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Happy birthday, Phil Franchise

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 24, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

p1_hughesThe very first post I ever did on this blog, back in Feb. of 2006, was about Phil Hughes throwing in a spring training intrasquad game:

“But the buzz afterward was about 19-year-old right-hander Phil Hughes. He threw two perfect innings, striking out one. The former first-round pick has impressed everybody in camp. Jorge Posada sounded like his agent, predicting that the kid would be in the big leagues soon and comparing him to a young Andy Pettitte. Joe Torre was more reasonable, saying only that Hughes has nice jump on his fastball, a tight curveball and acts like he belongs. “You just never know until you see them a little while,” Torre said.

Hughes turns 23 today. He has pitched in 34 big-league games over three seasons and is 8-9 with a 4.97 ERA. His promise has not yet been fulfilled.

But what we thought in 2006 hasn’t changed: Hughes will be a very good, No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the majors and be successful for a long time. As long as he can stay healthy, he has the arm and the makeup to be a terrific pitcher.

While I understand he’s in the bullpen now out of circumstance, the Yankees should not lose sight of his potential as a starter. This is not just another guy.

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192 Responses to “Happy birthday, Phil Franchise”

  1. Bob(the original) June 24th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Wow, has it been that long? I remember reading that.

  2. Stephen June 24th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    To be fair, not many of the reports that I read viewed Hughes as a No. 2 or 3 starter. He was sold as a top-of-the-rotation, future ace.

    A No. 3 starter would never be called “the Franchise”!

  3. zippy June 24th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    trade him now for hanley ramirez !

  4. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint June 24th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Our little Yooouuuuuuuse is growing up

  5. CB June 24th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    repost – didn’t see new thread:

    Before this dry spell every yankee starter was in the top 10 in OPS amongst active players. Every starter top 10 in baseball. The team led the league in OPS, Slg% and was top 3-5 in runs scored, BA, and OBP.

    They offense was never projected to be that good.

    This collective slump is likely them correcting their overperformance from earlier in the year.

    What’s unclear right now is what this team will look like offensively moving forward. It’s most likely not as good as it was but not as bad as it is now.

    Normally I wouldn’t be all that concerned because this will be temporary.

    But the key issue now is Alex. That’s the reason to be concerned. Whatever you think of him this is an entirely different team when he’s performing.

    And right now it’s very unclear as to what he’s physically capable of doing.

    There’s no way to say it’s steroids either. Just look at him swing the bat and move on the diamond. It’s his hip. He can’t rotate through the ball and has trouble moving laterally.

    The offense now if likely correcting and it’ll get better. But without knowing what you’ll get from Alex it’s completely uncertain as to how good this line up will be.

    I think they may need to trade for a 3b to give Alex time off to DH.

  6. pat June 24th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Here’s hoping Phil wishes for a winning streak when he blows out the candles on his cake.

    Happy Birthday Phil.

  7. pedro June 24th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    when will we get a break from Michael Kay. its been many series in a row. and why does he NOT say Hughes but Yoooose. God he is annoying.

  8. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I see the Nick Swisher debate still rages.

    Nick, at least this year, seems to be white hot or stone cold. I don’t know if this reflects a pattern over his career, or it’s just the luck of the draw this year.

    Last year, Nick had an awful year. I don’t know whether that means his career is on the downturn, or if it was just a bad year.

    I also know Nick will never hit for average and he will always strike out a lot. Some fans will never appreciate what he can do because of that.

    I do know that, this year, he has been productive when the whole year is taken into consideration. His OPS is 26th in the entire league. The notion that his value is all in walks is false – he ranks 25th in OBP and 31st in SLG. So his contribution from power and his contribution from getting on base is approximately the same.

    Defensively, he gets a bad rap unfairly here. I go to the games a lot, I sit behind first base and I see Nick very well. He has good range, above average in my opinion, but his arm could be better. But the range stops a lot of doubles – the arm occasionally lets a runner advance. He’s about average out there all told. He’s not terrible.

    Baserunning, he’s made some blunders. But a lot of players make baserunning mistakes – look at Melky last night. Overall, he’s scored as often as anyone when you adjust for PA’s and position in the lineup. So he’s not hurting us on the bases. But he made bad decisions on the basepaths two games in a row, and now everybody flyspecks everything he does and makes it out to be worse than it actually is.

    Nick is not our best player. Far from it. And if we had another good outfielder, he could play some, especially when Nick is in a funk. But overall, he’s been a huge plus and probably Cashman’s third best off-season move.

  9. Bob(the original) June 24th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    They definetly need to get someone in to spell A-Rod at third. Ransom/Pena/Berroa isn’t the answer. Too much of an offensive hit to have any of those guys playing 3rd with any regularity.

    DeRosa is the name everyone loves to throw out. Mora is someone I thought of too. Who else is out there?

  10. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    No. 2 or 3? How about a No. 1?

  11. RalphieD (OPPC) June 24th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    dont hate me but i still think hughes can be a front-line guy…his only thing missing is to develop a better third pitch whether it be his cutter or not…

  12. pedro June 24th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    swish nick is better than wilson betermeet, good trade by cashman. cervelli is another feather in his cap. major deals won’t go down for another month.

  13. raymagnetic June 24th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    “To be fair, not many of the reports that I read viewed Hughes as a No. 2 or 3 starter. He was sold as a top-of-the-rotation, future ace.

    A No. 3 starter would never be called “the Franchise”!”

    Depends on who you ask I guess. Keith Law has never said he’s a number one, he’s always called him a number 2 or 3 pitcher, which if that’s what he becomes the Yankees will be very pleased I’m sure.

  14. Bob(the original) June 24th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I know a few die hard As fans. They never cared for Swisher and their reasoning was pretty much the same as what we’ve seen from him this year. That’s the kind of player he is.

    My theory on him is that coming thru the As system, you’re forced to take walks to get promoted. I don’t believe this creates good hitters. I mean other than Giambi, are there really any hitters that have come out of their system who have done much of anything? They’re offense is dreadful almost every year.

    OBP that comes as a result of being selective, waiting for your pitch, and doing something with it when you get is a good thing. But forcing yourself to take pitches just to take pitches and then not being able to do much when you do swing is not a good thing. Swisher is the latter.

  15. raymagnetic June 24th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Bob,

    I totally agree with you about Swisher.

  16. Rebecca--Optimist Prime June 24th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    So I’m 23. Turned 23 in April.

    I feel so very….inadequate =P

  17. Patrick from CT June 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Phil is doing great and I’m so glad they kept him on the big league team when Wanger came back.
    Phil is one of the top 7 pitchers in the Yankee system and needs to be one of the 12 on the 25 man roster now and for the rest of the season.
    Let the guy pitch 1,2, or 3 inning streches. Just don’t pitch him back to back days. Can you say Phil’s Rules?
    Phil has been one of the only bright spots lately.
    Now the rest of the guys need to get it going starting tonight!

  18. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I vote that everyone be given a one-month grace period to keep saying “He’s only 22!”

  19. James June 24th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    You don’t need to be a frontline starter to be a important part of the team.

    Just because Hughes isn’t a bonafied ace, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have tremendous value to us.

  20. Rebecca--Optimist Prime June 24th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Nick, what the bloody heck are you doing in Syria?

  21. DB June 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Very good assessment Wave on Swisher. I lost all faith in him when he completely screwed Wang by dropping that routine fly ball. I know Damon has made two similar plays already, but he is no where near as inconsistent.

    I will concede, Swisher isn’t all that bad. I thought it was cool when he had that sick game in Tampa and we saw him on the bench pounding a red bull. I’d just rather see him sit more often and let Melky and Gardner have a few games. It can’t be worse than what Swish gave us last night.

  22. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    “Phil is doing great and I’m so glad they kept him on the big league team when Wanger came back.”

    Don’t tell that to Betsy!

  23. 99 Yanks June 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Pete – You better edit that part about Hughes being a #2 or 3 before Betsy comes here to lecture you….

