Friday, January 25, 2013
HOMERS HAVE LEFT TOWN: Nick Swisher (24), Russell Martin (21), Raul Ibanez (19), Eric Chavez (16) and Andruw Jones (14) have taken their 94 homers elsewhere. Alex Rodriguez (18) may not return in 2013 and, even if he does, who knows what kind of power he will have approaching his 38th birthday.
Losing all these power hitters given their home stadium seems like a serious problem.
Yankee HRs in DNYS: 138
Opponent HRs in DNYS: 94
Yankee HRs on road: 107
Opponent HRs on road: 96
I don’t buy the nonsense about the Yankees being too home run reliant and needing to ‘diversify’ their offense, whatever the hell that means. They’re pretty clearly going to be a worse offensive team this year barring a surprise acquisition or two. They scored 804 runs this year and right now I have them projected to score around 780 in 2013.
Hopefully their pitching staff will be able to make up for that.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The Yankees have agreed to terms with Matt Diaz on a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). Feinsand tipped the signing earlier this week when he noted that the outfielder would be a potential fit for the Bombers.
Eh. Diaz hasn’t been good since 2009, and CAIRO projects him as worse than replacement level in LF.
He does have a pretty good career split vs. LHP, and here are his wOBA platoon split projections.
|%||wOBA vs L||wOBA vs R|
He’s battled injuries the last few years so maybe good health and a disgraceful bandbox will help him out. It worked for Eric Chavez.
It’s a minor league deal so it doesn’t hurt to take a flier on him I guess. He projects as a slightly below average defender in LF and RF and can’t play CF, but the Yankees do have three or four (if they keep Chris Dickerson) OF who can play CF so that’s not really an issue.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
NASHVILLE — In most years, the Yankees are the team that wreaks havoc on the free-agent marketplace and makes it difficult for other teams to fill openings on their rosters. But in a surprising twist this off-season, the Yankees — fearful of luxury tax penalties in 2014 — are seeing the market price them out of the most attractive free agents, causing them to set priorities as they try to fill their many needs.
“I’m not optimistic on the catching side that this market via trade or free agency is going to produce something that I can feel comfortable with,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “To be honest, if you’re watching what we’re trying to do, you need to focus on the outfield and the left side of the infield. That’s where your priorities should be, because that’s where mine are.”
As uneventful as the Yankees’ offseason has been, the truth is that this year’s free agent class isn’t very good and they are better off not doing anything than paying more than a player is worth just to fill a hole. When Shane Victorino is getting 3 years and $37.5M and a 36 year old Marco Scutaro is getting 3 years and $24M I’m not sure I want the Yankees involved.
I do agree with Cashman that they are better off fixing RF and the left side of the infield than trying to find a catcher unless one falls into their lap via a good trade or something. You can get more offense for less money from the outfield than you can at catcher and this team really needs offense.
My guess is they’ll go with the catchers they have on hand, eventually bring back Ichiro and Eric Chavez and could end up signing Jeff Keppinger and will call it a day. While signing Keppinger will affect 2014 at the very least, it’s not a huge impact and he’s a pretty useful player.
Friday, October 19, 2012
2012 Yankees Final Postseason Stats
WPA: Win Probability Added. Given average teams, this is the change in probability
caused by this player during games A change of +/- 1 would indicate one win added or lost.
RE24: Base-Out Runs Added -Given the bases occupied/out situation, how many runs did the player add in the resulting play. Compared to average, so 0 is average, and above 0 is better than average
WPA and RE24 give us a better idea of how the players’ performances contributed to the team’s bottom line. Both are affected by opportunity, so that should be factored in when looking at these numbers. For pitchers there’s also the impact of the defense behind them so that should also be accounted for.
I tend to like RE24 more than WPA since it doesn’t overrate timing. Here’s how the team ranked from best to worst.
I realize a lot of people are annoyed with Alex Rodriguez being scapegoated, but the fact is no one on the Yankees hurt the team more this postseason. It doesn’t mean he’s horrible or unclutch or whatever. It’s just what happened.
But really, there’s plenty of blame to go around on the position player side. The pitching was very good, but not good enough to overcome the giant morass of awful that the team got from Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Rodriguez.
We’ll see a different Yankee team in 2013. I don’t know if they’ll be better, but they’ll be different. Maybe not a whole lot different, but they’ve got some flexibility and options.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
A Tale of Two Lineups
These are Oliver projections with an estimated platoon split vs. RHP applied.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
2012 ALCS Preview - Tigers vs. Yankees
It took the Yankees and Tigers the full five games for both teams to advance past the ALDS, but here they are. The problem for both teams is that they had to use their aces in the fifth game, which means they can’t start the ALCS with Justin Verlander or CC Sabathia.
The Tigers as presently constituted are better than the 88 win team in the AL Central that they were this year, at least if you believe the projections. Here’s how their offense projects over a seven game series using Oliver from the Hardball Times.
The Tigers obviously have the two best hitters in this series in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The rest of the lineup is not quite as impressive. They’ve been platooning Alex Avila and Gerald Laird at catcher and Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry in he OF, so I’ve assumed they’ll continue doing that. Defense was an issue for them for most of the year, but adding Omar Infante and getting Brennan Boesch out of the lineup seems to have helped them there quite a bit, and with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer striking out everyone it’s probably not going to be a big problem in three of the games at least.
If we give them 27 outs per game they project to score an estimated 36.6 runs over 7 games.
Here’s how their pitching looks.
The Tigers have Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer lined up to pitch the first four games. In theory that would mean Fister, Sanchez and Verlande would pitch games 5-7, but since those games won’t be played it doesn’t matter. The rotation is strong, with only Anibal Sanchez projecting worse than any of the starters the Orioles threw at the Yankees and he’s only .03 runs per nine worse than Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen’s projections. If the Yankees had trouble with Baltimore’s starters, they’re really going to have trouble with Detroit’s.
They’ve had some issues with their closer, who projects worse than Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel so it’ll be interesting to see if Jim Leyland sticks with him if he struggles in his first appearance or two. Our old friend Phil Coke is their main lefty out of the pen, although Drew Smyly provides depth there as well. You can futz around with how I assigned the bullpen innings but if you don’t they project to allow 27 runs in this series.
36.6 runs scored and 25 runs allowed equals a team that would win about 63.8% of their games, or 103.3 over a 162 game season.
How does that compare to the Yankees? Let’s see. First, the position players.
I’m kind of hoping that Alex Rodriguez will be back in the lineup for good but I’ve given some of his PA to Eric Chavez in case. With Detroit’s rotation all right-handed, the Shockmaster™ should be mostly full-time. We may see Nun-E and Nixy a few times so I threw them a few PA as well. With these assumptions they’d project to score a bit less than one run more than the Tigers over seven games. Of course, they’ll have to hit a lot better than they hit in the ALDS to even sniff that number.
The pitching is a mess. By blowing Game 4, the Yankees lost the option to start CC in Game 1. The good news is they have Andy Pettitte fully rested to start Game 1. Unfortunately, they have no one else from the ALDS rotation who can start on full rest in Game 2. They could try Hiroki Kuroda on three days rest but he’s never started on three days rest and I don’t think they’ll go that route. My guess is they’ll use David Phelps with Derek Lowe caddying him in Game 2 and hope for the best, then bring back CC on three days rest to match up against Verlander in Game 3. That would set him up to pitch in the theoretical Game 7 that won’t happen since Detroit’s going to sweep but let’s let our imaginations run wild.
So my guess at the rotation is something like: Andy Pettitte, David Phelps, CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia.
The order could change. Pettitte would have four days rest before Game 5 so he could start that one. I’m more concerned about how the innings get allocated than the order for this so let’s press on.
Because of the mess that is the rotation I gave Derek Lowe more innings than I’d typically give a long reliever and the worst projected pitcher on the staff. It shouldn’t make a huge difference on the bottom line though.
Based on this playing time the Yankees figure to allow around 28 runs, which makes them a roughly 62.7%/101.6 win team.
Detroit has a slight edge at .638 vs. .621. Having home field advantage gives the Yankees about a .006 boost, so you’ve got something like a .633 team playing a .624 team. Given that, here’s what my playoff simulator says for this series.
The Tigers are slight favorites, but it’s basically a tossup. It’d be nice for the Yankees to avenge the last two times Detroit knocked them out of the playoffs, but I’m not betting on that happening.
Friday, October 12, 2012
NEW YORK — The game ended with Alex Rodriguez as a spectator again, and this time he didn’t exactly greet the demotion with a smile that lit up the room.
This time, he didn’t sound as supportive as he did the night before, when Raul Ibanez turned Game 3 into his career highlight reel and put the Yankees on the brink of a first-round victory. This time, Rodriguez pursed his lips and made his feelings pretty clear: He might have gone 1-for-4 with two more strikeouts, but he wasn’t the only guy who looked clueless against Baltimore pitching.
And he also made this clear: He didn’t expect to get lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 13th inning of the Yankees’ 2-1 defeat, which ended when Eric Chavez lined out to the game’s hero, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
“No, no — obviously I’ve gotten a look at this guy for a couple of days now,” Rodriguez said of closer Jim Johnson, “and I hoped it was a little bit different today, but it wasn’t.”
