Random Stats for the Night Off

In these early days of the season, it is difficult to offer in-depth analysis without putting a great deal of weight into small sample sizes. Strikeout rates are just about the only statistic that has begun to stabilize at this point, and even something as straightforward as velocity may not be wholly indicative of what’s to come. And so this is not a post wherein I will strongly offer praise, nor will I condemn any performances; instead, I will attempt to let some numbers speak for themselves. There will be the good, the bad, and the ugly … and at least a bit of funny. After all, these are the Yankees that we’re talking about.

Jacoby Ellsbury is batting .243/.296/.342 (75 wRC+) since September 1, 2014. Yes, that is a selective endpoint – but it also represents a stretch of 660 PA. In that time he has 10 HR and 28 SB (11 CS), with a 6.1 BB% and 16.5 K%. He has also cost the team about 5 runs on defense in that span, as per UZR.

Starlin Castro currently has the best BB% and ISO of his career, while also swinging at fewer pitches outside of the zone than ever before (29.4%, which is well-below his career average of 33.3%). And his .306 BABIP is about 15 points below his xBABIP, based upon his batted ball profile. He’s only 26, folks.

Only Colby Rasmus is pulling the ball more often than Mark Teixeira (60.0% to 58.5%). The Yankees first baseman is also making ‘soft’ contact in 26.4% of balls in play; that’s in the bottom 20 of all hitters. He’s 13th in the Majors in BB%, though, and is still an above-average overall hitter, with a strong 121 wRC+.

There are currently 195 players that qualify for the batting title. Among those, Chase Headley ranks 190th in wRC+ (28), and dead last in ISO (.000). He’s the only qualified player without an extra base hit.

Dellin Betances has more strikeouts (23) than Yordano Ventura (21), Matt Harvey (21), Gerrit Cole (19), Marcus Stroman (19), and Jordan Zimmermann (16). Only 52 pitchers have more strikeouts than Betances, all of which have thrown at least 20.1 IP. Betances has 10 IP thus far. He also leads all relievers in K%, K-BB%, and xFIP (-0.28; yes, that’s a negative xFIP).

Luis Severino has the second largest gap between his ERA (6.86) and FIP (3.67) among all starting pitchers (David Price is first). He also has the second highest BABIP, at .417 (behind Chris Archer).

The Yankees bullpen ranks 1st in the Majors in K/9 (11.27) and xFIP (2.64). The unit ranks 4th in total strikeouts, with 81, despite sitting 19th in IP (64.2).

The Yankees rotation is in the top ten in K/9 (8.41), BB/9 (2.40), GB% (49.1), xFIP (3.52), SIERA (3.60), and K-BB% (15.4). It also ranks 25th in the Majors in ERA, with a 5.13 mark.

The Yankees offense ranks 25th in ISO (.131) – every team behind them is either the Braves, or plays in a pitcher’s park. The team’s .273 BABIP ranks 26th, as does its 26.9% hard-hit percentage.

The Yankees have stolen 17 bases – that’s third in baseball. Only the Cubs, Padres, and Indians have added more value on the basepaths in 2016.

Most importantly: the Yankees have 142 games left in their season. Continue reading Random Stats for the Night Off

Game 20: Sorry!

We were having issues with the site. Here’s the game thread, finally. New York Yankees Texas Rangers Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Delino DeShields, CF Brett Gardner, LF Nomar Mazara, RF Carlos Beltran, RF Adrian Beltre, 3B Mark Teixeira, 1B Ian Desmond, LF Alex Rodriguez, DH Ryan Rua, DH Brian McCann, C Rougned Odor, 2B Starlin Castro, 2B Elvis Andrus, SS Chase Headley, 3B Hanser Alberto, 1B Ronald Torreyes, SS Bryan Holaday, C CC Sabathia, SP Martin Perez, SP

Game 19 Recap: Rangers 10 Yankees 1

[caption id="attachment_81129" align="aligncenter" width="388"]Teix K vs TEX Mark Teixeira sings his at-bat music during last night’s game. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

This one wasn’t good for the old run differential.  Facing possible thunderstorms and tornado delays in the forecast, the Yankee instead fell victim to the Ranger bats.  They beat up a scuffling Luis Severino pretty bad early and cruised out to a big lead that the Yankee offense was incapable of even denting.

So yeah, Severino.  He looked pretty good through the first 2 innings.  I thought he was settling in after a quick 2nd.  But it unraveled for him pretty quickly with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd.  The key play might have actually been a non-play.  After Nomar Mazara singled and Adrian Beltre doubled to put runners on second and third, Joe Girardi called for an intentional walk of Prince Fielder to load the bases and face Ian Desmond.  Severino did that and then unintentionally walked Desmond to force in a run.  From there he proceeded to allow 4 more runs on 3 singles and a wild pitch in what ended up being a 43-pitch inning.  Severino did not come out for the 4th.

That job went to Ivan Nova, and he proceeded to seal the win for the Rangers with 4 innings of 3-run ball.  He didn’t walk anybody, but he suffered from the same lack of command inside the strike zone that has hampered Severino and Michael Pineda in this first month of the season.  Nova did allow Joe to save most of the rest of the ‘pen from having to work in this one, but by the time he was out of the game it was 9-1 Rangers.

That 1 run came in the top of the 7th when the Yankees were able to string a walk and 2 singles together off of a tiring A.J. Griffin.  That left them with 2 on and nobody out and they did not score another run in the inning, so at least the anomaly of the Yankees being an even remotely competent offensive baseball team didn’t last long.  They made Griffin look real good over the first 6 innings, hitting a lot of lazy fly balls and infield pop ups for easy outs.  The one positive contributor was Ronald Torreyes, who had exactly 100% of the team’s hits through 6 innings.  The rest of the lineup hardly did anything.

This one was a stinker for sure, but the Yankees can still take the series with a win tonight.  CC Sabathia will get the start against Martin Perez and Joe will have his bullpen horses ready at the end if CC can do enough to bridge them a lead. Continue reading Game 19 Recap: Rangers 10 Yankees 1

Game 19: Severino vs. Griffin

Here’s your game thread. RANGERS Rougned Odor 2B Nomar Mazara RF Adrian Beltre 3B Prince Fielder DH Ian Desmond LF Mitch Moreland 1B Elvis Andrus SS Brett Nicholas C Delino DeShields CF A.J. Griffin P YANKEES Jacoby Ellsbury CF Brett Gardner LF Carlos Beltran RF Mark Teixeira DH Brian McCann C Starlin Castro 2B Dustin Ackley 1B Didi Gregorius SS Ronald Torreyes 3B Luis Severino P Enjoy the game!

Quick Hit: SI Yankees Sabermetrics Day Event

Less than an hour ago, Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs posted information about the Staten Island Yankees ‘Sabermetrics Day,’ which will be held on June 19th. Here is the team’s press release:

Say hello to a new season of Baby Bombers baseball and to the leaders of the new school of baseball analysis! On Sunday, June 19, the Staten Island Yankees welcome stat geeks and avid prospect followers to Sabermetrics Day at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George as the Staten Island Yankees take on the Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore Orioles affiliate). Don’t miss the chance to ask questions and meet some of the most notable names in sabermetrics research and analysis as the afternoon will be highlighted by writers and analysts from FanGraphs, ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and more!

Access to the programmed portion of the event will be limited to fans who purchase one of two limited ticket packages. The first package (limited to 50 fans) grants access to all programming and perks, while the second package (limited to 150 fans) grants access only to the Statgeek Picnic.

In addition to the FangGraphs team, ESPN’s Dan Szymborski, FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Lindbergh, and friend of the blog Jonah Keri will also be in attendance. And, perhaps most importantly, I will be there.

If interested, you may purchase tickets here. Use the promo code ‘STATS.’ Continue reading Quick Hit: SI Yankees Sabermetrics Day Event

Tuesday Morning News And Notes: 4/26/16

There were a lot of little stories coming out yesterday, zero of which we touched on here.  Let’s catch up on them in a little rapid fire notes blog.

– A-Rod’s MRI on his oblique came back negative, so the Yankees elected to not make a roster move for either him or Aaron Hicks.  They played last night with a 23-man roster.  I’m actually a little surprised they haven’t just put Hicks on the DL retroactive to the date he got hurt and called somebody up, but it sounds like A-Rod might be available again soon.  He did take BP yesterday.

– I don’t remember where I saw it, but apparently Hicks played catch yesterday before the game.  He hadn’t been doing much of anything before then, so I guess the advancement to “baseball activities” is a good thing.

Branden Pinder has decided to have Tommy John Surgery to repair his UCL tear.  He’ll be out for the next 12-14 months, which is a major bummer for him and the SWB Shuttle.

– With Pinder and Rumbelow out and Jacob Lindgren going back on the DL with an elbow injury in High-A, the Yankees made a move to bring back lefty reliever Phil Coke.  He had been pitching in the Independent Atlantic League and was mostly bad last year at multiple levels for multiple teams, but he is a former True Yankee and that’s something that can’t be measured.  Being left-handed is so awesome if you’re a baseball player.

– The worst news of the day yesterday might have been the James Kaprielian elbow injury.  He was placed on the DL with “elbow inflammation” and there is no timetable for his return.  The Yankees confirmed that an MRI showed no structural damage in his elbow, so there is no surgery planned for him.  The plan is to treat Kaprielian “conservatively” with rest and throwing, so at the bare minimum we can stop dreaming of him making it to the big leagues this season. Continue reading Tuesday Morning News And Notes: 4/26/16

Game 18 Recap: Yankees 3 Rangers 1

[caption id="attachment_81113" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Eovaldi vs TEX 16 The nastiest of Nates. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

It’s always nice to win a low-scoring game for a change.  The short-handed offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders as usual, but it didn’t matter because the pitching was fantastic last night.  Nathan Eovaldi tossed 7 scoreless innings to hold the Rangers at bay and handed a lead over to the Yankees’ dominant late-inning pair.  That’s always a recipe for success and the it was again last night as the Yankees picked up a much needed win to open the 3-gamer in Texas.

