Another misplaced anti-ARod screed

By now, you know that I’m not the president of ARod’s fan club. That doesn’t mean I look for ways to bash him or summarily toss him under the bus (though some of you might actually think that). So when I read this today by Tracy Ringolsby (a well respected, long-time writer in Denver), I had to step back and figure out whether I wanted to laugh or simply yell. (h/t to HBT)

And that wasn’t the first time A-Rod put his own needs ahead of an organization. Tom Hicks, the man who is attempting to sell the Texas Rangers, was able to cover the Rangers’ share of Rodriguez’s 10-year, $242 million deal signed before the 2001 season, despite Hicks’ bankruptcy problems.

It’s the working stiffs with the Rangers, the ones who had their future caught up in a Hicks-created retirement plan, who are left with nothing to show for their efforts.

So it’s all ARod’s fault that Hicks overpaid by some $100 million, thereby accelerating his own financial woes and, by proxy, the problems in paying his staff? Yeah, right. That’s a good one.

You can blame ARod for many things, many dumb things, but to hang Hicks’ inability to pay his staff on him is flat out wrong. Continue reading Another misplaced anti-ARod screed

It's Robbie Cano's world

We all just live in it, apparently. After two more home runs and a double, Robinson Cano’s season line is an utterly scorching .407/.444/.790, good for the highest OPS in the American League (and second-highest in baseball behind St. Louis’ Colby Rasmus), a 233 OPS+ and a Major League-leading .510(!!) wOBA. Even if Cano takes an 0-fer tonight, as Jack Curry mentioned on YES’s postgame show last night, Cano is an absolute lock for American League Player of the Month for April. Paul Konerko and his 10 home runs may get some consideration, but Konerko’s not batting over .400 on Continue reading It's Robbie Cano's world

Behold the Mighty Cano

Just wow.

In his last eight games, Cano is batting .531 (17 for 32) with four homers, sustained production that has alleviated the pressure on slumping hitters like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. And on Thursday, Cano supplied a defensive play so superb that, as he watched it from beside the mound, Burnett put his hands on his head in appreciative disbelief.

Can this guy do no wrong? It so much fun to watch a player on a hot streak as hot as this one that Cano is on. Who cares that Teix isn’t swinging with the right end of the bat when Cano is off to an MVP-worthy start to this season. How is he doing it? Good question. His BAPIP is much higher than at any point in his career, an almost-silly .385, although his batting average is even higher at .407!

So what’s different about his 2010 campaign so far? How about more line drives, more fly balls and a very high HR rate

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Behold the Mighty Cano

The new AJ Burnett

When AJ Burnett signed with Yanks last year, he made much of the fact that he had matured. Going to ‘the School of Halladay’ he learned what it took to stay healthy and not miss so much time with ticky-tack injuries on the DL. He also said that he learned how to become more of a pitcher and less of a thrower. Brian Cashman echoed these sentiments, and it seemed the Yanks were signing a starter who was finally putting all the pieces together. Last year, part of that was true. He showed us that he did indeed learn how Continue reading The new AJ Burnett

Swisher’s being more aggressive at the plate

Nick Swisher appears especially excited about his new batting stance. In fact, Swisher is so excited; he seems to be swinging a lot more this season, trying to hit balls in the zone and balls out of the zone. So far, Swisher’s O-Swing percentage is 26.1%, while his career mark is 17.6%. Relative to previous seasons, he’s swinging at quite a few pitches outside of the strike zone. Interestingly, though, he is also making more contact with those pitches, as his contact rate on such offerings is 90.3%, Meanwhile, his career mark in that regard is 84.7%. The same is Continue reading Swisher’s being more aggressive at the plate

Is Eduardo Nunez The Future At SS?

A few days ago, I noted that the Derek Jeter contract situation might get contentious, but that ultimately an agreement made too much sense for both sides. One portion of that belief was the conviction that the Yankees have no one in the system close to ready to take over for Derek, and that he would likely be the best option going forward. I continue to believe that unless the price reaches Ryan Howard levels, Jeter is the best choice, but a number of people asked me about Eduardo Nunez as a possible replacement. Luckily for me, Greg Fertel of Continue reading Is Eduardo Nunez The Future At SS?

Would the Yanks consider Josh Willingham?

I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, but given my obsession with walks I couldn’t help but notice that Josh Willingham is tied for second in the National League in bases on balls, with 19. RAB touched on the (unlikely) possibility of a trade for Willingham as a left field solution back over the winter, and concluded that unless the Nationals were blown away they really had no reason to trade him, given that he’s under team control at a relatively cheap price through the end of the 2011 season. However, Willingham’s strong performance thus far in 2010 (.286/.446/.471; Continue reading Would the Yanks consider Josh Willingham?

Vazquez’s horizontal movement

Here’s some pitchFX data, via FanGraphs, on Javier Vazquez, detailing the horizontal movement on his pitches. The peach colored rows represent league averages. Though Vazquez is largely above average (not to a great degree, but above average nonetheless) with each pitch, except for his slider, notice the degree to which Vazquez’s horizontal movement is lacking relative to previous years. His fastball (FA), slider (SL), and curveball (CU) are all moving less this season (thus far). Only Vazquez’s changeup (CH) and his two-seamer (FT) are demonstrating substantial horizontal movement when viewed alongside his career averages (they are actually well above his Continue reading Vazquez’s horizontal movement

Robbie’s real test comes next month

It wasn’t necessary, but this morning I went to Baseball Prospectus to confirm my suspicion that Robinson Cano has been the Yankees’ best player so far this season. BP provides a list of a team’s players, highlighting their VORP contributions from best to worst. My thoughts on VORP aside, Robbie sits atop the list, right where I thought he’d be. In fact, he’s already contributed 15.3 runs above replacement to the team, nearly twice the contribution of Jorge Posada, the Yankees’ next best player thus far. Cano’s numbers have been nothing short of superhuman. His offensive stats are .390/.430/.701 with Continue reading Robbie’s real test comes next month