How much longer will it take to fix this problem?

For less than $5.00 per bat, the problem could be solved.

Phil Rauso, Jr., BatGlove

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I’m tired of this, but it scares the bejesus outta me (via Craig at HBT):

In the bottom of the fourth, Alcides Escobar’s bat shattered when he grounded out to end the inning. A sharp piece of the barrel flew into the Miller Park stands about 10 rows behind the Pirates’ on-deck circle, careering off several fans and hitting the boy in the head.

After being tended to by ushers and medical personnel, the boy, holding a baseball, walked up the stairs under his own power and was cheered by other fans in his section.

Seriously? We have the solution in sight but there’s some high-level politics acting as a major roadblock. It’s time to put capitalistic rationale to the backburner and simply do the right thing. Yes, sometimes it’s not about the money.

Wanna read more? We’ve been covering this for a while:

Continue reading How much longer will it take to fix this problem?

Orioles Preview 4/27-4/29

The Yankees’ bring their roadtrip back east today, as they meet AL East rival, the Baltimore Orioles.  Baltimore is coming off a win against the Boston Red Sox, but they have struggled this season.  While the Yankees sit at 12-6, the Orioles are 3-16 in large part to an anemic offense and ineffective bullpen.

Pitching Matchups:
April 27:Phil Hughes (02-0, 2.19) v. Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)

April 28: CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.00) v. Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 3.46)

April 29: A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) v. Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38)

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Curious About Curtis

With Mark Teixeira’s and Nick Johnson’s collective struggles at the plate getting a lot of the Yankee press–along with the success of the starting pitchers–Curtis Granderson’s getting lost in the shuffle. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as he’ll be able to fly under the radar and not come under too much scrutiny while getting used to a new environment. Right now, Curtis is hitting .246/.343/.443/.785/117+. He’s got a .356 wOBA and a 121 wRC+. Combine those offensive numbers with a 1.4 UZR, and you’ve got a 0.6 WAR player so far (over 650 PAs, that’d be a 5.714 WAR player). Continue reading Curious About Curtis

Could Howard Deal Impact Jeter Negotiations?

From the AP: Ryan Howard preferred securing his future in Philadelphia to testing free agency in two years — and boy is he getting his pay day. The slugging first baseman agreed to a $125 million, five-year contract extension Monday that could keep him with the Phillies until 2017….. While he has put up monster numbers, averaging 49.5 homers and 143 RBIs over the past four years, he has averaged 191 strikeouts over that span. Howard’s deal could influence Derek Jeter’s next deal with the Yankees and Pujols’ next contract with the Cardinals. Jeter, who also is represented by Close, Continue reading Could Howard Deal Impact Jeter Negotiations?

Yankees vs. Orioles in the unbalanced schedule era

In light of the Red Sox’s dominance of the Orioles this decade (Sunday night’s loss to Baltimore aside) and the fact that the Yankees embark on the first of 18 against their fellow AL East rival and Boston’s favorite punching bag tonight, I wanted to see how the Yankees had fared against the O’s in the unbalanced schedule era. I figured they’d done well, although I assumed it wasn’t quite Boston-level ownage. Well, for all my griping about the O’s being an automatic win for the Red Sox, it turns out the Yankees have actually performed even better than Boston Continue reading Yankees vs. Orioles in the unbalanced schedule era

The Great Debate: Closing Remarks (….At Long Last)

Three weeks and a couple thousand words later; it’s time to finish this up.

2010 versus 1998—which team is better?

And I think we need to frame this a bit, just so there’s actually a salient point to discuss. This isn’t an argument about whether the 2010 product will win 114 games (as the 1998 team did). It’s not a question of whether or not the Yanks will take home their 28th World Series title this year. I want to know which team would win if they faced off against one another. And amazingly (given how strong the 1998 team was), this is a pretty close matchup.

