Melky vs. Gardner

While Gardner and Cabrera are fairly similar in terms of offensive production, Gardner is clearly the better fielder. His UZR/150 games is 16.5, an excellent figure. Cabrera has not been a slouch in center, but his UZR/150 is 3.3, almost a full win and a half below Gardner. Gardner also has a better arm than Cabrera, saving 3.3 runs more than average and almost seven runs more than Melky. These numbers aren’t one year flukes either. We have limited data on Gardner, but Cabrera’s 3.3 runs above average is a three run improvement over his total last season, and well above anything before 2008.

This is not to take anything away from Melky Cabrera. He’s a very good fourth outfielder and is playing the best baseball of his career this season. He is more than capable of starting in the major leagues; he’s just going to be held to a higher standard while playing for the Yankees. It would hardly be unrealistic to see a scenario where Melky becomes a deadly weapon off the bench, particularly in a potential World Series match-up where his power from both sides of the plate could come in handy.…

Read more

Bobby Abargain

Remember Bobby Abreu?

After 2008, with a healthy Xavier Nady in tow and despite 2 1/2 very productive seasons in New York, the Yankee front office was fine with letting Abreu walk (he loves walking, so why not?). At the time, the move was considered the right one, especially since Abreu appeared to be on...

Read more

Counterpoint: Joba Got Squeezed

[image title=”location.php” size=”full” id=”6357″ align=”center” ]


Do you see the lower righthand corner, which is the inside corner to righties and outside corner to lefties? Derryl Cousins decided that this was not a strike. By doing so, he forced Joba away from the lower portion of the strikezone all night. As the following chart shows, most...

Read more

Joba-Posada Drama?

From Peter Abraham (LoHud):

Joe Girardi was in a weird mood after the game. He refused to say why he went to the mound to speak to Joba Chamberlain in the first inning. According to Chamberlain, it was to get the signs straightened out. I suspect it was more to keep Chamberlain and Posada from...

Read more

He walked SEVEN batters?

To lose that number of obvious strikes is, in a direct fashion, awful. But indirectly, it’s tough as well, as the pitcher no longer has any idea whether he’ll get the calls he should, and this in the bottom of the zone. Essentially, Cousins was forcing him to elevate above the bottom 15% of the strikezone and what happens when pitchers leave the balls up in the zone? Exactly.

Now, this isn’t to say Cousins was favoring the Red Sox over the Yankees–it’s to say that he was favoring the hitters over the pitchers, and that any critique of Joba’s pitching tonight should be viewed with this in mind.

Now for the bad news. If you want to take away a negative from tonight, there’s a big flashing one available. For his second start in a row, Joba had precisely zero swings and misses at balls in the strikezone.

Joba’s whiff rate was 10.7% in 2008, and that contributed to him being #1 in K/100 pitches in the AL (minimum 100 IP).…

Read more

Game 108: Red Sox 6, Yankees 13

Bronx Cheers:
Joba: Even with a six-run lead, Chamberlain seemed to lack confidence. He wasn’t awful and he picked up the win, but he was not the same pitcher we saw in his last three starts. In the end, Joba went 5 innings, gave up 4 runs on 6 hits (2 homeruns) and walked 7 batters.

BB: Yankee pitchers walked 12 batters. Luckily, the Red Sox rarely capitalized on the free passes.

Claggett: In the ninth inning he walked two, gave up two hits and two runs.

Curtain Calls:
Damon: Yankee Stadium was built for Johnny, who smacked his 20th round-tripper against his former team. He was 3-5 on the night, with 3 runs, and an RBI.

Teixeira: Teixiera went 3-4 with 2 runs, an RBI and a homerun. He also flashed his glove a few times, which I find never gets old.

Melky: He hit a monster three-run homerun that gave the Yankees the lead.…

Read more