I don’t think I would have pinch-hit for Rodriguez there, but if he doesn’t want to get pinch-hit for maybe he should try looking a little better at the plate than he has.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
2012 ALDS Preview - Orioles vs. Yankees
After battling down to the wire, the Yankees were able to stave off the Orioles to win the AL East by two games. Their reward for that is to play the Orioles on the road for two games to start the ALDS.
All season long, we’ve heard/read/said that the Orioles were not for real, that they were lucky and that they were due to crash at any point. That was mainly a function of a run differential that was negative for almost the entire season as well as seemingly unsustainable records in both one run games (29-9) and extra inning games (16-2). In general, teams approach about .500 in those games although having a strong bullpen can help a team win a higher percentage of close games and that’s something the Orioles have had all season.
None of what the 2012 Orioles got lucky with matters right now. The only thing that matters is how good the 25 man roster they will have for the ALDS is, and how it may match up against the Yankees. Because of that, I’m going to look at projections for the Orioles and Yankees which will account for their performances this year as well as in recent prior seasons. This will account for the fact that some players may have over/under performed expectations and are possibly better or worse than their 2012 numbers, but more importantly it will account for the fact that the rosters and playing time distributions in a five game series are a lot different than they are in a 162 game season and simply comparing two teams’ over 2012 Pythagenpat records is the height of laziness when it comes to statistical analysis. Well that or using FIP for pitcher WAR. But I digress.
For the projections, I’m using Oliver from the Hardball Times. They’ve been updated as of last week and include 2012 MLEs for players that spent time in the minors so I feel they are the most complete version of forecasts available right now.
So, as I mentioned, it’s all about rosters and playing time. Based on what is out there, here is my rough guess at those two things. First up, the Orioles’ lineup and bench.
The idea here is to try and allocate PA over a 5 games series. So basically it was a case of adding PA until the team got to 135 outs (27 outs times 5 games). That includes double plays and obviously there may be games where teams don’t need to bat for 27 outs (home wins) but as long as the scale is the same for both teams it doesn’t matter.
The Yankees will be throwing lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in the first two games and if there was a game 5 it’d probably be CC again so that might impact some of the PAs for the lefties. So I gave some DH PA to Lew Ford instead of Jim Thome and some 2B PA to Robert Andino instead of Ryan Flaherty. For the most part I don’t expect the other bench guys to play much.
Basically this estimates that the Orioles would score about 24.5 runs in an average five game series using this allocation of playing time.
And here’s what the Yankees lineup and bench should like.
Yes, I know Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson are not on the roster. They are just place holders. Anyway, the only spot I see some finagling of playing time is DH with some combination of Raul Ibanez, Eduardo Nunez, Alex Rodriguez and Eric Chavez. I threw Jayson Nix three PA for the hell of it as well.
So the Yankees have a very slight offensive edge here, 26.4 runs to 24.5 runs.
How about the pitching? Here’s my stab at the Orioles first.
Apparently the Orioles will be using Jason hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez in the first three games. It’s expected that Chris Tillman would pitch the fourth game if necessary although it could also be Zach Britton or Joe Saunders. So a lot of this could be impacted by how that plays out.
Although Hammel is on tab to pitch the opener which should make him available for Game 5 if needed, he hasn’t been healthy in the second half so I restricted him to one start and gave a start to Joe Saunders. Because Oliver doesn’t like most of the O’s starting pitchers after Hammel and Chen and I think it may be underselling them a bit I limited them to five innings and gave more innings to the bullpen where they have better projected performers.
The big question for Baltimore is whether Gonzalez and Tillman are closer to the 3.25 and 2.93 ERAs they posted in the regular season or to their 4.78 and 5.22 projected ERAs. It’s the difference of two runs in this scenario. That may not seem like much, but it’s the equivalent of a swing of about six wins in a five game series but I’ll get into that in more detail shortly.
Same crap for the Yankees.
The Yankees should be in very good shape if the CC Sabathia we saw in his last three starts is the CC Sabathia we see this postseason. His velocity still hasn’t been overly impressive to me and the fact that he pitched well against an awful Blue Jays team and an even worse Red Sox team isn’t overly impressive to me either. But let’s hope for the best.
So we’re looking at a Yankee pitching staff that projects to allow around 20 runs vs. a Baltimore staff that projects to allow 23. Running the offensive and pitching numbers through Pythagenpat looks like this.
If you instead think that Gonzalez and Tillman are the guys they were in 2012 it looks like this.
That seems a bit closer to reality for me. The Yankees should be favorites to win this series, but not overwhelmingly so.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Building the 2012 Yankee Postseason Roster
With the Yankees’ playoff position locked in, it’s time for the always fun postseason roster thread. For the postseason this year I’m going to be using the Oliver forecast from the Hardball Times because I haven’t had a chance to run MLEs yet for CAIRO. I think they’re pretty solid projections, plus they aren’t designed to make the Yankees look better which should help us be a bit more realistic about their chances.
Here are the projections for everyone on the active roster as of yesterday, starting with the position players.
|Player||Age||Pos||Tm||Lg||PA||H||2B||3B||HR||SB||CS||BB||SO||GDP||avg||obp||slg||wOBA||v LHP||v RHP|
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
v LHP: Regressed projected wOBA vs LHP
v RHP: Regressed projected wOBA vs RHP
Oliver doesn’t project platoon splits, so I’m using CAIRO’s projected platoon split ratios to calculate the wOBA platoon splits for everyone.
Obviously you start with the locks, which is the primary starting lineup of:
Derek Jeter, SS
Ichiro Suzuki, LF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Curtis Granderson, CF
Raul Ibanez, DH
Russell Martin, C
Then you have some locks for the bench.
Eric Chavez, 3B
Chris Stewart, C
Eduardo Nunez, IF
There’s room for more on the bench, but it depends on the composition of the pitching staff, so here are those projections.
Again, we start with the locks, which are:
So we’ve got 12 position player locks and 9 pitcher locks. So who should the remaining 4 spots go to?
Here are the projected wOBA of the six remaining candidates from the position player side (I’m assuming Jayson Nix is out) in descending order.
|Player||Pos||wOBA||v LHP||v RHP|
I’m guessing quite a few of us would quibble with Andruw Jones’s projection. But he does have the ability to pop one out and I’m guessing that’ll be enough to get him onto the roster. I’m guessing the Yankees will want to take at least 11 pitchers. That leaves two spots for bench players, one of which will go to Brett Gardner. Since Dickerson and Gardner have similar skill sets, that probably leaves the last spot to Casey McGehee since he can at least play 1st and 3rd.
Here are the projections for the remaining pitchers sorted by ERA in ascending order.
If they go with 11 pitchers, then I’d assume the last two will be Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley. But they may decide to punt McGehee and add another long man, which would probably be Ivan Nova or Derek Lowe. Lowe seems to have moved to the front of the pack for the spot, although I don’t see the sense in carrying 12 pitchers for a five man series.
So my postseason roster would look like this.
But I’m guessing they’ll put Lowe on instead of McGehee which isn’t a big deal.
I forgot the Shockmaster™ so scratch Lowe and McGehee. Then, the next question to ask will be, how good is that team? I’ll tell you in the next day or two.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Optimizing the Yankee Lineup by Platoon Splits
Last week I posted the revised CAIRO projections for the Yankees for the rest of 2012 including their projected platoon splits. So now let’s see how we can make use of that information.
Here are the team’s projected woBA splits, both overall and vs. RHP and LHP. You can sort this table by clicking on the column heading.
|Player||Overall||vs RHP||vs LHP|
Versus right-handed pitching, this is how the Yankees’s rank by projected wOBA.
I have no idea if we’ll see Mark Teixeira again this year. I’m sure they’ll give it a go, but I don’t know if he’ll be able to hold up. If you were to take the best group of players vs. RHP while ensuring each one can play a position passably well (sans Teixeira) you get a group of Cano, Granderson, Swisher, Rodriguez, Ibanez, Jeter, Chavez, Ichiro, Martin. This is purely looking at offense. You could probably make a case that Chris Dickerson’s defense and baserunning make him a better overall option than the Shockmaster™, but with the Shockmaster™‘s shocking Lazarus-like revival it’s probably moot.
So the best lineup for the Yankees vs. RHP probably looks something like this.
|Team||Yankees||Vs. RHP Projected|
BR are linear weights batting runs and the team total is based on an estimated 25 outs at the plate and factoring in double plays. You can quibble with the order, but I tried to arrange it to minimize the number of same-handed batters hitting back-to-back. You could conceivably move Ichiro up to second and move everyone else down a notch. That would reduce their estimated BR to 5.09 but would also split the lineup as R/L/S/L/R/L/L/R/L which may be advantageous tactically later in games.
If the Yankees are the 4.19 RA team they’ve been this year, vs. RHP with this lineup they’d project as around a .591/96 win team.
If we flip the script, here’s what we’re looking at.
You’d ideally get Rodriguez, Jeter, Cano, Swisher, Martin, Pearce?, Jones??, McGehee??? and Granderson into the lineup if you were taking the top nine hitters vs. LHP, although I’m guessing that CAIRO is wrong on Jones. You could conceivably do that with a lineup that looks like this.
|Team||Yankees||Vs. LHP Projected|
That lineup would project to be around a .569/92 win team.
