Game 44: Let’s Go Streaking

With the ups and downs that this team has suffered thus far, it almost seems unfair to pile on injury news on the heels of their first win in what felt like an eternity … but Austin Romine is out until “at least July” due to an inflamed disk in his back. While it does seem like expectations for Romine have cooled significantly over the last year or so, I feel as though this is a significant blow to the team’s fortunes, considering the lack of production from behind the plate thus far (Russell Martin’s hot week notwithstanding). Here’s hoping Continue reading Game 44: Let’s Go Streaking

Buck Has Orioles Flying High, but Can They Rule the Roost? (History Says Yes)

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). It’s been a topsy-turvy year in the A.L. East. After more than a decade of relative stability atop the division, the standings now read as if they were printed up-side down. With stalwarts like the Yankees and Red Sox bringing up the rear, and the Orioles perched above the others, it’s been anything but business as usual. But, how long will this new world order last? Many Yankees and Red Sox fans, and perhaps members of each organization, have taken solace in the fact that the Baltimore Continue reading Buck Has Orioles Flying High, but Can They Rule the Roost? (History Says Yes)

For Hughes: Regression, or Improvement?

Phil Hughes is having a tremendous month of May. The 25-year-old, who left April a weak link in a weakening New York rotation, is 3-2 with a 3.45 ERA in five starts over the past three weeks. Hughes has a 4.1 strikeout to walk rate over the past month and batters are hitting just .230 off the righty, giving him a WHIP of 1.12 since May first. That’s a staggering three quarters of a runner fewer per innings in May than in April. Hughes has pitched well enough to avoid demotion upon the return of Andy Pettitte, and has strung Continue reading For Hughes: Regression, or Improvement?

Analyzing Hughes’ May Turnaround

In the month of April, Phil Hughes posted a miserable 7.88 ERA, a 6.40 FIP, and allowed a .329/.395/.658 slash. For the impatient fans, the 25 year old’s career as a starter was over despite a gaudy 9.56 K/9. Since then, Hughes has gone 31.1 innings in May with a 3.45 ERA, a 4.37 FIP, a .230/.277/.434 slash, an 8.33 K/9, and a 2.01 BB/9. The immediate focus is on how his ERA has fallen into the 4’s, but even more interesting is how he’s achieved his May turnaround. He called it a reliever’s mentality in early May, and it’s Continue reading Analyzing Hughes’ May Turnaround

Alex Rodriguez – middle-of-the-road player

As I wrote yesterday, it is easy when a team or a player is struggling to pile on and gnaw away at the freshly exposed skins of the stinking Yankees. Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com took his turn today by stating emphatically that Alex Rodriguez is no longer a great player. Matthews built a great case. The power numbers are no longer there. He strikes out in big situations. The Royals showed what they think of A-Rod by walking Robinson Cano to load the bases to face A-Rod instead. Matthews even mentioned the drive the other night that died on the warning track in left. That was age, not the wind or anything. Matthews, of course is not alone. Others have pointed to A-Rod’s declining OPS numbers that seem to indicate a fall from grace for the once-great slugger. But the biggest slap by Matthews was stating that A-Rod was, “a middle-of-the-road major league third baseman.”  I am not sure how life’s journey has brought me to this place as an A-Rod apologist, but even at A-Rod’s current state, he is no middle-of-the-road third baseman.

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Who is Will Smith and why is he pitching tonight?

The New York Yankees were supposed to face Luis Mendoza tonight in the third game of their series with the Kansas City Royals. Instead, the Yanks will face a guy making his major league debut. His name is Will Smith. No joke. As Ken Davidoff joked in his column today at the Post, this is not some Men in Black promotion. And as I joked in my game picks post, why the Royals did not save him for July 4 is beyond me. But all kidding aside, who is this guy and why are the Royals starting him? And why would the Royals prefer him to Luis Mendoza? Mendoza’s peripherals at first glance help us understand the Royals’ reservation. Mendoza has an ERA just north of five and actually has a higher walk rate than strikeout rate this season. But still, this seems like an error in judgment for the Royals.

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2012 looking like 2010 for Swisher, excepting the results

In 2010, Nick Swisher came into the year with a narrative in tow. After struggling in the 2009 playoffs, where he hit just .128/.255/.234/.489 with one home run, Swisher decided a new approach was needed. He started swinging at more pitches and going more for contact. Sure enough, the plan worked. He posted a career best batting average of .288 and still managed to have a solid Iso of .223. The overall product, a .377 wOBA, was not much different than the product in 2009 was (.375 wOBA) when Swisher did his usual thing at the plate (low average, high Continue reading 2012 looking like 2010 for Swisher, excepting the results

Offense still thin but Hughes, bullpen win it for Yankees

The New York Yankees did little to alleviate fears concerning their struggling offense as they managed just one homer and five singles against Luke Hochevar and the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen. But the three runs the team managed to put on the board held up thanks to a quality start by Phil Hughes and a stellar performance by five relief pitchers to seal the 3-2 victory. Hughes pitched six strong innings and made one mistake to Jeff Francoeur to account for one of the two runs against him. He walked two and struck out seven and improved his record to 4-5. Hochevar took the tough-luck loss and still has not beaten the Yankees in his career.

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