Differing Perspectives on Jeter’s Next Deal

As Derek Jeter’s free agency draws closer, fans and analysts alike are having difficulty imagining what his next contract will look like.  On one hand, you have an aging shortstop in the midst of one of the worst years of his career. On the other hand, you have the “face of the franchise”, an iconic New York sports legend who has been synonymous with the Yankee brand for the past 15 years.  Like it or not, resigning Derek Jeter is messy and complicated, and represents one of the more intriguing cases of free agency in recent memory.

On August 6th, Mark Feinsand took a stab at picturing Jeter’s next contract.  In his piece, “Cannot value Jeter but millions will do”, Feinsand argues that Jeter isn’t going anywhere and should command an extremely lucrative contract from the Yankees this offseason.

“There will be a lot of talk this winter about what Jeter is worth as he finishes his 10-year, $189 million contract.… Click here to read the rest

The Case for Carl

Carl CrawfordJust about everyone knows Carl Crawford is an excellent player — some are even convinced he’s the best player at his respective position. Without sounding too much like Crawford’s agent, I intend to make my case for why the Yankees would benefit from need Carl Crawford.

1) The man has wheels. Fangraphs gave Crawford a “speed score” of 8.7 which leads the league. Frankly, this score independently does not have a lot of value in my eyes. There’s a big difference in being fast and being effective. One stat that does translate into something of significance though, is his 41 stolen bases thus far. Have I mentioned that over Crawford’s career, he’s averaged about 55 stolen bases per year? As I watch the Yankees, I become increasingly convinced that within the next season or so (or right now…), a new leadoff hitter will be required. If the leadoff man can get on base and provide 50 steals at an 80%+ success rate, that’s not to shabby.… Click here to read the rest

On Day Braden Starts, Unwritten Rules In News Again

Dallas Braden gained some notoriety a few months ago by jawing at Alex Rodriguez after A-Rod ran across “Braden’s mound” on his way back to first base following a foul ball. It was an unwritten rule that many had never heard before, and was a popular topic of discussion for a few days back in May. With Braden starting today, it is only fitting that an incident in last night’s Marlins-Nationals game has brought the unwritten code back into the limelight.

Nyjer Morgan was hit by a pitch due to an incident from the night before, and may have deserved it. Later in the game, Morgan stole 2nd and 3rd despite trailing 14-3, and then scored on a sac fly. The Marlins took exception to Morgan stealing bases in a blowout and threw behind Morgan, at which point Nyjer charged the mound and a brawl ensued. Brien Jackson of IIATMS had a solid take on all this:

That’s right, the Nationals were down by 10 runs and Morgan was still trying to score runs.

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Jeter’s Platoon Split

Derek Jeter seems to have developed a rather nasty habit this season; well, one that isn’t just his near 70% groundball rate. And, to be fair, it’s not exactly a habit. It’s just something we’ve never quite seen from Jeter: a massive platoon split.

In Derek Jeter’s career, not including last night, he has a .398 wOBA against left handed pitchers and he has a .351 wOBA against right handers. There’s a .047 point difference which is pretty big, but the .351 wOBA against a same handed pitcher is just fine with me.

This year, Jeter has a .382 wOBA against lefties and a .285 wOBA against right handers. His previous low against righties (2002 and beyond) was .334 in ’08. For some reason, Derek’s just not hitting well against righties this year.

His career IsoP against RHP is .132 (.165 vs. LHP). This year? .077 (182 vs. LHP).

Of course, it’s worth noting that Jeter’s .281 BABIP vs. RHP in 2010, as opposed to .352 in his career.… Click here to read the rest

Baseball’s Unwritten Rules Strike Again

“I know he’s stealing bases out of his own doing, he’s trying to get back at us,” Marlins third baseman Wes Helms said. “We had to show him that we weren’t going to put up with the way he was treating us after last night but also trying to take the bases being [down] 10 runs. . . . He gets under everybody’s skin. Especially mine.”

That’s right, the Nationals were down by 10 runs and Morgan was still trying to score runs. Everyone knows that this violates sacred baseball rule 12(b); when a game gets to a certain (undefined) level of out-of-handedness, both teams must stop trying to score runs and get the game over with as soon as possible. Nevermind that the Marlins weren’t holding Morgan on, so he could easily take those bases, or that he wound up scoring on a sacrifice fly, no, none of that matters. Morgan refused to stop trying to win the game, and for that he had to have a message sent to him.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankee rotation, and implications for October

Recently Yankeeist broke down the pitchers for the other AL teams who appear playoff-bound at this point in the season. Given the question marks surrounding the Yankee pitchers, now seems like a good time to take a closer look at the players taking the mound for the good guys.

CC Sabathia | In short, the dude’s a beast and I love watching him pitch. For those of you who love details, here are a few: CC is 8th in the AL in ERA, 15th in FIP, 9th in WAR (Fangraphs edition), and 2nd in innings pitched. All of those are great, but here’s why I love him: Of all the pitchers who have pitched to a better ERA this season, only Felix Hernandez has tossed more innings. Ask yourselves this, would you rather have CC Sabathia for seven innings, or C.J. Wilson and his slightly better ERA for six innings, plus one inning of fun from the Rangers’ ‘pen? (And that’s if Wilson gives you six innings, which is a post for another time.)

Andy Pettitte | In the past few seasons I can’t recall a player — nevermind a pitcher, but a player at any position — whose successful return from the DL meant more to his team.
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Game 133: Athletics 3, Yankees 4

Curtis Granderson singled to left in the bottom of the second, to get the Yankees started again.  Eduardo Nunez followed with a single and Jeter was called safe when A’s pitcher Brett Anderson made an error, allowing Granderson to score.  Nunez stole third base with Swisher at the plate.  Swisher worked a walk, loading the bases with two outs.  Teixeira then singled on a grounder to left, scoring Nunez and Jeter and putting New York up 4-0.

Burnett kept the Athletics scoreless through three, but struggled in the top of the fourth.  Kurt Suzuki lined a double to right to start the inning.  Kevin Kouzmanoff then connected with a homer to right, making the score 4-2.

Rajai Davis hit a ground-rule double to left center in the top of the fifth.  He stole third, his 40th steal of the season, with Coco Crisp up, and scored on Crisp’s ground out. Oakland had pulled to within one, as the score sat at 4-3.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees win fifth straight, topping A's 4-3

The Yankees beat the A’s 4-3 Wednesday night, and in doing so not only secured a series victory — with a sweep a possibility tomorrow afternoon — but picked up their fifth straight win, marking their first five-plus win stretch since mid-July, a streak that also coincidentally included three victories against Oakland.

A.J. Burnett tossed six innings of three-run ball, enough to pick up his first win since July 28. Despite a season-high eight strikeouts, it’s way too soon to know whether this will be something he can build on or if he’ll revert right back to awful A.J., especially given that the performance came against the noodle-bat A’s. Heck, even Javier Vazquez was able to throw nearly five innings of one-run ball against Oakland.

A.J. also nearly gave the game back after being staked to a 4-0 lead after two innings on three Mark Teixeira RBIs and a costly Oakland error. The molten-hot Tex picked up three more hits, giving him eight in the past three games.… Click here to read the rest