Story of a Season: Curtis Granderson

Other Players Curtis Granderson may have slumped in September (.304 wOBA/85 wRC+), but every other month aside from that was nothing short of fantastic. Taking out the final month of the season, Granderson’s worst month in terms of wOBA/wRC+ was June when he hit “only” .363/125. If he did that for the entire year, it would’ve been a productive season for Granderson. Instead, he turned in career highs in homers (41), walk rate (12.3), Iso (.290), and wRC+ (146). His wOBA (.395) and fWAR (7.0) were both the second highest marks of his career (both fell just short of his Continue reading Story of a Season: Curtis Granderson

Guest Post: An Informed Take On Yu Darvish

This is a guest post from David P. over at Yankees Source, who can be reached at @yankeesource on Twitter. He is a scout for an international scouting agency that works with a few MLB clubs, including the Yankees. He spends a few months out of the year in Japan and has been following Yu Darvish since he was 16. I asked him for some thoughts on Darvish and how he compares to previous Japanese prospects who have made the leap to MLB, and he kindly obliged with a very informative post. At this point we are all familiar with Continue reading Guest Post: An Informed Take On Yu Darvish

2011 season profile: Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia

Eight months ago, the mere presence of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia in camp was held up as a testament to the sorry state the pitching staff and, by extension, the team as a whole. The signing of Colon, in particular, seemed like a joke to many fans, and it was easy to understand why. Colon hadn’t been effective and healthy in years, had been out of baseball entirely in 2010, and looked like he’d spent the time training to be a competitive eater or something. Garcia made more sense, as he had at least pitched 157 reasonably effective innings for Chicago in 2010, so inviting him to camp and giving him an opportunity to make the team didn’t seem crazy by any means. But it was widely assumed that the Yankees were looking for a temporary fix, and would probably replace him as early as possible.

Who could have imagined that these two has-beens would be perhaps the most crucial part of the A.L. East championship team?

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Consider Mark Buehrle

Regardless of how the C.C. Sabathia negotiations go, the Yankees will probably need to add another starting pitcher via free agency. Ivan Nova and A.J. Burnett are solid, but the Yankees have a lot of question marks beyond them. I wouldn’t be too comfortable with more than one farm system audition spot going into the season. The Yankees need some insurance to eat innings. Bringing back Freddy Garcia is one option. I think the Yankees would be smart to offer him arbitration, and would be OK with one year of Freddy at $6 million or so next season. If he Continue reading Consider Mark Buehrle

More awsome research on catcher defense

A little while back, Moshe wrote about some interesting research on catcher pitch framing, which highlighted the value of having Russell Martin behind the plate as compared to Jorge Posada.  Today, Bojan Koprivica of The Hardball Times has an article on his research in another important aspect of catcher defense: pitch-blocking. Prior to this research, most analysis of a catcher’s ability to block pitches was rather simplistic, namely, by counting the number of passed balls and wild pitches they surrendered.  While this is not necessarily an incorrect metric for catcher effectiveness, it certainly would not account for the differences in Continue reading More awsome research on catcher defense

2011 season profile: Nick Swisher

If you could cut out the last two months of the season, Nick Swisher would have had a banner year in 2011. As it stands, a slow start to the season and a brutal finish in the postseason cast a pall over what was still a very productive season for the hyperactive outfielder, but that fact seems lost amidst another disappointing October, based on the reaction of many Yankee fans.

The first third of the season was pretty tough on Swisher, who was very slow to get his feet under him, especially against right-handed pitching. He posted a wRC+ of just 78 in both April and May, and was hitting just .213/.334/.313 when the calendar flipped to June. Moreover, while the rest of the Yankees were hitting balls out of the park at a breathtaking pace, Swisher had all of 3 home runs on June 1st. Through two months of baseball, 2011 had been nothing short of a disaster for Swisher.

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For you crazies who think the Yankees should decline Nick Swisher's absurdly reasonably priced option based on the results of an inherently random small sample size

Now you’ve done it. You’ve really done it. Just when I thought Yankee fans couldn’t get any battier, they want to run Nick Swisher — one of the most productive right-fielders in the league, not to mention one of the Yankees’ top on-base threats — out of town, because of some unfortunately poor showings in three random samplings. Never mind that were one to construct the ideal Yankee hitter from the ground up, Swisher ostensibly represents the perfect blueprint, leading the team in OBP in 2011, with a .374 mark despite starting the season in a horrid slump; notching the Continue reading For you crazies who think the Yankees should decline Nick Swisher's absurdly reasonably priced option based on the results of an inherently random small sample size

Michael Young is not Derek Jeter

I get the point that Craig is trying to make here and mostly think it’s a sound one (heck I wrote something very similar earlier this year), but I think he’s overstating the case a little bit in equating Michael Young with Derek Jeter. Here’s what I mean:

What follows is the same fairly non-critical assessment of Young’s history of moving positions in Texas. Bradley misses one earlier instance of Young pouting at a position move (when he had to move off short for Andrus) and there isn’t much scrutiny of how a man can still be considered a great team leader when he twice bristled publicly because he was not getting his own personal way and playing the position he wanted to play despite there being better options available to the team.

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Continue reading Michael Young is not Derek Jeter

What about Roy Oswalt?

When we’re discussing Yankee free agent starting pitcher targets, we’re prone to talking about three names: CC Sabathia, Yu Darvish, and C.J. Wilson. One that hasn’t come up much is Roy Oswalt. There are two reasons for this: Roy Oswalt is old and Roy Oswalt isn’t exactly healthy. Back issues limited him to just 139 innings this year, after pitching at least 200 innings in every season since 2004, save for a mark of “only” 181 in 2009. It’s also worth noting that the Phillies hold a club option on Oswalt. However, it’s a $16M option with a $2M buyout. Continue reading What about Roy Oswalt?