Eovaldi came out of the gate hot last night, facing the minimum number of batters through 3 innings.  A runner did reach on an error to lead off the bottom of the 2nd, but error culprit Didi Gregorius made up for it by starting a 6-4-3 double play to erase the baserunner on the very next pitch.  Eovaldi actually didn’t allow a hit until the 7th inning, mixing pitches well, moving his fastball around, and throwing a ton of offspeed pitches for strikes.  This was arguably the best Eovaldi has looked as an all-around pitcher in his career.

The lineup sans A-Rod and Big Mac didn’t give Eovaldi a lot of support but even a couple runs were plenty with the way he was pitching.  Those couple of runs came in the top of the 3rd on a Jacoby Ellsbury solo home run and a Mark Teixeira RBI double, and they were critical at the time because the Yanks had just gone scoreless in a bases loaded, 1 out situation in the 2nd inning.  They didn’t generate much in the way of meaningful opportunities after those 2 innings, but a Starlin Castro solo shot to lead off the 6th provided an important insurance run.

Joe let Eovaldi come out to start the 8th inning, which I believe gave him the new deepest start of the year for the Yankee rotation.  He walked the leadoff batter and that was all for him.  Dellin Betances came on and got another double play grounder to erase the walk, but then hung a curveball to somebody named Brett Nicholas and watched it go for Nicholas’ first career MLB home run.  That ruined Dellin’s hope for a scoreless season, but he didn’t allow any further damage and Andrew Miller made quick work of the heart of the Ranger order in the 9th.  Ballgame over, Yankees win. Continue reading Game 18 Recap: Yankees 3 Rangers 1

Game 18: Eovaldi vs. Ramos

The Yankees are at least a bit shorthanded tonight, as both Aaron Hicks and Alex Rodriguez are battling injuries. As of this writing, neither seems capable of playing tonight, but both remain on the active roster. That leaves tonight’s usable bench as Brian McCann and Ronald “Career .400/.429/.600 Hitter” Torreyes.

New York Yankees Texas Rangers
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Rougned Odor, 2B
Brett Gardner, LF Nomar Mazara, RF
Carlos Beltran, DH Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B Prince Fielder, 1B
Starlin Castro, 2B Ian Desmond, LF
Chase Headley, 3B Mitch Moreland, DH
Dustin Ackley, RF Elvis Andrus, SS
Didi Gregorius, SS Brett Nicholas, C
Austin Romine, C Delino DeShields, CF
Nathan Eovaldi, SP Cesar Ramos, SP

Continue reading Game 18: Eovaldi vs. Ramos

Game 17 Recap: Rays 8 Yankees 1

[caption id="attachment_81106" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Pineda vs TB 16 Whomp, whomp. Courtesy of the AP[/caption]

Things were looking a little brighter in Yankeeland heading into yeterday’s series finale against the Rays.  They had taken the first 2 games of the series, the second in dramatic walk-off fashion on Saturday, and were in a position to complete the sweep before heading back out on the road.  That brightness lasted all of 5 pitches, as Michael Pineda imploded in the top of the 1st inning and put the no-show offense in a hole way too big to climb out of.

But boy, those first 5 pitches were something.  Pineda struck out leadoff hitter Logan Forsythe on 3 pitches and induced a quick ground ball out from Logan Morrison.  He had an 0-2 count on Evan Longoria to get out of the inning quickly, but Longoria fought back to even the count and then doubled to deep center on a 2-2 meatball fastball.  From there it unraveled quickly.  Corey Dickerson hit a 2-run homer on the next pitch to get Tampa on the board, then Steve Pearce singled, Brad Miller doubled, and Steven Souza hit another 2-run dinger to make it 5-0.  It took only 9 pitches for all that damage to be done and the boo birds were justifiably out at the Stadium.

The offense didn’t muster up much of a fight against Drew Smyly.  The only run they scored came in the bottom of the 4th after Brett Gardner took a pitch off the batting helmet to get on base and came around to score on Alex Rodriguez‘s 2-out double into the left field corner.  He missed hitting a home run by about half a foot.  The Yanks had 2 on and no outs in the 5th and didn’t plate a run, and they wasted 2 on and 1 out in the 6th.  That was all she wrote for the offense.

The Rays kept playing long ball to make sure there wouldn’t be even a hint of a threat of a comeback.  Pearce went solo in the 3rd to make it 6-0, Souza went deep again in the 5th to make it 7-1 and give Pineda 4 HR allowed for the day.  And just for good measure, Forsythe hit one off Nick Goody in the 8th.

You want to keep looking at the positives and point to the series victory, but yesterday was a disappointing way to end that series and a bad note on which to hit the road.  Bats need to wake up in Texas. Continue reading Game 17 Recap: Rays 8 Yankees 1