ESPNNY Simulpost: The bottom of the barrel is in sight

Freddy Garcia

Garcia has spent most of his career in the AL and up until 2006, he was an absolute horse. Garcia rang up over 200 IP every year of his career to that point (1999-2006) except for one. And following his 2006 season, Garcia fell off drastically due to shoulder injuries. He pitched only 129 innings over the course of the next three season. Garcia rebounded in 2010, pitching 157 innings and making 28 starts. His ERA was high (4.64; 4.77 FIP; 94 ERA+) and his K/BB ratio (1.98) was his lowest since 2000. He was also victimized by a high HR rate (1.32/9 IP) that wouldn’t be helped by Yankee Stadium. Garcia’s 2010 fastball averaged 87.8 MPH (per Fangraphs.com), his lowest ever. Garcia also threw his fastball the fewest % of the time, just 30.2%. Instead, Garcia has relied on his change-up, which appeared to be quite good, as measured by a +7.6 wCH.

Does Garcia have another 150-175 innings left in his shoulder?… Click here to read the rest

Making a Team from the Current 40-Man Roster

So let’s play a little “What If” here. Let’s pretend that the Yankees don’t make any more moves before the start of the season and decide to make a roster only out of the players currently on the 40 Man Roster. So, that discounts Jesus Montero. I considered making an exception since the plan for 2011 includes him, but, for once, I’ll be strict in my roster construction.

We’ve got 18 pitchers to choose from, and we’ll go with, as most teams do, a 13 man pitching staff: 5 starters, 8 relievers.

SP:
1. CC Sabathia
2. Phil Hughes
3. A.J. Burnett
4. Ivan Nova
5. Sergio Mitre

The first two? Good. I’m confident in those two. The third? Meh…he’ll likely improve, but I won’t hold my breath. The last two scare the hell out of me. I hate Mitre, but I sub him in for Andrew Brackman because I think it’s important that Brackman iron out the final kinks in the less-stressful minors.… Click here to read the rest

Disagreeing with Davidoff

In his column yesterday, Ken Davidoff gave his Baseball Person of the Year Award to Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce. That’s not what I disagree with. Despite a monumental mistake made by the latter, both of them showed a great deal of class and dignity moving forward. What I disagree with is what Davidoff suggests later:

Therefore, it’s not inconceivable that Soriano could wind up as the most expensive setup man in baseball history, if he finds a team willing to make such an investment.

The Yankees should consider it. If Andy Pettitte retires, they’ll have big money to spend, and they’ll be looking at a roster that will need an ultra-deep bullpen to support a thin rotation. With Soriano setting up Rivera, the Yankees could try to duplicate the 1996 season, when Rivera set up John Wetteland.

Now, to be fair, he does include a caveat: “At the moment, the Yankees don’t see themselves signing Soriano. Things can change, however.”

I’m hoping that things don’t change.… Click here to read the rest

Trying to Convince Everyone Not to Worry

The most important, and broadest, information is at the bottom. Last year’s team produced 95.4 fWAR, and sure enough, they won 95 games, which tells us that they were legitimately a 95-win team (probably). Looking forward to 2011, I did a few projections of my own, but I also included the FANS projections (it’s crowd-sourced, taking the average of fans’ projections on the player) just in case you don’t trust me (FANS has a lower total than I do, but they didn’t have predictions for Cervelli, Nova, back-ups, or most middle relievers; this could add 6-7 wins, which would probably have to be dropped anyway once all the fancy smoothing out—actually making sure outs, at bats, kinds of hits actually match up—is done). When I did so, I realized that the Yankees, even without Lee or Pettitte, may actually be better next season without any major additions. What?

Offense

Let’s start with the offense.… Click here to read the rest

Olney: Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez

Via a tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney, our original suspicions were confirmed. The Yankees will not be adding Manny Ramirez this off-season.

Heard this: The Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez. Jorge Posada will be the full-time DH, and they have three OFers lined up

That makes all the sense in the world and I don’t think this is disinformation or double-speak from the front office. Manny on 2011 Yankees just makes no sense. He may still be able to hit, but he can’t field to save his life and the Yankees, as Olney reminds us, have a DH and OF situation with which they’re comfortable. I’m glad this rumor got put to bed sooner rather than later.… Click here to read the rest

Will A.J. bounce back in 2011?

Recently I’ve been playing around with Baseball-Reference’s similarity scores, a tool designed to compare baseball players to other players with similar careers. I used the stat to try to forecast the next couple of seasons for some key Yankees. Somehow, amazingly, I forgot the single most important key Yankee: A.J. Burnett.

As much as it pains me to write it (full disclosure: I’m a Burnett fan, although I can’t explain why), A.J. remains the single most important Yankee in any given season or postseason. Until the Yankees get a rotation of five reliable starters, with Burnett serving as the sixth man, his status as the least-predictable member of the rotation makes him critical to the team’s success. The 2009 Yankees won the World Series with only three pitchers. If Andy Pettitte retires but Burnett has a solid season then the 2011 Yankees will have only three pitchers, an excellent offense, and serious title chances. If Pettitte retires but Burnett continues his decline, then the Bombers have only two pitchers, and problems to fill.… Click here to read the rest

So what’d ya get?

Captain Steve still chases his white whale

My family all know that I’m a huge Yankee fan, so each year there’s a certain amount of Yankee-related stuff involved in the gift giving that heads my way. Generally speaking it’s stuff like commemorative T-shirts, sweatshirts, or a signed piece of memorabilia to display in the living room. The above recliner has yet to find its way under my Christmas tree, so I’m just going to have to try harder to be really good next year. I’m convinced that if I owned this recliner, the Yanks would never lose again. Or at least never lose a game that I watched from beginning to end from its perch.

I’m sure many of our readers are in the same situation, where family members know your favorite team and got you something Yankee related as a gift. So what’d ya get? And like me, do you have a Yankee gift that you’ve always dreamed of getting?… Click here to read the rest