Wanted: One Major League-caliber offense. Reward: The undying gratitude of Yankee fans the world over

The Yankees dropped the final game of three to the Twins 8-2 in what can only be characterized as a poor effort all around. Javier Vazquez was terrible, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings. To their (slight) credit, the slumbering Yankee offense shrunk the gap to only two runs twice, but Home Run Javy promptly gave runs up both times. Things got so bad that I was forced to switch to the Met game during the Yankee game — I don’t even flip to the Mets during commercials.

Despite Javy’s poor showing, the difference was still only a semi-reasonable three runs prior to the bottom of the 7th. Of course, newly reacquired Chad Gaudin came on in relief and didn’t waste any time showing why the Yankees already cut him once this year as well as why he couldn’t even stick with the A’s, surrendering a three-run bomb that put the game completely out of reach.

The Yankees actually pounded out 10 hits, which makes scoring only two runs feel even more egregious.… Click here to read the rest

What if Ace Has to Stay up the Sleeve?

(Yes I know my title is incredibly cliched)

So we’ve gotten word that Alfredo Aceves suffered a set back while throwing on flat ground and will see a doctor soon. If the prognosis isn’t good and Aceves must be sent do the 60-day DL, there may be a bit of a strain put on the Yankee bullpen.

As it is now, the Yankees have three guys that can give multiple innings with ease: Chan Ho Park (CHoP), Sergio Mitre, and the recently re-signed Chad Gaudin. If Aceves has to be out for a long time, there needs to be improvement from Park, steadiness from Mitre, and progression from Gaudin.

Starting with Park, he’s been downright unimpressive in his brief time with the Yankees. He’s sporting an ERA over 7, an FIP pushing 9, and an xFIP just over 5. The results, aside from one game, have been ugly. Park isn’t making a ton of money this season and his salary will be easy to eat if the Yankees become dissatisfied with him.… Click here to read the rest

What happened to Mark Teixeira?

After going 2-5 in the nightcap of yesterday’s 1.5 game header against the Twins, Mark Teixeira is now batting .210/.322/.370 on the season. Comparisons to last year’s pace, and the slow start that came with it, are no longer valid. After 46 games last season Tex was earning his paycheck, hitting .271 with a .966 OPS.

Tex has made 211 PAs in 2010, versus 707 all of last year. Stat-minded fans, such as myself, can no longer claim a small sample when talking about Tex’s performance. The rule of thumb in statistics is that a small sample is 30 or fewer observations. Tex’s resurgence in early May was a borderline small sample. His season to date is not, and can therefore be compared to his 2009 season.
The data below are taken from Fangraphs, and compare a variety of relevant offensive metrics from the 2009 and 2010 seasons:
My conclusion after examining these data does not support my hypothesis.
Click here to read the rest

Anatomy of a Double Play

Apart  from Swisher’s home run, no other play in the entire game last night had a higher Win Probability Added, in terms of absolute value, than when Andy Pettitte got Joe Mauer to bang into a double play in the eighth inning.  This was a glorious moment, and it was brought about by two key factors: Pettitte’s approach and Jeter’s positioning.

First, some background.  In the sixth inning, Pettitte struck Mauer out on five pitches, which you can see here:

[image title=”AAA mauer 6th inning AB” size=”full” id=”18373″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]

In this at-bat, Pettitte began with a curveball high and inside, which Mauer took for a strike.  He then followed this with a fastball on the inside corner, and Mauer fouled it off.  With the count at 0-2, Pettitte threw Mauer three consecutive cutters.  The first one was low and away, and Mauer took it for a ball.  Pettitte elevated the next one slightly more, but Mauer took it for a ball as well.  … Click here to read the rest

Does Umpire Joe West Have a Conflict of Interest?

And today, we learn that West is standing by his comments on the two teams, via ESPNBoston:

“I don’t second-guess what I said.  And I don’t believe I’m wrong. A lot of people don’t believe I’m wrong.  I kind of expected the firestorm I created. But the interview was taken out of context. The first thing I said was that these were two of our best teams, but the pace that they play the game was pathetic and embarrassing. But everybody, especially the New York media, blew it out of proportion and said I was calling the teams pathetic. Some people said I had no right to single them out. I didn’t single them out. I said they were both bad.”

Now, you might be asking a legitimate question:  Why is this news?  Well, because Joe West is going to be umpiring the Red Sox/Royals series this weekend in Boston.  And how do we know that, when MLB doesn’t announce umpiring crews before regular season games? … Click here to read the rest

Bye Bye Boone

Since the Yankees re-signed Chad Gaudin yesterday, there had to be some sort of “casualty” on the Yankee roster. It turned out that Shane Lindsay was Designated for Assignment and Boone Logan was sent packing to Scranton. I think this is something just about everyone in the Yankee blogosphere is happy about.

The lefty’s first stint (and hopefully only stint for a long time) in Pinstripes wasn’t 2009-Wangian, but it was frustrating nonetheless. While Logan flashed some good velocity–average fastball of 93 MPH–that was the only real positive.

Starting from the top, Logan’s got a 5.06 ERA with a 5.17 FIP and 5.23 xFIP as well as a 6.45 (60+) tRA. That’s just all sorts of bad right there.

Then, there’s the control issue. In 10.2 innings, Logan walked 7 (5.91/9 innings) while striking out only 6 (5.06 K/9) leading to a K/BB of 0.86. Any time you’ve got a K/BB of less than one, you’ve done something very wrong.… Click here to read the rest

Game 46: Yankees 3, Twins 2

Francisco Liriano would keep the Yankees scoreless until the top of the fourth.  Robinson Cano got things started with a single to center.  Cervelli grounded into a force out leaving him as the lone baserunner at first.  Kevin Russo then continued to make a name for himself in the Majors, doubling Cervelli home with a line drive to left and tying the game at 1-1.  In the top of the sixth, Russo came through for the Yankee again, singling with two outs and scoring when Brett Gardner sent a triple into right field, putting the Yankees ahead 2-1.

The Yankees lead did not last long, however.  In the bottom of the seveth, Michael Cuddyer singled with one out.  Delmon Young then followed with a double to center and the game was tied again, 2-2.  Pettitte continued to hurl for the Yankees, having thrown only 94 pitches through eight innings.  After two quick outs in the top of the ninth, Nick Swisher, who was batting second, drove a homer over the right field fence to give the Yankees the 3-2 lead and give Mariano Rivera a chance to pick up his second save of the day.  … Click here to read the rest