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Wishful thinking: Which Yankees could bounce back with the most impact?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 01, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Matt made an interesting case in this morning’s Pinch Hitter post, and it was based on more than blind desire. Strikeouts are a good sign for a pitcher, and if you buy into the idea that Ivan Nova was better than his overall results last season, then it makes sense that he would be primed for a significant rebound this year.

But let’s throw reasoned logic out the window for just a moment.

If the Yankees could pick three players to rebound this season, who would they be? The rebound could happen anywhere in the system — a big leaguer playing like he’s back in his prime, or a prospect getting back on the map. Here are my picks, the three players who could make the biggest difference for the Yankees if they bounced back from a rough 2012.

Michael Pineda
This has to be the most obvious selection of the bunch, right? With a strong and healthy season from Pineda, the Yankees could see a mid-season rotation upgrade that lasts well beyond the end of the year. Nova rebounding could solidify the back of the rotation in both the short term and the long term, but a huge return from Pineda could impact the top of the rotation well into the future. The Yankees don’t absolutely have to have Pineda this year, but the extended impact would be substantial.

Mark Teixeira
Here’s my hesitation about including Teixeira: He can still be plenty productive without having a huge bounceback. Add enough health to keep him on the field, and Teixeira could still be a significant source of power without being a significantly different player. But if Teixeira can rebound, it would mean a return to the player he was in that first year with the Yankees. The power hasn’t gone away, but a bounceback might be enough to bring him back to his MVP-caliber days. And with Teixeira signed through 2016, a rebound could carry beyond this season.

Dellin Betances
I considered CC Sabathia for my third spot (makes more sense if you believe he was entirely un-ace-like last year) and I considered Eduardo Nunez (showing enough defensive improvement to be a Derek Jeter replacement in the near future) and I considered Austin Romine (but rebound to what?). Ultimately I settled on a guy whose rebound would give the Yankees the legitimate, big league ready pitching prospect that they’ve seemed to lack all winter. At this time last year, Baseball America considered Betances one of the 75 best prospects in baseball. If he could get his command under control, he just might have a big league future after all.

Associated Press photo

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52 Responses to “Wishful thinking: Which Yankees could bounce back with the most impact?”

  1. G. Love February 1st, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Chad,

    Any way to find out if the Yankees are heading into this spring pushing Betances as a reliever or will they let him open the spring starting? I hope they let him start before banishing him to the pen. If the guy has control problems, short high pressure relief appearances don’t exactly make them go away. The last thing you want to do with a guy with a control issue is bring him in with runners already on.

  2. Phranchise February 1st, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I said it before and will say it again. Betcances look like Daniel Cabrera. Their best option is to get him to repeat his fastball motion and have a nice secondary pitch and fgiure that out. Maybe he could be a force in the pen and replace Joba if he takes off in free agency. Otherwise they wasted their opportunity to trade him.

    Hopefully we see the old Tex show up this year. He has been a solid player here, but never that dependable middle of the order bat that I think I expected. The power is there, but was expected a bit better BA, more gap line drives than we have seen. He has done it before and is still young enough.

  3. Chad Jennings February 1st, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    G.Love-
    I don’t know yet what their plans are for Betances. I agree with you, he’s either going to have enough command to be a starter or he’s not going to have enough command to be a pitcher of any sort.

  4. Ghostwriter February 1st, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I think that Pineda and Nova (especially Nova) are good bets to rebound this year. I’m not sanguine about a big improvement from Tex at this stage of the game. If Tex is going to be a .250 BA, 40-HR guy, the Yanks should bat him cleanup and not in the 3-hole. If I had to pick a third guy for a rebound year, I would pick Cano, who under-performed in 2012, imo.

  5. jessiedog February 1st, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Well – Joba must be getting bored – he posted a photo of his laundry on twitter.

  6. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    michael pineda coming back and being useful and actually good would be a game changer for the yankees. it would also be symbolic that the present management has a clue about what they are doing. right now they seem to have the tendency to play a good hand into a bad hand.

    my personal opinion is that pineda will never be the guy they hoped he would be. it was a high risk move that backfired in a way that was a predictable scenario.

