How Legitimate Is Mark Teixeira’s MVP Candidacy?

Teix HR vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Mark Teixeira didn’t hit a home run last night.  That’s mainly because the Yankees didn’t play, but with as hot as he’s been lately I kind of expected him to still hit at least one out last night.  Teix has literally been on fire lately, hitting .378/.472/.889 with 5 doubles, 6 home runs, 10 runs, 11 RBI, and a 13.2% BB rate over the last 2 weeks.  He had back-to-back 2-homer games last Thursday and Friday, he even mixed a stolen base in for S’s and G’s, and he’s continued to play solid defense at first base to help save his occasionally wild-throwing infield.

This hot streak has been an extension of what has already been a tremendous comeback season for Teix.  After missing almost all of the 2013 season and playing most of last year as a watered down version of himself, the whispers that Teix was done heading into his age 35 season got louder.  …

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Quick Hit: The Return Of Nova’s Sinker, For One Day At Least

Just wanted to touch on an observation I had during yesterday’s game.  I don’t know how much we can take from one start, but it’s worth noting that Ivan Nova‘s sinker looked really good yesterday.  He’s struggled to command the pitch since coming back, and that lack of command has contributed to his hittability and low strikeout/swing-and-miss rates.  Not yesterday.  Here’s where Nova’s 43 sinkers were located:

Nova Sinker Plot 8-2-15

Of those 43 sinkers, Nova threw 26 of them for strikes.  He drew swings on 20 of them and swings and misses on 5.  3 of those 5 whiffs came on strikeouts, which might be the best part about Nova’s outing yesterday.  He struck out 7 batters overall, 6 of them swinging, and got the 6 swinging Ks on 3 sinkers and 3 curveballs.  That’s the type of stuff we’re used to seeing from Nova when he’s on his game.

Compare yesterday’s results to the 202 sinkers Nova threw over his first 6 starts:

Nova Sinker Plot 6-7-15

The overall location distribution looks very similar, and it is.  …

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The Rise of Sir Didi Gregorius

Courtesy: Getty Images

Didi Gregorius has been one of the best stories for the Yankees in a season where you have so many good ones to choose from. Gregorius looked like he wasn’t long for New York and that the pressure from the many angry fans were going to run him out of the Bronx.

Many fans didn’t seem willing to give him much of a break despite the fact that the pressure of replacing Derek Jeter would be hard for even the most mentally tough players. It certainly didn’t help that Shane Greene, whom Gregorius was traded for, was lighting the world on fire in Detroit. At the same time Gregorius just did not look like a MLB caliber player. He hit .206/.261/.238/.449 with an 36 wRC+ and his much hyped defensive ability wasn’t there either. His many mental lapses both in the field and on the base paths were hard to watch. However, baseball is such a crazy game, and Gregorius kept battling and improving just a little bit every month until finally it all clicked this past July.…

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The Farm Report: July

With the passing of the trade deadline comes August, so it is time to look at how the Yankees’ farm teams fared last month. Due to some time constraints on my end, I’ll be touching on Scranton and Trenton today, with Tampa and Charleston to follow. Enjoy!

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders continued their strong season in July, going 17-12 and giving them a solid 61-49 record for the year so far. They remain at the top of their division, leading Rochester by four games. Scranton’s roster has seen a lot of action, with players like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez being called up and other players like Luis Severino getting called up to the Bronx.

They have strength on both sides of the field, however, Scranton’s batting line of .270/.340/.386 tells you why they are in first. They have the best team average and on base percentage in the International League. They have drawn 380 walks (third most) and have limited their strikeouts to 784, which is lower than average.…

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Some feelings on and some facts about the 10-game road trip

[Editor’s note: I wrote this piece last night before I went to bed. It may seem redundant after reading Brad’s post about the road trip, so I apologize about that because it seems that great minds think alike. Happy Monday! -SG]

I’m doing something a little different today, so bear with me.

My feelings on the road trip:

I am very happy right now.

When the road trip began, I said that I would be satisfied with six wins. My reasoning was that the Yankees had been having issues on the road this season, and that you never know how a 10-gamer can affect a team. Particularly when you’re playing four of those 10 in the heat of Texas. And guess what? They could have gone 7-3 if not for that walk-off loss in Texas. They should have won that one and let it get away, but everything else? Good stuff.

One of my favorite games from the road trip was the comeback win in Minnesota on the Sunday of the first weekend.…

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Monday Morning Food For Thought: The Road Warriors

On the morning of July 24th, the Yankees were 5.5 games up in the division and heading out on a 10-game road trip.  At the time they were a sub-.500 road team and their inability to score runs away from the short porch of Yankee Stadium was starting to become more of a concern.  10 games against pseudo-Wild Card contenders the Twins, Rangers, and White Sox would be a good test for the offense and the team as a whole.  If they were going to make the playoffs and make any kind of noise in the playoffs, the Yankees had to start figuring out how to score and win on the road.

10 days later and I’d say they passed the test with flying colors.  The Yankees went 6-4 on the trip, securing that winning record with a big victory yesterday afternoon in Chicago.  Not only did they find a way to score more runs outside of Yankee Stadium, they found a way to score a ton of runs.  …

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Game 104 Recap: Yankees 12 White Sox 3

Teix HR vs CHW

Teix should probably be charging for high fives at this point. Courtesy of the AP

Part of what has made the Yankees’ start to the second half so strong has been their ability to shake off a bad game and come back strong the next.  They didn’t play particularly well in any aspect of the game yesterday, so they righted that wrong by coming out today and mashing the White Sox into the ground to lock up another series victory.

I was a big proponent of trading for Jeff Samardzija during the final days leading up to this week’s trade deadline.  Boy am I an idiot.  Samardzija did not look good this afternoon and the Yankee bats were on him from the get go.  Jacoby Ellsbury homered to center to lead off the game and that was just the beginning.  Samardzija could not command his offspeed stuff and the Yankee hitters figured that out by their second turn through the order.  …

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Game 104: Nova vs. Samardzija

Welcome to today’s game thread! (Sorry there wasn’t a thread yesterday. I was out and not checking up. Whoops!)


Eaton CF
Saladino 3B
Abreu DH
Cabrera LF
Garcia RF
LaRoche 1B
Ramirez SS
Sanchez 2B
Soto C

YANKEES (Per Wally Matthews on Twitter)
Ells CF
Gardy LF
Alex DH
Tex 1B
Mac C
Beltran RF
Head 3B
Didi SS
Drew 2B

Enjoy the game!

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