Monday, April 29, 2013

End of April Report: Yankees Record 15-9, 2nd in AL East

So despite all the reports that the Yankees will not be able to contend this year, here they are with a record of 15-9, 2nd in the AL East, 2.5 GB the Red Sox, and they have the 3rd best record in the AL (Red Sox .720, Texas .640, Yankees .625).

Kept hearing about all the lost power and they won't score any runs...the Yankees are 1st in the AL, and 2nd in MLB in HRs with 35, only 1 behind the Braves. They are 5th in runs scored in the AL, 7th in average (that needs to come up they were hitting .280 prior to the TB series and now are just hitting .254 as a team). 5th in OBP and 3rd in OPS. In short, the offense while not miles ahead of anyone, is still competitive, despite all the injuries. They only have 9 SB as a team that needs to change. Gardner and Ichiro should each have 9. Gardner for all his speed may be one of the worst baserunners/basestealers in the league, with some of the worst instincts ever.

Their pitching has been coming along as well. After really bad starts from Nova and Hughes to begin the season, Hughes has now put together 3 really strong performances. The bullpen has been much better of late, and everyone that was question Mariano looks like a complete idiot now.

Yes Jeter and A-Rod will be out until after the All-Star break. And quite possibly A-Rod will be suspended before then anyway for his involvement in the Biogenisis thing (MLB has documents that appear to prove A-Rod has been purchasing HGH for a while now...no surprise there). Yes Granderson and Teixeira are clearly not going to be back by May 1st, but they should be back sometime this month. And to be honest I'm okay with them taking their time, the offense is not suffering and this team of scrapheap guys is really coming together now. I don't want to mess with that chemistry.

Love the way Hafner is being used by Girardi and you can't argue with the production. Even in a part-time role he will hit 30+ HRs for the Yankees this year. I am concerned about how Vernon Wells will perform after Granderson gets back. I think he will be the DH at times and see playing time against lefties, but his ABs will be cut way back. Hope he can make that adjustment.

Romine and Nuno get the call up because of the injuries to Cervelli and Nova. Phelps slides in the rotation and Nuno will be used out of the pen. I hope both of these kids get some decent playing time to show everyone what they are capable of. Nuno could be a future #4 or 5, and Romine can keep the position warm for a couple of years until Sanchez is ready.

If some how the Yankees hang on through this season and make the playoffs, Girardi and Cashman should both be recognized. Girardi should win Manager of the Year and Cashman GM of the year. I often feel both of these guys do not get enough credit because they play for the high-salaried Yankees. They are going 40-50% without half of their day-to-day lineup out there. To further this argument, the Braves are widely considered the best team in baseball right now (even though Detroit just demolished them). Take away the Braves starting 3B, SS, 1B, & CF, and now the starting C and #5 starter would they even be close to what the Yankees are? No way...

21 comments:

Crash said...

Phil Hughes has given up 2 runs in each of his last 3 starts. He has seen his ERA go from 10.29 to 6.43 to 5.14 to 4.67 in that span.

If he goes 7 and gives up 2 in his next start, that drops to 4.24, if he goes 5 shut out innings, it's under 4 at 3.94...that's pretty good from your #4 guy. After 2 terrible starts to begin the year he has been real good.

Crash said...

Last night's 9-1 loss to Houston is squarely on Pettitte. He did not have hist cutter and he was unable to locate pitches all night. It had nothing to do with Romine. The pitcher and catcher agree on pitch and location, it's up to the pitcher to hit the spot and Andy was missing badly and got lit up.

Here is what Girardi said: "I have seen Andy since 1996 and I don’t know if I have ever seen him not have the slider".

Notice there was no mention of Romine in there.

I think it's Kuroda tonight and Phelps tomorrow.

old professor said...

Hughes is pitching much better by being aggressive with the fastball.. He has discarded the cutter. Yet he still has not received a win for all his efforts. Nuno pitched three scoreless innings and is making the most of what will be his time in the bigs.

The Yankees seem to be not up on Joseph being called up: "he is more comfortable on the right side of the infield, he is a lefthanded hitter and the only reason he was called up was he is already on the 40 man". These do not sound like ringing endorsements.

Crash said...

