Fan Confidence Poll: August 30th, 2010

Nova nails first MLB win in 2-1 thriller
What we learned about Ivan Nova in two starts

Record Last Week: 3-3 (34 RS, 33 RA)
Season Record: 80-50 (697 RS, 534 RA, 82-48 Pythag. record), tied for first in the AL East
Schedule This Week: vs. Athletics (four games, Mon. to Thurs.), vs. Blue Jays (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

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?
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Nova nails first MLB win in 2-1 thriller
What we learned about Ivan Nova in two starts
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    First team to 80 wins.
    Last team to 50 losses.
    League best 697 runs scored.
    Second fewest 534 runs allowed.
    Best run differential of +163.
    .269 team BA #7.
    .350 team OBP #1.
    .442 team SLG #3.
    .792 team OPS #2 (by .001).
    .802 second-half team OPS #1.
    .349 team wOBA #1.
    ARod, Berkman, Pettitte, Aceves, Marte all rejoining the team soon.
    Miranda, Albaladejo, Moeller, Curtis all coming for extra depth.

    Daddy likes.

    • FachoinaNYY

      This. All of this.

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

      Regarding the extra depth, I have a feeling that in an effort to preserve Hughes for the playoffs that he won’t be going much past five innings due to the extra bullpen help that they’ll be seeing.

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

        I’m good with that.

        If we’re rolling with a Mo-DRob-Joba-Wood-Logan-Gaudin-Mitre-Albaladejo-Aceves 9-man bullpen of death, we can afford to lift Hughes early (or use the quick hook on Nova, AJ, Burnett, etc.) Hell, we can even give CC an occasional 95-pitch outing instead of a 115-pitch one to preserve a few bullets.

        If we get Romulo and Marte back, even better.

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

          Oh, and with CC-Hughes-Pettitte-Javy-AJ-Nova-Moseley, that’s 7 starters. One of them will go to the pen, possibly two, and we could even do something like having a Hughes/Javy co-start where they each pitch 4 innings or something.

          Lots of options. We’ll have between 14 and 16 pitchers at our disposal, 9 of whom can start a game if need be.

          • Reggie C.

            Lots of options indeed, but not many good options.

            AJ & Vazquez have lost confidence in their pitches. Neither has executed acceptably well in over 2 mths. One of those 2 will have to pick it up for the stretch Sept run.

            Bc of the rotation patch work, I’m at a 7. I’m sure Dj’s glad August is over. I dont think anyone thought he’d have this much trouble this deep into the season.

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

              One of those 2 will have to pick it up for the stretch Sept run.

              Again: We don’t need a stretch September run. We’re 80-50. We’ve got a playoff seed locked down.

              • Captain Jack

                I mean yeah the team’s pretty good right now, but lets stop pretending like a stretch run wouldn’t be a good thing or perhaps even needed to inspire confidence in the playoff rotation.

          • Captain Jack

            Yeah, having Javy, AJ, and Moseley isn’t exactly a good thing…both AJ and Javy have been pretty awful, Moseley’s pitching above his head. I think they won’t give Javy many more starts…maybe just have him in mop up duty.

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

              Yeah, having Javy, AJ, and Moseley isn’t exactly a good thing…

              Of course it is. I’d rather have talented but struggling pitchers available to use in my organization than not have them at all. Javy and AJ can pitch well, even if they’re not doing so at the moment. And Moseley’s very useful depth.

              Having pitchers who are sometimes good and sometimes bad is better than not having them at all and being forced to rely on less talented pitchers who are nothing but bad all the time.

              • Captain Jack

                There are worse situations, but I wouldn’t exactly call deciding between AJ, Javy, and Moseley an ideal situation. AJ and Javy were at one point talented good pitchers, right now they’re throwing slop their peripherals and stuff are way down across the board they are legitimately bad pitchers right now. I hope there’s some hope for AJ down the road, but I’m not optimistic.

    • steve s

      I’m glad I didn’t vote until I read the above (so I go from a tepid 8 to a confident 9). Just one question. No Jesus depth in September and no mysterious injury to Cervelli so that Jesus makes the post-season roster?

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

        Patience, young padawan. Jesus shall arrive in 2011.

        • AndrewYF

          I did see a sign that proclaimed the end of days was coming May 21st, 2011.

          That’s my prediction for a Jesus call-up.

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

        …and no mysterious injury to Cervelli so that Jesus makes the post-season roster?

        Nick Johnson’s inability to recover from wrist surgery means we get to add Jesus whenever we want (if we want).

        No need to fake a Cervelli injury.

        • Pete

          There’s always a need to fake a Cervelli injury.

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

            Touché.

          • Total Dominication

            This.

  • Frank

    7. Starting pitching is still a major concern (despite Nova’s nice start yesterday) with no Pettitte and a difficult September schedule looming. AJ needs to step up big time.

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

      Current playoff odds: 95.5%

      http://www.coolstandings.com/b.....gs.asp?i=1

      September doesn’t matter that much, we’re making the playoffs regardless. We’re not the friggin’ Mets, for Mo’s sake, there’s no imminent collapse around the horizon. The offense can carry the pitching for this last month of playoff seed jockeying.

      Meaning we don’t need to have our pitching truly sorted out until October 5th, and that’s plenty of time to get Pettitte, Aceves, and Marte back and give rest to Hughes/Javy/Burnett and let them try to straighten themselves out.

      We’re good.

  • Jorge

    Down from 9 to 8 simply due to major parts of the team showing their age, increased injuries, and long-term solutions for only some of those clearly visible. An “8” is still an “8,” though.

    And I cross my fingers and hope the B-12 story is just a bunch of bunk.

    • Gonzo

      Can’t Nova just appeal until the season is over if it gets to that? I am not sure, anyone know?

  • Guest

    I think the great start of the “Killer Bs” at the AA level and Montero’s continued dominance of the AAA level put me at a 9 organizationally.

    In ManBan, you have a well-regarded pitchability youngster who all of a sudden adds velocity. He’s now, I think, either an elite prospect or on the cusp of becoming an elite prospect.

    Brackman and Betances have both put together a (primarily) healthy year with considerably improved control, allowing their uniquely impressive stuff to shine through.

    And Montero’s dominant July and August show that his bat is absolutely ready for prime time.

    Now, all four of these guys may not become what we hope they will become in the majors. In fact, it is highly unlikely that all four of them will hti their ceilings.

    But the fact remains, the best team in baseball now has five elite prospects who are in AA or higher (these four plus the struggling Romine). Moreover, three of them are starting pitchers and the other two are catchers–two of the most valuable positions on the field.

    We’re in a very good place right now.

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

      Depth: tremendous.

      • Pete

        deep. thick.

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    So, we pick up Nick Johnson’s option for 2011, right? He’s *sure* to be healthy next season!

    • larryf

      We can pick it up but I don’t think Nick will be able to without re-injuring himself. Any option/contract is too heavy for Nick….

      • http://MattOnEarth.blogspot.com Matt on Earth

        I’m also not sure how much of next season he’ll miss due to this season’s surgury. He might not even get the opportunity to hurt himself next year if he’s still rehabbing from this year’s endeavors.

      • Frank

        All kidding aside, I think Konerko would be a great DH for this team next season.

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

          I’d much rather sign a decent third catcher (like, say, John Buck) and have a three way C/DH timeshare with Free Agent Catcher X/Jorge Posada/Jesus Montero than sign an expensive DH-only bat to a multi-year deal like Paul Konerko and limit our flexibility and defense.

          Flexibility FTW.

          • Zack

            I’m all for this.
            That was the idea behind getting Chris Synder- an insurance policy for a 39 year old catcher and a 21 year old catcher.

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

              I was interested in Snyder too, but Buck’s available for nothing but cash this winter. Doesn’t even cost a draft pick (he’s a Type B.)

              • Gonzo

                I really don’t think Buck will sign with the Yankees. I would assume he either wants a decent contract, or a situation with decent playing time to prove he is worth a decent contract. He made $2.4mm this year. I assume he wants to best that. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see the match.

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

                  Gerald Laird? Bengie Molina? Jose Molina? Rod Barajas? Yorvit Torrealba? Gregg Zaun?

                  (Any of them would be cheaper than Konerko, btw, even if we overpay them significantly to forgo a guaranteed starting job.)

                  • Gonzo

                    Okay, but my point is that Buck is probably pie in the sky.

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

                      Perhaps, but there’s other options that are slightly less desirable but still better than paying big bucks to a full-time DH.

                    • Gonzo

                      I just lookied into it. Buck’s almost 60 points higher in Babip this year than is career, and he has a career .300 OBP. Someone’s going to overpay him, I hope it’s not Cash.

                    • Gonzo

                      Also, look up the stats and ages of the players you mentioned. Half are OPS’ing lower than Cervelli, and the others are old except for Torrealba.

                      I like Torrealba, but that means you will have to compete with the Minaya’s of the world for his abilities. If Torrealba can be had for cheap, yes. I doubt it though.

          • Chris

            Is it realistic to expect a backup catcher better than Cervelli to sign with the expectation that he’d play maybe 30 games all season?

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

              There’s 324 starts available between C and DH. Jorge gets 140, Jesus gets 100, Buck gets 84.

              84: more than 30.

              • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                Only 100 for Jesus?

