About Last Night: Brian McCann

Brian McCann is not having a good season and he would probably be the first person to tell you that.

Heading into last night’s game, McCann was batting .220/.278/.345/.623 with seven home runs, 28 RBI, 15 walks and 34 strikeouts. Even worse, his numbers in June were a dreadful .174/.240/.196/.436. He hadn’t hit a home run – in fact, his last round tripper was on 5/23 against the White Sox – he only had one extra base hit  - a double he hit against Jeremy Guthrie in Kansas City on June 6 –  he had 10 strikeouts to go along with four walks and his ISO, which measures how well a player is at hitting for extra bases, was an abysmal .022. (On the Fangraphs ISO scale an .080 is considered awful.)

Thanks to last night’s performance – he was 2-3 with a triple, a home run and a walk – McCann’s season numbers are now .226/.286/.372/.657 which are still pretty bad but maybe this sort of show at the plate will get him and his numbers moving in the right direction.…

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Can Phelps get Bautista and Encarnacion out?

Phelps final

If the Blue Jays are smart, they will stack their lineup with right-handed hitters against David Phelps tonight. Huh? Phelps is a righty, so shouldn’t he pitch better against right-handers?

This season Phelps actually has a reverse platoon split with a higher OPS allowed to righties than lefties. It’s not just a small split either: left-handers have a .590 OPS against him and right-handers have a .897 OPS versus him this season.

His .590 OPS vs lefties ranks in the top 10 among AL right-handed pitchers; and his .897 OPS vs righties is one of the five worst among AL right-handers (min. 100 batters faced).

His numbers against same-sided batters have declined in each season since his debut, a bad trend for a pitcher trying to stay in the major-league rotation.

2014 .320 .516 .381 134 4
2013 .280 .371 .367 152 2
2012 .220 .315 .282 223 5

We are less than halfway through the season, so the large reverse split may be a case of a small sample size, but it’s still worth investigating his decline in effectiveness against right-handed batters.…

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IIATMS Podcast Ep 22: CC & Pineda, Catchers, the Price for Price, and Rants on Rants

In a post-EJ world, Domenic and yours truly discuss the looming returns of CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda, the Yankees catching dilemma/problem, and wishful thinking for David Price. I also attempt to tackle the ‘Fields of Fashion’ marketing campaign and the reactions surrounding it, and Domenic hates on Bud Selig and all things Oakland Coliseum related.

If you have questions you want us to answer, e-mail us at stupidyankeepodcast@gmail.com or you can tweet us at @IIATMS, @domeniclanza or @StaceGots.

And as always leave your suggestions and comments below.

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Game 70 Quick Recap: Yanks 7 Jays 3

Big Mac HR vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

If MLB wants to re-do the scheduling again and make every team play its divisional rivals more each season, I would have no problem with that.  It would just mean more free wins at home for the Yankees against the Blue Jays.  If you were keeping track, that tally is now up to 15 straight after last night.

Chase Whitley continues to impress as the team’s de facto 3rd starter.  He got the same hard work treatment that Tanaka did on Tuesday night, needing 98 pitches to complete 5 innings.  But he held to the Jays to 5 singles and 2 runs in those 5 innings, left with the lead, and ended up with the W.  If Vidal Nuno could come close to matching Whitley’s consistency, the rotation would be in pretty decent shape.

The Yanks got another early run thanks to Brett Gardner‘s speed.  He singled to lead off the 1st, got to second on an error, moved to third on a flyout, and scored on Alfonso Soriano‘s single away from the shift with 2 outs.  …

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Game 70: Buehrle vs. Whitley

Welcome to tonight’s game thread!

Here are the lineups:

Jose Reyes SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Brett Lawrie 3B
Juan Francisco DH
Dioner Navarro C
Colby Rasmus CF
Munenori Kawasaki 2B

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alfonso Soriano RF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Brian Roberts 2B

Your pitching matchup is Mark Buehrle vs. Chase Whitley.


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Happy Anniversary, Derek Jeter!

Happy Anniversary, Derek Jeter! Nine years ago today, you hit your first (and so far only) career grand slam!

I was at this game, sitting in the left field bleachers and the Cubs fans sitting behind me couldn’t figure out why we were all flipping out so much over a grand slam that turned a 3-1 game into a 7-1 game in the middle of June. I can recall telling one of the girls behind me who was visiting from Chicago that it was Jeter’s first grand slam and she couldn’t believe it.

She said, “Wait, really? The first of his career?”

I nodded.

“Wow, that’s surprising. It seems like he’d have a few by now.”

Then I explained that his numbers up to that point with the bases loaded were really good (his average was north of .300 if I recall correctly) it was just that he had never hit a home run.…

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Mark Buehrle Scouting Report: 6/18/14

Tonight, the Yankees will be facing Mark Buehrle who is coming into tonight’s game with a 10-3 record and I thought it would be fun to look at how he’s been pitching so far this season.

Here is where he likes to throw the ball. He likes using the entire plate:
strike-zone (21)

Overall Buehrle’s holding opposing batters to a .256/.308/.372/.680 line, a .291 BABIP and a .298 wOBA. His K/BB ratio is 55/26.

This is how he pitches to righties:
strike-zone (22)

Righties are batting .272/.321/.388/.709 with three home runs and 41 strikeouts.

hit-chart (36)

This is how he pitches to lefties:
strike-zone (23)

Lefties are batting .216/.277/.333/.610 with one home run and 14 strikeouts.

hit-chart (35)

So far in 2014, batters have had the most success against Buehrle when he throws his fastball. They’re batting .298/.380/.404/.783 conversely, Buehrle has his highest strikeout rate (18.3%) on his fastball. His most successful pitch seems to be his cutter which is holding opposing batters to a .167/.250/.208/.458 line.

He’s given up four home runs all season: Two of them have come on his changeup and two have come on his fastball.…

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Can Heath Bell Be Of Any Value?

Heath Bell 2014

Courtesy of Getty Images

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

The shuffling and re-shuffling of the middle relief deck has been a constant for the Yankees this year.  Early injuries to the starters, some DL stints at the front end of the ‘pen, and a lot of really poor performances have combined to create a rotation of mostly mediocre characters through the last 2 spots and the Yanks are very much still in search of a couple of reliable options.  They’ve got rookie Jose Ramirez in one spot for the moment and the recently-acquired David Huff in the other.  You’ll remember him from his tandem starter duties with Phil Hughes last season.

Another move Cash made to add some organizational depth was signing Heath Bell to a MiL deal last Friday.  Bell was released by the Rays earlier in the season after putting up a 7.27 ERA in 17.1 IP and most recently he had been pitching some OK ball for the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate (4.22/3.24 in 10.2 IP).  …

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