002 and limit your search to players who hit the ball on the ground more than 45% of the time and also post HR/FB of greater than 25%, this is the list (minimum of 250 PA):
Gary Sanchez
Domingo Santana
Dae-Ho Lee
Carlos Zambrano

For players who combined a greater than 50% pull rate with a greater the 45% GB rate (again 250 PA):
Gary Sanchez
Ellis Burks
Travis Fryman
Lew Ford
Roosevelt Brown
Al Martin
Jefry Marte
Kenji Johjima
Jeff Liefer
Tim Laker
Brandon Larson
Pat Borders
Jason Jennings

[10] Not only is Hicks hitting far better than Ellsbury, Hicks is hitting better against RH pitchers than against lefties. His OPS against RH pitching is cool 1.120.

Remember how awful Gardner was for a while there and now he’s currently in the midst of his best offensive season ever. In other words, I wouldn’t lend too much credence to any of these guys while they’re in the middle of hot streaks OR cold streaks. Ellsbury and Gardner are streaky hitters.

It’s about time someone finally broke the lid off the Gary Sanchez/Lew Ford comp.

[12]Ellsbury is doing fine.  His 2017 OPS+ is a bit better than his lifetime average and a lot better than he did last year.  The big unknown is Aaron Hicks.  It sure looks tempting to let Hicks start every game until we find out whether his terrific hitting is a real change or merely small sample size.  The Yanks apparently are playing him only against LH pitchers or when another outfielder needs a rest or is injured.

[13] Jokes aside, Sanchez’s batted ball data compares pretty similarly to Ellis Burks’ last 2 seasons (there doesn’t appear to be batted ball data prior to 2002). Sanchez has converted more flyballs to HRs so far, but everything else is very close. Assuming Burks’ batted ball profile stayed pretty static for his career, you’d have to be ecstatic for Sanchez to end up with a similar career.

Especially if it’s Ellis Burks: The Colorado Years.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find decent batted ball information going back too far, so we don’t have a ton of data to compare. At least in the relatively recent pass, there haven’t been many (if any) players with the same extreme batted ball profiles as Sanchez.

I think Sanchez needs to stop pulling the ball that much to elevate the ball, he needs to learn from Judge, staying in the middle of the field will do him good.

Those Sancho comps aren’t exactly inspiring (2 pitchers?!), though the lists are not conclusive one way or another. Also promising are his statcast numbers: I can’t look em up roght now but last night I saw he was top 10 in EV and high up on avg. HR distance.

I’m very curious to see how his career will develop. He’s still so fresh!

[19] If you restrict based on pull%, GB% and HR/FB% there’s no one else. It’s just Gary.

It’s really the extreme pull hitting that sets him apart. There are plenty of good hitters with high GB% and good power numbers. But they tend to be hitters to all fields. The GB% and HR/FB numbers bring up comparisons to guys like Braun and Cano, although neither achieves the same HR/FB numbers. Almost no one pulls the ball as much as Sanchez does while hitting tons of GBs and producing signficant power.

Edit: From 2002 with a minimum of 50 PA, 2 players have pulled the ball more than 45% of the time, produced more than 45% GB and also managed to convert fly balls into HRs at a better than 25% rate. Gary Sanchez and former Yankees C prospect Peter O’Brien.

[12]  Doesn’t recent analysis tell us ALL hitters are streaky, and selective memory is at play?

That’s not how I remember it. wink

[23]  Well done, actual LOL.

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