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Here’s why you don’t get caught up in stats

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc, Podcast on Mar 10, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Joe Girardi has been saying all spring that he’s not going to focus on statistics when it comes time to decide on the fifth starter. There are other things at work, Girardi says, and not all of them are obvious to the average fan. Here’s an example:

Joba Chamberlain has been told work on getting his pitches in on hitters, particularly right-handers. In his meltdown inning this afternoon, Chamberlain tried to come inside to Austin Jackson and watched Jackson hit a single. Then he tried to come in on Ryan Raburn – another single. Then, a few batters later, he tried to come in on Gerald Laird – grand slam to left and his stat line was suddenly disastrous.

Phil Hughes? He’s been told to work on his change-up. While facing Raburn in the fourth inning today, Hughes was in a 1-1 count. Instead of throwing a cutter (which is what he said he might normally do), Hughes threw two change-ups, both of which missed the plate. Now in a 3-and-1 hole, he had to come over with a fastball that Raburn crushed over the left-field fence.

In both cases, the end results are ugly. But in both cases, the Yankees know that their pitchers were following instructions and trying make themselves better in the long run. Talking about Hughes and his change-up, Girardi said, “I think it comes down to, ‘Does he trust what we’re saying?’ And I think he does.”

My personal opinion is that, regardless of whether it’s based on results or something else, Hughes is firmly in the lead for the fifth starter job. I think the Yankees want him to be a starter long-term and, to this point, he hasn’t done anything that would cost him the spot. Either way, the Yankees are looking at both Chamberlain and Hughes as important pieces for their future – which is why they’re paying attention to a lot more than just the final spring training statistics.

—–

If you’re interested in more from Hughes and Chamberlain, check out some of the audio below.

Here’s Hughes:

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And here’s Chamberlain:

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71 Responses to “Here’s why you don’t get caught up in stats”

  1. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Don’t say ST don’t matter Sam!

    Some people on here are firmly convinced they do and ST stats will decide the 5th starters “competition”.

    Your turn to fight that fight, I’m tired! lol

  2. Keep it March 10th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Aceves should get the #1 spot. Everyone else can shift down until they throw 4 perfect innings.

  3. Sam Borden March 10th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    SJ – It’s not me fighting. It’s Girardi! I thought he did a nice job explaining exactly why it doesn’t matter as much as people think. Two very good examples from the race that everyone is watching.

  4. Erin March 10th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Great post Sam. Thanks for the audio. :)

  5. Frank March 10th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    How come we’re don’t hear what Girardi and Co. are telling Mitre, Gaudin and Aceves to work on ?

  6. Keep it March 10th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Frank
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:50 pm
    How come we’re don’t hear what Girardi and Co. are telling Mitre, Gaudin and Aceves to work on ?
    ————————–
    Because Ace is already perfect. Haven’t you been following Spring Training?

  7. Y's Guy March 10th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    sam, you’re doing a great job as always, but where’s the show-me kid hiding these days?

  8. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Ugh, a post that makes complete sense, lol. I can’t listen to the audio until later – I’m anxious to hear how Phil feels about the change. I’m glad he trusts Girardi and Eiland – they really do know what they’re doing. Their goal is to make Phil a better pitcher and I think he must know that. Has Phil thrown any curves yet by the way?

  9. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    LOL, I know Sam! I’m just joking with you.

    Some of us on here are just exhausted from trying to explain to people how little ST stats matter.

    We wanted help from the blogmaster to take the baton and continue the educational process! lol

  10. Y's Guy March 10th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    not that this should give anything away regarding the ‘competition’ but they told mitre to work on keeping the sunflower seed bin filled this ST.

  11. mick March 10th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I wish this nonsense would end after their next 2 starts. It’s becoming a distraction. There are other spots open on this team and jobs to be won. Other teams wish they had our problems, the 5th starter and the platoon in LF not to mention utility IF.

  12. Erica - always OPPC March 10th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    How on earth does this team expect to win the GrapeFruit League pennant!!! :evil:

  13. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Betsy -Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:42 pm
    Randy, is that true?

    Trish, calling my posts neurotic is still insulting, but you’re a nice person and I don’t think you meant anything by it. Apology accepted…and yes,

    ***laughter is a good thing. It’s what gets me by and I’d like to think it’s what keeps me young.***

    ————————————————————

    I’m not sure about that statement, Betsy. It hasn’t done much to keep Randy and Pat M. young. Two old geezers out on the golf course with their walkers?

  14. Erin March 10th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Y’s Guy
    March 10th, 2010 at 4:54 pm
    not that this should give anything away regarding the ‘competition’ but they told mitre to work on keeping the sunflower seed bin filled this ST.

    ***************************
    :lol:

  15. Chambliss March 10th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    When do they hand out the Grapefruit League rings?

