About Last Night: The offense exploded again!

So last night was pretty fun.

I mean, sure, after the Yankees went up 6-0 in the first inning, it was fun. It wasn’t that enjoyable to watch Detroit immediately answer with four runs of their own right away, but seeing the Yankees continue to get on base and score throughout the game and to see Adam Warren hang in there after a rough first inning was pretty great.

You know what else is pretty great? Watching the Yankees hitters work counts and not rush things when they’re at the plate. It seemed like Alex Rodriguez was the only guy in the lineup who exhibited any patience at the plate to start the season and now, it feels like the whole lineup is much better at pitch selection and waiting for a good pitch to hammer.

Case in point:

Carlos Beltran had two hits last night! Both were on changeups – in the second inning, it was an 83 mph change up from David Price that he laced for a triple and in the fourth inning, he hit an 87 mph change up from Aaron Nesbitt for a single.…

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Chris Young Needs to Play

Young vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

The season is young and the sample sizes are small and many reactions to the action thus far on the field are emotional and knee-jerk. So keep those thoughts in mind when certain beat writers bury Jacoby Ellsbury while certain writers (waving hand) of your favorite Yankee site (this one, of course) do the same to Carlos Beltran. My emotional and knee-jerk reaction is that Chris Young needs to be playing every day.

Despite playing only 41 of his 1,055 Major League games as a right-fielder, I think we can all agree that Young is going to be the better defender between him and Beltran. Carlos Beltran, in my mind, has had a Hall of Fame career. He is going to in the top ten of the greatest center fielders to ever play the game. JAWS currently has him eighth. But he isn’t that guy anymore and while his instincts may still be good in right, his body just isn’t.…

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What to look for: Nathan Eovaldi

Tonight Nathan Eovaldi will be making his third start this season. Eovaldi is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in eight career starts in April but he is 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA over his last six road starts which is the longest road losing streak of his career.

In his last outing this past Wednesday night, on the road in Baltimore, Eovaldi only lasted five innings. And while his nine strikeouts were a good sign, he surrendered eight hits, three walks and two runs. He also threw a season-high (and so far, team high) 101 pitches in those five innings which caused the bullpen to be called in early and they ultimately, and almost immediately, gave up the lead and the Yankees lost.

Let’s see how Eovaldi is doing so far.

16 hits – 14 singles, one double and one home run:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

  • Against lefties, Eovaldi’s given up eight hits, has struck out eight and walked one.
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The Potential Barry Bonds Effect On A-Rod’s Hot Start

A-Rod HR vs TB

Gone. Courtesy of Getty Images

When it came out in late January that Alex Rodriguez had been working out with Barry Bonds in California in preparation for his return, the report was met with a reaction of mostly bad steroid jokes and indifference from writers and fans alike.  When Bonds piped up recently in support of A-Rod, saying that MLB and its fans should celebrate him reaching and passing Willie Mays‘ mark of 660 home runs, that story was met with a similar reaction.  Today, coming off a red hot week that has earned him a boatload of mostly begrudging praise and may earn him AL Player of the Week honors, it may be time to stop ignoring the A-Rod-Bonds offseason connection.

After yesterday afternoon’s series finale in Tampa, A-Rod is hitting a robust .316/.447/.711 in 47 plate appearances.  He ranks inside the top 10 in MLB in R (10), HR (4), RBI (11), and SLG, and inside the top 5 in BB rate (19.1%) and ISO (.395).  …

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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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Breaking Down Mark Teixeira’s Hot Start In 2015

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Courtesy: USA TODAY

Mark Teixeira has had a terrific start to his season and it is absolutely necessary for him to come close sustaining it if the Yankees are going to be contending for the playoffs this season. The question is whether his start is truly sustainable, as he has had some strange quirks so far.

Teixeira has a slash line of .241/.361/.655/1.016 with a .406 wOBA and a 160 wRC+, which would be an MVP caliber stat line if carried out over a full season. Obviously, nobody is expecting for Teixeira to be an MVP candidate, so there will be regression.

The good news is Teixeira’s BABIP is a very low at .200, so he has not gotten lucky at all. His BABIP will probably never be very high anymore because of the shift, but you would still expect to be around .250 at least, which isn’t very good but still 50 points higher than where he is now.

Teixiera has been doing this with extra-base hits and walks, which has to be his formula at this point in his career.…

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Beltran’s First Nine Games In Nine Pictures

It seems like every night, Joe Girardi pencils Carlos Beltran into the third spot of the lineup and every night, Yankee fans are left to wonder why. Sure, we’re only nine games into the season, but Beltran hasn’t showed us much of anything yet and maybe, he’d be better served batting somewhere else. Like Siberia. Kidding!

So this on this much-needed off day, I thought it would be fun, or, quite possibly, painful to look at Beltran’s first nine games in a series of nine pictures (mostly heat maps) just so we can see just how badly he’s performing so far.

His strikeouts (K rate 21.1%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

His walks (BB rate 5.3%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

His six hits:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Two singles (one from each side):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Four doubles:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Beltran’s outs (26.7 K%):

Courtesy of ESPN Stats in Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats in Info

Beltran against lefties:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Against Righties:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

What does this all add up to?…

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About Last Night: CC Sabathia

In his first start of the season, CC Sabathia faced the Toronto Blue Jays and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in only 5 ⅔ innings to pick up the loss. But he also struck out eight, didn’t walk a batter and didn’t surrender a home run.

Last night’s game was similar in many ways.

“Lucky” Seven and Adam Jones

Seven was a big number for Sabathia last night. He pitched seven innings, gave up seven hits and struck out seven. He also gave up four runs, walked one batter and gave up a home run to Adam Jones. Jones had two RBI last night. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third.

Jones has faced Sabathia more than any other pitcher in baseball (72 plate appearances) and he is batting .273/.306/.545/.851 with four home runs, four doubles, a triple and 14 RBI, but Sabathia shouldn’t feel too bad because eight games into the 2015 season, Jones is batting .429/.469/.929/1.397 with a .579 wOBA and a 278 wRC+.…

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Early Yankee BABIP Problems

Can you judge a team’s offense after just eight games? Probably not. But you can look at trends to keep an eye on in the weeks ahead. According to most statistics I am looking at, the Yankees are a middle of the road offense. The one thing lagging behind everything else is the team’s batting average on balls in play or BABIP.

The Yankees are ninth out of thirty teams in runs scored. No doubt that fourteen-run explosion the other night helped that out quite a bit. The team is seventh in ISO, so the power numbers are decent. They are eleventh in wOBA. And they are fifteenth in on-base percentage.

Looking further at the numbers thus far, the team is ground ball / fly ball neutral. In other words, they are not leaning heavily in one batted ball type or the other. The team hasn’t hit a lot of line drives to this point and are 28th in that category.…

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