Nunez DFA’d, party at NoMaas HQ

April 1, 2014 | 5 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

NoMaas Eduardo Nunez DFA Yankees
L-R: Rupert Pupkin, Vizzini, Sensei John Kreese, Louis Winthorpe III

“Best pitcher in the world” sums up opening day perfectly:

April 1, 2014 | 2 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

We no could more agree, Ivan.

A tradition unlike any other: The NoMaas Opening Day Video

March 31, 2014 | 5 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Superb column from Joel Sherman: Hal reiterates disappointment with farm system

March 31, 2014 | 2 comments | in Mediot Observation | by SJK

This is what MSM columns should be like. Joel Sherman hooked up a great interview with Hal Steinbrenner. It’s definitely worth a full read.

We still take things Hal says with a large grain of salt, especially with the propaganda he spit prior to last season, but per Sherman, the puffy-haired owner had some strong words about the poor state of the Yankees’ farm system:

When Joe and I had a conversation at the end of the season, even before he agreed to come back, he said, ‘Look, I got guys coming up here who don’t even know how to run the bases, guys coming up that don’t know how to bunt. Something is clearly being missed at some levels.’”

Rather than clean house, Steinbrenner called for more nuanced alterations, notably the hiring of people such as Jody Reed, Mike Quade and Trey Hillman to specialize in specific areas such as infield or outfield play with the idea of graduating farmhands who have mastered the basics of the game. He said he expects to see results this year and vowed firings — as they were last offseason — remain viable.

“It is an important question to ask every year anyway: Is our philosophy correct, are the people instituting our philosophy correct? Do they believe it and are they living it?” he said. “That is something I am going to look at after the year, even if things are a little better, even if things are a little more optimistic.”

This isn’t the first time Sherman has received NoMaas plaudits. He also wrote a column in February, describing the Yankees’ infield situation has a “tidal wave” about to “strike land.”

Good stuff, Joel.

We’ll have what ESPN NY is having

March 31, 2014 | 9 comments | in Mediot Observation | by SJK

If you thought our prediction of 86 wins was pessimistic, then ESPN NY has all the balloons & unicorns you could ever want.

First up is ESPN NY’s Andrew Marchand:

The Yankees will win 90 games and earn the second wild card because their lineup is better and the additions of Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, to go along with a more mature Ivan Nova, will give them a deeper rotation for 162 games. David Robertson will be fine in the closer role, while rest of the bullpen is a question mark.

Marchand actually looks like Debbie Downer compared to his counterpart, Wally Matthews (who challenged us to a physical fight last season):

…I will say that I like the Yankees roster as currently constituted. Could it be younger? Absolutely. Less prone to injury? Absolutely. But there’s a lot of upside here, and assuming everyone stays reasonably healthy and performs as expected, I think this team is at least five wins better than last year’s team and probably more like seven. So I’ll say they win 92 games and snag the the first AL wild card.

For the record, we hope these guys are right. Contrary to popular belief, we are Yankee fans and we hope the team captures #28 this year. However, these predictions (especially Matthews) make some serious leaps of faith:

1. They explicitly assume the Yankees will stay healthy all season. With such an old team and players with recent injury issues, how can you not factor durability into a prediction?

2. They, especially Matthews, completely disregard the lessons of Lord Pythagoras. The Yankees were outscored last season (650 runs for vs 671 runs against) — you simply cannot use the 85-win total of last season as your baseline.

3. What about the infield? Can this team win 90-92 games with this infield?

Again, we certainly hope these predictions are more accurate than ours, and we know this guy agrees with the ESPN NY crew.

But so far, Las Vegas agrees with us and Fangraphs is thinking along the same lines too.

What to expect from Kelly Johnson

March 30, 2014 | 3 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

With the Yankees kicking off the season on Tuesday, and the club’s infield still its biggest deficiency heading into Opening Day, we thought it would be helpful to take a quick look at the team’s projected regular third baseman, Kelly Johnson.