  16. Tom B - March 10th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    mick, i will guarantee you it’s not distracting anyone but media and fans.

  17. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    mick,

    Its not a distraction to the players and that’s all that matters.

    Girardi said he will have a decision by March 24.

    Two more weeks. It will go by quickly! lol

  18. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Mitre or Gaidin will be wearing Dodger Blue by April. I’d like to see Jason Hirsh get some more innings against the better players, just to see what he can do.

  19. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    ***Gaudin***

  20. JT March 10th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Chamberlain won’t be an important part of the Yankees future if he’s in the bullpen. That would mean shoving aside/trying to mask his mechanical issues, and in that case he’d be the 3rd or 4th best reliever in the pen for the next three years.

  21. randy l. March 10th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    well sam in a very diplomatic way summed up the “competition” for the fifth spot.

  22. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hopefully, there are aren’t any injuries more serious than Aceves balky back, but, with 4 weeks to go, those are the things that will determine the bottom of the roster, moreso than numbers.

  23. Ed H. March 10th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Some people here have a hard time handling uncertainty. Patience is a virtue.

  24. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    That’s not true. Sometimes, mechanics flaws are eliminated when you are able to concentrate on one role.

    Mechanical flaws also don’t last forever. So, predicting someone can’t get fixed for “3-4 years” makes no sense.

    Goose Gossage had “mechanical flaws” as a starter back in the day.

    Amazingly, they went away when he was put in the bullpen and given one role.

    If some are inclined, go back and look at Goose’s career in the 70′s. He was bounced around from the rotation and bullpen before finding a home.

  25. randy l. March 10th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    man, getting called a geezer by gb7 really hurts.

    not many people know, but gb7 also stands for geezerboy7 .

  26. Pat M. March 10th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Sam. I like your calming explanation as it may help bring down the stress level here somewhat…I do disagree with your take on Hughes results being ugly……Wave, good to see you back as always… The LoHud neighborhood was tough this winter, especially after winning the World Series…..It’s good to see some of the solid HoHuders returning……GB, The walker that you refer to better have wheels if your on the tee-Box….SJ has his Escalade golf cart so he’s out of harms way

  27. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    GB, that’s because they are the ones being laughed AT, not the ones that are laughing.

  28. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Pat M,

    Its a Ferrari golf cart.

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in an Escalade. Too gangsta for my tastes.

  29. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Koufax took 6 years to fix his mechanical issues. Randy Johnson took 7 years and Ryan was in his early 30s when he discovered that he really could throw just as hard as ever without trying. Chamberlain’s obviously not in their class, but, he’s also 2 years younger than Koufax was, so he has time to get somewhere.

  30. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Pat, I think Sam was just referring to the HR; Phil’s stats seem fine. I really want more details on the changeup – how he felt throwing it, etc…

    GB, also, forget walkers on the golf course- they should try the Hovearound. That commercial is hilarious- a bunch of Golden Girl types sitting in a chair and doing the teacup-ride thing by pressing their button.

  31. Drive4-5 March 10th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Speaking of mechanics, I’m anxious to see how K Long’s back foot suggestion to Nick Johnson translates into home runs in Yankee Stadium. IF Nick can stay healthy and IF he doesnt get homer happy, Johnson could make a nice #2 hitter. I think that would take a lot of pressure off Granderson as he acclimates to New York.

  32. Pat M. March 10th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Time for me to hit the pool, steam bath, and a rub down so I can get back to watch the Bucs…..I’m leaning on taking them on the over 71 wins this season…..In closing, if you don’t like the high hard ones that SJ throws, then don’t get in the box and dig in…

  33. Keep it March 10th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I still doubt we’ll see Chamberlain throwing 15 complete games like Gossage did as a starter…

    Still boggles my mind how different the game was back then. 15 complete games yet his overall record was 9-17 back in 1976. Go figure.

  34. Ed H. March 10th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Granderson has earned the right to be the fifth starter, so put Gardner in the pen. Hughes is faster than Joba so put him in center. Pena goes to left and Joba becomes the UI. See? It’s easy. :-)

  35. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    randy l.
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    man, getting called a geezer by gb7 really hurts.

    not many people know, but gb7 also stands for geezerboy7 .

    ————————————————————

    LMAO. I figured I owed you at least one hit. Keep in mind, though. I’m just practicing. Spring training for me, too.

  36. Sam Borden March 10th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Betsy: Thanks, you’re right – “ugly” was only referring to the HR in Hughes’s case. Truthfully, we didn’t see all of his outing since the clubhouse opened near the end of it. Obviously his numbers were better than Chamberlain’s overall.

