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The trouble with (spring) statistics

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 11, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s easy to look at a box from today’s game and say, “Wow, Nick Swisher is hitting .111. He sucks.”

However … the games against Team USA and Team Canada do not count in the spring stats for reasons I am not clear on. The Excitable Boy was 1 for 3 in those two games with two walks and two RBI.

Beyond that, most teams invite every pitcher over high A ball with a pulse to spring training. In a WBC year, you get even more scrubs mixed in. So somebody could be hitting .400 against pitchers who would need a ticket to get into a big-league park. Somebody else could be hitting .111 against six aces.

Joe Girardi said it well yesterday: you can’t look at the numbers in spring training, you have to look at the work. If a good player is swinging the bat well, it doesn’t really matter whether the ball falls in. History tells you it will.

The same is true of a pitcher. CC Sabathia doesn’t have control of his cutter yet. That’s a pitch he often uses with two strikes. For him, that pitch usually comes when he has two or three starts left in the spring. So he throws a four-seam fastball for a strike and — ka-boom — Gary Sheffield drills one. Sheff doesn’t get that pitch on April 27.

“I’ve been doing this a while, I know what will happen,” CC said. “You go through these things in spring training.”

Had you been on Field 2 at 9:40 a.m today, you would have seen Mariano Rivera barely able to throw strikes. John Rodriguez was laughing as he danced out of the way.

But Mo has another bullpen session on Saturday, then a game on Monday and then more games after that. Come April 6 in Baltimore, he’ll be ready.

So don’t look at the numbers and miniscule sample sizes. Read the comments, watch the swings and scan the boxes to see who was pitching.

There’s a reason spring training is so long. If they ran the players out there for real games after two weeks, it would be pretty ugly.

 
 

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161 Responses to “The trouble with (spring) statistics”

  1. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks Pete. Hopefully people will understand this and we won’t have any more panic posts about poor spring performances.

  2. Uncle Ellsworth March 11th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    “Excitable Boy”
    How bout a footnote?

  3. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    we also need to remember that it works both ways.

    It’s great to see Gardner playing well but it’s still just spring training. You can’t say the bad stats don’t matter but the good stats do.

    IMO, he’ll need to outplay Melky by quite a bit throughout ST in order to win the job. Melky is out of options and still has more experience.

    That said, I do like Gardner and think he can play. But alas, “it’s just spring training”.

  4. Peter Abraham March 11th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Uncle E:

    * A lyric from the late, great Warren Zevon. Man, I still miss him. Tremendous talent.

  5. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    “Who else is left? Igawa declined the invitation”

    Yu Darvish

  6. Bronx Jeers March 11th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “Had you been on Field 2 at 9:40 a.m today, you would have seen Mariano Rivera barely able to throw strikes”

    And if a tree falls in a secluded desert does it make enough sound to scare a bear enough to take a dump in the woods?

    Bottom line… Didn’t see it…Don’t believe it… It never happened. Mo throws nothing but laser guided bat shattering cutters End of Story.

  7. Uncle Ellsworth March 11th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Pete I know.
    He’s awesome, but only really remembered for “Werewolves of London” unfortunatly.
    Its just that I was calling Swisher that last week.
    Great minds……….

  8. Gus March 11th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Anybody who gets worried about spring stats is a dumbass. Just as long as CC is healthy i am not concerned in the slightest. And as for guys like Swish even if he was hitting.400 it is not like you could get crazy over the positive. All that matters is guys are healthy. The people who go nuts over bad spring games must really really miss the baseball season. Like Axel says all we need is just a little patience

  9. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Get this – I just posted it in the prior thread. I think this writer is a tad overwrought:

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

    More alarming than the end result was that Sabathia said he had virtually no feel for his cutter, throwing only two where he wanted. It’s admittedly a pitch that takes longer than most to perfect, and Sabathia’s struggles aren’t anything unique as far as starting pitchers go.

    And for those reasons, he’s developed a positive reputation within the clubhouse—something that, so far, has surpassed his performance on the mound.

    **LOL Alarming? Wow, talk about overreacting. I love the 2nd quote about how CC’s reputation has been better than his performance. He’s had exactly 2 outings thus far……and he was very good in the first one anyway, not that it matters. I have a feeling the back pages of the papers are going to have CC’s face splashed across it with the words “CC you later” or “CCyonara”…Remember that the media (who loved the Mets trade for Santana) trashed the Yankees for spending $$$ (and not trading prospects) for CC….

  10. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Jeter, hitting in the 3-spot, getting things started for the US in the 3rd with a single.

  11. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Did anybody read the ESPN Clemens article?

    Apparently he was injected during a jacuzzi session IN Yankee Stadium.

  12. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Betsy,

    If CC were on any other team than the Yankees, it would be different. It’s comical how much some people want everything associated with NY to fail.

    If CC were still on Milwaukee, there wouldn’t be a single person with even a shred of doubt about the guy.

