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  1. #1
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    Yankees Team Performance to Date, Some Opportunities and Comments

    Time to Edit This Sucker! Lets see...hmmmm

    First, the Cold, Hard Facts: The biggest challenge for the Yankees in 2014 is pitching, not hitting. The staff began the season with a grade of a D, but thanks to some solid front line performances, is now performing at about a C- Clip. I'm not sure this will get the job done over the course of a long season. Other teams donít have a hard time hitting Yankee pitchers not named Pineda or Tanaka. Thatís really the bottom line. Strike Outs per. Innings Pitched across the league has increased dramatically in the past few years. The Yankee staff is doing great in this area as they average a little above a strikeout per inning. Combine this with Yankee pitchingís pin point control (they really donít give up many walks compared to other teams) and one would think they finally have that power pitching team George always wanted. The problem has been they not only give up a ton of hits and extra base hits, they give up way too many home runs, many with men on base. The bottom line is that NY has a below averagel team ERA and its hard to have to count on a C offense that lacks power to win games. Do Yankees need to part ways with their pitching coach, Larry Rothschild mid season, reminiscent of George changing out a manager when he felt the need to spark the team? Do the Yankees really need to continue to re-structure the staff in coming years to build a championship caliber team? I think they need to do both. There is no suitable explanation for teams like the Aís, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, Blue Jays (stop me any time) to have more effective pitching staffs.

    Pineda, Tanaka and Kuroda have been the real bright spots so far in the rotation. Warren and Betances are the bright spots in the pen. For this year, the Yankees do have some arms in the minors that they can bring up to help and they will need to push the right buttons soon in order to fix things up a little bit. Certainly a trade or the right signing would help in the short term.

    The bottom performers on the staff are really hurting the team overall. Between the innings that Sabathia and Nova have eaten up and the woeful contributions that Nuno has made, the Yankee stats are sand bagged. This would suggest that things aren't as bad as they appear to be. However, unless Sabathia and Nova start stepping up a little, this performance gap will hurt the Yankees playoff chances in the long term. Will these two (Sabathia & Nova) get it together or will they continue to hurt the team? Can Phelps step in and start for Nova if he either gets injured or continues with the inconsistency? We shall see. Girardi can also demote Nuno as he clearly isn't focused. However, he's a lefty capable of spot starting so he may get a little longer to show he belongs. But thus far he's been awful in limited innings pitched.

    The Yankee position players have earned a collective grade of a C. Thus far, the team is unfortunately not setting MLB on fire. While the team is 4th all of MLB in Batting Average and 7th in On Base Percentage, they are an anemic 23rd in Runs Batted in. The season is just getting started and history shows us that with proven veteran players, they eventually get on track. Letís hope this is the case for some of the Yankees. Breaking down the position players, the opportunities are fairly obvious. Surprisingly, the infield is actually doing fine, other than Second Base, which could easily be fixed. How long will it take the Yankees to make the tough decisions that, if made early enough in the season, could turn NY from an overpaid bunch of under-achievers to a playoff team?

    Yankee Catching has been a D, while strong defensively and very much liked by the staff, McCann has shown an inability to beat the shift and teams will increasingly deploy this strategy to stifle one of the Yankees key middle of the order hitters. Couple this with Girardi batting him too high in the order and some of the other problems and it is obvious to see why NY can't drive in runs. Cervelli has made almost no impact thus far and now he's injured. Couldn't we just see that coming? Now we're right back to where we were last year with Romine as the back up--not good.

    At this point McCann is the mannn! NY needs to be patient here but dropping him to the 6 hole in the line-up would be a big help. Guys in the meat of the order need to drive in runs, not get exploited by the shift. By dropping him down a little and letting the law of averages work its magic, NY makes out ok. McCann is no Yadier Molina, Buster Posey or Salvador Perez, but he does a nice job with the staff and will eventually be a C type catcher, I would like to think. Unfortunately, heís over-paid, hoever-- given the lack of other talent on the market and the obvious weakness of Romine, Sanchez and Cervelli being ready to be every day catchers, I think Cashman did a nice job signing him and his pay is what it is. Is it coming out of our wallets? Kind of if we attend games, but not really.