  24. Stultus Magnus June 24th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    “This collective slump is likely them correcting their overperformance from earlier in the year.”

    Sure, but why do the Yanks collectively slump? I never doubted that the numbers would even out, but why now, all at once?

  25. Trevor June 24th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    How about Kay 2 years ago saying Hughes will be a “nice” pitcher but not a “star” like Joba. because “Joba throws 98 mph” and Hughes at that time only threw 89 90 mph.
    Kay also in the past wasn’t the biggest Hughes fan either. He never seemed to like him because he didn’t throw hard like it was reported.
    Now he gushes about him.
    My my my has things changed.

  26. William Buckner June 24th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    “So I’m 23. Turned 23 in April.

    I feel so very….inadequate =P”

    It’s ok, I know you don’t have Phil’s fastball or curve, but you act like you belong :)

  27. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I still think Joba will be a better pitcher than Hughes.

  28. Tom June 24th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Betsy is going to kill you Pete, for calling Hughes a #2

  29. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    WYH has the right take on Swisher.

  30. CB June 24th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Swisher is a limited player but overall not the big problem on the team. He’s fine.

    But overall I’d say that his statistics – whether it’s OBP or OPS don’t fully express his game because he’s been such an extreme player this year (and partially over his career).

    Swisher has a very good OBP of .375 with an OPS of .869. Tex has an OBP of .385. and an OPS of .978.

    I’d argue that neither of those stats scales well to delineate how much better Tex has been than Swisher.

    Swisher’s OBP and OPS are somewhat misleading because he’s such a poor in context player. He looks great from a context independent stand point.

    But the game is played in context. And he’s just not as good as his rate stats suggest.

    Again – he’s fine as a starter but he’s not a guy who is going to be a key player on a good team.

    He’s probably of about the same value as Nady – though they’d generate that value in very different ways.

  31. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Rebecca: I’m on a secret mission to undermine the Ba’ath Party. Or I’m in Antioch, California. It’s pretty bleak here, so it’s hard to tell.

    And there is no need to compare yourself disfavorably to your fellow 23-year old Phil. He has a very priviliged background and hasn’t had many hardships to toughen him up.

    You, on the other hand, had to endure an entire semester abroad without a visit from your parents. Given that, I’d say you’re doing pretty well!

    ;)

  32. Cameron June 24th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    With the way Joba has looked as of late and the way Hughes has looked, it’s no shock that a lot of people are changing their tune

    If Joba ever regains the form he has last summer as a starter, then Hughes isn’t even in his stratosphere. That Joba looked the next great phenom.

    This Joba, however, is not that much different from Hughes.

  33. m June 24th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Happy Birthday, Phil!

    Has it really been only 3 years? Seems like we’ve been arguing about him for longer than that.

    Phil still hasn’t tapped his potential. Can’t way until he comes full circle.

    The knock on him is he doesn’t have secondary pitches. I don’t see why he can’t add them as he grows. Even older pitchers have added a trick pitch or two to extend their careers.

    And I love what I’m seeing from him on the mound. I know he’s working out of the bullpen, but he seems to be the most confident pitcher on the staff. I hope that he works as quickly, confidently, and decisively when he goes back to starting.

  34. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint June 24th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Trevor June 24th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    How about Kay 2 years ago saying Hughes will be a “nice” pitcher but not a “star” like Joba. because “Joba throws 98 mph” and Hughes at that time only threw 89 90 mph.
    Kay also in the past wasn’t the biggest Hughes fan either. He never seemed to like him because he didn’t throw hard like it was reported.
    Now he gushes about him.
    My my my has things changed.

    ===================================

    Kay sometimes still sounds like Youuse kicked his dog or something. Very strange

  35. PC Dan June 24th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    “But forcing yourself to take pitches just to take pitches and then not being able to do much when you do swing is not a good thing. Swisher is the latter.”

    Agree. People really overrate the guy because he has a cool haircut.

  36. JRod June 24th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Baseball America over-hyped Hughes which raised a lot of expectations. They had him as the #2 pitching prospect in all of baseball behind Dice-K in 2007 and #4 overall. At least he still projects to have a better career than Homer Bailey.

  37. steve June 24th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Be real guys… if Swisher had a Randy Johnson type personality rather than being a loveable clown, you would have wanted him off the team after his hot streak ended in April…..

  38. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    “Agree. People really overrate the guy because he has a cool haircut. ”

    Actually his haircut is pretty awful…

  39. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Nobody’s overrating Swish for the haircut. That’s ludicrous.

  40. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    He’s not been a huge plus to this team. He’s been an average to below average player who, when he’s in a funk, it lasts longer than it should for a good offensive ML player.

    Unfortunately, the Yankees don’t have a replacement for him so they have to live with it this year. Hopefully, that will change in the off-season.

    CB, I think the Yankees have to give serious thought to shutting down Alex for the year. If he doesn’t show improvement by the 4th of July, what’s the point of playing him the rest of the year?

    He has no lower half when he’s hitting. Its all arms. Clearly, he’s not healthy.

    Last night, a ball 1/2 step to his left got by him, a ball he easily gets to if healthy, and that started the 3 run inning for the Braves.

    Here’s the way I see it….

    If you wait until November to do the second surgery, you lose him for part of next year, impacting two seasons.

    If you shut him down now and do the surgery, he’s 100% by March 1.

    If you are the Yankees, which is the most prudent thing to do?

    I’m asking because I don’t know.

    What I do know is watching him play each day as limited as he is, helps nobody. There has to be some improvement.

    If there isn’t, and this is what he is for the rest of the year, I fail to see the logic of him playing the rest of the way.

    Perhaps Pete can try and interview Phillipon and get some insight into his recovery.

    Its pretty tough to watch a guy who can’t move trying to play baseball.

  41. m June 24th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Well, to be fair, Hughes is better than Dice-K. I think he spends his time in Japan visiting all the temples and shrines asking for good luck. And a pitcher Dice-K’s age and experience had no business being listed as a pitching prospect.

  42. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Nobody ever said they liked Swish for the haircut. People are making excellent points about him, both good and bad.

  43. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    SJ44-Not true. He’s had a very good month of June. 267 avg. w/power and a good OBP.

  44. Antones June 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I don’t think Hughes will be a star. He will be a good pitcher, solid #2-3… just like Buchholz.

    Don’t think he will be a stud like Joba, Kershaw, Price, etc.

  45. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Anyway people, I’m gone. Go Yanks.

  46. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    hughes is doing just fine.. pitching effectively in the majors at 22, now 23. he will be a starter soon enough and the experiance he is gaining is very valuable…

    his trade value has not gone down, his #’s are looking fine. he has learned he can definitley strikeout major leaguers and should not be scared to throw strikes..

    worse case scenario he iwll be in the rotation next year… he is a 1st round pick that will pay off, his cieling is TBD…

  47. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    CB-

    You are right about context. I think I posted the other day that Swisher this year has SLG of under .400 with RISP. While unlike some I don’t believe that means he will never hit with power with RISP, it does mean his SLG numbers haven’t been as useful to the Yanks so far this year as they could be.

    On the other hand, of Nick’s 12 HR’s, 7 have come when the game was tied or when the Yanks were ahead or behind by a run. And, with RISP, Nick has gotten on base at an over .400 clip. So from a context viewpoint, he hasn’t hurt, either.

  48. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    SJ44,

    When everyone is going well and we have the DH back Swisher is essentially the #8 hitter. He is fine in that slot, there is no need to replace him. We aren’t “stuck” with him. I would bet that he’s the best 8 hitter in baseball.

  49. Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN June 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    And go team USA vs. Spain!

    Just saying that for USA to get in, they needed Egypt to upset Italy and then they needed Brasil to beat Italy by four or something and they had to beat Egypt by three.

    It’s destiny!

    Just saying.

  50. Y26 June 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    “Actually his haircut is pretty awful…”

    LOL exactly

  51. DB June 24th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    No, I think some people are over-rating him who decided he should have ran for President in April. Then started a blog to get him to the All-Star game. The haircut and rock star handshake are all just an added bonus in the world of the Swish for Brains.

