Sunday, April 18, 2010

Likes & Dislikes

2 Weeks in here are some observations:

Things I like:

4 out of 5 in the starting rotation (Javier V. needs to get going)

The Yanks record even with Tex, Johnson, and Swisher not hitting

Cano and Jeter's start


Gardner getting on base more

Joba in the Pen

ESPN's projected stats the first few weeks of the season. Pujols projected line: 74 HRs, 221 RBIs, and a .364 avg.

Things I dislike:

Austin Jackson is on the Tigers and hitting .311

Phil Coke is on the Tigers, after 6 games, has 1 win, and 2.8ERA

That Matsui is not a Yankee any longer (hitting .327 with 3 HRs)

Nick Swisher - don't know why, I just don't like him.

Nick Johnson's lack of aggressiveness

Balls that are hit right at Jeter that he bloops are scored as hits

Baltimore's 1-11 start

The pace of games that ESPN and Fox get their hands on

All in all though, you can't really find that much to complain about so far (knock on wood)


old professor said...

Can't disagree with you on some of the issues. Austin Jackson would have been a good fit to the outfield - Yankees "brain trust" didn't think he was ready. Only time will tell if he will continue to hit at a .300 clip. Phil Coke was effective for the Yankees early last year then as the season wore on, he started giving up the long ball. He is a good young arm. The Yankees had to give up something to get something. I am not convinced getting Granderson will be better than keeping Jackson.

Javy apparently has been working with Eiland and has figured out his mechanics were messed up - apparently rushing his delivery. Let's see if he can straighten it out or is actually a person who can't pitch for NY. Two games are not a season. However, if the team can continue to get the pitching from the top three and a good outting from Hughes while losing every time Javy goes out, I will take that. (That would still work out to a 600 winning percentage).

Regarding Baltimore - they are in for a long season. The manager will not finish the year. They have a lot of young arms and one old one and a solid nucleus in the outfield, but they have a lot of holes. The big issue will be if the the Yankees can take advantage of Baltimore's plight and win against them. For some reason the last two season, the Yankees have had some difficulty with the birds.

On a side note, is there something that can be done about the advertisements that people seem to be inserting on this site - bridal dress information??

Swisher is a football player playing baseball and brings that type of mentality to the field - may not be that bad to have someone who keeps things a little left of center and loose in the clubhouse.

Crash said...

Last year I found Swisher refreshing and fun...this year that has worn into annoying. Though If he can hit .265, 25 HRS, and 90+RBI I will tolerate it.

I hate giving up Jackson, but you can't argue with Granderson's offense or defense so far this year.

Yankees are 9-3 (best record in MLB, tied with the Rays) and have a 5 game lead over the Sox. Mid, keeping with season projections, at this pace the Yankees will have 121 regular season wins. While I'm thrilled with the record and being up on the Sox by 5, it's a long season. This week will be tough to watch the games as the Yankees head out to the West Coast for Oakland & LA, not sure why they wouldn't also do Seattle while out there.

old professor said...

The Yankees are far from a perfect team and the projection of 121 wins is pie in the sky. If they can stay healthy, they will win around 95-100 games.

The positive to take from the 9-3 start is that they have had what can be said to be the toughest schedule to start the year (that's what you get when the schedule makers live in Boston).

If they return from this roadtrip winning 6 of 9 they will be in a good position to make a run once the schedule begins to ease up.

As for the Sox being five back, yes it is too early in the season to write them off but there are two troubling signs for the sox - (a) Lester is struggling - he did struggle early last year and (b) Big Papi is not hitting - the question how much longer can they go with him with Lowell sitting on the bench rotting away. Lowell by have lost a step in the field - happens to the best of us with age, but he can swing a bat and unlike Big Papi, Lowell has never been linked to PEDs.

If Lester continues to struggle through the spring, That weakens the rotation - and I am not convinced about the strength of the sox bullpen.

Crash said...

Old Prof if the Yankees stay healthy they will have a better record than the 1998 team...that's right I'm going there.

Red Sox are on the verge of getting swept at Fenway in a 4 game series against the Rays (Tampa is leading 8-2 in the 9th). I just had a Sox fan in my office tell me this season is already over. Typical Red Sox fan. I don't think Yankee fans were crying that the season was over when they started last season 0-8 against the Sox and were 5 back.

Mid said...

I don't think the Rays have the relief pitching to go the distance.

I'd like to see how long the Jays can stay in.

Wow -- The Mets suck again, startint to think that the GM and Manager must have a job for life contract.

I think Gardner could make the case to be a lead off hitter if Swisher doesn't get his bat going.

old professor said...

