Fan Confidence Poll: February 7th, 2011

Preparing for the new season
Sorting out the last bench spot

Season Record: 95-67 (859 RS, 693 RA, 98-64 Pythag. record), finished one game back in AL East, won Wild Card, lost in ALCS

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?
View Results
Preparing for the new season
Sorting out the last bench spot
  • Yank the Frank

    Still at a 6. The starting rotation still giving me agita. It may play out ok but right now I just don’t feel the love.

    • camilo Gerardo

      superNova (to start)
      pitcher X (to start)

      No Vazquez and a better AJ, and we’ll be right where we were last year

  • Jorge

    Holding at an 8, since practically nothing of note has happened since my last 8 other than finally acknowledging Scott Boras as the 26th man.

  • Matt Warden

    Even though the rotation is in a state of flux, I still expect the team to score about 5 R/G which gives me reason for optimism.

    • Doug

      i think if we average only 5 runs a game, we could be in trouble. that’d be .3 runs less than last season. doesn’t sound like a lot, but magnified a bit with a suspect rotation.

      • Ted Nelson

        “about 5 R/G” 5.3 runs/game is about 5.

        To me the point is that the Yankees should be expected to have one of the best offenses in baseball, if not the best. Last season they had the best offense and a mediocre pitching staff. They won 95 games. Despite getting an average of under 1 WAR from the 3-5 slots last season the Yankees had a better team ERA than the “amazing” Red Sox rotation. In fact, the Yankees had a bigger advantage compared to the Red Sox in runs allowed last season than in runs scored.

  • bonestock94

    6, opening day slots 3 through 5 are likely to be disasters.

    • Ted Nelson

      They were disasters last season too, and the Yankees still had a better team ERA than the Red Sox.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Yes…and John Lackey and Josh Beckett also underperformed their FIPs last year. Who on the Yankees had a bad luck season?

        • Mike Axisa

          If you’re comparing ERA to FIP, then AJ and Joba come to mind without looking at the rest of the team. Javy might have as well, but don’t hold me to that one.

          • Chris

            Not to mention Buccholz having an ERA almost 1.5 runs better than his FIP.

            • camilo Gerardo

              too much logic

        • Ted Nelson

          Beckett has under-performed his FIP on his career, and Lackey didn’t under-perform his xFIP. Burnett’s FIP was .43 below his ERA, while Lackey’s was .65.

          If that’s your only criteria, Buchholtz absolutely crushed his FIP. If everyone’s luck evens out Buchholtz is going to basically make up for Lackey and Beckett.

          I wouldn’t just look at who had a “lucky season” in terms of FIP vs. ERA, though. I would also look at historical results compared to last season. CC had his worst season since 2005, and is not at an age you’d generally expect decline to start. AJ his worst season since 2004. They won’t necessarily bounce back, but there’s certainly a chance that they regress towards the mean to some extent (same for Beckett of course).

      • bonestock94

        I don’t expect that to be the case in 2011, hence my rating.

        • Ted Nelson

          Based on what? Not trying to be a smartass, I’m seriously wondering what you’re basing that on.

          Not only do I think there’s a good case that the opening day rotation can potentially outperform last season’s rotation (which produced about 10.3 WAR combined… the opening day rotation had 10.6 2010 WAR) and that the bullpen should be as good or better, but there’s also a chance the Yankees acquire someone mid-season. Last season Nova was the only replacement starter they brought in who was above replacement level. This season they have 3 or 4 potential Nova’s in AAA plus have stated their desire to acquire a proven starter via trade.

          • bonestock94

            I’m expecting below average starter output from AJ and whoever is our #4 and #5. I’m expecting high 3 low 4 era performance from Hughes and ace performance from CC. I don’t believe this will get it done in the AL East. Our closest contender, the Red Sox match their offensive prowess and in my opinion match or exceed every starter in our rotation. I’m not sleeping on the Rays either.