  52. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    SJ44-

    If you don’t think he’s been a huge plus to this team so far this year, then you must think Melky and Gardner full time with no replacement for Damon would have given as much production.

    I don’t agree with you.

  53. Cal June 24th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    You cannot go into next year with Swisher as the starter, he has to return to the bench.

  54. Erica - newly OPPC June 24th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    sab
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    yankee lineup tonight should be:

    GB7
    Nick In SF
    Giusseppe Franco
    Hammerin Pete Abe
    Mark from tampa
    Brandon
    Stultus Magnus
    Wait till they come to OUR house AGAIN
    Erica
    Randy I – pitching (I don’t do dumb NL rules)

    *****
    Loving this line up. I can do the 9 spot proud

  55. Erica - newly OPPC June 24th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Rebecca–Optimist Prime
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
    So I’m 23. Turned 23 in April.

    I feel so very….inadequate =P

    ****
    I understand how you feel Rebecca. Jake Gyllenhaal and I were born on the exact same day. Obviously, I have accomplished so much more in my 28 years

  56. CB June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    “I think the Yankees have to give serious thought to shutting down Alex for the year. If he doesn’t show improvement by the 4th of July, what’s the point of playing him the rest of the year?”

    SJ,

    I think before they even consider do that they need to do a couple of things.

    The first would be try him at DH. I do think that if they DH’d him his hip could recover and stay healthier. He’d be sitting most of the game.

    The other thing would be to put him on the 15 day DL to give him close to complete rest.

    I don’t know what they can do with him. Without him I don’t think this is a playoff team. It’ll be very close.

    At the same time he looks awful. And your assessment is spot on – his swing is all arms. I don’t know how people claiming this is steroids can’t see that.

    He is generating no torque at all through his hips. He has no explosiveness through his base. That’s why he’s swinging late and trying to cheat on fastballs (which makes him look terrible on off speed stuff).

    Again, usually I wouldn’t be all that concerned about this team wide slump. They were likely playing over their heads offensively before and this is just them reverting back to expected performance.

    But the one factor that really makes things complicated is Alex. Without him this offense could become stabilize at a poor level over the long haul.

    The pitching is now close to expectation as Wang continues to get better, AJ picking it up and the pen stabilizing.

    But Alex is an issue that you can’t predict at this time.

    It’s such a shame that his surgery wasn’t done earlier in the off season.

  57. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    As far as the collective team hitting funk, here is what’s most disturbing about it to me.

    Even when they break out of it, and they will break out of it, its pretty clear this offense just isn’t a consistent offense. High highs and low lows. Pretty tough to be a successful post-season team with an offense this inconsistent.

    Its not just one guy either. In the last month, 3 guys have had consistently good AB’s: Tex, Gardner and Melky. That’s it. That’s bad and unacceptable.

    Is Kevin Long at fault? Not by himself because the hitters still have to hit.

    I will say though, the approach of these guys for a big chunk of the season makes little sense to me.

    Cano’s first pitch DP in the 9th on Saturday night. Jeter swinging at the first pitch after Lindstrom was falling apart on Sunday. Swisher doing the same last night, in the same situation, against Hanson.

    It tells me these guys aren’t making adjustments from game to game. No plan. Just swing and hope for the best.

    That’s an area where the hitting coach has to field some of the blame because you have to force guys to make adjustments when things aren’t going well.

    If these guys aren’t going to make adjustments, they aren’t going to hit because pitchers have no reason to change their attack facing them because these guys do a great job of getting themselves out.

  58. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Nobody is saying Swisher is a star or carrying the team or something. However, there ARE people on here saying that Swisher is awful, terrible, needs to be benched asap, etc. We are simply arguing that NO he is not as terrible as you think and YES he is useful on this team. He is NOT a bench player being forced into a starting role.

  59. Richie June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Best of all, he is showing signs of being Phil *Franchise* again.

  60. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    swisher is a good player if he is batted in the bottom half of the order and is not an everyday player..

    he is a walk, a K, or a homer type of guy..he is very hot and cold.. he should be playing no more then 50% of the games once Nady is bak, or they need and should play melky and gardner on occasion also.

    as a 350 to 400 plate appearance guy a year he is a good player…

  61. Bunny June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Arod does not take the Magic Vitamins any more therefore he will never hit the same. He will hit for average.

  62. raymagnetic June 24th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    “Baseball America over-hyped Hughes which raised a lot of expectations. They had him as the #2 pitching prospect in all of baseball behind Dice-K in 2007 and #4 overall. At least he still projects to have a better career than Homer Bailey.”

    Perhaps they didn’t over-hype him. Based on the numbers he put up in the minors at his age he was indeed the number one pitching prospect that year.

    Hughes really put up some sick numbers his first few years in the minors some of the best of all time actually.

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....ip-hughes/

    We still have no idea how good Hughes will end up. The stuff he has as of right now however is very good. Very good.

  63. me June 24th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The guy nicknamed “Franchise” is only supposed to be a number 2 or 3 guy?

    That makes the name “Phil Franchise” more than a bit hyperbolic.

  64. Reggie Miller June 24th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    When I used to take steroids they certainly gave me an advantage over other players. This is a fact. Arod is DONE.

  65. DB June 24th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    As much as I’d like to not admit to it, you are right SJ. He has got to turn the corner by the break, this team lives and dies by him. Might as well get him fully recovered if this continues. He has missed pitches by more than 6 inches off the plate. That is just not good.

  66. Reggie Miller June 24th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Joba is not a stud. He was when he was a reliever. He has lost his velocity.

  67. Richie June 24th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Swisher is third on the team in OPS+ (127).

    Here are his June splits: .267 .397 .500 .897

    Their offense would be worse without him.

  68. Rockks June 24th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    “Without him I don’t think this is a playoff team. It’ll be very close.”

    I agree with that CB. Alex is very important to this lineup. Without him, we’re going to struggle. We have to try and get him right.

  69. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    “In the last month, 3 guys have had consistently good AB’s: Tex, Gardner and Melky.”

    Melky’s stats over the last 28 games:

    .200 BA, .293 OBP, .354 SLG

  70. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    i cannot understand why the hitting with RISP problems have been going on for years. not 2 years but multiple years, and the manufacturing runs by hitting sac flys and moving runners over has also been a problem for years.

    why would a guy like cano who constantly does not get the job done with RISP not realize that trying too hard or being to impatient has not worked so why do I not relax, take what is given(even oh my g-d taking a walk), and just try to get a hit.. trying to be a hero is a formula for never being a hero, is he not smart enough to figure this out after multiple failures???

  71. 56Bomber June 24th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Cashman’s plan was to start Swisher at 1B (until Tex fell into his lap). How dreadful would that have been?

  72. Richie June 24th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Reggie Miller

    Joba is not a stud. He was when he was a reliever. He has lost his velocity.
    __

    What makes you think that the issue is the pen?

    As Kay recently said, his stuff is not the same since he walked off the mound last season with a shoulder injury in Texas.

    His velocity as a starter against Boston last July was five mph faster than it is now.

    I see no reason to think that putting him in the pen would solve anything.

  73. Dan June 24th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Reggie Miller
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Joba is not a stud. He was when he was a reliever. He has lost his velocity.

    ——————–

    Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

  74. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Too soon to say about ARod. It could be the surgery, it could be a repeat of 2006, it could be bad luck (he has an extremely low BaBIP), it could be something else.

    And, we have no one to replace him with anyway.

  75. Bunny June 24th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Last night for the special at my trailer. Pete, You were rather portly on your last visit here!

  76. swings & misses June 24th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Right now, Phil > Joba in terms of command & poise. I think getting smacked around last year with zero wins actually helped Hughes’s development. Tons of people love to cite how Joba is better xyz Cy Young winner at the same age, but I would bet that xyz learned a whole lot about pitching and gained a lot more resolve to step up the game to become an elite pitcher from getting hit hard. Still wouldn’t call any pitcher a “franchise” player though, unless his name is Roy Halladay.

