William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

Author Archives: William Tasker

Sound the Alarm! Relievers Are Overworked!

When it comes to the New York Yankees, there always has to be an alarm bell. Call it a meme or a talking point, a clarion bell, whatever: There always has to be one. Remember a few years ago when the Yankees were hitting too many homers? Yeah, we still yuk it up over that one. The latest seems to be about the Yankees’ bullpen being overworked. Is it really?

Mike Axisa probably had it drilled down a little bit better. He only mentioned Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller the other day. But are even those two overworked? Part of their workload is the success the Yankees have had this season. The Yankees are winning…a lot. Thus there is more need for your setup and closer to finish out games. But again. are they overworked?

How can you tell with Dellin Betances? He pitched 70 times last season and compiled 90 innings. That’s a new breed of animal. Was that abuse?…

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Game 31 – Where we Wei in on Whitley

A lovely Saturday afternoon game is a perfect setting for baseball at Yankee Stadium III. Although, there is a light mist falling in the Bronx and the temperature is at 54 F. Today’s match-up features Chase Whitley versus Wei-Yin Chen. The Game is on the YES Network and starts at 1:05. The Yankees have already taken the first two games of the series.

The Lineups:

Baltimore Orioles

  1. Manny Machado – 3B
  2. Jimmy Paredes – DH
  3. Adam Jones – CF
  4. Delmon Young – RF
  5. Chris Davis – 1B
  6. Steve Pearce – 2B
  7. J.J. Hardy – SS
  8. Alejandro De Aza – LF
  9. Ryan Lavarnway – C

New York Yankees

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  2. Brett Gardner – LF
  3. Chris Young – RF
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B
  5. Carlos Beltran – DH
  6. Jose Pirela – 2B
  7. Chase Headley – 3B
  8. Stephen Drew – SS
  9. John Ryan Murphy – C

Why you wouldn’t start Alex Rodriguez against a left-hander is beyond me. Anyway, enjoy the game!…

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The Yankees’ Upgraded Fielding

Much was made during the off season on how the New York Yankees focused on defense in targeting acquisitions. And while none of us saw this good of a start to the season the team has brokered to this point, one question is how much that defensive upgrade applies to the current success. According to the major statistical sites, the answer is: Not very much.

Let’s get a few valid points out of the way. First, unlike batting and pitching statistics, fielding statistics to this point have had a larger margin for error. While we feel good about what the two former categories are telling us these days, fielding statistics have been perceived to be on less solid ground. Secondly–and perhaps because of the last statement–we are strongly cautioned against taking much stock in fielding statistics on a short sample size. We have been told in the past that such statistics should be viewed on the long term, perhaps over several years, to take seriously.…

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Yankees can survive a month without Tanaka

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

But longer than a month? Let’s not jump there yet.

I am sure you have all heard by now that Masahiro Tanaka came to the Yankees yesterday and complained of soreness in his wrist. The sequence of events was mentioned all during the Yankees’ broadcast during the game last night. Brian Cashman said that an MRI showed no significant damage but did show inflammation of the wrist and possibly the forearm. He called it tendonitis. The team felt that shutting Tanaka down for a month was the call for now and Cashman believes Tanaka will be back after that.

The part that has everyone concerned is the mention of the forearm and the Yankees’ broadcast team kicked that around quite a bit. Time will tell as this all plays out and because of the concern of the partial tear of the ulnar ligament, most followers of the Yankees will fear the worst. Who knows what will happen.…

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Chris Young Needs to Play

Young vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

The season is young and the sample sizes are small and many reactions to the action thus far on the field are emotional and knee-jerk. So keep those thoughts in mind when certain beat writers bury Jacoby Ellsbury while certain writers (waving hand) of your favorite Yankee site (this one, of course) do the same to Carlos Beltran. My emotional and knee-jerk reaction is that Chris Young needs to be playing every day.

Despite playing only 41 of his 1,055 Major League games as a right-fielder, I think we can all agree that Young is going to be the better defender between him and Beltran. Carlos Beltran, in my mind, has had a Hall of Fame career. He is going to in the top ten of the greatest center fielders to ever play the game. JAWS currently has him eighth. But he isn’t that guy anymore and while his instincts may still be good in right, his body just isn’t.…

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Early Yankee BABIP Problems

Can you judge a team’s offense after just eight games? Probably not. But you can look at trends to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. According to most statistics I am looking at, the Yankees are a middle of the road offense. The one thing lagging behind everything else is the team’s batting average on balls in play or BABIP.

The Yankees are ninth out of thirty teams in runs scored. No doubt that fourteen-run explosion the other night helped that out quite a bit. The team is seventh in ISO, so the power numbers are decent. They are eleventh in wOBA. And they are fifteenth in on-base percentage.

Looking further at the numbers thus far, the team is ground ball / fly ball neutral. In other words, they are not leaning heavily in one batted ball type or the other. The team hasn’t hit a lot of line drives to this point and are 28th in that category.…

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Transition and Tradition

Judge ST

How long until Judge-ment day? Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

I have to admit that I am a bit lost. I don’t know how to love these Yankees. Oh boy…that doesn’t sound very journalistic. Well, heck. I’m not a journalist. I have always written from the point of view of a fan. My name on Twitter should give you a clue. On my site, I stay neutral and write as a fan of baseball as a whole. When I write for IIATMS, I am a Yankee fan. That’s what I am. And as such, I don’t know how to feel about this 2015 team.

Oh, there are plenty of writers that will tell me how I should feel. The team is old. Our writers have already blown up that notion. The starting pitching is a time bomb. Excuse me, but every rotation in baseball is a time bomb. Any rotation can blow up in the blink of an elbow. I should be dissatisfied because there were no big deals this off season.…

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Didi Gregorius hurts wrist

Didi Gregorius dove for a ball in the infield today during the Yankees’ Spring Training game against the Orioles and hurt his wrist. The Yankees’ Twitter account is calling it a sprain and precautionary x-rays will be taken. If any further information is available, we will post it here.

**UPDATE** X-Rays were negative (exhale) and Gregorius will rest until at least Tuesday.

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Spring Training Game 27 – Orioles at Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles (9-15) come to George M. Steinbrenner Field today to play the Yankees as Spring Training enters its final stages. Scott Baker will get the start for the Yankees and Tyler Wilson goes for the Orioles.

Despite his 4.32 ERA in a very short sample size this spring, Baker has thrown well. He hasn’t given up a homer nor has he walked anyone. To be honest, I like him better than Chris Capuano. He is still someone in the mix for the fifth starter that everyone expects Adam Warren to win. Baker is not a bad option.

It will be fun to see Tyler Wilson. He is one of the best Orioles’ prospects and has had a great spring.

The Lineups:

The Baltimore Orioles:

  1. Alejandro De Aza – LF
  2. Manny Machado – 3B
  3. Jimmy Paredes – DH
  4. Chris Davis – 1B
  5. Travis Snider – RF
  6. Everth Cabrera – CF (?)
  7. Steve Clevenger – C
  8. Ryan Flaherty – SS
  9. Jonathan Schoop – 2B

The New York Yankees

  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Chase Headley – 3B
  3. Carlos Beltran – RF
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B
  5. Alex Rodriguez – DH
  6. Chris Young – CF
  7. Stephen Drew – 2B
  8. Mariekson Gregorius – SS
  9. Austin Romine – C

The game starts at 1:05 ET and can be seen on the YES Network, MLB Network and MLB.TV  Enjoy and feel free to chat here during the game.…

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