Joseph is a very mid-level prospect. Nothing more. Hughes has thrown his fastball a lot more...to the tune of 85+% of his pitches are fastball. As long as he locates that will be fine. If he leaves it out over the plate, bad news.

Kuroda struggled with command in the first inning, but had a real solid outing after that.

Lets see what Phelps can do with this opportunity. I think the Yankees are quietly hoping he can step up so they have a reason to either send down or move Nova to the pen.

Crash said...

Wang has 5 opt-out dates in his contract 4/30, 5/31, 6/30, 8/10 & 8/31. He has elected to stay with the Yankees at this point passing on the first date. He has a 0.95 ERA in 19IP over 3 starts at AAA SWB.

Crash said...

1 bad inning from Phelps...he still gets the next start, but probably only one more chance before Nuno gets in there.

The Nelson trade I don't really understand. Nix is decent defensively, this guy Nelson isn't going to give you anything more with the bat. I will say that I feel Nunez is perhaps the worst player on the Yankees currently. He just looks dreadful. He's made some decent defensive plays and has speed, but he's terrible at the plate. Maybe Nix goes to SS and Nelson to 3B. Maybe Cano needs a day off and Nelson gets in that way.

Crash said...

"Insider" says Wang to be called up before next opt-out date of 5/31. Need to make room on roster though, Francisco's days are numbered. Unless he's traded...I guess he could be the PTBNL in the Nelson deal.

Yankees are going to have a ton of roster decisions to make once players start coming off the DL.

old professor said...

It may be interesting to start to see who comes and who goes when the Dl players start to get healthy. If Wang is called up someone goes down and my guess is it will be Phelps or Nova (once he is off the DL). Francisco will probably be released. But you still have issues when Jeter (if) comes off the DL, A-Rod, Tex. Lyle Overby has filled in really well with Tex out. Does not have the homerun pop but defensively there is no fall off.

Wang coming up would indicate he goes into the rotation (the number 4 and 5 spots can begin to hear footsteps).

Crash said...

I hang that loss on Girardi. Logan has proved time and again he is a lefty specialist and nothing more. He has no business facing RH batters and it cost the Yankees the game yesterday.

As for who comes and goes. Francisco is the 1st position player to go.

You have Eppley and Kelly that will either be sent down or DFA'd. Nuno will be sent back down, Warren has options so he can be sent down as well.

You have to keep Overbay and Wells. I like the versatility of Nix over Nunez, who has found every possible way off the field just when the Yankees need him most. Oh and he's not hitting.

Crash said...

Eppley did clear waivers and has been outrighted to AAA SWB. Totally forgot he was already DFA.

Crash said...

It's time for the NCAA LAX tournament to begin. North Carolina is the ranked the #1 team in the country, but somehow get the #5 seed in the tourny. Syracuse gets the 1 seed. SU had an opening day loss to Albany. Albany has been a Top 10 ranked team all season but fell to 12. Albany actually has a 2 brothers and a cousin that are lighting up the net. Those 3 count for more than 50% of UAlbany's goals. Albany does get selected, first time since 2007 that they made the championships. Semi-final and finals played in Philly this year.

Tough road to the Championship for UAlbany. First round matchup of #4 seed Denver, if they beat Denver they probably face NC in the second round, if they win there it's probably SU in the semis before even making the final. Not easy. Syracuse draws Bryant in the first round. This is Bryant's first appearance in the tourney. NC gets Leigh. This is Leigh's second appearance, they got bounced in the first round last year. The Championship is May 27th.

old professor said...

There are a lot of changes coming to the roster. Those who have options will go down. Warren has not been a big help. Kelly has been inconsistent and then there is the outfielder Bosch who also has options left.

Pitching will be the key.

Crash said...

You're wrong about Warren. He has been one of the better surprises so far this season. Warren has an ERA of 2.08 with 11K in 13IP.

So down in Tampa, recovering from various injuries in extended spring we have: Teixeira, Granderson, Rodriguez,Youkilis, Cervelli, Nova, Pineda, Rapada and Cesar Cabral. And Jeter once he's cleared for activity again. Nunez is doing everything he can to join them with his over acting and injury excuses. Rapada I believe was assigned to AAA yesterday.

Yankees in Colorado for a series. Put this one on the list of Stadiums I need to visit. Should be interesting, Rockies can really hit.

Crash said...

A little non-Yankee news. In case you missed it David Ortiz has been on fire since coming off the DL with an achilles injury. He had a 27 game hit streak (going back to last year). He's now hitting .381 4HR, 17RBI.

Boston Globe reporter Dan Shaughnessy asked Big Papi some pretty straightforward questions about his unlikely success, coming back from such a bad injury, his advance age, etc. Fans in Toronto were chanting "Steroids" when Ortiz was up to bat. Think you get the picture.

Shaughnessy asked if he was using PEDs and what is it like to be suspected of use. Ortiz acted like a baby, get upset about it, started cursing in the interview, and now said he was hurt by it. After the 27 game hit streak was snapped last night Ortiz felt it necessary to send out a tweet calling out Shaughnessy..."End of my hitting streak tonight the season still going and I hope Dan Shaugnessy is a happy man now...Not more 426 enjoy it"

The 426 was a reference to Ortiz's average heading into last nights game.

In my opinion, while I don't really care for Shaugnessy, or his style, I don't really disagree with anything he asked or wrote. I do disagree with how Ortiz handled it and he really has no place to be upset.

Papi is 37 coming off a bad injury. Performance should be declining yet he was hitting .426. His bat speed looked better this year than in years past. And he lets not forget his name was on the list of players that tested positive prior to the testing program's implementation. Shaugnessy also made the connection of Ortiz being a native Domincan, which has already several players test positive from there. That was a very bad, stereotypical mistake to make and had no business being mentioned.

The truth is when players over 35 or so have much better seasons than years past we, meaning the fans, the media, the league, the players, should all question it. The players and the league brought this cloud on themselves. Players like Papi fought against testing and is the reason the game is still recovering. Of course Ortiz says he is strongly in agreement with the testing MLB has and he himself has been tested at least 5 times with urine samples and 1 time with blood. And he notes that it was completely random with no warning. Good guess what they still need more of it. No quite your whining about being questioned and play ball (cleanly).

Here is the link to the Boston Globe article in case you want to read it first hand. I think Shaugnessy was very adversarial and I don't think that was necessary, but again I don't really have a problem with the what he was trying to do, just the manner.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/05/07/red-sox-slugger-david-ortiz-says-hard-work-not-steroids-has-him-torrid-pace/G5lIcF9HOmUYJECJyd9zrO/story.html

old professor said...

Okay while I don't usually jump to the defense of a Red Sox, I guess I will throw my two cents into this arugment. David Ortiz has not played in the field since 2008 and then only ten games. The guy has been a full time DH. So he comes up takes a few swings sits down and waits for his next at bat or goes in the club house has a beer and eats some chicken. Last year his season technically ended by July. He does not have the wear and tear on his body that most ball players have.

It is possible that by having the time off that he did and going through rehabilitation on the achilles, he is in good shape and can play. I seriously doubt he will continue at the pace he is at.

So let it play out and see where it all goes.

Boston is beginning to slide even with Ortiz producing the numbers they have fallen out of first and are now two games back.

If Yankees win the division with the injuries they have had, Girardi deserves to be manager of the year. Think about the injuries and the players: Tex, Jeter, Granderson, Nunez, Yuk, Joba, Robertson for a couple of days, Nova. Kuroda missed a start. With all of this, they have the second best record in the American League. They are getting good pitching and winning close games. It will be interesting to see how they do when everyone comes back.

Crash said...

Granderson is due back today. He hit over .400 with a couple HR. His first AB will be against King Felix...a little different than AAA SWB, just a guess there.

Girardi is about to earn his paycheck now. He will have to balance a 4 man OF without crushing egos and still getting production out of everyone. I can see him alternating sitting Gardner and Ichiro when a lefty is on the mound. But Vernon has proven to be an everyday player. If you DH him against righties, then you benching Pronk who has been productive too.

We'll see how it plays out soon.

old professor said...

Granderson comes back and looks completely over matched as he deals up an ofer.

No balance egos yet, Hafner's shoulder is barking and cannot play. The big question will be when Tex comes back does the team keep Overbay who has been a big surprise offensively.

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old professor said...

Okay Yankee offense goes to sleep again and a good outting by the pitchers goes to waste. Who is Caesar Cabral that is in Tampa rehabbing - never heard of him or is he the left hander from last year that hurt his elbow??

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