Jun
10

Mark Teixeira and the changeup

By

Photo Credit: Darren Calabrese, AP

If you’ve watched the Yankees at all this year and last, you’ve surely noticed that first baseman Mark Teixeira has had an exceptionally tough time against changeups in 2010. This was particularly obvious last Saturday, when he looked helpless in striking out five times against changeup specialists Ricky Romero and Casey Janssen. The advanced metrics are picking up on Tex’s weakness against changeups as well, saying he’s been worth 0.58 runs below average against the pitch (for every 100 seen) this season compared to 0.88 runs above average last year and an even 1.00 for his career.

The struggles against changeups carry over to the fastball as well, which is expected given the relationship between the two pitches. It’s called a changeup in the first place because it changes the hitter’s timing off the fastball. Tex has produced 0.43 runs below average against the heater this year (again per 100 seen), compared to +2.20 last year and +1.70 for his career. Clearly, he’s not recognizing changeups and it’s affecting him against fastballs, which a hitter of his caliber should (and traditionally has) murder.

The season isn’t young anymore, we’re 59 games in and Tex is hitting an unacceptable .224-.338-.388. Maybe it’s time to (forgive the pun) change things up and try something not necessarily drastic, but unique. Allow me to quote Jack Moore fromSPN’s TMI blog

Recently, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has employed an unorthodox strategy against pitchers with great change-ups. Ever since Dallas Braden and his nasty change threw a perfect game against the Rays, Maddon has stacked his lineups with players who bat with the same hand as the starting pitcher in order to neutralize that pitch. The change-up is a pitch that is typically used to neutralize opposite-handed hitters, and so Maddon is attempting to take away this advantage from pitchers with great change-ups by reducing the number of opposite-handed hitters in the lineup. So far, the strategy has worked pretty well.

(snip)

However, the Rays sent up switch-hitters Ben Zobrist and Dioner Navarro to bat right handed against Marcum, and even more telling was that they not only used right-handed catcher Kelly Shoppach as the DH, but they hit him clean-up.

Did it work? Marcum’s line — four innings, 10 hits and seven earned runs — certainly suggests it did. Shoppach, Navarro, and Zobrist were a combined 3-for-6 against Marcum, including a home run by Navarro.

Maddon essentially tailored his lineups to take away the opposing pitcher’s greatest strength, and so far it’s worked. It’s unconventional, but it’s hard to argue with the early returns. Maybe this an approach Teixeira should take, batting from the same side as the pitcher if he has a great change, reducing what is his greatest weakness at the moment.

I’m sure it’ll be a tremendously uncomfortable experience for him since he’s never faced a non-knuckleball pitcher throwing from the same side in his big league career, but at this point it might be worth a shot. I already cited his awful stats, and whenever Tex seems to be coming out of it, he sinks right back into the pit of suckiness. It shouldn’t happen with a player of his caliber, and whatever they’re trying now just isn’t working.

Of course, Tex is just 30-years-old and in the prime of his career, so perhaps it’s best to just show confidence in him and hope it works itself out. How much longer can they wait though?

Categories : Offense
  • Stuckey

    “The season isn’t young anymore, we’re 59 games in and Tex is hitting an unacceptable .224-.338-.388.”

    Can’t say I’m a fan of when otherwise smart people write dumb, hyperbolic things…

    “Unacceptable”…?

    That’s beneath you.

    • poster

      What would you find acceptable, though?

      • mike c

        nobody thinks that’s a good BA, but his 36 RBI so far means he is at least producing during a slump.. when he starts hitting more regularly he’s going to explode

        • poster

          RBI is a terribly limited statistic. That proves nothing.

          • mike c

            he’s scored 36 RBI so far. if he scores 120 RBI and hits .250 i would be satisfied

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Not all .250 and 120 RBI seasons are created equal, you know. Jose Guillen has been doing that in Kansas City, and his horrible OBP kills rallies left and right.

              • mike c

                Kansas City

                try again

                • pat

                  He doesn’t play in Kansas City?

                  • mike c

                    ahem.

                    kansas city SUCKS

                    • pat

                      Yes, we know this. I fail to see why you bolded it.

                    • mike c

                      it’s not a fair comparison

                    • Tampa Yankee

                      So .250 w/120 RBIs is ok for the NYY but not for the Royals because… they suck?

              • mike c

                furthermore, tex’s OBP is .115 over his BA. if this is consistent, and he hits .250 this season, a .365 OBP isn’t terrible. a bit disappointing, yes– but the damage to his season’s average numbers has been done, and the team is winning. the rest of the year is gravy

                • Pete

                  Tex is, however, neither hitting .250 nor OBPing .365, not that either would satisfy his contract.

                  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                    Okay this is overreacting quite a bit, Mark Teixeira has a .387 wOBA over 4900 PAs. I’d say he knows what he’s doing at the plate, combined with the fact that he’s hitting .220 as opposed to .280 where he is at in his career, I’d say he’s coming across quite a bit of bad luck…also consider the fact that his HR/FB ratio has dipped…I’m positive that he’ll turn it around. Why question him though? Joba Chamberlain’s pumping out more 92 MPH fastballs and fewer 98 MPH fastballs over the past two years than he did in 2007-2008, something that’s actually…y’know…not luck dependant and a huge cause of concern for a young pitcher, and everyone’s still showing faith in him. Alex Rodriguez went through countless awful post season games, everyone here stood by him then…chalked it up to SSS and realized that he’s a great hitter, eventually he’ll put up great post season numbers. Why not show Teixeira the same support, if he was hitting his career average and his BB% stayed the same and his SLG/BA ratio stayed the same he’d be OPSing .900.

                    • rbizzler

                      I think that everyone is showing plenty of support for Tex, but would also like to see him start producing.

                      And I agree with you that his history, combined with his batted ball stats for this year, bode well for his return to form.

                    • Pete

                      huh? I said nothing about Tex being done or anything like that. What I said was that the “well if we win the WS anyway, who cares?” logic is flawed. Tex’s usual production may be superfluous now, but in a couple years it may very well not be.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          “nobody thinks that’s a good BA, but his 36 RBI so far means he is at least producing during a slump benefiting from having great teammates around him which give him tons of baserunners and oodles of RBI opportunities as well tons of protection behind him, so that he’s still knocking runs in at a high aggregate total despite being shitty at knocking them in on a rate basis

          Fixed.

          • mike c

            scoring runs = winning games
            the batting average will even out eventually. he’s still producing and helping the team win, even if his BABIP is very low

            • poster

              You just ignored that whole post, didn’t you?

              • mike c

                no, i happen to disagree. did you know you’re actually allowed to disagree with TJSC? If you’re saying something like “tex is producing RBI’s because of his teammate’s protection” when tex is getting intentionally walked to load the bases for arod, then i’m not going to agree. do you want me to make bullet points for you or can you offer some kind of insight?

                • poster

                  You didn’t refute anything TSJC said.

                  I’m not arguing this with you.

