Friday, November 9, 2012
1. Mason Williams, of
2. Slade Heathcott, of
3. Gary Sanchez, c
4. Tyler Austin, of
5. Jose Campos, rhp
6. Brett Marshall, rhp
7. Angelo Gumbs, 2b
8. Manny Banuelos, lhp
9. Ty Hensley, rhp
10. Rafael De Paula, rhp
Given the Yankees’ track record of developing pitchers, I’m happy to see position players at the top four spots on this list. They’re all still at least two years away, but I’m optimistic in varying degrees on all four of Williams, Heathcott, Sanchez and Austin.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Update: Banuelos (elbow) will undergo Tommy John surgery Oct. 4, Josh Norris of the Trentonian reports.
Recommendation: The Yankees held Banuelos out of action since May in hopes of avoiding surgery on his injured elbow, but apparently his arm did not heal as hoped. It usually takes around a year to recover from the Tommy John procedure, so Banuelos will miss most, if not all, of the 2013 campaign. The elbow issues are a major setback for a pitcher who entered 2012 ranked 29th among Baseball America’s top 100 prospects.
Great. I’d love to know why they waited for five months on this.
Monday, August 6, 2012
According to the ESPN New York report, the team hopes that Banuelos’ shutdown will have him ready to play winter ball and during Spring Training, and that the hurler will not need surgery.
“He’ll recover from this,” Newman said in the report. “That’s what our doctors say. We have no doubt about it. At this point, there is no reason to push it. We are trying to be as prepared as we can for next season.”
The team HOPES? How about you just get the inevitable TJ surgery over with?
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 starts for SWB, though he has just 59 strikeouts in 86 ¹/₃ innings and an ugly 1.46 WHIP. He gets the call ahead of David Phelps, who has excelled in the bullpen for the Yankees.
“Phelps is the guy if stretched out, [then he] would have been a prime candidate,” Cashman said. “Warren is by far the next best for us.”
Treanor said Warren hit 93 mph on Sunday and consistently was throwing 92 mph. He also praised his cutter.
It would have been nice if Manny Banuelos was ready to make his MLB debut right now, but hopefully Warren pitches well. His season line doesn’t give me much hope for that, but he can probably get three or four starts if he pitches well tomorrow.
Friday, April 27, 2012
When it came to legit Cashman pitching blunders, whether it be A.J. Burnett, Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano or Jeff Weaver, the GM didn’t exactly skate, but his relationship with certain reporters, and the respect many others have for him, softened what could have been severe body blows.
Only now it will be fascinating to watch how Cashman’s relationship with the media evolves going forward. By normal Yankees standards, the pitching is in shambles, filled with inconsistent arms after CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova take their turns in the rotation.
I’m bringing back the complaint thread. If you don’t like them, don’t read this.
The impact of the Pineda injury is huge. If the Yankees were looking at Pineda as a 3-4 win player, it probably would have helped them move towards the $189 payroll in 2014 that they’ve been eyeing. Not having him for 2012, and possibly never having him, should possibly change the organization’s plans. I don’t know if it will, but let’s think about it logically.
- Say the Yankees were a 95 win team with Pineda, and that losing him makes them a 93 win team (assuming they get better than replacement level pitching from his replacement(s))
- In 2013, with just about every key player on the team likely to be worse since they’re past the age of the typical player’s peak, what would they be then? An 88 win team?
-Now subtract Mo, Hiroki Kuroda, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin from that. Say that’s 10 wins. So now what, 78 wins?
-They have $120M committed to 2013, without including arbitration salaries for Brett Gardner, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson. Giving them a 20% raise bumps the payroll commitment to about $135M or so.
-Assume that 90 wins is the target to qualify for the second wild card in most seasons. So the Yankees need to add about 12 wins for $54M to get to 90 wins in 2013, and that really just puts them on the periphery of the wild card race.
You probably can’t buy 12 wins for $54M on the free agent market due to what’s available and how it fits your roster as well as with competition from other teams. The better free agents are probably not going to want to settle for one year contracts and anything longer than that impacts the 2014 payroll.
Maybe they can replace Pineda’s wins with someone from the farm, although at this point it sure doesn’t seem like Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos are ready and the other arms behind them are either too far away or don’t project to be much more than back-end guys. They don’t have the position player prospects to replace the hole in RF, at least not for 2013. They could use a rotating DH to fill the hole there, but then that necessitates having a backup player or two that you’re comfortable playing in the field every day. I don’t know if Eduardo Nunez is that guy given his defensive issues and the uncertainty of his offense. Martin’s not making much of a case to be retained, but the falloff from him to some combination of Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine or Chris Stewart is probably still significant.
Because of that, the only way I can see the Yankees being competitive in 2013 is going over the $189M payroll target. If they’re not going to do that, I’d suggest rebuilding, but they don’t have anyone trade-able that would help reduce their payroll. Is anyone really going to take Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira off their hands?
As of now the Yankees only have $75M commited to the 2014 payroll. However, that number only includes CC Sabathia, Rodriguez, Teixeira and a $3M Derek Jeter buyout. They’d still have arbitration rights to Gardner, Robertson, Pineda, Ivan Nova, Nunez, Cervelli, Stewart and Ramiro Pena. How many games would that team win?
I understand the benefit to getting under the salary cap limit, but if the trade-off is a crappy team that will draw fewer fans and make less revenue it may not be worth it.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Looking Ahead To 2012 - Team Wrap Up
Opening Day is here, which means we can forget about projections and start complaining about games that count.
We’ve looked at the projections for most of the key players on the Yankees Opening Day roster, with apologies to Chris Stewart.
The Speedy Brett Gardner
Andruw Jones and
Jesus Montero Raul Ibanez
Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia
$36M and a lost draft pick
Booooone Logan and Clay Rapada
Cory Wade and David Phelps
Mariano F’ing Rivera
So now I try to assemble that into a team projection. I’ll show the depth charts I used for the 2012 MLB Projection Blowout with CAIRO.
The biggest area of concern for the position players is probably Alex Rodriguez’s health. A weighted average of his past four years puts him at 459 PA. I’m also not particularly optimistic that Raul Ibanez can hit that projected line, although as half of a platoon it’s more feasible. To a lesser extent the team’s overall health is probably a concern, although in my mind it’s not a huge one. Losing Curtis Granderson or Robinson Cano for an extensive period of time wouldn’t be good since they’re probably the two most valuable position players on the team right now, but you can say that for any team losing one or both of their top two position players.