  77. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Wave,

    They don’t have an alternative but to play him. That doesn’t make him an above average player however.

    In fact, having to play a guy like Swisher everyday is one of the weaknesses of the team.

    However, it is what it is because they don’t have an adequate replacement for him.

    If Johnny Damon was healthy and hitting like he was last month, I would put together a Damon-Gardner-Melky OF for a spell. Unfortunately, Damon’s injuries negate that from happening.

    All this talk about Arod and steroids is laughable. The guy had major hip surgery. Chose a “smaller” (its always “smaller” if you aren’t the one getting cut) operation to try and help the team this year and now he’s getting killed for it.

    They overplayed him and he’s completely out of whack.

    The issue now is, what to do with him?

    If folks want to assign all the blame on the offense on Alex, be my guest.

    I’d like to know though how its Arod’s fault nobody else can hit with RISP, Jeter is back to being a GIDP machine, and the rest of the guys can’t pick him up?

    If I was him, I’d shut it down, get the big surgery, and come back 100% in 2010. Its not worth the grief or going out there and embarrass yourself everyday and be the whipping boy when the entire team stops hitting.

  78. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    the arod will never be good again because he took steroids arguement is bunk…

    he has been very very good for 13 years in the majors not 3 or 5 or 6..look at his 3′s forever he has been real good. this is not brady anderson, sammy sosa, david ortiz, or others.

    what are you people talking about???

  79. Evan June 24th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    On the other hand….the Yankees had a chance to trade Hughes with other scrubs (Melky and Ian Kennedy) for Santana – only the best pitcher (or 2nd best behind Halladay) in baseball. instead we have CC. Who would you rather pay $25 million to???

    And while I agree that Hughes can become a very good #2 or #3 starter, I also believe the same holds true for Joba. Key point is that Joba is not a #1. This year he is more like a #4 or #5.

    HENCE, AS ALWAYS, JOBA BELONGS IN THE BULLPEN!

  80. CB June 24th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    “And, with RISP, Nick has gotten on base at an over .400 clip. So from a context viewpoint, he hasn’t hurt, either.”

    That’s one way to look at it. And that’s true value.

    But on the whole the big limitation to Swisher’s value is RBI’s.

    I think sabermetrics has taken the issue of RBI’s way to far. Yes RBI’s are a limited stat. Yes they are contingent on guys getting on in front of you. So they shouldn’t be the be all and end all of everything.

    But it’s gotten to the point where they aren’t even seriously considered anymore. And that’s misleading.

    If you look at RBI’s as an issue of variance rather than of binary causality I think that helps. The variance for how an RBI is produced does need to be divided between multiple players.

    But in the end the guy at the plate accounts for a large chunk in the variance that produced the RBI. Somehow that’s gotten completely lost.

    And Swisher just doesn’t produce many RBI’s. And on a team in which guys in front of him get on base at a good clip that’s a problem.

    It’s great that he draws walks with men on base or hits some homeruns.

    But he’s not a consistent run producer and that’s a problem.

    When the season’s being played isolating players in context indpendent fashions to tell you how intrinsically “good” the player is, is far less important than their empirical performance.

    Jason Bay is driving in a ton of runs. Sure he has guys getting on base at a very high rate. But in the end he is producing empirical runs and that’s what makes team win or lose.

  81. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Patrick
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:37 pm
    Nobody is saying Swisher is a star or carrying the team or something. However, there ARE people on here saying that Swisher is awful, terrible, needs to be benched asap, etc. We are simply arguing that NO he is not as terrible as you think and YES he is useful on this team. He is NOT a bench player being forced into a starting role.
    ====

    And you proposed a lineup for tonight without Melky Cabrera in it.

    So much for perspective.

  82. 99 Yanks June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    This offense is just not trustworthy. You just never know when they are all going to go cold at the same time. And their slumps last weeks, not days.

    How can an offense with this many talented hitters be this inconsistent?

    And it’s only going to get worse if A-Rod doesn’t improve.

  83. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Sometimes a #2 or #3 on team A would be a #1 or #2 on team’s B or C or D.

    If Phil Hughes is the #2 or #3 on a 2011 rotation that includes CC and Joba and old-school Chien-ming Wang, does that mean Phil isn’t living up to his potential? Possibly not.

  84. 56Bomber June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Sitting Arod down for the season is basically saying we’re not gonna contend for the rest of the year. No way they do that given the lack of sellouts at the new stadium.

  85. Reggie Miller June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Stuart, Do you have any proof he only took them for 6 years? Chances are he took them for his entire career.

  86. raymagnetic June 24th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    “On the other hand….the Yankees had a chance to trade Hughes with other scrubs (Melky and Ian Kennedy) for Santana – only the best pitcher (or 2nd best behind Halladay) in baseball. instead we have CC. Who would you rather pay $25 million to???”

    Your argument is not really valid being that they have CC, Hughes, Melky and Ian Kennedy.

    I would much rather have all four parts than just have Santana and pay Santana 25 million.

    By the way the left hander who’s been voted the best in the game the past two years plays in NY, but not on the Mets.

  87. Richie June 24th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Trading Hughes for Santana would have been incredibly short-sighted, as we are seeing right now.

  88. Matt K June 24th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I see Phil Hughes almost like a David Cone. He’ll never be “the guy” but he’ll be solid for years and dominant for a few. I mean, Cone had Gooden, Hentgen, Pettitte… Cone was never really the guy except for when he was in Kansas City..but then again its Kansas City…

  89. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    if arod is not at at least 80% effectiveness then shut him down..if he is at 80% effectiveness he needs to suck it up and grind for the team.

    SJ is absolutely right in saying no one else has picked up anything or anyone offensively..
    tex has had a very good season but how about him carrying the team for a while, he does great when he is 2nd fiddle, maybe he needs to be #1 fiddle for now..

  90. Bunny June 24th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    9 years since our last World Series Championship and it looks like it will be a decade.

  91. Matsui 55 June 24th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    This team can’t hit if A-Rod is not in the lineup

    If A-Rod decides to shut it down this year, our chances of making the playoffs are severely diminished. Teixeria will never see anything to hit.

    How are we going to score? Of course, we’re not scoring now but it will be even worse if A-Rod is done.

  92. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    “They don’t have an alternative but to play him. That doesn’t make him an above average player however.

    In fact, having to play a guy like Swisher everyday is one of the weaknesses of the team.

    However, it is what it is because they don’t have an adequate replacement for him.”

    Ok after seeing the arguments Wave put forth and seeing you continue to ignore them, I’m done arguing about Swisher. There is no convincing you guys that Swish isn’t as bad as you think.

  93. hughes wang small chacons June 24th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    unfortunately when all is said and done, phil will be known for one thing….. stopping us from getting santana. thanks cash.

  94. Jerkface June 24th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    That wasn’t cashman’s plan

  95. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    CB-

    I know Nick isn’t driving in runs the way his overall power numbers indicate he ought to be driving in runs. I pointed out why this was so – his SLG with RISP is below .400 (but higher, I point out, than either Melky’s or Garner’s SLG over the last month).

    But I don’t know that’s always going to be so with Nick. It could easily be a small sample size issue, I haven’t studied Nick’s overall career. So I’m not ready to write off Swisher’s future contribution in that regard.

    Cano, on the other hand, has for his career been a poor hitter with RISP, and with men on for that matter. So I’d guess of the two, Cano will continue to disappoint more than Swisher will in that regard.

  96. NYY626 June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    hasnt it been 8 years, and if we dont win it will be 9?

  97. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    reggie miller you have proof he took them his whole career?

    i like this approach guilty till proven innocent. yeah he was taking them in high school since the eseteemed selena roberts said it so it must be true….

    yeah the skinny 19 year old hitting 350 was on roids.. sure….

  98. Bunny June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I think we need to blow it up and start over but we cant because we owe so many players for so many years.

  99. DB June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Evan, Santana is a year older and a different body type than CC. As good as the Yanks are at signing players, not even they could afford both. They set their eyes on CC when the Twins wanted too much.

