20/20 Vision: Sabathia Seeking Encore, but How Many More?

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

Even though the value of wins has been somewhat discredited by the modern focus on sabermetrics, amassing 20 victories in one season remains a notable milestone for a starting pitcher.

Since 1901, 476 different pitchers have started at least one game for the Yankees, but only 35 have made it to the 20-win mark. Included among that group is CC Sabathia, who recorded 21 victories in 2010. Apparently not content with one such season, the Yankees’ ace has been at it again in 2011. As a result, the big lefty takes the mound tonight with the chance to make it back-to-back years with 20 victories.

Multiple 20-Win Seasons by Yankees’ Starters

Pitcher Seasons Pitcher Seasons
Bob Shawkey 4 Carl Mays 2
Lefty Gomez 4 Herb Pennock 2
Red Ruffing 4 Russ Ford 2
Vic Raschi 3 Spud Chandler 2
Jack Chesbro 3 Tommy John 2
Mel Stottlemyre 3 Waite Hoyt 2
Ron Guidry 3 Whitey Ford 2
Andy Pettitte 2 CC Sabathia ?
Click here to read the rest

Fall 2011 Top 30 Yankees Prospect List

The minor league season is over. After a 2010 season that saw breakout performance after breakout performance, the 2011 season saw its share of ups and downs, but overall it was a positive for the Yankee farm system. The Yankees had a few legitimate breakouts (Dante Bichette, Mason Williams), a few crash-and-burns (Andrew Brackman, Jose Ramirez) and a whole lot of players who mostly maintained their status and value. It would have been nice to see guys like Banuelos, Betances, and Montero build on their 2010 gains, but overall they are still about the same prospects they were a year ago.

Again, I used my TYA Prospect Rating System to assign scores to the prospects. At that link, you can read a full explanation of how it works. Basically, a score is assigned based upon how good a prospect can be if 75% of things go right for them, and then a risk rating is assigned based upon factors that could derail they potential.… Click here to read the rest

A look at the bullpens of the prospective AL postseason teams

Former Yankeeist readers will recall that last September in the weeks leading up to the postseason we ran a handful of posts that functioned as something of a pre-preview of the playoffs. Rest assured that once we know who the Yankees are actually facing in the ALDS we’ll be publishing our customary disgustingly comprehensive playoff preview over several posts, but in the meantime I thought we’d get a head start and take a gander at certain aspects of the prospective postseason teams. Today we’ll compare bullpens (here’s last year’s post).

One important caveat to take into account with any comparison of full-season team stats is that obviously the stat lines are the product of every single player who donned a uniform for a given team that season; as such in some cases the team numbers will probably be slightly improved once teams pare their rosters back down to who they feel are their best 25 players. That said, I still think a 162-game sample composed primarily of statistics from men whom one would expect to make the postseason roster can be a helpful barometer when assessing and comparing a team’s relative strengths and weaknesses against each other.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Blue Jays VI: Woe, Canada

Maybe the Yankees can leave him in Toronto this weekend. (photo c/o Chris Young)

The Yankees close out their 18 games with the Blue Jays with three up in the Rogers Centre this weekend, a place they’ve gone 12-12 at since the beginning of 2009 and haven’t recorded a series victory in a three-game set since May 12-14, 2009. However, a year after having their brains bashed in repeatedly by the Toronto Extra-Base Hits, the Yankees have returned the favor, having won 10 of the 15 games the two teams have played this season and ensuring the Jays won’t be able to run up a winning record against the Yankees for a second straight year.

Having just previewed the Jays two weeks ago, you already know the deal — Jose Bautista still leads the world in wOBA and wRC+ and the team boasts a top-five offense, but the pitching just hasn’t been all that great. It looks like the Yankees will see rookie Henderson Alvarez this weekend, and he’s actually been the team’s best starter over the past month, so that could pose some potential problems.… Click here to read the rest

Looking Back at the GCL Yankees’ 2011 Season

The Yankees’ ability to hit for extra bases and score runs was crucial, as their pitching, once again, was not their strong point.  Over 60 games, they had a team ERA of 4.31.  For comparison, the Orioles had a 2.07 ERA and the Twins had a 2.89 ERA.  The Yankees issued the second most walks (230) but did lead the league in strikeouts (504) in a tie with the Orioles.

The GCL Yankees’ players took home some more awards as well.  Dante Bichette, Jr., picked up the GCL MVP honors for his stellar first season in professional baseball.  Isaias Tejeda (C) and Jose Rosario (SS) joined him on the GCL All-Star Team.

Curtain Calls:
Dante Bichette, Jr (3B): While this pick had a lot of people scratching their heads after this year’s draft, Bichette gave Yankees fans a lot to be happy about.  He signed quickly and got to work almost immediately, never slowing down as the season progressed.  He ended his stint with the GCL Yankees with a championship, MVP award and a .342/.446/.505/.951 line. … Click here to read the rest

If George Was Still Alive . . .


-The Payroll would be 300 million

-Billy Martin would be managing the team via seance

-Mo would pitch every day

-Brian Cashman would be fired and replaced with Randy Levine

-Freddy Garcia would have been DFA’d after his June 7th outing against the Red Sox

-The Yanks would have outbid the Nats for Jayson Werth

-Jesus Montero would be the #1 prospect in the Padres farm system

-Dice-K Matsuzaka would be on the Yankees DL

-Derek Jeter wouldn’t have slumped at all this season

-The same fans who are complaining of his absence would be complaining about him… Click here to read the rest

A-Rod thumb issue still lingering

Here’s a bit of news from Wally Matthews that came out about half an hour ago:

“General manager Brian Cashman acknowledged Thursday what has seemed obvious for the past few weeks: The New York Yankees are more likely to carry Alex Rodriguez through the postseason than the other way around, because the third baseman’s thumb is still hurting.

‘He’s got a Grade I sprain and it’s not going to go away completely this season,’ Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. ‘It only goes away with time which is not something that’s necessarily in our favor.'”

I don’t know that this is entirely surprising given the touch-and-go nature of Alex’s latest ailment, but it’s still mildly distressing that the Yankees are basically admitting that whenever they’re ready to put A-Rod back in the lineup he’s probably not going to be 100% for the remainder of the season.

“On Wednesday, manager Joe Girardi expressed optimism that A-Rod, who has not played since Sept. 9, would be in the lineup when the Yankees open a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto Friday night.Click here to read the rest

What Does Soriano's Re-emergence Do For The Postseason Bullpen?

When the Yankees signed Rafael Soriano, I suggested that despite the horrible contract, Soriano was such a good reliever that he should be used as a fireman. Then he got injured, and we all know what happened. I know that the injury shook my confidence in Soriano’s abilities, but I know the potential still lies for a dominant fireman-type relief pitcher who can propel the Yankees through high-leverage situations this October.

Since coming back, Soriano has pitched 17 1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.11. He has struck out 7.78 per 9 innings, while walking 2.6 per 9. Those aren’t the strongest numbers ever, but they aren’t weak either. You could expect someone to be a little rusty after sitting on the shelf for a long time. He’s been better in September, striking out 8 and intentionally walking just 2 in 7.2 innings, while allowing just 2 runs. His velocity has mostly been back up, and Girardi has been using him in tough spots, and on back-to-back days.… Click here to read the rest