Offense letting down Yanks, too

RAB Live Chat
The economy, the new Stadium and the 161st St. businesses

As discussed earlier, the Yanks’ starting pitching hasn’t been as good in June as they were in May. Unfortunately, the offense has been similarly disappointing. They’ve seen sizable drops in batting average and slugging percentage, predictably leading to a drop in runs per game. With the pitching malfunctioning, the Yanks have been in a tough spot all month.

(The actual drop in runs scored per game isn’t all that pronounced — about a quarter run per game. However, that’s propped up by the killing they laid on the Mets last Sunday. If they had scored five runs instead of 15 that game their runs/game would be below five in June. This is why we need to look deeper than runs per game.)

As is usually the culprit in a case of an underperforming offense, the Yanks’ team BABIP has taken a dive in June. After posting BABIPs of .302 and .298 in April and May, resulting in batting averages of .281 and .282, the Yanks have stumbled to .246 in June. The team batting average has gone along with it, settling at .245 after Thursday’s embarrassment. That explains a lot. The Yankees, it appears, have hit one of those stretches where almost no one is hitting the ball hard.

What the Yankees have done well despite it all is to continue to get on base, and continue to hit the ball hard. Their team OBP stands at .344, just .005 lower than May. They’ve also seen 4 pitches per plate appearance, higher than their marks in April and May. So while they’re not hitting the ball as well, they’re still making outs at about the same rate. They’re not scoring runs, of course, because while walks will avoid outs, it takes hits to get guys home. The Yankees just haven’t done that in June. Given the low BABIP, though, we can expect that to correct itself soon enough.

One might see the Yanks’ slugging percentage in June, .435, and note that it’s far lower than April, .473, and May, .497. However, it’s not as bad as it looks. Slugging percentage is based on batting average, so if a team is getting fewer hits in general they’re going to see a drop in SLG. It appears, though, that the Yankees are simply hitting fewer singles in June. The team’s isolated power — subtracting out the singles to get a hold of true power numbers — is .190 in June. It was .215 in May and .192 in April (and the .215 ISO is in part because A-Rod and Tex went nuts with the homers that month, and that wasn’t likely to continue). So they’re still hitting the ball hard. They’re just not getting hits as frequently.

If all this doesn’t spell s-l-u-m-p, I don’t know what does. These kinds of things happen over the course of a baseball season. It can’t continue much longer and it’s not something to get too worked up over. The worst part of it is the timing. The hitters seemingly went in the tank during the Sox series, and that carried a bit, (hopefully) peaking during a series against the worst team in the league. It’ll get better, and soon (as in, sometime during the nine game road trip). That much I guarantee. The hits will come more frequently, and once they do everything else is in place. They’re still patient, and they’re still hitting the ball hard when they do hit it. They’re just not hitting it hard as frequently. Again, these types of things have a way of working themselves out.

While the conclusion is that the offense will soon be back to normal, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a good share of goats. Let’s look at some of the underperformers.

Jorge Posada: .227/.320/.455
Yeah, that’s a horrible BA, but it’s almost all due to a — get this — .212 BABIP. Seriously. Jorge’s ISO-D is still at .093, and his ISO-P is .228. Once those singles start dropping, he’ll be back on a roll.

Johnny Damon: .214/.302/.455
Johnny’s BABIP is even worse at .195. He did have that eye issue, though that might not be as big a part of this as a mere slump. His ISO-D is .088, which is around where it was in April and better than it was in May, and ISO-P is .286, which is by far his best. Again, once the singles start dropping…

Melky Cabrera: .192/.271/.308
Batting average dropped from .327 in April and .321 in May to .192 in June. Is it the Melky slide? Nah. His BABIP dropped from .356 in May to .209 in June. I suspect the real Melky is somewhere in the middle. Hopefully that’s what we’ll see going forward.

Hideki Matsui: .200/.333/.422
Matsui’s BABIP has fallen consistently since April: .315, .246, .182. Unsurprisingly, his BA has fallen along with it. Will Matsui be that .290/.370/.450 guy we’d hoped for? Probably not. However, indications are that he can do a bit better than he has in June.

