Jan
03

Open Thread: A.J. turns his number

By

(AP Photo/Rob Carr)

A happy birthday goes out to A.J. Burnett today, the right-hander turns 34. There’s no beating around the bush here, the Yankees need Burnett to be better than he was last year, and that would be true even if the team managed to sign Cliff Lee. Hopefully a new pitching coach and an offseason of rest (both physical and mental) does the trick. Know who else celebrates a birthday today? The best bad utility infielder infielder ever, Luis Sojo. He turns 45. Happy B-day to both.

Anyway, here is tonight’s open thread. The Islanders are the only local team in action, which kinda sucks. Baseball can’t come back soon enough. You know what to do, so have at it.

Categories : Open Thread
  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Self-promotion time. Taking on that “2011 Red Sox = 1927 Yankees” article.

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

      I should add:

      - JGS wrote that article with me
      - Happy b-day AJ, please be better next year
      - Heyman’s an asshat.

    • mbonzo

      Assuming Crawford and Agon repeat their numbers from 2010, they will add a total of 1 WAR to the team’s lineup! This assumes that Youk’s defense can replicate Beltre’s (HAHAHAHA) and Crawford can maintain his defensive value in Fenway (HAHAHAHA). But seriously, the Red Sox will be good if they stay healthy, but everyone’s forgetting they’re losing their best players from 2010, Martinez and Beltre.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

        What was the WAR for the 1927 Yankees?

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

          +64.9.

          The 1998 Yankees were +63.8. The 2009 Yankees were +48.7.

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

            1939 Yankees were +70.1

        • mbonzo

          That would be a great idea for a post. According to baseball Reference their Batting WAR was 46.6 and Pitching was 18.3. I’m not sure if that’s total WAR, but it comes to 64.3.

          In comparison, the 2009 Yankees had 37.9 Batting WAR and 10.8 pitching, which totals to 48.7.

          I’ll try to find what the Red Sox project to have in 2011.

          • mbonzo

            1927 Yankees total war is 64.9, addition fail.

      • Avi

        How many WAR does Youkilis, Pedroia and Elsbury add by playing all season compared to the crappy players that subbed for them?
        Important part of the equation no?

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

          Like I said, an extra half-season of Pedroia and Youk (being generous), plus Ellsbury, plus Crawford, plus Gonzalez, minus 2010 Beltre and 2010 Martinez, is an improvement.

          It’s just not a THIRTY WIN improvement.

    • Xstar7

      This was the most intelligent article I’ve ever read about the Red Sox. And there haven’t been many lately.

    • Mike HC

      How many wins would a team full of 0 WAR, replacement level players project to have?

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

        About 40. So the 1998 Yankees were +63.8 as a group, meaning they would have been expected to win 104 games that year (40+63.8, rounding off).

        • Mike HC

          Thanks.

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

        FWIW.

        http://www.baseball-reference......hives/8225

        The 2010 Pirates were +1.7 WAR and they went 57-105 (thanks JGS).

        • Mike HC

          So the Pirates actually performed better as a team than their individual parts? Is that sad or encouraging?

  • http://www.richardiurilli.com/ Richard Iurilli

    It is also the birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    Mitch Williams just said signing Vlad is more important for the Rangers than signing Beltre.

    • mbonzo

      MLB Network used to have watchable analysis too. Wish they’d get some more unbiased reporters like Peter Gammons.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        It’s not a bias; it’s just bad analysis. I really thought MLBN was going to be a good alternative to ESPN/BBTN, but it’s not much different at all.

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

          This. MLBN used to have okay analysis, but it got really bad and it’s getting worse.

        • mbonzo

          When the MLB network first started I thought the analysis was way better than ESPN, now its about the same. It might just be that they’ve run out of things to say during the offseason, but analysis has been getting worse.

          Oh and I was being sarcastic with Pete Gammons btw. If I had a nickel for everytime he’s predicted the Red Sox to win the division I could sign Crawford for my softball league.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            I know you were being sarcastic, that’s why I made the comment. I don’t think the analysis on MLBN shows major biases, but rather it’s just incredibly shallow.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              it’s just incredibly shallow.

