3/28: Let's Beat The Orioles This Year

jon abbey

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Well, it seems like both forever and no time at all since 2018 ended, but here we are again...



As NY has returned to powerhouse status in the last couple of years, the number of casual yahoos who think they are personnel experts has exploded. People who couldn't pick Patrick Corbin out of a police lineup ranting and raving about how stupid Cashman was to not top the 6/140 WAS gave him (6/140! That's going to be an ugly deal in the end.). And no amount of calm explanations about why Bryce Harper wasn't a good fit for NY with Judge and Stanton already on board seemed to slow the waves of "Catastrophic mistake passing on Bryce, if only George was alive to see this."

Thanks, I needed to get that out of my system.

Meanwhile, Cashman has methodically and carefully built a team that is up there with the other powerhouses (BOS, HOU, LAD, maybe a couple of others) and by the Fangraphs Depth Chart metric, they are the best positioned team in MLB currently:

https://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=9

He's done this with a few big moves (Chapman in FA a few years ago, the Stanton deal last year, the Paxton deal this winter) but mostly he continues to improve where he can, and he's been doing it year-round, to the point where NY's six infielders this Opening Day are entirely different from the six they had last Opening Day:

2018: Austin, Drury, Gregorius, Torreyes, Wade, Walker
2019: Voit, Andujar, Gleyber, Tulowitzki, Bird, LeMahieu

A bit of that is due to injuries (Bird last year, Didi this year) plus Andujar and Gleyber were both up early in 2018, but still.

Ignoring short-term injuries, the outfield is the same four guys as last year, the two catchers are the same too. The rotation has replaced Gray and Montgomery (back from TJS in August?) with Paxton and Happ, the bullpen has five returnees (Chapman, Betances, Green, Holder, Kahnle) and Robertson/Shreve/Warren have been replaced by Britton/Ottavino/Cessa or Tarpley.

So the team continues to improve, with the only obvious hole being Andujar's 3B defense, but there is an in-house midseason fix there if needed, LeMahieu to 3B, Andujar to DH, Stanton to LF, Gardner to 4th OF. The other major question is the no-longer-a-rookie manager Aaron Boone, who looked pretty overmatched all last season. Much like Andujar and his defense, he seems to have been working hard to improve all winter and build off his rookie year, so we'll see, but if NY struggles, I would not be too surprised to see him fired midseason.

So that's a lot of rambling, sorry. 1 PM today is the home opener, Tanaka vs. Cashner. NY plays BAL six out of their first nine games, they need to do better this year than the 12-7 head to head last year, 14 or 15 wins at least.

But none of that matters now, just today. As Mariano Duncan used to say in 1996, "we play today, we win today... das it!". Let's get this party started.
 
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jon abbey

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Also if you weren't pumped enough, some guy named Mariano is throwing out the first pitch.
 

jon abbey

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Also the Orioles have won eight straight times on Opening Day, today would be a good day for that to end.
 

jon abbey

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Well, don't all post at once...

NY's lineup is up, interesting to see Gleyber ahead of Tulo at 8/9, thought they'd put Gleyber 8 just based on age/respect:

CF Gardner
RF Judge
LF Stanton
DH Voit
3B Andújar
C Sánchez
1B Bird
2B Torres
SS Tulowitzki
 

Couperin47

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Luck had me locally in court this morning so I'm astounded to find I can watch this game on ESPN. If we can stay healthy we will be in it, speaking of which I remain unconvinced that Bird can actually remain healthy for a full season...let's see.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Foolishly, I took Tuesday off instead of today. So it will be the sweet croonings of Jon and Suzyn in my office.
 

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Also the Orioles have won eight straight times on Opening Day, today would be a good day for that to end.
Surprisingly not the franchise record, as the Browns did so from 1937-45. Also longer than any such Yankee streak, with a personal best of seven years from 1923-29.

It's baseball, finally we're back.
 

jon abbey

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Luck had me locally in court this morning so I'm astounded to find I can watch this game on ESPN. If we can stay healthy we will be in it, speaking of which I remain unconvinced that Bird can actually remain healthy for a full season...let's see.
They don’t need him once Hicks is back, assuming Voit keeps being Voit.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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It’s John, please don’t group us together. :)
I thought it looked wrong when I typed it.

