On the Roster: A Look at Two Current Controversies and One from the Past

(The following was originally published at The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

Lately, the baseball intelligentsia has been preoccupied by rosters. When the calendar turned to September, the usual, but growing round of articles decrying the practice of roster expansion became prevalent. Then, once that furor passed, attention turned to the  Read more

Phil Hughes has a problem against right-handed batters

Logic without statistics (don’t worry, I’ll back this up) would dictate that the type of pitcher Hughes is would be advantageous to a RHB. He is a high ball pitcher. Most of his pitches are either mid-level or high in the strike zone. Most LHBs like the ball down. So a high ball pitcher gives them more trouble. Most RHBs like the ball up and that is what they get from Hughes. Not only do they get the ball middle/up, they get it out over the plate. With too many pitches in the upper left-outer quadrant of the plate, RHBs have the choice of hitting the ball hard the other way or jacking it out by hooking it to the left. Either will work with a pitch that is up in their eyesight and where they can extend their arms to swing at the pitch.

Okay, now to back up that statement. Here is a heat map of all of Hughes’ pitches against RHBs this season (courtesy of Fangraphs.com):

To get a perspective on the heat map, you are looking at the strike zone from the catcher’s perspective.…

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Yankees sweep Jays behind another big night for Ichiro

Toronto got a little life when Moises Sierra hit a two-run homer off Hughes in the top of the fifth, but a double by Nix and a RBI single by Jeter gave the Bombers those runs back, making the score 10-4. The Blue Jays rallied in the top of the eighth, as the Yankees sent Cory Wade to the mound for the first time since September 9th. Johnson promptly hit a solo homer to right and J.P. Arencibia lined a single to right. Wade struck out Hechavarria, but Gose hit a double deep to center, putting runners on second and third and prompting the Yankees to call on Joba Chamberlain. Lawrie singled in Arencibia and Gose scored on a ground out, cutting the Yankee lead to three runs. David Robertson came out in the top of the ninth and struck out the side to preserve the Yankees’ win.

Bronx Cheers:
Robinson Cano: Robbie went 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout.…

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Game 149: A Baker’s Dozen to Go

Toronto Blue Jays New York Yankees
Brett Lawrie, 3B Derek Jeter, SS
Colby Rasmus, CF Nick Swisher, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH Robinson Cano, 2B
Adam Lind, 1B Alex Rodriguez, DH
Moises Sierra, RF Russell Martin, C
Kelly Johnson, 2B Curtis Granderson, CF
J.P. Arencibia, C Casey McGehee, 1B
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS Ichiro Suzuki, LF
Anthony Gose, LF Jayson Nix, 3B
Aaron Laffey, SP Phil Hughes, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for...

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What is a top prospect?

I’ve been putting together my top-30 prospect list for this fall since the minor league season ended. Its not an easy task to take 40-50 prospects inside the Yankee organization, pick thirty, and say which one is better than the others. How do you do it?

We know basically what makes a good baseball player. Those...

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Looking back at the 2012 Trenton Thunder

It was an exciting season for Trenton, who showed some consistent play across the season despite the coming and going of various players due to injury or promotion. Trenton Manager Tony Franklin picked up a much deserved EL Manager of the Year Award. While it is always disappointing to just fall short of a championship, I would think Thunder fans have a lot to get excited about in the next couple years. They have the opportunity to continue to shine as prospects like Ramon Flores, Tyler Austin and Mason Williams could see time there shortly.

Curtain Calls:
Zoilo Almonte (OF): In 106 games, Almonte hit .277/.322/.487 with 21 homers, 23 doubles, 70 RBIs and fifteen stolen bases. He caused some excitement during Spring Training and has shown some good stuff.

David Adams (2B): Coming back from a nasty injury, Adams got better as the season progressed. He played 86 games and hit .306/.385/.450 with eight homers, 23 doubles and 48 RBIs.…

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