Thursday, May 16, 2013
You can click on the title to see the list of all 222 games by a starter who didn’t last one inning and gave up at least seven runs, but here is the list of Yankees who have achieved this memorable feat.
|1||Phil Hughes||5/15/2013||NYY||SEA||L 2-12||GS-1 L||0.2||6||7||7||2||0||1|
|2||Bartolo Colon||7/14/2011||NYY||TOR||L 7-16||GS-1 L||0.2||6||8||3||2||0||0|
|3||Mike Mussina||5/20/2008||NYY||BAL||L 2-12||GS-1 L||0.2||5||7||1||2||1||0|
|4||Orlando Hernandez||6/18/2000||NYY||CHW||L 4-17||GS-1 L||0.2||6||9||9||3||1||1|
|5||Wade Taylor||6/14/1991||NYY||TEX||L 4-8||GS-1 L||0.2||4||7||7||2||0||1|
|6||Andy Hawkins||9/26/1989||NYY||BOS||L 5-9||GS-1 L||0.1||5||8||8||3||0||0|
|7||Tommy John||7/11/1979||NYY||SEA||L 1-16||GS-1 L||0.1||6||7||7||1||1||0|
|8||Ken Holtzman||7/20/1976||NYY||CHW||W 14-9||GS-1||0.1||5||7||6||2||0||1|
|9||Steve Kline||7/24/1970||NYY||OAK||L 0-11||GS-1 L||0.2||4||7||7||3||1||0|
|10||Vic Raschi||7/25/1953||NYY||DET||W 15-11||GS-1||0.2||5||7||7||2||0||0|
|11||Atley Donald||1945-05-20 (1)||NYY||SLB||L 1-10||0.2||5||7||5||2||1||0|
|12||Bump Hadley||8/18/1936||NYY||WSH||L 2-9||0.1||2||7||5||4||1||0|
|13||Roy Sherid||1931-05-25 (2)||NYY||PHA||L 4-16||0.2||3||7||7||3||0||0|
|14||Allen Russell||1919-07-05 (2)||NYY||WSH||L 5-11||0.2||6||8||3||0||0||1|
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.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
4/18/12: Bartolo Colon threw 82 of his 108 pitches for strikes, including 38 in a row at one point
Prety cool video of all 38 pitches. I’m happy to see Colon doing well, even if I think he’s not a good bet to hold up for a full season.
Friday, March 16, 2012
We just knew in the aftermath of Cliff Lee’s spurning and Andy Pettitte’s retirement that the Yankees were in real trouble. We wondered if Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia were closer to the Yankees’ rotation or their AARP cards. We viewed the battle among Colon, Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova for the final two spots in the rotation as, at best, a time filler until gifts arrived before the July 31 deadline.
Over in Red Sox camp, the big question was what to do with too much starting pitching. Boston was working to turn six — Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield — into five.
In Cardinals camp, ace Adam Wainwright already was lost for the season and so St. Louis’ chance of being champions had fallen from slim to “are we really still talking about the Cardinals winning it all?”
I figured it was better to read something like this than an article talking about how it’s too early to get concerned about Michael Pineda’s velocity while listing a bunch of reasons that we should be concerned about 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.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Bartolo Colon held the Rays to two runs in 5 1/3 innings, but he settled for a no-decision after Rafael Soriano allowed a go-ahead homer in the seventh in St. Pete.
Best Rafael Soriano appearance ever.
In 1996, the Yankees pulled Dwight Gooden off the scrap heap after he had pitched 40 innings in 1994 and no innings in 1995. Gooden made 29 starts and although he ended the year with an ERA of 5.01, from April 27 to August 12, he was very useful, giving the team 128 innings of 3.09 ERA, and going 10-2 in the process, including a no-hitter against the Mariners on May 14.
Gooden struggled at the end of the year, putting up an 21 innings of 10.55 ERA over his final five starts and was left off the postseason roster. It was an unfortunate way for his season to finish up, but the Yankees probably don’t get to the postseason without what he gave them in the middle of the season, and for that Yankee fans were thankful.
I don’t know how Bartolo Colon’s season is going to finish out. Although he was reasonably effective tonight, he’s clearly not throwing with the same zip he had at the start of the year. If the Yankees do decide to leave him off the postseason roster, it doesn’t change the fact that he gave the Yankees a lot of value this year, more than anyone could have reasonably expected.
And for that, Yankee fans should be thankful.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
NEW YORK—Nearly three years have passed, but A.J. Burnett has finally done what the Yankees asked when they chased him so passionately as a free agent: Beat the Boston Red Sox.
The right-hander hurled 7 2/3 strong innings on Sunday, defeating the skidding Red Sox, 6-2, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
Burnett’s effort ended a string of 10 overall starts against the Red Sox—including nine as a Yankee—dating back to Sept. 19, 2008, taking advantage of a Boston club that continues to fret about their postseason chances.
While Burnett may not have a place in the first-round postseason rotation, where Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia could follow CC Sabathia in the American League Division Series, he offered some optimism for his inclusion in some form.
Burnett’s final line looks pretty good, but he was shaky early. Through four innings he’d thrown 32 strikes and 29 balls. Over the rest of the game he threw 32 strikes and just 12 balls, and ended his day by striking out the last two batters he faced. It’s only natural to wonder how much of his performance can be attributed to pitching against a Boston team that’s probably pressing versus him battling through adversity. I suppose we can say that we’ve seen that when A.J.‘s bad enough, he can make the worst team in MLB look good (the Twins), so this outing has to be viewed positively, although I’m sure it won’t be by some.
If I had to guess, he’s probably earned a shot at the postseason rotation, maybe as the #4 in the ALDS should the Yankees by some miracle be up 2-1. I’m fine with that, provided he’s got a short leash with someone like Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes shadowing him. There’s no reason to think he’d be appreciably worse than either of them in a single start.
ST. PETERSBURG—A home-run barrage coupled with an inspired pitching performance led the Rays to a 5-2 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
By winning, the Rays moved to within a half-game of the American League Wild Card-leading Red Sox, who lost to the Yankees in the first game of a day-night double-header on Sunday.
We’re about two hours away from a game that has the potential to be an absolute smorgasbord of schadenfreude.
Friday, September 23, 2011
The Rise and Fall of Bartolo Colon’s Fastball
FFv: Average velocity of four seam fastball on specific date
FTv: Average velocity of two-seam fastball on specific date
Saturday, September 17, 2011
TORONTO—Move over, Trevor Hoffman. A religious man who reluctantly enters to Metallica music and throws an evil cutter will temporarily keep you company.
Mariano Rivera closed out the Yankees’ 7-6 win against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Saturday, giving him 601 career saves and tying him with Hoffman for first place on the all-time list. A rough start by Bartolo Colon found the Yankees down five early, but a three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez and a two-run shot by Curtis Granderson brought them all the way back.
Then Rivera did what he’s done better than any other man over the last 16 years: pitch a scoreless ninth inning to preserve a tight lead.
Not sure why, but I thought today was a night game. Oh well. Yay win, yay Mo.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
ANAHEIM—Maicer Izturis’ game-winning drive landed in Curtis Granderson’s glove, too deep in center field to attempt a throw, and all Derek Jeter thought about was the toss he should have made.
Izturis connected for a bases-loaded sacrifice fly facing Luis Ayala in the ninth inning on Friday night, lifting the Angels to a 2-1 victory over the Yankees that made Jeter’s hurried fifth-inning throwing error loom even larger.
“It boils down to giving them extra outs,” Jeter said. “I gave them an extra out throwing that ball away.”
More importantly, Jeter added, the Yankees couldn’t afford to cough up runs facing a stellar Jered Weaver, who limited the Bombers to just Jesus Montero’s homer over eight innings, striking out 11.
I’ll give Jeter a pass, since it was Jeff Mathis busting it down the line. It’s pretty hard to throw out a backup catcher on a routine grounder.
I didn’t get to see the game, but reading the recap and the game chatter here’s what I have to say about it.
1) Jered Weaver is a good pitcher, and from what I can glean he pitched well. Sometimes you face a good pitcher and he shuts you down.
2) As I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost the ability to “hate” players. Frankly, if I was the absolute worst player in MLB history, I’d bat or pitch every time a team kept giving me a chance to do it. So I don’t hate players who aren’t particularly good. If their team puts them in a position to fail, that’s the team’s fault, not theirs. So with regards to using Aaron Laffey last night (or Scott Proctor the day before) in the absolute highest leverage a team can be in at the start of an inning, I won’t blame Laffey (Proctor) for that. I’ll blame Joe Girardi. If you think this game is unimportant enough to use Laffey in that spot, you shouldn’t have wasted David Robertson in the eighth, since now you probably won’t be able to use him in a game you may actually try to win tonight. If you think these games are unimportant, why not audition some of the people who have upside and may have a meaningful role with this team in the years to come? Perhaps they’ll surprise you and show that they’re ready now? Does anyone think Buck Showalter would have used Jack McDowell to replace Mariano Rivera in the 9th inning of the fifth game of the 1995 ALDS if he knew how good Rivera was? If Hector Noesi didn’t get a shot against Baltimore in extra innings in his MLB debut, would the Yankees ever have made him a useful part of their bullpen?
