Have a nice trip back

June 10, 2012 | 54 comments | in Featured | by SJK


That’s not a knife

June 10, 2012 | 36 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

THAT’s a knife…..and Brett Gardner looks like he’s about to go under it.

Daily News:

Brett Gardner, on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, had a setback and is scheduled to visit two more orthopedists next week as the Yankees try to figure out why the injury is lingering.

Gardner will see Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday and will go to Cininnati Thursday to see Dr. Tim Kremchek. He is seeing Kremchek at the request of his agent.

Gardner woke up with pain Saturday and Joe Girardi admitted, “There’s concern we’re not going to have him for awhile.”

If Gardner ends up having Tommy John surgery or something else that keeps him out for the remainder of the season, it’s a big loss.

2010-2011 WAR (courtesy of Fangraphs):

Robinson Cano: 12.1
Brett Gardner: 11.3
Curtis Granderson: 10.5
Alex Rodriguez: 8.0
Nick Swisher: 7.9
Mark Teixeira: 7.5
Derek Jeter: 5.0

And for those of you instantly revert to the “Mother’s Basement” comment when you see a stat you don’t understand, think about it logically. Gardner provides elite defense, gets on base, steals lots of bases — all qualities which can certainly diversify the Yankees’ ability to win games.


June 8, 2012 | 30 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Tango down.

Agent to NoMaas: “MLB teams should be embarrassed about how they treat seniors.”

June 8, 2012 | 23 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

With limited spending pools imposed by the new CBA, one of the clear themes that emerged from the draft was teams drafting college seniors, particularly in rounds 6-10, so that they could:

a. Save money for later rounds
b. Not lose the money allocated to those picks (if a team doesn’t sign a player selected in the first 10 rounds, they lose that money to spend)

We just spoke with a player agent who were are very close with. He had 4 players selected in the just-completed MLB draft. According to him, college seniors are being offered to eat corn the long way.

For example, a particular National League team selected a college pitcher in the 10th round. According to the new CBA, that round is a $125,000 slot. The National League team gave this pitcher $5,000. Thus, that team saved $120,000 that they can now allocate elsewhere, and because they technically signed their 10th round pick, they don’t lose the money. This agent has seen a couple senior signings in the $25,000 range, but that’s the high-end of offers!

In other words, college seniors are being used as draft fodder in an attempt to game the system. It’s so blatant that this agent told us “MLB teams should be embarrassed about how they treat seniors.

He elaborated too, saying that while college seniors never had leverage, the offers were “fairer” in previous years. For example, in the last two drafts, it wasn’t unusual to see college seniors with $40,000-$45,000 bonuses. With the new CBA rules, teams are looking to save money at every opportunity, and the offers to college seniors are much lower this year.

While anyone could make a valid argument that this is a smart strategy employed by teams, it certainly isn’t the most ethical move.

Oh well, we wanted to bring you this information direct from a NoMaasian source. And speaking of NoMaasian sources, we had a conversation today with Yankees Senior VP Mark Newman about the draft. We’ll be posting that interview on Sunday night.

Ivan Nova predicts the Yankees will soon be in first place

June 6, 2012 | 43 comments | in Featured | by SJK

8 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 ER (hope you bought low)

I sense the Yankees now have the best run differential in the AL East: +33

Hey Joe Maddon, I got your shift right here

June 5, 2012 | 51 comments | in Featured | by SJK

3-4, Grand Slam — basically his first good game of the year

Andy Pettitte is a bad man

June 5, 2012 | 50 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Louis Winthorpe III

35.2 IP, 32 K, 7 BB, 29 H, 2.78 ERA

The strikeouts are what’s most amazing. He takes a year off and comes back averaging 8.18 K/9 over his first five starts — this from a guy with a career 6.6 K/9. Remarkable.

Slinging it better than ever.

The Yankees and first round picks — a spotty record

June 5, 2012 | 43 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

For those who follow the Yankees’ farm system, the draft is always a source of instant knee-jerk reaction. However, you can learn a lot from history, so here’s some perspective on how the Yankees’ recent first round picks have panned out.

2005 – CJ Henry
2006 – Ian Kennedy
2006 – Joba Chamberlain
2007 – Andrew Brackman
2008 – Gerritt Cole
2008 – Jeremy Bleich
2009 – Slade Heathcott
2010 – Cito Culver
2011 – Dante Bichette Jr

Since the Brackman draft, the Yankees’ first round picks have all arguably disappointed (with one exception). Cole didn’t sign. Bleich hasn’t pitched since 2010 due to shoulder surgery. Heathcott has had two shoulder surgeries and hasn’t played since last season. It’s still very early for the 19-year old Cito Culver, but he hasn’t shown the ability to hit the baseball at any level (.244/.329/.317 in 772 PAs). The only exception so far has been Dante Bichette Jr, who killed it in his first professional season (.335/.440/.507).

