Random musings after a Yankee loss

Charleston barely avoids getting no-hit
Cashman: Don't hold your breath

Here’s your game wrap up: At least Boston and Tampa lost as well.

But enough of that. The sooner we forget tonight’s 13-4 debacle, the better off we are. Mussina didn’t have it; David Robertson didn’t have it; Kyle Farnsworth picked a good game to give up a few runs; and the Yanks got shellacked. It happens. We move on.

So instead of waxing philosophic on the Yankee loss, how about we look at some longer-term trends from our boys in the Bronx right now? We’ll start with the offense. Offensive numbers are through Sunday night’s game.

Melky Cabrera since May 6: 275 plate appearances, .233/.283/.289
Bobby Abreu since June 1: 205 plate appearances, .258/.341/.396
Jason Giambi since June 18: 112 plate appearances, .216/.375/.364

Interestingly, Cabrera and Abreu have both been hot, short-term, as the Yankees’ bats have come alive. What these numbers tell us, however, is that with Jose Molina in the lineup perpetually, the Yankees are facing decreased overall production from a number of key offensive spots. Center field has been a black hole of offense for three quarters of the season, and Abreu has scuffled since hitting a line drive off of Nick Blackburn’s face. We all await a Jason Giambi hot streak.

On the pitching side, let’s play around with this idea. According to long-time RAB reader and frequent commenter Jamal, statistically, Edwar Ramirez is having a better season than Francisco Rodriguez. You’d never know it though because Francisco Rodriguez is challenging the all-time single-season saves record while Ramirez is just some middle reliever.

Edwar Ramirez: 38.1 IP, 21 H, 10 ER (2.35 ERA), 15 BB, 44 K. That’s 10.33 K/9 IP and a K/BB of just under 3/1.
Francisco Rodriguez: 47.1 IP, 31 H, 13 ER (2.47 ERA), 28 BB, 49 K. That’s 9.32 K/9 IP and a K/BB of 1.75/1.

Of course, where these two relievers differ is in the type of innings pitched. K-Rod has faced 127 batters in high-leverage situations while Edwar has faced just 18. To that end, K-Rod’s OPS against in those situations is actually .100 lower than Edwar’s. At the same time, K-Rod has faced opponents with a combined .754 OPS while Edwar has faced opponents with a .727 OPS. As K-Rod has pitched more innings than Edwar, he has the edge but not by much.

Now make of this what you will, but it’s interesting to see that, in age that has seen the save devalued, Rodriguez will earn a very large contract in the off-season based on that one stat. Meanwhile, Edwar Ramirez is showing that other, low-cost relievers can put up similar peripherals to the elite closers. When the Angels opt to let K-Rod walk instead of signing him to a $10-million-per-year contract, they’ll head into 2009 with a new closer, and one that will do the job just as well. Yet, teams will race to sign K-Rod. Such are the state of things.

Anyway, those are my random musings tonight after a boring Yankee loss. Feel free to muse on anything in the thread tonight. Nothing — within reason — is off-topic.

Charleston barely avoids getting no-hit
Cashman: Don't hold your breath
  • christopher

    very dissapointing….after a great winning streak and taking 2 straight in bostn this team comes out with 2 straight clunkers

    there upcoming schedule is tough and the need to beat crap teams like this. more dissapointing than the pitching – ponson stinks and mussina is entitled to pitch a bad game – is the offense. all of the sudden, like a light, the turn off. should have been in that game against lester.

    i hope that this isnt going to be a trend

    • http://YankeesWizard.blogspot.com wizard

      The Yankees are not consistent–that’s their season and it will be true at the end of the season. Yes, they won 8 consecutives…but they are stilllllll in third place and will be, in my humble opinion, at season end. I really like Mike Mussina, but Joe(s) have a tendency to leave him in too long…and if the relief isn’t there…ho, hum. What about getting a real good starter for next season and making a relief hurler out of Moose–say a 3-inning middle relief guy? The question is do we fans owe Moose to get into the Hall…or does the team come first?

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Joe Morgan, is that you?

