The What If 5th Starter Candidates

At this point in the Hot Stove season, the Yankees are pretty much set. They could still add a starter for some rotation depth or bring some position players in in minor league deals to add depth in AAA, but for the most part, the team on paper now is probably going to be the team on Opening Day. Since the real options for the fifth starter’s spot are so grim, I thought it’d be a fun–if not slightly sadistic/masochistic–exercise to go over the options that were once a possibility, but aren’t any more. This won’t include guys like Cliff Continue reading The What If 5th Starter Candidates

The Narrative Has Set

Ok, ok, one more post on Cashman.

What’s really striking me today is the extent to which people are commenting on le affaire Cashman based not so much on what we’ve seen or heard publicly so much as the narrative we’ve all set for ourselves over the past couple of weeks. It’s just sort of taken as a given that Cashman is furious about the Soriano deal, that ownership has started to meddle, that the front office is fracturing again, and so on. I don’t really think this is borne out by what we’ve seen, for a number of reasons.

First of all, let’s keep the “meddling owner” stuff in perspective. Every owner has some level of involvement in the decision making process, they have to. As Cashman said at the press conference, ultimately it’s their team and their money. In most places, it’s the owner setting a budget and not approving an expenditure above that. I’m sure that, given the choice, most GM’s would prefer to have an owner who runs out and signs a top free agent reliever to one who won’t pony up a couple of million dollars out of their own pocket to get a missing piece once in a while.

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Speaking of FIP…

…in what is surely an amazing coincidence (to me, at least), there’s an incredible story out today by Jeff Passan about the man who first separate pitching results from the defensive impacts: Voros McCracken. First there was DIPS:

McCracken checked and re-checked the numbers until they winnowed away the thought that there had to be a mistake. His hypothesis was correct. Pitchers control three things: strikeouts, walks and home runs — defense-independent pitching statistics, he called them, shortened to DIPS, which isn’t exactly the sort of acronym on which careers are made. Everything else — including hits allowed — involves a pitcher’s eight teammates and thus is prone to wild fluctuations. Some years, more balls fall for hits. In others, they don’t. In 1999, Pedro Martinez gave up the third-highest batting average on balls in play. The next year, he allowed the lowest.

Enjoy the read. Continue reading Speaking of FIP…

10 worst endings to postseason games

Last week, FOTB Chris Jaffe penned his list of 10 worst endings to regular season games. Yesterday, Chris followed it up with the worst postseason endings, in which the Yanks appear twice:

Have a read if you’re into the painful history of losing games. Continue reading 10 worst endings to postseason games

The 2011 Yankee pitching staff in terms of aERA and IPGS

Recently I introduced the concept of Adjusted ERA here at Yankeeist, or aERA. The statistic takes a pitcher’s actual ERA, and adjusts it to show how many runs he has given up, on average, when he is pulled from a game in the regular season. If a pitcher typically leaves the game having allowed 3 runs his aERA is 3.00. This stat alone, however, doesn’t tell the whole story. Just as BA needs OBP or it risks obscuring what the batter is really doing, aERA requires an additional statistic that must always be presented with it if it is to Continue reading The 2011 Yankee pitching staff in terms of aERA and IPGS

Fear Strikes Out: Mental Illness Turns Star Catcher Into an Axe Murderer

(This is the third in a series on infamous or controversial historical figures who also had a notable association with baseball. For the first installment on John Dillinger, click here, and for the second installment on Billy Sunday, click here. The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Martin Bergen’s childhood dream was to play major league baseball, but soon after realizing that goal, his career and life ended in a nightmare. In what is likely the most heinous act ever committed by a major leaguer, the former catcher awoke on the morning of January 19, 1900 and brutally murdered his wife and children with an Continue reading Fear Strikes Out: Mental Illness Turns Star Catcher Into an Axe Murderer

Creating Lineups

We pretty much know what the 25 man roster is going to be at this point, so let’s see what the different lineups will be. Using the latest round of CAIRO Projections from RLYW.net, I’ll put the player’s projected wOBA vs. RHP/LHP next to his name/position. These projections are a combination of what I think the lineups WILL be: vs. RHP 1. Jeter, SS .334 2. Swisher, RF .353 3. Teixeira, 1B .381 4. Rodriguez, 3B .382 5. Cano, 2B .379 6. Posada, DH .352 7. Granderson, CF .363 8. Martin, C .333 9. Gardner, LF .336 So against RHP, Continue reading Creating Lineups

The Worst Cashman Column Yet

I had no intentions of revisiting le affaire Cashman again, but today I see that Bill Madden has decided to toss off one of those completely unsourced-yet-authoritatively written pieces of mularkey he’s prone to, so I feel compelled to respond to it quickly and disabuse anyone who was considering taking it (or anything Madden “reports”) seriously. I’m not going to go through it word by word, so if you’re worried about full context you’ll have to quick through, but here’s a quick synopsis of the relevant speculation Madden offers up, and why it makes no sense.

Lot of questions swirling around regarding Brian Cashman and his “Don’t look at me” declaration at the Rafael Soriano soiree last Wednesday – not the least of which was: Imagine if George Steinbrenner was still alive and he picked up the newspapers the next day and saw all these quotes from his general manager criticizing Yankee ownership for giving closer money to a set-up reliever and relinquishing their No. 1 June draft pick in the process?

No doubt, Cashman would never have dared to get involved in a public hissing match with the late Yankee Boss – the road is still littered with carcasses of those who did – but the very fact he would run the risk of annoying his son, Hal, tells me that Cashman is not very happy in his job.

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