If there is one word to describe Kelly Johnson, it is: average. And in MLB, being an “average” player is valuable. For his career, Johnson possesses a wRC+ of 104 (4% better than the average hitter). He has a line of .253/.335/.427, which is boosted by a great 2010 season when he went off in Arizona: .284/.370/.496.

He has never come close to replicating those 2010 heights, and was very below-average at the plate in 2011 & 2012, with his 2012 season especially poor: .225/.313/.365 (85 wRC+).

In 2013 for Tampa, he rebounded with a .235/.305/.410 (101 wRC+).

Platoon wise, he doesn’t have any noticeable splits, and has hit both lefties and righties rather equally. In fact, the lefty batter has hit LHP a tad better during his career.

Most projection systems see Johnson right around average again. He’s a low OBP guy with some pop.

His transition to 3B and how he handles it defensively will really determine his overall value. If he’s poor defensively, then third base could look ugly if the bat is only average.

Defense aside, if he can give the Yankees production similar to his career lines, it would go a long way in fortifying an infield that is one giant question mark. “Average” would be fine.

Cashman on Boston’s youth pipeline

March 30, 2014 | 5 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

Via the Boston Globe:

“It’s good for Boston and bad for the rest of us.”

Hopefully, things are changing with the Yankees’ system, as reported back in February. They really have to.

How was the spring for some old friends?

March 29, 2014 | 11 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Joba Chamberlain Tigers NoMaas

8 IP, 6 K, 4 BB, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 HR / 3.38 ERA

Phil Hughes NoMaas Twins Spring Training

19 IP, 12 K, 4 BB, 26 H, 10 ER, 2 HR / 4.74 ERA

Cashman finds naked picture, sends Nunez to AAA

March 29, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

In what temporarily ends the most insane infatuation we’ve seen since the founding of this website, the Yankees have finally jettisoned Eduardo Nunez from the big league roster, sending him to Triple-A.

Brian Cashman Burning Naked Photo NoMaas Yankees Eduardo Nunez
We don’t have to worry about Nunez…for now.

Congrats to Betances and Nuno

March 28, 2014 | 4 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Both Dellin Betances and Vidal Nuno have been officially named to the Yankees’ big league bullpen, and congrats are certainly in order for the two Yankee farmhands. Always great to see homegrown contributions.

Each these pitchers has a unique story that we’ve covered in the past, but since you’ll be seeing more of them this season, here’s a refresher.

Dellin Betances’ career was on the verge of implosion. A once-hyped starting pitching prospect who went nearly Rick Ankiel, the Yankees moved him to the bullpen last season as a last resort — a role in which he thrived. Here’s an excerpt of what we wrote three weeks ago:

…after he was converted to the bullpen in May of 2013, the Brooklyn native’s career was resurrected. He pitched great out of the Triple-A bullpen, and finally began to not walk EVERYBODY. In 60 IP of relief, he had 83 K (12.45 K/9) and walked 26 (3.9 BB/9 – still not great, but much better). He also had a 1.35 ERA.

Vidal Nuno was signed by the Yankees in 2011 out of the independent Frontier League and flew through the Yankees’ system — with his breakout season coming in 2012, when he pitched 114 innings in Double-A to the tune of a 2.45 ERA / 3.35 FIP. How he ended up in independent ball was unusual to begin with, and we wrote about that in July 2012:

He was originally drafted by Cleveland in the 48th round of the 2009 draft. After the 2010 season, he was cut loose by the Indians, after posting a 4.96 ERA in A ball. Looking beneath the ERA, it certainly seems like Cleveland made a very weird decision. With a FIP that year of 3.67, a K/9 of 9.0, and a BB/9 of 1.3, why did they just give up on the then-22-year old lefty? Really, really, odd.

Congrats again to both.

Vidal Nuno Bullpen Playpen NoMaas Yankees
Vidal will be in the pen.

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