A glimpse at right field through WAR

In turning the WAR page to right field, the first thought that pops into my mind is proven-Yankee-destroyer Jose Bautista, who not only leads all right fielders in WAR, but has been a top-10 player in the entire American League, according to bWAR (5.4). Undoubtedly, the Blue Jays would be hard-pressed to find that kind of prolific offensive contribution anywhere else given that his 70 oRAR and 6.9 oWAR are both the highest in the league. With that being said, a number of other right fielders have also had very solid seasons including our very own, Nick Swisher. Clearly this Continue reading A glimpse at right field through WAR

Cervelli Stance Change

Francisco Cervelli has long been the whipping boy for Yankee fans.  It’s not really his fault: he’s a backup catcher, and good hitting backup catchers are hard to come by unless you’re the Cincinnati Reds, so perhaps the biggest problem with Cervelli is that he’s gotten so much playing time this season.  Cervelli’s year has been quite the rollercoaster, a study in how shifts in BABIP can affect the results.  By playing a little arbitrary start and endpoint game, we can see how his season has been divided into very good and very bad. Start of season to May 31st: Continue reading Cervelli Stance Change

An epic Rosenthal rant on replay

I just love it when Ken Rosenthal gets all frothy:

The commissioner is 76. The average age of the 14 committee members is 63. I don’t want to be disrespectful. But that committee is seriously old-school.

Here’s what kills me: Baseball is at the cutting edge of technology in so many other areas. […] Yet, when it comes to expanded replay – and bringing the actual on-field product up to date – baseball is still in dial-up mode.

We can debate how far to go. We can debate whether to award challenges to managers, place a fifth umpire in a replay booth and whatever else might work. Pace of game is a legitimate concern. So is placement of runners after calls are reversed. But no obstacle is insurmountable.

[…]

I shudder to think: What will it take for baseball to finally wake up?

Couldn’t agree more. My belief is that placing a fifth umpire in the booth with the ability to wirelessly contact the on-field umpiring crew would absolutely work. I do not like the red flag/challenge system. Strategy should not have a place in getting the play right. Forcing managers to consider withholding their challenge because it’s early in the game is silly. Get the calls right.

Have the fifth umpire buzz the on-field crew chief. The crew meets on the field, discusses and shares info with the fifth umpire. The fifth umpire reviews and relays results (and runner positioning to the field). The on-field crew never leaves the field and this can be achieved in mere minutes, at best. Will not be any longer than a protracted argument with the players and managers. Will also keep players from getting themselves tossed due to arguing calls that could be and should be reversed.

The placement of runners is also very tough, no debating this. Again, getting the call right supercedes everything else.

And because I know someone will say it: Not balls and strikes. I don’t think we’re quite ready to install an automated system like the one in tennis. Continue reading An epic Rosenthal rant on replay

Adios Javy, it’s been (not particularly) nice knowing you

After his latest in a seemingly never-ending string of pitching debacles, Javier Vazquez has almost certainly lost whatever remaining supporters he may have still had in Yankeeland. While the Vazquez reacquisition was met with both praise and scorn last December, it was hard to argue logically that the deal didn’t made sense. Although I myself was slightly dubious about Javier’s pending success in New York, I cast my doubts aside. Instead I argued that trading for Vazquez a second time was one of Brian Cashman’s smarter decisions. Regardless of how any of us felt about Javy, he was a good Continue reading Adios Javy, it’s been (not particularly) nice knowing you

Pitching Frustrations in Last Night’s Game

During last night’s game, I found myself rather frustrated by the Yankees’ pitchers. Javier Vazquez’s performance–which could be his last innings as a Yankee–was the cherry on top of the disappointment sundae that has been 2010 for Mr. Vazquez. He was one out away from giving up just four runs in 4.2 innings, but a hanging curveball to Aaron Hill changed that. I was sad for Javy that he gave up that blast, but there was a bit of anger in me. Granted, that anger had little to do with Vazquez and everything to do with the hitter: I have Continue reading Pitching Frustrations in Last Night’s Game

Open-Mindedness and Overreach

If you only read one article today, I recommend this post about the debate over statistics by Drew Silva at Hardball Talk. A few points I’d like to emphasize:

  • As one of the commenters notes, while we typically view this in terms of “pro-stats vs. anti-stats,” when it’s really an argument over which stats we should use to evaluate player performance.
  • On that note, where Drew wishes everyone in the BBWAA was familiar with advanced stats, I’d settle for familiarity with basic statistics. To put it bluntly, anyone who thinks you can use numbers that are based heavily on the actions of others like RBI and pitcher wins to evaluate individual performance is just ignoring basic rules about using statistics. It ought to be humiliating, really.
  • Ultimately, I’m not sure this even matters. No matter who wins the Cy Young this year, I think the old-guard ultimately lost the war by even having this debate.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Open-Mindedness and Overreach

Does Joel Sherman read TYU?

Odd thing happened yesterday. I was reading Joel’s latest article on AJ Burnett and something struck me as very familiar. On Tuesday, September 28 I posted this: By contrast, Cervelli has been AJ Burnett’s personal catcher, logging 23 of his 33 starts behind the dish. When Burnett is on the mound, opponents have stolen 36 bases this year, which is the highest of any pitcher in all of Baseball. AJ has also logged 15 wild pitches (#2 in AL) and hit 16 batters (1st in AL) to go with his 75 Walks (7th in AL). When a pitcher is that Continue reading Does Joel Sherman read TYU?

Brett Cecil becomes Majors' winningest pitcher against 2010 Yankees in Blue Jay rout; A-Rod hits 30-HR plateau for 13th straight season

It may say Managing General Partner next to Hal Steinbrenner’s name, but it is in fact 24-year-old Brett Cecil who actually owns the New York Yankees. Cecil led the Blue Jays to a 8-3 romp of New York, picking up his Major League-leading fourth win against the Yankees in 2010 and improving to 4-0 in five starts against the Bombers this season. The win was no surprise whatsoever considering the Yankees haven’t been able to do anything of note against Cecil all year and have done nothing but struggle against slow-throwing pitchers of his ilk. It obviously didn’t help the Continue reading Brett Cecil becomes Majors' winningest pitcher against 2010 Yankees in Blue Jay rout; A-Rod hits 30-HR plateau for 13th straight season

Game 159: Yankees 4, Blue Jays 8

A loss by the Tampa Bay Rays gave the Yankees a chance to retake first in the AL East, but another miserable start by Javier Vazquez put the Yankees in a big hole early.  They fought back, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Jays made Cito Gaston a winner in his final game at the Rogers Centre with an 8-4 victory.

The Blue Jays got on the board early, as Travis Snider hit a lead off homer in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead.  Vazquez continued to struggle in the second, getting two quick outs before giving up another solo shot, this time to John Buck.  John McDonald followed with a double to left.  He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Snider’s single, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.

The Jays continued to pour it on in the fourth.  Aaron Hill worked a walk and moved to third on Adam Lind’s single to center.  A grounder to short by McDonald brought Hill home before Vazquez got out of the inning.  It would be the fifth inning, however, that may have officially sealed Vazquez’s playoff fate.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Game 159: Yankees 4, Blue Jays 8