Some random Jeter thoughts

-First of all, and somewhat paradoxically, I probably find myself liking Jeter more today than I ever really have before. It’s probably for more or less the same reason I’ve always liked A-Rod; I kind of feel bad for him. After all, it’s not like he’s done anything wrong, he’s just had a few birthdays too many. He’s still carrying himself the same way he always has, he just can’t do some of the things he used to. That’s not a reason to crucify him, yet some in the local media seem downright giddy about the prospect of souring the accomplishment of his 3,000th hit with this stuff.

-Speaking of the media, how pathetic are they in general? There’s a really annoying tendency in the political media for “analysts,” especially during election season, to refer to “the media” in the third person, as though they somehow aren’t a part of “the media,” and tell you what “the media” will say as though they have no control over it.… Click here to read the rest

How far would you go for Liriano?

Courtesy of Bronx Banter

Dan Menella of MLBTR posed an interesting question on Sunday that I wanted to throw out to our readers. Here it is:

Twins lefty Franciso Liriano is an intriguing potential trade candidate. It feels like he’s been around forever, but he’s just 27 and under team control through 2012, so he’s still well within his prime years and relatively cheap for another season and a half.

Liriano’s raw stuff is nasty, but the road back from Tommy John surgery in 2006 has been marked by notable highs and lows. He appeared to be fully recovered in 2010, posting a 3.62 ERA (2.62 FIP), 9.44 K/9, 2.72 BB/9 and 53.6% GB percentage. He’s regressed in 2011, however, with his control (4.65 BB/9) being especially problematic.

Between Liriano’s bouncing between dominance and mediocrity, and the Twins’ uphill climb in the AL Central (eight games behind the Indians through today), it’s quite possible that the lefty could be made available on the trade market this month.Click here to read the rest

CC and Pitch F/X

CC Sabathia was just insane last night. There is no other term for how CC pitched except for maybe “Beast Mode.” He went seven innings gave up no runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eleven Indian hitters, becoming the first Yankee pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2002 to strikeout ten or more batters in back to back games. So what did CC do last night that made him so successful? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

Sabathia tallied 24 21 swings and misses last night, seven of which came on his fastball, which averaged 95.58 MPH (!!) and topped out at 97.5 (!!!). The other fourteen (!!) whiffs came on his slider, which was just dominating the Cleveland hitters all night, especially the lefties.

Look at the results plot against left handed batters. Everything is down and away, showing us just how much the slider was fooling lefty hitters:

Watching Sabathia’s last five starts–42 strikeouts, six walks–has been absolutely incredible and though Pitch F/X obviously backs up what we saw, it still can’t quite come close to doing CC enough justice.… Click here to read the rest

Could Way-Rod be a Yankee?

Wandy Rodriguez is certainly no Lee or Sabathia, but he is a strike-throwing veteran southpaw with a pretty nice track record of both performance and durability.  Going back to July of last year, Way-Rod has posted elite totals: 10-5 with a 2.37 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 8.7 K/9 over his last 27 starts.  As of late, he’s been even better (5-1, 1.77 ERA in his last nine starts).

Wandy has never made a start in the postseason.  He was a rookie in 2005 and the Astros limited him to bullpen duty in October.  However, his electric stuff and repeated stretches of dominance over the last couple years suggest he could be well-suited to the postseason.  Wandy’s curveball, which he has thrown around 36% of the time since ’09, is generally regarded as one of the best in baseball.  Over that span, FanGraphs pitch valuation tool rates it second only to Adam Wainwright‘s and it is the primary reason he has an elite strikeout rate.… Click here to read the rest

“It is hard to enjoy when there is a lot of negativity out there.”

Okay, that’s not totally fair. In fact, I feel pretty bad/guilty about the whole thing, because I’ve been pretty darn critical of the Captain for a year or so now, probably overly critical at times. On the other hand, it really is hard to come to grips with the situation, especially when you’re covering the team on a daily basis and there’s always a fresh quote from Joe Girardi or someone else insulting your intelligence.