3) As I said, the Yankees always find a way to lose to the Angels, and it’s really infuriating. Your pitcher’s pitching brilliantly against them? Make an error that gives them the run that ends up costing you the win.
4) The Yankees are probably exhausted right now given the way their last three games have unfolded. A four hour rain delay in New York resulting in a game that ended around 2:00 am followed by a trip for a day game to Baltimore followed by a flight to the West Coast to play a game at 10:00 pm Eastern time. So maybe we’re seeing some effect from that.
5) Any schadenfreude from the Red Sox’s recent tailspin is pretty much gone with the fact that the Yankees haven’t been able to gain even one iota from it, aside from shortening the amount of time the Red Sox might have to catch them.
It’s still really unlikely that the Yankees miss the playoffs, and with Detroit and Texas in a near dead heat record-wise there’s not necessarily going to be a huge advantage from winning the division. So I can at least be happy that Bartolo Colon pitched well, something he hasn’t done as much of since his return from the DL. I can also appreciate the fact that Jesus Montero pulled a HR off one of the best pitchers in the league and helped make his case for full-time play. Also, the Angels are just two games back of Texas in the loss column and it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst thing in the world if they forced Texas to go all out down the stretch. It can only benefit whomever faces the AL West winner if the race goes down to the wire.
I seriously expect the Yankees to lose every game they play against the Angels. Because of that, I just can’t get that worked up about it anymore. As a card-carrying stat-nerd, I really have a tough time reconciling the fact that what’s happened in the past has no bearing on what happens now when these two teams play and that the talent on the field that given day should be the primary factor in who wins or loses with the way the Yankees constantly roll over for Anaheim.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Speaking before yesterday’s 2-0 loss in the opener of a day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards, Girardi said he will attempt to shave his suspect rotation from six to five arms following Thursday night’s game against the Red Sox in Boston.
“I’m not going to base it on one outing,” Girardi said of judging Bartolo Colon (yesterday’s starter), Freddy Garcia (tonight’s starter) or Burnett (who starts Thursday). “I don’t think it’s fair. The bottom line is that we need to pitch well. If we’re going to win the [AL East], we need to pitch better.”
Don’t worry Joe, I’m pretty sure the decision will be made for you on Thursday.
What I find interesting is the possibility that the people on the bubble are/were Colon, Garcia and Burnett. I don’t know if the author is inferring this or if I’m reading too much into this, but it does seem to indicate faith in Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova.
If I had to pick a four man rotation entering the postseason today, I’d probably go CC/Colon/Nova/one of Hughes or Garcia. Actually, I’d let CC opt out and then go Colon/Nova/Garcia/Hughes.
We’ll see how that looks a month from now if by some miracle the Yankees win the wild card.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
BALTIMORE—Curtis Granderson grabbed hold of the Major League lead with two home runs, and the Yankees hit three consecutive blasts in the sixth inning, powering an 8-3 drubbing of the Orioles on Sunday.
The offensive display came in the second game of a split-admission doubleheader, after Baltimore had bested New York, 2-0, behind a strong pitching performance by left-hander Zach Britton.
Maybe he should win the MVP after all.
You have to be impressed with the way the Yankees recovered from an insurmountable 2-0 deficit in the second inning to take the nightcap. Ivan Nova settled in after a rough start and continued his positive trend of striking hitters out while walking them with less frequency, finish the game with seven Ks and three BBs over seven innings.
Random cool stat of the night:
|Robertson - Bases Loaded||16||16||1||1||0||0||0||13||.063||.063||.125||.188|
Yes, David Robertson has struck out 13 of the 16 hitters he’s faced with the bases loaded this year.
Losing the first game was annoying, but seeing Bartolo Colon pitching as well as he did takes some of that annoyance away for me.
Hopefully the Yankees can take tomorrow’s game and salvage a 2-5 road trip.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Is the Bloom Off the Rose Of Colon?
Since his return from the DL, Bartolo Colon has been a bit less effective than he was prior to going on the DL. Here are his splits as a starter through yesterday.
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
A few things stand out to me.
1) He was outpitching his peripherals prior going to the DL and it was probably not sustainable.
2) Since returning he’s walking batters more frequently and striking them out less frequently.
3) He’s traded some ground balls for line drives (not a good trade).
4) Despite all that, his peripherals since July 2 are still decent
Since we’re talking about breaking up an already small sample size of 108 innings into even smaller chunks of 67 and 41 innings, we really can’t say with any certainty what Colon is right now. So my next thought was to look at his Pitch FX data and see if there were any obvious differences.
First column for each pitch type (FF = Four-seam fastball, FT = Two-seam fastball, SL = slider, CH = changeup) is percentage of times he threw each pitch by month and the second column for each pitch type is the average velocity for that month.
There can be some ambiguity in pitch classifications, so I don’t know if he really did throw the two-seam fastball 50% of the time in June. Aside from that, the numbers seem fairly consistent in terms of average velocities and percentage of each pitch thype thrown.
So how about the results of the pitches?
Ball: Pitches that missed the strike zone, includes HBP, pitchouts
Str_C: Called strikes
Str_S: Swinging strikes, includes missed bunts
Foul: All fouls including outs
In play: All balls hit into play, including HRs
Seems like he’s still got command and his percentage of pitches that were balls has remained fairly steady. The percentage of called strikes is down this month and that seems to be in line with the uptick in both foul balls and balls in play.
So I think what we’re seeing here is batters starting to be a bit more aggressive as an adjustment to the fact that Colon has pounded the strike zone heavily. I’m sure we’re also seeing that Colon was pitching over his head earlier this year and is moving closer to what would be a reasonable expectation.
As long as he can stay in the general vicinity of his season performance to data, that shouldn’t be a problem. I do continue to worry about his avaiability over the rest of the season, but at this point you keep your fingers crossed and hope.
Friday, August 5, 2011
The Monkey On Their Backs
By any reasonable viewpoint, the Yankees have had a great year in 2011. They lead MLB in run differential/Pythagorean record, are tied for the top in the best division in baseball and have gotten a lot of good performances from unexpected places. In particular, a pitching staff that was touted as the team’s Achilles’ heel all offseason has been a legitimate strength.
Despite all that, it seems like a lot of us haven’t fully embraced the good things that this team has done, and I think it really just comes down to one thing. This team has gotten its ass handed to it by Boston every time they’ve played this year.
So who to blame? Here are the splits for the Yankees’ hitters vs. Boston and vice versa.
Mark Teixeira has been abysmal vs. Boston this year with some support from Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner.
Here’s a “fun” stat for you. Dustin Pedroia has provided more offense in 39 PA versus the Yankees than Jeter, Teixeira, Swisher, Gardner and Jorge Posada have provided in 173 PA against Boston (10.9 BR to 9.4 BR). Maybe fun is not the right word.
Boston’s outscored the Yankees at close to a 2-1 rate and if you compare the BR to the actual runs there’s not a lot of evidence of good or bad luck in there.
Two other things I found
interesting aggravating are the HBP and IBB columns.
Well, maybe looking at the pitching will cheer us up.
That didn’t really help.
It would have been nice to have Alex Rodriguez back for this series, although maybe Eric Chavez can stay healthy through Sunday (assuming he’s off tonight with Jon Lester pitching).
Pitching matchups for the weekend are Colon vs. Lester tonight, CC vs. Lackey tomorrow, and Garcia vs. Beckett on Sunday. So the Yankees are probably slight underdogs tonight, favorites tomorrow, and strong underdogs Sunday. Logic says we should be happy if they take one of the three, and that’s the most likely scenario, but after losing 8 of 9 to Boston, including all 6 at home, I won’t be happy with anything less than a sweep.
I suppose I could settle for a 2-1 series win.
Seriously though, barring catastrophe both of these teams will be in the postseason, so I suppose we shouldn’t get that worked up about whatever happens here.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Bartolo Colon wasn’t at his sharpest, but Nick Swisher (single, double, homer, two RBIs, two runs) and the Yanks’ offense made sure Colon’s effort was enough for the win in the first game of the day-night doubleheader vs. the O’s.
