Discussion: Wasting Mariano?

Here is an interesting thought, courtesy of Tim Marchman:

But for all the money teams spend on pitching, John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions, a data company that works for major-league teams, is bewildered by situations like this. “In a three-run game,” he says, “you’d be better off bringing in your No. 2 reliever and saving your best pitcher, usually your closer, for the next game.” By probability, the most crucial moment in a game — the one where an out is the most valuable — often comes earlier, sometimes closer to the seventh inning.

From 1977 to 2006, according to situational probabilities that have been calculated by baseball researchers, home teams going into the top of the ninth inning with a three-run lead win 98% of their games. This would seem to make the use of Mr. Rivera in such situations similar to shooting a fly with an elephant gun.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I do know that if Joe Girardi began using Mo as a “relief ace,” bringing him in to put out fires as early as the 7th, he would get ripped by the media.… Click here to read the rest

Ways to Suppress Homers in the Launching Pad

Since Yankee Stadium officially has given up the most home runs through 6 games in the history of the universe, and home run ballparks inevitably seem to be homes for lousy teams (see Rockies and Orioles), I figure we all need to pool our collective brainpower to find ways of suppressing the power index of this overly generous coliseum.  Here are some possibilities for accomplishing that goal, but feel free to add your own:

  1. Move fence back to original dimensions of 460 in left-center, 425 in right-center, and 490 in cf.  Damn!  Babe Ruth hit that many homers in THAT park?  Wow.
  2. Suspend Big Papi above the Major Deegan so his fat butt blocks the wind from entering the Stadium
  3. Give adjacent seats in right field to both Curt Schilling & Hal Steinbrenner.  Their conversations would create enough hot air to blow back at least 100 homers/year
  4. MTA places tax on homers based on how far ball goes in order to make up for the deficit they’re somehow running on despite record levels of ridership.
Click here to read the rest

Minor Notes: Venditte's Video Game Numbers

Pat Venditte Almost Perfect

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte put up video game-like numbers for Staten Island last season. He allowed just a 0.83 ERA in 32 2/3 innings while acting as the team’s closer and making 23 saves. He struck out 42 and walked 10 in that time period, while allowing just 13(!) hits.

He’s still rolling to start the season. Venditte has thrown 6 1/3 innings in 5 games, allowing just 3 hits and no runs or walks while striking out 11. He is again acting as the team’s closer.

The Yankees don’t seem all that interested in Venditte as a true prospect, but more as a project. They have almost never used players that they regard as good prospects in a one-inning closer role. Guys that have occupied that role in the past in the low minors include Jonathan Ortiz, Jon Hovis, Eric Wordekemper, Josh Schmidt, Gerardo Casadiego, and Paul Thorp. No, you shouldn’t recognize many of those names. The Yankees prefer to schedule and stretch out their top prospects while letting those just below prospect status occupy key roles in a team’s bullpen.… Click here to read the rest

Alex On The Basepaths

From the Post:

Alex Rodriguez ran the bases Wednesday for the first time since undergoing right hip surgery.

Rodriguez ran 10 times between first and second base at the Yankees’ minor league complex, including twice with a trainer pulling on a strap around the waist.

Rodriguez had surgery March 9. The Yankees expect him to rejoin the team by May 15, but it could be a week earlier.

The three-time AL MVP also increased his defensive drills, charging slow rollers for the first time and extending his range going after grounders.

Expect A-Rod to get into a rehab game by the middle to end of next week, and he should be in New York about May 7-10. I would be shocked if he did not make it back before the May 15th target date. With the way Cody Ransom has looked at the plate, he cannot come back soon enough.… Click here to read the rest

Ortiz Yaps About Joba And Beanballs

From the NY Post:

With Chamberlain scheduled to start for the Yankees in the opener of a three-game series against the Red Sox, David Ortiz yesterday said the talented right-hander should avoid using Kevin Youkilis’ head as a bull’s-eye.

“None of that, man — just play the game the way it’s supposed to be, and that’s about it,” Ortiz said, referring to Chamberlain.

“This is a guy, as good as he is, the next step for him will be to earn respect from everybody in the league. He’s not a bad guy, but when things like that happen, people get the wrong idea.”

I think the following quote is appropriate here:

You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house
And if you got a glass jaw you should watch yo mouth…..
-Patiently Waiting, 50 Cent

Ortiz is running his mouth on an issue in which he has no legs to stand upon. The Red Sox have hit significantly more Yankees than the Yanks have hit BoSox over Ortiz’s time in Boston.… Click here to read the rest

Thinking About Melky

Melky Cabrera is a polarizing figure among Yankees fans. His effusive nature and obvious love of the game endears him to some fans, while his inconsistent play infuriates others. As Joe at RAB states:

I don’t think I’ll ever understand Melky Cabrera. Some times he looks like he could be an average starting center fielder, getting on base at a decent clip, though not with much power, and playing a solid if unspectacular defense. Plus, his arm doesn’t hurt his case. Other times he looks like he can’t catch up to a Jamie Moyer fastball. We saw way too much of the latter last year, so that’s what most people remember. There was a time when Melky had quite a few more advocates.

However, whatever you think about Melky, it is important to remember that he is only 24. People often forget that he was in the majors for good at 21, and view him as a finished product. Take Mark Feinsand’s blog post from yesterday, for example:

Melky Cabrera had a great day with two homers, including the game-winner in the 14th, but let’s not all start the campaign for him to be the center fielder again.

Click here to read the rest

Recap: Melky and Veras Propel Yanks To 14 Inning Victory

What Happened

The Yankees and A’s traded punches all afternoon, with CC Sabathia struggling with his command and Brett Anderson giving up some long balls. Sabathia allowed 7 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits, 4 walks, and just 2 K’s in 6.2 innings. The Yankees got HR’s from Matsui, Melky, and Jeter, and entered extra innings tied at 7 despite failing to score in the 7th after loading the bases with no one out. The game went to the bottom of the 14th on the strength of 7.1 shut out innings from Coke, Albaladejo, Rivera, Marte, Edwar, and Veras, with Jose going 3.1 innings and striking out 4. Melky Cabrera finally sent everyone home with a blast off of  old friend Dan Giese in the 14th.

What I Liked

1) The bullpen, Veras in particular- Jose Veras came in and promptly walked the first man he faced. It seemed that it would be the same old Veras at that point, great stuff but unable to find the plate.… Click here to read the rest