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 Lee or Andy Pettitte who would just push others (read: Ivan Nova) back to the fourth/fifth spots.

The first one that comes to mind is Joba Chamberlain. This path is worn, so we won’t walk down it again. By know, you know where I stand on this.

Alfredo Aceves, without back injury, would definitely be up for this spot. The jack-of-all-trades was a starter in Mexico and the minors and had a wide array of pitches at his disposal.… Click here to read the rest

The Narrative Has Set

And really, Yankee fans in particular should have a much better understanding of what’s going on here, because they spent so long watching the machinations of a true meddler in George Steinbrenner, who was impetuous and impatient on top of it. So far, Hal & Hank’s “meddling” consists of deciding to spend their money on one free agent reliever (and the re-signing of free agents after 2007, but that’s a different matter). It’s not as though they went over Cashman’s head to trade Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos for Zack Greinke or sign Carl Pavano to a multi-year deal after missing out on Cliff Lee or something.

But the more annoying thing is the degree to which people are either ignoring or misunderstanding Cashman’s public proclamations. Take this from Rob at Bronx Baseball Daily:

No, Cashman didn’t outright criticize anybody, but he was very blunt in his portrayal of his role even pointing out that he was not part of negotiations.

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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 accurately measure the pitcher’s performance. In the case of a starting pitcher that statistic is the number of innings he pitches on average per start, or IPGS. (I did not explain this relationship as clearly as I should have in the first post.) Now, using IPGS as well as aERA, we can better analyze the pitcher with the aERA of 3.00.… Click here to read the rest

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 axe before cutting his own throat with a razor. Just a stone’s throw from where he had been born, Bergen, and his entire family, lay dead amid a gruesome scene that defied description.

Bergen was born in North Brookfield, Massachusetts in 1871. Just five years later, professional baseball came within 60 miles of the town when the Boston Red Caps (today’s Atlanta Braves) were inaugurated as a charter member of the brand new National League.… Click here to read the rest

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, everyone projects to be at least average, with the middle of the lineup solidly above that mark. The median wOBA is .353. Let’s see what they could do versus LHP; there are a few ways this could go.

Option 1 vs. LHP (Granderson sits, Gardner to CF, Jones to LF)

1. Jeter, SS .364
2. Swisher, RF .367
3. Teixeira, 1B .393
4.… Click here to read the rest

The Worst Cashman Column Yet

Aside from the fact that I’m anything written under the premise of “if The Boss were still running things…” this is completely baseless speculation from Madden. Shocking, I know. Not being privy to private conversations, we have no idea what went in to the team, and team officials’, public statements. It’s just as likely that, given how public Cashman’s lack of desire to sign Soriano was and given that it was already well known that he wasn’t in favor of the signing, it was better to have Cashman be up front about things, rather than engaging in some sort of silly double speak.

And if he hates his job so much, he is of course free to resign his position. He hasn’t done so, and no one has reported he intends to do so, so color me skeptical. To say nothing of the fact that these stories have taken on a life of their own, neglecting the fact that Cashman hardly seemed angry about the matter, even if he didn’t agree with it.… Click here to read the rest