Should Gardner Be Playing Against Lefties?

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He should, says Greg Fertel after running the numbers:

Over 35 games(similar to the 150 PA I used earlier), Gardner stands to save 6.07 more runs in the field than than Thames.

That is a significant amount over such a short period of time, but it sounds about right to me. The difference in range between Gardner and Thames is remarkably wide. The play we saw last night was an example of one that Gardner would make, and Thames turns into a double.

Overall, this gives Gardner a 0.72 run advantage over Thames, if we are just talking about starts against left-handed pitchers.

This platoon that the Yankees are employing doesn’t make much sense. Sure, the allure of Thames’s power against lefties is alluring, but his offensive value is not strong enough to compensate for his defensive flaws. Add in the fact that playing sporadically could affect each player’s rhythm and hitting, and it makes less sense.

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Yankees 2015

But all is not terrible for the Yankees. Mark Teixeira ($22.5 MM and worth every penny) finished second again in the MVP voting, and the 34-year old is as good as ever. Robinson Cano ($15.5 MM and, again, worth every penny) was fourth in the MVP voting, but his production might have split the vote to allow Matt Wieters to win his first MVP Award. And of course, Jesus Montero put up stellar numbers (.311/.379/.521) from the DH spot. At least the middle of the order did its job.

The rest of the offense was about what you’d expect. Austin Romine is no Jorge Posada, but his defense makes up for his lack of OBP (.319). Brett Gardner continues to play excellent defense in center, but like Romine, he isn’t much to speak of on offense. Sophomore Slade Heathcott has plenty of promise, but he’ll have to improve upon a poor rookie season (.265/.328/.410) if he wants to keep his job in the Big Apple.… Click here to read the rest

Fun with small sample sizes, part II

Following up on our initial Fun With Small Sample Sizes post, here’s a look at the individual wOBAs for the Yankees’ offense after six games:

Scary to think of the damage this team will inflict once the top of the order starts kicking it into gear. Nick the Walk (BABIP .200) and Tex (BABIP .158) have two of the worst BABIPs in the league; we all know that won’t last.… Click here to read the rest

Game 6: Yankees 7, Rays 3

Bronx Cheers:
Mark Teixeira: He went 0-4 with a walk and a run scored.  Teix struck out three times.

Brett Gardner: Brett went 0-4 with one strike out in the game.

Joba Chamberlain: Joba entered the game with a big lead and promptly gave up two hits and a run.  He walked a batter and struck out one in his inning of work.

Curtain Calls:
Curtis Granderson: Not only did he go 2-4 with a run and a RBI, but Granderson flashed some impressive glove in the outfield.  He made some great catches, including one that the umpires mistakenly called a hit.

Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod went 2-4 with two RBIs, two doubles and a run scored.

AJ Burnett: After his problematic first inning, Burnett shut down the Rays.  He went 7 innings, giving up six hits and two runs, picking up his first win of the season.

In the On Deck Circle:
The Yankees are back in the Bronx and will open the 2010 season by receiving their World Series rings tomorrow.  … Click here to read the rest

Tampa Series Wrap Up

The Yankees took the second series of the year, two games to one, over the Tampa Bay Rays when they won today’s game 7-3 with some late runs and a “grind it out” type performance from starter A.J. Burnett.

Game One wasn’t all that great, as the Yankees lost 9-3. Javy Vazquez’s return to pinstripes was pretty bad and David Price looked downright unhittable.

Game Two featured a near miss with history, as CC Sabathia threw 7 2/3 of no hit ball before his former teammate Kelly Shoppach knocked a single to left. The offense also came alive, with everyone but substitutes Ramiro Pena and Randy Winn (one at bat between them) reaching base at least once. Robinson Cano led the way with a homer and three batted in.

A.J. Burnett recovered from a shaky first inning in Game Three and the offense kept clicking as well, though it took them a while. Tampa starter James Shields pitched a strong 5.1 innings, allowing 2 runs while striking out five, but the bullpen fell apart.… Click here to read the rest

The RSN scribes want to mess with Fire Marshall Clay “Joba-style”

Recapping Tomase’s reasons for this being an “easy” decision:

  1. “…will undoubtedly prove it soon.  How, exactly, will he do that if he’s relegated to 4-to-6 innings per week of relief work?  What about learning how to navigate a professional lineup 3-4 times a game?  He’s got to learn to pitch, much like Joba, Hughes and other young pitchers need to do.  They can all throw, but they need to learn to pitch.  It’d be one thing if the team doesn’t think Clay will be an eventual full time starting pitcher, as the sentiment around the Yanks seems to be around Joba.  But if the Theo Think Tank envisions Clay as a starter, then don’t stunt his development because you’re worried about #2, #3 or #4 below.
  2. The bullpen is a mess.”  The season is a week old.  How about not panicking yet, OK?  One week, Tomase.
  3. Wakefield doesn’t belong there. At age 43 and coming off back surgery, it would be borderline disrespectful to pitch him on back-to-back days or warm him up randomly.” I love that Tim Wakefield is still pitching because he’s older than me and I, like everyone else, loves the knuckleball. 
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Notes from yesterday’s win

Burnett mixes in the Change

Posada said he remembered five changeups from Burnett, and he expects even more as Burnett continues to get used to the pitch. “It’s a swing-and-miss pitch, it really is,” Posada said.

Jorge Posada credits Burnett with using the new Change up he tinkered with in Spring Training for getting him some key outs yesterday’s game. That gives him what is (effectively) a 5th pitch, going with his 2 seam and 4 seam fastball, and his hard and soft Curveball.

Some Tropicana Catwalks are in play?

When Longoria’s ball hit the catwalk, Girardi argued that it hit in foul territory and should be ruled foul. The stadium ground rules say that particular catwalk is in play, making Longoria’s ball live. “It’s not a baseball stadium,” Jorge Posada said. “You can’t have balls going all over the place. It’s sad.”

Girardi was right to argue that one. I’m all for Ballparks being quirky, but that’s just ridiculous.… Click here to read the rest

Notes from yesterday's win

Burnett mixes in the Change

Posada said he remembered five changeups from Burnett, and he expects even more as Burnett continues to get used to the pitch. “It’s a swing-and-miss pitch, it really is,” Posada said.

Jorge Posada credits Burnett with using the new Change up he tinkered with in Spring Training for getting him some key outs yesterday’s game. That gives him what is (effectively) a 5th pitch, going with his 2 seam and 4 seam fastball, and his hard and soft Curveball.

Some Tropicana Catwalks are in play?

When Longoria’s ball hit the catwalk, Girardi argued that it hit in foul territory and should be ruled foul. The stadium ground rules say that particular catwalk is in play, making Longoria’s ball live. “It’s not a baseball stadium,” Jorge Posada said. “You can’t have balls going all over the place. It’s sad.”

Girardi was right to argue that one. I’m all for Ballparks being quirky, but that’s just ridiculous.… Click here to read the rest