Regarding Chris Stewart vs. Francisco Cervelli, it’s a clear offensive downgrade. The question is how defense changes things. If we use Cervelli’s 2011 playing time as an estimate for the 2012 backup catchers, you’re looking at something like 137 PA. Let’s round that up to 200 PA in case Russell Martin misses some more time than expected.
200 PA of Cervelli projects to be worth 22 runs. For Stewart, 200 PA projects to be worth about 18 runs. As far as defense, I’m going to ignore pitch framing and blocking and just compare the difference between them in SB/CS. In their careers, that looks like this:
Runners may not run as frequently against Stewart if teams have more respect for his arm than they do for Cervelli’s, although runners have attempted 0.12 steals per inning vs. Stewart compared to 0.09 steals per innings vs. Cervelli in their respective careers. I’ll split the difference, which means 42 stolen base attempts over 400 innings. Using the linear weights values for SB/CS gives us this.
rv: linear weights run value of SB/CS.
A positive run value means more runs for the team stealing bases, so the difference between Stewart and Cervelli there effectively nullifies Cervelli’s offensive edge. Whether other factors of catcher defense change things beyond that, I have no idea.
Back to the rest of the team, the Yankees actually project to score more runs than any other team in baseball according to the aggregate projections I ran, although CAIRO sees them about nine runs behind Boston. They may be able to pick up a few more runs if they swap out Ibanez for Russell Branyan and/or Jack Cust at some point.
Most of the defense projects as average, aside from Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Nun-E. Overall they project about 12 runs better than average.
Of course, 90% of the game is pitching, so how’s that look?
Assigning innings to the staff was a bit trickier this year. The Yankees have a whole bunch of guys who could pitch in the middle/back of the rotation and injuries/circumstances may have a greater say in that than merit. There’s not a ton of difference in the projections of starters 2-7, although it’s probably fair to wonder how accurate projecting Andy Pettitte will be after a year off. But really, you can juggle the innings around between Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda, Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia and probably not see a big difference. CC Sabathia is really the one starter the Yankees can’t afford to lose for any appreciable amount of time.
As far as the pen, it looked better before Joba Chamberlain got hurt. There’s still probably not an end-game you’d take over Mariano Rivera/David Robertson, and for all the crap I spew about the Soriano signing he should be solid, but an injury to either Mo or Robertson suddenly makes it look a bit thin. David Aardsma may be able to pitch at some point, but that’s uncertain.
So, adding this up, this is what CAIRO says.
848 runs scored and 701 runs allowed plus 12 runs saved compared to average puts the Yankees at a Pythagenpat winning percentage of .598, which is equivalent to a 97 win team. CAIRO projected them at 96 in the projection blowout, which is probably a strength of schedule thing.
The other projections I ran say:
I am fairly certain about one thing in baseball this year. The best team in the American League will be the best team in baseball. I’m not quite as certain that the Yankees are that team. They project to be, but Texas has represented the AL in the last two World Series (shamefully, but still…) and if Yu Darvish is a front-line MLB starting pitcher(I think he is), it’s not a stretch to see them as the best team in the league. If the Angels stop dicking around with Vernon Wells and put Mike Trout in their outfield they also have a chance to be the best team in the league, plus they’ll sweep the Yankees in the regular season even if they’re not. Detroit’s defense looks like a problem to me, and while they should score plenty of runs, I have a hard time seeing them as being better than all three of the Rangers, Angels, and Yankees. Of course, we also have the two chief rivals in the AL East to worry about. It wouldn’t take much in the way of good fortune for Boston/Tampa Bay or bad fortune for the Yankees to drop the Yanks into third place.
Still, it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Yankees fail to qualify for the postseason. I suppose losing any of CC Sabathia, Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson for an extended period of time would be one such scenario.
According to the average team projections I ran their probability of winning at least the second wild card at 82.5%, which is the highest in baseball and 7% ahead of Texas who rank second. CAIRO likes the Yankees even more than that at 83.5%, but that ranks second to Texas’s 84.1%. On average, it took 92 wins to win the first AL wild card and 89 wins to get the second one, but these are the Yankees. Division or bust! Wild cards are for losers!
Since rilkefan asked about how these projections have fared in the past, I did a quick little chart. This compares the average of however many projections I ran that year to what the Yankees actually did.
So the Yankees have been a bit less than two wins better than projected on average since I began running these in 2005. The methodology has changed, I think for the better, but it’s still limited. But I’m pretty comfortable the Yankees will be one of the best teams in baseball. That’s really all you can ask for as a fan when the season starts, right?
Yay Opening Day!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Looking Ahead to 2012 - Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia
Time to double up on these with Opening Day fast approaching. I’m hoping to have my projected standings up tomorrow, so today we’ll round out the rest of the opening day rotation by looking at Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia.
After a decent showing in his 2010 MLB debut, albeit one with shaky peripherals, Ivan Nova earned a spot in the Yankee rotation to start 2011. Nova’s main calling card as a prospect was his fastball velocity, but until 2009 he hadn’t really shown the type of performance you’d like to see in a pitching prospect.
Because of that track record, his projections heading into the season weren’t pretty.
RA/ERA: Runs/Earned runs allowed per nine innings
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RSAR: Runs saved above a replacement level pitcher(park and role-adjusted, using RA)
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RSAR divided by 10)
BABIP: Batting average on balls in play
The 2010 line includes his minor league performance so ignore that RSAR/WAR. As you can see Nova exceeded just about every projection in 2011.
So was Nova lucky? Probably a bit, but we do have some evidence of genuine development. For the majority of pitchers, their effectiveness ties directly into their command of the strike zone. It’s the reason Mariano Rivera has been the best closer of all time, for example. You can look at the percentage of batters a pitcher walks and strikes out (and or their K/BB ratio) as a proxy for strike zone command. But don’t just take my word for it.
The fear with Nova, and the primary reason he didn’t get much respect among more statistically inclined analysts was that he had walked about 7.7% of the batters he’d faced in the minors while striking out 16.8%, a K/BB ratio of 2.19. You can be a useful pitcher in MLB with a K/BB ratio like that in MLB, but translating that from the minors doesn’t give you much of a margin of error.
In 2011, Nova walked 8.1% of the batters he faced and struck out 13.9%. His K/BB ratio of 1.72 was less than stellar, and although he had a decent FIP of 4.01 it was buoyed by a lower than average HR/FB rate, a particularly impressive achievement in DNYS.
