The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: The Fowl Balls

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 30, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

January is traditionally a slow month for baseball news. So for the second year in a row, we will showcase other blogs with a series of pinch hitters.

Next up is Joe from The Fowl Balls.

A blogger since 2007, Joe tries to provide (in his words), “biting humor, in-depth analysis, and questionable morality to the masses.” Plus Joe once interviewed me, which was nice of him.

Here’s his post:

————

We as Yankee fans have a propensity to be a little … let’s call it optimistic, at times. After all, we are the same fan base that was shouting from the rooftops that Melky Cabrera would develop into a .300 hitter at this time last year. With the franchise having spent an exorbitant amount of money this offseason, this is not a team devoid of holes. Alas, we as fans are resigned to talking about the impending “bounce-back seasons” that we are so entitled to. Names like Matsui, Cano and Posada come to mind. However, there is at least one instance that the thought of a “bounce back” actually has some validity. That would be in the curious case of Nick Swisher.

Coming off the worst statistical year of his career, Swisher ended 2008 on the bench for the Chicago White Sox. The so-called “free spirit” (is my use of quotations obnoxious yet?) was seemingly grounded from the outset by Ozzie Guillen, and Swisher’s game suffered. Forced to bat leadoff and play center field, two positions that he is uncomfortable to say the least, Swish grinded (ground??) through an atrocious year finishing with a line as ugly as Otis Nixon – .219/.332/.410. As ugly as the numbers were, though, there was much more than meets the eye concerning Swisher’s nightmarish 2008.

One thing that haunted Swisher throughout last season was bad luck. That’s right, bad luck. For all of the stupid, quirky things that baseball players do to avoid such streaks, Swisher must have walked under a ladder every day. Maybe he wasn’t hitting the ball as well? According to his line drive rate, nothing was wrong with Swisher’s game. He actually posted a higher rate of line drives, .204, than he had ever before in his career. The anomaly of Swisher’s 2008 lies in his BABIP – Batting Average on Balls Put in Play. His BABIP sat at .251, an alarmingly low percentage, considering how many balls he was hitting hard. Of all the players on the Yankees gearing up for that big rebound, Swisher has the best case.

The CHONE projections for 2009 have looked into their crystal ball and predicted a line of .247/.360/.454 for Swish. Numbers like that in the lower half of the Yankees order could make Swisher the linchpin to a dominant season offensively. What the Yankees have gained in Swisher is a patient, switch hitting, corner outfielder with proven 30 home run power. With expectations that are already higher than Joe Pepitone’s pompadour, he could serve as a saving grace in the event of a Posada/Matsui/Cano letdown.

So in short, we at The Fowl Balls are fans of Swisher, Personally, I love it every time the Yankees acquire the “wild man” with long hair and Sonny Crockett stubble and force him to dress like he works at Wachovia branch. Plus, Swisher replaces Jason Giambi as the “Yankee most likely to have a sex tape with Paris Hilton.”

————

A little humor mixed with some CHONE. I love my readers. Coming tomorrow: Dan from Statistically Speaking.

The pinch hitter series is going to continue through Feb. 5 instead of finishing up tomorrow. So many bloggers responded that I wanted to give everybody a shot.

Comments

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65 Responses to “Pinch hitting: The Fowl Balls”

  1. Bronx Jeers January 30th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    “Swisher replaces Jason Giambi as the “Yankee most likely to have a sex tape with Paris Hilton.”

    That’s just wrong on so many levels.

    Giambi never had a shot with Paris Hilton.

  2. m January 30th, 2009 at 12:20 am

    It’s our right as Yankee fans to love our Yankees. Warts and all. Hoping that Swish sticks around. Very favorable contract for a versatile switch hitting bat with some pop.

  3. DT January 30th, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Giambi never had a shot with Paris Hilton.

    I agree. I picture him more as a Vegas Bellagio man.

