Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The ever-expanding web of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic, which is being investigated by Major League Baseball for allegedly distributing performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez and others, has ensnared another Yankee.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli was identified as a client of Biogenesis, according to records obtained by Yahoo Sports and reported on Tuesday. Also found in the records was Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, who successfully appealed a positive test for synthetic testosterone last offseason, and Baltimore infielder Danny Valencia.
I knew those 5 career HR by Cervelli were tainted.
This should prove once and for all that steroids don’t help baseball players.
Dear Lord, there really is a chance that Chris Stewart will be the starting catcher for the 2013 Yankees, isn’t there?
Rodriguez is deeply concerned about the allegations, according to the source, and has told friends that the documents linking him to Bosch are forgeries. Rodriguez has repeatedly denied the PED allegations through a spokesman who declined further comment on Monday.
Rodriguez might contend that the listings of the drugs allegedly dispensed to him and the other players are forgeries, but they do line up closely with dates of specific games and cities the games were played in, giving MLB something of a blueprint for linking Bosch and the drugs to A-Rod and the other players. Bosch has denied the claims in the reports through his Miami lawyer.
If the Yankees were going to go to the trouble of forging all this stuff to get rid of Rodriguez’s bad contract, shouldn’t they have thrown Mark Teixiera in there while they were at it?
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Open the neat spreadsheet and scroll past the listing of local developers, prominent attorneys, and personal trainers. You’ll find a lengthy list of nicknames: Mostro, Al Capone, El Cacique, Samurai, Yukon, Mohamad, Felix Cat, and D.R.
Then check out the main column, where their real names flash like an all-star roster of professional athletes with Miami ties: San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A’s hurler Bartolo Colón, pro tennis player Wayne Odesnik, budding Cuban superstar boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz. There’s even the New York Yankees’ $275 million man himself, Alex Rodriguez, who has sworn he stopped juicing a decade ago.
I’m surprised they don’t refer to Cabrera and Colón as former Yankees.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, reports ESPN’s Jorge Arangure (on Twitter). MLB has confirmed both the suspension and that substance was testosterone. The suspension takes effect immediately and will cost him the rest of the season.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used,” said Cabrera through a statement, courtesy of Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Sulia). “I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”
I generally don’t care about PED use and Melky’s not a Yankee any more, but here’s a thread for those who want to talk about it. I guess I will say that while I find this somewhat disappointing I also find it refreshing that Melky’s not pretending to be an innocent victim that is going to launch a massive investigation for the real PED users like some people. He took a chance and now he’s paying for it.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
On Feb. 20, 1992, more American homes tuned into The Simpsons than they did The Cosby Show or the Winter Olympics from Albertville, France. A foul-mouthed cartoon on a fourth-place network bested the Huxtables and the world’s best amateur athletes. Fox over NBC and CBS—its first-ever victory in prime time. New over old.
Why the shift? Well, the Olympic programming that night featured no marquee events, and Cosby was just two months away from ending its eight-season run. Meanwhile, The Simpsons, airing just its 52nd episode out of 500 (and counting), had put forth its most ambitious effort to date, an episode called “Homer at the Bat.” Months of work went into corralling nine baseball players, a cross-section of young stars and established veterans, to guest-star as members of a rec-league softball team.
A few months ago a reader emailed me with a suggestion for a post about this episode and how good the team might have been at the time. I was interested, but got tied with up CAIRO and non-blog stuff so never got around to it. So Geoff here you go.
The show aired on February 20, 1992 and the premise was basically that Mr. Burns wanted to guarantee a win in a softball game so he brought in nine ringers named Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia.
So how good was that team in 1992? Let’s take a stab at it.
I could just use 1992 performance but you know that’s not the way I roll, so instead I’ll just use each player’s 1993 Marcel projection, available via Jeff Sackmann.
|Runs scored per game||4.48|
|Runs allowed per game||3.08|
So there you have it. They’d be almost as good as the 2011 Red Sox.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Epstein only spoke for three or four minutes, but his words hit the mark. The Red Sox went out and beat the Yankees 9-6 to earn their first win, avoid the worst start in team history and start what feels like a new season.
Seriously? I could have swore that Phil Hughes, Mark Teixeira, Boone Logan and Derek Jeter were the ones that got them going.
In other news, Manny Ramirez has chosen to retire rather than be suspended for 100 games for failing a second steroid test. I’m pretty sure that means that anything his teams did while he was in their employ should be stricken from the record. What I find most surprising is that George Mitchell’s steroid investigation didn’t uncover any evidence about the only MLB player who’s failed a test twice (that we know about). Shocking.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Where Do We Go From Here (Outfield/DH Edition)?
Picking up from the prior post, here’s a look at how the Yankee outfield and DH spots project heading into 2011.
wOBA: weighted on-base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: Position-adjusted batting runs above replacement level
Def: Projected defense in terms of runs saved above/below average
We start in LF. One note about wOBA here is I do NOT include SB/CS, so when you compare them to Fangraphs you’ll see a big gap for high SB guys. I do this because I like to look at platoon splits a lot with wOBA and base running has no impact there. Figure you should add between .015 and .020 points to any guy who’s likely to steal 30-50 bases at a high success rate.