I think if you factor in defense you probably want Ichiro in there. You could put him in LF, put Jones at DH where his indifferent defense would be a non-issue and put Rodriguez at 3B and go with Pearce or McGehee at 1b. Unfortunately for McGehee I have a hunch today will be his last day on the 40 man roster since they need to clear a roster spot for David Aardsma. I suppose it could be Cory Wade who goes instead, which I’d be bummed about but I completely understand it.
FWIW, if they can get Teixeira back they improve to about a .600 97/win team vs. RHP and a .578/94 win team vs. LHP.
If you assume the Yankees will see lefties 40% of the time over the rest of the season and that they’ll pitch the way they’ve pitched so far this year then they’re roughly a 94 win team right now, and a 96 win team with Teixeira. We have to figure they’ll be resting some guys over the rest of the season which will make them a bit worse than that.
Hopefully that’s still good enough to hold on to their tenuous lead in the division.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
2012 CAIRO Rest of Season Position Player Projections for the Yankees (with platoon splits)
I figured with 15 games left in the season most of the projections for the Yankees shouldn’t change much so I could run these. Ichiro thanks me for not running these yesterday.
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
Platoon splits are calculated using the methodology detailed in The Book, an illustration of which can be found here. That means they are regressed and based on a player’s career platoon splits, which tell us more than a single season does.
What will come next will be figuring out how the Yankees should deploy their players to take best advantage of platoon splits as they try to hold off the unstoppable Orioles juggernaut. I’ll try and do that over the next few days.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Who Has Been the 2012 Yankees’ MVP?
As Mike K. pointed out in a prior thread, last night Michael Kay (hmm, Michael Kay, Mike K.?) made a statement that Derek Jeter was the Yankees’ undisputed MVP this year. Of course, from what we know of Kay he has little interest in the advanced metrics that tell a different story.
I have pretty much stopped posting things like WAR and run value because frankly it’s all available in a few places now and everyone knows how to get to it. Although I quibble with a few of the components at the various sites, in general it doesn’t make a huge difference as long as you understand the limitations of each implementation and adjust them accordingly.
That doesn’t mean we can’t parse some of the data and see if there’s something that’s not necessarily being captured that could paint a different picture than the one we see if we just blindly accept the numbers as presented.
So, does Derek Jeter have any case for being the Yankees’ MVP? I’m going to limit this to position players.
|Player||Team||Batting||RE24||BaseRunning||Replacement||Position||Total||rTotal||Fielding||Total w Fld||rTotal w Fld||Diff|
Batting: Runs created above an average player
RE24: Run expectancy added above an average player accounting for base/out state
BaseRunning: Value added by base running
Replacement: Replacement level adjustment (roughly 20 runs over a full season)
Position: Adjustment for positions played
Total: Batting + Baserunning + Replacement + Position
rTotal: RE24 + Baserunning + Replacement + Position
Diff: rTotal with fielding minus total with fielding
The table above is sorted by Fangraphs’ version of WAR which includes UZR. If we use RE24 instead of their batting component to adjust for the context in which a batter’s performance came, Cano takes the biggest hit on the team, losing almost two wins of value. Despite that, once you factor in defense he’s still clearly the Yankees’ MVP, at least on the position player side.
But I think it’s fair to be frustrated by Cano’s lesser performance in more important situations. It’s not necessarily predictive, and he was great in those spots last year, but it should affect our understanding of how valuable he’s been to this point. It should not affect our understanding of how good he is.
What I find really interesting, and this may point to a problem with comparing Fangraphs’ batting value with RE24 directly, is that the Yankees have been worth 90 runs above average without adjusting for context and only 38 runs better than average when you do factor context in. That seems like a pretty large gap, but it also feels like it tells the story of a frustrating season pretty accurately. It’s 52 runs over 122 games. When viewed on that scale it seems eminently realistic. They only have five players who have been better in higher leverage situations, and two of them are Brett Gardner and Chris Dickerson who have barely played! And one of them is Andruw Jones who has been so awful that it hasn’t helped.
On the other hand, they have nine players who have been worse in more important situations, six or seven of whom are among the primary starters on the team depending on how you view Chavez/Ibanez.
I think the takeaway from this is that this team should be scoring more than they have, and hopefully it’ll start soon.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
How To Blow a 10 Game Lead in 47 Days
|David Phelps||11||4||2||1||33 1/3||24||12||12||5||10||34||2||1||0||3.24||3.24||4.04|
|Clay Rapada||20||0||1||0||9 2/3||10||4||4||1||3||9||0||1||0||3.72||3.72||3.46|
|David Robertson||21||0||0||2||20 2/3||18||5||5||1||4||19||1||0||0||2.18||2.18||2.57|
|Rafael Soriano||17||0||0||1||17 2/3||14||6||6||2||2||19||1||0||1||3.06||3.06||2.88|
|Boone Logan||18||0||2||2||13 2/3||11||6||6||1||7||16||0||0||0||3.95||3.95||3.20|
|Cody Eppley||16||0||0||2||13 1/3||18||8||7||0||4||11||0||0||1||5.40||4.73||2.30|
|Derek Lowe||8||0||0||1||9 1/3||17||7||6||2||2||8||0||0||0||6.75||5.79||4.76|
|Joba Chamberlain||10||0||0||0||8 2/3||17||9||9||2||5||7||2||0||0||9.35||9.35||6.86|
|Cory Wade||1||0||0||0||1 2/3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0.00||3.05|
The interesting thing on the offensive side is the fact that the Yankees’ seeming lack of clutch ability doesn’t really show up if you compare their linear weights batting runs to their actual runs scored. They haven’t done a bad job of converting their hits and walks to runs, they just haven’t done a good job of getting hits and walks.
I knew Curtis Granderson has been pretty bad for most of the second half, but I didn’t realize it was quite that bad. Missing Mark Teixeira hasn’t helped of late, but a .256/.319/.402 line from a 1B who plays half his games in DNYS isn’t exactly something that’s going to make a big difference. Teixeira’s probably better than that, but over the last 25-30 games of the season it wouldn’t surprise to see him do no better than that or even worse.
I won’t get into all of the team’s splits over the past 47 days, but here’s a link from David Pinto’s Day by Day database so you can see them for yourselves. Some highlights:
The team is hitting .234/.288/.400 when trailing. That wouldn’t be an issue if they didn’t trail in every game.
The team has gotten a sparkling line of .210/.283/.338 from left field
They’ve hit .222/.296/.369 vs. LHP. Luckily they won’t face LHP in every single game over the rest of the year, only maybe half of them.
They’re hitting .175/.259/.283 so far in September. It’s like they switched to bizarro National League rules where only the pitchers hit.
The gap between the pitching staff’s FIP and ERA is about 6 runs, so they haven’t been the victims of exceedingly bad luck in terms of BABIP either. Hiroki Kuroda is really the only starting pitcher doing well, and as we all know they’re effectively down to a two man bullpen, maybe two and a half if you give Boone Logan partial credit. Maybe Cory Wade can re-discover whatever it was that made him effective during the first half of his Yankee tenure, and maybe a healthy and effective Ivan Nova can push David Phelps back into the bullpen and they can beef it up a bit.
Again, I won’t get into all of the pitching staff’s splits but you can see them at this link.
A team that scores 193 runs and allows 190 should be about a .507 team, so I suppose you could point to the Yankees’ record in close games as the primary culprit for their fall from grace. They’ve gone 19-25 over the past 47 days instead of their Pythagenpat expected record of 22-22.
All is not lost of course. The Yankees are still tied for first place. If you remove the “contributions” of Ryota Igarishi, Derek Lowe, Casey McGehee and DeWayne Wise from their overall stats they’ve played more like a .513 team. I’m not sure why Lowe is still on the roster, and I’m hoping he never throws another pitch in pinstripes.
Here is a random and not necessarily meaningful split of the team’s record in games that a player has appeared in. The obvious takeaway from that is that since they’re 13-4 in games that Rafael Soriano has pitched in he should pitch every day. Another “fun” stat? The Yankees are 1-7 in games that Derek Lowe and Alex Rodriguez have appeared in since July 19. I can’t wait for the MSM to latch onto that last one.
Since the Rays and Orioles play each other six more times this season, the Yankees have a chance to gain some ground on at least one of them. Of course, they can’t do that if they don’t start winning freaking games.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Manager Joe Girardi was encouraged by what he saw from Rodriguez, who still doesn’t have a timetable on when he’ll be back. The plan is for A-Rod to see how he feels Wednesday, and if he’s good to go, he will basically repeat the same things he did Tuesday.
There’s also a good chance Rodriguez will play in some rehab games before Girardi pencils him back into his lineup. General manager Brian Cashman, speaking on ESPN New York 98.7 FM Tuesday, said Rodriguez’s rehab stint could happen as soon as this weekend.
“Our thought process is, let’s get through these next couple of days—today, tomorrow and see where he’s at,” Girardi said, “Our hope is it’s not too far off.”
Since July 25, which is the day Rodriguez went on the DL, here’s what Yankee third basemen have hit.
