'Invisible' Ellsbury

jon abbey

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Well, Chris Young, Beltran and A-Rod all need to start against the lefty, so that leaves one spot for Ellsbury or Gardner. I'm a little surprised Gardner gets the nod there, but both have been terrible at the plate in recent months and Gardner is a better defender.
 

glennhoffmania

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Ellsbury doesn't really have a split this year.  His OBP is actually higher against lefties, but his SLG is lower.  His career numbers are very close as well.
 

jon abbey

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Ellsbury has a .601 OPS in half a season since coming back from his injury July 4, Gardner has a .592 OPS since the All-Star break.
 
I'm glad I don't have to choose between them as both have been awful, but I think it's about Gardner's superior D. 
 

glennhoffmania

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He was actually starting to come around a little bit before the crash. Unless I'm misremembering.
 

tims4wins

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The 9 Astros starters tonight made $27,859,980 this season. Jacoby Ellsbury made $21,142,857 with the Yankees. He's not starting.
 

Buffalo Head

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I dunno, seems to me the guy who single-handedly destroyed the Red Sox organization for years to come by leaving should be good enough to start a Wild Card game.
 

glennhoffmania

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You don't understand. He bumped into a wall a week ago. How can you expect him to play now?
 

Ed Hillel

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
Meh, $22 million doesn't buy as much as it used to.
We know that well, unfortunately.
glennhoffmania said:
You don't understand. He bumped into a wall a week ago. How can you expect him to play now?
Speaking of...our guy bumped into a wall in May.
 

LuckyBen

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Ellsbury-the difference between letting MN or LAA slip in to the playoffs and losing in a play-in game.
 

Van Everyman

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Particularly when combined with Sabbathia's rehab sojourn, gotta figure Ellsbury's benching is gonna be a story all winter – a symbol for overpaid veterans being unable to even take the field in the most important game of the year.
 

DrewDawg

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It's amazing how much that one season did for him.
 
Without 2011 his career slugging is below .400. His OBP is about .335--OPS of .734. I'm guessing his career OPS+ would be right around 100, maybe below.
 
He hit 36% of his career HRs, almost 25% of his career doubles, more than 25% of his career RBI, more than 20% of his career TBs, etc. in that one amazing season.
 

mt8thsw9th

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2007-2010:
.291/.344/.405 (93 OPS+)
 
2011:
.321/.376/.552 (146 OPS+)
 
2012-2015:
.276/.331/.396 (101 OPS+)
 

 
His career OPS+ exclusive of 2011 is certainly below 100, and likely pretty close to Coco Crisp's career mark of 97.
 

foulkehampshire

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The problem with the Ellsbury contract is that he was never really an elite player, outside of 2011. 
 
I'm sure the Yankees realized this too, but thought that a broad base of skills (defense, base-running, contact) would end up being pretty solid throughout the contract. Most of the injuries he has were of the fluke nature (impact related), which really didn't indicate a brittle player. 
 
The real culprit seems to be a declining BABIP. He used to regularly post BABIP's in the .320-.340 range, but the last 2 years he's hovered around .300. It doesn't really seem like his approach has altered too much, though his GB% has dropped to the mid-low 40's range, as opposed to sitting at 50%+. Maybe his ability to beat out grounders has diminished and he's trying to hit more line drives?
 

glennhoffmania

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I'll still never understand the decision to not budge on the offer to Cano but give Ellsbury this contract, plus sign Beltran and McCann.  Cano said he wanted more than the 7 years NY offered.  Maybe they could've kept him for something like 8/200, but even if it took 10 years I still say that was the right call now that 2 years have passed.
 
Cano put up OPS+ of 142 and 118 in Seattle while missing a total of 11 games with 9.8 bWAR and 7.3 fWAR.
 
Ellsbury was 110 and 84 and missed 64 games with 5.2 bWAR and 4.9 fWAR.
 
