I am a journalism student at 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’s Slow Start

Courtesy: Brad Penner/USA Today

Courtesy: Brad Penner/USA Today

When Chase Headley re-signed with the Yankees for a four-year, $52 million contract there seemed to be a very wide range of opinions on the deal. What I noticed was a lot of the mainstream media guys didn’t get it, while the “stat geeks” loved it and thought Headley was undervalued.

As usual for me, I was on the “stat geeks” side. The narrative in the mainstream media was that Headley had not been a productive player since his MVP caliber season of 2011, which was completely false. He has never been nearly as good as he was in 2011, but he had a .330 wOBA and a 114 wRC+ in 2013 and a 4.2 WAR last season. According to Fangraphs’ WAR to dollar based scale, Headley was worth $31.7 million last season.

Through a month and a half of the season Headley has surprisingly stunk. He’s hitting .236/.285/.386/.670 with five home runs, a .294 wOBA and a 83 wRC+.…

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Can Chris Capuano Be Trusted?

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswill/NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswill/NY Post

After yesterday’s unfortunate elbow injury to Chase Whitley, his spot in the rotation will be taken by Chris Capuano. I felt like Whitley would keep his spot and Adam Warren would be moved to the bullpen to help a struggling middle relief corps. Warren made that decision difficult after a very good outing on Wednesday, but now the Whitley injury made the decision easy. Although, I really don’t know why Capuano was guaranteed a spot over either of them to begin with.

Capuano did a decent job for the Yankees when they brought him in from Boston last season when they were desperate for starting pitching after an avalanche of injures. He went 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA and a 3.85 FIP. Capuano was mostly a six-inning pitcher, as he never completed a full seven innings in his 12 starts for the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Yankees seem to have too many of those kind of guys right now.…

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Is There Hope For Carlos Beltran?

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

The big story coming out of yesterday’s New York Yankees victory was the spectacular Mothers Day show put on by Michael Pineda, as he struck out an incredible 16 Baltimore Orioles in a 6-2 win.

However, it was no secret coming into the year that Pineda was going to be awesome if he stayed on the mound, so what he’s done is really no surprise. Perhaps a bigger deal yesterday — and so far through 10 days of May — is that Carlos Beltran might not be dead after all.

Beltran almost homered in his first two at-bats yesterday when his first inning hit was only a few feet from going over the fence. He tied the game 1-1 with his first home run of the season in the fourth inning and walked in his final two at-bats. This was coming after a RBI single on Saturday and a big two-run double on Friday. Beltran is hitting .313/.353/.531/.884 with a 144 wRC+ so far in May.…

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Top of the Lineup Carrying Yankees

Courtesy: NY Daily News

Courtesy: NY Daily News

The New York Yankees have considerably improved their offensive production from the last two seasons so far this year, which has lead to a 18-11 record and a +29 run differential. This has mostly been due to the four players at the top of the lineup carrying everybody — Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, all of whom are playing at an All-Star level.

Ellsbury has just been unconscious for a long stretch now where it seems every at-bat ends in a hit. His .363 batting average and his .438 OBP are both good for second in the AL. Gardner has been almost as good. His OBP is also over .400 (.408) and his wRC+ (145) and wOBA (.385) are exactly identical to Ellsbury’s.

This is exactly what the Yankees envisioned when they signed Ellsbury to pair with Gardner. Having two guys atop of your lineup with an OBP over .400 is absolutely lethal.…

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Why This Yankees Start Feels Different

The New York Yankees have outperformed even our most optimistic expectations so far this season with a 16-9 record and a solid three-game lead in the AL East after winning 12 of their past 15 games.

However, some people may point out that at this point last year the Yankees were 16-14 and in 2013 they were 18-11. Those records are not quite as good, but still are very nice starts, especially in 2013.

How long this play is sustainable is anybody’s guess since nobody expected the Yankees to be playing .640 baseball. However, there is a big difference to how this start feels and looks compared to 2013. It may not be sustainable, but so far what the Yankees have done has been very legitimate. This team just has a different feel to it.

The Yankees’ Pythagorean record is 16-9 this season, so the same as their actual record. They have outscored their opponents by 31 runs this season, which is third in the AL behind the Royals and Astros.…

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About Brian McCann’s Strange April

Courtesy: Boston Globe

Courtesy: Boston Globe

Brian McCann has kind of gone under the radar in terms of storylines for the Yankees so far this season. He hasn’t been one of the Yankees’ better hitters like Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez, and he hasn’t been awful like Carlos Beltran or Didi Gregorius. However, I think his start has been pretty interesting.

McCann is hitting .266/.319/.453/.773 with a .335 wOBA and a 110 wRC+. This is a big improvement from his overall line last year when he hit .232/.286/.406/.692 with a .306 wOBA and a 92 wRC+. When looking into McCann’s peripherals, however, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense how he has improved his numbers.

His walk rate is an abysmal 2.8 percent and last year he rarely walked too with a 5.9 percent rate. I don’t know what happened to his plate discipline from his Atlanta days when he was consistently around 10 percent.…

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The Yankees’ bullpen is living up to expectations so far

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It was no secret going into the season that the bullpen would be the biggest strength for the New York Yankees.

However, the bullpen has managed to even exceed high expectations so far. The Yankees bullpen is second in MLB in team ERA (1.86) and second in K/9 (9.84).

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances have not allowed a single run this season and the Yankees have not missed David Robertson yet at all, despite him getting off to an outstanding start with the White Sox. Robertson has been so good that his FIP – .82. I did not even know a minus FIP was possible honestly. I was critical of the decision not to bring Robertson back myself, but so far it certainly hasn’t been an issue. Just think about how sick Robertson, Betances and Miller would be though.

Betances is back to his 2014 form after initially struggling with his mechanics at the beginning of the season. His 97-98 mph velocity has returned along with his knee buckling slurve that had Mets hitters looking childish last night.…

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The Subway Series Buzz Returns

For the last few MLB seasons, there had been virtually no buzz when it came to the Subway Series. The Mets were still in their long run of futility and the Yankees had turned into a mediocre and boring team to watch. We have gone from that to the first Subway Series meeting ever between the two teams with both in first place in their respective divisions.

Also, the fact that the series had been dwindled down to four games a year took buzz away. It has returned to six games this year and I don’t know why (maybe because the Yankees are playing NL East teams in interleague), but I’m happy about it. I have never understood the complaints about the Subway Series. I understand why Joe Torre and his players hated it, but from a fan’s perspective these games are tons of fun.

Over a 162 game season it’s interesting to have a few that stand out over the rest.…

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AL East Looks As Expected Thus Far

ALEastStandings420

The 2015 AL East was expected to be totally up for grabs and that’s the way it has looked for the first two weeks of the season.  Obviously with only two weeks gone by there will not be a ton of separation anywhere, but parity has ruled so far in the AL East with everybody divided by only 1.5 games between 7-5 and 6-7. With the Yankees playing a series against everyone in the division to start off the year it has given us a nice look at their division foes.

The best thing the Yankees have going for them is that they clearly have the best pitching in this division and it’s not even very close. The Orioles rank 20th in MLB in team ERA (4.73) and 21st in FIP (4.07), the Red Sox rank 26th in ERA (4.73) and 19th in FIP (3.99), the Rays rank 23rd in ERA (4.56) and 22nd in FIP (4.10) and the Blue Jays rank last in ERA (4.50) and last in FIP (5.06).…

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