I have a Bachelor's degree in journalism from William Paterson University in New Jersey. I am an aspiring sports journalist who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Author Archives: Matt Bove

Chase Headley Quietly Heating Up

Courtesy: Noah K Murray-USA Today Sports

Courtesy: Noah K Murray-USA Today Sports

With all the attention Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are getting — rightfully so of course — Chase Headley has started to resemble the player the Yankees thought they were getting when they signed him over the winter. Headley started off horribly both in the field and at the plate, but has seemed to turn it around on both ends in July.

Headley came through big yesterday going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. He also contributed in Saturday’s big rally with a sac fly in the seventh inning and a single in the ninth. Headley has hit .333/.371/.421 in July with a .346 wOBA and a 120 wRC+. He has always been a second half player in his career, as he has a .279/.362/.442/.804 slash line in his career in second halves. Maybe, he’s just one of those guys who just takes awhile to get going.

Whatever weird throwing issue Headley had going has mostly gone away recently.…

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New York Yankees Formula: Get Leads and Hold Them

Sometimes we try to make baseball as difficult as we can to analyze, but a simple method can work just as well. That has been the case this year for the New York Yankees, as they have done an insanely good job at getting out to early leads and holding onto late ones. Common sense says that’s a good formula for any baseball team, and it’s worked for the Yankees. They have won 12 of their past 16 games and have climbed to a season-high 12 games over .500.

The Yankees have been dominant in the first inning of ballgames this year. Their 86 first inning runs leads both Colorado and Detroit by 21 runs, who are both tied for second in MLB with 65 first inning runs. New York has hit .319/.383/.536/.919 as a team in the first inning. They have scored in 41 percent of their first innings this season as opposed to 26 percent last season.

This is not surprising when you look at the seasons Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann are having at the top of the lineup.…

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Ben Zobrist Is A Bigger Upgrade Than You Think

Zobrist

Courtesy Scot Tucker/ SFBay

Despite having to suffer through Stephen Drew all year at second base, the feeling I get from most Yankees fans is that they think Ben Zobrist wouldn’t be a real difference making acquisition. Maybe it’s because Zobrist isn’t a flashy player and is a little older, but Yankees fans should know how good this guy is from his days in Tampa Bay. Somehow, he is still so underrated.

Zobrist has played 60 games for the Oakland A’s this season after recovering from a torn left meniscus in his knee. He has posted a .258/.347/.421/.768 slash line with a .334 wOBA and a 117 wRC+. That is only slightly below his career line of .264/.354/.428/.782 with a .343 wOBA and a 118 wRC+.

Zobrist also defends whatever position he is playing extremely well. He’s the kind of player the Yankees love because he’s a switch hitter who takes a ton of walks. Incredibly, he has put together four straight seasons with a WAR over 5.0 and three of those seasons it’s been at least 5.6.…

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Top Five Yankees Storylines of the First Half

The New York Yankees have reached the all-star break with a 48-40 record and a 3.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. They had some crazy highs and lows, but the Yankees finished strongly before the break, winning six of their final nine games.

The Yankees have outperformed most expectations and sit in a very good spot. Fangraphs currently gives them a 76.6 percent chance of making the postseason, which is the second highest mark in the AL. Also, Fangraphs has them with a 60 percent chance of winning the division and projects them to win it by a comfortable six games. The even better news is that there is no dominant team in the American League. Here are the some of the biggest stories of the first half so far for the Yankees:

1. Alex Rodriguez’ Comeback Season

I tweeted this yesterday, but if Alex Rodriguez doesn’t win AL Comeback Player of the Year the award should be retired.…

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Nathan Eovaldi’s Biggest Problem

Courtesy: Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Courtesy: Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Nathan Eovaldi has had a very up and down first season for the Yankees after a somewhat controversial trade brought him to New York along with Domingo German in exchange for Martin Prado and David Phelps going to the Miami Marlins.

The trade was a worthwhile gamble in my mind because Eovaldi has obvious tools and upside to work with and is under team control through 2017, while Prado is a league average player on the final year of his deal. Prado wasn’t going to make or break the Yankees this year, and they needed the arm. He’s been less than league average for the Marlins this season with a 88 wRC+.

Eovaldi hasn’t showed much improvement thus far with his strikeout rate or the amount of hard hit balls he has given up this year. He has an inflated 4.81 ERA, but without the 8 runs he allowed in less than an inning on June 16 in Miami it would be under four.…

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Quick Hit: How Active Will Yankees Be At Trade Deadline?

It’s almost July, so that means the MLB trading season will be kicking into high gear soon. We have heard a few Yankees rumors already with them scouting Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake extensively, and Joel Sherman speculating they might have interest in Jeff Samardzija.

The Yankees are in contention in both the AL East and wild card races, so they will be involved in many rumors as usual. Despite that, I really do not see them being that active this year. The only place the Yankees can add to their lineup is second base. They’re not going to upgrade at any other starting position, and they are pretty set on the bench as well. Besides Ben Zobrist — who will be in very high demand — what other good second basemen will be available? The Yankees offense has been among the best in baseball anyways, although it would be nice if they could be more consistent on the road.…

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Another NY Tabloid Column Takedown

Our fearless leader, Jason, already started today off with a bang in his takedown of Kevin Kernan’s joke of a column on Masahiro Tanaka. Filip Bondy nearly matched Kernan in the New York Daily News with almost an equally absurd hot take about how boring the Yankees are after their 12-4 defeat yesterday. Let’s get right to dissecting this nonsense.

“The sound you just heard was another baseball crashing into the second deck after a brief, towering orbit — right alongside the Yankees’ narrative arc.”

This is the lede of the column. The narrative Mr. Bondy references to help him write this drivel is one that is really devoid of any true facts.

“Sunday afternoon in the park was not so much a picnic in the Bronx, as it was a cold, wakeup shower following a dreamy nap. Before they were creamed by Detroit, 12-4, the Yanks had gone 11-1 at home while outscoring opponents, 87-31.”

The 11-1 record and outscoring opponents 87-31 is really not important and meaningless.…

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A-Rod’s Redemption Season Continues

A-Rod 661 vs BAL

Believe it or not, there was a time when Alex Rodriguez wasn’t very popular around these parts. It wasn’t just because of his past usage of steroids either. He just never seemed to fit into the Yankees. Fans could sense that he was never comfortable in his own skin, and even though he put up great numbers some could never fully embrace him.

A-Rod was crucified for his postseason struggles and his perceived narcissism. Yankee fans could not get over the fact that he wasn’t as team oriented or the leader Derek Jeter was, even though he agreed to move over to third without raising an eyebrow upon his arrival to the Yankees when he was a better shortstop than Jeter. He always seemed to stumble in his interviews and have things come out of his mouth that were not the way he intended.

Common sense would dictate that a year long performance-enhancing drug suspension would not help A-Rod’s cause among his detractors.…

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Carlos Beltran is the Yankees’ Biggest Issue

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

If you asked most Yankees fans what the biggest issue with the team is the vast majority would probably say second base or the leaky middle relief. While both are issues, neither are as bad as Carlos Beltran in right field.

The middle relief is porous, but good starting pitching can cover that up, and Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson showed what they can do yesterday in setting up for Dellin Betances. Drew is also terrible, but at least he can hit home runs and play defense, which are two more things than Beltran can do on a baseball diamond at this point. Father time is undefeated in all sports and it has gotten the best of Beltran.

Beltran literally does nothing well anymore, which his -.04 WAR suggests he is worse than a replacement player would be. His defense in right field is just unwatchable, and it’s amazing how it has been put up with this long already because it’s become untenable.…

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