Looking at Cito Culver

Cito Culver, Shortstop

Ranked 14th best Yankee prospect

Year Age Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 2 Teams Rk-A- 56 233 203 23 51 8 1 2 18 7 4 21 51 .251 .325 .330 .655
2010 17 Yankees Rk 41 179 160 21 43 7 1 2 18 6 3 13 41 .269 .320 .363 .683
2010 17 Staten Island A- 15 54 43 2 8 1 0 0 0 1 1 8 10 .186 .340 .209 .549
1 Season 56 233 203 23 51 8 1 2 18 7 4 21 51 .251 .325 .330 .655
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/23/2010.

When the Yankees drafted Cito Culver, Yankee fans almost exclusively were party to a collective head scratch. Most of us had never heard of Culver, and had expected the Yankees to draft several consensus first round picks still on the board.… Click here to read the rest

Has Phil Hughes’ 2010 been significantly better than Joba Chamberlain’s 2009?

When Joba Chamberlain came out of the bullpen on Tuesday night Larry asked me if I thought we’d ever see Joba in the rotation again. We both felt that the answer was probably not, regardless of the fact that we both endorse the idea of Joba getting another shot as a starter. The bottom line is, the Yankees aren’t treating Joba like a reliever who may eventually be used as a starter. The team has seldom allowed Joba to pitch more than one inning at a time. Converting him back to a starter in Spring Training may not only further damage his confidence, but possibly his arm as well.

That question has since motivated me to return to a topic that was heavily debated before the season began. For those who remember, there was some uncertainty as to whether or not the 5th spot in the Yankee rotation would fall to Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes. At the time, I voted for Joba.… Click here to read the rest

Making the Case

Right after the rain delay ended last night, Jack Curry tweeted the following:

Yanks expect 11 pitchers for DS. CC, AJ, Andy, Phil, Mo, Wood, Joba, Logan, Rbrtsn r locks. Nova, Vazquez, Gaudin, Mitre fight 4 2 spots

Let’s lay out the case for each guy, then, and we’ll see what you readers think.

Javier Vazquez has a few things going for him: he’s a veteran and managers always like that in the playoffs. He’s also proven himself to be a good, sometimes great starter. Granted, we haven’t seen that much this year, but he does still have the ability to pitch well. At his best, he’s waist, chest, shoulders, and head above the other guys on this list. When he’s at his worst, though, he’s just as bad as the others.

If we’re going on recent performance then I guess it’s got to be Ivan Nova. While he’s had trouble going deep into games, he’s still pitched pretty well of late and that should hold some weight with the coaching staff and front office.… Click here to read the rest

Deep diving on AJ Burnett

AJ’s ineffectiveness really manifests itself with 2-strike counts. With the charts below, you can see that Burnett is less in-the-zone this year versus last year. Could that be because of his decreased FB? No matter the reason, AJ’s staying away from the zone with two strikes, allowing batters to wait for something more to their liking.

Up, up and away! The heat charts below shows the swinging strike locations for AJ.  This year, more strikes up in the zone. Up in the zone is bad news.  Hits/9 are up this year (9.6 vs 8.4 last year), HR/9 remain flat at 1.1, while K/9 are down (as mentioned earlier) at 7.0 vs 8.5 last year. Is this his ineffective curveball manifesting itself?  If it’s not diving down, it’s getting hit.

Location, location, location. I’ll let Brian explain this one: “The chart below seems to show Burnett getting less called strikes up in the zone (more blue up top in the 2010 plot).Click here to read the rest

Game 152: Rays 7, Yankees 2

Ring got the first two hitters out in the fifth and walked Jaso before Girardi brought in Dustin Moseley, who had not been in a game since he took a loss to the Rangers on September 12th, giving up four runs on five hits over 6.2 innings.  Ben Zobrist drove the ball to right for a single and Crawford followed with a RBI single to center to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth the Yankees were still looking for their first hit of the game, and they got a big one from Lance Berkman, who drove one deep and over the wall in right for his first homerun as a Yankee, making the score 2-1.  Unfortunately, Moseley gave the run right back, as Dan Johnson started the sixth with a solo homer of his own, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.

Derek Jeter singled to left in the bottom of the sixth and moved to second on a wild pitch. … Click here to read the rest

Rain, solo home runs and relievers who probably won't even be on playoff roster undo Yanks in 7-2 loss to Rays

Once the skies came crashing open last night in the bottom of the third inning the Yankees’ fate was pretty much sealed. Down 1-0 to the Rays, barring an unexpected 15- to 20-minute rain delay A.J. Burnett‘s night was going to be over, and Joe Girardi was going to have to milk 5 2/3 innings out of a tired and thin bullpen.

I’ve been as vocal as anyone about Girardi’s seemingly endless stretch of bizarre moves this month; however in this case I’m not sure what other choices he had. I’d love to win the division as much as anyone else, but with the rain coming when it did he had to rely on the seedy underbelly of his bullpen to at least try to get the team to the 7th without digging the Yankees too deep a hole. Burning David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain or Kerry Wood in the 4th, 5th or 6th innings of a game you’d like to have but wasn’t critical would’ve been pretty wasteful, and considering the Yankees were ultimately only able to muster up two measly runs, proved to be the right call.… Click here to read the rest

Debate Over: Bring on Texas!

