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


Exceeding expectations (and falling far short)

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 19, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ichiro Suzuki

We were going to do a chat today, but turns out I have to go into the office for some sort of training on a new system we’re using to file stories at the newspaper. I’d rather be sitting in front of this computer talking baseball, but I’m told these things are important. So, since you might have been expecting a chat and now we’ve fallen short, how’s this for a blog post?

Here’s the idea: I’m sure we can all agree that no Yankees player has exceeded expectations more than Yangervis Solarte. He was an unknown minor league free agent heading into spring training, and now he’s an everyday third baseman who’s literally been one of the better hitters in the American League. Doesn’t necessarily make him the best player on the Yankees, but he’s certainly the one who’s played the farthest beyond what anyone might have expected heading into the season.

So if Solarte is No. 1, who’s No. 2? And who’s done the worst job of exceeded expectations? Here’s my attempt to rank the most regularly used Yankees position players, not in terms of who’s been the best, but in terms of who’s done the best job exceeding the basic expectations heading into the season. At some point, obviously this list reaches a tipping point to begin counting down those who have most fallen short of expectations.

Goes without saying that this is entirely subjective and depends on any number of factors — mostly what an individual expected in the first place — but I’ll give it a shot. Seems easier to do just position players. Maybe I’ll lose my mind and try to do pitchers later.

Yangervis Solarte1. Yangervis Solarte
The easy choice for the top of the list, and pretty much the reason I thought to do this in the first place. Has any player in all of baseball exceeded expectations as much as this guy?

2. Ichiro Suzuki
I assumed his days as a productive major-league hitter were long gone — and the Yankees might have dumped him if they’d found a taker this winter — but Ichiro has been terrific. He hasn’t played a tone, but in a fairly small sample size he’s been surprisingly good. With Carlos Beltran hurt, we’ll see if he can maintain this production with more playing time.

3. Mark Teixeira
Where you rank Teixeira probably depends on what you thought he could do heading into the season. There’s really no denying that he’s been their best middle-of-the-order bat, and you could argue that he’s expected to be that kind of hitter given his contract and past production. But after the injury and a couple of down years, I tend to think most people weren’t expecting this.

4. John Ryan Murphy
Wasn’t supposed to even be here, much less hitting like this. Granted, there were always those who believed Murphy would hit if given the chance, but he’s gone well above and beyond, especially considering his underwhelming production last September.

Jacoby Ellsbury ; Brett Gardner5. Brett Gardner
I’d say Gardner has met a lot expectations and probably exceeded some others. He’s run quite a bit, he’s been productive since taking over the leadoff spot, and he’s stayed healthy. Those who liked Gardner are probably satisfied. Those who think he’s really just a fourth outfielder should be pleasantly surprised.

6. Jacoby Ellsbury
I tend to think this is where we get into players who have basically met expectations. Ellsbury was the Yankees best hitter for a while (better than I thought he’d be during that stretch), and now he’s slumped to more middle-of-the-road production (he’s fallen short of expectations lately). His current slash line is a little bit worse — but not all that different — than it was last season.

7. Brian Roberts
Expectations probably varied heading into the season, but it seemed health and age could each be stumbling blocks to keep Roberts from holding onto his everyday job. So far, he’s been both healthy and (occasionally) productive. He’s had some good spurts at the plate, but ultimately his number are underwhelming while his ability to stay on the field has been perhaps a little surprising.

8. Kelly Johnson
Expectation was that Johnson would be playing every day and taking advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short porch. Ultimately, he’s lost his job, but he’s also hit for some of that power that was expected. He was a big offensive boost in the very beginning, and now he’s a role player. I think he’s basically hit the way the Yankees expected, just hasn’t kept the job he was expected to have.

Alfonso Soriano9. Alfonso Soriano
For Soriano, I think some expectations were sky high following last season’s down-the-stretch performance. As it is, he’s been solid — he’s hit for some power, which the Yankees clearly need him to do — but he hasn’t been nearly the player he was immediately after the trade.

10. Derek Jeter
My guess is that a lot of fans expected this level of production. Jeter’s defense has been predictably limited, and his offense has been underwhelming. But by putting him in the No. 2 spot and playing him in the field every day, the Yankees clearly set an expectation that they believe Jeter will be a productive and viable top-of-the-order hitter in his final season. By that standard — although he’s been good against lefties — Jeter’s fallen short.

11. Carlos Beltran
He was excellent in the beginning, probably even better than those who liked the Beltran signing would have expected. But since then he’s doubled down on disappointment. His bat went cold, and his elbow got sore. Now he’s on the disabled list and facing the possibility of surgery to remove a bone spur. Not good by any standard. If he does need surgery, he probably moves to the bottom of this list.  

12. Brian McCann
You could certainly argue that McCann’s been an underrated part of this roster because of his work with the pitching staff, but ultimately he’s been an overwhelming disappointment at the plate. I honestly thought he might be the Yankees best off season addition, and he simply hasn’t hit. He hasn’t even had a big spurt of production like Beltran’s had.

Associated Press photos

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102 Responses to “Exceeding expectations (and falling far short)”

  1. Mottsx May 19th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....rospective

    Coulda had Owings, Kipnis or Arenado!

