Brian McCann’s Crazy Reverse Platoon Split

McCann HR vs HOU

Nice looking home run swing. Against a lefty.

In last night’s game recap, I made mention of Brian McCann‘s reverse platoon split this season and how he’s hit left-handed pitching incredibly well while being downright awful against righties.  It wasn’t an exaggeration.  After last night’s game, McCann owns a .301/.345/.544 tripleslash in 103 PA against southpaws, good for a .388 wOBA and 147 wRC+.  In 275 PA against righties, his slash line is .211/.270/.327 (.268/64).

That’s an astonishingly wide OPS gap.  Almost 300 points.  It’s even more astonishing when you consider that McCann’s career OPS against righties is .834 compared to .755 against lefties, and his career batting average is 15 points higher against righties.  This isn’t a case of big variations from year to year either.  Go back through each one of his Major League seasons and you won’t find a single instance of McCann’s OPS being better against LHP than RHP before this season.  Since 2005, the formula has been that McCann hits for better average, better power, walks more, and strikes out less against righties.…

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1994: The Yanks coulda been a contenda

I really enjoyed Domenic’s piece yesterday about the 1994 Expos and Yankees playing each other in the 1994 World Series. As Domenic mentions, much has been written about the 1994 Expos and how the labor stoppage not only killed the Expos’ greatest chance at post season history, but perhaps killed the franchise as well. While the Yankees franchise has survived the labor unrest quite well, the team was poised to erase twelve years of post season inaction and it was quite possible the Yankees’ great dynasty at the turn of the millennium might have started two seasons earlier. What if the 1994 Yankees were able to complete that 1994 season?

The more I thought about this piece, the more variables I came up with. I am not going to present simulations. Number one, I’m not that savvy. Number two, Bill James did that for us back in 1995. What interests me more is the individual seasons it cut short and whether the team would have actually made it to the World Series.…

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Injury Updates: Tanaka, Phelps, Severino, Claiborne

The contingent of injured arms forges on in various stages of rehab work from their respective injuries.  Here’s the latest.

- Masahiro Tanaka- Still on track to throw another bullpen session this week.  Although the date and number of pitches is not yet known, it has been confirmed that he will throw some sliders and curveballs.

- David Phelps- Was re-evaluated on Monday after the planned 2 weeks off and came through it fine, which allowed him to throw a flat ground session.  He also reportedly had a follow-up MRI on his elbow.  Joe said he’s about 3 weeks away from returning to game action and left the option open for Phelps to return in a relief role.

- Luis Severino- Was activated off the Double-A DL and pitched in last night’s game.  Gave up 2 runs on a hit and a walk and struck out 3 in 3 IP.  He has to be close to whatever innings limit the team has set for him, so I imagine he’ll have his workload limited from here on out.…

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The 2014 New York Yankees. Our Mediocrity. Your Frustration

There’s no reason for this rant.  I’ll come right out and admit that in case anybody wants to skip it.  There was nothing in last night’s game that was new for the 2014 Yankees.  They didn’t hit when they needed to, their pitching was inconsistent and not able to make up for the lack of timely hitting, and when it came to doing the little things in the game, the Yankees simply didn’t do enough of them to win.

And that’s what’s absolutely killing me right now.  The little things.  All the little things.  I was following the MLB.com gamecast last night and when Carter hit that home run I felt a wave of unhappiness and anger settle over me.  I stayed up through the predictable 1-2-3 bottom half of the 9th so I could finish the game recap, because that’s the kind of caring, all heart, team-first blogger I am, but what I really wanted to do was slam my laptop shut and heave it through my sliding glass door in my apartment.…

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Game 123 Recap: HOU 7 NYY 4

D-Rob BS vs HOU

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees stumbled out of the gate in 2014 by losing 2 of 3 to the lowly Astros, mainly because their offense didn’t produce and they scored a total of 7 runs in the 3 games.  120 games later, they found themselves hosting Houston in an almost identical situation.  Despite taking 2 of 3 from Tampa over the weekend, the offense continues to be laughable in its day-to-day production and Joe rolled out another different lineup tonight against lefty Brett Oberholtzer looking to spark something that could lead to more than 4 runs.  It didn’t, and some shaky bookend pitching led to another disappointing loss against an inferior opponent.

Yankee starter Chris Capuano was a slightly better version of his usual self over the first 4 innings.  He put exactly one runner on base in each frame and missed the strike zone by a lot on occasion, but was mixing his pitches well and keeping the young/over-aggressive Houston lineup off balance on his way to 6 strikeouts.…

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Game 123: The Fightin’ Altuves v. Chris Capuano

While you’re waiting for the game to begin, check out our simulation of the could-have-been 1994 World Series, between the New York Yankees and the Montreal Expos.

Houston Astros New York Yankees
Robbie Grossman, RF Brett Gardner, LF
Jose Altuve, 2B Derek Jeter, SS
Chris Carter, DH Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dexter Fowler, CF Mark Teixeira, 1B
Jason Castro, C Carlos Beltran, DH
Matt Dominguez, 3B Martin Prado, 2B
Jon Singleton, 1B Brian McCann, C
Jake Marisnick, LF Chase Headley, 3B
Gregorio Petit, SS Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Brett Oberholtzer, SP Chris Capuano, SP
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Report: Yankees No Longer Pursuing Rusney Castillo

If you’ve been following the Yankees’ involvement in the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes, this news will come as a bit of a surprise.  According to Pete Caldera, the Yanks have “ended any pursuit” of the 27-year-old Cuban free agent, to whom they’ve been strongly linked since he became available and hosted for a private workout a week or 2 ago.

Last I knew, the Yankees were planning to make a big offer to Castillo.  They reportedly liked what they saw from him in his workouts and fancied him a good option as a second baseman.  While Caldera’s report gives no explanation for the change in stance, there are a few factors to consider.  Castillo is having visa problems, which could prevent him from being available to play this season, and there are a couple other big-money teams in the running for his services.  If the Yanks have information on the type of salary he could be in line for, they could have decided that his talent level wasn’t worth the price and resulting luxury tax hit.…

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What if: The 1994 World Series

There is little that I could write in this space that has not already been written about the lost 1994 season. The Expos fielded the greatest team in the tumultuous history of the organization, yet never had the opportunity to test its mettle in the playoffs. The Yankees were a dominant force in the American League, fielding what may have been the most balanced team in Don Mattingly‘s career. And Matt Williams‘ chase for 61 and Tony Gwynn‘s quest for .400 were cut a few dozen games short.

While the tragedy of the Expos receives significantly more publicity than the Yankees abbreviated season (and deservedly so, I might argue), it is nevertheless intriguing that two teams seemed to stand above the rest on the mountaintop – one at the beginning of a dynasty, and one within a fingertip’s grasp of greatness that was forever out of reach. How would a match-up of these titans of 1994 have played out?…

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Tuesday Morning Food For Thought: Jeter’s Playing Time

Jeter vs TB II

Courtesy of Getty Images

Back in November of last year, when the disappointment of the season that was had fully worn off, I started looking ahead to this season and wrote this post discussing the possible playing time split at shortstop.  Derek Jeter was going to be 40, we had no way of knowing what kind of shape his ankle and legs in general would be in after a season in which they were a constant problem, and the Yankees had already re-signed Brendan Ryan as his defensive insurance policy.

In that post, I predicted Jeter would play in 120 games total in 2014 and about 80-100 of those games at shortstop while DH’ing in the others.  Why do I bring this up now?  Because we’re 122 games into this season and Jeter is well on his way to blowing my predictions, and the predictions of most others, out of the water.  He’s already exceeded the number of games at short that I called.  …

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