MLB Roto Standings

After last night’s win, the Yankees’ record now stands at 26-16, a total of 42 games.  25% of the season is over, which makes me a sad panda.  Other analysts and pundits are handing out awards, and some teams are already talking about the playoffs, so I put together a review of my own, analyzing all 30 teams as if MLB were a giant 5×5 Fantasy Baseball Roto League.  Yes, baseball is now officially played on spreadsheets.  All stats are prior to last night’s results, and we’ll start with offense.
mlb roto offense
We see that the Yankees come in first place with a grand total of 139 points, with a maximum possible score of 150.  They lead the league in Runs, RBI and Batting Average.  It’s not surprising that the Yankees excel in Runs and RBI, as they are a function of on-base percentage and slugging percentage, both strengths of the Yankees.  In fact, there’s room for more upside in these categories as they get Swisher, Posada and Granderson back to full health, and as Teixeira and Rodriguez fully hit their strides.  … Click here to read the rest

Javy’s Abbreviated Return

After a disastrous start to the season, Javier Vazquez had a little spring vacation.  He was skipped in the rotation, and finally returned against the Tigers in Detroit on May 12.  He pitched well, going 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 ER, walking two and striking out six.  Despite this, the Yankees opted to skip Vazquez again when they faced Boston.  He appeared in relief, vulturing a win when the Yankees came back and walked off against the BEST CLOSAH EVAH (h/t NoMaas) on the 17th.  Last night, he returned to the rotation at Citi Field against the Mets and pitched very well.  Needing only seventy pitches to get through 6 innings, Vazquez allowed one hit, a bloop to center, and walked Alex Cora twice.  He also struck out six. This was very good.

Vazquez threw seventy pitches last night, 46 for strikes.  Despite this, he only managed to get five swinging strikes.  Interestingly, these were all on the third strike of his first five strikeouts.  … Click here to read the rest

Game in National League ballpark results in National League score

The Yankees beat the Mets 2-1 on the strength of six strong innings of one-hit, shutout ball from Javier Vazquez. I was watching the game at Bleecker Heights with an old friend of mine, and so we were baffled when Vazquez — who had been absolutely cruising — didn’t come out for the 7th inning. Turns out he suffered a bruise in his finger after laying down a nice sac bunt in the top of the 6th, but fortunately x-rays were negative. It’s unclear whether he’ll make his next start, but things don’t sound too bad.

Mets starter Hisanori Takahashi was also excellent, throwing six shutout innings of his own and leaving the game in the hands of his bullpen. Unfortunately for Takahashi, the Mets’ bullpen did their best Yankee impression and coughed up a couple of runs, which were knocked in by Kevin Russo of all people.

Due to the magnificent pitching from both starters there was barely any offense to speak of.… Click here to read the rest

Granderson back soon, should he move to Left?

Photo courtesy of the New York Post

The Yanks got some good news on the injury front last night, Curtis Granderson should be returning to the team a bit sooner than previously thought. Rick Carpieniello of LoHud has the story:

NEW YORK — The Yankees got some good news on the injury front Friday. Curtis Granderson is expected back sooner than originally thought.

Granderson, on the DL since May 2 with a strained groin, worked out with the team prior to Friday night’s game, and was then to fly to Louisville to join Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on its road trip. There, Granderson expects to play five games in six days — two at DH — and if all goes well, he hopes to return Thursday and be available to the Yankees next Friday.

It will be interesting to see what Girardi does defensively with him. He could use the injury as an excuse to move him to Left Field, and keep the better defensive player in Gardner manning Center. … Click here to read the rest

Checking in on Jeter’s plate patience

I have written about Derek Jeter‘s lack of plate patience this year a number of times, as such a change in a hitter’s approach can often be predictive for older players, indicating that a decline is ahead. For Jeter, that could very well be the case given that he is swinging at balls at an alarming rate (compared to his career averages). On the season, Jeter’s O-Swing rate is currently at 32.6% – he is swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone 32.6% of the time – while his career average in that area is a hair under 20% (it has been closer to about 22% from 2008-2009). However, despite the disappointing season percentage, there are some positive developments that perhaps indicate Jeter’s plate patience is starting to come around.