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

                  Asking for anything more than that is a tall order for a catcher who’s not a solid defender and who can’t even legally buy a beer until a few days after Thanksgiving.

                  Ease him in slowly (TWSS).

                  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                    How many has he caught this year? No DH?

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

                      99 games behind the dish (16 DH games).

                      That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ease him in slowly. Jorge the Great caught 93 and 94 games in his last two seasons in AAA in and then caught only 60 games in the bigs in a timeshare with Girardi in ’97. He didn’t catch 120+ games in a big league season until 2000.

                    • Chris

                      He’s caught 99 games so far this year and DH’d 16 times. He caught 23, 71, and 59 games in 2007-2009.

              • Gonzo

                How much do you want to pay Buck for 84 games?

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

                  Less than I want to pay Paul Konerko for 162 games.

                  • Gonzo

                    Overpaying Konerko does not give you an excuse to overpay Buck for 84 games.

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

                      Wanting to keep
                      A.) Jorge Posada from being forced to catch 80+ games at the age of 39
                      B.) Jesus Montero from being forced to catch 80+ games at the age of 21 when his defense is a huge work in progress
                      C.) Francisco Cervelli from catching any games at all

                      … those ARE good excuses for overpaying John Buck for 84 games, though.

                    • Gonzo

                      http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1073155

                      Also would he want to play 84 games since after this year he never caught less than 84 games aside from an injury year and his rookie year:
                      http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1073088

              • Chris

                I would be very surprised if the Yankees do something like that. They’re not going to give Posada + Montero a total of 78 starts at catcher. And even if they’d do it, I don’t know that a FA catcher would trust them enough to sign.

                I would expect for of a time share between Posada and Montero at C and DH (70 games each) with the remaining games at C (22) going to the third C and the remaining DH games (only about 13 because of interleague) going to A-Rod.

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

                  They’re not going to give Posada + Montero a total of 78 starts at catcher.

                  But if Posada + Montero get a total of 162 starts at DH in addition to those 78 starts at catcher, why wouldn’t they do that?

                  They get one of their elite bats in the lineup every day, and often get both of them in the lineup at the same time. Plus, they both stay fresh and lower their risk of fatigue or injury, and get 84 starts of a good defensive catcher who’s not an offensive zero.

                  That’s a win-win-win.

                  • Chris

                    They wouldn’t do that because Posada wants to catch (and still can to some extent) and they want to develop Montero as a catcher.

                    Cervelli has started 66 games at catcher this year of 130 played. That puts him on pace for about 83 starts at catcher. If they have Montero and Posada as options for catcher, they’re not going to give a thrid catcher more playing time than Cervelli gets this year.

                    The only way that a third catcher catches 84 games is if Posada is relegated to a full time DH role next year.

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

                      The only way that a third catcher catches 84 games is if Posada is relegated to a full time DH role next year.

                      That’s basically what I’m doing. The C/DH timeshare isn’t a true three way split, it’s more Buck/some other FA import as the primary starting catcher, Posada as the primary starting DH, and Montero spelling both of them to get him DH at bats and catching reps.

                      Of those three, if Posada catches the fewest number of games, that’s a good thing. Dude is 39. It’s time for him to play a position that doesn’t require much wear and tear.

                    • Chris

                      This is where I disagree. I don’t think Posada is going to be strictly a DH next year (and catch < 20 games) so they can sign another FA catcher. That doesn't seem like a wise use of resources.

                      Keep Cervelli at basically league minimum and catch 20-30 games, have Montero catch about 70-80 and have Posada catch the remaining 60-70, and then spend that money on bullpen arm or a 4th outfielder (or add it on to Cliff Lee's contract).

                    • Gonzo

                      I gotta agree that money saved could be a valuable mid-season pick-up, a Thames type bench guy, a defensive bench guy, or added to Lee’s contract.

      • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

        Yeah, I would bet on some sort of stab wound from the signing pen.

    • Pete

      No. Decline the option, offer him a 1 year deal for $600K with $5 million in playing time-based incentives and another $3 million in performance based incentives. If we wind up paying Nick Johnson $8.6 million for a .280/.420/.450 line, I’m cool with that.

      • Chris

        You can’t have performance based incentives in MLB.

        Other than that, I agree with your proposal.

      • Mike HC

        Decline the option and offer him nothing. Why even deal with him at all? Let him go.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Why even deal with him at all?

          Because when healthy he is a fantastic player and a perfect fit for this team. If the only risk is 600k and you have a backup plan it’s low risk with potentially huge reward.

          • Mike HC

            Even trusting him with the 25th roster spot, taking away a spot from another potentially useful free agent, is too much in my opinion.

  • http://MattOnEarth.blogspot.com Matt on Earth

    I’m still sitting at 7 because the team has been experiencing some nagging injuries. However, I like the production and am confident the pitching will be sorted out come October.