    Put Santana in our park this year with AL rules and tell me he is the best pitcher in baseball.

  100. zippy June 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    trade him and others to florida for hanley ramirez, and move jeter to LF

  101. talltenor June 24th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    As I’ve written here before, I saw Phil start in late April v. Detroit, and he was MAHVELOUS!

  102. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    “And you proposed a lineup for tonight without Melky Cabrera in it.

    So much for perspective. ”

    Uhhh have you been watching the games? As Wave Your Hat JUST posted 5 minutes ago Melky is hitting .200 BA, .293 OBP, .354 SLG over the last 28 games.

    Brett Gardner is a much better option in CF right now.

    What does Melky have to do with Swisher anyways?

  103. Reggie miller June 24th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Just saying we don’t have proof either way, Do we?

  104. Clay Buchholz Loves Laptops June 24th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Does anyone know if Paul O’Neill is working tonight’s game? I am going to the game, and will wear my Paul O’Neill jersey (in the sweltering heat) if he’s going to be in the park. If not, I’ll wear something more comfortable.

  105. Reggie miller June 24th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    And yes he is guilty of taking them, isn’t he?

  106. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    There is a role somewhere in between that of a starter and that of a bench player. It’s called being a platoon player. That’s probably where Mr. Swisher would serve us best, but we haven’t seen his platoon buddy for a long time.

  107. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    What in the world would Johan Santana give them right now? Its not going to make them hit with RISP.

    Also, given the way Santana has looked lately, you really think he’s going to hold up over the course of that deal?

    Let’s remember, he has soft landing in the NL. In the AL East, pitching in homer friendly home ballpark? Good luck.

  108. Joe June 24th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    And why is Jeter moving to LF this year? he’s been fine.

  109. Irrational Thinker June 24th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Sabathia is like Andy Pettitte in his prime… he’ll walk some guys and give up some hits but limit the damage and eat innings

    Santana on the other hand ca dominate you. shut you down… 2 hits, 10 Ks in 7 innings type dominate.

    Sabathia’s value is his innings, not his dominance. His ERA this year is almost 3.70 which is what Wang did when he was healthy. Did anyone consider Wang dominant or a ‘true ace’?

  110. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    we do not have proof either wya of course..

    i have watched arod for about 13 years no way that atheleticism and results are solely because of roids.. the guy was great at 16 yrs old, he is a physical specimen once in a lifetime type athlete, his mind and off the field issues are anothe matter but no way ae his results substantially because of PEDS…

    This is not some slow, unatheltic, small guy, succeeding because he took roids…

  111. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    CC > Santana — debatable

    CC + Hughes + etc. > Santana — not debatable

  112. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    reggie miller i will explain it to you once. arod is guilty of nothing. he took roids when there was no penalty for taking them, be as sanctimonious as you want and fake the outrage like the sportswriters and owners but enough with the BS.. Show the same outrage for the other 102 names on the list as you do for arod.. arod is a goofball but that is not a crime…

  113. Donnie June 24th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    What proof that A-Rod ISIN’T taking steroids now or that he didn’t take them in high school?

    Once a cheater, always a cheater. A rich guy like him can’t find some chemist to give him undetectable roids? And they can’t test for HGH….

  114. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    What a player “should” be doing and what he “is” doing are two different issues.

    Arod should be hitting and he’s not.

    There is no way anybody is going to sell me that Nick Swisher is a more productive offensive player than Robinson Cano.

    You jerry rig the numbers to make them read whatever you want. However, as poor as Cano can be with RISP, he’s a better hitter, and more productive offensive player, than Nick.

    Throw in Gold Glove defense and its not a contest re: who is the more productive player for this team.

    Unfortunately, when assessing Nick’s career, you have to look at the last 2 1/2 seasons. That’s his most recent work and it shows his game has deteriorated.

    As I said, he’s not the biggest problem on the team. He’s also not a solution.

    The Yankees have to hope the other guys pick it up offensively. If they do, you live with Nick until a better alternative is found.

  115. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    keeping hughes was the correct move and it will become even more apparent over the next 5 yrs or so.. in 5 yrs. hughes will be 28 yrs old………..

  116. DB June 24th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Again Patrick, check the thread that Pete posted on each players hitting prowess over the last 12 games.

    Cabrera: 12 games, 8 of 20, 2 RBI, .694
    Damon: 13 games, 8 of 43, 6 RBI, .643
    Posada: 12 games, 7 of 26, 2 RBI, .598
    Swisher: 12 games, 7 of 42, 1 RBI, .548
    Rodriguez: 12 games, 4 of 39, 5 RBI, .486

    8 for 20 sounds a hell of a lot better than 8 for 43!!!

    Swisher must sit.

  117. sab June 24th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Erica –

    i chose you over a number of others because of your grittiness and consistency – i know you will excel in that position….can’t say as much for whomever girardi pencils in that spot on a daily basis…

    go make us proud!!!

  118. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    That’s got to be a typo…8 for 20. At any rate, Melky has had more power.

  119. vb03 June 24th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Again, I bet most people would rather have CC and Hughes than Santana.

  120. Bob(the original) June 24th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    CB, I agree completely with you on your take on RBIs and sabermetrics.

    It seems to me that the pendulum has swung from people not using stats at all to now the over/miss using them.

    The whole walk craze has gotten out of hand IMO. I’m not a Dusty Baker, clogging the bases person, but it seems to me there is a shifting in approach that has made walks seem to be way more valuable a judge of skill than they should be. Like I said earlier, when you are taking walks because you are a patient hitter who is waiting for your pitch that is a very good thing. But when you go to the plate with the goal of taking a walk, that is not. Seems to me that there are a growing number of players who now believe that a walk should be a goal of an at bat.

  121. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    DB,

    How about you look at a bigger sample than 12 games? For the month of June Cabrera has been one of the worst hitters on the Yankees while Swisher has been one of the 3 best.

    I’m so sick and tired of arguing about Nick Swisher. The fact is, he does not hurt the team. He’s basically the #8 hitter. Anyone that thinks he is terrible or should be a bench player simply doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  122. Sam June 24th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Swisher is a typical moneyball player who appeals to the stat-heads/sabremetric types because of his OBP and slugging %.

    However, if you watch the guy play everyday, you realize why he has been on 3 different teams in the last 3 years and was slated for the bench this year before Nady’s injury.

  123. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    donnie with a analogy from when i was 5. once a cheater always a cheater. man you are another deep thinker..

    yea and ortiz went from released to a superstar on old fashioned hard work..

    people hate arod because he is a mega narcissist again not a crime, just shows his insecurity…

    in the realm of baseball cheaters arod is a speeder compared to many a felony abuser…

    sportsfans the whole lineup is in a coma and underperforming, the pitching has picked it up… this offense should be better with a underperforming arod or not…

  124. Evan June 24th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    This team needs some sort of spark and they need the organization to get their heads screwed on straight.

    Of course hitting with RISP helps but the organization/coaches needs to do the following:

    1. Pick a rotation (made a decision on Wang already). Hughes belongs in the rotation. He is definitely better than Wang. If you want to keep Wang there than Joba needs to go to the pen.
    2. Define roles for the bullpen.
    3. Make a decision on A-Rod. Does he ned to get shut down and fully recover?
    4. Limit Posada catching and DH him more. The pitchers are very comfortable with Cervelli and he seems to be a little spark plug.
    5. Give Gardner more at-bats. It’s nice to see him pinch hit once a game and steal a base but he is batting .340 in the last month. He is another spark plug. Maybe even bat him lead-off like he did in Spring.
    6. Fire Dave Eiland.

  125. vb03 June 24th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    “Seems to me that there are a growing number of players who now believe that a walk should be a goal of an at bat.”

    I don’t have much of a problem with that if you’re the 1 or 2 hitter and your job is to get on base.

    However, if you’re an RBI producer, it’s different. Walks don’t drive in the maximum amount of runs, XBH’s do.

