Celebrate 100 years of beautiful Fenway Park

April 19, 2012 | 27 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Grandy gets 3 dinghies

April 19, 2012 | 23 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Curtis goes 5/5, with 4 RBI, and 14 total bases.

C. Grand sends 3 out of port.

Double whammy: Kuroda rocked, Gardner to DL

April 19, 2012 | 52 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Hiroki Kuroda on Wednesday night: 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 HR

And then after the game we learn this…


The New York Yankees placed left fielder Brett Gardner on the 15-day disabled list due to a bruised left elbow and a strained arm muscle.

“We will have to sit him down for a while,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after his team lost to the Minnesota Twins, 6-5, on Wednesday night. “We’ll try to get him back after 15 days.”

Gardner hurt the elbow while making a sliding catch in the third inning Tuesday night. After the game, he said he slightly injured his wrist, but did not mention the elbow.

With Gardner out, the Yanks will play Andruw Jones and possibly Eduardo Nunez in left. Designated hitter Raul Ibanez can also play the outfield.

Ibanez cannot play the outfield. Please no Ibanez in the outfield.

Chris Stewart pulls a Costanza, retires from baseball

April 17, 2012 | 30 comments | in Featured | by SJK

After driving in a career-high three runs in the Yankees 8-3 victory over the Twins, light-hitting backup catcher Chris Stewart decided to leave on a high note and promptly retire from baseball.

“Alright, that’s it for me!”

Thank you, Tom Verducci

April 17, 2012 | 31 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

It’s not often we give props to a member of the MSM, but Verducci today knocked it out of the park with his article about closers. While the article had more to do about injuries and the specialization of bullpens, this was our favorite part of the piece:

Managers are motivated by the save statistic, throwing three-out save chances to their closer like bones to a dog. The game universally has embraced this idea that a closer can’t come in to a tie game on the roadbetter to lose the game with a lesser pitcher than run your closer out there without a save in hand.

In general, closers are inefficient investments. It’s not just that they break down; Wilson, Soria, Madson, Bailey and Farnsworth will earn $30.2 million combined this year, whether they pitch or not. It’s that paying a guy $12.5 million to throw 60 innings — but, good Lord, not when the game is tied on the road and only when about half the plate appearances against him are truly high leverage — is a waste of a great arm.

Thank you, Tom. The ‘slave to the save’ is probably the most ridiculous thing in baseball, and it’s refereshing to see a member of the MSM call this out. Saving the closer for save situations only is completely idiotic.

Gerry Davis’ baffling strike zone on Monday night

April 16, 2012 | 38 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Remember, these graphs are from the umpire’s point of view.

There’s at least 10 pitches so far out of the strike zone, that it’s unbelievable that they were called strikes.

Davis really screwed up when left-handed hitters were at the plate, which particularly disadvantaged Yankee hitters (red triangles are pitches thrown by Minnesota). But how is a hitter supposed to react when he’s calling balls off the outside corner too (noted by green dots)?

When is this going to end?

Minor League Players of the Week, v1 of 2012

April 16, 2012 | 10 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

MLPW returns for another season. We’ll normally be compiling Monday through Sunday performances, although this edition’s numbers include a few extra days.

Chase Whitley, 22, RHP, AAA / AA
8 IP, 10 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR
Notable: 3 appearances — 2 at AA Trenton, 1 at AAA Empire State / Scranton

Since being drafted in June 2010 (15th round), Chase Whitley has flown through the Yankees system. After splitting time between Tampa and Trenton in 2011 (42 appearances, 91 IP), he pitched twice for Trenton in the opening week of the season and was then promoted to AAA. In his debut for Empire State/Scranton, he pitched 4 innings of scoreless relief with 3 strikeouts.

Tyler Austin, 20, RHB 1B/3B/COF
.438/.471/1.031 in 34 PAs
Notable: 3 HRs, 3 3B, 4 2B

Is it safe to say that this kid is one of the best hitters (if not, the best) in the Yankees system? The recent NoMaas interviewee was the top hitter at each of his stops last season (Gulf Coast and Staten Island), and he’s continued his torrid pace at Charleston. He’s also been playing RF, which he told us he’d be seeing more of this season.

Honorable Mentions:

Cody Johnson, 23, LHB DH, AA
.375/.444/.792 in 27 PAs, 3 HR

If he could only cut down on the strikeouts

Jose Campos, 19, RHP, A
11 IP, 11 K, 3 BB, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 HR

Other piece in the Pineda/Montero deal, could have easily been this week’s winner.

Nik Turley, 22, LHP, A+
11 IP, 13 K, 5 BB, 11 H, 2 ER, 1 HR

Not a “big radar gun guy“, but the 6’6″ lefty is coming off a very solid 2011, which was cut short by a broken hand.

Michael O’Brien, 22, RHP, A+
10.2 IP, 11 K, 1 BB, 9 H, 1 ER, 0 HR

Started 1 game, and pitched 5 scoreless in relief of Andy Pettitte.

In the ‘They Aren’t Close to Being Ready’ Category…

Manny Banuelos, 21, LHP, AAA
5.1 IP, 2 K, 7 BB, 14 H, 6 ER, 1 HR

This was over 2 starts, he’s now on the 7-DL with a sore back.

Dellin Betances, 24, RHP, AAA
8.1 IP, 9 K, 7 BB, 11 H, 10 ER, 3 HR

Also over 2 starts, allowed 3 HR in his second start.

Jeter bangs Angels, leaves gift basket

April 16, 2012 | 39 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Jeter’s tremendous start continued with a 2-5 performance (2B, 3-run HR) on Sunday night.

Is the shift ruining Mark Teixeira’s life?

April 14, 2012 | 41 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Over the past year, we’ve highlighted Mark Teixeira’s annually declining numbers, particularly when it comes to hitting left-handed against RHP. We’ve even questioned if he’s Yankee Stadium’d his swing, resulting in less line-drives, more pop-ups, and more flyballs.

But maybe it’s the “The Shift” that is affecting his numbers more than anything. Look at his dramatic dropoff in BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) over the last few seasons, and in particular against right-handed pitching:

Overall BABIP:

2009: .302
2010: .268
2011: .239
2012: .208


2009: .290
2010: .255
2011: .222
2012: .200

Basically, 75-80% of what he hits as a left-handed batter is falling into the glove of a defender, and the numbers get more dramatic with each passing season. Having nearly every defensive player on one side of the field is probably a big reason for that.

And with the “The Shift” becoming more popular and Tex so far not showing any signs of adapting, the reality is that the recent version of Teixeira might be the one we’ll have through 2016 — a version that is far less productive than what the Yankees believed they were signing for $180 million.

Kuroda to Angels: “Coward!”

April 13, 2012 | 37 comments | in Featured | by SJK

8 IP, 0 R, 8 H, 6 K, 2 BB

Their bats, their runs, everything…GONE!

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