'Invisible' Ellsbury

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There's enough backpedaling in this story to make the Earth reverse its path, but has Ellsbury second-guessing begun?
 
But somehow, someway, he has sort of escaped much scrutiny so far, a year and one game in as a Yankee. It may be because he is rather invisible; especially in the clubhouse.
 
If Ellsbury performs like a $153 million guy -- which, since we are only one season and one game into his contract, he still might -- then aversion to showing any personality is irrelevant.
But, thus far, you wonder if this might -- please note, for future reference, the word might -- be a contract the Yankees really regret.
 
http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/83764/jacoby-ellsbury-the-invisible-star
 

glennhoffmania

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None of what he's saying wasn't known before he got that deal, which is why most people thought it was an idiotic contract.  Why this is being discussed now is a mystery.  As for the personality issue, does Marchand want him to be as charismatic as, say, Jeter?
 

rembrat

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But somehow, someway, he has sort of escaped much scrutiny so far, a year and one game in as a Yankee. It may be because he is rather invisible; especially in the clubhouse. He is as fast in and out of the locker room as he is on the base paths and, when you do catch him, he is not very revealing. He is not rude, just vanilla. This only matters because it makes him even more unnoticed.
 
It sounds like Marchand is looking back at the halcyon days of the 90's and sighing into his column. The bold is also pretty funny coming from a writer who covers an organization that is by and large very vanilla and very safe.
 

terrynever

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Ellsbury is a perfect Hal Steinbrenner type of Yankee, sort of the way Reggie was George's vision of what the Yankees needed to recapture the city from the Mets in the mid-1970s. You have to think the milkman sneaked into The Boss's bedroom one morning and produced Hal.

The Yankees are in between identities right now, waiting to see if their prized prospects pan out the way they did 20 years ago. Yes, it has been that long since the Yankees developed their own talent.
 

jon abbey

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Obviously it was an overpay from day 1, that couldn't have been a more stupidly run offseason by NY, although I guess it could have if Choo took their offer instead of Beltran. 

One thing I will say about Ellsbury, though, is that just from observation he had a lot to do with NY outperforming their Pythagorean projections by 7 games last year (84 wins as compared to 77), as he was right in the middle of so many late game-winning runs or rallies. 
 

terrynever

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Ellsbury is a fine complementary player, as is Gardner. Yanks just lack the big guy in the middle of the lineup who makes the other guys better.
 

Andrew

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I think that Ellsbury is an incredible player, and I fully believe he was partially responsible for the overpeforming of the pythag, but he absolutely is as vanilla as it comes. Personally, I couldn't care less if I was the fan of the team, but that has been known about him for as long as he's been playing. Outside of Plympton, how much hand-wringing was there when Ellsbury walked? And to the Yankees? By and large people didn't care because he is such a forgettable personality. Ellsbury is a better player than Damon was, and there wasn't a fraction of the outcry when Ellsbury left as there was when Damon did. 
 

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All of which is very odd, since the loss of Ellsbury was a big loss.  However it was widely anticipated.  Ellsbury never said he wouldn't go to the Yankees and we all expected him to take the highest bid, no matter where it came from.
 

mt8thsw9th

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jon abbey said:
One thing I will say about Ellsbury, though, is that just from observation he had a lot to do with NY outperforming their Pythagorean projections by 7 games last year (84 wins as compared to 77), as he was right in the middle of so many late game-winning runs or rallies. 
 
How much can this be attributed to the bullpen keeping games close, and the sample size of him typically getting more ABs in these types of situations? His numbers were pretty bad in close and late situations overall.
 
That said, he hit much better when the team was trailing, so your subjective view may be clouded by him being a bright spot during overall poor team performances, combined with a handful of occurrences of being in the midst of late wins. 
 

DrewDawg

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Andrew said:
 Ellsbury is a better player than Damon was, and there wasn't a fraction of the outcry when Ellsbury left as there was when Damon did. 
 
 
Was he? Same OPS+ in Boston for both guys. Damon's WAR was 17.7 in 4 seasons in Boston, Ellsbury's was 22.1 in about 120 more games, but more than a third of that was his ridiculous 2011 that clearly was not just an outlier but some kind of Black Swan event. Not sure how you feel about the Batting Runs stat, but Ellsbury's 2011 season was a 42.0. His career number is 36.0. Outside of that year, his career Batting Runs is negative, which means below average. But 2011 happened and it was amazing to watch.
 
Ranking their seasons by WAR you get:
 
Ellsbury's 8.5 in 2011 first then the next 4 seasons are Damon's 4 years in Boston.
 
Plus, this swing was my "I believe" moment:
 
http://m.mlb.com/video/v20113551/
 

jon abbey

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mt8thsw9th said:
 
How much can this be attributed to the bullpen keeping games close, and the sample size of him typically getting more ABs in these types of situations? His numbers were pretty bad in close and late situations overall.
 
That said, he hit much better when the team was trailing, so your subjective view may be clouded by him being a bright spot during overall poor team performances, combined with a handful of occurrences of being in the midst of late wins. 
 
