Yankees most likely exercising Nick Swisher’s option

According to Wallace Matthews, the Yankees look to pick up Nick Swisher’s $10.25 million option sometime shortly after the end of the World Series.  Despite a tough start to the 2011 season, and an ugly post-season, Swisher was a big part of the Yankees’ success this season, and it would have been surprising had the Yankees not picked up his option. Continue reading Yankees most likely exercising Nick Swisher’s option

Thursday Evening Linkstravaganza

Though there’s already been plenty to speculate about already, the Hot Stove Season won’t truly kick off until the culmination of the 2011 World Series, so while we wait for the rumormongering to start spiraling wildly out of control, here are some of our favorite links from the past few days. As an aside, if you have any burning offseason questions you’d like answered, you can always e-mail us (TheYankeeAnalysts at gmail dot com) or drop a question in the comments below, and we’d be happy to answer it. In any event, the below links contain some excellent reading from Continue reading Thursday Evening Linkstravaganza

Baseball America on the 2011 Yankee Draft

Baseball America posted their 2011 Draft Report Cards today, and the Yankee report (subscriber-only) has some nice info on some of the Yankee draftees.  While initially bearish on the Yankee haul at the time of the draft, John Manuel and Jim Callis do see some reason to be excited about the Yankees’ newest acquisitions.  It was certainly a draft class that focused on high schoolers, which means that it is a potentially high-risk, high-reward group. Dante Bichette has gotten much well-deserved praise for his offensive performance in the Gulf Coast League and raw power, but BA also highlighted some strong Continue reading Baseball America on the 2011 Yankee Draft

Looking back at the 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees had a mediocre season, barely holding a winning record as they ended 2011 with a 73-69 record.  The Yankees finished eight games behind the Pawtucket Red Sox in the North Division of the International League.  The Yankees’ former Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, took the Triple-A crown for the second year in a row.

Scranton used some strong pitching this season, behind starters D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps and Adam Warren.  The Yankees had a combined 3.80 ERA, the fourth lowest in the IL.  Their staff put together eight complete games and thirteen shutouts, the most in the league.  Their batting stats were a little more sporadic.  While they had a solid .264 team batting average, third in the IL, their .326 on base percentage put them towards the bottom of the league.  They had the second most strikeouts along with the least amount of walks.

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Trading Brett Gardner Will Make Yankee Starting Pitching More Of A Problem

I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately, both in the blogosphere and in the real world, talking about the Yankees trading for a top starting pitcher with a package centered around Brett Gardner. I think this is generally (barring something crazy, like a top-flight locked up Felix-like pitcher becoming available) a very bad idea. Brett Gardner was worth 5.1 fWAR last season. The majority of that contribution was defense – but you knew that already. Brett Gardner is one the best defensive players in all of professional baseball. While he’s only an average-at-best hitter, Gardner was one of the Continue reading Trading Brett Gardner Will Make Yankee Starting Pitching More Of A Problem

Positive Storylines from the 2011 Season: Ivan Nova’s unexpected rise to the top half of the rotation

Yankeeist readers will recall that we did just two comprehensive “Positive Storylines” and “Negative Storylines” posts last offseason. In the interest of fleshing the 2011 positives and negatives out a bit further — not to mention we have more days to fill with content this offseason — the Positive and Negative Storyline trends are going to be broken up across multiple posts this year. In a season full of surprises, Ivan Nova‘s ascent from fourth man in the rotation to the Yankees’ Game 2 starter in the playoffs was perhaps the most unexpected. At best, I think many Yankee fans’ Continue reading Positive Storylines from the 2011 Season: Ivan Nova’s unexpected rise to the top half of the rotation

2011 season profile: Jorge Posada

2011 could not have been fun for Jorge Posada. While Andy Pettitte rode off into the sunset, Derek Jeter celebrated his 3,000th hit and a revival of his bat in the season’s second half, and Mariano Rivera continued his run of excellence while becoming the all-time leader in games saved, Posada’s season was most notable for his significant struggles at the plate and ever increasing role with the team. For a one of the greatest Yankees ever, it had to be a jarring experience.

The “downgrading” began to occur last offseason, when the Yankees signed Russell Martin and made it clear that Posada wouldn’t be catching in 2011. They stuck with that through Spring Training, and eventually it became clear that the Yankees had no intention of letting Posada catch even occasionally. He did play a little bit of first base, and even made an emergency appearance behind the dish, but for the most part he was strictly a designated hitter.

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Story of a Season: Nick Swisher

Others 2011 featured some book ends for Nick Swisher. He started off the year poorly, putting up a .293 wOBA/78 wRC+ in the first two months of the season. In September, he hit just .284/72, then had a poor showing in the playoffs. Between then, though, Swisher was on fire. From June-August, Swisher hit .305/.418/.556/.973. For comparison’s sake, in that same time frame, Robinson Cano put up a .909 OPS and Curtis Granderson put up a .940 OPS. So for a good chunk of the season, Nick Swisher was the team’s best hitter. June was easily Swisher’s best month as Continue reading Story of a Season: Nick Swisher

Giving Up On Phil Hughes

Mike Axisa over at RAB did a great job yesterday summing up Phil Hughes’ disastrous 2011 season: The plan was to put Hughes on a throwing program after a few days of rest, and things went well at first. He was ready to start a minor league rehab assignment about two weeks after his start against the Orioles, but the team cut short a bullpen session after just a dozen pitches and called it a “setback.” Hughes was sent for an MRI the next day, and after some concerns about low-level thoracic outlet syndrome, it was announced that he’d miss Continue reading Giving Up On Phil Hughes