Sunday, July 22, 2012

Playoff Preview?

I didn't exactly pay that much credence to the baseball experts who kept claiming the reason why the Yanks were not the odds on favorite was because "they hit too many HRs" and when they face good pitchers in October they won't be able to do it. I wasn't ready to buy into that theory yet for two reasons. One I use A-Rod as my barometer of Slugging and he's about 40% off where I think he should be and two, the production seemed to be coming from multiple sources not just one or two and 7 other duds. Well, I'm now ready to buy into after watching most of the series with the A's. The Yanks faced good pitching from a playoff contender and lost a low score, one run game each time - just like they will when they reach October. I've been thinking all season long that it felt like a 1996 type season, but now I'm starting to think it'll be an '06 season. Not good.


old professor said...

This weekend in Oakland was not a good sign for the Yankees. They lost a four game series and were out pitched, out hit and basically out played. Tenth inning and tex gets to second with no outs and is left there. No real attempt to move the runners over.

Mid regarding the theory of when the Yankees meet good pitching, they will get beat just played out in Oakland. The Yankee lead in the east is now down to six games. Not a good time to get cold.

Crash said...

I'm not reading too much in to it. They're still at .600 win percentage.

Yankees go to Seattle for 3, then I think Boston and Baltimore come to the Bronx. Let's see the standings after this upcoming weekend. That will give us a good idea where the Yankees stand. If the Yankees can win the next 3 series, then they have the AL East.

old professor said...

What concerns me about this past weekend is they have allowed Baltimore to move three games closer in the standings. Had the Yankees split or taken three out of four, Baltimore would have been ready to sede the division. Now they remain hopeful. Boston - stick a fork in them they are done. Lester takes one for the team and gives up eleven runs. YIKES.

Crash said...

Yankees still have the best record in need to panic yet.

Crash said...

Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees are "in on everyone" to bolster their OF. This includes Justin Upton, Shane Victorino, and Denard Span. It may include Rik Ankiel, Juan Pierre and others too.

Zach Grienke confirmed the Brewers made him a 5 year $100+MM offer, he hasn't officially turned it down, but he hasn't accepted it either. Guess that's why you see him on the trade market.

Crash said...

One starting pitcher off the market. Braves land Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. This might be good enough to get the Braves into October. Don't know if they can catch the Nats...well maybe if the Nats truly shut down Strasburg at 160 IP.

old professor said...

For the Yankees to be in on everyone specifically outfielders is an indication they are beginning to panic on the lack of offensive production not linked to home runs. From a defensive situation the players they have, have not hurt them. However Ibanz cannot play the outfield as much as he has and this could also be a sign that Swisher's injury make take longer than thought.

Crash said...

While the Braves and Cubs have an agreement in place on Dempster, he appears to be drawing out the process. He may invoke his 10&5 rights. So the trade is not official yet.

Crash said...

Really out of no where the Yankees pull the Ichiro deal. Of all the names that were bantered around I never heard Ichiro come up. Hopefully he finds the fountain of youth the last 2 months of the season.

The fire sale in Miami has begun. I still say get Stanton if he truly is available.

The Orioles are buyers in the trade market, looking to improve at 1B and 3B.

Boston is looking for rotation help. They were scouting Dempster. But are now looking at Garza or Josh Johnson. Francisco Liriano is also on their radar.

Kuroda pitched well and the Yankees get back in the win column.

old professor said...

Boston will attempt to look active but they know they are out of contention and sinking fast. The mistake is not with the rotation or the players on the field; it is the attitude fostered in the clubhouse by the manager. Valentine was not a good fit for the club and alienated most of the team when he went public on Yuk.

If you watch him in the dugout, he is distant from his players and does not appear to have any contact with his coaches that combination can be lethal. He is beginning to find out that he is not the genius he thought he was.

Itchiro gets a hit and steals a base. He will help the team win close games. Yankees will have to pay a big price to get Stanton and I do not believe it is a price they will pay. (Marlins also made a mistake hiring its manager).

Mo beginning to rethink whether he wants to come back or not. He is probably beginning to find out how tough it is to rehab from an ACL at his age. I have no doubt he is putting the necessary time in, but it will come down to what his body and mind finally tell him. He was set to walk away at the end of this year and had prepared himself mentally for that now things change - can identify with that process.

Crash said...

Interesting facts...Mariners release former Yankee farm hand Jeff Marquez, while DJ Mitchell gets the start on Thursday.

Crash said...

A-Rod to the DL with a fracture in his hand after getting hit by pitch last night. I guess that means Chavez and Nix will be splitting the starts. Can't see them calling up someone like Nunez, Laird, or Pena

Cole Hamels signs an extension with the Phillies $144 over 6 years, 7th year is a vesting option that puts the value in excess of $160MM.

Fire sale continues in Miami. Hanley Ramirez & Randy Choate is sent to the LA Dodgers. I think the Dodgers just became the NL favorites for the World Series.

Even the Pirates are buyers. They land Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros.

The one rumor I don't like hearing is that the Angels are in talks with the Rays about James Shields. With Weaver, Wilson, Santana and Haren already there adding Shields would be an incredibly tough rotation to beat.

It could be an LAA vs LAD World Series.

Crash said...

Ramiro Pena is heading to Seattle to take A-Rod's roster place. Doubt he gets the start or much playing time.

Crash said...

The Dempster to Braves deal is dead. Dodgers now trying for him. Though they better hurry...he starts in 90 minutes.

Mid said...

How the %^&* do the Yanks not retaliate??!!

YOu have the most accurate pitcher in baseball today, who hits three of the biggest names in the sport in consecutive innings (Ichiro, Jeter, A-Rod).

That is BS - they should have planted a ball in someone's back. Wimps.

old professor said...

Just a couple of comments (a) the Yankees offense is slumping again. To bring Pena up to fill in off the bench is a joke. No offensive ability. He can play defense and run other than that he is a liability. Here is a small thought - Tex played third for the first couple of years - bring up Branyon, let him have some time at first, Tex to third (sparingly) or let Branyon DH move Nix around the infield.

The proof is in the pudding regarding batters being hit. Jeter leads off yesterday and they throw at him - which led to a homerun. I the 8th he gets hit. This was intentional and I believe if the yankees were not slumping offensively someone on the Mariners would have ended up in the emergency room.

As for the Dodgers being the favorites to win the NL - Hanley has not stepped up in two years, what makes you think he will now?

Crash said...

Initially I was hearing 4-6 for A-Rod to be out. Now it's 6-8 weeks. Which essentially means he's done for the regular season. Maybe late September.

I don't even know an available corner IF guy right now other than Chase Headley from the Padres or Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers. And I don't think either of those are a fit for the Yankees as the price would be too great.

Crash said...

Yankees are publicly saying they're fine with Chavez and Nix...but they have quietly inquired on Marco Scutaro (now with Colorado) and Chase Headly (San Diego).

old professor said...

There is another interesting item. Eduardo Nunez is doing well at triple a after coming back from an injury. Cashman said he is not going to do anything but play shortstop. The brewers are shopping Grienke for a major league ready shortstop. See any connection.

Crash said...

It will take a lot more than Nunez to get Greinke. Especially because there are about half a dozen teams looking at him. If you go Nunez, maybe Eppley (because Joba will be back next week) and a prospect (Warren, Phelps or Betances) that might get it done. But keep in mind the rotation hasn't been the problem. Instead of Ichiro, I think I would have tried to grab Hunter Pence off of Phili or Corey Hart from the Brew Crew.

I don't see any significant upgrade at 3B to trade for either.

Boston is a game under .500 at 49-50and 10.5 back of the Yankees. A sweep in the Bronx and the Red Sox are done. I think the pitching matchups favor the Yankees in this series. And despite a crappy road trip, the Yankees are still 20 games over .500, still have the best record in MLB and only lost 2.5 games in the standings (Baltimore is 7.5 back).

old professor said...

I don't think the Yankees need an upgrade at third (though I do not believe Pena is the answer). There is an interesting article on the ESPN website for the Yankees that indicates over the last few years the Yankees have won more games with A-Rod out of the lineup then when he is in. In addition it has become obvious he is a shell of the player he used to be. He has become a singles hitter with an occassional double with even fewer occassions of hitting home runs.

The offensive production from A-Rod will continue to slide as the team goes deeper into his contract.

As for the best record in baseball - the Nationals tied the Yankees last night.

What amazes me is the sudden lack of power by the Rangers - Hamilton is not hitting and has been criticized by Ryan. Odd no one is now criticizing Ryan for the number of pitchers that have gone on the dl following his dictate of let them pitch.

I tend to agree with you about the Yankee rotation, however, that is in the short run. Long-term they need to begin to infuse some youth into the rotation. It is obvious they believe that Phelps is going to help in the future. They have CC and Hughes seems to have turned it around. Nova gives them inconsistent starts, but will get better so they will need one starter to move into the rotation in the future (Kuroda while pitching well, is not someone to rely on for the next two to three years).

Crash said...

CC sucks against the Red Sox. We need a pitcher that can beat them. Thought that was AJ a couple years ago. He dominated them in Toronto, puts on the pinstripes and the guy couldn't get anyone out.

I know Jack Z in Seattle is not about to trade Felix Hernandez, but I would be calling every hour until the deadline offering anything and everybody to get that guy in pinstripes. Seattle has a payroll of $84MM...Felix is making about 22% of that at $18.5MM this year. And actually that % had to go up now that Ichiro is off their books. It has been shown that you can't win when one player makes up more than 25% of the teams salary.

old professor said...

Don't expect the Mariners to listen to any offer regarding Hernandez. He is young and the anchor of their rotation. He will be pitching there for a long time.

Interesting person apparently on the blocks is the Indians rightfielder - Choo. Guy showed a couple of years ago he could hit, run and field. Also has a cannon for an arm (also caused some controversy prior to making it to the major leagues when he performed in a porn film.

Has fallen out of favor with the Indians management of late.

Yankees lose two of three to the Red Sox. Need to get things rolling against Baltimore and put some space between them and the rest of the division. This series will be critical in that they can put the division away or let the Orioles back in the race.

Crash said...

This weekend series with Boston SUCKED!

Yankees should have had the sweep. The battle back late in their 2 losses only to give it up. Terrible. They had their foot on Boston's neck and let them up.

I don't think the Yankees need to worry about Baltimore. They are already skidding a little bit. It's the Rays the Yankees need to look out for. They're about to get Longoria back and they have pitching. Yankees have struggled against them this year. They will be tough.

Crash said...

Multiple reports still saying Yankees are still eying Chase Headley.

old professor said...

Where do they plan on putting Headley? They only need to cover for A-Rod for about a month. Their offense is okay except against hot pitchers. I can't figure out the continued problem with runners in scoriing position. They left ten runners on last night and could not move them along. It seems everyone is waiting for the home run or trying to hit one to get the offense going.

I am not convinced their rotation is sound. CC has been inconsistent, Kuroda struggles in the first or second inning and then settles down, Nova has been inconsistent has has Hughes and then there is Garcia who also tends to struggle early.

Crash said...

Well if the rotation needs help, how about Cliff Lee...Phillies said he is available, won't be cheap, but he is available. He has a limited no trade clause. No word if the Yankees are on that list.

If Cashman doesn't at least check in on Lee he should be fired.

Crash said...

Buster Olney says Yankees are not in play for Cliff Lee because of budget constraints. WHAT!?!?!?

Crash said...

Wrong time for the Yankees to slump.

I know the numbers say Garcia didn't pitch poorly, but everything he was throwing was up in zone, he couldn't locate his fastball, Yankees gave him a lead and he gives it right back.

I want Cashman to trade for Cliff Lee, and if the Phillies really want to move him they will pick up some of that salary. I think he's owed $75MM over the next 3 years with a club option for $27.5 or a buy out of $12.5 in 2016. Depending on the package sent to Philly I would have them kick in the $12.5 buy out option.

Oh yeah and now Teixeira is hurt. Hopefully not significant, but still you don't need another big player going down for any period of time especially when the offense is struggling.

Also everything looks good for Joba. He could join the team in the next day or so.

Trade deadline is 4PM. Love to see who will get moved. If the Yankees have another move in them.

old professor said...

Regarding salary, the Yankees have made it very clear the will be at the 2014 salary cap of 189 million. Bringing Lee in would make that near impossible. Plus ask yourself the guy is 1-6 in the National League, did not pick up his first win until July and spent some time on the DL. Why bring in yet another star that would appear to be starting the downslide of a career??

Tex will miss at least a week.

Crash said...

Yankees have increased their effort to strengthen their rotation. They have now entered the Ryan Dempster talks. Dempster has said he will approve a trade to NY. Rangers and Dodgers are still in it too.

Crash said...

So Teixeira is all right, no breaks, no structural damage just inflammation...he gets a cortisone shot and will be re-evaluated in 3 days.

Dodgers get Shane Victorino from the Phillies, to counter Giants get Hunter Pence from the Phillies.

Dodgers still appear to be the favorite to get Dempster too.

Orioles trying to get Joe Blanton from Phillies but far apart on players and $$. No one close to Cliff Lee.

Red Sox aren't selling...just back up catcher Shoppach. Josh Beckett not going anywhere yet.

Yankees deny reports they are in on Dempster...or anyone else.

Crash said...

It's looking like the Yankees might have Dempster fall in their laps. Cubs can't come to agreement with the Dodgers and they seem to like what ever Cashman had to offer. If Dodgers don't give the Cubs what they are looking for I think Dempster will be in pinstripes in the next 90 minutes.

Crash said...

Heyman confirms Dempster will accept trade to Yankees.

Crash said...

Dempster would accept trade to Yankees because of relationship with Rotheschild and Hendry.

Crash said...

The hold up on the Cubs/Dodgers deal seems to be the Dodgers unwillingness to include one of their top prospects, Allen Webster (RHP, in AA).

For the Yankees to be in this deal I would think they are offering Betances, Sanchez, or Williams as part of the deal. Probably not too much more for a 2 month rental.

Yankees top 10 prospects as of now: Banuelos, Betances, Sanchez, Williams, Austin, Campos, Heathcott, Romine, Bichette, & Culver.

Crash said...

So the Yankees were in heavy talks to get Dempster...but it looks like he goes to Texas. Hopefully the Yankees drove the price up on the Rangers somewhat.

Crash said...

Rangers gave up a Class A pitcher and Class A position player for Dempster. If that's all the cost I can't believe Cashman let him go for that.

However, the Yankees appear to have addressed the 3B need. They get Casey McGhee from Pittsburgh for Chad Qualls.

old professor said...

You indicate the Yankees have addressed their third base question. Never heard of the guy they got. To give up Qualls is not a major loss. He has not been effective and the thought was when Joba came back he was gone anyways. Now the question has to be who goes when Joba comes back.

Odd thing about the Yankees and the trade deadline - as I indicated they were looking long term and are looking at long-term investments. Is Demster a free agent at the end of the season or is he under contract?

Crash said...

Dempster is a free agent. If the Cubs didn't trade him they would have needed to give him a qualifying offer of around $12MM to get draft picks. But it burns me to know the Rangers only had to give up 2 class A players. Not bad for a 2 month rental.

Seems like the right move given that every one in the rotation except Kuroda has been pitching poorly lately. Nova absolutely sucked last night.

See if Hughes can straighten it out for the Yankees.

old professor said...

At this point, it doesn't matter how the rotation pitches. The team is not hitting which means the pitchers try to be too fine and end up finding a lot of bats.

The Yankees have allowed ever team in the East back into contention. This is beginning to look like a very flawed and old team.

If I am not wrong, the Yankees tried trading for McGehee last season and the pirates wanted nothing to do with the trade, now they are willing to give up one on one. Something does not smell right. And when this guy shows up, who goes down?

Crash said...

Well McGhee just takes Qualls roster spot, since they were traded for each other.

If they do need to send someone down it's probably Pena.

Crash said...

So Joba took Qualls roster spot. McGhee is in the lineup today and the Yankees option Pena back to AAA SWB.

Also the Yankees released Dwayne Wise yesterday after he refused assignment to AAA after being DFA'd and clearing waivers.

Crash said...

Unreal...Yankees again score in the first inning, and Hughes is going to give it right back in the 2nd.

Crash said...

Hughes didn't pitch real well 107 pitches over 6 innings, 9 H, 2 BB. But only the 1 ER. Offense explodes for 11 (so far...) maybe this is what they needed.

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