Did Seattle know?

April 26, 2012 | 51 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Mariners.com:

One of the biggest stories likely to come out of this is whether the Mariners had any idea of Pineda’s injury, and therefore were compelled to pull the trigger on the trade.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik spoke to ESPNNewYork.com soon after the word of Pineda’s season-ending injury got out and refuted those claims.

“Absolutely not,” Zduriencik told ESPNNewYork.com. “None, whatsoever. Before the trade, he was going to be our No. 2 starter … “I feel bad. We love Michael Pineda. He’s a great kid. This is very unfortunate.”

What do you think?

Uh oh

April 25, 2012 | 100 comments | in Featured | by SJK

From Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger:

Yankees pitching prospect Michael Pineda has an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder that will end the 23-year-old right-hander’s season, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said today.

In announcing the news to reporters this afternoon, Cashman said he was “devastated.”

Cashman said he believes the tear occurred on the final pitch of Pineda’s extended spring training start on Saturday. An MRI on Pineda’s shoulder administered this offseason, prior to the trade that brought Pineda to the Yankees, did not show any damage, Cashman said, though small labral tears are not visible on MRIs.

“We got a healthy player to the best of everybody’s knowledge,” said Cashman, who noted that Pineda’s rotator cuff is fine.



Kuroda commits harakiri

April 25, 2012 | 44 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III


Darvish kills Kuroda’s best outing.

So far, they’re the best team in baseball

April 23, 2012 | 39 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini

Beneath the W-L record, let’s see how things are really going for the Yankees (numbers as of the end of the hilarious Red Sox series)…

Offense

The Yankees are tied with the Rangers for the highest team wOBA in baseball at .374. That number won’t last for very long for either team, but all the offensive numbers are auspicious. They have tallied the .374 wOBA with a .294 BABIP. The Rangers have gotten there with a much more fortunate .334 BABIP. There’s a huge dropoff to the next best team — the Cardinals have a .353 wOBA (and a .326 BABIP).

When it comes to managing the strike zone, the Yankees are dominating. They have the 4th-highest walk rate (10.4%) and the lowest strikeout rate (14%). They are making pitchers throw strikes, and then they are crushing those pitches — their .209 ISO is good for the highest mark in the league.

On the basepaths, the Yankees have generated a league-leading 3.1 baserunning runs.

Pitching

The broadcasters will tell you the Yankees pitching has been a problem. They look at the 4.36 ERA (21st) and see a struggling staff. You read NoMaas, so you know stats with greater predictive power and know the arms doing just fine.

The Yankees are striking out more batters (9.37 K/9) than any other team. They are holding their own on walks with a 2.97 BB/9 rate (13th), though there is room for improvement. Specifically, they would improve if Rafael “Levine” Soriano would stop walking a batter every inning and if Joe Girardi would cease issuing intentional walks. The 7 IBBs Girardi has issued is second only to that great baseball genius and political thinker, Ozzie Guillen.

The Yankees go into the last week of April with a 3.49 xFIP (5th). That looks even better when you compare them to the other teams in the more difficult American League — their team xFIP is 26% better than the AL average, 2nd only to the White Sox. Another very predictive metric is the ERA estimator SIERRA. The Yankees have the 3rd-best SIERRA at 3.22.

The good news should keep rolling in as hopefully Freddy Garcia is eventually replaced by Andy Pettitte. If Michael Pineda can get back on the field at some point this season, the Yankees are likely to be one of the most dominant pitching teams in MLB,

Fielding

Okay, maybe not everything is so rosy. The Yankees are in dead last with an unsightly -19.6 UZR/150. Things could get worse before they get better as Brett Gardner is on the DL, and Girardi is insisting on using Ibanez and the atrocious Eduardo Nunez in the field. Three reasons for hope though:

1) Regression: All these stats suffer from small sample sizes, but UZR/150 requires a much bigger sample than any metric mentioned above. It is not a reliable indicator of the Yankees’ true talent level and it is a very safe bet that the number will regress upwards.

2) Talent: The Yankees were one of the better defensive teams last year (6th in UZR/150). Every starter from that team is back out on the field this year.

3) Personnel Moves: Gardner’s return from the DL means the Yankees get to plug the big league’s best defender back into the lineup. On the flip side, The Binder has not yet informed Joe Girardi that Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez are attrocious defensive players who struggle with the basic actions of catching and throwing a baseball. If it ever does tell Girardi, we should eventually see more time given to Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones. Let’s hope The Binder comes to its senses and does the right thing.

All in all, the Yankees are looking like the best team in baseball.

Rick Sutcliffe offers solution to Red Sox woes

April 23, 2012 | 23 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

During Monday’s ESPN broadcast of Yankees-Rangers, Rick Sutcliffe offered his solution to the poor play plaguing the Boston Red Sox.

“They need to get Jason Varitek back in that clubhouse, somehow, some way.”

You can’t make this sh*t up.

Jeter leads thumping of Rangers

April 23, 2012 | 59 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Another 4 hits for Derek, now hitting .411/.436/.644



Minor League Players of the Week, v2 – The ‘Betances WTF’ edition

April 22, 2012 | 17 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

– The second edition of 2012, covering April 16th – April 22 games –

Pitcher:
DJ Mitchell, 24, RHP, AAA
8 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR
Notable: 2.12 ERA over 17 IP, 3.08 FIP

One of the three pitchers who was reportedly in the running for the long relief spot out of Spring Training (which went to David Phelps), Mitchell went eight innings and allowed only two hits versus Rochester (Triple-A for the Twins). The soon-to-be 25-year old (in May) really has nothing left to prove in the minors.

As we’ve remarked several times in the past few months, Mitchell’s future with the Yankees looks very limited, especially with the additions of Pineda and Pettitte pushing him further down the depth chart. In fact, Phelps would still be in AAA if if weren’t for injuries. However, with Pineda being shut down and poor performances by Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes, Mitchell may have a glimmer of hope of cracking the Bronx.

Hitter:
Gary Sanchez, 19, RHB C, A
454/.478/.636 in 23 PAs
Notable: 4 2B, 1 BB, 3 SBs

The heir to the Montero throne, Sanchez logged 10 hits on the week, including four doubles. He also stole 3 bases, and get this…they all came in one game. In fact, he’s stolen 5-for-5 on the season (career-high), in addition to hitting .356/.414/.458 in 55 PAs.


Honorable Mentions:

Jose Campos, 19, RHP, A
11 IP, 12 K, 2 BB, 12 H, 3 ER, 0 HR

Two more impressive starts from other piece in the Montero deal, 23 K / 5 BB in 22 IP for the season

Nik Turley, 22, LHP, A+
12.1 IP, 14 K, 4 BB, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 HR

Another solid week for the lefty. 27 K / 9 BB in 23.1 IP for the season

Pedro Guerra, 22, RHP, A
3 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 HR

6 appearances in 2012, 14 K / 2 BB in 10 IP

Tyler Austin, 20, RHB COF/1B/3B, A
.333/.384/.625 in 26 PAs (2 2B, 3B, HR, 2/2 SBs)

Last week’s MLPW winner just hits

Abe Almonte, 22, SHB OF, AA
.333/.419/.555 in 31 PAs (2B, 3B, HR, 3/4 SBs)

First season at AA, hitting .262/.318/.443

In the ‘I’m Losing My Prospect Status’ Category…

Dellin Betances, 24, RHP, AAA
9 IP, 7 K, 10 BB, 10 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 0 HR

17 BB in 17.1 IP this season

Boston’s prayers answered

April 22, 2012 | 54 comments | in Featured | by SJK



ESPN Boston:

“I think we’ve hit bottom,” Valentine said. “I told [the team] after the game, ‘You have to sometimes hit bottom.’ If this isn’t bottom, we’ll find some new ends to the earth, I guess.”

They were also something less than stand-up in their response to the debacle, abdicating their leadership roles in favor of making a quick exit.

“I’ve got nothing for you guys,” Dustin Pedroia said as he dressed and hurried out of the clubhouse.

David Ortiz was just as anxious to leave, followed in short order by Adrian Gonzalez. “Not talking today,” Ortiz said as he put his hat on and walked away.

But Ortiz did offer one telling critique. “It’s [expletive] embarrassing. Put it down like that.”



So you’re saying there’s a chance

April 21, 2012 | 64 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Yanks come back from 9 runs down. Youkilis hit by Phelps. Bobby V booed by Fenway Fans.  Does it get any better?


3/6, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Busted

April 20, 2012 | 19 comments | in Featured | by SJK


Chavez blasted 2 of the 5 HRs off Laptop Thief

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