Game 136: Why Does it Have to be Matt Moore?

Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog posted a quick blurb on the Yankees offense over the past week. For the weak of heart, suffice it to say that only two players, Chris Dickerson and Jayson Nix, posted an .800+ OPS, and two more were at .700+ (Robinson Cano and Russell Martin). Sure...

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Minor League Playoff Preview: Trenton Thunder

Pitching:
The loss of major prospects like Dellin Betances and Manuel Banuelos made pitching a question mark for the Thunder, heading into the season. Of course, Betances was eventually demoted, but he was still largely battling the same control issue he had with Empire State. Despite this, the Thunder put together some nice pitching performances in 2012. Their team 3.74 ERA was fourth lowest and they managed 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings and allowed just 95 homers.

Brett Marshall was the standout pitcher for Trenton this season, going 13-7 with a 3.52 ERA. He struck out 120 batters while walking just 53 and keeping opposing hitters to a .255 average. Unfortunately, the Thunder will need him to shake off an ugly August, where he went 2-3 with a 6.03 ERA and got smacked around for a .291 average. Shaeffer Hall was another solid arm for Trenton, going 910 with a 3.67 ERA, 100 Ks and just 41 walks. On a couple occasions he flirted with the rare minor league complete game.…

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Minor League Playoff Preview: Empire State Yankees v. Pawtucket Red Sox

Pitching:
Pitching was supposed to be the big story of the Empire State season – and it was – but not for the reasons we all expected. As the season went along, the only remaining member of the original rotation was Adam Warren, who is now in the Bronx. Still, the Yankees had a 3.86 ERA as a team, the sixth lowest in the International League and was in the top half of the league in most pitching categories. They combined that with one of the stronger defenses in the IL. The Yankees led the league in fielding percentage at .983, though Pawtucket owned an equally impressive .982 fielding percentage. Yankee catchers caught 31% of stolen base attempts, but allowed a league leading 22 passed balls.

While the Yankees did not have the starting rotation we expected, they had plenty of strong arms filling in. Ramon Ortiz has been a dependable arm for the Yankees, going 13-6 with a 3.45 ERA, 4.10 FIP and .281 BABIP over 27 games.…

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Another Look At The Underwhelming Offense

One of many not getting it done presently. Courtesy of The AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

** All stats have been updated to include last night’s game **

I’m not going to bother...

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The surprisingly overrated Raul Ibanez

To Ibanez’s credit, however, he surprised everyone with some genuinely solid defensive play. He wasn’t replacing Gardner, by any means, and at 40 years old he doesn’t have the speed to run down scorchers in the gap, but considering the circumstances he acquitted himself well in left field, which was hugely beneficial as it allowed for both Alex Rodriguez and Eric Chavez to be regular fixtures in the lineup against right-handed starters. What’s more, he seemingly developed a knack for being the one guy on the team who could come up with the big hit during the spring, something that definitely ingratiated him with fans, coaches, and media personnel. If nothing else, he would go down as the official “professional hitter” for the 2012 Yankees.

The problem now, however, is that that early season success might be helping Ibanez’s reputation out well past its expiration date. While the struggles of guys like Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano have drawn plenty of attention, the fact that Ibanez has more or less cratered at the plate in the last month seems to have gotten much less notice from everyone.…

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Hughes Is Burntout

With a 161.2 IP this year, Hughes is on the brink of surpassing twice the innings he threw last season. A little less than two weeks ago, I wrote about how Hughes’ velocity trends. Examining his longterm PITCHf/x numbers this season, he’s shown a constant loss of spin rotation and velocity on his fastball. Read more