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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Thursday Morning News And Notes (And Bad Offensive Numbers): 8/27/15

This was supposed to be a post about how bad the Yankee offense has been over the last few weeks and me finally giving in and accepting that they’ve regressed and are really this bad now.  But I knew the minute I stepped into the shower this morning that I wasn’t emotionally ready to do that, so instead we’re going to recap some of the smaller stories from the last 2 days and I’ll mix in some bad offensive stats to at least acknowledge that reality.  Fair?

– The official diagnosis is in on CC Sabathia‘s right knee and it’s about as positive as it could have been.  There is no new damage in the knee, no tears or anything like that.  It’s simply the continuation of the degenerative condition that’s existed there for a while and there’s nothing that will require surgery.  That leaves the possibility open for Sabathia to return this season, and he did say he would be open to working out of the bullpen if/when he came back.  …

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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: The Yankees’ offense is offensively bad

Unless you’ve been stuck in a place with no internet or TV, you know that the Yankees have fallen off a cliff offensively the past seven days.

And last night was more of the same. Sure, the Yankees were able to score four runs, but they weren’t able to score more than that and ultimately lost the game in 16 innings. A big reason for that failure? It wasn’t Stephen Drew. It was the top of the order.

So how bad was the top of the order last night? Read this tweet from ESPN Stats and Info and weep, my friends:

And here’s what ineptitude that looks like in spray chart form:

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Alex Rodriguez, the oldest hitter in the lineup, had the only hit among the first five batters in 16 innings of play last night.…

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About Last Night: CC Sabathia

Well, last night’s result was unexpected, wasn’t it?

While I realize the 2015 version of the Boston Red Sox doesn’t have the scary lineup that the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays currently pencil in every night, when CC Sabathia is pitching, he can make just about any lineup seem like those formidable Jays for at least an inning. Thankfully for us, and for the Yankees, that didn’t happen last night. He had his scary inning – the fifth – but it didn’t result in five unanswered runs. Progress!

I think it’s safe to say that he pitched his best game in a long time last night.

So how did Sabathia actually pull off that feat? By pitching like the CC of old. Mr. Sabathia was dialing it up to 94 in some spots. Specifically during his bases loaded strikeout of David Ortiz to end the fifth inning. He needed to get the out and he did by pitching Ortiz inside and hard.…

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About Last Night: Luis Severino

While I realize last night’s end result is not what we wanted or what the Yankees needed, there was one very positive thing to come out of the 2-1 loss to Red Sox: Luis Severino. What a performance by the kid.

Watching him come out that poised and perform the way he did was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, he ended up on the losing end of the game because his offense was once again baffled by a knuckleballer and could only muster one run for the rookie.

So how did Severino’s game breakdown? Get ready for a lot of pictures and colors!

Here’s the spray chart (two hits and a costly error by Chase Headley):

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Here’s a heat map of his strike percentage:

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Here’s his pitch chart (where they landed and what type they were) according to Baseball Savant:
Luis  Severino

Here’s how the velocity looked in graph form courtesy of Brooks Baseball (Nice mix of speeds):
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Here’s how his 94 pitches broke down according to Baseball Savant:

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FOUR SEAMER:
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TWO SEAMER:
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CHANGE:
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SLIDER:
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CUTTER:
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Severino made one big mistake and it unfortunately came off the bat of David Ortiz in the form of a solo shot:

trumedia_baseball_heatmap(OrtizHR)

Someone like Ortiz will turn on a ball like this even if it is 96 mph, but the kid showed poise on the mound, kept Boston at two runs and didn’t let things get out of hand.…

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How About That Triple-A Bullpen Carousel?

In a game that had precious few Yankee highlights, one of them last night was Caleb Cotham‘s MLB debut.  As described in the recap, he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and struck out 4 batters without issuing a walk.  In doing so, he became the 12th different rookie pitcher the Yankees have used out of their bullpen this season and the 8th to make his Major League debut.

That might seem like a sign of major performance/injury problems, but it really hasn’t been the case.  While there have been a few instances of that happening (see “Carpenter, David” and “Miller, Andrew”), the Yankees’ strategy lately in shuttling guys up and down to fill out the back end of the bullpen has been mostly a proactive one.  They know they need to have fresh arms available to cover for their rotation, they know they need to be able to give their bullpen regulars enough rest, and they know they have a stockpile of useful arms in Triple-A to help serve those purposes.…

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Mid-Season Returns on Some Former Yankees

Just under two months ago, I checked-in on ex-Yankees that had packed their bags and headed for greener pastures over the winter. Many of the numbers at that point were best viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism, given how long it takes certain metrics to stabilize. At this point, however, we have reached the halfway point between the actual middle of the season (81 games) and the artificial mark (the All-Star break) – and that means that we can begin to trust integral numbers like strikeout, walk, and home run rates.

This time around, I decided to take a gander at a few players that left the Bronx the previous off-season, as well. And, no, I did not do so strictly to make fun of Robinson Cano – that merely played a significant role in my decision.

Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
.253/.292/.373, 36 R, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 2 SB, 86 wRC+, 0.4 fWAR (346 PA)*

Ouch. Cano has been awful thus far, with the low baseline of second base production and his still solid defense keeping him (barely) above replacement-level.…

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Quick Hit: Why Joe Yanked Eovaldi

There’s been a lot of debate in the game recap comment section about the decision to pull Nathan Eovaldi in last night’s game, and justifiably so.  It turned out to be a decision that negatively impacted the Yankees’ chances to win the game in a major way.

Obviously we’re all looking at this with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and some form of pre-existing biases against both Eovaldi and Joe Girardi.  But there are numbers to support Joe’s decision, numbers that a few commenters brought up.  Just food for thought, but here is how Eovaldi’s slash line against trends through his pitch count:

– Pitches 1-25: .349/.355/.509
– Pitches 26-50: .218/.282/.277
– Pitches 51-75: .295/.327/.442
– Pitches 76-100: .391/.476/.464

At 86 pitches, Eovaldi was right in the middle of the stretch where he tends to give up the most damage.  Opposing hitters go for the highest average, highest on-base, and second highest power output against him in that pitch range.  …

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