            Last season our rotation’s performance was based on having Pettitte for 130 innings. Sure, they lost Vasquez but who’s to say Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, or Sergio Mitre will be any better? The Yankees 2010 performance was only good enough for a WC slot, and that was with this year’s early favorite, the Red Sox, completely out of the picture. On top of it all, I expect the Jays to still hover around .500 and the Orioles to be better.

            This is my rationale. Obviously baseball isn’t played on paper, but its February and I can only speculate. If they make a midseason acquisition my confidence level will change accordingly.

            • Ted Nelson

              “I’m expecting below average starter output from AJ and whoever is our #4 and #5.”

              Just like last season… Those spots averaged under 1 WAR between Pettitte, Moseley, Gaudin, Javy, AJ, and Nova. The rotation was 22nd in WAR and ERA and 26 in terms of FIP. The bullpen wasn’t particularly great, top 10 though.

              “Last season our rotation’s performance was based on having Pettitte for 130 innings.”

              It was also based on him being replaced by Gaudin and Moseley for 1/4 of the season. Both of those guys were below replacement level. Pettitte had 2.3 WAR and those guys combined for -1.1 WAR. That nets out to about a 2010 Burnett level starter.

              “Red Sox match their offensive prowess and in my opinion match or exceed every starter in our rotation. I’m not sleeping on the Rays either.”

              This is a bit of a wild card. Sox health probably does push their offense up to the Yankees level or above, but Crawford and AGone probably don’t do much besides replace 2010 Beltre and VMart. Their pitching was worse than the Yankees last season and all they’ve done is add a couple relievers. Certainly some of their guys could bounce back, but they also might not.

              While I expect the Sox to be better, I expect the Rays to be at best as good if not worse.

              “Obviously baseball isn’t played on paper, but its February and I can only speculate.”

              I just don’t see why all of the Yankees question marks are speculated to be negatives and all of the Sox/Rays question marks are going to turn out great…

              • bonestock94

                Well, I never said the Rays question marks are going to turn out great, just that I wouldn’t disregard them. In my opinion, the Red Sox question marks are:

                Josh Beckett:
                Injured in 2010. He seemed decent to me late last year and his peripherals weren’t far off from his career average. I think he’ll be good next year.

                I’m expecting disaster here. I wouldn’t be shocked if you have a Kevin Cash type holding down that position for most of the season.

                He sucks, and whoever replaces him if he gets injured will suck.

                Not that great last year, but they have guys like Bard and Jenks should he become unfit for the position.

                This stuff is on my mind, and it doesn’t change my confidence level.

              • CMP

                I think some of the people down on the yankees chances look at the rotations of some of the teams we may have to play in the postseason including the Red Sox, A’s, Angels, Phillies, Giants and at least in February, see us outmanned when it comes to starting pitching.

                • Ted Nelson

                  They can add a starter before the postseason, and getting to the postseason implies a successful season anyway.

                  Red Sox rotation wasn’t much better than the Yankees last season, and overall their pitching staff was worse.

                  As and Angels have better pitching, but were bottom half of the league in runs last season. Not sure Vernon Wells or DeJesus/Kouz/Matsui are going to change that too much.

                  If they get to the WS we can worry about the Giants and Phillies at that point.

                • bexarama

                  Red Sox = yes, probably. But their starters are overrated.

                  As = yes, they have better pitching. But they are to offense what we are to pitching just even worse, and there’s no guarantee Cahill repeats 2010

                  Angels = might have better pitching but are still stuck with Scott Kazmir and have a bad offense. Santana isn’t consistent

                  Phillies and Giants = are in another league, worry about the WS when you get there

    • Jorge

      I also think beyond that and think about how the team would address those spots in the long, rather than short, term. That should give you a bit more reason to smile.

      Everyone goes through growing pains.

      • bonestock94

        I’m ecstatic about the pitching depth they have in the minors, but it all comes down to the MLB team and in 2011 I’m not particularly confident.

