Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Just Sayin' . . .

"Who Could Surprise in the AL: The Baltimore Orioles"

5 - 0

"I think A-Rod might have the best year of his career"

Batting .357 and on pace for 80 HRs


Then again, I did say something like Jeter for AL MVP (batting .143) and Albert Pujols for triple crown (.125)

Can't win them all.


old professor said...

Mid, the flowers must be blooming in Rochester - 80 home runs. That would surely revive the debate about performance enhancing drugs. For the first time in two years A-Rod is healthy and has his doctor has indicated, "A-Rod finally has full hip rotation."

Nova pitched decently last night not outstanding, but decent. Hopefully he can build on the win he got.

There has to be a general concern that the two guys at the top of the order are not hitting. Over the last two games, Jeter and Gardner are a combined 0-16. And for the season so far they are 4-29 or batting .138. That does not bode well for a high powered offense. Imagine what they Yankees could have done offensively if those two guys were getting on consistently.

I am surprised they are not skipping over Garcia this week. They will keep CC on regular rest, but give everyone else an extra day, which seems to move Garcia into the number two pitching slot and slides AJ to three and Hughes to four.

As for Baltimore, last year they started strong and then sank like a rock which led to the manager being fired. They are doing well now let's see if they will maintain it.

Based on the war of words between Showalter and Boston, it will be interesting to see if those games pick up in intensity. I believe it is Buck's way of getting the players up for Boston.

Crash said...

Old Prof Baltimore did not start out hot last year. They started 1-11. They were really out of the playoff race by the end of April. They finished April 5-18 and didn't have double digit wins until mid May.

Not worried about Gardner, he was really robbed of a couple hits last night.

Jeter on the other hand is proving Cashman and the Yankees wasted $51MM this off season by re-signing him.

Thought Nova was going to meltdown in the 4th last night. That was exactly the situation last year that did him in. Yankees will take 30 more starts like that for the year.

Wonder if the Yankees will call up Brackman or Banuelos for a spot start or 2 with Hughes' pitching problems and the unimpressive performance from Colon. I think Hughes has a little bit of a dead arm as a result of last year's dramatic inning increase. If he gets some rest and then goes through a decent long toss program he should be fine pretty quickly. Maybe 2 weeks.

old professor said...

If the Yankees need to pull Hughes from the rotation for a rest at this point because of "dead arm" it could be a long season - put Colon in the rotation and Hughes in the pen. I believe they may have found a mechanical flaw in his delivery that could make a difference. I don't think you will see Banuelos or Brackman early in the season. I would think they only come up if there is a serious injury in the rotation.

As for Baltimore's start, maybe it was 2009 (1889).

I agree the Yankees threw away a lot of money by signing Jeter to a long term deal. Offensively there is an interesting statistic that I read in one of the analyst reports that last year Jeter had the highest percentage of groundballs of any starter in the league (yes some got through for base hits). The same analyst indicated that Jeter is at 90% of contact produces a ground ball so far. Two of his hits have been infield hits. This does not bode well for a number 2 hitter. What it will lead to is a lot of double plays and rally kills. At the rate he is going he may need all four years to get to 3,000 hits. Defensively he is shading more toward third than last year, which as demonstrated in the Detroit game he will have to dive to come up with ground balls to the left of second base (he didn't come up with the ground ball and it continued a rally - I believe it also happened in the first game with the Twins).

At some point, he and the team will have to reach the realization, he is not the player he was two or three years ago.

Hopefully Tex did not break a toe when he was hit in the first inning yesterday.

old professor said...

Yankees waste an excellent outting by CC as the bullpen can't throw strikes. Soriano walks three Robertson walks one and gives up a double. When it is over the Yankees have a 4-0 win turn into a 5-4 loss.

Soriano did not want to come in for a situation where the team was up four runs (to him probably a meaningless game - let someone else pitch). He seemed to lack rythme and location. Robertson looked almost as bad.