If you’ve been around from the beginning of this, you’ll have seen us discuss the team in three discrete chunks—the infield, the outfield, and the pitching. Here are my conclusions so far:

  • The 2010 team’s infield absolutely dominates the 1998 team’s infield. From TCMs own numbers, we can see that 2010’s summed wOBA is a full 51 points above 1998’s—and it takes into account a dramatic drop in Derek Jeter’s production (a regression, I might add, that we haven’t seen any signs of thus far in 2010). I echo TCM (who, by the way, isn’t a Yankees fan) in my skepticism of that number.
  • Similarly, 1998’s outfield dominates the 2010 outfield. Bernie Williams was an absolute beast in 1998—his career year. Paul O’Neill beats up on Swisher, and Gardner/Curtis is just about even out (slight win for Gardner, at best).

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Curt Schilling-Occupation Foole (part deux)

The always opinionated Curt Schilling was at it again yesterday, this time with our very own Javier Vazquez in his cross hairs. Appearing on ESPN radio’s  Colin Cowherd show yesterday, he made some comments addressing Javier Vazquez’s slow start in pinstripes, and brought up some commonly heard tags on Javier that I think don’t hold much water. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the Daily News: “I never, ever thought the move to New York the first time was a good one, and I didn’t think this (move) was good as well. I don’t think he suddenly learned how to Continue reading Curt Schilling-Occupation Foole (part deux)

Maybe waiting until the contract expires isn’t such a bad idea after all

We’ve already heard plenty about the expiring contracts of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, manager Joe Girardi. There’s been ample discussion about breaking with this recent tradition installed by Yanks GM Brian Cashman and granting exceptions to Jeter and Mo, at the very least. However, after be rendered nearly speechless by the Ryan Howard contract extension details today, I, for one, am more pleased with this policy than I ever have been.

Howard, 30, had already been signed through 2011. His new deal begins in 2012 and takes him through 2016. There is a $23 million club option for 2017, or a $10 million buyout. Howard will make $20 million in 2012 and 2013 and $25 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The point of my opening is: The Phillies had no need, no pressure, no reason whatsoever to extend Howard at all. What was the impetus for the Phillies to do this massive a deal with nearly two full seasons before the extensions ever kick in? We know why Howard signed it: It’s about the money! But why on God’s green Earth did Ruben Amaro think that Howard’s value and price would both escalate as he plays into his mid-30’s. He’s a large man but he’s not an old battleship that can’t move. Yet. Except that he’s not going to get more nimble as he ages and there’s no DH spot to spell him.

Tim over at MLBTR captured some of the negative sentiment/fallout:

Unsurprisingly, the megadeal has not been well-received by analysts…

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Minor League “Week” in Review

During the off-season I realized we do not talk much about the Yankees’ minor leaguers here, so I have set out to try to bring some more of that information to our readers. I had meant to start doing this earlier in the season, but as I was battling a nasty illness the last couple weeks it got pushed to the side. This is still very much in the developmental stages (much like the players I will be talking about!) so any suggestions, feedback, etc is greatly appreciated. My plan is to do a weekly review of the different minor league affiliates and strong or weak personal performances for a few players. There are other sites that will give full statistical performances of the minor league players, so I figure I will just focus on who and what stands out each week. As I am a bit behind, this week’s Minor League post will cover the season thus far.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees

The Yankees AAA affiliate is currently 9-8. They finish up a series against Lehigh Valley tonight and will meet up with Louisville and Aroldis Chapman to finish out the month. There have already been some impressive performances by some Scranton players this season.

  • Ivan Nova has been impressive in his first four starts. His record is only 1-0, but he has a 1.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of Nova’s start this year is his 25 strikeouts over 24 innings, while he has only given up eight walks.
  • Colin Curtis turned some heads during Spring Training, and has continued to excel in Scranton. He’s hitting .315 with an OBP of .422, with seven RBIs and six doubles.
  • Eduardo Nunez has also produced for Scranton. He’s hitting an impressive .385/.459/.523 over 17 games. Nunez has one homer, six doubles, eight RBIs and seven stolen bases (getting caught stealing once). On the down side, however, Nunez does lead the team in errors with four.
  • Royce Ring has yet to give up a run over 6.2 innings in seven appearances out of the bullpen. He has only given up three hits. His only real struggle has been with walks, as he has walked five batters and struck out four.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Minor League “Week” in Review