  37. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Gb-

    “Chamberlain’s obviously not in their class, but, he’s also 2 years younger than Koufax was, so he has time to get somewhere.”

    It is your considered opinion that if Joba spends another season in the BP, and is successful there that the Yankees would give him another shot as a starter the following season ?

  38. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Betsy -Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:14 pm
    Pat, I think Sam was just referring to the HR; Phil’s stats seem fine. I really want more details on the changeup – how he felt throwing it, etc…

    GB, also, forget walkers on the golf course- they should try the Hovearound. That commercial is hilarious- a bunch of Golden Girl types sitting in a chair and doing the teacup-ride thing by pressing their button.

    ————————————————————

    When I think of Randy or Pat M. out on the golf course, the old couple out on the course in “Caddyshack” immediately comes to mind. “Gee, Hon. That was a peach.”

  39. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Sam, it’s disgraceful that you didn’t log every single one of Phil’s pitches; I shall never darken this doorstep again. LOL Just kidding – you’re welcome!

    GB, I’ve never seen Caddyshack; you need to start quoting movies I HAVE seen, lol.

  40. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    MTU
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    Gb-

    “Chamberlain’s obviously not in their class, but, he’s also 2 years younger than Koufax was, so he has time to get somewhere.”

    It is your considered opinion that if Joba spends another season in the BP, and is successful there that the Yankees would give him another shot as a starter the following season ?

    ————————————————————

    That would all depend on a few things.

    1. Does Rivera stay being Rivera? Does Chamberlain learn to repeat his mechanics over and over?

    2. How far have the kids in Scranton advanced in their learning?

    3. Will Pettitte still be Pettitte and return?

    4. Will Vazquez return?

    5. Is Burnett still healthy and pitching well?

    All of that will be answered in the next 10 months, I’d suppose.

  41. Coach6423 March 10th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Ive said it before and I’ll say it again, If the Yankees dont see Joba Chamberlain as a starter in the future, than you trade him. He holds too much value to stick in the bullpen.

  42. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Let’s hope we can avoid the injury bug.

    From MLBTR:

    Brian Roberts has a herniated disc in his back, and is doubtful for the start of the season.

    That is not good.

  43. Wave Your Hat March 10th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    “When I think of Randy or Pat M. out on the golf course, the old couple out on the course in “Caddyshack” immediately comes to mind.”

    Neither Randy nor Pat M seem that old to me. Randy plays like Sam Malone, Pat M is more James Garner.

    Now you, gb7, come across as the old Walter Mathau, while SJ44 is Lee J. Cobb.

  44. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Betsy -Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:25 pm
    Sam, it’s disgraceful that you didn’t log every single one of Phil’s pitches; I shall never darken this doorstep again. LOL Just kidding – you’re welcome!

    GB, I’ve never seen Caddyshack; you need to start quoting movies I HAVE seen, lol

    ————————————————————

    Betsy, you need to get the movie and watch it. One of the top 10 comedies of all time. Consider it as “Animal House Goes Golfing”. They’re right there with “Airplane” and “Blazing Saddles”.

  45. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Coach6423
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:29 pm
    Ive said it before and I’ll say it again, If the Yankees dont see Joba Chamberlain as a starter in the future, than you trade him. He holds too much value to stick in the bullpen.

    ————————————————————

    Trade him for what? 10 cents on the dollar?

  46. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Shirley/Surely you can’t be serious, GB……Airplane, lol. That might be the most quoted movie ever.

  47. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Gb-

    When I said considered opinion I can see you took what I said seriously. :)

    Hope you’re feeling good. Any idea what’s causing all the headaches you are experiencing recently ?

  48. trisha - OPPC member who sees, hears, and knows all. 28 is on its way!!!!! March 10th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Betsy, and you know I feel the same way about you. Thanks. It really was a poor choice of words, but I sincerely did mean it the way Wave took it.

    We’ll always be friends.

    :)

  49. Y's Guy March 10th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    sure,trade chamberlain, what the hell, mo’s only 40, he should be good to go another what 6-8 years at least, right…

  50. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    MTU
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:32 pm
    Gb-

    When I said considered opinion I can see you took what I said seriously.

    Hope you’re feeling good. Any idea what’s causing all the headaches you are experiencing recently ?

    ————————————————————

    Have no idea, MTU. Hopefully, I’ll find out by Monday or Tuesday when I go to Tampa for treatments, inspections and overhaul.

  51. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    GB-

    “Have no idea, MTU. Hopefully, I’ll find out by Monday or Tuesday when I go to Tampa for treatments, inspections and overhaul.”