That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom for Nova. Even his xFIP, which corrects for HR/FB rate, was a more than respectable 4.16, which is fine for a middle of the rotation guy. In addition to that, if we go a little deeper into his numbers we can find evidence of the aforementioned genuine development. In this case it’s in his splits through May 28, and his splits afterwards. Why that date? That’s the date his slider appeared to become another weapon.
bf: batters faced
fip: Fielding independent pitching
xfip: Expected fip (uses league average hr/fb rate instead of actual hr)
fb% Percentage of batted balls that were fly balls
gb% Percentage of batted balls that were ground balls
ld% Percentage of batted balls that were line drives
bb/bf: walks per batters faced
k/bf: strikeouts per batters faced
babip: batting average on balls in play
Nova’s ERA/RA was still a bit better than you’d expect from his peripherals post-slider, but they support the notion that Nova can be a capable starting pitcher in MLB. We always want to be cautious about drawing large meaning from small samples, but changes in walk rate and strikeout rate stabilize more quickly than changes in most other stats, for both pitchers and hitters.
So what about 2012?
RA: Runs allowed per nine innings
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RAR: Runs above replacement level (using RA adjusted for park)
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RAR divided by 10)
For more information on the projections above you can look at the first post in this series.
I’ve included his 2011 and the league average as frames of reference. League average is based on role (starters vs. relievers), and is not adjusted for park so unlike with hitters mentally adjust that up a bit.
The consensus now is that Nova can be a bit better than league average, particularly if you give him a full starter’s workload. That’s a big step up from his projections entering last year and that’s probably a solid #3 in an average MLB rotation, at a cost-controlled salary. I think his 16-4 record in 2011 may lead the MSM and some fans to overrate him, but that’s not his fault. You’d have to imagine the Yankees hope to see him more like a #5 should they get a healthy and effective Phil Hughes and Michael Pineda this year, but I don’t really like the odds of both of those things happening right now.
CAIRO Percentile Forecasts
CAIRO is actually less sanguine on Nova than the average projection, but that 65% forecast is probably about what you’d expect if he were to repeat his 2011 with a bit less of the good fortune in HR/FB rate and BABIP.
I’d probably be more worried about Nova’s 6.86 spring training ERA if he hadn’t walked one hitter and struck out 14 of them. But since he has, I’m not. He may end up out of the rotation if everyone is healthy and effective this year, but that never really happens.
I have to admit I expected nothing out of either Freddy Garcia or Bartolo Colon last year. At this point it seems like Garcia is superfluous, but at the time he was signed the Yankee rotation was CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and 2011 Phil Hughes. That the Yankees subsequently added three pitchers who are probably better options for the rotation than Garcia isn’t his fault, and I’ve seen no evidence that he hasn’t acted professionally even though his short and long-term role on the Yankees has been in doubt. With Michael Pineda out with tendinitis and Andy Pettitte working his way back from retirement, Garcia will open the year in the rotation.
2010 & 2011 Projections
RA/ERA: Runs/Earned runs allowed per nine innings
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching
RSAR: Runs saved above a replacement level pitcher(park and role-adjusted, using RA)
WAR: Wins above replacement level (RSAR divided by 10)
BABIP: Batting average on balls in play
I guess the most amazing thing is going from not pitching at all in 2010 to giving the team 141 strong innings. His FIP is probably a better indicator of how effective Garcia actually was, but he certainly blew away every projection.
Garcia doesn’t throw had anymore. He came up throwing in the mid-90s but injuries have him sitting around 87 mph with his fastball, which has forced him to become more reliant on his secondary stuff. In some ways he was like a less-effective Mike Mussina circa 2008. Garcia increased his use of his split finger fastball last year, including one that was used in a physics lecture in Australia about how to curve a baseball. He had a higher than typical percentage of runners left on base and like Nova allowed a few less HRs per fly ball than an average pitcher. Throw in another year of aging and it’s probably a safe bet he won’t be quite as effective as last year, but here’s what the projections say.
Not surprising that Garcia’s expected to drop across the board, although Davenport, PECOTA and ZiPS are expecting a major fall off. Still, as the ostensible seventh starter on the team you could do worse.
CAIRO Percentile Forecasts
I think in this case the 35% forecast is probably closer to how Garcia will perform and how often he’ll pitch. There’s a lot of uncertainty with Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda that could end up with the Yankees needing him more often than that though, and I’m not sure counting on a full season out of Phil Hughes is wise yet. Garcia could still be expendable if the Yankees feel his innings can be mostly replaced by some combination of Adam Warren, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell, Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos, but they probably have some time to determine that.
The Yankees’ postseason hopes if they should make it by some miracle may not be affected all that much by Nova and Garcia. You’d have to think the postseason rotation would contain some combination of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda and/or Andy Pettitte. But you do have to get there first, and Nova and Garcia can be big parts of that.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will play all 144 games of their International League season on the road, forced out of PNC Field because of a stadium renovation. Instead, they’ll have 37 “home” games in Rochester, N.Y., with the rest scattered about in Batavia, Buffalo and Syracuse, N.Y., along with Allentown, Pa., and Pawtucket, R.I.
They’re even adopting a temporary name, the Empire State Yankees. Might as well call them the Boys of Somewhere.
“Every baseball team has a home base. It’s going to be a little weird just not having one,” said 27-year-old infielder Kevin Russo, embarking on his fourth season with the team. “Friends, family, girlfriend, they all don’t really understand. Even I don’t understand it.”
I wonder how this situation might impact the players. With guys like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances likely on the team I suppose it gives Yankee fans scattered around New York State more chances to see them.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Yankees pitching prospect Manny Banuelos will be back at spring training this season.
The heralded 20-year-old was one of 14 invitees the team announced today.
The Yankees also officially announced they have signed 13 players to minor-league contracts, including Russell Branyan, Manny Delcarmen, Bill Hall, Hideki Okajima and Dewayne Russell.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
And with the addition of Kuroda and Michael Pineda to the rotation, the Yankees certainly would appear to have a surplus of starting pitching.
In that case, someone—either Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett or Freddy Garcia—has to go somewhere. It would be silly, of course, to ask you which should go. That is one vote Mr. Burnett would win in a landslide. But moving an underachieving 35-year-old pitcher with $33 million remaining on his contract is about as easy as moving a grand piano up five flights of stairs.
So it’s more likely going to be Hughes or Garcia. Hughes, obviously, has value in the bullpen. Freddy has never really worked there. So it would seem that Garcia is the more likely candidate if the Yankees chose to trade a pitcher for a DH. (Don’t ask me who they would get because I’m through trying to guess the GM’s next move; as in the Pineda deal, I assume Cashman will come up with a name none of us have thought of.)
