Yankees win 4th straight, set to get even better

It was also their 14th in win in 18 games since getting swept by Boston earlier this month, a moment that according to many was proof this team was in serious trouble. Since then, the Yankees have been on an absolute tear, running through everyone they’ve faced along the way. Over those 18 games they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 110-59. And they’ve certainly played some quality teams in that stretch as well, posting a combined 10-2 against Cleveland, Texas, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. And thanks to Boston’s troubles with the senior circuit, the Yankees have not only caught up to them in the standings, they currently hold a 2.5 game lead over their arch-rivals, after the Red Sox dropped another game to the Phillies tonight.

As intimidating as the Yankees may be at the moment, the thought that should be keeping the rest of the league up at night is the knowledge that they’ll be improving sooner rather than later, as several players get healthy and return, hopefully to productive roles on the team.…

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The Farm Report 6/29/11: Huuuuughes!


Triple-A Scranton lost to Norfolk 2-1
Ryan Adams had the walk-off hit for the Tides, and went 3-for-4 with two doubles including the walk-off. Greg Golson and Jordan Parraz were the offensive standouts for the Yankees; Golson went 3-for-4 and Parraz went 2-for-4, and they both threw runners out at the plate. Parraz hit a home run, and Golson was picked off second. Lance Pendleton threw four innings of six-hit, no-run ball, with a walk and a strikeout; George Kontos threw two innings of one-hit, no-run ball with a walk and a strikeout; and Josh Schmidt threw 2.1 innings, giving up four hits, one run, and striking out two.

Double-A Trenton beat New Hampshire 3-2
Of course, the important story here is Phil Hughes’ rehab, and he was impressive. His line: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER (an inherited runner), 2 BB, 8 K, with 88 pitches, 61 for strikes. His velocity was also reportedly very good. Mike Ashmore has all the details and video.…

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Game 78: I Believe in A.J. Burnett

I’m not sure how much I believe that, but what the hell?

For the visitors:

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B (Kay just called him “Richie”)
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF (Over/Under: 1.5 falls in the OF tonight)
3. Ryan Braun, LF (Can’t knock him)
4. Prince Fielder, 1B (Same)
5. Corey Hart, RF (Insert sunglasses at night joke...

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Hughes looks strong in latest rehab outing

After a solid rehab outing in class A Staten Island, Phil Hughes took the next step toward returning to big leagues by pitching for...

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One more look at wOBA and AVG/OBP/SLG

Yesterday on RAB Joe Pawlikowski wrote a post asking if Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher were of equal offensive value because prior to Tuesday’s game they both had an OPS of .779. The post is excellent, and worth reading in its own right, but to summarize here the answer is that...

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Yuniesky Betancourt is truly the worst.

Betancourt’s defensive deficiencies are truly awe-inspiring.  Of 21 qualifying shortstops since ‘08, Betancourt ranks last in Ultimate Zone Rating, at -41.8.  The second worst qualifier, Jason Bartlett, is at -16.9.  His Total Zone, Relative Zone, and Range Factor are also exponentially worse than anybody else’s.

As a hitter, he is equally atrocious.  148 players have gotten at least 1600 plate appearances over the last four seasons.  Of those 148, Betancourt ranks dead last in OBP, BB, BB%, wRAA, wOBA, RE24, and WAR.  He ranks second to last in OPS, wRC, wRC+, and WPA.  It really doesn’t matter if you understand what all those acronyms stand for.  The simple truth they reveal is that pretty much every time Betancourt takes the field, he’s the worst player on it, often by a long shot.  Of those 148 qualifying hitters, Betancourt is the only player with a negative WAR.  Even if you picked a AAA shortstop at random, there’s better than 50% chance he would out-produce Betancourt given the same number of opportunities.  …

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Way to go, Wyers

Every so often, something speaks to me and I hear it better than I hear most things. In high school, it was the beautiful prose of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote, the wit of Kurt Vonnegut. In college, it was the rhythm of Shakespeare and Chaucer as well as the cinematic grace of Douglas...

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The Jesus Montero Catch-22

First of all, I have to state the basic premise that all of this flows from; Montero’s bat is ready for the major leagues. I don’t really think there’s a good argument that Montero isn’t ready. He hit .289/.353/.517 last season, and started this year with a .365 batting average. No, he didn’t have any walks and his OBP  was just .360, but that seems like a rather fine nit to pick. For one, a .360 OBP isn’t horrible in its own right, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with batting .365 in any case. The idea is to get hits, and if Montero was getting pitches he could hit such that he was batting .365, then taking pitches to try to draw walks for the sake of walking is just ridiculous. The odd thing is the implication that if Montero were hitting .320/.360/.XXX that would be fine, but because his batting average was .365 instead of 40-50 points lower he somehow had a problem that needed to be corrected.…

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