                  • mike c

                    your cat’s breath smells like cat food.

                    i digress, perhaps i could have spelled it out a little better. would you like me to break it all down for you? because i really don’t want to

                • Pete

                  That is a total strawman. Nobody said “Tex is producing RBI’s because of his teammate’s [sic] protection”. They said that he is producing because he hits with a well-above-average number of runners on base, PLUS has the added protection of A-Rod and Cano hitting behind him. Do you really think pitchers are, in general, pitching around Tex, who isn’t hitting at all, to get to A-Rod, who is hitting, just not for power, just because they’ve intentionally walked him a couple of times for strategic reasons?

                  I agree with the idea that there’s no need to bitch and moan about a team that’s doing quite well, but that doesn’t mean there’s cause for concern. Tex having decent RBI totals despite sucking horribly on offense this season does not assuage those concerns.

                • NickyTheSwish

                  Teixeira has had 120 AB with runners on base from which he has produced 32 of his 36 RBI. In those 120 AB he’s hitting .233/.366/.417. In 65 AB with RISP he’s hitting .231/.405/.415 to net him 25 of his RBI. If he was not hitting 3rd every game sandwiched between Jeter/Swisher and A-rod/Cano he would have far fewer RBI opportunities and thus far fewer RBI, and if virtually anyone else on the team was given his RBI opportunities they would, as a result of these numbers, have more RBI than he has managed to produce. Is that clear enough for you?

              • Once and Future Lurker

                He didn’t ignore the post, he just said that it doesn’t matter. I tend to agree, at least with this part. If he’s getting enough RBIs, who cares why or how? The rally-killing and all that aside, TJSC’s post addressed the nature of his RBIs, but I don’t quite get it. He’s not getting them consistently, but he is getting them. If he finishes the season with 150 and the Yankees make the playoffs, what’s the difference?

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  Because RBI tell us nothing about a players performance. They are all about opportunity.

                  David Dejesus knocks in about the same percentage of runners that Ryan Howard does. Again, opportunity leads to RBI, not being “an RBI guy”.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Because RBI tell us nothing about a players performance. They are all about opportunity.

                    David Dejesus knocks in about the same percentage of runners that Ryan Howard does. Again, opportunity leads to RBI, not being “an RBI guy”.

                    That.

                • Pete

                  The difference is that you’d be greatly overpaying him, and such fiscal inefficiency is what destabilizes dynasties. It would suggest either that we paid for him despite not needing his expected (and paid for) production, and therefore could have used that money somewhere more prudent while creating a great deal of flexibility in the future, or that we succeeded mostly based on luck, and, if Tex continues to perform at that level, probably would not continue to sustain that level of success.

                  Neither is a good option.

    • pat

      1/3 of the season has passed. Luckily we have a good enough lineup to cover up his deficiencies, because if we were leaning on him to carry us, we could very well be 7 or 8 games out of it.

    • Carcillo

      So someone making 22.5 million to hit putting up a line of .224/.338/.388 more than 33% of the way through the season isn’t putting up “unacceptable” numbers?

      Wow.

      • Stuckey

        No, you miss the point. Bloggers should accept the responsibility of using the English language correctly.

        While I understand lots of people walk around using words like “acceptable” and “guarantee” incorrectly every day, I don’t expect to see someone as capable as Mike use it for effect in that way.

        “Unacceptable” MEANS something.

        I’m afraid, you, I and Mike have little choice in the matter.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I’m with Stuckey.

          I’m reminded of when we lost a series last June to the last-place Nationals. Bridge-jumpers galore were calling losing a series to a last place team “unacceptable”.

          They were wrong.

          • Stuckey

            I admit after just seeing Joel Sherman and Jayson Stark quite literally prostitute themselves (over CC Sabathia) in order generate an angry response from Yankees fans, only to see this SORT of thing here (to a smaller degree for sure), I reacted.

          • vin

            Yeah, but in fairness, Strasburg and Harper each had HUGE series against the Yanks. When those two guys are on, no one is beating the mighty Nats.

            /revisionist history’d

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          Yep. When I see “unacceptable” I have to twitch a bit. Of course, early on last night I saw a lot of, regarding CC, “this performance against the Orioles is unacceptable” and I just don’t like that word in this case. It’s just such a serious word, I have trouble using it to describe baseball-related stuff, you know?

        • Mike HC

          Yea, unacceptable means not satisfactory or inadequate. Teix’s current hitting is surely inadequate right now. Hitting like this is unacceptable. Nothing about the word means he is not expected to get better. It just means his current hitting numbers are not acceptable. I really don’t see the problem here at all.

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

      Would…

      The season isn’t young anymore, we’re 59 games in and Tex is hitting an unacceptable .224-.338-.388, which is really bad and shouldn’t be happening…

      … have been better?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I’d say” Really bad and I wish it wasn’t happening.”

        Tex’s slump is regrettable, unfortunate, saddening, maddening, frustrating, it’s lots of things, but “unacceptable” isn’t one of them, IMHO. I don’t want Tex to slump, but I can accept it, because A.) we’re still winning and B.) he’s a good hitter who we all believe will turn it around at some point.

        But “unacceptable” means “I won’t accept this and personnel action must be taken immediately”. “Unacceptable” is language I used with my subordinates when I accumulated information for their files in preparation of firing them.

        Tex hitting .224/.338/.388 in mid-June is frustrating and unfortunate. If Cody Ransom were hitting .224/.338/.388 in mid-June, THAT would be unacceptable.

        • pat

          Tex hitting .224/.338/.388 in mid-June is frustrating and unfortunate. If Cody Ransom were hitting .224/.338/.388 in mid-June, THAT would be unacceptable.

          Unless there is a specific gramatically based rule I don’t know about, and Lord knows I don’t have no good grammer skills, I look at it the completely opposite way.

          If Handsome Cody were hitting .224/.338/.388 that’s perfectly acceptable because he’s a scrub and we don’t expect anything else. For a 20 million dollar man with his track record and and hitting abilities .224/.338/.388 is completely unacceptable. In a vacuum, a guy with that line should either be demoted in the lineup or benched However, we know he’ll turn it around eventually and it could be potentially damaging to his psyche therefore he stays in the three hole.

          If you had a subordinate performing at half of their normal productivity it would be labeled as unacceptable.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            I think the context of AB’s is at the crux of this. If Cody Ransom were hitting .224/.338/.388 in 200+ AB’s, then that would be unacceptable.

          • Pete

            Yes and no. Cody Randsom putting up that line as a “scrub” would be perfectly acceptable. Having a “scrub” as a permanent fixture in your starting lineup, barring some unforeseen circumstance in which no player better than Randsom is attainable via trade/FA/promotion/picking someone out of the stands/etc, is what TSJC is saying is “unacceptable.”

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Sorry, maybe I was unclear. Here’s what I’m saying:

            If Mark Teixeira was on this team and by mid-June he had 200+ plate appearances and had a line of .224/.338/.388, that’s something that I would find frustrating and maddening and upsetting, but I could accept it as unfortunate because I know Mark Teixeira is better than that and the overwhelming statistical likelihood is that he’ll bounce back and iron himself out. It’s acceptable (but not GOOD or DESIRABLE or COMFORTING, merely something that can be accepted) because while it’s not the optimal outcome, no drastic action need be taken.

            If Cody Ransom were the player with 200+ plate appearances and a .224/.338/.388, that would be unacceptable, because Cody Ransom sucks. Action should be taken immediately, Ransom should be DFA’d, because while his line is just as shitty as Tex’s line, there’s no indication that Ransom will provide better results in the future. I cannot accept Cody Ransom being on this team getting significant plate appearances and sucking up the joint. I CAN accept it for Tex, because he give reason for optimism.

            Basically, “unacceptable” = “I cannot endure this any more. Something must be done to stop this.”

            Is that more straightforward?

        • Pete

          exactly this. soooooo much of this. “Unacceptable” means “necessitating immediate change”, which suggests such a change is within the realm of plausible effectuation. This is not an “unacceptable situation”, it is a “shit happens” situation. We have no choice but to deal with this slump, because there is no alternative. If there were an alternative course of action and the Yankees/Tex were not taking it, then THAT would be unacceptable.

          • Mike HC

            Yes, “necessitating immediate change,” as in, he has to start hitting better.

            And two, “unacceptable” does not mean that.

            • Pete

              “Yes, “necessitating immediate change,” as in, he has to start hitting better”

              Or what? We cut him?

              No. We just want him to start hitting better. There’s no “has to” here, because, as we’ve been stressing, there’s no alternative to him. He will hit however well he hits, and we will deal with it if he doesn’t hit well.

              • Mike HC

                Or the Yanks will not be as successful as they could be. This is not life and death here. It is sports. Teix’s hitting directly affects the wins and losses of the team. If he continues to hit this way, the Yanks will not win as many games than if he hits like he usually does.

                • poster

                  Nobody said differently.

                  • Mike HC

                    So not winning as many games as we could have is acceptable to you? If the Yanks miss the playoffs in large part to Teix struggling all year, that is unacceptable. If they lose in the playoffs in large part to Teix’s struggles, that is unacceptable to me. Maybe you are just a calmer fan than me.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            This is not an “unacceptable situation”, it is a “shit happens” situation. We have no choice but to deal with this slump, because there is no alternative.

            All of that.

            • Mike HC

              I don’t agree there at all. The alternative is that he hits better.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                That’s the alternative for Mark.

                WE, as in either we the fanbase or we the Yankee organization, WE have no choice but to deal with Mark’s slump because there is no alternative. WE’RE not going to bench him or trade him or cut him or do anything, we’re going to sit patiently and wait for his results to improve.

                Any action WE (as in NOT Mark Teixeira himself) take would be a boverreaction. Other than the coaching and adjusting he’d do with coaches, which is undoubtedly already happening as we speak.

                • Mike HC

                  You lost me a little bit here. Whatever. Any further argument here would just get unbearable.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    Fine.

                    Let’s just agree that Raul Mondesi is fat and call it a day.

              • Pete

                how?

                • Pete

                  lemme rephrase that – you said the alternative is that he hits better. How is that an alternative? If he could elect to hit better, wouldn’t he have done so already? There’s no choice here, that’s the point. As fans, we have no choice but to wait for him to start hitting better. As his employers, the Yankees have no choice but to wait for him to start hitting better. As himself, Mark Teixeira has no choice but to wait until he starts hitting better, because I assure you, he’s doing everything possible to improve his play right now.

                  • Mike HC

                    It is unacceptable that he is hitting the way he currently is. The alternative is that he hits better, as in, he squares the ball on his bat better, hits the ball harder, hits more homeruns etc … Players tend to go about this by taking batting practice, going over video, working out more, getting in the right mental state and many other ways. That is how.

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Tex is doing all that, and still not getting results.

                      Now what?

                    • Mike HC

                      Then the Yanks will not be as good a team as they could have been if Teix was to hit to his career averages and what was expected. Which will be an unacceptable/inadequate/unsatisfactory result.

                    • Mike HC

                      Just because you can’t change something, does not mean it can’t be unacceptable. If you are tied up watching a loved one get killed, that is not acceptable, even though you could not do anything about it.

                      Yes, you have to accept that it happened, like you accept Teix is hitting far below his career averages, but the event (the killing or the hitting) is still unacceptable.

                      That is how I see it. I understand the way you guys are looking at it, and semantics definitely comes into play here, so it is really not that big a deal.

      • mike c

        the problem not your wording.. it’s blatantly obvious he’s struggling, we don’t need to be reminded. we get it. are we annoyed? yes we all are, some think he’s going to snap out of it soon, some don’t. regardless i’m sure the wheels are turning

        • rbizzler

          I am 100% sure that Mike’s post was an exercise in trying to understand the nature of Tex’s struggles in a more complete manner. He merely saw Tex struggle against guys with good changeups and looked deeper into the numbers. If you are ‘annoyed’ by this type of analysis then maybe you should skip posts such as these.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think using unacceptable was a problem at all. I highly doubt Teix, Girardi and Long are sitting around, twiddling their thumbs just “accepting” Teix’s struggles, not doing anything about it.

        It is unacceptable in the sense something has to change, or be fixed, or whatever. Maybe he has to do more work. Getting better and out of funks is all about not accepting it. I like this idea about neutralizing a pitchers best pitch. And when a proven guy like Maddon makes the decision to make a change, people should take notice.

        The Yanks don’t even “accept” Teix’s yearly struggles in April. They tried to make adjustments and hoped for that to change this year. Just because it didn’t does not mean they accepted it. They made light of it. They endured it. They had no choice. They did not accept it.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I don’t think using unacceptable was a problem at all. I highly doubt Teix, Girardi and Long are sitting around, twiddling their thumbs just “accepting” Teix’s struggles, not doing anything about it.

          False dichotomy FTL.

          Tex’s struggles are not unacceptable, nor are they really “acceptable” either. It’s none of the above.

          If forced to be one or the other, though, it’s closer to “acceptable” than “unacceptable”. But BOTH words are ill-fitting in this instance, IMO.

          • Mike HC

            Fair enough there. It can be somewhere in the middle.

            But at least one definition of unacceptable is inadequate or unsatisfactory. Teix’s current hitting line surely falls under that category.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Perhaps.

              I suppose my visceral negative reaction to the word was born out of two sources:

              1.) The frequency in which the word is used throughout the interwebs in the boverreacting, harsher “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT THIS NOW SOMEONE MUST BE FIRED” sense of the word;
              2.) The way the word is used in corporate HR jargon as a synonym for “this is an offense/performance/result for which you may be subject to termination”

              I get that there’s a connotation for unacceptable which means simply “this is not good or satisfying”, but the fact that it also has a connotation that means “this is something that is untenable and severe action must be taken immediately” makes me wish people used a different word if all they mean is the first connotation.

              • Mike HC

                I get that. Using unacceptable under the harshest meaning possible is going overboard. I’m with you there.

                But I just wanted it to be acknowledged that it does not always have to be taken in the harshest context.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Sure, and I just wanted it to be acknowledged that since the harsh context exists, and there’s other words that mean the same thing as the non-harsh context but don’t also come with an alternate harsh context, it would be peachy if we could all start using those other words instead to avoid any possibility that our words are misconstrued or taken out of context (pun intended).