    One bad (EARLY) spring training game and there are doubts. Please.

  13. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    “Apparently Clemens was injected during a jacuzzi session IN Yankee Stadium”

    too much information

  14. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    JoeyA,

    I just want that garbage to go away. It’s simply filler for ESPN who should be paying the Yankees for keeping their main page full of content (between ARod, Roger, and anti-Yankee articles about the $400M spent this offseason).

    Enough Clemens vs. McNamee. Please go away.

  15. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I cant understand why they would be that ugly Pete. Isnt there an amusement park with a batting cage they can go to in the off season? Yes it only goes to 80 miles per hour, but all you have to do is stand closer and have someone watch your back for others foul balls. Inexcusable.

    vinny,
    Yu cant pitch 9 innings. We will have him out of the game after the fourth inning. Thats assuming he didnt pitch the prior game. Korea wont be easy for them either.

  16. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Victor Zambrano making the US hitters look silly so far mixing up his 89mph fastball and changeup.

  17. trisha - As long as you're in pinstripes, Kei, I've got your back. March 11th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    (from previous thread)

    S.O.S. that’s probably what I was talking about. I remembered reading something about that. That stuff annihilates me. That’s why I always feel so protective of players. Some people think of baseball as high-price entertainment and nothing more, or big business, and nothing more, and so they treat the players accordingly. But when I saw the reaction of Team Nederlands last night when they won, and when I have watched tears stream down the faces of grown men when they have lost a heart-breaking game, it comes roaring back to me that these are flesh and blood human beings who are out there doing the very best they can for the team.

    Therefore as long as a player has on the pinstripes (and isn’t a total fool, like Ian Kennedy) I will always have that player’s back. That means Sidney Ponson, and Kyle Farnsworth, and Kei Igawa, and LaTroy Hawkins, and every player who ever puts the NY pinstripes on his back. They’re out there trying to win. Therefore they should be supported and cheered for.

    My opinion.

  18. Ace March 11th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Id Spring Training stats mattered, Kei Igawa would be a shoe-in for the staff right now.

    ps

    Everyone email the YES Network at info@yesnetwork.com and request that Lorenz do more games and Kay do less.

    They can’t ignore tons of emails.

    TAKE 1 MINUTE DO IT FOR THE GOOD OF THE YANKS!!!

  19. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Boston Dave-
    Agree 100%. Clemens news is more appropriate for CNN.com or CNBC.com rather than ESPN at this point. It’s ridiculous ESPN even covers it.

    ESPN over-covers just about every story we don’t want to hear about.

  20. trisha - As long as you're in pinstripes, Kei, I've got your back. March 11th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    This is so typical Victor Zambrano. The guy can go bad fast.

  21. Bronx Jeers March 11th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    One thing that is bad about the ARod hip caper is that he himself didn’t feel the sting of getting eliminated by a team that stars Sid Ponson.

    Ryan Braun just doubled home our Captain to tie the game.

  22. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Zambrano proving the Kazmir trade was no mistake. (holding in all laughter)

    That has to be the worst trade in the last decade. Can anybody think of a worse one?

  23. Rishi March 11th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Bernie is in the on-deck circle in the PR game

  24. Nick in SF March 11th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    (from previous thread)

    “I am still in mourning over Abreu… I still wish the Yanks didn’t trade him.”

    Your wish is instant reality; the Yanks didn’t trade him.

  25. dan 771 March 11th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Yankees.com is always positive too

  26. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    JoeyA,

    It’s also not just about them covering it. They cover it, on their front page, with a huge and obvious bias which is clearly used to try and make people who otherwise don’t care, be interested in it.

    Oh well… I have been trying to avoid ESPN.com whenever I can. As long as I support them by visiting the site I can’t complain.

  27. bodhisattva March 11th, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Betsy
    March 11th, 2009 at 7:34 pm
    Get this – I just posted it in the prior thread. I think this writer is a tad overwrought:
    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....8;c_id=nyy

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Overwrought sportswriter? Impossible.

    Maybe we can arrange for Sabathia to pitch to Swisher before the former gets it worked out.

  28. Bronx Jeers March 11th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Scaturo’s up and I cringe remembering that walf off HR he hit off Mo a couple of years back.

  29. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    To me, it’s about the approach. If a player has the right approach, then he’s going to be fine. If he does not (like hacking at everything in sight), then you have to be concerned (we are talking about ST) that he might start getting into bad habits. Swish is not a .218 hitter – he hit that last year. Ok, why does last year trump his previous years? The guy is not a high AVG hitter anyway – his other qualities (patience, good HR power) are what the Yankees liked about him (besides his versatility, etc…). It’s just not fair to expect these guys to come out like a house afire after not having played in months. Some guys do, but not everyone. Someone posted in the prior thread that Nady/Swish are playing like they don’t care who gets the job – that’s ridiculous. Also, does anyone think Tex is going to hit .529 this season?

