Archive for July, 2008

Golden Boy on the comeback trail

July 30, 2008

3 IP 2 HA 0 R 1 BB 1 K for Phil Hughes at Low-A ball last night.

Ace Work

July 25, 2008

7 IP 3 HA 0 R 1 BB 9 K vs. one of the best hitting teams in baseball at Fenway.

Joba is a beast.

NYY-BOS Series Preview

July 24, 2008

Pitching Matchups:

Joba Chamberlain (163 ERA+) vs. Josh Beckett (110)

Andy Pettitte (107) vs. Tim Wakefield (118

Sidney Ponson (94) vs. Jon Lester (137)

Notes: The Yanks are three games behind the Sox in the WC race. David Ortiz is returning to the Sox lineup, but all of a sudden Manny Ramirez might be hurt. I can’t wait to watch Joba and Beckett on Friday, should be very exciting.

The Yankees big 3

July 22, 2008

In the first half the Yankees offense paled in comparison to the 2007 version. Some of this was due to the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada, the two main offensive contributors from 2007. But, that was just part of the problem. The bulk of the problem was underpreformance from Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Bobby Abreu.

PECOTA Projected OPS (Actual 1st half OPS)

Cano: .814 (.643)
Jeter .794 (.740)
Abreu .836 (.781)

Now, the fact that Posada may miss the rest of the season is a new problem entirely. But, when focusing on how the Yankees can get more offensive output, it’s pretty simple: wait for these three to get back to their means. Cano, Jeter and Abreu have become the most important players for the Yankees for the rest of the season. If they hit, they’ll have enough offense to win. If not… well, you know.

Last night, the big 3 went 6-for-14 with a homer and the Yankees won 12-4. It’s not a coincidence. These three need to provide offense down the stretch. ARod and Giambi can’t do it by themselves all the time. I think all three will have big second halfs and the Yankees will make the playoffs because of it.

They’re Coming

July 21, 2008

Yanks 4.5 behind Tampa and 3 behind Boston.

Look out.

Cano Update

July 21, 2008

The Crazy Cano season continues as the routinely cold starter and hot finisher is proving these trends more and more every year. This year was the most pronounced cold start of Cano’s career as he hit .151/.211/.236 in 114 PAs in April. Much of that was due to his .151 BAbip and constant weak contact.

But, that was months ago, how is he doing now?

In his last 115 PAs, Cano is hitting .355/.377/.533, which is right in line with his career second half OPS: .916.

It is safe to say that Cano’s first half was mostly a fluke. But, again, this is what happens when so much of a player’s production is tied to his batting average, something that is not constant and randomly fluctuates.

Cash signs Sexson, work not done

July 17, 2008

The New York Yankees have reached a tentative agreement with Richie Sexson, who was released by the Seattle Mariners a week ago. (Source)

Richie Sexson is not an everyday player. If he is one on your team, chances are you’re not going to be playing in October. The Yankees potentially need an everyday DH because of Hideki Matsui’s injury.

Signing Sexson doesn’t solve anything. Maybe there is some reason to play him against LHP, but the fact that he was signed before Bonds is alarming.

Cash, this better not be “The Move.” Your work is far from over after this signing.

Yanks should be players for Holliday, other stars

July 16, 2008

It might be in the next two weeks. It might be in October. But it’s more likely than ever to happen this winter, with the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets all panting after the left fielder. (Source)

The left fielder this article is talking about is one Matt Holliday of the Colorado Rockies.

If I’m the Yankees, I want this guy bad. Bobby Abreu is a FA this off-season and he is clearly in his decline phase as his OPS+ numbers are as such the last three years: 126, 114, 109. Letting Bobby walk creates a hole in right field. The FA class for outfielders this off-season doesn’t look so great. The best value would be to cheaply invest in Juan Rivera and hope he channels his inner-2006. The best talent move would be to just throw cash at Pat Burrell, who is peaking this year.

Still, if I’m the Yankees, I go after Holliday, who is a frontline star in this league. Nate Silver’s PECOTA projects Holliday to post EqAs, which are park adjusted for Coors Field, in the mid-.290s for years to come.

Trading for him now allows Hideki Matsui to have surgery on his knee and get ready for next year while not losing production. It also allows Johnny Damon to DH while he trys to recover from injury, the Yanks would play Holliday in LF for the rest of this year and then have him move to right to replace Abreu in ’09, when Damon would be ready to assume LF duties again.

What would the Yankees have to give up, you ask?

The Yankees can’t trade any important peice from their big club because they are in a pennant race vieing for the playoffs. Their most valuable minor leaguer is their Double-A CF Austin Jackson. It wouldn’t be painless, but I would move a package centered around AJax for Holliday.

The Yankees might have enough offensive regression in the second half to make the playoffs without making a move. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Abreu should all see their numbers comeback to the norm. But, Holliday, 28, makes this team better now and for years to come. AJax might be a star in centerfield, but if the Yankees acquire Holliday they can afford to carry Melky Cabrera’s bat as long as his above average defense remains.

Acquiring Holliday may be the first of a few moves for the Yankees where they add star players. This off-season the Yankees will have a lot of money coming off the payroll in Abreu, Carl Pavano, Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, and Kyle Farnsworth. Not to mention the new ballpark in the Bronx for next season. Runs at players like Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia wouldn’t be unexpected.

Yes, the Red Sox have won two of the last four World Series and the Devil Rays may have the most loaded organization in the history of baseball, but the Yankees are in a position to add multiple star players in the coming weeks and months. They can be the aging Yankees, the depleted Yankees, or they can make some moves and be the favorites for next season.

The ball is in your court, Brian Cashman, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner.