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Greetings from Tampa

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 11, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It was 9 degrees when I went to bed last night and had warmed up to 11 when I left this morning for LaGuardia.

It’s 75 in Tampa at the moment and there’s not a cloud to be seen. I like my job pretty much every day. I really like my job today.

The workout was over by the time I had landed, so I won’t see any actual baseball until tomorrow morning. The early arrivals work out at the minor-league complex. Chris Woodward arrived today, joining Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Shelley Duncan for batting practice.

There’s a larger group of pitchers including Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy and Jeff Karstens.

Sources close to the blog tell me that Joba is keeping his number. As you know, Hughes went to 34. IPK is changing his number, too. Once everybody reports, I’ll post a roster with numbers.

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42 Responses to “Greetings from Tampa”

  1. mel February 11th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    WhooHoo! The official start of spring training (Pete’s arrival in Tampa).

  2. Gus G. February 11th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Ah, what a wonderful thing to read. IPK changing his number too, eh? I say he’ll wear #2. Jeter will give it to him out of kindness and a steak dinner.

  3. Dano February 11th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Good for you Pete, this is when you really show us some value! Looking forward to it…

  4. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 11th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    haha I called it. I said that is what Pete’s first post would be to us. To rub in it our faces. :lol: I ran outside to the news stand. It is right outside my door, so I was out for literaly 25 seconds, and I froze!

  5. Mike A. February 11th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    IPK’s wearing 31. The roster with numbers (non-roster invitees too) has been up on the Official Site for about a week now.

  6. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--27/08 February 11th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Pete, dude, that’s just mean.

  7. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Hey, Buster Olney mentioned in his blog today that the Yankees expressed some interest in Joe Blanton and that acquiring him might not cost the Yankees more than Double AA or Single A talent.

    I’ve always considered Blanton an under-rated pitcher.

    Anyone think the Yankees could acquire Blanton for someone of McCutchen, Rasner, Karstens, Stephen White, or Whelan’s caliber?

    Would you trade Marquez for Blanton? I don’t know enough about Marquez to evaluate his potential.

  8. JBRO February 11th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Welcome to Tampa

  9. murphydog February 11th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    “It’s 75 in Tampa at the moment and there’s not a cloud to be seen.”

    It’s a thankless job, but someone’s got to do it.

  10. Phil February 11th, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Don’t forget to apply the suntan lotion, Pete.

  11. Melissa February 11th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    75? not fair. I was in FL 2 weeks ago, and it wasn’t always that high. It probably won’t always be that warm though.

  12. whozat February 11th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    “Anyone think the Yankees could acquire Blanton for someone of McCutchen, Rasner, Karstens, Stephen White, or Whelan’s caliber?”

    No. And I think they mean multiple high-ceiling low-level prospects. Like…Betances and Tabata and someone else very promising but very young, or something like that.

    I mean…they reportedly want Ethier, LaRoche and a prospect from the Dodgers.

  13. TurnTwo February 11th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    and Bailey or Cueto and Votto from the Reds.

    I’d be like Horne and Austin Jackson.

    Blanton wouldnt be a bad option, but not for Beane’s price.

  14. Jake February 11th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Why would IPK change his number? 36 is a solid number once dawned by the likes of the one and only David Cone…good number to be sure.

  15. TurnTwo February 11th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    It’d be*

  16. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Rasner, Karstens, and White have little to no trade value. maybe as a throw-in to a bigger package. that’s about it.

  17. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    What would you relinquish for Blanton? Would you yield the prospects Beane would insist upon in making the deal?

    What about Marquez or McCutchen or Kontos?

  18. SJ44 February 11th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I wouldn’t trade McCutcheon for Blanton. McCutcheon is the most underrated of the Non-Big 3 starting pitching prospects in the organization, IMO.

    I think he has a chance to pass Horne. That kid can really pitch.

    I expect him to have a very good year and possibly be a second half callup.

    Marquez? I’d trade him for Blanton. The rest of the guys? As Hmmm said, they have little or no trade value.