    One thing about the regular season – again, just like ST, some players start out hot, some cold. Eventually, the hot players cool down and the cold ones warm up. That’s just how it goes – let’s relax.

  30. Front Row March 11th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    If the Yankees’ own website is that negative, I can only imagine what the other papers will say

  31. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Boston Dave-
    Good to know Bostonians recognize ESPN bias as much as the rest of us.

    You would think they catch flack for their BS reporting on certain subjects (i.e. Favre, Clemens, anything Red Sox). Peter Gammons alone is the spokesperson for biased reporting. HOF worthy yes, but losing his objectivity, even more-so.

    I just wish they recognized their responsibility as leader in sports reporting in U.S. and gave unbiased, objective stories.

  32. RGR (get Figgins) March 11th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Blasphemy, the Yankees suck, CC sucks, Swisher sucks, Gardner is a God

    /sarcasm

  33. RGR (get Figgins) March 11th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Forgot to add that Igawa is the new ace

  34. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Dave, you’re so right. I am the type to worry, so I know that I have posted my own ridiculous thoughts lately (worrying about the Yankees not winning ST games, complaining about how Aceves – as an example – stinks, etc….). If we have to worry about CC, then the Yankees are in trouble, lol.

    Ugh – I just realized that the Yanks and Sox play Friday. Wonderful, lol. If they lose, we have to hear about how the Sox are the greatest team ever – you just know that this is what it’s going to be like. If Wang gets hit, it will be even worse……I’m not worried at all, but you be prepared, lol

  35. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    But there are things you can take from spring training…it is good to see that Gardner is staying back on the ball and driving with his lower half, instead of leaning forward and lunging at it…resulting in weak grounders and popups…And it’s also discouraging if you’re a guy like Freddy Garcia trying to make a team and you can’t throw over 87 mph…

  36. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    “Also, does anyone think Tex is going to hit .529 this season?”

    He did get a raise this year.

  37. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Bodh, no one would win if CC/Swish faced off because they both stink. CC wouldn’t be able to get the ball out of his hand and Swish would be dragging his feet to get up to the plate, lol

  38. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I agree, Shred Em………..

  39. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    One thing this blog has yet to cover regarding CC…

    He is going to be VERY fun to watch in interleague play.

    Forget about dominating NL lineups, the boy can hit!

    Many reported that hitting was a factor in his decision to pitch in AL vs. NL.

    Look forward to having our ace have a higher HR total than our SS.

  40. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Betsy,

    how much are those tickets selling for :) ? $200?

    I guess since Youk and Pedroia are out (along with Jeter and Marte), they might only sell for $100.

  41. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    “Maybe we can arrange for Sabathia to pitch to Swisher before the former gets it worked out.”

    Swish would work a walk.

  42. gayle March 11th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Can anyone say Carl Pavano

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....8;c_id=mlb

  43. Yankee2123 March 11th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    The Spring is for players to get into game shape. There are always competitions for spots, like Gardner & Cabrera. But for the established players, it’s about getting in shape, and staying injury free.

  44. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I have to keep reminding myself that some of you people in the east need to get some grub at 5 oclock pacific. Hurry back! I still have 2 more hours to kill.

  45. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    ST stats mean nothing-unless you’re competing for a job. Swish is. So far Nady’s winning. Same with Gardner and Melky. Gardner’s winning. End of story. Oh, and no worries about Mo or C.C.

  46. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I have a feeling my prev. comment will be fiercely debated.

  47. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    My friend is a huge Orioles fan and he told me some interesting things about the pitcher.

    Unwilling to go past 100 pitches.
    Never talked to the media. Literally refused interview.
    Barely spoke to teammates.

    Seems like a perfect comparison to Pavano. The guy cashed in on one exceptional year, and has now packed it in.

  48. jennifer March 11th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Speaking of Pavano, has he landed on the dl yet?

  49. Uncle Ellsworth March 11th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Jeter batting 500 for wbc.

  50. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    JoeyA-Diff. between him and Pavano-Pavano was a Yankee.

  51. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Bedard is much more talented than Pavano. Of course talent means nothing on the DL.

  52. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    U.S. trailing 2-1. Netherlands getting killed, down 4-0 in 8th.

  53. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    At least Bedard’s injuries have been somewhat consistent (bad hip).

    Pavano’s injuries were all over the place.

  54. Front Row March 11th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Teix – agree.

    Swisher is trying to win the job from Nady and has done nothing to do that. His stats DO count. He is trying to become the full-time RF’er rather than a bench player. Even he brought up he left guys on base today (players in ST hardly notice or care about those things) because he knows Girardi is watching everything and he has to play better to win the job.

  55. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Pavano was a loser. He couldn’t help but trash the Yankees when he got a gig with the Indians (he’ll pitch, but only because of an incentive laced contract). My 20-20 hindsight says worst deal they ever made.

  56. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Boston Dave, you can go back to charging $200.00 as Marte is also back with the team, lol

  57. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    “gluteus maximus,”

    Which means buttox. Never understood how you can pull a but muscle pitching.
    If I can recall, Bedard was nasty for more than one season. Especially against us.

