Frustrated with Phil

Hughes got to two strikes on 18 Jays. Twelve of those eventually reached base.

Hughes had two strikes on the first 10 Blue Jays that reached base…

Those two Tweets from Jack Curry and Ben Shpigel are just maddening. Phil Hughes’ troubles with finishing off hitters this season have been one of the (only) two frustrating things we’ve seen out of him in 2010. The other is his lack of mixing pitches, but after the frustrating first inning, he didn’t have much trouble in that department (25 curves out of 102 pitches per Brooks, but under 50% strikes). However, the lack of finishing hitters is beyond frustrating.

I kept a tally of foul balls of of Phil with two strikes (insert get a life comment here). There were six off of him in the first, five in the second, zero in the third, and two in the fourth before he exited. The number of foul balls did trend downward as the game went on and Phil did end up with 16 swings and misses, so there are encouraging signs.… Click here to read the rest

The ridiculously good starting pitching of the 2010 Toronto Blue Jays

As we’ve seen over 12 games thus far against the Blue Jays in which the Yankees have gone 5-7, this year’s Toronto team has some astoundingly good starting pitching. Which got me wondering, just how good has it been? As I reiterated in my game recap, it’s terrifying to think about the Jays’ rotation if they still had Roy Halladay, and I’d have to think it would be close to if not the best rotation in baseball. Check it out:

Roy Halladay: 6.4 WAR
Ricky Romero: 3.7 WAR
Brandon Morrow: 3.4 WAR
Shaun Marcum: 2.6 WAR
Brett Cecil: 2.2 WAR

I can’t imagine any other team in baseball has gotten anywhere close to the hypothetical 18.3 WAR that this five-man rotation might have accumulated. Of course, the Jays don’t have Halladay, and so if you swap Halladay out for, say, Marc Rzepczynski (0.0 WAR), the rotation looks a touch less imposing, with 11.9, though that’s still a very strong total, especially when you look at the rest of the AL East:

The Rays’ opening day rotation has accumulated 8.6 WAR:

David Price: 3.5
Matt Garza: 1.9
James Shields: 1.7
Jeff Niemann: 1.2
Wade Davis: 0.3

The Yankees’ opening day rotation has accumulated 8.4 WAR:

CC Sabathia: 3.7
A.J.Click here to read the rest

Jays continue to out-hit and out-pitch Bombers, beat Yanks 6-3

Raise your hand if you’re getting tired of losing to Toronto. I know I am. With a 6-3 victory, the Blue Jays have now beaten the Yankees seven times this year, more than every other team in baseball. Tampa Bay is second with six wins against New York. The Jays have won three of the four series the two teams have played in 2010, and I’m getting tired of being right in predicting series’ outcomes. I suppose the one thing you might be able to take away from the Jays’ dominance of the Yanks is that they incredibly haven’t had to face CC Sabathia one time in 12 games, and I’d have to imagine they wouldn’t have seven victories against the Yankees this year if that weren’t the case.

Regardless, the Jays have severely out-hit and out-pitched the Yankees this season, and watching these teams square off has become borderline torture. Phil Hughes stunk, throwing 3 2/3 innings of five-run ball and using 102 pitches to do so — a shame considering he shut Toronto down last time out.… Click here to read the rest

Game 127: Yankees 3, Blue Jays 6

New York had a chance to score in the top of the second.  Marcus Thames doubled to center and Austin Kearns worked a walk.  An infield singled by Brett Gardner to load the bases with two outs, but Eduardo Nunez grounded one back to the pitcher, Brett Cecil, to end the inning.

In the bottom of the third Jose Bautista walked.  Wells drove a homer to left and the Blue Jays were ahead 4-0.  Hughes struck out Lind, gave up a single to John Buck and then struck out Lyle Overbay to end the inning.

