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MFY: 9 in a row, Mystique/Aura, blah blah blah...


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#1 Fratboy


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Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:39 PM

(For fantastic looks at the Yankees, check out Steven Goldman’s Pinstriped Bible and Pinstriped Blog at the YES Network, and Larry Mahnken's Replacement Level Yankees Weblog. They’re not fanbots, and don’t buy into the mystique and aura. Highly recommended.)

Overview:

The New York Yankees, winners of the last 9 American League East titles, have had the appearance for the last few years of being one on the precipice of mediocrity. Much late the Yankee teams of the mid-80’s, since the 2000 season, they have followed the organizational philosophy of signing top-tier free agents rather than developing talent internally.

Will the New York Yankees continue their mastery and dominance over the AL East? We saw some chinks in the armor, as they struggled to a 11-19 start. However, since that time, they were the very best team in all of baseball, ending the season tied in a knot with the Boston Red Sox, winning the division on the basis of a head-to-head tiebreaker.

They also packed more than four million adoring fans into their soon-to-be demolished ballpark, setting a new American League record in the process.

Transactions since November 1, 2005:

*Declined their $3 million option on 1B-L Tino Martinez, making him a free agent. [11/8]
*Exercised their option on RHP Tanyon Sturtze for 2006. [11/15]
*Signed OF-L Hideki Matsui to a four-year, $52 million contract. [11/16]
*Purchased the contracts of OF-R Kevin Thompson, RHPs T.J. Beam, Matt Desalvo, Jeffrey Karstens and LHP Matt Smith. [11/18]
*Signed C-R Kelly Stinnett to a one-year contract. [11/30]
*Signed RHP Kyle Farnsworth to a three-year contract. [12/2]
*Acquired 2B-L Kevin Howard and OF-L Benjamin Himes from the Reds for UT-L Tony Womack and cash; signed OF-L Chris Prieto to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI. [12/8]
*Signed LHP Mike Myers to a two-year, $2.4 million contract. [12/15]
*Acquired LHP Ron Villone from the Marlins for LHP Ben Julianel. [12/16]
*Re-signed RHP Ramiro Mendoza to a minor league contract with a spring NRI. [12/19]
*Re-signed OF-B Bernie Williams to a one-year contract. [12/22]
*Signed CF-L Johnny Damon to a four-year contract. [12/23]
*Signed RHP Octavio Dotel to a one-year contract. [12/29]
*Signed 2B-B Miguel Cairo to a one-year contract. [1/4]
*Signed LHP Al Leiter to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI. [1/6]
*Signed RHP Aaron Small to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. [1/24]
*Claimed RHP Darrell Rasner off of waivers from the Nationals; designated RHP Jason Anderson for assignment. [2/10]
*Signed RHP Scott Erickson to a minor league contract with a spring training NRI. [2/16]
*Announced the retirement of RHP Kevin Brown. [2/19]

Roster:

40-Man Roster Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
73 T.J. Beam R/R 6-7 215 08/28/80
58 Colter Bean L/R 6-6 255 01/16/77
39 Shawn Chacon R/R 6-3 220 12/23/77
61 Jorge De Paula R/R 6-1 160 11/10/78
74 Matt DeSalvo R/R 6-0 170 09/11/80
29 Octavio Dotel R/R 6-0 210 11/25/73
48 Kyle Farnsworth R/R 6-4 240 04/14/76
58 Sean Henn R/L 6-5 200 04/23/81
41 Randy Johnson R/L 6-10 230 09/10/63
75 Jeffrey Karstens R/R 6-3 175 09/24/82
35 Mike Mussina L/R 6-2 190 12/08/68
36 Mike Myers L/L 6-3 220 06/26/69
45 Carl Pavano R/R 6-5 240 01/08/76
43 Scott Proctor R/R 6-1 200 01/02/77
-- Darrell Rasner R/R 6-3 210 01/13/81
42 Mariano Rivera R/R 6-2 185 11/29/69
31 Aaron Small R/R 6-5 220 11/23/71
76 Matt Smith L/L 6-5 225 06/15/79
56 Tanyon Sturtze R/R 6-5 225 10/12/70
47 Ron Villone L/L 6-3 245 01/16/70
40 Chien-Ming Wang R/R 6-3 200 03/31/80
34 Jaret Wright R/R 6-2 230 12/29/75

Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
60 Wil Nieves R/R 5-11 190 09/25/77
20 Jorge Posada S/R 6-2 205 08/17/71
33 Kelly Stinnett R/R 5-11 235 02/04/70

Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
14 Miguel Cairo R/R 6-0 185 05/04/74
22 Robinson Cano L/R 6-0 170 10/22/82
28 Felix Escalona R/R 6-0 190 03/12/79
25 Jason Giambi L/R 6-3 230 01/08/71
2 Derek Jeter R/R 6-3 195 06/26/74
12 Andy Phillips R/R 6-0 205 04/06/77
13 Alex Rodriguez R/R 6-3 225 07/27/75

Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB
70 Melky Cabrera S/L 5-11 170 08/11/84
19 Bubba Crosby L/L 5-11 185 08/11/76
18 Johnny Damon L/L 6-2 180 11/05/73
55 Hideki Matsui L/R 6-2 230 06/12/74
71 Kevin Reese L/L 5-11 195 03/11/78
11 Gary Sheffield R/R 6-0 215 11/18/68
72 Kevin Thompson R/R 5-10 185 09/18/79
51 Bernie Williams S/R 6-2 205 09/13/68

Forecasted Starting Lineup:

C Jorge Posada
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Derek Jeter
LF Hideki Matsui
CF Johnny Damon
RF Gary Sheffield
DH Bernie Williams (?)

There’s definitely a big hole at DH. Honestly, I have no idea who they’re going to put there. Robinson Cano, for all the plaudits he received in the Bronx, is an empty hitter with a low OBP and little discipline.

Rotation:

Randy Johnson
Mike Mussina
Carl Pavano
Jaret Wright
Chien-Ming Wang

This could get ugly. Randy’s 42 years old, Wang was hurt last year and benefited greatly from the defense playing behind him, courtesy of his tendency to induce grounders. Pavano and Wright were injured as well, and face incredible pressure to deliver in the second year of big contracts. Mussina is suddenly 38 years old (it seems like yesterday when he was a rookie in Baltimore) and very mortal. Shacon and Small, both savvy pickups by Cashman, saved the season from being an 85-win disappointment.

Top Ten Prospects:

1. Philip Hughes, rhp
2. Eric Duncan, 3b/1b
3. Jose Tabata, of
4. C.J. Henry
5. Austin Jackson, of
6. Eduardo Nunez, ss
7. Marcos Vechionacci, 3b
8. Christian Garcia, rhp
9. Jeff Marquez, rhp
10. Tyler Clippard, rhp

The rest of the Top 30:

11. J. Brent Cox
12. Tim Battle
13. Brett Gardner
14. Steven White
15. Melky Cabrera
16. Matt DeSalvo
17. Alan Horne
18. Sean Henn
19. Kevin Howard
20. Matt Smith
21. Justin Christian
22. Bronson Sardinha
23. Kevin Thompson
24. T.J. Beam
25. Garrett Patterson
26. Andy Phillips
27. Rudy Guillen
28. Kevin Reese
29. Jason Stephens
30. Jeff Karstens

We’ve heard good things about Philip Hughes. He and Duncan appear to be the only ones that can make an impact in the near future. The Yankees make a 24-17 jump in the organizational rankings, due to their strength in rookie and A leagues. The Red Sox, for comparison, are ranked 7th, and the Dodgers, 1st.