Both Minnesota and Texas have good rotations. Lee and Liriano match up closely at the top (though I’d rather face Lee, as Liriano’s xFIP tops the American League at 3.08). It looks like Lee will be followed by C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, and Liriano will be followed by Scott Baker and Carl Pavano. All four have xFIPs between 3.95 and 4.24 and given the scheduling, a fourth starter will not be necessary in the ALDS. Both teams have good relief pitching: the Rangers ‘pen has a 4.28 xFIP, and the Twins’ is 4.35, and the Twins’ addition of Matt Capps (3.55) probably bridges the gap (assuming he gets the innings instead of Brian Fuentes (4.55)).

When you start looking at position players, though, the Rangers get into trouble. The Twins’ position players have been worth 30.4 WAR over the course of the season (second only to the Yankees with 32.5). The Rangers aren’t even close: 22.9!… Click here to read the rest

Looking at Hector Noesi

Hector Noesi, Right-handed Starting Pitcher

Ranked 4th best Yankee Prospect

Year Age Tm Lev ERA G GS GF IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2006 19 Yankees Rk 1.29 5 0 2 7.0 5 1 1 0 1 11 0 0.857 6.4 0.0 1.3 14.1 11.00
2007 20 Charleston A 4.50 5 5 0 20.0 25 10 10 2 8 11 0 1.650 11.2 0.9 3.6 5.0 1.38
2008 21 2 Teams Rk-A- 3.33 14 7 1 48.2 43 23 18 7 10 55 2 1.089 8.0 1.3 1.8 10.2 5.50
2008 21 Yankees Rk 3.65 9 2 1 24.2 23 11 10 2 3 24 1 1.054 8.4 0.7 1.1 8.8 8.00
2008 21 Staten Island A- 3.00 5 5 0 24.0 20 12 8 5 7 31 1 1.125 7.5 1.9 2.6 11.6 4.43
2009 22 2 Teams A-A+ 2.92 26 20 0 117.0 96 42 38 6 15 118 1 0.949 7.4 0.5 1.2 9.1 7.87
2009 22 Charleston A 2.38 17 11 0 75.2 62 24 20 3 11 78 0 0.965 7.4 0.4 1.3 9.3 7.09
2009 22 Tampa A+ 3.92 9 9 0 41.1 34 18 18 3 4 40 1 0.919 7.4 0.7 0.9 8.7 10.00
2010 23 3 Teams AA-A+-AAA 3.20 28 27 1 160.1 148 61 57 11 28 153 5 1.098 8.3 0.6 1.6 8.6 5.46
2010 23 Tampa A+ 2.72 8 8 0 43.0 35 14 13 3 6 53 2 0.953 7.3 0.6 1.3 11.1 8.83
2010 23 Trenton AA 3.10 17 16 1 98.2 90 37 34 7 18 86 2 1.095 8.2 0.6 1.6 7.8 4.78
2010 23 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre AAA 4.82 3 3 0 18.2 23 10 10 1 4 14 1 1.446 11.1 0.5 1.9 6.8 3.50
5 Seasons 3.16 78 59 4 353.0 317 137 124 26 62 348 8 1.074 8.1 0.7 1.6 8.9 5.61
A (2 seasons) 2.82 22 16 0 95.2 87 34 30 5 19 89 0 1.108 8.2 0.5 1.8 8.4 4.68
Rk (2 seasons) 3.13 14 2 3 31.2 28 12 11 2 4 35 1 1.011 8.0 0.6 1.1 9.9 8.75
A+ (2 seasons) 3.31 17 17 0 84.1 69 32 31 6 10 93 3 0.937 7.4 0.6 1.1 9.9 9.30
AA (1 season) 3.10 17 16 1 98.2 90 37 34 7 18 86 2 1.095 8.2 0.6 1.6 7.8 4.78
A- (1 season) 3.00 5 5 0 24.0 20 12 8 5 7 31 1 1.125 7.5 1.9 2.6 11.6 4.43
AAA (1 season) 4.82 3 3 0 18.2 23 10 10 1 4 14 1 1.446 11.1 0.5 1.9 6.8 3.50
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/22/2010.
Click here to read the rest

Next stop on the “WAR Tour:” Cano

The next stop on the “WAR Tour” involves second basemen, specifically Robinson Cano. If you hadn’t had an opportunity to read our Mark Teixeira WAR analysis, click here. Similar to the prior WAR post, I included several of the most productive second basemen in the game. Despite injury-plagued seasons, I also included Chase Utley* and Dustin Pedroia* as a point of reference. Just as before, I also chose my list of candidates based on the 2010 positional league leaders.

When taking a look at the pool of second basemen, the results are certainly favorable for the Yankees (surprise, surprise!). Given the fact that Cano is producing MVP-caliber stats this season, his overall value won’t surprise anyone. Cano’s 2009 numbers, however, present a more interesting case. Compared with this year’s talent, 2009 Cano still stacks up quite favorably against the competition. This speaks volumes to his overall potential. No wonder the Yankees display such confidence in him.

When considering overall WAR, 2010 Cano simply dwarfs his competition.… Click here to read the rest