Price reduction

April 17, 2014 | 9 comments | in Featured | by SJK

David Price NoMaas Yankees Reduction Rays
Allowed 6 of the Yankees 10 runs

An offensive explosion by the Bombers with extra base hits galore:

Ellsbury: 2-4, 3B
Lord Derek: 2-4, 2B, BB
Soriano: 3-5, HR
McCann: 2-5, HR
Solarte: 3-5, HR, 2B (and started a triple play)
Sizemore: 1-3, 2B
Roberts: 3-5, 3B, 2B

P.S. How about the timing on our “Chill Out About Sabathia” article? — 7 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 7 H, 1 ER, 8 Groundouts vs. 5 Flyouts

P.S.S Good job by Girardi leaving Betances in the game after he walked two in the 8th. The Yankees had a 99% probability of winning the game at that point (score was 8-2 at the time), so it made no sense to pull him. Instead, Betances gained experienced and rebounded with a solid 9th inning.

Your annual “Chill out about Sabathia” reminder

April 17, 2014 | 8 comments | in Living in Mom's Basement | by Vizzini

Yes, Sabathia turns 34 this year.

Yes, he is 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA.

Yes, his velocity is still down and it’s never coming back to where was a couple years ago.

Yes, he had a terrible 2013 season.

But you know what, I don’t care. Sabathia will be fine, and here’s why:

1. It’s April.

ERA over the first three starts of a season is not something to concern yourself with. This is certainly true for Sabathia. CC’s career ERA in April is 4.17, compared to his career ERA of 3.62.

In 2012, he finished April with a 4.58 ERA, but wound up finishing the season with a 3.38 ERA. This is a man with a well-established reputation as a slow starter. Like most brown bears, it takes him a little while to shake off the effects of hibernation.

From NoMaas 2010

Whether this is actually predictive or just a remnant of statistical variance, let it serve as a reminder that Sabathia is very capable of rebounding from a poor April ERA.

Sabathia’s velocity is a real concern. His average fastball fell from 92.4 in 2012 to 91.3 in 2013. Early on this year, it sits at an alarming 89.8. If it stays that way all year, Sabathia may struggle to be above-average. However, his fastball is similarly plodding to 2013. It rebounded after April and steadily climbed to a serviceable level into the summer.

2. A pitcher’s job is to get strikeouts, avoid walks, and keep the ball on the ground.

These are the three things that a pitcher directly impacts the most, and Sabathia is doing all three expertly.

He is striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings, walking only 1.4 per 9, and getting groundballs on 56% of his balls in play. There are only a small handful of starters who are doing better in all three categories (Tanaka being one of them). His 2.41 xFIP say he’s already doing what he needs to do to be successful.

3. Pitchers have little control over variation in their BABIP, LOB%, and HR/FB.

When a pitcher’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play), LOB% (percent of baserunners left stranded), and HR/FB (home runs per fly ball) rates deviate significantly from the league average in a small sample of innings, you can bet on them regressing back towards that average over the long run.

The average number for those metrics are about .300, 70%, and 10%. Sabathia has a normal BABIP at .308. However, he has managed to strand only 58% of the base runners he’s allowed. That in turn is largely thanks to a ridiculous small sample size HR/FB rate of 39%. Yankee Stadium is a tough place to keep the ball in the park, but you can safely say that anything over a 12% HR/FB is just not going to last very long.


Sabathia’s age and drop in velocity is meaningful. We shouldn’t expect him to put up the innings and ERA from his incredible 2006-2012 run. But, his skills show that he’s not that far off. As pitchers age, they all lose velocity. Yet, great pitchers like C.C. can learn to pitch without blowing the heater by a hitter.  Sabathia is going to be a comfortably better-than-average pitcher the rest of the way.

Backside of the rotation looking good

April 17, 2014 | 5 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Michael Pineda Backside NoMaas YAnkees
6 IP, 3 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 0 ER — ERA on the season drops to 1.00

Tanaka gives us movement

April 16, 2014 | 6 comments | in Featured | by SJK

8 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER vs the Cubbies

Now 28 K in 22 IP / 2.05 ERA / 2.04 FIP / 1.90 xFIP

Per ESPN STATS & INFO, Tanaka is only the 2nd pitcher in the last 100 years to register at least 8 strikeouts in his first 3 MLB starts (Stephen Strasburg)

We’re traveling today, so we don’t have photoshop access — but it’s safe to say that when we watched Tanaka on Wednesday, we’re pretty sure that…

It moved!

