Quick Hit: Why No Pirela?

Last Wednesday, I wrapped up my Jose Pirela player profile post with this take:

“Pirela can play all the same positions the Yankees were rotating Prado through and he offers a similar offensive profile. Because of the lack of output coming from guys like Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan up the middle and the injury problems in the outfield, Pirela figures to see some significant game action over the next dozen games. At least I think he does. He’s due to become a MiL free agent after this season, so it behooves the Yankees to get a look at him for 40-man roster protection purposes.”

As Martin Prado‘s roster replacement, it only made sense that Pirela would see some game time in the final 2 weeks of the season and that the Yankees would want to give him that time.  5 games and going on 5 days later, however, his ESPN player profile still looks like this:

Pirela Profile

I don’t get it.  …

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VMart and Donnie Baseball

(Syndicated from The Flagrant Fan)

Victor Martinez is having a remarkable offensive season. And it isn’t just the 31 homers and 31 doubles and the .333 batting average. What is remarkable is that in the inglorious age of the strikeout, Martinez has only struck out 40 times all season. He is on pace to finish with 43 strikeouts. When considering that remarkable number, it made me curious as to how many times since 1961 someone has hit over 30 homers with less than 45 strikeouts. So I went to my trusty baseball-reference.com and checked it out.

First of all, why did I only go back to 1961? Good question. The answer is that 1961 was right around the first time when the strikeout rate averaged five strikeouts per team per game (1959 to be exact). And even going that far back is problematic. The average strikeout rate in 1961 was 13.2% compared to it being 20.3% this season. If you go back further than 1961, then a low strikeout rate with a lot of homers just wasn’t that remarkable.…

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Jeter Providing One Last Memory With Late-Season Surge

Jeter vs TOR 9-20

Courtesy of Getty Images

Things were looking bleak for Derek Jeter heading into his final homestand at Yankee Stadium.  He was in an 0-28 slump, his season OPS had dropped below .600, and his team had slowly and sadly withered and fallen off the postseason race radar.  It seemed like there was going to be an almost pitiful feeling to Jeter’s last 6 home games; a team trying to pump meaning and energy into a situation that had none, a player trying to not go out in underwhelming fashion, and a fanbase just trying to be polite and pay respect to the memory of the better times for the player they loved.

Then Jeter picked up a hit in the final game of the last road trip, breaking the hitless streak and giving himself a little momentum heading back home.  Then he hit a deep home run on Thursday night in the first game of the homestand and finished with a 2-hit game.  …

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Yankeemetrics: Sept. 18-21 (Blue Jays)

Derek Jeter is on fire in his last homestand. (Photo: NY Times)

Derek Jeter is on fire in his last homestand. (Photo: NY Times)

Chasing the hero
The Yankees started Derek Jeter‘s final homestand with a dramatic walk-off win against the Blue Jays on Thursday night.

In the bottom of the ninth inning with the scored knotted at 2-2, Chase Headley hit a groundball to Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind, who let it go through his legs, allowing Antoan Richardson to score the winning run from third base.

If you remember, the Yankees also lost a game via a walk-off error in Toronto on June 24. Hmmm… This is the first time in at least the last 75 years that the Yankees lost via walk-off error and won via walk-off error against the same team in a season.

Shane Greene held the Blue Jays without a run into the seventh inning, the second time he’s had a scoreless start at home this year. He is the first Yankee rookie with at least two scoreless starts at Yankee Stadium in a season since Orlando Hernandez in 1998.…

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Game 155 Recap: Yankees 5 Jays 2

Tanaka vs TOR

Great hair. Courtesy of Getty Images

A win this afternoon would have been nice.  It would have given the Yankees a 3-1 series victory in the 4-game weekend set against their division rival.  But in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter.  What mattered was getting a look at Masahiro Tanaka and seeing how he pitched and how his elbow held up after over 2 months on the DL.  It was an abridged version of a typical Tanaka start, but it was enough to give a little hope at the end of a long, hopeless season.

It didn’t start out great.  The first 2 Jays hitters singled to start the game, and 1 run scored on an Edwin Encarnacion GIDP.  That got Tanaka back on track quickly and he struck out Dioner Navarro on 3 pitches to end the inning.  He gave up only 1 more hit in the next 4 innings and was mixing pitches well to get easy outs.  …

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Game 155: Sunday Bloody Sunday

This is it. This is the last time that you can take in a Sunday afternoon game at Yankee Stadium, and watch Derek Jeter batting second and … well … slotting in at designated hitter.