  19. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    i don’t know what Beane would ask for. but if the asking price for LA is true, no, i wouldn’t do that.

  20. SJ44 February 11th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    He asked for Lowrie and Ellsbury from the Red Sox for Blanton.

    Just gives you an idea of what he is looking for in a Blanton trade.

  21. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Interesting. Would you rank McCutcheon’s celing higher than Horne’s, SJ44?

    I’m not surprised about Karstens and Rasner. But White has no trade value, in your estimation either?

    But you do like Blanton as much as I do?

    1) He’s 27
    2) He’s averaged almost 210 innings in his first 3 years
    3) He’s arbitration eligible for at least 2, if not 3 more years.
    4) He’s probably a more effective pitcher than Mussina now is.

  22. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Lowrie and Ellsbury? That’s ridiculous.

    I just hope the Sux don’t end up replacing Schilling with Blanton.

  23. 2008 Yankees February 11th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    These are some of the number changes so far

    IPK took #31
    Hawkins took #22
    Phlop is #34

  24. whozat February 11th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    “But you do like Blanton as much as I do?”

    He’s a solid young pitcher. Is that something you give up 2 AA/AAA guys that project to be above-average MLB players inside of 2 years, when you already have 6 starters, two serviceable spot-starters, and a minor league arm or two that could probably contribute later in the season if you need them?

    I think acquiring Blanton would do little more than push Joba to the pen full-time and/or push Kennedy to the minors, at least for the first half of the year.

  25. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    i am not one to base my entire opinion of a player on home/road splits. i argued strongly that while i did not want the Yankees to sign Mike Lowell, i did not think Lowell would turn into Tony Womack outside of Fenway.

    that said, Blanton’s ERA outside of Oakland is over a full run higher.

    why is that? i don’t know, but there is a ton of foul territory in Oakland that tends to suppress offense.

    just something to keep in mind.

  26. whozat February 11th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    “I just hope the Sux don’t end up replacing Schilling with Blanton.”

    If they do it for Lowrie and Ellsbury, I’ll be fine with that.

  27. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 11th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    hmm great point!!

  28. SJ44 February 11th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Blanton is serviceable. He’s not a great pitcher but, he can eat innings.

    Honestly, no better than a #4 in an AL East rotation.

    I think McCutcheon can be better than Horne. At least, as a starter.

    His changeup is NASTY. He taught Joba the changeup last year.

    I really think Horne’s future is in the bullpen. Yes, he will probably start in Scranton this year. However, I think he is the one guy who can make a quick transition to the bullpen.

    I say this because if you just let him throw his fastball and slider, which is all he would need if he came out of the ‘pen, he doesn’t have control issues. Its his inability to throw his secondary pitches for strikes that causes his control to wane.

    McCutcheon, at least to me, is a more polished starting pitcher. I could see McCutcheon on the cusp to being a starter for the Yankees (if a starter goes down) during the second half of the year.

  29. CB February 11th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I would absolutely stay away from Blanton. That is a situation where Beane is going to leverage desperation in order to extract a ransom.

    The reason why the yankees have invested so much in young pitching to get away from having to rely on guys like blanton and the costs associated with them (whether that cost is talent, money or both).

    He’s a decent pitcher but not much more than average. Last year he had an ERA + of 106 and the year before 92. A lot of his numbers depend on pitching in a great pitchers park. His road ERA last year was 5.11.

    The rumors alone on Blanton are hard to believe. Reportedly they are asking the Reds for 2 of the following three prospects for Blanton: Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, and Joey Votto.

    To put that into perspective – that is the top end talent that the Reds were reluctant to part with for Eric Bedard.

    The Yankees have no need to get involved with that.

  30. Ross (NYYStadiumInsider.com) February 11th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    The new numbers:

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....p?c_id=nyy

  31. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    “Is that something you give up 2 AA/AAA guys that project to be above-average MLB players inside of 2 years, when you already have 6 starters, two serviceable spot-starters, and a minor league arm or two that could probably contribute later in the season if you need them.”