There's still a lot of time left though obviously.  If NY had to do it all over again I wonder if they'd make the same decision.
 

Rovin Romine

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foulkehampshire said:
The problem with the Ellsbury contract is that he was never really an elite player, outside of 2011. 
 
I'm sure the Yankees realized this too, but thought that a broad base of skills (defense, base-running, contact) would end up being pretty solid throughout the contract. Most of the injuries he has were of the fluke nature (impact related), which really didn't indicate a brittle player. 
 
The real culprit seems to be a declining BABIP. He used to regularly post BABIP's in the .320-.340 range, but the last 2 years he's hovered around .300. It doesn't really seem like his approach has altered too much, though his GB% has dropped to the mid-low 40's range, as opposed to sitting at 50%+. Maybe his ability to beat out grounders has diminished and he's trying to hit more line drives?
 
His SB totals indicate he still has his speed.  
 
The real red flag should have been the relative lack of power in his 2013 season.  (He peaked with a .552 SLG in his age 27, 2011 season, was injured in 2012, and slugged .426 as a 29 year old in 2013.)  
 
He does not really have a broad base of skills though - his speed/base stealing is excellent, his catch-the-ball defense is good, and his OBP is decent but not elite.  OTOH, he has no arm, can't stay on the field, and has only average-ish power at best.  
 
Which isn't to say he's not a good player, or shouldn't be starting.  He's a speedy, catch the ball CF, who gets on base at a .320-.350 clip.  Offensively, he's basically a slightly faster version of Brett Gardner.  (That's not worth 25 million for each of the next 5 seasons though.)
 
I know there's this mantra out there that fast players age well, but if Ellsbury loses a step his value will plummet.   
 

rembrat

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The Ells signing is even more weird once you realize the Yankees already had a Jacoby Ellsbury type in Brett Gardner who they locked up for far less. I mean Brett is far more durable but they do things very similarly. 
 

tims4wins

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I think he has already lost a step. His steals have gone from 52 to 39 to 21. His SB % has gone from 92.8% to 88.6% to 70.0%.
 

joe dokes

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I'll still never understand the decision to not budge on the offer to Cano but give Ellsbury this contract, plus sign Beltran and McCann. Cano said he wanted more than the 7 years NY offered. Maybe they could've kept him for something like 8/200, but even if it took 10 years I still say that was the right call now that 2 years have passed.

Cano put up OPS+ of 142 and 118 in Seattle while missing a total of 11 games with 9.8 bWAR and 7.3 fWAR.


Ellsbury was 110 and 84 and missed 64 games with 5.2 bWAR and 4.9 fWAR.
This always got me, too. At least with the Sox recent off season, there was some consistency with respect to age and contract duration (however misguided it may have turned out). But so many years of Ellsbury vs. so many years for Cano never made sense to me.

 
The real culprit seems to be a declining BABIP. He used to regularly post BABIP's in the .320-.340 range, but the last 2 years he's hovered around .300. It doesn't really seem like his approach has altered too much, though his GB% has dropped to the mid-low 40's range, as opposed to sitting at 50%+. Maybe his ability to beat out grounders has diminished and he's trying to hit more line drives?
 
 
Trying for more HRs to RF at home?
 

foulkehampshire

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rembrat said:
The Ells signing is even more weird once you realize the Yankees already had a Jacoby Ellsbury type in Brett Gardner who they locked up for far less. I mean Brett is far more durable but they do things very similarly. 
 
I remember Brett being a very good defender in CF few years back. Has he taken a step back defensibly? His numbers in CF/LF don't grade so well the last couple years, though I fully realize the inherent instability of yearly defensive stats. 
 
It was a puzzling signing at the time, as Gardner was a comparable defender and an good hitter.
 

jon abbey

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It was a panic signing, not well thought out at all. NY finally realized a year or so too late that they couldn't actually get under $189M, and SEA outbid them for Cano (letting him go was the right decision, 10 years was insane), so they just started throwing money at whoever would take it. This isn't much of an exaggeration, they literally offered deals to Beltran and Shin-Soo Choo at the same time (the Choo offer was obviously bigger) and told them whoever accepted first they would sign. That is not a good way to make decisions. 
 

