Thames a Not-so-Unlikely Hero

In that mold, Marcus Thames has been a very fun player to have on the team this year. Brought in to compete for the final outfielder spot, his main attribute was his career .265/.337/.509 batting line against left-handed pitchers. This year Thames has continued to hit lefties (.343/.416/.448) but he’s also hit .289/.393/.511 against right-handers, good for an overall wOBA of .387 in 133 plate appearances. He’s also provided his share of memorable moments. On top of his home run last night, he hit a walk-off against Jonathan Papelbon at the Stadium earlier in the season.

Defensively, Thames is atrocious, and because of that he’s never going to be an everyday player. Joe Girardi tried platooning him in LF at the beginning of the season, but his defense proved so bad that that just couldn’t last. But if Thames can continue to hit like this the rest of the season, he’s a great option for a DH platoon with Lance Berkman, and having him available off of the bench is an advantage for the Yankees late in games.… Click here to read the rest

On the eve of 39, what happens next year?

What Posada seems to be either downplaying or simply ignorning is the body’s ability to recover at the speed it used to as you get older:

From Posada’s standpoint, his collection of injuries is simply part of the job, something he’s dealt with annually since he broke into the league nearly 15years ago.

“It happens every year,” Posada said. “It’s nothing different than other years.”

No, it’s not different than other years, Jorge. You’re much older and the mileage is piling up. The bouncebacks take longer and the rebounds aren’t as high. Trust me, I know this first hand. Next year, he won’t be any younger.

But Posada’s defense has fallen from “merely adequate” to a liability. His shoulder remains troublesome and the cyst below his knee makes it difficult for him to catch multiple days in a row.  And, as Brien discussed, Cervelli is more of a problem than a solution:

The problem is that a combination of age and injuries have limited Jorge Posada’s ability to stay in the lineup as a catcher, making Cervelli the de facto starter.

Click here to read the rest

Game 113: Yankees 7, Rangers 6

The bottom of the fourth, however, would not be kind to Vazquez.  Josh Hamilton started the inning with a double to center.  With two outs, Vazquez walked David Murphy intentionally before walking Bengie Molina unintentionally and loading the bases.  Mitch Moreland then singled on a ball that deflected off Lance Berkman’s glove and dribbled towards Cano, who was unable to get to the ball before Hamilton and Murphy had both crossed the plate.  Cristian Guzman flied out to end the inning, but the Ranges had already taken a 3-1 lead.

Texas continued to build their lead in the fifth inning.  Elvis Andrus lead off with a single to right and he moved to third on Young’s liner to center.  Hamilton doubled to right scoring Andrus and moving Young to third.  Nelson Cruz then hit a dribbler to third, which put Young in a run down.  Rodriguez fielded the ball and threw to Posada.  As Young turned back to third and Posada started to run him back, Rodriguez was slow to get out of the way. … Click here to read the rest

Robertson and Logan Have Rebounded Nicely

Both Boone Logan and David Robertson got off to rocky starts with the Yankees in 2010.

Logan couldn’t find the strikezone before being sent down to Scranton. Robertson couldn’t get anyone out. All of this now seems like it happened a long time ago.

I’ve already dicussed Boone Logan’s resurgence and he did pitch 1/3 of an inning in last night’s loss, striking out Josh Hamilton. As for Robertson, the season outside of April has been very good.

