Sunday, May 22, 2011
From last August through Friday, including a postseason in which they kept with the pattern by winning one series and losing another, the Yankees were 57-53. That’s why it’s dangerous to view a recent 6-10 stretch as an aberration.
Just three seasons ago, the Yankees spent $209 million on salaries and missed the playoffs. That history is in danger of repeating itself.
Yep. All those games being started by Francisco Cervelli, Dustin Moseley and Javier Vazquez this year are going to really hurt them as 2011 progresses.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Turns out, Gardner dealt with inflammation in his wrist from that day on. And after giving it some time following the season, hoping that his wrist would feel better, Gardner and the Yankees opted for surgery to correct the problem.
In his career, Gardner’s hit .289/.370/.393 in the half of the season and .237/..341/.331 in the second half. Part of the reason for that split seems to be that Gardner has played through some injuries that affected him. It’s tempting to think that if he can stay healthy for an entire season he could be even more valuable than he currently seems to be, but it’s also possible that his style of play and the things that make him valuable are not conducive to being healthy for an entire year.
Just ask Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves, whose nightmarish season took another bad turn this week, when he underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a fractured collar bone suffered in a bike riding accident in his native Mexico.
Aceves became an after-thought in 2010 but he was a really important piece of the 2009 bullpen and with the Yankees having very few spots on their team that they can use for an upgrade, it’d be nice to see him back healthy and effective in 2011. Unfortunately, this injury doesn’t help with that, although it doesn’t appear to be major.
Also mentioned in the article, the Yankees re-upped with Sergio Mitre, which I don’t have an issue with. They are supposedly debating on whether or not to offer Dustin Moseley arbitration. I’ll email Brian Cashman with my suggestion.
Oh, and the Yankees and some shortstop are still negotiating or something.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
What If the Yankees Go in 2011 With the 40 Man Roster they Have Right Now?
With it looking like the Yankees contract negotiations with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera aren’t going to be decided any time soon, and with Andy Pettitte still undecided about a return, I was wondering what would happen in the highly unlikely scenario that the Yankees signed no one and traded for no one and went into the season with the team they have right now.
So here’s a run-through the position players and pitching staff using my 2011 CAIRO projections.
BR: Projected linear weights batting runs
Def: Projected runs saved compared to average defensively.
The offense doesn’t really look that good, projecting to score about 40 fewer runs than last year’s team. I’d also be hesitant about assuming they’re a +15 defense given the uncertainty of Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez’s defense.
The pitching staff is actually even worse off right now.
If the Yankees don’t bring back Pettitte or Rivera and don’t sign Cliff Lee, here’s what they may look like. While I doubt Kei Igawa sees any time in MLB, I’m using him as a proxy for sub-replacement level pitching.
If Alfredo Aceves can come back healthy that will help the bullpen some, but it’s still a little ugly.
Adding it up looks like this.
Pythagenpat W:Estimated Pythagenpat wins
You can subtract a win from that 84.5 estimate for every ten runs below average Montero and Nunez may be defensively. So if they’re a collective 20 runs worse than average the Yankees would be more like an 82.5 win team.
Thankfully, it’s not very likely that the Yankees will go into 2011 with this team. Can they add the 10+ wins they probably need to put themselves solidly in contention with what’s available to them? That’s the next question.
Friday, October 15, 2010
I’m not sure where to start. After a really bad start by CC and a WOE-ful job by the offense, I had pretty much given up. When Joba Chamberlain walked Nelson Cruz with one out in the fifth I figured we’d get one of his patented implosions, but he got out of it.
When Dustin Moseley got the call to relieve Joba, I pretty much figured it was done, but Moseley was outstanding, retiring everyone he faced aside from an E-5 over two scoreless innings. Kerry Wood’s eighth inning started off with a four pitch walk to Ian Kinsler, but Kinsler got picked off and from there Wood was great.