Yeah, those aren't very good numbers. I did some quick searches for specific instances and found three times he knocked in the winning run in the 9th or later (May 23, June 11, July 9), and another that he scored the winner that late (July 21), there are probably more. Also he had a 1.300 OPS in extra innings, only 21 PAs but still. I'd be curious to see that Late & Close stat from the 9th inning on, it really seemed like he found another gear in those situations quite a bit last year. 
 

jon abbey

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(And got picked off first to lead off the game, which could have ended up costing them the game but didn't because of the rally in the 8th).
 
Very nice game for him overall, but that was a major black mark. 
 

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jon abbey said:
(And got picked off first to lead off the game, which could have ended up costing them the game but didn't because of the rally in the 8th).
 
Very nice game for him overall, but that was a major black mark. 
 
Wow, you're a tough critic. That was a balk, so I'm willing to forgive that major black mark.
 

terrynever

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Base stealers get picked off from time to time, even the invisible ones. This early in the season, it is magnified. I thought Ellsbury should have run on the first or second pitch of Gardner's AB. This team needs to be aggressive on the bases to compensate for lack of hitting.
 

jon abbey

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Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson, Shane Greene, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, Jose Quintana, Tyler Clippard, Zach McAllister all come to mind pretty quickly from recent years, they just aren't on NY any more. 
 

terrynever

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What I should have said is the Yankees haven't developed a cluster of prospects at roughly the same time the way they did 20 years ago. This current group is the first that seems to have four or five elite prospects since Bernie Williams and the Core Four developed over a three-year span in the early 1990s. Of course, teams rarely hit on every elite prospect. The Yankees, in particular, usually dump off prospects, as JA points out up above. Whether this next wave of prospects produces even two major league position players, let alone five, is the big question.
 

RedOctober3829

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terrynever said:
What I should have said is the Yankees haven't developed a cluster of prospects at roughly the same time the way they did 20 years ago. This current group is the first that seems to have four or five elite prospects since Bernie Williams and the Core Four developed over a three-year span in the early 1990s. Of course, teams rarely hit on every elite prospect. The Yankees, in particular, usually dump off prospects, as JA points out up above. Whether this next wave of prospects produces even two major league position players, let alone five, is the big question.
That crop of prospects was the best in the last 30 years.  Judging a system against that is a losing proposition.  You've got 2 first ballot HOFers in Jeter and Rivera, a borderline candidate in Pettitte, and great players in Williams and Posada.  They've done pretty good over the past 20 years in guys listed a couple posts above.  
 

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terrynever said:
 I thought Ellsbury should have run on the first or second pitch of Gardner's AB.
 
 
You'll be saying that over and over as Ellsbury's seasons go by.
 

jon abbey

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Anything but invisible lately, 17 for his last 30 and hitting .365 for the season now.
 
Also he's at least temporarily leading the AL in SBs with 11, 4 CS.
 

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Well, Ellsbury told me Monday night that the plan was for him to fly back to New York with the Yankees. Joe Girardi confirmed the disappointing news before Tuesday's game: That Ellsbury's knee is still not well enough for him to begin playing in games, although he did hit on the field for the second night in a row.
"It looks like he's not quite ready, so he's going to go back home with us," Girardi said. "He's not ready to go to Tampa. It's just not where we want it to be physically. He's not where we want him to be, so we’re not going to risk it."
Although Ellsbury has done some running in the outfield, he has yet to run the bases and, according to Girardi, "He's not running 100 percent and obviously that's important, especially for him."
http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/86355/jacoby-ellsbury-heading-to-new-york-is-bad-news-for-yankees
 

terrynever

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Sox fans can see where this is heading. The Yankees are being extra careful not to put any pressure on Jake to push his rehab. He's just a fragile player, and that is the package they paid all the money for. Fun to watch when he is on the field. Invisible when he is injured. I'm not even sure how much they miss him, in terms of wins and losses.
 

TheYaz67

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Been a couple weeks since any update - saw this yesterday:  "Ellsbury was scratched from Tuesday's lineup at High-A Tampa due to fatigue in both legs, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports."
 
He has played in 37 of the Yankees 78 games to date....
 

rembrat

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Ells isn't taking the field unless he's 100% but with that said "fatigue in both legs" has to be the most baseballey injury I've heard in a while.
 

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Supposedly he's just a little tired from all the working out he did over the last few days and his knee is ok.  We shall see.
 

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TheYaz67 said:
Been a couple weeks since any update - saw this yesterday:  "Ellsbury was scratched from Tuesday's lineup at High-A Tampa due to fatigue in both legs, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports."
 
He has played in 37 of the Yankees 78 games to date....
 
Does it even matter? Brett Gardner has played 72 games with an OPS+ of 141. Maybe we should start calling Ellsbury Gardner-lite.
 
I suppose that money could have been spent somewhere else, but except in the Ellsbury/Cano offseason when they half-heartedly tried to get below the luxury tax threshold, I don't know that the Yankees have significant spending constraints.
 