  58. Nick in SF March 11th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    PAT M: if you’re still out there, I tried to respond to you on the previous thread, but something I said must have been caught in the filters.

    Wish I could make it down to LA for Pac-10 tourney, thanks for the offer.

    I should be in town for the Yanks/A’s games in August, we should definitely have a LoHud meetup!

  59. Santos March 11th, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Nobody is worried about CC, though his 250 inning workload and last year’s slow start is something to keep an eye on— it is nothing to get worried about so early

    Swisher on the otherhand, is trying to win a job. His play in ST does matter and he has done nothing to unseat Nady. Saying “he isin’t a .219 hitter” is nice and may be true, but he has to show that this Spring to be a starter….

  60. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    “My 20-20 hindsight says worst deal they ever made.”

    Cant forget that ridiculous contract thats in the minors.

    When I think of Pavano, all i can think of is that scene in Full Metal Jacket where all the guys hit him with a soap in a towel while he’s asleep. I really think that happened but they wont talk about it.

  61. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Front Row-My sentiments exactly
    Ugh, USA down 4-1.

  62. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    As guys are playing to get themselves into playing condition, you have to be pleased that Gardner has re-invented himself somewhat at the plate…As shred em pointed out his fundamental approach to hitting has improved by leaps and bounds..His greatest assest is when he’s on base, so he needs to improve his chances to reach base…Bunting effectivly would only enhance his game and help the club….Hughes has been outstanding so far, and Matsiu and Posada being able to regain their strokes and showing very littl effects of their respective medical proceedures are all very positive….After March 17 or so, when all the kids have been reassigned that’s when you’ll get a feel for the club that we’ll see this season….

  63. JoeyA March 11th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    One thing we all forget…

    We hired/payed Pavano to be the young gun on the staff. If he panned out the way we hoped, 04-07 may have looked a lot different.

    By the end of his time with the Yankees he was a joke, but he was far from a joke when he first came here. He was supposed to be an important piece of this franchise for those years.

    I think a lot of people forget about that.

  64. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    “Which means buttox. Never understood how you can pull a but muscle pitching”

    SoS: in a spring training game he fell on his @ss, trying to cover first base (while his coaches/teammates were laughing at him)

    not defending him, btw : )

  65. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    S.oS.-Funny image!

  66. Carl79 March 11th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    The USA couldn’t find anyone better than Jeremy Guthrie and Ted Lilly to be in their rotation?

  67. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    JoeyA-No you’re right, which is why I used the term 20/20 hindsight. Can’t knock the owners. Pat M.-Watch out for Melancon, has an ERA of 0. He should be the set-up man, with Ramirez not 100% you could stick him in the minors and have Melancon step in. He’ll end the Joba in the pen debate.

  68. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Nick in SF, I know you relocated, what side of the Bay are you on…..I’ll be in Oakland for at least on gama…I haven’t seen when their up in Oakland…Is it a weekend series ???? As for the four on the floor tomorrow at Staples, no sweat….I’m waitng for the lines to come out….Ilike Cal-Berkley to make some noise once the NCAA starts….

  69. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    vinny,

    So which one is the reason he bad mouthed us?

    a. being laughed at for eating it on his toosh trying to cover first?
    b. being hit by the whole team with a soap in towel?

    Tough call.

  70. Peter March 11th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I live in Chicago and watched Nick Swisher all last year. He was terrible. By the end of the year his attitude was worse. I can’t imagine why you are in love with this guy unless it’s because you think he’s a fun guy. Let him prove himself with a good year before becoming so enthusiastic. For me, the jury is definitely out on him.

  71. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    c.-Both

  72. Carl79 March 11th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Girardi has to be fair to his players too.

    How does he explain to Nady that he has to rescind his RF job, coming off a .305, 25 HR, 97 RBI season, to a guy who hit .219 last year and had a bad Spring to boot?

    Look at it from a manager’s perspective.

  73. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Peter-I’m a Nady guy. Loved him last yr.

  74. Sully Sox March 11th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I wonder if CC will be able to handle the booing in the new stadium?

  75. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I think Nady will surprise al with a good yr.

  76. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    all, not al.

  77. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    they need to re-evaluate (change) this format. You cannot go from games being life & death, to games not meaning anything, and then back to life & death.

    the games have no juice tongiht.

  78. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Teixeiramvp,
    I agree 100% on Melancon and Ramirez.

  79. Nick in SF March 11th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    PAT M: I’m still in SF, but now I’m in a sleepy little neighborhood called Glen Park instead of a hill near the Upper Haight. My old area was in the dead center of the city, now I’m off near the south end part of town. The city seems bigger now that I’m off to the side. :(

    I think the Yankee games in Oakland are weekday games in late August.