              And pedantic. You forgot pedantic.

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

              I think some guys have major biases, generally made pretty obvious by what teams they played for (Williams is a Phillies homer, Leiter’s a Yankee/Mets homer, Sean Casey’s a Reds/Tigers/Red Sox homer, Millar’s a Red Sox homer), but it’s just a big mess overall.

          • Hughesheretoabuse

            Phillies are the team to beat, all day, everyday….even in 1995!

            Mitch Williams’d

        • manny gee

          really? we’re surprised a crack analyst yeam that includes such baseball intellects as Sean Casey and Kevin Millahhhhhhh would not be all that good?

        • Pasqua

          It’s tough to be objective and/or critical when you’re a network created by the very product it is tasked with covering. In other words, it’s a propaganda machine.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Good analysis =

      Youth + intelligence + never been involved with MLB

      Bonus: Good hair.

  • Cuso

    As to needing to be “better” than last year, i think Burnett could pitch from 2nd base this year and be “better” than he was last year. They need him to pitch to his contract, stay uninjured (a miracle in and of itself that he’s been healthy for 2 years) and find one consistent arm slot.

    Ironically, I have a feeling that he’s gonna pitch great in April and then come up with a season-ending injury in May. He’s just never been this healthy for this long in his career.

  • http://twitter.com//TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

    This thread seems like a good place for the “I Believe in AJ” graphic:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/4.....265079510/

    • jsbrendog

      i’m on the bangwagon.

  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    Attn Bex:

    This requires more than 140 characters. I don’t think the Mets are so bad that they’ll finish fifth. Their pitching may be for shit, and Washington’s may be decent, but the Nats lost Dunn and Willingham on offense. The Mets’ lineup may not look great, but I’d expect improvement from Reyes and Wright, as well as a healthy year from Beltran. Maybe the pitching ends up about the same, but the Mets will more than likely out hit the Nationals.

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

      I always forget Washington lost Willingham in addition to Dunn, so yeah, you are probably right. Also, I can’t imagine Jason Bay will stay as bad as he was last year, pre-concussion.

    • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

      Don’t be an idiot, Matt. The Nats signed Jayson Werth. No one will ever beat them at hitting.

  • Squishy Jello Person

    How the hell is Penn beating Kentucky?

  • Xstar7

    Does anyone else think the Rangers on the verge of signing Adrian Beltre to a 6 YEAR CONTRACT is a bad idea? I don’t think he’ll put up numbers like last year again after being mediocre every year before then since 2004. Hardly a good replacement for Vlad. And they already have a good third basemen. They’ll be wasting Beltre’s defensive talent.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Michael Young is terrible at 3B.

      • pete

        that, although 6 years still seems steep

      • Xstar7

        Offensively though he’s hit .300 with 158 home runs in his ten years for Texas. He’s a quality player.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          I meant defensive wise.

          • Xstar7

            Michael Young won the gold glove for AL 3B in 2008. But winning the gold glove doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

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

              Wasn’t he a SS that year? I remember hearing the MSM being flabbergasted by the team asking the GG SS to move off the position.

              • Xstar7

                Whoops you’re right.

            • The Real JobaWockeeZ

              When Derek Jeter is winning Gold Gloves then yeah the award is a joke. Well except for 09.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          He’s a quality hitter, not a quality fielder. Beltre is both a decent hitter as well as an elite defender. He’ll be the 3B if they’re both on the team.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            It’s also worth noting that his hitting quality has been inconsistent.

            • Xstar7

              You mean Beltre is inconsistent right?Young was a very consistent hitter up until about the last two years. And he’s still been more consistent than Beltre.

              • The Real JobaWockeeZ

                Ehh Young is consistently good in their bandbox but not so much anywhere else.

                .322/.372/.487 career home
                .279/.322/.411 career away

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                The difference is that Beltre can make up for it with defense, Young can’t.

                • Xstar7

                  I guess the Rangers do need defense more than offense right now but I’m still not liking this deal.

                  • The Real JobaWockeeZ

                    No it’s not a good deal but nothing in this offseason indicates that a team will get a good deal.