But as we look back and reminisce, today is also a day to look forward, as Masahiro Tanaka returns to the Majors to test out his rehabilitated elbow. While we cannot say with any certainty what today will mean for the Yankees ace, barring some sort of swift kick in the nethers, it will nevertheless be an important step in discerning where the team’s rotation stands for next year. And so we watch the game today not only to feel proud of the last two decades of Yankees baseball, but also to find some optimism in the looming post-Jeter landscape.

Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Jose Reyes, SS Brett Gardner, CF
Jose Bautista, RF Derek Jeter, DH
Edwin Encarnacion, DH Brian McCann, C
Dioner Navarro, C Chris Young, LF
Dan Johnson, 1B Chase Headley, 3B
Munenori Kawasaki, 3B Francisco Cervelli, 1B
Dalton Pompey, LF Stephen Drew, 2B
Ryan Goins, 2B Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Anthony Gose, CF Brendan Ryan, SS
Drew Hutchison, SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP
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Game 154 Quick Recap: TOR 6 NYY 3

Jeter-Teix vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

I was in attendance at yesterday’s game.  I guess the Yankees didn’t get the message that they were supposed to keep the winning streak going with me there.  They couldn’t hold an early 1-run lead and got doubled up 6-3 by the Blue Jays.

Toronto actually got on the board first against starter Chris Capuano.  Jose Bautista singled and Edwin Encarnacion doubled him home for a 1-0 lead.  It was the first of many tough times the Yankee pitchers would have against those 2.  Capuano settled down after that and pitched the next 4 innings scoreless, giving his offense the chance to take the lead with 1 run in the 3rd (Jeter single, wild pitch, McCann single) and 1 in the 4th (3 singles in a 4-batter span, the ribbie hit by Francisco Cervelli).

The 2-1 lead only lasted until the 6th, when Capuano walked Bautista to lead off the inning, appeared to tire, and got into big trouble.  …

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Game 154: Stroman v. Capuano

Today is the last Saturday that Derek Jeter will take the field in Yankee Stadium. I have been critical of Jeter and the team’s handling of his going away tour – even referring to his final season as a ‘going away tour’ may be a bit harsh. And, despite all of that criticism of his play, and the barbs directed at the Yankees for not having some miraculously ready-made replacement for the greatest shortstop of the last eighty or ninety years, I am going to miss the hell out of the Captain. So while the team may be playing for little more than a meaningless second-place finish in the AL East, I will be rooting heartily for a few more memorable moments in an inarguably brilliant career.


Toronto Blue Jays

  1. Jose Reyes – SS
  2. Jose Bautista – RF
  3. Edwin Encarnacion – DH
  4. Dioner Navarro – C
  5. Danny Valencia – 3B
  6. John Mayberry Jr. – 1B
  7. Dalton Pompey – CF
  8. Steven Tolleson – 2B
  9. Kevin Pillar – LF

SP – Marcus Stroman

New York Yankees:

  1. Brett Gardner – CF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Brian McCann – DH
  4. Mark Teixeira – 1B
  5. Chris Young – LF
  6. Chase Headley – 3B
  7. Stephen Drew – 2B
  8. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
  9. Francisco Cervelli – C

Chris Capuano

Game time is 4:05.…

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Shane Greene Should Be In 2015 Plans

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

When you look at the 2015 Yankees starting rotation you see a lot of uncertainty and questions.

Will Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka be healthy? When will Ivan Nova pitch? Will Hiroki Kuroda or Brandon McCarthy be brought back? Shane Greene is starting to prove that he is not among those question marks.

When Greene was first brought up expectations were pretty low. He only had a 4.61 ERA in Triple-A and was not a highly touted prospect. He has blown those expectations away at the MLB level, which in most cases would be some kind of fluke like Chase Whitley’s first few starts were. However, by watching Greene’s stuff and looking at his peripheral numbers you can see that he looks legitimate.

Greene has a 5-3 record in 13 starts for the Yankees with a 3.24 ERA and a 3.37 xFIP. The thing that you love about Greene is that he often gets the two best results a pitcher can hope for– a strikeout or a ground ball.…

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