Projecting 2014: CC Sabathia

Even with Hiroki Kuroda re-signed and Masahiro Tanaka headed to the Bronx, CC Sabathia will be the ace and leader of this Yankee rotation. Though the team survived a year with Sabathia performing poorly, it took a miraculous final season by Andy Pettitte and a breakout year by Ivan Nova to keep the rotation intact. Sabathia will likely remain the Yankees’ opening day starter in 2014, and it’ll be his chance to prove that 2013 was a fluke season.

We’ll start this analysis by going back to Sabathia’s first season with the Yankees. In 2009, the southpaw put up a 3.37 ERA with a 3.39 FIP and a 3.77 xFIP. Perhaps worried about how his flyball rate could translate into Yankee Stadium, Sabtahia not only added a sinker into his repertoire, but he began to lower his arm angle. The results put a nice additional vertical drop on his pitches, and Sabathia’s ground ball rate rose from 42.9% to 50.7% in 2010.…

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Projecting 2014: Jacoby Ellsbury

Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

Robert Sabo/New York Daily News

We have just over two more week until pitchers and catchers meet, yet we’re still about 2 months away from the official baseball season. Over the next month, we’ll take a look at individual players, new and old, and how they project to perform in 2014. For some, age regression and injury will catch up to them, and others, a new ballpark and a better offensive environment will help them achieve career years.

It’s been nearly two months, yet I still don’t fully understand the Jacoby Ellsbury signing. His defensive and base running values are undeniable, but how many players receive $150+ million for stealing bases and saving runs? Ellsbury is now two years removed from his incredible 2011 season, where he hit 32 home runs, stole 39 bases, and hit .321/.376/.552. Since then, Ellsbury saw 959 plate appearances where he hit just 13 home runs. During that time, he’s been barely above average with his bat, owning a .747 OPS and a 104 OPS+.…

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What Could A-Rod Have Done For The Yankees This Season?


Barring a highly improbable decision by the federal courts, Alex Rodriguez will not play a single Major League game this season for the Yankees or any other team.  His playing career as we know it looks like it could be over and if he does try to come back in 2015 he may be on the receiving end of a beanball targeting that would make what Ryan Dempster did last August look like a walk in the park.

While the Yankees know that A-Rod will not be their starting third baseman this season, they’ve still yet to figure out who will be.  We know that they’re bringing a small army of replacement level competitors to Spring Training.  The most likely scenario is that 2 of those players split time at the hot corner as part of a replacement platoon, at least until one of them gets hurt or sucks so badly that someone else needs to replace him.  It’s a risky strategic decision given how much money the Yankees have spent to upgrade the rest of their lineup this offseason, and one that could backfire if they’re unable to get consistent production and value out of the position.…

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Nova better beat his projections

I was thinking about starting a series called, “Things that have to go well.” The idea was to talk about certain Yankees players and how they have to stay healthy and play well if the Yankees are to compete in 2014. But you can probably see the obvious problem with such an idea. EVERYTHING has...

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Projecting Michael Pineda As A Starter In 2014

Pineda Trenton

After 1 failed trade and 2 lost seasons, it appears as though the Yankees will finally get to see what Michael Pineda can do in 2014.  Actually, it might not be what he can do so much as they’ll at least get to see him throw a pitch in a regular season game.  The shoulder injury suffered in 2012 may have taken away enough of what Pineda had to prevent him from ever being the pitcher he was or becoming the pitcher he could have been.  The Yankees certainly treated him as carefully as possible in his rehab from the injury to increase the chances of him making a full recovery.  They placed him on strict pitch count limits last year in the Minors and shut him down early after he reportedly felt some stiffness and soreness in the surgically-repaired shoulder late in the summer.  Still, there’s no way to know what type of pitcher he’s going to be moving forward until he’s back out competing on a Major League mound.…

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Projecting David Phelps As A Starter In 2014

Phelps 2013

I continue to stand by my belief that the Yankees will not actually follow through with their plan to fill out next year’s rotation from within if, for whatever reason, they don’t end up signing Masahiro Tanaka.  If they do decide to take that path, however, I don’t think there will be much of a competition in Spring Training to determine the final 2 spots.  Michael Pineda was brought in to be a top-of-the-rotation stud along side CC Sabathia.  Regardless of whether he’s still capable of being that type of pitcher or not, the Yankees owe it to themselves to have him in next year’s rotation to at least attempt to start getting some value out of that trade.

If he’s the #4 starter, the last spot will more than likely go to David Phelps.  He’s got more experience than any of the other young starters on the 40-man roster, he’s had more success at the Major League level, and those 2 things have traditionally held the most weight when the final decision is made in the annual Yankee spring rotation competition.  …

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Don’t Forget About Teix

Teix Thug Life

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

While the bulk of the early offseason talk has been about the Yankees upgrading offensively in the outfield and behind the plate, it’s worth revisiting the huge hit in production the team took at first base last year because of the wrist injury to Mark Teixeira.  Teix played in 15 games this year, 2 fewer than Derek Jeter, and with his .151/.270/.340 slash line and 3 HR/12 RBI included, the Yankees managed only a .229/.292/.397 tripleslash with 22 HR and 83 RBI from the first base position in 2013.  Their 58 total R scored from first were tied for last in MLB.

The bulk of that paltry production came from Lyle Overbay, Teix’s temporary replacement who was in over his head once he became the full-time guy.  Overbay isn’t expected back in 2014 with the return of Teix on the horizon, but somewhat surprisingly Cash shot down any rumors that the Yankees were looking for insurance at first for next season.  …

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It’s about the predictions…

The season starts in a few days and predictions are like opinions–everybody has one. Now is the time to poll our top notch panel of IIATMS / YA writers to see who is on the money when it comes to predictions. Each one of us was asked to name the division winners, the wild cards, the post season awards and make one additional bold prediction. The only thing we forgot was to predict which league will win the All Star game.

Did any of us predict the Yankees to win the American League East? It should be in the bag now that Juan Rivera was jettisoned, right?

Let’s start with the founders and emeritus types:


AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Tigers
AL West: Angels
AL WC1: Tampa Bay
AL WC2: Rangers

NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Reds
NL West: Giants
NL WC1: Braves
NL WC2: Cardinals

ALCS Winner: Tigers
NLCS Winner: Nationals
WS: Winner: Nationals

AL MVP: Prince Fielder
NL MVP: Joey Votto

AL CY: Justin Verlander (again)
NL CY: Stephen Strasburg

AL ROY: Wil Myers
NL ROY: Shelby Miller

AL MOY: Joe Maddon
NL MOY: Bruce Bochy

Bold prediction: Robinson Cano traded midyear to Dodgers for Andre Ethier, CASH, and a high level prospect.…

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