To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: Hiroki Kuroda

Hirok vs TOR

How could anybody not want this guy back next year??? Courtesy of Getty Images

On Tuesday we weighed the cases for and against making David Robertson a qualifying offer this offseason.  Today we do the same for the other potential qualifying offer candidate, reliable right-handed starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Case For:

  • Consistent Very Good Performance- In his 3 seasons as a Yankee, Kuroda ranks 12th in MLB in IP (620.0), T-12th in BB rate (5.1%), T-20th in WHIP (1.15), and 18th in fWAR (11.0), with a 3.44/3.68/.360 slash line.
  • Consistency Within The Consistency- Made 33, 32, and 32 starts in his 3 Yankee seasons; pitched between 199-220 regular season innings in each season; had ERAs between 3.31-3.71, FIPs between 3.56-3.86, and xFIPS between 3.54-3.67 in each season; K rate between 17.8%-18.7% in each season; 11+ wins in each season; 3-year fWAR values of 3.7, 3.8, and 3.5
  • Rotation Health Questions- Tanaka, Pineda, Sabathia, and Nova all enter 2015 with health-related concerns.  
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Quick Hit: Giving Props to Larry Rothschild

The Yankees pitching staff this season felt as if it was cobbled together from rubbish and assorted cadavers, and held together by Scotch tape and some good ol’ fashioned Elmer’s glue. A total of thirty-three players threw a pitch for the team this year (and I say ‘players’ and not ‘pitchers’ because of Dean Anna), and thirteen pitchers started at least one game. The Yankees Opening Day rotation – CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka, and Michael Pineda – combined to make only seventy-seven starts. Twenty-seven games were started by pitchers in their first taste of the Majors (Shane Greene, Chase Whitley, and Bryan Mitchell), and another twenty-seven went to folk that were on another team when the season kicked off (Brandon McCarthy, Chris Capuano, and the immortal Esmil Rogers). And, finally, the team used twenty-six different players out of the bullpen. To call it a staff in flux may be the understatement of the year.…

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Yanks Reportedly Start The Interview Process For A New Hitting Coach

Didn’t take long for the new hitting coach hiring process to start.  Per a George King report yesterday afternoon, the Yankees were set to interview Texas Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan for their vacant hitting coach job.  The interview was scheduled for yesterday afternoon.

“Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Magadan were slated to meet Wednesday in New York to discuss the job that opened when former hitting coach Kevin Long was fired Friday with a year to go on his contract.

On Tuesday, Magadan said he had been contacted by the Yankees and that ‘it was in the preliminary stages.’’’

The report also named the Mets as another team to have contacted Magadan.  He is currently under contract with the Rangers, but due to ex-manager Ron Washington‘s recent departure, the team is allowing all its coaches to interview elsewhere.  In addition to Magadan, King’s report named Oakland hitting coach Chili Davis as the other scheduled interview for the Yankees this week.  …

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Refsnyder Ranks 13th In Baseball America’s Top 20 International League Prospects List

Refsnyder SWB

Courtesy of Andrew Krech/NY Daily News

Fresh off the heels of his 13th place ranking in yesterday’s Double-A Eastern League list, Rob Refsnyder became a 2-time member of Baseball America’s league-by-league top 20 rankings today when he was named to the list for the Triple-A International League.  Coincidentally, he came in at number 13 on this list as well, joining Aaron Judge as the only Yankee prospects to appear on multiple lists.

Refsnyder hit .300/.389/.456 with 28 XBH and 47 R scored in 77 games for the SWB RailRiders (333 PA).  That, paired with his results from Double-A, gave Refsnyder a .318/.387/.497 slash line for the full season.  That’s very impressive when you remember that he didn’t hit for that kind of average or nearly that kind of power in 117 games at the High-A level last year.  He may be a work in progress defensively at second base, but Refsnyder has proven beyond a doubt that he can handle the stick at any level of the Minors and that’s why he’ll be knocking on the Major League door come next spring.…

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Open Thread: Royals vs. O’s Game 4

Greetings, everyone!

I thought that if you were watching Game 4 of the 2014 ALCS, you’d want a place to discuss the events and well, here we are. It’s your open/game thread for the day.

This has been some series for the Royals. They have that 2007 Rockies thing happening which could be a good thing with regards to LCS but a bad thing if there’s a long layoff between the LCS and WS. They have a chance of sweeping the O’s out of town with a win this afternoon/evening and after 29 years, the fans in KC are pumped up.