TheYaz67

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Oh, I get that him being missing has not killed them, in that Chris Young has put up some decent numbers in his absence (it is the 2B/SS/3B continuum that is the problem on offense) and not knocking the deal overall, given this is just the second year and he put up decent numbers in the first, just updating his condition, since I was expecting he was back before the ASB, but now maybe that is a bad assumption based on that last report...
 

FlowerCity

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"Invisible" and "vanilla" to me are reporter speak for he doesn't talk to reporters the way they want him to. He may not be a front and center leader on a team, but he knows when to pick his spots.
 
 
"We had a day off and I got checked out and then I got this news," Pedroia said. "I'm driving home and I'm just sick about it. Then I get this text from Jacoby. He says, 'Are you OK?'

"I tell him, 'I've torn the ligaments in my thumb. I might need surgery,'" Pedroia recalled. "He comes back with, 'Is there any way you can play through it? We need you.'"
Until that moment, Pedroia admitted, he was mentally preparing to undergo the operation, be fitted for a cast and be sidelined for weeks.


"Jacoby hasn't said something like that to me in seven years we've been together," Pedroia said. "I looked at [my wife] Kelli, and I told her about Jacoby's text. Then I said, 'I gotta play with this. He would do it for me. All the guys would. I have to do it for them.' "


http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/text-jacoby-ellsbury-drives-dustin-pedroia-play-injury-075015596--mlb.html
 

snowmanny

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We are all quite familiar with this story.  Why are we reading it again?
 

tims4wins

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Been a rough go for Jacoby since returning from the DL. .212 / 255 / 376 (632 OPS) slash since returning, including 16 K vs. only 5 BB (23K vs. 19 BB pre-DL stint). Hurt by a .217 BABIP vs. .379 pre-DL.
 
Those watching him, is this just a SSS BABIP issue, or is he really struggling? Still hurting?
 

jon abbey

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He doesn't look hurt physically, and he did lead off Sunday's game with an impressive HR just left of center, so maybe he is slightly snapping out of it. Maybe the bigger worry for me is that he hasn't stolen a single base since coming off the DL, teams don't even seem too worried about him as a threat to do so currently and that is a big part of his game. 
 

Andrew

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He picked up a little bit since the last post in this thread, but dropped back down to about the same level he was a month ago .266/.328/.361  and only 4 steals in 6 attempts in the last month. It's most likely injuries and not his abilities dropping off a cliff, but this has been a pretty disappointing season. His worst since 2011 when he just played 70-something games.
 

jon abbey

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He seems to somehow escape criticism, but he is killing NY right now. I'd call him a sizable disappointment so far except I never had especially high expectations for him in the first place. Hopefully Heathcott will start for him tomorrow, maybe a day off will help.
 

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jon abbey said:
He seems to somehow escape criticism, but he is killing NY right now.
 
No one gets mad at vanilla.
 

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His first disastrous year in Boston, Carl Crawford hit .255/.289/.405/.694 (85 OPS+), with 11 HR and 29 2B in 539 PA, and made $15m.
 
Ellsbury in Y2 of the deal is at .257/.318/.348/.666 (86 OPS+), with 7 HR and 10 2B in 424 PA, and is making $21m.
 
It's a pretty good comp, in every aspect except the hostility with which the numbers are greeted by the hometown fans.
 

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KenTremendous said:
It's a pretty good comp, in every aspect except the hostility with which the numbers are greeted by the hometown fans.
I think the indifferent-to-forgiving reception is quite comparable. Crawford and Ellsbury both got patience to a fault from both fan bases. Not until they leave town does the vitriol start to flow in earnest.
 

jon abbey

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I think he's maybe trying to play through an injury or two which isn't helping, and NY hasn't had much choice since Chris Young is a big zero against RHP (.587 OPS this year) and their young fourth outfield options all got hurt (Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott) or traded (Ramon Flores). After Heathcott's big HR tonight, maybe Girardi will trust him to play more. 
 

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AVG
2013 .298
2014 .271
2015 .262
 
OBP
2013 .355
2014 .328
2015 .322
 
SLG
2013 .426
2014 .419
2015 .351
 
OPS
2013 .781
2014 .747
2015 .672
 
OPS+
2013: 113
2014: 110
2015: 88
 
SB
2013: 52
2014: 39
2015: 21
 
SB %
2013: 93%
2014: 89%
2015: 72%
 
BB%:
2013: 7.4%
2014: 7.7%
2015: 7.0%
 
K%:
2013: 14.4%
2014: 14.6%
2015: 16.9%
 
5 more years at ~$22M/ year. Wow.
 

rembrat

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Yea and I don't really see him going back to playing 150 games a year now that he's on the wrong side of 30. 
 

terrynever

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Yanks tried an old tried and true formula. Hit Boston where it hurts. Take away one of its best players. In hindsight, they should have waited for one of their kids to develop. Boston made the same mistake when it signed Hanley for roughly the same amount of money. I guess the temptation to empty the wallet is too great for baseball executives. I can only hope the Yankees have learned their lesson following the Ellsbury signing.