  7. Ghostwriter February 1st, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    michael pineda coming back and being useful and actually good would be a game changer for the yankees. it would also be symbolic that the present management has a clue about what they are doing. right now they seem to have the tendency to play a good hand into a bad hand.

    my personal opinion is that pineda will never be the guy they hoped he would be. it was a high risk move that backfired in a way that was a predictable scenario.
    ============

    I don’t think that it should be classified as a “hihg-risk move”. The Yanks traded a top prospect for a top prospect. I fail to see what’s so risky about it. (And I say this as somebody who vociferously objected to the trade.)

  8. Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I fail to see what’s so risky about it. (And I say this as somebody who vociferously objected to the trade.)

    Position player for pitcher. Latter has higher bust chance & injury rate. Unsurprising the risk turned into reality there.

  9. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    @HardballTalk: Sources tell ESPN that Anthony Bosch personally injected A-Rod http://t.co/z1QxZHQn #mlb #hbt

  10. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    “The Yanks traded a top prospect for a top prospect. ”

    a young pitcher and a young hitter of equal stature do not have the same chance of a career impacting injury.

    the pitcher is a much higher risk. it’s a probability game. i don’t know the numbers on the difference in risk . i would guess an early twenties pitcher is still in the injury matrix and is probably twice as likely to have a career impacting injury.

    montero could get injured too catching. he could get concussion problems like cervelli did, who is by the way , one more concussion away from serious trouble).

    if this trade is made a thousand times, i think montero probably has a much longer quality career twice as many times as pineda. but they are only doing it once, so it could be argued forever what the probabilities are.

    there must be some stats on how often young pitchers and young players go on to good careers.
    perhaps jerkface know of someone who has worked on this. it’s a pretty common sense thing to believe if you follow young players and pitchers.

  11. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Alex let very little wiggle room in his denial statement….he said he was never a patient or treated by bosech….If it turns out that he actually was then boy the hole just gets deeper

  12. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    The Yankees should have kept their prospect and signed bought Yu Darvish

  13. Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Alex let very little wiggle room in his denial statement….he said he was never a patient or treated by bosech….If it turns out that he actually was then boy the hole just gets deeper

    These new allegations give Alex a lot of breathing room. Only he and the main guy know the truth of it, so if Bosch sandbags the investigation or can be made to look not credible then no suspension for A-rod.

  14. Ghostwriter February 1st, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I fail to see what’s so risky about it. (And I say this as somebody who vociferously objected to the trade.)

    Position player for pitcher. Latter has higher bust chance & injury rate. Unsurprising the risk turned into reality there.
    =====

    A pitcher has a higher bust chance and injury rate than a catcher? Really? I rather doubt that sginificant difference between the two. And you need more than just a probability to establish risk; you also need to have the value at risk. It’s a pretty clear that Montero for Montero was a wash in terms of risk. Otherwise, I’ll need to see some proof to the contrary.

  15. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    A-Rod hasn’t been the heart of the order player for years now, but in actually removing A-Rod from the team’s future plans, what do the Yankees look like? And if we don’t have Cano?

    Teixeira is our best hitter?

    We’re going to see some big changes.

  16. jacksquat February 1st, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    It’s also worth noting that Quinn and Fish’s source tells of a time last year when A-Rod allegedly got mad at Bosch after Bosch “had trouble locating a vein,” despite the fact that HGH injections are not intravenous (Quinn and Fish note this disconnect).

    lol, yeah, just a little bit of a disconnect.

    I would not be surprised at all if this whole story is just a big pile of bs.

  17. Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    A pitcher has a higher bust chance and injury rate than a catcher? Really? I rather doubt that sginificant difference between the two.

    http://www.royalsreview.com/20.....-prospects

    Catcher is actually one of the safer bets!

  18. Stoneburner - The Return of Wax February 1st, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Position player for pitcher. Latter has higher bust chance & injury rate. Unsurprising the risk turned into reality there.

    *******

    Interesting, interesting – so you object to established GMs Towers, Moore, and AA taking these risks this offseason – interesting – - – -

    This is Stoneburner with the Wax Poetic Minute for the 1:00 hour (12:00 hour my time) – - – -

  19. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    None of the above.

    I’ll go with Gardner.

  20. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    “These new allegations give Alex a lot of breathing room. Only he and the main guy know the truth of it, so if Bosch sandbags the investigation or can be made to look not credible then no suspension for A-rod.”

    I kinda doubt he gets suspended anyways

  21. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Quinn and Fish’s story is based on anonymous sources which are impossible to rebut.

  22. Nick in SF February 1st, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    There’s an even higher bust rate for LoHud Pinch Hitters. I know I’ve never been the same. :(

    Watch out, Jerkface. It’ll be even harder to stay atop your game now, so be careful.

  23. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    “my personal opinion is that pineda will never be the guy they hoped he would be. it was a high risk move that backfired in a way that was a predictable scenario.”

    If Joba’s shoulder isn’t during enough to be a starter, without having had surgery, why should we think it’s likely that Pineda will be?

  24. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    during = durable

  25. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    What does it say that the Yankees are really pushing to get A-Rod off of the payrolls now? It’s very clear that the front office is not happy about this. Does that just speak to how bad A-Rod’s contract is, or how credible they think A-Rod is?

    If they really have a character issue with A-Rod, I consider this the beginning of the end. Much like Justin Upton. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  26. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    “Does that just speak to how bad A-Rod’s contract is, or how credible they think A-Rod is?”

    Neither. As Tyler Kepner recently said, it’s mostly about their belief that he won’t be productive anymore. If he was raking, they would tolerate the other stuff.

    I don’t see an analogue to Upton. He is very young and very good, and his contract can be viewed as cheap. A-Rod is the opposite of all those things.

  27. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Yeah, but Rich, those two thoughts are contradictory.

    I mean, we’re talking organization to organization here, but I feel like once an owner has had it with a player, bam, they’re gone. Cheap, expensive, good, or crap.

  28. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    RadioKev

    $114m is a lot of money to Warren Buffett. So maybe you’re right, but I have to see it to believe it, especially since it wouldn’t save them a dollar in taxes. To the contrary, it would cost them more because it’s possible that A-Rod can be at least a league average 3B for a few more years. That might not be true of any 3B in the organization.

  29. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    “It’s a pretty clear that Montero for Montero was a wash in terms of risk. Otherwise, I’ll need to see some proof to the contrary.”

    if you read the graph in the link jerkface provided :

    prospect success by position:

    catcher success rate- 43.1%

    right handed pitcher success rate- 23.3%

    so that’s about half the chance for the pitcher.

    this is a case where common sense from being around the game or watching it a lot is in line with statistical analysis.

    it’s pretty obvious that pineda was the bigger risk statistically. in cashman’s defense he just need to get it right once, and it could have happened.

    my problem with cashman is that if he make enough high risk moves , they will come back and bite him. that appears to be the case now.

    the PITCHING WINS philosophy of cashman is a problem because he puts a lot of yankee resources in young pitchers. even if PITCHING WINS is right that might mean developing more offensive players and trading them for PITCHING that is outside the injury matrix.

  30. Ghostwriter February 1st, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    A pitcher has a higher bust chance and injury rate than a catcher? Really? I rather doubt that sginificant difference between the two.

    http://www.royalsreview.com/20…..-prospects

    Catcher is actually one of the safer bets!
    =====

    Thanks for the link. I’ll look it over later. At first blush, I have got to think that there is something wrong with the methodology if they aren’t showing catchers with a higher injury likelihood than the other positions. Even if we assume for the sake of argument that catchers are twice as likely to stick than pitching prospects, I still have a hard time classifying a prospect for prospect trade as “high-risk”. Signing a player to a 8-year $100 million contract is a high risk move, because of the amount of money put at risk and the significant likelihood that the player will get hurt or have performance problems. Trading a prospect–even a top prospect– doesn’t really place that much value at risk.

    Have a good one. We can pick this up another day…

  31. DONNYBROOK February 1st, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    A-Rod is already in Hal’s face with that released statement about planning on returning ASAP to the Yankees. A-Rod has a bona fide contract, he has been found guilty of Nothing, so why say anything? A-Rod is telling Hal that he will Not be run outta town onna rail, and if Hal has any other ideas, they better start and end with a lotta zeros.

  32. Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Ghostwriter,

    Catchers being more likely to have shorter careers or wear down over time does not mean they are actually more likely to get injured in any given season. Pitchers are more likely to face sudden and season affecting injuries still than catchers.