  80. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    SoS:

    when in doubt, go with ‘all of the above’

  81. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    vinny-b-Well, it’s the same in the reg. season, and we watch that. S.o.S.-Glad you agree.

  82. vinny-b __NYY fan and WBC promoter__ March 11th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    btw: Pavano’s falling down (covering first) was the reason for the @ss injury : )

  83. laszloseverance March 11th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    The Pavano misadventure was just another prime example of how Brian Cashman is the lamest GM in the game. That same year he signed Pussyboy he threw a ton of money at another piece of damaged goods, J. Wright (remember him?). Consider also that he gave a 36-year-old catcher with a tired shoulder a four-year deal worth over $50 million at the end of 2007. He tossed plenty of change in the direction of Clemens when Steroid Boy pitched a half season for the Stinkys his last time around. Cashman has quite a gift for signing used-up and overrated players for big money, log-term deals. No wonder the Bombers have been bombing for years.

  84. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    One day we’re going to hear that Pavano got injured while sleeping to breathing too hard and overtaxing his lungs. He’s always injured.

  85. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Tex, I like Melachon also, but he has been throwing at the back end of the game…I think he’s better served to go back to AAA and play at least throughout April down there…He’ll be a factor in the Bronx by mid-season….I’ve never been a fan of Edwar as he pitches to contact way too much for my liking…But Melachan along side of Bruney as late inning righhanders is exciting..Coke and Marte will handle the lefthanders…The pen is the best I think since the Nelson, Stanton & Mendoza trio of the Championship era….

  86. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    sorry, not to-supposed to say because he was (no clue how that was messed up).

  87. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I don’t see Nady as a .300 hitter, and I don’t see Swisher as a .219 hitter. With that being said, if Swisher hits at at least a .250 clip he’s a better player than Nady. Swisher has more power, is a faster baserunner, and if he’s hitting .250 that would mean his OBP would be around .375. At this point though, it would be absolutely irrational for Girardi not to give Nady his job back.

  88. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    “btw: Pavano’s falling down (covering first) was the reason for the @ss injury”

    Did you mean the excuse? I think he might have just been Glutious Maximus hurt(mentally. you can replace G.M. with butt)after falling.

  89. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Why send him to AAA if he could help now? Melancon looks really good, and Ramirez may not be 100%, Melancon would fit perfectly.

  90. laszloseverance March 11th, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Melancon’s pitched a total of five innings in ST and homey dimbulbs are going on like he was the greatest prospect ever. He’s also walked two in five innings, which works out to nearly four/game, and he’s struck out four, which works out to about 7.2K/game. These are numbers are comparable to someone like Oliver Perez, with less Ks. Hold your horses, folks.

  91. Carl79 March 11th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Sully,

    If CC pitches like he did today… he’ll be showered with boos at the Stadium

    Heck even the Yankee fans in Baltimore will boo him on opening day if he pitches poorly lol

  92. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Shred em-I’ve looked up both career #’s, they’re very, very similar, with Swish having a shorter career. Therefore you look at ST and the prev. season. Nady wins both.

  93. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    laszloseverance-It’s not only ST he has great AAA #’s. If Ramirez is not 100%, give Melancon a shot, he’s the real deal.

  94. HillBilllShakespeare March 11th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Hey all, there’s something I have been wondering… I really don’t know much, but it seems to me that Mark Melancon has really filthy stuff, and I don’t understand why he isn’t a shoe-in for making the bullpen this year. Everyone seems to really respect his stuff, and if he’s being groomed to potentially replace MO, is he really that “green” that he’s not ready for the big stage to me? I don’t see how the guys in front of him (Edwar, Aceves, Veras) or that much more efficient or dominant than him. I’m a total newcomer to this stuff, so please, let me know what I’m missing. Thanks!

  95. HillBilllShakespeare March 11th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Hey all, there’s something I have been wondering… I really don’t know much, but it seems to me that Mark Melancon has really filthy stuff, and I don’t understand why he isn’t a shoe-in for making the bullpen this year. Everyone seems to really respect his stuff, and if he’s being groomed to potentially replace MO, is he really that “green” that he’s not ready for the big stage yet? I don’t see how the guys in front of him (Edwar, Aceves, Veras) are that much more efficient or dominant than he is. I’m a total newcomer to this stuff, so please, let me know if I’m missing something crucial to the equation. Thanks!

  96. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    HillBilllShakespeare-You’re absolutely right, you’re missing nothing. People just overthink it.

  97. Betsy March 11th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    The Yanks have some terrific young arms in the pen, but I guess what I’m puzzled at is the belief that bullpen arms are volatile (and that you can’t count on them). Does that mean that we shouldn’t be too excited about promising young arms like Coke and Robertson (won’t use Melancon as he’s a potential closer) because they’ll only be good for a year? Sorry if this sounds stupid, lol……

  98. laszloseverance March 11th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Teix-AAA is one thing, The Show is another. Just because a pitching prospect puts together a few good appearances in early ST is no indication he’s capable of maintaining the same levels over the course of the season. At least Ramirez has ML experience, and as he’s been there, he should make the team even if he’s not 100% yet.