The Yankees scored a franchise-record 12 runs in the first inning, setting the tone for their 17-3 win over the Orioles, their second win of the day. It followed an 8-3 victory hours earlier that featured the Yankees’ last five batters recording 10 hits, the same number the New York lineup recorded in Game 2’s first inning.
All year, I’ve harped on the fact that Ivan Nova’s walk rate and strike out rate did not indicate sustainable success. A pitcher who walks as many batters as he strikes out is not one that is likely to have a long and successful career. A funny thing happened on his march towards replacement level though.
|4/4 - 6/3||274||60.0||70||36||30||4||26||3||29||5.40||4.50||4.55||10.6%||10.6%|
|6/10 - 7/30||160||38.666||34||14||14||6||12||0||28||3.26||3.26||4.70||7.5%||17.5%|
Now we’re seeing evidence that he’s gotten better. I wouldn’t worry much about the fact that his FIP is 0.15 higher over the second set of starts. Changes in Walk rate and strike out rate stabilize more quickly than something like home run rate. We’re seeing evidence that Nova’s improving in a way that makes him a more viable option for some team’s starting rotation going forward. Whether that will be the Yankees or someone else, who knows?
I do know that right now, I’d rather see Nova pitching than either A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes. Unfortunately for him, he still has options.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The Yankees may still need pitching—especially as far as a left-handed reliever is concerned—but they won’t feel utterly compelled to go find another bat before the trading deadline.
Not when they expect to have Alex Rodriguez back by the second week of August following the possible activation of Eric Chavez as soon as today.
Rodriguez, who underwent right knee surgery just over two weeks, is right on schedule for a return that originally was pegged at 4-6 weeks. Rodriguez is showing all signs of making the sooner rather than later return.
“I’ve had some communication on what he does. He sends me usually what he does every day. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s moving along,” manager Joe Girardi said last night. “I can’t tell you when we’ll see him. I don’t have that date. I think our doctors are discussing . . . when we might see him but he’s progressing fine. He’s on schedule.”
General manager Brian Cashman told ESPN Sunday night that he was eying “maybe the second week of August . . . That’s just us being conservative. I think we can push it and get him back sooner, but why? Our offense is strong.”
Eh, I don’t see the sense in trading for another lefty reliever. J.C. Romero should be capable as a second lefty if they really need one, and Boone Logan appears to have found whatever it was that worked for him last year. In theory, a healthy Chavez fixes the need for a bat and a better defensive 3B, but the notion of a healthy Chavez is probably not one we should get used to.
Obviously, the starting rotation is a concern in the postseason, because the fall off after CC Sabathia is pretty steep, but if the Yankees want to upgrade there they have to get someone better than each of Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes. People that fit that description are out there, but they’re not cheap.
I don’t suppose Andy Pettitte’s getting frisky?
Sunday, July 24, 2011
In the oppressive heat of a playoff race, this stretch serves as an oasis — three series against teams that entered Sunday a combined 43 games under .500. As the Yankees strive to keep pace with — and, they hope, overtake — Boston in the American League East, these are the games that they should win, that should fatten their victory total.
On Sunday, they accomplished their primary objective, closing this three-game set against the Oakland Athletics with a series victory. Behind seven strong innings from Bartolo Colon and a two-run home run by Curtis Granderson, the Yankees won, 7-5, holding on after Mariano Rivera staggered while recording his first four-out save of the season. Rivera stranded both runners he inherited in the eighth with a two-run lead, but stumbled in the ninth, allowing four consecutive singles with one out, including Hideki Matsui’s fifth hit of the afternoon. But with the bases loaded, he got David DeJesus to line out to Mark Teixeira, who stepped on first base to complete the game-ending double play.
Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the first two singles that Rivera “allowed” were plays that should have been made by Cano. So I’m going to pretend Mo retired all four batters he faced.
Everything is now set up for the Yankees to gift the Mariners with the end of their losing streak.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Which Players Have the Most/Least Hidden Value So Far in 2011?
I was goofing around with some of the stats on Fangraphs and elsewhere and thought it might be interesting to see which players’ values were perhaps obscured if you only looked at their batting lines. Here are the top 20, using Fangraphs’ baserunning stats, linear weights for stolen bases/caught stealing and an average of zone rating, DRS and UZR, which I’m labeling as aRS for average runs saved defensively. I think averaging several good defensive metrics tells us more than any single metric, but we should still be cognizant of the error bars inherent in the defensive numbers and what we think they tell us.
|Jacoby Ellsbury||Red Sox||2.4||7.8||0.4||10.6|
|Dustin Pedroia||Red Sox||2.6||7.3||0.3||10.2|
I was expecting TSBG to top the list, but he’ll have to settle for second for now. I was surprised to see Alex Rodriguez so high up on the list, but he appears to be having a great defensive season, something that’s been magnified when we watch his current stand-in flailing and kicking and throwing the ball to the fans behind the home dugout.
And here are the 20 players whose value is most hurt by these statistics.
|Paul Konerko||White Sox||-0.2||-5.1||-7.0||-12.3|
|Bill Hall||- - -||-0.1||-7.5||0.0||-7.6|
And here’s the entire list of Yankees.
Some of these numbers look off to me. Curtis Granderson hasn’t looked like anything worse than average in CF so far, and I’m a bit surprised to see Russell Martin so low on defense although he has allowed 56 SB which ranks fifth in the majors. I’m also fairly certain there’s no way Jorge Posada is any better than -20 in baserunning or that Eduardo Nunez is any better than -10 on defense. FWIW, Baseball Prospectus has Posada at -4.7 runs, which seems more realistic.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
When Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia signed minor-league contracts before spring training, the expectations for the veteran right-handers were low. So when they not only made the rotation but contributed heavily, people looked at their signings and applauded.
Now, in the first two games after the All-Star break, Colon and Garcia don’t look so good.
Oh no! The sky is falling!
No wonder the Yankees dispatched scout Jay Darnell to Denver to watch the Rockies’ very available righty Ubaldo Jimenez pitch Thursday night.
Hmm, interesting, but I’m surprised Jimenez is on the block. The Rockies clinched the NL West on April 29 so you’d think they’d like to hang onto him for the postseason.
Friday, July 15, 2011
TORONTO — There is something barking in Bartolo Colon’s left hamstring. Now, the Yankees have to find out how serious it is.
“I will wait till [today] and see how I feel, but right now I am feeling really good,” Colon said in the aftermath of the Blue Jays shelling the Yankees, 16-7, in front of 37,342 at Rogers Centre.
Still, Colon admitted to being tentative with the leg that landed him on the disabled list last month.
I wouldn’t classify Colon’s performance last night as a shelling. If he had a competent 3B behind him he probably gets out of the first down 2-0.
I’d like to see the Yankees being cautious about Colon’s hamstring. If I was them and didn’t want to DL Colon again, I’d release Sergio Mitre and promote Ivan Nova before Colon’s next start. Have Nova shadow Colon just in case.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 7:05 PM ET
Jeff Niemann (46.3 IP, 5.63 RA, 4.60 FIP) vs. Bartolo Colon (73.0 IP, 2.84 RA, 3.50 FIP)
Friday, July 8, 7:05 PM ET
Jeremy Hellickson (103.7 IP, 3.39 RA, 4.55 FIP) vs. Freddy Garcia (91.0 IP, 3.36 RA, 4.21 FIP)
Saturday, July 9, 1:05 PM ET
David Price (124.0 IP, 3.63 RA, 2.98 FIP) vs. A.J. Burnett (113.7 IP, 4.51 RA, 4.71 FIP)
Sunday, July 10, 1:05 PM ET
James Shields (134.7 IP, 2.74 RA, 3.32 FIP) vs. CC Sabathia (136.7 IP, 3.36 RA, 2.82 FIP)
Saturday looks like a guaranteed loss, and Sunday looks like a coin flip, so let’s hope the Yankees can steal the first two.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Sidelined since June 11 with a left hamstring strain, Colon proved that the layoff didn’t affect him much. The right-hander scattered five hits in the winning effort, walking none and striking out six.
On their way to their seventh straight win and victory No. 17 in 21 games, the Yankees backed Colon with a four-run sixth inning off Dillon Gee, who struggled his third time through the batting order.
Curtis Granderson slugged his 22nd homer, a solo shot into the Mets’ bullpen in right-center field, and Robinson Cano added a two-run triple into the right field corner that brought home Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.
Colon was great, basically pitching the way he did before his DL stint. Eduardo Nunez went 3 for 4, and his only out was a liner up the middle that was snared by Justin Turner that could easily have been a fourth hit. He’s now hitting .278/.320/.435 but is probably heading to the bench on Monday. I don’t know if Nunez is as good offensively as he’s shown himself to be of late, but he’s certainly earned the right to get more PT than he’d gotten prior to Derek Jeter’s injury.
