Ask the Experts: Lucas Apostoleris and Josh Weinstock answer our PITCHf/x questions

As regular readers know, I am incredibly interested in and fascinated by pitching analysis, and in turn, PITCHf/x. As a result, Brooks Baseball, and Joe Lefkowitz’s PITCHf/x site have become mandatory daily visits for me.  While I feel as though I have a pretty good grasp on a lot of the concepts, I find that I am continually learning new things from folks who have far greater expertise than I do, and as a result, I am constantly tweaking and refining the ways in which I attack pitching analyses. Two individuals who have more knowledge than I could ever hope to have of the way PITCHf/x works are Lucas Apostoleris—whose work you may be familiar with from his own site, Don’t Bring in the Lefty, as well as serving as a periodic contributor to the excellent Beyond the Boxscore, The HardballTimes and Fangraphs—and Josh Weinstock, who also contributes to BtB and THT, as well as It’s About the Money, Stupid.Click here to read the rest

Arb eligibles: Anyone worth extending?

MLBTR has its list of arbitration eligible Yankees up and the list looks like this, and I’ve included their 2011 salaries:

First time: Brett Gardner ($549,500) and David Robertson ($460,450)
Second time: Phil Hughes ($2.7M, avoided arbitration last year) and Joba Chamberlain ($1.4M, avoided arbitration last year)
Third time: Boone Logan ($1.2M, avoided arbitration last year)
Fourth time: Russell Martin ($4M base with escalators based on games caught)

So, are any of these guys worth giving extensions to? Let’s start at the bottom with Martin. Given the catching depth the Yankees have in the minors, mainly Jesus Montero and Austin Romine, the only ones close enough to really matter at this point, I don’t see the logic in giving Martin a contract through more than 2012. Obviously, they’ll tender him a deal (thanks, Mr. Colletti!) if they don’t go to arbitration with him. Given his relatively powerful output this year, it’s likely that the arbitration panel would side with Marin, even if he hit a low point during the middle of this year.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes Day how I miss you

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The following is a guest post from friend-of-the-blog Jacob Hopkins. You can find him on Twitter at @HopJake.

Watching Phil Hughes throw the last time out was very frustrating. While he racked up five strikeouts, he couldn’t even get through three innings. It seemed that there was no life on the ball and the cutter was just flat. Needless to say the start against the A’s — not to mention his three terrible outings at the beginning of the season — was a far cry from last season, when it felt like must-see-TV every time Phil threw the ball. Seeking to channel my frustration into something productive, I decided to go to to pull up some video from the beginning of last year to see if I could spot anything of note.

I began with video from Hughes’ May 7, 2010, start against Boston. His velocity, command and control were all amazing that night — he had great bite on his curve and seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted with the ball.… Click here to read the rest

Freddy’s back!

The win salvages a split with the last place Orioles after the Bombers dropped the first two games of the series, and the return of Garcia allowed the Yankees to push C.C. Sabathia back a day, lining him up to start the series opener in Boston tonight. More importantly at this point in the season, it also crystallized a fact that seems to be strangely debated by Yankees fans right now: Freddy Garcia is a playoff starter.

Honestly I can’t believe there’s even talk that Garcia wouldn’t have a spot in the October rotation at this point. Without question, Garcia has been one of the Yankees three best starters over the course of the full season. Over 128.1 innings he’s pitched to a 3.09 ERA, and a 3.66 FIP despite a K/9 below 6.0. That’s mostly because he’s been very good at limiting walks and home runs (even if his xFIP indicates he might be getting lucky on the latter count).Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Red Sox V: Regression, motherf$%^&(*s

.439/.519/.634 against the Yankees in 2011. Just stop it already. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The Yankees are 2-10 against the Red Sox in 2011. They are 78-42 against everyone else.
  • Boston ace Josh Beckett has done his best Felix Hernandez impression this season, having given up three runs across 27 innings against the Yankees, good for a 1.00 ERA.
Click here to read the rest

Game 132: Yankees 3, Orioles 2

Each team went down in order in the second and third innings, but the Yankees added a couple runs in the fourth.  Robinson Cano singled to left and Nick Swisher knocked a homer to right, giving the Bombers a 3-0 lead.

Garcia looked strong, as he didn’t allow a baserunner for three straight innings.  In the bottom of the fifth, however, he gave up a solo homer to Mark Reynolds and the Orioles were on the board.  David Robertson gave up a solo homer to J.J. Hardy in the bottom of the eighth, making the game 3-2, but the Yankees sent Mariano Rivera to the mound for the ninth and they came away with the win.

Bronx Cheers:
Brett Gardner: Gardy went 0-3 with a walk and a steal.

Jorge Posada: Jorgie went 0-4.

RISP: The Yankees had more opportunities to score than I realized, but were unable to take advantage of them.  They were 0-5 with runners in scoring position.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report: 08/29/11 – Banuelos pitches a one-hitter, GCL Yankees take Game 1 of Finals

…but lost the second game 2-0:
The game stayed scoreless through the first three innings, but the Red Sox broke out in the top of the fourth.  Nate Spears walked and Ryan Lavarnway homered to left, giving Pawtucket a 2-0 lead.  Back-to-back singles by Gustavo Molina and Greg Golson in the bottom of the ninth gave Scranton a chance, but Chris Dickerson grounded out to end the game.   Despite his game ending hit, Dickerson went 2-4 with a double.  Golson was 2-3.  Dellin Betances pitched a strong game, but came up on the losing side when he gave up two runs on two hits and four walks over seven innings.  He also had eight strikeouts.

Trenton lost to New Hampshire 10-4:
The Fisher Cats scored first, with a run in the first inning, but Trenton got it back in the second.  Robert Lyerly doubled and scored when Melky Mesa reached on a fielder’s choice.  Unfortunatley, the Fisher Cats broke the game open in the top of the fourth, scoring eight runs.  … Click here to read the rest

Yanks edge O's 3-2 behind Steady Freddy

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Yankees rode a Mark Teixeira double, a Nick Swisher two-run home run and six innings of one-run ball (4 Ks, 1 BB) from Freddy Garcia in a crisp 3-2 win over Baltimore Monday night, splitting the weekend’s four-game set. Alfredo Simon was the tough-luck loser, going seven and only giving up three (while striking out six), and the win improved the Yankees’ record in one-run games to 16-18.

Down 3-1, the Orioles threatened to make things interesting in the eighth, as J.J. Hardy took David Robertson deep to cut the lead to 3-2. This was the first home run D-Rob surrendered all season. It’ll be interesting to see how fractionally his American League relief-pitcher-leading 1.60 FIP increases after Fangraphs updates overnight. Rafael Soriano pitched a dominant seventh, striking Mark Reynolds and Ryan Adams out on six straight pitches (five swinging strikes!), and Mariano Rivera closed things out with a perfect 9th.

Speaking of Swisher — who blasted three home runs in this set against the Orioles — his turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable.… Click here to read the rest

On A-Rod’s thumb…

A-Rod is a big, important force for the Yankee lineup, and keeping him healthy should be paramount, especially considering his contract. With rosters expanding in only a couple of days, there’s no need to put him on the DL, but he shouldn’t play until he’s 100%. I don’t know how badly his thumb is hurt, but obviously it’s worse than it appeared when it first happened, and, at the risk of sounding terribly obvious, aggravating it would be a bad idea. It sounds like the Yankees are being cautionary here, which is almost certainly the way to go. They can win without Alex, especially considering the playoff picture, but having him at full strength for the playoffs gives them a much better chance.… Click here to read the rest