The only thing to take away from last night - the Red Sox are still winless.

Crash said...

That loss sucks. Girardi gets about half the blame. 1st for putting Soriano in that game and second for leaving him in that long. Soriano still has to come in and be effective.

Then Soriano didn't even stick around after the game. He ran out and hid before the press got in. Someone in that clubhouse better step up and put him on the right path. You don't want to deal with the media of NY, then don't sign a $12MM/year deal to play there. You didn't execute your pitches and cost the team the game. Stand up like a man and take responsibility, don't run and hide. The ownership, manager, pitching coach, and players should corner that guy and tell him that's not how it's done here.

Red Sox Nation may be trying to play it calm. But they could be nearly 7+ games back of the Yankees and closer to 10 back of 1st place. For a team pick to be the overwhelming favorite to win it all this year, their season could literally be over within the first week of the season.

old professor said...

Soriano finally admits it is hard for him to concentrate in non-save situations. Maybe this is something Girardi should have thought about prior to lifting CC and bringing in the pen. Two starts, two good outtings by CC and nothing to show for it marvelous.

Red Sox Nation will soon start chanting for someone to go. The team annointed to win the east is now 0-5.

Jeter apparently having trouble with his new swing and may go back to the old one. (Wasn't that the one that caused him to hit a career low .270?).

Crash said...

I don't care what Jeter does with his swing, he can stand on his head if he wants, as long as he starts hitting. If I'm Girardi, I put him in the 7th or 8th spot in the lineup and move Swisher or Granderson into the 2 spot depending on the lefty/righty matchup.

old professor said...

Granderson is much more suited to hitting second. The guy had a career high in batting average and had 29 homeruns hitting in front of Texiera last season. he is better suited to hitting second.

The question that needs to be asked regarding Jeter is whether or not last year was truly the beginning of significant drop off in productivity. If it is, then the Yankees need to move him down in the lineup and to begin the process of transitioning Nunez into the SS position. It will also solidify the aruguement that once again the Yankees put a big contract out to an aging player that is well passed his prime.

Crash said...

Boston 0-6. My pre-season prediction seems spot on. No team has ever started the season 0-5 and made the playoffs (there were 40+ teams that started 0-5). The only thing that would really suck is if they get their first win against the Yankees this weekend.

Crash said...

I have to amend my last statement about the 0-5 start that was in the last 40 years or so.

In major league history 110 teams have started a season 0-5. Just 2 made postseason. Ironically enough those 2 teams also went to 0-6 ('74 Pirates and '95 Reds) But if they go to 0-7, no team has finished above 3rd in the division.

So we need all of the Pride, Power, and Pinstripes today. Spoil the Fenway home opener and send the Sox to 0-7 and set their course in baseball history as the most disappointing team ever.

Crash said...

Hughes has nothing...they need to DL him, skip him, whatever. He's throwing BP out there. Everything is slow and flat. 2 innings in and he's given up 6 runs on 7 hits. Nearly 50 pitches in 2 innings.

Crash said...

Yankee hitters were way over matched by Beckett last night. Beckett has not looked that good in years.

CC was the not sharp last night, think he 2 runners every inning but managed to get out of trouble every time. The rest of the Yankees staff should have been taking notes...especially Nova. Yankees should put Hughes on the DL, rest him for 2 weeks. Colon can get his starts.

Prior looking good out of the bullpen. I would think we see him in NY within a month.

old professor said...

The top of the order let the team down again. Two on and two outs Yankees trailing by one and Gardner grounds into a double play.

Hughes has nothing. Probably still a side affect from last season.

old professor said...

Baltimore comes to town and the Yankee pitching better find its groove or there could be (and should be) changes on the way. Hughes apparently is continuing to tweak his mechanics. The question still has to be asked how long will the Yankees be willing to deal with a "future ace" throwing fastballs at 89mph are that straight and in the center of the plate?

Red Sox lose big. How much longer will Dice-K be a part of the rotation and/or team?

Crash said...

Dice-K is far worse than Hughes right now. But Dice-K is a #5, not #2-3.

The real April Teixeira is back after a quick start, he's now 0 for his last 18 and batting .182.

A-Rod continues to hit though. He'll have an MVP type year.

old professor said...

let's have a slight eulogy for Manny. After all Manny was just being Manny and apparently was stupid enough to believe he could get away with it again. He can't use the excuse this time of not knowing how those female hormones got into his system.

old professor said...

the Yankee bullpen took another hit. Ayla is going to the DL and Feliciano is going for another MRI.

Big series tonight -weather permitting- hopefully the "real Yankees show up for this series with Baltimore.

Burnett gets the first start followed by Hughes (he of a 16.30 ERA).

Crash said...

Let's not forget Manny got caught 3 times...The NY Times reported the story that he and Ortiz tested positive in 2003 as part of the anonymous testing.

Feliciano is now having an MRI. The lineup really needs to snap out of it. Jeter, Gardner, Swisher, Granderson, Teixeira, and Posada have all been slumping to start the season.

Crash said...

Yankees are calling up Hector Noesi.

Crash said...

The call up of Noesi makes a rotation spot available in AAA. The guess is that Kevin Millwood will leave extended spring training to fill that spot to set him some games. Yankees need to promote him by May 1 or cut him loose.

Crash said...

Feliciano has a "damaged" shoulder. He's talking to his agent and Yankee docs about options. Oh boy, not good. That sounds like he's done for at least the year.

Let's recap Cashman's offseason deals. Jeter gets 3 year $51MM, he's hitting .200 and can't field. Soriano already had a meltdown then ran out of the clubhouse avoiding NY Press. Feliciano gets $8MM over 2 years even though he was abused and it sounds like he's missing significant time. Cashman's offseason grade: F.

old professor said...

Regarding Cashman's deals let's not forget that he did sign Eric Chavez who when healthy can be a great fit for this team. However, let's also look at the other signings that he has made: Millwood in extended spring goes five innings and gives up four runs and seven hits to minor leaguers; Silva is ready to go for a minor league start and Prior has for the first time gone back to back for the first time in relief.

The minor league system is starting to look like a pre-retirement home for aging stars.

I agree that it is starting to look like the Yankees wasted $51 million for the shortstop postion. Jeter's range is definately sub-par and it looks like his bat speed has slowed significantly. And we will have three more years of this. Posada also looks like he is in his swan song. He has five hits through ten games four of which are homeruns. If you spread that out over a season, he will end up with 90 hits this season. Not good for a DH.

Crash said...

Posada is in denial, he's already stated he'll sign somewhere in the offseason because he can still catch. Sad when they can't see the writing on the wall.

old professor said...

Posada is looking for excuses to justify his poor offensive start. When you look at his career numbers offensively when catching versus DH or PH, he hits under .200, which is where he is now. If he believes he is going to be signed by someother team to catch at age 40 or 41 he might want to reconsider. He is not Carlton Fisk or Johnny Bench (either offensively or defensively) and the market for a less than sub par arm at catcher is nil.

This may give him an excuse to walk away from the game under "his terms".

It will be interesting to watch what the Yankees do in the next week or so. They will have to make decisions on Prior, Millwood, and Siva (though Millwood may want to consider the lack of phone calls he got before he signed with the Yankees).

Crash said...

Silva went through spring training with the Cubs. He should probably be the farthest along in terms of readiness.

I really want to see Prior in the pen soon. Hoping he makes it.

old professor said...

Well the DL continues to claim pitchers. Feliciano will probably have shoulder surgery (apparently the injury and the surgery will be similar to Wang's surgery - not a good sign). Betances and Banuelos are both on the DL at AA due to blisters. Apparently, they use a different ball in the minors than in the majors and that has caused the problem. First time I have heard that they use a different ball (I know they use a smaller one in Japan). You would think that if you want to judge a pitcher accurately, you would use the same ball as at the major league level.