I think trading Hughes now is a bad idea because his value is probably the lowest it’s ever been. I still think he’s got a chance to be a #2/#3 starter but his window of opportunity is closing. With CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova under team control for the next five years and with Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances working their way towards the majors another bad season probably pushes him into the bullpen or even out of the organization.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Salvaging a Sunken Cost
You can make a case that A.J. Burnett has negative value right now. While he does project to be above replacement level in CAIRO, it’s important to remember that the idea of replacement level is an abstraction. When thinking about it practically, a replacement level player shouldn’t necessarily be a freely available player. It can be a player in your organization who projects to be better than replacement level but is behind other players on the team’s depth chart.
Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO. The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.
CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
Projecting is an inexact science, but aside from Brad Meyers who we just don’t know much about yet, I’d expect all of those pitchers to pitch better than Burnett in 2012.
If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above. There’s also an opportunity cost in denying starts to any of the pitching prospects that may have developed to the point of also being better than Burnett, including but not limited to Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Adam Warren and David Phelps.
Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.
I don’t think they can do that by pitching him. So thinking about the question EB in LA asked in the previous post about trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.
EB mentioned Adam Dunn, Jason Bay, Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano.
This table shows the remaining guaranteed money owed to the four potential hitters (in millions) and their projected WAR as DHs, assuming a 0.5 WAR decrease per season.
Trading Burnett for Jason Bay makes a lot of sense to me. The Mets are cash-strapped and their starting rotation is thin. For the cost of $2M above the money spent on Burnett, the Yankees could conceivably pick up 3.6 WAR. Lee would be even better since you’re only committed to one year but that $18.5M difference in guaranteed money probably means the Yankees would have to eat a large chunk of money. Dunn projects better than Lee and worse than Bay but he’s still owed $44M and his 2011 was so bad that I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s effectively done as an MLB hitter. Soriano doesn’t make any sense to me since he is the most expensive of the group despite projecting to be the least valuable of them.
Bay may not have much left, but his park is a tough one for hitters so he might surprise in a disgraceful bandbox. He’s probably restricted to DH since he’s not a good fielder, although I suppose he could play an occasional game in LF against a lefty. Then again, none of the other players are much different in that regard.
So sign me up as pro for a Burnett/Bay swap.
Monday, January 2, 2012
1) Jesus Montero, C-DH, Grade A: What he did in the majors last year was not a fluke. It was at the high end of expectation, yes, and I wouldn’t expect him to hit like that over 500 plate appearances at age 22. He may need some adjustment time, but his bat is truly outstanding and he wasn’t just getting lucky. His glove isn’t very good and while he’s not a complete player in terms of contributing speed or defense, his hitting is so strong he still gets a Grade A from me.
2) Gary Sanchez, C, Grade B+: Excellent power production in full-season ball at age 18; that is rare. His glove needs work and he needs to take his career more seriously, but he has time to outgrow emotional immaturity.
3) Manny Banuelos, LHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He got a B last year and I can’t bump his grade up a notch given the command difficulties he had in Double-A. He’s still a fine prospect, however, projecting as a number three starter if all goes well.
4) Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He’s got plenty of stuff but command wobbles prevent the B+ at this time. Ceiling is a tad higher than Banuelos, but I’m less confident that he’ll reach it. Depending on what happens with his command, he could develop into anything from a number two starter to a disappointing mop-up man.
5) Mason Williams, OF, Grade B: We need to see him higher than the New York-Penn League, but he showed progress with both the bat and the glove. Main question is how much power he’ll develop. Grade may be a bit aggressive.
Overall, there were a few glitches last year but the farm system is in good shape. They have a mixture of tools upside and players with polish. The pitching at the lower levels could use a boost and it will be interesting to see what their draft strategy is under the new CBA.
Williams looks very interesting to me. CAIRO loves him, considering how it generally treats prospects.
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
Is he possibly Nick Swisher’s replacement in RF in 2013? That seems like wishful thinking but if he can get to AA, who knows?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Here’s the latest version of the 2012 CAIRO projections, which can be downloaded here: cairo_2012_v0.2.xls.
- Added more minor leaguers
- Added defensive projections for catchers and added Totalzone and Zone Rating projections for the other positions
- Added W-L for the pitchers, based on their current team and that team’s runs scored in 2011. This will change as teams’ offensive projections change, so keep that in mind.
- Took the Marcels and changed the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
So, what does CAIRO 2012 v0.2 think about how good the Yankees are right now?
The Yankees are not likely to add a position player who will significantly improve these projections, so I think the critical number here is 450. If they can get more than 450 PA out of Alex Rodriguez they’ll project a bit better. They can also probably shore up the bench by adding an outfielder who projects better than Chris Dickerson, or who can at least be platooned with Dickerson. That could be accomplished by bringing back Andruw Jones or signing Cody Ross perhaps. Ross would project to hit .261/.328/.444 as a Yankee, and is capable of playing all three OF spots. Plus he’s a clutch postseason monster. Until he isn’t.
We do know the Yankees are going to try and improve their pitching.
|SP8||D. J. Mitchell||25||28||17||3||13||14||6.29||5.81||5.26||-0.1|
Basically, the Yankees can add a win for every WAR they add to the rotation, since their rotation projects as replacement level after A.J. Burnett. That doesn’t mean none of the kids are better than their projections and would do the job in 2012, it just means they shouldn’t plan for that as what’s going to happen. The bullpen is fine, although they could probably benefit from adding a lefty reliever. An intriguing name that I’ve seen mentioned here and on Fangraphs is Dontrelle Willis. I’ll do a detailed post about him later.
Here’s what the overall picture looks like.
So we’re looking at around a 90 win team right now. I think 95 wins is the sweet spot for projecting as the favorite in the AL East. Adding C.J. Wilson probably gets them there. Adding Yu Darvish might. Other than that it’s tough to see a single move that would accomplish it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
CAIRO 2012 v0.1
I’m heading on vacation for about three weeks, and will probably not be online at all, so I’m releasing my 2012 CAIRO v0.1 now, even though they still need a bit of work. If you have any players you want projected that aren’t in here or see anything that looks off let me know in this thread and I’ll check it when I get back. In the meantime Jonathan will keep you covered on the major happenings in Yankee-land. I hope to return with the news that the Yankees have re-signed CC and won the posting for Yu Darvish, but we’ll see what happens.
Here are some of the key Yankees’ projections.
WAR for position players does NOT include defense yet.
You can download the full spreadsheet here. I still need to add catcher defense and zone rating/total zone to the other fielders, and playing times are likely to be somewhat off. I need to double-check my MLEs since I usually find a mistake or two so don’t get too hung up on the minor leaguers’ projections just yet.