    First Base was trending at a shocking B, but has cooled to a C recently thanks to Kelly Johnson. Mark Texiera has been a total bust thus far his injury routine and lack of ability to hit should signal Girardi to place him on the extended DL so he doesnít hurt the team when he comes back not ready to contribute. At this point, the hard call is to keep Kelly Johnson right at first, heís doing far better than Tex would be doing. The time has come to call Tex a chump and dump him onto the extended DL. Perhaps, when he comes back truly healthy, he could contribute but really, don't hold your breath with this guy. Its really too bad, if he could approach what he's done in the past, it would be an amazing boost to the team. NY desperately needs his power and his long lost ability to drive in runs.

    Second Base, no surprise, has been an F due to Brian Roberts terrible start. He has flashed some leather in the field and experience tells us he will hit above .250 eventually. Meanwhile, Dean Anna sits on the bench and Sizemore sizzles away in the minor leagues. NY needs to dump Roberts now, bring up Sizemore and give him the job and use Anna as much as possible both at second and at short to spell Jeter. There is no need to keep Roberts on the team at this point, his contributions arenít worth it. Now that this has happened, I credit Girardi for the move and thus preventing NY from losing Sizemore for nothing in return due to him being able to opt out of his contract if he wasn't called up soon. Sizemore can bring some glove, some versatility and some offense if he can stay healthy and his presence negates the need for Roberts.

    Short Stop has been a remarkable B thanks to Derek Jeterís superb play, however his health and age will need to be expertly managed by Girardi, and thus far they have been. I donít know how heís doing it after sitting out an entire year, but he is actually hitting ok and fielding well enough to get the job done. Along with Anna backing him up, the Yankees are all set here for the season. NY is very lucky to have Jeter for one last season.

    Third base (canít believe Iím writing this) has been an AÖ(gulp) thanks to Solarte and his hot start. Though heís coming down to earth in recent days, his ability to consistently make contact and play really strong defense has been a miracle. NY needs to keep this guy right where he is. Period. Kudos to Joe Girardi for having the vision to see his potential and the guts to put him right where he belongs--Starting at third base! Now if Girardi would just move him up in the order and drop McCann.

    Left Field started off as a C with Brett Gardner providing above average defense and average offense, now he's looking like he might be a B Left Fielder. NY should have probably traded him, but it's too late now and without Cano in the 3 spot in the order, the Yankees are using the best leadoff hitter in baseball there instead, making use of Gardner at the top of the order. The good news is Gardy's OBP is hovering around .345 so as long as he gets on base, he can provide value as a leadoff guy. That said, Ellsbury really needs to lead off for this teamóbut not as the team is currently constructed. In the off season, NY should look to sign a 3 or 4 hitter with a track record of being able to drive in runs in droves, this would go a long way toward building this team into a real championship caliber team.

    Center Field has been an A all the way. Ellsbury is at the peak of his career and to me, he is arguably the best center fielder in baseballóno offense to Carlos Gomez who is the man behind the Brewers red hot start. Ellsbury batting third makes sense so far, given what Girardi has to work with. Kudos to Cashman for signing Ellsbury, without him in center, the Yankees would be ho-hum in the outfield. With him, the defense is super and the offense is electrified.

    Right Field started slow at a C with Beltran but now he's rocked up to an A and along with Suzuki, who is super fun to watch these days, the two are getting the job done with outstanding offense and even better defense. Beltran flat out needs to stay the clean up hitter/three hitter for the year, protected by Soriano (not McCann). Beltran currently is a top 5 or 6 Right Fielder in the game and he has power second only to man child Giancarlo Stanton. He has thus far proven to be an awesome signing. Would we rather have Nick Swisher running around out there during the post season? No WAY! Go BELTRAN!

