Comparing the league’s third basemen by WAR

Prior to starting this WAR endeavor, I was initially most interested in the story that the numbers told on the topic of MLB’s third basemen in terms of value. Likewise, Alex Rodriguez will always be a major point of interest for me in general. How often do you have a player who’s so completely polarizing? He came up through the system and into The Show with prodigious talent. Every single move he makes is under intense scrutiny. Love him or hate him, he’s going to be synonymous with Pinstripes for a long time to come. Of course none of this Continue reading Comparing the league’s third basemen by WAR

Predicting the postseason rotation

The conventional wisdom would seem to say that after CC Sabathia starts Game 1 in the ALDS, Andy Pettitte will go in Game 2 followed by Phil Hughes in Game 3 and A.J. Burnett in Game 4. That sounds reasonable enough, and I’m sure there are plenty of fan-managers out there who concur. However, I thought it might be worthwhile to devise a partially altered plan. Check out the table below to see last year’s playoff performances from Sabathia, Pettitte and Burnett. This isn’t really a true point of reference by any means, but I do find the data interesting Continue reading Predicting the postseason rotation

Red Sox Preview 9/24-9/26

With the Yankees’ magic number at three and a three game series on tap against the Boston Red Sox, a series win for New York this weekend could clinch the playoffs.  The Red Sox would enjoy playing the spoiler here, especially after the Yankees lost their last two games to the Rays and find themselves up only half a game in the AL East.  Meanwhile, the Yankees are going to have to balance their need to rest some of their players, like Mark Teixeira, along with their need to win some games and secure their spot in the postseason

Pitching Matchups:
September 24: Josh Beckett (5-5, 5.71) vs. Andy Pettitte (11-2, 2.81)
September 25: Jon Lester (18-8, 3.06) vs. Ivan Nova (1-0, 4.37)
September 26: Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-6, 4.86) vs. Phil Hughes (17-8, 4.31)

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Red Sox Preview 9/24-9/26

Hughes’ away Home Runs

On Tuesday I looked at every home run yielded by Phil Hughes at home this season.  In doing so, I was able to draw a distinction between home runs that were no doubters and ones that appeared to be squeakers.  Of the 18 home runs yielded at home, 6 appeared to be slightly fluky.  By that I don’t mean to suggest that they shouldn’t count, simply that they were incredibly close to not being home runs or that they wouldn’t have been home runs had the environment been ever so slightly different.  For instance, Maicer Izturis bounced a ball off Continue reading Hughes’ away Home Runs

Rosenthal Gets it Right on Cy

Yesterday I was very critical of the St. Louis Dispatch’s Joe Strauss for being close-minded and not even having the decency to actually know what people who disagree with him actually think about things. Well, I’m a believer in the idea that if you’re going to be critical of the way a class of people do their jobs, you need to put at least a little effort into giving them credit when they do it well, so with that in mind I want to take a minute to applaud Ken Rosenthal for writing this:

I’m not entirely comfortable with a 12-12 pitcher winning the Cy, even though I largely discount wins as a meaningful statistic.

I’m also not comfortable voting for a pitcher who operates with a lower degree of difficulty while pitching for a non-contender.

But tell me the alternative.

Continue reading Rosenthal Gets it Right on Cy

Yankees vs. Red Sox V: If the longstanding rivals play three games and no one cares do they make a sound?

With the Yankees’ postseason ticket all but punched and the Red Sox missing the postseason for the first time since 2006 all but official, this weekend’s Yankees-Red Sox set represents the first time since the end of the 2008 season that a series between the two teams will be met with mostly yawns given the complete lack of playoff implications (well, aside from some divisional and HFA machinations, but neither of those are worth getting too worked up about in my book). Sure, there are some interesting aspects to keep an eye on, most notably Andy Pettitte‘s continued progress back Continue reading Yankees vs. Red Sox V: If the longstanding rivals play three games and no one cares do they make a sound?

Revisiting Javy and his Case

Yesterday, I wrote about how I think Javier Vazquez, along with Ivan Nova, had a decent case for making the post season roster. After last night, I’m not too sure. What has happened to Javier Vazquez this year–the poor results, the drop in velocity–is really quite sad. I, among others, wrote that Vazquez could have ended up being the Yankees’ second best starter this season. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Even if he pitches well in the last week-plus of the season, I doubt he makes the playoffs after last night’s debacle. That’s a hard taste for anyone to wash out, Continue reading Revisiting Javy and his Case

Last night a perfect example of Joba the enigma

Earlier this season I investigated Joba Chamberlain‘s peripherals. When I had the idea for the post I thought I would discover an obvious problem in Joba’s numbers — too many home runs for example, or too high a walk rate. Instead, I was stunned to discover that Joba has actually improved his peripherals this season. When I wrote the post Joba’s K/9 rate was 9.99, his BB/9 rate was 3.61 and his HR/9 rate was an excellent 0.64. All of these were solid improvements on his 2009 campaign, when he struck out only 7.61 batters per nine innings, walked an Continue reading Last night a perfect example of Joba the enigma

Cliff Lee narrowly escapes broken bat; nicked on ear

Cliff Lee wasn’t hit with the sheared-off barrel of Jack Cust’s bat last night, but it was close enough to his head that the exploding maple splinters actually cut Lee’s ear. No one seriously hurt, thankfully, but watch this video and tell me that the claims that MLB has reduced broken bats some 50% from 2008 actually means something. Fractional reductions are nice and good and it helps (especially in the PR war: “Look, we’re doing something!“), but there are still plenty of potentially deadly shattered bat events going on daily that anything less than a 100% reduction is not acceptable.

The picture to the right is from last night’s Yankees game and just have a peek at Swisher’s bat. Does a “50% reduction in shattered bats” make you feel any more comfortable? Look, I’m not anti-MLB on this; I totally and completely support and applaud their efforts here. I realize that they can’t simply force a solution upon the Union, just as they can’t accept a solution that hasn’t been rigorously tested and researched. I just hope we can get to that point before the 2011 season starts.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Cliff Lee narrowly escapes broken bat; nicked on ear