  2. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    To make him a starter you’re going to remove him from the team entirely for at least a month, probably more, to get him stretched out.

    Disagree here, he has thrown 40 pitches 3 times this year. He can go 60 in his first start, 80 the next start, 100 after that. So you piggy back him ontop of one of our crappy starters to stretch him for the 60, then he gets to start a game at 80. Easy.
    —————————-

    That method worked out sooooo well with Joba.

  3. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Chad,

    I would flip Tex and Ichiro only because one is playing everyday and the other isn’t.

    Great post though.

  4. Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    That method worked out sooooo well with Joba.


    Agreed, 2008 Joba was a really good starter. They also did it with Phelps, and Nuno, and who cares. The Yankees won’t develop starters.

  5. Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Imagine if we could have 2008 Joba. And as long as I-Rod doesn’t cause Betances to hurt his shoulder on a steal attempt we should be good.

  6. YankeeRay May 19th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Repost:

    I may have missed this along the way but just read about Daniel Carbonell from Cuba. Has anyone watched his video? Quite the body.

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/…..free-agent

  7. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    To make him a starter you’re going to remove him from the team entirely for at least a month, probably more, to get him stretched out.”

    —–

    So the original argument was he is a”failed starter”.

    We have at least moved on to “it will take a month to get stretched out” argument.

    But isn’t moving from the pen to the rotation exactly what Phelps and Nuno have done? And what many are advocating for Warren to do also ?Why would it take Dellin a month and those guys go right from the pen to starting?

    This starting rotation has the potential to be one and done in the Post season.I think we all agree having another front line starter is really important. It’s just how we acquire or use that front line starter is the question.

  8. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    That method worked out sooooo well with Joba.


    Agreed, 2008 Joba was a really good starter. They also did it with Phelps, and Nuno, and who cares. The Yankees won’t develop starters.
    ——————-

    Incidentally, those 40 pitch outings have come throwing 2 innings – at that rate, assuming the Yankees would keep him around 100 pitches, he would be a 5 inning pitcher which doesn’t really help with the stated goal of getting starters who can go deeper into games than their current 5 inning pitchers.

    Guess we’ll just have to settle for having a really dominant pen that can pick up for these guys on multiple days instead.

  9. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Tar May 19th, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    To make him a starter you’re going to remove him from the team entirely for at least a month, probably more, to get him stretched out.”

    —–

    So the original argument was he is a”failed starter”.

    We have at least moved on to “it will take a month to get stretched out” argument.
    ————————–

    Tar,

    You misunderstand – it’s not one or the other – it’s both.

    He failed as a starter and even if I was to give the benefit of the doubt and say “he’s a new man now” it would still take him a month to get stretched out.

    As for why it would take longer for Dellin to get stretched out than Phelps, Nuno or even Warren…those three were starting as recently as 2 months ago. Dellin has been pitching in relief for a year and a half.

  10. Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Incidentally, those 40 pitch outings have come throwing 2 innings – at that rate, assuming the Yankees would keep him around 100 pitches, he would be a 5 inning pitcher which doesn’t really help with the stated goal of getting starters who can go deeper into games than their current 5 inning pitchers.

    Actually all his 2 inning outings are like less than 30 pitches so I guess we’ll just have to pass up on a guy who can go 6 or 7 innings :(

  11. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Incidentally, those 40 pitch outings have come throwing 2 innings – at that rate, assuming the Yankees would keep him around 100 pitches, he would be a 5 inning pitcher which doesn’t really help with the stated goal of getting starters who can go deeper into games than their current 5 inning pitchers.

    Actually all his 2 inning outings are like less than 30 pitches so I guess we’ll just have to pass up on a guy who can go 6 or 7 innings
    ————–

    Guess so.

  12. bbb51 May 19th, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    What will be another sin is if Girardi makes Betances his eig and has him throw only 1 inning at a time.

    Throw Betances 2 innings at a time up to every other game and have him get well over 100 innings, then make him a starter next year if they won’t now.

  13. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    As for why it would take longer for Dellin to get stretched out than Phelps, Nuno or even Warren…those three were starting as recently as 2 months ago. Dellin has been pitching in relief for a year and a half.”

    Last year

    Warren had 8 IP as a starter… this year 0

    Phelps has 65 IP as a starter…. this year 15

    Nuno has 17 IP as a starter…. this year 29

    Not overwhelming numbers there Chip

  14. alabamayankee May 19th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    During the 4th inning of yesterday’s second game, Ryan made two, possibly three, plays that Jeter couldn’t possibly have completed. Add to that the fact that our beloved captain can do no more offensively than dribble a ball to, and occasionally through, the infield, and you have a strong case for sitting him for the duration. If he doesn’t have the class to retire now, let him go on his farewell tour, enjoy all his presents, and watch the games from the bench.

  15. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    As for why it would take longer for Dellin to get stretched out than Phelps, Nuno or even Warren…those three were starting as recently as 2 months ago. Dellin has been pitching in relief for a year and a half.”

    Last year

    Warren had 8 IP as a starter… this year 0

    Phelps has 65 IP as a starter…. this year 15

    Nuno has 17 IP as a starter…. this year 29

    Not overwhelming numbers there Chip
    ———————

    Spring training – all three of them worked out as starters in camp – Betances didn’t.