And of course, the best out-getter in the history of MLB’s postseason did his job, with the help of a great play by Mark Teixeira on a sacrifice bunt by Elvis Andrus. Mo vs. Josh Hamilton with the tying run on second and two outs had the potential to be some of the best drama baseball can offer, but Mo spared us by retiring Hamilton on one pitch.
The bullpen was great in relief of Sabathia, but this was the offense’s night.
Remember when Robinson Cano was both a bad hitter with runners on base and in the postseason? Me either. His solo HR in the seventh seemed meaningless at the time, but it sure ended up being huge.
And while it’s generally not beneficial to slide into first base, in this case by doing it Brett Gardner was able to elude a tag and reach base safely leading off the eighth, which allowed him to score on a Derek Jeter double to cut the deficit to 5-2. Jeter’s double drove out Texas starter C.J. Wilson, who pitched very well until the eighth.
Two walks by Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira against Darren Oliver were then followed by an Alex Rodriguez single off Darren O’Day that drove in two runs and cut the deficit to 5-4, which again sent Ron Washington to his pen to bring in lefty Clay Rapada to pitch to Robinson Cano. It was the right move on paper, but Cano has killed lefties this year and tied the game with a sharp single and brought up Marcus Thames.
I have no idea why Ron Washington did not bring a right-hander in here rather than Derek Holland, although it’s likely the Yankees would have pinch-hit for Thames with Lance Berkman. It still doesn’t make sense to have brought in a lefty to face Thames, Thames fell behind 1-2 then fouled a pitch and took one in the dirt before dumping a soft single to LF which brought in Cano with the go-ahead run.
I’m going to pretend Nick Swisher didn’t bunt in the ninth for health reasons. My own health.
So complain away.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, they had Tony Dungy, the soft-spoken, genial former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, address the players before they lost to the Red Sox, 7-3, at Yankee Stadium.
Dungy, who criticized the Jets’ coach for using profanity on “Hard Knocks,” talked about how the Colts also sputtered down the stretch in 2006 before going on to beat the Bears in the Super Bowl.
“We did talk about that,” Dungy said near the Yankees dugout after watching the team take batting practice. “We had some tough losses and people wrote us off.
Is Bobby Knight available for a different kind of pep talk?
Help us Obi Wan Moseley. You’re our only hope.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
ARLINGTON, Tex. — The visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark has an eclectic décor: a few neon beer signs, a flag of Texas, a set of longhorns, some motivational sayings. One hangs above the primary bank of lockers.
It reads, “The road to success is always under construction.” So the Yankees learned this weekend, when the Texas Rangers sent them reeling into a crucial series at Tampa Bay with a three-game sweep.
If you want to know why the Yankees losing two of three to Baltimore before embarking on this road trip pissed me off, this series with Texas is Exhibit A. It’s hard to win games on the road, especially against good teams.
If the Yankees still want to win the AL East, they probably have to take two of three from Tampa Bay in this upcoming series. If they could actually beat Toronto the way Tampa Bay has they wouldn’t have to, but since they can’t then that’s probably what they have to do. However, given the way Joe Girardi’s managing lately, I’m not so sure they’re really going all out for the division.
Pitching matchups for the three games vs. Tampa Bay are:
Monday, September 13
Sabathia vs. Price
Tuesday, September 14
Nova vs. Garza
Wednesday, September 15
Hughes vs. Shields
I guess the fact that neither Vazquez nor Burnett is pitching is good. I can’t see the Yankees winning both of the final two games though, so let’s hope CC can help them take the opener.
Monday, August 30, 2010
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira belted back-to-back home runs as part of a six-hit showing between the two sluggers, and Marcus Thames added a three-run shot as the Yankees pounded the Athletics, 11-5, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
New York battered Oakland starter Trevor Cahill in his shortest start of the year, getting to the right-hander for a season-high eight earned runs and nine hits in just four-plus innings, including the consecutive home runs by Teixeira and Cano in the third inning, lined into the right-field seats.
I’d like to thank Trevor Cahill for participating in the AL Cy Young race this year. We have some lovely parting gifts for him.