  33. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    ghostwriter-

    i agree it’s a good topic to look into , and that it’ll take some time to digest that link jerkface provided.
    the reason a catcher is less of a risk are probably several. for one thing if he gets a severe injury to his throwing arm , he can move to another position if he can hit.

    if the pitcher gets a severe injury to his throwing arm , he’s often done.

    the catcher position doesn’t need running speed so leg injuries aren’t usually a big problem though bad knee injuries obviously would be.guys like austin romine may lose time to back injuries, but the position is to a large degree craft. by that i mean the time they put in gives them skills that are still useful even if they are banged up.

    pitchers that are banged up may be useful, but not likely. there’s too much risk on having a pitcher throw when he’s injured somewhere else.

  34. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I would suspect that in addition to that, the injuries that catchers sustain are far more likely to result in a complete recovery.

  35. Ghostwriter February 1st, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Jerkface February 1st, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Ghostwriter,

    Catchers being more likely to have shorter careers or wear down over time does not mean they are actually more likely to get injured in any given season. Pitchers are more likely to face sudden and season affecting injuries still than catchers.
    ======

    That’s a good point. Still, I have reservations about how success was defined in the article; I’ve never been a big fan of WaR. (But that’s kind of a big subject, and I don’t have the time or inclination to delve into it right now.) Nevertheless, even if I did the study’s findings at face value, my point that uncertainty is only one element of risk still stands: Telling me the odds associated with the bet doesn’t tell me what I need to know in order to assess risk; I also need to know how much is being wagered.

  36. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Bob Nightengale ?@BNightengale
    ESPN:A-Rod injected by clinic chief. #MLB Miami New Times:A-Rod paying $12,000 for next 4 years for services #Yankees http://usat.ly/WFThHe

  37. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Conclusion

    I think several conclusions are warranted, at least for the period of the study (which includes a great many current major league players).

    About 70% of Baseball America top 100 prospects fail.
    Position player prospects succeed much more often than pitching prospects.
    About 60% of position players ranked in Baseball America’s top 20 succeed in the majors.
    About 40% of pitchers ranked in the top 20 succeed in the majors.
    About 30% of position players ranked 21-100 succeed in the majors (with the success rate declining over that ranking range from about 36% to about 25%)
    About 20% of pitchers ranked 21-100 succeed in the majors (with the success rate declining over that ranking range from about 22% to about 15%)
    The success rate of prospects (both position player and pitchers) is nearly flat and relatively undifferentiated for players ranked 41-100, and especially those ranked 61-100.
    Corner infield prospects and catchers are the most likely to succeed in the majors, but outfielders, third basemen and shortstops are the most likely to become stars. Second basemen and pitchers are the least likely prospects to succeed in the majors or to become stars.
    Prospect success rates have not improved much over time and there is little data to support the contention that prospects are more likely to succeed now than they have in the past.
    —————————————————-

    i’m not going to make any knee jerk assumptions about this study, but it’s obviously interesting.

    these jump out:
    “About 70% of Baseball America top 100 prospects fail.”
    “Position player prospects succeed much more often than pitching prospects.”
    “Corner infield prospects and catchers are the most likely to succeed in the majors, but outfielders, third basemen and shortstops are the most likely to become stars. Second basemen and pitchers are the least likely prospects to succeed in the majors or to become stars.”

    http://www.royalsreview.com/20.....-prospects
    jerkface link

  38. blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Hardball Talk ?@HardballTalk
    Reds close to signing Miguel Olivo; Devin Mesoraco to Triple-A? http://dlvr.it/2tRwMW #mlb #hbt

    can we have Mesoraco?

  39. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    “Telling me the odds associated with the bet doesn’t tell me what I need to know in order to assess risk; I also need to know how much is being wagered.”

    cashman only needed to get it right once with pineda. it could have happened. maybe he felt the yankees needed pineda so badly it was worth the risk to him.

    the problem is the pineda trade might have been part of a pattern of cashman overvaluing young pitching prospects without taking into account the higher risk involved with young pitchers.
    one thing about that link that jerkface provided was there was a distinction between top twenty pitching prospects from all other prospects.

    i think in the past jerkface has made similar distinctions. in other words, if pineda was a top twenty prospect that changes the odds too.
    “The success rate of prospects (both position player and pitchers) is nearly flat and relatively undifferentiated for players ranked 41-100, and especially those ranked 61-100.”

    so there are some distinctions to be made from the study. to be fair to everyone’s point of view, it’ll take some reading to really understand it.