    In the end it’s a moot debate. The Yankees are happy with Betances where he is. Betances is happy with where he is.

    So there you go – three reasons:

    1. He was a failure as a starter
    2. It would take a while to stretch him out safely
    3. No one involved with the decision making process has any intention of moving him out of the bullpen.

    My guess is that the only person affiliated with the Yankees who wants Betances back in the rotation is David Robertson because Betances is going to take his job next year.

  16. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Fack.. I’m still talking to myself in the last thread:

    Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:17 pm
    What about limited NTCs instead? I mean, a full NTC? That on top of the third year Carlos was demanding was a dumb thing to agree to. There was no shot they’d get All-Star Carlos. The whole purpose of the deal was probably to try to max out on him in 2014.

    At least throw some incentives in there or something, benchmarks to make the NTC a full NTC. I hardly see giving a 37 year old a full NTC a formality. For your key FA targets, the ones you are competing for their services with 30 other teams, yes, fine, include a NTC. But for him at this stage in his career? For me it would have been ‘take the two years and a full NTC, or take a three year deal with a limited or no NTC – those are your options.’

  17. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    bbb51 May 19th, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    What will be another sin is if Girardi makes Betances his eig and has him throw only 1 inning at a time.

    Throw Betances 2 innings at a time up to every other game and have him get well over 100 innings, then make him a starter next year if they won’t now.
    ——————–

    Or let him throw 2 innings and then make him the closer next year like they did Rivera after the 96 season.

  18. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    But don’t worry guys, I don’t think Branden Ryan has a NTC on his 3 year pact.

  19. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    “In the end it’s a moot debate. The Yankees are happy with Betances where he is. Betances is happy with where he is”

    Yep they are sure are happy….just the thought of adding in 85 million plus in old guys, and trading away our two best prospects, has to make them feel giddy.….. All so they can say they made the right move in keeping Dellin in the pen.

    —-
    Chip May 19th, 2014 at 9:38 am
    Sanchez, Banuelos and Mason Williams for Utley and Lee?

  20. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Or let him throw 2 innings and then make him the closer next year like they did Rivera after the 96 season.”

    Or have two dominating starters….. and DRob as your closer. I like that a lot better.

  21. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    For argument’s sake….even though we all know Betances is cemented in the pen.

    I haven’t checked out the stats but it seems Betances is throwing fewer pitches per inning now than he was earlier in the season. He’s command is certainly much better.

    He’s obviously a big strikeout guy so by nature he’s gonna throwing more pitches than a contact pitcher but that doesn’t mean he can’t become more efficient in the rotation.

    The more moxie he’s gaining by the day the more likely he’s going to challenge hitters.

  22. bbb51 May 19th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Mariano had more WAR in 96 than any other season, because he pitched more innings. I’d rather Betances remained pitching in 96 Rivera style and get more value out of him, and let someone else with less endurance pitch only 60-70 innings.

  23. bbb51 May 19th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Ryan could be the starting SS next year.

    In fact they already have next year’s main position players if they wish.

    Gardner LF
    Ellsbury CF
    Beltran DH
    Teixeira 1B
    Rodriguez 3B
    McCann C
    Solarte 2B
    Almonte RF
    Ryan SS

  24. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Regarding Teixiera, I’ve certainly noticed there have been far fewer “Juice Press” jokes at his expense.

    Fickle fans tend to get annoyed at struggling ballplayers who tweet but not so much when they are producing.

  25. J. Alfred Prufrock May 19th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Can’t stick Round,
    But Betances’ last start was last May, so this “year and a half” thing in the BP hails from your imagination, Chip.

  26. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I don’t really think Warren and Betances pitching ~90-100 innings is all that terrible. Have any studies been done on this with relievers? I only think it could work because Warren is only two years removed from being a starter and Betances got a fair number of IP last year (I think around 90, but I can’t check atm).

  27. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Chip May 19th, 2014 at 9:38 am
    Sanchez, Banuelos and Mason Williams for Utley and Lee?

    ————————

    As an offshoot of this conversation… has Mason completely fallen off, or what? His slash line is fugly as sin right now. He’s really not put it together at all. Is the kid hurt or just over-matched?

  28. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    bbb51 May 19th, 2014 at 12:29 pm
    Ryan could be the starting SS next year.

    —————

    That’d be horrifying. I’d rather call up a kid from A ball than have Ryan start.

  29. J. Alfred Prufrock May 19th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Tar – I Like that a lot better too.’Someone wrote that
    Deal is bound for Scott Proctoring. That
    None of us should like at all – and certainly not Dellin or his reps. Can’t remember the source and don’t have time to check it out but please,
    Joe, be responsible, like you’re always preaching. I was glad, in any case,
    He
    Had
    The sense to stay WY from him yesterday.

  30. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Tar -

    If the move Dellin to the rotation and he is Daniel Cabrera or Jaret Wright they’re still going to have to make a move for a pitcher and will have screwed up the only success that this guy has had since A-Ball.

    I’m not happy that it didn’t work out for Dellin as a starter, I’ve been pretty upfront about that for a couple of years. But the fact is that he’s in a role that suits him extremely well and he’s poised to help the Yankees go from dominant closer to dominant closer.