Sources:

The incomparable and utterly fabulous Christina Kahrl, Baseball Prospectus Transactions Goddess.

Rosters from MLB.com.

Prospects Lists from Baseball Think Factory.

Commentary is an original Fratboy masterpiece.

February 26, 2006 Update:

Joel Sherman in the NY Post has a nice article on five players to look at in Spring Training. Naturally, Philip Hughes is tops on the list and most promising. Linky goodness, but registration is required, unless you want to go to bugmenot.com.

Edited by Fratboy, 20 September 2006 - 03:04 PM.


#2 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 03 March 2006 - 04:22 PM

I was lurking around over on the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog. The main owner over there, "SG" has done some very nice analyses of the Yankees by position. You can tell he's a BP devotee by all of the ...RP stats they use and he appears to be a really smart guy, but ... he did a position player comparison between the Sox and MFYs and came up with the Sox having an edge on WARP, but he was doing it wrong. He went position by position and did some nice work, then he totalled all of the positional WARP differentials and concluded that the Sox had a better lineup. Of course you can't do it that way, and I think he knows this, but its there nonetheless.

Later in the BLOG he also did PECOTA and ZIPS comparisons and still found the Yankees trailing the Sox somehow. I just don't get it, because in almost every team run projection I have seen, the MFYs are projected to score at least 100 more runs than the Sox. The only thing he could get to work out in the MFYs favor thus far has been a Diamond Mind simulation, but that's ridiculously understated, having the Yankees yielding only scoring something like 850 runs, which is way low.

There are lots of interesting comments attached to these analyses. From the projections, they have discovered for instance that the Sox stole Loretta from the Padres (I agree), and are really freaked out by how much better Crisp projects over Damon, but there seems to be a general lamentation about how the Sox have a better lineup than the Yankees this season, apparently based on these projections that just don't seem to be analyzed correctly. That's just based on hitting and defense, mind you, they haven't opened up that can of pitching worms yet.

At any rate, on this site at least, there seems to be a lot of hand wringing going over these comparisons.

There are quite a few Sox lurkers posting over there, but none that I could attach to this site. One was close - referring to their third baseman as A-Fraud, but he also used the nickname "Man Ram" for Manny, which no respectable SoSHer would dare use, even on a CSY site. :)

Edited by Vermonter At Large, 03 March 2006 - 04:24 PM.


#3 smastroyin


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Posted 03 March 2006 - 04:30 PM

That's just based on hitting and defense, mind you, they haven't opened up that can of pitching worms yet.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It's important to keep in mind that the Yankees rate pretty poorly in comparison to their Red Sox counterparts in FRAA.

Since most people don't give a lot of credence to FRAA (I'm not getting into it here, though), this would explain a lot of the difference. Basically the guy is calculating WARP3 numbers based on the projections and they include defense. So, in essence, as far as I can tell on a first perusal, the Sox lineup is "better" not because they will score more runs, but because their overall contribution will be better. So maybe the Sox score 850 runs and prevent another 100 that an average defense would allow. So 950 total value runs. Meanwhile the Yankees score 1000 runs but allow 100 extra, so only 900 in total.

I don't think (at least I didn't see it when I perused) that he ever says the Sox will outscore the Yankees, which is how you seem to be looking at it.

am I missing something?

Edited by smastroyin, 03 March 2006 - 04:30 PM.


#4 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 03 March 2006 - 04:38 PM

Here, btw, is a list of NRI's in the Yankee camp:

Non-Roster Invitees 
  Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB   
  77 Dusty Bergman  L/L 6-5 200 02/01/78  
  63 Frank Brooks  L/L 6-1 190 09/06/78  
  64 Matt Childers  R/R 6-5 215 12/03/78  
  62 Mark Corey  R/R 6-3 230 11/16/74  
  79 James Cox  L/R 6-3 205 05/13/84  
  -- Scott Erickson  R/R 6-4 230 02/02/68  
  80 Philip Hughes  R/R 6-5 220 06/24/86  
  26 Al Leiter  L/L 6-3 220 10/23/65  
  38 Ramiro Mendoza  R/R 6-2 190 06/15/72  
  81 Jose Veras  R/R 6-5 240 10/20/80  
  82 Steven White  R/R 6-5 205 06/15/81  
  30 Kris Wilson  R/R 6-4 220 08/06/76  
  Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB   
  84 Jason Brown  R/R 6-2 200 05/22/74  
  17 Ben Davis  S/R 6-4 215 03/10/77  
  83 Jose Gil  S/R 6-0 170 09/04/86  
  66 David Parrish  R/R 6-3 220 06/13/79  
  85 Omir Santos  R/R 6-0 200 04/29/81  
  Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB   
  78 Eric Duncan  L/R 6-3 195 12/07/84  
  86 Danny Garcia  R/R 6-1 180 04/12/80  
  27 Russ Johnson  R/R 5-10 185 02/22/73  
  90 Mitch Jones  R/R 6-2 215 10/15/77  
  91 Ramiro Pena  S/R 5-11 165 07/18/85  
  92 Marcos Vechionacci  S/R 6-2 170 08/07/86  
  Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB   
  67 Chris Prieto  L/L 5-11 185 08/24/72

Leiter, Mendoza and Erickson are the principle notables, but its also interesting to see Ben Davis there, partially answering the question, "What ever happened to ..."
From what I can gather Davis spent the 2005 season at Charlotte (The White Sox AAA club). I always thought he'd be a decent major league catcher. He's still only 28.

#5 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 03 March 2006 - 04:43 PM

It's important to keep in mind that the Yankees rate pretty poorly in comparison to their Red Sox counterparts in FRAA.

Since most people don't give a lot of credence to FRAA (I'm not getting into it here, though), this would explain a lot of the difference.  Basically the guy is calculating WARP3 numbers based on the projections and they include defense.  So, in essence, as far as I can tell on a first perusal, the Sox lineup is "better" not because they will score more runs, but because their overall contribution will be better.  So maybe the Sox score 850 runs and prevent another 100 that an average defense would allow.  So 950 total value runs.  Meanwhile the Yankees score 1000 runs but allow 100 extra, so only 900 in total.

I don't think (at least I didn't see it when I perused) that he ever says the Sox will outscore the Yankees, which is how you seem to be looking at it.

am I missing something?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yeah, I think you're right with that, but still he can't just add the WARP numbers like that, can he?

The Diamond Mind projections apparently used ZIPS and PECOTA numbers, to calculate the runs. Since PECOTA especially understates Runs, I suspect that had a lot to do with the low projections.