  126. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Patrick,

    Melky’s 24 years old, and was cruising along, before he injured his left shoulder. He’s just got a handle on driving the ball again, so the shoulder must be feeling better. He doubled last night, walked, and hit a shot that Chipper Jones gloved – he’s also walked 4 times in his last 13 plate appearances – or don’t you watch the games ;)

    I guess I’m wondering how someone who wants to take Cabrera out of the lineup could be calling others for being unreasonable in dismissing Swisher so easily.

  127. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Bob,

    I’ll take it a step further. If your game is working counts and walking, then don’t deviate from it.

    What in the world was Swisher thinking last night, swinging on the first pitch with the bases loaded against a rookie pitcher who was walking the ballpark and falling into bad counts.

    He’s not an RBI guy. Its those kind of mental lapses, and he has had quite a few this year at the plate, on the bases and in the field, that makes me feel people over value him because of his OBP.

    On a better offensive team, a team with enough consistent firepower to overcome his foibles, he’s a useful guy.

    On a team that craves consistency? He’s a maddening player.

  128. Chambliss June 24th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I like the idea of putting A-Rod on the 15 day DL. If would appear that he came back too quickly from his surgery. He needs more rehab to strengthen the hip and surrounding muscles, and he needs to do more hitting in low pressure situations. If he can regain his confidence and his stroke, bring him back up. If he can’t, he should have the second surgery and prepare to play at 100% capacity in 2010.

    A-Rod is a disaster right now and it seems unlikely that he is going to snap out of it one day playing at the major league lever every day.

  129. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    “There is no way anybody is going to sell me that Nick Swisher is a more productive offensive player than Robinson Cano.”

    I never said that. You’re a lawyer, your reading comprehension is better than that.

    The discussion was limited to hitting with RISP. CB was saying Swisher’s run production wasn’t as good as his overall numbers suggest.

    I agreed, and suggested that it was because so far this year Nick has not hit for power with RISP. I then said I didn’t know whether this would continue to be true, because the sample size was small and I didn’t know what kind of conclusion you could draw from it.

    I then pointed out that Cano’s numbers with RISP and with men on have been consistently poor this year and over his career, and said I’d guess Cano was more likely to continue his pattern that Swisher.

    That’s a far cry from saying which of Cano or Swisher is a better hitter.

  130. stuart a June 24th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    evan all your comments are reasonable except the last 1. yea fire eiland right when the pitching is improving and that is because????

    that makes no sense

  131. hughes wang small chacons June 24th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    phil has had the benefit of pitching in meaningless spots lately. either moping up or entering the game in non pivotal situations. ask baltimore (14.00+ era) or boston (6.00 era) about mr. franchise.

  132. bru June 24th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Evan

    listen to wfan & francessa much?

    that is almost exactly what he just said.

  133. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Patrick, they are in their worst slump of the year. It is about right now which is why its relevant. I’m not saying bury him on the bench like Berroa. Just, give hime a couple days off a week that’s all.

  134. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Patrick,

    The fact is, he does and has hurt the team this year.

    The last series in Fenway for example. Last night. Over the weekend with a killer DP.

    Is he the worst player on the team? No.

    Is he one of the most valuable? No, he isn’t, and that’s the source of our disagreement.

    If he was as valuable as you think he is, he wouldn’t be on his third team in 3 years.

    He’s a guy I wish was as good as the folks who think he is a good player think he is. If he was, the Yankees probably have a couple of more wins this month.

  135. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Would everyone clear their heads of Nick Swisher and walks?

    Nick’s OBP and his SLG rank about the same when compared with all AL hitters. His value doesn’t come primarily from walks. Repeat after me, his value doesn’t come primarily from walks. His power contribution and his OBP contribution are about the same.

    So feel free to dislike him. I’m not a huge fan either. But stop with the “all he does is walk” shtick. Please, I’m begging you.

  136. timo June 24th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    “(previous post)Let’s look at the players individually. Here are games played, batting, RBI and OPS for the key Yankees. We’ll go in descending order of OPS

    Matsui: 12 games, 8 of 28, 5 RBI, .980
    Gardner: 12 games, 8 of 20, 2 RBI, .955
    Cano: 13 games, 17 of 52, 8 RBI, .903
    Teixeira: 13 games, 13 of 49, 5 RBI, .838
    Jeter: 12 games, 12 of 47, 4 RBI, .716
    Cabrera: 12 games, 8 of 20, 2 RBI, .694
    Damon: 13 games, 8 of 43, 6 RBI, .643
    Posada: 12 games, 7 of 26, 2 RBI, .598
    Swisher: 12 games, 7 of 42, 1 RBI, .548
    Rodriguez: 12 games, 4 of 39, 5 RBI, .486″

    Those numbers for Posada didn’t sound right so I checked it out. He’s actually much worse: 7 for his last 39 over the last 12 games (and 4 for 26 over his last 8).

    I don’t say this just to pile on. There are a lot of suggestions to move Cano out of the 5 spot but Posada hasn’t shown himself to be the alternative.

  137. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint June 24th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Evan June 24th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    This team needs some sort of spark and they need the organization to get their heads screwed on straight.

    Of course hitting with RISP helps but the organization/coaches needs to do the following:

    1. Pick a rotation (made a decision on Wang already). Hughes belongs in the rotation. He is definitely better than Wang. If you want to keep Wang there than Joba needs to go to the pen.
    2. Define roles for the bullpen.
    3. Make a decision on A-Rod. Does he ned to get shut down and fully recover?
    4. Limit Posada catching and DH him more. The pitchers are very comfortable with Cervelli and he seems to be a little spark plug.
    5. Give Gardner more at-bats. It’s nice to see him pinch hit once a game and steal a base but he is batting .340 in the last month. He is another spark plug. Maybe even bat him lead-off like he did in Spring.
    6. Fire Dave Eiland.

    ===========================

    Is that you Mike Francesa?
    The pitching has actually been okay lately, I thought the current cry was to fire Kevn Long?
    Oh, maybe both? :roll:

  138. Bob(the original) June 24th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    SJ44, exactly. It was a that point of the game I went and walked the dog I was so frustrated.

    I just don’t like his approach at all.

    I think that in “ordinary” at bats he just reverts to the Oakland system that was beaten into his brain in the minors and goes into take pitches mode.

    Then in high pressure situations, he really does not know how to be a good hitter, and more often than not spits the bit.

  139. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    “I guess I’m wondering how someone who wants to take Cabrera out of the lineup could be calling others for being unreasonable in dismissing Swisher so easily.”

    Because for the month of June Cabrera is hitting .200 BA, .293 OBP, .354 SLG while Swisher is hitting .267 BA, .397 OBP, .500 SLG.

    Also because Swisher has a track record of being an above average hitter while Melky does not. Pretty simple.

  140. CB June 24th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    “Cano, on the other hand, has for his career been a poor hitter with RISP, and with men on for that matter. So I’d guess of the two, Cano will continue to disappoint more than Swisher will in that regard.”

    Part of the difficulty of having Swisher on the team is that they have too many players who are worse in context than they are in context.

    Cano is a good example of that. He is far worse in the context of game situations than his OPS, etc. would suggest, IMO. And that’s because, as you’ve pointed out, he doesn’t hit well with men on base.

    The problem with Swisher isn’t his Slg % with RISP. That’s not a very good stat (neither is OPS with RISP or OBP with RISP).

    The problem with Swisher is really nothing more than the limitation to his game. He makes very little contact with the ball and strikes out a great deal. That is going to lead to more at bats that are not productive with men on base than his OPS would suggest.

    Again, I agree that he’s not the major problem on the team. He’s fine.

    But in a line up with Cano, a non-existant ARod, and Melky also in it Swisher’s liabilities are more amplified than they otherwise might because that’s a number of players who are very, very streaky and not as good with men on base as one would otherwise expect (though those expectations have different origins).

  141. vb03 June 24th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Swisher is who he is – a selective high OBP guy who is prone to mental lapses both at the plate, on defense and on the basepaths. Mediocre speed and defense.

    Surrounded by consistent hitters, he wouldn’t be exposed as much, but his issues are highlighted in a stagnant offense.

  142. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    The 3 teams in three years shtick is another case where a true statement adds up to a falsehood.

    Nick Swisher was on Oakland for 4 years. He went to Chicago, where he stunk for a year and was traded. Any time that happens, you are on 3 teams in three years.

    One team traded him after a year. Big Deal. It doesn’t mean everyone is anxious to get rid of him or that he’s some kind of cancer in the clubhouse.

    Be fair and try to think, occasionally.

  143. Nick in SF in Antioch June 24th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Original Bob, I bet your dog appreciated that walk more than people here appreciate Swisher’s walks.

  144. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    There is no way anybody is going to sell me that Nick Swisher is a more productive offensive player than Robinson Cano.
    You jerry rig the numbers to make them read whatever you want. However, as poor as Cano can be with RISP, he’s a better hitter, and more productive offensive player, than Nick.
    Throw in Gold Glove defense and its not a contest re: who is the more productive player for this team.
    ===

    Oh my. Does this even need to be stated? Precludes serious discussion.

    As noted: no contest.

  145. S.A.--It's a marathon, not a sprint June 24th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    bryanhoch Indians acquire RHP Jose Veras from Yankees in exchange for cash considerations.

  146. mark June 24th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    “Yanks record when he went on the dl was 13-13. Their record when he got back was 27-20 and their record now is 38-32.”

    DB sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner on this. So when Posada went on the DL til he came back the Yankees had a 15-8 record (.652 baseball). Since he’s been back they’ve gone 11-12. (.478 baseball).

    He went down in the middle of a Red Sox series where the Yanks lost 4 games. So anyone trying to blame the sudden fall on the Red Sox is bogus.

    I agree with you that nobody on that team wants to win more than Posada. That doesn’t mean he’s been effective.

    I didn’t do all the math on the losses since he’s been back but it’s hard to ask a team to keep playing catch up or scoring runs when you let the other team get their foot in the door first and sometimes keep it there.

    I don’t think Posada has all the responsibility. But I think he definitely has a lot of it. I want him behind the plate now not for his offense which has been dreadful. It’s because I think he has started to pay attention more since he got all that bad press. I don’t think he’s unteachable. I just hope the Yankees can make up the ground they’ve lost since he’s been back.

    I thought I saw that Posada is catching tonight. I think that’s good. I think we’re going to see a better Joba because I think we’re going to see a more astute Posada. He said he needed to pay more attention to what the pitchers need. That can’t hurt.

  147. Erica - newly OPPC June 24th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    sab
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
    Erica –

    i chose you over a number of others because of your grittiness and consistency – i know you will excel in that position….can’t say as much for whomever girardi pencils in that spot on a daily basis…

    go make us proud!!!

    *****
    I am so honored. I promise I will play hard

  148. Stultus Magnus June 24th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    “Indians acquire RHP Jose Veras from Yankees in exchange for cash considerations.”

    ==============

    Mmmmm, cash considerations…

  149. GreenBeret7 June 24th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Donnie
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
    What proof that A-Rod ISIN’T taking steroids now or that he didn’t take them in high school?

    Once a cheater, always a cheater. A rich guy like him can’t find some chemist to give him undetectable roids? And they can’t test for HGH….

    ————————————————————

    That’s the stupidest comment since somebody who has to remain namesless because he gets upset when people bring up his ridiculous remarks. There’s about 700 MLB players. Name the 50 that couldn’t afford to by anything they wanted.

  150. SJ44 June 24th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I’m thinking just fine. Frankly, trying to sell Nick Swisher as more than what he is shows “less thinking” than I’m putting forth on here.

    We run the gamut of him being considered an “above average hitter” by Patrick, something nobody sees Nick as, to you trying to sell him as an “average defensive player” which he’s been anything but this year.

    How in the world is a guy who isn’t a run producer now an “above average major league hitter”.

    I’m sorry but, that makes no sense to me.

    Even Billy Beane himself is moving off the Moneyball theory of the game. His draft this year is filled with Non-Moneyball guys.

    Walks are overrated when the guy drawing them can’t do anything but reach first base.

    Nick Swisher needs to be a run producer on this team if he is the starting RF. He’s not a consistent run producer.

    I wish he was. If he was, one less problem for the team.

    He’s not. As I said, he’s not the biggest problem on the team but, he is a problem because he often brainless approach to the game has hurt this team at crucial times this year.

  151. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    “Just, give hime a couple days off a week that’s all.”

    And play who instead? Melky Cabrera? Sorry I’ll have to pass on that one. Swisher is far superior to Cabrera.

    SJ44,

    I’m not claiming Swisher is great, in fact I’ve repeatedly said I don’t think he’s a star or anything close to it. I’m simply refuting the absurd posts on here that Swisher is terrible and should be benched.

    Swisher is the #8 hitter on the team. Can you find a better 8 hitter in all of baseball?

  152. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Ok, so which one of you guys signed up for Swisher for President or the voteswisher site? Hmm, I bet you I know.

    2 hot weeks in June does not a player make. Neither does 1 hot April. The guy is a head case.

  153. Erica - newly OPPC June 24th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Stultus Magnus
    June 24th, 2009 at 3:18 pm
    “Indians acquire RHP Jose Veras from Yankees in exchange for cash considerations.”

    ==============

    Mmmmm, cash considerations…

    ****
    Does that mean the Indians buy the Yanks a beer the next time they are drinking together?

  154. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    CB, not sure I agree with you, or at least I’m not sure how far you want to push the argument.

    Many hitters strike out a lot. Nick is one of them.

    Sure, mathematically, striking out with runners in scoring position reduces the chance of scoring the runner. But it’s better than GIDP, and sometimes strikeouts and power go hand in hand. So if striking out increased your power, it could be worth it. This is well covered ground, I think.

    If Nick hit with power at the same rate with RISP as not I’d be happy with the strikeouts. Sure, if he struck out less, then he’d be a better player as long as he did everything else equally well. But that’s just to say better players are better. That’s not the issue, is it?

  155. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Patrick
    June 24th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
    “I guess I’m wondering how someone who wants to take Cabrera out of the lineup could be calling others for being unreasonable in dismissing Swisher so easily.”
    Because for the month of June Cabrera is hitting .200 BA, .293 OBP, .354 SLG while Swisher is hitting .267 BA, .397 OBP, .500 SLG.
    Also because Swisher has a track record of being an above average hitter while Melky does not. Pretty simple.
    ====

    Except Melky is a better contact hitter, an impact defensive outfielder, and his “track record” is being created as he grows as a player.

    He’s flippin’ 24 years old – he’s not some 30 year old retread whose ceiling has been reached.

    That’s the mistake you and others make, and it’s why this board was so stunned by the numbers he put up in April and May.

    You’re taking him out of the lineup? Why, so you can guarantee your outfield defense absolutely sucks? Who was on base with Gardner last night in those late innings?

    Who followed Jorge’s hit with another 2-out hit in the 9th two nights ago, allowing Gardner the opportunity to come to the plate and triple and keeping the inning alive?

    Stop looking at numbers and stay alert to what’s been happening in these games lately; he’s feeling better and he is a guy who provides defense, sees a lot of pitches, and can actually drive the baseball. And he’s 24 years old!

    The last thing Girardi would do is bench Melky after going 1 for 3 with a 2B and BB yesterday. That makes zero sense.

  156. Blog Poster June 24th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Cash for Veras.

    How sad.

  157. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    SJ44,

    Swisher ranks 20th in OBP and 26th in SLG among qualified batters in the AL. That is above average.

    He has a 127 OPS+. A 100 OPS+ is average. 127 > 100 hence he is above average.

  158. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Striking out is better than hitting into a DP has got to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. I know Earl Weaver made a joke about it, but still. Shooting yourself in the foot is also better than shooting yourself in the head, but I never hear anyone seriously debating that point.