        • Sam Lev


  • THE Dread Pirate Roberts

    either now or in the offseason, the yankees should pursue David Dejesus to play CF until AJ is ready, and to take over LF after JD is gone.

    • TurnTwo

      I cant imagine the Royals would be interested in moving him right now. he is one of their most regular producers and makes little money.

  • DP

    If the Yankees win the next 2 games, they are in good shape. You can never expect sweeps, and it doesn’t really matter which 2 of 3 you win. Granted, Rasner hasn’t been pitching well, but has Daniel Cabrera? Not even close. There’s no reason to panic after a two game losing streak…it’s only two games.

    • TurnTwo

      exactly. everyone say it together…. two out of three! two out of three!

      if the Yankees win basically 2 out of 3 the rest of the season, they win 95 or 96 games. that punches your ticket into the playoffs.

    • sam

      Daniel Cabrera generally makes Yankee batters look foolish at the plate and I am expecting more of the same tonight.

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    I’m with Christopher…not panicked, just extremely disapointed in 2 clunkers in a row after such a nice streak. Yeah, you kind of knew yesterday had to happen & you knew Moose was due for a really bad outing. You just hate that they’re back to back. I win tomorrow and all is forgotten for the most part.


    Not that many games left this season. You just want it to keep going, especially this year with the stadium closing.

  • Neil

    Winning 2 out of three should be the mindset for every series. We lost game one, now ne must win games 2 and 3.

    However, it is obvious that Ponson and Rasner don’t deserve to be in the rotation. Neither does Kennedy or Hughes or Aceves until they have proven themselves.

    I’m currently holing onto the notion that Washburn is Cash’s fall-back option. Otherwise, they would be willing to part with a Rasner or Miranda to get him.

    As good as Molina has been, we need another catcher to split time with him. IDK haven’t I heard any Bard rumors at all. Cash and Towers and suppositely good pals, why can’t they come up w/ soemthing that suites both sides?

    Also, Wilson Betiemiet does not have a role on this team. Why can’t we trade HIM for Washburn, or for somemone else. AND WHEN ARE THEY TRADING CHRIS BRITTON.

    I think Cashman should take away Farnsy from Giaradi before he explodes in an important late season game. They’ve been trying unsucessfully for 2 years to trade this guy, and now that he’s finally doing decent they HAVE TO trade him. Especially with the abundance of RP in the pen.

    Also, could Abreu be spun into a SP in a 3 way deal? Should we deal Veras for a SP while his value his high?

    The one problem I find with the pen is too many FB/Slider guys. Trading 1 of Farnsy/Cox and replacing him with Cox(as soon as he string out a few decent outings) might be a good idea.

    Also, when will Joba reach his IP limit. Will he move back to the Pen when he gets close, or will he continue to start until he reaches the limit, or will they ignore the limit?

    • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

      I agree Ponson and Rasner don’t deserve to be in the rotation, but you can’t just offer up a low ranking prospect to pick up a needed piece. Wilson Betemit it seems, has absolutely no upside whatsoever. He hasn’t learned patience or plate discipline, he is extremely weak when batting from the right-hand side in terms of contact and I’m convinced that his teasing power potential is the only reason why he has stayed in the big leagues to this point. The point is he has no value, and no one is just going to take him unless they think he can be of some use to him. For some reason even the Yankees don’t seem to be high on Chris Britton, which I can’t explain but I suspect its because he is fat. He has been solid at all levels and above average in the majors but if his stock isn’t high in his own organization I don’t imagine it will be high anywhere else. Farnsworth and Abreu’s contracts are too large to just be shipped out to another organization, that’s the price the Yankees pay for being the Yankees. The best we can hope out of them are some serious sandwich-round draft picks in 09′ but unless someone is dying for overpriced, below-average relief help I don’t see either of them going anywhere. Juan Miranda is a minor-league roster filler…he doesn’t hit for average, get on base or hit for all that much power, at least nothing that would set him apart as a high-ceiling prospect. And what makes you think that if Rasner doesn’t deserve to be in the back end of the Yankees rotation that the Mariners, who are trying to improve their team for the future, would want him pitching in the back end of their own? If you want to stay current on what the other 29 teams are thinking about in terms of trades you should read mlbtraderumors.com, on which I believe Joe P. of this website does some digging about the Yankees.