    Would I love for the Yankees to be able to run a rotation of Tanaka, Betances, Pineda and Banuelos next year? Of course in theory that would have been great. But it’s not worth messing with a good thing on the pipe dream that he’s somehow going to become the starter he’s never been.

  31. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    @beckjason #Tigers still at hotel in Boston. First pitch in Cleveland is in 6 1/2 hours. Travel might end up being their toughest test of the trip.

  32. Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Why are the Tigers still at the hotel?

  33. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    “Can’t stick Round,
    But Betances’ last start was last May, so this “year and a half” thing in the BP hails from your imagination, Chip.”

    Haha I just checked….. Betances pitched (84 IP) the same amount of innings as Phelps, and more than Nuno or Warren last year….so much for that stretching out theory.

    J ALfred

    One thing Joe is really good at is giving guys off days in between games. So dell in may pitch a lot but he will gets his days off.

  34. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I figured it was weather related but your response makes me think otherwise lol.

  35. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    @dodgerscribe Detroit Tigers are getting a taste today –just a little bit of a taste — of how beat writers have to travel.

  36. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Would I love for the Yankees to be able to run a rotation of Tanaka, Betances, Pineda and Banuelos next year? Of course in theory that would have been great. But it’s not worth messing with a good thing on the pipe dream that he’s somehow going to become the starter he’s never been.”

    Chip

    you have seen him pitch..it’s no pipe dream. And don’t get me wrong I would love to have a dominating shorten the game type of pen this year.

    But I just don’t think they have strong enough SP to get them to the ultimate goal. It’s always about just doing enough to get to the PS. I want to win it all. To do that they need another dominating starter. I think the closest thing they can do to achieve that is try Dellin in the rotation. I have no confidence in them pulling off some trade for a starter. Nor am I counting on CC or Pineda this year.

  37. jmills May 19th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I’m exceeding expectations,… and I’m sticking to it! AC/Dc blasting and the house plants moving on outside :D

  38. dan l May 19th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    what a joke…the jeter exceeding expectations…he stinks…can’t wait until I never have to see that bum play again! i hope you have a career ending injury soon!

  39. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    dan I

    You are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to my opinion about you and your statement.

    Sometimes its better to keep one’s opinions to one’s self. Had you stopped before the injury part, I would have kept mine to myself and just thought “just another ungrateful ignoramus.”

    But since you went there with the injury part, I can’t help but pity you and your existence. Just being honest like you.

    Have a nice day.

  40. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    It’s never a good thing when someone starts treading into C R 9-esque waters.

    Those kinds of miserable people tend to suck at life.

  41. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Some thoughts on defense.

    I continue to believe there is a real lack of understanding of how defense affects game results. And yesterday was a prime example. People are quick to point out how bad the defense was for both sides yesterday but they fail to point out just how good it was as well. As I’ve pointed out before, there’s a whole lotta netting going on in any single baseball game.

    In the early innings, the Pirates poor OF defense pretty much gave the Yanks two runs, and the Yanks poor infield defense gave the Pirates one. But a couple innings later, Ryan made two awesome plays in one inning at SS that probably saved the Yanks two base runners and maybe a run. Then after that, Gardner made a stupendous play (BTW, he’s playing real well) in the OF that probably saved the Yanks a triple and a run. And of course, the defensive play of the game came in the 8th inning by the Pirates against Solarte. So the Pirates’ D gave the Yanks two runs and probably took two runs back. Once again, there’s a whole lotta netting going on. Ultimately, yesterday’s second game was decided by the bullpens. The Yanks’ bullpen game up 2 runs. The Pirates’ gave up zero. Ballgame.

    Defense only become really significant in games that are close, two runs or less. And the real key to being an efficient defensive team is making all the plays you need to make over the last three innings of those close games. When there’s defensive fail early in the game, especially an infield fail, which is also only likely to cost one run at best, it really isn’t all that meaningful because the team giving up that run has 15 to 20 more outs left to use. A baseball game has so many natural ebbs and flows that one run early in the game is not that impactful.

    From my observation, defense has only cost the Yanks one game this year, the last game in Milwaukee. That missed play by Ichiro lost the Yanks two outs, not one, and made it possible for the Brewers to score three runs and take a two run lead when the Yanks only had nine outs left. Even then, the Yanks still were able to tie the game so I’m not so sure really. Baseball games are extremely complex systems and the impact of one play is rarely determinative.

    I do believe the Yanks are playing with fire by allowing Jeter to play SS late in close games. Ryan showed yesterday just how good he can be. Because as I’ve pointed out, it’s mistakes in the last few innings that are generally the most likely to be fatal.

  42. Hankflorida May 19th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    My question is why after letting Swisher go, Cashman replaced him with Ichiro which caused a power outage in the outfield last year, did he compound that error by pairing Ellsbury and Gardner after losing over 60 home runs after Cano and A-Rod were gone for this year? Can anyone find a logical explanation other then just throwing things against wall and hoping something sticks?

  43. pkyankfan69 May 19th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    CC should have stem cell injections all over his body… Knee, shoulder, elbow… Everywhere

  44. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Hankflorida May 19th, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    My question is why after letting Swisher go, Cashman replaced him with Ichiro which caused a power outage in the outfield last year, did he compound that error by pairing Ellsbury and Gardner after losing over 60 home runs after Cano and A-Rod were gone for this year? Can anyone find a logical explanation other then just throwing things against wall and hoping something sticks?