Rovin Romine

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tims4wins said:
I think he has already lost a step. His steals have gone from 52 to 39 to 21. His SB % has gone from 92.8% to 88.6% to 70.0%.
 
His number of times on base also went down each year for the past three.  
 
Is there a way to run a number for "steal opportunities" across the years - say, the total number of times when Ells was on 1B or 2B, compared to the number of times he tried to steal, compared to the number of times he was successful?   
 
I realize there are situations where one should not try to steal, plus injuries, etc.   
 

tims4wins

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Probably difficult to isolate that, but we can at least compute times on base less triples less homers (realize he also got on base via fielders choice, error, etc., so this is a bit crude)
 
2013: 172 H + 47 BB + 3 IBB + 5 HBP - 8 3B - 9 HR = 210 times on base. 52 steals / 207 times = 25%
2014: 156 H + 49 BB + 5 IBB + 3 HBP - 5 3B - 16 HR = 192 times on base. 39 steals / 192 times = 20%
2015: 116 H + 35 BB + 1 IBB + 7 HBP - 2 3B - 7 HR = 150 times on base. 21 steals / 150 times 14%
 
Pretty clearly the same decline
 

jon abbey

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In his very slight defense, NY seemed to adopt a team policy this year midseason that no one should try stealing bases because the guys behind them were hitting so many HRs. Gardner went over a month between attempts, and I think the whole team may have gone a month at one point between successful steals.
 

RedOctober3829

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glennhoffmania said:
I'll still never understand the decision to not budge on the offer to Cano but give Ellsbury this contract, plus sign Beltran and McCann.  Cano said he wanted more than the 7 years NY offered.  Maybe they could've kept him for something like 8/200, but even if it took 10 years I still say that was the right call now that 2 years have passed.
 
Cano put up OPS+ of 142 and 118 in Seattle while missing a total of 11 games with 9.8 bWAR and 7.3 fWAR.
 
Ellsbury was 110 and 84 and missed 64 games with 5.2 bWAR and 4.9 fWAR.
 
There's still a lot of time left though obviously.  If NY had to do it all over again I wonder if they'd make the same decision.
I wonder if they had to do it over if they would have signed either one of them. Cano has hit pretty well but the back end of that deal will be awful.  
 

Rovin Romine

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tims4wins said:
Probably difficult to isolate that, but we can at least compute times on base less triples less homers (realize he also got on base via fielders choice, error, etc., so this is a bit crude)
 
2013: 172 H + 47 BB + 3 IBB + 5 HBP - 8 3B - 9 HR = 210 times on base. 52 steals / 207 times = 25%
2014: 156 H + 49 BB + 5 IBB + 3 HBP - 5 3B - 16 HR = 192 times on base. 39 steals / 192 times = 20%
2015: 116 H + 35 BB + 1 IBB + 7 HBP - 2 3B - 7 HR = 150 times on base. 21 steals / 150 times 14%
 
Pretty clearly the same decline
 
Well, that means he was running less often and was less successful when he did run.  There could be a number of reasons for that beyond the one that Jon notes, but the overall picture isn't good. 
 
Edit - his Caught Stealing numbers were 4, 5, 9.  
 
So total steals attempted per total opportunities would be: 27%, 23%, 20%.
His successful stolen bases per total opportunities: 25%, 20%, 14%.
His caught stealing per total opportunities: 2%, 3%, 6%.
 
Edit 2 - that's kind of stark, when you think about it.  2013 Ells is going add a base 1 in every 4 times he's on 1B or 2B.  2015 Ells is going to add a base 1 in every 7 times, at the cost of more outs.  
 