      The Yankees are not worried about the catching situation as the see Xavier Nady as the solution to losing Posada’s bat to surgery and Jose Molina has already proved that he can handle the defensive portion of the position. The problems in the lineup don’t stem from there. They stem from Giambi and Abreu continually slumping and Melky Cabrera proving himself to be no more than average offensively.

      As for Joba, the reason he started this season in the bullpen was to make sure that once he transitioned successfully into a starting role he wouldn’t have to do so again. If Joba goes 7 innings in all of his remaining starts, which he probably won’t, he’ll end the year with approximately 160 innings pitched. That’s about 20 IP below where the Yankees would be starting to wiggle in their seats about his overuse as I believe he got up to 150 innings last year. He should be fine, barring some seriously brilliant and unprecedented string of complete games, which would be unlikely given that his season high for innings pitched in a game is 7.

      The Yankees feel like they have enough options internally to procede without making too many more splashes in the trade market and the Mariners are out of their minds if they think they are getting a big return for a salary dump. It will be interesting to see what happens there but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ian Kennedy back in the rotation in a week or two given how well he has perormed in the minors since his return (9ER in his last 33.1 IP or a 2.44 ERA). Ponson may get one more start…which I think is crazy, Rasner has been pitching better lately…it will be interesting to see if he improves. But as far as I see it, this is the team we have to root for going forward.

      • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

        An addition to what I said about Joba. If he is close to his innings limit towards the end of the year, don’t be surprised if they skip one or two of his starts if we clinch either the wild card or the division. When the rosters expand in September there should be plenty of kids who would love to provide a spot start to allow the Yankees to rest the pitching staff for a post-season run. I’m not too worried about it yet as they have yet to take the lead in either the wild card, or the division and I don’t like to just assume that they will get there. Especially if they don’t start putting together some serious offensive stretches.

        • radnom

          “Farnsworth and Abreu’s contracts are too large to just be shipped out to another organization, that’s the price the Yankees pay for being the Yankees.”

          Really long post, the above is where I stopped reading. Both of those guys are in the last 2 months of their contracts. Any contending team could easily take them on if they thought they would be of use. Not that I think either of those guys will or should be traded this season, I’m just saying the above reason is silly.

  • http://www.realmofhob.com Adam

    I wouldn’t mind Bobby Abreu not hitting so much if he was still walking like his old self. But what the hell happened to that batting eye of his? I’d be just fine with a .396 slugging, if his OBP was a Abreau-old like .400.

    Regarding K-Rod, I really do wonder just how much he’ll make. His stats have been trending down for the past three years. His walk rate this year is terrible. Not that most teams would be rational about any of that. But more important, what big spending teams will be on the lookout for a closer this offseason? The Yanks, Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies and Mets all have the role filled for 2009. The Dodgers could be interested depending on the health of Takashi Saito and the effectiveness of Jonathan Broxton in the meant time. I guess Texas could be interested… Or maybe even the Rays if they feel like making a splash and some headlines. This could end up being a Vlad Guerror or Miguel Tejada situation where the market just isn’t there and some team can snatch him up for a rather reasonable contract (well relative to other closers anyway).

    • TurnTwo

      Tigers will go in big. or the Rangers.

      and you only need two teams to start a bidding war.

      • Chris

        really you only need one…. they just have to think there is another one.

        • jsbrendog

          you only need one and an agent

  • Sam Lev

    But really though, what’s the deal with Big Dick Sexy? Is he going to merit a spot in the lineup against every lefty? I trust Girardi (and I know that Sexson hasn’t been the worst) but when will it be clear that the worst team in the league released him for a reason? I hope I live to eat my words.

  • http://conservationvalue.blogspot.com Jon G

    Interesting – good musings… And the amazing thing about our pen is that if anybody gets injured or falters, we can choose from Strickland, Patterson, Melancon, Cox, etc…

    Melancon and Wright to AAA. I wonder if we’ll see Chase get a start in Sept… I’d been excited for McCutchen, but what can you do. It’s not looking like we’ll see Horne or Marquez pitch MLB innings in 2008 – oh well. I’d like to see how Jason Jones does in AAA.