Alex Rodriguez: .145/.309/.291
This is the toughest case, because there’s always the lingering concern about his hip injury. His power has been greatly sapped, too, as he has just four extra base hits in 55 AB this month. He does only have seven hits total, though, so when he does hit it he hits it hard. He’s a much, much bigger concern than the above four guys.

RAB Live Chat
The economy, the new Stadium and the 161st St. businesses
  • Jersey

    These BABIP figures are not shocking in the slightest given the way the offense has looked lately. Still good to know that a bounceback is likely in the cards (hopefully for ARod especially).

  • GG

    The A-Rod thing is bad, he looks a lot weaker then he did last year, hes like back to the size he was in Seattle, or at least he looks smaller

    • Jersey

      I would take his Seattle numbers.

    • JGS

      A-rod as a skinny kid in Seattle in 1996:

      .358/.414/.631, 36 HR, 123 RBI, 215 H, 160 OPS+

      I’ll take it

      • GG

        Your the second to point that out to me, Who knows if he hits that way, I’m just saying he looks a lot smaller, and hes 13 years older then that unbelievable 96 season

    • Jamal G.

      Really? You saw Alex Rodriguez play just last night and you think he looks like this: http://tinyurl.com/lo4erg

    • YankeeScribe

      If anything, he looks fatter and less lean than he’s looked in previous seasons…

    • Drew

      Gimme a break. Did you see him in his EST get-up? He’s as big as he’s been. If you’re hinting at what I assume you’re hinting at all I can do is laugh.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        …that he’s pregnant???

      • Mike HC

        so the fact that someone suggested A-Rod stopped taking steroids this year after he got caught makes you laugh? So you are saying that he is clearly still taking steroids and never stopped?? Or are you saying that he obviously was telling the truth and has never taken steroids on the Mariners or the Yanks? I’m confused as to which premise you find so funny.

        • Drew

          I find it funny that people propose that Al’s recent suckiness is related to ended use of steroids. In two months when he’s hitting like he’s capable of and people are back on his nuts, I will find that funny as well. A guy is capable of slumping or in some cases being injured. Look at Teix.
          It’s fair for anyone to question whether he took steroids at age 13 or at age 27, that’s fine, just don’t tell me he’s hitting 210 and OBP’ing 370 because he’s “off the juice.” His numbers over the next two months and those months following will prove my point.

          • Mike HC

            Ok. Thanks for explaining. I see your point a little a better now. I guess it is a little comical that when these “steroid guys” slump, it is because they cycled off, and when they get hot, it is because they cycled back on.

  • JGS

    They hit the ball hard a few times last night but the Nats suddenly and inexplicably became gold glovers

  • JeffG

    My biggest concern is with A-Rod as well… not as much because of the hip but because of concern that in light of the Roberts book there is a chance that he stopped doing roids all of a sudden and might just stop being amazing. We’ve seen it with Giambi and I pray we do not have to live through that scenario again expecially at his contract which was very ill conceived.

    • Mike Pop

      He stopped in 03 though…..

      • Drew

        SGNJ!…
        lol, look at Teix’s first month. It’s funny how no one thought Teix lost muscle mass and/or was somehow struggling from a new found testosterone deficiency.
        Al came back from a serious injury/surgery that really needed more time than he gave it. When he came back he was our savior, now, we go 8-8 and he’s somehow the goat. Ahh.. the beauty of the NYY fan.

    • Pasqua

      His numbers pre-roids (presuming he started when he said he did) were astounding, so the talent / power / ability is obviously there. It’s definitely too soon to wonder if his body is giving out on him, mostly because he’s still in his formative years and we’ve seen several players go through what he’s going through injury-wise. Watching Giambi fall apart was just a very sad, bizarre experience. I’m willing to bet we’re a ways away from that.

      • JeffG

        I’d like to believe him, but I don’t presume that he is told the truth. Perhaps being a sceptic is part of my DNA but I wouldn’t rule out that he could have been doing roids all the way through until this winter… if that proves to be the case and he blows for eight more years at around 30mil we are really going to be in for it.

