If IIATMS were in charge….

This post is corny. This post has been done before. I don’t care. I find stuff like this fun.

Yesterday, Rob Manfred won election by the owners to become Major League Baseball’s next commissioner, replacing long-time commissioner and former used car salesman Bud Selig. Manfred takes over at a strange time in that baseball is still a huge business, but as Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk has documented many times in the past, many want to declare baseball dead and bemoan its decline in popularity. For a moment, though, let’s put that nuance aside and ask a silly question: What would the people of IIATMS do if they were placed in the commissioner’s role with autonomous power?

William Tasker, Overlord Jason Rosenberg, and I put forth some ideas. Many of them overlap, but some of them don’t and hopefully this’ll lead to some conversation by you fine folks in the comments. Without further ado, here are some of the ideas we laid forth, starting with the Overlord.…

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Thursday Morning Musings: 8/14/14

You know, I always say I miss having YES and access to almost every televised Yankee game out here in Wisconsin.  For the last few seasons, I’ve almost caved and upgraded to a real cable package with MLB Extra Innings to be able to watch more games.  Today I feel really glad that I haven’t done that because I don’t think I would be a very enjoyable person to be around if I had the ability to watch the last 2 season’s worth of games.  Boring and bad baseball.  Not a fun combination.

- I haven’t put on my “bullpen decision overreacting” hat in a while, so I’m going to get a couple in from last night’s game.  First, I didn’t understand the move to pull Pineda.  Yes, I know he gave up a few hard-hit balls in the 5th, I know his velocity was dropping, I know he’s coming back from 4 months off.  I get why the move made sense.  …

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Hirok Skip A Cause For Concern?

The big story to come out of last night’s rain-related postponement was Michael Pineda‘s return staying on schedule.  Rather than push everybody back in the rotation a day, the Yankees elected to keep Pineda slated for tonight’s start and moved Shane Greene back a few days to Saturday.  That sets up Brandon McCarthy, Greene, and Chris Capuano for the weekend series against Tampa Bay.

The smaller, but not insignificant, part of that story is Greene taking Hiroki Kuroda‘s spot in the rotation while Kuroda gets bumped back to Tuesday against the Astros.  Cash was quick to let it be known that the decision is not due to injury, but did tell Mark Feinsand that the team feels “he would benefit from the rest.”

Well what does that mean?  Is Hirok tired?  Did he say something to somebody after his last start?  Is there some kind of smaller injury that the team doesn’t want to disclose?  Those 2 declarations made back-to-back makes the situation seem sketchier than it needs to be.  …

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Monday Mid-Morning Food For Thought: The One Positive From The Weekend Series

That was a rather sour finish to the homestand.  To go from taking 3 of 4 from the Tigers and outpitching their rotation of studs in the process to dropping 2 of 3 to the Indians and scoring 1 run in the final 18 innings of the series was the highest highs right back to the lowest lows, another example of this team’s maddening inconsistency.  The Yankees lost ground in the postseason races this past weekend and head into Baltimore for a crucial series needing at least a 2-1 series win to seriously stay in AL East title contention.

If there’s one positive thing to take away from the last 2 days, it’s this.  The Yankees are heading into Baltimore tonight with the big guns in their bullpen well rested.  The way the Cleveland series went down gave Joe the option of scaling back the usage of guys like David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Adam Warren and it was an option he took.  …

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Yankees Still Need One More Slugger

There is no doubt that Brian Cashman has done a spectacular job of improving the Yankees offense at the trade deadline and giving up very little in the process.

His acquisitions of Stephen Drew, Chase Headley and Martin Prado have solidified the bottom of the order. The Yankees now have an actual MLB caliber player at every position. That does not seem like its saying much, but it is the first time in the last two years that’s the case.

Cashman did a great job of identifying some buy low candidates. All three players are better players than what they were showing earlier this season and that looks to be the case in a short sample size with the Yankees so far.