BR and BRAR do include SB/CS though, so that’s the main thing to look at here.
Anyway, I think Gardner’s offensive projection is a bit pessimistic, but I also think his defensive projection is a bit optimistic. His MLEs still drag his offensive projections down a bit, but that’s starting to become less of an issue. He projects to be a bit above average overall as a LF.
The problem the Yankees have right now will become apparent as we move around the OF though, and that’s the fact that they don’t really have any great options for fourth OF. I’ve listed the non-starting OF on the 40 man roster in this depth chart. Melky Mesa’s got the tools to be a prospect, but not the performance to this point. He still strikes out way too much to be an MLB hitter (297 times in 943 AB the past two seasons at Charleston(A) and Tampa(A+). He’s also 24, which means he’s probably not young enough to expect enough improvement to become an MLB player, although you never know.
How about center field? Funny you should ask.
Curtis Granderson’s projection combines pretty good offense and defense and makes him almost 3 wins better than a theoretical replacement level CF. If his hot end to the season was the result of the changes in his swing, he may be able to exceed that projection, but even if he doesn’t that’s plenty good.
Gardner’s the actual #2 CF, but since I already gave him 550 PA in LF I’m only giving him 50 in CF. Golson is the only other OF on the 40 man roster who has played much CF. From what I’ve seen and from what the scouting reports say, he definitely has the glove for CF. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even have the bat for backup catcher.
Then we have right field.
There’s nothing wrong with Nick Swisher in RF, but as with LF we see the problem once you get past him.
So we’ve identified fourth OF as a possible place for an upgrade. So how should the Yankees approach it?
Obviously, the first thing you’d look for is offense. So what outfielders are available that project to outhit Messrs. Curtis, Russo, Mesa and Golson?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Yankees aren’t going to go for Randy Winn 2, Electric Boogaloo. Delwyn Young is a switch-hitter who can also play bad defense at 2B/3B and corner OF. He’d probably outhit the other fourth OF candidates on the Yankees, but once you factor in defense I don’t know that he’s much of an upgrade. I suppose his defensive flexibility makes him useful in an emergency, but I don’t know if it’s enough to make him someone the Yankees should consider.
Brad Hawpe looks like he can hit, but he’s absolutely horrendous defensively and I am very skeptical of trying to figure out how a guy who’s spent most of his career in Colorado will hit elsewhere.
Hmm, I’m drawing a blank here. Damon Johnny? That name sounds familiar for some reason.
Honestly, none of the lefty hitting OF excite me and they don’t really address the platoon issue that I’m going to talk about after I get through this list.
Obviously Manny Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez would be nice additions to any team’s offense, but they’re probably likely to get full-time jobs and as Type A players they’d cost you a draft pick. I’d ignore Jermaine Dye’s projection since he didn’t play last year, and he’s a bad enough defensive OF that he probably gives away any offensive value.
That brings me to Scott Hairston. He is a right-handed hitting OF who can play all three OF spots, although he’s primarily been a LF. Given the construct of the Yankee OF, adding a RHB makes sense.
|Player||Pos||Bats||Projected wOBA||Vs L||Vs R|
Hairston would project as the second-best Yankee OF vs. LHP, which would allow you to stick him in LF when you want to rest Gardner or Granderson, with Gardner moving to CF on the days you want to rest Granderson. Over 200 PA, the difference between Hairston and Granderson’s wOBA vs. LHP is about 8.5 runs, which is a bit less than one win.
I wouldn’t be opposed to the Yankees bringing back Marcus Thames if they can’t get another RH outfielder, but he really shouldn’t be in the OF and I don’t know if he’s going to be needed enough at DH to warrant the roster spot.
Speaking of DH.
I restricted DH to 725 PA because the ludicrous interleague play that still infests MLB means the Yankees will have to allow their pitchers to strike out three times a game for nine games.
Jorge Posada’s bat still projects very well as a catcher. Unfortunately, as a DH it’s nothing special. A lot of catchers end up hitting better when not catching so Posada may be able to beat that projection, although I actually think his projection is too optimistic. Given his contract, the Yankees probably aren’t going to look for someone else to be their primary DH and are probably going to hope Posada can hit reasonably well. I hope he does, especially if this is his swan song. He’s been criminally underrated and should probably be a Hall of Famer, but I think he’s a long-shot.
The Yankees will also probably use DH to give some of their players a half-day off, so I threw a few of those guys in there. For the hell of it since I’m sure someone will ask, if the Yankees signed Manny Ramirez here’s how he’d project.
I think he’d probably end up closer to that 35% projection but that’s still about a one win upgrade on Posada. I don’t know if he’s worth the headaches and the drama that will come with him though, and I’m personally not a fan of the guy so I’d rather not see him in pinstripes.
Unless he’d sign for $4M for a year.
So if the Yankees add Scott Hairston they can probably improve by another win. That probably moves them into about 90 win territory.
But the real improvements to the team are probably going to have to come from the pitching staff, which will be the subject of the next post in this series.
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