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jon abbey said:
In his very slight defense, NY seemed to adopt a team policy this year midseason that no one should try stealing bases because the guys behind them were hitting so many HRs. Gardner went over a month between attempts, and I think the whole team may have gone a month at one point between successful steals.
 
Didn't Gardner get nicked up at some point? What was his injury, I honestly don't know. Just thinking if he hurt something that would cut down on his SB attempts too.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, Girardi said/implied that Gardner's been playing hurt for months, but it really did seem like a team-wide policy regardless of health because of how well they were hitting (they were second only to TOR in runs scored, hard to believe but true).
 

strek1

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Cashman was just on Francessa.  Said they couldn't "Unlock"  what happened to Ellsbury after the knee injury.  Hahaha  - Call the Sox, they'll "unlock" it for you.
 

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RedOctober3829 said:
I wonder if they had to do it over if they would have signed either one of them. Cano has hit pretty well but the back end of that deal will be awful.  
Yeah. I don't know how anyone can look at the Ellsbury decision and come to the conclusion that the Yankees should have just backed up the truck to Cano instead. The Yankees made a good call on not signing Cano to that bad contract. The decision to sign Ellsbury to a bad contract doesn't change that.
 

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EvilEmpire said:
Yeah. I don't know how anyone can look at the Ellsbury decision and come to the conclusion that the Yankees should have just backed up the truck to Cano instead. The Yankees made a good call on not signing Cano to that bad contract. The decision to sign Ellsbury to a bad contract doesn't change that.
I know it would never, ever happen but it'd be cool if they traded Ells for Cano this winter. Seattle would give up some short-term (but declining) quality in exchange for four years worth of salary relief on the back end. But I think the perception out here is that Cano is still the "awesome guy anchoring our lineup" and it'll take one more season of good-not-great production and declining power before Seattle fans start fearing the back end of his deal.
 

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foulkehampshire said:
The problem with the Ellsbury contract is that he was never really an elite player, outside of 2011. 
 
I'm sure the Yankees realized this too, but thought that a broad base of skills (defense, base-running, contact) would end up being pretty solid throughout the contract. Most of the injuries he has were of the fluke nature (impact related), which really didn't indicate a brittle player. 
 
The real culprit seems to be a declining BABIP. He used to regularly post BABIP's in the .320-.340 range, but the last 2 years he's hovered around .300. It doesn't really seem like his approach has altered too much, though his GB% has dropped to the mid-low 40's range, as opposed to sitting at 50%+. Maybe his ability to beat out grounders has diminished and he's trying to hit more line drives?
 
I suspect Ellsbury is letting NYS get to his head and consciously trying to hit the ball in the air more because he thinks he can hit more home runs at NYS than he expected to hit when playing half his games at Fenway. Hence more fly balls, fewer ground balls, and a lower BABIP.
 

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His defense this season has been a little wobbly, seems unsteady on his feet at times. Enjoy JBJ because that is not what we are seeing here.

I could see the Yankees switching the speedy SS prospect Mateo to CF. Didi blocks him at SS. Castro at 2B. So let him go after Jake's job in two years.
 

bigq

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Was fun to watch Ellsbury with a straight steal of home tonight. Glad the Sox didn't re-sign him given the high cost but good to see he can still put up highlight plays.
 

Sampo Gida

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His defense this season has been a little wobbly, seems unsteady on his feet at times. Enjoy JBJ because that is not what we are seeing here.

I could see the Yankees switching the speedy SS prospect Mateo to CF. Didi blocks him at SS. Castro at 2B. So let him go after Jake's job in two years.
JBJ has been a bit wobbly himself IMO. A couple of the plays Ellsbury got criticized over I felt were unfair. His double clutch on a play to home had more to do with Teix late to get in cut off position. He should still have let it fly, but with his arm there is no play on his own. Another ball he dived at that got past him was probably a triple even if he took a more conservative route. His only chance was to catch it. That said, he is an above average fielder at best. I think he lost a step due to that knee issue last year