    I was serious with my orignal query but is it possible the headaches are caused by any or all of the following:

    Alchohol or nicotine withdrawl

    Randy

    Confinement to quarters

    Weak competition from trolls

    Seriously, best of luck with your ongoing tests. :)

  52. GreenBeret7 March 10th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    MTU
    March 10th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
    GB-

    “Have no idea, MTU. Hopefully, I’ll find out by Monday or Tuesday when I go to Tampa for treatments, inspections and overhaul.”

    I was serious with my orignal query but is it possible the headaches are caused by any or all of the following:

    Alchohol or nicotine withdrawl

    Randy

    Confinement to quarters

    Weak competition from trolls

    Seriously, best of luck with your ongoing tests.

    ————————————————————

    I’d think that trying to come up with smart0azs remarks to say to Randy could be a reason. They’ll do eye checks, CAT scans, the works. I’m pretty sure that it has a lot to do with have gotten burned and the years of heat and reading by flashlight and starlight. That’s what we’ll find out.

    appreciate the kind thoughts, MTU.

  53. SJ44 March 10th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Unless you are getting an under 27, stud corner OF (not happening), any trade of Joba would be trading low right now.

    If he doesn’t win the 5th starters spot, he can help this team, and himself, enormously in the bullpen.

    Bottom line is, whether you keep him or trade him, you have to get the Joba back from 2007-08, pre-shoulder injury if you want to get full value for him on either front.

  54. gfd March 10th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I agree lets not talk stats. Lets talk ugly, Phil was less ugly today than Joba!!

  55. Damon enjoy 27....think 28 March 10th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Don’t forget Brackman was “Ugly ” too, giving up the lead!

  56. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I guess I had better get myself used to the idea of Goose Gossage Joba.

    I wish the Yankees would give Nardi Contreras one more crack at joba though before it happens but I don’t think it will.

  57. braeden March 10th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Don’t be surprised if Chan Ho Park comes out strong, and throws a monkey wrench in the plans.

  58. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I haven’t listened to Joba’s audio yet, but I loved what I heard from Phil…

  59. blake March 10th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I didn’t get to see the game again today…I saw joba’s line but how did he look for those who saw it? How was his velocity, secondary pitches etc..?

  60. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 10th, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Trish, I’m glad!

  61. trisha - OPPC member who sees, hears, and knows all. 28 is on its way!!!!! March 10th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Sam, you should know better than to believe what Girardi says! He’s only saying it to try to get the guys to give their best. Right, SJ?

    :)

    One of my favorite things is being told which of Girardi’s statements should be paid attention to, and which shouldn’t.

    Thanks!

    ;)

  62. vey March 10th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Yankees can’t baby these pitchers forever. Either they’re hungry or not. Home many times, as a little leaguers did playing in the majors become their goal?

  63. vey March 10th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Edit: Home for How.

  64. trisha - OPPC member who sees, hears, and knows all. 28 is on its way!!!!! March 10th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Bets, me too. And I would love to see Phil get the 5th spot. I know that he is destined to do great things for the Yanks. I’m just trying to be open to whatever comes along. I was always told a good attorney needs to continually examine at all possibilities. (I was also always told that a good attorney should be able to argue either side of a case, ha ha. )

    :)

  65. MTU March 10th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Blake-

    “I didn’t get to see the game again today…I saw joba’s line but how did he look for those who saw it? How was his velocity, secondary pitches etc..?”

    Nobody saw it. There was no TV or radio.

    From what i could gather reading the blog he was OK for the first 2 innings but he imploded by the 3rd.

    No idea on velocity or secondary offerings.

    I has been suggested that fatigue was the cause.

    there is audio from chamberlain above so maybe give it a listen.

    I really don’t want to accept it but I am becoming increasingly persuaded by the ideas of some that joba will wind up in the pen.

    I am sure you know from my posts what i think of that.

  66. randy l. March 10th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    the competition for the fifth spot may be decided by who works on what they are told to work on.

    stats may have nothing to do with it.

    it may be simply who did the best job at what they were told to work on.

    for hughes that’s obviously the change.

    i’m not sure what they want to have joba work on.

    it must be more than just pitching in.

  67. Rick March 10th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    There’s no sense of urgency with the No. 5 starter role to begin with.
    The team has 5 scheduled days off in April and even if Phil and Joba were in a dead heat for the job, they will both need some relief appearances to keep up arm strength and keep stretched out.

  68. KennyH123 March 10th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Im not going to read all 98857575 comments in this thread from, well, imbeciles.

    But there is no excuse for the horrible pitching today. None. Nada. Zero. So stop making them.

  69. JMZ March 11th, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Hahaha, ok man.

  70. ortforshort March 11th, 2010 at 7:45 am

    My take on it is that Chamberlain understands that Cashman doesn’t have a clue and is deliberately tanking the “competition” so that he can go back to the bullpen where he belongs

  71. JEH March 11th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    First the Joba Rules, now the Joba Excuses.

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