Angels rough up Phil Hughes, spank Yankees

This one was ugly. On the first night when the Yankees needed players to step up they saw 4 different pitchers give up runs. Phil Hughes was not sharp. He lasted only 5 innings, gave up 6 runs, and 2 home runs. Jonathan Albaladejo made his first appearance of the year, and quickly reminded fans why the team had kept him in Scranton for so long. He allowed 2 hits, walked 1 and gave up a run in only 1.2 innings of work. I’ll go out on a limb and say that this guy isn’t the bullpen savior we’ve been looking for.

The game was out of hand, with the Yankees only scoring 2 runs, both of which came in the 1st inning, but there is no fire Chan Ho Park and Chad Gaudin can’t put some gasoline on. Park allowed a run in only 1.1 innings of work. Gaudin was worse. He only pitched the 9th inning in what was then an 8-2 ball game and made sure the final score was 10-2.… Click here to read the rest

The problem with trading for Soria

Photo courtesy of the New York Times

I’d love to trade for Joakim Soria as much as the next guy. He’s one of the few Closers in Baseball that reminds me of The Great Mariano. Slight build, misses bats (10.10 SO/9) has good control (2.53 BB/9) and is cool as ice out there. Fastball sits around 89-94 mph and has natural cutting action, which he throws most of the time. When facing Lefties, he complements the Fastball with a Change with good lateral action that he throws around 80-84 mph. Against Righties, he employs a Slider with good tilt and slow Curveball (66-71 MPH) that he mixes in equally. The cut on the Fastball makes hitters speed up their bats, and the breaking balls put them away. Earlier in his career, Mariano was called ‘the assassin’ (or El Asesino) and Soria’s nickname is ‘The Mexicutioner’. You could slide Soria in as the setup man until Mariano retires, and then have his replacement in the fold.… Click here to read the rest

Checking in on Trade Candidates

The non-waiver deadline is a mere eleven days away, so let’s look into some potential trades the Yankees could make.

The Yanks, and the Sox, are apparently interested in Toronto RP Scott Downs. In his age 34 season, Downs is having a great year. His ERA is below three and his FIP is 3.09, while his xFIP is at 3.51. His career platoon splits aren’t bad either, with a 3.25 xFIP against LHB and a 3.95 xFIP vs. RHB. He’d be a nice get for the Yanks, and he projects to be a type-A so the Yankees could get a draft pick for him (though that’s unlikely).

Other teams are apparently interested in Francisco Cervelli. If this is true, the Yankees should listen long and hard. It’s likely that Cervelli’s already hit his ceiling and if the Yankees can turn him into anything, it’d be a good trade. But, there is something valuable about him. He’s a cheap back up catcher and likely will be with the Yankees until he starts getting too expensive (like Melky Cabrera); that is, he’s a fine piece to have, but once he starts making seven figures through arbitration raises, he’s gone.… Click here to read the rest

Does Jeter’s 2010 performance *really* matter?

If you jump into the way-back machine, I wrote this in 2008 and in re-reading it now, it’s funny/sad/pathetic how quickly I was then to extend Jeter’s poor defense to a point that Jeter would be willing to vacate SS on his own.  How naive?!?  However, this point still resonates:

What if Jeter (and agent Casey Close) pull what Varitek/Boras are trying to do to the Sox: Sell the intangibles and disregard the facts? What if Jeter, at age 37 (during 2011), decides that playing SS is more important than any other factor? How will the Yanks react?

In many ways, he is our Derek Jeter, though the Yankees’ calm-eyed, fist-pumping captain is obviously superior in talent and production. They both have extremely recognizable profiles as central figures in baseball’s marquee rivalry. They both are greatly respected by their peers. They both loathe A-Rod. And one more commonality: When it became clear that the tangible measures were now suggesting that the player had significant flaws, they both had a well-stocked army of vocal and oblivious supporters who began clinging to the flimsy concept of “intangibles” as a vague means of denying the erosion of their idol’s talent.

