Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Week 1: Yankees Record 3-4 2nd in AL East

The good: They don't stink as much as everyone was making them out to be. They're record is 3-4, tied for second in the Al East with Tampa & Baltimore. 2 games back of the Sox. And the mighty Blue Jays are in last at 2-4.

Also good is the hitting. While some are slumping to start the season (Gardner, Ichiro, Overbay), the offense hasn't been the reason for the losses. Hafner, Wells, and Youkilis are all at or above .370 right now and hitting with power.

Andy Pettitte, CC, and now Kuroda have all had good outings (yes CC and Hiro struggled in their first starts), but both stepped up in their most recent starts.

The bad: The pitching overall is terrible. Hughes, Nova, and even Phelps have all started poorly. The bright spots have been Robertson, Pettitte, and Warren. CC last start could be included here but his first bad start should also be included here. The staff needs to step up big time and cover for those injured guys until they return and the Yankees can have a real offense.

The ugly: Yankees had an 11-3 lead heading into the 8th inning and by the time Logan, Kelly, and Joba were done Mo was actually warming up in the pen. The game never got to him, but when you have an 8 run lead in the 8th and you have to get your 43 year old closer up whose recovering from knee surgery warm...bad sign. Between Kelly, Joba, Logan, and Eppley: 12.1 IP, 20 Hits, 11 Walks, 15 ER. That's an ERA of 10.95, WHIP 2.51. The strikeout rate is really good, but with all the walks and hits. It's something that needs to be fixed and fast.

Yankees do not have an off day until next Monday 4/15...they have 3 more with Cleveland, then head home for 3 with Baltimore.


old professor said...

The season is still young and a lot can happen. Which team is the real Yankee team: the one that struggled to a 1-4 record or the one that beat Verlander and has tourched the Indians for 25 runs in two games and leads the league in home runs. My best guess is somewhere in between. Cano will hit as he has started to so will Gardner and Ichiro, but after that there are a lot of question marks. They will not get a lot of productivity out of the catching position and the big question is how much production they can get from Nunez as the team waits for Jeter (no timetable for his return and the question has to be how productive he can be with the ankle).

Pitching does seem to be a problem. CC is usually inconsistent to start a season, Pettitte is pitching well but at his age he will need some time off periodically. Kuroda is now a question mark for the next start because the finger is still barking.

The bullpen thought to be a strength is suddenly a weakness. Joba has to back away from the slider which apparently he loves to throw - he continually got batters 0-2 and then went to a full count. Yankees do have some quality at the lower levels that may need some time to develop. McDonald and Nuno may be the answer to some of the questions.

Crash said...

The bullpen is struggling badly. But Nuno had a great start yesterday at SWB and he may get a call up. Warren has pitched well so far this season, he may be getting more action too. Kelly and Joba have a bunch of strikeouts, but also have given up a ton of walks, hits, and runs.

Prospect Watch:
As mentioned above Nuno pitched really well too. in his 2 starts he has an ERA of 2.31, 12 Ks, 0 BB, 6 H. This is at AAA...he keeps this up and he's Bronx bound.

Cito Culver hit a couple HRs last night.

Tyler Austin hit his first HR and is batting .273

Austin Romine is off to a real good start too, hitting .389 over the first 6 games.

Heathcott struggling right now 0 HR and hitting .167.

Mason Williams should be moved up shortly, he's hitting .316 with OBP .458 in Tampa.

old professor said...

Nuno is one of those surprises that comes up every so often. Romine could be up in July. Heathcott may have been the most over rated first round pick outside of Brian Taylor. Culver is still playing at lower level and could be a rare find and eventually replace you know who. Williams should have started the season at aaa

Crash said...

See a Yankee Source hypothesizing about Ginacarlo Stanton for Sanchez, Austin, and Williams deal. I would add a player to also get back Rob Brantly to fill the void at Catcher. But I think I would do that deal.

old professor said...

Three of the Yankees top prospects -NO WAY. Enough of trading the prospect to get a single player. The individuals mentioned will form the nucleus of a future team and those three will produce more long term than one individual.

Crash said...

Those 3 prospects will never reach the level of Stanton. Would you rather have a superstar, or 2 very good players and 1 average MLB player? Even though Sanchez is the organizations top catching prospect, he will not be an All-Star caliber player. Austin and Williams may not either, they're more than likely in the class of Austin Jackson. They may reach an ASG and may have nice years, but nothing compared to Stanton.