                    Nats killed it for everyone.

                    • Xstar7

                      Fucking Nationals. I liked the Expos much better.

            • Shaun

              No its quite consistent, when he needs a job he actually tries and hits well. Sign him long term…well let’s say he won’t win employee of the month.

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

                What about 2009? Didn’t he need a job then?

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

      I think it’s not a great idea for them… but Michael Young is a HORRENDOUS defensive third baseman. If the team signs Beltre, MY should DH.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      If he’s still around, I’d imagine Michael Young will be relegated to DH.

    • Accent Shallow

      Giving Beltre a 6 year contract definitely seems like an awful idea. The guy’s been an adequate-ish hitter, with a few (massive) exceptions.

    • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

      Michael Young apparently is not interested in moving off 3B even though he’s terrible at it. It’ll be interesting to see how things turn out.

    • manny gee

      well, look at the bright side. he will only be shitty for 5 of those years…. 2017 will be a contract year…. so there’s that

  • mbonzo

    He’s the projected lineup and WAR for the 2011 Red Sox.

    1) Jacoby Ellsbury (CF) 4.2
    2) Dustin Pedroia (2B) 6.3
    3) Carl Crawford (LF) 6.2
    4) Adrian Gonzalez (1B) 5.9
    5) Kevin Youkilis (3B) 6.7
    6) David Ortiz (DH) 2.6
    7) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C ) 2.6
    8) JD Drew (RF) 3.5
    9) Marco Scutaro (SS) 2.0
    10) Mike Cameron (OF) 2.0
    11) Darnell McDonald (OF) 0.8 (2010)
    12) Jed Lowrie (INF) 3.2
    13) Jason Varitek (C ) 1.9
    14) Jon Lester (SP) 6.8
    15) Josh Beckett (SP) 4.6
    16) Clay Buchholz (SP) 4.3
    17) John Lackey (SP) 4.4
    18) Daisuke Matsuzaka (SP) 2.4
    19) Jonathan Papelbon (CL) 2.3
    20) Daniel Bard (RP) 1.5
    21) Bobby Jenks (RP) 1.2
    22) Dan Wheeler (RP) 0.1 (2010)
    23) Scott Atchison (RP) 0.0 (2010)
    24) Tim Wakefield (RP) 1.3 (2010)
    25) Hideki Okajima (RP) 0.0 (2010)

    Total project War is 76.8

    In comparison the 1927 Yankees had a 64.9 WAR.

    These are projected WARs based on fangraphs, my only comment is that these numbers are very optimistic. For a team coming off so many injuries there will definitely be a rebound, but there is no way they come close to these predictions.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      No way is Ellsbury a 4 WAR player. AGonz seems a tad bit underrated in these projections. Lowrie isn’t a 3.2 WAR player. No way is Varitek a 2 WAR player. Dice-BB is probably lower than 2 WAR too.

      But barring injuries I don’t find it all implausible.

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

        Bellsbury 4.2 WAR but Gardner 3.7? Okay

        • mbonzo

          Pedroia is 6.3 and Cano 5.2 :D

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

            Mo 2.1, Paps 2.3.

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

            I should add this wouldn’t surprise me by FG, they love Pedroia’s defense and don’t love Cano’s.

            • The Real JobaWockeeZ

              FWIW if we use TZ instead of UZR for Cano he’s nearly a 8 WAR player.

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          Oh yeah that’s BS. Gardner has shown the ability to take a lot of walks. He has shown to be arguably the best defender in the outfield.

          Ellbury can hit .300, but can’t walk and has no power. And he sucks in the field.

          His 70+ steals one year made him such an overrated player. Or maybe it’s because of the bloody sock but still. Extremely overrated.

          • manny gee

            yeah, the sox aregetting the media hand release on this one. Saltalamaccia has not played a full season behind yhe plate yet… lets not sew the C on his jersey just yet

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      I’ll do this in fWAR because that’s what the fans projection is based on. A few points on the lineup:

      Ellsbury’s career high fWAR is 3.9, in 2008. He had a +21.3 UZR. Good luck topping that.

