Mariners earn invite to Hope Week

July 27, 2011 | 48 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

17 straight losses.

They tried to end their losing streak, Yankees said “no, no, no.”

July 25, 2011 | 33 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Derek hit a HR and helped extend the Mariners’ losing streak to 16.

Minor League Players of the Week, v14

July 25, 2011 | 6 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Tampa’s (A+) starting rotation is shaping into an exciting one to follow….plus, we have a first round draft pick take home the honors.

Brett Marshall, 21, RHP, A+
5 IP, 8 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 0 HR, 0 ER
Notable: 1 ER in his last 15 IP

NoMaas Ranking – #16

Previous 2011 MLPW Wins: #5

A longtime friend of NoMaas, Brett Marshall is quietly on his way to a very solid season. Over his last three starts (15 IP), Brett has struck out 19, walked two, and allowed only one earned run. He’s in a groove right now.

In his first full season in Tampa, the former Tommy John surgery (July 2009) recipient ranks 9th in FIP (3.43) among FSL starting pitchers. His ERA of 3.78 ranks 15th-best in the league. He’s kept the ball on the ground at a good clip (1.74 Groundout/Airout), but it would be nice if he could get the walks down a tad (3.44 BB/9, 9.1% walk rate).

Overall, he’s having a fine season in his first full year since he went under the knife.

Dante Bichette Jr., 18, RHB 3B, Rookie
.700/.727/1.150 in 22 PAs
Notable: Hit first professional HR

NoMaas Ranking – None

Previous 2011 MLPW Win – None

The Yankees’ 2011 first round pick was off to slow start until he completely lit up opposing pitchers last week. He hit for the cycle on the week, with four doubles, a triple, and his first professional home run. He also walked twice while striking out only once.

His gargantuan week rocketed him up the Gulf Coast League leaderboard. He ranks 6th in OPS (.933) and 3rd in OBP (.454). His ISO of .179 does not put him among the leaders in power, but he tops the league in walk rate (17.7%). Even better, he’s walking more than he strikes out (1.22 BB/K).

His BABIP is .354, but since reliable minor league batted ball data is basically impossible to find, we’ll just leave it at that. The Yankees’ top pick is kicking off his career in style.

Honorable Mentions:
Yeicok Calderon, 19, LHB RF, Rookie
.600/.625/1.200 in 22 PAs

.247 ISO ranks 6th in GCL

Cito Culver, 18, SHB SS, Short-Season
.392/.514/.607 in 35 PAs

2010 1st round pick walked 7 times on the week

Kelvin De Leon, 20, RHB RF, A
.368/.400/.947 in 20 PAs

Three HRs

Anderson Feliz, 19, SHB 2B, A
.476/.521/.857 in 23 PAs

Good week, but striking out way too much (106 Ks, 26.9%)

DJ Mitchell, 24, RHP, AAA
7 IP, 9 K, 2 BB, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 HR

3.12 ERA, 3.57 FIP

Taylor Morton, 19, RHP, Rookie
4.2 IP, 6 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 0 ER

2010 9th round pick, 22 K: 3 BB in 28.2 IP

Jose Quintana, 22, LHP, A+
6 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 HR

Last week’s Pitcher of the Week with another strong start, 39 hits in 60 IP!!

Yanks survive against A’s

July 24, 2011 | 32 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Despite scary 8th and 9th innings, the Bombers were able to hang on and take the series against Billy Beane and the Calculators, winning 7-5 on Sunday. Curtis Granderson continued his rampage, hitting his 27th HR (a 2-run shot in the 5th). Eduardo Nunez and Andruw Jones knocked in 2 runs each, while The Bartolo allowed 2 runs over 7 innings.

Curtis on HR #27: “It’s pretty, it’s so pretty.”

Buuuullsh**, Buuuullsh**, Buuuullsh**

July 21, 2011 | 42 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Girardi on potentially moving Jeter from leadoff:

As uncomfortable as that conversation with the Captain has the potential to be, Girardi said he wouldn’t hesitate to make a move with Jeter if and when he feels it’s necessary.

“I think if you ever have a situation where you have to move a player that is of substantial status – and that was not expecting a move – that you’d sit down and talk to him before you ever did it and tell him your thoughts, his thoughts, and be respectful about it and tell him what you’re thinking,” Girardi said. “I have to do what I feel is best for the team. When you look at a lineup, you look at how it works together, not independent of one guy. No, I’m not afraid to have that conversation.”

Freddy Garcia: “It doesn’t matter if you want another pitcher.”

July 20, 2011 | 53 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Fans clamoring for another starting pitcher. Cashman reportedly on the hunt for one. Sixty-five percent of NoMaas visitors said Freddy Garcia should be removed from the rotation if the Yankees make such a trade.

Well, who in the blue hell are we? On Wednesday night, Freddy Garcia dropped his ERA to 3.21 with 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against Tampa. He struck out 7, walked zero, scattered 8 hits, and as usual, wiggled his way out of jams.

The Yankees don’t need a starting pitcher…

July 19, 2011 | 44 comments | in Featured | by Vizzini

…to make the playoffs, that is. Heading in Tuesday night’s game with Tampa, the Yankees had a 96% chance of heading to the postseason. Even if the pixie dust wears off for Colon and/or Garcia, the Bombers are very likely headed to October. Thus, trading for a starting pitcher really does nothing to affect the probability of a playoff berth. It would be a marginal upgrade at most. So why do it?

We can think of two main reasons.

1. The front office wants to set the foundation for the 2012 rotation without sacrificing quality for the current campaign. While Colon and Garcia worked out extremely well, the Yankees probably don’t want to again be scrambling to fill out a starting rotation with scrapheap pickups. Plus, Betances and Banuelos still have issues to work on, and likely won’t be ready for full-time big league action in 2012.

2. The front office wants a better 1-2 punch in the playoffs, where the importance of your top two starters is magnified. CC/AJ or CC/Bartolo in the playoffs…not exactly the most comforting combinations.

So, in typical NoMaas fashion, here are three pitchers we believe could meet one or both of those objectives.

Matt Garza, RHP, Cubs

The Cubs stink as usual and Garza is having an excellent year: 3.97 ERA / 2.91 FIP / 2.96 xFIP. His xFIP ranks 9th in MLB. He’s certainly benefited from his switch to the NL as he’s posting career-high 9.29 K/9. However, he’s significantly altered his pitch selection, which could be the reason he’s inducing a 50% groundball rate, well above his 40% career average. He’s throwing his fastball nearly 20% less than in his last season with Tampa, and more pitches are being allocated towards his offspeed offerings.

The Cubs gave up a ton for Garza and he’s still under team control, so the cost will likely be hefty. However, he would be a very nice addition to the rotation, he’s AL East tested, and satisfies both of the above objectives.

Ryan Dempster, RHP, Cubs

Over the last few seasons, Ryan Dempster has been one of the better pitchers in the National League. He’s been a model of consistency, posting xFIPs of 3.69, 3.76, and 3.74 from 2008-2010. After a slow start to 2011, he’s right back to his normal levels of production. While the ERA may be high at 4.68, his FIP/xFIP checks in an attractive 3.71/3.32. Keep in mind that the Cubs are a poor defensive team. Dempster also remains a solid strikeout pitcher, averaging 8.37 K/9 on the season.

Dempster is 34 years old and is making $13.5 this season. This should certainly drive down his cost in a trade. He does have a $14 million player option in 2012, so the Yankees could be on the hook for that if he exercises. But if he does, so what? Dempster is on track for his 4th straight 200+ inning season, and $14 million is fair value for someone with Dempster’s track record. And we like the idea of a CC/Dempster 1-2 in the playoffs, as opposed to CC/Electric or CC/Pixie Dust.

Erik Bedard, LHP, Mariners

When he’s healthy, he is fantastic. He’s had no arm issues this season, although he’s currently on the DL with a sprained knee. He’s been extremely impressive with an 3.00 ERA / 3.57 FIP / 3.27 xFIP. If the Yankees were to acquire him, they’d have two of the best pitchers in the AL leading their rotation. Think of the playoffs: Two elite left-handed starters in Yankee Stadium and two elite left-handed starters against the Red Sox — that is salivating.

Considering his injury history, the cost for him can’t be prohibitive. He’s also not signed beyond this season. From a risk/reward standpoint, this seems like the best option out of the three. Sabathia with a healthy Bedard is a sick 1-2 punch in the playoffs.

Do the Yankees want to rely on pixie dust during the playoffs?

Homegrown leads comeback over Rays

July 18, 2011 | 56 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Gardner: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 SB, RBI single that pulled the Yankees within one run, and then broke up a double-play sliding hard into second to tie the game at four.

Noesi: 1.2 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER

Robertson: 1 IP, 2 K, continues to strike out everybody

Minor League Players of the Week, v13

July 18, 2011 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

A short week in Scranton and Trenton (All-Star Break) has us looking at the lower levels…and there was serious competition on the hitting side.

Jose Quintana, 22, LHP, A+
7 IP, 9 K, 0 BB, 3 H, 0 HR, 0 ER
Notable: His 21st appearance on the year, only 4th as a starter

NoMaas Ranking – None

Previous 2011 MLPW Wins: None

Born in Columbia, the free-agent signing put in a stellar performance on July 15th in only his 4th start of the year. It’s only his 4th start because he’s been used primarily as reliever for the majority of the season. He’s made 17 appearances out of Tampa’s bullpen, and only made the switch to starter on July 1st. After posting a 39:12 K/BB in 34 innings as a reliever, Quintana’s thrown 20 innings as a SP, amassing 17 K and 6 BB while only allowing 12 hits — all good for an ERA of 0.90.

The lefty has also been effective against hitters on both sides of the plate. Here are his splits:

vs. LHB: 1.80 ERA, 15 IP, 24 K, 5 BB, 11 H, 1 HR, 4.67 Groundout/Airout, .196 BAA
vs. RHB: 1.38 ERA, 39 IP, 32 K, 13 BB, 24 H, 0 HR, 1.67 Groundout/Airout, .188 BAA

He’s definitely an interesting case to follow, especially since he throws with the magical left hand.

Jose Rosario, 19, RHB SS/2B, Rookie
.473/ .545 / .894 in 22 PAs
Notable: 2 HRs on the week

NoMaas Ranking – None

Previous 2011 MLPW Win – None

Signed in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, 19-year old Jose Rosario had a monster week, going 10-23 with two homeruns, a triple, three walks, and a stolen base (he actually hit another HR on Monday, July 18th, but that will count towards next week’s MLPW tally). The middle infielder is having an impressive Gulf Coast season, boasting a line of .307/.358/.507. This is certainly in contrast to his introduction to the rookie league in 2010, hitting .245/.320/.355 in 125 PAs.

His .865 OPS should put him around the Top 10 in the league in that category, depending on the results compiled after this post. Rosario also reportedly has good speed and has stolen 5 bags.

Rosario’s splits at the plate have been rather drastic this season. He’s killed lefties to the tune of .391/.417/.826 in 24 PAs, while he’s struggled against righties, hitting .269/.333 /.365 in 56 PAs.

Honorable Mentions:
Mason Williams, 19, LHB CF, Short-Season
.545/.545/.772, 2 SBs in 22 PAs

2010 4th round pick murdering short-season ball, .360/.392/.523

Rob Segedin, 22, RHB 3B/OF, A+
.440/.461/.560 in 26 PAs

First big week since his promotion, hit his 1st HR in High-A ball

JR Murphy, 20, RHB C/3B, A+
.375/.375/.541 in 24 PAs

Also hit his first home run in High-A

Brett Marshall, 21, RHP, A+
5 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 0 ER

Having a steady season with a 3.60 FIP

Graham Stoneburner, 23, RHP, A+
6 IP, 6 K, 1 BB, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 HR

Working his way back from a neck injury, should be back in Trenton soon

Ryan Flannery, 25, RHP, A+
2 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 SV

1.30 ERA, 2.70 Groundout/Airout, 6th in FSL in saves with 14, and possibly the best player picture we’ve ever seen

Brett Gardner is really good

July 18, 2011 | 37 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

After his 3-hit performance, 2 stolen base performance on Sunday, Brett Gardner has accumulated 3.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) on the season. This is good for a Top 10 AL Ranking, according to Fangraphs.

Gardner ranks higher than notable names such as Kevin Youkilis, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixeira.

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