Author Archives: William Tasker

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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Phil Hughes sharp in latest spring outing

What was really impressive with Hughes’ outing was his efficiency. He threw first-pitch strikes to seventeen of the twenty batters he faced and had only thrown 38 pitches through the first four innings. He threw more pitches in the fifth and last inning that included a walk to Carlos Pena. But overall, his outing was efficient, effective and impressive. Hughes hit his spots on the inside and outside of the plate to batters and once ahead in the count, was able to deliver weak contact with the change.

Phil Hughes did not hurt his case for a rotation spot that Girardi said wouldn’t be decided until each candidate had thrown five or even six outings.

In less rewarding news, Raul Ibanez again went hitless in three at bats, stranding four runners. He is now batting .059 for the spring.

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Pineda’s outing won’t lessen concerns

There were times during the contest where Pineda looked overpowering. In Jayson Werth‘s first at bat, it didn’t seem that Werth could pick up Pineda’s fastball. And young phenom, Bryce Harper looked uncomfortable as well. Overall, Pineda’s slider looked sharp early and squishy later on. His arm slot seemed to change on the slider later in the outing and the pitch rolled on him. It was also noticed that he seemed much less effective in the stretch than he did from the full windup.

The Nationals started old friend, Chien-Ming Wang, and Wang looked terrific. Unfortunately for Wang, his outing ended early after stumbling covering first. It appeared Wang locked his knee, then twisted his ankle all on the same play. Later reports indicated a quad strain.  Update*** later noted as a hamstring strain.

Without putting too much emphasis on Michael Pineda pitching a Spring Training game simply getting his work in, Pineda’s every outing will be over-scrutinized. Those who are concerned about his velocity this spring will find no comfort in what they saw today.…

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Celebrating a non-prized prospect

According to Goldstein, Mitchell is a sinkerball specialist who may see some major league innings this season. That would be fun. It may be totally meaningless, but Mitchell has been a nice surprise this spring. He has pitched three times for a total of seven innings. He has given up only three hits and two walks while striking out five. Mitchell has yet to give up a run this spring. After a recent bad outing by Manny Banuelos, Joe Girardi used D.J. Mitchell as a comparison to what Banuelos did not do correctly. That had to feel good to hear for Mitchell.

Much like Mitchell’s rankings, his minor league pitching stats do not blow you away. He’s done a great job preventing home runs and has a minor league career rate of only 0.5 per nine innings. But his strikeout and walk rates do not look overly impressive at 6.9 and 3.4 respectively. He is not overly stingy at allowing base hits and has averaged 8.5 hits per nine innings over his minor league career.…

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First Yanks – Red Sox game of the year sleep inducing

Ivan Nova pitched four innings and reclaimed somewhat his toehold on his rotation spot. Why his rotation spot is in question has seemed a bit absurd after his second half performance last season. But we’ll believe Joe Girardi as an exercise here and say that Nova helped make his case. Nova was still high in the zone with his fastball, but his curve, change up and sliders looked better, particularly his change up. Nova gave up only two hits, struck out three and didn’t walk anyone.

Nova was followed by an inning from Mariano Rivera and Mo’s performance looked mid-season form. He broke three bats during the inning and struck out his last batter. Rivera worked around a Bill Hall error to retire the Red Sox with ease.

Let’s talk about Bill Hall for a moment. Hall got the start at second base. You have to root for the guy if you are addicted to Twitter. His account there (@BillHall_III) has become one of the most enjoyable player accounts.…

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Young pitchers on parade

Here is a list of how some of them have done:

  • Dellin Betances – Three appearances, all in relief, four innings three hits, two walks, two strikeouts, no runs.
  • Manny Banuelos – Two appearances, four innings, three hits, two walks, three strikeouts, no runs.
  • Dan Burawa – Three appearances, three innings, five hits, one walk, two strikeouts, no runs.
  • Brett Marshall – Two appearances, 3.2 innings, no hits, three walks, four strikeouts, no runs.
  • D.J. Mitchell – Two appearances, four innings, three hits, two walks, one strikeout, no runs. Mitchell is probably my favorite non-rated prospect.
  • David Phelps – Two appearances, 4.1 innings, two hits, two walks, two strikeouts, no runs.
  • Kevin Whelan – Four appearances, 3.1 innings, three hits, no walks, four strikeouts, one run. The zero walks are great news for him.
  • Adam Warren – Two appearances, five innings, six hits, one walk, two strikeouts, two runs.

Between these eight pitchers, they have combined for twenty appearances, 31 innings, 25 hits, 13 walks and three runs.…

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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.…

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