                  • Mike HC

                    hahah. Something about that made me laugh. I don’t know.

                    I guess that is fair.

                  • Mike HC

                    I can tell you one thing for sure though. After reading this thread, Axisa is going to twitch any time he even thinks about writing the word “unacceptable” haha

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Just like when Joe Theismann hears the name “Lawrence Taylor”.

    • theyankeewarrior

      I think we’re splitting hairs here. I also believe that Tex himself might deem his .224 etc. line “unacceptable” as in, he needs to not accept that level of play and get better.

      On another note, Mike! Check your email. Good news awaits.

    • Pete

      I semi-agree. It didn’t bother me because Mike A has never really intimated any kind of Wally Matthews-y-ness or whatever, but people do tend to use that word, and it does bother me sometimes. “Shitty” would have been a preferable choice, because “unacceptable” implies that there exists another option – one that is “acceptable” – and that the transgressor has some ability to change things. I know it’s not what you meant, but saying that his performance is unacceptable does subtly hint that he is somehow choosing this course of events (or, I should say, has any control over them). Tex is failing miserably, but outside of not hitting the ball, he’s doing nothing wrong that we know of. He can only control how hard he works, and thus far we’ve heard nothing about him not working hard.

      If he’s masking some kind of injury, however, then “unacceptable” is EXACTLY the right word to use.

  • mike c

    last 7 days (yes including the 5 K toronto game): .296/.387/.481
    don’t mess, he’ll come around

    • vin

      That’s much more acceptable.

  • A.D.

    Gotta give Maddon credit on that idea so far, very interesting.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Ever since Dallas Braden and his nasty change threw a perfect game against the Rays, Maddon has stacked his lineups with players who bat with the same hand as the starting pitcher in order to neutralize that pitch.

      Respect the Two-Oh-Nine, biznatch. That’s how we do it.

      I MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!

      Deuce-out,
      D-Brizzle fo’ Shizzle

    • vin

      He certainly does a good job of playing the role of “creative, long-time baseball guy who finally got a chance to manage.” I’m always interested when these guys get hired, as opposed to a Dave Trembley.

      By all accounts Trembley was supposed to be the guy who would take the O’s back to respectability, but he just didn’t have the horses to do the work. Look at Trey Hillman. Joe Posnanski wrote a great blog post about Hillman after he got axed. I had no idea he was so inept. He had quite a bit of hype during that offseason, and was even connected to the Yankee job early on.

  • KeithK

    Switching sides against change up pitchers would make more sense if this was a problem that TEx has had throughout his career. This doesn’t seem to be the case based on Fangraphs data. Trying it might just mess him up further by adding another new variable.

    I don’t know why Tex is in such a deep slump. But if he isn’t hurt he’s probably going to come out of it at some point.

    • vin

      Yeah, Tex doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who’s willing to accept that his approach is failing and he needs to make changes.

      I kind of thought maybe Tex was feeling some pain in his foot (that he hurt the previous series) during the Toronoto games. He just didn’t look comfortable. Reminded me of when he had the wrist tendenitis flare up early last season. He took a little time off, then gutted his way through it with some ugly AB’s.

    • mike c

      repeated for posterity:

      last 7 days (yes including the 5 K toronto game): .296/.387/.481

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Pretty SSS.

        • mike c

          okay, i give. let’s DFA tomorrow then

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            No, give him another whole series before calling for him to be DFA’d.

            • rbizzler

              Another series? Clearly you haven’t been watching the games.

              And pity on you for pointing out the limitations of a SSS.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I’ve already taken the precaution of installing snipers at all the Yankee games for the next 10 days. Next time he strikes out, I’m going to assassinate him.

              It’s the only sensible option.

            • OldYanksFan

              Look… we are all Yankee fans here.
              Time to face facts.
              Is Giambi available?

  • poster

    I don’t have too much problem with the word “unacceptable” because I think we’re arguing semantics.

    But besides that, I’m not really too worried about Tex. This reminds me a bit of the epic Jeter slump of 04′. Unless I’m remembering wrong (and I might be, of course) the Jeter slump wasn’t QUITE as bad as the Tex slump so far, but on the other hand when Tex gets hot he fucking KILLS the ball, so it might even out.

    • Pete

      re: semantics:

      I would agree with you, except that this comment: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-917146 proves that it’s not semantics. Semantic arguments are ones in which both parties agree and have the same understanding, but are arguing over nothing more than the phrasing.

      The use of the word “unacceptable” in reference to a situation like this proliferates a misunderstanding of how the game works. Obviously, we all know and love Mike A, and know well that he understands the game much better than the many writers who do proliferate misunderstanding, but it is nevertheless worth specifically not using particular words which, if semantically mistaken, can lead to a broader misconception.

      The misconception I’m referring to is the idea that players have a significant amount of conscious autonomy over their success and failure. Obviously, the amount of offseason preparation and maintained work over the course of a season do have an affect on a player’s performance. But we have no evidence to suggest that Tex’s work ethic has slipped, or that his preparation was any different. Things of that nature fall into “unacceptable/acceptable” category because they are the results of conscious decisions and therefore alternatives can be consciously pursued.

      But with no real knowledge of the cause of Tex’s struggles, neither we nor he can rectify the situation through conscious action. I doubt anybody would suggest that Tex is not trying as hard as he can to pull out of this slump. If he were the kind of player who offered no realistic reason for optimism, like the Cody Ransom analogy below (I think), then there would be something the Yankees could consciously effect – they could cut him. But it would be rash and irrational to cut or trade (unless there were a great trade option, which there clearly isn’t) Mark Teixeira based on 60 games worth of struggles. So there is nothing the Yankees can do to rectify the situation.

      Similarly, Tex is (presumably) doing the same preparatory stuff he has done his entire career. Abandoning something that has, at least in part, led to 7 years of success in the majors based on 60 games of failure would be just as rash and irrational as the Yanks cutting Tex. So there is nothing Tex can consciously do to rectify the situation.

      As fans, we have essentially no control whatsoever over anything that happens on the field. So there is nothing we can do, rational or not, to rectify the situation.

      Based on all of that, it’s pretty easy to come to the conclusion that nothing can be done to change the situation, and we all just have to wait it out. Which begs the question – how can something be “unacceptable” if we have no choice but to accept it?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        /truthbomb’d

  • http://www.bronxbanterblog.com Diane

    I find the tone of many of the comments here to be … unacceptable.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Well said.

  • SK

    texiera has been so bad that he was traded for stephen strasburg in my fantasy league….TWO WEEKS AGO.

    in any case, are people in favor of girardi moving texiera in the lineup? Everyone says that you should be able to put a struggling hitter in the 2 spot because the great hitters behind him will give him better pitches to see. Maybe try flip-flopping A-rod and Tex so that Tex has Cano “protecting” him in the lineup

    it’s tough because i don’t see anyone else taking the 3-spot if you took out tex. Cano perhaps?

