Former Family Members

During my Sunday morning cup of coffee this past week, I spent a relaxing hour or so culling through the wonderful MLB Depth Charts looking for former “family” members who should get playing time in 2012 and had some past affiliation with the Yankees. I came up with over thirty names. These will certainly be names I will look for in the daily box scores because there is still an emotional attachment. Sometimes those emotions are positive. Other times the former family members bring a shudder of bad memories. I then decided to put these former family members in categories based on the emotions they brought when seeing their names on the depth charts. Here is a list of how those emotions went:

Fresh wounds. These are family members that just left. The wounds of the parting are too soon to sort out.

  • Bartolo Colon (Oakland Athletics) – Colon saved our family last year. He came out of nowhere to give us quality memories and occasional smiles.Now he’s gone.
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Sabermetrics & Psychoanalysis: Surviving the Sophomore Slump

According to Verducci, this is who we should have been worrying about at this time last season:

As you can see, several young pitchers suffered significant regressions between 2010 and 2011, but several were roughly as good or got even better. I’m going to confine my analysis to the pitchers who most resemble Pineda in that they a.) were entering their second full season, b.) were premium prospects, c.) possessed a power pitcher’s arsenal, and d.) were promoted in their early twenties. The only pitchers who really fit the bill are Madison Bumgarner, Brett Cecil, and Mat Latos. Very little insight can be gained from Bumgarner, who was a more refined product than Pineda when he reached the majors and has thusfar had little or no problem adjusting. How the other two fared, however, will seem familiar and, perhaps, foreboding to Yankees fans.

After leading the Blue Jays in wins in 2010, Cecil came to camp in 2011 noticeably overweight and with a fastball velocity at least 5 MPH under his ’10 norm.… Click here to read the rest

The Importance Of Spring Training

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

No one needs to be reminded of how unimportant Spring Training stats are (but if you did, there’s another reminder).  But what about the overall format of Spring Training itself?  It’s structured such that players are eased into full-scale baseball activities, but how much do they really need that structure?  Every player is different and needs to do different things to get themselves into full game shape.  Some guys need lots of time in the cage and on the field to get right and some like Mo seem to be able to roll out of bed and be at the top of their game.  There are some Yankee regulars that have missed significant amounts of time with injuries this spring, and thus find themselves well behind the typical Spring Training schedule.  None are expected to miss Opening Day, but when you consider the sport being played it’s worth asking how effective they can be without a full spring routine under their belt.… Click here to read the rest

Addressing Pineda’s Velocity

For better or worse, much has been made about Michael Pineda’s velocity so far in Spring Training. Last year, the young righty burst onto the scene as a fireballer, sitting in the mid-90’s and blowing guys away with that. So naturally, we expected a lot from him in terms of the fastball. You don’t need me to tell you that it hasn’t been exactly as advertised and there has been quite the controversy over it. My general feeling has been that it doesn’t matter much. This is spring training, after all, and it’d be foolish for pitchers to go all out. Others have shown varying degrees of concern ranging from curiosity to downright panic. While I’ve been relatively adamant about my laid back stance, there is a small part of me that is concerned about the lack of zip from Pineda. We’ve seen velocity drops from Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain in the past, so we’ve got reason to be wary.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Hughes, Almonte, Pettitte

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Made for Cable: RSNs Fill Baseball's Coffers; MLB Revenues Continue to Rise

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

The business of baseball is very good, and one of the big reasons why is cable television. According to Forbes’ most recent look at the game’s economics, MLB’s 30 teams combined to earn net-revenue of over $6.3 billion, a 3.6% increase from last year’s record total.  And, of that total, nearly 15% came directly from local television rights fees. Meanwhile, franchise valuations jumped up almost 16% to more than $18 billion, even though operating profit (Forbes uses EBITDA, not EBIT, as a measure of operating profit) declined by 13%. In other words, it’s a good time to own a baseball team, but an even better time to sell one.

MLB’s 2011 Consolidated Financials: Net Revenue, EBITDA, and Franchise Value

Note: Revenue is net of stadium-related payments.
Source: Forbes 2011 franchise valuations

According to Forbes, the decline in EBITDA was largely the result of increasing player costs.… Click here to read the rest