Nick Swisher started off 2011 pretty poorly. I remember him driving in some runs in April, but the rest of it wasn’t so great. He had a nice .340 OBP, but his SLG was terrible at .286 (.060 IsoP). From May 1 on however, Swisher’s been hitting like his old self. His line since: .271/.385/.470/.855. Nick’s career line? .253/.359/.465/.824 So after a disastrous start to the year, he’s hitting like a slightly better version of himself.
His 2011 line is starting to look like his career line, too. In fact, parts of it are a little better. He’s got a .260/.374/.423 line with a .352 wOBA/120 wRC+ (.356/117 career). He’s also got a slightly lower strikeout rate–18.8 in 2011, 21.2% career–and slightly higher walk rate–15.3 vs 13.4. The only thing yet to catch up is the power.
It all started out so promising for Buck Showalter and his crew. After taking over for the beleaguered Orioles on August 3, 2010, Showalter guided the O’s to a 34-23 record over their final 57 games, and following several upgrades to the offense over the winter, the O’s looked to be on their way to perhaps finally posting a season that mattered. After kicking the season off with a 6-1 record, the preseason calls proclaiming that Baltimore was back were starting to look prophetic, but the team followed their promising start up by going on an 8-game losing streak which ultimately dropped them below .500 for good. 34 wins and 49 losses later, the O’s are once again in dead last in the AL East, and seem to have saved their worst baseball of the season for the current month.
The O’s have stumbled to a 6-17 record in July, although the offense, essentially hitting its season mark of 97 wRC+ at 96, isn’t really the culprit.… Click here to read the rest
Trenton dropped an 8-3 game against the Richmond Flying Squirrels:
Trenton got an early lead, as Corban Joseph reached on an error in the first. he moved to third on a single by Robert Lyerly and scored on a line drive to left by Melky Mesa. The 1-0 edge held through the early innings, but the Squirrels busted out in the sixth. They led off the inning with three singles. Dellin Betances then walked in Richmond’s first run, before giving up another single. Richmond did not stop there, as Chris Dominguez grounded a single to center, plating two more runs and Pat Venditte was called on to relieve Betances. An error by Joseph allowed another runner to score and the Squirrels leapt out to a 5-1 lead. Trenton added a run in the eighth, but a three-run ninth for Richmond put the Thunder in a deep hole, as they went on to lose 8-3.
Melky Mesa went 2-4 with a run scored and a RBI. … Click here to read the rest
As the trade deadline approaches, I’m increasingly certain that the Yankees aren’t going to make a trade for a number two starter. The Yankees have a legitimately deep, talented farm system
that they intend to squander with value that needs to be assessed carefully. That big, empty-the-farm pitcher isn’t available this year. Ubaldo Jimenez was that guy in 2010. He’s not in 2011. James Shields wasn’t in 2010, is this year, but probably won’t be traded within the division, if at all.
At the beginning of the season everyone took it as a given that the Yankees would be in the market for a starter, at all costs. At the time this made sense. CC Sabathia: BEAST, but after him the Yankees were looking to Phil Hughes who’d had a bad second half and the mercurial A.J. Burnett. Anyone with a pulse and an arm was in a position to serve as the fourth and fifth starters.… Click here to read the rest
With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, general managers of teams in or close to contention are faced with the dilemma of balancing the present and the future of their ball clubs. Yesterday’s trade of Carlos Beltran to the Giants for top-35 prospect Zack Wheeler is a perfect example of a move that raises the question of whether it is prudent to sacrifice a possible future star for the chance to win now.
On the one hand, general managers are tasked with building a consistent winner, a team with a strong core that can be in the playoff picture on a regular basis. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to have a strong farm system, which can help refresh and revitalize the Major League roster on a yearly basis. Teams that build from the inside can have a sustained run of success with a fairly cheap core, allowing them to supplement as necessary with free agents and make regular runs at division titles.… Click here to read the rest
Not having done this in awhile, I put together some lists you all might find interesting to look at. Hitters this time, pitchers next time. These are system leaderboards and as always, the cautionary small sample size warning is given.
If you’ve been following the Staten Island Yankees or GCL Yankees, the top of this list shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Shane Brown is a 2010 draft pick from the 23rd round from Central Florida. Last year Baseball America called him a future utility type although he was drafted as a catcher. After dominating at Staten Island, he’s been called up to Charleston. Chris Austin was a 13th round pick from a Georgia High School from 2010 who can hit. He has some raw power, was drafted as a catcher and now plays mostly 1B or 3B. He recently moved up to Staten Island. Everyone is probably glad to see Dante Bichette handling himself so well in the GCL.… Click here to read the rest
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This week’s TYA Mailbag question come compliments of TYA reader, Alex. Alex actually submitted two excellent questions, but I figured I’d address each separately. That way I could thoroughly address both points.
Question : [Brandon Inge] Is he anything worth going after? I know he seems to have left his bat in the bat rack, but I think I’d rather have him than Nunez at 3rd.
Great question, Alex. My gut reaction when I initially read your question was that acquiring Brandon was probably not worth it. But let’s take a look regardless.
I can certainly understand how a guy like Inge could draw some interest based on prior performance. I remember his 2004 campaign which involved him posting a .287/.340/.453 line with 13 homeruns.… Click here to read the rest