Jeff Sullivan over at Fangraphs.com recently had a very interesting article about the five starter rotation myth. The most effective writing is that which makes you think and Sullivan certainly brings a perspective on a topic we don’t think about very often. While he admitted his methodology was a bit sloppy, the basic...
AL run scoring was way down in 2013. Batters scored just 4.33 runs per game, their lowest level since 1992 [chart updated for added lusciousness]:
I find this this graph amazing. Except for a brief period in the late 80s, run scoring hasn’t been this low since Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry were winning World Series. A .275/.339/.437 hitter in 2006 was equivalent to a .256/.320/.404 hitter in 2013.
That’s crazy! I don’t think that I am the only baseball fan that looks at a stat line and makes an intuitive judgment. When I first started paying attention to OBP, a .300 OBP was unacceptable, even for a middle infielder. Now, its just barely below average. A player with the same batting line as an average AL hitter in 2006 is now very valuable. We all need to adjust our expectations.
Why has run scoring decreased? A lot of people have theories. BABIPs haven’t changed much. HR/Fly is down from its peak in the late 90s, but is still significantly elevated from the late 80s.…
(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
There’s not much that can slow down the Masahiro Tanaka train now that the 30-day negotiation window has been opened. He’s young, he’s strong, he’s very good, and he’s generally regarded as the hands down best starting pitcher available on the FA market this offseason. If anything could, however, it could be a growing sense of concern over the workload already accumulated on Tanaka’s arm. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports posted a story on this very topic on Monday, quoting multiple unnamed MLB front office personnel who expressed varying levels of concern about Tanaka’s arm and the stress that’s already been put on it.
I’m not one to get all worked up over pitch counts and innings counts and how much or little a guy is pitching when he’s younger. If recent MLB history has taught us anything, it’s that managing young pitchers’ workloads is basically a crapshoot. For every Matt Harvey who gets managed “correctly” and safely by today’s standards, there’s a Tim Lincecum or Felix Hernandez who come up and throw 200+ innings a year at a very young age with no problems and no repercussions. …
Today is David Cone‘s 51st birthday and in honor of this special day (and because I have a head cold and can’t concentrate) I’m reposting a piece I wrote last January for my friend Michael Clair’s annual blogathon which raises money for Doctors Without Borders. Michael is doing another blogathon in a few weeks and I am, once again, participating. It’s a very cool endeavor. Michael blogs every hour for 24 hours on day one and then the next day he schedules a bunch of posts from guest writers (some of the best baseball bloggers on the Internet and me).
For last year’s installment, I wrote a post about my biggest baseball regret: Missing David Cone’s perfect game. Can you believe that we will be celebrating the 15th (!!) anniversary of that game this summer? Time flies when you’re having fun and getting old.
Anyway, enjoy the piece and please, as always, feel free to write about your biggest baseball regret in the comments.…
Happy New Year, everybody! I hope your NYE celebrations were as fun as mine was, and I also hope you were smart enough to take today and tomorrow off from work because I wasn’t and the weather isn’t exactly cooperating with any of us. There were 3-4 inches already on the ground when I drove to the office this morning out in Wisco and it looks like the Northeast is fixing to get pounded something fierce today and tomorrow. I’m expecting another slow day at work and things are still moving pretty slowly in Yankeeland as we wrap up the holiday season, so I figured it was as good a time as any to touch on some random topics.
- If some of the theories that have been floating around are correct, we could find out the arbitrator’s decision in the A-Rod suspension appeal hearing as early as tomorrow. While I don’t think there’s much of a chance that the entire suspension is voided, I do think it will get cut down some from the original 211 games. …
2013 is almost over, and with that, a season of Yankee baseball that should probably be forgotten. We have another year ahead of us to look forward to, one without Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, or Robinson Cano. Instead, we’ll have Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann to join the future core of the team. Yankee baseball will be quite different in 2014, but hopefully they’ll return to their winning ways.
We’d like to thank all of you for making 2013 a great year for the community here at IIATMS/TYA. Have a safe and happy New Years!
(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
It was an up and down 2013 for Zoilo Almonte. He hit .297/.369/.421 (.361 wOBA) in 293 Triple-A plate appearances in his first experience at the level, showing improved plate discipline and on-base skills that had yet to be part of his offensive repertoire. When the barrage of injuries struck the Major League club, he got called up to the show in the summer and the results weren’t nearly as good, .236/.274/.302 (.257 wOBA) in 113 PA.
A hamstring injury ended his season early, but he picked it up back in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. If you haven’t been following the comings and goings of that league closely, and I don’t blame you if you haven’t, Zoilo hit .316/.343/.454 out there and has seen time at all 3 outfield positions. What does that mean as far as his Major League standing for 2014 goes? Probably not much. Almonte has hit in this league before, and with the new acquisitions made by the Yankees to upgrade their outfield it’s not a stretch to say he’s the 7th outfielder on the 40-man right now behind Ellsbury, Beltran, Gardner, Soriano, Ichiro, and Wells.…
In case you wanted a belated holiday gift, here it is: A story from the New York Magazine that exposes emails between Yankees’ President Randy Levine and Alex Rodriguez.
The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that Randy Levine sends emails like a teenage girl. Would it kill him to actually spell out the word you? Good gracious.
Here are a few highlights:
May 17, 2011
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.
Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.
Apparently typing out the word you is too taxing for Mr. Levine.
March 25, 2012
Rodriguez is hit by a pitch in a preseason game.
Levine: Ouch. Feel better.
Rodriguez: Can’t hurt me.
Levine: It hurt me watching.…
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Austin Romine is “very much available”. Even after trading Chris Stewart to the Pirates, the Yankees find themselves with five catchers on the 40-man roster. Brian McCann and Francisco Cervelli project to be on the 25-man roster, while Gary Sanchez will likely return to Double-A in 2014. This leaves the team with both JR Murphy and Austin Romine competing for a spot in Scranton. The Yankees still have a number of needs to address this winter, so if one of Romine or Murphy can help them obtain an infielder or pitcher, a trade makes a ton of sense.
In that same report by Cafardo, he links Ubaldo Jimenez to the Yankees. He hears from GM’s that even if the Yankees land Masahiro Tanaka, Jimenez makes sense for the team and his personality would be a good fit for New York. The team was linked to Jimenez earlier this winter, and Cashman almost traded for Jimenez in July of 2011.…