  4. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Staying to write the story January 30th, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Hoping Swish has an awesome year. The idea that we could have him coming off of the bench…pretty awesome.

  5. Bronx Jeers January 30th, 2009 at 12:34 am

    So apparently Albert Pujols is a better agent for Manny Ramirez than Brian Cashman was for Joe Torre.

    Go figure.

  6. Nick in SF January 30th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Very nice post, Joe! I think Swisher can do big things and his enthusiasm is obvious. It would be a shame to see him go before he gets a shot. But I’m pro-Nady too.

    from the previous thread: “Has anyone checked out nj.com lately? It is a shame what it has turned into. All they do is “report” what other people write. Next we’ll read Nick in SF of lohud.com says ……”

    Ha, talk to my agent! I’m already propping up LoHud, I can’t be giving it away to nj.com too. ;)

    I would like to hear Bruce play:

    Atlantic City
    Stolen Car
    Darkness on the Edge of Town
    Born to Run

    But that ain’t gonna happen. So:

    Badlands
    Working on a Dream (gotta plug the new product)
    Radio Nowhere (catchy and also pluggable)
    Born to Run

    Glory Days is fine and all, but if I never heard it again, that would be ok.

  7. Dr. Cox January 30th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    to me this sums up the Joe Torre book issue.

    http://www.sportsagentblog.com.....joe-torre/

  8. Andrea January 30th, 2009 at 12:45 am

    I think that Torre article should be “Et tu, Joe Torre,” not “eh tu.”

    My favorite part of it:
    “As a die hard Yankee fan and someone who would pathetically lie down in front a bus for this team (okay maybe not a bus, but definitely one of those old school Fisher-Price Power Wheels), it pains me to say that if my old man ever met Joe Torre at this point and juncture, I would have him reiterate those immortal words that got me through some of the hardest times of my life: “Don’t be stupid, ya moron.””

  9. Andrea January 30th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    oh, and Fowl Balls–very nice. But I think Paris would go for Jeter or A-Rod. She’s used to pretty boys with money.

  10. Kevin January 30th, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Nice call on the CHONE. Bill James is just as bullish on his bounce back, too. I don’t think there’s any reason to stick him at the bottom of the order, either — I’d hit him fifth or second (with Jeter leading off) and not lose any sleep at night. Nady can platoon or ride the bench or get traded, I really don’t care.

  11. Betsy January 30th, 2009 at 12:59 am

    From the last thread:

    http://www.northjersey.com/spo....._fate.html

    This is great stuff, lol…

    From Moose:

    “Joe has started something that a lot of people are going to have to answer to,” Mike Mussina said by telephone on Thursday. “Joe’s going to have to answer to it too, but it won’t be as bad for him because he’s with the Dodgers now. But it’s going to be bad for the guys he left behind.”

    ***Moose is exactly right….although I think the Yankees can put it behind them by telling the media that they will have to go to the source if they have any questions. The story is now in Dodgertown because (a) the Jeter/ARod thing is over with and (b) all anyone is going to care about are the new guys.

    here are more good quotes from the above article.

    Mussina said, “it’s not just what goes on in the clubhouse, it’s sitting on the bus, or if you’re out having lunch. As a ballplayer you need to know who you have to watch out for and who you can trust. First and foremost, you should be able to trust your manager.

    “I mean, people knew that Brown was out there, and that Randy was ornery all the time. And Pavano is whoever he is. But if you’re their manager, you can’t go out and write about them like that.”

  12. Betsy January 30th, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I don’t want the Yankees to trade Swisher. I wasn’t familar with him at all prior to the trade, but I have learned about him from reading on various boards (including this blog) and I think he would be a very valuable player for us. I honestly hope that Jayson Stark is wrong and that the Yankees are not softening on trading Swish.