    On a side note, hopefully Aceves gets himself sorted out. He has pitched pretty badly in his rehab starts although I’m hoping that can be chalked up to shaking off the rust.

  • larryf

    I will go with 9. The Post headline was Nova gives Yanks “Shot in the Arm”. No pun intended I’m sure about B-12. I would have gone with “Nova Lox it down” especially on Sunday….

    The writer said “what if he ends up being like Joba?” seriously…..

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

      My advice: Never read the New York Post. Ever again.

      • larryf

        good advice. I made an exception to look for a clever headline but won’t waste my time again…

  • Beamish

    Another week, another 8.

    As long as Tampa keeps pace I am not comfortable with the idea of anything more, but when you look at the statistical success of the team so far (neatly summarized by TSJC in the first reply) in spite of injuries and the occasional offensive dry spell, it is very hard to be pessimistic about this team.

    • Chris

      it is very hard to be pessimistic about this team.

      Yet there are still plenty of people that try and succeed.

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

        And it usually ends with an expletive-laden tirade email to Mike.

      • Beamish

        Some people are not happy unless they are miserable.

        They should be Met fans…

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

        has anyone seen Mr Sparkle’s posts? Underrated (cough) commenter around here.

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

          fun example. http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1067814

          Or we could look back down the road and say “You know, this team either had or was tied for the best record in baseball most of the season.” Kind of a big difference there between that and the 2008 team.

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

            Mr. Sparkle’s depressing, fatalistic, bleak baseball commentary is an affront to the powerful stain-fighting goodness of his wonderful laundry detergent.

  • Matt
    • whozat

      Is this your own website? If so, this is bad form — in addition to being off-topic. Please read the commenting guidelines.

  • CS Yankee

    The news (success) at all the farm levels is huge, but I was thinking about down-grading to a 8 due to not whipping up on the weaker teams during our soft schedule. The last two-plus weeks could be brutal and I want to win the division and let Tampa & Texas go 5 while we reset the rotation for the LCS.

    However, the early Monday “loving life” outlook (mostly TSJC) will keep it as a 9 since we have been playing very well with the replacements while 2/3rds of the lineup are having career worst type of years. Think about that, only 2B, RF & LF are meeting/exceeding their career norms while 6 batting positions are under achieving. The ‘pen has been the beast.

    This team is more talented overall than last years. If they get healthy going into the postseason, they will roll.

    • Chris

      Yankees in their last 12 games: 8-4

      They had a rough stretch when they played the Rays, Red Sox, Rangers and Blue Jays earlier this month, but they’ve been beating up on weaker teams for the last 2 weeks.

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

        And we’ve got a ten-game homestand lined up.

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

      This team is more talented overall than last years. If they get healthy going into the postseason, they will roll.

      Repeated for emphasis.

  • Mike HC

    10. Name me one team with a better present and future than the Yanks, taking everything into account. There is not one.

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

      Dwyane Wade’s South Beach Heat?

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Only if Jesus Montero takes his talents there.

      • Mike HC

        haha.

        But in all seriousness, I am still higher on the Yanks overall future than the Heats. Although I would assume the Heat are higher in general.

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

    It’s a 9. The Pettitte news made my pants cry, in a good way.

    (Does this even make sense? No, not really. Just roll with it.)

  • bigdog5123

    I dont post often, but I am an avid reader. Im at a 9, think we are a lock for a playoff spot. Just wondering what you guys think, with Montero batting over 320 since June 1st in Triple AAA, do we roll the dice and add him to the 40 and 25 man roster before tomorrow so that he is an option for the playoff roster

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

      Nick Johnson’s injury means we don’t have to add him before rosters expand, we get an injury exemption and can sub in any single position player onto the postseason rosters regardless of whether or not they were on the active roster on August 31st.

      • bigdog5123

        i may be wrong, but i thought if he wasn’t on the 40 man roster as of Aug. 31 he couldn’t be an injury replacement? If so, I’d at least like to see him added to the 40 man roster so that he could be an option for the playoffs.

        Generally, I agree he should stay down and finish the AAA season and playoffs.

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

          You’re wrong, yes. A player on the 60-day DL at the end of the season can be replaced by any player who was in the organization as of August 31st (position player for position player, pitcher for pitcher).

          Montero doesn’t need to be on the 40-man as of midnight tomorrow, he just needs to be a New York Yankee as of midnight tomorrow. Nick Johnson’s injury gives the Yanks one exemption to the normal eligibility requirements.

    • Leo

      I think the general consensus is that Montero continues to develop in AAA to be ready for a call up at the beginning of next season. He’s still young and there’s no need to put pressure on him with an early call up and expectation to produce when it could possibly stunt his development.