The Yankees’ bats did some damage in the top of the fourth.  Robinson Cano lead off with a double to center and Thames followed with a two-run homer to left center.  Toronto got a run back in the bottom of the inning.  Aaron Hill worked a walk before Hughes struck out Edwin Encarnacion and Lewis.  Escobar singled to center, moving Hill to third and Bautista walked to load the bases. … Click here to read the rest

Some Yankee Goings On

There are a few things bouncing about in Yankee land, and here’s what I think of them…

First off, after last night’s performance, how much longer does Chad Gaudin have in pinstripes? I feel like we’ve asked this question at least five times, yet Gaudin’s still survived. I’d have no problem with getting rid of Gaudin and recalling Jonathan Albaladejo. This could also free up a 40-man spot if the Yankees want to add anyone before September 1st. It also could clear roster space if the Yankees make a late waiver trade…

…because they’re apparently interested in Hiroki Kuroda. This wouldn’t be a bad move, even though his salary for the rest of the year, about $2.7M, as it could help solidify the rotation and could, as reader Jamal said last night, he could become the Yankees best right handed starter because…

…Javier Vazquez will have his next start skipped in favor of Ivan Nova. This may be a little too soon on Nova, but with the way Javy has pitched of late, it’s hard to argue with.… Click here to read the rest

If the Yankees can't sign Adam Dunn this offseason, what about Paul Konerko?

In perusing the wOBA leaderboards on Fangraphs, as I am wont to do, I couldn’t help but notice that Paul Konerko has remained in the top 10 in the American League even after a torrid April (.483 wOBA) that he couldn’t possibly have maintained, sporting a mighty .411 mark. Though Konerko unsurprisingly fell back to earth and then some in May (.315), he resumed being a beast in June and has continued raking as he puts together what may end up being the finest season of his 14-year career.

I’ve made no secret of my desire to see Adam Dunn in pinstripes, and with Dunn once again approaching free agency this offseason I will continue to bang that drum, especially given that (a) Brett Gardner‘s pleasantly surprising season may compel the Yankees to stay away from Carl Crawford, despite everyone and their mother assuming Crawford to the Yanks was a foregone conclusion; (b) the Yankees are likely to have a gaping hole at designated hitter; and (c) if they don’t in fact pursue Crawford they will almost certainly need another bat.… Click here to read the rest

Bring Me Kuroda!

Yesterday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers have placed Hiroki Kuroda on waivers.  Only a few weeks removed from dealing away Blake DeWitt to acquire Ted Lilly, the Dodgers have finally smartened up and realized that their odds of making the playoffs are slim to none.  Twelve games back in the division, the Dodgers PECOTA-adjusted playoff odds are a mere 0.3%; for all intents and purposes, their season is over.  Ken Rosenthal went on to quote a rival executive (whether that’s a rival of the Yankees or a rival of the Dodgers is unclear) who said, “I guarantee the Yankees are all over it”.  Given the struggles of AJ Burnett and Javier Vazquez and the pending innings limit of Phil Hughes (and the need to use him in October), this would come as no surprise.

Hiroki Kuroda is a right-hander who made his career in Japan before signing a three year, $35.3 million dollar deal with the Dodgers prior to the 2008 season.  … Click here to read the rest

Discussion: OF/DH Rotation for 2011

Last night, our very own Moshe Mandel dropped an intriguing tweet about the future of the Yankee outfield and DH situation.

At first glance, I don’t necessarily agree with Moshe here. I like Carl Crawford, but I do have doubts about him going forward. His power has been just around average for his career (.176 this year, .145 for his career) and his carer 5.4% BB rate is uninspiring (though he has been above 7% the last two years). Still, though, he’s a good hitter and plays very good defense. With an OF of Crawford/Granderson/Gardner across, the Yankees would be Death to Flying Things East.

Of course, though, this muddies up the DH situation. I’m of the mindset–Moshe disagrees, and I see his point–that Jesus Montero will break camp with the 2011 Yankees. If this happens, he and Jorge Posada should split the catching and DHing duties. In Moshe’s above scenario (if we assume JM is w/the team in 4/2011), this would leave Nick Swisher out in the cold.… Click here to read the rest