Crash, while I would like to see the Yankees win more than the 1998 team, there are too many intangibles that would go into a season like that. I don't believe the Yankees have the depth necessary should an injury occur to not experience a signficant fall off.

If they are still playing at a .750 clip in July or August I might begin to believe.

And Mid, yes the Muts do suck. They may actually finish behind the Nationals this year. The Astros will end up with the worst record in baseball.

Crash said...

The worst record in baseball...that's an interesting question. I think the Astros are definitely in the conversation, but they just have too much talent not to succeed at some point. Oswalt and Rodriguez are quality starters...Berkman will be healthy soon, Carlos Lee can still mash the ball out of the park and drive in 110. Hunter Pence is a "ball player" and Bourn is one of the fastest guys out there and a Gold Glove winner. The other contenders are the usual suspects Pirates, Orioles, Royals and perhaps the Padres. The Padres are winning right now but if they become sellers in the trade market A-Gon and Heath Bell would be moved and the would leave the Hariston brothers to carry that team. I like the direction both the Pirates and Orioles are moving in, but unfortunately that won't translate to W's right now. The Orioles pitching talent is too young, while the Pirates don't have any pitching talent. If you combine the Orioles young pitching and the Pirates young hitters, you may have a decent club in 2 years. Royals will win at least 15 games because of Grienke after that who knows.Right now Guillen and Ankiel are hitting well but they are streaky hitters and if they both go cold at the same time, that team will struggle to score any runs.

So I'm going worst team is the Royals, then Pirates, Orioles, Astros, and Padres.

I'm going to try and catch at least an inning or two of these west coast games.

Mid said...

Allow me to add one more thing to the list of dislikes:


Can't stay awake for these games so I will be going through Pinstripe withdrawal.

old professor said...

Javy pitched decently last night. Velocity still seems to be a problem, but hopefully that will come. Good defense allowed him to keep zeroes on the board until the fifth.

I am surprised by the offense the Yankees have been able to generate with this particular team. Their DH has not been hitting nor has their number three hitter. Tex did get a hit last night and A-Rod hit a bomb. If the 2,3, and 4 hitter can get it going at the same time and the rest of the team clicks as they have, they will score a lot of runs (call me surprised because of the offense they gave up letting Matsui and Damon go).

On a side note, Austin Jackson is off to a great start while Ian Kennedy seems to be struggling in Arizona (has not gotten out of the fifth inning in any of his starts and is pitching to a high era).

Crash said...

Javy gets the win. The bottom half of the lineup is what's keeping this team winning. Teixeira is showing life, he should start to heat up this week, then get ready for him to knock the cover off the ball in May.

Kennedy has a bad ERA, but look at his K's and BB's. He needs to learn that he can pitch to contact. I think he's falling behind in counts because he's trying to miss bats and strike everyone out (typical young pitcher who has been successful in the minors), then serves up a very hittable pitch because he doesn't want to walk another guy because he's already in trouble for walking the previous 2 guys. The kid has great stuff he just needs to learn how to pitch at the major league level. This is why I really like Hughes. he is making that progression, when he first came up he tried blowing it by everyone. But now he knows he has a good defense with Gold Glove players behind him and as long as the ball stays in the yard he'll most likely be ok. If he keeps this progression, Hughes will be VERY good next season. I would expect him to be better late this season but would also expect him to tire a little down the stretch. He could very well have a Burnett type season this year (13W's 200K's, ERA about 4).

old professor said...

Crash, the issues you raise regarding Kennedy are the same ones the Yankees complained about two years ago. The concept means pitching scared and worrying about what happens when someone makes contact.

If he can't correct the problem in Arizona, he may never be able to make the adjustment - sometimes pitchers think too much and believe they are smarter than everyone elsee and therefore, refuse to take advice.

old professor said...

Here are two names from the Yankees' recent past that were supposedly can't miss prospects: Sean Henn - bounced from San Diego to the Twins, to Baltimore and is now with the Toronto Blue Jays triple A affiliate not on the 40 man.

Chase Wright (one of mid's favorites) was designated for assignment by the Yankees in January 2009. He was eventually traded to the Brewers for some no name and is currently with the Brewers Triple A affiliate and not on the 40 man roster.

Both are still very young with Henn being the oldest at 28.

Crash said...

I don't think Kennedy is pitching scared at all. Actually quite the opposite, he's over confident thinking that he can strike everyone out.

Anyone notice Tyler Clippard is doing very well in relief for the Nats. I think he has 2 wins with an ERA under 1 with 11Ks and 1BB in 6 appearances so far.

