How much for Robinson Cano?

Earlier this week Randy Levine of the Yankees Front Office indicated a willingness to part ways with Robinson Cano should he seek too much money in free agency. Strategically, I don’t know why he would say this, unless early negotiations with Cano’s representatives were not going well. Over the past four years Cano has only been the best Yankee and one of the best players in baseball. The Yankees should be willing to walk away from Robbie if the money doesn’t make sense for the organization, but they shouldn’t say that publicly.

That said, the announcement raises the question: How much should the Yankees give Cano? Entering Sunday night’s game Robbie was hitting .312/.385/.520, good for a .385 wOBA, not materially off the .394 wOBA he posted in 2012. His 5.9 fWAR were eleventh best in baseball. With so few games left, Cano’s production is assured. His numbers may change slightly, but Robbie has put up another solid season. What’s that production worth?… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Yankees at Red Sox, September 15th

A colleague of mine and I agreed on Friday that this was the most important series of the Yankee season. The Bombers had clawed their way to within one game of a Wild Card berth and they were taking their hot play into Fenway, to face the first place Red Sox, a team that has owned just about the entire American League in 2013. Two of three wins were essential, we agreed. We meant two of three wins for the Yankees. That’s not how things have turned out. The Yankee beatings at the hands of the Red Sox have continued, while Tampa Bay has righted the ship against the Twins. The Yankees now sit three games out of the playoffs, with time moving against them. There are must wins, and then there are must wins, the ones that aren’t vapid comments but true difference making games. This is the later. The Yankees can’t afford to fall much more than three games behind the Rays at this point in the season.… Click here to read the rest

Who should start a big game for the Yankees?

Texas Rangers v New York YankeesSince 2009 the answer to the question who should start a big game for the Yankees has had only one answer: CC Sabathia. Since 2009 CC has been dominant in pinstripes, earning his spots in big games. Except this year. Sabathia is essentially putting up his worst season – not as a Yankee, ever. Sabathia has currently put up 2.2 fWAR. His rookie season he managed just 2.8. Right now the big guy projects to come up short of the mark he managed as a rookie.

Given the fact that down the stretch the Yankees are going to play significant baseball, and may very well find themselves in the single game Wild Card playoff, it is worth asking if CC should get the ball in a must win situation. Right now the answer has to be no. Sabathia isn’t the best Yankee pitcher this season. Hiroki Kuroda is. (For what its worth, according to Fangraphs, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova have also both been better than CC.) In a pinch, on the merits, the Yankees should give the ball to Hiroki, not CC.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees win on wild pitch, avoid sweep

Sometimes you’ll take a win any way you can get it. After losing three consecutive slug fests to the Red Sox the Bombers finally got some pitching. Hiroki Kuroda lasted six innings allowing just two runs while striking out six. Was it great? No, but it was a tad better than Jon Lester who lasted eight innings but gave up three runs. The Yankee runs came off doubles by Mark Reynolds and Robinson Cano.

The Pinstripes took a lead into the top of the ninth, Mariano Rivera time. Mo, unfortunately, didn’t have it. Will Middlebrooks hit a game tying home run off the sandman. At that point it was looking like the Yankees were once again going to blow a lead and ultimately lose to Boston.

In the bottom of the ninth Ichiro Suzuki happened. He got on base with a single off Brandon Workman. He stole second base. He tagged up and advanced to third on a Vernon Wells sacrifice.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Red Sox at Yankees, Sunday September 8th

Are you ready for some Football! I know I am, mostly because the Yankees have scored 175 (my unofficial tally) runs in the last three games and have exactly zero wins to show for it. When did this Boston team turn into an offensive juggernaut? Normally this is the part of the game thread where I pump up the team for today, but I’ve got nothing. After these last three gut punches I’m spent. Hiroki Kuroda faces off against Jon Lester. Use this as your game thread. Enjoy?… Click here to read the rest

Derek Jeter’s pesky defense

02.derek-jeterRecently Grantland published a large article about Derek Jeter‘s defense. Let me summarize the article for you: He’s bad at defense. This has been the sabremetric criticism of the Captain for his entire career. No one can deny that a guy who’s picked up more than 3,000 hits gets it done with the bat. Instead, the argument has always been that despite the Gold Gloves and highlight reel plays, Jeter is actually an awful defender due to a lack of range at his position.

Naturally, I’m a huge Derek Jeter fan as any good follower of the Yankees should be. It pains me to write that I agree with the criticism. While I’m not a huge fan of defensive statistics, I recognize their general value. Beyond that, Jeter looks like he has poor range at short. He fails the eye test when you compare his exploits to those of the other team’s shortstop. Sadly, all these articles criticizing Derek’s defense are true.… Click here to read the rest

Orioles put up 7 in the seventh, avoid sweep

Through six innings this game looked like a sure win for the Yankees. The Bombers were up three nothing with Andy Pettitte looking strong on the mound. It all came undone in the seventh inning.

Pettitte’s pitch count was low through six, making it a no-brainer to bring him out for the seventh. Unfortunately Andy faced two hitters and recorded zero outs that inning. After allowing two runner to reach base, Joe Girardi decided to relieve Pettitte with Shawn Kelley. Kelly promptly gave up a homer to J.J. Hardy. That made it 4-3 O’s, and it was the ball game.

Things, however, actually got worse. Boone Logan relieved Kelley and also recorded zero outs. For those keeping score at home, Pettitte, Kelley and Logan all faced two hitters in the inning without recording a single out. Joba Chamberlain relieved the ineffective Logan and promptly gave up a three run homer to Adam Jones. That made it 7-3 O’s, and pretty much shut the door on this one.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Sunday, September 1st, Orioles versus Yankees

Now we’re talking! The Yankees have won the first two against the Orioles and moved in front of them in the standings. Even better, the Bombers currently sit just 3.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. ESPN still has their playoff odds at under 15%, but things are getting interesting! But the team will have to keep winning. Andy Pettitte takes the mound today in the Bronx, while the O’s will counter with Wei-Yin Chen. Use this as your game thread. Enjoy!… Click here to read the rest

Yankees beat Rays 3-2 in extra innings, avoid sweep in Tampa

The Yankees are probably going to have to win about twenty more games this year if they want to make a run for a Wild Card spot. That’s a tall order for any team, particularly one that has struggled to score runs as much as the Bombers have this year. Dropping the first two games of a three game set in Tampa this weekend didn’t help the cause. Fortunately the Yankees managed to turn things around in the final game of the series.

Ivan Nova and Alex Cobb pitched to a draw. Cobb was solid. He gave the Rays 5.2 innings of work allowing just two runs on seven hits. Super Nova was better. He lasted 6.2 innings, also allowing just two runs to score. There was an element of luck to Nova’s performance, as he did allow six walks. He also gave up a game tying homer to Evan Longoria in the sixth inning, but managed to keep the Yankees competitive.… Click here to read the rest