I’ll admit I’ve been watching the games with an eye on the TV and my better eye on my computer so I am only paying half attention BUT I will watch today’s game intently because it could be a clincher.

And if you’ve been away from your computers, well, you’ve missed the whole hullabaloo surrounding Jeremy Guthrie’s t-shirt last night.…

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10/15/01: A playoff game with dad

[A note: Tonight marks the 13th anniversary of what turned out to be a fun night for me and since I'm in the mood to reminisce and write about the happy memories of my father, I thought I'd share this story with all of you.

It was originally published on my Aerys Sports Yankees' blog back in 2011 for Father's Day and I've gone in and edited it a tad. Hope you enjoy it. ~Stacey]

***

My dad, Gus Gotsulias, is the reason I like sports so much and why I root for the New York Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and Giants.

He took me to my first Yankees and Rangers games. He bought me my first pair of Knicks tickets but, at the time, I was 19 and wanted to go with my best friend. She ended up watching Madonna the entire time – she was sitting courtside right below us – and the Knicks beat the Heat by 35 points (Yes, it was a very long time ago.) And it always seemed that whenever my dad could get us Giants tickets, they were for November or December and he didn’t want me to freeze which, while considerate of him, still annoyed me as a kid, so I didn’t get to attend my first Giants game until 2009 when I was well into my 30’s.…

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WAR is Wrong: Top Relievers Are Worth Double their WAR – So D-Rob Easily Merits $12-15m

Relievers are weird creatures the standard wins-above-replacement (WAR) stat doesn’t evaluate well. I’ll give the punch line first: relievers pitching high-leverage innings are worth at least double what WAR claims. I’ll get back to David Robertson, but let’s start with Greg Holland, a nice example of a consistently true-elite reliever – but you could substitute prime-years Mariano Rivera, who averaged only 3.0 WAR/yr as a closer. In 2013 and 2014, Holland logged low-1s ERAs and converted 95% of about 50 save opportunities (2-3 blown saves (BS) a year) – yet BBREF and Fangraphs call him only a 2-3 WAR player.

Wouldn’t a replacement-level pitcher giving up over a run every two innings – call him “Kawn Shelley” – blow at least 20% of save chances, or easily 10 out of 50 rather than Holland’s 2-3 out of 50 or Robertson’s 5 out of 44? Not all blown saves are fatal – lost leads may be recoverable – but about 60% of blown saves become losses.…

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Sanchez And Refsnyder Named To Baseball America’s Top 20 Eastern League Prospects List

Baseball America’s year-end run through the top 20 prospects in every minor league is almost over.  Today it was the Double-A Eastern League’s top 20 and the Yankees had 2 of their big names show up on the list.  Catcher Gary Sanchez came in at number 11 and second baseman Rob Refsnyder was lucky 13.

Sanchez hit .270/.338/.406 in 477 plate appearances over a full season at the Double-A level.  He continued to show great promise with the bat and improvements in his defensive game, but not at a level as high was what his original ceiling made him out to be.  Refsnyder was arguably the best position player in the Yankee system this year, and in his short stint in Trenton he hit .342/.385/.548.  Sanchez is no longer the top Yankee prospect on my board, but he and Refsnyder are both top 5 easily.  Refsnyder should be in competition for the starting second base job next spring and Sanchez could be in serious consideration for a roster spot in 2016.…

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To Qualify Or Not To Qualify: David Robertson

D-Rob vs DET

The look of a man who knows he’s getting paid this offseason. Courtesy of Getty Images

The League Championship Series are in the early stages, so we’re weeks away from the realistic deadline.  But with each passing game, that deadline for submitting qualifying offers draws closer.  I briefly touched on the increase of the QO price to $15.3 million last week and my plan was always to discuss the 2 top Yankee QO candidates in greater detail.  We’ll start that plan today with a look at the qualifying offer case for David Robertson.

Case For:

  • Consistent Elite Performance- One of the best relievers in MLB since 2011.  19th in IP (258.0), 5th in Strikeouts (354), 8th in K rate (34.0%), 3rd in Holds (97), 9th in FIP (2.40), 4th in fWAR (7.6).
  • Strong 2014 Season- One of the best closers in MLB this past season.  Finished T-8th in Saves (39), 10th in K rate (37.1%), T-13th in reliever fWAR (1.7).
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