    ======

    1. It’s not been “Cashman” it’s been the organization.

    2. They’ve been passing on all sorts of players since winning the 2009 WS

    3. They only make moves when their back is against the wall and have little choice.

    4. They signed Beltran for OF power.

    5. They brought in Soriano for OF power.

    6. What choice were there this off-season, especially after ignoring the market and not looking ahead since 2009 (focused on budget)

    What would you have done ?
    - They signed Beltran for Power.

  45. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    http://riveraveblues.com/2014/.....ly-103726/

    “It will be no sooner than six weeks from now,”said the GM to Sherman. “Our dialogue with Andrews has been good and the small sample of stem cell procedures, the results are very successful, but he has to be pain free before strengthening, so there is a way to go. Because he is a starter it will take longer. I have no idea how long it will be and if it will be successful. We are hoping it is six weeks to a Major League return.”

  46. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Hankflorida,

    Also,

    They never replaced power production after 2009 from Matsui,Damon,Posada,etc .. and one might even say Arod as well but that isn’t entirely their fault.. except for the fact that they re-signed him to that ridiculous deal when nobody wanted anything to do with him.. if that doesn’t show you how clueless the org is — Cashman was screaming to the media “NO AROD if he opts out — but they signed him anyway, do you blame Cash for that too ? Doesnt that prove to you just who is and who is not pulling the strings these days ?

  47. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Hankflorida May 19th, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    My question is why after letting Swisher go, Cashman replaced him with Ichiro which caused a power outage in the outfield last year, did he compound that error by pairing Ellsbury and Gardner after losing over 60 home runs after Cano and A-Rod were gone for this year? Can anyone find a logical explanation other then just throwing things against wall and hoping something sticks?

    ———————-

    They were probably hoping with Tex and Soriano back that McCann and Beltran would make up for the loss. I dunno that they planned on playing Ichiro that much. They probably did try to trade him this off season. We were led to believe Ichi was a Levine move, so there’s that.

  48. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    A quick thought.. Is it not coincidental that CC Sabathia lost his velocity and began have a lot of physical problems when MLB tightened up the PEDs testing?

  49. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    When looking at Brian McCann’s stats for the last 3 years, absolutely nothing leads me to believe he is anything special of a hitter. He’s hit over 20HR’s with a mediocre BA in the NL.. how does that equal the expectations that the Yankees have put on him? He’s been portrayed to the media as if he was the next Jorge Posada.

  50. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I live a pretty good life, Giuseppe. My life is dedicated to animal charity work and travelling the world. That’s all when I’m not constantly sick and worried about Boston sports and despising referees :)

  51. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    It’s quite likely the next six weeks will tell us if the Yanks can be competitive for the whole season. The key factors of course are the Yanks’ play and the play of the rest of the teams in the division.

    Right now, there seems to be a natural limit on just how well the current Yankee team can play. I don’t think at best they are much better than a .500 team. If they play to their capabilities as say a .520 team then their fortunes will depend on no other team running away with the division. If they can’t muster .500 over the next six weeks then it probably won’t matter what their division rivals do.

    Forgetting about the offense (which may be ok), the Yanks right now are short 3 starting pitchers and prob at least one relief pitcher. It is still too early to tell whether any one of Whitley, Phelps or Nuno will be acceptable. Odds are more than one will not be. Kuroda is about average now (I’m being gracious) and of course Tanaka is an ace. How those three pitchers perform over the next 6 weeks or so will be key. That, and what Pineda has when he comes back in about 4 weeks. CC for all intents and purposes is a non-factor for the rest of the season.

    I thought Nuno looked the best of the three this last turn. He finally started throwing an effective CU, the first time since the regular season began. The CU is super key for soft tossing lefties to be effective against right-handers. Basically it’s FBs in, CUs and backdoor sliders away with an occasional cutter in. If you noticed, Nuno got some swing and misses on his pedestrian FB this outing. That was because his CU was working.

    I think the key for us as fans is just to keep expectations low for the next few weeks and be happy with a .500 team. Nobody could have expected this rotation. If by July 1 the Yanks are still competitive, then a mid-season trade for a pitcher becomes a real option. Until then, it’s all on the current crew to carry the load as best they can.

  52. UnKnown May 19th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Getting a productive BIG MIKE back will really help right about now.

  53. Against All Odds May 19th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Can anyone find a logical explanation other then just throwing things against wall and hoping something sticks?

    ———————–

    All about changing the make-up of the team from a power flashy club to a workmen like slap hitting club.

  54. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    McCann’s last full season was 2012 his 2013 season was a mess..

    in 2012 – .230 .300 .399 .698

    in 2014 – .225 .262 .373 .635

    Where is this, “McCann is a great hitter” come from.. I just don’t get it.. the pre-PED-testing era ? Are people still using stats from 3-4 years ago and basing them on today’s expectations ????

    People really only wanna believe what they want to whether or not facts back it up is irrelevant. McCann is garbage offensively, might as well went with worthless Russell Martin and saved the money.