    • CMP

      The things that scares me about the offense are

      1. Can Robbie repeat his monster year at the plate and if not, how much regression
      2. How much if at all will Jeter and Arod regress
      3. Can Posada make the switch to DH mentally
      4. Is Russell Martin gonna continue to be a .306 wOba he’s been for the last 2 years
      5. Did Gardner have a career year and can he come back from the wrist surgery.
      6. Can Grandy pick up where he left of the last 2 months of last year or is he the player we saw the first 4 months.
      I know it’s a “glass half empty” approach but there are some questions even for the offense.

      • Ted Nelson

        “I know it’s a “glass half empty” approach but there are some questions even for the offense.”

        Yeah. You can’t just point out all the negatives if you want to look at things comprehensively. On the other hand:
        -Tex, Jeter, and A-Rod all had career worst type seasons. They might bounce back. That could compensate for Cano and/or Gardner.
        -Even if Granderson is the player he was on the whole last season, that’s a very valuable CF.
        -Martin could at least replace Cervelli’s 2010 production in a bad case, and Montero and/or Posada could maybe get by defensively and give some pop in C at bats.

        Every team has question marks–most a lot more than the Yankees–and players that could underachieve or age drastically. That’s just how it is.

  • Reggie C.

    I appreciate Bone’s enthusiasm and I too think the farm will pay dividends in 2011. The rotation is however in flux, and so I can’t give this team anything higher than a 6.

  • RL

    I’ve been torn between a 7 & an 8 all off-season. I went with a 7, largely due to the hangover from the Pettitte news. I’m sure they’ll acquire a proven starter at somepoint (Spring Training or mid-season) and I’m hopeful for the future, even with ARod and Jeter aging. I do expect this to be one of the last season’s (if not the last) for Jorge as well. I also expect Mo to retire at the end of this contract. However, with the financial resources the team has, the pitching in the minors and the front office that’s currently in place, it’s still pretty good to be a Yankees fan.

  • Ted Nelson

    “how confident are you in the Yankees’ overall future?”

    To me that doesn’t mean how confident you are in the opening day starting rotation or even the 2011 team…

    I also don’t understand saying the farm is strong, but I’m only a 6/10 confident in the team’s overall future because of their starting rotation. Seems like a contradiction to me. The farm can help to solidify the rotation not only through call-ups, but also trades. If the rotation needs to be solidified.

    • RL

      I’ve gotta go higher than a 6. Even if there is a season (or 2 out of 3 or 4) where the team doesn’t make the playoffs, you know they’ll adjust and do everything within their power to get back there. Once they’re in, aything can happen (good or bad). to paraphrase what I said earlier, it doesn’t suck to be a Yankee fan.

    • bonestock94

      2011 is the MLB team’s future and to me it’s bleak. I think the Yankees have a top 5 farm system. The pitching talent is probably a year+ away from having a major impact, so I don’t think the system will have much to contribute in 2011 in that respect. If I had to rate the farm system I would give it an 8 or maybe even a 9, but I weight the MLB team much much heavier.

      • Mike Axisa

        Bleak? They’re only going to win 90 games…

        • bonestock94

          Yea you’re right, bleak is strong. I started having a high awareness of baseball around the time of the 94 strike, so my standards are very warped since I grew up through the dynasty years.

          While you’re here, what do you think of the 2011 Rays? Also, whats your confidence rating? Thanks

          • Mike Axisa

            The Rays will be fine, 85 wins or so, maybe even 90 if everything breaks right. They might scare the Yankees, but ultimately they’re short in the middle of the lineup and at the back of the bullpen. Manny and Damon are good, but not what they were.

            I’ve been voting a seven for a while now. I’m a tough grader, never voted a ten and only went to a nine when they won the WS. I was eight almost all of last season.

            • bonestock94

              Sounds like I’ve been grading like you until this offseason. I guess I’m just really pessimistic about 2011.