  159. hughes wang small chacons June 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    who cares if swish can’t hit or field, he makes a sweet shaving cream pie. he’s really brought this team together…..for those 3 games against the twins.

  160. me June 24th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    ‘he took roids when there was no penalty for taking them”

    Yet they were illegal to take nonetheless.

  161. sab June 24th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    the problem with the yankees offense other than jeter hitting into dp’s, arod not being himself and cano freezing up with risp is that the yankee outfield is filled with marginal players –

    melky, swisher, damon, gardner, matsui and even nady are at best average to below average OF’s – they all do maybe 1 thing well and the rest is “blah”… you can’t win if you have all 3 of your outfielders that don’t excel in more than 1 thing…

  162. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I’ll take my chances when someone puts a ball in play…you know thats how you score runs right…putting balls in play.

  163. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    SJ44,

    If you think Swisher is terrible in RF you don’t know what you are talking about. He made some mistakes out there, the same ones you keep harping about.

    If I point to defensive stats that agree with me, then you say those defensive stats are no good because you have to watch the games and the stats don’t agree with your perception.

    If I say I’ve been to many games at the Stadium this year, watched him play in RF and think he’s average defensively, then you say my observations are no good because they don’t agree with your perceptions.

    So what it means is, YOU think he’s no good defensively because he screwed up a few times. OK.

    And, Nick has hit better, on average, than most AL hitters. That’s a fact. Not always, that’s a fact too. But I guess your perceptions override the facts.

    Personally, I think you just don’t handle opposition very well.

  164. GreenBeret7 June 24th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    DB
    June 24th, 2009 at 3:27 pm
    Striking out is better than hitting into a DP has got to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. I know Earl Weaver made a joke about it, but still. Shooting yourself in the foot is also better than shooting yourself in the head, but I never hear anyone seriously debating that point.

    ————————————————————

    Oh, come now. If you’ve been reading this board for more than 24 hours, you’ve read more idiotic things.

  165. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    sab, that is the problem. Since the Yanks fielded Bernie and O’Niell our outfield has left a lot to be desired.

  166. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    bod,

    I don’t care how old Melky is. He’s been in the league for over 3 years now.

    Melky has been one of the worst hitters on the team this June. I’ve watched all the games, I know what Melky brings to the table. If my choice is to play Swisher or play Melky I pick Swisher. With the way Gardner is playing right now he deserves to start in CF.

    DB,

    You are all over the place. One second you are agreeing with Wave saying that Swisher isn’t that bad, the next you are saying he’s a headcase and needs to be benched.

  167. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    GB7, lol…very true unfortunately

  168. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Patrick,

    SJ44 sees the inner Nick. He knows how poor Nick truly is. He can see through all these stupid stats. Don’t quote OPS+, that is just a “stat”, inflated with all sorts of worldly randomness. It obscures Nick’s true lousiness. He knows that 2008 was the true Nick, not 2007. He knows May was the true Nick, he knows the last two weeks were the true Nick, not April or the first two weeks of June.

    Never argue with One Who Knows.

  169. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Patrick
    June 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm
    bod,
    I don’t care how old Melky is. He’s been in the league for over 3 years now.
    Melky has been one of the worst hitters on the team this June. I’ve watched all the games, I know what Melky brings to the table. If my choice is to play Swisher or play Melky I pick Swisher. With the way Gardner is playing right now he deserves to start in CF.
    =====

    Couldn’t disagree with you more.

    People complain we never integrate our own players, and when we finally do, people like you want to yank them out of the lineup because of a bad 3 weeks.

    So much for developing your own players.

    And sorry, as to what Melky brings, I’d say you don’t have a clue.

  170. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    By the way Wave Your Hat, you’ve been saying that Swisher ranks 25th and 31st in OBP and SLG respectively. Are you counting everyone in the AL or just qualified batters? When I looked up his rankings he is at 20th and 26th among qualified hitters.

  171. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Actually I’ve been saying he is a head case for a few days now. I’ve been pretty consistent with him platooning and getting a few days off. I’ve also said he doesnt deserve to bat higher than 7th.

    You are right, I did say he isn’t as bad as I’m making him out to be. His bone headedness just rubs me the wrong way.

  172. Evan June 24th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Melky should be traded.

    His value won’t ever be higher (although he has sucked this month). With Nady coming back we have 4 outfielders anyway. I want to see Gardner more often anyway. If needed, we can always bring up Shelley Duncan as a 5th OF.

    Melky also doesn’t have much of a future. Austin Jackson is our CF next year and Gardner is a more valuable 4th OF/pinch runner because of his speed.

    I saw we trade Melky now before other teams get a chance to see what Melky really is (the player he was last year – the guy who was demoted to the minors).

  173. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    bod,

    Gardner isn’t one of our own players? He got yanked out when he played poorly and Melky was hitting well. Why can’t we do the exact opposite? Melky has been terrible for the last month and Gardner has been fantastic. Gardner deserves to start in CF right now, not Melky.

  174. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Patrick-

    I was using the baseball reference AL rankings, and I thought I was doing it by qualified hitters. Where were you getting your rankings?

  175. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Hardball times. Perhaps they have different qualifications for listing a batter as “qualified”.

  176. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Baseball reference uses 3.1 PA per game.

  177. DB June 24th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    How about you guys take out the first two weeks of April and June and see where Swisher ranks. Those stats are overblown due to his crazy hot streaks. I’ll give you the last two weeks of April

  178. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    DB, you have to take the bitter with the sweet. I thought you and I were cool?

  179. Doreen June 24th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    There are some things that no one will ever change their mind on no matter what happens, even if they see things with their own eyes, they’ll come up with a different spin.

    Swisher? Really great personality. Decent player who makes a lot of mistakes and who is not the smoothest outfielder I’ve ever seen. Better suited to not playing every day. I agree with SJ44 – what they heck is HE doing swinging at a first pitch when his strength is making a pitcher work?

    Melky? I’ve always liked him. Is he a superstar? No. But he’s certainly not the scrub some people make him out to be.

    ARod? Give him two weeks (which I guess brings you up to the ASB), with his scheduled rest, and see what happens. If he’s still looking weak at the plate and can’t get to routing grounders in the field, let him have the further surgery. Let him heal and rehab and hope for the best for next season. However, I don’t know what you do about replacing him this year.

    Posada? the whole situation feels schizophrenic to me. When he was gone last season, all I read was, “we lost our most intense player” in one form or another. All of a sudden this season he’s a scapegoat for this slump? All of a sudden he can’t call games?

    Losing brings out the worst in everyone.

  180. Patrick June 24th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Wave,

    Baseball reference uses 3.1 PA per game, the proper way to do it is 3.1 PA per team game. So for example, Mauer isn’t qualified yet. He has 207 plate appearances, his team has played 72 games. That’s only 2.875 PA per team game.

  181. Wave Your Hat June 24th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Patrick, thanks.

    Since people seem to think that we both believe Nick is a future Hall of Famer no matter what we say, we might as well use stats that show Nick in the best light.

  182. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Patrick
    June 24th, 2009 at 3:39 pm
    bod,
    Gardner isn’t one of our own players? He got yanked out when he played poorly and Melky was hitting well. Why can’t we do the exact opposite? Melky has been terrible for the last month and Gardner has been fantastic. Gardner deserves to start in CF right now, not Melky.
    ====

    Your either/or proposition is your big flaw here.

    I never suggested Gardner shouldn’t play – I pointed out that BOTH players were on the bases last night and no one could get them home.

    You’ve proposed a lineup that drops Melky out of it; that makes zero sense.

    Gardner and Melky, you’ll note, are both in the lineup.

    We need young legs on the bases and in our outfield.

    Swisher will be the one coming off the bench tonight.

  183. bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes June 24th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Wow, Melky out, Swisher in.

    Guess you got ahold of the lineup card, Patrick.

  184. Ayatollah Assahola June 24th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    And here we are four years later: Hughes has done nothing to show he’s anything better than a fifth starter on a bad team and you’re still clinging to the infantile “Phil Franchise” moniker.

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