      Pedroia is also overstated. He was 6.6 in his MVP year. Crawford was 6.9 just last year, so sure why not. Ditto Adrian.

      Youkilis’ career high is 5.9. He’s a really good hitter when he’s healthy but I don’t think he will have a career year next year.

      Ortiz and Drew’s projections aren’t nuts, ditto Scutaro.

      Salty at 2.4? The guy’s career high is 0.4, in 300 PAs a couple of years ago. I’ll take the under on this one.

      Also, Scutaro and Lowrie together aren’t putting up 5.2 WAR between them. One of them won’t get nearly enough playing time for that.

    • mbonzo

      Here’s the projected lineup and WAR for the 2011 Yankees.

      1) Brett Gardner (LF) 3.7
      2) Derek Jeter (SS) 2.9
      3) Mark Teixeira (1B) 5.0
      4) Alex Rodriguez (3B) 4.6
      5) Robinson Cano (2B) 5.2
      6) Jorge Posada (DH) 1.5
      7) Nick Swisher (RF) 3.1
      8 ) Russel Martin (C ) 2.7
      9) Curtis Granderson (CF) 3.9
      10) Greg Golson (OF) 0.1 (2010)
      11) Ramiro Pena (INF) -0.2 (2010)
      12) Eduardo Nunez (INF) -0.1 (2010)
      13) Francisco Cervelli (C ) 1.1 (2010)
      14) CC Sabathia (SP) 5.1
      15) Phil Hughes (SP) 3.3
      16) AJ Burnett (SP) 2.3
      17) Ivan Nova (SP) 0.5 (2010)
      18) Sergio Mitre (SP) 0.0 (2010)
      19) Mariano Rivera (CL) 2.1
      20) Joba Chamberlain (RP) 1.5
      21) David Robertson (RP) 1.0
      22) Boone Logan (RP) 0.4 (2010)
      23) Pedro Feliciano (RP) 0.8 (2010)
      24) Hector Noesi (RP) 0.0
      25) Romulo Sanchez (RP) 0.0 (2010)

      Total projected WAR is 50.5

      These numbers are a lot more realistic in comparison to the Red Sox numbers. 50.5 is a number I expect to see if the Yankees can pick up another starting pitcher to replace Mitre and fix up their bench, so I do think 50.5 is slightly optimistic for this line up.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Martin and Cervelli combined for almost 4 WAR? Riiight.

        • mbonzo

          Cervelli’s 1.1 was his number from 2010. He won’t get nearly that many ABs but I could see Martin and Montero easily posting a 4.0 WAR.

          • The Real JobaWockeeZ

            Oh I’m sure Cervelli could do that much as I dislike him. I have little faith Martin can do almost 3 WAR however. The low 2′s/high 1′s maybe.

    • manny gee

      i call bullshit. r u sure you got these from fangraphs, or did they come from DirtDawgs? no way ellsbury and lackey are over 4 war with the 2010s they put up….

      • FIPster Doofus

        Lackey exceeded 4 fWAR last season.

      • mbonzo

        If you don’t believe me, why not look it up for yourself?

        Heres the link for Ellsbury.
        http://www.fangraphs.com/stats.....n=OF#value

        • manny gee

          not doubting you or where you got your information, just thinking the information is bunk. Does not seem ‘statistically’ plausible that Lackey had THAT BAD of a season and could be a 4 WAR player in 2011, but AJ had THAT BAD of a season and will barely be worth 1/2 what Lackey will.

          just not buiying it is all…

    • Jose the Satirist

      Everyone reading this does realize these are FAN projections? No fancy metric used to predict decline or improvement for any players. Just a bunch of FANS pulling numbers from their asses and voting on projected performance. Take all those numbers with enough salt to kill the world population of slugs.

    • viridiana

      really have to wonder about a metric that says Jason Varitek, Mike Cameron and Scutaro are all worth just abut as much as Mariano Rivera. (And BTW Cervelli comes out as almost as valuable as well). There is clearly something wrong with a metric that grossly undervalues the importance of late inning relievers.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      Anyone who believes that the entire front four of the rotation will each have 4+ WAR is smoking some good stuff.