In all fairness, this track record is likely typical of any team that drafts as low as the Yankees do each year (due to regular season big league success). Due to draft position, the elite talents are already gone by the time they pick. Still, many of us get excited about these first round picks, but unfortunately, most of them haven’t worked out. Sorry to rain on the parade.

Yankee first round picks typically end up sucking, waaahh, waaahhhhhhhhh

The newest baby bomber

June 4, 2012 | 20 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

With the 30th pick in the 1st round, the Yankees selected 6’4″ right-handed high school pitcher Ty Hensley from Edmond, Oklahoma.

Here’s some video:

And it’s worth remembering, when we interviewed Yankees SVP Mark Newman in November about how the new Collective Bargaining Agreement would affect the Yankees’ draft, he said this:

SJK: Back to this big market-small market argument again, if you look at spending in drafts, the small market teams dish out the most money. Granted, some of this is due to landing the top picks of the draft which demand higher bonuses, but they still have gone over-slot in other rounds. The argument is that the new rules will limit the aggressiveness of small-market teams who can’t compete with teams like the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to free agency.

MN: Well, those teams are still going to draft high. They will have more money allocated to them to pay. We’ve been declawed. We don’t have the ability to pay over-slot now. Our ability to respond creatively to the landscape has been reduced.

SJK: Do you think these new rules essentially eliminate “signability” cases?

MN: Certainly. I think they’ll severely limit the amount of players who fall in the draft. At the same time, we’ll have a better understanding of all this in two years. There’s a whole bunch of TBD [to be determined]. There will be a lot of trial and error in how we respond to the new environment. Everybody will try to game the system. Nothing wrong with that, that’s competition.

SJK: Do you think the draft will start to look more like the NBA and NFL drafts, where the perceived talent level decreases with each pick?

MN: Yes, the perceived talent level will more closely follow the order of the draft. Now, of course, the key is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and nowhere is that more true than in baseball. There will always be opportunity to evaluate more accurately. Our guys aren’t obviously going right to the NFL and NBA. In baseball, there is more room for projection and more room for error.

You can re-read that interview in its entirety here. And here’s a list of how much each team can spend in the first 10 rounds.

We’ll be talking to Mark Newman when the draft is over to see how it all actually played out.

Welcome to your new room, kid*.

*assuming he signs.

Minor League Players of the Week, The ‘Tyler Austin does it again’ edition

June 3, 2012 | 9 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

– Covering May 28th – June 3rd games —

Adam Warren, 24, RHP, AAA
13.1 IP, 12 K, 3 BB, 12 H, 2 ER, 1 HR
Notable: June 3rd start was a complete game shutout (7 IP – 1st game of double-header

Over the last year, Adam Warren’s name has always been mentioned as one of the three pitchers who would give the big club depth at the back end of the rotation (David Phelps and DJ Mitchell being the other two). He auditioned in spring training and was ultimately sent back to AAA.

Up until this past week, this season has not been kind to Warren. His ERA finally went below 5.00 after these last two starts (now at 4.33). However, what’s peculiar about Warren’s season is that his strikeouts and walk rates (6.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9) are identical to his 2011 AAA numbers. In 2011, he had an ERA of 3.60 and FIP of 4.05.

The difference this year is the big increase in hits he’s allowing. He’s gone from 8.6 H/9 in 2011 to 11.7 H/9 in 2012. One of the main culprits looks to be a career-high BABIP of .348. The highest BABIP he’s had at any stop in the minors was .309 (at AA). So, Warren’s either experienced so bad luck or he’s getting tattooed. Without batted ball data, it’s tough to tell…but that BABIP seems abnormally high.

Tyler Austin, 20, RHB COF/1B/3B, A
.555/.636/.851 in 33 PAs (6 BB, 2 SB)
Notable: Went 5-for-5 with a 2B, 3B, BB, and SB on May 28th!

We’ve had seven editions of MLPW so far this season, and Charleston Riverdogs OF Tyler Austin has won three of them. We’ve said it already, and we’ll say it again: he’s the best hitter in the organization. He had 15 hits this past week, and now has a line of .333/.409/.671 on the season. He’s also stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts.

Austin leads the South Atlantic League in HRs (14), SLG, and OPS.

Honorable Mentions:

DJ Mitchell, 25, RHP, AAA
6 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 5 H, 3 ER

4.42 ERA, but 3.52 FIP

Vidal Nuno, 24, LHP, AA
7 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 0 ER

Recently promoted to AA

Gary Sanchez, 19, RHB C, A
.413/.452/1.034 in 31 PAs

Would have won if not for Austin, 5 HRs on the week

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