In April, Jeter swung at 34.4% of the balls he saw outside of the strike zone. In May, though, Jeter has knocked that number down a bit, swinging at 30% of the pitches he has seen that were off the plate.… Click here to read the rest

Taking inventory, slump edition

Yesterday’s loss was the Yankees’ third in a row. In each of those games the Yankees scored six runs, made late-inning comebacks to cut into the deficit, and came up short.

Here are some observations from the last few weeks:

– On May 7 the Yankees started one of their most difficult stretches of games all season. They are in the middle of 17 consecutive games against the Twins, Red Sox, Rays, Tigers and Mets. That’s three 1st place teams, as of this writing, and the Red Sox and Mets.

After winning two of 3 in Beantown, the Bombers lost 7 of their next 11. They stand at 6-8 so far in this stretch of games. Only a sweep of the Mets will salvage a winning record.

– Despite the bad play, the Yankees are still in the thick of things. Their .610 win percentage is second-best in the AL and third-best in MLB. They’ve outscored their opponents by 68 runs, which is second-best in MLB.
Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Has The Subway Series Lost Its Luster?

[image title=”$$19SPYANKEESMURRAY” size=”full” id=”18158″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
For many years, the Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets has been a series that I have circled on the proverbial calendar. No matter the relative fortunes of the two teams, it has always been fun to watch the teams meet to determine intra-city supremacy. Some of the more memorable moments of the 2009 season came against the Mets, with the dropped pop-up by Luis Castillo and Mariano Rivera’s first career RBI being particularly notable. Throw in the World Series from 2000, and this rivalry has produced plenty of indelible moments.

However, the players and managers of the Yankees have often lamented the fact that the series is usually a no-win situation for the Yankees, as they are expected to take each series against the typically lesser Mets and only a sweep will suffice in the minds of some fans. Artificial pressure is infused into games that hold no more significance, and likely less, than a mid-June series with the Royals or Indians.… Click here to read the rest

Revisiting The 2000 Subway Series

[image title=”pg2_a_clemens-piazza01_600″ size=”full” id=”18152″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
With the Subway Series upon us, I thought it would be fun to take glance back at the 2000 World Series between the Yankees and Mets, a 5 game series that was actually a lot closer than that. Here are the key players with their WAR in that season. The Yankees are listed first at each position.

C: Jorge Posada (5.7), Mike Piazza (5.2)
1B: Tino Martinez (0.0), Todd Zeile (2.2)
2B: Chuck Knoblauch (0.1), Edgardo Alfonzo (6.7)
SS: Derek Jeter (4.4), Mike Bordick (2.1)
3B: Scott Brosius (-0.4), Robin Ventura (1.7)
LF: David Justice (5.0), Benny Agbayani (1.9)
CF: Bernie Williams (5.0), Jay Payton (2.2)
RF: Paul O’Neill (1.2), Derek Bell (1.3)
DH/Bench: Jose Vizcaino(-0.1), Todd Pratt (1.2)

SP #1: Andy Pettitte (3.3), Al Leiter (4.7)
#2: Roger Clemens (4.7), Mike Hampton (4.6)
#3: Orlando Hernandez (3.0), Rick Reed (2.4)
#4: David Cone (-1.3), Glendon Rusch (2.5)
#5: Denny Neagle (0.2), Bobby Jones (0.6)
RP #1: Jeff Nelson (2.0), Turk Wendell (1.0)
RP #2: Mike Stanton (0.9), John Franco (0.9)
RP #3: Ramiro Mendoza (1.4), Dennis Cook (-0.3)
CL: Mariano Rivera (2.9), Armando Benitez (2.5)

Game 1

The Yankees took Game 1 at the Stadium 4-3 in thrilling fashion.… Click here to read the rest