Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mid-Term Report

Wow...we are already half through the season. The Yankees are leading the majors with the best record/winning percentage (50-31, .622) and lead the AL East over Tampa by 2.0 games and the Sox by 2.5 games.

The Yankees starting rotation is good shape. 3 of their 5 starters are already to 10 wins (CC, Andy, and Hughes), Vazquez has turned it around after a dismal April & May and is up to 7 wins, and has dropped his ERA by more than 2 runs over his last 7 starts. I take 14-15 wins from the #4 guy. AJ while looking lost for the month of June has seemingly turned the corner with the return of Dave Eiland.

The OF was the big concern going into the season and I think it has really turned out well. While Granderson may not be hitting for average or quite the power the Yankees expected yet (some were forecasting 40 HRs) Swisher has produced at the plate (.296, 13HR 47 RBI)and looks to be heading to the All-Star game, and Gardner has turned in an All-Star worthy first half as well (.314, 24 SB).

Tex and A-Rod still have quite found it, though Teixeira may finally be on his way, it's been Cano carrying the offense in an MVP type season. Francisco Cervelli has seen a great deal of time behind the plate due to numerous injuries to Posada, including the most recent one of taking a foul ball of the finger, and has done real well.

The only major area of concern is the bullpen. Joba is either real good or real bad (and bad is winning right with an ERA above 5.00), Robertson's ERA is nearly 6, Chan Ho Park and Gaudin's ERA are nearly 7, Aceves and Mitre are both on the DL. mo, as usual, is the only real option. He's 2-1, 19/21 in saves and an ERA just over 1.00.

The other minor concern is bench depth. The bench is not bad, it's just largely inexperienced. Guys like Pena, Russo, Curtis, and Huffman are there and have been serviceable they just don't strike fear into anyone. Thames is the only real experienced guy and he's still adjusting to the bench/PH role.

I give the Yankees a solid B+ right now at the mid point. Bullpen and bench are areas of improvement. Inconsistency in the rotation, and A-Rod and Tex not hitting like A-Rod and Tex are the only thing holding this team back from getting a solid A grade. If A-Rod and Tex were hitting the AL East may be over right now.

All is kind of quite on the Yankees trade front right now. I'm hearing rumors about bench depth..possible targets: Ty Wigington, Willie Bloomquist, and John McDonald. As much as I would like to add Cliff Lee to the rotation, there isn't a spot for him. The only thing I could see is if the Yankees wanted to solve their bullpen problems by getting Lee they would be able to put Hughes to the pen. I wouldn't like that move, but I could see the Yankees thinking that way. The Yankees did have scouts at Lee's last start though. Which is curious...do they really not know who Cliff Lee is, how he pitches, and what he's all about at this point. I mean they faced him a bunch of times when he with the Indians, they faced him twice in the World Series and most recently in inter-league play...if interested do they really need to scout him???


old professor said...

Crash, when you factor in how the Yankees put this record together with Texiera hitting 130 in April and May and A-Rod with only 12 homeruns the second half could be a real pleasant surprise.

You are correct regarding the bullpen. Gaudin was re-signed to eat innings in blowouts. Chan Ho Park is not living up to his billing and it may be the difference between pitching in the NL versus the AL (no easy outs). It also appears the Yankees will not be getting Aceves back this season. He has been getting shots for his back, but apparently suffered a setback this weekend and surgery could be just around the corner. Too bad he was a great bullpen arm. Don't be surprised to see the latest addition - Mosley give them some depth and some solid outtings.

I don't believe the Yankees will trade for Lee. They will make a play for him in free agency (maybe). Adding Lee may be somewhat of an overkill situation. CC, AJ, Andy, Vasquez and Hughes give the Yankees a solid rotation. The way he is pitching now, I would not be surprised to see the Yankees resign Vasquez to a three year deal.

Pettitte has indicated he does not see himself pitching for another three years so he may be finished after this year.

The Yankees do need to address the bench. It is not a good idea to go with the lack of experience they have there. Pena is a good backup infielder who is not producing at the plate. Curtis and Russo are solid but will need more playing time to keep their batting eye sharp.

Crash said...

Just saw that Pettitte was named to the All-Star team replacing Bucholz. People in LA were upset that Girardi was taking Hughes and skipping Weaver (believe he leads the AL in K's and has 9 W's). They won't be pleased that he was just passed over again.

That means 6, maybe 7 (pending Swisher) Yankees are heading to LA for the ASG. The Red Sox have officially launched a campaign to get Yukillis in. Figures the Sox are a day or two late and behind the Yankees in this effort. Unfortunately the guy that really deserves to go is Paul Konerko from the White Sox. He's having a HUGE year so far.

57 said...

I don't think the All-Star 'election' means squat anymore. I think we're wasting time talking about it.

Let's talk about Santana going 9 tonight... 3 hitter... Shutout... the Win... AND.. I HOME RUN!!!!!! GO 57! I tell ya.. when you start to think he's floundering, he stops the best offensive team in baseball dead in their tracks.

Jerry M. makes a smart move in skipping Takahashi's start to give Dickey, Pelfrey and Santanta a shot at the Braves and give our ACE one more shot before the break. Great move with a day off for the team on Thursday.

Reyes is on FIRE. As he goes, so go the Mets. David Wright is back to MVP form, and Jason Bay is not so much a bust at this point but very very weak power numbers. I'll take his RBIs.. but he should be well above 60 at this point.

Cervelli is the most annyoing and irritating player in MLB. I cannot stand him.

