Injury Updates 7/16/15: Beltran, Headley, Ryan, Williams, Bailey

It’s the Yankees’ last day off before the start of the second half.  Let’s catch up on where the roster’s walking wounded stand (or sit).

Carlos Beltran played in a MiL rehab games with the Tampa Yankees last night, going 2-2 with a BB in 3 plate appearances as the DH.  He’s been playing sim games down at the team complex during the break and is supposed to be activated soon after the second half starts.

Chase Headley said he was feeling fine and wouldn’t need any extra rest coming out of the break after he got back into games last weekend, and there have been no follow-up reports on his calf so I’m assuming he’s good to go.

Brendan Ryan continues to bounce from team to team to get his rehab work in.  Since he hasn’t played much this season, he needs all the time he can get.  He’s gotten work at shortstop and third base recently and should be ready to be activated soon after Beltran, but he could end up as a roster casualty if the Yankees need 40-man space.…

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Quick Hit: How Long Can A-Rod Keep Raking?

A-Rod 3000th Hit II

3,020 and counting… Courtesy of Getty Images

Take a quick look at Alex Rodriguez‘s first half splits:

April: .876 OPS, 5 HR, 13 R, 13 RBI
May: .941 OPS, 6 HR, 15 R, 14 RBI
June: .860 OPS, 4 HR, 15 R, 18 RBI
July: .909 OPS, 3 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI

Obviously those July numbers are from less than 2 weeks’ worth of games, but extrapolate that out over a full month and A-Rod is right on the pace he’s been all season.  There were concerns about his ability to stay healthy and play every day, and he’s proven those wrong.  There were concerns about his ability to produce after so much time off, and he’s proven those wrong.  There were concerns about how long he could maintain such a high level of production, and through the first half of the season he has proven those wrong.  The batting averages and BB/K rates have fluctuated from month to month, but overall there hasn’t been any kind of dip or drop-off in A-Rod’s production.  …

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The Slow and Steady (Offensive) Progression of Didi Gregorius

Replacing a long time Yankees position player is never an easy task for anyone. Most of the guys who have been asked to fill some big shoes in recent years have stumbled along the way. And replacing a Yankees lifer and future Hall of Famer like Derek Jeter is damn near impossible, but Didi Gregorius is slowly becoming more and more comfortable as the Yankees’ starting shortstop, and that is a very good thing.

(Note: I am only looking at his offensive numbers in this post. Someone much smarter can feel free to delve into his defense if they dare.)

This is how Gregorius’ spray chart looks overall so far this season:

Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info

As you can see, it’s not an overwhelming spray chart, but you will see in this post that the numbers have gone up from month to month.

Some splits

  • He’s batting .176/.243/.221/.464 against lefties, which was expected and .259/.309/.361/.670 against righties.
  • He’s batting .258/.326/.355/.680 in Yankee wins and .212 /.248/.288/.536 in losses.
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Sandy Koufax is Criminally Overrated

Last night, MLB announced the result of its effort to name the best four living baseball players. They came up with: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench and Sandy Koufax.

Koufax may be the most overrated player in baseball history. He began his career with 5 forgettable seasons from a young player trying to find his game. Then, from 1962 to 1966, he was the best pitcher in baseball. He led the league in ERA each year, and posted the following bWAR:

  • 1962: 4.4 bWAR
  • 1963: 10.7 bWAR
  • 1964: 7.4 bWAR
  • 1965: 8.1 bWAR,
  • 1966: 10.3 bWAR

He then retired due to an arm injury at the age of 30.

Sandy Koufax is the ultimate “peak value” Hall of Fame player. Or at least, he is the most-cited example of a peak value HOFer. In reality, his peak was excellent, but not unique. Let’s look at some of the best seasons from other players with a claim to being one of the best living pitchers:

Randy Johnson:

  • 2002: 10.9 bWAR
  • 2001: 10.0 bWAR
  • 1999: 9.2 bWAR
  • 1995: 8.6 bWAR
  • 2004: 8.5 bWAR

Pedro Martinez:

  • 2000: 11.7 bWAR
  • 1999: 9.7 bWAR
  • 1997: 9.0 bWAR
  • 2003: 8.0 bWAR
  • 1998: 7.2 bWAR

Greg Maddux:

  • 1995: 9.7 bWAR
  • 1992: 9.2 bWAR
  • 1994: 8.5 bWAR
  • 1997: 7.8 bWAR
  • 1996: 7.1 bWAR

Roger Clemens:

  • 1997: 11.9 bWAR
  • 1990: 10.6 bWAR
  • 1987: 9.4 bWAR
  • 1986: 8.9 bWAR
  • 1992: 8.8 bWAR

All of these guys had comparable peaks to Sandy Koufax.…

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Projecting Chase Headley in the Second Half


During the Yankees’ off season (after the 2014 season), I did not want the Yankees to get all crazy signing free agents. But the one signing I coveted was Chase Headley. And then time seemed to drag on until December and the Yankees reeled him in at a fairly modest three-year deal. I was very excited. After a very successful Spring Training, I even picked him for my fantasy team. Flash forward to the All Star Break and Chase Headley has been worth -2.9 runs at the plate and -1 run in the field. What the heck happened to Chase Headley!? And what will he offer in the second half?

