Junior Circuit Once Again Tipping the Interleague Scales

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23).

Last season, the National League won the All Star Game, World Series, and 48% of regular season games against the American League.  After years of being dominated by the junior circuit, it appeared as if the N.L. was...

Read more

Minor League Preview: Staten Island Yankees

This year, Staten Island will have another strong crew as they try to repeat their 2011 success.  Former Yankee farmhand, Justin Pope, makes his managerial debut, after working as a coach for Staten Island in 2010 and Trenton in 2011.  The Yankees’ roster is full of draft picks from earlier this month, primarily those with college experience.  The pitching staff holds the most unknowns, as recently drafted pitchers Derek Varnadore, Taylor Garrison, Nick Goody and Tim Flight are all going to get their professional careers started in Staten Island.  They have a handful of hurlers with some professional experience, but only time will tell what Staten Island’s pitching will look like.  Evan Rutckyj, who made six starts for Charleston this season, has been sent down to Staten Island, as has Evan DeLuca, who has made three starts for Tampa this year.

Staten Island will have more experience when it comes to their position players, as Matt Duran, Claudio Custodio, Isaias Tejeda and Ravel Santana are expected to provide some excitement for Staten Island fans.  …

Read more

Two-In-One: Get Ready For An Awesome Short Season

Normally, the first half of the short-season minor leagues is pretty boring. A lot of top prospects didn’t sign until mid-August. Rookie ball teams are mostly staffed with high school draftees from the previous year and young Latin American prospects. Short-season A ball team are mostly composed of mid-level college picks, and sometimes a few...

Read more

Taking a closer look at how the Yankees got to 40-25

After a slow start to the 2012 season, the Yankee win machine has gone into overdrive over the last several weeks. The team’s nine game win streak (and counting) is its most visible success, but the Yankees were playing well before they began this string of victories. On May 21st the Yankees hit something of...

Read more

Will *buyers* be more scarce this deadline?

What folks are generally waiting to see is if the Phillies or Brewers — playoff teams last year — declare themselves sellers and make Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke available.

Both are superb, but both are in their walk years and rules within the new CBA make that less attractive to acquire. Now, a walk-year player traded during a season cannot be offered arbitration afterward. Therefore, the acquiring team can no longer recoup draft picks if the player leaves in free agency as, say, Milwaukee did when it obtained CC Sabathia from Cleveland during the 2008 season and then lost him to the Yankees in free agency.

In a very Econ 101 sense, this should be true to some extent, as the inability to gain a draft pick for these players does technically increase the cost of acquiring them, but I’m fairly skeptical that this is going to have a big impact on the market for top shelf options like Greinke and Hamels.…

Read more

So this has been fun…

Of course, the Yankees were not as bad as they appeared on May 21 and they certainly are not as good as they have been in the last nine games. The big thing is that they have now put themselves in position to play solid baseball the rest of the season and have a great chance to again see postseason ball. All the more remarkable is that during this stretch, the Yankees continue to miss Brett Gardner which leads to the overexposure of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. They were also without their two biggest cogs in the bullpen and David Robertson has only just recently returned. Despite the lost of Rivera and Robertson in the bullpen, that ragtag bunch of Clay Rapada, Cory Wade, Cody Eppley, David Phelps and Freddy Garcia only cost the Yankees two wins since that late-May low point.

The surge has put the Yankees on pace to win 99 games. Could anyone have seen that being the case a month ago?…

Read more