    DH has barely been a C so far with Soriano heating up and the platoon use of resting various players.
    Last edited by CatskillKid; 04-17-2014 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Post Updated as Season is Progressing Along

  2. #2
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    I clearly disagree with you on hitting:

    Beltran, Ellsbury, Soriano, McCann, Kelly Johnson, Gardner and Ichiro will pretty much give us what we expect for them(good and bad) but 2B, SS, 1B(assuming KJ is a 3rd baseman) is really a problem. Jeter makes Ellsbury look like Bonds (slugging-wise), Tex can't stay in the field and when he does he just doesn't have any plate discipline, Solarte won't keep up this pace tbh and he doesn't have much pop in his bat anyways.

    The other problem I see is the setup man, Robertson will be fine as closer, he may not be Mo but he'll do well. Blow a save here and there but still do well. We don't have a clear setup man, Betances is still learning to pitch in the pen and I'm afraid he doesn't yet have the mental makeup(I hope he proves me wrong though), Kelly is an excellet reliever but I doubt he is the kind to excel in pressure situations especially in the 7th/8th innings(harder than the 9th IMO), same for Warren, Phelps and Thornton.

    As far as starting pitching I think they are all gonna pitch to my expectations, Sabathia will be around a 4.20 ERA IMO, Tanaka will struggle from to time to time but do well overall, around a 3.50 ERA, same for Kuroda. Nova will be back to normal after being really lucky last year and Pineda will probably hit the DL a few times but whoever pitches for him will do ok(Phelps I assume).
    Carlos Beltran 2014 Stats:
    33 Games | .307 wOBA | .240 BABIP | 5 HRs | 14 Runs | 15 RBIs


  3. #3
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    Sizemore is striking out 50% of the time at AAA...

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    Yeah, I'm not sure how it could be said Sizemore is "sizzling" in AAA.

    I believe the pitching as a whole has been encouraging and actually feel this team will generally perform as most anticipated. Outside of some individual surprises, the causes for concern before the season will likely prove to be the problems throughout it.

    It's important to note that grades and proclamations based on less than 10% of the season hold little value. It is fun and not entirely pointless, as some things can certainly be discerned, but things have a general (key word) tendency to play out differently and somewhat predictably with duration.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I have a lot of problems with this as well. Nova has only had 2 bad starts. The first wasn't even that bad really. Why is Phelps ready to take his spot? Besides one outing from Phelps, he has been getting teed off on and that is coming out of the bullpen. Expect him to be even worse in the rotation. Also, the order of the rotation really means nothing. CC won't continue to line up against the other teams ace. That stuff doesn't matter one bit after the first week. I think you're underrating McCann. You also said Roberts is likely to get on a roll and hit over .250 so why would you drop him? For Dean Anna, a guy who has been in the big leagues for two weeks. Or Scott Sizemore, a guy striking out 50% of the time in AAA. Roberts has shown to be a good fielder, good on the base paths, and has taken a lot of pitches and walks. Wait for him to come around.

    Also, you're proposing way too many changes. It is only TWO weeks into the season. Ever heard of a hot or cold streak?

  6. #6
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    Well Kelly did great and so did Nova... So maybe let's wait until June/July to start moving people around

  7. #7
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    I don't know what team the OP is watching.

    The Yankees xFIP is 3.42, which ranks them #1 in the AL. That earns them a "D" grade?

    Nova did not look like he needed a demotion last night.

    Beltran is hitting .311 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. I'm not sure how that earns him a grade of "C."

    It's much too early in the season to be drawing conclusions.
    <a href=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/29/Ichiro_Suzuki_on_August_1%2C_2012.jpg/240px-Ichiro_Suzuki_on_August_1%2C_2012.jpg target=_blank>http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._1%2C_2012.jpg</a>

    BA: .308 HR: NONE! RBI: 10 SB: 4 AGE: 40

  8. #8
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    Yankees Team Performance to Date, Some Opportunities and Comments

    Lol

  9. #9
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    Yankees Team Performance to Date, Some Opportunities and Comments

    I can't believe I just read all of that

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by theslick1 View Post
    I don't know what team the OP is watching.

