BtB’s Three Facts

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Beyond the Box Score is in the process of posting three facts about each team in advance of Spring Training, and late last night they touched on the Yanks. Here we go:

  • Nick Swisher will bounce back. Despite a career high percentage of line drives hit, Swisher’s BABIP was a career low .251. Compared to a career BABIP of .279, he seems like a safe bet to bounce back. Now whether that’s in a Yankees uniform or not…
  • And on the other side of the spectrum, there’s Xavier Nady. His line drive rate was also a career high, but so was his BABIP. .337 versus .316 career. If the Yankees do decide to move a corner outfielder in a trade, they should focus their efforts on moving Nady, not Swisher.
  • Joba Chamberlain should be in the rotation. Enough said.

I feel kind of cheated because items one and two kind of go together, but whatever.

Anywho, I made note of Swisher’s career low BABIP vs. his career high line drive percentage back when I originally lobbied for his acquisition, and I even explained why it would make sense to keep Swish over Nady during a pinch hitting appearance at Newsday. That said, the three of us here have gone on record numerous times saying that we’d like to see the team keep both players for depth purposes, unless of course they get blown away with an offer.

As far as the third bullet point goes … duh.

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  • Reggie C.

    In the MLBTR chat yesterday, Tim Dierkes said that moving Swisher would only make sense if the Yanks got back a solid, “under control” (yrs away from FA?), late inning reliever. ATL still seems to be hovering around for Swisher, though last i heard Wren wanted us to eat some salary..

    • UWS

      You/Tim(?) had me until “late inning reliever.” If there’s one thing Yankees do not need to trade for it’s a late-inning reliever.

      • Nady Nation

        Seriously. We already have Joba.

        • Reggie C.

          i know its a running joke , but it irks the shit out of me anyways…

    • steve (different one)

      In the MLBTR chat yesterday, Tim Dierkes said that moving Swisher would only make sense if the Yanks got back a solid, “under control” (yrs away from FA?), late inning reliever.

      yeah, no offense b/c i know he’s a good guy who does a good job with his site, but this idea is pretty….unsmart.

      the Yankees could just sign Juan Cruz. done. why trade Swisher?

      • Reggie C.

        Not everybody is convinced that the talented farmhands will come through down the stretch. Mark Melancon should be very effective, but i doubt he’s a finished product. If there’s an available reliever superior than Juan Cruz, trading Swisher could land that reliever. That’s what TD could be thinking..

        • steve (different one)

          still doesn’t make sense…

        • Ryan S.

          Anyone who actually watched the Yanks on a daily basis last year should feel comfortable with Bruney/Veras/Marte covering 8th inning and high-leverage situations.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            … and should be even more comfortable with the fact that we have Edwar, Albaladejo, Robertson, Aceves, Coke, Humberto, Melancon, Cox, Claggett, etc. waiting in the wings behind them. With the stuff they have, it’s highly likely at least one or two of those second level guys has a damn good season and is a reliable shut-down reliever come September and October.

            We have great high-end talent in Mo/Bruney/Marte/Veras and significant depth behind them. The bullpen is fine.

            • Ryan S.

              Damn straight!

    • http://www.mlbnotebook.com Zach Sanders

      Dierkes says a lot of things. I barely listen to his opinion, just read the site.

      • LeftyLarry

        Nadi is in a contract year.That usually means a players best season.They are in shape more focused and put up numbers more often then not.
        i wish we could unload Matsui and sign Adam Dunn cheaply.

    • frits

      Maybe we could move Kennedy+Veras to the White Sox to get Scott Linebrink.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Is this a serious suggestion? (Not being sarcastic in asking that. If it’s not serious and you were being sarcastic, disregard the rest of my comment.) There’s no way in hell I’d make that deal. Linebrink isn’t that much better than Veras, and you’re throwing in IPK to boot? I mean, I know people have lost faith in Kennedy, but come on. In fact… I wouldn’t be surprised if Veras is better than Linebrink in ’09 and thereafter.

        • frits

          Nah, that one was a joke. Linebrinks salary is ridiculous.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Maybe we can trade for Scott Podsednik instead; his gritty scraptasicalness singlehandedly won the 2005 World Series for the White Sox.