Only good news out of last night is the Yankees won. Hughes had his stuff for two innings and then lost velocity. Maybe he will end up in the pen where he will only have to throw one inning. Colon did a great job out of the pen and is showing he deserves a shot at the rotation.

Crash said...

Some bad news done on the farm. Banuelos and Bentances were put on the DL. Apparently they both have blister problems. Also Sanchez their best C prospect went to the DL.

Good come from win last night and the Yankees are now in 1st place. They won't look back from here.

Crash said...

Johan Santana is throwing on flat ground at 90 feet. Has been for a little while without problem. If he can make a start or 2 and show he's healthy do you think the Yankees make a trade for him? The Mets would be more than happy to dump his contract, despite their lack of pitching.

old professor said...

You need to have a more balanced meal and lay off the protein. Thee is no way the Yankees and Muts make a trade that includes Santana. If Santana can recover and be 85-90% of the pitcher he was, it will be an upgrade for the Muts rotation. In addition the Muts are trying to find a minor stake buyer - no one will put money up for a team that starts a fire sale. If the team is out of contention by July 1 (which they will be) and no buyer comes forward, they could start a fire sale. There are others that will need to go first.

Yankee reclaimation projects seem to be paying early dividends. Chavez comes through as does Andrew Jones. Garcia and Colon have pitched well. And Martin has been great behind the plate.

If we can say the same in August, then the Yankees may be on their way to another title.

Baltimore starting to play more like Baltimore.

Crash said...

The Mets are already out of it. They are last in the division, which means even the Nats are better than the Mets.

Reyes will definitely be traded this season, I think Santana will be traded. I even think that Jason Bay may be on the block if he gets healthy. David Wright is the only player that is safe.

Chevez has come up big in his limited role. He's doing exactly what he should be doing role wise, filling in when someone is injured or needs a rest, the occasional start against a right handed pitcher.

Colon starts Wednesday in Toronto.
Baltimore has lost 7 or 8 in row now.Red Sox have won 2 in row. Rays get a couple walk off wins but the guy that put them in the W column is no hurt. Damon injured his hand. I think Tampa will be back to losing real quick without him in the lineup. Damon has shown what his real value is, he would make a better DH than Posada right now. Posada has looked even slower and older than last year when he was behind the plate.

old professor said...

Too bad about Damon. X-Rays indicate nothing is broken, but he cannot grip or squeeze the bat.

Posada is not adjusting to being the DH. He has a grand total of eight hits this season, five of which are homeruns which means every once in awhile he guesses right and runs into a fastball.

Gardner moved back to the number nine spot in the order because he is not hitting. Granderson seems to be the new number two hitter in the lineup.

If this team ever starts to hit on all cyclinders offensively, no one will beat them.

Crash said...

Yankees & Feliciano got some good news from Dr Andrews...he'll start a shoulder strengthening rehab program and after 6 weeks he'll be re-evaluated. Surgery may not be necessary at this point.

Was listening to MLB Radio today. Russel Martin is tipping pitches. When a pitcher is throwing a fastball he's a little lower in the crouch. When a breaking ball is coming he's little higher, and he's on his toes prepping for the ball in the dirt. With both Girardi and Pena watching him on a daily basis how can they not notice this and correct it. We certainly do not need the other teams knowing what's coming.

Crash said...

Just saw that Montero is hitting .452 at AAA S/WB so far this year.

Crash said...

So something has to give tonight...AJ Burnett is 3-0 this April, and 8-0 in his last 13 April starts...but he's 0-3 with ERA of 9.61 against Toronto. Which AJ will show up?

Crash said...

Not good news, Mark Prior placed on 7 day DL in S-WB. Hopefully nothing serious if it's just the 7 day.

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