The reason for being excited about the December signing was that he was solid at the plate in his late stint with the Yankees in 2014 and was spectacular in the field. Headley’s play at third has been disappointing to say the least in 2015 and his offense at the plate is very reminiscent to what he was like for the Padres in 2014 before the trade.…

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2015 MLB All-Star Game Recap: AL 6 NL 3

Teix ASG 2015

Arm sleeve game on a hundred thousand trillion. Courtesy of Getty Images

The whole thing was kind of a farce without A-Rod involved, but the American League and National League squared off last night in Cincinnati to decide whose league would unfairly be granted home field advantage in the World Series.  Thanks to some bookend power and a deep pool of devastating relievers, the AL was able to nab the win and grab that World Series advantage for the Yankees come October.

Mike Trout led off the game with an at-bat that screamed “I’m the best baseball player on the planet and nobody forget it.”  He fell behind NL starter Zack Greinke 0-2, took an outside fastball for a ball, then waited on another one and drove it the other way for a solo home run to right field.  It was almost like he was setting Greinke up for that from the start.  1-0 AL.

The NL manufactured a run in the bottom of the 2nd with a Paul Goldschmidt single, a throwing error, an advance to third on a groundout, and a 2-out RBI single by Jhonny Peralta to tie the game, and it looked like we were settling in for a low-scoring affair as Greinke and AL starter Dallas Keuchel gave way to the gaggle of top-tier arms waiting behind them.  …

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2015 All-Star Game Thread


Here’s your 2015 All-Star game thread!

Starting lineups:

Mike Trout CF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Nelson Cruz DH
Lorenzo Cain RF
Adam Jones LF
Salvador Perez C
Jose Altuve 2B
Alcides Escobar SS

Andrew McCutchen CF
Todd Frazier 3B
Bryce Harper RF
Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Buster Posey C
Anthony Rizzo DH
Jhonny Peralta SS
Joc Pederson LF
DJ LeMahieu 2B

Starting pitchers: Dallas Keuchel AL and Zach Greinke NL


Position players: Russell Martin (C, Blue Jays), Stephen Vogt (C, A’s), Mark Teixeira (1B, Yankees), Brian Dozier (2B, Twins), Jason Kipnis (2B, Indians), Jose Iglesias (SS, Tigers), Manny Machado (3B, Orioles), Mike Moustakas (3B, Royals), Brock Holt (IF, Red Sox), Brett Gardner (OF, Yankees), J.D. Martinez (OF, Tigers), Prince Fielder (DH, Rangers)

​Pitchers: Chris Archer (SP, Rays), Dellin Betances (RP, Yankees), Brad Boxberger (RP, Rays), Zach Britton (RP, Orioles), Wade Davis (RP, Royals), Felix Hernandez (SP, Mariners), Kelvin Herrera (RP, Royals), Darren O’Day (RP, Orioles), Glen Perkins (RP, Twins), David Price (SP, Tigers), Chris Sale (SP, White Sox), Hector Santiago (SP, Angels)

Injured/Ineligible to play: Jose Bautista (OF, Blue Jays), Miguel Cabrera (1B, Tigers), Alex Gordon (OF, Royals), Sonny Gray (SP, A’s)


Position players: Yasmani Grandal (C, Dodgers), Yadier Molina (C, Cardinals), Adrian Gonzalez (1B, Dodgers), Joe Panik (2B, Giants), Brandon Crawford (SS, Giants), Troy Tulowitzki (SS, Rockies), Nolan Arenado (3B, Rockies), Kris Bryant (3B, Cubs), Ryan Braun (OF, Brewers), A.J.

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Quick Hit: Judge And Severino Moving Up On Lots of Midseason Prospect Lists

There’s been a lot of midseason prospect ranking activity going on over the past week and change, as is tradition, and the Yankees have been well-represented by their pair of top guns.  Outfielder Aaron Judge and right-handed starter Luis Severino have appeared on every midseason updated rankings list I’ve seen, and they’ve been ranked significantly higher than they were in the preseason.  A quick update on those rankings, if you happened to miss any:

Baseball Prospectus– Judge 13th, Severino 28th
Baseball America– Judge 13th, Severino 17th
John Sickels– Severino 16th, Judge 30th

If you want to take those and combine them into one composite ranking, you come out with Judge being the 18th-ranked prospect in baseball and Severino 20th.  That’s really neither here nor there, although it is cool to think about the Yankees have 2 top 20 prospects.  What’s important is that these guys have continued right where they left off at the end of last year and they’ve gotten noticed for it, all while advancing to the highest level of the Minors.…

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I’ll Take Half a Loaf: If Beltran Must Play, Bench Him for Fly/Liner-Prone Yankee Pitchers?

Beltran-A-Rod vs BOS

Hey look! Two DHs. Courtesy of Getty Images

In a sense, Carlos Beltran’s awful season is Alex Rodriguez’s fault. Over the past three years – really, about two years of playing time due to injuries – Beltran has +3.9 oWAR and -4.2 dWAR. That’s league-average hitting and the worst outfielding since Raul Ibanez, who’s a not bad comp: both still hit at a similarly advanced age but suffered a Sampson-like loss of all defensive ability when they lost their hair prematurely. What you naturally do with Beltran’s skill set is DH him – except that spot is justifiably taken by A-Rod, who’s a better hitter, older, and even less able to play the field because his (former) position is more demanding.

If he must RF rather than DH, Beltran likely deserves the bench. He’s sub-replacement level, and sinking: -0.2 WAR in 2014; -0.5 WAR in just half of 2015, a roughly -1 WAR/yr pace. Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams, if they ever walk again, are so vastly superior defensively that even with a poor bat they can reach replacement level — enough to exceed Beltran); until then, Ramon Flores’s .800 OPS in AAA makes it hard to see him running a -1 WAR/yr pace like Beltran’s.…

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