  13. Pat M January 30th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Battle of two Sweet 16 teams took place in Westwood tonight……UCLA has their way with the Cal Berkley Bears……Bruce only gets 12 minutes,,,Badlands , Working on a Dream, and Gypsy Biker or Radio Nowhere…..Man 12 minutes is short…..McCartney played for 20 minutes and was paid 6 million for his time….250,000 per minute….Then again he is Paul McCartney

  14. Brandon (CC/AJ/Marky Mark..Sheets ?) Now batting #6 Alex Rodriguez January 30th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    “Hoping Swish has an awesome year. The idea that we could have him coming off of the bench…pretty awesome.”

    There is no way he comes off the bench, he bounces back to a .260 – .270 hitter there is no way that guy will come off the bench.

  15. Dr. Cox January 30th, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Andrea:

    that paragraph is what summed it up for me too haha.

  16. Phil January 30th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Keep Swisher, trade Nady.

  17. no.27 January 30th, 2009 at 1:43 am

    I’ve heard a lot about Cano’s bad luck but this is the first time I’ve heard about Swisher. Based on what’s been reported, I think that Swisher, Cano, and Matsui are all just as likely to have career average years. Even if Posada’s arm is OK, he’s getting old and won’t be able to play as many games as he has in the past.

    Swisher is a much better player than Nady. He’s more patient, has more power, is younger, and is more likely to be with the team long term. I don’t see how he could end up on the bench over Nady.

  18. Jordan January 30th, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I’m the one those known as the “negative posters” on this board. This post, however, I must say-was awesome. I learned some new info that I didn’t know before, you mixed in humor that actually made me laugh out loud, and it was concise and interesting.

    Great job!

  19. dave January 30th, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I actually was one of the few in this blog last year that had consistent debates about melky cabrera. My stance never wavered as I stated as many times as anybody wanted to listen that Melky is NOT the yankees future center fielder, wont have a good season next year and may or may not fill the gap before someone like ajax can jump in. This year, I have been saying FOREVER that we cant expect bounce back seasons from all of cano, one of the center fielders and pettitte while expecting everyone else in the rotation to stay healthy as well as posada and matsui – very, very optimistic but even more unrealistic. Yet, many people choose to believe that the team will have some kind of injury free, three of four candidates for comeback player of the year type seasons. Only extremely young teams can be so lucky and we are not on that list yet even thought we got younger this off-season.

    yOU are right in that yankee fans are often far too optimistic and seem to very easily forget how many things could go wrong in a season (like last season). You are also right that if one were to choose any yankee as comeback player of the year right now, most educated yankee fans would probably say Nick Swisher. Good job!

    I would also say that with the yankees adding pettitte and creating an eight man pitching staff all of whom could potentially pitch in the majors along with swisher/nady bench player and guys like melancon and cox coming up from AAA sometime next season, i think the yankees have enough depth to overcome almost any adversity in 2009 even if the team were to be plagued by injuries like 2008, i think we could still make the playoffs. Afterall, the team is much stronger, has more depth and still won 89 games last year – i dont think that is being too optimistic as i usually do not fall into that crowd.

  20. BillP January 30th, 2009 at 2:29 am

    MLB has confirmed that the Yankees hit their quota on Type A and B Free Agents signings this off season.

    They would have needed a waiver to sign any other Type A or B free agent and they never requested one so it was Pettitte or bust. Sheets was never happening and neither was Manny.

  21. dave January 30th, 2009 at 2:34 am

    I guess that takes Cruz off the yankee radar huh? He is a type A as well.

  22. dave January 30th, 2009 at 2:35 am

    BiIIp,

    That is the first i am hearing of this. Can you post the link when you get a chance? Thanks.

