Michael Pineda Has a New Change Up?

Buster Olney, in a video piece for ESPN, stated that New York Yankees’ pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, changed Michael Pineda‘s grip on Pineda’s change up. Olney then went on to explain that Russell Martin gushed over the movement Pineda was getting with the pitch. Olney’s report does little to dampen runaway enthusiasm for the kind of pitcher Pineda can be for the Yankees. Trying to hold back overwhelming expectations just took a major hit. Continue reading Michael Pineda Has a New Change Up?

Brandon Laird: Forgotten Infielder

(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 the Double-A Eastern League thanks to a .291/.355/.523 line (.383 wOBA), 47 XBH, 23 HR, 90 RBI in 454 PA, and got a late-season bump to Triple-A (.270 wOBA in 127 PA).  He had elevated himself to the top half of most Yankee top prospects lists, and heading into 2011 Spring Training he had an outside shot at nudging his way into the discussion for the utility infielder role Continue reading Brandon Laird: Forgotten Infielder

Projecting Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner is a fun baseball player to watch. But watching him day in and day out was a bit vexing in 2011. As a defensive player, he has no peers in left field nor in center when Curtis Granderson gets a day off and Gardner plays there. Gardner not winning the Gold Glove Award in left field last year was probably the biggest rob job of the award season. But Brett Gardner, the offensive player, was a bit of a disappointment. Because Brett Gardner finished with an offensive slash line of: .259/.345/.368, his valuation slid on Baseball Prospectus, Baseball-reference.com and Fangraphs despite his amazing defensive season. Gardner’s offense went from a 105 OPS+ in 2010 to an 89 in 2011. And just about every projection system consulted for this piece has those numbers not improving by very much in 2012.

If you look at the difference between Gardner’s offensive 2011 compared to what he did in 2010, the amazing part of the comparison is that in nineteen more plate appearances, Gardner reached base a grand total of sixteen less times. Gardner had the exact same number of hits in 2011 as he did in 2010, three more HBPs and nineteen less walks. Those nineteen less walks were the difference between a positive 2010 season offensively and a negative one in 2011. That doesn’t seem like much over the course of a long season. The big question is: Will he be better in 2012? Continue reading Projecting Brett Gardner

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 in his career, and even last year he had a 101 wRC+ and a .184 Iso against RHP. This deal will be a success for the Yankees if two things happen: 1. He bats exclusively against right handers. 2. He doesn’t touch the field as a defensive player Continue reading Forecasting Ibanez with park factors

Nightly Links: Ibanez, Chaves, Rivera

The Yankees reached an agreement with Raul Ibanez this morning with a $1.1m based contract, but incentives could bring the deal up to $4m. Jack Moore talked a little about his splits at FanGraphs, and how it would impact the team in 2012. Girardi confirmed a few things today. Robertson will remain the 8th inning reliever, the Cano, Arod, Tex at 3-4-5 is the plan for the season, and Hughes and Garcia will compete to be the fifth starter. Now that the Burnett trade is completed, the Yankees have restarted discussions with Eric Chavez. Another lefty infield bat is really Continue reading Nightly Links: Ibanez, Chaves, Rivera

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. Now matter how Brian Cashman tries to sugar coat the acquisition, the selection of Ibanez as the Yankees’ left handed DH was a fallback position. Among free agents, Johnny Damon would have been the superior choice, but the veteran’s salary demands were too rich for the Yankees’ new budget conscious approach. In addition, the Yankees also pursued left handed bats like Garrett Jones and Bobby Abreu while shopping around Burnett, so Continue reading Price Is Right, but Raul Ibanez Signing Comes With Opportunity Cost

Russell Martin’s surprising success

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 2008 he was among the best all around catchers in baseball, posting wOBA’s of .368 and then .351. After that his body gave way to injury. He put up back to back seasons of .306 and .307 wOBA’s through 2010. It was realistic to assume that Martin was a supremely talented player whose best days were behind him courtesy of injury. With Jorge Posada‘s catching days behind him, the Continue reading Russell Martin’s surprising success

The Case For Raul

With the news breaking today that the Yankees have signed Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $1.1 million contract (up to $4 million if all the incentives kick in), I figured I’d lay out the case (as I see it) for signing the veteran outfielder. To be completely honest, I originally intended this piece to be a comparison between Ibanez and Johnny Damon, but that was before the news broke that the Yankees weren’t really pursuing Damon, and that they had signed Ibanez. But hey, what am I supposed to do, just scrap all this (now useless) research and pixel space? And hey, I’m in the death throes of a brutal flu that has kept me sidelined during Carnaval weekend here in southern Spain…so (please) cut me some slack? Oh, and because the argument itself isn’t that long, I’m going to throw in a bonus list of five Yankee Spring Training stories I’m already tired of talking about.

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