I think LeBron James' people are on the mark. They have cut a deal with ESPN to hold a one hour special on Thursday night, prime time, for LeBron to announce his new team. All of the proceeds from advertisers will be going to the Boys and Girls club. I think that is a very good idea and say what you want about LeBron (I hope the Knicks DO NOT get him), he is a walking example of branding.

Go Mets!

old professor said...

Crash, Yuke may be in the lead in the voting for the all star game, but he may have been injured last night.

Speaking of last night, A-Rod comes up HUGH, but the words out of the pen are discomforting: Mo has problems with his side and knee - not good.

Schedule favors giving him some time off. The Yankees have four days off associated with the all star game. If the Yankees can put together a couple of big wins and not use Mo the additional four days could be good. Don't be surprised if the nagging injuries gives Mo some thought of retiring at the end of this season.

Yankees still two up on the Rays and three and a half on the Sox. Red Sox have a slew of injuries that are going to be difficult for them: Pedroia, Bucholz, Dice-K, Martinez, Ellsbury, Hermedia and Veratek.

Crash said...

A-Rod did come up huge last night. CC is on his way to winning 20 this year.

I don't like the idea of Cano in the HR Derby this year.

57 I disagree about the ASG. Some (not all) players take it seriously, still look at it as an honor to play it. And if it's their first they still get excited for it. Look at Swisher. It would be his first year making it he has made it very clear he wants to go. I bet Arthur Rhodes thinks it's an honor to be there. First time he's made it in his 19 year career.

I think you don't like it because the Mets legitimately do not have a shot at the World Series this year and thus the game means absolutely nothing to you.

old professor said...

It would appear that Texiera, A-Rod and Burnett are beginning to come around. If true the All Star break could not come at a worse time. Yankee pitching has been on a roll and the offense has dialed it up and now the break! The only positive about the break is that it will give Mo time to heal. Though age and injury wait for no one.

It is no conincidence that Burnett's return to form coincides with the return of Dave Eiland. Now if Eiland can only fix Joba.

Crash said...

If Joba can get right in the second half the bullpen suddenly doesn't look so bad. They still need to add a solid reliable arm back there. Think the Nats would trade back Clippard?

Nice sweep of the A's now up to Seattle...hopefully they do a little better this time around against Seattle than last week at the Stadium. Cano out of the HR derby...thank goodness.

57 you were on here barking about how good the Mets looked...they just dropped 2 of 3 to the 1st place Reds (someone on here liked the Reds in their pre-season picks..who could that have been...). What happen?!?!?

Crash said...

Mariners are asking for Montero plus 2 for Cliff Lee. I don't think the plus 2 would need to be Top prospects in the farm system but they certainly can't be just throw-ins. Is it worth it if the Yankees get a window to sign him long term?

Crash said...

Latest trade rumor (from Buster at ESPN) Yankees on the verge of landing Cliff Lee and would then ship out Javier Vazquez to either the Phillies for Jason Werth or to the Padres.

That's pretty interesting. Adding Werth to an already set OF??? Are they already tired of Granderson?

old professor said...

Crash, I do not like the names I am hearing as part of the projected Lee trade. Montero will be a monster of an offensive contributor within a year and is the number 1 prospect in the system (this could be another Austin Jackson redux but with an individual with a greater upside). In addition there is talk about adding the young prospect Adams (2nd base) to the mix.

As for the possiblility of trading Vasquez, why trade an individual who has straightened himself out and is pitching well? As for Worth, he will be a free agent at the end of the year. It would allow the Yankees to put him in Right Field (better defensively and better arm than Swisher) and move swisher to DH and some first base.

I really do not agree with trading one of their starting pitchers for Lee who can also be a free agent at the end of the season. There is even talk that if they land Lee, then Hughes would be headed back to the bullpen. That would be absolutely crazy.

old professor said...

Here is a question that someone can try to answer: If the Yankees are in need of a left-handed starter, instead of trading top prospects who could help the team within a year, why not go after Jarrod Washburn. The guy is still available, would be a lot less costly than Lee, could be used as a spot starter or out of the pen, is a proven commodity and at the end of the season he walks away just like Lee will do with whomever he is traded to and the Yankees can make a run at him in free agency and bring him in next season?

Am I being too logical in this approach? Okay so that is actually two questions.

Crash said...

Old Prof I can't believe you just compared arguably the best left handed pitcher in the game right now to a guy that can't find work with any club.

While the Yankees will lose Montero, Adams (2B prospect), and probably another, the Yankees actually have great depth at a scarce position (catcher). Montero will hit at the big league level, but many in the organization believe Romine is the better overall player at the position.

I'm actually more curious of the secondary move that will be needed if they do get Lee. I guess that means Vazquez becomes available and if so he immediately becomes the best pitcher on the market (yes over Oswalt), and will draw a ton of interest, especially from NL teams. If the Yankees do get Jayson Werth from the Phillies that makes their lineup real long. As they could either platoon him with Granderson and use him as DH when Posada catches.

The other possibility is that the Yankees could skip the big league player and add to the farm system by trading Vazquez. Plus Cashman has already proven he likes Vazquez I wouldn't be surprised if he signs him in the offseason.

old professor said...

Crash, I was not comparing Washburn and Lee. What I said was the Yankees were giving up a lot to get Lee and questioned whether they really needed him to begin with. It seemed more likely they were trying to cut a deal to keep him away from Boston or the Rays. Lee will melt in the heat of Texas.

In addition with the situation that Texas is in financially, they will not be able to re-sign Lee. He will be in pinstripes next year as will Vasquez.

Hughes continues to pitch lights out. Unfortunately he is now at 100 innings and if the Yankees are stuck on the issue of 175 innings maximum, it means he has maybe ten starts left. That will carry him into early September.

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