    • mike c

      i’d make that trade tomorrow

    • pat

      I think the protection thing is wiggity wack. Arod isn’t good enough “protection” all of a sudden. There are a lot worse players being protected by much worse guys than Arod and they’re producing. He just needs to get his head on straight, he’ll be fine. I really don’t think protection has anything to do with it.

      • rbizzler

        Yuppers, agreed. There seems to have been an influx of old-school Joe Morgan types on here recently. What gives? All of this sanctifying of the almighty RBI and belief in the myth of protection has left me feeling a bit like I am in bizarro-RAB.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      in any case, are people in favor of girardi moving texiera in the lineup?

      Are we still winning? Yes?

      Then no.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I’m sure it’ll be a tremendously uncomfortable experience for him since he’s never faced a non-knuckleball pitcher throwing from the same side in his big league career

    Does anyone have any idea if switch-hitters occasionally take BP from the same side as the pitcher? I know they switch around for knuckleballers, and because they are switch hitters they may not want to use (somewhat) limited ab’s in BP to face a RHP right-handed and vice versa. Wasn’t sure if that’s a regular practice or totally ignored because it doesn’t really happen. I would guess that the Tampa Bay guys likely did in anticipation, but not sure in general.

  • jim p

    He’s guessing and guessing wrong, is my guess. He had success all his career. Maybe he just needs to react more instead of guessing.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    RBI Opportunities

    Tex Runners on Base: 200 (95-74-31)
    ML Avg Runners on Base: 168 (82-56-29)

    This is why Tex is “producing” RBI.

    • rbizzler

      Oh, stop it with your fancy explanations for why Tex’s rate stats are suboptimal (Like that?! I didn’t say unacceptable did I?), but his raw RBI total is still respectable. Everyone here knows that scoring runs = winning games, and that an analysis of Tex’s RBI opportunities is worthless.

      All kidding aside, thanks for posting these as the number reinforce the understanding of RBI as an opportunity-based stat.

  • thurdonpaul

    i guess this “slump” by Tex kinda ruins the thoughts from last year that Tex took off when A-rod came back last year because of the protection A-rod gave him.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

    Okay this is overreacting quite a bit, Mark Teixeira has a .387 wOBA over 4900 PAs. I’d say he knows what he’s doing at the plate, combined with the fact that he’s hitting .220 as opposed to .280 where he is at in his career, I’d say he’s coming across quite a bit of bad luck…also consider the fact that his HR/FB ratio has dipped…I’m positive that he’ll turn it around. Why question him though? Joba Chamberlain’s pumping out more 92 MPH fastballs and fewer 98 MPH fastballs over the past two years than he did in 2007-2008, something that’s actually…y’know…not luck dependant and a huge cause of concern for a young pitcher, and everyone’s still showing faith in him. Alex Rodriguez went through countless awful post season games, everyone here stood by him then…chalked it up to SSS and realized that he’s a great hitter, eventually he’ll put up great post season numbers. Why not show Teixeira the same support, if he was hitting his career average and his BB% stayed the same and his SLG/BA ratio stayed the same he’d be OPSing .900.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I agree with the context of your comment that Tex will be fine, but I don’t think that Mike said otherwise. He’s simply pointing out an area where Tex is clearly struggling and what he might do to shake things up. People change their batting stances regularly when they are slumping, as they develop some bad habits along the way. While considering having Tex hit same handed against changeup pitchers is a litte more unorthodox, it’s not a “the sky is falling” mentality. I know Tex will hit again. Hell, I just offered Ubaldo for him in my fantasy league. If you just go through the status quo when slumping that “he’ll revert back to his norms”, then I don’t see why guys pore over video or even have hitting coaches at all. If you’re in a slump, there is nothing wrong with being proactive in trying to get out of it, and that’s all I read from the post.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

        I get that, but…Mark Teixeira is well on his way to a Hall of Fame career, the changes in approach to the change are pretty drastic…I’d say what he’s doing to get himself here is fine, and issue caution against any huge changes. Mainly though, I just don’t see why a guy with a track record as great his gets an article suggesting a change in approach and calling it “unacceptable” and saying that it can’t go on for much longer…but Joba’s 93 MPH fastballs get an article of encouragement suggesting patience “young pitchers struggle,” “he’s only 24,” etc. etc. However, the established superstar gets articles with a much more…how do I say this “alarmed” tone.

        I mean if caution and restraint is your style, fine…but I don’t see how showing restraint in some situations where actual concern may be legitimate but not in situations that are really luck dependent is reasonable.

        However, that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong or misreading the articles.

        • rbizzler

          Oh, so this is really about Joba? I am impressed that you managed to work Joba into an article about Tex’s struggles against the change. Bravo.

          Once again, Mike’s post is in no way disparaging Tex. Rather, he is looking deeper into his struggles at the plate in the early portion of the season.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

            Okay…fist off, this isn’t about Joba at all. With the way that Hughes has been pitching I could give a shit less about him. This is about the discrepancies in covering two players that are struggling. I just got done studying my ass off for the LSAT so forgive me if I’m a massive prick that’s hypersensitive to small parts of the language of the article, there’s several statements in there that lend an overall negative tone to the article:

            “If you’ve watched the Yankees at all this year and last, you’ve surely noticed that first baseman Mark Teixeira has had an exceptionally tough time against changeups in 2010. This was particularly obvious last Saturday, when he looked helpless in striking out five times against changeup specialists Ricky Romero and Casey Janssen. The advanced metrics are picking up on Tex’s weakness against changeups as well, saying he’s been worth 0.58 runs below average against the pitch (for every 100 seen) this season compared to 0.88 runs above average last year and an even 1.00 for his career.”

            That lends a pretty negative tone with words like “helpless” and “exceptionally tough” to just name a few. Also citing advanced metrics regarding his struggles to point out just how badly he’s been and where he’s been bad…but not once citing the advanced metrics to show that he’s ran into bad luck.

            Also with quotes such as this:

            “The struggles against changeups carry over to the fastball as well, which is expected given the relationship between the two pitches.”

            “The season isn’t young anymore, we’re 59 games in and Tex is hitting an unacceptable .224-.338-.388. Maybe it’s time to (forgive the pun) change things up and try something not necessarily drastic, but unique”

            and lastly this:

            “How much longer can they wait though?”

            The approach is very matter of fact, and somewhat objective…but the tone is overall, very negative.

            Compared to a recent article about another struggling Yankee, Joba Chamberlain (sorry to bring him into this, I really am…but luckily enough for us there’s only two noteworthy Yankees that are struggling…I’m pretty sure no one gives a fuck about Chad Gaudin)

            In “Trusting Joba Chamberlain in Critical Spots” you can read it and look at the tone, it’s very encouraging and for the most part objective and matter of fact:

            “This asks the question of whether the Yankees can trust Joba.