  23. Baja January 30th, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Badlands (gets the crowd up)
    The Rising (for the new President)
    Working On A Dream (gotta plug the new record)
    Born To Run (b/c I can’t think of any Bruce football songs)

  24. BillP January 30th, 2009 at 2:39 am

    dave

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....Id=rss_nyy

  25. Mrs. Kekich January 30th, 2009 at 3:53 am

    Pat M: “Bruce only gets 12 minutes,,,Badlands , Working on a Dream, and Gypsy Biker or Radio Nowhere…..Man 12 minutes is short…..McCartney played for 20 minutes and was paid 6 million for his time….250,000 per minute….Then again he is Paul McCartney”

    Pat, Paul got the same 12 minutes: Drive My Car, Get Back, Live and Let Die and a shortened version of Hey Jude.

  26. Phil Parcells January 30th, 2009 at 4:21 am

    PROGRAMING NOTE: Torre on Larry King, tonight at 9:00 PM

  27. Mark in Tampa January 30th, 2009 at 6:48 am

    The MLB.com article on the Free Agent Quota:

    The most commonly held misconception of this offseason is that the Yankees could have signed pitcher Ben Sheets or could still sign left-fielder Manny Ramirez if only there were a few million dollars remaining in the Steinbrenner bank.
    Both assumptions are incorrect. According to the Basic Agreement, and confirmed by a top Major League Baseball official, once the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, they had signed their quota of Type A or Type B free agents under the collectively bargained rules established by management and the Players Association.

    All three were Type A free agents who played for other teams last season aside from the Yankees. The Yankees could re-sign their own Type A or Type B free agents without it affecting the quota.

    Under the rules, “if there are from 39 to 62 [Type A and B] players [during a given offseason], no team can sign more than three.”

    “Frankly, it’s an unusual year to have that many ranked players,” Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, told MLB.com this week.

    Manfred negotiates these kinds of terms with the Major League Baseball Players Union. And the current Basic Agreement, signed after the 2007 season, doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, 2011.

    But it gets more complicated.

    According to an unofficial list compiled by the Sports City Sports News Service, this year there were 63 Type A and Type B free agents — 29 Type As and 34 of the Type B variety. A Type A player is one who’s ranked among the top 20 percent of his group — pitcher or position player. A Type B player is among the top 40 percent. The Elias Sports Bureau does the annual independent rankings.

    “If there are more than 62 such players, the club quota shall be increased accordingly,” the Basic Agreement also says.

    “If there were more than 62 this year, we should have agreed on an increased quota,” Manfred said. “We did not. I think if [the Yankees] were contemplating signing another Type A player, they would’ve read the agreement and asked us what we wanted to do. They would’ve said they wanted to sign a fourth player and we would’ve had to do something with the union.”

    The Yankees didn’t ask, Manfred said.

    They did sign another Type A player this week, pitcher Andy Pettitte. But Pettitte played for the Yankees in 2008. The same goes for Damaso Marte, a Type A reliever the Yanks re-signed early in the offseason.

    In any event, after signing five free agents at a guaranteed total cost of $447.5 million spread out over the next eight years, it appears the Yankees are done spending this offseason.

    Rules about compensatory Draft picks led to some confusion, too.

    Only Type A or Type B free agents who have turned down arbitration yield compensation picks. That means the Brewers, who offered Sabathia arbitration, wound up being compensated by the Yankees with their second-round pick in next June’s First-Year Player Draft. The Padres, on the other hand, didn’t receive a pick for all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman when he signed with the Brewers, because he wasn’t offered arbitration.

    The main reason a club might decline to offer arbitration is that it’s more concerned with the amount of money an arbitrator might award to the player than preserving the possibility of a compensatory draft pick.

    This year, 24 of the 63 players in that group were offered arbitration. Two of the 24, Darren Oliver of the Angels and David Weathers of the Reds, accepted arbitration and returned to those clubs. Thus, 22 of 216 free agents this year earn draft pick compensation if they are signed by another club, about 10 percent.

    With 10 Type A free agents still unsigned, the question arose regarding what might happen if one of them signed with a Major League club after the draft.

    The list of unsigned Type A players includes Ramirez, Oliver Perez, Jason Varitek, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Orlando Hudson and Sheets. The Type B list includes Paul Byrd, Dennys Reyes and Brian Shouse.

