Discussion: Cashman's Best Moves

During a discussion on Twitter about the relative merits of Nick Swisher and Andre Ethier, I received the following tweet from @champ11228:

The Swisher trade was probably Cashman’s best move.

I asked my followers what they thought about that statement, and a number of other moves received votes:

1) Trading for Alex Rodriguez
2) Forgoing Johan Santana and banking on CC Sabathia being available the following year
3) The Bobby Abreu trade
4) The Curtis Granderson trade
5) The Mike Mussina signing
6) The David Justice trade

I thought it would be interesting to open this question to our readers, and in a few hours we will post a corresponding piece asking about Brian’s worst moves. Personally, I think the Santana – Sabathia gambit was Brian’s best decision, while the Swisher for Betemit and Marquez swap was probably his shrewdest trade. What do you think?

[polldaddy poll=4865151] … Click here to read the rest

Charleston Riverdogs Preview

"The Holy City"

Ah, Charleston. Known as “The Holy City”, it was one of the first colonial cities to allow complete religious freedom. Interestingly, it’s home to the 4th oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, established in 1749. It’s also home to to the College Of Charleston, where fan favorite Brett Gardner hails from. My memories of Charleston are less…holy. I’ve been there a few times on some golfing trips with friends and I can tell you from the 14% of the trips I can recall, there is plenty of fun to be had in “Chucktown”.

There should also be some pretty good baseball played there this year.

While Trenton and Scranton both boost impressive, prospect laden rotations, Charleston has an interesting bevy of positional players to start the year. The Riverdogs have 12 players returning who played with them last year which is high.

Players to Watch:

The outfield is comprised of Slade Heathcott, Kelvin De Leon, Ramon Flores and Eduardo Sosa.… Click here to read the rest

Open Thread | Game 6 | Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees | Thursday, April 7, 2011

After last night’s rainout, the Yankees and Twins are back at it at 1:10pm this afternoon on YES, playing the final in what is now a three-game series.

Here are what I would assume to be the lineups:

Denard Span CF
Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Delmon Young LF
Jim Thome DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Jason Kubel RF
Alexi Casilla SS

Francisco Liriano SP

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones LF
Curtis Granderson CF

A.J. Burnett SP… Click here to read the rest

What Would A 6-team Playoff Look Like?

Yesterday, I mentioned that Bud Selig wants to add 2 teams to each league’s playoffs as soon as 2012. Assuming this comes before any crazy divisional realignment happens, how would it work?

There are three different concerns that weigh against each other, as far as I can tell. They are:

  • How do you select the teams who move on to the playoffs?
  • Who gets the bye?
  • How do you fit another series into the schedule without going too long?

A 6-team playoff has a lot more issues than an 8 team playoff does. At least two teams will have to sit inactive while the other teams play out. Furthermore, with three divisions, its not clear how you select whom those 3 teams are. Here are my two proposals for 6-team playoff systems.

The Round Robin – You have three division winners. Each of these teams move on to the Divisional Series. However, before that divisional series, each of the 2nd place teams plays each other once in a round robin.… Click here to read the rest

A Rational Guide to Rotten Starts

When it comes to baseball, it’s easy to screw up a factoid such as “no team has ever started the season 0-4 and gone on to win a World Series”. To the uninitiated, it might sound as if starting 0-4 is a block to winning a World Series, that a team would have to go and “make history” in order to overcome a 0-4 start and win a World Series.

Thing is, a factoid such as “no 0-4 team has won a World Series” is probably meaningless.  In all likelihood, such a factoid is probably just a coincidental intersection of two unrelated facts.  One might also note that no accident involving a nuclear power plant has taken place during a blizzard, but that doesn’t mean we should start building nuclear power plants in Antarctica.

We also have the issue of small sample sizes: not many teams have started 0-5, and not many teams (a bit less than one a year since 1903) have ever won the World Series. … Click here to read the rest

Minor League Baseball Starts Tonight!

Our long national nightmare is over, finally, with the return of minor league baseball.  All four of the Yankees’ full season affiliates will be in action tonight, so it will be an opportunity to see a plethora of Yankee prospects in action.  We will certainly have more in depth minor league discussion throughout the season, but today I just want to give a broad overview of tonight’s action, a few players to watch (on both teams), and the starters for the game.

AAA Scranton will be facing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (one of the great minor league team names) the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and managed by Ryne Sandberg.  David Phelps will take the hill for the Yankees against against Vance Worley, a solid prospect who has put together a decent minor league career up to this point.  With a strong start to the season, Phelps could put himself at the head of the line to take a major league rotation spot should injury, ineffectiveness, or Freddy Garcia strike.  … Click here to read the rest

Rain washes away Garcia's 2011 debut; to be available out of 'pen

With last night’s game rained out, Freddy Garcia missed what was to be his season debut and will be available out of the bullpen until the next time the Yankees need a fifth starter, which will be Friday, April 15, against the Rangers.

With A.J. Burnett still set to go this afternoon against Francisco Liriano, the rotation over the next week should line up as follows:

Friday, April 8 @ Boston – Phil Hughes
Saturday, April 9 @ Boston – Ivan Nova
Sunday, April 10 @ Boston – CC Sabathia
Monday, April 11 – Idle
Tuesday, April 12 vs. Baltimore – A.J. Burnett
Wednesday, April 13 vs. Baltimore – Hughes
Thursday, April 14 vs. Baltimore – Nova
Friday, April 15 vs. Texas – Garcia

Not entirely certain why the team is electing to go with Garcia on Friday the 15th instead of Saturday the 16th, as CC would be on normal rest to pitch the 15th. I wouldn’t be surprised if a switch to that effect is made sometime next week.… Click here to read the rest