    The Yankees xFIP is 3.42, which ranks them #1 in the AL. That earns them a "D" grade?

    Nova did not look like he needed a demotion last night.

    Beltran is hitting .311 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. I'm not sure how that earns him a grade of "C."

    It's much too early in the season to be drawing conclusions.
    Yep. Not to mention, that even though we're only 13 games in with 149 to go we are in a 3 way tie for first, and our pitching has actually been pretty solid, aside from the occasional inning that bites us.

    Problem with some Yankees "fans" are, you could have 24 All-Stars on your roster and they'll take that one player who's struggling and use that as the reason why this team is going down the toilet.

    We've been getting timely hitting and very solid pitching. And our team still hasn't fired on all cylinders. Can't blame players for injuries.
    FC Bayern Munchen

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    G: 87 | AVG: .272 | HR: 2| RBI: 27| OBP: .326 | SLG: .320 | wOBA: .293 | wRC: 80

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiNYC View Post
    I clearly disagree with you on hitting:

    Beltran, Ellsbury, Soriano, McCann, Kelly Johnson, Gardner and Ichiro will pretty much give us what we expect for them(good and bad) but 2B, SS, 1B(assuming KJ is a 3rd baseman) is really a problem. Jeter makes Ellsbury look like Bonds (slugging-wise), Tex can't stay in the field and when he does he just doesn't have any plate discipline, Solarte won't keep up this pace tbh and he doesn't have much pop in his bat anyways.

    The other problem I see is the setup man, Robertson will be fine as closer, he may not be Mo but he'll do well. Blow a save here and there but still do well. We don't have a clear setup man, Betances is still learning to pitch in the pen and I'm afraid he doesn't yet have the mental makeup(I hope he proves me wrong though), Kelly is an excellet reliever but I doubt he is the kind to excel in pressure situations especially in the 7th/8th innings(harder than the 9th IMO), same for Warren, Phelps and Thornton.

    As far as starting pitching I think they are all gonna pitch to my expectations, Sabathia will be around a 4.20 ERA IMO, Tanaka will struggle from to time to time but do well overall, around a 3.50 ERA, same for Kuroda. Nova will be back to normal after being really lucky last year and Pineda will probably hit the DL a few times but whoever pitches for him will do ok(Phelps I assume).
    Great Insights as always! To your points on the hitting, I'm not really saying anything other than they're doing ok and they get a collective team grade of a C, which is given if you look at where each position player ranks in MLB year to date. Do you think they're performing better than a C? If you do, that is a tough point to argue thus far. Perhaps they will get better, but my point is more thus far in 2014, here's where we're at. I too think its way too early to count underperforming veterans out, however I do think certain adjustments should be made sooner than later. Great leadership looks hard at things like this, constantly mulling over whether a move should be made or not...etc. The Yanks have great leadership and the fans on this site are pretty great too, so I thought it would be fun to take a quick gut check at this early juncture.

    I really believe Solarte has a case for being the MVP of the team thus far and my point there is, he needs to stay right where he is for the time being. A lot of people are skeptical, I'm not one of them because he makes contact consistently and I really like his attitude. You do realize thus far in 2014 he is one of the Top 5 or so third baseman in baseball offensively. Just sayin.

    As far as the pitching, I too think Sabathia will perform ok, he just needs to be bumped back in the rotation in favor of guys with better stuff, when the timing of off days permits resting him a little bit in favor of others.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatskillKid;
    Great Insights as always! To your points on the hitting, I'm not really saying anything other than they're doing ok and they get a collective team grade of a C, which is given if you look at where each position player ranks in MLB year to date. Do you think they're performing better than a C? If you do, that is a tough point to argue thus far.
    Unless of course you actually look at the stats.