Winning is fun, now we can go enjoy the fireworks (where applicable).
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has run the bases for the first time, a key step in his rehabilitation program for a strained right calf.
The Yankees captain ran from home to first four times, first to second three times and first to third once on Tuesday at the team’s minor league complex.
Shouldn’t Jeter be spending time doing things he might actually have to do in a real game?
Also, right-hander Bartolo Colon, sidelined with a strained right hamstring, practiced bunting, a sign that he could pitch in his weekend’s interleague road series against the New York Mets.
Colon, coming off a 60-pitch, four-inning simulated game on Monday, also threw long toss, ran sprints and did agility drills.
I’d probably just as soon rather see Colon stay on the DL until after stupid interleague play. While the likelihood of him reaching base is slim, it’s still an unnecessary risk.
There just is not a lot available right now as teams have turned their attention fully from the draft to the trade deadline. The initial read is that there are not going to be a lot of attractive pitching pieces in the market.
Cashman’s early read, in fact, is “I don’t think I can trade for any starter that is better than Bartolo Colon or Phil Hughes, or a reliever better than Rafael Soriano.”
Cashman believes the Yankees could have Colon, Hughes and Eric Chavez off the disabled list by a week from today and Soriano later in July. Cashman is more dubious that he will get either of his lefty relievers — Feliciano or Damaso Marte — back and said he is proceeding on the market as if he will not.
“Do the Yankees really have significant needs? I don’t think so,” one AL executive said. “They are not doing better in this market than Colon coming off the DL. I know Colon is old and risky, but the risk in the market is just as great. I think the Yanks end up doing something because they are the Yankees and can’t help themselves.”
Pitching is not the biggest need on this team. If the Yankees want to make a realistic upgrade that would be worth giving up prospects, they should go get a better shortstop. Since that’s not happening, I’d rather not see them make any move that costs them anything of value.
But what starter? There are no obvious aces, and Cashman has indicated to other organizations that the prospects needed to land an ace — Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine — are close to untouchable. That could just be brinksmanship, especially since Montero has been available previously, including for Cliff Lee last year.
As the AL executive said, “[Montero] is struggling offensively [at Triple-A], and we think he is non-athlete who cannot catch, so you might be getting a DH. He may be losing value.”
I wonder if this AL executive’s initials are TE?
Friday, June 10, 2011
The AL East has become the game’s most competitive division again with Toronto and Baltimore surging. Suddenly, the doomsday scenario where the Yankees tumble toward last place rather than surge for a division title isn’t so implausible.
Almost as if to prove the Yankees are indeed still the Yankees, Cashman looked toward the dugout of the Red Sox – a team that had already beaten his club seven out of eight times this year – and said: “We are certainly capable of beating those guys that’s for sure.”
Yeah Cashman, they have sure shown that they’re capable of beating Boston this year.
I can’t think of a series that was as flat out putrid as this one. I just hope that the Yankees resist the urge to make more stupid moves to shore up the bullpen, since they’ve done such a crappy job of putting one together and it’s done nothing but cost them money and wins and draft picks. They should sink with who they have on hand, and audition some of their minor leaguers to see who can be part of a good Yankee team in 2012.
The Yankees can still win the East, but in order to do it they’re going to need A.J. Burnett to pitch better than he has, they’re going to need almost every hitter in the lineup to hit better than they have, they’re going to need Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon to stay healthy and reasonably effective, and they’re going to need people like Boone Logan and Luis Ayala to be good in the bullpen, and they’re going to need to replace Ivan Nova with Roy Halladay.
The odds of all those things happening are about the same as the odds of the Yankees beating Boston.
But hey, at least we get to watch Derek Jeter get his 3000th hit.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Just How Awful Have The Yankees Been Against Boston?
The Yankees dropped their seventh game in eight tries against the Red Sox last night in yet another inspired effort. It’s been frustrating to see the way the Yankees have rolled over for the Red Sox this year. What they’ve done is spotted Boston a six game advantage in the standings.
We know the won/loss record is bad. It’s even worse when you realize they’ve played three games in Boston and five(soon to be six) in New York and are on the verge of being swept at home twice. After today the Yankees will only play Boston three more times at home and they still have to play them six times in Fenway, which rarely goes well.
For a team to go 1-7 against another team while playing five of those eight games at home, they’d have to be around a 49 win team playing against a 113 win team. At this point I don’t doubt the Red Sox are better than the Yankees, but I’m not sure that they’re 65 wins better.
So let’s assign the blame.
BR are linear weights batting runs. BRAA are BR above an average AL hitter, not adjusted for position.
Because the offense in MLB is down significantly this year, while that line looks awful relative to our normal context, in the context of today’s AL it’s not that bad. AL average line right now is .253/.321/.396. We also don’t know if that performance is good or bad in the context of the “strength” of the Yankees and the strength of the Red Sox. It’s really only useful in terms of comparing how the players stack up against each other. In this case you can see the Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are the chief problems on offense, but there’s a whole lot of stinking going on there.
The team’s actual runs scored are a direct match for their batting runs, which indicates they’ve scored as many runs as they should have given their component stats and have not been unlucky or lucky in terms of how their performance has translated to runs on the scoreboard.
There’s more blame to dish out!
RSAA are runs saved compared to an average pitcher using RA vs. league average RA. FIP is Fielding-independent pitching which focuses on a pitcher’s HR, BB/HBP and Ks against. Again, neither of these account for the context of the opponent so it’s more for comparison among Yankees.
I’m thinking the Yankees may want to skip Freddy Garcia’s next turn against Boston. The Yankees have allowed 52 total runs against Boston, and according to linear weights they should have allowed 49, so just like on offense there’s no evidence of bad luck here. They’ve pitched as poorly as the basic stats say they did. The Yankees have a team BABIP against of .281 this season against everyone but Boston. Against Boston it’s .311. Whether that’s on the pitchers or the defense or some combination of both, I don’t know.
It’s sad, but it’s gotten to the point where I am not even bothering to watch these games. When you finish dinner and turn on the game and see your team is already down 3-0 before they’ve even gotten an out, why watch?
I’d like to say I have a good feeling about CC Sabathia going today, but unfortunately with the Yankee offense backing him you get the feeling that anything less than perfection won’t be good enough.
Again, I’ll say I don’t think the Red Sox are 65 wins better than the Yankees. 60, maybe.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
ANAHEIM—The Yankees have had more than their share of recent struggles here, but two players who used to call Angel Stadium home helped their current team to a rare series win Sunday.
Mark Teixeira hit two home runs—his 17th and 18th this season—and Bartolo Colon picked up his fourth win as the Yankees finished a nine-game road trip with a 5-3 victory over the Angels. After starting the West Coast swing with two consecutive losses to the Mariners, the Yankees won six of their final seven games in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim.
Colon wasn’t great, but the bullpen picked him up by throwing three and two-thirds scoreless innings, although they allowed seven baserunners while doing it to make it a little more interesting than it needed to be.
I’m very happy with a 6-3 west coast road trip. The Yankees scored 45 runs while allowing 23, and all three of their losses were of the one run variety in games that could easily have ended differently. The Yankees return home in better shape than they left, and you really can’t ask for more than that.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
ANAHEIM—When Derek Jeter started Friday’s game with a 15-pitch at-bat, the Yankees could have been forgiven if they dreamt of a short outing for Angels starter Jered Weaver. Instead, the Yankees had a long night of their own as their offense fell quiet behind an improved—but still sometimes shaky—Ivan Nova.
Angels beat Yankees. Shocking.
Realistically though, given the pitching matchup last night that should have been expected. With CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon going in the next two games they really need to win since they’ll be heading home to play Boston using their three worst starters against Boston’s three best.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Colon again recaptured his old form on Monday, dominating the Athletics for nine scoreless innings as the Yankees posted a 5-0 victory at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The A’s lineup seemed to be consistently flailing at everything the 37-year-old Colon fired their way, as the right-hander limited Oakland to just four hits while striking out six.
I was able to catch just a few innings of this game, but it looked like Colon was locked in.
And repeating SG’s sentiment, a big thank you this Memorial Day to all those who have served. And thoughts and prayers to the families of those who have lost their lives doing so.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Heat Map: Bartolo Colon vs. Baltimore Orioles (5/18/11)
Bartolo Colon threw 87 pitches yesterday, and while he didn't get the win, he held the Orioles to 3 hits over 8 innings. He threw mostly fastballs (90.8%), a few sliders, and one changeup according to PitchFX data. His fastball averaged a -5.8 BrkX (horizontal movement from spin) reading and 8.5 BrkZ (vertical movement from spin) reading, both slightly better than league average. He yielded 10 ground balls, 5 line drives, and 4 fly balls, while striking out 7. And as you can see, he located his pitches extremely well, avoiding the middle of the plate while jamming lefties up and in. He also threw to the outside edge of the plate to righties and lefties, recording 5 of his strikeouts on pitches away, 4 of them looking.