  55. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    McCann was a terrible signing. We could have gone with a stopgap catcher. Instead, we’re on the hook for 5 years. That’s in hindsight. At the time, I loved it. I thought he would bring a toughness to the team that JoPo did. I thought that when players flipped their bats after homers or styled around the bases or called out our pitchers for pine tar, McCann would step up and call for some chin music.

  56. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Defense only become really significant in games that are close, two runs or less. And the real key to being an efficient defensive team is making all the plays you need to make over the last three innings of those close games. When there’s defensive fail early in the game, especially an infield fail, which is also only likely to cost one run at best, it really isn’t all that meaningful because the team giving up that run has 15 to 20 more outs left to use. A baseball game has so many natural ebbs and flows that one run early in the game is not that impactful.

    ——

    I know others here have said it before but I think you really underestimate and oversimplify a team’s defensive impact every game.

    Defense isn’t just about fundamentals and not committing errors, but there are a ton of ground balls that should turn into outs with an average to above average defender but end up being base hits which allow more runs and forces your pitcher to throw more pitches.

    You have to make plays when the opportunities arise instead of counting on other opportunities to arise later in the game.

    What happens if those opportunities never come because the pitcher finds his groove (which happens all the time) or your offense struggles? Missing opportunities early in the game often lead to losses.

    What usually separates the good teams over the average to bad teams is they take advantage of opportunities far more often.

  57. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    McCann’s last full season was 2012 his 2013 season was a mess..

    in 2012 – .230 .300 .399 .698

    in 2014 – .225 .262 .373 .635

    Where is this, “McCann is a great hitter” come from.. I just don’t get it.. the pre-PED-testing era ? Are people still using stats from 3-4 years ago and basing them on today’s expectations ????

    People really only wanna believe what they want to whether or not facts back it up is irrelevant. McCann is garbage offensively, might as well went with worthless Russell Martin and saved the money.

    I should’ve mention in 2013 McCann had 102 AB’s – .256 .336 .461 .796

    so where does “BM has a great bat” come from ? baffling.

  58. LockDown May 19th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    A quick thought.. Is it not coincidental that CC Sabathia lost his velocity and began have a lot of physical problems when MLB tightened up the PEDs testing?

    ————–

    I just think CC lost some velocity with age. Can’t keep throwing 96 forever. And his knee probably caved over time with his weight. I don’t have much faith that we’ll get good CC again.

  59. Hankflorida May 19th, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    What would you have done ?
    - They signed Beltran for Power.

    NYYGP says, agree with you as they should have had a plan after 2009. I would signed another power bat to play with Beltran and decided between Gardner or Ellsbury who should be the one to play center.

  60. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    The offense might be good enough. By that I mean 4.6-4.7 runs per game. Some changes would help. Soriano as a full time OF and not a DH is important and he’s shown that. You just got to put Ellsbury in the leadoff spot. Solarte should bat third. I don’t know when that will happen but I think it will at some point. Tex is right at cleanup. McCann needs to move down to 7th because he is basically a Russell Martin defense first guy with 20 hr power. I hope Almonte gets DH lefty ABs but the Yanks may choose Ichiro. Ichiro should play against lefties and when he heals up, substitute for defense. And if Beltran heals up well after surgery he could just carry the team in the 2nd half.

    But it’s really about pitching now.

  61. G. Love May 19th, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    The CC stuff has me worried, but it’s for the best. He wasn’t a major league starter this season outside of a few glimpses here and there. I hope he can come back healthy. It seems like it’s set up that he can do a medical retirement and get his money from insurance if the knee never improves.

    Losing Beltran hurts, but with Zoilo and Ichiro there we have something to fill in. Cashman actually has decent OF depth this season. It’s a big difference from the Brennan Boesch days of last year.

    And Tex isn’t going to be ridiculed because low and behold he’s actually producing and changed his swing which is what EVERYONE wanted. He’s not putting anyone in their place or shutting them up. He’s doing what we all hoped he would do and what they Yankees pay him handsomely to do.

    This is what he was paid for. He wasn’t paid to be an utter void from the left side.

    Trade market for starters can’t even be hot yet but I would not trust Cashman trading with Theo for an in his prime starter. Getting Soriano who the Cubs wanted gone was one thing. Theo will carve him up for Szmar-whatever.

  62. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    McCann was a terrible signing. We could have gone with a stopgap catcher. Instead, we’re on the hook for 5 years. That’s in hindsight. At the time, I loved it. I thought he would bring a toughness to the team that JoPo did. I thought that when players flipped their bats after homers or styled around the bases or called out our pitchers for pine tar, McCann would step up and call for some chin music.

    ——

    just goes to show you how great of a job the yankee org has been doing.. they backed themselves in a corner the past few years by being focused on getting below the luxury tax.. then what do they do ?? They give 5yr/85m and overpay as well as block the position with a russell martin type player.. (just a little smarter).

  63. Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    McCann played 100 games in 2013. He had 400 PA.

  64. mick May 19th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Fickle fans tend to get annoyed at struggling ballplayers who tweet but not so much when they are producing.
    ================
    Most of the good ones don’t tweet.

  65. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    You’ll get no argument from me, Penny, that the Yankees org is run by buffoons.