If I was to build a preliminary depth chart for the 2012 Yankees right now using the players currently under contract, it’d look something like this.
|Jeter, Derek||SS||580||64||Sabathia, CC||SP1||220||87|
|Granderson, Curtis||CF||640||91||Nova, Ivan||SP2||200||109|
|Cano, Robinson||2B||670||95||Hughes, Phil||SP3||175||94|
|Rodriguez, Alex||3B||459||63||Burnett, A.J.||SP4||185||107|
|Teixeira, Mark||1B||675||95||Noesi, Hector||SP5||140||91|
|Swisher, Nick||RF||625||81||Betances, Dellin||SP6||50||38|
|Montero, Jesus||DH||550||69||Banuelos, Manny||SP7||50||36|
|Martin, Russell||C||500||55||Brackman, Andrew||SP8||0||0|
|Gardner, Brett||LF||550||63||Rivera, Mariano||CL||60||16|
|Nunez, Eduardo||IF||340||36||Robertson, David||SU||80||26|
|Cervelli, Francisco||C||250||25||Soriano, Rafael||SU||65||27|
|Pena, Ramiro||IF||50||4||Logan, Boone||MR||60||29|
|Dickerson, Chris||OF||300||31||Wade, Cory||MR||70||33|
|Golson, Greg||OF||50||4||Chamberlain, Joba||MR||60||30|
|Laird, Brandon||IF||50||5||Laffey, Aaron||LR||25||15|
|Russo, Kevin||UT||25||2||Warren, Adam||LR||0||0|
|Romine, Austin||C||0||0||Phelps, David||LR||0||0|
That’s about an 86 win team, before considering defense. If we assume the 2012 Yankees would be about the same as the 2011 Yankees defensively (around +20) then you’re closer to an 88 win team. It’s not impossible to think some of the young pitchers will be better than CAIRO projects, but the offense looks like it could use a bit more oomph, particularly if we assume we’re only going to get about 450 PA of Alex Rodriguez. They probably need someone who can play 3B and outhit/outglove Eduardo Nunez for at least 40 games.
As far as the pitching staff, the Yankees probably should at least consider bringing Freddy Garcia and/or Bartolo Colon back. Garcia projects better than everyone but CC in the rotation, so I’d like to see the Yankees at least offer him arbitration. If he goes elsewhere, they should get a supplemental first round pick. If he can’t find another team he comes back on a one-year deal, which would be great. 150 innings of Garcia instead of Noesi as a starter makes the Yankees about two wins better.
So the Yankees have some work to do this offseason, IMO.
Monday, October 24, 2011
While we wait for me to take the Marcels and change the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better, the first set of 2012 Yankee projections are out. With CHONE now being gobbled up by some MLB team, these are probably the best projections available now, and I know Dan Szymborski puts a ton of work into making it so.
I’ll just show the starters here..
Batting Projections Player B PO Age BA OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OPS+ Robinson Cano L 2B 29 .299 .347 .506 156 609 92 182 41 5 25 103 40 76 6 3 121 Mark Teixeira B 1B 32 .263 .359 .495 147 562 88 148 32 1 32 109 76 112 2 1 122 Curtis Granderson L CF 31 .256 .346 .495 147 547 104 140 22 8 31 92 71 143 16 7 118 Alex Rodriguez R 3B 36 .264 .350 .474 108 405 62 107 20 1 21 82 51 89 7 2 115 Jesus Montero R C 22 .271 .333 .486 156 576 79 156 37 3 27 93 55 116 0 0 112 Nick Swisher B RF 31 .253 .358 .456 142 498 76 126 27 1 24 82 80 129 1 2 113 Andruw Jones R LF 35 .234 .335 .455 80 222 31 52 10 0 13 38 32 65 3 1 106 Brett Gardner L LF 28 .260 .352 .370 149 462 80 120 17 8 6 39 61 91 43 10 91 Russell Martin R C 29 .249 .346 .382 123 422 60 105 17 0 13 58 58 76 10 4 92 Jorge Posada B 1B 40 .238 .329 .414 105 324 35 77 15 0 14 47 41 80 1 1 94 Eduardo Nunez R SS 25 .273 .312 .379 141 480 57 131 23 2 8 48 26 64 21 7 81 Derek Jeter R SS 38 .268 .329 .362 129 542 78 145 22 4 7 58 46 84 14 5 82
And some selected pitchers.
Pitching Projections - Starters Player T Age ERA W L G GS IP H ER HR BB K ERA+ CC Sabathia L 31 3.55 17 8 31 31 218.0 211 86 19 63 189 126 Ivan Nova R 25 4.44 13 10 31 30 178.3 189 88 20 60 111 100 LEAGUE AVERAGE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 96 Bartolo Colon R 39 4.77 7 6 20 19 111.3 121 59 17 32 78 93 Phil Hughes R 26 4.84 9 8 25 22 122.7 127 66 18 44 96 92 Freddy Garcia R 35 4.85 9 8 23 22 128.0 143 69 18 40 75 92 Hector Noesi R 25 5.24 6 6 32 14 103.0 120 60 14 35 68 85 A.J. Burnett R 35 5.31 9 10 28 27 159.3 170 94 25 70 128 84 David Phelps R 25 5.40 6 7 23 22 121.7 148 73 18 39 73 83 Manny Banuelos L 21 5.45 7 8 25 25 115.7 128 70 15 65 85 82 Dellin Betances R 24 5.66 5 7 24 24 105.0 111 66 15 72 85 79 Player T Age ERA W L G GS IP H ER HR BB K ERA+ David Robertson R 27 3.06 4 2 69 0 64.7 50 22 5 34 87 146 Mariano Rivera R 42 3.12 3 1 53 0 49.0 44 17 4 10 43 143 Rafael Soriano R 32 3.14 4 2 67 0 63.0 50 22 6 21 74 142 Joba Chamberlain R 26 3.88 3 2 46 0 46.3 43 20 5 14 45 115 Boone Logan L 27 3.91 4 2 62 0 48.3 46 21 5 17 48 114 LEAGUE AVERAGE - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 108 Pedro Feliciano L 35 4.30 2 1 33 0 23.0 24 11 2 10 18 104 Cory Wade R 29 4.61 4 4 47 0 56.7 62 29 8 13 37 97 Luis Ayala R 34 4.62 4 3 44 0 50.7 56 26 6 19 32 96 Sergio Mitre R 31 5.08 1 1 26 2 44.3 49 25 6 17 22 88
Go to the link to see whatever players I didn’t include here.
