Looking at RF options beyond 2012

Will Andre hit the market?

In case you missed it, Yankee president Randy Levine spoke to CBS Sports Jon Heyman in a piece published yesterday, where he clarified the 2014 payroll situation. He said “The plan contemplates (Robinson) Cano, (Curtis) Granderson and a full championship team”. That removes any doubt that the Yanks austerity plan would suddenly mean they no longer retain their star players, which of course would also mean they would no longer be ‘the Yankees’ as the brand we know them as today. That’s the easy part, and comes as little surprise to those of us who have looked at this already. But there is some question about some of the more marginal figures on the team, some of whom are everyday players. The timing of the catching situation is complicated, the Yanks are loaded with prospects but it may be too soon to hand the reigns over to Austin Romine as soon as 2013, which would require the Yanks to retain Russel Martin or get Romine a veteran caddy like Chris Iannetta.… Click here to read the rest

Okay all you Boone Logan Haters

But how can you tell how good or bad he was based solely on statistics? After all, we do know (I think) that the WAR arguments do not work very well with relief pitchers. Some look at win probability (WPA) when judging relief pitchers. If we consult that statistic, Logan scored just barely in the negative at -0.06 in that category in 2011 after posting a positive number of 0.24 in 2010. Logan had a “clutch” rating of -0.09 in 2011 after a clutch number of -0.38 in 2011. Okay, now I’m really confused. So he was a slight drag to the team in 2011 after being a slight positive in 2010? How else can we look at it then?

And so I decided to perform a study of his game log from 2011 just to get a gauge on how good or bad a relief pitcher he was last season. I decided to rate each performance and see if that would help.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Banuelos, Robertson, Teixeira

  • The Yankees faced the 1-5 Braves today and now made them 1-6, with a 3-0 victory. Freddy Garcia had a solid three innings to start the game, but I thought the star of the show was Manny Banuelos. His stuff was electric today and was consistently hitting the mid 90’s. There were a few instances you could see him overthrowing, but his curveball command seemed to be spot on today. He finished two innings with two hits and three strikeouts. The bats woke up a bit today, with Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Eric Chaves, and Doug Bernier all doubling. (Box Score)
  • Chad Jennings did some excellent work collecting quotes from the players, and analyzes Banuelos’ outing this afternoon.
  • Good news on David Robertson, his injury is only a bone bruise and he’ll be losing the cast on Monday. It appears he’ll be ready for opening day.
  • Matthew Leach has a piece on Mark Teixeira‘s approach at the plate, and concludes that a few simple changes could have him hitting to opposite field.
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Questions for the Yankees’ top prospects: Part 2

Dante Bichette: Defense

Around the time of the draft, Bichette was considered a bat-only prospect with plus raw power but a funky swing.  Bichette largely silenced the doubters about his swing by raking in the Gulf Coast League to the tune of a .438 wOBA, but also got better reports on his defense than he did previously.  Around the time of the draft most prognosticators thought he was a future corner outfielder or 1st baseman, but the consensus has shifted to thinking that he has a chance to stick at 3rd base.  2012 will be an opportunity for Bichette to prove that he can continue to make strides with his fielding, which will lessen the pressure on his bat to be elite in order for him to be a legitimate prospect.

Austin Romine: Power

Romine has steadily progressed through the Yankee system, though his ascension has been held back somewhat by the presence of Jesus Montero.  With Montero gone, Romine will get the first crack at being the homegrown catcher of the future.  … Click here to read the rest

The Cost of David Robertson

Here today, gone tomorrow?

I hate to say it, but Mariano Rivera is probably going to retire after the 2012 season. No, he hasn’t said as much and the 42-year-old future Hall of Famer has more lives than your average middle reliever. But the always quiet, humble, politically correct Rivera has been dropping hint after hint for the past month.

Rivera claims to have made a decision, definitively, as to whether he will pitching in 2013. He also indicated earlier this week that he’d likely make an announcement at some point prior to the All-Star break and that should he decide (well, should he have already decided) to retire he’d like to give fans around baseball the chance to say goodbye. As Rivera told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

It would be nice that you tell the fans, so every stadium you go to, the fans will be there to show their appreciation and you appreciate the fans.

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Testing the new draft restrictions

The new bonus restrictions in the collective bargaining agreement promise to have a significant impact on the way the Yankees, and other teams, approach the draft.  Previously, the Yankees had the freedom to use their financial resources to deal out overslot bonuses to players who dropped in the draft for various reasons.  However, the new CBA assigns every team a bonus pool that depends on their draft slot, and teams spending more than their allotted amount face a luxury tax and loss of future draft picks.  The Yankees will have a $4,192,000 bonus pool for 2012 per Baseball America, a fairly low figure because they will have only one 1st-round pick, and it is a low one (#30 overall).

The goal of this restriction is to ensure that the worst teams in the league are able to sign the best talents in the draft, and prevent these players from falling to big-market teams who can pay way over the recommended slot values.  … Click here to read the rest

In the third year of “The Decade of the Pitcher,” who will be the breakout Ace?

The Clayton Kershaw Model:

On a technical level, Kershaw was an “unexpected” Cy Young. After all, he’d never received a vote in any previous season. He hadn’t made an All-Star team or taken home any major hardware. But nobody was really surprised by Kershaw’s award-winning performance. He had, after all, posted a 2.85 ERA over the course of his previous 375 major-league innings. He was appointment viewing for any Dodger fan from the moment he reached the bigs in 2008 after being ranked Baseball America’s #7 prospect that spring. While no first-time winner can really be called an “obvious candidate” when they’re up against Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum, pitchers who follow the Kershaw Model aren’t exactly darkhorses either.

1. Madison Bumgarner – Giants – 22 (13-13, 205 IP, 3.21 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.4 K/9)

If the awards were based on advanced stats, Bumgarner actually would’ve been a serious Cy Young contender last year, at the ripe age of 21, as he was fourth in the NL in fWAR and FIP, behind only Kershaw, Halladay, and Lee.… Click here to read the rest