Derek Jeter-In decline or down year?

Photo courtesy of the NJ.com

Everyone knows Derek Jeter is having a down year this season. When he had a similarly bad year in 2008, fans began to question if it was the beginning of the end for DJ. But his huge 09 campaign seemed to erase those doubts. Which one is it? Was 2009 one last hurrah for the captain, the outlier in a downward trend? Or is 2010 just an unlucky year for Derek and we can expect a major correction to get his numbers back where they belong? Lets walk through this and see where the numbers lead us.

Double Plays-Much has been made of his penchant for the twin killing in recent years. He’s 4th overall in the AL with 18 this year. But some of the best hitters in Baseball (Mauer 08/10, Longoria 09, Guerrero 08) appear near the top of this list annually. In his stellar 2009 campaign he was still high on this list (15th overall with 18) and in his disappointing 08 season he was 4th as well.… Click here to read the rest

Alex to DL, Nova called up

Joe Girardi just announced it on the post game. Alex will be sent to the 15 day DL to get his aching calf healed and Righty Ivan Nova will be called up and will start this Monday facing Toronto.

With the Yanks not having any days off until this Thursday, and then not getting another one until 2 weeks after that (Thursday (9/9) the idea is to push everyone back and see if struggling starters AJ Burnett and Javier Vazquez benefit from an extra day of rest. This also reduces Phil Hughes’ innings for the year a bit. Girardi downplayed (for now) the idea of having a 6-man rotation, although if Nova pitches well he said they can kick it around.… Click here to read the rest

Bombers overcome another shaky start by Vazquez as 7th-inning rally propels Yankees to 9-5 victory over Mariners

This one started out rather inauspiciously, as Ichiro Suzuki turned on Home Run Javier Vazquez‘s third pitch of the game and deposited it into the seats for a 1-0 lead before the Yankees could record an out. Two batters later Russell Branyan launched what may have been the longest home run in New Yankee Stadium history, hitting the first ball ever into the right field upper deck for a majestic blast and staking Seattle to a 2-0 lead.

This time though the Yankees would not be deterred by a couple of early runs, coming right back at Jason Vargas in the bottom of the first for four runs of their own, capped off by a Jorge Posada two-run home run. This was particularly notable given how little the Yankees were able to do against Vargas last time out. Vargas of course proceeded to settle down and pitch five scoreless frames before unraveling in the seventh inning.

Vazquez gave the Yankee lead right back in the third, serving up Ichiro’s second home run of the game and surrendering an RBI base hit to Casey Kotchman.… Click here to read the rest

As if it never happened…

About last night.

Felix did what Felix does. Over eight innings, he struck out 11 and allowed no runs. He walked only three batters, and scattered four hits. The Yankees never had much of a chance, because AJ Burnett turned from Jekyll to Hyde, allowing five runs over his first four innings and letting in a sixth in the sixth inning. He looked good at times, and even settled down towards the end of the game, but the damage was done. In terms of probability, the Yankees didn’t have much of a chance:

fangraphs wpa

Yet much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, the Yankees wake up this morning no worse for the wear in the division.  Boston’s Jon Lester was absolutely rocked by Lyle Overbay and the Blue Jays, allowing nine earned runs in two innings.  Their bullpen was no help, as Atchison, Michael “nothing short of dominant” Bowden, Delcarmen and Wakefield all allowed runs in relief.  The Red Sox lost 16-2, and their WPA chart was even uglier than New York’s:

red sox blue jays

Yikes.  … Click here to read the rest

In other news, grass is green

In the least surprising loss of the season, the Yankees fell to the Mariners 6-0 on the strength of eight more shutout innings from Felix Hernandez. Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett coughed up six earned runs to the worst-hitting team in Major League Baseball.

Hernandez’s season line against the Yankees is 26 innings of one-run ball. That’s a 0.35 ERA. If there’s any upside, it’s that the Yankees won’t have to face King Felix in the playoffs.… Click here to read the rest

Full Scouting Report on Dellin Betances

Frank Piliere of MLB Fanhouse has spent some time with the Yankee minor league affiliates lately, scouting Andrew Brackman and Manny Banuelos. As good as the Manny-Banny report was, it would seem he saved the best for last. He penned an absolutely glowing report on Dellin Betances, putting him at the top of a Yankee farm system which is knee deep in pitching these days. Some highlights and commentary:

What can you say about a guy who is 6-foot-8? His presence is immense on the mound and that’s one of the first things you notice about Betances. And this is not a young man who looks like he could blow away out there. The 22-year-old is a very strong, well-built athlete. He has the long limbs to match his extra-large frame, but overall looks comfortable and coordinated. You see a lot of tall pitchers, including Yankee prospect Andrew Brackman, that can look a bit awkward at times. That doesn’t appear to be the case with Betances.Click here to read the rest

Zach McAllister PTBNL in Austin Kearns deal

Best luck in Cleveland, Z-Mac

Here’s the info, I’m sure some folks will not be pleased about this one:

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports says via Twitter that right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister is the player to be named later from the July 30th Austin Kearns deal with the New York Yankees.

McAllister, 22, is 8-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 24 starts this year for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has a 1.530 WHIP with a 6.0 SO/9 ratio.

I have to think the Yanks were down on Z-Mac, feeling he was exposed somewhat in AAA this year. As our own Eric Schultz detailed this morning, the Yanks have high upside arms in Banuelos and Betances who look like the kinds of pitchers the Yanks will keep, and to be honest guys like Z-Mac are the type they generally deal off. Getting a reserve OF with an expiring deal for 2 months doesn’t seem like a great return to me, but you have to consider that Z-Mac’s stock was low after his poor showing this year.… Click here to read the rest

Matt’s Week in Review 8/16-8/20

So here’s Matt’s Week in Review for the past week.

I started off with examining A.J. Burnett’s success with the curveball during his game against the Royals on Sunday. I said Phil Hughes should pay attention to this, and he did drop ten curveballs in his six inning, two run, six strikeout performance yesterday. I’m glad he was able to do that. Now, he just needs to work in the changeup more (he didn’t throw ANY yesterday).

My second Monday post pitted the offenses of the SOB’s and High Sox and found out that the SOB’s have the “better” offense by the smallest of margins.

On Tuesday, my 11 AM article dealt with Javy Vazquez’s fear of going inside on Monday night. This start just really irked me. Though there were times when he’d given up more runs and what not, Monday was literally the worst I saw Javy look this season. Something is definitely up with him, and it’s much more than a dead arm.… Click here to read the rest