#6 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:08 PM

Here is a detailed look at the Yankees Offense for 2006:

Here are my offensive CRA projections for the scum-sucking MFY's:

           POS    AB  H  2B 3B HR  AVG  OPS  BRC  BRC/PA
Rodriguez   3B    615 179 27  1 45 .290 .934 107.7 .154
Matsui      LF    636 184 45  3 24 .289 .829  95.0 .136
Sheffield   RF    568 159 26  0 31 .279 .860  91.3 .141
Jeter       SS    643 187 32  3 17 .291 .779  88.6 .127
Damon       CF    626 182 31  6 17 .290 .790  87.6 .129
Giambi      1B/DH 491 113 14  0 32 .226 .824  80.9 .135
Posada      C     461 120 22  0 17 .260 .791  69.2 .128
Cano        2B    522 150 30  4 14 .283 .745  67.7 .123
Williams    OF/DH 325  77 12  1  7 .235 .671  40.2 .109
Phillips    1B/DH 277  63 14  0 12 .229 .705  35.2 .117 
Stinnett    C     148  35  6  0  4 .235 .670  17.5 .109
Cairo       IF    143  34  7  1  1 .240 .607  14.6 .097
Crosby      OF     97  21  1  1  1 .216 .549   8.8 .088

Projected Linear Runs:       804.3 
Projected Non-linear Runs:    64.0 (Note 1)
Projected Offensive Runs:    868.3

While this is still a mighty offensive machine, it appears that projections of 1000 runs are a bit over-inflated. The projected 222 HRs is pretty close to their 2005 total (229), their total batting runs created is -18 from 2005, and their total run production is -14 from 2005. The main reason for this is that the Yankees are essentially fielding the same team in 2006 as 2005 except for Damon and some hitters are in slow decline or plateau phase, so adding Damon does not project
an increase in offensive runs sufficient to offset this decline.

The Yankees have a very stationary offense. They were second in the league in hits in 2005, second in the league in HRs, and second in the league in walks, but they were last in the league in line drive hits (doubles and triples). As a result, their offense is fairly two-dimensional - get on base and hit a HR. They don't manufacture a whole lot of runs. There are a several reasons for the lack of
line drives:

1. Yankee stadium supresses doubles to the tune of a 93 Doubles Index (100 being average).
2. The Yankees have several hitters who do not hit doubles, including A-Rod, Sheffield and Giambi.
3. Lack of team speed.
4. Several players with declining power numbers.

The Yankees also have several players in what I call the "weightless phase" of their careers. By this I mean that the plane has started to descend, their power rates are in decline, but their OPS numbers remain stationary - compensated for by increases on on-base events (walks and singles). Of the regulars,
Sheffield is firmly entrenched in this phase, as are Posada, Jeter and Damon. The length of this phase varies, and some players can remain good for a considerable time (five years or more) through adaptation. Jeter and Damon would be candidates for this. Power guys tend to decline more abruptly - one day they show up at the park and find their bat speed is just gone. Sheffield and Posada are quite likely to hit this wall soon (Posada may already have) and suddenly morph into the 2005 version of Sammy Sosa.

One other thing that stands out in contrast to the Red Sox is the number of hitters projected to 650+ plate appearances. This is a team with no depth whatsoever, either on the 25-man roster or in the upper levels of the minor leagues (except perhaps at corner infield). Given their relative age and health issues, plus their
stationary offense, one or two key injuries could completely destroy the offense, and they could have great difficulty scoring even 800 runs.

Here are the individual batting profiles:

C Jorge Posada. Posada has seen a significant three-year decline in run production, with parallel declines in his 2B and HR rates. Last season, his walk rate also declined 39 points, probably due to impatience brought on by his declining power. He did increase his singles rate by 23 points, but he is clearly in offensive decline. His projected numbers for 2006 do show a slight increase in his
production rate, assuming that his walk rate can recover, his singles rate will remain static, and this will compensate somewhat for his continuing decline in 2B and HR rates.

1B Jason Giambi. Giambi recovered nicely in 2005 with his highest production rates since becoming a Yankee. He is extremely two-dimensional, however, and his production is based on excellent walk and HR rates. He seems indifferent to any other type of contact except for the HR, as his singles and doubles rates are almost unbelievably low. When Giambi's power goes, he will be the most useless hitter on the planet.

2B Robinson Cano. Its almost impossible to project Cano's one season. I gave him a five-point increase in his microscopic walk rate, and left his other rates more or less static. He has good line-drive power, and had the highest doubles and triples rate on the team last season. I don't think his power numbers will increase much (his doubles rate is already very high), so his success in 2005 will hinge on how much plate discipline he acquires and whether or not he can maintain his high singles rate. He is more likely, in my opinion, to regress slightly than improve, but I think his numbers will probably be fairly static.

SS Derek Jeter. The Yankee captain is primarily an adaptive singles hitter and that will continue to be the main source of his offensive production. After an odd season in 2004 which say his singles rate drop and his power numbers increase, he reverted back to his former self last season. His walk rates are only above average, and his doubles and home run rates are slightly below average, 2004 notwithstanding. He is in a distinct plateau phase right now, with some signs of regression (his doubles rate was only .033 2B/PA last season, compared with .046 in 2003 and .061 in 2004. He should continue to be a solid offensive player, but really is only the fifth or sixth best run producer on the Yankees at this point.

3B Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is very much a similar hitter to Manny Ramirez in all respects. He has huge HR power to all fields, and hits a lot of singles when situations call for him shortening his swing. Like Manny, he doesn't hit many doubles. He has a good, very consistent walk rate and an above-average
singles rate to go with his monster power. He shows no signs of decline at all, and should put huge HR numbers again this season, if he stays healthy.

LF Hideki Matsui. Matsui is one of the few Yankees who still seems to have an up side, and still improving. He is primarily a line-drive hitter, with excellent single and double rates to go along with moderate HR power - especially at home. He hits well to all fields and has no apparent weak spots at the plate. He has above-average walk rates as well. He is the most diversely talented hitter on the team.

CF Johnny Damon. Damon is a bit difficult to project because of the shift from Boston to Yankee Stadium. Like Jeter, he is mainly a singles hitter, and singles have become the staple of his offensive production, with increases in each of the past three seasons. His doubles rate was static in Boston, well above average, but the decrease from Fenway to Yankee Stadium should drop that rate about 10%. He still has enough speed to hit triples, but since he is primarily a pull hitter, triples opportunities should also dwindle playing half of his games in the Toilet. That decline in doubles and triples, however, will more than likely be made up for with the extra home runs he is likely to pull out in New York. If health, I expect him to be pretty much as productive as his three-year average in Boston.

RF Gary Sheffield. Over the past three seasons, Sheffield's power rates have dropped in each season - an overall 27% decline in doubles and a 14% decline in HRs. His walk and singles rates remain high, however, so some of that decline has been masked. Health has been part of the issue, but his injuries appear to be chronic, so there is no reason to believe he won't continue to decline, perhaps
precipitously, within the next two seasons. Like most of the Yankees, Sheffield tends to play through his injuries, but he is the most likely Yankee to miss significant time due to injuries in 2006.

