PECOTA run scoring projections

We’re finally days away from Spring Training. Soon enough, the waiting will be over and we’ll be able to watch REAL LIVE BASEBALL (shameless plug time: if you’re in the NYC metro area, you should totally come to this). But, before we get to that, let’s take another look at some run scoring projections via the Lineup Analysis tool from Baseball Musings. This time, we’ll be using Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA Projections. Remember, these are NOT split adjusted. I’ll run it a few times, using a few different scenarios for the designated hitter. And with the first run of each one, I’ll be sure to plug in what the lineup probably will be, not what I think it should be. To the after-jump we go. … Click here to read the rest

Selecting the best fit

In baseball, like everything, some sense of balance is needed for success. Just as you need the right balance of motivation and intelligence to succeed in school, or the balance of acumen and people skills to succeed in business, you need the right balance of, well, just about everything in baseball. No where does this strike more true (well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit) than it does in lineup construction. A team cannot sway too heavily right handed or too left handed for myriad reasons. Though, to be fair, it may behoove a team to use a heavily right handed lineup (say, the Red Sox) or heavily left handed (say, the Yankees) because it fits their park. And, if we’re granting liberties of sorts here, it probably does make more sense to have a LHH heavy lineup since the majority of pitchers are right handed. For the sake of this post, we’re actually going to forgo balance and talk about one lineup: the Yankee lineup against RHP, so the one that will skew LHH.… Click here to read the rest

Polishing a Turd with Raul, Johnny, and Hideki

There has been much ado about the Yankees designated hitter situation yesterday, with Buster Olney tweeting that the team was “in position to add” one of Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, or Hideki Matsui within a week. Ken Rosenthal stoked the coals a bit (or, perhaps, took a book of matches from 7-Eleven), adding that the team was in “serious discussions” with Ibanez. Rosenthal further added that Ibanez was willing to take a discount to play in the Bronx, though I am unsure that he is in a position to be terribly picky regardless. Many would argue that far too much ink and effort has been expended on behalf of Messrs Ibanez, Damon, and Matsui, and that may be true … but if a move is truly forthcoming, it makes sense to look for a silver lining and preempt at least a bit of the inevitable gruff.

Ibanez managed a slightly above-average 101 wRC+ against righties last season, batting .256/.307/.440 with 16 HR in 437 PA.… Click here to read the rest

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 a .362 wOBA — his highest mark since 2006. Bill James has Wells falling to a .345 wOBA in 2011 (as do the Fans). Despite occasionally showing flashes of brilliance, Wells has had a fairly disappointing MLB career, with a .346 wOBA and 108 OPS+ — basically slightly above above-average.

Napoli’s one of the better-hitting catchers in the league, although his .340 wOBA was the lowest of his five-year career and has been trending downward the last three seasons.… Click here to read the rest

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 in May or June it will still be better than no Andy at all.

– Multiple reports suggest the Yankees are close to agreeing to a deal with Andruw Jones as a bench piece/fourth outfielder. With the way this offseason has gone I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees wound up vastly overpaying, but as previously noted, I do approve of a Jones deal.… Click here to read the rest

Outfield Notes: Damon and Ramirez

Just a few notes and some commentary for Christmas Eve Day Morning:

–The Yankees are “internally discussing Manny Ramirez. As far as discussions go, I can imagine this one went something like this:

Yankee Front Office Guy 1: “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if we signed Manny?”
YFOG 2: “LOL TOTALLY!”

There’s no way in hell that Manny Ramirez will be a Yankee, unless Jorge Posada is rendered incapable of playing baseball between now and the start of the regular season. Manny is only a DH now, so he wouldn’t be much use to any team as a fourth outfielder. Sure, he can straight mash against anybody, but there’s no fit for him on the Yankees.

–Brian Cashman says there is no clear role for Johnny Damon on the Yankees. This makes complete and total sense. I may’ve been semi-supportive of a Damon return in my article yesterday, but I was mostly just feeling frisky. The Yankees would have to get super creative with the lineup to get Damon a large number of at bats and at this point in his career, Johnny Damon isn’t worth that.… Click here to read the rest

Damon Do Over?

I had a post similarly titled to this one back in October but it appears that a simple Internet musing has gained some traction.

I said in my prior post that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but with the Yankees now using Jorge Posada as the full time DH, there seems to be even less room for Damon to get playing time. His non-crippling platoon split is definitely helpful, as he could spell Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson (as the MLBTR article says), but the fact that he’s a left-handed bat doesn’t help his case. His poor defense of the last two years doesn’t help, either. He’s also limited by the lack of ability to play center field anymore.

Being left handed is Damon’s biggest asset, as it plays best to the park (see: 2009) and he can always get more plate appearances that way. However, with each outfielder batting left handed or being a switch hitter, Damon’s at a bit of a loss.… Click here to read the rest

A busy news day: Lee, Jeter, Rivera, Joba, Montero, Pettitte, Crawford, Werth, Greinke, Dunn and more

Apologies for not being further out in front of all of the news that broke today, but our friends at RAB have already done yeomen’s work in covering everything that came out of the end-of-season press conference held by Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi at the Stadium today, so be sure to check that out (as if you haven’t already).

You’ve likely already heard about Dave Eiland getting the boot and Andy Pettitte pitching through injury in the playoffs, but Cashman also talks about the Yankees’ not having an answer for the Rangers despite steamrolling the Twins; Girardi asserts that Joba Chamberlain is a bullpen guy now and forever (groan); both men say the Yankee are obviously interested in Cliff Lee without actually saying it; Cashman stays coy about Jesus Montero joining the Bigs next season; Cashman essentially confirms that he’ll be way overpaying for Derek Jeter‘s and Mariano Rivera‘s services; and in perhaps the most interesting tidbit, Cash admits last winter wasn’t his best, although I’d beg to differ.… Click here to read the rest