Another Free Agent Right Hander

At the end of last week, I briefly touched on one free agent the Yankees could look into signing. Now, we’ll look into another, courtesy of this tweet from Mike Axisa: Edwin Jackson, the forgotten upcoming free agent. I’ve never been a huge fan of Edwin Jackson, honestly. I thought his control was always pretty “meh” and he didn’t quite strike enough guys out to make up for it despite his awesome stuff. Regardless, it’s my job here to look at things as objectively as possible. And considering the dearth of starting pitching that will be available this offseason, Jackson Continue reading Another Free Agent Right Hander

A tale of two Phil Hughes

On the heels of his disastrous 2011 campaign, former Yankee phenom Phil Hughes is at something of a crossroads in his career. At 26 years old and entering his 6th season of professional baseball he’s no longer someone who we should advocate patience for, or is too young to draw any conclusions about. Thus far he’s been hurt 5 times in 6 years in the pros (3 more times in minors) including two lengthy DL stints in 07 and 11. Gene Michael told me firsthand that there are questions about his work ethic, which could go a long way towards Continue reading A tale of two Phil Hughes

Sherman says Pujols can’t handle New York

Yep, Joel Sherman went there. At least I had him in the pool.

I had resolved to stay away from this, but I guess I’ll say something briefly. Like all media scandals, this has nothing to do with the players, coaches, or fans, and everything to do with reporters who are increasingly becoming an anachronism. Does “accountability” have anything to do with it? Of course not. Pujols made a bad play, it happens. On the other hand, he’s one of the greatest players in the history of baseball and it’s not a stretch to say the Cardinals aren’t even where they are now without him. So what exactly is “accountability” supposed to mean? That he must ritually flagellate himself for the benefit of Jon Paul Morosi? That he needs to get Ken Rosenthal’s absolution before he can take the field again?

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Sherman says Pujols can’t handle New York

Good News For The Yankees: Hard-Slotting System Facing Resistance In CBA Negotiations

From MLB Trade Rumors Yesterday: Commissioner Bud Selig discussed several topics in an interview with Chris Russo of SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio today before Game 2 of the World Series.  Here are some of the highlights: The issue of a hard slotting system for the draft is “really critical” for Selig.  Buster Olney reported yesterday that Selig was unlikely to “dig in and fight” for slotting since doing so would prolong the labor negotiations. This is very good news for the Yankees. Selig had made no secret for some time now that one of his top priorities for the new Continue reading Good News For The Yankees: Hard-Slotting System Facing Resistance In CBA Negotiations

Pujols Flies the Coup, but Media’s Reaction Is Foul

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Albert Pujols, one of the greatest players in the history of the game and most revered figures in the city of St. Louis, is a coward who lacks leadership skills, at least according to the headline writers at Yahoo! Sports. Judging by the solemn photo of Pujols, crouching low after allowing a relay throw to slip by his glove, you’d think the Cardinals’ first baseman did something heinous. Was he caught cheating on the field? Or, maybe he put a personal accomplishment ahead of team goals? Perhaps he had an argument with his Continue reading Pujols Flies the Coup, but Media’s Reaction Is Foul

TYA Mailbag: Brett Gardner to the Nationals?

Welcome to TYA, where the trade speculation about Brett Gardner never stops! In case you missed it, my fellow writer EJ Fagan tackled this subject on Thursday. Around the same time we also received the following email from reader Travis: “The Washington Nationals seem to have a need for a leadoff man and center fielder.  Brett Gardner (although I like him in pinstripes) fits the mold for what they are looking for.  Here’s the question… What would the Nats give up for Gardner? Would they trade Peacock, Detwiler and Stammen? Or any two of the three? I dont think just one would suffice, seeing as Continue reading TYA Mailbag: Brett Gardner to the Nationals?

An update on Brett Gardner's batted ball profile

I took a quick snapshot of Brett Gardner’s month-by-month batted ball profile back on August 31, and with the season over I wanted to revisit it to see if anything had changed. Here’s the updated chart, with Gardner’s month-by-month numbers through the end of the year: At the time of the August 31 post, I was surprised to find that Brett actually led all of MLB in Infield Fly-Ball percentage. However, following a September where his IFFB% was just 7.7%, his season mark fell to 19.6%, which was the third-highest in MLB. Still, this was a career-high by far for Continue reading An update on Brett Gardner's batted ball profile

The Kei Igawa comparison

Joel Sherman tweeted yesterday that the Yankees’ scouts love Yu Darvish, but that the front office doesn’t want to make a large posting bid for him. No surprise there, every team that’s going to bid has an interest in talking down the market, especially since it’s a blind bidding process. But what does Sherman chalk it up to? Kei Igawa.

There’s basically no meme I hate more than this one. Kei Igawa is a Japanese pitcher, you see, and he didn’t pitch well for the Yankees. At all. Because of that, it’s assumed that the Yankees will be reluctant to sign another Japanese pitcher. Why? Because he’s Japanese too. Is there any other similarity between Igawa and Darvish that I’m missing?

Obviously I’m over-simplifying things a bit. There are real issues to transitioning from playing in Japan to playing in the majors, and there are real differences between the two games that can affect pitchers trying to make the jump. Those are certainly things to be accounted for, and I’m no expert on the subject. But it’s hardly impossible. Why doesn’t anyone ever get compared to Hideo Nomo, who pitched nearly 2,000 Major League innings and had a career rWAR of 20.6? It’s always Daisuke Matsusaka (whose flop status is drastically overstated, I might add) and, for the Yankees, Igawa. I can understand why teams do it, or imply it, since they have millions of dollars riding on the matter, but there’s no reason for the rest of us to do it as well. It’s silly, lazy, and offensive to reduce a complex question to a matter of a pitcher’s nationality. Continue reading The Kei Igawa comparison

Ex-Dodger Notes: Blake, Kuroda linked to Yankees

In the last two days, both Hiroki Kuroda (linke) and Casey Blake (link) have been connected to the Yankees. The connections are tenuous at best, but both players could have roles on the 2012 Yankees and are worth examining. Starting with Blake, who could play a backup infield role, we see a guy whose 2011 season was ended by neck surgery. He was limited to just 63 games and 239 plate appearances this season. In those 239 PAs, Blake was essentially average, hitting to a .314 wOBA and a 99 wRC+. His Iso was an unimpressive .119, which marked the Continue reading Ex-Dodger Notes: Blake, Kuroda linked to Yankees