Yankees counting on Sabathia to stay in shape

For his part, Sabathia has pledged to work hard at staying in shape this season. “It’s up to me to take away any possible factors and be ready and strong the whole year,” he said.

For what it’s worth, I think accounts of Sabathia’s “fade” are grossly overstated. First and foremost, to expect him to have maintained the level of performance he displayed from his June 25th start through August 1st is just wholly unrealistic, so some of this “fade” was simply a bit of regression to the mean. Secondly, Sabathia’s late season numbers really weren’t as bad as they appear at first glance. For example, though his ERA for August was a rather unsightly 4.68, he maintained excellent peripherals (45 strikeouts and just 5 walks allowed in 42.1 IP), and 12 of the 22 earned runs he allowed came in two starts against Boston and Tampa Bay. In Septmeber, his walk rate increased noticeably (perhaps as a result of pitching every sixth day instead of every fifth day, which Sabathia notes he wasn’t comfortable with), but his strikeout rate was a very robust 9.9 batters per nine innings and his ERA was 3.08.…

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Braun, Baseball And Getting It Right

While we wait for more facts, let’s dispose of two points currently circulating about the Braun case. The first take is that the Braun case was decided on a “technicality”. This argument is based on a wrong idea of how drug testing works. The labs don’t search for testosterone in urine the way you and I would search for a worm in an apple. The testing process can take a day or longer, and there are many steps involved. All of these steps – including sample collection, sample storage and sample preparation, along with the chain of custody that documents the journey the sample takes along the way – are integral parts of the testing process, no matter how technical a step may seem to us. Labs don’t skip steps and offer up excuses later. When a lab skips a step, it tosses out the result and starts over.

In order for a lab to use a test method, the test method has to be validated – the test itself must be tested.…

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Composite Prospect Rankings

Yesterday, Jeff Zimmerman of RotoGraphs released his composite rankings for the top 100 prospect lists. What we are left with is the average rankings from all 7 major lists, Baseball America, Scout.com, ESPN, MLB, Project Prospect, Bullpen Banter, and Baseball Prospectus. Although Zimmerman’s purpose is for...

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Thinking about the last roster spot

With the recent signings of Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez, the Yankees’ 2012 25-man roster is virtually complete.  Bill Hall and Russell Branyan may wage battles in spring training to unseat Chavez and Ibanez, but considering that the latter two have major league deals, you would have...

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In Defense of Vague, Early Spring Training Reports

It’s become a running joke on the internet for years now that X player is “in the best shape of their life” or “is adding a changeup in spring training” or whatnot. Without much to write about in early spring training, we see a lot of these kinds of stories. While sometimes they can be...

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