Can Rodriguez do any better than that? Then again, could we realistically expect Jayson Nix and Eric Chavez to do that again?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was forced to exit Monday night’s loss to the Blue Jays in the fourth inning with a strained left calf, but the news got worse from there.
An MRI has revealed a Grade 1 strain and Teixeira believes he’ll miss one to two weeks, reports Sweeny Murti of WFAN.
Teixeira, 32, is hitting .255/.335/.478 with 23 homers, 81 RBI and 65 runs this season.
With Teixeira out, the Yankees have several options at first base. Newly-acquired Steve Pearce is an option. Nick Swisher could play first with Ichiro Suzuki sliding to right field while either Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez plays left. Casey McGehee could also fill in, as could Eric Chavez, with Jayson Nix playing third. The best guess is they play matchups instead of sticking with one specific lineup until Teixeira returns.
Not great news for a team that’s already limping to the finish line. I suppose the silver lining is that the rest will be beneficial to his wrist as well.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Chavez, 34, has a history of injuries, so Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has limited his time as much as possible. When Rodriguez was injured, the idea was to have Chavez and the right-handed Jayson Nix platoon at third base. The Yankees also acquired Casey McGehee to play some at third, although he has not done particularly well.
So Girardi has had to play Chavez more than expected. On Wednesday, McGehee played third and Chavez was the designated hitter. Chavez said he was supposed to get a full day off, but Girardi asked him to D.H. to keep his hot bat in the lineup. Chavez, of course, agreed.
With Toronto throwing three lefties this weekend, I’m guessing we won’t see Chavez much, which is probably good for his health, but not so good for the team. We’re now two weeks into Alex Rodriguez’s injury, which probably means at least three more weeks without him, so hopefully the Yankees can continue to weather that storm for a bit longer.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
DETROIT—Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive eighth-inning pitches from Joaquin Benoit, lifting the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Tigers on Thursday at Comerica Park.
Teixeira tied the game with his 21st home run, a blast to right field, and the red-hot Chavez instantly gave the Yankees the lead with an opposite-field shot into the Detroit bullpen, his 12th.
I really thought Eric Chavez’s days of being useful were pretty much over. I’m happy to have been so wrong about him.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
July 2012 West Coast Road Trip Stats
Runners in supposed scoring position splits
I think the most frustrating part of this trip is that the Yankees scored 21 runs (should have scored 24 according to BR/linear weights batting runs) and allowed 21 runs and went 2-5.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Chavez had the exact same injury to his right hand in 2004 and missed a shade over five weeks.
When a glum-looking A-Rod finally emerged by his locker late Tuesday night, he softly said he’d been given no timetables for his recovery.
Despite the pain of being drilled by King Felix’s 88 mph changeup, “I never thought fracture,” A-Rod said, speaking barely above a whisper. “It’s difficult. Tough break…tough blow.”
With that, Rodriguez abruptly walked away, his left hand in a heavy wrap.
I’ve been holding out hope for a run of vintage Rodriguez all year to go with a season where he was able to remain healthy from start to finish, something that hasn’t happened since 2008. As much for what it may mean for the next ten years that he’s signed for as for its impact on 2012. This will almost certainly end up being the worst season of Rodriguez’s career and gives us more evidence that his next few years will not be worth remotely close to what he’s being paid. At least the Yankees will save all that money on home run milestones.
He’s not the player that he used to be, but missing him for five or more weeks isn’t going to be an easy storm to weather. I’d assume we’ll see some sort of Eric Chavez/RHB platoon, be it Jayson Nix or the triumphant return of Eduardo Nun-E-z, but I’m not sure I like the odds of Chavez staying healthy long-term when pressed into what will effectively be full-time duty.
The gap between Rodriguez and a Chavez/Nix/Nunez conglomerate over 200 PA is about 10 runs of offense. They can make up some of that on defense if Chavez plays the bulk of the time, but for every game that Nunez plays they’ll lose at least one additional run of defense.
Is it crippling? Probably not. But what appeared to be comfortable lead in the AL East heading into the dog days of August has become a little less so, thanks to a horrid road trip and now this.
In somewhat happier news, Brian Cashman’s raving about Joba.
As expected, Joba Chamberlain is likely to rejoin the Yankees when the 30-day deadline on his rehab assignment runs out on Aug. 6. GM Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com today that the right-handed reliever “has been doing great’’ in his rehab starts and would be back with the team the first week of August if not sooner.
Earlier in the day, Cashman told WFAN, “Joba’s out of control. The stuff he’s featuring is remarkable. He’s as high as 100 (mph) but upwards consistently (at) 96, 97, 98. He looks really good.”
Cashman also said that Chamberlain’s stuff is so good he may be considered for the starting rotation in 2013. NOT!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
2012 Yankee Position Player Projections vs. Actuals at the All Star Break Part 3
Rounding out our look at the Yankee position players and their actual performance compared to their projections, we come to the Shockmaster, Raul Ibanez. I didn’t think Ibanez would make it to the All Star Break, but here he is.
Ibanez hasn’t been great, but he’s been about as good as a player can be while having a sub .300 OBP. He’s traded some singles for HRs and has had some clutch hits. Still, you generally want better out of your DH than a .298 OBP. He’s been pressed into a lot more time in LF than the Yankees probably hoped for with Brett Gardner missing just about the entire season, and while he hasn’t been good out there he’s been a lot less bad than I expected. DRS has him at -4 and UZR has him at -3.
Russell Martin’s had a very strange season. For most of the first half he had a decent OBP and passable SLG despite an abysmal batting average, but over the last few weeks he’s fallen off the cliff.
Martin actually has more doubles and homers than he projected to have on a rate basis, and he’s walked a few times more than expected. Unfortunately for him he’s missing a bunch of singles and that makes his season line look pretty crappy. I don’t know if he’s lost his ability to hit singles or if he’s hit into some bad luck although I’d lean more towards the latter. He’s still probably the best catcher in this organization for the next three months so let’s hope he hits a bit better in the second half.
Thanks to two days in a disgraceful bandbox, Andruw Jones’s season suddenly looks a lot better than it did on Friday.
He’s probably made a case for a bit more playing time in LF and at DH against RHP, so I think we’ll see him a bit more in the second half.
I wasn’t a big fan of re-signing Eric Chavez, but he’s been quite good in his role as primary backup 3B.
While his season could end at any time, he’s already been worth well more than his salary.
I don’t really see the point in running through the projections for the players with fewer than 100 PA so that’s where this ends. I’ll look at the pitchers over the next few days.
Friday, July 6, 2012
BOSTON—Mark Teixeira ripped a go-ahead two-run triple off Vicente Padilla in the seventh inning, lifting the Yankees to a wild 10-8 slugfest victory over the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park.
Teixeira clapped his hands and pumped his fists with emotion after sliding into third base, marking a satisfying blow for the slugger, who has spoken publicly several times about his disdain of Padilla’s reputation for throwing at opponents.
Raul Ibanez followed with a run-scoring double off Padilla, and Eric Chavez greeted Scott Atchison with an RBI single in the four-run frame, helping the Yankees pull away in a contest that saw both clubs bat around for five runs in the first inning.
The Yankees scored ten runs on fourteen hits, but they didn’t hit one home run all night. They stink.
If tonight’s game was any indication of how the rest of the weekend will go, tomorrow’s day-night doubleheader should be a doozy.
Monday, June 25, 2012
The Yankees’ designated hitter is a fearsome player. He bats from the right side of the plate, and he bats from the left. His career resume is rather impressive: he has been selected to 32 All-Star Games, and he has, entering Monday, slugged 1,815 home runs.
He is, of course, not one man, but essentially five. The Yankees’ roster features a quintet of players—Eric Chavez, Raul Ibañez, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones and Alex Rodriguez—who are on pace to make more than 70 plate appearances as the club’s DH, which is something that no team has had in seven years. Many of the managers who have in the past employed a Hydra approach to their DH spot have done so out of desperation, in a largely futile attempt to find someone who can provide appropriate production from the game’s most controversial position.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve felt Yankee DH has under-performed this year. Part of that is getting used to the new lower run environment, and part of it is just being flat-out wrong. DH has been pretty solid, and Girardi deserves some credit for his management of it.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
After losing 6-0 to Kansas City at home on May 21, the Yankees dropped to 21-21 and looked like they were heading for an ugly and disappointing season. Since then, they’ve won 10 of 13 games to move to 31-24 and trail first place Baltimore by one half game for the AL East lead. How have they done it?
They’ve done it by being about 30 runs above average overall, which breaks down like this.
No park or position-adjusting or defense in these numbers. It’s just comparing linear weights batting runs for hitters vs. league average and runs saved compared to league average RA for pitchers (not adjusted for starters vs. relievers).
Monday, May 14, 2012
Yankees.com: Snapping late tie, Teixeira finishes O’s
BALTIMORE—The Yankees have come to accept Mark Teixeira’s slow starts as par for the course, but the slumping switch-hitter delivered a big blow at a most opportune time.
Teixeira blasted a two-run homer in the seventh inning to put his club ahead and the Yankees made it hold up, posting an 8-5 victory over the Orioles on Monday at Camden Yards.