A Yankee lineup with Cano and Stanton is awesome and can compete with anyone. Plus it's a good business move. You have the young superstar and your brand, which is taking a hit now and the next couple of years, is restored. It's the right move all around.

Crash said...

Giants meet with ND LB Manti Te'o...UGH...they can do so much better than this kid. I wouldn't touch him with 10 foot pole.

old professor said...

Think about the package the Yankees gave up to get granderson. Where would they be with Jackson and Kennedy versus the Grandy Man??

Crash said...

I think the Yankees would be in the exact same spot as they have been last 3 years. A playoff team, but not a championship team.

Kennedy may or may not have figured it out in NY. He is clearly more comfortable in AZ. Jackson would be a decent bottom of the order hitter. He is not a leadoff hitter because he strikeouts too much and his OBP is not great. He's not a middle of the order guy because he doesn't have the power. Granderson gave the Yankees plus defender in the OF, with 40+ HRs, 100+R, 100+RBI. 2 time all star and MVP candidate. That trade worked out fine. If that's the deal you point to in an effort to say don't trade prospects, you lose. Yankees have received sufficient return value for what they gave up.

Great game pitched by Kuroda. Yankees are doing far more than treading water through the first couple of weeks here. They are in 2nd place in the East 1 game back of Boston.

Pettitte is pushed back again until Friday. I'm not worried about back spasms. I am more concerned about Hughes and Nova. The thing to remember about Hughes is that he didn't have a spring training and he didn't get to make his rehab start either. I think the team did this in an effort to position themselves into reducing his market value and gave them an out to not re-signing him or trading him later this year. If the Yankees do not bring Hughes back, he is going to be one of those guys that has HUGE success somewhere else. Put him LA, DET, AZ, or SD and he will thrive.

old professor said...

Regarding the issue of strikeouts, I believe Granderson has exceeded two hundred strikeouts each of the last two years and he seems back in the groove of not hitting lefties. Yankees gave up too much.

Regarding Pettitte it has to be expected he is going to occassional tweak something due to age.

Nova and Hughes will never be able to be consistent for the Yankees. The only positive thing about the performances is Hughes is in his walk year and his value falls everytime he takes the mound.

Crash said...

I knew you were going to mention Granderson's strikeouts and as usually you missed my point.

Jackson strikes out too much to be a leadoff guy, and he doesn't walk enough, so his OBP suffers. Plus he doesn't have the power to be a 3-4-5 hitter. Granderson hits 40+ HRs, he's legit in the middle of lineup. You take those strikeouts from a power guy, not a leadoff guy.

You mention Hughes' value declining...that was exactly my point. The Yankees rushed him back to the mound, he missed spring training and didn't have any rehab starts. He's essentially having spring training now. His ERA and WHIP won't recover. Teams will see that.

Crash said...

Vidal Nuno: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 65 of 99 pitches were strikes …

Continues to be impressive

old professor said...

The Yankees will not be able to ignore the statistics of Nuno as long as Nova and Hughes struggle. One of those two will be on a pirates plank.

My point regarding the trade conversation is the Yankees always seem too quick to trade their future for aging stars. Jackson will eventually be a star. He plays great defense, steals bases and yes strikes out a lot. Had he been with the Yankees, he would not be a leadoff hitter, but be way down in the order. I still believe the Yankees gave up too much to get granderson. They gave up Jackson, Kennedy and Coke.

Crash said...

Kennedy would never have been a success in NY, the Yankees actually did the right thing and traded him at his NY peak. Coke is nothing more than passable lefty bullpen guy. Detroit has found that out. Jackson is possibly a future All-Star guy, but he will never contend for an MVP and won't put up anything near Granderson. They gave an unknown future for a sure thing in his prime. And this all started from mentioning a hypothetical trade for Stanton. Stanton is not an aging star. He is 23 and he still hasn't reached his full potential. He's already smashing 40 HRs. I would make that trade tomorrow and sign him to a 10 year $200MM deal that begins when he hits arb.

If Nova stinks tonight wouldn't be surprised to see Nuno called up and Nova sent down. Nova still has options.

old professor said...

Nova lasts five innings before the bullpen finally pitched like projected. Nova indicated he was pleased with his outting. Girardi is already in the excuse mode for Nova. "long layoff once the season started then ten days between starts, etc... At some point the excuses ring hollow.

Jeter still not playing in any minor league games - this may be more serious than the Yankees ever eluded to.

Crash said...

As for Jeter, recovery from the surgery is 6 months. It's an additional 3 months to regain full mobility. I expect him June 1.

Nova got lucky that Cano bailed him out. Nova did not look good, he was missing spots and his velo was down. Girardi covers for his players, he will never call them out publicly until he actually makes the change. Even then he won't say "Nova was not doing a good job", it will be something like "this option gives the team a better chance to win." Nova better be careful, objects in his mirror are closer than appear: Phelps, Nuno, Wang.

Crash said...

Teixeira has started swinging a bat. He seems slightly ahead of Granderson. Granderson is fielding and running but I haven't heard if he's swinging yet.

Crash said...

Yankees are 3rd in Runs, 2nd in HR, 2nd in Team Avg, 2nd in OBP, 1st in SLG, and 1st in OPS in AL.

So much for the lost power and struggling offense.

old professor said...

Tex is swinging a bat under water. In essence water theraphy. He is not close to getting game ready.

old professor said...

While the season is young and there are a lot of games to go, I find it odd that the two teams that prognosticators indicated would dominate the Eastern Division, are struggling. Tampa is at the bottom of the division and Toronto is under .500 with all of their talent.

At the same time, the team forecasted to finish last is in first and the Yankees are only 1.5 games back and three games above .500. If the Yankees can tread water until some of the regulars get back the season may not be lost. I do not believe the Yankees have lost anything with Nunez at short. He has more range more speed does have an erratic arm but also has more of an offensive upside.

Overbay is hitting above what was forecasted, but cannot replace Tex. Outfield defense is holding its own though Francisco got his first hit last night.

Crash said...

CC gave up a couple runs early but really pitched well. He is normally a slow starter with April being his worst month, but he is 3-1 (that 3 wins leads the league) with an ERA of 2.75. He may be on his way to the best year of his career.

Francisco will be released when Granderson or Teixeira come back. I think Overbay will stay because they need a backup 1B.

Hafner is proving me right. I said if healthy he will have a monster year, even in a part time role. He's hitting .342 with 4 HR. The last time he hit above .300 was 2006.

Hughes needs to step up tonight. He's 0-2 with an ERA over 10. The first 3 in the rotation (CC, Kuroda, and Pettitte) are a combined 7-2 with an ERA 2.30. Nova and Hughes are 1-3 with an ERA 7.56. To give you an idea...more perspective the first 3 have allowed 15 ER in 58.2 IP, Nova and Hughes have allowed 14 runs in just 16.2 IP.

Crash said...

Jeter went to the Dr today, it was not a scheduled visit. He was having some problems after his workout yesterday. This probably isn't a good thing.

old professor said...

The outlook for Jeter returning at all this season would appear to be iffy at best.

Hughes actually pitched well, seemend more aggressive had command of all of his pitches and gave the team length. Phelps coughed it up in extra innings. He did not look good from the time he entered the game.

Overbay looks better at first than Yuk.

Team still cannot seem to find a consistent time to hit in the clutch. Bases looaded one out and Cano and Yuk both strike out.

Crash said...

I agree with almost everything you said. Hughes looked solid from first pitch. He was consistently at 94 and was locating much better than his last start.

The 2 strikeouts with the bases loaded reminded me so much of last year.

old professor said...

Robertson is continuing a trend he started last year. Come in pitch into trouble and hope to get out of it. Yesterday he failed to get out of it and wasted a great pitching performance by Kuroda. In addition the bullpen had to be used again because of his lack of performance. If anything the past two years and into this season has shown, he is not the replacement for Mo. You cannot have a closer that seems to bear down and concentrate when there are runners in scoring position that should have never gotten there to begin with.

old professor said...

Yesterday's loss to Toronto was a pathetic performance by Nova who apparently does not have a clue how to consistently throw strikes, by Logan who has shown he cannot be the go to guy and Phelps who because of a lack of velocity has to be really fine- throwing pitches that are down the middle or leak back over the heart of the plate is not throwing fine. Both he and Nova need to be shipped to SWB to solve their problems. The Yankees do not have the luxury of allowing these two clowns to continue to take the mound when they have proven they cannot consistently help the team.

Crash said...

Phelps will be fine...he's having a little trouble with his 2-seam fastball right now, no movement and poor location.

Even though Nova's line over the last 2 games isn't terrible, he really has struggled.

With Wang and Nuno both pitching well at AAA SWB you have to wonder how long before a change is made.

It ticks me off the Yankees couldn't complete the sweep against the Dbacks or Blue Jays. 1 game against the AL East is a 2 game swing in the standings...Yankees head to Tampa for 3 who isn't pitching or hitting right now and anything less than a sweep would be disappointing. And then the Blue Jays are in the Stadium. If the Blue Jays end up turning this thing around and being the team everyone thinks they should be, the Yankees need to take games now.

Crash said...

And by the way the #1 bat in the Yankees lineup isn't Robinson Cano, it's Vernon Wells.

Crash said...

Cano is the latest player to "have a connection" to Biogensis the Miami anti-aging clinic. Not surprised really since both Melky and A-Rod are also connected and those are 2 of Cano's good friends. This time a female associate of his is listed in documents for "weight loss" programs. No mention of Cano directly, but still if you're a ball player you do not want ANY connection at all with this place. MLB is going to come down hard on all players associated with this place.

Crash said...

CC gets smacked around by what is widely considered he worst offensive teams in baseball. The Rays are last in Runs Scored, last in hits, last in RBI, and 3rd to last in average. Yet they beat up CC like they're the #1 team in baseball.

I think Hughes goes against Price tonight. Hoping Hughes can have another good start. His last start was decent. If he can throw like that tonight against this team he should get the W.

Crash said...

NFL Draft is this weekend and the Giants have a couple of targets in mind for the first round. DJ Fluker is big OT from Alabama and probably there preference. Teo had a try out and could be taken if Fluker is gone by the time the Giants pick at 19.

I hope they get the OT, young, strong, good O-lineman are hard to come by.

Crash said...

Adam Warren: 8.1IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 5K, 0.96WHIP.

Quietly one of the bigger surprises for the Yankees so far. He may get a look for a start if Nova can't get it together.

old professor said...

I agree that Warrens numbers are good, but he has the same issue as Phelps. He has to locate and be very fine because the velocity is not there. I do not see him getting a start anytime soon. He may be too valuable coming out of the pen since Phelps appears to be clueless.

Big start for Hughes tonight hopefully he can so the same stuff as he did in his last outting.

Crash said...

Youkilis scratched again.

old professor said...

Jeter back in a walking boot. They may want to start considering other options at shortstop (david adams??).

Crash said...

Adams hasn't played any SS. He was 2B then moved to 3B...but he is having a decent season so far, .317 1 HR in 11 games. I think Nix has been done doing fine so no need to get Adams up to the Bronx.

Back-to-back good starts for Hughes. I think he had a little bit of a command issue in the first inning, pitches were tailing back over the plate, but then he settled down.

Nova needs to get straightened out.

Yankees in 3rd place in AL East, 1.5 behind Boston, and .5 behind Baltimore. Baltimore and Toronto play at 12:35 today. Boston and Oakland at 4:05. Think Pettitte is on the mound tonight against Alex Cobb. Nothing new here, Cobb is a fantastic young pitcher for the Rays.

Crash said...

Looking at 1 mock NFL draft, the Cowboys are in the 18th spot, 1 ahead of the Giants, and would be in position to take DJ Fluker the OL from Alabama. If the Cowboys do that look for the Giants to take Washington CB Desmond Trufant with their first pick.

While I like the idea of drafting anyone over Teo...the Giants just haven't solved their CB needs through the draft. They are terrible at it. I hope Fluker is still there.

old professor said...

The big question coming out of spring training was the potential lack of offense the team could show due to the loss of so much homerun power (Swish, Martin, Tex and Granderson). I think we are beginning to see this come to fruition.

Pettitte pitched well and should have been in line for the victory. Team could not hit a pitcher that had two pitches: fastball and changeup.

Crash said...

Old Professor said: "The big question coming out of spring training was the potential lack of offense the team could show due to the loss of so much homerun power (Swish, Martin, Tex and Granderson). I think we are beginning to see this come to fruition."

You're an idiot. The Yankees are in the Top 5 for Runs Scored and AVG, and lead the AL in HRs. Outside of Vernon Wells, they can't hit lefties. Which isn't surprising since you have Cano, Gardner, Ichiro, Hafner, and Overbay all from the left side of the plate.

Last night Cobb was just better. That's it. It was the first time they were shut-out this season. Last year it happened 6 times. And at this time last year they had already been shutout twice. Their record last year at this point was 10-7, this year 11-9. There has not been a drop off in the offense.

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