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. For a more detailed look into his struggles, I recommend Jonah Keri's most recent installment of The 30.

Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates .297/.373/.401, 26 R, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 1 SB, 123 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR (252 PA)

With half of 2015 in the bank, Cervelli has made good on the promise that he showed in limited duty between injuries in 2013 and 2014. When healthy, he has been a well above-average hitter (and not just for a catcher), and his defense has improved dramatically. His BABIP is relatively high (.365), but he's hitting plenty of line drives and making precious little soft contact.

Curtis Granderson, New York Mets .251/.348/.430, 43 R, 13 HR, 29 RBI, 5 SB, 123 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR (356 PA)

Granderson has improved markedly in his second season with the Mets, flashing more power and hitting the ball a heck of a lot harder. His defense has rebounded quite a bit, too - and while defensive metrics are notoriously flimsy, it stands to reason that he would be a bit better in his second go-round in right field.

Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers 68.0 IP, 76 H, 19 BB, 44 K, 5.82 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 0.4 fWAR

As of May 13, Greene had produced 0.8 fWAR - a solid pace, to be sure. Since then, he has been worth -0.4 fWAR, earning a trip to Triple-A on the heels of a 7.62 ERA/6.43 FIP stretch over the course of six starts. Such is life for a high-contact pitcher that lacks pinpoint control and/or a knack for generating soft contact.

David Huff, Los Angeles Dodgers 6.0 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 9.00 ERA, 7.08 FIP, -0.2 fWAR

The journeyman southpaw has been riding the shuttle between Triple-A this season, picking up innings as needed for the Dodgers. He has not been terribly effective, but it is such a miniscule sample size that one cannot draw much of a conclusion - though, it isn't as if Huff has ever been more than a mop-up type.

Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins 111.2 IP, 127 H, 11 BB, 67 K, 4.19 ERA, 4.65 FIP, 0.5 fWAR

The Hughes that we grew to loathe towards the end has re-emerged for the Twins, as his 21 HR allowed and 1.69 HR/9 suggest. He continues to avoid walks (0.89 BB/9, which, amazingly, is worse than 2014), but he's also striking out 2.5 fewer per nine and allowing more fly balls than last year.

Shawn Kelley, San Diego Padres 31.0 IP, 30 H, 7 BB, 35 K, 3.48 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 0.4 fWAR

Kelley has been light's out since returning from the disabled list on May 12th, with a 29/2 K/BB and a 2.10 ERA. He's also been keeping the ball on the ground (46.2 GB%), which helps mitigate his perpetual gopheritis. I don't know how long he can keep this up, but this isn't an uncommon occurrence for Kelley - his consistency has simply never kept up with his stuff.

Hiroki Kuroda, Hiroshima Karp 94.0 IP, 90 H, 19 BB, 62 K, 2.68 ERA

Kuroda's ERA has dropped nearly a full run over the last two months, as he continues to show that he still has something left in the tank. And I still wish that he was proving that in the Bronx instead of Japan.

Brandon McCarthy, Los Angeles Dodgers 23.0 IP, 24 H, 4 BB, 29 K, 5.87 ERA, 6.23 FIP, -0.3 fWAR

Elbows are a cruel mistress.

David Phelps, Miami Marlins 82.2 IP, 82 H, 22 BB, 56 K, 4.03 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 0.9 fWAR

With Jose Fernandez returning from his own Tommy John Surgery, Phelps has been moved to Miami's bullpen. It's almost eerie how similar his story is to Adam Warren's, as he has outpitched a struggling veteran (Mat Latos in this case), and is likely the second-best pitcher on the team's staff. So it goes.

Martin Prado, Miami Marlins .272/.311/.370, 24 R, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 0 SB, 89 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR (271 PA)

Prado spent a few weeks on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, and his production has faltered. He is currently on-pace for the worst BB% and ISO of his career, and his wRC+ is tied for that ignominious distinction. And his longstanding versatility appears to be a thing of the past, as he has only played third base this season - though, to be fair, the Marlins have Dee Gordon tearing it up at the keystone and Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich in the outfield corners, so Prado may not be needed elsewhere.

David Robertson, Chicago White Sox 34.2 IP, 26 H, 7 BB, 49 K, 2.60 ERA, 2.07 FIP, 1.2 fWAR

Robertson is still the pitcher that we came to love - albeit with a career-best in walks (by more than half a walk per nine) and a career-worst in grounders (34.1% versus 43.1% for his career).

Ichiro Suzuki, Miami Marlins .246/.305/.287, 17 R, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 6 SB, 66 wRC+, -0.7 fWAR (189 PA)

The bottom has really fallen out, as Ichiro is posting career-worsts almost across the board (though, he is walking more!). At this point in his career, he must be sticking it out for a shot at 3,000 MLB hits ... with 114 to go, however, I'm not sure that he'll be able to do it anytime soon.

* - All stats are current as of July 8, 2015.