Teixeira’s first 46 PA: .083/.283/.111, wOBA: .223
Teixeira’s last 525 PA: .276/.383/.530, wOBA: .395
I guess the thumb is ok.
The Yankee announcers have been talking about how Dustin Moseley’s ERA doesn’t reflect how he’s pitched so far. They’re right, although it’s for the wrong reason. Their claim is that he’s pitched better than his ERA.
As a starter, here’s how Moselely’s done so far this year including tonight:
39.1 IP, 42 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 8 HR, 18 BB, 22 K
Component ERA: 5.49
A pitcher who gives up 8 HRs in 39.1 innings while walking 18 and only striking out 22 is not going to keep an ERA below five for very long. The Yankees have gotten some value out of Moseley to this point, and have now won five of his seven starts, but the sooner he’s not starting the games the better off the Yankees will be.
And I really want to believe that Javier Vazquez’s two successful long relief outings mean he’s ready to rejoin the rotation, but at this point I just can’t believe that Vazquez is going to be a useful part of this team.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Dustin Moseley in August
I was planning on doing a follow up review of Javy Vazquez, focusing on his starts since the All-Star Break. But since he’s no longer in the rotation, I figure all five people that would have read it won’t care anymore.
So instead, I took a look at another starter. Unlike some teams, the Yankees starting rotation does not consist of multiple 1a starters. As a result, we’ve been treated to the ‘Dustin Moseley the Starter’ era. While one can’t say he’s pitched great, he hasn’t exactly bombed like the other 3/5ths of the current Yankees rotation. In most of his starts, he’s kept them in the game, even if it wasn’t so pretty.
Moseley is a sinkerball pitcher who can spot his pitches fairly well. His change and curveball are decent secondary pitches, although he tends to throw the curve sparingly, while saving the change for left handed batters. I noticed that MLB’s pitchFX has been wrongly categorizing Moseley’s slider as a cut fastball. It’s somewhat understandable given that it doesn’t break as much as a traditional slider. While this would normally raise a red flag as to it’s effectiveness, he’s thrown the slider for decent results so far this season.
Here’s a look at some numbers from Moseley’s August starts:
Moseley gave up 5 runs over 7.1 innings as the Yankees fell 8-2 to the Jays. Moseley actually didn’t pitch as bad as his line reveals. He pitched into the 8th and got a ton of ground balls. The Wells solo HR in the 8th inning put a negative cherry on top of what would otherwise look like an acceptable start from your 5th starter. Although, that Travis Snider HR was pretty annoying.
This was actually Moseley’s best start in August. He gave up two runs over 6.1 innings, while yielding six hits and two walks. He also struck out a season high 5 batters. He effectively kept the ball out of the air and on the ground, with Bill Hall’s HR the only big mistake.
This was a stinker, even with TSBG saving Moseley an earned run by throwing out Blanco at the plate in the first. To be fair, Moseley did have to wait out a 31 minute rain delay before the bottom half of the third inning in Kansas City. I’m not sure if the weather had any effect on his pitch selection, but he was definitely relying on that sinker more than usual. If he’s not mixing in his other pitches, his sinker becomes a lot easier for opposing teams to recognize.
Two words: Miguel Cabrera. Carry on.
Another non-terrible start from a 5th starter. However, he allowed quite a few hard hit balls, some of which luckily found gloves.
So far in August, opponents have a line of .295/.365/.518 against Moseley, with a .385 wOBA and .285 BABIP. His FIP in August is 5.54 compared to a 5.28 ERA.
While he’s so far avoided getting clobbered, the numbers aren’t very encouraging going forward. Ultimately, Moseley’s highest value will be in the pen. As a sinkerball pitcher, he could have value late in games, especially with men on base. However, the bullpen isn’t an area that Yankees have had trouble with lately. With an Andy Pettitte return date still uncertain and CC the only reliable starter, it looks like Moseley will probably get a few more starts.
