A Postseason Roster Without Cervelli

We don’t know what Francisco Cervelli’s health is like right now. Concussions are highly unpredictable. That said, I hope that Cervelli chooses to sit out the remainder of the season. After four concussions, he will at some point be risking permanent damage with any quick return. No matter how severe or minor his concussion, there is now a significant chance that the Yankees will need to make up a postseason roster without him, which poses an interesting challenge.

We all know that Russell Martin will catch the overwhelming majority of postseason innings this postseason, if not every single one. We’re lucky enough that Martin is a very well-rounded catcher: there are almost no foreseeable situations where it would be prudent to substitute him for a pinch hitter, pinch runner, or defensive replacement. You can’t say that about every postseason starting catcher, which gives the Yankees some flexibility in postseason roster decisions. The Yankees will only need another catcher in the event of an emergency.… Click here to read the rest

Jorge Posada, backup catcher?

The obvious problem with my proposal is that the Yankees simply do not want Posada catching. And that’s understandable, but it’s not really a problem come October. Given the off days built into the schedule, the backup catcher simply doesn’t need to get used much, if at all. I fully expect that Russell Martin will catch every inning the Yankees play in the postseason regardless of who the backup is, barring an emergency or a decision to pinch run or pinch hit for him late in a game. For all intents and purposes, what the team needs is less a true backup than an emergency catcher, and Posada and Montero ought to be able to fill that role well enough.

In fact, I’d argue that the Yankees should do this even if Cervelli’s fine. After all, what’s he really going to bring to the table in October anyway? Is he starting a game? Is he getting an at bat in a crucial situation late in a game?… Click here to read the rest

Tex’s home and road splits

I haven’t gone back and checked–and I don’t think I will–but I’d be willing to be that I’ve written more about Mark Teixeira this season than I have written about any other player. I’ve written about his BABIP and what he “should” be hitting and now I’m going to touch on his home/road splits during his Yankee tenure.

Yesterday before going to work, I had on MLB Network’s fantasy baseball show, “Fantasy-411.” I play fantasy baseball, but haven’t exactly paid much attention to any of my teams over the last month or so (probably more). Regardless, I enjoy watching this show every once in a while because it’s the only show on MLBN that gives more-than-lip-service attention to advanced metrics. Anyway, they were discussing first basemen yesterday and, of course, Tex’s name came up. One of the three hosts mentioned that Tex’s home/road splits–in terms of OPS–had calmed down a little bit this year. So after work, I decided to check out what’s been going on with Mark’s splits since he joined the Yankees.… Click here to read the rest

Irrelevance of saves doesn’t diminish Mo

But what of the widely touted psychological impact of pitching that all important 9th inning you ask? Isn’t that what sets the great closers apart from the rest of the bullpen riff-raff? Nope, it’s basically horsepucky. Consider the following three closers:

Can you honestly guess who these pitchers are? Closer A is J.J. Putz of the Diamondbacks, Closer B is Rivera, and Closer C is Leo Nunez of the Marlins. Do either Putz or Nunez strike you as “elite closers?” Probably not, and yet they both convert save opportunities at more or less the same rate Rivera does this season.

So what about the “psychological effect” of losing a 9th inning lead that Mitch Williams cites in the article? I actually won’t discount that, because I can absolutely believe that’s a real effect. Why? Because blowing a ninth inning lead doesn’t happen very often. Any time you lose in rare fashion I would have to imagine it stings quite a bit, if only because you feel like you should have won.… Click here to read the rest

Game 146: Yankees 9, Mariners 3

Seattle answered in the bottom of the third.  Brendan Ryan worked a one out walk and stole second base.  Ichiro Suzuki lined a single to right, plating Ryan and tying the game 1-1, but the Yankees would retake the lead quickly.

Everything fell apart for Hernandez in the fourth.  Mark Teixeira clubbed a homer on the second pitch of the inning, giving the Yankees a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.  Robinson Cano followed with a double to right and Nick Swisher singled to left.  Eric Chavez hit a sac fly to center, bringing Cano home.  Gardner lined a double to left, plating another run, and Chris Dickerson capped off the inning with a big homerun to right, giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.

Hughes pitched a strong game, though he got into some trouble in the sixth.  Kyle Seager hit a ground-rule double and moved to third on a single by Dustin Ackerly.  Hughes got Mike Carp to line out, but walked Justin Smoak to load the bases. … Click here to read the rest

Yankees beat King Felix for first time since 2008

Live it up, boys. (photo c/o Ted S. Warren/AP)

Um, wow. So that happened.

On the list of baseball things I never thought I’d see happen, the Yankees finally beating Felix Hernandez — not to mention dropping six earned runs on the King — for the first time since May 3, 2008 — was probably at the very top. That the final score of the game was 9-3 was merely the cherry on top. At six innings, this was also Felix’s shortest outing against the Yankees since that May 3 game, when he lasted 5 2/3 frames. The only time he’s ever had a worse start against the Yankees was a seven-earned-run, 3.2-inning affair on August 23, 2006, although believe it or not, by WPA, last night (-.445) was not only the worst start he’s ever authored against the Yankees, but his worst start of the season by over .100.

Take all of that in for a sec, savor it, and never let go.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread | Game 146 | Yankees vs. Mariners | Monday, September 12, 2011

The Yankees do battle with the owner and sole proprietor of Yankee Global Enterprises, Felix Hernandez, kicking things off at 10:00pm pm tonight in Seattle.

Your lineup, courtesy of LoHud:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Chris Dickerson RF
Austin Romine C
Phil Hughes P

Nice to see Swisher back in the lineup. Tex gets half a day off, while Austin Romine makes his first career MLB start at catcher. A little disappointed that Jesus Montero won’t get to take his hacks against the King, but maybe we’ll see him pinch hit.… Click here to read the rest

Carpenter Re-Ups With Cards, Further Thinning 2012 Pitching Market

Chris Carpenter has apparently re-signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, inking a 2 year, 21 million dollar extension that will likely keep him a Redbird through the end of his career. This is significant for the Yankees, as it takes another solid option out of the mix from a free agent market that the Yankees will certainly be shopping in. Assuming they bring back CC Sabathia, the big lefty and Ivan Nova are the only two starters that should have a guaranteed rotation spot next season, with Phil Hughes and a variety of other youngsters likely competing for a 3rd spot. That leaves two rotation spots to fill and not very many options freely available. Here are the pitchers on the 2012 free agent market, courtesy of Cot’s:

Mark Buehrle CWS
Chris Carpenter STL *
Bruce Chen KC
Aaron Cook COL *
Kyle Davies KC
Ryan Dempster CHC *
Justin Duchscherer OAK
Zach Duke ARI *
Jeff Francis KC
Freddy Garcia NYY
Jon Garland LAD *
Aaron Harang SD
Rich Harden OAK
Livan Hernandez WAS
Edwin Jackson CWS
Kenshin Kawakami ATL
Scott Kazmir LAA
Hiroki Kuroda LAD
Rodrigo Lopez CHC
Paul Maholm PIT
John Maine COL
Jason Marquis WAS
Kevin Millwood NYY
Scott Olsen PIT *
Roy Oswalt PHI *
Brad Penny DET
Oliver Perez NYM
Joel Pineiro LAA
CC Sabathia NYY (may opt out)
Carlos Silva NYY
Javier Vazquez FLA
Adam Wainwright STL *
Tim Wakefield BOS
Chien-Ming Wang WAS
Brandon Webb ARI

Click here to read the rest