All heat maps and data courtesy of the In Depth Baseball analytics platform
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Mariano Rivera blew his third save, but Robinson Cano drove in two of the Yanks’ three 15th-inning runs. .
Bartolo Colon pitched about as well as a pitcher can pitch tonight, throwing mainly two and four seam fastballs on the edges of the strike zone over eight scoreless innings and needing just 87 pitches. This of course makes the decision to pull Colon after the eighth something that was questionable.
I was fine with it. Almost all the evidence we have about pitchers shows that they are less effective on each pass through the batting order. It’s part of the reason why bad starters can be good relievers. With the top of the Orioles lineup coming up in what would be their fourth look at Colon, pulling him was a defensible move. That’s particularly true when you’re going to Mariano Rivera to try and preserve the lead.
That it didn’t work out tonight doesn’t change that.
That doesn’t absolve Joe Girardi of some of the blame for this game almost being a loss though.
I don’t think I can overstate how stupid it was to bunt with Brett Gardner in the top of the 12th inning. Consider this:
A right-handed pitcher was on the mound.
Due up after Gardner (who bats left-handed) were Eduardo Nunez, Russell Martin and possibly Derek Jeter, all of whom hit right-handed.
Gardner was the best hitter due up out of that group given the platoon advantage. Instead, Girardi gave away an out which was far more important to his team’s chances of scoring a run than advancing a runner by one base so one of the three weaker hitters due up next could try to drive him in.
It’s even more egregious since it was the second time in the game that Girardi pissed away an out, although bunting with Eduardo Nunez was a bit more defensible.
Fortunately for us, the Orioles weren’t able to take advantage of Girardi’s generosity and Hector Noesi pitched four scoreless innings in his MLB debut despite allowing eight baserunners and the Yankees miraculously scored three runs in the top of the fifteenth inning and held on to win. Maybe one they didn’t deserve, but a win regardless.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas—Considering how well Bartolo Colon did in three starts replacing Phil Hughes, he gets a pass for last night’s stinker.
“They were ready and they hit every pitch I threw,” said Colon, who gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings of an eventual 7-5 Yankees loss to the Rangers.
I didn’t get to see the game so I don’t know how Colon looked, but I do agree he’s earned a pass for last night.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who let us live in their basements.
Monday, May 2, 2011
DETROIT—Bartolo Colon delivered yet another solid start, Nick Swisher broke a tie with an RBI single in the ninth inning and Mariano Rivera closed the door, giving the Yankees a 5-3 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Monday night.
Colon had given up just three runs in his previous two starts combined—a span of 14 2/3 innings—and limited the Tigers to three runs over seven innings in start No. 3.
The Yankees wore out Justin Verlander, who needed 127 pitches to get through six innings, but going 1 for 11 with RISP prior to the ninth inning meant they needed Swisher’s late heroics to pull this one out. Colon looked good again, with two solo opposite field HRs by Alex Avila the only real ding on his performance. He struck out seven and walked none, continuing his very encouraging strike throwing ways. Joba looked very good in pitching the eighth, and Mo pitched a perfect ninth, hopefully burying the 2011 edition of WWWMW™.
Brett Gardner continued his better play of late, getting on base three times in four PA, and Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter also added two hits apiece. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.
In other news, Phil Hughes’s circulatory tests came back negative. This is good news and I’m happy for Hughes, although it means that the cause for his problems so far this year are still a question mark.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The Yankees’ only pitching downside in this series came from setup man Rafael Soriano, whose early-season struggles continued when he gave up a game-turning two-run homer to Paul Konerko in the eighth inning on Tuesday.
But the starters’ performances, particularly from Nova and Colon—a breakthrough of sorts and an apparent restoration, respectively—offered substantial encouragement. And then the Yankees became the Yankees with the bats.
Losing Phil Hughes hurts, but if Burnett can give the Yankees what Hughes projected to give them and Freddy Garcia can give them what Burnett projected to give them then they’re essentially where they looked to be heading into the season, hoping they can get enough out of the 4/5 spots to contend. Between Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova, I think they’ve got that, although Colon’s health is probably going to be a concern all year.
I do wish they’d stop hitting all these homers though. You can’t win games when you homer all the time.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Is Bartolo Colon Getting Lucky So Far?
Obviously, his health is the primary concern, but I was wondering if Bartolo Colon’s been lucky so far in 2011 and if there were any indicators in his performance that indicate he’s due to crash even if he stays healthy.
Generally, the first thing to look at when a pitcher’s pitching better than expected are his fielding-independent pitching stats. FIP (fielding independent pitching) and xFIP (expected fielding independent pitching) regress a pitcher’s BABIP against to league average by focusing on his HR, BB and K rates. This doesn’t necessarily tell us everything about how good or bad a pitcher has pitched, but it does give us a different way to look at their performance.
Colon’s FIP is is 2.84, which is effectively the same as his 2.77 ERA. xFIP goes one step further than FIP by regressing a pitcher’s HR/FB rate to league average. This penalizes pitchers who may have a better than average HR/FB skill, but again it just gives us more information. Colon’s xFIP is 2.97, which is only a bit worse than his ERA/FIP.
Colon’s walked 5.1% of the batters he’s faced, which is better than he’s done in any season of his career (5.6% in 2006 is his best season). He’s striking out 24.8% of the batters he’s faced, which is a better rate than he’s had in every season but 2000.
Colon’s striking out 3.7 batters for ever batter he’s walked or hit by pitch. His career best K/BB rate is 3.4, which he managed in 2005 when he won a probably undeserved Cy Young.
Of course, we’re only talking about 26 innings and 105 batters faced, which means it’s more likely he’s just on a good run and will not pitch this well going forward. Observed performance is not necessarily the same thing as true talent, so we don’t really know if the Colon we’re seeing now is the real Colon.
But at least for now, we don’t have much statistical evidence that he’s due for a crash.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
NEW YORK—Bartolo Colon continued to pitch from the fountain of youth and walked off to a standing ovation as the Yankees defeated the White Sox, 3-1, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Making his second start for New York after beginning the season as the team’s long reliever, the burly right-hander limited Chicago’s bats to one run on seven hits in eight innings, putting together his longest start since September 2007.
Colon was dealing tonight, hitting 95 mph in the eighth inning. He really looks great, although he’s probably still not a good bet to last the whole season. Let’s just enjoy it while it lasts.
Since Phil Hughes made his last start on April 14, Yankee starters have pitched 65 innings of 2.77 RA, 2.63 ERA, 3.63 FIP.
Too bad their bullpen stinks…
Update: Speaking of Hughes, he’s heading to see a specialist in St. Louis about a possible circulatory problem. Let’s hope for a complete recovery from whatever’s bothering him.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Injured Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes had a setback during a throwing session today and will see a doctor, according to initial reports from manager Joe Girardi’s pre-game meeting with reporters.
An injury makes more sense than inadequate arm strength unfortunately. Hopefully it’s not a serious issue. This is an example of why I fully supported the Yankees getting as much rotation depth as possible, even mediocrities like Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Kevin Millwood. They’re going to need it.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
TORONTO—Bartolo Colon struck out seven and pitched into the seventh inning in his first Major League start in more than a year, leading the Yankees to a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Wednesday at Rogers Centre.
One of the most impressive stories of the Yankees’ young season, Colon came to camp as a curiosity to the coaching staff, but he quickly convinced the team that he had something left to offer in his 37-year-old arm.
Sliding into the rotation in place of Phil Hughes, who has suffered from a lack of velocity, Colon proved that his three previous effective relief outings for New York were no fluke.
IMO, Colon’s pitching has looked very good every time out this season. Even in the games where he gave up runs I thought he was solid, and tonight he was great. He started off a bit slowly, but after allowing a homer to J.P. Arenciba in the second inning he retired 12 straight Blue Jays, 7 via strikeout. Unfortunately, his track record of late indicates that relying on him to be part of the rotation over the course of a full season is probably foolish, but the Yankees may as well keep running him out there as long as they can.
Some other quick thoughts about tonight:
- I thought Girardi did well with the bullpen tonight. He may have left Colon in for one batter too long, but I liked that he kept Robertson in to pitch the 8th instead of replacing him since he’s not “the eighth inning guy.’ I also was fine with starting the 9th with Pendleton. A four run lead with three outs to go is actually a pretty low leverage situation. That he ended up having to relieve Pendleton with Rafael Soriano doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right call initially.