            Is Podsednik still alive?

            • Arin

              Spring Training invite to Rockies’ camp, but he really has been MIA since the ’05 Series.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                (it was a rhetorical question)

  • A.D.

    Swisher or Nady should only go for an outfield prospect, if that won’t happen alone, than the deal should be expanded. Otherwise no dice, take the draft pick(s) for Nady.

    • frits

      No guarantee that Nady is a Type A.

      • jsbrendog

        take the draft pick(s) for Nady

        he will at least be a type B

      • A.D.

        that is why i put the s in parentheses. I certainly hope he’s at least type B

  • robmel

    Totally agree with you guys…..I would keep them both….I hate for Swisher to play Center but with his weight lose maybe he can give us 6-7 good innings then take him out for Melky/Gardner

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Or, you could not put him in a position where he’s said he was uncomfortable and is a negative defender and start him in right where he’s a plus defender and a good bat/a better bet than Nady.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I love how the “Swisher lost weight this winter!” news has restarted the Swisher to CF concept.

        He doesn’t want to play there. The team has said they have no intention of playing him there. The statistical and anecdotal evidence says he’s bad there, while he’s very good in the corners.

        I think we’re beating a dead horse here.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          But all their stomachs–and Swisher’s apparent lack thereof–tell them it’s right! Your eyes can trick you! It’s all about the “gut” feeling and who’s a true Yankee! If Swisher plays CF after losing weight, he’s a true Yankee. If he doesn’t, he’s just some clown who’ll never be worthy of pinstripes.

        • A.D.

          If Damon lost weight no one would be clamoring for him in center

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            If Damon loses weight, I’m moving him to shortstop.

  • dan l

    What is amusing is that no one mentions Damon when it comes to babip.

    Career
    Rhp .306
    Lhp .312

    2008
    Rhp .339
    Lhp .307

    Last year Damon’s babip was 33 points higher against Rhp which in turn lead to a ba of .321 against them when his career ba against them is .291. Now add in that Damon only had a ba of .258 against lefties it’s easy to see him as a platoon player and not the full time left fielder. I would like to keep both Swisher and Nady until the trading deadline and only move one if Austin Jackson if ready to platoon with Damon to gain experience.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Is it wise to have our CF of the future come up as half of a platoon split? Especially as the lefty half of a platoon split? Seems like there’s some growth stunting potential there…

      • Chris

        If only we had someone that could play left field and hit LHP to be the other half of Damon’s platoon…

        Xavier Nady Career:

        vs. RHP: .270/.317/.454/.770
        vs. LHP: .308/.383/.470/.854

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          I think Nady and Matsui should platoon at DH, to be honest. Plus, Damon’s defense in left is too good to platoon him.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Hideki Matsui, career:

            vs RHP as LH – .294/.376/.494/.870
            vs LHP as LH – .295/.359/.443/.803

            Xavier Nady, career:

            vs RHP as RH – .270/.317/.454/.770
            vs LHP as RH – .308/.383/.470/.854

            Yeah, I could see a platoon. But, Hideki’s not that bad against lefties, so he doesn’t really NEED a platoon split. It would be more to get Nady’s bat in the lineup as an incremental increase over Hideki against a tough lefty… but look at this:

            Johnny Damon, career:

            vs RHP as LH – .291/.357/.449/.807
            vs LHP as LH – .284/.347/.400/.747

            Maybe Nady’s righty bat should be replacing Johnny against lefties rather than Hideki.

      • MattG

        I don’t think it is unwise. This was very common before the 10 man pitching staff (never mind 12), wasn’t it? There is value to being on the major league roster, in terms of mental preparation. I think I could craft a good argument that a significant part-time role is in the best interest of a rookie.

      • dan l

        How could there be any stunting growth?

        So bringing him up the last week in July is going to hurt him? At most he loses 5 weeks playing full time in the minors. He has to go on the 40 man roster sometime next year so why not bring him up and give him a defined role so he can gain experience?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Well, I’m not a player development expert, but teams (all teams, not just the Yanks) seem reluctant to bring a guy up from regular action in AAA to sit on the bench in the big leagues. And if Jackson is the half of a platoon split batting against lefties, he’ll be doing more sitting that playing…

        • Ed

          Defined roles can sometimes help, but not when the role is “guy who sits on the bench 3 out of every 4 games.”