    Yes, if “above-average” translates into a pitcher no better than Blanton.

    He’s a better option than Mussina, who probably cannot throw 200 effective innings of 4.00ERA baseball. Moreover, Mussina can barely make it to the 6th inning and often reaches 100 pitches in the 5th, exhausting the bullpen, as a consequence, when he starts.

    The virtue of another pitcher in 2008 who can throw 200 innings is immeasurable– it gives the Yankees greater flexibiility with Joba in addition to alleviating the pressure, strain, and innings burden on IPK and Hughes.

    Are you convinced Karstens, Rasner, Igawa, and Horne, in spot starts, would acquit this role better than Blanton would? I’m not.

    Sure, I wouldn’t relinquish the Yankees’ equivalent of Lowrie or Ellsbury for him. That’s ridiculous.

    But if it cost the Yankees a Marquez and a throw-in like Eric Duncan or Rasner or someone of that caliber, I certainly would consider it. I’d have to know first how highly the Yankees value Marquez and whether they foresee him to be better, one day, than Blanton. If not, I’d trade him.

  32. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Can you explain what this means “Last year Blanton had an ERA + of 106 and the year before 92.”

    Is that an adjusted ERA based on the ballpark in which he pitches?

    The size of Oakland’s ballpark might also caution against acquiring any of the A’s pitchers who’ve excelled there.

    It would be an interesting study if either Mulder, Hudson, Zito, or Haren had stayed in the AL.

  33. CB February 11th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Kill-Schill,

    ERA + (or adjusted ERA) is a useful stat, especially for pitchers who pitch in parks that tend to favor pitching or hitting to an extreme.

    It basically “normalizes” a pitchers ERA. Basically is compares one pitchers ERA’s to other pitchers ERA’s and adjusts for ball park and league related factors.

    Here’s a definition from the hard ball times:

    ERA+
    ERA measured against the league average, and adjusted for ballpark factors. An ERA+ over 100 is better than average, less than 100 is below average.

    So in Blanton’s case I think this statistic tells you a lot becuae of McAffee park and how it helps pitching. His ERA+ last year was 106. That’s just a hair above average. The year below his ERA+ was 92 – a hair below average.

    Blanton is a league average pitcher. Almost to a T. Sure he eats innings but while he’s eating those innings he’s only going to give you an average performance.

    Given the scarcity of pitching that’s not bad. Especially if you are team like the Reds and you’re desperate for a starter.

    But its hardly worth what Beane is asking.

    Fortunately, the yankees may be through with the day where they had to make bad moves out of desperation for average pitchers like blanton.

  34. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    “But if it cost the Yankees a Marquez and a throw-in like Eric Duncan or Rasner or someone of that caliber, I certainly would consider it. I’d have to know first how highly the Yankees value Marquez and whether they foresee him to be better, one day, than Blanton. If not, I’d trade him.”

    yes, i would do that trade in a heartbeat, and so would the Yankees. i think the Yankees would do McCutchen for Blanton as well.

    but i don’t think the A’s would.

    the A’s would be looking for guys like Tabata, Jackson, Betances, etc.

    then it gets cloudier.

    i agree, Blanton would help the Yankees in 2008. but i don’t know if i’d start giving up 2-3 top prospects for him.

  35. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I’d be curious to hear how the adjusted ERA stat quantifies differences in sizes and layouts of a pitcher’s ballpark, talent and peformance disparities in AL v. NL, and the quality of the defense behind him.

  36. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I’d love to see another GM fleece Billy Beane for a change.

  37. hmmm February 11th, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    “I’d be curious to hear how the adjusted ERA stat quantifies differences in sizes and layouts of a pitcher’s ballpark, talent and peformance disparities in AL v. NL, and the quality of the defense behind him.”

    it does not account for defense. you’d have to dig deeper for other pitching stats to try to tease out the effect of defense.