How much does it suck for LeMahieu that he starts on the bench? I still think that is a super weird signing, more from his part than the Yankees.
 

jon abbey

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I thought it looked wrong when I typed it.

How much does it suck for LeMahieu that he starts on the bench? I still think that is a super weird signing, more from his part than the Yankees.
Well, from his side, the market for second basemen was pretty flooded, and he did better than guys like Dozier or Schoop and right around what Lowrie got.

I agree it’s weird, I think it’s about having a backup plan already on hand if Andujar is terrible defensively again.
 

crow216

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I have oddly high expectations for DJL. Cashman clearly saw something in him short and long-term to give him such a big contract. I'm betting that we see him take over an infield position full-time by eoy.
 

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Boone just got absolutely no applause haha
Nor should he, heh. Have to think Beltran n the FO would be the best manager for this club. Wouldn't surprise me if the same mistakes of being overmatched, bad quotes, continue that Boone is out within 18 months.

Also, much as I get life comes first, genuinely massively bummed xStats isn't going to be around this season. It makes Savant's equivalent look positively minor league.
 

NoMaRRaMoN

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The MLB blackout rules are stupid as is having only 2 NY teams on at the same time with no other games. I can't watch the first games of opening day because I'm at work. I'm sure I'm not alone.
 

NoMaRRaMoN

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MLB.TV, ESPN, and cable apps all have the games blacked out. Only way seems to be watching on TV or some fancy VPN stuff that I'm not about to learn how to do.
 

crow216

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The MLB blackout rules are stupid as is having only 2 NY teams on at the same time with no other games. I can't watch the first games of opening day because I'm at work. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Are you in NY? I just watch on foxsportsgo when at work
 

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Of course, they mention the exit velo of the knocks of Judge and Stanton on the broadcast, but Judge's had a higher xBA of 10 points (.680 to .670).

428 foot bomb for Voit, 112.6 EV, .990 BA.
 

Couperin47

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crow216

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Tanaka has been around so long that it's really easy to forget that he is only 30 years old.
 

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I love Singleton, but man on 3rd base, GiDP doesn't always mean no run. Immediate thought was Game 7 of 1962, Kubek against Sanford. All they needed that day offensively, and to paraphrase Schultz, that McCovey didn't hit the ball three feet higher.
 

crow216

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Can't blame Andujar or Bird on that one really. Just a tough play and Bird was completely stretched out
 

thehitcat

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Not able to watch but on the Andujar error was it effort on the ball but a late and offline throw or did he nonchalant it?
NVM just read Crow's comment looks like I have my answer.
 

crow216

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Not able to watch but on the Andujar error was it effort on the ball but a late and offline throw or did he nonchalant it?
NVM just read Crow's comment looks like I have my answer.
He ranged beyond 3b, snagged it, and had an overhead throw with plenty of oomph on it. Not making excuses for him but I think a lot of great 3b struggle with that play too. Announcers blamed Bird more.
 

Just a bit outside

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Not able to watch but on the Andujar error was it effort on the ball but a late and offline throw or did he nonchalant it?
In foul territory going away from first base. Throws on the move and ball is a little low and to right field side of first base. Bird stretches out and ball goes off his glove. Tough throw but not impossible.
 

jon abbey

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Base hits of 119+ mph since Statcast began tracking in 2015:

Giancarlo Stanton: 15
Aaron Judge: 4
Rest of MLB: 0
 

jon abbey

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A few minutes behind still, but I think Bird should have caught that, but tough play all around.
 

pokey_reese

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Not able to watch but on the Andujar error was it effort on the ball but a late and offline throw or did he nonchalant it?
NVM just read Crow's comment looks like I have my answer.
It was borderline, it was a long stretch for Bird, but it could have been made, it wasn't off by a huge amount.
 

terrynever

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He ranged beyond 3b, snagged it, and had an overhead throw with plenty of oomph on it. Not making excuses for him but I think a lot of great 3b struggle with that play too. Announcers blamed Bird more.
If Miggy just ate the ball, runner stays at first and does not score on ensuing single.