  66. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    UnKnown May 19th, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Getting a productive BIG MIKE back will really help right about now.

    —————

    I really don’t care if he’s completely covered in pine tar as along as he can pitch. I think he’s gonna still have growing pains but we are now in a position to need him.

  67. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    mick May 19th, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Most of the good ones don’t tweet.

    —-

    And some even announce their retirement on their Facebook page.

  68. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Who cares ?

  69. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Tar May 19th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Would I love for the Yankees to be able to run a rotation of Tanaka, Betances, Pineda and Banuelos next year? Of course in theory that would have been great. But it’s not worth messing with a good thing on the pipe dream that he’s somehow going to become the starter he’s never been.”

    Chip

    you have seen him pitch..it’s no pipe dream. And don’t get me wrong I would love to have a dominating shorten the game type of pen this year.

    But I just don’t think they have strong enough SP to get them to the ultimate goal. It’s always about just doing enough to get to the PS. I want to win it all. To do that they need another dominating starter. I think the closest thing they can do to achieve that is try Dellin in the rotation. I have no confidence in them pulling off some trade for a starter. Nor am I counting on CC or Pineda this year.

    —————————–

    Being able to hold your mechanics and dominate for 2 innings is a lot different than being able to do it for 6 or 7 innings.

  70. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I really don’t care if he’s completely covered in pine tar

    You better care because other teams are going to have him checked. And if he’s caught again, another suspension.

  71. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Defense isn’t just about fundamentals and not committing errors, but there are a ton of ground balls that should turn into outs with an average to above average defender but end up being base hits which allow more runs and forces your pitcher to throw more pitches.

    “You have to make plays when the opportunities arise instead of counting on other opportunities to arise later in the game.

    What happens if those opportunities never come because the pitcher finds his groove (which happens all the time) or your offense struggles? Missing opportunities early in the game often lead to losses.

    What usually separates the good teams over the average to bad teams is they take advantage of opportunities far more often.”

    ——

    I’m sure there’s some truth value to this POV but the problem is it’s way too speculative to measure and give it much weight. Too many events, options, variables occur over the course of a game to put much stake in one out or one base runner early in a game. And there seems to be a gross misconception that every major leaguer should make every play that can possibly be made. If look at good defensive teams and poor defensive teams over the course of even a single game, both teams will miss plays that could have been made. And both teams will make outstanding plays. Once again, a whole lotta netting going on. That’s because even bad defenders are actually pretty good.

    There are just so many other things happening during a game that are so much more impactful. Like hitting and pitching. It’s because of that that for major league games, outcomes are rarely determined by the gloves.

  72. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Chip
    Save yourself the energy, you are arguing with the same group that wanted Joba to start, Arod to remain an innocent, Cano a hustler….they’re called the contrarians, don’t waste your time…

  73. Chip May 19th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Not good news on Sabathia…

    This on Betances from that same article that Shame posted by Axisa: Putting Dellin Betances back in the rotation should be a non-option given his history.

  74. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Jerkface May 19th, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    McCann played 100 games in 2013. He had 400 PA.

    ——-
    yeah.

    McCann 20HR .256 .336 .461 .797
    Martin 15HR .226 .327 .377 .704

    lol

  75. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    You better care because other teams are going to have him checked. And if he’s caught again, another suspension.
    ===================
    They got in his head once and will find another way to neutralize him again.

  76. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Being able to hold your mechanics and dominate for 2 innings is a lot different than being able to do it for 6 or 7 innings.
    ==================
    This makes too much sense.

  77. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Isn’t it totally obvious now if you watch Solarte’s hits, homers, walks, SOs and outs, that he’s clearly the best hitter on the team?

    I know it makes no sense, but forget the name on the uniform and just focus on the actual ABs.

  78. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    There are just so many other things happening during a game that are so much more impactful. Like hitting and pitching. It’s because of that that for major league games, There are just so many other things happening during a game that are so much more impactful. Like hitting and pitching. It’s because of that that for major league games, outcomes are rarely determined by the gloves.

    I agree hitting and pitching are “much more impactful” but strongly disagree that “outcomes are rarely determined by the gloves.”

    Just look at that play on “your Boy” Solo last night….that had a direct impact on the game.

  79. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    CC and Pineda going down are a gift from the Baseball Gods.
    They needed to be fresh for the post season run and wouldn’t have been any other way.

  80. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    “Chip
    Save yourself the energy, you are arguing with the same group that wanted Joba to start, Arod to remain an innocent, Cano a hustler….they’re called the contrarians, don’t waste your time…”

    keep trolling mick….probably the only thing you are good at.

  81. mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    thanks for reading

  82. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    mick May 19th, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    Chip
    Save yourself the energy, you are arguing with the same group that wanted Joba to start, Arod to remain an innocent, Cano a hustler….they’re called the contrarians, don’t waste your time…

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

    .. and who is the #1 contrarian on this blog ? it’s not if the glass is half full or half empty, it’s the glass was dopped and is shattered, but “that person” still tries to fill it with water.

  83. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    mick, that’s where McCann has to enter the picture. If teams are going to have him checked to get into this kid’s head, then McCann has to call for some sweet chin music. What do we have Aceves for?

