The IIATMS/TYA ‘At the Break’ Awards

The season is at its (artificial) midpoint, and you know what that means – it’s time to hand out some imaginary hardware! Eleven of our writers, myself included, cast their ballot yesterday, choosing the AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year, as well as the Yankees Offensive Player (meaning the best position player, and not the most abominable) and Pitcher of the Year. This is a change of pace from last season, where we did not distinguish between position players and pitcher, and included an “award” for the least valuable Yankees.

Without further ado:

AL MVP: Mike Trout – .310/.400/.606, 22 HR, 10 SB, 181 wRC+, 5.5 fWAR, 5.5 bWAR

Trout is currently leading the league in on-base percentage, wRC+, OPS+, fWAR, bWAR, total bases, runs created, and extra base hits. He is also in the top-five in home runs, runs, RBI, doubles, triples, and walks. And, by most measures, he is on-pace to post the best overall offensive numbers of his young career – which may be the most telling, considering the sheer ridiculousness of his career to-date.…

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Has McCann broken out of his slump?

McCann vs TOR

There is no sugar-coating the fact that Brian McCann has been one of the most disappointing position players on the Yankees during the first half of the season.

A seven-time All-Star who entered this season with a career OPS of .823 and averaged 20 homers per season with the Braves, McCann’s bat has gone cold since coming to the Bronx.

However, all hope is not lost. Since the calendar turned to July, he has swung the bat much better and perhaps appears to be breaking out of his slump.

On June 30, following a 12-inning loss to the Rays in which McCann went 1-for-5 and struck out with a man on base to end the 10th inning, McCann admitted that he was “horrible”.

His OPS had dropped to .642, the lowest among qualified catchers at that time. He sat out the next game (entering as a pinch hitter in the ninth), but looked rejuvenated in his return to the lineup on July 2, going 2-for-4 with a homer.…

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About Last Night: Derek Jeter

Today’s installment is going to be a different kind of About Last Night post.

Instead of displaying heat maps and spray charts from Derek Jeter‘s last All-Star Game, I’m going to post video of what happened during the game so we can relive the magical moments. Yeah, I know, that’s pretty mawkish of me but I cannot help myself. I am feeling a little emotional about all of the “lasts” Jeter is experiencing, especially now that the season is closer to the end than it is to the beginning and because everything will be winding down soon.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Here’s Jeter’s double in the first inning. The best part about this, at least for me, is that it comes right after some jackhole in the stands starts chanting, “Over-rated!” at him.

It made me do a Jeter-esque fist pump in my house. I also may have yelled an expletive (or four) as well.…

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Evaluating The New Acquisitions At The Break

Beltran-McCann-Ellsbury ST

Courtesy of the AP

A popular thing to do in the blog world at the All-Star break is hand out midterm grades to your team’s players and their first half performances.  Most of the grades you’d see from me if I were to do that would be C’s, and that’s not just because the Yankees have a .500 record and have looked blah in every way through 94 games.  For the most part, things have gone the way the way they had been going and the way they were expected to go for the returning Yankee core.  Father Time has caught up to guys like Derek Jeter and Hiroki KurodaIvan Nova and Michael Pineda have provided more questions than answers about their futures, and CC Sabathia‘s performance decline has continued in perfect harmony with his physical decline.  These guys are who we thought they were and who we were afraid they’d become.

It was the new guys on the block who were supposed to be the fixers.  …

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Quick hit: Jeter goes 2 for 2 in his final All-Star Game

I love Derek Jeter. Do you know why? Because every time people make fun of him or complain about him, he shows them up.

Remember when he was approaching his 3000th hit and people were sarcastically predicting that he’d hit a squibbler for an infield hit? Yeah, and what did Jeter do that day? Not only did he go 5-5 and help the Yankees win the game but he hit a long home run for his 3000th hit.

Tonight, it was more of the same. First people were complaining about Jeter being voted into the All-Star game, then they were complaining that John Farrell was going to play him at shortstop and bat him first. And what did Jeter do? Oh he just made a great defensive play to start the game that would have been an out if someone other than Andrew McCutchen were running down the line. And after he received a nice ovation from the crowd and his fellow players, he stepped into the box for his last first at bat and after a ball by Adam Wainwright to start the game, Jeter grooved a pitch into right field for a double.…

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2014 All-Star Game Thread: Jeter’s Last Stand

Here are John Farrell‘s plans for Derek Jeter tonight:

So that’s two standing ovations. Should be interesting to see Jeter’s reaction. He’s been playing it cool while in Minnesota, claiming it’s just like any other All-Star game. We all know that’s a big fat lie. Jeter has to be feeling something

Here are the lineups:

CF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
RF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
DH Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
2B Chase Utley, Phillies
C Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
LF Carlos Gomez, Brewers

SS Derek Jeter, Yankees
LF Mike Trout, Angels
2B Robinson Cano, Mariners
1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
RF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
DH Nelson Cruz, Orioles
CF Adam Jones, Orioles
3B Josh Donaldson, Athletics
C Salvador Perez, Royals

The starting pitchers: RHP Felix Hernandez, Mariners and RHP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

Hopefully the game will be a little more exciting than the Home Run Derby.…

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Quick hit: Luis Severino to AA

Well, this is pretty cool.

Luis Severino had a nice showing in this past weekend’s Futures Game and now he’s been rewarded for his hard work this season.

Here’s his player card and some video from Baseball America.

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Yankeemetrics: All-Star Game Edition

Jeter hit his only All-Star Game home run in 2001 at Safeco Field. (Photo: Cheryl Hatch/AP)

Jeter hit his only All-Star Game home run in 2001 at Safeco Field. (Photo: Cheryl Hatch/AP)

Given the storied history of the franchise, it should come as no surprise that since the first game in 1933, the Yankees have had the most All-Star players (121) and most total All-Star selections (411) of any MLB team.

Here are a few fun facts and nuggets to get you ready for tonight’s game.

Let’s start with The Captain…
Derek Jeter is making his 14th All-Star Game appearance and ninth start.

Among Yankees, only Mickey Mantle (20, 13) and Yogi Berra (18, 11) have more selections and starts than Jeter. The only major-leaguers to have started more All-Star games as a shortstop are Cal Ripken Jr. (14) and Ozzie Smith (11).

Jeter won the All-Star Game MVP Award in 2000, the first Yankee to take home that honor (Mariano Rivera joined him last year). When he was later named the World Series MVP that year, Jeter became the only player in MLB history to win the World Series MVP and All-Star Game MVP in the same season.…

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Seven (straw) arguments for Ellsbury leading off

I am saving you folks a bunch of time making comments by admitting up front that I am creating a flawed statistical argument to support a personal bias and belief. I want Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off for the Yankees. That is what he was signed to do and that is not what he is doing. And since I am not a statistical genius like many of my colleagues here, I can only create weak statistical arguments to support my biased belief. I bet you have never seen an opening paragraph like this one before.

At least I am being honest here. Like many Yankee observers in 2014, I am extremely surprised by the offensive efforts of this team. Offense was not supposed to be a problem this year. And yet it is. The team is 22nd out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored. The team has a 93 OPS+. The offense more resembles last year’s ragtag outfit than a team that was “fixed” in the off season by some key upgrades.…

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