            His recent performances and 5.26 season ERA might say no, but despite the recent blips Joba has put together a quality season. His strikeout rate is at 10.52 per nine and his walk rate is the lowest it has been since 2007″

            “The first number that stands out is Joba’s BABIP, .380. His mark has always trended high, .332 in 2008 and .320 in 2009. Yet even those numbers are far below his current .380 mark. It’s not like hitters are making considerably better contact, as his line drive rate is 19.4 percent, about two percentage points lower than last year, while his groundball rate is 48.6 percent, almost six points better than last season. Maybe hitters are making better contact on the ground and finding the hole more easily. Other than that, the only better explanation for his BABIP is bad luck.”

            and lastly this:

            “His strand rate also sticks out. At 56.6 percent, he’s among the league trailers. As expected, this comes from poor numbers with men on base. With the bases empty Joba has struck out 14 of the 48 batters he’s faced, 29 percent, while striking out just 16 of the 62 batters he has faced with men on, 26 percent. He has also walked a few more with men on base. What also stands out is his groundball rate with men on . That’s just 39 percent, against 61.3 percent with no one on. Unsurprisingly this has led to more extra base hits with men on base, five, than with the bases empty, one.”

            Citing the typical “shit happens” stats, which yes, I agree he has gotten extremely unlucky…and should improve from here on out. However, where were the “shit happens” stats with Teixeira? Why not look at his .239 BABIP or his 12% (compred to a 19 career%) HR/FB ratio? Instead they take a deeper look into his struggles…fine, that’s completely warranted. However, when other noteworthy Yankees, like a Joba Chamberlain, are struggling where is the mention that in 2010 that 36 percent of his fastballs are 93 or lower compared to 4% in 2008-2007 and that this year he’s only throwing 4% of of his fastballs 98 or higher compared to 47% of his fastballs in 2008-2007…that can explain his struggles in the bullpen much like Mark Teixeira’s change up rates can explain his struggles. I’m not complaining about Chamberlain one bit here, I’m asking why is the tone of Teixeira’s article different than the tone of Chamberlain’s articles. I realize that Joba Chamberlain is a lightning rod for controversy and gets killed so much in the typical NYY media outlets that anytime you say something bad about him it almost sounds like you agree with people who haven’t fully evolved like Steve Phillips or Mike Francessa. I also realize that most Yankee fans, including myself…I even have a 62 authentic…bought it in 2008, have an insane love for Joba Chamberlain and while they’re at school they write JC + their initials on their notebooks and draw big hearts around them. I regret that I have to bring him into this, if another Yankee was struggling and the tone was overall positive to his struggles I’d use him as an example. However, the last Yankee that was really struggling was Derek Jeter and the tone in his article was “has age finally caught up with him?” which was completely warranted, he’s very old for his position. I’m mainly concerned with why:

            A.) The tone is so negative, compared to other struggling Yankees.

            and

            B.) Why his flukishly low HR/FB ratio and BABIP weren’t mentioned, in a small sample size like 60 games those and other numbers can get flukishly low.

            Once again, I’m not trying to be off topic here, I’m just wondering why the tone is so overall negative here for such an established player.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              You had me at “Okay, fist off”.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                I can’t tell if you’re being a dick or not…but I’m probably wrong so I’ll just assume that you are.

                :(

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                  Ahhh…noticed the spelling error…it’s cold in the room and my fingers struggle to move quickly and accurately when typing.

                  I fail.

                  :(

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    It’s all good… Chip Caray.

                    The jig is up, we know it’s you.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                      Well Mark Teixeira HAS been fisting quite a few balls…that could explain the struggles.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          However, that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong or misreading the articles.

          I think you are just misreading the tone of the articles. Tex could be struggling for any reason, but he is struggling. I don’t think it’s unfair to point that out. Joba isn’t getting paid over $20 million a year like Tex, so while I’m 99.9% sure Tex will come out of it (possibly even not til next year), there’s still reason to be somewhat concerned when you have a guy for 6.5 more years at A LOT of money.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

            My reply right above this explains the cause of misreading the tone of the articles, and the salary argument is perfectly legit.

            As far as struggles over long term contracts there’s another lightning rod Yankee who is somewhat struggling whose struggles maybe be a bit less luck induced than Teixeira’s that also happens to be locked up…though I’m also confident that he’ll continue mashing ;)

            Sorry for going off topic again.

            • rbizzler

              First, good luck on the LSAT.

              Second, I think that we all can agree that analyzing a reliever and a everyday position player are two vastly different exercises. That post, IIRC, sought to emphasize that despite Joba’s inflated ERA, he actually has not pitched that badly.

              While I will agree that Mike’s post did smack of being frustrated with Tex, he was not disparaging the player. Judging a reliever after only a handful of innings is shortsighted but looking at a hitter’s performance against a specific pitch (and how he fairs against that pitch in combination with a standard complimentary pitch) is a perfectly rational exercise. Especially when he has struggles against pitchers who feature that specific pitch or pitch combo.

              Also, you are right to cite Tex’s Babip stats as an indication that he should turn things around.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                Well the first thing it was on Monday…but it’s the thought that counts.

                Second, well…perhaps he has, the declining velocity is an issue…before if he got into trouble he would reach back and face fuck a batter with a nasty 99 MPH fastball and get out of any jam he’s ever gotten himself into. Since he’s a young pitcher, and the most common issue with young phenoms is health, the velocity is an issue for a number of reasons. Also the fact that his slider isn’t fooling as many batters as it used to. Much like the fact that the league may have found Teixeira’s Achilles heel in the change up, the league may be able to beat Joba with a lesser fastball. Much like it’s rational and prudent to bring up Teixeira’s struggles against the change, it’s equally rational and prudent to bring up the fact that Joba’s plus plus heat is barely even average anymore…let alone the plus pitch if he’s ever going to have a chance to turn out to be who we thought he was.

                I never said he was disparaging him, just the overall tone towards his struggles wasn’t the rational “he’s going to break out of it” like it was towards Joba.

  • nsalem

    Considering Mark’s HOF type track record and that of the 29 games till the all star break 14 of them are against teams with .400 or below records I would give him the month to straighten himself out, which I am quite confident he will do.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Steve H says:
      June 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      I agree with the context of your comment that Tex will be fine, but I don’t think that Mike said otherwise. He’s simply pointing out an area where Tex is clearly struggling and what he might do to shake things up. People change their batting stances regularly when they are slumping, as they develop some bad habits along the way. While considering having Tex hit same handed against changeup pitchers is a litte more unorthodox, it’s not a “the sky is falling” mentality. I know Tex will hit again. Hell, I just offered Ubaldo for him in my fantasy league. If you just go through the status quo when slumping that “he’ll revert back to his norms”, then I don’t see why guys pore over video or even have hitting coaches at all. If you’re in a slump, there is nothing wrong with being proactive in trying to get out of it, and that’s all I read from the post.

      Amazing how the exact same reply can apply to two comments in a row.

  • Jorge

    I wish the numbers looked better. Yes. In his year-plus with this team, one of the things I’ve come to appreciate about Teixeira the most is that, no matter what the bat looks like, he never stops from absolutely bringing in defensively at first. Love him. Will love him if he finishes with a .230 BA this season.

