Manipulating the DH situation

Pardon me if you’re exhausted from it, but the Yankees’ DH situation is about the only thing left to talk about as the Hot Stove (thankfully) enters its final stretch drive and we (finally) approach Spring Training. Off the top of my head, I’d venture a guess that each author here has at least touched on it, and I did for sure yesterday, as did MJR.

With Carlos Pena unfortunately off the market, the DH options aren’t all that plentiful. There are guys like Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, but they’re on the wrong side of hill at this point (hell, so is Raul Ibanez). We’ve heard little about anyone else and it appears that the talking has all been done by agents, not the Yankees. In fact, it’s been called a low priority for the team.

Because of this, I’ve been trying to think of ways that the Yankees could avoid the “rotating DH” based on their internal options (Eric Chavez isn’t signed, so I’m considering him an out of organization option).… Click here to read the rest

A Look Back at World Series Rematches

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

I’m not a big fan of the NFL, at least not the mediocrity and gimmickry that have become its ideals, but in honor of the Giants Super Bowl encore against the Patriots, the table below contains every World Series rematch (same participants within a five-year span) since the inception of the Fall Classic.

World Series Rematches

Note: Rematch defined as the same World Series participants within a five-year span.
Source: mlb.com

Not surprisingly, the Yankees have been involved in all but three of the World Series encores, and, in the games that actually constituted the rematch (i.e., not including the initial series in the string), the Bronx Bombers went 11-3. So, from a New York perspective, that could be a good omen for the football Giants (although, the baseball New York Giants were 1-2 in rematch series). Regardless of the implications, the Yankees ability to either avenge a World Series loss or defend a championship is only further evidence of what Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck stated last month: when it comes to sports in New York, the Yankees are the team that runs the town.… Click here to read the rest

2012 Will Be a Clarifying Year for Yankee Pitching

I’ve been thinking about the big picture of the Yankee future for some time now. We’ve had a lot of recent developments over the last couple of months that seriously impact how the Yankees are going to compete and try to win for the next 3-6 years. The new CBA, and the $189 million payroll plateau that the Yankees have very strong financial incentives to get under, really is a game-changer for the team. They will need a completely new player development strategy, and can no longer afford to make bone-headed roster decisions like the Rafael Soriano or Alex Rodriguez (or for that matter, Derek Jeter) contracts. The hitting roster is very much locked in for some time now – the Yankees largely are going to go forward with a very similar-looking group to what they currently put on the field for at least through 2014, and possibly longer.

The starting rotation, on the other hand, is in as fluid a state as it gets.… Click here to read the rest

The irony of rotating the DH

I’m a fan of the Michael Pineda trade because even if it risks making the Yankees weaker in four years, it makes them stronger for the next two years, which is about the absolute maximum amount of time the Yankees have before one or more of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira (probably the first two) stops being adequate as a major leaguer in any way. The Yankees are trying to make hay while the sun shines, or at least trying to compete as much as possible before one of those three (my money is on Jeter) needs to be forced to retire at gun point. That the team added a young arm for the future is all the better.

If that’s the logic to the trade, then the downside is that getting Pineda did not make the team unequivocally stronger. Jesus Montero had a valuable role to play on the 2012 Yankees as a legitimate DH. His absence has led to the reemergence of two words that Yankee fans everywhere hate: rotating DH.… Click here to read the rest

Raul Ibanez for DH?

The title of this post is something I never thought I’d write. For years, I’ve talked a lot of junk about Raul Ibanez. He’s overrated. He can’t play the field. He looks like an alien. The former two are reasons why I wouldn’t ever want him on the Yankees. But, (semi) desperate times call for (semi) desperate measures. The Yankees are in need of a DH and Ibanez might be a good candidate for that spot? Why? Well, because anything is better than a platoonrotating DH, even if the dude looks like an alien.

2011 was rough for Ibanez. Of all Major Leaguers, he was the least valuable by fWAR and third least valuable by bWAR. So, why do I think that he’s okay for the job? For one, he appears to be willing to do it. According to this post, Ibanez is not concerned about PAs and money. Second, those overall numbers from 2011 distort Ibanez a bit.… Click here to read the rest

Predictions about the fifth starter

Right around the time A.J. busted out that hair it was clear there was no hope for him 2011.

In one fell swoop last weekend the Yankees went from having a rotation littered with question marks to one that is locked down, in some order, one-through four. Over night the team’s biggest problem went from figuring out how to make it rain every four days in between CC Sabathia‘s starts to deciding how best to use the DH position and what to do with all their extra starters. The team with the weak rotation is now spoiled for choice with up to six different viable starters and A.J. Burnett. CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova will be the heart of the rotation. The only question is the order in which they’ll follow the Big Stoppa. The fifth starter, however, is a question mark. For fun, I wanted to share my thoughts on the three guys who are competing for the only opening in the Yankee rotation.… Click here to read the rest

A trade match for Burnett

Travis Hafner

It’s been a long, long time since the days when Travis Hafner and teammate Grady Sizemore were taking votes away from each other in the MVP balloting. From 04-06 he was one of the best young sluggers in the game. But injuries, in particular a nagging, hard to diagnose shoulder problem had robbed him of much of his elite talent. He hasn’t played 1B since 2007 and hasn’t sniffed an MVP ballot since. His 13M annual salary has been a largely a black hole in the always-tight CLE budget going back to those glory days. The drop off in production coincided with MLBs drug testing policy and led to speculation about PEDs, a charge that he flatly denies and there is no evidence to support. The shoulder appears to be fixed, he hasn’t had any setbacks since July of 2010. On August 21st there was a foot injury that the team worried may require surgery, but it appears he avoided the procedure.… Click here to read the rest