So far, Burnett rarely using his changeup

During Spring Training, we heard much about A.J. Burnett’s desire to employ his changeup more this year. “Whether I throw it or not, I don’t know, but I’ve been working on it,” noted Burnett. Well, on the 2010 season, across 3 starts, A.J. Burnett has thrown a total of 297 pitches (and Jorge Posada has caught all of them, which is a post for another day). According to PITCHf/x data, of those pitches, only 6 of them, or 2%, have been changeups. Obviously, this is a limited sample, and Burnett’s changeup percentage can be influenced easily, but, thus far, the offering has seen little action (despite a lofty whiff rate of 16.7%). Burnett’s career percentage stands at 5.6%, and in 2009 it was 3.1%, so if he maintains his 2% mark this year, that would be disappointing given the pitch’s usefulness and all the spring chatter.

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesClick here to read the rest

Two unwritten rules broken yesterday

Yesterday, as Robinson Cano fisted one of Dallas Braden’s pitches down the left field line in the sixth inning, Alex Rodriguez sprinted to third base. Because the ball was foul, Rodriguez then headed back to first base. However, en route to first, A-Rod chose to run straight across the diamond, stepping on the pitcher’s mound, and on the rubber, on his way back, which visibly upset Braden. Apparently, Rodriguez broke an unwritten sportsmanship rule by doing what he did. If true, it wouldn’t be the first time for A-Rod.

Following the game, Braden, who barked angrily at Rodriguez in the sixth, berated A-Rod, noting that he should model his behavior after the archetypical Yankee, Derek Jeter. “He should maybe watch his captain a little more often,” quipped Braden. The Oakland pitcher even suggested that there would be retaliation in the future – presumably a pitch to the ribs – if Rodriguez chose not to heed his words. Of course, A-Rod’s take on the situation was a bit different from Braden’s.… Click here to read the rest

Dallas Braden's Personal Kingdom

As I said in the comments to the other post and on Twitter, I think Alex Rodriguez was likely unaware of Dallas Braden’s silly unwritten rule, that Braden overreacted, and that Alex reacted exactly as one should when dealing with a petulant child attempting to lecture an adult on the rules of the game. If you want some reasoned analysis of the whole situation, check out Mike Axisa’s take. Oh, and have a laugh at this beauty, courtesy of FlipFlopFlying:

[image title=”bradenia” size=”full” id=”16961″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ] … Click here to read the rest

If I had one wish this Christmas, it would be for the Yankees to drop at least six runs on the Halos tonight

Enough of this three and two run National League crap.

Tonight’s lineup is brought to you in part by The Queen, c/o Subway Douchery, my new favorite website.

As you wish, your highness.

Don’t think the lineup’s been posted anywhere yet, but here’s what the Yankees trotted out last week against Ervin Santana in the home opener win:

SS Jeter
DH Johnson
1B Teixeira
3B A-Rod
2B Cano
C Posada
CF Granderson
RF Swisher
LF Gardner

And A.J. Burnett (2.37 ERA; 4.42 xFIP) will be on the hill.… Click here to read the rest

The Rays Are Not Going Anywhere

[image title=”_42085794_baseball_416_300″ size=”full” id=”16958″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Rays will announce this afternoon that they have signed Ben Zobrist to a contract extension, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. The deal buys out Zobrist’s three arbitration seasons, and includes club options for his first two years of free agency in 2014 and 2015. The club has issued a release calling a 1:00pm press conference to make a “major announcement.”

The 28-year-old switch-hitter enjoyed an MVP-caliber season in 2009, hitting .297/.405/.543 while playing nearly every position on the diamond — and playing them well, according to UZR/150. He was set to earn about $438K this year before hitting arbitration for the first time in 2011.

Members of the media have been discussing this season as the last shot for the Rays, as they have begun to reach the end of the line in terms of their rights to players such as Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.… Click here to read the rest

Number One Didn’t Work for CC

Yesterday, CC Sabathia had his worst start of the season. The fact that it was a start in which he gave up just four hits and four runs just goes to show us how great he’s been this season. But, CC’s control was flat out off as he walked six Oakland batters in eight innings while only striking out five.

Not surprisingly, it was the fastball control that gave Sabathia fits against Oakland. He threw 34 fastballs yesterday afternoon, and only 16 of them landed for strikes. The mark, 47.06%, was Sabtahia’s lowest fastball strike percentage of the season. He also only got one swing-and-a-miss on his fastball.

Overall, CC only got 7% of his pitches to end in a swing and a miss, which was the second lowest of the season (4/4 vs. Boston: 6%). This comes after two starts versus Texas and Tampa respectively, in which his swing-and-miss percentages were 19% and 10%.

As we can see, CC’s fastballs were either off of the plate to the catcher’s right or they were over the middle.… Click here to read the rest

Game 15: Yankees 2, Athletics 4

Bronx Cheers:
Brett Gardner: Getting his first start in center this season, Gardner went 0-3.

Nick Johnson: He got his first start of the season at first and went 0-4 without any walks.

Curtain Calls:
Marcus Thames: Thames continues to take advantage of his opportunities, and was responsible for one of the Yankees’ runs yesterday.  He went 1-2 with a solo homer and one strikeout.

Mark Teixeira: Spending the day as the DH, Teixeira continued to improve his hitting, stroking a solo homer in the sixth.  He went 1-4 on the day.

Francisco Cervelli: The backup catcher was the only Yankee to get more than one hit on the day.  He went 2-3.

Random Notes:
Triple Play: The last time the Yankees turned a triple play was in 1968 and it was turned by Dooley Womack, Bobby Cox and Mickey Mantle.  Since then every other major league team turned a triple play before the Yankees turned theirs yesterday.… Click here to read the rest

Unwritten or not, ARod’s response was wrong

Dallas Braden is a major league ballplayer. Sure he’s not at the level of an ARod or someone who has accomplished many, many things in the league already.  But he’s a professional and therefore due a level of respect.  To flat-out diss Braden by noting the number of wins is exactly the thing that people used to say about ARod: that he’s only concerned about his numbers.  [To his credit, ARod seemed to adopt the team-first approach last year, but who knows what was/is really going on behind the scenes.]

I admire Braden for defending his turf and standing up to a ballplayer who has, in his mind, done something disrespectful.  Even someone in the lofty perch that ARod now inhabits.  There was no reason for ARod to big-time Dallas Braden.  Braden’s full response:

“(The Yankees) are an extremely classy organization with guys who always tend to do the right thing every time; it’s kind of disheartening to see that not show through or be reflected by somebody of (Rodriguez’s) status,” Braden said after the game.Click here to read the rest