Brandon Laird: Forgotten Infielder

Courtesy of The AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

A little over a year ago things were looking sunny for Brandon Laird.  He was fresh off an MVP season in...

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Projecting Brett Gardner

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Let’s get to the projections. What follows is a list of those culled from various sites. The Bill James projection and the RotoChamp projections come from Gardner’s Fangraphs player page. The Baseball Prospectus projection will be linked, but keep in mind that BP is a pay site:

  • Baseball Prospectus: .265/.353/.368 with a WARP of 2.4, a drop of 1.1 wins above average the site gave him for 2011.
  • ZiPS: .260/.352/.370
  • Bill James: .273/.369/.372
  • RotoChamp: .268/.360/.376

Only Bill James is optimistic that Gardner can improve his batting average to near to Gardner’s 2009 and 2010 level. But all the projections agree that Gardner’s on-base percentage (the number we really care about) will be higher in 2012. That would mean that they all expect Gardner to go back  near to his walk rate from 2010.

Batting average is a statistic that analysts have little use for these days. But as it is one part of the on-base equation, it does have some value.…

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Forecasting Ibanez with park factors

Yesterday, the Yankees announced that they are going to sign Raul Ibanez to a deal worth $1.1M in base salary that can be worth around $4M with incentives. This is a low-risk signing that could have a decent pay off for the Yankees. Ibanez has proven himself to be effective against righties...

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Nightly Links: Ibanez, Chaves, Rivera

  • Girardi confirmed a few things today...
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Price Is Right, but Raul Ibanez Signing Comes With Opportunity Cost

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

The other shoe has dropped. As expected, the Yankees followed up the official announcement of the A.J. Burnett trade by signing Raul Ibanez to a one-year deal worth just over $1 million.

Is price...

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Russell Martin’s surprising success

This was a pleasant surprise 18 times in 2011.

The Yankees picked up Russell Martin last year after the Dodgers failed to offer him a contract. Martin had put forward two consecutive seasons of decline in L.A. In 2007 and...

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The Case For Raul

So the official word from “sources” justifying the Ibanez signing is that it’s all about defense:

“The Yankees, in part, favored Ibanez over other free agents, like Johnny Damon, because they think he can play defense. With Ibanez’ numbers similar against right-handed pitching as other free agents the added element gave Ibanez the tie-breaker.”

Fine. Damon was never a great fielder, and if everything else is equal, the Yankees should try to grab the most versatile player. While I understand this logic, it seems a little facetious to me: we are talking about a lefty DH, and while it would be nice if he could play the field on occasion, it’s certainly not a necessity. In short: it doesn’t seem like a convincing reason to rule in favor of Ibanez (especially because he’s a mediocre-to-bad fielder himself—he had a ghastly -16 Defensive Runs Saved last year in LF, and is a career -8). Ironically, going by most of the fielding metrics, Damon had a better defensive season last year than Ibanez—though again, there are a lot of caveats.…

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