It stinks not having sixteen aces.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
TORONTO—The Yankees slugged five home runs over the wall at Rogers Centre on Tuesday, with Curtis Granderson’s three-run homer serving as the biggest blow to highlight an 11-5 defeat of the Blue Jays.
New York went deep three times in the third inning off Marc Rzepczynski and blasted another two round-trippers in the fifth inning off Brian Tallet, pulling away and extending its advantage.
Mark Teixeira, Marcus Thames and Jorge Posada each clubbed solo home runs in the third-inning barrage, with Thames and Posada going back-to-back to jump the Yankees to a 5-0 lead at the time, knocking Rzepczynski out after that frame.
Is it unreasonable to ask why they couldn’t have hit one or two of those yesterday instead of today?
Teixeira’s gotten his SLG up to .500 for just the second time this season. Let’s keep it up there the rest of the way Teix. It was also nice to see Granderson pick up three hits, including two of lefties.
Dustin Moseley’s now made six starts and the Yankees are 4-2 in those games. He hasn’t really pitched all that well overall, but he’s been acceptable more often than not, and that’s pretty much all you can ask for out of your seventh starter. Unless you have 13 aces of course.
And so far, the Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns acquisitions sure look pretty good, don’t they?
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Andy Pettitte’s return to the Yankees has been further delayed. The team said in a statement Tuesday that an MRI exam revealed the left-hander still has “a small persistent strain of the left groin.”
Pettitte reported problems Tuesday after throwing lightly during batting practice. The MRI was scheduled soon afterward.
It’s starting to look more and more likely that a Pettitte return would not happen before mid-September, if at all. As far as what that means, let’s consider the worst case scenario, that Pettitte’s done for the season.
- With 43 games left in the season, we can probably assume each spot in the rotation will get 8-9 more turns.
- Dustin Moseley’s CAIRO projection is to have an RA of about 5.98 over the rest of the season compared to Pettitte’s projected rest of season 3.98. Moseley’s RA may seem high, but the fact of the matter is, he’s never shown himself to be as good as he’s been so far for the Yankees and there’s still not enough data to assume he’s established a new talent level.
- Now obviously, since Moseley’s not as good as Pettitte, we should probably assume he would average something closer to five IP/start than Pettitte’s six IP/start. We can give the ten inning difference to the bullpen.
- So you’re looking at something like 40 IP and 27 runs from Moseley and another 8 IP and 3.5 runs from the bullpen instead of 48 IP and 21 runs in the case of Pettitte
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The Yankees are also going to have to deal with:
Phil Hughes’s innings limit
I’m not sure Hughes’s innings limit is a big deal at this point. It’s generally thought to be in the 175 inning range. He’s thrown 134 innings and with 8 starts left, if the Yankees restrict him to 5 IP/start or skip him once he’ll be right there. Of course, we know that if you skip a pitcher’s start it will more than double his ERA over the rest of the season.
Javier Vazquez’s complete collapse
Frankly, this is probably the biggest problem the Yankees faced heading into the stretch run. I wouldn’t even try to project Vazquez at this point, because nothing he did in his career prior to this season tells us anything about him if he doesn’t regain his stuff. Really, I don’t envision a scenario where he suddenly picks up 3 MPH on his fastball after it’s been missing for five months. The Yankees should probably not be favored to win any of the games that he starts, because he’s pretty much replacement level at this point. With Pettitte gone, the Yankees don’t have the option to skip Vazquez a time or two to see if he’s really just dealing with dead arm, or to help him clear his head, or for whatever reason. If they wanted to pull him from the rotation now, it’d mean starting Sergio Mitre and Moseley in 40% of the games left this season. I’m thinking that’s not too exciting, but then again, is Vazquez and Moseley starting 40% of the games left this season any more exciting?
A.J. Burnett’s Jeckyl and Hyde routine.
I will project Burnett rest of the season. He’ll have an RA between 0 and 1,000,000,000 and will average somewhere between 0 inning and 9 innings per start.
