Hey guys, did you hear about the Yankees and how awful they’re going to be this season?
The Yankees are dead this year, everyone. According to nearly every major sports outlet, we shouldn’t even bother watching them this season. Maybe we should all root for the Mets? Oh wait, that wouldn’t be fun either.
Just when you thought Juan Rivera being released by the Yankees would be the biggest news of yesterday, Johan Santana and his shoulder took over the crown. It seems Santana retore his surgically repaired shoulder and will be out all of 2013 and may possibly have to retire.
That is awful news and I feel bad for him, for the Mets and for their fans. Johan Santana is an amazing pitcher and to see his career possibly end like this is not very fun.
Back to the Yankees and their eulogies, here’s one from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, saying how the Yankees will finish in last place in the AL East but, don’t worry fans, they won’t actually be terrible.
Good friend of the blog, Rebecca Glass, wrote a piece for the Sweetspot on ESPN about Yankee fans and their expectations for this season. It’s been a while since we’ve gone into a season with such low expectations and maybe that might be a good thing? Instead of expecting something, we should hope for it. It’s a different way to go about rooting for the Yankees but it may be the only way to stay sane.
- Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger writes a great piece about Brian Cashman staying optimistic while the fan base is pessimistic.
- His colleague Steve Politi thinks the Yankees will be fine this year but I have a bone to pick with him about his Alex Rodriguez section of the piece. How come when people bring up how bad A-Rod was from July – October, they neglect to include the fact that he was out from July – September with a broken hand? That seems like a large oversight, doesn’t it?
The in case you missed it IIATMS edition:
The season starts in a few days and predictions are like opinions–everybody has one. Now is the time to poll our top notch panel of IIATMS / YA writers to see who is on the money when it comes to predictions. Each one of us was asked to name the division winners, the wild cards, the post season awards and make one additional bold prediction. The only thing we forgot was to predict which league will win the All Star game.
Did any of us predict the Yankees to win the American League East? It should be in the bag now that Juan Rivera was jettisoned, right?
Let’s start with the founders and emeritus types:
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(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
After some positive early signs that Derek Jeter was going to be able to recover from his ankle surgery and be ready to play, we now know that Eduardo Nunez is going to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop. We also know that he’s going to be the starting shortstop for at least the next handful of games after that and we can safely assume that he’ll be getting regular work at the position all season long. That’s a frightening thought for any Yankee fan based on what we’ve seen to date from Nunez, but it’s a reality that we’re going to have to accept and live with. That being the case, let’s investigate just how the Yankees can maximize Nunez’s potential value and not have another spot in the lineup and position on the field turn into a black hole.
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In 2012, the Yankees and Red Sox tied for 3rd place in pitches per plate appearance. In 2011, Boston was ranked first, and the Yankees were number two, and the year before that, the Red Sox again ranked first with the Bombers in third. When the two teams play each other, you’ll more than likely see an enduring battle that can last upward of 4 hours, at least that’s what the announcers will tell you. By the end of the night, even the umpires can’t help but complain.
Both teams have developed a reputation of working pitch counts, and knocking starting pitchers out of games early. Walks, relentless fouls, and full counts are a staple product of the American League East. For the last few years, New York has been second to Boston in how they work pitchers, but in 2013, there were thoughts that the Yankees could finally have a team to surpass the Red Sox in this stat.
Granted, there are a number of injuries, but leading off your team of incessant battlers is Brett Gardner. In 2010, Gardner led all of baseball in pitches per plate appearance (4.61), and in 2011 he ranked 9th (4.18). For all the strike outs he earns, Curtis Granderson actually has one hell of an eye at the plate, and over the last three years has moved from 16th (4.12) in 2010, to 1st (4.43) in 2011, to 6th (4.26) in 2012. Kevin Youkilis rates right up there with the other two, and in 2011, his pitches per plate appearance ranked 11th (4.18), and in 2012 they were 3rd (4.34). Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner, and Alex Rodriguez are also very good in this category, averaging right under 4 pitches per appearance over their last few years.
When it comes to the other parts of the team, Ichiro Suzuki and Derek Jeter have been very average, usually taking around 3.6-3.8 pitches. Cervelli has shown similar averages, though they’ve been as high as 3.8 in recent years. Juan Rivera and Brennan Boesch, who may or may not make the team, also see numbers right around the 3.6-3.8 benchmark. The two players who do not like making pitchers work are Vernon Wells and Robinson Cano, who are both extremely low in Pit/PA.
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Well, this is surprising and seems kind of mean-spirited.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Yankees have released Juan Rivera.
Today’s game is not over yet and Rivera started at first base. I guess they wanted to give him one last hurrah? And I also assume this means the Yankees will be going with Lyle Overbay at first until Mark Teixeira returns.
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The NL East has a fairly abundant collection of talent. However, it’s safe to say that said talent is not evenly distributed in the least. While the Marlins have the most powerful player in the division in the person of Giancarlo Stanton, there isn’t much else in the way of talent on their roster. The Mets, meanwhile, have some nice potential in their starting rotation with Matt Harvey and the seemingly ever-ready-to-break-out Jonathan Niese. Then there are the Phillies, who boast three of the very best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. The Braves have the finest outfield in the game and Washington has a great rotation and arguably the best young talent in the game. How’s this all going to shake out?
Over the last half decade or so, the American League East has been, without question, the strongest division in baseball. Home to the perpetually competitive Yankees and (until recently) Red Sox, it has also seen the Rays and Orioles share the spotlight. Last year, it was the only team to have three teams win 90+ games (though the ALW came close). However, the sure thing that is the ultra-powerful AL East is a bit less sure this year. Each team has one big question nagging it. Let’s jump in.