    Next year, we’ll have more top starters climbing the ranks – Sanchez, Brackman, Betances, McAllister, etc.

    More than enough to continue to add depth in-system and trade for position players as needed. Which position players have a shot to be seen next year? Of course Ajax and Gardner, but perhaps Ransom? It’s looking like 2010 before we get a year of multiple position player prospects being ready and see the likes of Montero, Suttle, etc. getting close…

    It will be interesting to see how we close out the deadline – aside from the Washburn buzz, do they really keep Sexton and Betemint or try something else..?

    • jsbrendog

      don’t forget bruney

  • Joey H

    oh yeah and jamal definately got that from max kellerman and brian kenny’s radio show that edwar has been better than krod

    • Steve S

      Definitely, they are playing the conversation as a promo on 1050.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Speaking of which… Max has a point that Edwar has been scary good and is underrated, but in the new promo, he’s advocating against acquiring Washburn because he thinks Dan Giese is a better pitcher than Washburn is… based on the fact that Giese was great in the minor leagues.

        Maxie, we love you, but… you’ve had enough Kool-Aid. Why don’t you push back from the table a bit.

        • Joey H

          listen. i dont agree with kellerman on that but hes right about the edwar point, i just want it known jamal didnt ocme up with that

  • Simon B.

    I think Mike has some a’splaining to do for ranking Edwar #29—not just in the preseason rankings, but also in the pre-draft rankings where he’d already pitched beautifully up to that point.


    Seriously, you put all the other relievers way up high in the top ten, and left Edwar, who’s outpitched all of them in the minors and majors, has what might be the best changeup in baseball, and put him way down behind the likes of Justin Snyder and Mike Dunn.

    Edwar’s only problem for me was his makeup. If he has confidence, he can blow people away as an RP.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Well look at their ages, Edwar basically is what he is at this point, the other guys still have some more time to develop.

      Plus you’re talking about a sampling of less than 40 inning with Edwar in the bigs this year.

  • Brett

    The sky is falling

  • Nick

    Completely Random Thought:

    Since I don’t live in the North East, I don’t have the “pleasure” of hearing Michael Kay announce games, but I saw a note on here a few days ago about what he says about pitchers coming out back out after long rain delays.
    While the new wisdom is that it is not good for pitchers to come back out after a long rain delay, Mr. Kay likes to mention David Cone’s perfect game as a counterexample.

    However, Cone’s perfecto actually proves the point about the dangers of pitchers coming back out after long delays…Cone was 6-19 as a Yankee after his perfect game, with an ERA around 6.4.

    Sorry For the Randomness…just wanted to share.

  • http://www.josephdelgrippo.com thejobarules

    Interesting about Edwar and K-Rod. Edwar was released twice by the Angels before he signed with New York. I always felt that K-Rod was overrated mainly because of his high walk total, terrible mechanics and unusually high pitch counts during his appearances. Last night, while he “saved” the game at Boston, Rodriguez threw 31 pitches inthat 9th inning.

    Based on the comparable numbers, it appears that the Angels could have had K-Rod’s replacement in their system. Based on his unorthodox mechanics and high usage, the team which signs Rodriguez in the off-season for big money might get stuck with an overpaid injury waiting to happen.

  • TurnTwo

    you know, i dont expect anything to come of this, and some time today, Teixeira will be a Arizona Diamondback… but from what I’m reading online about potential trading pieces, there is no reason the Yankees couldnt swoop in and get him.

    Like its detailed above, Giambi, Abreu, and Melky have all struggled, and with Molina playing everyday, thats 4 holes making up almost half the lineup.

    if it takes Chad Tracy and another non-Scherzer pitching prospect, which is better for the Braves than 2 draft picks, why couldnt Cashman send a package thats a little better than that? its not that hard.

    i think the Yankees, more than anything else right now, need a back end pitcher… but if the Washburn deal falls thru bc the Mariners are douches, combined with a potential strong showing from Hughes and/or Pavano today, perhaps Cashman treads water with what we have in hopes that pitchers get healthy and picks up a bat instead?