  99. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    HillBilllShakespeare,
    I think Girardi is going to give the guys that were good last season first dibbs. Melancon will more likely be the first option in case of someone struggling or injured. When that happens, it will be a one way ticket. Not the Britton package.

  100. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    If Melancon’s a great prospect, he should get the start. Ramirez doesn’t have as good stuff, and he’s hurt. Why not give him a shot? If you say he doesn’t have ML experience, he never will if you never put him in.

  101. J March 11th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Shred,

    That’s what is boils down to. Swisher is the superior player but until he shows it, no way can Girardi bench Nady after the year he had (as flukey as it may be).

  102. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I just think Melachon will get more needed Aptil work in Scranton….April has quite a few off days, and you can count on some washouts.He’ll be needed by Memorial Day to be certain and he’ll be ready to answer the call by then..

  103. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    “The Pavano misadventure was just another prime example of how Brian Cashman is the lamest GM in the game.”

    It was a disaster, sure.

    However, lest anybody forget “Carl-palooza” (his tour of MLB teams was actually dubbed this) included offers from the genius front office of the Boston Red Sox, among other teams.

    Pavano had many suitors and he chose NY over Boston and all the others.

    Therefore, you cannot use the Pavano signing as evidence that Cashman is “lame” without offering the same criticism towards Theo Epstein and about 5-6 other GM’s who wanted Pavano just as badly.

  104. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Other reasons Melancon is headed to AAA to start:

    1. The Yankees have more depth in the pen than they’ve had in years

    2. It will keep him from free agency an extra year if he stays in the minors for apx 6 weeks (see: Evan Longoria and Matt Wieters).

  105. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I understand what you’re all saying but he could help the team now, use him!

  106. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Good point Boston Dave. Carl was the biggest ticket that offseason and Wright had just came off a 3.2 e.r.a. season. Hindsights always 20/20.

  107. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    The only good thing about the Swisher/Nady battle is that we have both of them to chose from, so if one stinks, the other will play. Over a full season, I’d expect Nady to hit .285/.340 with 22 HR and 86 RBI (just a wild, somewhat educated guess). Over a full season, I’d guess Swisher would hit .258/.375 with 27 HR and 92 RBI. Very similar. However, Swisher’s higher (theoretically) OBP and ability to work the count makes him much more valuable than Nady.

  108. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    So Nick in SF,,,So you are now a Urban Suburban guy….Next to NYC, San Francisco’s North Beach has the best Italian food…Scungilli / Calamari in a Fri Diavlo sauce….

  109. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Boston Dave,
    Good point on Pavano. He was the best off season free agent at the time. Wright had a 3.2 earned run average the prior year. Its easy to laugh at him now and rag on Cash.
    Vasquez was supposed to be the next best think. EXPERTS were saying he had more upside than Shilling that year.

  110. O-Dawg March 11th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    You can never trust bullpen arms entirely because their performances fluctuate so much. How many pitchers have been good setup men for more than a year or 2? Scott Shields is the only one, and he has done it for over 6 years.

    Look at the Tigers with Zumaya and Rodney in 06 to now
    Cleveland with Betencourt/Perez in 07 to 08

    Heck, look at what the Mets bullpen became after the 06 season when it was the among best in baseball with the same pieces.

    Look at our bullpen which was supposed to be the worst in baseball last year. Did anyone think Bruney, Farnsworth, Veras, Edwar etc. would be effective pieces for us?

    Bullpens are rarely ever the same year to year. History has proven that.

  111. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    In your educated guess Shred Em, you say that Swish hits six more homers. However, he has a much lower avg. How does he have more RBI’s? I think Nady’ll have more RBI’s.

  112. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Tex,
    Im with you and all but im starting to think your either related to Mark or his agent.

  113. Yanks761 March 11th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Tampa and Philly had awful pens in 07 but had the best pens in 08

    Arizona, Cleveland, San Diego all had excellent pens in 07 that completely bombed in 08.

    The Red Sox had the best pen in baseball in 07 and it was mediocre in 08. The Yankees had one of the worst pens in 07 and one of the best in 08.

    Nothing more unpredictable in baseball than a bullpen.

  114. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    S.o.S.-No, just extremely hopeful that we finally have someone besides Joba to take Mo’s place.

  115. Nick in SF March 11th, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    PAT M: actually, there is a little business district a couple blocks away from my new place with several restaurants, cafes, fancy market, library, BART station, etc. My old place, though in the dead center of town, was atop a hill, so it was a nice walk down and an annoying hike back up to go anyplace – or a short drive. My new place feels more ‘urban’ than the old one.

    Sorry, this must be a very boring topic. I’m boring myself, even. But my new place will be fine, and finer still once the DirecTV is installed and I can watch live sports again. I’ve got the shakes right now!