- My hunch that Curtis Granderson was going to have a big year is starting to feel a bit more realistic
- In his career prior to 2011, David Robertson had thrown about 61.5% of his pitches for strikes. Including tonight, he’s thrown 71.0% for strikes so far this year. If that’s sustainable, he might be the second best reliever in the Yankee bullpen.
2011 Yankees projected vs actual through April 19
As a card-carrying member of the baseball stat nerd cult, I understand that we shouldn’t read too much into the results of early-season performance. We should generally trust that a player’s performance will more often than not regress towards their expected performance as the season moves on.
That doesn’t mean the data we have so far this season is useless in terms of telling us what’s happened. It just means we shouldn’t expect it to tell us all that much about what will happen.
Here’s a quick comparison of the differences between the Yankees’ projections and actual performance so far.
ytd_woba year to date weighted on-base average
proj_woba average projected wOBA
ytd-proj run value of difference between projected and year to date woba
Brett Gardner’s the biggest disappointment so far offensively. Whether’s it’s just a rough start or indicative of something that we should worry about is something we just don’t know yet.
Did you know Gardner’s not the player who’s under-peforming his projection by the most? Here’s that list.
|Crawford, Carl||Red Sox||66||.166||.351||-10.6|
Apparently Austin Jackson did not have the BABIP skill to maintain his 2010 performance, at least so far.
The net on the offense is actually fine. As a unit they’ve collectively slightly overperformed, but not to a large extent.
The pitching is the real problem.
ytd_ra: year to date runs allowed per nine innings
ytd_fip: year to date fielding-independent pitching
p_ra: average projected ra
p_fip: average projected fip
diff_ra: difference in runs between projected and actual ra
diff_fip: difference in runs between projected and actual fip
Add about 7 inches and 65 pounds to Brett Gardner and you’ve got Phil Hughes. The thing that really scares me here is seeing that A.J. Burnett’s FIP is actually worse than his projected FIP. He’s looked better than that to me, although I guess last night’s game is evidence that he’s still a work in progress.
The pen has been a bit worse than expected, primarly thanks to Boone Logan and Rafael Soriano. I’d expect Soriano to be fine going forward, but I’m not so sure on Logan.
I figured Hughes had to be the pitcher who’s been underperforming by the most this year, but it turns out that’s not quite true.
Over at Baseball Think Factory there’ve been a few threads that were essentially arguments between Yankees fans and Mets fans about who you’d rather have, Hughes or Mike Pelfrey. Apparently, the correct answer is neither.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Double plays helped get the Yankees into double trouble last night.
The Yankees banged into a franchise record six double plays, Rangers starter Mitch Harrison seemingly inducing two outs on one pitch every time the hosts had something bubbling.
If you ever wondered what a team comprised solely of Derek Jeter circa 2010-2011 would look like, that’s what it would look like.
In other more cheerful news:
From dead arm to dead rotation
The Red Sox own the atrocious record, but with Phil Hughes placed on the disabled list yesterday with a “dead arm” and another young starter not able to make it out of the fifth inning, the first-place Yankees are in deep trouble.
The rotation now includes Bartolo Colon, rookie Ivan Nova, who lost 5-3 to the Rangers last night at frigid Yankee Stadium, and Freddy Garcia, who goes today against Texas.
I’d be enjoying Boston losing more if the Yankees were taking better advantage of it.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Though Phil Hughes struggled, Joba Chamberlain’s defense prevented a pivotal run, Jorge Posada’s homer tied it and Nick Swisher’s sac fly won it
Once again, Phil Hughes didn’t pitch well. Fortunately for the Yankees, Bartolo Colon, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera did. That allowed the Yankees to recover from a 5-0 deficit, with Jorge Posada tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, and with Nick Swisher winning it with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th. The Yankees now have sole possesion of first place, which doesn’t really mean much right now, but it’s better than being in last place.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
The Yankees’ Major League season is underway and the minor league season kicks off on April 7th. In order to streamline your minor league viewing experience I will be highlighting select players from the four full-season clubs and giving you an idea of what to look for. Players are listed alphabetically and grouped by minor league level. I have also listed their current position as well as age as of minor league Opening Day. No doubt, many/most of these names will be familiar to you.
Scranton Three-Year Weighted Park Multipliers:
Andrew Brackman, SP, 25-Keep throwing strikes. Brackman may be the single most important minor leaguer for the 2011 season and so it is imperative that he continues to throw strikes. If/when The Rock, Bartolo-y and Millwood turn into pumpkins, Brackman will likely be the first prospect given a shot. While an early Spring Training groin injury killed any chances he had at making the team it was clear the Yankee brass felt it was important for him to get his feet wet (doesn’t hurt that he has a ML contract). As he makes the transition to AAA, Brackman will also have to focus on developing his command. While he has dramatically cut the walks, and that’s a good thing, he has become more hittable than you would like for a pitcher with his physical talent. 2011 will be all about striking that balance.
Key Stat(s): BB/9, H/9
Dan Brewer, OF, 23-Brewer does not have any plus tools, but has performed, thus far. As is often the case when a guy lacking physicality or dominant statistical performance comes along, Brewer has been tagged as a future 4th OF or fringe starter. This means he is going to have to continue doing what he has done thus far and that is prove himself in all facets of the game.
Key Stat(s): All
Colin Curtis, OF, 26-Curtis is another future 4th OF type, but with less ability on the bases, more pop and a better pedigree. Curtis had a good first full season at AAA last year, better than you would have thought given his prior AA performance and will look to repeat. With Chris Dickerson now in the system as well as Brewer and Laird at the AAA level, there will be a lot of competition for that first call-up if/when one of the Yankee OFs gets hurt.
Key Stat(s): All
Brandon Laird, CIF/OF, 23-The Yankees seem to like the idea of Laird as a future backup at all 4 corner positions and I would agree that this is a good use of his talents. The toughest position he would have to play, 3B, is also one that he has a lot of minor league experience at. Despite some iffy defensive scouting reports when I’ve seen Laird play the hot corner he has shown average range and a plus arm. He can be erratic at times, but as a guy who is only going to see action in spurts I don’t think it will be much of a concern. While Laird had a monster offensive performance in a very tough AA league he scuffled at AAA. Laird comes from the grip it and rip it school of hitting and the numbers (his .246/.268/.344 line turns into .211/.237/.246 when you remove his first 2 games) seem to indicate that once the book was out on him he was unable to adjust. In ’11 he will have to prove that last year’s AA offenseive performance was not a fluke. While I have faith the power is real, I am concerned about the approach.
Key Stat(s): BB, BB/K
DJ Mitchell, SP, 23-D.J. is in a tough spot. Because almost every pitcher in the system had a huge year last year guys who are either more talented or more ready now surround him. Normally, someone with his profile would be a prime candidate for some spot action this year, but I think he gets tacked on to a deal at some point. If he can keep the ball on the ground and the walks in check, he will prove useful out of the bullpen, wherever he ends up.
Key Stat(s): BB/9, GB%
Jesus Montero, C, 21-I didn’t see every inning of Montero’s (televised) Spring Training appearances but, apparently, he was really bad whenever I stopped watching. When I did watch, Montero didn’t stand out, which was a triumph considering scouting reports had lead me to believe he would make a mistake on every pitch. Joel Sherman aside, everyone in the world believes Montero will hit at the big league level and so all he needs to do is prove that his defense is “not terrible” enough so that the Yankees can use him to replace the corpse of Turtle.
Key Stat(s): PB, WP, CS%, BA/OBP/SLG
Hector Noesi, SP, 24-I think this is the year Noesi’s hype as a prospect, lukewarm as it may be, dies out. Dominican Scary Fly-Ball Guy has more velocity than the original Scary Fly-Ball Guy but the same love for balls in the air. This has worked out fine for him thus far but 2011 will mark the first time he does not play in a home park that hugely depresses home runs. I’m not optimistic about his odds of maintaining his success as a starter but he could pitch teh fifth.
Key Stat(s): HR/9, K/9
David Phelps, SP, 24-Phelps, a small righty with “stuff” questions, made it to AAA last year and saw his K rate tumble and HR rate increase. However, he also cut some walks and increased the K:BB ratio while keeping runs off the board at a solid rate. Any projection beyond back of the rotation or middle relief is tough for a guy with this sort of profile and he will return to AAA hoping to miss a few more bats and limit quality contact.
Key Stat(s): HR/9, K/9, H/9
Adam Warren, SP, 23-Because he’s a small right-hander with outstanding minor league performance I often think of Warren as the Yankees’ second shot at the Ian Kennedy thing. Warren has more fastball than Kennedy did though, but has yet to demonstrate a secondary pitch as effective as Kennedy’s change. While the fastball velocity is better, Warren, like Kennedy, will have to work on his command and keep the ball in the park. I like his chances of doing so and think he will be the first guy up for an extended look this year.
