Discussion: Who Is The Yankees MVP?

From Marc Carig: As you’d expect in a champagne-soaked celebration, the Yankees were quick to hand out credit to others on Sunday afternoon. Take, for instance, Alex Rodriguez, who bestowed MVP honors on at least three different guys. “You could say Joe Giradi has been our MVP,” Rodriguez said. “He has been phenomenal.” He continued: “Mark Teixeira, he’s like a four-star general. He’s just an unbelievable player. I’m so proud to be this teammate, Derek Jeter as well. Both guys should be MVP.” [snip] Jeter’s presence atop the lineup has ignited the offense. Teixeira’s blend of power, run production and Continue reading Discussion: Who Is The Yankees MVP?

Quick Bits: Roster Decisions

Here are a few quick news items on the day: The Yankee coaches, along with assorted staff members, will meet today in order to construct their respective roster for the ALDS. Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano will have the night off against Kansas City and Anthony Lerew. Most of the other regulars—Tex, Damon, Jeter, Swisher, A-Rod—are expected to return to the lineup after receiving a day-off against Luke Hochevar. Jerry Hairston Jr. will take live batting practice today after being sidelined with tendinitis in his left wrist. Hairston received a cortisone shot a few days ago—his second of the month—in Continue reading Quick Bits: Roster Decisions

The Kansas City Royals: Who even Robbie Cano can get a hit with RISP against

Robinson Cano has had a fantastic bounceback season after a putrid 2008. While I still find myself periodically tearing my hair out after way too many first-pitch swings, the approach seems to mostly be working for him — a career-high 25 home runs (one of which came last night via his second career grand slam) and a highly respectable .870 OPS. The Mario Mendoza-like BA with RISP is generally explained away by bad luck, which is partially true, although changing his approach to situational hitting could help improve on that number, since pitchers are clearly changing their approach to Cano Continue reading The Kansas City Royals: Who even Robbie Cano can get a hit with RISP against

The Amazing Phil Hughes

So we all know that Phil Hughes has been incredible this year. A revelation, even. But did you know that as a reliever, he’s been the best pitcher in baseball? OK, so that’s ignoring that Hughes has only pitched 49.2 innings from the bullpen this year, and both Greinke and King Felix have both passed the 200 mark, but in our decidedly smaller, cherry picked more focused sample, Hughes’ FIP is an astounding 1.91, topping the leaderboard for relievers with more than 40 innings pitched in 2009 (these statistics, again, compiled only from his time in the bullpen).

So what’s been different? As a reliever, he’s got three pitches tracked–fastball, cutter and curve. As a starter? Fastball, cutter, curve and changeup. And the difference in effectiveness is startling:

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Canó, Gaudin, reserves take down Royals 8-2

With the division clinched and home field advantage locked up, the Yankees had very little to play for in tonight’s game against the Royals.  The long rain delay certainly did not add to their motivation either.  The clinching of home field advantage allowed manager Joe Girardi to rest most of the regulars, with only Robinson Canó, Melky Cabrera (playing leftfield), and Jorge Posada (DH’ing) representing the starters.  The result was very much a B-lineup.  Brett Gardner led off and played center, Eric Hinske was at 3rd base, Shelley Duncan started in right, Juan Miranda started at 1st, and Francisco Cervelli Continue reading Canó, Gaudin, reserves take down Royals 8-2

Onwards and upwards

Last year’s playoff no-show really drove home the understanding that we, as Yankees fans, are tremendously spoiled. The team’s previous no show, back in 1994, was prompted by the players’ strike. I was 11 years old–girls still had cooties, the card game Magic was in, and my computer (a Mac LCII, pictured to the right) had 16 Mhz. Since then, the Yankees have been on a run of dominance only challenged by the 20th century heroics of Mantle, Berra, DiMaggio and their ilk.

In the following 15 years, they have appeared in 14 postseasons (which includes this year). Along the way they’ve made it to the series 6 times, winning it all in 96, 97, 98, and 2000. Things have been pretty good since then, too. Though the mass media has attempted to annoint the Red Sox the best team of the decade–a look at the numbers gives that honor to the Yanks, and it’s not that close. The Yankees have won one fewer world championship since Y2K, but lead total wins by almost 50, playoff wins by 7, and AL Pennants by 1.

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Game 157: Royals @ Yankees

Here are the lineups, via Pete Abraham (LoHud): YANKEES (100-56) Gardner CF Cabrera RF LF Damon LF Posada DH Cano 2B Hinske 3B Duncan RF Miranda 1B Cervelli C Pena SS Pitching: RHP Chad Gaudin (1-0, 3.71). ROYALS (64-92) Maier LF Betancourt SS Butler 1B Jacobs DH Callaspo 2B Teahen RF Olivo C Gordon 3B Anderson CF Pitching: RHP Luke Hochevar (7-11, 5.98). TIME/TV: 7:05, YES. Obviously, after clinching both the division and the best record in the American League, the Yankees are prepared to give some of their regulars a day off. Despite the missing star power, it’ll be Continue reading Game 157: Royals @ Yankees

Robertson ready

After testing his elbow in a bullpen session on Saturday, according to Andy McCullough (Star-Ledger), the Yankees will likely use David Robertson on Tuesday against the Royals. Barring any setbacks, he should be on the team’s postseason roster, as Girardi has demonstrated a willingness to bring Robertson in whenever the team is in need of a strikeout. Robertson has quietly put together a very productive year in the bullpen, striking out 61 over 41 innings while maintaining a 3.29 ERA (3.07 FIP). In fact, Robertson’s K/9 sits at 13.39—the highest in the AL and the second highest in baseball. Only Continue reading Robertson ready