          It’s hard to keep your timing when you’re not playing consistently, so sporadic playing time doesn’t help your development.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    FACT. Facts are more awesome when they come in groupings of three. FACT.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Fact. Your fact is only one fact. Hence, it is not awesome. Fact.

      /Wendy’s.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        FACT. My above fact actually had the word fact in it three times. FACT.
        FACT. My second fact had the word fact in it even more than my first fact did. FACT.
        FACT. This new set of facts comes in a grouping of three, making it more awesome. FACT.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Fact. If this is going to boil down to who can say “fact” more, then we might as well be saying “meow” instead of “fact.” Fact.
          Fact. Pairing three facts together does not make those facts more factual. Fact.
          Fact. TSJC cuts his own fair. Fact.
          Fact. A group of four facts is better than a group of three facts. Fact.

          Meow.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Anywho.

    • radnom

      FACT
      Bears eat beats.

      Bears. Beats. Battlestar Galactica.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        *Beets.

  • MikeD

    Please please please, for the love of god, don’t say anywho. has to be the most annoying ‘word’ in the english language.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      “Also too”

  • MattG

    Xavier Nady is a really good 4th outfielder, but I think there are many organizations that see his as an everyday corner. Therefore, to trade now = selling high.

    I think people understand this. I think they also feel this leaves the Yankees a little short in the OF, considering Gelky may be a total flameout, and Austin might need a full season of AAA.

    Q: Is Moises Alou done? I understand he couldn’t be counted on for more than 300 ABs as recently as two seasons ago. Is he unable to provide even that now? Did he have some heinous career-threatening injury? Or is he unable to play passable defense anymore? I don’t know his story, but he always hit, and hit really well (even last season, what little he played).

    I would like to see the Yankees trade Nady for a player that is befitting of a starting corner outfielder, and replace him with a player that will equal Nady’s production in a part-time role. That would be maximizing their resources.

    • jsbrendog

      alou played at all last year? wow. did not even notice

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Q: Is Moises Alou done?

      A: Yes.

      • Ryan S.

        Moises Alou is such a good example of how capricious baseball can be. He goes on a 30 game hitting streak in 2007 (the longest of any player that year), and 1 full season later, he’s done.

        • Ryan S.

          (the fact that Alou is in his 40s didn’t help him much either)

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Besides, do we really want TWO guys who pee on their hands in the same clubhouse?

            • MattG

              What? Who is the first?

              Remind me not to get his autograph.

              • Ryan S.

                Posada. It may very well be too late for you.

    • Ed

      Did he have some heinous career-threatening injury?

      It’s called old age.

  • the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusiness

    Line Drive % and BABIP are not highly correlated. I don’t understand why everybody continues to act like they are. You are more likely to predict Swisher’s and Nady’s 2009 BABIP by looking at their 2008 BABIP than by looking at their 2008 LD%. The Hardball Times had an article on this within the last month. Can we stop this yet?

    • MattG

      Yes, right after we stop using OPS as a measure of offensive ability.

      Really, the are correlated enough for the non-mathematician like me. When the alternative is a lot of different factors that are very hard to figure out, it’ll just have to do.

      • Ed

        Yes, right after we stop using OPS as a measure of offensive ability.

        OPS is less than ideal but still has a lot of value.

        Really, the are correlated enough for the non-mathematician like me.

        Well, they’re basically not correlated to any level of significance, so, you might as well not bother with stats at all.

        • MattG

          Well, lets put it this way, then. You see a BABIP that is off, what one stat are you going to look at to decide if you want to look any further?

          That’d be LD%, right? Isn’t that the definition of correlation?

          • Ed

            Well, lets put it this way, then. You see a BABIP that is off, what one stat are you going to look at to decide if you want to look any further?

            Career trends in BABIP is where you should be looking.

            LD% and BABIP fluctuate a lot from year to year.

  • touchtoneterriost

    Of Course Moises Alou is done he didn’t take steroids.

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