    “It’s always been our position that if [a player] goes past the Draft, the compensation goes away,” Manfred said, adding that it has never happened.

    Remaining Type A free agents: Bobby Abreu, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson, Mike Mussina (retired), Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets and Jason

  28. Tarheelyank January 30th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Good post Joe.

  29. BD January 30th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I don’t agree that Yankees fans are that characteristically optimistic. Sometimes I’m shocked at the level of pessimism, especially regarding injuries. A lot of people seem to think not only that it’s inevitable one or two pitchers will go down, but if that happens, regardless of the circumstances, it means the end of the Yankees’ playoff hopes. You’d think the Yankees are the only team that can suffer injuries and that the roster is so borderline competitive that they need everyone completely healthy all year in order to have a chance.

  30. Ham Fighters January 30th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    it appears to me that scott boras is trying to create a ‘manny sweepstakes’ over the next couple of weeks hoping that at least 2 teams will get swept up in the hoopla and throw money at him. thus far there has only been the one offer, and we dont even know if that one is still on the table. earlier this week boras made big noise about ‘the train leaving the station’ but no motion has been detected yet. now today comes word that boras thinks this can be done by the start of ST, only 16 days away.

    in reality it should take a few seconds for boras to say yes or no to the dodgers offer, but scottie is doing his best tap dance routine to try to get someone else into the bidding, but its not looking too good.

    some mets fans tried to make a big ‘push’ for manny by holding signs outside sny’s studios, yesterday, good luck with that, maybe those guys have $20M or so or maybe bernie madoff could make a donation to cover the cost.

    all i can say is its gonna be 2 more weeks of deep doo-doo from boras and manny and he’ll end up in dodger blue for 3 yrs/ $60M b/c nobody else is going to offer that kind of money.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....y-ram.html

  31. Russell NY January 30th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Does anyone know anything about the Type A and B free agents and whether or not the Yankees can sign anymore. I read the MLB.com and MLBTradeRumors articles but people in the posts are saying the rule is they can sign 3+ the number of A+B that they lose. And we lost Abreu and Pudge. Though I’m not exactly sure of the rule because we didn’t offer Abreu or Pudge arbitration and I think someone said resigning your own players (Pettitte and Marte) dont count. Hmmm… does this count us out of Manny, Hudson, Dunn?

  32. Ham Fighters January 30th, 2009 at 8:26 am

    russel: scroll up

  33. Russell NY January 30th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    “Sometimes I’m shocked at the level of pessimism, especially regarding injuries. A lot of people seem to think not only that it’s inevitable one or two pitchers will go down, but if that happens, regardless of the circumstances, it means the end of the Yankees’ playoff hopes.”

    Well, yes, at least 2 will go down. It happens to this team every year, it’s sickening. I think we have the depth this year though to make up for it. Hey, if we were in a division where our main competition was: Oakland, White Sox, Dodgers, Mets, then maybe I would be a little more optimistic.

  34. Baja January 30th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Who is madder at who (or is it whom) : Manny or Boras?

  35. Ham Fighters January 30th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    the socks ‘deadline’ with veritek expires this morning. i’ve been hoping all along that he signs with them b/c he is an instant out, but im really beginning to wonder now what effect it might have on thier pitching staff.

  36. Brad Pitt's better=looking brother January 30th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Joe the Fowl Ball
    Well, Swisher may have some upside, but you’re short-changing the stylish Joe Pepitone if you are going to say it’s as high as Pepitone’s prodigious pompadour.
    Hmm. “Pepitone’s Prodigious Pompadour.” Nice name for a salon or nightclub or something.

    I was wondering if CHONE would find that my stock investments last year were actually shrewd picks right on target and would have been profitable if not for a mega-dose of bad luck. If so I was wondering if can I have my money back…

  37. Doreen January 30th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Good post. I am curious about Swisher too, and think he could be really good for the Yankees. I hope he doesn’t get sent away before we even get to see him play.