  38. OldYanksFan February 11th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    ALL ‘Plus’ (+) stats use a park figure to equalizes stats between different parks. It does NOT account for the parks physical attributes, defense, or anything else other then runs. I might guess earned runs when calcing ERA+. This is why Park Fartors VARY every year, because the amout of runs scored at various parks is somewhat random.

    For example: Lets say the Yanks play the Mets all 162 games.
    Over the 162 games, in the 81 played at Yankee stadium, there are 1000 earned runs scored.
    Over the 162 games, in the 81 played at Shea stadium, there are 800 earned runs scored.

    So, if the same 2 teams score 1000 at Yankee but only 800 at Shea, Shea is a ‘pitchers’ park, and Yankee Stadium is not. So the Pitchers for the Mets have an advantage when compared to the Pitcher at Yankee Stadium.

    So the Shea Park Factor for pitching is 800/1000 = 0.8
    So the Yankee Park Factor for pitching is 1000/800 = 1.25
    If a Shea pitcher has an ERA of 4.0 at HOME and
    If a Shea pitcher has an ERA of 4.0 at AWAY
    His HOME games ERA+ is calculated as: 4.0/0.8 = 5.0
    His AWAY games ERA+ is the same as his ERA: 4.00
    So his total ERA+ (Home and Away) = (4.0 + 5.0)/2 = 4.5

    If a Yankee pitcher has an ERA of 4.0 at HOME and
    If a Yankee pitcher has an ERA of 4.0 at AWAY
    His HOME games ERA+ is calculated as: 4.0/1.25 = 3.2
    His AWAY games ERA+ is the same as his ERA: 4.00
    So his total ERA+ (Home and Away) = (4.0 + 3.2)/2 = 3.6

    So… both pitchers have and ERA (not adjusted) of 4.0
    Because it’s easier to score runs at Yankee (and therefore a disadvantage for the pitcher) is ERA+ is 3.6
    Because it’s harder to score runs at Shea (and therefore ad advantage for the pitcher) is ERA+ is 4.5

    HOWEVER, if NEXT year, by coincidence, the those teams score
    800 and Yankee and 1000 at Shea, for that year, the Park Factors would be reversed of the first case.

    So it is NOT scientific, but based SOLELY on the ACTUAL RUNS scored in that year, by each park.

  39. OldYanksFan February 11th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    By the way, that is the SIMPLY was to adjust/calculate Park Factor. There are more sophisticated ways. One of the problems I have found with some stats, is that there are often different formulas for the same thing. Thats why some stats at Baseball reference don’t always match the same stat shown on the ESPN site.

    Here is how the ESPN defined it for offensive stats:

    A rate higher than 1.000 favors the hitter. Below 1.000 favors the pitcher.

    PF = ((homeRS + homeRA)/(homeG)) / ((roadRS + roadRA)/(roadG))

    I’m GUESSING that for pitchers Park Factors, they use EARNED RS, but I don’t know for sure.

  40. Kill-Schill(ing) February 11th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Interesting. Not the most reliable and valid measure it would seem then.

  41. UtilityMan February 11th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    # Player
    11 Woodward
    12 Green
    19 Lane
    22 Hawkins
    30 Henn
    31 Kennedy
    34 Hughes
    36 Ramirez
    38 Britton
    39 Ohlendorf
    43 Strickland
    47 Rasner
    58 Karstens
    63 Albaladejo

  42. OldYanksFan February 11th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....eason=2006

    No, I have issues with it, but its the best we got.
    Check out the link above.
    In, 2007, Fenway had an offensive PF of 1.17
    In, 2006, Fenway had an offensive PF of 1.03
    In, 2005, Fenway had an offensive PF of 1.03
    In, 2004, Fenway had an offensive PF of 1.12

    Did they move the fences at Fenway? No.
    Run scoring by different teams against different pitchers in different parks is just somewhat random.
    The good news is these ‘+’ stats measure players relative to one another in any one (same) given year.
    But I don’t think they are not really relative to the same player across different years.

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