  116. dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Nady is going into his contract year with Boras as his agent… I think he’ll play a lot better than people think.

    Barring a hot streak from Swisher, Nady is going to start in RF. Girardi indicated that Swish has to take the job away from Nady and so far he has not. Still time though but he has to start hitting.

  117. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Even die-hard Cashman loyalist Randy I would give Cashamn a pass on the signing….Remember he had a good 04 season, and the Yankee rotation was in shambles after the October disaster….Pavano had physical issues that were legit, but he had a heart filled with puss….

  118. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Tex,
    You must have not heard yet. C.C. had a bad outing today and is going to be groomed to take Mo place. Things change by the minute in Yankee town.

  119. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    “Nothing more unpredictable in baseball than a bullpen.”

    This is so true. It makes signing big name free agent relievers a risky business.

    It also makes you appreciate Mariano Rivera so much more. This guy is 39 dang years old and had one of his best seasons in 2008. Incredible. Best ever….

  120. dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Melancon SHOULD be on the opening day roster but he won’t. Though if the pen doesn’t do well early on, Mark will be up very quickly.

    They don’t want to create a 40 man spot unless they have to and they want him to get that extra yr of free agency like Longoria.

    He’ll be up by Memorial Day.

  121. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    C.C.’s still pitching? Thought he was going down to the minors after this stinker (joke).

  122. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Swisher’s track record shows that he is much more of a longball/RBI threat than Nady, yet his average is significantly lower. Think Giambi in recent years: poor avg, but lots of XBH, BB, HR, and RBI. While Nady will most definitely get more hits, Swisher will have a higher % of XBH and more power.

    162 game averages:
    Swisher: .244/.354/.451 with 28 HR 86 RBI 31 2B 91 BB and 94 runs.
    Nady: .280/.335/.458 with 21 HR 78 RBI 30 2B 34 BB and 69 runs.

    These numbers show Swisher to be the superior offensive player, as he walks almost 3x as much as Nady, giving him more runs and a higher OBP. Also keep in mind Nady had a career year, and Swisher had an absolutely awful season, so these numbers are a bit skewed. Regression to the mean for both players would reflect another advantage for Swish. And let’s not forget that both players have played on bad teams in bad lineups their entire careers, so their numbers will benefit from playing on the Yankees.

  123. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    If Pavano had just picked Boston, they would have had Pavano and Matt Clement on the roster.

    I’m not saying to give Cashman a free pass on Pavano by any means. He was the top free agent pitcher on the market and coveted by many teams, though. It’s certainly not, IMO, enough to outweigh what Cashman has done in recent years.

    You can debate it all you want but over the past several years Cashman has restored the Yankee farm system to be ery respectable without sacrificing the big league club.

  124. Boston Dave March 11th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    * very respectable

  125. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Shred Em-The rub (yes, I used the word rub) is that Swish ahd a bad season last yr. and Nady had a great one. Nady is doing better in ST. He’ll deservedly start, I am a Nady fan.

  126. Arcobug March 11th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Joe Girardi said it well yesterday: you can’t look at the numbers in spring training, you have to look at the work. If a good player is swinging the bat well, it doesn’t really matter whether the ball falls in. History tells you it will.

    ——————————————————-
    I hope that they dont take Melky north in spite of Gardners hot spring.

  127. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Also keep in mind that Swisher is a switch hitter, who will have the advantage of the short porch against righties at the stadium, that could boost the power numbers a bit. Also, Nady will have to contend with Yankee stadium (I, II, and III?) traditionally being a tougher park for right-handed hitters.

  128. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Not necessarily. Jeet hits righty.

  129. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Not that Nady’s Jeet, just that you don’t necessarily need to switch hit or be lefty to be sucessful.

  130. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I also believe that Nady deserves to start. However, the numbers, the sheer fact that Swish will improve over last year and Nady most likely will not repeat, coupled with the fact that Girardi and the Yankee brass (OBP and OPS guys) prefer Swisher. If Nady shows any signs of slipping Swisher will be given every opportunity to take the job.

  131. Arcobug March 11th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    -

  132. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I dont believe they would have picked up Clement if Pavano signed with them. I think it was a retaliation to our move.

  133. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Shred Em-Remember Nady’s in a contract yr., he’ll want to pull up his #’s.

  134. Rob NY -- 2009 The Road to Redemption March 11th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    * Teixeiramvp
    March 11th, 2009 at 9:22 pm
    C.C.’s still pitching? Thought he was going down to the minors after this stinker (joke). -

    CC was released. The Yankees felt they were better off eating the money than having someone in their decline.

  135. bodhisattva March 11th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    What’s gg on in US/Ven game?

  136. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    No, the Yankees had C.C. assasinated. Cashman was worried he’d convince the Stein’s to let him pitch and had him eliminated (joke).