    But about fans being optimistic – hey, that’s what we’re supposed to be! :) (Especially in January and February) And even if we deep down know that a player like Melky is never going to be the next Mickey Mantle, we can still root for him and hope he gives even better than the projections say he will.

  38. Doreen January 30th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Good post. I am curious about Swisher too, and think he could be really good for the Yankees. I hope he doesn’t get sent away before we even get to see him play.

    But about fans being optimistic – hey, that’s what we’re supposed to be! :) (Especially in January and February) And even if we deep down know that a player like Melky is never going to be the next Mickey Mantle, we can still root for him and hope he gives even better than the projections say he will.

  39. Russell NY January 30th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Thanks Ham – missed the part that the Yankees never asked. That could have changed I presume.

  40. Pepiton'e Prodigious Pompadour January 30th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Ham
    For every two extra outs Veritek’s supposed game calling skills will get his pitchers, I figure he is worth four outs at the plate himself. (Advantage = Yankees). So I think I am still with the “I hope they sign Veritek” crowd.

  41. Russell NY January 30th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Doreen – I don’t know about you but I am rooting for Gardner to win the backup OF job. If the Yankees want the strongest offense they will go with a Swisher, Damon, Nady outfield. Gardner is not only the perfect guy to put in there for late inning defensive replacement but he is the best guy to pinch run also. Bang, right there you get 2 uses out of the guy with 1 roster spot. For that reason alone I think if Melky and Gardner put up a close average and OBP that the Yankees will take Gardner. He also has more plate discipline and if he gets a single its an automatic triple :)

  42. Ron January 30th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Another attempt at comedy that falls flat

  43. not yet stimulated January 30th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    looks like its now a faux pomadour….

    http://www.amnd.org/mediac/400.....pitone.JPG

  44. ray (sox fan) January 30th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Ron
    January 30th, 2009 at 8:39 am
    “Another attempt at comedy that falls flat”

    Another attempt at insightful criticism that falls flat.

    Ease up Ron, I’m a Sox fan and I still found the article interesting and humorous.

  45. Pepitone's Prodigious Pompadour January 30th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    LOL

    but apparently it still “Has it.”
    it fooled that pretty young thing he’s with!

  46. not yet stimulated January 30th, 2009 at 8:55 am

    joe p, the original ‘american idol’

    In June 1973, Pepitone accepted an offer of $70,000 a year to play for the Yakult Atoms, a professional baseball team in Japan’s Central League. While in Japan, he hit .163 with one home run and two RBIs in 14 games played. According to an edition of Total Baseball, Pepitone spent his days in Japan skipping games for claimed injuries only to be at night in discos, behavior which led the Japanese to adopt his name into their vernacular–as a word meaning “goof off”.

  47. not yet stimulated January 30th, 2009 at 8:57 am

    sorry that was from wiki on pepitone btw.

  48. Pepitone's Prodigious Pompadour January 30th, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Not yet stimulated…

    I had been baffled but now I know what Girardi meant when he yelled out to Cano from the dugout during a game last year: “Hey Robby, quit Pepitoning around out there.”

  49. rover January 30th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Even if we had melky at every position, I would still root for him to overachieve at each position. Its the real world and most of know we won’t win every single year, but thats why you play the game. As it is, I don’t care who the player is, if he is in pinstripes I hope and root he overachieves consistently. To do anything less would make me a bandwagoner and not a fan.

  50. JoeyA January 30th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Would Robbie even know who Joe Pepitone is?

  51. Bronx Jeers January 30th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    From previous
    “lol, they should name a dance after Jetes interview style.”

    Lap dance?

    Lots of glam and glitter while it’s going on but in the end you got nothing and you’re poorer for it.

    Actually I just saw the MLB network interview on Hot Stove. Yawn….

    And every time I hear Jeter call Torre “Mr. T”, I cringe. He sounds ridiculous.