  40. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    “the problem is the pineda trade might have been part of a pattern of cashman overvaluing young pitching prospects without taking into account the higher risk involved with young pitchers.”

    Equally troubling, he thought he had offense to spare despite an aging lineup no other near ML ready bat inthe mL, and Swisher and Martin nearing free agency.

  41. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    blake February 1st, 2013 at 1:53 pm
    Bob Nightengale ?@BNightengale
    ESPN:A-Rod injected by clinic chief. #MLB Miami New Times:A-Rod paying $12,000 for next 4 years for services #Yankees http://usat.ly/WFThHe
    ———-

    He might not be needing those ‘services’ now…

  42. Bronx Jeers February 1st, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    People are starting to talk and the hole ARod dug for himself seems to be deepening.

    /////////////

    @YankeeSource: As a fan who once forgave A-Rod for his actions in 2009, you should feel insulted and angry at this point. http://t.co/ZU1iI7IS

  43. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Could YankeeSource be any more sanctimonious? I suppose waiting for a full and fair investigation rather than anonymous leaks is too much to ask. The Yankees have their spin machine working overtime.

  44. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    rich in nj-

    the problem cashman is starting to have is he is uniting people who used to disagree about him.
    we are coming to the same conclusion about him from different ways of looking at him and the game.

    i think it’s pretty obvious that cashman overvalues young pitching. by young pitching i mean under 25. and as you point out, he seems to think he has plenty of offense when the reality is that he has one dimensional offense that looks better than it really is.

  45. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    Could YankeeSource be any more sanctimonious? I suppose waiting for a full and fair investigation rather than anonymous leaks is too much to ask. The Yankees have their spin machine working overtime.
    ———–

    Compared to A-Rod’s spin machine?

  46. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    “Compared to A-Rod’s spin machine?”

    Should be not try to defend himself? He didn’t start this.

  47. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    i actually don’t care one way or another with alex.

    he lost me a long time ago.

    that said, the yankees have a huge amount of money committed to him.

    it obviously helps the yankees if he’s performing above an .800 OPS even if it’s part time.

  48. RadioKev February 1st, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    “Compared to A-Rod’s spin machine?”

    Should be not try to defend himself? He didn’t start this.
    ———

    No, he should, but just about everyone in prison will tell you they didn’t do it. He could be right and this could all be made up, but then you’d have to believe this is some huge conspiracy.

    There’s nothing wrong with withholding judgement, but it’s willful blindness to not take A-Rod’s bold refusal without a lot of sea salt.

  49. austinmac February 1st, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    The AROD contract just gets worse and worse. Poor production, injuries and scandal after scandal. Let me figure out why the team so highly values character. Hmmm.

    I have tried to defend him as just making poor choices back when use was not uncommon. Now, assuming this is true, and as Chad says logic must lead even me there, he is truly a bad character guy. Lie after lie. Cheating and more cheating.

    How would we react when and if he returns later this year? I’d still want him to play well if they play him, and I assume if healthy he would play.

    Two things I believe I know for sure are he isn’t voluntarily retiring and giving up the money and second, the Yankees aren’t releasing him with the intent to pay the money. If they can’t reach some pay out agreement and he can physically play, they either have to play him or litigate with him.

    The Yankee now have a team voodoo doctor.

  50. Rich in NJ February 1st, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    “There’s nothing wrong with withholding judgement, but it’s willful blindness to not take A-Rod’s bold refusal without a lot of sea salt.”

    Everyone is rushing to judgment. They don’t need me to help them.

  51. randy l. February 1st, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    rich-

    i’m withholding judgement on alex simply because i don’t care very much with him. maybe he’s telling the truth this time. i just don’t care.

    that said, any help he can give is a plus.

  52. comnsnse February 6th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    How about a simple yes or no answer with respect to this question

    If Rodriguez is proven to have continued taking peds for any reason and MLB and the Yankees can do nothing to ban him or abrogate his contract.

    BUT, he comes back physically and “contributes” to the on field success,what posters here would look the other way?

    A simple yes or no will do! Thank you

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