  • rossdfarian

    Even though I am a die-hard Yankees fan, I have to say: If Youkilis was a Yankee, he’d be held up as a god. I saw his projected WAR and thought it might be a little light. When healthy, that guy’s a beast.

    PS – What about an obligatory Clay Rapada post?

  • Xstar7

    Why does Carlos Gonzales get only a 7 year $80million contract extension offer from the Rockies while Tulowitski got a $134million extension for the same number of years? They’ve put up similar career #’s so far in their careers and are both good defensively.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      CarGo solely relies on the Rockies ballpark for production.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        Oh and there’s the SS thing Tulo has for him.

      • Xstar7

        And Tulowitski doesn’t? Playing in Coors field has to help out him too. In fact here’s in interesting fact I read: a home run hit 400 feet in Yankee Stadium which is at sea level, would travel up to 440 feet in Coors Field in the mile high city. (courtesy of the New York Times Practical guide To Practically Everything)

        • The Real JobaWockeeZ

          Split is severe but Tulo has a .860 OPS away which is solid for a SS. He has a 1.000 OPS home which is ridiculous.

          CarGo has a .700 OPS away and a .980 OPS home. Tulo’s the better hitter and has the positional advantage.

          • Xstar7

            Carlos Gonzales is a five tool player who has the potential to win the triple crown and an MVP award. Even if Tulo is a better hitter(so far) and plays a more important position I think the gap between their contract extension dollars is too large.

            • Matt

              Please. You can just throw the hitting stats of the Rockies out the window their home and road splits are so severe. They’re back to the days of Larry Walker and Dante Bichette putting up slow pitch softball numbers.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Because that’s Tulo’s 2nd contract.

      • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

        Meaning CarGo’s contract buys out this year, his arbitration years and 3 FA years. Tulo’s new extension buys out 6 years of pure FA.

      • Xstar7

        I did say extension you know.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Exactly. CarGo can’t demand 20m for 2011, because he’s set to make 500k this year. And he can’t demand 20m for 2012, because he won’t get that in his first year of arbitration. And he can’t demand 20m for 2013 because he probably won’t make that it his 2nd arbitration either.

    • Accent Shallow

      That K/BB ratio . . . eek.

  • mustang

    Another one off the broad:
    “The Mets have signed pitcher Chris Capuano”

    • manny gee

      meh… is he all that much better than the Nova/Mitre sampler platter? if Cashman would have signed him, would you be at all impressed ?? yeah me neither

      • Matt

        I think a steaming pile of horse crap would be an upgrade over Mitre.

        • mustang

          Agree

      • AJ

        I prefer Capuano.

        • mustang

          and again

      • mustang

        At least he would have been another sampler on the platter. Everyone seem to adding there sampler platter I guess Cashman on a diet.

        • manny gee

          has to keep his girlish figure on account of the scaling of buildings and what-not…

  • Ken C

    you forgot one more person’s birthday. I’ll give you a hint. He wears number 10.

    • Xstar7

      Phil Rizzuto?

    • FIPster Doofus

      Eli Manning

      • Ken C

        ding ding ding

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

      I can’t believe Eli Manning is 30.

      • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

        Someone’s in denial.

        • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

          The Giants’ management?

      • Pat D

        Yea, he’s 4 weeks older than me.

      • bonestock94

        He’s not aging gracefully, it seems like every pass is an oh shit moment lately.

        • Pat D

          Yea, he was way too gunslinger-y during the second half, and he made a lot of bad throws/decisions.

          For whatever reason.

          • bonestock94

            Yup. I got to watch in 30 degree weather. We won but it was ugly. What was uglier were the clips of GB shitting on our hopes followed by loser skins fans cheering.

          • manny gee

            he’s one txt picture of his wang away from becoming this generations Brett Farve…

    • Jimmy McNulty

      And like AJ Burnett, he’ll spend the next few months sitting on ass.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    Happy Birthday, AJ. Oh, and fire Cashman and Joba to the starting rotation.

    /Obligatory’d

  • Jamie

    What no mention of the Johnnies playing tonight at MSG against Gtown?