    A. It’s juvenile. Makes him sound like a preschooler. Or Forest Gump. “Lieutenant Dan…”

    B. There actually is a guy known as Mr T.

    C. It’s not like the name Torre is a tongue twister. It’s like 1.5 syllables.

    Troy Tulowitzki? Now that’s a guy who deserves to be called Mr. T!

  52. Kevin January 30th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Man, defensively, Damon/Nady/Swisher sucks. Who plays center? Neither Swisher nor Damon do it well. Gardner has always been a good OBP guy in the minors, and he also always took the rest of the season to adjust after a mid-season promotion. Maybe he was a year old for each of the levels when he performed well there, but I think if he can be a .360 OBP guy while playing good defense (something Melky really can’t), then there’s nothing wrong with going Damon/Gardner/Swisher, with Matsui DHing, Nady spelling either Matsui or Damon against lefties, and Melky being a pinch-runner. I’d prefer to trade Nady, just because he probably has more value in a trade than as a platoon mate to guys who don’t really need a platoon partner, but he wouldn’t hurt if he was in that role, either.

  53. JOJO January 30th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I am tired of hearing everyone say that Nick Swisher is almost guaranteed to have a bounce back year. If he is that good he shouldn’t of had that sorry year he had last year in the first place.

    And any Yankee fan should know that YOU NEVER KNOW HOW A PLAYER WILL PERFORM IN NEW YORK. Some players just can’t produce in the circus that is New York City. That goes for CC, AJ, Tex and everyone else who is a new addition. We’ll just have to wait and see with all of them.

  54. Pepitone's Prodigious Pompadour January 30th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Joey A

    Probably not. Robby’s just now hearing about a guy named Mantle.

  55. Rishi January 30th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    from the dodger front: http://www.latimes.com/sports/.....5398.story

  56. Rishi January 30th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    http://www.miamiherald.com/spo.....78811.html

  57. Jeremy January 30th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    An insightful and clever post. Thanks Joe.

    Swisher is an intriguing and versatile player. He should be a lot more useful for us than Betemit ever was. The Yankees will hold onto him.

  58. Doreen January 30th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Russell

    I’m kinda neutral regarding Melky/Gardner. I have a soft spot for Melky and so I’d like to see him do well just from that standpoint. But, I can see the value that Gardner brings as a 4th outfielder, late-inning defensive replacement, base-running threat. Unless he’s taken some serious bunting lessons and gets a better feel for the strike zone, though, I don’t see him as a full-time starter. I think as a full-time player, Melky is more the guy – but only if he’s able to bounce back and show that last year he just couldn’t get back on track.

    I don’t see Damon in CF because of the wear and tear on his legs and his arm. But, I guess anything can happen.

  59. saucY January 30th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    nice post.

    i know SJ44 saw the ‘cano was unlucky in 08′ post as overanalysis. i’m curious of his thoughts on this, as i’ve read a few different times that swish was unlucky in ’08…

  60. Celeste from RWU January 30th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I know we have had our disagreements in the past but I completely agree with the post

    Swisher is my vote for “come back player of the year”

  61. Sean Serritella January 30th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    This CHONE projection thing. I want to know where I could find it because I’ll use it for fantasy baseball. I’m not good at fantasy baseball but I’m a fantasy baseball freak. You’d think I’d be good at something I love to do.

  62. not yet stimulated January 30th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    sean,
    http://www.baseballprojection.com/

    or this one which gives you CHONE plus 2 others

    http://www.fangraphs.com/proje.....type=chone

  63. JD - The Fowl Balls January 30th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    http://www.baseballprojections.com
    enjoy

  64. Kevin January 30th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Fangraphs also has CHONE projections, along with Bill James, Oliver, and Marcel.

  65. mattz crorkz August 27th, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    wkpQsf Hello. fantastic job. I did not imagine this. This is a impressive story. Thanks!

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