Jul
20

Fan Confidence Poll: July 20th, 2009

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Record Last Week: 3-0 (9 RS, 5 RA)
Season Record: 54-37 (504 RS, 440 RA), 1.0 GB
Opponents This Week: vs. Baltimore (3 games), vs. Oakland (4 games)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
Categories : Polls

92 Comments»

  1. Joe R says:

    Still holdin strong at 8. Going to take a big event to swing me one way or the other.

  2. huuz says:

    beyond CC & AJ, we need more SP depth for september and beyond.

    Joba will hit his innings limit soon and andy has been up and down lately.

    phil and wang are question marks in SP roles, right now…

    • Chris says:

      I’m not sure that Joba will hit is innings limit any time soon. He’s currently on pace for 169 innings. That’s probably at the very high end of where his innings limit might be, but the Yankees could simply skip his start a couple of times in September to keep the innings down.

  3. Zach says:

    Tough to really complain about anything this series

  4. Reggie C. says:

    8.

    Joba impressed me yesterday. Pitching against a solid offensive ballclub, Joba overcame a 20 pitch first inning and gave us a B+ effort. Now lets see him put a string of min. 6 inning starts. With Pettitte far from a sure thing, we’ll need Joba to be considerably more efficient in the 2nd half.

    Hughes’s status as a late inning demi-god isn’t assured. Bruney needs more reps. I honestly can’t wait to see Marte get back. Marte could be a X-factor, and I wonder if impressive game performances from Marte will affect Cash’s decision to pursue a reliever by the trading deadline.

    I actually voted 7 initially, but writing this stuff up made me realize the immediate future’s alittle brighter.

    • Billy Shears says:

      Detroit is actually a terrible offensive team. 10th in RS and 11th in team OPS.

      • Billy Shears says:

        Those are AL numbers, btw.

        • TLVP says:

          And league adjusted, i suspect not that different for MLB

          ;-)

        • Reggie C. says:

          yep. The Tiger offense is pretty much composed of Granderson and Miguel Cabrera. I didnt realize Guillen and Polanco were certified dead-weights in the lineup.

          Tigers should consider trading Miggy and re-stock the farm.

          • Zach says:

            They’re in first place, but they should trade one of the top hitters in the game (whos 26)?

            • whozat says:

              They’re in first place and have a knockout 1-2 punch in their rotation.

              Their division sucks, so they probably have several months to play around and try to find some more bullpen arms, and they’ll be able to move a starter in there for the post-season.

              • Zach says:

                And if they can cut Ordonez and get away with it they have about 30m off the books this offseason. Either way, next offseason the dead weight of Bonderman, Willis, Robertson are gone and thats 35m.

                So they really have no incentive to sell off Cabrera

    • RAB poster says:

      I’d give Joba an A-. He outdueled a good youg starter in a gritty performance.

  5. Double-J says:

    This week: 8

    Last week: 6

  6. Frank says:

    Still holding at 6.

    Joba’s excellent outing notwithstanding, the fact remains Pettitte and the 5th starter (Mitre or whoever fills that spot) are a concern. The BP also needs another dependable arm; MO, Hughes, Aceves and Coke are the only relievers who Joe trusts. That’s not going to cut it. At least one of Bruney, Melancon or D-Rob have to step up and do the job. Also, there’s still the same old problem of scoring with RISP. Finally, there’s the OF defense, namely, Damon and Swisher. They are outright scary. Speaking of Swisher, who I love, I think it’s time to start platooning him with Hinske.

    • zs190 says:

      Swisher is better than Hinske against both LHP and RHP, what’s the point of platoon?

      • Frank says:

        Swisher is just not hitting. Other than a hot April, he’s pretty much been in a 3 month funk. Hinske deserves a chance to play more.

        • zs190 says:

          I don’t see how that should turn into platooning. You can sit Swisher a few extra days to rest him and play Hinske more, that’s not a bad idea, but I don’t think an outright platoon is the answer. Like I said, even with his struggles, Swisher is a better player against both LHP and RHP.

        • Swisher is just not hitting. Other than a hot April, he’s pretty much been in a 3 month funk.

          Not exactly. He had a solid June. He’s alternating between good months and bad months.

          April – .312/.430/.714 (1.144)
          May – .150/.311/.275 (.586)
          June – .253/.379/.506 (.885)
          July - .222/.308/.267 (.574)

    • Zach says:

      “MO, Hughes, Aceves and Coke are the only relievers who Joe trusts. That’s not going to cut it.”

      I dont get that statement. So you have + arms for the 8-9 but what about the 6th and 7th innings?

  7. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Up to 9 from 7. Hard not to like what you see. Yes, starting pitching beyond CC and AJ remains somewhat of a question mark, but there are very few sure things in this world. If we can get a Joba Chamberlain that pitches into the 7th inning and gives us a chance to win, and a “traditionally better in the second half” Andy Pettitte, we’re cruising. I’m starting to get used to the fact that Phil Hughes will be starter in 2010, and that the Yankees are going to try to ride this bullpen train all the way to a championship.

    The goal is simple: outlast the Red Sox. This team can do it. It does, however, make me cry that 17 games over .500 doesn’t get you as far as it used to. :)

    • Stryker says:

      hard to disagree with you there. i’d also like to add that the farm system is really starting to come around. while the yankees don’t have many MLB ready position player prospects, the guys in this recent draft class are really showing something.

    • RAB poster says:

      I don’t think we’re catching the Sox with the way the team is currently constructed. Buut we’ll make the playoffs, and that’s what counts.

  8. Klemy says:

    Back to an 8 from a 7. This was a great return fromt he break, but our lack of a dependable 4/5 in the rotation, as of yet, bugs me still. I also want to see how we play Boston next time before I possibly go any higher. None of this means anything if we have some kind of issue with them.

    “traditionally better in the second half” Andy Pettitte – I don’t care what his career numbers were. Last year and right now, Andy is sliding down the slope if retirement. I have no faith left in him at all, though I do hope for the best for him, because I’d like to see him go out a winner.

    • I also want to see how we play Boston next time before I possibly go any higher. None of this means anything if we have some kind of issue with them.

      We last played Boston on June 11. We play them again on August 6th.

      I think we’ve become a little better of a team in the interim, and they’ve gotten a little worse. JMHO.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        I agree, but I think there is even a bigger point: Who cares how the Yanks play against any one team, even the Red Sox?

        There are two consecutive goals, a no other ones, really:

        Goal 1: Make it into the post-season.
        Goal 2: Win games in the post-season.

        The Yanks are 54-37 and, if the season ended today, would be the Wild Card. I could care less if they were 8-0 or 0-8 v. the Red Sox. They are 7-0 against the Twins and 5-1 v. the Tigers, but that doesn’t mean the Yanks would necessarily have an edge in the post-season, just like it doesn’t mean anything in the post-season that the Sox have beaten the Yanks.

        Some reminder stats:

        2008 regular season, Angels v. Sox: 8-1
        2008 post-season, Angels v. Sox: 1-3

        2007 regular season, Yanks v. Indians: 6-0
        2007 post-season, Yanks v. Indians: 1-3

        I could go on …

        • Oh, you’re absolutely right.

          It doesn’t matter. I was just saying, irrespective of your valid point, we’re not necessarily that much worse than the Sox, despite our current 0-8 record.

        • Tank Foster says:

          Celerino:

          I agree and disagree. The team’s record against any individual team is meaningless; the aggregate record is what counts. But I don’t think you look at the rest of the season and say “I don’t care what we do against Boston.” I think the Yankees approach the remaining Boston series with the same attitude as any other series: that the goal is to WIN those series.

          At the same time, while getting to the playoffs is the lowest common denominator, I put more stock in the validity of the “long season” than I do the capriciousness of the playoffs. I think the division winner is typically the best team. I am satisfied with, but not happy about, winning the Wild Card. The expectation should be, always, to win the division, and if possible, have the best record in the league. (The nature of the schedule makes it tough to always get the best league record, but you should always wish for a division win).

          • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

            Tank, you make a fair point, and your approach to rooting/hoping is absolutely valid.

            I just have a slightly different approach. If the Yanks finish the year as the division winner or the wild card, and despite that they go 0-18 v. the Sox, I honestly wouldn’t care. (Well, I’d not enjoy the remaining 10 Yanks-Sox games, and I certainly wouldn’t enjoy the comments of the idiot Sox fans, but in the bigger picture, I would be happy the Yanks were in the playoffs.)

            Now, if the Yanks were to lose four games to the Sox in the post-season, THEN I’d be really, really unhappy.

        • RAB poster says:

          You are absolutely right.

      • Tank Foster says:

        I think Boston has been playing a bit over their heads this season. But I may be underestimating them. Their bullpen is probably performing better than they should reasonably expect.

        I thought they might have offensive issues this season (relatively speaking…they have a good offense, but I figured it was just “ordinary” good and not “championship” good), but I think I’m wrong. I figured that as Youkilis came back to earth (which I expected), Bay’s and Lowell’s honeymoons eventually ended, and Pedroia had a season more ordinary and expected from a 5’9″ rat boy, I figured the Boston offense might sputter a bit. What I didn’t expect was that Ortiz would have a rennaissance.

        I can’t wait for the Yankees to play them again. No more time for “patience,” at least with Boston. The next time they play them, the Yankees need to WIN the series.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      that’s why, when I mentioned the “traditionally better in the second half” Andy, I put an “if” in front of it. last year’s dismal second half was injury-related, so we still don’t know if current-day Andy has it in the tank. again, all he needs to do is give us a chance to win, and not be the Andy of 10 years ago. we can argue the merit of W-L records (and i’m sure we will), but a 2009 Andy Petitte has been good enough to win us eight games thus far.

  9. Kiersten says:

    Up 9 from 8. This weekend was a preview of a potential division series and like you’d expect in the postseason, solid pitching on both sides. Yankees showed they can come out on top. We get performances like that from 3 starters and it doesn’t even matter how Pettitte pitches in October (and while he’s not the Pettitte of old, something tells me he’ll step it up in the playoffs). Not ideal to judge based on one weekend, but it’s hard not to be optimistic after a series like that against a first place team.

  10. Confidence Level = 9.

    I’m still upset about our willingness to waste quality starters in setup roles indefinitely. With 2/5ths of our rotation having issues (CMW rehabbing, Joba due to get shut down), Phil Hughes should be in the rotation again at some point in the next month or so. He should not be the primary Bridge to Mowhere. He’s a better option than Sergio Mitre. And yet, all the chatter out of the Front Office says Hughes is going to stay in the bullpen for all of 2009, and that’s a mistake on two fronts (both 2009 optimal roster construction and Hughes’ long term development), IMO.

    I’m only moving down from a 10 to a 9 because I want to give the club the benefit of the doubt that they have a plan to keep the back end of the rotation well-stocked that I don’t know about. Maybe they feel confident that Joba can go all the way through the end of September without being shut down somehow. Maybe they feel CMW is just inches away from being back to normal and that he’ll be quality for the rest of the year. Maybe they feel Mitre is legitimately a good AL East starting pitcher and we’re all undervaluing him.

    At the moment, I just don’t see it, though.

    • The Fallen Phoenix says:

      +1. I gave the team a 9 for the same reasons tsjc gives above.

    • UWS says:

      With Joba’s previous few starts being cut rather short, seems like his innings cap will matter less now, no? I could be utterly wrong, of course; I haven’t crunched the numbers….Totally agree on Hughes, though.

      • whozat says:

        He was still throwing 100-ish pitches. Hopefully, they some metric less crude than innings that they’re using to measure his workload.

      • Joba Chamberlain, 2009:
        April – 4 starts, 23.0 innings (5.75 IP/S)
        May – 5 starts, 22.1 innings (4.46 IP/S)
        June – 6 starts, 35.2 innings (5.94 IP/S)
        July – 3 starts, 14.2 innings (4.88 IP/S)

        Total thus far: 18 starts, 95.2 innings (5.31 innings per start)

        If everyone stays on schedule going forward, Joba will make two more starts in July (the 24th and 29th), six more starts in August (the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 26th, and 31st), five more starts in September (the 5th, 11th, 16th, 22nd, and 28th) and one more in the season finale on October 4th.

        That’s 14 more turns through the rotation for Joba’s slot. At his current pace of 5.31 innings a game, that’s another 74.4 innings, putting Joba on a pace for 32 starts and about 170 innings.

    • Chris says:

      I disagree with your take on Hughes. For the 2009 roster, the optimal construction has CC, AJ, Joba, Pettitte and Wang as the starters and Hughes in the bullpen. Considering 2009 only, he doesn’t help the team at all in AAA.

      As far as his development goes, I think there’s a lot of value in him pitching to major league hitters. There are a lot of things that you can get away with in AAA that won’t work in the majors (look at Kei Igawa’s high fast balls). It would probably be better for him to start in the majors, but I really don’t see how pitching in AAA would provide much benefit.

      • Tank Foster says:

        I think I want Hughes as a starting pitcher next season. He’s too good to keep as a relief pitcher.

        This is probably stating the obvious, but with innings limitations, the Yankees might need additional help with starting pitching next season. Obviously Wang is the key variable–if he can pitch well enough to log 200 innings next year, and CC/AJ are healthy and get their innings, Hughes’ and Joba’s innings limitations won’t be much of an issue. But if Wang is AWOL next year, the team won’t have enough innings from the other 4 to complete the season; they’ll need another arm.

        • Chris says:

          Cashman has said that Hughes is a starter long term – which I assume means next year. As long as their plan is to move him back to the rotation, then I don’t really have an issue with using him to help the team out of the bullpen this year.

          • If he remains in the bullpen all the rest of the year, he’s gonna pitch, what, 80-90 innings tops all year?

            How much do we let him pitch in 2010 in that event? What’s his cap?

            • Chris says:

              It is generally based off of career high in innings pitched. That would put Hughes’ inning cap somewhere around 150-180 innings next year.

            • Tank Foster says:

              I’m guessing they’d let him pitch 150-180 next year, if he did well enough to get that many innings.

            • zs190 says:

              56 innings right now, I can see 85-90 for this season. You pitch him about 25-35 innings in winter ball and he can give you 150 or so next season possibly. It’s not great, but it’s also not horrible for his age.

          • Tank Foster says:

            I agree with you. No problem with him spending this season in the bullpen. They may have to go a bit easier on him next season, but I think staying in the bullpen for the year is better than jerking him back and forth between bullpen and starting duties. Much is made of the stress of increasing your workload from one season to the next. But I think having a season where you are alternately used as an every day/other day reliever and an every 5th starter has got to have its risks for the arm, too.

      • I never said anything about Hughes to AAA here.

        I said I want Hughes in the major league rotation, not in the major league bullpen.

        • Chris says:

          Who do you move to the bullpen when Wang returns, or do you go with a 6-man rotation?

          • I put Hughes in the rotation at the moment because he’s the best pitcher we have available. I take Wang’s rehab slowly and leave him in Scranton for as long as procedurally possible. Wang takes Joba’s place in the rotation when Joba’s ready to be shut down in late August/early September.

            Now: CC-AJ-Andy-Joba-Hughes with Wang in Scranton rehabbing
            A month from now: CC-AJ-Andy-Hughes-Wang with Joba at home

            • Chris says:

              As far as 2009 goes, that’s no better than having Hughes in AAA. There’s no evidence that Hughes would be better than Wang or Joba as a starter this year.

              Your plan also assumes that Joba will hit his innings limit at the same time that Wang would be available to come back. Right now, it doesn’t look like Joba will hit his innings limit before late September. Wang will be ready to come back in mid August. What do you do in the intervening month?

              • There’s no evidence that Hughes would be better than Wang or Joba as a starter this year.

                He doesn’t have to be better than Joba, only Wang. Joba doesn’t factor into that balancing equation, because Hughes isn’t taking his spot in the rotation. He’s taking Wang’s. And, there’s PLENTY of evidence that Hughes would be a better starter than Wang this year. There’s reams and reams and reams of evidence.

                Your plan also assumes that Joba will hit his innings limit at the same time that Wang would be available to come back. Right now, it doesn’t look like Joba will hit his innings limit before late September. Wang will be ready to come back in mid August. What do you do in the intervening month?

                There’s a difference between when Wang is available to come back and when we have to bring him back. Unless I’m mistaken, we can put him on a rehab assignment and leave him in Scranton to work on his command and delivery until we’re confident in him. Something that he should have been doing in the first place instead of being rushed to the majors prematurely back in May.

                I don’t want Wang activated until he’s really ready to pitch well, not just to pitch. And, if you push Wang’s activation back to, say, the end of August instead of the end of July, we’ll be able to have Joba pitch as much as necessary and still get Wang and Hughes their innings in September to get ready for the playoffs.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  I agree 100 percent with your judgment on this.

                  But, and I could be wrong, I’m quite sure there is a 30-day cap on rehab stints. So, to make your theory work, the Yanks would have to hold Wang back from his rehab duty until a month before they would want him back.

                • Chris says:

                  In their last 6 starts:
                  Wang ERA: 6.43
                  Hughes ERA: 6.59

                  Honestly, you could make an argument either way, but it’s not clear that this year Hughes would be a better starter than Wang.

                  You’re basically advocating that the Yankees should basically hide one of their pitchers in AAA. A pitcher that has already expressed doubts about the way the organization has handled him. That doesn’t sound like a recipe to ensure that he succeeds when he does come back.

                  Also, the argument about rushing Wang off the DL in May is bogus. He came back and pitched in the rotation for more than a month after coming off the DL. Maybe you could say they rushed him if he struggled in his first couple starts and then put it together, but that’s not what Wang did. There isn’t something magical about rehab stints that allow him to regain his mechanics.

                  Also, he threw 2 games in AAA and gave up no runs. That would seem to be sufficient justification for reactivating him.

                • Mattingly's Love Child says:

                  Also, he threw 2 games in AAA and gave up no runs. That would seem to be sufficient justification for reactivating him.

                  Wang is a major league pitcher. He’s better than AAA, even when he’s not right. He didn’t pitch very many pitches in either start, and when he was reactivated he and Yankees both said he wasn’t completely himself yet (which the results bore out). I would have hoped the Yankees would evaluate Wang’s readiness to return on how he felt and how his mechanics were rather than how he did against AAA players.

            • Mattingly's Love Child says:

              +1 TSJC, that was my thought last week, but some people were arguing the Joba wouldn’t reach his innings limit till the end of the year. Obviously, he will reach them sooner if he pitches like he did yesterday.

              It seems to be poor roster management, which is why I am not moving up from my 8. It seems the Yankees are over-valuing the bullpen, which will create problems down the stretch this year for the starting pitching, as well down the stretch next year…

  11. Tank Foster says:

    I never rate things very high in this poll–I go 6 or 7, tops. That’s not an indictment of the Yankees’ management, which I think is excellent, but my opinion on the extreme competitive nature of MLB today. To have a confidence level of 8 or 9 on a 1-10 scale in this league seems preeeeeety optimistic to me.

    My concerns with the Yankees future center on age issues and longterm contracts. The trend in baseball today is to get younger. I think teams fear that the financial storm will eventually rain on baseball, and any team holding expensive, long term contracts will feel the pressure of those obligations. Of course nobody can predict what will happen, but if baseball revenues fall sharply for some reason, the big contracts could hamper the Yankees’ ability to fund their minor league and scouting operations going forward.

  12. Jamal G. says:

    Fun fact: *The New York Yankees are the only team in MLB that boasts three outfielders in the top thirty of the leader board for the defensive metric, range runs (Brett Gardner (5.9; ranks 16th), Nick Swisher (3.1; ranks 23rd) and Melky Cabrera (2.2; ranks 29th)).

    * – The Oakland Athletics – along with Matt Holliday and Ryan Sweeney – now have three outfielders in the top 30 as well because of their acquisition of Scott Hairston.

    • Frank says:

      I’ll admit I’m shocked Swisher ranks ahead of Melky. I just don’t see it.

      • That’s because individual visual memory evidence is more flawed than mass statistical aggregation of data.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KutXyPEEbQs
        (NSFW – profanity)

        • Chris says:

          I also think it has to do with the fact that Swisher gets to a lot of balls, but makes really bad plays on a few of them (see yesterday’s “triple”). This is the exact opposite of the situation that allowed Jeter to win his gold gloves. Jeter doesn’t get to many balls, but when he does get to them he makes the play cleanly.

        • Tank Foster says:

          Normally I agree with this reasoning, but the defensive metrics are still suspect to me. Also, can we at least point out that these differences are tiny? I assume the range run stat is normalized for 150 or 162 games? So the difference in defense between Swisher and Melky is about 1 run. Over a season. Or even a bit more than half a season (if not normalized). Which means the difference in their defense amounts to a fraction of the offensive production of the team for a single game.

          Even if the metric IS valid, any metric has some error built in, and any athletic performance has some randomness and luck involved.

          Conclusion (mine): there is no compelling statistical evidence that Nick Swisher is a better outfielder than Melky Cabrera. There are probably not large differences in their defensive effectiveness.

          • Exactly.

            Nick Swisher is not a good defensive outfielder, because he makes some pretty horrible plays on balls every now and again, plays that a good defensive outfielder wouldn’t make.

            However, he’s also most definitely not a bad defensive outfielder, because he still has great range and turns balls hit into RF into outs at a rate higher than the average outfielder.

            He’s not good nor bad. Just effective.

  13. Mike Pop says:

    9

    The farm has improved from recent years, the Yankees have a great club right now on the field and it looks that way for the next few years. By then, if players start declining, hopefully the farm system will produce some young talent that can provide value to this team. By either bringing in players through a trade or the players just taking over themselves. The outfield does look just a bit shaky next year but I think Cash will either make another Swisher like deal or bring in a guy like Mike Cameron. This would be fine for next year, the Yankees offense really is that good.

    Like everyone says, the reliever being more important than the starter is a bad idea. Takes away developmental time and Hughes is not working on his secondary pitches so much. I think this could have an effect on Phil like did Joba this year. Well, nothing we can do about it.

    But for now – Yankees 2009 Champs!

    • Well, nothing we can do about it.

      Only if by “we” you mean we fans and not the “we” the Yankees. Because there is something the Yankees front office could do about it. They could make the correct decision and put Hughes in the rotation post-haste.

      • Frank says:

        I’m curious about something. First off, I agree with you that Hughes should start. But given the current state of the pen, namely, Bruney’s ineffectiveness and the fact D-Rob and Melancon are unproven, who becomes the set up man for Mo? If you’ve already posted this, I obviously missed it as I don’t post here as often as you.

        • Aceves or Coke. And Bruney and Marte can re-enter the picture as they continue to get healthier and put their injuries further in the rearview mirror.

          But Coke and Aceves have been very effective relievers as well, and someone from that foursome will be able to do the job just fine any given night.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Obviously I meant we the fans because that is what we are. We are not the Yankees or are apArt of their FO as far as I know. I try to stay away from using that.

  14. Bullpen is important too says:

    The best thing the Yanks have going for them for this particular year is a dominant 8th and 9th inning. Thats why they beat the Tigers. They need another starter for the playoffs (Washburn, Bannister) And they will win with the bullpen. And hopefully scoring 4 runs a game.

    • Mike Pop says:

      I’ll go with nova before I would want them to deal for Bannister.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      You have it backwards. They won against the Tigers this weekend primarily because the starting pitchers were effective (A.J.) or dominant (CC and Joba).

      Put another way, if the rotation this weekend was 2009 Wang, 2009 Pettite and Mitre, odds are our dominant 8th inning pitchers don’t even get a chance to pitch.

      The point is, everything starts with the starters.

      • Tank Foster says:

        “You have it backwards. They won against the Tigers this weekend primarily because the starting pitchers were effective (A.J.) or dominant (CC and Joba).

        Put another way, if the rotation this weekend was 2009 Wang, 2009 Pettite and Mitre, odds are our dominant 8th inning pitchers don’t even get a chance to pitch.”

        Yes, but I think you guys argue false dichotomies occasionally. Obviously, more innings come from the starters, so their performances count more, overall. But the relief pitchers’ innings are more highly leveraged, counting (by James’ reckoning), 1.5-2x as much as starters’ innings. So, given the close nature of the games, the bullpen performances in these games were much closer to equal value to that of the starters than we might wish to admit.

        The point is, BOTH elements matter. If either had failed, we would have likely lost the games.

        In a perfect world, Phil Hughes pitches 160 shutout innings as a starter this season for the MLB Yankees. In the real world, his relief dominance does mean a heck of alot to the team. Intelligent folks on RAB are in no danger of overstating the importance of relief pitchers, so we do have to guard against understating it, occasionally.

    • The best thing the Yanks have going for them for this particular year is a dominant 8th and 9th inning.

      No, it’s not. It’s good starting pitching and a quality offense.

      Thats why they beat the Tigers.

      No, it wasn’t. We beat the Tigers off the strength of our starting pitching, and big homers from our quality offense. The bullpen was the smallest contributor of the three this past weekend.

      They need another starter for the playoffs (Washburn, Bannister)

      We might. Hughes would do just fine, though, and we don’t have to give anything up to get him.

  15. TLVP says:

    Are we voting on 2009 or on the next few years? For 2009 I think we are well positioned (an 8). OVer the next few years it is less straight forward – teh Rays will only get better as more and more of their players come into their prime. The Sox are not going away and we are stuck in the most competitive division in history. I’d have to admit that missing the postseason 2 out of the next 5 years (2010-2014) seems a likely outcome. I know 3 years out of 5 would make most teams very happy, but last October felt aweful – the Yankees are not like any other franchise so I’d be generous if I gave a higher rating than 6.

    • thebusiness says:

      The Rays will lose players because they can’t pay them. Longoria and Pena are staples. I think the Rays window closes in 2010.

      • Zach says:

        Pena at 31 this year and last year of his contract next year is hardly a staple. Their window closes when they stop producing talent. Percival and Bradford are gone so thats 8m freed up and if they let some other lesser guys go they can have probably another 4m to spend. but Upton, Howell, Garza are all due large raises in their first year of arbitration. Navarro and Bartlett are in their 2nd year of arb, not every prospect becomes a hit and not all player take hometown discounts.

      • Tank Foster says:

        This is definitely the way of the world now. Maybe for the foreseeable future. But what if conditions changed, and the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, Cubs, and Dodgers were no longer willing to give huge, long term contracts? I could see it happening if there were a financial meltdown in baseball. It’s not inconceivable.

      • TLVP says:

        they milked the draft for so many years – they don’t need a great hit ratio to have an outstanding and cheap starting rotation for the next 3-4 years

        even if they are not strong enough finish better than 3rd in the division their mere existance as the best 3rd team in any division will drain wins from us and teh Sox and we could easily see the wild card go to a non AL East team once or twice in the next 5 years

    • Mike Pop says:

      We got the money and talent to compete year in and year out baby.

      • TLVP says:

        sure – to compete but to win? Think of it this way – how much woudl the Rays starting rotation cost to sign for 2010 if they were free agents? USD 80m for 2010 alone? How much are they actually paying?

        I’m not saying that they are going to win all the time but if we we assume taht in a 5 year span the AL East gets the wild card 3 out of 5 times that would mean that 8 slots left for us, the Sox and the Rays in 5 years. One – maybe two – of the teams would miss out a majority of the times.

        And that’s even assuming that neither Toronto nor Baltimore get their acts together. 3 post seasons out of 5 is realistic – 4 would be great.

  16. ARX says:

    8. As usual. (technically an 8.5 but I dont round up) *looks at MetsBlog, just for laughs* wow, 30%…thank god Im a Yankee fan :)

  17. Little Bill says:

    10 as usual. Haven’t changed once the whole year. This is one hell of a team.

  18. deadrody says:

    So are any of the idiots voting 1 or 2 willing to identify themselves, or are they just the dumbest, most pathetic Sox fans on the planet ?

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