And the crowd goes crazy on the key strikeout

April 30, 2012 | 50 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Yankees up 2-1 in the 7th. Runners on 2nd and 3rd for the Orioles with 1 out. Kuroda on the mound. Baltimore’s Chris Davis at the plate. Two strikes. Kuroda really needs the strike out. He gets it! Strike three! The crowd goes wild!

Against the O’s, Yanks win rare low-scoring game

April 30, 2012 | 35 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Kuroda: 7 IP, 3 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 1 ER
Robertson: 1 IP, 3 K, 0 BB, 0 H, 0 ER, hitters had no chance
God: 1 IP, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 H, 0 ER

D-Rob’s absurd strikeout rate continues: 18 K in 11 IP

Minor League Players of the Week, v3

April 29, 2012 | 10 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

– The third edition of 2012, covering April 23rd – April 29th games –

Special congratulations to DJ Mitchell for getting the deserved call-up to the Bronx. Mitchell won our MLPW last week.

Brett Marshall, 22, RHP, AA
13.1 IP, 10 K, 3 BB, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 HR
Notable: 28.1 IP on the season / 23 hits allowed

Coming off an excellent season at Tampa in 2011 (3.24 FIP/3.78 ERA in 140 IP), Marshall put together two solid starts this week. Although he did let up three home runs, his 10:3 K/BB bodes well if he can keep that up. So far this season, his K/9 of 5.76 is a dip from what we usually see from the Texan, and he hasn’t pitched as well as his 3.85 ERA would suggest. Last year in A+ ball, he struck out 7.31 batters per nine innings. The 2008 6th round pick and NoMaas interviewee is certainly one of the guys we’ll be watching in Trenton.

Tyler Austin, 20, RHB COF/1B/3B, A
.280/.280/.920 in 25 PAs (1 2B, 5 HR!)
Notable: 7 hits on the week, 5 were home runs

It’s official. Tyler Austin is the best hitter in the Yankees’ organization. We’re making the call. He had 5 home runs this week, raising his total to 9 on the season, which leads the South Atlantic League (next closest guy has 5). He also leads the league in OPS (1.280) due to his monster slugging percentage of .877. Our Week 1 MLPW winner and recent interviewee is just killing the baseball.

Honorable Mentions:

Nik Turley, 22, LHP, A+
8 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 HR

If he keeps this up, you’ll start hearing his name more often.

Chase Whitley, 22, RHP, AAA
5 IP, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR

6 appearances at AAA, 11.2 IP, 9:2 K/BB, 1 MLPW Award

Rob Segedin, 23, RHB OF, A+
.416/.461/.666 in 26 PAs

Hitting .315/.374./.517 on the season

In the ‘Adding Insult to Injury on the Pineda Deal’ Category…

Jose Campos, 19, RHP, A
2.2 IP, 3 K, 3 BB, 7 H, 8 ER, 1 HR

His first poor start of the season

Introducing our new feature: Binder Says

April 29, 2012 | 72 comments | in Featured | by SJK

This. Is. Exciting.

We all know about The Binder. We all know about the power it possesses in influencing Joe Girardi’s decisions. So, for the rest of the season, we’ll be tracking some of the great things it tells Joe! Every week or whenever appropriate, we’ll update it. Audience participation is accepted!

To get us all going, here’s two.

Small sample size surprises

April 28, 2012 | 22 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini


As of 4/27 completed games

Robinson Cano’s plate discipline

His walk rate is currently at 9.2%, which is over 1% higher than his career year in 2010. Amazingly though, he’s only striking out 5.7% of the time.

We don’t know if Cano has made a conscious decision to swing at less pitches, but he’s keeping the bat on his shoulders much, much less than in years past. He’s only swung at 45.5% of pitches overall, and only 25.2% of pitches outside the strike zone. For his career, he’s swung at 35.6% of pitches outside the zone.

If he can come close to maintain this type of batting eye, he’s going to have a monster year going forward. He’s been the victim of a .274 BABIP (.320 career average), and we expect that to change soon.

The Derek Jeter Revival

Clearly stung by NoMaas criticism, the Derek Jeter is hitting .400/.429/.612. The man has done some incredible things in his career, and this late 30′s back-from-the-dead revival is as amazing as any of them, when you consider he OPS’d .683 in the first half of 2011.

So far this season, Derek is swinging at 50% of the pitches thrown to him, which is one of the highest levels of his career. Outside the zone, inside the zone…it doesn’t matter, he’s swinging. He’s also making contact on 75% of the pitches he swings at outside the strike zone. It’s probably one of the reasons why he’s walked at only a 5.4% clip and is seeing only 3.57 pitches/PA – both would represent career-lows. On the flipside, he’s only striking out 9.8% of the time — also a career-low.

While Jeterites probably expect him to hit .400 for the season, we’ll be more realistic. While he’s never lost the ability to hit left-handed pitching, even in these recent decline years, he’s hitting an f’ing insane .607/.586/.893 against southpaws this season! Can even the staunchest Jeterite think that can continue?

Also, the groundballs are still coming at a high rate (61.8%), so that hasn’t changed. His BABIP is a sky-high .411 (career. 355). His HR/FB is a whopping 30.8%, which basically means for every 3 flyballs he hits, one leaves the park. That’s obviously completely unsustainable. With all of these numbers in mind, we’d like to say that we expect his numbers to regress significantly, but we’ll get bomb threats. So instead, we will say that Derek Jeter is the most remarkable human being to ever walk the face of the Earth and we’d let him impregnate our wives.

Russell Martin’s refusal to swing at any pitches

Russell Martin is trying to one-up Brett Gardner in watching pitches go by. He’s begun the year by swinging at a ridiculously-low 31% of pitches and only 13.5% of pitches thrown outside the strike zone (4th-lowest in MLB). He may only be hitting .188, but his .371 OBP is the product of his nearly 18% walk rate.

Ivan Nova’s surface stats

NoMaas has been one of the few outlets that bothered to mention that Nova’s underlying skills did not match his sparkling surface stats last year. But now this year’s surface stats (5.18 ERA) are worse than they should be.

Over his first four starts, Nova has struck out over a batter per inning (9.25 K/9), and is walking less than two batters per nine. His 5.0 K/BB is the main reason for his excellent 3.14 xFIP. He’s gotten hurt on HR/FB (14.8%) and absolutely demolished on BABIP (.421). Many thanks to The Binder for putting Ibanez in LF.

While Nova is striking out many more batters than usual, his groundball rate has plummeted to 42.5% and both his flyball and line drive rates have increased (33.8%and 23.8%, respectively). Pitching up in the strike zone may be contributing to his elevated strikeout rate, but it also means more home runs and line drives.

Corey Wade’s dominance

C-Wade quietly put up a premiere relief effort in his pinstripe debut season. He came out of nowhere to post a 2.04 ERA in 40 innings. Yet, you would have been on firm ground to be skeptical that this was a real breakout.

After exploratory shoulder surgery, the Rays picked up C-Wade for the 2011 season. He was had an excellent 36 IP at AAA-Durham (1.23 ERA), but the Rays couldn’t find room for him in their crowded major league bullpen and released him. That’s when the Yankees swooped in and turned this reclamation project into a valuable middle reliever.

Wade’s peripherals did not support his sterling 2011 ERA. His xFIP was 3.80, and his success was built on the shaky foundation of a high strand rate (91.2%) and low BABIP (.246) . But, he earned the trust of The Binder and has been outstanding so far this season. In 10.2 IP, he has a 13 K/BB.

What’s really interesting about Wade, is that he’s more than doubled his slider usage from last year (according to Pitch FX), and he’s throwing it 7 mph slower than he did last year (77.2 mph). This could be keeping hitters off balance.

Overall, he’s been great for a scrap-heap pickup.

*Again, these are all numbers based on very small sample sizes, so a few games from now they could all look different. But, there are just some things that we’ve noticed.*

Tinkerbell has left the building

April 28, 2012 | 35 comments | in Featured | by SJK

The supply of pixie dust has run out, as expected. The Yankees pushed their luck and lost.

Heading into Saturday’s game, Garcia’s line drive rate of 35.6% was the highest among all AL starters and 2nd-highest in MLB. That probably got worse in his 1.2 inning start against Detroit.

Comfortably sleeping in Seattle

April 26, 2012 | 58 comments | in Featured | by SJK

All these years, did you think we were joking?

April 26, 2012 | 37 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

*Tip provided by NoMaas visitor, Joe*

Yahoo Sports:

Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals was born in Toronto to parents who migrated from Barbados. He used to hear racist taunts playing in youth hockey tournaments, but told the Washington Post this season that “I’ve [heard] nothing in the NHL.”

On Wednesday night, Ward scored the series-winning goal against the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 7.

The kind of racist language that Ward had avoided throughout his NHL career bubbled to the surface like sewage on social media.

“Hey Joel Ward!! You [expletive] spear chucking monkey, why don’t you actually DO SOMETHING. You’re totally irrelevant”

“How the [expletive] did Joel ward get out of my plantation? #WheresMyCotton”

“Warning to Joel Ward. Your one of three black guys in Canada. I will find you…and I will kill you.”

And so on. There was outrage across the hockey world about the language being used about Ward, and on Thursday morning Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis thanked those who called out the offending parties via his blog…

Did Seattle know?

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

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 soon after the word of Pineda’s season-ending injury got out and refuted those claims.

“Absolutely not,” Zduriencik told “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.

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