The rest of the crew doesn't project well at all either at DH or in lieu of regular players. Andy Phillips has good power rates, but does not project well in his on-base numbers, so is really something of a Giambi clone in that respect. Bernie Williams is no longer an effective hitter, and will probably continue to decline. Miguel Cairo is strictly a singles hitter, with no power or plate discipline. Kelly
Stinett can provide some offensive support in spelling Posada, but not enough to make a difference. The bench is the achilles heal of this team, and none of these players is going to help the team for more than a couple of games. Any major injuries will prompt the Boss to have Cashman beating the bushes for a replacement from outside the organization, except perhaps at the corner infield positions if prospect Eric Duncan is anywhere near ready to play in the big leagues.

#7 OCD SS


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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, I think you're right with that, but still he can't just add the WARP numbers like that, can he?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


WARP is cumulative. I've seen a fair amount of analysis that is based on cumulative (career) WARP scores; BP does it all the time, and it's a staple of philly's draft analysis pieces. As long as he's comparing scores derived the same way it seems like it should be OK; the only problem I can see is that there might be an issue translating the results (ie going from WARP scores to projecting wins and losses).

#8 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:28 AM

WARP is cumulative.  I've seen a fair amount of analysis that is based on cumulative (career) WARP scores; BP does it all the time, and it's a staple of philly's draft analysis pieces.  As long as he's comparing scores derived the same way it seems like it should be OK; the only problem I can see is that there might be an issue translating the results (ie going from WARP scores to projecting wins and losses).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What I was referring to was him comparing the Red Sox with the Yankees by adding up the total WARP values for each position player. Since WARP is relative to position, a 5-point WARP advantage of Mark Loretta over Robinson Cano isn't the same as a 5-point advantage of Gary Sheffield over Trot Nixon. Am I wrong in that?

I really do hate WARP stats anyway, especially used in this context. You compile all of a player's characteristics into a single number and that tells you what about the player? It seems to me that WARP or VORP are only useful in answering bar room discussions.

Edited by Vermonter At Large, 05 March 2006 - 10:29 AM.


#9 OCD SS


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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:05 PM

What I was referring to was him comparing the Red Sox with the Yankees by adding up the total WARP values for each position player.  Since WARP is relative to position, a 5-point WARP advantage of Mark Loretta over Robinson Cano isn't the same as a 5-point advantage of Gary Sheffield over Trot Nixon.  Am I wrong in that?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I thought VORP was adjusted for position (ie so that a SS who hits the same line as a 1B has a much higher VORP), but WARP1 wasn't (so that you could compare the WARP scores of Sheffiled to Loretta in a "meaningful" way if you wanted)(but I wouldn't be surprised if I were wrong). I also thought that it might be adjusted for in one of the later WARP variations (WARP2 or 3); but BP can be maddeningly vague in their glossary: WARP2 is adjusted for "difficulty." It would make sense if that were a positional adjustment, but that's really all they say on the matter.

My big problem with WARP is that they use the Davenport deffensive metrics as the deffensive component. Since I don't trust those at all, it makes WARP pretty suspect, IMO. OTOH it is the only easily usable composite number available that has a decent archive on the web (Win Shares would be a nice correlate if you could search it in different years and pull the data off a player page, but since it doesn't do that I think we're stuck with WARP for these sorts of discussions).

#10 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:08 AM

Not too much going on in the Yankee camp at this point. Both Pavano and Dotel took their first BP sessions off the mound yesterday. Pavano hadn't pitched from the mound since last August while recovering from back problems, and Dotel is recovering from TJ surgery in June. Both reported feeling good - neither has a timeline for being ready for opening day, however.

Scott Proctor, who is the odd-man out in the new Yankee bullpen, will reportedly be converted to a starter in AAA Columbus this season.

Jorge Posada raised a few heads in an interview the other day by declaring that Wang is the best starter on the Yankees. Not sure if this was tongue-in-cheek or not. Some NYYFans.com subcribers think he's just lighting a fire under Johnson and the other starters. Others think he's probably sincere and that points to the general medicrity of the Yankee rotation.

#11 Charley Weir

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 12:51 PM

3B Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is very much a similar hitter to Manny Ramirez in all respects.


Vermonter ; I have to ask if you think A-Rod dives over the plate to be successfull; my impression is that he does. Would it be possible to determine his stats in games that a CMFY (And not just him, personally) was HBP?I contrast Game 3 of 04 ALCS with Game 4, in which Matsui hit the deck early, and nobody did much after that.

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 08:37 AM

Vermonter ; I have to ask if you think A-Rod dives over the plate to be successfull; my impression is that he does. Would it be possible to determine his stats in games that a CMFY  (And not just him, personally) was HBP?I contrast Game 3 of 04 ALCS with Game 4, in which Matsui hit the deck early, and nobody did much after that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's an interesting question, Charlie, but I'm not sure I have the answers at this point. He got a lot more comfortable hitting in the Toilet last season than in 2004, primarily because he was taking the ball the other way. Here are his HR splits at home for the past two seasons:

         LF         CF         RF
2004     14          0          3
2005     10          9          7

I'm not sure if he needs to dive to hit a ball out to RF, but I do think that at this point it doesn't really pay to pitch him outside at home, because he can punish that mistake. Both A-Rod and Manny are good enough where it doesn't really matter where you pitch them - if its fat they can hit it out in any part of any ballpark in the bigs.

Edited by Vermonter At Large, 09 March 2006 - 08:39 AM.


#13 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:24 AM

Not much new in the Yankee camp at this point, as there are so few position battles and a good chunk of the team is still playing in the WBC ...

It seems likely that Pavano is going to remain in camp (probably along with Dotel) for extended ST with an ETA to the big club no earlier than mid-April. The Yankees may not need a fifth starter much before then, and presumably either Aaron Small or Jaret Wright would slide into the five slot if needed.

Scott Erickson has been having a pretty good spring and is a long-shot to make the team at this point, but with both Dotel and Pavano slotted for XST, its possible. The main problem would be that the Yankees would have to find room for him on the 40-man roster, so a lot probably has to still happen for him to make the team.

There are fluff articles around on Cano, Wang and Farnsworth, but nothing earth shattering to report.

Adding Farnsworth and Dotel (if healthy) really increases the MFY late-inning high-heat capability, which should help set up Rivera nicely this season. From a Red Sox perspective, I don't think that either Farnsworth or Dotel will be particularly problematic, since the Sox can hit the high heat pretty well, but it will make the Fruit Bat a little tougher in contrast.

There seems to be a consensus that the Yankee infield defense is going to be rocky this year, with the exception of A-Rod, so there is some fear that this will hurt Wang, especially against lefties. I'm not sure that the Red Sox team as a whole will benefit from this, since they seem to have added a lot of fly ball hitters (Lowell and Gonzalez), but they still may be able to gain some advantage with Nixon, Crisp and Loretta in the lineup against him. This brings up an interesting point - is Tito adaptive enough (and are the Sox deep enough) to use a modified lineup against Wang - particularly in Yankee Stadium? It seems to me as if there might be a distinct advantage in sitting guys like Lowell and Gonzalez in games like this, in favor of slap hitters like Cora, Graf or Machado (possibly even Stern if he is around).

#14 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:31 AM

One other thing ... Giambi missed four straight games with calf tightness. There is nothing serious about this injury in itself, but sometimes teams maybe need to save Giambi from himself. He apparently really worked hard in the offseason putting muscle back on (presumably without the assistance of banned substances), but maybe there was too much of a good thing. All Giambi really seems to care about is hitting HRs, but if in that pursuit he got his muscles so tight that he can't field or run was it all worth it? It will be interesting to follow for sure.

