Rethinking Trades

The first thing we need to do is find out why these trades don’t work for the selling team (I’m essentially going to stick with selling teams, but as Yankee fans, you’re interested in the buying teams. Guess what? You win. What? You were expecting something different?). The original theory is a nice one. You turn one really good player into several good ones, and in the swap, you switch out future value for present value. However, the idea is flawed. The theory assumes that the 6-win player traded brings back 2 or 3 4-win (the numbers don’t exactly match up, but you get the point) players, but in practice, the 6-win player continues to be the 6-win player while the prospects never make it or turn into 2-win players or worse. So how do we change this?

One, start demanding top prospects back when you can. I’m going to use the Oswalt trade for the rest of the piece to illustrate my points.… Click here to read the rest

Delayed Reaction to the Trades

I was away this weekend and found out about the Lance Berkman trade via the radio Friday night while on the way to my girlfriend’s from a softball game (20-3 W, I was 0-3 with a sac fly–two balls, including the sac fly were ripped right at the right-center fielder…bad BABIP luck).

Anyway, my thoughts on the three trades the Yankees pulled off…

I know Berkman’s been having an iffy season and is likely in his decline phase, but I love this trade. I’m not a fan of the rotating DH because it means that a replacement level player–Ramiro Pena or Francisco Cervelli–has to play and that hurts the team. With Nick Johnson out, presumably for the year now, this is a good move. Berkman presents a similar skill set (15.5% walk rate) to Johnson, but with a ton more power (.253 IsoP, though it’s at “only” .198 this season). Fat Elvis can slot into literally any slot in the lineup and be right at home.… Click here to read the rest

Yankeeist's July 2010 Wrap-Up

The 2010 Yankees had a spectacular month of July, tying the Tampa Bay Rays for the best record in the Majors with 19 wins and only 7 losses. They actually gained a game on Tampa during the course of the month (before having the lead shrunk back to one yesterday afternoon). The fact that the team played .731 ball in July and still only managed to gain one extra game in the standings on Tampa Bay tells you a lot about both the Yankees and the Rays. The more I think about it, the more I see these two on a collision course for the ALCS. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

(Please click on all of the tables to enlarge them)

The offense came back in a big way in July, with the team’s wOBA jumping nearly .030 points from June’s mediocre .326. July also represented the team’s best month of slugging on the season.

The pitching staff also improved last month, with a sterling 3.46 ERA (though incredibly this was only good for 4th-best in the AL).… Click here to read the rest

Resting players the right move

When yesterday’s lineup came out, fans started complaining immediately. Wally Matthews echoed these complaints in a piece he penned for ESPN-NY and it provides a good jumping off point for this discussion.

No Alex Rodriguez? No Brett Gardner? Berkman at first in place of Mark Teixeira? Kearns starting in left?

If it wasn’t for the name “Jeter” appearing where it is just about every day, at the top of the list, it would have been difficult to determine at first glance that this was a Yankees lineup card at all.

That was just the beginning of a strange day for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who is always concerned about resting his horses and somehow—on this day, in this game, against this team at this point in the season—chose to rest three of them. (Teixeira technically got only a half-day’s rest, but still.)

Worse than that, he went and defeated his own purpose by using Rodriguez to bat for Kearns in the seventh, necessitating that he also rouse Gardner from his day of rest because he now needed a left fielder.… Click here to read the rest

Tampa Bay Series Recap

Game 103:
Lance Berkman was making his first start in a non-Astros uniform and he was thrown right into an intense battle. If the rest of the season is anything like this game, we are in for a lot of fun – along with some well-bitten fingernails.  Jaso lead off the bottom of the first with a double and moved to third on Carl Crawford’s bunt single.  Longoria hit a sac fly to left, scoring Jaso and giving the Rays a 1-0 lead before Javier Vazquez got the next two hitters out.

Alex Rodriguez worked a walk in the top of the second and moved to third on Cano’s double.  Curtis Granderson hit a sac fly to left, bringing Rodriguez to the plate and tying the score.  The Rays got the run back in the bottom of the third when Jaso tripled and scored on a Crawford single, putting the Rays on top 2-1.

B.J. Upton lead off the bottom of the fifth with a ground-rule double.  … Click here to read the rest

Yanks come up empty against Big Game James as Tampa Bay takes series 2-1

James Shields was outstanding, pitching 7 1/3 innings of four-hit, shutout ball as the Rays beat the Yankees 3-0. The series win moved the Rays back to within one game of first place.

There’s not much to say about this one. CC Sabathia was decent again but not quite ace-like, giving up three runs over 6 1/3 innings. The Yankee bats went cold for the fourth time in the past week, and Tampa’s pitching gets a ton of credit in holding the Yankee offense to seven runs over three games. Hard to win ballgames when you only bang out five hits and only two of those hits are back-to-back.

Lance Berkman picked up his first hit as a Yankee, and Austin Kearns went 0-2 in his Yankee debut. Kerry Wood tossed a scoreless inning and picked up three strikeouts, and even Chad Gaudin — rather bizarrely called on in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and two outs — got his job done, striking out the only batter he faced.… Click here to read the rest