Key Stat(s): HR/9, K/9
NEW YORK—Phil Hughes was hit for five runs in four innings, including a pair of Miguel Cabrera homers, as the Yankees fell to the Tigers on Sunday, 10-7, at Yankee Stadium.
Jorge Posada homered twice and drove in four runs for the Yankees, leading a charge that also included round-trippers from Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, but it was not enough to outslug Detroit’s attack.
Having tied a franchise record by surrendering 20 homers in the Bronx last season, Hughes saw his struggles within the cozy confines continue, as he was charged with five runs on five hits in a 90-pitch outing.
Cabrera slugged a two-run homer off Hughes in the first inning, teeing off on a flat slider, and the slugging first baseman struck again for another two-run shot in the third on a cutter over the heart of the plate.
The Yankees had eyed Hughes’ velocity closely this spring, with manager Joe Girardi stating that he would be curious to see when Hughes begins to sit comfortably at 93-94 mph, where he pitched at times last season.
Against Detroit on Sunday, however, Hughes was more in the area of 88-89 mph, maxing out at 91.
It was a frustrating game to watch, as the Yankee offense kept trying to get the team back into the game only to see the pitchers continue to give it back. I’m not going to get that concerned about the results of this game, but I didn’t like what I saw out of Hughes. As the excerpt says, his velocity was crappy and he couldn’t compensate for it with his secondary pitches. On the other hand, although Bartolo Colon’s final line looks pretty bad, I thought he was throwing well. He got up to 95 a few times, and struck out five in four innings while walking only one. He gave up four runs, but FIP says he only should have given up two.
On the plus side, with another homer today it’s starting to look like Mark Texeira may be able to avoid his typical early season woes, and Jorge Posada showed that his bat still has some life in it. Posada’s offense has always been superlative for a catcher, but as a DH now the bar is higher. Also, by losing the Yankees were able to rest Mariano Rivera, so that’s good.
I’m a bit concerned about Hughes’s velocity, but it is just one start. Hopefully he’s got a bit more juice in his next one.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Looking Ahead To 2011 - Bartolo Colon, Pedro Feliciano and Boone Logan
A lot of the Yankees’ hopes are based on a bullpen that has the potential to be the best in baseball. I originally thought of doing one post titled CoNoLoRoJoSoMo, but decided that would be Michael Kay-ish and that Mariano Rivera deserves his own post, so here’s a look at the projections for the first group of relievers.
Colon and Eric Chavez are probably the biggest surprises to be starting the season in pinstripes. Colon did not pitch in the majors in 2010 and since 2007 he’s thrown a grand total of 200 innings, with an ERA of 5.20 and a FIP of 4.97. Colon had a surprising good spring and made the team as the long reliever. It’s important to understand that the reason Colon made the team was not for the statistics he put up, which are meaningless, but for how he did it. More than one scout raved about how Colon looked this spring, throwing a 91-94 mph two-seam fastball and a decent curve and good change with command.
For that reason, I think Colon’s projections are basically useless. He’s not the same pitcher he was when he last pitched in the majors (averaging 89 mph for the White Sox in 2009). Regardless, since I can’t do anything but look at stats here are his 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)
Those projections assume that he’s a starter, so you can probably knock about a run off if he’s strictly used as a reliever, but as I said I think they’re effectively meaningless. If Colon pitches that poorly, he won’t be on the team for long.
As you’d expect, with Colon he has a wide range of possible forecasts in CAIRO.
I’m not sure what they’ll get out of Colon. I’m cautiously optimistic that what we saw in spring was indicative that he’ll be pretty good when he pitches, but I don’t know how long he’ll last before breaking down. As the long reliever and I assume possible sixth starter, Colon’s success isn’t vital to the success of the Yankees in 2011, but if he does pitch well he can help them possibly exceed expectations.
Assuming Feliciano doesn’t go Marte, he should return to the Yankees by May and be their primary left-handed specialist. Projections and WAR and whatever don’t really tell us the value of a platoon pitcher, because they are better considered as a tactical option that can be used strategically in specifically high-leverage situations to improve your win expectancy. But Ill put his projections up anyway.
The peripherals and overall performance don’t look great, but that’s because the projections include his numbers against righties. Over the last four seasons here are Feliciano’s splits.
Basically, Feliciano’s season will be judged on how he does against Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Dan Johnson and any other lefties he faces in crucial situations. The numbers show that he should be successful more often than not, but then again they showed the same for Mike Myers prior to his forgettable Yankee tenure.
Logan is the only thing that kept the Javier Vazquez trade from being an unmitigated disaster, although with Arodys Vizcaino back and healthy nothing may be able to salvage it. Logan was a surprise, in that I knew nothing about him but his stat line before he was acquired so I was surprised to see a lefty who could touch the mid-90s. He had the best year of his career in 2011, which was good for the Yankees but also means that until we see him repeat it we don’t know if it was due to ability or random variance. Here are his projections.
I doubt Logan will be as good as he was last year, but I do think his projections are underselling him a bit. His 65% forecast seems about right to me, and would make him a useful part of the team. This will be especially true if Pedro Feliciano doesn’t return soon.
The fact that these are probably the three worst relievers on the team means the Yankees look to have one hell of a pen.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Looking Ahead To 2011 - Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia
There’s a very good chance that the Yankees’ hopes for contending will come down to what they get out of the fourth and fifth spots in their rotation, which are currently manned by Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia.
Ivan Nova’s been considered a decent pitching prospect for a few years now, although it’s primarily due to his stuff and not his minor league performance. In 2010 he had far and away the best year of his career in the minors, and 10 games(seven starts) at the major league level where he put up 42 innings of league average pitching.
It’s not just the Yankees who considered Nova a prospect, as he was taken by the San Diego Padres in the 2008 Rule 5 draft. Fortunately for the Yankees, the Padres determined they couldn’t carry him in the majors all year after a lousy spring and returned him prior to the start of the 2009 season.
Here are Nova’s projections for 2011.
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)
*average does not include bill_james or fans
Marcel ignores MLEs, which is why it appears so much more favorable. Since Nova’s prospectdom(is that a word?) was based more on his tools and less on his performance, his projections aren’t particularly great. The biggest issue with Nova is how his BB rate and K rate translate. The average projection sees him walking about 3.9 batters per nine and striking out just 5.5, and that’s not the recipe for big league success.
Of course, Nova has youth on his side, and he throws hard, and we have circumstantial evidence to think he’s not the same pitcher he was prior to this year. If the new cutter is something that will help him improve those walk rates and K rates, there’s no reason to think he can’t outpitch those projections.
Here are Nova’s percentile forecasts.
The innings are a little low across the board, so multiply those estimates by a bit to get them closer to what we may see. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Nova giving the Yankees 160 innings of that 80% projection, but I’d more realistically hope that they can get 150 innings of that 65% forecast. That makes him worth about 1.6 wins above a replacement level pitcher, which is great for your #4 starter.
Even though I expect some growing pains, I am looking forward to watching Nova pitch this year, especially if what we saw in the spring was evidence of what he may do this year. I’ll take six no-hit innings every game.
Moving on to the less exciting part of the 4th/5th spot, here’s how Freddy Garcia projects in 2011.
Garcia’s innings project low because he missed a lot of time from 2007-2009.
Here’s how Garcia’s percentile forecasts look if we use 155 IP for the baseline.
I think the baseline is about the best we can realistically hope for. The good news is if he is pitching worse than that, he’ll probably get replaced by someone, be it Bartolo Colon, Kevin Millwood, Andrew Brackman, Hector Noesi, or someone else.
The Yankees don’t need greatness out of 4/5, although if A.J. Burnett implodes they may need them to be better than adequate. I don’t want to get too hyped on spring training results, but Nova really did look fantastic and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him as the Yankees’ third-best starter by year end. As for Garcia, I’ll just hope he’s serviceable enough to keep the Yankees in most games. FWIW, he had 19 quality starts (games of 6 IP, 3 R or fewer allowed) last year. You know who else had 19 quality starts? “Rapid” Cliff Lee.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Lohud: Jennings: Pitching staff (almost) set
Joe Girardi announced this morning that Ivan Nova will be the Yankees No. 4 starter and Freddy Garcia will be the No. 5.
Bartolo Colon will be the long man.
The staff would be set, but Pedro Feliciano might open on the disabled list. In fact, that sounds likely.
I wonder if Feliciano on the DL means Romulo Sanchez gets to start the year in the pen?