  • YankeesJunkie

    There have been compounding issues that have really hurt Tex this year. First and foremost is he is not hitting the as stated in this entry. Where he was well over 2 FB/C the last three years he is at -.5 FB/C this year, that is going to have to change and probably will. Secondly, Tex has been a facing a BABIP of .240 compared to his usual BABIP of .310 which is a huge difference and has shown that he has not been lucky at all. However, these are the type of numbers that point that Tex could have a huge rest of the season because a hitter of Tex’s quality does not usually stay down this long, I expect his numbers will look much better come end of season.

  • Guest

    I think breaking out people’s number against certain pitches can be helpful, but don’t we create a rather large SSS problem when we do so for a small portion of the season? I mean if Tex were to go 4 for 4 of change-ups tonight, wouldn’t his season WAR against the pitch change drastically?

    In other words, this is a SSS created blip rather than a meaningful change in Tex’s ability to hit a change up. Also, the Maddon idea is intriguing, but again subject to SSS and way too many other variables. (How comfortable is Zobrist hitting against same-handed pitchers v. How comfortable would Tex be? How bad does the change-up pitchers other pitches have to be for the move to make sense?).

    Look, Tex is what he is. I know we’re more than a third of the way through the season and he still hasn’t produced. Maybe he won’t produce and this will just be a bad season. But the overwhelming odds are, unless there is an injury we don’t know about, he will produce numbers much more like his previous 4900 PAs than he his last 200. We shouldn’t mess with things.

    Remember, Mattingly and Ripken didn’t start changing their stances every week until their ability reduced. If you’re a great player who is slumping, keep doing what you did to make yourself great.

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

      Sure, it’s a small sample. Everything this season is a small sample. That doesn’t mean that we can throw the results out. They might not be predictive, but they’re still indicative of what did happen, no matter what the sample.

      It’s clear that Tex is struggling on the change. Pitcher throws it in the dirt, he swings. We’ve noticed it, and the stats bear it out. It is a clear problem.

      Now, the question is of whether it will just go away on its own, or if something needs to change. As we creep closer to the half-way mark, I think the needle starts tilting toward the latter. Because pretty soon we’re not going to be able to say SSS any more.

      • mike c

        yeah but you’re talking like he’s not hitting at all. he’s brought his average up more or less 10 points since last week. if he was hitting poorly in this series maybe but on tuesday he went 3-3 with a HR and 2 BB’s. if anything momentum is on his side

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          He’s brought up his average by hitting .250 in his last 7 games. He has nowhere to go but up. And within that 7 games was the game where he was dominated by changeups, which is what the post is about.

          • mike c

            .296 in the last 7

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

              He hit .370-.375-.759 during a seven game stretch in May, then hit .213-.307-.315 in the next 22 games. I’m not saying DFA, but seven games is hardly evidence that he’s turning it around.

              They gave him a hit on that ball that hit the lip of the grass last night and hopped away from Lugo. Take that out and he’s down to .259 over the last seven.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                What if you give him hard hit balls to the outfield that should have dropped for hits?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Then all this is probably moot.

                  FWIW, Tex’s BABIP is shockingly low (.239).

                  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                    Exactly the point I raised in the fist off, furthermore if his HR/FB ratio is closer to his careers he hits an extra four or five home runs, also alleviating the situation.

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              8-32 last 7 games. Either way pretty insignificant.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Sure, it’s a small sample. Everything this season is a small sample.

        Except for me, of course.

        Sincerely,
        tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada a/k/a Your Favorite Pundit’s Favorite Pundit a/k/a The Mayor of the Draft a/k/a The Large Sample Size

        • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

          Yes, we have a very large sample of your comments on this site.

          Oh, you meant…

          Never mind.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            IT’S INSANE, THIS GUY’S TAINT!!!

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

        Because pretty soon we’re not going to be able to say SSS any more.

        Gotta be an aSSShole and disagree with this…a full season can also be a small sample size…see Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher circa 2008.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Gotta be an aSSShole and disagree with this

          Awesome.

      • Guest

        You’re right, it is clear that Tex has struggled with the change. No doubt. My point is: does this mean that Tex is a different hitter against the change-up now than he has been his whole career? Maybe he is. Maybe he is having vision problems that are too subtle for him to notice yet. Maybe there is an injury we haven’t heard about.

        But presuming Tex is healthy and nothing has changed materially from last year, I would posit that, more likely than not, he is the same hitter against change-ups he has been his whole career. In which case, he is either going through a “slump” against the pitch or hitting into bad luck against the pitch. We just don’t have enough data to conclusively come to the conclusion that Tex has significantly and permanently regressed against the change-up.

        Further, if we don’t think Tex’ numbers so far in 2010 against the change are likely to be predictive of future results (as you note), then I don’t think it makes sense to have Tex make such a drastic change to his hitting approach. He likely hasn’t hit same-handed against a non-knuckleball pitcher in his entire professional career. I think taking him out of his long established comfort zone change will likely lead to more harm than good.

        All this said, I think Mike’s post is very interesting/informative and the hitting same-handed against pitchers with great changes is a creative idea. I just don’t think, all things considered, its something that Tex should actually do.

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

          I don’t disagree with any of your points. I just wanted to make one quick note: No one is suggesting that Tex actually do this. It’s an interesting idea, though, even more so because there is a team actually doing it. So, because Tex is struggling against the change and there is a manager who has implemented a new tactic to defend against the change, it makes for an interesting juxtaposition.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      SSS!

      /Jammy Jammers’d

  • http://instrumentsacrosstheworld.com Total Dominication

    Wow, the Rbi love on this thread by some people is dumbfounding.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Mind-bottling, even.

      • http://instrumentsacrosstheworld.com Total Dominication

        Is that the word for wanting to take these peoples’ minds and stuff them into bottles while “Moneyball” is played on tape for them over and over again?

      • mike c

        yeah seriously. RBI’s mean absolutely nothing. the team with the higher BA wins, not the team that scores the most runs

        • http://instrumentsacrosstheworld.com Total Dominication

          Dude, we’re talking about individual stats. Obviously for a team, runs in total for a team is very important, but for individuals, it is obp and slg that manly contribute to the overall team runs.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Furthermore, for all who laud the RBI stat, I’d encourage you to read some Joe Posnanski who ruminates at length about how RBI’s are overvalued and runs are undervalued.

            In order for Tex to knock in runs, somebody has to get on to score said runs. Why that first player’s contributions aren’t lauded as much as Tex’s are makes little to no sense.

            • mike c

              as much as i’d love to read some lengthy ruminations about statistics, i doubt i’ll have time between watching every yankee game. i never doubt OBP (tex’s is +.115 over BA) as being unimportant, but RBI is a clear indication of whether a player like tex is doing his job as the #3 hitter, especially when his BA is alarmingly low

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                but RBI is a clear indication of whether a player like tex is doing his job as the #3 hitter, especially when his BA is alarmingly low

                Batshit insane.

                • mike c

                  i bet you have a lot of friends

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    This response is irrelevant and pointless.