#15 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 14 March 2006 - 08:20 AM

Just a few notes from Yankeeland ...

Damon's left shoulder is apparently bothering him enough to have scratched him from the lineup against Korea (and possibly from the rest of the WBC - if the US isn't eliminated). My feeling is that it's not bad enough to keep him from playing for the MFYs - the scratch seems to have been precautionary in nature, but that he will probably play 2006 with the same injury issues that he had in 2005 with the Red Sox. Damon is a gamer, and will play unless his arm falls off, of course.

Phillips has been playing all over the field this spring, with the Yankees apparently testing his effectiveness as a super utitilty guy. From a defensive standpoint, he seems to be a real stretch at every position except first base at this point, though. The Yankees officially plan on using Giambi as their primary 1B this season, but in reality, he may end up DHing most of the time with Phillips getting more games at first, and Bernie either not playing much or splitting some time with Sheffield and possibly Damon if he's not healthy. This can be viewed as a positive with Phillips hitting his way into the lineup, but an awful lot of that playing time can also be construed as variable effectiveness - defensively and health wise, of a good chunk of the Yankee "juggernaut." So if Phillips starts 130 games at first base this season, a lot of other things will be going wrong, and it will not be a good sign for the Yankees.

Rivera is being brought along very slowly this spring, but has looked just fine. There is some concern for the pastings that both Johnson and Wright have gotten lately, which is offsetting their guarded optimism over Pavano.

Larry Mahnken has posted a series of excellent pitching analyses on both MFY and other A.L. pitchers over on the Replacement-Level Yankee blot (link in the first post of this thread). They are highly recommended.

#16 Grunherz54

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 08:35 PM

ESPN: Damon Has Shoulder Tendinitis

Damon had an MRI exam. His sore left shoulder is the same one that hindered him late last year with Boston and weakened an already inferior throwing arm.


His ailment is exactly the kind of issue New York owner George Steinbrenner was referring to when he spoke out against the Classic.


George is getting upset!

Edited by Grunherz54, 15 March 2006 - 08:36 PM.


#17 Carmen Fanzone


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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:35 PM

Westechester NY Journal-News

Return of the lefty: If the Yankees need a starting pitcher in July, one popular theory is that they will try to trade for Andy Pettitte. It makes sense in a lot of ways. Pettitte won 149 games for the Yankees from 1995-2003 and was often superb in postseason games, particularly the World Series. He is in the last season of a three-year, $31.5 million deal with the Astros.

"I don't even want to get into thinking about that," Pettitte said yesterday after pitching three innings against the Yankees in his spring debut. "I think we're a playoff team."

Pettitte was 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA for Houston last season, helping lead them into the World Series. But unless Roger Clemens returns, Houston may not have the pitching to contend. The 33-year-old Pettitte will be a free agent after the season — assuming he doesn't retire.

"At the end of the year is when I'll figure out what I want to do. Whether I want to play or whatever," he said. "I don't know what I want to do. I'll play this year out and see how my arm feels, how my body feels."

While it seems unlikely Pettitte would retire, Torre believes it's possible. "I think he could. Sure, no question," Torre said. "When he says that his family means a lot to him, he means it."



#18 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:36 PM

Just to update the Yankee bench position battles:

Stinnett, Cairo and Phillips appear to have locks on the bench at this point. Youngsters Eric Duncan and Mitch Jones have hit well, but both are essentially corner infielders (Jones is a pretty mediocre defensive outfielder) and will probably start the season in Columbus.

Cairo has some slight competition from a hot spring by Felix Escalona, but his major league experience and major league contract should carry him over.

The generally unloved Bubba Crosby has some fairly serious competition for the fifth outfielder job from older minor leaguers Kevin Thompson and Kevin Reese. Crosby and Reese are lefties, so may have a slight edge over the contact hitting Thompson - who appears to be a fan favorite. Youngster Melky Cabrera has had a good spring, but will almost definitely go to Columbus. Like Duncan and Jones, Cabrera is a fairly decent prospect, however, and any one of those three could get recalled and get some fairly serious playing time if there are major injuries to the starting nine.

#19 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 17 March 2006 - 04:43 PM

Long/Middle man Aaron Small is going to begin the season on the DL with a slight hamstring pull. Link

With Small, Pavano and possibly Dotel beginning the season on the DL, Wright will apparently (although it hasn't been announced) begin the season in the bullpen, and journeymen Ron Villone and Tanyon Sturtze should make the team out of camp, although WOTS has looked fairly dreadful so far and should not be considered a lock to make the team.

#20 OilCanShotTupac


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Posted 19 March 2006 - 07:57 PM

Al Leiter, realizing that he sucks, retires.

Too bad. I was looking forward to beating him like a pinata.

Link

#21 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 31 March 2006 - 08:49 AM

In trying to objectively analyze the 2006 New York Yankees, there are only four player profiles (A-Rod, Jeter, Matsui and Rivera) that don't include the word "IF." That doesn't mean that this team is "iffy" by any means, they are a very powerful run-producing team and have a good core of veteran pitchers. Several players are apparently in slow decline, however, including key veterans Johnson, Mussina, Sheffield, Posade and Williams, a few others are nursing chronic injuries (Pavano, Sheffield again, Damon and Wright), and the few young players can go either way this season. Then there is the shadow of the independent steroid investigations that will be hanging over the BALCO boys and Yankee Stadium for the forseeable future.

The 25-man roster seems to be shaping up and should look something like this:

SP Randy Johnson
SP Mike Mussina
SP Chien-Ming Wang
SP Shawn Chacon
SP Jaret Wright
CL Mariano Rivera
SU Kyle Farnsworth
ML Ron Villone
ML Tanyon Sturtze
LG Mike Myers
LO Aaron Small
DL Carl Pavano (ETA late April)
DL Octavio Dotel (ETA mid May)

C Jorge Posada
C Kelly Stinnett (Johnson's designated catcher)
C Wil Nieves
1B Jason Giambi
IF-OF Andy Phillips
2B Robinson Cano
IF Miguel Cairo
SS Derek Jeter
3B Alex Rodriguez
LF Hideki Matsui
CF Johnny Damon
RF Gary Sheffield
OF Bernie Williams
OF Bubba Crosby

Probably Starting Lineup:
1. Damon CF
2. Jeter SS
3. Rodriguez 3B
4. Giambi DH
5. Sheffield RF
6. Matsui LF
7. Posada C
8. Cano 2B
9. Phillips DH

The only roster question marks at this point are whether or not Small will begin the season on the DL, and whether or not the Yankees will carry three catchers (Nieves is out of options). Crosby has apparently been given the fifth outfielder slot over Kevin Thompson and Kevin Reese, despite some popular support for the latter two.

The Yankees will go with a four-man rotation (Johnson, Mussina, Wang and Chacon) for the first half of April as the schedule allows. Wright will apparently be the fifth starter until Pavano is ready to pitch.

