The first IIATMS roundtable, pre-season edition

2.       An explanation for your prediction in (1) above, focusing on what you think will change the most on-the-field from 2009 to 2010.

Will: There are two sides to this fight. One, is Brian Cashman’s effective allocation of resources–which he has done masterfully this offseason. The pitching staff going into 2010 is FAR better than the staff was going into 2009. Vazquez was the 2nd best pitcher in the National League last year by FIP (best, if you normalize for HRs via xFIP…that’s right, he beat out Tiny Tim). Defensively the team is much improved with Granderson and Gardner filling in for Melky and Damon (this is a lot more important than most people figure). Offensively, as we showed earlier this offseason, the team is going to be a lot stronger with Granderson and Nick Johnson filling Matsui and Damon’s spots–and additionally, we have a full season of A-Rod, who missed one month fully on the DL, but wasn’t up to his own standards for a good portion of his time off the DL either.… Click here to read the rest

Giving credit to J.D. Drew

Unbeknownst to many baseball fans, for the past three seasons, the Boston Red Sox have had a secret weapon roaming their outfield and anchoring their lineup. Quietly, since donning the white and red and being treated to Neil Diamond on a regular basis, this particular player has produced with both his glove and his bat, to the tune of 10.4 WAR, the eighth best total for an outfielder in the American League since 2007. Yet, many are quick to ignore and neglect J.D. Drew, the silent yet productive player I speak of, in favor of discussing a David Ortiz or a Jason Bay. Yankee fans do this too, often underestimating the abilities Drew brings to the table, which is why I write this post.

Though I have already cited the value numbers at large, Drew would probably be considered a top five outfielder in the American League, WAR-wise, if it weren’t for his “poor” debut with Boston three years ago.… Click here to read the rest

Running Game Should Again be Effective

In 2009, the Yankees were middling in the stolen bases category (at least at first glance). They stole 111 bases, seventh in the American League. However, the Yankees were successful in their stolen base attempts 80% of the time, six percent better than the league average (74%).

No player was caught stealing more than five times (both Jeter and Gardner), but even they had high stolen base percentages (86% and 84% respectively). Johnny Damon was never caught stealing (12 SBs), and A-Rod and Melky were both caught only 2 times each (88 and 83 percent). The 2009 Yankees didn’t run all that often, but when they did, they made it safely. This running strategy is much more effective, especially considering the team, than just running whenever and risking unnecessary outs.

While the Yankees lost a good runner in Johnny Damon, they gained two good runners in Curtis Granderson and Randy Winn. Over the past three seasons, both have been very efficient on the basepaths.… Click here to read the rest

What was that about the Yankees coming in third?

Oh happy day. SG’s 2010 Diamond Mind Projection Blowout for both the AL and NL was posted yesterday. For those unfamiliar, this is an aggregate of five noteworthy projection systems, run 1,000 times each for a total of 5,000 iterations.

The Yankees unsurprisingly project to be the best team in baseball, averaging 96 wins and 66 losses. Eat it, PECOTA. They also project to score the most runs in the Majors — 895 — and should have a 63% chance of making the playoffs.

Is it Opening Day yet?… Click here to read the rest

Food For Thought

Happy Wednesday afternoon, TYU readers. I’ve got some ideas that I’d like to briefly touch on, and of course I’d like your input as well.

–Will Andy Pettitte’s lack of meaningful Spring Training innings hurt him in the regular season? I’m not quite sure of this one, but I’d lean towards it hurting him a bit. I don’t think he’ll be awful or horribly ineffective, but I have a good feeling it will affect his stamina, at least for the first start or two.

–Can Sergio Mitre be effective a a long reliever? My first reaction is no, but I’m not a big Mitre fan to begin with. He’s looked pretty good in Spring Training, but that can be very deceptive. I would’ve preferred it if the Yankees kept Chad Gaudin, but that obviously didn’t happen. Anyway, Mitre’s lack of missing-bats-ability will likely hurt him as a reliever. His good control is helpful, but he does give up hard contact. Hopefully, he can carry his ST success with him to the regular season, but I’m not about to hold my breath.… Click here to read the rest

Help me with a rebuttal *UPDATED with our Top 10 list*

What are “The Top 10 Reasons to Hate the 2010 RedSox”?

I’ll give you a few to start with.  Use the comments below and I’ll update this list with the best ones.

  1. Fire Marshall Clay is in the rotation
  2. Most writers think the Sox rotation is vastly superior to the Yanks.  Will thinks we’re DOOOOOOMED after trying to dispell the rotation myth earlier
  3. The fans think that because the team isn’t #1 in payroll, that the team is on the same playing field as everyone else. [said differently: They actually believe having a 170 million dollar payroll makes them a small market team, from misterd]
  4. Pink hats
  5. That their plan of defense and pitching rather than sluggers might actually, you know, workDespite what Ron Borges thinks.  And to spite BigRed.
  6. The fandom that gave A-Rod, Giambi and Sheffield such a hard time now has Papi, Mike Cameron and Beltre. (from: Andrew from NYaT)
  7. The Red Sox impose plan to sucker, tax poor people (from: Craig Calcaterra via HBT)
  8. They believe that a short porch in Yankee stadium is cheap, but the Green Monster is not.
Click here to read the rest

Should the Yankees trade Joba Chamberlain?

The Yankees should trade Joba Chamberlain.

Yes, I said it. Now, before I am criticized – such a response is understandable – or, at the least, ridiculed for that statement, allow me to explain my perspective. First, from a macro standpoint, good starters are generally more valuable than good relievers. Let’s establish that much, at least. As Dave Allen of FanGraphs notes, “an elite reliever is worth about the same as a just slightly above average starter,” which underscores this notion of good starterdom versus good relieverdom, with good starterdom winning every time. With that said, moving from macro (general) to micro (specific), Joba Chamberlain’s value is intimately tied to his role on the Yankees. As a reliever, even an elite reliever, he is just not as valuable as he would be if he were an above average piece of the team’s starting pitching. Joba has that ability, though – to be an above average starter – and other ballclubs know that.… Click here to read the rest

Collection of Yankees quotes

  • “Have faith in the Yankees, my son.” – Ernest Hemingway in The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  • “Here at NBC there is just one more reason to hate the Yankees (who were owned by CBS).” – NBC Anchorman Chet Huntley
  • “I’d like to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee.” – Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio
  • “I imagine rooting for the Yankees is like owning a Yacht.” – Jimmy Cannon
  • “I’m going to buy the Yankees. I don’t know what I’m going to pay for them, but I’m going to buy them.” – Yankee Owner Dan Topping
  • “In a tough age which called for tough men in baseball, the Yankees were the toughest. They were managed by a perfectionist, bossed by a president who hated second place, and owned by a man who could say, even with a seventeen-game lead in 1936, “I can’t stand the suspense. When are we going to clinch it?” – David Voigt in American Baseball (1970)
  • “It’s great to be young and a Yankee.” – Hall of Fame Pitcher Waite Hoyt
  • “I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a no-hit game.” – Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Feller
  • “One night I was watching a quiz show on TV and the question was, ‘Name a baseball team synonymous with winning.’ One girl said, ‘Dodgers.’ The other girl said, ‘Giants.’ That made me madder than hell.
Click here to read the rest