Open Thread: A.J. turns his number


(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


  1. bexarama says:

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

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

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

  4. Cuso says:

    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.

  5. T-Dubs says:

    This thread seems like a good place for the “I Believe in AJ” graphic:

  6. 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.

  7. Squishy Jello Person says:

    How the hell is Penn beating Kentucky?

  8. Xstar7 says:

    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.

  9. mbonzo says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • JGS says:

      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 says:

      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 says:

        Martin and Cervelli combined for almost 4 WAR? Riiight.

        • mbonzo says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

      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….

    • Jose the Satirist says:

      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 says:

      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.

    • Jerome S. says:

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

  10. rossdfarian says:

    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?

  11. Xstar7 says:

    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 says:

      CarGo solely relies on the Rockies ballpark for production.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

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

      • Xstar7 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

              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.

    • Zack says:

      Because that’s Tulo’s 2nd contract.

      • Zack says:

        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 says:

        I did say extension you know.

        • Zack says:

          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 says:

      That K/BB ratio . . . eek.

  12. mustang says:

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

  13. Ken C says:

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

  14. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

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


  15. Jamie says:

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

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