                  • http://cid-e3a022289d65b5c0.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Assorted/foul.jpg Andy in NYC aka the Other Oofys

                    i bet you have a lot of friends

                    He has plenty on here. Myself included.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                as much as i’d love to read some lengthy ruminations about statistics, i doubt i’ll have time between watching every yankee game.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

                • mike c
                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    If you think basic precepts of logic are “something incredibly obscure”, then I feel sad for you.

                    • mike c

                      if reading somebody’s lengthy ruminations about statistics is something you enjoy doing in your free time, then fine, the feeling is mutual. i shouldn’t even be responding to this nonsense, but pretentious commentary really grinds my gears. especially when it comes from people who don’t come off as very good thinkers. “fake-smarts” for lack of a better term

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      if reading somebody’s lengthy ruminations about statistics is something you enjoy doing in your free time, then fine, the feeling is mutual.

                      That doesn’t make sense.

                      i shouldn’t even be responding to this nonsense, but pretentious commentary really grinds my gears.

                      I think you’re confusing “intelligent” with “pretentious”.

                      especially when it comes from people who don’t come off as very good thinkers. “fake-smarts” for lack of a better term

                      You know, I’d warrant if you took a poll and asked “Between Tommie and Mike C, in this thread, who has exhibited clearer and more consistently good thought processes?” you’d be disappointed with the results. You’re leaping to faulty conclusions left and right and not reasoning clearly. The main reason for this seems to be a willful disdain to challenge the opinions you’ve formed with new or contradictory information.

                      Good thinkers challenge themselves by reading and conversing with people who think differently than they do.

                    • mike c

                      I think you’re confusing “intelligent” with “pretentious”.

                      from you? nope. there’s a couple other guys that are good, but you kinda got the napoleon thing going on, and your reponses reek of dickishness. maybe if you worked on that you could probably be a decent writer– but the douche-chills factor is strong with your stuff. i’m done unless you want to make a wager on tex or something

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                  Is that really ad hominem, I’d say it’s more of willful ignorance by creating a false dilemma…unless he’s insinuating that people who read about stats DON’T watch the games.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    unless he’s insinuating that people who read about stats DON’T watch the games.

                    He is. It’s an old, tired non-argument of the willfully ignorant that he’s borrowing.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                      I read it more as “I don’t need stats, I watch baseball” To put in context that even the most brain dead fans will understand…the difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter over the course of a full season is about a hit every two weeks. Even if you watch every game you’re not noticing that.

                  • mike c

                    i’m trying to say i could care less about reading statistics, and even less about someone’s opinion about statistics, and even less about someone’s pretentious commentary from someone who read about someone else’s opinion

                    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                      Isn’t the sacred RBI a statistic?

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      One simple, genuine question:

                      Why?

                      Why are you not interested in hearing what other people have to say? What benefit do you get by not hearing what either I, or Joe Posnanski (who is a great and incisive mind in the sports journalism world, IMHO) have to say about literally anything?

                    • mike c

                      dude, i’m interested in plenty of things. i barely can fit in baseball and light commentary and still try to do what makes me happy. i appreciate the suggestion, but not if you’re using it as some kind of back-handed insult

                    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                      Go read the comment where I suggested that you read Joe Posnanski. It wasn’t a backhanded insult at all, just an honest and plaintive request.

                    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                      Isn’t the sacred RBI a statistic?

                      It’s not a stat, it’s an indicator.

          • mike c

            decimal points don’t count if you talking about winning games. we all know tex isn’t going to hit .220 for the season, but you should know better that he’s going to drive in a ass-load of runs and produce points on the scoreboard, that’s his job, and tex’s OBP probably will be his career level by the end of season. what exactly is your point? we all want to see him hit more– but complaining that his BA won’t look good at the end of the year is a moot point. it’s going to be lower than usualm yes– but the yankees have been winning, a lot, regardless. and if tex performs at career level from now on, the yankees will be diesel and win many more games

            • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

              RBI Opportunities

              Tex Runners on Base: 200 (95-74-31)
              ML Avg Runners on Base: 168 (82-56-29)

              This is why Tex is “producing” RBI.

              • mike c

                yeah, so what’s your point? are the quotation marks supposed to mean that tex isn’t producing RBI?

                • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                  It means you can’t give him a ton of credit for his RBI total. His RBI total is respectable because of his RBI opportunities, not because he’s doing anything extra special. With men on he’s hitting .233. With RISP he’s hitting .231. He’s not doing anything great in these opportunities.

                  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                    If anything, Tex’s RBI total should tell you how poor he’s doing, because he should have a buttload more RBIs than he actually has at the moment.

                    Despite all those RBI, he’s only at a 0.3 WAR right now. His WPA is -0.97. He’s COST the Yankees almost a full win, even with all those RBIs, because he’s missing so many opportunities.

                    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                      And I hate to feel like I’m beating up on Tex, and the following numbers are extreme small sample sizes, but considering RBI is being quoted as a valid stat, I’ll use these. Tex’ batting average in the following situations:

                      Tie Game .114
                      1 run margin .200
                      2 run margin .191
                      3 run margin .202
                      4 run margin .207
                      >4 run margin .324

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Jon Heyman, is that you?

          Most important stats:
          RBI
          Wins
          Saves

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

            Stolen bases above RBIs, since they allow things to happen on the base paths…DUH

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

            “I don’t consider stats, I consider impact.”

            - Jon Heyman on MLB Network, explaining why he voted for Jack Morris and not Burt Blyleven for the HOF.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

              Much like how Jack Morris pitched to the score, Mark Teixeira hits to the score.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                That’s why he was terrible in October, they didn’t need him anyway.

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                  And when they needed him against Minnesota he came through in the clutch

                  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                    The analogy is perfect.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Don’t bother, Mike. Some philosopher-scholar already ripped Heyman apart.

              http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....lot-22085/

              I don’t know who he is, but he seems like a real man’s man with a rapier wit and a large endowment. One of the last true warrior-poets, that guy.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

    Also worth noting, for all of Teixeira’s struggles he’s still OPS+ing 99…

    • mike c

      finally a nugget– that, and the defense

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        OPS+’ing 99 is fine if you’re an up the middle player playing good defense and hitting 6th in the lineup.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          Never said it was fine…but it’s not like he’s replacement level or anything, he’s still close to the averageish first basemen…not that that’s the kind of production that the Yankees are paying for. Just sayin…

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Oh I agree. He’s been about a league average bat which is far from terrible, unless you’re Mark Teixeira.

          • forensicnucchem

            I know it’s way late, but that OPS+ does not mean that he’s closed to the averageish first baseman. It means he’s close to the averageish player.

            His sOPS+ as a first baseman is 80, which means he’s been a well below average first baseman.

            • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

              Well that and defense, makes him somewhat close to average…also that average OPS+ for first basemen needs to be looked at in the context of the average OPS+ for first basemen over the past few years…which is a bit lower.

  • forensicnucchem

    And as a response to the many times it was said it’s ok if he struggles since we’re winning:

    We’re not playing terribly, but we haven’t won a series against a non-Minnesota team with a winning record since early May. And only won one since mid-late April.

    Eventually they’re going to need the big names to produce like they’re used to in order to beat the winning teams.