What do the Yanks see in Sean Burnett?

Earlier this week, the interwebs were abuzz with rumors that the Yankees have their eye on Nats lefty Sean Burnett. At first glance, he doesn’t appear to be all that appealing for a team trying to win the World Series this year. His stuff isn’t anything special, he throws a 90ish fastball that he backs up with a good slider, which is exactly what Boone Logan throws. He’s having a horrible year 3-5 with a 5.76 ERA (4.94 FIP) and a 1.449 WHIP. Hits and walks are up, strikeouts are down, so what’s to like besides the fact that he throws with his left hand?

A few things. First, as often happens with relievers you’re dealing with a tiny snapshot. In this case, 29.2 IP for the 2011 season. A few bad outings can really blow up your numbers, and looking at his game log in 5 of his 40 appearances he’s given up 2 ER or more. Having a good bullpen around him with reliable options backing him up (like Dave Robertson or Mo) can help limit his exposure on nights when he doesn’t have it.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Rays vs. Yankees, 7/8/2011 (7:05PM EST on YES) Friday Night: OPEN THREAD

Feel free to use this as your open thread for the evening.  There’s certainly plenty to talk about; here’s some baseball links for your reading pleasure:

  • The Yankees were scheduled to play their fourth game of the season against the Rays tonight.  Unfortunately the game canceled due to rain.  You know what that means — a gazillion 16 more games to go against the gentlemen from Tampa (and the majority of those games will occur down the stretch).
  • Speaking of the Allstar break, CC was snubbed!  I’m disappointed (but secretly delighted… let the man rest).  Apparently, A-Rod and Jeter are also sitting the game out with hopes of recovering from their respective physical woes.  As for Cano, he’ll be participating in both the Allstar game (this time it counts!) and the Homerun Derby contest.
  • Nick Swisher would have been removed from tonight’s lineup had the game been played.  He’s out with a sore left quad.
  • After having lost four of the last five games, the Yanks now find themselves trailing the dreaded Red Sox in the standings by 0.5 game. 
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On Framing Pitches, Revisited: Looking At Russell Martin

A few weeks ago, I highlighted a fascinating bit of ongoing research from Max Marchi of THT regarding framing pitches. Today, he released updated leaderboards for the last 3 seasons as well as some more explanations regarding his work, and some of the names therein should be interesting to Yankees fans:

One thing that Marchi pointed out and I thought was important to see was the recurrence of the same names on the leaderboard from season to season. While you would expect some players to have good or bad years in any particular skill due to health and other factors, in general you would like the model to reflect the fact that intuitively, you would expect most catchers to consistently perform to their skill level when it comes to framing pitches. Seeing the same names on the leaderboards each year gives me more confidence that the model is measuring what it purports to measure.

Putting that aside, let’s first look at the negative side of the ledger and note that by this metric, Jorge Posada cost the Yankees more than two wins over his last two seasons as a catcher simply by being poor at framing pitches.… Click here to read the rest

Breaking: Jeter and Rodriguez out of All-Star game

from Bexy:

– Alex Rodriguez went for a precautionary MRI on his knee, and won’t play tonight.

– Nick Swisher is also out of the lineup, with a sore left quad.

– Brian Gordon is off to Korea after a team purchased him.

– Additionally, the weather in the Bronx is apparently extremely poor tonight, and the team may not play. If they do, it’s likely there will be a delay.

Thank goodness for the All-Star break, huh?… Click here to read the rest

Cap Anson and the 3,000 Hit Club's Revolving Door

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

To some Yankees’ fans, Derek Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 hits has seemed to last an eternity. Although the Captain isn’t far off preseason projections, many have been awaiting the moment since his rookie year, so some impatience is understandable. Compared to Cap Anson’s wait, however, 17 years is a piece of cake. Even though the former White Stockings legend surpassed the 3,000 hit plateau sometime in the 1890s, it would take over a century before a consensus was reached regarding the legitimacy of his membership in the club.

For most of his 22 seasons with the White Stockings, Anson was one of the best players in the National League.

Adrian Constantine “Cap” Anson was one of baseball’s first superstars. His career started in 1871, when baseball’s first professional league, the National Association (NA), was formed. Over the next five seasons, the first baseman pounded out 423 hits, mostly for the Philadelphia Athletics, but the NA folded following the 1875 season.

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Despite some struggles, Yankee farm system remains strong

Yesterday, Baseball America revealed its midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and three Yankees made the cut.  Jesus Montero, #3 on the preseason list, fell slightly to #8.  Manny Banuelos, #41 on the old list, rose to #13.  Dellin Betances jumped from 43 to 26.  Gary Sanchez was another faller, beginning the season ranked #30 and now is no longer in the top 50.

I am somewhat surprised that BA didn’t knock Montero more for his mediocre start to the season, and continued negative reports on his defense.  Boredom aside, Montero’s .763 OPS is far below what he is capable of doing, and is not really a line worthy of a top 10 prospect in all of baseball.  That said, Montero’s ranking is indicative of BA’s faith in his hitting ability and raw power, even if he is not utilizing those tools to their fullest potential so far this season.  The ranking is not really a reflection of his position value either, as I still think the majority of the BA staff views Montero as a 1b/DH long-term, and are pretty bearish on his defense.… Click here to read the rest

As Jeter nears 3,000, Yankees forgetting the lesson of 1996

At first I sort of rolled my eyes at this post, but the more I thought about it, the more I think Steve is right. Don;t get me wrong, he’s still drastically overrating a lot of the Yankees’ minor leaguers, particularly the pitchers currently in Triple-A, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what Dellin Betances, who’s currently walking about 5 batters per 9 innings in Double-A, has to do with anything, but his point about the Yankees generally being timid about bringing their youngsters up is pretty solid.

The basic argument against this is always something along the lines of “he won’t help much now,” or “someone else is doing well enough in that position now.” And that’s pretty much always true.It’s true right now, in fact, as the Yankees look like one of the three best teams in baseball, will probably make the playoffs, and have Russell Martin doing a decent job behind the plate.… Click here to read the rest