How MLB.tv and stat sites turned me into a pessimist

This is going to sound a lot like whining. And I apologize in advance. And I know that I am supposed to be more journalistically inclined. But I am not. If I was getting paid to write, I would do that. But there is a reason on my other writing home that the word, “Fan,” is in the title. I have always written about the game from a fan’s perspective. And right about now, this team from the Bronx has me about as pessimistic as a fan can be.

Our own Matt Bove and Kevin Ducey made me think about this new realization about my world view as a fan. This was our recent Twitter conversation:

There was more to the conversation but the gist of it was about my pessimism and Matt trying to get me to stop being that way.…

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Kuroda in June: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Kuroda vs PIT

Hiroki Kuroda is not going to win the Cy Young or even make the All-Star team this year, but he is quietly putting together a solid month of June with a 3.33 ERA and .509 opponent OPS over four starts (including a clunker at Oakland on June 14). That’s a huge improvement over his numbers in April and May:

HIROKI KURODA THIS SEASON
AVG SLUG OBP ERA WHIP HR/9 IP
June .188 .259 .250 3.33 0.945 0.37 24.1
April-May .283 .464 .314 4.57 1.323 1.25 65.0

Let’s break down his performance this month to see what he’s doing right and what it means for him the rest of the season.

The Good
One of the key improvements by Kuroda this month has been his ability to limit hard contact. He has a line drive rate of 18 percent in June, compared to 24 percent in the first two months. Also, only 15 percent of at-bats against him have ended in a hard-hit ball, a decrease from his 20 percent hard-hit rate in April and May.…

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Should The Yankees Try To Trade For David Price?

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

We’re still far enough away from the trade deadline for it to not officially be “trade season” quite yet.  Those winds don’t start really blowing ’til the All-Star break.  But business is already picking up on the David Price front.  Arguably the best player who will be available and the type of difference maker in the rotation that any contending team could use, Price is the talk of the trade town both locally and nationally.  TB beat writer Marc Topkin wrote over the weekend that there are already some teams with scouts following him and the Rays’ preference is to trade him to the NL, and earlier today yesterday Buster Olney suggested (Insider-only) that a trade could materialize as soon as this week.

The Yankees have not been involved in any of the early rumors, outside of Jim Bowden’s trade proposal from last week.  Price would fill a huge need for them though, and it will come down to how serious the Yankees are willing to get about what they’ll have to give up to get Price.  …

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Game 76: The Quest for a Positive Run Differential

The Yankees sit three games above .500, despite a -35 run differential – “good” for 25th in Major League Baseball. Their Pythagorean record (an estimate of a team’s “should be” record based on run differential) is 34-41. Starting today, that begins to change – for the better, I hope and pray. Old friend Mark Buehrle and his career 5.84 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees seems like as good a match-up as any to kick things off … and I’m sure David Phelps is ecstatic that Jose Bautista is not in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays, to boot.

New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
Brett Gardner, LF Jose Reyes, SS
Derek Jeter, SS Melky Cabrera, LF
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Adam Lind, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Alfonso Soriano, RF Colby Rasmus, CF
Carlos Beltran, DH Dioner Navarro, C
Brian McCann, C Juan Francisco, 3B
Brian Roberts, 2B Kevin Pillar, RF
Yangervis Solarte, 3B Munenori Kawasaki, 2B
David Phelps, SP Mark Buehrle, SP
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Quick hits: CC back at the end of July? Beltran won’t be in the outfield and more!

According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, Joe Girardi told reporters that CC Sabathia will begin his official rehab assignment this weekend. That will start a 30-day clock which, barring any cataclysmic setbacks, should put his return at the end of July.

While, it’s not ideal that the Yankees have to wait so long for his return, getting Sabathia back at the end of next month will be similar to making a trade deadline deal, especially if he comes back and does well.

I don’t even want to think about him not doing well. Positive thoughts, everyone!

And a Carlos Beltran update from Daniel Barbarisi: his return to outfield has been shut down indefinitely after throwing the ball this weekend caused a forearm problem. So he’ll be the DH for the time being. Beltran told reporters he thinks the forearm issue was caused by him compensating for his elbow injury but he doesn’t feel it when swinging.

Anything else, guys?…

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Quick Hit: Futures Game Update

Good for Severino and O’Brien.

And in case you didn’t hear the news, Slade Heathcott is out for the year. He’s having season-ending knee surgery.

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What to Watch For: June 24 vs Blue Jays

20111118-blue-jays-logoThe Yankees and Blue Jays play the middle game of their three-game series tonight at the Rogers Centre. Here’s a few things to watch for as you pray for the Yankees offense to score some runs.

Buerhle’s Kryptonite
The Yankees have dominated many pitchers over the years but perhaps none more than Mark Buerhle, who owns a 1-11 record and 5.84 ERA in 17 career starts against the franchise.

His .083 winning percentage ranks as the second-worst of any pitcher that has made at least 15 starts against the Yankees, behind only Hall-of-Famer and Yankee great Red Ruffing. Ruffing, who started his career with the Red Sox before being traded to New York in 1930, went 1-16 (.059) against the Yankees.

Buehrle’s only win against the Yankees came in 2004, when he beat them at the Stadium as a member of the White Sox. He is 0-5 with a 6.98 ERA in seven starts at home against the Bombers.…

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About Last Night: Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley didn’t have a good outing against the Toronto Blue Jays last night.

Here’s his hit chart for the game:
hit-chart (37)

Whitley actually started off the game nicely by striking out Jose Reyes swinging, but it all went downhill from there. The Blue Jays scored a run in the first, thanks to Melky Cabrera and Adam Lind.

Cabrera hit a first pitch double to center on a 91 m.p.h. fastball over the plate:
atbat-summary (47)

Lind hit another 91 m.p.h. offering for an RBI single:
atbat-summary (48)

The second inning was even worse for Whitley. He gave up three straight singles to Juan Francisco, Munenori Kawasaki and Anthony Gose.

atbat-summary (49)

atbat-summary (50)

atbat-summary (51)

Francisco hit a slider and Kawasaki and Gose hit fastballs. Francisco and Kawasaki hit line drive singles while Gose’s was on the ground.

Whitley got three guys to hit the ball in the air during his outing. The highest dot in the image is Lind’s three-run home run in the second inning, the one below that is a fly out by Rasmus in the fourth and the one that looks like it’s going to hit the ground was a popup by Cabrera in the third.…

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