Projections are inherently limited, so remember to take these for what they are. They are rough estimates of a player’s current talent level. They are not predictions for what a player is going to do in 2012, and they are not playing time predictions either.
Monday, October 17, 2011
This isn’t a plea to just plug the two kids into the rotation and let them pitch until their arms fall off. It is merely a suggestion that the Yankees not talk about giving them a chance to compete while simultaneously rigging things so that they have no chance to actually contribute.
And don’t just stop with the two Killer B’s. Let Adam Warren, Hector Noesi and David Phelps get a real shot at the rotation as well.
Between those five pitchers, the Yankees should be able to fill the fifth spot in their rotation while finding out which of these pitchers have the stuff to be longtime members of the rotation.
I don’t know that any of the pitchers on the farm are ready, but I do think the Yankee should be willing to take the risk that some of them are. That probably means not filling the rotation via signings or trades and starting the season with some uncertainty.
If you start to think about the amount of money the Yankees have committed to players that are not worth their salaries, it’s kind of scary. Add that to the fact that they’ll probably need to consider contract extensions for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, and about what to do in 2013 for RF and beyond. It’d be nice if they were getting value from somewhere without ridiculously overpaying for it, and the pitching staff seems like the best bet for that.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Yankees were still working through some issues involving who to call up tomorrow when rosters expand on Sept. 1. But there were three players not in dispute: Jesus Montero is going to be promoted while Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances will not be, The Post has learned.
The Yanks simply feel that Banuelos and Betances, their top two pitching prospects, have met their objectives this year, which were to progress from Double-A to Triple-A and log enough innings to become factors to pitch in the majors next year.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Around 9 o’clock on Sunday night, Dellin Betances tweeted out something he’d been waiting to be able to say.
“One step closer moving on up to 3A pursing the dream of making it to the league,” he wrote. “(Thank you) lord for giving me this opportunity.”
Interesting. I think there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see at least one of Betances or Manny Banuelos in September.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
When asked if the Yankees were allowing him to use all of his pitches, Betances said:
“No, right now I feel like I could do whatever I want. I just haven’t got the chance to do it. ’’
Another touchy subject with the 6-foot-8, Brooklyn-educated Betances has been his limited innings, but it is difficult to blame the notoriously cautious Yankees for his inability to reach 100 innings with less a month remaining in the regular season.
Because of his 4.9 walks per nine innings, Betances has been maddeningly inefficient and is averaging less than five innings per start.
“I think now they’re going to let me go,’’ Betances said. “I mean, I would love to go seven innings. I haven’t gone seven innings since Charleston (in 2008) just because they haven’t given me the chance. I’ve had games this year where I could have gone longer than six, but they have something going now and it’s getting to the last month.’’
The second sentence in the quote above is a reminder that the raw performance of a prospect can often be misleading. If the Yankees are having Betances work on his areas of weakness, it may be at least partially responsible for his disappointing season, but could also possibly pay dividends down the line.
I’m of the mindset that Betances’s health is the biggest concern about his long-term future. The fact that he’s remained healthy all year is encouraging to me. As far as how he’s done? It’s been kind of a bummer, but I still think he’s got a chance to be very good.
I’ll just say I don’t share the same outlook for Andrew Brackman.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
The A.J. Thing
After a 2010 that will be remembered as one of the worst seasons by a Yankee starter ever, the hope was that A.J. Burnett would rebound enough to justify the remaining three years on his contract, or at least make them look like less of an anchor.
Burnett entered last night with a respectable 4.23 ERA, but the truth he hasn’t really pitched that well this year. Before last night’s debacle, Here’s how Burnett’s performance compared to his average projection pro-rated to his 138 innings pitched.
He’d been better as far as runs allowed, but the peripheral stats didn’t support it, and that’s even ignoring the fact that offense in MLB is down in general. He’d allowed more HRs and walks than projected and his K rate was essentially the same. The only reason he had a better RA/ERA than projected was because he’d allowed a BABIP against of .255 compared to his projected .304. His career BABIP against is .288 and his BABIP in 2008-2010 was around .309. So it was probably a safe bet that a correction was coming, and it started last night.
Here’s how his performance now compares to his pro-rated projection including last night.
To be fair to Burnett, he didn’t get the win last night because he gave up 13 hits in 4.1 innings. He didn’t walk anyone, which would have been infuriating with a 13-1 lead. He faced 26 batters and allowed six fly balls, 10 ground balls and six line drives. He allowed one HR, and struck out three. The BABIP against him last night was .571. That doesn’t absolve him of blame, but if we’re going to take away his credit for suppressing BABIP entering last night then we should at least note it when we’re trying to blame him for last night.
One game doesn’t change the big picture. Burnett hasn’t really pitched well this year, and at this point I don’t think there’s any question that he’s the starter most of us would like to see pulled from the rotation. You can make the case that the Yankees have eight or nine pitchers you’d rather see starting than Burnett depending on what you think of Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell and/or Manny Banuelos.
Unfortunately, the Yankees are still committed to Burnett for the next two years and two months. What I don’t know is if they’d consider pulling Burnett from the rotation the way they did with Mike Mussina in 2007. At least he won’t be asked to pitch against Boston this weekend.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Banuelos made his debut at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight, putting him just one step away from reaching the major leagues.
It’s possible that the Yankees may need his help down the stretch.
“We’re looking at anyone and everyone who we feel can help us down this last 50 games or whatever we have left,” manager Joe Girardi said.
The stakes would be much higher for Banuelos and the Yankees, who last season leaned on rookie Ivan Nova to help the rotation down the stretch.
Baneulos threw 109 innings in 2009 and is at 100 this year. I don’t know how many more innings the Yankees want to give him, but I can’t imagine they’d push him much past 140. If he’s going to end up seeing time in the majors this year, it’ll be as a reliever most likely.
If that’s the case, I don’t know if I want to see him this year. If he comes up and succeeds as a reliever it’ll be Joba 2007 all over again, with the mouth-breathers insisting he should stay in the bullpen as the heir apparent to David Robertson.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
CHICAGO—Phil Hughes made what seemed like his most important start of the season on Tuesday night and wound up with by far his best pitching effort of 2011.
In the end, the only thing that got in his way was the weather.
By the time a second rain delay hit in the middle of the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field, the Yankees held a 6-0 lead, and Hughes had hurled six stellar innings.
That’s the Hughes we’ve been waiting to see all year. Granted, the White Sox lineup isn’t exactly fearsome, but Hughes had better stuff than he’s had at any point this year and looked every bit as impressive as his final line did (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K). If Hughes was indeed pitching for his job, he probably saved it tonight.