Click here to read the rest

I’m Not Holding my Breath on Mitre

Let’s get this out of the way: I vehemently dislike Sergio Mitre. If you’ve followed me here from BBD or seen me comment over at RAB, my contempt for Mitre is pretty easy to see. Perhaps this is unfair because I’m influenced by his relatively poor showing last year that came after Tommy John Surgery. However, there’s just not a lot that impresses me about this guy.

His sinker is solid, though, and his near 60% ground ball rate is desirable, but that’s his only positive attribute. He doesn’t miss many bats (5.46 K/9), has good-not-great-control (3.02 BB/9), and gives up pretty solid contact (.325 BABIP).

This season, though, Mitre appeared–at least on the surface–to put it together. In a very small sample of 25 innings, Mitre posted a 2.88 ERA while stranding 78% of runners. This all seems well and good, but we need to look a little bit closer.

His FIP is a hefty 4.68 and his xFIP isn’t much better at 4.59.… Click here to read the rest

IIATMS & The Batting Stance Guy: contest winners and answers

THE ANSWERS:

  1. Oscar Gamble
  2. Mickey Rivers
  3. Thurman Munson
  4. Roy White
  5. Jim Leyritz
  6. Dave Winfield
  7. Mark Teixeira
  8. Paul O’Neill
  9. Derek Jeter
  10. Bernie Williams

Yes, BSG did “goof” and called Munson the “last captain before Jeter”.  But the righty batting stance should have told you that it wasn’t Donnie Baseball!

Thanks again to the Batting Stance Guy (Gar Ryness and Caleb Dewart), all of the folks at Scribner/Simon&Schuster as well as Rob Neyer for providing the necessary introductions.  

Remember: Follow us on Twitter here and the BSG can be followed on Twitter here.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview: Yankees versus Angels, III

The Angels come to New York tonight for a quick, two game set. On the surface this series doesn’t seem important. The Yankees could lose both games and retain a lead in the division. Looking deeper, however, reveals that it will be important to see how the team responds to its first major injury this season. True, Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada have all missed (or continue to miss) time this year, but the 2010 Yankees have thrived on their pitching, with Andy Pettitte at its core. The rest of the guys need to step up.

Scott Kazmir has been scratched from Tuesday’s game. The lefty has struggled this year, and was put on the DL with shoulder fatigue. The Angels have yet to announce who will pitch in his place. The early reports suggest either Trevor Bell (6.38 ERA) or Sean O’Sullivan (1.29 ERA, but in only 7 innings pitched) will take the mound for LA.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks complain and McCarver backtracks . . sort of

Photo courtesy of the MLB.com

By now you’ve probably heard of Tim McCarver’s comments on the FOX Saturday broadcast, where he compared the Yankee front office to the Nazi and Communist regimes. If not, here it is again (video):

You remember some of those despotic leaders in World War II, primarily in Russia and Germany, where they used to take those pictures that they had … taken of former generals who were no longer alive, they had shot ’em. They would airbrush the pictures, and airbrushed the generals out of the pictures. In a sense, that’s what the Yankees have done with Joe Torre. They have airbrushed his legacy. I mean, there’s no sign of Joe Torre at the stadium. And, that’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it.

The New York Time Bats blog has a follow up to the story, where Timmy backtracks a tiny bit.

McCarver, a close friend of Torre’s, said Monday in an interview from Florida that his analogies between the Yankees and the Third Reich and Stalin’s Soviet Union were “inappropriate.” But he added, “In my opinion, the underlying point here remains true: Yankees management has erased Joe Torre from their history.” He said, “I don’t think the Yankees have embraced the image of Joe Torre.”

McCarver said he had seen the photographs of Torre that hang at the new stadium but that he did not believe the team does enough to honor Torre’s integral role in leading the Yankees to four World Series championships.Click here to read the rest