  84. Shame Spencer May 19th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    CC is your back end guy going forward. The reality is this doesn’t change a lot for the org. I was hoping he’d bounce back this year, that he’d work on his stuff in the off season and learn what he could/could not do, and improve – even if just marginally – from 2013.

    That being said, we were going to need another front line guy anyway. They were hoping CC and Kuroda could be serviceable enough to get us through 2014, but that seems unlikely so if we do make the playoffs it will be on the backs of our farm arms (dude, Farm Aid jokes are flying through my head like crazy right now..), and maybe a trade, though I don’t have a ton of faith they’ll get that accomplished mid-season.

  85. Tar May 19th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    “Being able to hold your mechanics and dominate for 2 innings is a lot different than being able to do it for 6 or 7 innings.”

    Do you know with his new mechanics if he can do it for 6 or 7?

    Would you rather just spend 75 million plus on Lee and trade away the teams best prospects because of something you are not sure of?

  86. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I agree hitting and pitching are “much more impactful” but strongly disagree that “outcomes are rarely determined by the gloves.”

    Just look at that play on “your Boy” Solo last night….that had a direct impact on the game.

    ——

    That’s a point I already raised. The Pirates OF gave the Yanks two runs early and later took runs away. There’s a whole lotta netting going on when it comes to defense.

    This also feeds into two other points I’ve made before. I believe that OF defense might be more important than infield defense because OF events usually involve more than one base. Infield events usually involve just one. And my other point, defense in the last three innings, good and bad, tend to be much more critical to game results than what happens early in a game.

  87. NYY_Girl_Penny May 19th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Solarte represents everything I want in a player and seems to have the skills with the demeanor.

  88. say NO to Cano May 19th, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I would say that the person that compared Heyzeus Montero to Albert Pujols and Mickey Mantle and said that Betances has an arsenal of 6 plus pitches is the only troll on this blog.

  89. hardwired7 May 19th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    If Dellin loses his mechanics in a relief outing, you just bring in another reliever. If he loses it in the 1st inning of a start, your BP takes a major hit that can have ramifications for days.

    He’s just such a giant of a man that it’s understandable that he’ll get out of whack from time to time.

    Plus, there’s also tremendous upside to having him available as a weapon multiple days a week.

  90. bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “Solarte represents everything I want in a player and seems to have the skills with the demeanor.”

    —–

    I loved the part when they asked him what he’ll do with the ball from his first home run and he answered that his mom gets everything.

  91. Giuseppe Franco May 19th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    bigdan22 May 19th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    There are just so many other things happening during a game that are so much more impactful. Like hitting and pitching.

    —–

    I don’t downplay the impact of either hitting or pitching. Of course they more impactful.

    I just think you really undervalue the importance of defense.

  92. jmills May 19th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    rtsp://v2.cache1.c.youtube.com/CjYLENy73wIaLQl3NG9JfpYM_xMYJCAkFEIJbXYtZ29vZ2xlSARSBXdhdGNoYOWmtbK2zNzaUAw=/0/0/0/video.3gp

    ” White Hot” is a pretty good song by, Red Rider. All about Cano dontcha’ kno?

  93. jmills May 19th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    I was kidding, ” White Hot ” by Red Rider is about the poet, Arthur Rimbaud :D

  94. easyenough May 19th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Great post. My most exceeded expectations:

    1) Tex: Never liked the signing even after his great 2009. He was bad last year (or hurt). Was bad in spring training. Started the year bad and then got hurt and went to DL basically confirming every one of my very negative expectations – release the bum! All the positives since returning from DL have been shocking to me. Been a real pleasure to have been so wrong. Hope it continues.

    2) Ellsbury: How is he not hurt by now? I fully expected him to be on the DL at least half the time this year. He can still meet those expectations, but if he can get to 2.5 WAR by season’s end I would be blown away (he’s at 0.6 WAR now according to baseball-reference, so he’s roughly on pace.) I love it when he’s raking, I just think he was a catastrophic signing. Hoping to eat my hat. Who cares that his OPS is .033 lower than Gardner’s? Or .075 lower than Melky’s? At least it’s only .015 OPS lower than Cano!

    3) Girardi: I think he’s responsible for the part-timers playing well. Ichiro, Murphy: these guys have good numbers because of the match ups and rest that Girardi has planned. Hard to say either player exceeded expectations when they are on the bench 80% of the time.

    4) Solarte: who? So fun to watch, but I had no expectations. There was no major league sample size to work with.

    Everyone else is below expectations.

    5) I honor Jeter by having unreasonably high expectations for him. he’s ranked 20th out of 28 SS (in both OPS and WAR) that have at least 100 at bats. THERE ARE 8 SS getting every day starts that are WORSE THAN HIM! And to Girardi’s credit, there are 20 SS with more at-bats than Jeter even though he’s still hitting in the #2 spot.

    6-12) Why wallow in disappointment?

  95. jmills May 19th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Let’s get over this pine tar slop. I love George Brett, you can put it up and down your ankles as far as I’m concerned. Go ask Gaylord friggin’ Perry!!!

  96. jmills May 19th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    And what if I did have a nail in me glove in order to scruff and arrange things as I see fit. Nothing wrong with that. I just take the ball, gouge it a bit, and throw hoping that nobody needs to hit me today.

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