Couple Hughes’s performance with a nice debut by Manny Banuelos in his first AAA start and a Jesus Montero HR with Brian Cashman in attendance and tonight was a good night to be a Yankee fan.
Monday, July 18, 2011
It’s obvious why Jimenez is in such demand, and why so many teams should be in play for him. Contenders with strong farm systems and/or who can take on that relative pittance of a salary are bound to be interested.
The Yankees fit both criteria, and Jon Heyman of SI.com reported that O’Dowd is asking for Ivan Nova and the top pitching prospects Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos – and the catching prospect Jesus Montero. That is a lot to ask for, and the Yankees would not agree to that 4-for-1 deal. But at this relatively early stage, O’Dowd can afford to snoop around and gauge the market.
I don’t think I’d trade that package of four players for any single player in MLB. As far as what I’d be willing to trade for Jimenez, I’d probably do one of Banuelos/Betances + Nova and a few other lesser prospects, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t get it done.
Jimenez is an interesting player, because you wonder if getting him out of Coors field might help him get to a new level, and he’s relatively young and signed to a team-friendly contract. That being said, I’d be more enthused about signing him if he hadn’t lost 3 mph from his average fastball velocity since last year.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. — This month is the third anniversary of one of the Yankees’ scouting coups, when Alfredo Aceves and Manny Banuelos were among four players plucked from their team in Mexico, Sultanes de Monterrey, for $450,000.
Their reunion occurred on Monday night at City of Palms Stadium, in a diluted edition of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, in front of a national television audience, with each surprising his employer this spring training in a different way.
Aceves, a valuable member of the Yankees’ 2009 championship team, has seemingly rebounded from double-barreled adversity — a back injury that cost him most of last season and a fractured collarbone sustained in a November motorcycle accident — to emerge as a candidate for Boston’s bullpen.
Banuelos, a prized 20-year-old left-hander bound for Class AA Trenton, has impressed the Yankees with his poise and command, eliciting gushing praise from the usually low-key Joe Girardi — and from Red Sox Manager Terry Francona.
Pitching in and out of trouble most of the night, Banuelos still fired two and two-thirds scoreless innings in Boston’s 2-1 victory and struck out Carl Crawford and Kevin Youkilis, his final batter, on a dastardly changeup.
Aceves’s magical career arc with the Yankees — he soared from Class A Tampa to the majors in three months in 2008 — flattened at Fenway Park, of all places, when his lower back stiffened as he ran to cover first base last May 8.
It bothered him for the next four months, his season ending in a Class AAA rehabilitation assignment. The potential for more problems persuaded the Yankees not to tender him a contract.
“We could not get him healthy,” General Manager Brian Cashman said, “and I’ll leave it at that.”
That didn’t stop you from tearing up a one year option on Damaso Marte so you could pay him to not pitch for three years, did it?
The decision to non-tender Aceves because of one season of injury struck me as foolish at the time, and it’s starting to look even worse. Then again, I don’t know that he’s got the arsenal to be a full-time major league starter and the Yankee bullpen is pretty stacked right now.
I didn’t see the game last night, so I’d be curious about how Banuelos looked if anyone who saw it wants to comment on it.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
TAMPA - A year ago Manny Banuelos barely registered on the Yankees’ radar, but now, not even 20 yet, he has this camp buzzing like spring training of 2007 when veterans were wowed enough by a young Phil Hughes to promptly label him the next Roger Clemens.
Hughes hasn’t quite lived up to that hype, although he is surely beginning to deliver on his promise, which is more than you can say for a lot of spring training phenoms.
Who knows how it will go for Banuelos, but to see him up close Wednesday, you had to be impressed. The lefthander is only 5-foot-10, yet the ball explodes out of his hand, the mid-90s velocity further enhanced by a smooth, polished delivery that looks effortless.
Beyond that, GM Brian Cashman noted a poise that he likened to that of Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez.
“Banuelos has a presence, a confidence on the mound that’s a lot like when El Duque showed up,” Cashman said Wednesday. “Guys hadn’t even seen El Duque throw yet, and I remember (Joe) Torre and (Mel) Stottlemyre seeing him and saying, ‘There’s something about this guy.’”
I think a Clemens/El Duque combination would be acceptable from Banuelos. Sans the perjury.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Manny Banuelos, a 19-year-old with a 96-m.p.h. fastball, is the Yanks’ top left-handed prospect.
TAMPA, Fla. — Each of the 51 pitches Andy Pettitte threw for the Class AA Trenton Thunder last Sept. 9 was dutifully tracked by Manny Banuelos, a teenager sitting a few rows behind home plate who grew up in Mexico admiring the man on the mound, the modern-day patron saint of Yankee left-handers. That night Banuelos charted Pettitte’s velocity and his location, his selection and his movement, and afterward he had an epiphany.
“There’s no one better to learn from,” Banuelos said. “That’s why I think I was asked.”
Head bop to bebop.
Friday, February 11, 2011
The Minnesota Twins might be open to the possibility of trading lefty starter Francisco Liriano, according to a report by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Liriano, 27, is under contract for the next two seasons, and the report suggested the Twins are unwilling to sign him long term.
Liriano’s availability would intrigue the Yankees, who have two vacancies in their rotation. With pitchers and catchers due to report Monday, a primary concern is repairing A.J. Burnett’s mechanics and his confidence.
Given his past health issues and the fact that he’s eligible for free agency after 2012, I don’t think Liriano is going to come at a low enough cost that the Yankees should pursue him. He had a strong 2010, but looking at what appears to be an unsustainably low HR/FB rate would give me pause. I wouldn’t trade any of the the Killer B’s or Montero for him. I’d probably do Romine plus a non-killer B arm, but I doubt the Twins would go for it.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
JN: With the rotation, it seems pretty fair to say that Betances and Banuelos are going to be there, correct?
MN: It’s premature to say that they’re going to be there and not in Triple-A. There’s probably the best chance that they would be in Double-A to start with, but it’s not a done deal.
JN: I’d assume Graham Stoneburner’s going to be right there, too?
JN: What about Adam Warren? It seems he’s ready for Triple-A, but I could also see him being pushed back to Double-A because of numbers.
MN: All that stuff (with the rotation) is still TBA. We have more quality pitching at the Double-A and Triple-A levels than we’ve had in some time, so throughout spring training there’s going to be a lot of consultation among staff before we finally determine who’s going to go where.