        Definately hope he was telling the truth and he will come around – just waiting at this point.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

          Luckily, it’s not $30 million per because the contract is backloaded:

          0:$32M, 11:$31M, 12:$29M, 13:$28M, 14:$25M, 15:$21M, 16:$20M, 17:$20M

          But I’m just having fun with you. Yeah, if there is some kind of PED decline in store for A Rod, it is really dangerous for the Yanks. Let’s just hope it’s his hip.

          • Zach

            i think backloaded mean higher salaries in later years; regardless its a slump, everyone needs to back away from the cliff

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

              Yes, I should have said frontloaded. Good catch.

              To be clear, I wasn’t saying that I think A Rod is in a PED-induced decline. I was going with the hypothetical and noting the contract’s nature.

              I’m more afraid of the hip than PEDs. But time will tell if it’s a slump or injury.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              say Arod blows out his hip in year four, and will never play again…are we just stuck with his salary until the contract ends?

              what if he just outright sucks in a year, and can’t remember how to throw to first…again, we eat that contract completely?

              • jsbrendog

                qwith something that big they most definitely have some sort of insurance on it

                • Zach

                  yeah, unless the company wouldnt insure it like Webb’s extension that DBack’s pulled. But i never heard anything about that with Alex so its probably insured

                • Charlie2

                  I could be wrong, but I thought that Buster Olney had reported that teams couldn’t get an insurance on ARod’s new contract for more then 3 or 4 years because it was so large. I could be totally off, but that was my belief.

        • JP

          That would be awful. Can you imagine paying him that salary if he turned into Sammy Sosa?

          Are there performance requirements in the contract? If he breaks down and plays 50 games a year in ’14-’17, does he still get twenty mil per?

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

            Guaranteed contract. Short of a contract violation (like, say, Aaron Booneing himself on a basketball court), all that money is his, regardless of performance.

    • GG

      someone get this guy back on HGH

    • Jamal G.

      From the 2000-2003 seasons, Jason Giambi’s ISO averaged .298. I chose those years because not only were they the peak of his power years, but it ended right before his injury-raved 2004 campaign that were speculated to be the cause of steroid withdrawal. In the healthy seasons after the 2004 season (2005-06 and 2008), Giambi averaged an ISO of .274.

      So, was Giambi as prolific a power threat as he was when he was assumed to be under the aid of PED’s? No, clearly. However, if you believe – like many do – that the 2004 campaign was the bridge from his “dirty” years to his “clean” years, the numbers clearly dictate that he was a very, very powerful threat at the plate even into his age-37 season (2008).

      • Esteban

        Also, he was getting older and past his peak. He’s the type of bad body guy that tends to break down disirregardless (yea I went there). We have no idea what effect steroids/lack of steroids had on Jason Giambi.

    • Mike HC

      A-Rod will produce whether he takes PED’S or not. Will he be better with the PED’s, yes. This is a slump, induced by having hip surgery and being rusty. This is not the real A-Rod. He will get better. Will he ever be a true MVP candidate again, I don’t know, but I hope so. I am pretty sure that he will still be very productive either way though.

  • Ellis

    “The Yankees, it appears, have hit one of those stretches where almost no one is hitting the ball hard.

    What the Yankees have done well, despite it all, is continue to get on base, and continue to hit the ball hard.”

    ?

    • UWS

      “So they’re still hitting the ball hard. They’re just not getting hits as frequently.”

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      UWS got it.

      • UWS

        I am awesome, I know.

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          I think what he meant was:

          “…no one is hitting the ball hard.

          …Yankees …continue to hit the ball hard.”

          so he’s wondering if they’re hitting the ball hard or not…

  • Michael

    All teams go through hot streaks and slumps. I’m glad you posted those numbers. We all knew the Yankees wouldn’t keep up the pace they had going in May all season. There’s variance in baseball and people have to accept it.

    Sometimes you lose some games you’re supposed to win like the past 2 nights, and sometimes you win some you’re supposed to lose like the Luis Castillo game. That’s baseball.

    • JeffG

      I agree with you but I just thought this year’s team would be talented enough not to so singularly suck like they did this last series. Eight out of nine guys failing against an 88mph fasball… is hard to imagine for a team like ours (even with the idea in mind that there are hot and cold streaks).

      I’m shocked by the level of cold… just so poor to watch.