  137. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Tex- Nady is in a contract yr, and that usually is a big motivator for players. However, Nady’s 2008 was quite an abberation, and I’d be quite surprised if he were to repeat. Stranger things have happened, and I hope he does. I’m just of the belief that Swisher is the superior offensive player, and over time, that will show. Hopefully they both play well and the Yanks win it all…

  138. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    bodhisitvha-U.S. lost.

  139. Laura - Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm lost! March 11th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    “I live in Chicago and watched Nick Swisher all last year. He was terrible. By the end of the year his attitude was worse.”

    I also live in Chicago and have many friends who are White Sox fans. They all told me that Swisher and Ozzie didn’t get along (a common occurrence with Guillen) and that contributed to Nick’s horrible year. I’m not saying that he should get the start over Nady (In fact, I’m still of the mind that the Yankees should have resigned Abreu). However, at the same time, I’m not going to hold last year against him as I believe there were extenuating circumstances.

  140. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Shred Em-Maybe not as good as last yr., but I think he’ll do better than his career avg. I expect 285-300 with 90-95 RBI’s.

  141. jennifer March 11th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    What happens if the USA loses today? Will we get Jeter back for Friday?

  142. Rishi March 11th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    nope, Jennifer, this is just for seeding in Miami…USA will be seeded 2nd and not 1st

  143. Brandon, 'Watching Jorge Vasquez go Pujols in the WBC & Wade go MVP in the NBA' March 11th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Mets sure like making this thing interesting, 3B former Mets, CL Mets. Nevermind

  144. jennifer March 11th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    So how many games do they have to lose in order for us to get him back?

  145. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    One thing Swisher will offer immediatly, he’ll spell Damon on day games after a night game….He’ offers a great deal of flexability of the bench..He’ll see plenty of pt when they face a series of righhanders….Just as Torre found time to play both Strawberry and Raines, Giradi will do the same with Swisher…Matsiu vs.lefties will get the day off….He’ll be a major contributor this season.Be thankful he here in the Bronx…Besides, his acqusition played well in the Texeria sweepstakes…..

  146. Brandon, 'Watching Jorge Vasquez go Pujols in the WBC & Wade go MVP in the NBA' March 11th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    ‘So how many games do they have to lose in order for us to get him back?’

    2

  147. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    That’s weird because they already beat Venezuela.

  148. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Jennifer,
    I think this game was just for the second round seedings. We might have to wait a bit longer. Like after the finals.

  149. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I just think something should be said for the amount of upside Swisher has. In 06, as a 25 year old in a pretty bad lineup, and playing the majority of his games in a pitcher’s park, Swisher hit 35 HRs and had 95 RBI, 97 BB, and 106 runs. 25 year olds that walk 97 times are extremely rare. Hopefully Swisher can find what he had back in 06, because the possibilities of what he could do in Yankee stadium in the Yankee lineup are rather enticing.

  150. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    He’ll mix in nice w/Nady.

  151. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Shred em,
    I agree that the short porch should be a huge plus for Nick. If he can get back halfway of where he was in 06. We’ll be in good shape. I do believe if a player isnt happy in their surroundings, it will effect their production. Lets hope that was a big reason for 08.

  152. Brandon, 'Watching Jorge Vasquez go Pujols in the WBC & Wade go MVP in the NBA' March 11th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Mexico vs Austrailia next.

  153. Shred Em March 11th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    There’s just some part of me that says Swisher is the type of acquisition that O’Neill and Brosius were: players who were underachieving and just needed a change of scenery to perform. Brosius’ average jumped 97 points after he was traded, and O’Neill’s jumped 65. Let’s hope Swisher is in for the same type of turnaround those two enjoyed.

  154. S.o.S. March 11th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Another shootout? Australia wins again.

  155. Teixeiramvp March 11th, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I hope he does well.

  156. Brandon, 'Watching Jorge Vasquez go Pujols in the WBC & Wade go MVP in the NBA' March 11th, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    SoS I wouldn’t be to sure of that, this Mexican offense is very dangerous, keep your eye on Cantu, Gonzalez & Vasquez

  157. PAT M. March 11th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Shred em, That was exackly my thoughts were when he was traded for…More in the lines of Paulie O, although Scotty was alright with Oakland, his play in NYC far exceeded anyones expectations….I watched Swisher play many times vs Anaheim as wellas vs the Yanks, he’s a good ballplayer with the potential to be way above average….I think he was an All-Star one time with Oakland….He’s going to be important for the run to October….

  158. Brandon, 'Watching Jorge Vasquez in the WBC & Wade go MVP in the NBA' March 11th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    So Jorge has trouble picking up secondary pitches. Big problem.

  159. dave March 11th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Jorge = Shelly Duncan. Can feast on AAA fastballs, fooled on even the most mediocre of breaking stuff.

  160. Front Row March 11th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Gut check win for the Knicks tonight against a tough Detroit team on the road

  161. HillBilllShakespeare March 12th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks all, I think I understand now. Boston Dave, what you said made it more “logical” to me. I didn’t know that about the parameters of free agency, and in baseball (as with most things) money talks the loudest.


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