Friday, March 25, 2011
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Yankees have traded pitcher Sergio Mitre to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Chris Dickerson, the Yankees said Thursday.
The Yankees have also signed pitcher Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract, adding the veteran right-hander to the mix of candidates for the back end of their rotation, Major League Baseball’s website (www.mlb.com) reported.
Getting a warm body for Mitre is a good deal, since right now it looks like the best way for the Yankees to start the season is with some combination of Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia as the fourth and fifth starters, with the loser going to the pen. I think you’ll see Nova as the #4 and Colon as the #5, with Garcia as the long man waiting in the wings as the potential #6 starter.
Here is how CAIRO projects Dickerson as a Yankee.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average (does not include SB/CS)
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BR/650: BR pro-rated to 650 PA
BRAA: BR above an average player in projected playing time (adjusted for park, but not for position)
BRAR: BR above a replacement level player (adjusted for park and position)
2010: Un-adjusted 2010 performance *average does not include bill_james or fans
That 2010 line includes his time in AAA, he’s not really that good. He’s a left-handed hitter with good speed who appears to be a good defensive player as well. In a very small sample size he’s shown a plus glove in CF.
He’s 28, which means he’s probably not going to get much better than he is right now, but he still has an option year remaining so he’s not a bad guy to have stashed at AAA in case of emergency.
So thumbs up from me.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
NYDN: Bartolo Colon close to locking down final spot in New York Yankees’ starting pitching rotation
“It is impressive; when you watch him, it’s pretty simple how he does it,” Girardi said. “He’s kind of reinvented himself. He still throws up to 93, but you’re not going to see that 97 or 98 we used to see in the seventh and eighth inning.”
There are still questions about Colon, most surrounding his bulky 267-pound frame. Colon acknowledged at the start of camp that he was about 25 pounds overweight.
“It is somewhat of a concern because of his stamina and if we get into the dog days, how his body holds up,” Girardi said. “It hasn’t been cool here and he seems to bounce back well from day to day. In Anaheim, I’m not sure what weight he pitched at, but he was fairly large there, too.”
What will Girardi be calling Colon? Barty, or Coly?
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The headline isn’t really news IMO. Ordinal numbering of the rotation isn’t that big of a deal. I found this more interesting.
General manager Brian Cashman told reporters he expects decisions on the team’s rotation to come “sooner than later.”
Girardi has maintained that he will take as much time as needed to make evaluations of the four candidates, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre.
“I’m not going to make a decision until we decide to make a decision,” he said.
But it’s clear that time is running short. Garcia, who allowed five runs in six innings during a 5-5 tie against the Blue Jays today, may get just one more start before the schedule forces the Yankees to decide.
“I feel good but I don’t want to give up five runs,” said Garcia, whose right shoulder has held up.
Garcia cruised through the first three innings in order, allowed three runs in a rough fourth inning, and appeared to settle in before running into trouble in the six.
Eduardo Nunez, playing left field to get him reps in case he must play there in an emergency, mishandled a ball that led to a Yunel Escobar double.
“That’s going to happen,” Girardi said. “If (Brett Gardner is) out there, maybe that’s three outs and he only gives up three runs, and we’re not asking these questions,” Girardi said.
After retiring the next two batters, Garcia allowed a two-run homer to David Cooper. Garcia struck out six.
Garcia, 34, has an opt-out clause in his contract for later in the month. In case he doesn’t make the rotation, he could seek an opportunity elsewhere. He ruled out pitching in the minors but left the door open to potentially pitch in long relief for the Yankees.
At this point, it’s tough to deny Ivan Nova a spot in the rotation on merit, so if Garcia and/or Colon are willing to pitch out of the bullpen that allows the Yankees a bit more flexibility. I’d like to see them keep both of them, but not at the expense of constructing a less than optimum roster.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
There are several ways the Yankees can go in the Nos. 4-5 battle. There are scouts saying they are convinced the Yankees are going to release Sergio Mitre. If so, Garcia, Colon and Ivan Nova will make up the Nos. 4-5 starters and the long reliever on the staff.
The way the Yankees can keep all of their assets in this derby is to have Colon and Garcia form the Nos. 4-5 in the rotation, make Mitre the long man and send Nova to Triple-A to await a call when the inevitable breakdowns occur.
But there are certainly Yankees officials who want to give a homegrown product such as Nova an opportunity rather than go with the pipe dream that Colon and Garcia are both going to stay healthy and pitch well.
Because Brian Cashman has mentioned that he’s talked to Bartolo Colon’s agent about whether he’d be willing to pitch out of the bullpen, I get the sense that Sherman’s right about their willingness to release Mitre in order to keep Garcia and Colon. This would give Nova a fair chance at starting the season in the major league rotation. If Nova or Garcia struggle or get hurt, Colon could theoretically be the first line of defense, with the minor leaguers who are pitching well waiting in the wings. Of course, that’s contingent on Colon willing to go to the pen, something that he may not want to do if he continues to throw well.
With apologies to rilkefan, I would be on board with this course of action (releasing Mitre). I just don’t think he’d be missed.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
“Everybody is throwing well,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “That’s the way you want it to be. Hope it continues. We’ve had good pitching down here so far, thankfully.”
Garcia has thrown five scoreless innings in two outings, while Colon has given up three runs in nine innings after his four-inning, two-run performance against the Pirates Wednesday night. Colon, who allowed both runs in the second inning of the Bombers’ 4-2 win, gave up four hits, striking out seven without issuing a walk.
“He was pretty good,” Joe Girardi said. “Second inning, he made some mistakes with his fastball, but for the most part, he pitched ahead. He threw some good breaking balls and some good changeups.”
Neither Garcia nor Colon will be confused with Lee any time soon, but the Yankees are hopeful that their performances so far are an indication of things to come.
Neither Garcia nor Colon will be confused with whom?
I think 2011 should be the year of Cliff Who? Or Cliff Whom if the context requires it.
Maybe it’s a bit foolish, but I’m optimistic on both Garcia and Colon right now. That’s based less on the results and more on how they’ve looked/thrown.
Mind you, I’m not optimistic that the Yankees got two aces for the price of two fifth starters. That’s a market inefficiency that only one team has been able to exploit. But I am optimistic that they got two potential 4th/5th starters who can keep what’s probably still the best offense in baseball in games long enough to win at least half the time.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
After struggling with his sinker in his first start, Colon was much sharper, throwing 35 of his 43 pitches for strikes.
“I had better control today; much better,” Colon said through an interpreter. “The reality is that this is only two games. There’s more ahead; I have to keep going forward.”
Friday, February 18, 2011
While the Yankees believe they can fill the gaping holes in the back of the rotation from within, they are contemplating signing free-agent right-hander Kevin Millwood.
An industry source described the Yankees’ interest in the 36-year-old Millwood as “strong” yesterday.
What remains to be seen is what type of contract and money the Yankees and Millwood may agree on. Veteran right-handers Freddy Garcia (one year at $1.5 million, plus $3.6 million in performance bonuses) and Bartolo Colon (one year at $900,000) are in camp on minor league deals. Millwood could be looking for a major league contract.
I still like the idea of adding Millwood, depending on the terms. If it can be done without a major league contract it’s a no-brainer, but I wouldn’t necessarily be upset about an MLB contract provided it was heavy on incentives and low on guaranteed money.
It’s not exactly the type of signing that is going to excite anyone, but when your rotation consists of at least three question marks, adding another starter who can probably be close to league average makes sense. The battle for the wild card is going to be tight, and every little bit may help.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Asked Wednesday morning for his impression of Chamberlain, General Manager Brian Cashman said: “He’s heavier. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Told that Chamberlain has said he packed on muscle, Cashman said: “He’s obviously heavier. That’s as much as I’ll say.”
Asked if he expected Chamberlain to lose weight by opening day, Cashman only repeated, “He’s heavier.”
Exactly how much heavier was unclear, considering Cashman, when asked, would not say, and neither would Chamberlain, who tired quickly of the questioning. Saying he felt “great,” “awesome” and “stronger physically,” Chamberlain suggested his weight was not a fair indication of his physical condition.
Heft in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad,. Since muscle is denser than fat, you can be heavier but in better shape. Of course I have no idea if that’s what’s going on with Chamberlain.
I wonder if Cashman will have similar feelings with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Nine years ago, Bartolo Colon was a stud pitcher on his way to a 20-win season. As talk of relocation continued, the Montreal Expos went all in, shipping prospects Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland for Colon. Both Colon and Lee have won Cy Young Awards since, but Lee was this offseason’s top free agent and Colon is a consolation prize for a Yankees team that has a thin rotation despite its fat checkbook.
Well, there’s no doubt that a Yankee rotation that ended up with Colon on it would no longer be thin.
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