      • Ted Nelson

        “2011 is the MLB team’s future and to me it’s bleak. I think the Yankees have a top 5 farm system.”

        A farm system isn’t just about developing players for your major league club, it’s also about developing trade chips. Especially for a big market team that can afford to take on salary.

        The great thing about having a strong farm system is that you can potentially develop a strong trade package without giving up your “core prospects.” You may be able to hang onto Montero and Sanchez, while still including a good C prospect in a deal with Romine or Murphy. Or under the right circumstances give up Montero and still have 3 potential “C of the futures” to eventually replace Martin. Same with pitchers, maybe in term of low-minors CF between Slade/Gumbs/Mason Williams/Melky Mesa… Also nice to have both high probability/low upside guys in the high minors and low probability/high upside guys in the low minors to avoid giving up a high probability/high upside guy if you don’t have to.

        Also, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016… all part of the MLB team’s future. And I agree with Mike that bleak is not a word you’d use to describe the 2011 Yankees’ outlook.

        • bonestock94

          I’m aware of the trade possibility, these polls are weekly so my rating would change accordingly.

          • Ted Nelson

            That’s not my point. The strong farm system creates the possibility of trades, which has value in and of itself and should be considered in the outlook of the team’s future.

  • nsalem

    I have a very enthusiastic outlook for this year. I think Jeter, Tex and A-Rod will all have better years. I think we have a bullpen that has the potential to be the best in baseball and one that may be talked about years from now. We have an ace in a healthy CC and Hughes should improve also. All we need from the back end of our rotations are solid 6 inning performers who keep us in the game. Garcia will do quite well on this team if he can replicate 2010 and hopefully last year was a learning experience for Nova and he can produce more outs the second and third time around (if not he may become a very valuable bullpen piece). If we need another arm the time will be in July. Good arms inevitably become available in July and we have the chips to make a trade if necessary. We didn’t get Cliff Lee and Andy retired. It’s not the end of the world.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I have been a consistent 8 for the longest time even during the last two months of ’09. Yes, the AL East will be a tough division. The teams in general have improved to make wins a premium within the division.

    In particular the Sox’s, Ray’s and Blue Jays will not role over but for any team especially the Yanks to win. Its in priority order pitching, general health of the roster, defense, hitting and playing well at the end. I don’t believe our pitching will be so bad especially from 3 through 5 considering AJ as 3 and ?4 and ?5. The Yanks will put someone in there who can at least get through 5+ on most nights. The reason for a good bullpen. Cashman will do something to make us better or someone from the minors will surface if given the opt.

    Health is my next biggest concern especially the left side of the infield and Gardner’s wrist. The defense is capable and hitting is plentiful. So until a stabilizer is found for numbers 4 or 5. I have to stay at 8 which is OK for a year with two big issues such as pitching and health.

  • CMP

    I give 2011 a 6 since I think it’s gonna end up a transition year because of the lack of starting pitching. I still think they Yanks can only expect about 1.5-1.8 WAR from Burnett and who knows what from Garcia and Nova. Plus I’m skeptical any quality starters are gonna be availabe in July for a price that’s not just ridiculous. I see them winning 88-90 games with a decent chance of missing the playoffs and a first round exit if they do slip in.
    For 2012 and forward, my confidence is an 8. The only reason it’s not higher is because Arod and Jeter will continue to slide and other than catcher, I don’t see a lot of quality position players in the system right now, at least not in AA and above.

  • David

    Now an 8 for the future, down from a 9. Andy’s retirement means that it is less likely that the strong farm system will be completely retained. Cashman now needs to do something, and he will. With Andy there, they had the luxury of letting all of the young pitchers develop, and only dealing from a position of strength if it was a great deal. Now it is a tough spot. You have expensive star players with a diminishing window, like ARod, so you want monster pitching to back that up. Everyone knows that desperation, so it could be that Cash will have to overpay.