The Yankees 2-week MVP

April 16, 2014 | 10 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Q: Who has been the most valuable Yankee over the first 13 games of the season?

A: Kelly Johnson with a team-leading WAR of 0.6, per Fangraphs.

Rather amazing.

You can find the full Yankees’ leaderboard here.

The Coif speaks

April 15, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Daily News – Hal Steinbrenner on the club’s infield:

Drew, who played shortstop last year for the world champion Red Sox, remains unsigned. Asked if he would ever be willing to spend the money for a player like Drew – a client of super agent Scott Boras – Steinbrenner said, “I will always analyze options.”

“That’s my job, throughout the course of the whole year. It never ends,” added Steinbrenner. “Guys like (Dean) Anna and (Yangervis) Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson’s been good. Derek (Jeter) has been healthy. I’m pretty content with our infield right now.”

The House That Sergio Agüero Built

April 15, 2014 | 7 comments | in Stadio delle Taxpayers | by SJK

NY Times on the new MLS team co-owned by the Yankees and Manchester City FC:

New York City F.C., a team that will enter Major League Soccer next year, will play its first three seasons at Yankee Stadium, according to two people familiar with the team’s plans.

The Yankee Stadium solution is a temporary reprieve; the team must find a site for a permanent home and construct it, and the three-year commitment at Yankee Stadium could be a hint at how difficult that might be.

After community opposition derailed plans for a stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park last year, the Yankees turned their attention to a site near Yankee Stadium. In August, the Yankees’ president, Randy Levine, said the team was in negotiations for a nine-acre parcel between the Major Deegan Expressway and East 153rd Street that could accommodate a 25,000-to-30,000-seat stadium with connections to subways and rail lines.

But the team has announced no progress since then, and with the 2015 season less a year away, the announcement of a temporary home will buy the club some time.

MLS and MLB share the same calendar…so ’bout that grass tho?

When Manchester City and Chelsea played an exhibition at the Stadium in 2013, temporary grass was installed over the infield dirt for the soccer game.

But that game was a single match played during an eight-game Yankees trip, not a full schedule — currently 34 games for M.L.S. teams — that would require repeated installation and removal of the grass, and result in far more wear and tear on the rest of the playing surface.

And don’t forget our prediction that the Steinbrenners will eventually sell the team to Manchester City, whose owner makes Hal look like…well, the rest of us. In fact, Manchester City pays its players a higher average salary than any other professional sports team in the world, surpassing both the Yankees and Dodgers.

And if you’re wondering who Sergio Agüero is…

If this player was a stock, you’d sell him right now

April 15, 2014 | 12 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Off to a blistering .421/.421/.474 (157 wRC+) start, after three consecutive very poor offensive seasons

However, assisting that stat line is the 4th-highest BABIP in the majors at a whopping 57.1% — meaning when he puts the ball in play, he’s reaching base 57% of the time!

This player is Ichiro, who the Yankees were trying to trade during the offseason.


Minor League Players of the Week, The “Revise Your Top 100 lists” edition

April 14, 2014 | 6 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Covering April 7th – April 13th games

Danny Burawa, 25, RHP, AAA
4 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER
Notable: Was a longshot candidate to make the big league bullpen out of spring training

The Yankees are reportedly high on Burawa, as the Long Island native can ramp his fastball to as high as 98 mph. Here’s what Baseball America had to say on him before last year’s Rule 5 draft (he was not selected by another team):

He sported a fastball that sat in the 92-97 mph range and sat comfortably at 95 on most nights while featuring average sink. He couples that with an inconsistent, sweepy, 83-86 mph slider that he tends to cast and a show-me changeup that sits between 83-87 mph.

The 2010 draft pick (St. John’s) pitched 66 innings at Double-A Trenton last season, after missing 2012 with a torn oblique and broken rib. He had a 2.59 ERA, but walked way too many hitters at 5.7 BB/9. He obviously needs to correct that, and reportedly tinkered with his delivery towards the end of 2013 in an effort to reduce the walks. In four appearances in Triple-A this season, he’s only walked 1 in 5 innings, while striking out nine.