      • Mike HC

        Plenty of pitchers have success throwing 88 mph fastballs, for ex, Moose was throwing like 85 mph last year and put together maybe his best season ever. Plenty of pitchers also suck throwing 98 mph, see Kyle Farnsworth. How fast a guy throws is not the only measure of how good he is.

  • radnom

    TWIST THE STATS HOWEVER YOU WANT TO IT DOESNT CHANGE THE FACT THAT THESE GUYS ARE NOT HITTING. THEY JUST ARE NOT GETTING THE JOB DONE.

    DO YOU THINK BOSTON WOULD EVER LET A TEAM LIKE THE NATINALS KEEP THEIR BABIP DOWN LIKE THAT??
    THE ANSWER IS NO – I KNOW IT AND YOU KNOW IT. FRANCONA KNOWS HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT AND GIRARDI IS JUST SITTING ON HIS ASS NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    OH, BUT DONT THINK THE BLAME STOPS THERE. THESE GOD DAMN ADVANCED SCOUTS NEVER EVEN LOOKED UP THESE PITCHERS ON GOOGLE BEFORE THE YANKEES FACED THEM. I KNOW FOR A FACT THE YANKEES VIDEO ROOM HAS BEEN EMPTY ALL YEAR. CANO AND MELKY DONT EVEN KNOW WHERE IT IS.

    POSADA ISN’T JUST NOT HITTING….AFTER 10+ YEARS BEHIND THE PLATE HE ALL OF A SUDDEN HAS NO IDEA HOW TO CALL PITCHES!!! NOT LIKE IT WOULD HELP WANG WHO IS DONE.
    DONE. END OF STORY. BELEIVE ME, IVE WATCHED A LOT OF BASEBALL AND ANYONE WHO THINKS DIFFERENTLY IS DELUSIONAL.
    SPEAKING OF PITCHING, WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH JOBAS VELOCITY?? THIS TEAM HAS ONE REALIABLE PITCHER RIGHT NOW, AND HE IS ALREADY GETTING TIRED FROM THROWING TOO MANY INNINGS.

    THE YANKEES CANT AFFORD TO LET GAMES LIKE YESTERDAY GO. IF THE GREEDY OWNERS WOULD GET OFF THEIR FAT ASSES AND BUILD A RETRACTABLE ROOF INSTEAD OF SITTING IN THE OWNER’S BOX COUNTING THEIR MONEY, WE MIGHT HAVE HAD A BETTER CHANCE.

    YOU MIGHT SAY THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME LEFT, BUT YOU ARE A CRAZY FOOL. NOW EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO SWALLOW A SHOTGUN.

    • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

      If this didn’t make sense, why would it be in all capital letters? I think this guy must be on to something, especially about the shotgun.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Don’t use all caps please.

      • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

        If it weren’t in all caps, how would you know that is was the definitive comment on this topic?

    • Pasqua

      Loud noises!

      I love lamp!

    • UWS

      *golf clap*

      The retractable roof bit and the subtle typos are what really did it for me. Excellent job.

      • radnom

        The hardest part of all that was every time I would instinctively try to capitalize a sentence it would lowercase a letter.

        Scarily enough, you seem to be the first person out of 4 to realize this isn’t serious. Sad state of affairs.

        • Pasqua

          Actually, I was with you. I enjoy your work. I figured you hadn’t lost your mind.

          • radnom

            Haha thanks. Yeah yours I wasn’t sure about, it could have gone either way. I figure a lot of people will see a huge wall of caps and not even read it.

            • Clayton

              I almost did, then I went “what, he normally doesn’t post stuff that is batshit insane?”

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                heh…i fell for it…i read two lines and thought ‘quit _#$*@# yelling at me you batshit insane mo@#$# F#(@$…’

                yes, batshit insane has now made it into my day to day vocabulary (sad commentary indeed)!

                glancing back up, the bold of the ‘forgot how to call’ section caught my eye, and i was able to realize what i’d missed. i’d like to know how many read it all saying ‘yeah. YEAH!’ the whole time :)

        • jsbrendog

          i saw it and went, someone is pretending to be radnom!!! bastards!

    • JP

      As one of the people you loosely quoted in there, all I can say is har har haaaaaaaaaar deeee har har…

      Don’t you ever like to complain about the team? Isn’t that part of the fun? Is everything just fine, all the time…it’s “just baseball,” it’s all good, everybody’s doing their job fine because we have no right to suggest otherwise because we don’t live with them and hang out in the club house?

      I don’t know what some of you guys are going to do when you get old – complaining is old peoples’ lives…

      • radnom

        There are plenty of valid things to complain about without resorting to panic.

        Like why those damn kids insist on being on my lawn!

        • JP

          So will you recant the Wang part of your sarcastic upper case rant if he indeed ends up pitching for the Steve Blass All-Stars next season? THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON THE WANGER AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED.

          • Mike HC

            Are we both watching the same CMW. Even if the sinker never gets back to full potential, he has some other effective pitches and still throws very hard. He will figure it out, even if he has to remake himself a little bit as a starter. Even if his ERA is not below 4, that does not mean he should be tossed out. Maybe it will take the rest of the year and a spring training. It is extremely obvious to me that Wang will be able to pitch effectively on this level. He did not just turn into a guy who is unusable.

            • JP

              I hope you’re right. It’s just a feeling I have about him. The last outing was encouraging, though.

    • Reggie C.

      that’s a nice sum-up of the day’s topics. AWESOME!ll!

    • Jamal G.

      I have to say, this could use a little more cowbell.

      • jsbrendog

        awesome

  • JP

    So what the BABIP and isolated power numbers say is that the Yankees are basically getting the same number of homers and extra base hits, but fewer singles?

    What about their K-rate? Is that higher? Are they putting fewer balls in play overall?

    Is the lower babip presumed to be just chance, or does it correlate with line drives? I thought a little of both, but if EBH are the same, you’d think they’d be hitting the same number of line drives.

    It all confuses me.

    • whozat

      You could go look at LD% too, if you wanted to answer your own question. Pretty sure bref or fangraphs would have that info.

      drops in babip that precipitous almost certainly have something to do with luck, though.

  • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

    It’s a small thing, but I think the lineup today shows that Girardi is trying to do something to kick-start the guys. He dropped Cano to 6th. Posada is 5th. Poor Andy has to bat.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Poor Andy has to bat either bunt or try to draw a walk, because the last thing the team needs is for him to wrench his back making a futile swing.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Yes. I’d even delete the bunt part. He can stand there like a statue and watch pitches go by.

      • YankeeScribe

        I’m looking forward to seeing Sabathia bat

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          CC TO TEH 8TH!!!1!!eleventy!!!

          (or maybe not…let’s say the rotation and the opposition breaks just right, that in an extra innings game, you need somebody to PH for Coke, and then we need a pitcher next inning…bring the fat dude in and then let him throw 20 pitches, just skip a bullpen session.)

          in all honesty, i am currently under my desk sucking my thumb terrified of the words ‘lisfranc’ and ’rounding the bases’ and joba/hughes/sabathia/BURNETT (isnt he due)…

          i +1 IRCS: let him watch. thats at least three pitches on the pitch count…maybe even try to, no, no…just watch.

    • Jamal G.

      Actually, the lineup today proved a theory I’ve been having all along – that Girardi would like to bat Posada fifth, but he’d much rather separate the lefties in Cano and Mastui than do the former.

      • radnom

        This is a good theory.

        I’m not sure I agree with Giradi’s priority on the matter, however I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          +1

          But I’d really rather see Posada 5th and Cano 6th.

          • Drew

            As long as Swish master flex doesn’t hit two, I’m happy with Po 5 Cano 6.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Swisher actually profiles as a pretty good two hitter. I also wouldn’t have problems putting him in front of Cano–the more guys on in front of Robinson the better.

              • Drew

                Yeah that obp profiles good anywhere really, my only beef is that he’s not the prototypical “bat handler.” Having Damon and Jetes at the top allows us to move the leadoff/#9 man around the bases. From there we obviously have our 3 and 4 hitters lined up.
                I’d like to keep Swish’s obp down in front of Matsui/Melky.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Agreed.

              • Zach

                +1
                i’d like putting Swish at 5th

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  I’d keep Jorge there, then sandwich Swisher between Jorge and Cano.

                • Zach

                  Yeah but I think Girardi has said he doesnt want to put 2 lefties back to back.

                  Even though both Cano and Matsui has good careers numbers against lefties, but Matsui is down this year against them. Maybe once Nady comes back he’ll do that then PH Nady for Matsui in a lefty comes in

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Matsui actually has a .909 OPS vs. LH this year, .777 vs. RH.

                • Zach

                  Ok well bat them back to back then :)

                • YankeeScribe

                  I’d just like Swish to stop making outs on the basepaths…

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Excellent point.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Should they change things up with RISP? Try something they haven’t tried? This isn’t the first year this has been a problem. We all moan when they bunt, but is there some strategy that just isn’t happening or some thing about the lineup that needs to change?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Why would giving outs away w/RISP be a good thing?

    • JP

      Bunting as an offensive strategy stinks unless you’re playing for one run to tie or win late in a game.

      I don’t even like bunting someone like Pena or Cervelli; I like taking my chances with big innings.

      Too many runs are scored today for it to be profitable long term to play for just one run.

  • YankeeScribe

    Nick Swisher’s Home vs Road splits are ridiculously uneven:

    BA/OBP/SLG/OPS
    Home: .177 .373 .323 .696
    Road: .305 .397 .676 1.073

    Why doesn’t Swish like Yankee stadium?

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      I actually thought about this yesterday. The only thing I could come up with is that he isn’t a traditional pull-down-the-line kind of hitter, so the short porch doesn’t help him. He hits a lot to CF and the gaps, where it’s deeper.

      That’s just a hunch. Maybe someone can come up with his spray charts to prove/disprove the point.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I’m going to make uneducated assumptions about his mental state and say he’s unclutch and can’t handle NY.

    • Zach

      Didnt he start like 0-20 at home or something? so that number could be a little messed up

  • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

    PeteAbe is reporting that A Rod is out of the lineup today and tomorrow. No details yet. Maybe he is hurt after all.

    • JP

      Ramiro will step in and the team will notice no difference in offensive output.

      Only partially sarcastic (sadly).

      • Jeremy

        But people will notice a big difference in scrappy baby-faced impetuosity.

        Not sarcastic.

  • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

    PeteAbe:

    UPDATE, 4:54 p.m.: Alex was in the lineup. Then it was decided he was “fatigued” and needed two days off. Girardi admitted he should gave given him time off before this.

    • YankeeScribe

      8 of A-Rod’s 9 HR’s this season have been hit at Yankee Stadium

      • jsbrendog

        and in other news, squirrels have bushy tails

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        man too bad NICK SWISHER can’t be a serviceable third basemen…Arod at home NICK SWISHER on the road, Arod gets some more time off…DFA (idiot alert!) Angel Berroa and bring up a sixth outfielder to keep AB’s spot on the bench warm and bring Godzilla ice packs and CC heat packs…

  • Zach

    Damn Girardi is holding his ground on Joba in the rotation with Francesa

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      What did he say, I missed it.

      • Zach

        Mike was on his ‘astrocious’ as a starter compared to electrifying as a reliever, and Joe was basically like he’s 23, how many 23year old starters come up and shut down the league? Starting is different then coming in for 3 batters. Basically what every rational fan out there knows, Mike loves Zach Duke and Zack Greinke, I wonder if he looked at their first 3 seasons.

        Then he said, I dont see anyone calling for Johan to go to the bullpen after Sunday’s game.

        • jsbrendog

          girardi shuld just headbut francesca. that would endear himt o me. i see joe g as a headbutt type guy

      • Zach

        I try to catch him, maybe I’m mis-remembering but I think Joe would always brush it off and stuff, today he seems more defensive. Like Mike just asked him about Posada and the veterans and Joe said if people think they have problems with me then they should go ask them.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          Francesa is making up problems where there are none, and soon all of his followers will assume there are clubhouse issues. The beat writers are on record saying this is the closest knit clubhouse they have seen on the Yankees. Francesa is just trying to stir stuff up.

          • Mike HC

            Right, because the beat writers are so knowledgeable and trustworthy about what is going on behind the scenes. Who knows how “close knit” the Yanks really are. I have a hard time believing that this group of guys is all buddy, buddy with each other. And who really cares. The fans love the idea of a team being best friends and defending each other like family, but it is just not realistic in this case. Just come to the ballpark and do your job. Players don’t have to like each other and they probably don’t.

            • Charlie2

              I liked how Girardi asked Big Mike “Johan had a pretty bad game the other day. How come there are no ‘Johan to the pen’ people?”

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              Why would they lie about that? it’s a better story if they dont like each other. All of the writers have come through with the same story.

              • Mike HC

                I’m saying that they really don’t know either, or nobody is willing to get kicked out of the clubhouse by claiming the Yanks are just phonies who are posing for the media. These guys have jobs and need quotes from these athletes. Making enemies is not in their best self interest.

    • Mike HC

      It seems like things have gone too far with this Joba to the pen debate, in both directions. It is no sure thing that Joba will turn into a great major league starting pitcher, or even a very good one. I personally would give Joba every opportunity to do so, but it is not that crazy to state that maybe Joba’s future is in the bullpen. The B-Jobbers may very well end up right in the long run.

      On the other side of things, the guy is 23 and has to be given time to develop. As Girardi said, just because a 23 year old is not lighting the league on fire does not mean he will not develop into an ace by the age of 25.

      Each side thinks the answer is so black and white, but it is not that easy. Only time will tell how and where Joba ends up.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        I’m not so sure the people who want Joba to start see it as black and white as you state. I’m pretty sure the general position here is that he needs to be given every opportunity to succeed in the rotation. If he is still struggling after another two years, I would certainly be prepared to accept the possibility of moving him to the bullpen.

      • JP

        “…It is no sure thing that Joba will turn into a great major league starting pitcher, or even a very good one…”

        What surprises me about this debate is that, when you think about it for a minute and look at the numbers, Joba already is a pretty good major league starting pitcher, by today’s standards, anyway. He is struggling with control, and is having trouble finishing games. If this were 1979 instead of 2009, he’d be throwing 130 pitches per game and going 7-8 innings most of the time, because the fact is, overall, he doesn’t get hit very hard. Even with the lower velocity.

        Basically, the standard for success as a major league pitcher has been changed. Since we want the guys to shut down the opponents, and last deep into the game, and we have imposed a pitch limit of 100, a pitcher has to be both dominating and economical. A young Nolan Ryan might wash out as a starter today, because he walked loads of guys when he was young and threw way more pitches than guys do now.

        I don’t know how many young guys capable of achieving these things all at once in their first or second season.

        I still believe that as long as he works hard, stays focused, and stays healthy, Joba will be one of the premier pitchers in baseball. Whether that happens in 1 year or 3 years from now, I don’t know. But given the restrictions we place on pitchers, I think you gotta give him a pretty long leash before you decide he can’t make it as a starter.

        Being both dominating and

        • JP

          [Sorry for the terminal edit failure there…]

        • Mike HC

          I mean, I agree with you. Joba is very solid right now and is “pretty good.” I would not consider Joba’s performance very good though (I guess we are starting to argue about semantics here). But it seems like you can see the other side of things as well. If Joba never learns how to consistently go deep into games with the pitch limit, maybe he would be best in the bullpen. Or, maybe he would still be more valuable going 5-6 innings anyway. Just to make it clear, I would give Joba plenty of time to reach his starting pitcher potential and am not even close to advocating for a move to the pen. I just think that it is not written in stone that Joba will develop as everybody would like him to. Shit happens in the real world.

        • Zach

          I like the Nolan Ryan analogy, same with Randy Johnson, I’m sure Francesa thought they were atrocious as well (152BB in 201 IP for Johnson in ’91, yet era below 4-how?)

          It sucks that Joba plays in NY, if he was someone else they would just let him start and there would be no talk about this bullpen, just got out and pitch and learn at 23years old. I think KC is happy they put Greinke back in the rotation, I think SF is happy they didnt put Lincecum to the bullpen after his first 24starts he had an era of 4, think Boston is happy they let Lester grow as a pitcher, think Toronto is happy they let Halladay continue to start after an era of 3.97 and averaging 5.2 IP his first 18 starts as a rookie.

  • Pingback: Game 67: No A-Rod and no DH | River Avenue Blues