A quick Q&A with Mark Newman, the Yankees’ head of player development. It touches briefly on a lot of the names we already know, although the focus is more on the lower level minor leaguers.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
#### New York: 5 Yankees Questions: Does Cash have a move?
1. Who are the Yankees fourth and fifth starters?
One will not be Joba Chamberlain. Brian Cashman has made that clear. Ivan Nova of the 1-2, 4.50 ERA in 42 major league innings is the No. 4. Why he is better than Chamberlain for this year doesn’t make sense to me? But the Yankees feel Chamberlain’s stuff diminishes as a starter.
At the No. 5 spot is Sergio Mitre. Mitre’s career numbers are 13-29 with a 5.27 ERA. Now, read those numbers again for Mitre and Nova—- what do they tell you? They say to me the Yankees will add at least one more pitcher in the next three weeks and hope for Pettitte’s return.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have a host of arms led by Dellin Bettances, Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman that they think could be ready by 2012, if not sooner.
Come on sooner…
3) Will Derek Jeter bounce back?
You may have heard that Jeter’s play was questioned this offseason. He will be 37 after the All-Star Break. If he is not hurt in the first half, he should have his 3,000th hit by then, becoming the first Yankee ever there.
But the focus on Jeter will be about every ball that finds the hole and where his average stands. People who follow the sport closely have been watching these things for awhile. Now, they are mainstream and national. It will be interesting watch.
Have people who follow the sport closely really been watching where his average stands for a “while”? Until 2010 his average was rarely an issue, was it? Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the defense.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Having struck out everywhere in his quest to land a frontline starter, Cashman has since sought to strengthen the staff from the back end, only to run into another stonewall with Kansas City Royals GM Dayton Moore’s refusal to consider offers for his closer Joakim Soria. Moore’s “no way” stance on Soria - who recently said he would waive his no-trade clause and approve a deal to the Yankees - is puzzling.
If the Yankees do want to shore up the bullpen, signing Rafael Soriano and/or trading for Joakim Soria would inarguably help. However, in order to determine how much of an upgrade they’d be, it would probably help to do a comparison of the Yankee bullpen without either of them first.
Assume the following five pitchers are locks for the bullpen
Joba Chamberlain (yeah, I know)
Here are the pitchers on the 40 man roster who may be candidates for the bullpen.
For now, let’s assume Marte’s going to spend the season throwing from flat ground with the occasional setback. Let’s also assume that the Yankees aren’t going to add a starter for now and that Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre are penciled in for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. I’m also going to assume that for now none of Betances, Brackman or Noesi would start the year in the bullpen, since they’d probably be better served getting regular work in the minors.
Last year’s bullpen pitched 469.1 innings, but let’s figure that this year’s rotation is weaker and so they’ll be needed to pitch more than that. The 2008 Yankees got a little less than 900 innings from their starters, and had Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson in the rotation as the third and fifth-most used starters, neither of whom was any better than how Nova and Mitre project, so that seems like a reasonable number of innings to allocate to the rotation in 2011. So that leaves around 550 innings for the bullpen.
Let’s assume the following allocation of innings for the starting rotation and the five locks in the bullpen.
IP: Projected innings pitched
R: Total runs allowed
RA/9: Projected runs allowed per nine innings
RSAR: Runs saved above replacement level
As should be abundantly clear at this point, I’m being deliberately pessimistic in order to amplify the possible gain from adding Soriano or Soria. Also, Kei Igawa is not necessarily the actual Kei Igawa, but a proxy for some replacement level pitcher who ends up pitching some innings.
This means we need to add about 255 innings from the rest of the bullpen to get to the normal 1440 innings in a season. Let’s assume the Yankees fill those 255 innings with Turpen, Garrison, Fish and Schlitter. Here’s what that looks like.
If CAIRO’s projected 835 runs scored for the 2011 Yankees is accurate right now, that’s about an 87 win team.
Here are how Soria and Soriano would projected as Yankees in 2011.
Soriano’s projection looks a bit high to me, but it shouldn’t matter that much. We can even just assume he’ll be as good as Soria would be to simplify things.
So the obvious upgrade here is that you remove something like 65 of the worst projected innings here with Soria/Soriano. So replacing Schlitter and five innings of Fish with Soria looks like this.
It’s about a 19 run upgrade on a spreadsheet. If you want to include leverage for that, assuming Soria pitches in the same spots that Robertson, Chamberlain and Kerry Wood pitched in last year, you can multiply that by about 1.27 (their weighted average leverage index in 2010). That makes it about a 24 run upgrade.
So that’s probably about the theoretical ceiling of how much Soria or Soriano would be worth, and it’s based on what I think are some pessimistic assumptions. In reality I’d expect an upgrade of slightly less than two wins.
If Soriano didn’t cost you a draft pick and was about as good as Soria projects to be, he’d probably be worth a 1 year/$10M or 2 year/$20M deal for the Yankees. I don’t think I’d want to commit to him for a third year, especially if the market for him isn’t particularly strong.
If the alternative is trading for Soria, then it’d have to be a trade that cost the Yankees less than however much they think their first round pick in 2011 is worth. Otherwise you’re overpaying for what might be a three run difference. So in absolutely no way should they consider trading Jesus Montero or the three B’s. At least that’s what I think.
Unfortunately, I doubt the Royals would accept anything less than at least one of those players.
So if I had to choose one, give me Soriano and the lost draft pick over Soria and the lost top five prospect(s).
But I just don’t see a two win upgrade being worth either one. It still doesn’t make the Yankees better than Boston on a spreadsheet.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Cashman didn’t rule out a return by Pettitte, but with Christmas approaching, he is proceeding with the rest of his offseason plans as if the pitcher will not be back.
“As of right now, he’s not intending on playing,” Cashman said.
Pettitte’s retirement would be another blow to the club in a winter in which the Red Sox have added firepower to their lineup, while the Yankees have failed to deliver a proportional response.
“We swung for the fences, didn’t get it, and now we move forward,” Cashman said. “We have a very good team and we can make it better.”
Also from the Ny Post
“Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there’s just not much out there,” said Cashman, who ruled out acquiring Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez from the Mariners.
Ivan Nova, who went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) last season, is the obvious choice as the fourth starter. The top pitching prospects in the franchise are Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances, but both are expected to start the season in Double-A. Andrew Brackman could be the favorite for the fifth spot if Pettitte does not return.
“We have 10 prospects starting from Double-A on up that our organization can choose from,” Cashman said.
I’ve been holding off on the pitching part of ‘where do we go from here?’ on the assumption that the Yankees still had some tricks up their sleeve, but at this point that looks unlikely so I should have it up in the next couple of days.
Page 1 of 1 pages: