Nova KO’d, TJS next?

April 20, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

MLB.COM / Bryan Hoch:

The Yankees’ starting rotation took a hit Sunday, as Ivan Nova will be placed on the disabled list after an MRI revealed he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow.

Nova, who was removed with discomfort in his pitching elbow during the fifth inning of a 16-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field on Saturday, will be further examined Monday in New York by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad.

Not the news you want to hear on Easter.

Brian Cashman James Andrews Ivan Nova NoMaas
Cashman’s next call may be an unpleasant one to Dr. James Andrews

Derek leaves Easter gift basket

April 20, 2014 | 5 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Derek Jeter gift basket Easter NoMaas Yankees

Happy Easter from your friends at NoMaas

Ivan Nova loses his poor meatballs

April 19, 2014 | 7 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Ivan Nova Meatball NoMaas Yankees
Four poor meatballs rolled out the front door: 4 IP, 8 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 8 H, 4 HR

After winning six straight, the Yankees have allowed double-digit runs in each of two consecutive losses, with the latest result being an embarrassing 16-1 defeat to Tampa on Saturday…a loss that eventually led to Dean Anna pitching.

Price reduction

April 17, 2014 | 13 comments | in Featured | by SJK

David Price NoMaas Yankees Reduction Rays
Allowed 6 of the Yankees 10 runs

An offensive explosion by the Bombers with extra base hits galore:

Ellsbury: 2-4, 3B
Lord Derek: 2-4, 2B, BB
Soriano: 3-5, HR
McCann: 2-5, HR
Solarte: 3-5, HR, 2B (and started a triple play)
Sizemore: 1-3, 2B
Roberts: 3-5, 3B, 2B

P.S. How about the timing on our “Chill Out About Sabathia” article? — 7 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 7 H, 1 ER, 8 Groundouts vs. 5 Flyouts

P.S.S Good job by Girardi leaving Betances in the game after he walked two in the 8th. The Yankees had a 99% probability of winning the game at that point (score was 8-2 at the time), so it made no sense to pull him. Instead, Betances gained experienced and rebounded with a solid 9th inning.

Your annual “Chill out about Sabathia” reminder

April 17, 2014 | 8 comments | in Living in Mom's Basement | by Vizzini

Yes, Sabathia turns 34 this year.

Yes, he is 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA.

Yes, his velocity is still down and it’s never coming back to where was a couple years ago.

Yes, he had a terrible 2013 season.

But you know what, I don’t care. Sabathia will be fine, and here’s why:

1. It’s April.

ERA over the first three starts of a season is not something to concern yourself with. This is certainly true for Sabathia. CC’s career ERA in April is 4.17, compared to his career ERA of 3.62.

In 2012, he finished April with a 4.58 ERA, but wound up finishing the season with a 3.38 ERA. This is a man with a well-established reputation as a slow starter. Like most brown bears, it takes him a little while to shake off the effects of hibernation.

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From NoMaas 2010

Whether this is actually predictive or just a remnant of statistical variance, let it serve as a reminder that Sabathia is very capable of rebounding from a poor April ERA.

Sabathia’s velocity is a real concern. His average fastball fell from 92.4 in 2012 to 91.3 in 2013. Early on this year, it sits at an alarming 89.8. If it stays that way all year, Sabathia may struggle to be above-average. However, his fastball is similarly plodding to 2013. It rebounded after April and steadily climbed to a serviceable level into the summer.

2. A pitcher’s job is to get strikeouts, avoid walks, and keep the ball on the ground.

These are the three things that a pitcher directly impacts the most, and Sabathia is doing all three expertly.

He is striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 innings, walking only 1.4 per 9, and getting groundballs on 56% of his balls in play. There are only a small handful of starters who are doing better in all three categories (Tanaka being one of them). His 2.41 xFIP say he’s already doing what he needs to do to be successful.

3. Pitchers have little control over variation in their BABIP, LOB%, and HR/FB.

When a pitcher’s BABIP (batting average on balls in play), LOB% (percent of baserunners left stranded), and HR/FB (home runs per fly ball) rates deviate significantly from the league average in a small sample of innings, you can bet on them regressing back towards that average over the long run.

The average number for those metrics are about .300, 70%, and 10%. Sabathia has a normal BABIP at .308. However, he has managed to strand only 58% of the base runners he’s allowed. That in turn is largely thanks to a ridiculous small sample size HR/FB rate of 39%. Yankee Stadium is a tough place to keep the ball in the park, but you can safely say that anything over a 12% HR/FB is just not going to last very long.

Summary:

Sabathia’s age and drop in velocity is meaningful. We shouldn’t expect him to put up the innings and ERA from his incredible 2006-2012 run. But, his skills show that he’s not that far off. As pitchers age, they all lose velocity. Yet, great pitchers like C.C. can learn to pitch without blowing the heater by a hitter.  Sabathia is going to be a comfortably better-than-average pitcher the rest of the way.

Backside of the rotation looking good

April 17, 2014 | 5 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Michael Pineda Backside NoMaas YAnkees
6 IP, 3 K, 1 BB, 4 H, 0 ER — ERA on the season drops to 1.00

Tanaka gives us movement

April 16, 2014 | 7 comments | in Featured | by SJK

8 IP, 10 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER vs the Cubbies

Now 28 K in 22 IP / 2.05 ERA / 2.04 FIP / 1.90 xFIP

Per ESPN STATS & INFO, Tanaka is only the 2nd pitcher in the last 100 years to register at least 8 strikeouts in his first 3 MLB starts (Stephen Strasburg)

We’re traveling today, so we don’t have photoshop access — but it’s safe to say that when we watched Tanaka on Wednesday, we’re pretty sure that…

movement
It moved!

The Yankees 2-week MVP

April 16, 2014 | 10 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Q: Who has been the most valuable Yankee over the first 13 games of the season?

A: Kelly Johnson with a team-leading WAR of 0.6, per Fangraphs.

Rather amazing.

You can find the full Yankees’ leaderboard here.

The Coif speaks

April 15, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Daily News – Hal Steinbrenner on the club’s infield:

Drew, who played shortstop last year for the world champion Red Sox, remains unsigned. Asked if he would ever be willing to spend the money for a player like Drew – a client of super agent Scott Boras – Steinbrenner said, “I will always analyze options.”

“That’s my job, throughout the course of the whole year. It never ends,” added Steinbrenner. “Guys like (Dean) Anna and (Yangervis) Solarte have been pleasant surprises. Kelly Johnson’s been good. Derek (Jeter) has been healthy. I’m pretty content with our infield right now.”

The House That Sergio Agüero Built

April 15, 2014 | 7 comments | in Stadio delle Taxpayers | by SJK

NY Times on the new MLS team co-owned by the Yankees and Manchester City FC:

New York City F.C., a team that will enter Major League Soccer next year, will play its first three seasons at Yankee Stadium, according to two people familiar with the team’s plans.

The Yankee Stadium solution is a temporary reprieve; the team must find a site for a permanent home and construct it, and the three-year commitment at Yankee Stadium could be a hint at how difficult that might be.

After community opposition derailed plans for a stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park last year, the Yankees turned their attention to a site near Yankee Stadium. In August, the Yankees’ president, Randy Levine, said the team was in negotiations for a nine-acre parcel between the Major Deegan Expressway and East 153rd Street that could accommodate a 25,000-to-30,000-seat stadium with connections to subways and rail lines.

But the team has announced no progress since then, and with the 2015 season less a year away, the announcement of a temporary home will buy the club some time.

MLS and MLB share the same calendar…so ’bout that grass tho?

When Manchester City and Chelsea played an exhibition at the Stadium in 2013, temporary grass was installed over the infield dirt for the soccer game.

But that game was a single match played during an eight-game Yankees trip, not a full schedule — currently 34 games for M.L.S. teams — that would require repeated installation and removal of the grass, and result in far more wear and tear on the rest of the playing surface.

And don’t forget our prediction that the Steinbrenners will eventually sell the team to Manchester City, whose owner makes Hal look like…well, the rest of us. In fact, Manchester City pays its players a higher average salary than any other professional sports team in the world, surpassing both the Yankees and Dodgers.

And if you’re wondering who Sergio Agüero is…

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