There is no real need to develop in-depth player profiles for the Yankees on this site, since they are nearly as well-known as the Sox players, and one could even argue that they are better known, since the Sox have so many new players on their roster. For those who do want more in-depth analysis, I did my rate analysis in Post #6 of this thread, and there are some excellent player profiles on the Replacement Level Yankee website. Here are a couple of trends worthy of discussion, however.

1. Defense: The Yankee defense in 2005 was poor, and there is little promise that it will get better. In the infield, only A-Rod is above average. Jeter had a poor year by every defensive metric available, and Cano was below average. Of these, only Cano probably has an upside. Cairo is an adequate backup at second, but if he is needed at other positions his value declines sharply. Phillips is no great fielder, but certainly better than Giambi at first. He can also play third and the corner outfield positions, but not without defensive penalty. The outfield is marginal. Matsui and Damon have decent enough range, and Sheffield still has a great arm. Crosby can play all three outfield positions reasonably well. The less Williams has to play in the field, the better. If the Yankees need to rely on defense to win ball games, they are probably screwed.

2. Spring Performances. In the end, most of the veteran players had decent springs, except perhaps for Mussina and Posada, the latter having been hit in the face with a ball and also experienced a tired arm. Of the young players, Cano pretty much dispelled concerns about his offseason weight gain and Phillips had a pretty good spring. Youngsters Thompson, Reese, Melky Cabrera, Eric Duncan and Matt DeSalvo all were impressive, although only Duncan appears to have a major league starter upside. Wang was a little iffy, and had a few minor injury problems, but should be fine.

3. BALCO. When MLB launched the Mitchell Committee to investigate steroid use, it became clear that the intent was to broaden the investigation beyond Barry Bonds. Since the committee is going to begin with Victor Conte and Greg Anderson, both Giambi and Sheffield are going to come under serious scrutiny immediately. At a very minimum this is going to be a large distraction, and the ultimate consequences could severely damage the Yankees in the event that the result of the investigation would lead to suspensions or bannings. Although that is unlikely at this point, these investigations are certainly going to be a big part of the 2006 season for the Yankees.

4. Health: In 2005, the Yankees got nearly full seasons from all of their regular position players, and they absolutely have to get that again this season for them to be successful. Jeter, A-Rod and Matsui are iron men, and Sheffield and Damon have a history of playing through injuries. Damon, Sheffield and Posada are all beginning the season in less-than-optimum health, and Giambi is always a candidate to miss time due to injury. In the rotation, Johnson and Mussina are old, and should not be considered locks to make 30 starts each. Pavano, Wright and Dotel are always injury risks. The Yankees simply do not have the team depth to sustain a lot of injuries, especially to one or more of the key players.

Prognosis: No team in baseball is as susceptible to a huge dropoff than the Yankees and they will need an wful lot to go well for them to win the Division and be successful in the postseason. Even if they manage to remain relatively injury free, they will have probably pushed their regular veteran players to the point of exhaustion by October, and a quick exit from the playoffs would be likely. Although their farm system has been rejuvenated, they still really only have one player (Duncan) at the AAA level who is likely to be an impact player for them later in the season if needed.

This is a team poised for a fall, unless Cashman can work some mid-season magic to shore up the weak areas. I think their upside, if all goes well, is 95 wins, the Division, and an early exit from the postseason. The other end of the spectrum is probably fourth place.

Edited by Vermonter At Large, 31 March 2006 - 09:09 AM.


#22 normstalls

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 12:42 AM

Joe Torre is off to a bad start of the season. His use of his pen (especially Rivera) has been particularly poor and his lineup construction is horrible. Why bunch up Jeter - Sheffield - A rod (all righties) and then Matsui and HGHiambi? It is horrible. The obvious better line up would be jeter - a rod - matsui - sheffield - hghiambi. I think the only reason he is doing it otherwise is because sheff's ego couldnt handle batting fifth. (I guess the other possibility is that Torre truly is a fool)

#23 Lucen


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:46 AM

Joe Torre is off to a bad start of the season.  His use of his pen (especially Rivera) has been particularly poor and his lineup construction is horrible.  Why bunch up Jeter - Sheffield - A rod (all righties) and then Matsui and HGHiambi?  It is horrible. The obvious better line up would be jeter - a rod - matsui - sheffield - hghiambi.  I think the only reason he is doing it otherwise is because sheff's ego couldnt handle batting fifth.  (I guess the other possibility is that Torre truly is a fool)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yeah, he's made some really odd decisions, but it's early. I think the offense is going to carry them through a few winning streaks this season, so I wouldn't worry about a slow start if I was a Yankees fan. Being a Sox fan, I worry that this team will be good enough offensively to destroy the weaker pitching teams which will hide their flaws for most of the season. But I still don't think this team is capable of winning in the playoffs.

For what it's worth, unless Schilling looks like he did in the opener all year and they end up with at least one more reliever they can trust, I don't think the Sox can either. But we'll have to wait and see on all of that.

#24 SaveBooFerriss


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 09:45 AM

Outside of RJ and Riveria, I don't think there is anyone of the Yankees pitching staff that is going to have a very good year. The only other guy that worries me is Dotel if he comes back healthy.

Torre already doesn't seem to trust Farnsworth against lefties. Jaret Wright is going to get yanked around. I don't think Wang and Chacon are going to cut it this year. Mussina, although he pitched alright on Tuesday, looks like he is on a steady decline.

I also can't see Giambi staying healthy if he plays first base on a everyday basis. He looks so clumsy out there.

They certainly are going to pound a lot teams with that offense, but this is a team getting older and older.

The fact that the Sox have Coco, Beckett & Papelbon and the Yankees only young players are Wang and LF in waiting Cano makes me giddy.

#25 John Marzano Olympic Hero


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 11:20 AM

Yankees are getting a new stadium:

New Toilet

#26 TheoShmeo


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 03:58 PM

Interesting first series for the MFYs.

First, they bash the shit out of the As, in part as a result of Bary Zito's largesse, and in part because they have a crazy good hitting line-up. All of the Yankee fans who predicted 1000 runs and 110 wins walk around Manhattan with smug grins the following morning, and foolishly taunt Sox fans after one win (never mind that the Sox also won convincingly and Schilling looked pretty damned good).

Later Tuesday, stories appear about Judas and HGH-man crowing about how great Zito would look in pinstripes. How lame is the open recruiting by players, especially with a piggy bank $80 MM bigger than their nearest rival?

Then they lose two games that were winnable, largely because they can't catch the ball. Putting aside the three errors, Matsui and Damon fail to make catches that many LFs and CFs would have made. One is a game-winner and the other puts the go-ahead run on third.

And, as noted above, Torre makes multiple obvious blunders during the series. The righty-lefty groupings are indeed stupid.

I really don't recall being more happy after the third games of the season than I was after the MFYs game ended last night. First, we get a gritty, strong performance out of Beckett, on a night when he did not have his best stuff, a triple by Crisp that would have been a double by any other player on the Sox -- now or in recent years, a Nixon line-drive homer that I bet half of RSN felt in their bones was coming, a ballsy, correct decision by Tito on using Paps instead of Foulke, and Paps' delivering the goods. Then, we get to see the Yankees blow a 4-run lead courtesy of bad fielding by Jetes, Cano and Judas, and go onto to lose in an embarassing fashion. And Toronto got shelled. Even the Mets lost. All in all, that's about as happy as I can be over the results of the third games of any season.