  • Bo

    Wouldn’t be a day that ends in Y without RAB taking shots at Melky.

    Always good to blame the #9 hitter for the lack of offense most days.

    • KW

      No I think its a combination of things.

      There have been a ton of injuries that requires our weaker hitters to step up. Over the last say 60 games or so Melky has an OPS of under .575, which is frankly terrible. His stats across the board are down, and frankly he’s not doing much good besides the occasional flashy catch in the OF.

      No one’s blaming the #9 hitter for the offense’s struggles, in fact, the post indicated that several Yankees are really dragging it down. But perhaps being 23 and in the big leagues for enough years now, maybe Melky can stop regressing? Is it too much to ask for a .700 OPS?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’m not blaming Melky for the lack of offense. I’m blaming Melky for being the second worst starting CFer in the AL. I’m blaming Melky for having three years of big league experience with declining production each year. And I’m blaming Melky for having a sub-.600 OPS over his last 279 plate appearances. That’s reality. It’s not some hidden agenda of ours to discredit Melky.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    Heh, I can’t take the credit for noticing that about Edwar and K-Rod, Max Kellerman was waxing poetic about that on his radio show yesterday morning. I checked it out and he was right. I got t give it to him, Kellerman knows his shit. He actually ridicules callers who talk about Batting Average, grittiness, Saves, and W-L records for starters.

    • TurnTwo

      Kellerman does a good show… very analytical in his sports discussion, kind of setting the standard for the next generation of sports talk… he skews to a younger and much more informed audience.

      i dont always agree with him, but he makes you think a little bit and does his research.

      • Simon B.

        Actually the opposite. He gets almost everything wrong. He portrays himself as the enlightened sabermetrician, but he strikes me as a guy who’s read Moneyball and maybe Between the Numbers and thinks too highly of his knowledge.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          I get that vibe from him as well, but when he’s the only guy in town who is even scraping the ice on the sabermetric front, I’ll take what I can get.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Kellerman sounds smarter than he is because he’s surrounded by the slackjawed troglodytes that litter the rest of the radio dial.

        For example, yesterday Michael Kay was excoriating the Mets for leaving Santana in to finish the ninth inning (and thus, run his pitch count up from the low 90’s to 119, which was 4 over his targeted max of 115). He’s railing on and on about how he’s the team’s prize possession and you can’t risk injury on him and it doesn’t matter that the night before, the bullpen was taxed or that the next day, they were running up a guy (Maine) who hadn’t made it out of the 6th inning in a month… none of that matters to Mike, the Mets have no clue what they’re doing as an organization, they’re needlessly risking Santana’s health.

        So a caller calls in and says that the team was probably thinking about the public outcry by the fans from a week earlier, when Santana was pulled after the 8th and the Mets bullpen blew it in the 9th, and the Mets blogosphere/talk radio world went apeshit about how could you possibly pull Santana. And Kay then says that that would be horrible, that the team shouldn’t be managing their team or making personnel decisions by listening to any talk radio chatter or reporters, they know their own guys better than we do and how healthy they are and what they can handle; they shouldn’t be influenced by what anyone else says, and that Manuel made the right decision a week ago because he knew that Santana didn’t have anymore and that you have to be able to trust your bullpen in that situation and how could you, you stupid caller you, have the audacity to think you know better than Jerry Manuel, he’s a big league manager, he knows what he’s doing.

        So, to sum up, Michael Kay firmly believes the following four things:

        1) The Mets are idiots because they’re not listening to what I and my callers are telling them to do to run their team.
        2) The Mets are idiots because they are listening to what I and my callers are telling them to do to run their team.
        3) I know whether or not a pitcher should be taken out of a game, and Jerry Manuel doesn’t; I should second guess him.
        4) Jerry Manuel knows whether or not a pitcher should be taken out of a game, and I don’t; I shouldn’t second guess him.