What a bizarre night. The Yankees 3-4-5 hitters combined for 7 hits and Rafael Soriano almost pitched his first 1-2-3 inning of the year, sabotaged by an Eric Chavez error.
Ivan Nova left the game in the sixth with a bruised right foot and sprained right ankle which sounds like a crappy night for his lower right leg. He’ll probably miss a start or two, but hopefully not much more than that.
Since I complain about Joe Girardi a lot, I’ll commend him for how he managed the bullpen tonight. I much prefer choosing pitchers based on match-ups to choosing pitchers based on the inning, and Clay Rapada, David Phelps Boone Logan and Cory Wade made it work. Losing Mo is a big blow, but since Girardi became Yankee manager they’ve had the best relief ERA in the majors so I think he’ll be able to handle it about as well as anyone could.
Monday, April 30, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda turned in a stellar seven-inning effort and Eric Chavez slugged a two-run homer, as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 2-1, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees received a strong starting performance for a second straight day, as Kuroda followed up CC Sabathia’s winning effort with a gem of his own, permitting just one run on four hits and saving the lead with his own defensive play at home plate.
Kuroda looked like he had nothing over the first two innings as seemingly every ball was hit hard, but he settled down nicely to give the Yankees seven innings of one-run ball. His final play of the game was probably the most important one. The Orioles had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with two outs in the seventh when a pitch got away from Russell Martin. It rolled into foul territory but not all that far and the Orioles gambled by sending the runner but Martin was able to retrieve the ball and flip it to Kuroda who beat the runner to the plate and applied the tag to the end the inning. The Orioles could not muster anything against David Robertson or Mariano Rivera over the final two innings and the Yankees had a nice win in a rare briskly played pitcher’s duel.
I’m enjoying watching Kuroda pitch so far and hope he can keep it going. I’d take a 3.69 ERA from him over the rest of the year.
I was not particularly enamored with the Eric Chavez re-signing, but so far he’s been great. I don’t know if he’ll stay healthy or keep it up all year, but he’s probably already been worth his salary.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Honoring the oldest operating facility in the big leagues, Boston was attired in replicas of what the club would have worn on April 20, 1912, as the gates along Yawkey Way opened, just five days after the sinking of the Titanic.
The Red Sox won that opening game, 7-6, in 11 innings, but behind a 15th consecutive winning decision from right-hander Ivan Nova and the Yankees’ offensive power, New York spoiled any chances of a historic reprisal early.
Dustin Pedroia dropped a Derek Jeter popup that led to an unearned first-inning run before Swisher and Chavez teed off on Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz for solo homers in the second inning.
Chavez added a second homer in the fourth frame off Buchholz, and Rodriguez slugged the 631st of his big league career over the Green Monster in the fifth, passing former Mariners teammate Ken Griffey Jr. for sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list.
I can’t wait to watch the replay of this one.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
2012 Yankee Position Player WAR through April 11
I’m just goofing around with my spreadsheets for 2012 and figured I’d post this. I’ve decided that this year I’m going to just use Fangraphs’ data for everything except defense since I don’t like using UZR as the sole determination of a player’s defense. I’ll still keep my own set of numbers as a sanity check in case I start having questions about what Fangraphs says, but I don’t generally have much of an issue with their position player valuations. I’ll still do my own pitching valuation.
So the Yankees should DFA Mark Teixeira, Chris Stewart, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano apparently. A bit surprised to see Cano at the bottom of the list, although it appears to be a defense thing.
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!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Hours after making their deal with Raul Ibanez official, the Yankees completed what should be their final signing of the spring, coming to terms with Eric Chavez on a one-year deal worth $900,000 plus incentives.
I’m not crazy about this, but the financial terms are reasonable so I can’t complain too much. This probably makes the 2012 Yankees the clear favorites to win the 2003 World Series.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Forget the Burnett part since we’ve got that covered. This is the point that I want to focus on.
If a deal is completed, the Yankees plan to move quickly to sign free-agent designated hitter Raul Ibanez and infielder Eric Chavez, sources said. One or both of those signings could occur even if Burnett is not moved.
This seems stupid to me. I’ve made no secret about the fact that I don’t think Chavez is a viable insurance policy for an Alex Rodriguez injury, and I don’t see what Ibanez brings that Russell Branyan doesn’t.
If they offer guaranteed money to either player, they’re idiots.
Why do I expect them to offer guaranteed money to both? No, it’s not likely to be a lot of money, but for a team that is pinching pennies and might need to upgrade in-season, I don’t see the point.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Anyway, it’s a minor deal — non-guaranteed, with a chance to reach $600,000 if he makes the team — that will hinge mostly on whether the Yankees bring back Eric Chavez. Hall, as Joe Sheehan pointed out in his invaluable newsletter yesterday, is basically a cheaper version of Chone Figgins, a player he had recommended for the Yankees earlier. (He’d also, intriguingly, suggested seeing whether the White Sox would do an Adam Dunn–A.J. Burnett swap, straight up.) Hall will probably make the team, but it’s too early to tell. Also, pitchers and catchers report in eleven days.
I don’t see the sense in bringing back Chavez at this point, although a Hall/Chavez platoon at 3B in the event of Alex Rodriguez missing some time is probably better than just having Hall.
|Player||Bats||PA||Projected wOBA||Vs L||Vs R||lRV||rRV||RV|
|Player||Bats||PA||Projected wOBA||Vs L||Vs R||lRV||rRV||RV|
Vs L: Regressed projected wOBA vs. LHP.
Vs R: Regressed projected wOBA vs. RHP.
lRV: Run value vs. LHP
rRV: Run value vs. RHP
RV: Total run value
The difference between CAIRO’s platoon split wOBA projections in 300 PA of Hall vs. a 200 PA Chavez/100 PA Hall platoon is two runs.
On the other hand, the difference between 200 PA of Chavez vs. RHP and some of the remaining potential DH candidates looks like this.
|Player||Bats||PA||Projected wOBA||Vs L||Vs R||RAC|
RAC: Runs above Chavez over 200 PA vs. RHP.
CAIRO may be bullish on Ibanez considering how bad his 2011 was and given his age, but it seems to me the Yankees would be better off signing any one of the people on this list ahead of Chavez to DH. I wouldn’t be opposed to an NRI invite for Chavez in case Hall doesn’t make the team out of spring training, but I’d be surprised if Chavez would accept that if he’s considering retirement.
I get the feeling the Yankees will wind up with Ibanez as their LH DH although Russell Branyan seems like the best pure hitting candidate. Damon’s probably wants a full-time job and more money than the Yankees are willing to spend, and the other candidates have issues with age and health.
Update:Apparently the Yankees agree with me on Branyan after all.
The Yankees agreed to sign Russell Branyan to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training Wednesday.
The move does not impact the team’s chances of adding another lefty bat and they remain in the hunt for Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez.
But Branyan’s presence could make things more difficult for Eric Chavez, since the 36-year-old can play both corner infield positions.
I guess that’s technically true, although Branyan played 276 innings at 3B in 2008 and has played 3 innings there since.
Update Part Deux: Branyan’s CAIRO percentile forecasts
|%||wOBA vs L||wOBA vs R|
Monday, January 16, 2012
How Should The Yankees Replace Jesus Montero at DH?
Upgrading the rotation came at the cost of losing the Yankees’ starting DH and top hitting prospect. As a fan, I’m bummed about losing Montero because of the emotional tie I’ve built up as he’s progressed through the Yankee system. I think the trade was fair and I understand why it was made, but it’s still a disappointment. But press on, we must.
We really don’t know how good Montero is right now and how good he’ll be in the future. Here were the ranges of his CAIRO projections as a Yankee DH heading into 2012.
It wouldn’t have surprised me to see Montero up near that 80% forecast, but for now he doesn’t project that way in his baseline projection.
Here’s how the range of projected wOBA’s would have looked broken down into platoon splits.
|%||wOBA vs L||wOBA vs R|
The in-house solution for DH is probably Andruw Jones. Here’s how he projects over the same number of PA.
And here are his projected wOBA platoon splits.
|%||wOBA vs L||wOBA vs R|
The Yankees would lose about six runs over a full season if Jones replaced Montero at DH. That’s sub-optimal, but it puts them ahead of where they were before making the trade for Michael Pineda and signing Hiroki Kuroda. Maybe two or three wins ahead depending on how the innings for the rotation get allocated. They’d probably project in the 95-96 win range if they do nothing else before spring training.
The Yankees do have options to upgrade DH. Last year, the Yankees faced LHP in 29% of their plate appearances and the DH got 646 PA in total. A similar split would mean 187 PA for DH vs. LHP. The difference between Montero’s and Jones’s baseline wOBA projection vs. LHP would be worth a loss of about two runs over that number of PA.
That’s small enough that I think between Jones, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter (I know, but he’s better against LHP) they have enough for the right-handed portion of a platoon DH.
So what about the other, more important side? Here are the options still in free agency.
|Player||Bats||Projected wOBA||Vs L||Vs R||RAJ|
RAJ: Runs above Andruw Jones (vs RHP over 459 PA)
Assuming the left-handed half of the DH platoon would see 459 PA here are how some of the various options project as Yankees. If you want to replace Montero’s baseline projection, you need eight RAJ, since you’ve lost two runs from the vs LHP part of DH. Then you’re effectively where you were before trading Montero.
Carlos Pena is head and shoulders above the field, and if this number is accurate he’s probably worth something like $8-10M. I don’t know if the Yankees are willing to spend that much, which means someone from the Branyan/Betemit/Ibanez/Drew group would be the next best option. I’d assume Branyan would be the cheapest of the group, but if they want to spend more they should probably go after Betemit since he can play 3B (not well) in the likely scenario that Alex Rodriguez misses some time. The nostalgia of bringing back Damon or Matsui would be kind of cool, but not the optimal way to proceed IMO.
I think they should make a play for Pena first and foremost. If not Betemit is my second choice. Then I don’t really have a preference.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The Yankees continue to negotiate with Hiroyuki Nakajima, and a team official clarified that the deadline to sign the shortstop is Friday — not Tuesday, as some reports had stated.
While talks are ongoing, there are several reasons to wonder if Nakajima, 29, is a fit for the Yanks, who last month placed a winning bid of approximately $2 million for the right to negotiate. Per the Japanese posting process, the Yankees will pay that fee only if they sign Nakajima.
Nakajima projects very similarly to Eduardo Nunez in CAIRO. Put it this way, can you tell me which of these projections is Nunez and which is Nakajima?
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
I should note that Nunez probably has more upside since he’s younger, and that I have less faith in Nakajima’s projection since it involves translating statistics from Japan. So it’s noted.
Signing Nakajima would probably mean no Eric Chavez, which I wouldn’t be all that broken up about. He really didn’t hit all that well last year after returning from injury (.252/.294/.339) and while he’s got a good glove, he’s not really someone I’d think is reliable enough to perform or stay healthy enough to play a lot of 3B in the likely case of Alex Rodriguez missing a chunk of time. It might also free up Nun-E for a trade. I think Nunez has some offensive upside, but yeesh, that glove…
I don’t think Nakajima will sign. He probably wants a shot at a starting job somewhere and he won’t get it in the Bronx.
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.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Yankee WPA through Game 3 of 2011 ALDS
Win probability added is a stat that tries to estimate how a player has contributed to his team’s chances of winning a game. I don’t think it’s a good statistic for trying to assess value because it is heavily dependent on the contributions of others, but it’s fun to look at if you want a rough idea of which players performances have helped/hurt their teams the most.
Positive means an increase in the probability of winning, negative means a decrease. More positive is more gooder.
If you have anyone in the mainstream media sitting next to you, please send them away. And don’t tell them there’s no Santa Clause.
FWIW, here are the ten lowest WPA in the 2011 postseason to this point.
Make it 11, so we can get CC on the list. The more to complain about, the better.
If only the Yankees had signed proven postseason pitcher Cliff Lee…
What the hell, ten best too.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Jack Curry’s Projected Postseason 2011 ALDS Yankee Roster
We still don’t have official ALDS rosters, but Jack Curry used the information that’s been released to try and project them. Here’s who Curry sees on the roster.
Position players (14)
I like the roster, for the most part. Nunez shouldn’t be playing at all over Cano and Jeter, and if Rodriguez is unable to play they have a better option in Chavez. I’m happy to not see Austin Romine or Raul Valdes on there, as I don’t think either really helps the team that much right now.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Even with the season ending Wednesday, the Yankee postseason roster is still not set—as a number of decisions could come down to whether the Yankees play Texas or Detroit in the first round.
A few things are set in stone: CC Sabathia will start Game 1 on Friday, and Ivan Nova will start the second game on Saturday. Freddy Garcia looks like the most likely option for Game 3 on Monday, but manager Joe Girardi wouldn’t commit. Meanwhile, it seems likely that Bartolo Colon would not make the roster for the first round.
It’s probably much ado about nothing to think about what the best postseason roster might be since the Yankees are going to do whatever they’re going to do. Then again, blogging by nature is much ado about nothing, so why not?
As the excerpt says, we know CC and Nova are going in 1 and 2. We also know that Girardi intends to start CC on short rest in Game 4, if necessary. That would allow Nova to pitch Game 5 on normal rest. So they probably only need one more starter. It sounds like that will be Freddy Garcia.
Catcher is one area where things get interesting. We know Russell Martin is a lock. Francisco Cervelli is out for the postseason. The only true backup catcher in the organization right now (according to their thought process) is Austin Romine. Romine is not a major league caliber offensive player right now, and may never be one. In an ideal series, he’d never play. So I think I’d rather see the Yankees take just Martin, with Jorge Posada and Jesus Montero available in an emergency. Should Martin get hurt, the Yankees would have the option to add Romine to the roster. They would also have the option to add him to the roster in the ALCS if they made it there by some miracle.
The thing with Posada and Montero is that they’re likely to be DH’ing if they’re in the lineup. So if one of them has to switch to catcher while already in the lineup as DH, the Yankees will lose the DH. For that reason I think you need both of them on the roster.
On the infield, the question is what combination of Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena the Yankees will use to backup Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.
For the outfield, I think you’ll see Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Andruw Jones. Chris Dickerson’s probably a long-shot.
In my mind, these are the locks.
Starting Pitchers (3)
That’s 18 players, which leaves seven spots which can be filled by some of the following players.
I think/hope the Yankees will take Posada/Montero in lieu of Romine. I hope that they’re not going to employ a strict platoon at DH, since it basically means Montero will sit on the bench for the entire series with Detroit. I was hoping they could get by with one backup IF, but given A-Rod’s health issues I’d imagine they’ll take both Chavez and Nunez.That would leave them three more spots for pitchers, but I don’t see carrying 12 pitchers in a 5 game series. So that opens up a spot for someone like Dickerson or Pena or Romine I suppose.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
It was another one-run loss for the Yankees, who managed just four hits all night and had their three-game winning streak snapped.
“We’ve had three tough ones on this road trip, lost three games by one run,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s a tough one, because you figure your offense is usually going to score more than one run.”
Despite the loss, the Yankees maintained a four-game lead in the American League East thanks to Toronto’s 5-4 win over second-place Boston. New York’s magic number is now 11 and the Yankees will enjoy an off-day Thursday before heading to Toronto for a three-game set starting Friday.
Losing a game against a crappy team when your starter gives up 1 run over 7 1/3 innings is somewhat annoying, isn’t it?
I turned off the game when I saw Rafael Soriano warming up to come in, but it doesn’t seem like I missed much. My chief issue with last night was the way Girardi handled the 8th inning on offense. After Andruw Jones was hit by a pitch, Girardi pinch-ran for him with Brett Gardner. Miguel Olivo is a fairly good catcher in terms of stealing bases, but Girardi didn’t even bother trying to let Gardner steal, opting instead to give Seattle a free out by having Russell Martin bunt Gardner to second. I’ll grant that the bunt in and of itself is probably defensible if you look at things like run expectancy and win probability although it’s probably not optimal.
What was not defensible was what happened after the bunt.
Jamey Wright is a RHP who’s bounced around MLB for 16 seasons. He’s been about average for a reliever over the last three years (ERA+ of 104). He has the type of platoon split you’d expect from a RHP in his career, although it’s worth noting he’s been better vs. LHB over the last three season.
Still, there was no reason to let Eduardo Nunez hit after the Martin bunt. You have a fully stocked bench to avoid that from happening. When I saw Nunez coming up my first thought was “WTF?” Then I thought, “well maybe Girardi wants to be cautious with Eric Chavez and rest him.” That thought then melded into, “WTF?” He could pinch-hit for Nunez with Jorge Posada or Chris Dickerson and then use Ramiro Pena for defense if he didn’t want to use Chavez.” The defensive upgrade alone by replacing Nunez with a warm body makes it the smart move. Instead, Nunez, who’s hit .236/.288/.312 since the All Star Break over 172 PA, grounded out on the second pitch of his PA, shocking probably one person on the planet. Maybe two if you count Binder™ as a sentient being, and the Yankees didn’t score.
It gets better though.
In Nunez’s very next PA, Girardi PINCH HIT FOR HIM WITH ERIC CHAVEZ. If you were willing to do it in the 10th inning with two outs and the bases empty, why wouldn’t you have done it in the eighth inning with the go-ahead run on 2B and one out?
Anyway, it was a crappy game and a tough one to lose given the fact that both Tampa Bay and Boston had lost earlier. So I guess in that sense it was a fitting ending to a crappy road trip that saw the Yankees lose 4 of 7 games when they could probably have put away Boston in the AL East for good.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Banged-up third baseman Alex Rodriguez may not return to the starting lineup until week’s end, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
With an off-day on Thursday, Girardi said before tonight’s game against the Seattle Mariners that he may wait to play Rodriguez, who is feeling the effects of a lingering thumb injury.
Since rushing him back into the lineup hasn’t worked, how about erring on the side of caution this time? At least we’ve got Eric Chavez and Nun-E in lieu of Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa this year.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
BOSTON—CC Sabathia had no worries about his inability to beat the Red Sox in four previous starts against them this year, noting that he’d done it before and promised to do it again.
The ace left-hander made good on that, firing a season-high 128 pitches and striking out 10 batters as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 5-2, on Tuesday at Fenway Park.
It’s rarely pretty when the Yankees and Red Sox play, but I’ll take a win every time.
CC really had to labor tonight, although he didn’t have the greatest strike zone to work with, but he was good enough to hold Boston to two runs over six innings. I thought Girardi should have pulled Sabathia after five, but it worked out I guess. That doesn’t mean it was the right decision, but whatever.
That plus three scoreless out of the pen was enough for the Yankees to pick up their third win in 13 tries against Boston this year. The Yankee offense was mostly from Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez, who combined for seven of the nine Yankee hits on the evening, with an assist from Francisco Cervelli, who hit his second HR of the season, after setting a record last year for the highest OPS by a player in 300+ PA who failed to homer.
Monday, August 8, 2011
BOSTON—A proud Yankees career may be coming to a very quiet end, on the bench.
Jorge Posada, who has been a substantial part of five World Series championship teams, was dropped from the Yankees’ starting lineup on Sunday night. It is unclear when, or if, he might return to his primary 2011 role as the club’s designated hitter.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi spoke with Posada on Sunday and told the veteran that he would no longer serve as the regular DH. Girardi said he could not promise when Posada will next start.
I’ve got mixed feelings on this. Posada’s been such an important Yankee for such a long time that it’s rough to see him struggling the way he has almost all season. I had hoped he’d have a strong year at DH freed from the rigors of catching and augment a career that should be Hall of Fame worthy. As bad as he’s looked at times this season, I am still not sure he doesn’t have something left in him.
That’s the fan in me. The realist in me understands that the Yankees have essentially gotten replacement level production out of DH, and that a player on the roster who cannot play any position, is a bad baserunner and hasn’t hit much really should be on the roster. The Yankees are effectively using a 24 man roster, and that’s compounded by having 13 pitchers. So that limits their flexibility by quite a bit.
For now they can probably rotate their starters through DH and/or use a platoon of Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez. While the prospect of calling up Jesus Montero seems intriguing, I don’t think he fits with the current roster. They could demote Francisco Cervelli to make room for him, but I don’t know how comfortable the Yankees would be with DHing their backup catcher on a regular basis. When things will start getting hairy is when Alex Rodriguez returns from the DL. I suppose the easy move at that time would be to option one of their spare pitchers down to the minors. I get the sense the Yankees won’t release Posada even if it’s the best move they can make.
To be honest, I’m fine with that. I don’t want to see Posada released. The Yankees just need to hold serve for three weeks, at which point rosters can expand and they won’t suffer from the lack of options carrying Posada on the roster may cause. They can give him spot duty and give the fans a chance to say goodbye. And who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise us by rebounding a bit and make himself a viable option again for some DH time.
If the Yankees fail to make the postseason at this point it won’t be because of Posada or the opportunity cost of carrying Posada.
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.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
CHICAGO—A.J. Burnett’s struggles made it interesting, but the Yankees’ offense eventually made it a blowout.
Behind their fourth double-digit-scoring game in less than two weeks, the Yankees won their sixth straight game at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night, dismantling the White Sox by a score of 18-7.
Their offensive onslaught saw Eric Chavez hit his first home run since May 11 of last year, Derek Jeter tie his career high with five hits, Mark Teixeira hit his first triple since 2009 and the first three hitters of the Yankees’ lineup combine to go 12-for-17 with 10 runs and seven RBIs.
We’ll have to wait at least one more start for Burnett’s first win as a Yankee in August.
Burnett joined a list of three other Yankee pitchers who allowed at least 13 hits while not completing five innings. So congratulations to him.
In happier news, since returning from the DL on July 4, Derek Jeter’s hitting .333/.380/.495.
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?
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.
“I’m about at wits end with recovery and therapy as I can get,” Chavez said yesterday while sitting in front of his locker at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “I’m just going to gasp for air these last few months and see what I got.”
This was two hours before Chavez would bat second and be the designated hitter for the Tampa Yankees against the Jupiter Hammerheads. It was a minor league game with major implications. This was not only the first game action for Chavez since breaking his left foot on May 5, it was also the first live action for high-priced reliever Rafael Soriano, who has been out since May 13 with an inflamed right elbow.
Turnips or radishes?
Sunday, July 17, 2011
TORONTO — Set-up man Rafael Soriano and infielder Eric Chavez could be coming back at just the right time for the Yankees. Soriano and Chavez are supposed to begin minor-league rehab assignments on Tuesday, an encouraging sign for a team that could use their services.
Great news. Chavez will hopefully be able to play at least five innings in his first game back before re-injuring himself. That may not seem like much, but it will probably save at least two Eduardo Nunez errors.
As for Soriano, I really want him back ASAP. The odds of him opting out of his mind-bogglingly asinine contract are about as slim as the odds of Derek Jeter hitting a ball into the outfield, but they will only get worse if he can’t pitch at all.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Team A vs. Team B
I’ve gotten the sense that Yankees lose the opener of every series at a percentage disproportional to their overall record, and so far that’s certainly happening. They’ve gone 12-14 in series openers and 31-17 in all other games. Despite that, as the numbers above show, it’s more of a statistical curiosity than anything else.
In other news, Yankees’ Phil Hughes has mixed results in second rehab start:
Hughes, who went on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation April 15, hit a high of 94 miles per hour on the radar gun, but was typically throwing his four-seam fastball between 90 and 92 mph.
Hughes felt his most effective pitch was his cut fastball, which he throws around 87 mph, while he struggled to get his curveball over for strikes. New Britain, the Twins’ Double-A affiliate, scored one run against Hughes, on three hits. Two of those hits were infield singles, but there were several hard-hit outs. Hughes struck out three, but only produced six swings-and-misses and struggled to put hitters away.
Looks like he’s still got a few more games of rehab ahead of him.
In other injury news, Soriano to see doc; Feliciano to throw.
Reliever Rafael Soriano is expected to see a doctor on Monday and hopes to get a clearer idea of when he can start throwing.
Take your time Soriano.
Joe Girardi also said that Pedro Feliciano, who has missed the entire regular season with a left rotator cuff strain, will play catch tomorrow.
Another left-handed specialist, Damaso Marte, will play catch on Monday. Marte is out indefinitely with left shoulder labrum inflammation. He had offseason shoulder surgery to correct the problem.
I would love to have a job where I was paid $4 million a year to play catch once every two months.
In other injury news, infielder Eric Chavez continues to work in the battting cage but still has not tested his foot injury by running on it. Chavez has been out since May 6 with a fractured left foot. He is on the 60-day disabled list.
Bold prediction: Chavez and Mark Prior will come off the DL on the same day which will be the equivalent of matter and anti-matter coming into contact with each other.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Trying to put 2011 Offense in Context
One of the things that’s made 2011 seem somewhat frustrating for me to watch at times this year is what appears to be poor performances by many of the key Yankee offensive players. Obviously there’s no way to spin Nick Swisher’s season as anything but awful, and Jorge Posada’s season long performance is lousy for a DH although there are signs of life lately.
The thing that I haven’t really gotten a good handle on is how the run environment of the 2011 AL has changed compared to the recent past and what that means as far as how we should look at player and team performance to this point.
Here are the AL league averages from 2009-2010 pro-rated to 2520 PA to match 2011.
The drop between 2009 and 2010 was bigger than the drop from 2010 to 2011 but it doesn’t feel like that to me. It looks like the drop from 2009 to 2011 can be attributed in equal parts to HRs and a drop in BABIP. On a league-wide level, a drop in BABIP is almost certainly more meaningful than a similar drop would be for an individual player or team. It could be due to changes in environment, or due to teams seeking new ways to improve their defense, or many other reasons. What I don’t know is if things will stay at this level through year-end.
I thought that adjusting the player’s lines to account for the change between 2009-2011 might give us get a better idea of how they’ve performed relative to their environment on a scale that matches more typical expectations. So I just multiplied all the component stats by their ratio of an average for 2009-10 compared to 2011.
Suddenly some of those lines look a bit better.
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.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Where Are The Yankees’ Missing Hits?
It’s not very likely that scoring eight runs without the benefit of a home run in last night’s seventh inning is going to quell the clowns who think the Yankees are eschewing hits for home runs and that they need to stop hitting the ball over the fence and instead hit more bleeders and bloops. They’ll cite a team batting average that ranks 11th in MLB while ignoring the fact that the Yankees have the second highest team wOBA in baseball(behind St. Louis) and the second-highest BB rate in MLB (tied with the Mets) despite only ranking 15th in strikeout rate. If they were really swinging for the fences on every pitch in a concerted effort to hit more HRs shouldn’t they be striking out more than that? Aren’t HRs a function of hitting the ball hard, and isn’t that what hitters should be doing?
Anyway, the primary culprit in the Yankees’ seeming inability to only score via the home run is their team’s batting average. Their team batting average on balls in play(BABIP) is at .274, which ranks among the worst in MLB (tied for third-worst with the Washington Nationals and worse than the Mariners). BABIP ignores home runs, so if you instead look at on-contact average they move up to 10th in MLB.
If you compare the team’s current cumulative batting line to their projections using the actual distribution of playing time so far, you can see what’s different from expectations.
As a team, the Yankees have 19 fewer hits than projected, mostly doubles. They’ve hit 13 more home runs than expected, and overall they’re actually about nine runs below their projections. The killer number here that has been driving me nuts this year are the double plays. The Yankees are tied for second in MLB at 48, with the Cardinals the runaway leader with 58. That’s partially a function of getting people on base. If you look at it in terms of percentage of times they’ve hit into a double play in double play situations they’re at 14.4% which only ranks 7th in MLB. That still doesn’t make it any less annoying.
So who are the culprits in the Yankees’ lower than expected batting average. You probably already have a good idea, but here you go.
Although readers of this blog for the most part understand that batting average isn’t very informative, when five of the nine regulars are lower than expected in hits per AB it contributes to our perception that the team is underperforming.
For all the stories regarding Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher is the Yankee who so far has been the worst performer relative to his projection once you account for playing time.
Even Jeter’s been worse than Posada by this measure, primarily since he’s getting the most PAs on the team. I think it’s time to put Gardner at the top against righties, although if all that does is move Jeter to second it’s pointless.
I think Swisher is the biggest issue the Yankees have right now. If Posada doesn’t start showing signs of life, they have internal options for DH. As disappointing as Jeter’s been this year, he’s the Yankees’ best option at shortstop right now. With Swisher, we know he’s got the ability to be a key contributor to the team, but we also have data in the not so distant past that he may just have a horrible season. I like Chris Dickerson as a fourth OF, but I don’t think I’d want to see him out there every day. If Andruw Jones was playing a bit better a Jones/Dickerson platoon might work, but I doubt they sit Swisher long-term. So let’s hope he gets better.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
New York stepped into Detroit for a four-game series against a Tigers club that was reeling after dropping six straight and came out with three consecutive losses.
The Yankees’ latest defeat, 6-3 on Thursday, led to their first three-game losing streak of the season and came about after A.J. Burnett ran into trouble late, Eduardo Nunez committed a critical throwing error and Tigers starter Rick Porcello continued to mow down a struggling offense.
Despite entering the sixth inning with a no-hitter, Burnett gave up his first run in the first inning and, then control in the seventh.
In addition to playing like complete crap for three straight games, the Yankees have lost Eric Chavez to a foot fracture. Even if by some miracle he comes back this season, he’ll get hurt again anyway so consider him done for the year.
The Yankees really should have split this series at the very least. Losing the Sabathia/Penny matchup in particular really looks like a wasted opportunity.
I’m sure they’ll do fine in Texas against a better team.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
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.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
The Yankees scored their first five runs on homers, including a two-run shot by Curtis Granderson, but it was Eric Chavez’s RBI single that beat the Rangers.
Kind of a rough one to watch at the start, as CC Sabathia wasn’t sharp and the Yankee offense was effectively MIA for the first half of the game, but it ended nicely. In addition to Granderson, Robinson Cano and Russell Martin homered, which means the Yankees have homered 27 times in their first 14 games. That’s apparently a new MLB record, although it’s solely due to playing in a disgraceful bandbox so make sure you put an asterisk next to it in your first 14 games record book.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Yankee BABIP vs. xBABIP through April 10, 2011
Using the methodology referenced in this article, here’s a comparison of the Yankees’ YTD BABIP (batting average on balls in play) compared to their expected BABIP.
br and xbr are actual and expected linear weights batting runs, not adjusted for position or compared to average/replacement level. dbr is just actual br minus xbr. A positive dbr means that a player’s current BABIP is probably higher than it should be, and vice versa.
The good news is that most of the team should probably be hitting a bit better than they have to this point. The bad news is that even if Derek Jeter’s been a bit unlucky so far, even if that corrects itself he still looks pretty bad.
Interesting fact. Jeter does NOT lead baseball in ground balls so far.
So far the ground ball title is Alcides Escobar’s to lose.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Yankee Position Players through April 4, 2011
wOBA: Weighted on-base average
BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: Linear weights batting runs above replacement level, adjusted for position
RS: Defensive runs saved compared to average
WAR: Wins above replacement (BRAR + RS divided by 10).
Just goofing around with my spreadsheets again and figured I’d put this up.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Looking Ahead To 2011 - Position Player Wrap-Up
With the bench looking settled now, I’ll buzz through the projections for Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez, Chris Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli and Gustavo Molina and summarize the team’s position players.
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
None of those projections inspires much confidence, except maybe Dickerson’s. In the context of a backup catcher there’s also nothing wrong with that Cervelli projection either I guess.
I suppose you can hope that better health lets Chavez exceed his projection, and that platooning lets Jones be a bit better on a rate basis, and that Nunez’s tools mean he can beat that projection, but really, the Yankees need their starters to stay reasonably healthy, which I think we already knew.
CAIRO has the Yankees projected as scoring around 821 runs, using this basic depth chart.
br are linear weights batting runs, and rs are estimated defensive runs saved compared to average. I’ve purposely set the bench to average because I don’t know that projecting defense for part-time players who may play multiple positions makes any sense. We can probably figure that Jesus Montero will be below average and that Eric Chavez should be decent.
The same depth chart with the other projection systems plus CAIRO average out to about 812 runs scored. That’s the second highest total projected runs scored in baseball behind Boston, and it’s the best total if you account for park. So barring major injury, the offense should do its part, which I think we already knew. I’ll include the defense with the pitching wrap-up.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Meet Your 2011 Opening Day Yankee Bench
By way of Chad Jennings at Lohud
Justin Maxwell and Ramiro Pena optioned to Triple-A.
Jesus Montero and Doug Bernier assigned to Triple-A.
Austin Romine assigned to Double-A.
Ronnie Belliard released.
Romulo Sanchez’s contract sold to a team in Japan.
Eric Chavez added to the 40-man.
So it looks like Gustavo Molina will back up Russell Martin until Francisco Cervelli returns. Molina doesn’t look like he’ll be any better than awful, but if the Yankees didn’t see enough out of Montero to justify him starting the year in the majors, I am not going to get that upset about it.
So you’re looking at a bench of Andruw Jones, Eric Chavez, Molina, and Eduardo Nunez to start the year, with Chris Dickerson (if healthy) waiting in the wings should Curtis Granderson need to be DL’ed to start the year I guess.
I suppose this means I can’t put off my position player wrap-up any more, so look for that tomorrow.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Chavez, the former Gold Glove third baseman, is 8-for-17 in spring training games. Known for his defense at third base, Chavez has played at first base for the Yankees, making him an intriguing option as a backup corner infielder.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the only issue with Chavez remains health.
“He seems to be doing real well right now,” Girardi said. “There’s nothing that I’ve seen from him that would tell me he’s been hurt the last couple of years.”
There’s a Nick Johnson on line one Mr. Girardi.
Meanwhile, Nunez is off to a fast start in his attempt to win a job as the Yankees’ utilityman, going 6-for-21 in spring. Today, Nunez hit a three-run homer, his first of the exhibition season, in the Yankees’ 7-1 home victory against the Phillies.
“I think I have a good chance,” Nunez said. “I’m working hard.”
So much for Ronnie Belliard…
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Chavez, now 33, will try to make this year’s Yankees as a backup to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. He has played only 64 games over the past three years and may have considered retiring before this season if his back and shoulder hadn’t improved and a rash of teams hadn’t called his agent expressing interest.
“I didn’t know going into the offseason what my options would be or who would be interested,” Chavez said. “Once teams started calling and we started talking about doing some workouts, more interest came in and that really started to motivate me. It really changed my mind into coming back and at least getting a change of scenery from Oakland and seeing what I can do.”
Take the under.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Yankees agreed to terms with veteran infielders Eric Chavez and Ronnie Belliard on Minor League contracts that include invitations to Spring Training, WFAN Radio in New York reported via Twitter on Friday.
Here are their projections.
I think Chavez’s projection is a little too optimistic as far as playing time. I also don’t know if he can even play 3B anymore with all the injuries and surgeries he’s had. It’s doubtful he has anything left at this point, but he may be able to help as a bat off the bench that can play 3B and possibly 1B and the OF corners, if he can stay healthy. HA.
OK, I admit I adjusted the PA in that projection to amuse myself. Here is his range of projections using a weighted average of his playing time over the last four seasons (187 PA).
Chavez will be 34 during the season, for whatever that’s worth.
Belliard has primarily been a 2B in his career, although he’s seen a fair amount of time at 3B and 1B over the last few seasons. He’s been about an average defender at 2B, but not quite so good elsewhere. Belliard had a pretty bad year in 2010 hitting .216/.295/.327 for the Dodgers and at age 36, he may be at the end of the line, but as an NRI being looked at for a possible bench role, I don’t have a problem with rolling the dice on him. If his projection is accurate he’d be about a league average hitter. That projection is actually better than Willy Aybar’s, who I’ve been touting for a while. Belliard almost certainly can’t handle SS aside from an emergency situation, but he looks like a potentially solid backup at 1B, 2B and 3B.
If Belliard does make the team, the Yankees will probably still want to carry a better defensive SS on the bench, which probably means Ramiro Pena or Eduardo Nunez.
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