May the Yankees continue to field with cement shoes and Torre to manage with his head up his ass.

#27 trekfan55


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:54 PM

The obvious better line up would be jeter - a rod - matsui - sheffield - hghiambi. I think the only reason he is doing it otherwise is because sheff's ego couldnt handle batting fifth.


This was specifically mentioned on ESPN2's broadcast of Opening Day. And the thinking was along those lines: Which player do you tell you are "demoting" by hitting him 5th? One of the analysis made was that Matsui will not complain. Another analysis was that for each number lower in the lineup it means about 20 fewer AB's and a player like Sheffield with his ego would not like to miss those ABs with their corresponding fewer RBIs and HRs.

Now, I thought Torre was above this, and he should be the manager to put the best possible lineup up there. The mere possibility of having a potential 1-6 lineup of good and power hitting L-R-L-R-L-R could wreak havoc on any Tony Larussa type manager who would try to play pitching matchups. But as long as Torre keeps playing to the egos of players... Better not give him ideas I guess :)

OTOH I cannot wait to see Damon playing on the deep CF of Yankee Stadium and see numerous runners score form 1st on a single up the middle. :D

Edited by trekfan55, 06 April 2006 - 05:55 PM.


#28 OCD SS


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 06:07 PM

Rotoworld says the mfy have claimed Koyie Hill off of waivers from the DBacks.

#29 Lucen


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Posted 06 April 2006 - 07:48 PM

Does he have options or is he like 3rd catcher now?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No options, he's the 3rd catcher tomorrow.

Linkage

#30 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 07 April 2006 - 07:30 PM

Despite losing the first series in Oakland, the team performances were overall good, and the second game could have gone either way. Some general notes:

None of the top three starters were especially sharp, but all got through the games without too much damage. There was one interesting quote from Mussina after his outing when asked about throwing 102 pitches in Wednesday's game:

"I'm not really worried," Mussina said. "You've got to get to 100 pitches some time. I'll see how I feel tomorrow. Tomorrow and the next day will be the test to see how I come out of it."

Its just interesting to see that 100 pitches seems like a big deal at any point in the regular season. Nothing to read into it, but the discussion of Mussina and lack of stamina just doesn't seem natural somehow.

Wang's outing was marrred by errors from both Cano and Jeter, the latter allowing two runs to score after fielding a hop off his noggin. A full season of Wang is going to expose the Yankee infield to a high degree.

Like Boston, the bullpen has been shaky so far, except of course for Rivera. Torre drew some criticism from the Yankee cretins for not using Rivera in a tie ballgame in game two. Myers has been flawless so far in his LOOGY role, but Farnsworth got taken deep (a double off the wall) in game three. Wright got roughed up in two innings in relief of Wang in game three as well. Thus far, Torre appears to have only one pitcher on his "A" list, but of course its early.

Nothing much from the bottom of the Yankee lineup yet, with Posada, Giambi, Cano and Williams not contributing much. Williams started all three games of the series as the DH, so at this point Andy Phillips has been used pretty much only as a late inning defensive replacement for Giambi.

Edited by Vermonter At Large, 07 April 2006 - 10:41 PM.


#31 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 09 April 2006 - 08:25 AM

The Yankee bench is very strange, and virtually non-existent. Perhaps even more significant than the fact that Torre hasn't used Rivera yet is the fact that he hasn't been using the one guy on the bench who has offensive potential - Andy Phillips. Using Posada as the DH when Stinnett is catching RJ is questionable, and sandwiching Matsui into the lineup between the all-or-nothing Giambi ahead of him and Posada and Bernie Williams or Stinnett behind him virtually takes Godzilla's bat out of the lineup. Not sure what Torre is thinking here, but one gets the feeling that neither Posada nor Williams are going to contribute much offensively for the rest of eternity.

On the front office side, acquiring Hill was equally strange. The Yankees kept Nieves on the 25-man roster because they were high on him and he was out of options, then grabbed Hill and ended up DFAing Nieves anyway. Hill is also out of options, so they will still have to carry three catchers.

So the bottom line is that the Yankee bench pretty much useless, and Torre doesn't seem willing to use what he has anyway, which means that pretty much every starter better play 155 games and hit 40 HRs for this team to score runs.

I'm still holding the line that this team, as currently constructed, is going to have a hard time scoring even 800 runs following predictions that they might score 1000.

#32 Clemente38

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 11:25 AM

It will be interesting to see if the lack of "greenies" and other amphetemines will make the benches more important to teams, as some have predicted. If this holds true, even if some of the aging Yanks don't get injured, the way their bench is constructed it will end up hurting the Yanks in the long haul of the season.

And even without the issue of lack of uppers, last night they had no one to go to and had to rely on Bernie against KRod in the 9th down by a run and with a runner in scoring position.

It is hard to understand why the Yanks didn't buy more for their bench. I never understand why they stop constructing their lineup after the starting 9. Their lineup is impressive and you won't pinch hit often, but it is a long season and injuries occur. With the C and DH there is room for more bat power. Why not buy a few bats and store them on the bench. I'm with VAL, this is very strange.

#33 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 09 April 2006 - 07:52 PM

It is hard to understand why the Yanks didn't buy more for their bench. I never understand why they stop constructing their lineup after the starting 9.


My guess is that it's very difficult to convince bonafide major leaguers to come into a situation where they won't play much. Heck, the Yankees have endured a lot of complaining from crappy players like Sierra and Womack who were pissed when they didn't play. Since the Yankees don't have a good farm system, they end up not having lots of options here.

I'm not sure Crosby, Phillips, Stinnett, Cairo, etc. is that bad of a bench, though. Especially since there aren't many players on the team you'd PH for.

#34 Cornboy14

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:52 PM

So the bottom line is that the Yankee bench pretty much useless, and Torre doesn't seem willing to use what he has anyway, which means that pretty much every starter better play 155 games and hit 40 HRs for this team to score runs.

I'm still holding the line that this team, as currently constructed, is going to have a hard time scoring even 800 runs following predictions that they might score 1000.


This is borderline insane.

This is an extremely talented offensive team. Even assuming declines due to age, this is a team that is going to score somewhere around 900 runs, fairly easily. We're all glad to see the team start slowly, but lets not get carried away.

Of course there are going to be injuries, and the weak bench will likely hurt the Yankees. But Tony Womack won't be around this year, to suck up 300+ AB's, and put up an OPS under .600.

#35 TheoShmeo


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Posted 10 April 2006 - 08:24 AM

He hit it in the 2nd in a 0-0 game so I would say it is a coincidence. I hate A-Rod as much as the next guy but can't really rip on him for "piling on" in this game.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes and no. A-Rod did homer when it mattered yesterday. But he did not homer at the end of a close game, which he still rarely does.

But either way, if we need an easy target to mock after yesterday's game, we need look no further than A-Rod's newest bestest friend, who thought it was smart to steal a base while up 8-0.

After six games, it seems clear that the MFYs monster hitting line-up is going to obliterate bad pitching all year long. Zito and Colon were easy targets, for whatever reason. Hopefully, the trend of sucking in closer games -- given that good pitching generally beats good hitting, bad defense has a way causing teams to lose games and the yankees' pitching is arguably suspect other than Johnson and Rivera -- will continue, as well.