    Yankee Team Hitting: 0.273/0.335/0.427/0.335 wOBA/114 wRC+

    That is good for 3rd by wRC+ in the entirety of MLB.

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renz13 View Post
    Yeah, I'm not sure how it could be said Sizemore is "sizzling" in AAA.

    I believe the pitching as a whole has been encouraging and actually feel this team will generally perform as most anticipated. Outside of some individual surprises, the causes for concern before the season will likely prove to be the problems throughout it.

    It's important to note that grades and proclamations based on less than 10% of the season hold little value. It is fun and not entirely pointless, as some things can certainly be discerned, but things have a general (key word) tendency to play out differently and somewhat predictably with duration.
    He is striking out a ton. Granted. But he is hitting .344 with an OBP of .436 which merits a look. Anything is better than Roberts. I mean, Girardi is pinch hitting Brett Gardner for Roberts with the game on line. NY doesn't need Roberts. Look, I totally agree with you that grades and proclamations based on such a small sample size holds little value. However, it is fun to your point and your insights are ...well, insightful. Does Sizemore historically whiff a lot? By your own logic, (he struck out 154 times in 517 at bats in the last three years) he doesn't so over the course of a season, he'd take bad pitches little more. I think he's an upgrade from Roberts. Do you disagree? It's a good debate. Would the team be better with a platoon of Anna/Sizemore vs. mostly Roberts? I think they would be better off.

  14. #14
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    Probably shouldn't be giving out grades 12 games into the season (when you posted). It's so early that a couple of great games or a couple of really bad ones can swing everything.

    Yankee offense MLB rank:

    AVG - 4th
    OBP - 6th
    SLG - 8th
    wOBA - 6th
    wRC+ - 3rd

    You can see the Yanks rank in the top 10 in many categories right now. Not sure how that would get them a C and this early in the season things change at a fast pace.

    Masahiro Tanaka

    11-1| 99.2 IP| 10.20 K/9| 1.44 BB/9| 0.90 HR/9| 1.99 ERA| 2.70 FIP| 2.32 xFIP| 2.9 fWAR

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EAGLES3658 View Post
    Yeah, I have a lot of problems with this as well. Nova has only had 2 bad starts. The first wasn't even that bad really. Why is Phelps ready to take his spot? Besides one outing from Phelps, he has been getting teed off on and that is coming out of the bullpen. Expect him to be even worse in the rotation. Also, the order of the rotation really means nothing. CC won't continue to line up against the other teams ace. That stuff doesn't matter one bit after the first week. I think you're underrating McCann. You also said Roberts is likely to get on a roll and hit over .250 so why would you drop him? For Dean Anna, a guy who has been in the big leagues for two weeks. Or Scott Sizemore, a guy striking out 50% of the time in AAA. Roberts has shown to be a good fielder, good on the base paths, and has taken a lot of pitches and walks. Wait for him to come around.

    Also, you're proposing way too many changes. It is only TWO weeks into the season. Ever heard of a hot or cold streak?
    I think you got me here. Nova shut me up big time last night. I was happy for him. Phelps is ready to start, he needs a chance. I think he's one of those guys who "isn't" a good reliever. He's better off starting. Here go the Yanks again, messing up another decent pitcher. Phelps is better suited to be a starter. He did a nice job last night getting out the jam he kind of created, but to your point, stick with Nova I guess.

    I'm not undervaluing McCann so far. He's a C. His average thus far and his inability to hit out of the shift, combined with his rank vs. other MLB catchers this year, BARELY makes him a C. I was actually generous. Will be a solid C or B by the end of the year? Certainly I hope so, but he's a C right now any way you slice it. Yes, yes, yes, the staff loves throwing to him. But he's hitting .205 with 6 RBI year to date, which makes him a middle of the pack catcher at best right now & a liability any higher than 6th in the order. Tell you what, if he starts producing, Girardi could always move him up right? 5th is too high in the order for him right now.

    Your reply has tempered me a little bit, but I'm not real high on Robets, I'm really not.

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