If he can show real improvement with his control, he’s someone who could eventually see time this year in the bigs or be used as a trade bait, as teams like power bullpen arms.

Peter O’Brien, 23, RHB C/3B/RF, A+
.375/.375/.833 in 24 PA
Notable: 3 HR on the week

Peter O’Brien was all over MLPW last season, and we highlighted him in March as a minor leaguer to watch in 2014. The 2011 3rd round draft pick had a big campaign last season, hitting .325/.394/.619 (181 wRC+) at Low-A Charleston, and was then promoted to High-A Tampa where he hit .265/.314/.486 (122 wRC+).

He’s off to a tremendous start this year at Tampa, raking to a .343/.378/.743 line.

In addition to his hitting, O’Brien is versatile and we don’t know exactly what the Yankees are doing with him position-wise. He was drafted as a catcher, and played as a catcher until he was promoted to Tampa in 2013. Upon his promotion, he bumped into Gary Sanchez, who is the Yankees’ marquee catching prospect, and was subsequently moved to third base for 38 games.

In 2014, and Sanchez now at Double-A, O’Brien has resumed his catching duties, manning the plate in 7 games. However, he’s also played two in right field, which is brand new for him — but no third base so far. An unusual pattern…

Wherever he ends up position-wise, if he keeps hitting like he has, he’s sure to end up on the Top 100 prospect lists.

Honorable Mentions:

Rafael De Paula, 23, RHP, A+
5 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

Had a huge year at Low-A in 2013, but struggled at High-A

Eric Wooten, 24, LHP, A+
6 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 0 ER

He’s been great since the Yankees signed him last year out of the independent leagues

Evan Rutckyj, 22, LHP, A+
3 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 H, 0 ER

Being used as a reliever after starting for the majority of his pro career

Luis Severino, 20, RHP, A
2.2 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 0 ER

2012 international free agent signing, first year of full season ball

Mark Montgomery, 23, RHP, AAA
4 IP, 5 K, 2 BB, 3 H

Once highly compared to D-Rob, it’s a make-or-break season

Pat Venditte, 28, SHP, AA
3.2 IP, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

Pitches with both arms, missed most of 2013 with shoulder surgery

Angelo Gumbs, 21, RHB 2B, A+
.416/.416/.417 in 24 PA

2010 2nd round pick who really needs to show some life at the plate this year

Dante Bichette Jr, 21, RHB 3B, A+
.278/.458/.444 in 24 PA

Extremely important year as he repeated Low-A in 2013 with poor results, .623 OPS

Eric Jagielo, 21, LHB 3B, A+
.308/.333/.615 in 27 PA

2013 first round pick, skipped right over Low-A, 2 HR on week

Gary Sanchez, 21, RHB C, AA
.450/.521/.600 in 23 PA

Consensus top prospect in NYY system, off to a .353/.450/.588 start

Ramon Flores, 22, LHB LF/RF, AAA
.285/.444/.476 in 27 PA

On Yanks 40-man roster, 4th-youngest player in the International League (AAA)

Zoilo Almonte, 24, SHB LF/RF, AAA
.318/.375/.455 in 24 PA

Looking to make his way back to the bigs

Manny Watch…

Manny Banuelos, 23, LHP, A+
6 IP, 8 K, 0 BB, 4 H, 0 ER

Yanks starting him off slowly in High-A Tampa, will eventually head to Triple-A

Behind Beltran and great D, Yanks take 3 of 4 from small market Red Sox

April 14, 2014 | 6 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Carlos Beltran NoMaas Yankees Masters Golf Bubba Watson
Masterful: 3-4, 2-run HR, 2B, 1B

And we were reminded how saving runs leads to victory, as the Yankees OF flexed some serious defensive muscles:

1. RUN BMG threw out Jackie Bradley Jr at home in the top of the 2nd
2. Jacoby Ellsbury covered a ton of ground throughout the game.
3. Ichiro made this catch in the top of the 8th:

This isn’t the first time Ichiro has robbed Shrek.

Yankees Ticket Exchange

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