Quick Hit: “Owning” a Pitcher

When Tony Gwynn passed away, one of my favorite statistics of his wonderful career was brought up by dozens of writers – his .415/.476/.521 slash line against Greg Maddux, complete with 0 strikeouts in 107 plate appearances. These match-up specific numbers are oftentimes disregarded, and with good reason, as the sample sizes are generally quite small and spread out across several seasons. However, that does not prevent them from being a blast to discuss.

Last night, Brett Gardner took Yu Darvish deep twice, raising his career line against the Rangers’ ace to .455/.500/1.545 with 4 home runs in only 12 PA. Only two other players have taken Darvish deep four times, and both play in the same division (Mike Trout and Brandon Moss). And, perhaps most interestingly, Gardner does not have more than two home runs against any other pitcher.

All of this made me wonder – what pitchers do other Yankees hitters “own?” So I set a baseline of 10 PA, and ventured into a Baseball-Reference wormhole to find out (using OPS as the measuring stick).…

Read more

Thoughts On MLB.com’s Updated Top 20 Prospects List

The post-draft top prospect list updates are still trickling in, and MLB.com was the latest to release theirs over the weekend.  The Yankees had 2 representatives on that list, right-hander Luis Severino (70th) and Gary Sanchez (76th), which I believe is an improvement from the preseason list on which only Sanchez was ranked.  If you’re wondering, Byron Buxton is still #1.

Of greater interest to Yankee fans is MLB.com’s updated top 20 organizational prospects list, which was also released over the weekend.  The list includes detailed write-ups on each player, tool grades, and stats, and is completely and totally free to check out, which is nice.  As usual, the gang at MLB.com offered up a different take on the top 20 Yankee prospects than most other outlets.  A few thoughts on their list:

- Hard to argue with Severino as the new #1.  Sanchez has been quietly stagnating a bit for the last year or 2 while Severino has burst onto the scene as a guy who can throw 3 pitches for strikes and get swings and misses in bunches while avoiding walks.  …

Read more

Game 105 Quick Recap: TEX 4 NYY 2

David Phelps

Courtesy of the AP

It wasn’t a West Coast game, but it was still too late for me last night.  I tapped out in my armchair sometime around 9:30.  If you’re like me (note: don’t be like me) and missed any or all of last night’s game, here’s what you missed.

Brett Gardner was the Yankee offense.  All of it.  He hit solo home runs off Yu Darvish in the 3rd and 5th innings and those were all the runs New York would get.  Darvish was much sharper than he was at The Stadium last week and he held the rest of the lineup scoreless over 7 innings while striking out 8 and walking 1.  They got some hits off him, just never when they really needed one.

David Phelps had a pretty solid start going through the first 4 innings and had a 2-run leading heading into the bottom of the 5th.  That was where the game ended.  With 2 outs and a runner on first, the heart of the Ranger order went single, single, double to tie the game.  …

Read more

Quick hit: Jeter passes Yaz on all-time hit list

Congratulations to Derek Jeter who passed Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time hit list!

It was just about the only positive thing about tonight’s game.

Read more

Game 105: Phelps v. Darvish

A year ago today, the Rangers were 56-49, a scant 1.5 games out of the playoff race, and the Yankees were a game behind them at 55-50. Flash forward to today, and the Yankees are in a similar position – a game out of the Wild Card race, standing at 54-50. The Rangers, on the other hand, have the worst record in baseball at 41-64 (as well as the worst run differential in the game, at a staggering -119).

Forgive the cliche … but sometimes you really can’t predict baseball.

While you’re waiting for the game to begin, head on over here and leave us a question for our next podcast.

New York Yankees Texas Rangers
Brett Gardner, CF Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Derek Jeter, SS Elvis Andrus, SS
Brian McCann, 1B Alex Rios, DH
Carlos Beltran, DH Adrian Beltre, 3B
Chase Headley, 3B Jim Adduci, LF
Francisco Cervelli, C J.P.

Read more

Quick Hit: Tonight’s Lineup, Roster Moves

The first pitch for tonight’s game is scheduled for 8:05 PM. Here’s your lineup:

Brett Gardner, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Brian McCann, 1B
Carlos Beltran, DH
Chase Headley, 3B
Francisco Cervelli, C
Brian Roberts, 2B
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Zoilo Almonte, LF

David Phelps, SP

To make room for Almonte, Jeff Francis was designated for assignment. This can be filed under ‘duh,’ insofar as predictability is concerned, as the team was carrying thirteen pitchers on the active roster, including three left-handed relievers (the other two being David Huff and Matt Thornton).

So long (for now), Jeff. We hardly new ye.

Read more

Trade Talk: Cervelli, Willingham, Kemp, Arrieta

The deadline is less than 4 days away.  Here are the latest rumors fresh from the mill:

- This one actually goes back to late last week, but it appears as though Francisco Cervelli is still a hot commodity for the Rockies and White Sox.  Joel Sherman mentioned both teams’ interest in Cervelli in a post centered on Troy Tulowitzki last Thursday, although to be fair, he did not specifically state that there was any new interest since ST.  As I said last week, Cervelli could be a useful trade chip for Cash if he’s looking to make another smaller deal for a helpful piece.

- Josh Willingham is the preferred choice for more right-handed thump, according to Jon Heyman.  Marlon Byrd and Alex Rios were also thrown out as targets, but Willingham’s $7 mil salary and no additional years of commitment beyond 2014 make him more attractive to the Yankees.  Willingham is hitting .219/.361/.421 with 10 HR in 230 PA this season.…

Read more

Coming Soon: The All Questions Answered Podcast

Hosting this blog’s podcast is far and away my favorite part of writing for It’s About the Money, as it gives me an opportunity not only to riff freely on anything and everything in the world of baseball with some of the most knowledgeable Yankees fans around, but a chance to interact with our equally intelligent listeners and readers. As the podcast has become more and more engrained with the blog, we have garnered more and more questions and thoughts from our audience, and those comments have become essential to our agenda. And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And now, it’s time for an episode of the podcast that is all about you.

We will be podcasting on Thursday, July 31, after the smoke has cleared from the trade deadline – and we want to hear from you. The goal is to have an episode almost entirely dedicated to answering listener questions, sprinkled with whatever noteworthy news develops in the interim.…

Read more

Chase Headley More Than a Rental?

Third base has been an absolute hole for the New York Yankees over the last two seasons. Ever since Alex Rodriguez had injury issues last year — and suspension issues this year — they have been unable to replace him.

New York third basemen this season have hit .247/.321/.389 with a 97 wRC+ and a .317 wOBA. Those numbers are even inflated due to Yangervis Solarte‘s hot streak at the beginning of the season. Last year was even worse, as Yankees third basemen hit .221/.290/.330 with a 69 wRC+ and a .279 wOBA.

Finally, it seems like they might have found a real third baseman and not the garbage that has been their the last two seasons. The Yankees bought low on Chase Headley, and so far it has paid huge dividends.

The Padres really did a horrible job in this negotiation. They should have gotten more than a journeyman and a prospect who may only end up being a reliever, even though Headley had been struggling this season.…

Read more