        Oh yeah, and we should trade Brett Gardner because he’s taking playing time away from Derek Jeter.

        • Joey H

          i thought he was pretty good in rocky 6 lmao

    • Simon B.

      Kellerman is actually pretty much a twit when it comes to anything besides boxing.

  • zs190


    Interesting that Yanks are still mentioned as a Tex suitor, I don’t really understand, where would we play him?

    • TurnTwo

      play him at 1B and release Sexson. nice and easy.

      • zs190

        Where do you play the ‘stache and JD then? or do you play JD/Giambi/Nady/Tex in a 4 man rotation between 1B/LF/DH? I guess that sort of makes sense considering the age of Giambi and Damon but that would just be an embarassment of riches. Interesting to dream about at least =p

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          “that would just be an embarassment of riches.” Fuck that, there’s no such thing in the world of sports.

        • TurnTwo

          or, you could entertain deals for Abreu, slide Nady to RF and let Damon stay in LF.

          just saying, there are options.

        • Clayton

          Or move Damon back to centerfield and have Melky be the defensive replacement/4th outfielder. Damon’s lack of arm would easily be made up in having at least league average offense in center.

          • usty

            I like that move. Get Tex on the field at 1b, shift Giambi back to DH. Sure Damon’s throws are awful, but it’s really a crapshoot between that and Big G’s d at 1b anyway.

          • Old Ranger

            You two have to be kidding right?
            The days of Johnny in CF are long past. The last thing this team needs is suspect defence…specially up the middle. Very good defence can help the pitchers tremendously, bad defence can cost them 1-3 runs. 27/08?

            • Clayton

              You mean about league average defense? Because that is what damon brought his time in NY in centerfield. And an upgrade on the offense side from putting Melky on the bench would more than makeup for the difference in defense. It would make the team better.

    • A.D.

      They were till listed as a Fuentes suitor after getting Marte, don’t read too much into it

    • Joey H

      no thats not a porblem, its really what we would of have to gave up for him

  • raymagnetic ®™

    “On the pitching side, let’s play around with this idea. According to long-time RAB reader and frequent commenter Jamal, statistically, Edwar Ramirez is having a better season than Francisco Rodriguez.”

    What? Jamal didn’t come up with that. Unless Jamal is actually Kellerman. Or maybe Kellerman is a frequent RAB reader and stole it from Jamal? Or maybe Jamal and Kellerman just happened to come up with this idea the same time?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Dude. Read through the comments first. That’s long been acknowledged.

      • Casper

        Still, it should have been acknowledged when the initial Edwar/K-Rod comment was made, not the next day – after it was referenced in your post and called-out in the comments. No harm, no ill-intent by Jamal, but fair is fair and a quick lesson-learned for all of us.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        In a related story, I invented the question mark.

        • Casper

          Wah Waaaaaaaaaah.

        • Casper

          The more reasoned response would be that Jamal comments very often and in his comments he often offers news/analysis to the other commenters, so when that news/analysis is derived from someone else’s work, mentioning the source might be appropriate. Forgive my seriousness/dickheadedness.

          • LiveFromNewYork

            It is dickheadedness. I have more respect for Jamal than Kellerman so I’d listen to him more if he didn’t tell me Kellerman came up with it. AND this isn’t a college term paper. No footnotes required. AND read the comments before making a remark that has been made and acknowledged.

            • Casper

              Dude it’s not a personal attack on Jamal, and I don’t see how my comment would make you think I hadn’t read the prior comments.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          I invented the internets

          • Hank Winkler

            Mr. Gore? Since when are you a Yankee fan?

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            It’s a series of tubes… Not that hard to invent.

    • raymagnetic ®™

      Just noticed that Jamal did give credit to Kellerman, so excuse my comment.

  • Hank Winkler

    Joba on Jim Rome Show. Right now they are discussing Guitar Hero.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Good old Joba. Baseball says what?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      The guitar… it knows EVERYTHING. It knows the difference between an E chord and a G chord. It knows what a whammy bar is. It knows I like to play it loud and with feedback.

      And the Audience? They have to find this out… the hard way.