Whither Nick the Stick?

Last offseason the statistically-obsessed among the Yankee faithful rejoiced upon the news that Brian Cashman had brought former Yankee farmhand, OBP machine and Yankeeist favorite Nick Johnson back into the fold. The Stick was supposed to fit seamlessly into Johnny Damon‘s recently vacated #2 slot, right where his .402 career on-base percentage belonged. The injury-plagued Johnson muddled through an exceptionally poor April, though his .138/.383/.224 line was made significantly less miserable by (what else?) a stellar OBP, not to mention the fact that he also fell victim to some terribly bad luck on balls in play (.194 BABIP, 6th-worst in Continue reading Whither Nick the Stick?

Yankees sign Freddy Garcia, [insert joke here]

In another low-risk move that undoubtedly has the Yankee beat corps in stitches, the Yankees have agreed to terms with Freddy Garcia on a minor league deal worth a guaranteed $1.5 million. I don’t have much of a reaction to this transaction, other than that I have no problem with stockpiling arms for Spring Training to put pressure on everyone currently in contention for a rotation slot. Basically everything we said about the Bartolo Colon signing applies here, except that Garcia actually pitched in 2010, and while he wasn’t exactly good, he still somehow managed 1.3 fWAR. If I feel Continue reading Yankees sign Freddy Garcia, [insert joke here]

J-Dusch joins the AL East … with the O’s

I’m slightly disappointed to announce that another potential rotation solution (not named Sergio Mitre) has been taken off the table. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported last night that Justin Duchscherer has reached an agreement with the Orioles. The one year pact is worth as much as $4.5M in salary and incentives; however, only $700k is guaranteed. Apparently, the two finalists in the Duchscherer sweepstakes were the O’s and Nationals despite a plethora of teams showing interest early on. The general consensus among us here at Yankeeist was that he’d be a worthwhile investment so long as the price was cheap. Over Continue reading J-Dusch joins the AL East … with the O’s

The 2011 Yankee pitching staff in terms of aERA and IPGS

Recently I introduced the concept of Adjusted ERA here at Yankeeist, or aERA. The statistic takes a pitcher’s actual ERA, and adjusts it to show how many runs he has given up, on average, when he is pulled from a game in the regular season. If a pitcher typically leaves the game having allowed 3 runs his aERA is 3.00. This stat alone, however, doesn’t tell the whole story. Just as BA needs OBP or it risks obscuring what the batter is really doing, aERA requires an additional statistic that must always be presented with it if it is to Continue reading The 2011 Yankee pitching staff in terms of aERA and IPGS

Dear Brian Cashman: From a concerned Joba Chamberlain fan

This past Friday I decided to send an e-mail to Brian Cashman. I’m not 100% certain that I have the correct e-mail address, but I think I’m close — if nothing else, I didn’t receive a bounceback. If he does in fact receive it, whether he actually reads and/or responds to it is an entirely different story — needless to say if he does respond, there will be multiple spontaneous parades breaking out. While we wait for Cash to write back, I thought I’d share my e-mail with you. “Mr. Cashman, By way of introduction, my name is Larry Koestler, Continue reading Dear Brian Cashman: From a concerned Joba Chamberlain fan

Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

I step away from the Internet for two hours only to come back and find that two of the Yankees’ AL East rivals have made a handful of notable moves. First up, the Toronto Blue Jays apparently traded Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. I’m having a hard time figuring this deal out from the Angels’ perspective — the Jays are undoubtedly thrilled to be free of Wells’ contract, and they’re getting not one but two pretty serviceable players in return. Wells started last season out on fire before cooling off some and finishing with Continue reading Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

A different way to look at the performance of starting pitchers

When baseball analysts talk about pitchers they cite a number of familiar statistics: ERA, FIP, WHIP and ERA+, for example. These are all valuable metrics, but they don’t accurately portray the modern game. With the exception of WHIP, these stats are scaled to nine innings. This made sense when pitchers were often called upon to pitch entire games, but today pitchers seldom pitch the full nine frames. As a result, a statistic such as ERA, probably the statistic in baseball cited to describe the quality of a pitcher more frequently than anything else, doesn’t entirely capture a starting pitcher’s effectiveness. Continue reading A different way to look at the performance of starting pitchers

Yankees finally sign Andruw Jones

After getting rejected two offseasons ago, the Yankees finally signed Andruw Jones to a one-year deal worth $2 million with a potential $1.2 million in incentives. I like this deal quite a bit — as we’ve discussed several times, though Jones has started out on fire in each of the last two seasons before tailing off, he can still rake against lefties (.402 wOBA last season, albeit in only 102 PAs), and as a fourth outfielder that’s probably what he’ll primarily be called on to do. Given that Marcus Thames was unlikely to repeat his 2010, I like Jones’ chances Continue reading Yankees finally sign Andruw Jones

News and notes on a Wednesday: Soriano, Pettitte, Jones, Damon, Pavano and Joba

Though nothing official has happened outside of the Rafael Soriano signing, there has been a flurry of Yankee-related information and rumors in the aftermath of the Soriano presser, so here’s a quick rundown: – This seems to have flown relatively under the radar, but Andy Pettitte has apparently started working out again. This has to be considered good news — while we’d obviously all much prefer Pettitte start the season from the beginning, even if Andy ends up deciding he doesn’t want to pitch the full year, if the Yankees can get him on a pro-rated deal that starts sometime Continue reading News and notes on a Wednesday: Soriano, Pettitte, Jones, Damon, Pavano and Joba