Prado is under contract for next season and will be a solid bat in the bottom of the order. Headley and Drew will be considered to be re-signed. The top of the order is strong this year with Brett Gardner having a career year, and Derek Jeter is leading all American League shortstops in on-base percentage (.329).…

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Whither the 2015 Rotation

When it was initially reported that David Phelps complained of elbow soreness, a sense of surreal panic pervaded Yankees fans. It seemed a certainty that Phelps would join Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia on the “see you in 2015″ portion of the disabled list, with standing invites to Messrs Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda merely awaiting a signature. That pessimism has abated for at least a couple of weeks, however, as Phelps instead heads to the 15-day disabled list with elbow tendinitis – which may well be the best-case scenario for any reports of elbow pain. Despite the team’s solid play of late and mere one game deficit in the Wild Card race, this news forced me to think of the future; or, more specifically, the future of the Yankees rotation.

The 2015 Yankees have the aforementioned Nova, Sabathia, Tanaka, Pineda, and Phelps under team control for next season – a full starting five, at face value. Of course, face value is ultimately meaningless, as Nova is likely out until next summer, Sabathia’s balky knee may be career-threatening, and Tanaka and Pineda should be filed under “TBD.” I say this not with the intent of being a downer; rather, I say this as someone with a healthy amount of curiosity.…

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Trade Deadline Thoughts And Afterthoughts

Well that was a pretty wild trade deadline day, no?  It started early when Jon Lester went to the A’s, and after an uncomfortably quiet morning the Yankees jumped in and made a few late moves to further upgrade their lineup.  They started out looking for starting pitching and some right field pop and they ended up getting another shortstop and a starting-quality utility guy, which doesn’t sound encouraging, but at the end of the day they made themselves better on the field for this season and future seasons and did so without giving up anything of major significance.

I was jotting down notes and ideas on the Yankee moves for most of yesterday afternoon and evening.  I know, I live a prettay exciting life.  I really couldn’t think of a way to weave them together into one coherent post though, so instead I’m going to take the easy way out and just throw them all together in a random thoughts post.  …

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Wednesday Morning Food For Thought: Dem Workload Blues

You guys know that workload concern thing I’ve been on with Adam Warren and Dellin Betances, from way back before anybody else was really thinking about it?  Yeah, I think it could be starting to surface now.

Warren’s Monthly ERA Splits: April- 1.93, May- 1.62, June- 4.97, July- 5.79

Betances’ Monthly K Rate Splits: April- 43.4%, May- 45.9%, June- 37.9%, July- 31.7%

Obviously falling to a K rate that’s still above 30% is far less severe of a drop-off than a ballooning ERA, but we’re talking about 2 very different types of pitchers.  Their level of fatigue, whatever it may be, could be manifesting itself in different ways.  Hitters are making more and better contact against Betances this month than in any other month.  He’s given up runs in consecutive appearances for the first time this year.  They’re getting to Warren both by swinging and holding the bat.  His K rate in July is the lowest of the season, his BB rate is the highest, and he’s been far more hittable since the start of June.…

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Friday Mid-Morning Food For Thought: Cervelli Becoming A Trade Chip Again?

Cervelli Rain vs TEX

Courtesy of the AP

The trade deadline is less than a week away.  The Yankees have already been active in the weeks leading up to it and based on Cash’s comments earlier this week it sounds like they’re going to continue to be active.  They could use another starter, multiple bats, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they found a way to add another reliable arm to the back end of the bullpen.

The biggest obstacle Cash has to overcome in executing his plan over the next 6+ days is the lack of valuable trade chips he has.  The biggest source of trade assets is the team’s catching depth.  John Ryan Murphy might be the best asset right now, with Gary Sanchez still a close second.  Francisco Cervelli hasn’t been looked at as nearly the type of trade chip that the other 2 are, but could his recent stretch of strong play be working to change that?

Cervelli’s been getting regular reps this week with Mark Teixeira out and he’s performed very well.  …

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