Examining Derek Jeter’s Early Contact Trends

Jeter vs BOS 2014

For all the concern about how he’d be physically coming into spring camp this year, concern that I admittedly shared, it was a pretty quiet Spring Training for Derek Jeter.  He was on his own schedule, he got into games early enough, he never reported any problems with his ankle or legs, never had any issues really.  He worked at his pace, felt good, and was ready to play when the regular season started.  What was a small concern was how quiet his bat was in ST.  Jeter hit .137/.214/.157 in 51 spring at-bats, striking out 10 times and hitting a ton of groundballs.

Regular season production is what really matters and Jeter’s was going to be watched closely regardless of how he hit in the spring simply because he was a shortstop turning 40 and coming off a season lost to injuries.  He’s played in 9 of the Yankees’ first 10 games and so far that production has been pretty good.  …

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Pineda Tar Gate: Yankees 4, Red Sox 1

Michael Pineda delivered the type of performance that fans have dreamed of since he was traded to New York in January of 2012, and he led the Yankees to a big 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Pineda held the Red Sox without a hit through the first four innings before Xander Bogaerts broke up the no-hitter leading off the fifth inning. He had command of all three of his pitches and was making the Boston hitters look silly.

Pineda was blowing his fastball by hitters and locating early in the count, as he threw first pitch strikes to the first nine hitters he faced. Pineda finished going six innings, allowed one run and struck out seven.

Pictures from the Internet and T.V. cameras showed a brown substance on Pineda’s hand that was gone by the fifth inning, but the Red Sox never questioned it.

Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings before the Yankees put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth.…

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Game 10: Ugh, It’s Starting Again

Oh good, a four-game Yankees-Red Sox series.

Here are your lineups for tonight’s contest:

RED SOX
Sizemore LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava RF
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Bradley CF
Herrera 3B

YANKEES
Gardner CF
Jeter SS
Ellsbury CF
Beltran RF
McCann C
Soriano DH
Johnson 1B
Solarte 3B
Anna 2B

Tonight’s pitching matchup is Clay Buchholz vs Michael Pineda.

Fun fact: Grady Sizemore was the first batter at the new Stadium (regular season – exhibition games against the Cubs not included) when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians.

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McCann and his BABIP with the Shift

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Since putting on the pinstripes, Brian McCann hasn’t impressed many Yankees fans with his bat skills. So far, McCann has produced a triple slash of .152/.176/.152 in 34 plate appearances which are not exactly the numbers the Yankees were looking for from McCann when they gave him 5 years $85 million this offseason. I realize it’s early in the season and that 34 plate appearances is a small sample size, but I still wanted to explore why McCann is struggling early on and if this trend will continue.

I took a look at McCann’s spray charts thus far and matched his hits and outs with the type of hit to get a feel for how many hits he should have.

Hit Type

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.49.40 AM

 Hit Result

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.49.58 AM

It’s easy to see from the spray charts that McCann has lost a lot of his should be hits to the shift. I counted about five hits that McCann lost to the shift.…

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A Few Thoughts Before The Red Sox Series

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  • It’s a big game for Michael Pineda tonight, who will pitch in the Bronx for the first time in his career. On top of that, the Yankees are facing the Red Sox. Oh, and they’ve lost their last two games. No pressure! In his last performance, Pineda looked excellent against the Blue Jays, but the Red Sox have a more impressive lineup, and the big right-hander needs to delicately maneuver around these bats in the small confines of Yankee Stadium. Another nice performance could go a long way for both his confidence and management’s confidence in his shoulder.
  • Brian Roberts is only batting .160 but he’s been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees so far. Despite the average, he’s taken some good swings, and he’s walked 7 times with 8 strikeouts. It seems that everytime he goes to the plate, he works the count to 3-2 and then fouls off some more pitches. At bats like that can get into the pitcher’s head, and at the moment he’s averaging 4.79 pitches per plate appearance.
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Some Fun With Numbers, Colors and Heat Maps

Last week, we took a look at the Yankees’ hit chart after their first two games with Houston and it wasn’t too pretty. It had hardly any extra base hits and there weren’t any home runs. But look at it now!

hit-chart (6)

Take a gander at all of those pretty colors. Sure, some of the numbers aren’t as high as we would like but it’s still only the second week of the season. There’s plenty of time to make that chart a colorful rainbow of fruit flavors.

Here are some stats from this young season that will more than likely change by next month:

  • Kelly Johnson leads the team with two home runs.
  • Brett Gardner leads the team with 10 strikeouts.
  • Brian Roberts leads the team with seven walks.
  • The Yankees’ triple slash line so far is .271/.346/.392 so the slugging percentage could be higher and it more than likely will be once the weather gets warmer and guys hit their stride.
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