Time is still on the Yankees side, and we need to be cognizant of that fact, but right now, this may be the worst version of the 2010 Yankees we’ve seen so far this year. Can the Yankees as currently constituted play as well as Tampa Bay is likely to play over the rest of the season? Probably, but maybe not. And while it’s true that Boston has to outplay them by six games with fewer than 45 games left just to tie them, it’s also true that they can match the Yankees in all non head-to-head matchups and then sweep them in the remaining six head-to-head games to do it.
Should we panic? No.
Should we be concerned? I think so.
If the Yankees were a 96 win team at full strength heading into the season, how good are they now without Pettitte, with Kei Vazquez instead of Javy Vazquez and with several of their key offensive performers having disappointing years?
I think the safe answer is, worse.
But they’re still pretty good, which we should probably try and remember.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Tampa couldn’t hit and lost. Boston flushed another lead and lost. And the umpires at Kauffman Stadium refused to call a game the Royals were leading in the home fifth despite torrential rain.
Instead, the umps allowed the rain to fall for two-plus hours and resumed the action. And still, the Yankees couldn’t shake the lowly Royals, dropping a 4-3 decision in front of 30,680.
The defeat left the Yankees two games ahead of the Rays and six up on the third-place Red Sox in the AL East, but has to be viewed as a missed opportunity.
“We had a couple of opportunities to win the game and we weren’t able to get it done,” said Joe Girardi, whose club went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.
When play resumed after a second rain delay of 2 hours and 10 minutes in the fifth inning, the temperature had dropped to 73 degrees, which was a welcome relief from the 98 it was when Kyle Davies threw the first pitch.
Mike Cole was right! Just give the Red Sox the 2010 AL East division title now.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas—Having hit very little but rock bottom Curtis Granderson went to Kevin Long Tuesday for help.
Granderson, the Yankees’ biggest off-season acquisition who was counted on to replace some of the left-handed power lost when Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui departed, figured there was only one direction his hack could go and it wasn’t down.
“He said, ‘How much worse can it get?’ ” Long said before the Yankees’ 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Rangers last night. “I agreed.”
So, the hitting coach went to work on Granderson with such intensity that Long asked Joe Girardi to give him a few more sessions before the left-handed hitting center fielder returns to the lineup.
I may be nuts, but I think Granderson’s going to finish off the year well.
Also of note from the same article:
Andy Pettitte takes a big step today in his rehab program from a left groin injury in Tampa when he pitches in a simulated situation. If Pettitte doesn’t experience any problems, he would likely pitch in a minor league game Tuesday in Trenton (Double-A). When Pettitte went down on July 18, the Yankees hoped he would be back by Sept. 1. Providing there are no setbacks he might return before then.
Yeah, hurry back Andy.
Versatile reliever Alfredo Aceves will make a second rehab appearance tomorrow night for Trenton and the hope is that he is sharper than Tuesday night when he worked two-thirds of an inning, walked two and fanned one.
“He wasn’t sharp but I am not surprised, he hasn’t been on the mound since [May 8],” Girardi said.
What’s next after Friday hasn’t been decided.
If Aceves comes back, suddenly the Yankee bullpen looks pretty strong to me. I’m assuming Chad Gaudin goes, which means a pen of Dustin Moseley, Sergio Mitre, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Kerry Wood, David Robertson and Mo. I’d imagine that when Damaso Marte comes back it, it would probably be after rosters expand, at which point they’ll probably use September to finalize the bullpen the Yankees would take into the postseason if by some miracle they sneak in. The obvious choice would be to take only one of Mitre/Moseley.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
NEW YORK—Dustin Moseley moved up a day in the rotation and offered a commanding spot start, enjoying plenty of run support in his back pocket as the Yankees pounded the Red Sox, 7-2, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Moseley was originally intended to pitch Monday’s matinee against Boston but had to take the mound sooner than expected because of an injury to A.J. Burnett, who experienced lower back soreness during a workout.
Yeah, that was unexpected, but awesome. Something tells me Burnett would have given up more than two runs.
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