Top Yankee storylines of the 2010 season: Can Curtis Granderson be this year’s Nick Swisher?

Below is the first post from our newest contributor, Joe Montesano. Please give Joe a warm Yankeeist welcome. This time last year, you were hearing a lot of whispers about how Nick Swisher was primed for a bounceback year (OK, I wrote it). Swish was coming off an embarrassing season in Chicago, where he set a career low in wOBA, while batting just .219. This, though, was a prime example as to why batting average is not an indicator of actual performance. In the article linked above, I labeled Swish unlucky, and for good reason. Even though his line drive Continue reading Top Yankee storylines of the 2010 season: Can Curtis Granderson be this year’s Nick Swisher?

Another unfortunate setback for Horne

The list of injuries and setbacks Alan Horne has endured as a long one before the latest:

Horne had mild shoulder surgery after the 2008 season. He tried to pitch last year, but the shoulder and a strained hamstring limited him to 14 outings between rookie ball and Double-A. He’s now scheduled for surgery with Dr. Andrews on April 9, and it will definitely knock him out for the season. When he can get back on a depends on the severity of the injury.

Back in 2007, Horne was outstanding in the Double-A Eastern League. He went 12-4 with a 3.11 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 153.1 innings and was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year. In 2008 he ranked ahead of Jesus Montero, Brett Gardner, Ross Ohlendorf and Andrew Brackman on Baseball America’s Yankees prospect list, and he might have been one of the slew of big league call-ups that year had he not strained his biceps in his second Triple-A start.

When he’s been healthy, Horne has been a young pitcher on a no-doubt course to the big leagues, but his body has had way of letting him down. He’s already come back from Tommy John surgery, now he’ll have to come back from this.

Here’s to hoping he’s back throwing the ball in 2011. Continue reading Another unfortunate setback for Horne

Aceves’ back may open door for Logan

In his latest post, Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave discusses something that been quietly bubbling under the surface this spring. Alfredo Aceves has been having back trouble for his past few starts, and he may begin the season on the DL. That would open the door for a 2nd Lefty, either Boone Logan or Royce Ring. He writes: All spring long Joe Girardi has expressed a desire to carry two lefties in the bullpen. Given the team’s construction, however, that didn’t seem realistic. Seven pitchers lay claim to the seven bullpen spots, only three of whom have options. With David Continue reading Aceves’ back may open door for Logan

Are the Red Sox suffering from sticker shock?

All is not well in Red Sox Nation, as ESPNBoston reports that Theo Epstein is unwilling to give Beckett the same contract that was given to John Lackey this past offseason.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Talks are ongoing for a contract extension for Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett, who is scheduled to pitch the season opener next Sunday night at Fenway Park against the New York Yankees.

But it turns out the benchmark for a new deal will not be the five-year, $82.5 million contract the Sox gave free agent John Lackey this winter, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The Red Sox will not go beyond four years in a deal for Beckett, the source said.

…snip…

Early in his minor league career, Beckett had evidence of some fraying in his rotator cuff, which led his former team, the Florida Marlins, to limit how much he threw, according to a major league source. And when the Red Sox acquired Beckett from the Marlins in 2005, Sox officials who inspected his medical records were concerned about his shoulder, but not enough to walk away from the deal, according to a baseball source with direct knowledge of those trade negotiations.

Yes, Beckett has had some injury questions in his career, but it’s most commonly been blister issues rather than shoulder tendinitis. Here’s why this doesn’t smell right to me.

FIP Lackey Beckett
2007 3.54 3.08
2008 4.53 3.24
2009 3.73 3.63
3-Year 3.93 3.32
Career 3.83 3.61

Combine that with Beckett’s age advantage (he’s 1.5 years younger than Lackey), Lackey’s recent injury history (Lackey spent significant portions of 2009 and 2008 on the disabled list, notably with elbow inflamation), and Beckett’s playoff heroics on this team, and I have to wonder if the Red Sox are running into budgetary constraints.

(click “view full post” to read more)

Continue reading Are the Red Sox suffering from sticker shock?

Graphing The AL East Projections

Dave Allen at Baseball Analysts compiled the projected standings created by the various projection systems, and created a nifty graph to present the data: [image title=”AL_East” size=”full” id=”16287″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] As you can see, most of the systems have the division finishing in the same order, going Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays. PECOTA is the lone outlier, but they have been tweaking their system the entire spring and the standings have vacillated with each tweak. The data confirms the generally held belief that the division will be a dog fight between three teams, with the other Continue reading Graphing The AL East Projections

Joba’s so-called “development program”

On Friday, when asked about Joba Chamberlain, who recently lost the fifth starter competition to fellow teammate, Phil Hughes, Yankee GM, Brian Cashman, offered the following. “What we did was, we finished off [Joba’s] development program,” Cashman said. “We have choices with him. He can start if we need him to start, he can relieve if we want him to relieve. So I don’t feel it’s a waste at all. We completed the mission on him, and what will be, will be.” Now, if Joba is expected to join the Yankee rotation in 2011 – many Yankee fans believe that, Continue reading Joba’s so-called “development program”

Early and Irresponsible Awards Picks

It’s March 29th. The season doesn’t even start for another six days. However, in this lull before the start of the season, there isn’t all that much to talk about. I’m sure you’re all incredibly tired of talking about Joba/Hughes (though I doubt we’ve heard the last of that situation, including from me), so I thought I’d go a little more whimsy with my post for this Monday and give some very early picks for the awards. The guys over at Mystique and Aura recently did the same, so go check their predictions out, too. Let’s start at the top Continue reading Early and Irresponsible Awards Picks

RAB's Axisa: Develop Joba In Bullpen, Not AAA

When the Yankees announced that Joba Chamberlain was headed to the bullpen, most of the Yankee blogging community went into a tizzy. While most conceded that picking Hughes over Joba was a defensible decision, we were confused as to why Joba was going to the bullpen rather than AAA, where he could further develop as a starter. One notable exception was Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues, who graciously agreed to speak to me on the subject. Me: A few days ago, I stated that I could survive if Joba went to the bullpen, provided that he uses all his Continue reading RAB's Axisa: Develop Joba In Bullpen, Not AAA

Cashman discusses Eppler’s Joba admission

Yesterday, Steve pointed to an interesting WFAN interview from Saturday, in which the Yankees’ director of professional scouting, Billy Eppler, discussed Joba Chamberlain’s future as a pitcher. To the dismay of many – myself included – in the interview, Eppler basically stated that Joba would remain a reliever in 2011, rather than transition back to the starting rotation. Luckily, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch caught up with Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, to discuss Eppler’s comments, and he seemed to indicate that Eppler was offering a personal opinion – his perspective on what Joba’s future should look like – not a plan of Continue reading Cashman discusses Eppler’s Joba admission