Old Prof you keep mentioning Vazquez's velocity not being where it should be. I've read on several sites he was consistently hitting 91 on the gun last night and his velo has been improving with each start. It may just take him a little bit to get going, but I think he's going to be fine.

old professor said...

Hughes was outstanding in last nights game. Too bad the no hit bid had to end the way it did.

Johnson and Tex still not hitting. Somewhere in the near future there will have to be a decision about Johnson. His on base percentage is very good, but as the second man in the order, he has to start hitting.

Crash said...

Hughes was awesome. Joba was decent too. Girardi used him back-to-back days, so he probably gets a day off tonight.

Think you have to like the Yankees chance for a sweep with CC on the mound tonight. You know it seems that every season for the past 10 years or so, the Yankees always got off to a slow start then turned it sometime in May, they would be close by the AllStar break then pull away in the second half. It's going to be really tough for anyone if they keep that pattern with this April.

I don't think Johnson's Avg is that important need to look at his OBP. You want Jeter and Johnson on base for Teixeira and A-Rod, irregardless of how they got on base. You want Johnson to work the count some so those guys can see more pitches. Having said that time there's no reason Girardi couldn't flip-flop Johnson and Granderson in the lineup. Or even move Swisher to the 2 hole.

Crash said...

We haven't discussed this at all here and it has a Yankee twist to it...earlier this week MLB announced that Edison Volquez is suspended for 50 games because of PEDs. Now when I was watching ESPN, the crawl listed "Player failed PED test, not NY Yankee". I didn't understand why they had to qualify it like that...well today I'm reading that there was a significant rumor that Mark Teixeira failed a PED test in the spring and that it was him that would be suspended. When asked about it Tex kind of blew it off as he other things to worry about and he wasn't worried about anything related to PEDs. I believe MLB has denied any connection of PED test and Tex...but so far when these rumors pop up about PEDs, they've been pretty accurate. I'm hoping this is truly just rumors.

Crash said...

CC looked good after the first inning yesterday. The Yankees just couldn't get the offense going. Triple play was kind of cool to see. Yankees take another series now head to LA.

Off topic, love the Giants draft pick last night, Jason Pierre-Paul is a very athletic DE. I know a lot of people are speculating this means Osi Umenyiora will be traded. Certainly possible but I doubt it. This gives the Giants quite possibly the most athletic D-Line in the game...JPP, Osi, Tuck, and Kiwanuka. Yes they are all DE, but they can move them inside. Tuck has played inside a lot. They still need a presence at the LB position but with the upgrades in the secondary, Big Blue's defense is looking scary.

old professor said...

Yesterday's game was well pitched except for the first inning - what's wrong with this picture: pitching coach goes out for a visit and the first pitch thrown after the chat is deposited for a three run homerun.

Interesting that the Yankees have yet to lose a series this season. I believe they may be the only team to win this many series to start a season in AL history.

Regarding the Giants number one pick. Yes the guy is athletic, however, he is a very raw talent that may not see very much playing time until well into the season. There were more athletic and better fundementally d-linemen available. The pick is somewhat of a mystery to me - but maybe it will work out well.

They still need a middle linebacker to replace Antonio Pierce and I don't know if a solid LB remains in the draft. It will be interesting to see what they do with their second round pick.

Crash said...

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that Tyler Clippard was doing real well for the is what CBSSports has to say about him...

"Tyler Clippard is quickly developing into one of the best setup men in baseball, striking out 14 batters in 11 2/3 innings and posting a 0.77 ERA and 0.94 WHIP."

Who the hell did the Yankees trade him for???

old professor said...

Crash, such a short memory - Clippard was trade for (ready for this?) Abledejo. Clippard is just one more example of the Yankees bringing a young kid up losing patience with him a sending him on his way for someone who will never be more than a triple a pitcher.

There history is loaded with examples - Larry Gura, Scott MacGregor, Eric Milton, Clppard, Ian Kennedy and the latest move of question Austin Jackson.

Now for a review of yesterday's game - at some point the Yankees will grow tired of Javy and his 89 mph fastball and slow junk. He is not what they traded for - Mitre and/or Aceves could be doing a better job. Girardi is trying to take the blame for the game getting out of hand by talking about the Morales at bad - admirable but a line of crap - Marte (also an ex-Yankee who returned after his best years were behind him)should know better than to throw the pitch he did. He has demonstrated he cannot pitch for this team. Vazquez does not have the mentality to pitch for the Yankees. There is no explanation why a guy can throw 92-93 and also have dominating breaking stuff one year and the next seems to try to be too fine an nibble. You can't develop velocity or a consistent fastball if you don't throw it at a high percentage of the time.

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