Friday Morning Food For Thought: Picking The Yankee Playoff Roster

The Yankees are not in the postseason.  Again.  That reality hit home again last night when the divisional round kicked off and it got me thinking.  What would their roster have looked like if they did make the postseason?  They would have been in trouble if rosters didn’t expand in September with how banged up they were, so what 25 guys would Joe have taken to try to avoid getting swept by the Angels?  Yes, I’m assuming the Yanks would have made it as the second Wild Card and gotten trucked by Anaheim.  Partially for fun, partially because I still don’t like thinking about how terrible they were this season, here’s my attempt at building the 25-man postseason roster.

Starting Lineup:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
2) Derek Jeter- SS
3) Brett Gardner- LF
4) Brian McCann- C
5) Mark Teixeira- 1B
6) Carlos Beltran- DH
7) Chase Headley- 3B
8) Stephen Drew- 2B
9) Ichiro Suzuki- RF

Starting Rotation:

1) Hiroki Kuroda
2) Michael Pineda
3) Masahiro Tanaka
4) Brandon McCarthy

Bullpen: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, Chris Capuano, David Huff, Shane Greene

Bench: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Pirela, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young, Eury Perez

That’s a really banged up starting 9.  …

Read more

Whiffing wonders – flipping a Marlon Byrd

(Syndicated from The Flagrant Fan)

Anyone who has read my stuff for a while understands that I am not fond of strikeouts. I have often jousted against the notion that an out is an out is an out. I respectfully disagree. Strikeouts give the batter no opportunity to have anything other than an out where a batted ball will give the batter a 30% chance to get on base. One of the few scenarios where a strikeout is better than a batted ball is a double play. Knowing my predilection to this part of baseball is my discovery that Marlon Byrd has done something in 2014 no player in the history of baseball has ever done before. Marlon Byrd struck out 150 times more than he walked in 2014.

Byrd had a pretty good offensive season by most standards. He had a 110 OPS+, hit 25 homers and drove in 85. In the world of the Phillies, that’s really productive.…

Read more

Report: Yasmany Tomas Officially Declared A Free Agent

When it comes to MLB free agency, the Yankees have a while to wait before they can jump in that ring.  They no longer have to wait to sign Cuban free agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas, however, as per his agent, he is now officially a free agent for any MLB team to sign.

We haven’t talked about Tomas much here, but he’s a 23-year-old outfielder with big power and big arm.  While there are some legitimate concerns about his hitting approach and swing, he projects as a middle-of-the-order power bat.  If he can harness his power, he’s a legit 30+ home run guy in the Majors.

The Yankees didn’t get involved with Jose Abreu and we don’t know how seriously involved they are with Tomas.  They did attend his showcase last month, but there has not been a report about a follow-up private workout.  George King reported that Tomas already has a $75 million offer in hand, but it is not from the Yankees.…

Read more

Chart: MLB Run Scoring Continues to Fall

When I last wrote about run scoring in late May, the early returns were a little mixed. Thanks in part to a relatively strong April for MLB hitters, the decline in MLB run scoring had stabilized, and even ticked up a little bit. That did not hold up this season, and MLB run scoring continued to decline:

So what is happening? We know that the decline can’t be blamed on increasing use of specialized bullpens. Batted ball types haven’t changed much:

Strikeout rates, on the other hand, have ballooned:

That strikeout trend is pretty insane. But it should also be noted that MLB BB% tied its record low in 2014.

Read more

Hal Speaks On The Season

Hal Stein

Courtesy of USATSI

Joe didn’t waste any time issuing his post-mortem on the season, holding his end-of-season press conference the day after the final game.  Hal Steinbrenner followed suit yesterday, talking to Michael Kay on his radio show at length about the season that was and what things he thinks the team needs to address to prepare for next season.  You can check out the entire interview here, but since Chad Jennings was nice enough to compile the money quotes, I’m going to cherry pick from those and highlight some of the more important/strange things Hal had to say.

“The hitting coach is responsible for the hitters, the pitching coach is responsible for the pitchers, and we’ve got an infield coach responsible for defense and fielding.  That comes with any position in life. You are liable for what goes on. We have not made any decisions yet as to what we’re going to do with any of the coaches.

Read more

NL Wild Card Game Thread: SF vs. PIT

The bar for Wild Card drama was set pretty high last night, and I don’t know what the Giants and Pirates have in store for a follow-up tonight, but I doubt it’s going to live up to last night’s standards.  Madison Bumgarner gets the ball for San Fran, Edinson Volquez for the Pirates, and my Vietro Senses are telling me to go with the Giants.  Bumgarner is a stud.

Here’s your game thread if you’re watching, or feel free to talk about anything else.  Today’s Yankee injury news isn’t good, because of course it’s not when yesterday’s was.  Turns out the pitch to the head that Eric Jagielo took over the weekend broke a bone in his face and he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  Mark Newman confirmed that to Josh Norris.  Jagielo won’t be playing in the AZFL and the Yanks will have to pick a replacement.  Bummer.

Read more

Quick Hit: I’m As Cool As Derek Jeter Now

Didn’t take long for The Captain to get the retirement jitters, huh?  2 days in and he’s already launching his own blog.  And don’t let all the flowery language on the new homepage fool you:

“So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.

 

I am working with other athletes, with editors and with producers to create a platform that gives us a chance to say what’s on our minds. It’s called The Players’ Tribune. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing a strong core of athlete editors and contributors who will shape the site into an online community filled with first-person stories and behind-the-scenes content.”

That’s a blog.  A straight up blog.  Derek Jeter has retired from his 20-year awesome job to start doing what I do to get away from my crappy job.  …

Read more

Health Not All That Ails Yankees

All signs point to Brian Cashman returning as New York Yankees general manager. My feelings about that are mixed. You cannot deny Cashman’s overall success over a long period of time, and he did make several key pickups this season to keep the Yankees in contention.

On the other hand, his farm system has been not been good enough for awhile and it’s clear that the Yankees have to change the way they do things in order to compete in MLB’s new world. Cashman has been GM since 1998, which may be too long for anybody. Sometimes you just need a new voice and new ideas.

If the Yankees did try to replace Cashman there’s no guarantee they would find someone better. However, a recent Cashman quote is concerning to me.

“I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times you would not get this result,” Cashman said to John Harper of the New York Daily News

“You’ll see the real Carlos Beltran next year,” he said.

Read more

It Could Be Worse, Gang. The Yankees Could Have Ned Yost As Their Manager

Ned Yost

Every page in his binder says “Sac Bunt” in size 150 font. Courtesy of Getty Images

If you didn’t watch last night’s AL Wild Card game, you’re probably bummed out that you missed an all-time postseason classic and you should be.  It was an incredibly dramatic, entertaining game.  If you did watch it, you’re probably wondering how the Royals managed to win that game against such insurmountable odds.  Not the odds put against them by their opponent, oh no.  The odds put against them by their own manager.

Ned Yost put on a clinic in how to lose a winner-take-all game last night.  He lifted his ace starting pitcher early despite him pitching pretty well, went to a rookie starter in relief who had thrown 70+ pitches only 2 days ago, and watched as that rookie gave up a go-ahead home run.  When that 6th inning started to spiral, he elected not to go to his best reliever in the ‘pen to shut down the inning.  …

Read more