The walks, now 23 in 35.3 IP, are a little high, but that comes with the territory with Robertson. He’s balanced it well with 40 strikeouts in that frame and a super low .080 IsoP against. Repeating myself a bit here: the ~.345 OBPA is not great, but the ~.310 SLGA is fantastic. The best thing a pitcher can do is not allow walks, strike guys out, and keep the ball in the park. Robertson does two of those three things very well (10.2 K/9; 0.51 HR/9 since May) and you’ll take that from a reliever every single time.… Click here to read the rest

10 Facts About Cliff Lee

lee

“See, he’s throwing that spiked curve.  It’s a spiked curve.  See how the ball drops there, he’s got that spiked curve.  If you’ll also notice, the ball is slower across the plate than when it’s released from the pitcher’s hand.  Incredible! Spiked curve!  The Yankees remind me of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, but worse.  For FOX, I’m Tim McCarver”

Photo courtesy of daylife.com

1. Cliff Lee currently strikes out about 6.5 batters per game.  Assuming that rate stays consistent over his remaining 10 starts this season, he will need to walk a little over 8 batters per game in order to end with a league average K:BB ratio.

2. In 2004, he allowed 6 runs over 4.1 innings in Toronto.  As he was walking to the dugout, he threw his glove twenty rows into the stands.  On July 21, 2007, he hit Sammy Sosa in the head on a night when the Rangers were honoring Sosa for his 600th home run, sparking a fight between Lee and his then-catcher Victor Martinez.  … Click here to read the rest

Yankees turn tables on Lee, come back from five-run deficit to top Rangers 7-6

If I told you before the game that the Yankees would knock Cliff Lee out before the eighth inning while hanging four runs on the best pitcher in the American League in the process you’d have (a) Called me crazy, (b) Signed up for that all day every day, and (c) Likely assumed the Yankees would’ve won.

Well if you picked all of the above, you’d have been right! The Yankees, rather amazingly, battled back and toppled the Rangers 7-6, despite falling behind Lee and the Rangers 6-1 after five innings. I have a feeling there are going to be a number of shocked Yankee fans waking up tomorrow morning that called it a night after seeing Lee and Texas run out to a five-run advantage.

This win was big on a lot of fronts — it hopefully helped give the Yanks some confidence against the seemingly invincible Cliff Lee, it prevented the Yankees from losing three in a row for the second time in two weeks, it prevented the suddenly hot Red Sox from gaining any more ground (they remain five games behind first, though only 3.5 out of the Wild Card) and it was great to see the struggling Yankee offense mount their first five-run comeback since June 27 in Los Angeles.… Click here to read the rest

Stuck with Cervelli

As I’ve done with most of my posts this season, I’m writing this as the previous night’s game is going on. Like I always say, the player I talk about could end up doing something to make this scheduled post look bad. But, with this player, the chances are pretty slim.

From July through Monday, Francisco Cervelli had a .494 OPS. Yes, that’s right. His OPS from July through August 9th was under .500. Extending that admittedly small sample back to June doesn’t help much (.510 OPS). This wouldn’t be so bad, as Ben Kabak wrote the other day. Quoth Mr. Kabak:

As a back-up catcher, we could tolerate 100-150 plate appearances of Francisco Cervelli, but he’s now at 239 PAs. His playing time is in no danger of lessening any time soon.

This really wouldn’t be so bad if not for Jorge Posada’s perpetually losing fight with Father Time. The annoying thing, though, is that the Yankees are stuck with Cervelli as the back up.… Click here to read the rest

A Grand Canyon in the Lineup

He’s shown better plate discipline in the past, and usually, that gets better with age, not worse (meaning that should improve back to at least normal). And the lower fastball run count could be mostly due to that O-Contact%, which coincided with that precipitous drop in BABiP and fastball run value (though let’s not let correlation equal causation here). Another piece of good news is that he’s still hitting line drives (his 22.8 LD% is the best of his career), which may indicate that his bat speed and hand-eye coordination haven’t completely forsaken him. Forgive me for saying this, but I don’t think Granderson is as bad as it seems. His peripherals don’t suggest that he’s completely fallen off the cliff from other successful seasons as his BABiP seems to be the main difference (along with some regression in plate discipline). Random variation is just that, random. Usually, we expect things to swing back (in this instance, we expected Granderson to have better luck this season because he had bad luck last season), but in truth, it was just as likely that he was to be unlucky as he was to be lucky.… Click here to read the rest