2011 season profile: The bullpen

Boone Logan: Sometimes I feel bad for Logan. He gets a lot more flack than he really warrants, and it seems that we often fail to notice that he’s really a pretty decent pitcher. Maybe it’s because he seems to pick the worst possible times more his screw ups. Maybe it’s because he has a tendency to fail in spectacular function. Or maybe it’s because he just wasn’t very good against left-handed batters (who hit him to the tune of .252/.322/.453 this year), and that makes him look worse than he really is because his job is to get lefties out. Whatever it is, it does tend to obscure the fact that Logan is an effective middle reliever, and that was true again this year. Logan had an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 3.49/3.26/3.43, and struck out 9.94 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.81. That’s not bad at all, and fWAR rates him as the Yankees’ third best reliever this season, behind only David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.… Click here to read the rest

This Time, It Counted: All Star Game Reverberations Being Felt in Postseason

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

Tonight’s World Series opens up in St. Louis because the National League won the 2011 All Star Game. For many in and around the game, linking home field advantage in October to an outcome in July is the height of folly, but this season at least, the symmetry is almost perfect.

Despite the Brewers being eliminated, Prince Fielder's impact on the World Series is still being felt.

In order to advance to the World Series, the Cardinals had to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, the team that currently employs Prince Fielder. As some might recall, it was Fielder’s three-run home run that propelled the National League to victory at the home ballpark of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who just so happened to be the victims of the Brewers in the NLDS. What does all this have to do with the American League champion Texas Rangers? Well, Fielder’s game changing blast was hit off C.J.Click here to read the rest

24 compelling reasons to care about this year’s World Series

The postseason is an elitist’s party, no doubt about it. A select few are invited and only one can be lucky enough to steal the limelight. Yankee fans have joined the ranks of the disgruntled as St. Louis prepares to host the Rangers in the World Series (the Allstar game counts folks!). If you’re like my father, you’ve already retreated to the comforts of another sport with baseball quietly hibernating in the back of mind until next spring. If you’re like me, you’re watching the remainder of the playoffs with a sense of mild amusement. For those of you on the fence on how you want to spend your time, here’s a feeble attempt to steer your attention back to the FOX network tonight (yeah, you heard me).

1) Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano have agreed to let Ian Kinsler join the “good second basemen” discussion.

2) Tony La Russa isn’t getting any younger. Many of us have already confused him with one of the zombie fill-ins for The Walking Dead.… Click here to read the rest

Craziest. Offseason. Quote. Ever!

Crazy idea; don’t give C.C. a 10 year, $275 million contract when no one else is bidding on him, that should take care of that. The only thing the A-Rod contract is a “cautionary tale” about is letting Scott Boras get into the same room with Hank Steinbrenner. It tells us pretty much nothing about anything else. Because it was insane. How insane? It guaranteed A-Rod over $100 million more in total than Sabathia’s current contract guarantees him. Yeah.

Also, Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner showed last year in negotiations with Derek Jeter that they can be hardliners even when dealing with an icon.

That’s being a bit generous, but in any case, the two situations just have no connection whatsoever. Jeter simply didn’t have options, because no one else valued him as much as the Yankees did, so even if he didn’t like their offer, no one else was going to match it. If Sabathia opts out, there will be plenty of teams lining up to kick the tires on him, and if the Yankees lowball the big guy, someone will beat their offer.… Click here to read the rest

Starring Mark Teixeira as Jason Giambi (hopefully)

Texiambi

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Yankees sign a big-name free agent first baseman coming off an MVP-caliber year to a mammoth long-term deal that will keep him in the Bronx well past the point he’s still worth his salary. The slugger goes crazy in his first season in pinstripes, putting up yet another MVP-caliber season. The first baseman’s second season in pinstripes is still very good, though perhaps a slight disappointment based on previous expectations. Things continue to go in the wrong direction in the third season, prompting the Yankee faithful to start wondering whether their $100 million man is heading down an irreconcilable path to offensive mediocrity.

Obviously the two men in question are Mark Teixeira and Jason Giambi. In the latter’s case, his third season as a Yankee was an unmitigated disaster, due primarily to a year of health-related issues. However, many seem to forget that Giambi bounced back in a big way, turning in a huge 2005 campaign and ultimately finishing his seven-season Yankee career with a rather incredible .260/.404/.525 triple slash, .398 wOBA, 143 wRC+ and 21.8 fWAR.… Click here to read the rest

2011 season profile: C.C. Sabathia

How did Sabathia respond? With his best season as a Yankee. Sabathia set new personal best (with the Yankees) in ERA, FIP, ERA+, K/9, BB/9, and HR/9. Though Justin Verlander will likely run away with the Cy Young Award, that won’t necessarily do a good job of portraying the real state of the race, as Sabathia has a good case for the award himself. In short, the Yankees were counting on Sabathia to be very good this year, and he came through and then some.

Now, however, there’s a common belief that Sabathia “faded down the stretch.” I guess anything’s possible depending on how you look at it, but I don’t see any evidence for any such trend. Sabathia’s ERA in the second half of the season was higher than before the All-Star game, but at 3.44 was certainly fine on its own terms. His strikeout rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio, on the other hand, were actually better after the All-Star Game.… Click here to read the rest