Quick hit: A-Rod’s Awful August

Just saw this tweeted and wow, A-Rod was worst in August than I thought:

A-Rod’s awful August has dropped his season numbers to .256/.364/.487/.851.

If the Yankees have any hope of winning the division – yeah, I know Toronto exists – or at least a chance of locking up a playoff spot, they will need two things to happen: Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez need to start hitting again. Well, in Tex’s case, he needs to actually play again but with his leg injury not getting any better that may not happen. So now, it’s up to A-Rod and the rest of the offense to make up for Tex’s absence.

Since turning 40 on July 27, A-Rod is batting .192/.328/.327/.655. Yikes.

Here’s how that looks in spray chart form:

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Some numbers:

  • He’s batting .355/.487/.613/1.100 in 31 at bats against lefties and .123/.256/.205/.461 in 73 at bats against righties.
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Checking in on Didi Gregorius

Back on July 15, I wrote about the slow and steady progression of Didi Gregorius so I thought in light of last night’s performance and his performance against the Braves this past weekend, we could take a look at how he has been doing since the All-Star break.

In 147 at bats (42 games), Gregorius is hitting .327/.365/.435/.800. He’s batting .233/.273/.315/.588 at home and batting .419/.451/.554/1.005 away from Yankee Stadium.

Here’s his overall spray chart since the All-Star break:
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And here’s the heat map:
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Some numbers:

  • Gregorius has gotten three singles off the cutter – two off David Price – and he’s batting .375/.375/.375/.750.
  • He’s gotten one single off the splitter. .286/.286/.286/.571
  • He has trouble with the changeup, batting .111/.190/.167/.357, but he hit a double in Saturday’s game against the Braves.
  • He’s hit five singles and a double off the slider and he’s batting .259/.259/.296/.556.
  • In six at bats against the knuckleball, he has three singles – two off R.A. Dickey and one off Steven Wright.
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An Evolved Eovaldi

William has been knocking Nathan Eovaldi‘s evolution out of the park the last few weeks, but I’m going to steal his gimmick for a quick post illustrating just how much Eovaldi has changed with a small sample comparison.  You could argue that the last 2 starts have been Eovaldi’s best of the season. They’ve certainly been the starts in which his stuff has looked the best and they’re a far cry from what he showed in his first 2 starts.  How far?  See for yourself.

Eovaldi Pitch Plot First 2 Starts

 

That’s Eovaldi’s pitch location plot for his first 2 starts of the season, 4/10 against the Red Sox and 4/15 against the Orioles.  The pitch selection breaks down to roughly 45% 4-seamers, 31% sliders, 15% curveballs, and a handful of changeups.  In those 2 starts, Eovaldi’s line was 10.1 IP, 16 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 10 K.

 

Eovaldi Pitch Plot Last 2 Starts

 

That’s the pitch plot from his last 2 starts.  It breaks down to about 46% 4-seamers, 32% splitters, 15% sliders, and a few curveballs.  …

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Giving Drew His Due

Since his acquisition last summer, Stephen Drew has served as the punching bag of the Yankees lineup for fans and media alike – and for good reason. He batted .150/.219/.271 (33 wRC+) in 155 PA with the team last season, and this season started much the same, with Drew hitting .157/.225/.301 (41 wRC+) through his first 170 PA (a conveniently selective endpoint of June 1). Drew’s line has improved markedly as the season has progressed, but his slow start has left him with a still awful line of .199/.269/.383 (77 wRC+) … and solid defense and a knack for big home runs only help so much. Were the season to end today, keeping Drew in the lineup all season would quite likely be perceived as a complete and utter failure.

Lost in the ephemera of this, however, is the simple fact that Drew – like Didi Gregorius – has actually been a reasonably good hitter over the last three months or so.…

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Quick Hit: What’s Up With Brett Gardner?

Brett Gardner went 0-4 at the plate last night, his second straight 0-4 game and the continuation of what has become a prolonged second half slump.  Gardner is hitting just .200/.288/.215 in August after a .247/.369/.341 July that was his worst offensive month to date.  Gardner has a history of wearing down physically and seeing his production level drop in the second half, and Matt called out that drop in production last Monday.  So what’s up with Gardner?  Is he hurt?  Is he tired?  Is he just slumping?

Gardner Spray Chart 4-6 15

Gardner Spray Chart 7-8 15

Those are Gardner’s spray charts from April through June and July through today of this season.  In terms of BIP distribution, there hasn’t been a noticeable difference.  Part of what has made Gardner a better offensive player is his ability to hit to all fields.  His power is almost exclusively to the pull side, but he can go the other way for hits with the best of them.

What really jumps out in comparing the 2 samples is the dramatic drop in pull power from the first 3 months to the last 2.  …

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Quick Hit: Continued Appreciation Of The Shreve/Wilson Lefty Tandem

Way back in the middle of June, I wrote a post about the changing of the bullpen hierarchy and heaped a bunch of praise onto Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson for the work they had done up to that point.  They’ve been rewarded for those strong performances by having their spots in the Joe Girardi Circle of Trust solidified and continuing to get regular high-leverage work.  Shreve and Wilson are probably the 2 and 2A setup relievers behind Dellin Betances, and Shreve turned in a nice 8th inning yesterday in which he struck out Miguel Sano on a nasty changeup.

Since July 1st, Shreve has a 2.65 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 17.0 innings pitched over 17 appearances.  He’s been a tad more homer prone and has walked a few more batters in that timespan, but he’s still got a 2.05/3.75 ERA/FIP split for the season with a 28.8% BB rate.  In 8.2 innings of high leverage work, batters are hitting .111/.207/.115 against him.…

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Nathan Eovolving – Part 2

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

Looking at most leader boards on statistic sites, you cannot find a Yankee starting pitcher anywhere. They are not present in any of the big categories like FIP, ERA+, WAR or pretty much anything else. Yankee starters are deemed serviceable but not able to go long into games and at least most of the time, give the very good offense a chance to win the game. So imagine the glee of sorts to find a Yankee starter on top of one of a big-time writer’s lists–Keith Law’s list..

In a post last week, Keith Law ranked pitchers with the best pitches in various categories. For example, Law ranked Clayton Kershaw‘s curve as the best in baseball. Well, duh. Then we get to the split-fingered fastball and sitting on top of Law’s list is Nathan Eovaldi!

This is remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, Nathan Eovaldi did not have a split-fingered fastball before 2015. It’s a brand new baby of a pitch.…

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What Will Michael Pineda’s Return Mean?

Two very significant pitching developments happened for the New York Yankees yesterday with Luis Severino looking like an absolute stud and Michael Pineda returning to make a rehab start for Double-A Trenton. Pineda, who threw 42 pitches, allowed two runs over three innings in the start, but as we know the results of...

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Carlos Beltran Not Dead Yet

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Courtesy: Paul J. Bereswilly/ NY Post

Carlos Beltran was written off by pretty much everybody early in the season (myself included) after his struggles at the plate were so bad that he just looked cooked. It felt like another Alfonso Soriano situation where the Yankees were going to have no choice but to cut bait if it continued into the summer. A little quietly (as he does just about everything), Beltran has completely turned his season around and has been a consistent offensive performer for the Yankees since May.

For the season, Beltran is hitting .265/.327.450 with a .336 wOBA and a 114 wRC+. Since April, Beltran has had an OPS over .800 in each month, with a .816 OPS in May, .865 in June, .830 in July and a blistering 1.053 in August. His second half slash line is .283/.394/.533/.928 with a .400 wOBA and a 159 wRC+. Basically, Beltran has been a well over league average hitter since April and has not gotten much credit for his turnaround.…

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