Really though, what did everyone involved in this situation think was going to happen? It seems that the team thought that the fans and the media wanted Jeter to bat at the top of the order because he’s Derek Jeter, and there would be a backlash if he were dropped. And maybe they were right about that at one point, but that’s certainly not correct today. But now the Yankees seem to have worked themselves into a bit of organizational paralysis, as the new line is that, if Jeter gets moved down the lineup now, it will “overshadow” his 3,000 hit milestone and bring “drama” into that story.… Click here to read the rest

CC demoralizes the Indians, while the offense takes care of the rest; Yankees win 9-2

Total domination!

It seemed unlikely the Yankees would lose three consecutive games with any of their pitchers toeing the mound on Tuesday, but it was least likely with CC Sabathia on the mound. CC demonstrated the he remains firmly in beast mode with a dominating performance against the Indians. CC lasted seven innings on 100 pitches, giving up five hits, no runs, only two walks and striking out eleven, his second consecutive start with more than ten strike outs.

To call CC’s stuff dominating would be an understatement. This was as strong a start as he’s given the Yankees this season. If the Bombers weren’t putting runs on the board at will Sabathia easily would have come out for the eighth inning.

Through seven innings Sabathia had complete command of all his pitches. The radar gun at Progressive Field (which may be jacked — who knows?) routinely clocked CC’s fastball at 97 mph. He was putting his fastball, changeup and slider wherever he wanted them.… Click here to read the rest

Game 84: Yankees 9, Indians 2

Granderson led off the fourth with another homer, his 25th of the season.  The Yankees had a chance to add even more to their lead, as Robinson Cano doubled with two outs. Swisher worked a walk, but Posada struck out to end the inning.

Sabathia had breezed through the first three innings, but got in trouble for the first time in the bottom of the fourth.  After striking out the first two hitters, Carlos Santana lined a single to right.  Orlando Cabrera singled to short, but Sabathia ended the threat by striking out Grady Sizemore.  Sabathia got himself into a jam again in the fifth, giving up a leadoff single to Austin Kearns and then walking Cord Phelps.  He then turned around and struck out the next three batters in order.

Already holding a big lead, the Yankees added some runs in the eighth.  Granderson started with a single.  Alex Rodriguez grounded a single to left and Cano doubled to center, plating Granderson.  … Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report 7/5/11 – Ouch

Double-A Trenton played a doubleheader with Richmond and lost the first game 5-1.
This was the continuation/completion of a rain delayed game from yesterday. Ray Kruml, Bradley Suttle, Damon Sublett, and Jose Pirela each had one hit, while everyone else in the lineup took oh-fers; Suttle doubled and walked and Pirela walked. Josh Romanski struck out three in 1.1 innings while giving up just a hit; Steve Garrison gave up four runs on nine hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, in five innings; and Chase Whitley gave up a hit, a run, and two walks with a strikeout in 1.2 innings.

…and lost the second 9-6
Richmond won this one with six runs in the bottom of the ninth (!!!). Oh well. Corban Joseph, Cody Johnson, and Jose Pirela all homered, and Joseph was 4-for-4 with a stolen base as well. Austin Krum went 2-for-4 and stole a base. Cory Arbiso gave up two runs on five hits over three innings with a strikeout, Brad Halsey gave up a run on three hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over 1.1 innings, and Pat Venditte threw 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts.… Click here to read the rest

The Beast

The big thing Sabathia has brought to the table in his entire tenure with the pinstripers has been innings, and he’s certainly been turning those in in bunches in the first half of 2011. In his last 10 starts, Sabathia has failed to finish the 7th inning just once, in a 6.2 IP outing against the Red Sox at home, in which the big man was cruising until he ran into a disastrous 7 innings. He’s pitched at least 8 innings 5 times in that stretch, and also had an 8.2 IP outing in Anaheim and a complete game against Toronto. And those haven’t been empty innings either. In the stretch, Sabathia has tallied a total of 67 strikeouts, compared to just 13 walks, while allowing 21 earned runs.

But it’s in the past two weeks where he’s really gone into “beast mode.” In his last three starts, Sabathia has combined to strike out 33 batters, walk just 5 opposing hitters, and allow 1 earned run in 22.2 innings pitched, with tonight’s 7 inning, 11 strikeout, outing being the shortest of the bunch.… Click here to read the rest