#36 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 10 April 2006 - 01:20 PM

My guess is that it's very difficult to convince bonafide major leaguers to come into a situation where they won't play much. Heck, the Yankees have endured a lot of complaining from crappy players like Sierra and Womack who were pissed when they didn't play. Since the Yankees don't have a good farm system, they end up not having lots of options here.

I'm not sure Crosby, Phillips, Stinnett, Cairo, etc. is that bad of a bench, though. Especially since there aren't many players on the team you'd PH for.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Back in the olden days when they were winning champsionships, they brought in big name veterans to sit the bench or platoon. Either they didn't care if the players didn't like it, or they got them to buy into it. They were smart to bring in those guys, as it made them a much deeper team that could handle the inevitable slumps and injuries that occur, and gave them real options to PH in big situations.

These are some "name" vets who played part-time, were picked up midseason or came off the bench during their run:

1996: Strawberry, Raines, Fielder, Charlie Hayes, Sierra
1998: Strawberry, Raines, Chili Davis, Dale Sveum, Chad Curtis
1999: Chad Curtis, re-acquired Leyritz, Strawberry, Chili Davis
2000: Justice, Glenallen Hill, Canseco, Polonia, Feix Jose, Roberto Kelly

Not all of them worked out of course, but they brought them in to try to strengthen their bench, and got important contributions from the ones who did work out.

Their current bench is pretty crappy and will be exposed if they have any regulars injured. Cairo's actually pretty good and could cover 2B if Cano went down. The rest are pretty weak, no real offensive threats there. Unlike how they always seemed to have a proven veteran bat available off the bench in their glory years.

I hope they go with this group and don't go out and acquire another verteran bat, that could leave them vulnerable.

They're still going to win 90-something games this year though.

#37 JohntheBaptist


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 12:51 PM

What's going to happen to the Skanks if they keep on giving away early leads but they start facing teams that can actually pitch?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They'll win one out of every three games like they did to start the year? One can dream, right?

The farther Wang, Chacon, Sturtze and Small (when he returns) fall back to earth, the less hair I have to pull out. Which would be nice.

I mean, 10 runs in 10 innings to the Royals is BAD, and small sample space aside, I think portends for bad things in large chunks of the season. They do, however, have the bats to stay in these games though, as we're seeing today and yesterday.

#38 LateRally

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:30 PM

I fully expect the Yankees to beat up on teams like the Royals, especially at home. I'm more encouraged by the 12 runs KC put up over the last 2 days. Until and unless the Yankees are able to pick up one or two good arms, their pitching is in deep shit.

#39 Route101


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 04:35 PM

Like I said in the other NYY thread, it'll be interesting to watch the Runs Scored/Runs Against tally for the NYYanks throughout this season. Their pitchers are going to eventually feel like mice (rats?) in the exercise cage, never quite getting ahead of their own defense enough to feel comfortable.

#40 trekfan55


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Posted 12 April 2006 - 05:07 PM

IMO the Yanks look to be in trouble right now.

They twice allowed the Royals to get ahead, but the Royals lack any kind of pitching depth and a lineup of Damon,Jeter,Shef,Arod,Matsui,Giambi and even Posada,Bernie,Cano at 7-8-9 will eventually rock some young unproven relief pitcher. However, the fact that Wang yesterday, and Chacon today got tagged by a Royals team that wasn't even at full strenght is bad news for them, good news for all of us.

Had Bartlo Colon and Barry Zito, two excellent pitchers (OK Zito may be overrated but he's still good) simply not bent over to them we might have seen the Yanks come form their road trip at 0-6. More importantly, when facing good pitching and not having it themselves (plus crappy defense) the Yanks are exposed.

I say this now, and the Yanks will still probably win 95+ games, though.

#41 Clemente38

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 03:51 PM

The Yankee postgame report has Guidry saying that he noticed that RJ was dropping down on his pitches and he thought this was an indication of tightening or stiffness in the arm from RJ. RJ says he was just tired, he felt tired after 87 pitches and that was all it was. Precautionary taking him out since it was clear that they were good shape with the game.

Not completely clear where these comments go with the restructured board but since there was a commentary on this in the thread, I figured I'd add the update.

No TJ pool winner yet.

#42 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 13 April 2006 - 05:21 PM

This is pretty much the same offensive Yankee team from last year: padding their numbers against weaker opponents, while good pitchers held them at bay. The only reason they made the playoffs last season was because Wang, Chacon and Small kept them in games down the stretch. If their pitching doesn't improve, they are essentially the Rangers East.

#43 SoxFanPJ


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Posted 14 April 2006 - 10:54 AM

The Yankees have entered into serious discussions with former Tigers first baseman Carlos Pena. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Chiba Lotte Marines also have shown interest in Pena, but baseball officials indicate the Yankees may be Pena's most likely destination. Bobby Valentine's Marines have considered Pena, but the Yankees may be too great a lure for the lefthanded-hitting Pena, who's spent most of his brief career with the losing Tigers.


http://www.newsday.c...ny-sports-print

#44 Vermonter At Large


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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:57 PM

http://www.newsday.c...ny-sports-print

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have no idea why Pena would choose to sign with the Yankees. They have Giambi entrenched at the position with a long-term contract, Andy Phillips as the backup getting almost no PT, and Eric Duncan on the fast track in the minor leagues, among others. There is virtually no chance that Pena would get any significant PT with the Yankees.

#45 JohntheBaptist


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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:21 PM

Per Michael Kay, the Yankees DFA'd C Koyie Hill today to call up LHP Matt Smith.

#46 OCD SS


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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:23 AM

The St Paul Pioneer Press has a nice little story about how Damon would move to RF if the Yanks aquired Tori Hunter. There's not much to it from the Yankee end (other than the comedy of Damon's arm in RF), but it seems that Twins fans are getting a little nervous about Hunter leaving, and that he would be on the FA market at year's end; The idea that the Yankees would need a new CF next year is a little absurd.

#47 Crazy Puppy

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 06:15 PM

The Yankees signed Carlos Pena to a minor league contract Saturday, Newsday has learned.

Pena, 27, is to make about $1.25 million and another $500,000 in incentives if he's in the majors.

Pena is expected to report to Class-A Tampa. If he isn't called up to the Yankees within a few weeks, he has an out in his contract.

The Yankees envision Pena as a defensive replacement and an occasional starter at first base.

Newsday

#48 Crazy Puppy

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 06:19 PM

Yanks were busy today. They also signed Jesus Colome.

Colome spent the last five seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, going 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 36 appearances last season. He appeared in 186 games with Tampa Bay, fourth-most in team history for pitchers. He was released last week after leaving a game against Baltimore with shoulder stiffness.

AP Story

#49 normstalls

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:12 PM

Torre with the very quick hook on Farnsworth...they are showing ZERO confidence in the guy. His head has to be messed with. Rivera in to get 5 outs.

#50 Euclis20

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 09:50 PM

A poor decision by Matsui and Cano's lack of range killed the Yankees in the 9th. Rivera looked very good, and he nearly got out of it with runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs.