Ben, Mike, and I found a lot of interesting stuff today that we’d like to share with you.
Is Javy Vazquez unclutch?
So asks Jay at Fack Youk. Using information from Tom Tango, which we laid out last week, Jay examines Vazquez from a few angles, starting with his FIP to ERA relationship. It then moves to performance with bases empty, men on, and bases loaded, measured using tOPS+. Not satisfied, Jay looks at run differentials and leverage situations as well, and then finally at WPA.
The most important line in the article: there’s a big difference between hasn’t and can’t.
ZOMG! Yankees looking at Pujols to DH!
Yes, the linked column is as ridiculous as the headline I gave it. Phil Rogers, playing to his readers’ emotions, discusses the futures of Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez, four young starts primed for free agency in the next two years. He writes a few insane lines, which I’d like to highlight for your enjoyment.
Nothing happens in a vacuum, including the relative lack of spending by the Yankees and Red Sox this offseason.
Relative lack of spending? Relative to what? The Red Sox have spent over $100 million this off-season, signing John Lackey and Mike Cameron. No other team has spent over $100 million. How in the world is that a lack of spending?
The Yankees are keeping the DH spot clear, for the time being, as a potential way to accommodate Pujols, Fielder or even Gonzalez playing alongside Mark Teixeira.
Absurd. Yes, the Yankees will have a free spot at DH after this season. But that’s not to accommodate any potential free agent. It’s not exactly smart to tie up your DH spot for years into the future, and the Yankees are simply avoiding that. Yes, it’s nice to have that spot open for a big-hitting free agent, but even then, why tie down a non-position long-term? I guess when it involves a player like Pujols there are exceptions. But there are far better reasons for the Yankees to keep clear their DH spot than to save it for Pujols or Fielder.
Montero hitting cleanup
No, Jesus Montero won’t be taking Alex Rodriguez‘s lineup spot any time soon. But, as he stands among prospects, Jim Callis would slot him in there. Two other big-time prospects, Jason Heyward of the Braves and Mike Stanton of the Marlins — surround him, with Desmond Jennings of the Rays and Dustin Ackley of the Mariners hitting atop the order.
Callis then answers a question about Arodys Vizcaino, noting that he’d rank third among Braves prospects, the same spot he occupied for the Yankees before the trade. And don’t miss Callis’s All-Bust Team. It includes the “worst No. 1 overall pick ever.”
And, while we’re on the topic of Montero, check out Robert Pimpsner’s top 10 Yanks prospects. It’s as good a list as any, featuring Montero, Austin Romine, Manny Banuelos, Slade Heathcott, and Zach McAllister in the top five.
Career WAR of Yankee drafts
Greg Fertel, at the newly renovated Pending Pinstripes, examines Yankee drafts from 1975 through 2000, using the combined WAR of each pick. As you can imagine, the 1990 and 1992 drafts are up there, as are ’82 (Fred McGriff) and ’83 (Todd Stottlemyre). Greg does count players who didn’t sign, which certainly changes the equation. Takeaway line, regarding the dreadful drafting from 1997 through 2000: “If you take out Mark Prior, who the Yankees didn’t sign, the total WAR netted by those draft classes is -0.3!” I’m glad the farm system is back to being a priority.
How pitchers and teams fared in starts of X innings
The Baseball Reference blog, full of amusing trivia, breaks down every single start this season based on the starter’s innings pitched. It notes the runs, team win-loss, and pitcher win-loss. Notable and right on the top: There was only one start where a pitcher threw 9 innings and allowed five runs. That was Roy Halladay against the Yanks.