Feb
07

What’s sustainable and what’s not from Curtis Granderson

By

(Jim Mone/AP)

We can all find the date on his Baseball Reference game log. On August 10 Curtis Granderson, then hitting .240/.307/.417, started working with hitting instructor Kevin Long in order to improve on what had been a disappointing season. Granderson didn’t start either game in Texas, though he made appearances in both. When he returned to the starting lineup on August 13 in Kansas City, he appeared to be a more confident hitter.

For the rest of the season Granderson hit .261/.356/.564 in 192 PA, which improved his season stats to .247/.324/.468. That was just about in line with his 2009 numbers, with a little added power. The Yanks hoped they were getting something closer to the .280/.365/.494 Granderson of 2008. In 2011 they’ll again hope he can show signs of improvement. There are some indicators that might be the case. Let’s take a look at a few improvements Granderson made, and whether they’re sustainable.

Walk rate. Before his work with Long, Granderson drew 29 walks in 335 PA, or 8.7 percent. This harkened back to his breakout 2007 season, except without the batting average and power. It made for a pretty miserable OBP.

After the work with Long, Granderson walked 24 times in 192 PA, or 12.5 percent. This is more like his previous two years, in which he walked more than 10 percent of the time. I’m not sure if he can sustain that exact rate, but it is noteworthy that none of these walks was intentional. He earned them fair and square. It was enough to bring his season average up to 10 percent, which is right in line with 2009, but a bit below 2008.

We have seen a few projection systems try to peg down Granderson, but few of them see him getting much above that 10 percent marker: Both PECOTA and Marcel have him at 9.9 percent. Yet I can certainly envision him finishing with a walk rate between 11 and 12 percent. If he’s hitting ahead of, say, Russell Martin, pitchers might be a bit more careful with him. This is one of his improvements I think he can sustain.

Power. One of Granderson’s saving graces in the first part of the season was his power. In those 335 PA he hit 10 homers, 11 doubles, and six triples, which amounted to a .417 SLG (.177 ISO). While that’s good for a center fielder, it’s not quite up to the standard Granderson had set in the previous three years, when his lowest ISO was .204. And so he and Long went to work.

In the season’s final month and a half Granderson hit 14 homers, or one every 13.7 PA. That was good for a .564 SLG and .303 ISO. Clearly he’s not going to sustain that over a full 600 PA. Only one hitter crossed the .300 ISO barrier in 2010, and that was the home run champ, Jose Bautista. Only one other player came within 10 points of it. Granderson will not slug .550 on the season in 2011.

Still, the improvement does give me confidence that he can return to a SLG around .500. It will depend on his batting average, for sure, but he’s displayed some pretty impressive power in the past. I’d probably peg him at a .220 to .230 ISO, which is around where he landed last year. Spread over an entire season that will be immensely valuable, especially for a center fielder.

Fact: Only four center fielders finished with a better ISO than Granderson in 2010. Two of them, Josh Hamilton and Carlos Gonzalez, primarily played the corner positions. One of the others, Colby Rasmus, finished one measly point ahead. Make no mistake: Granderson can rake.

Batting average. This has kind of been Granderson’s boon in the past two seasons. In 2007 he hit .302 and in 2008 he hit .280, but those were on the backs of some pretty high BABIP numbers. When his BABIP dropped in 2009 and 2010, so did his average. Yet he did recover a bit after his work with Long.

Before August 9 Granderson had a .240 BA on a .284 BABIP. After the work he had a .261 BA on a .264 BABIP. Obviously the change in approach had something to do with the fluctuating numbers. He walked more and hit more homers, hence fewer balls in play. But I still wonder if he has room to improve that BABIP. If so, he could see a slight increase in his average.

For a quick look, here’s how some of the popular projection engines see Granderson’s 2011.

Bill James: .264/.341/.471
Marcel: .253/.329/.448
PECOTA: .257/.333/.460

The current projection engines don’t make much of Granderson’s in-season improvement. Nor should they. They’re not there to filter out the nuance of how a season progresses. They’re taking the long view. And in the long view, there’s not much that suggests an improvement from Granderson. But our exacting view just might hold merit. After all, he did change something, and he did notice improved results after that.

Given what we know about Granderson and what we saw from him in August and September, here’s my admittedly biased projection for his 2011 season:

.275/.365/.490

Is that really so bold?

Categories : Offense
  • Regis

    I love me some Granderson.
    He is my favorite guy on the team beside Cano.

    • Granderslam

      Ditto.

    • Dustin P

      Gave up too much for Granderson.

      Would have been nice to see Austin Jackson in NYY uniform.

      And nice to see Coke or Kennedy compete for 4th & 5th instead of Nova & Mitre!

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Would have been nice to see Austin Jackson in NYY uniform.

        Yeah, I’m sure we all would be delighted with his 25% SO rate and his one BB every 3 games.

      • pete

        ehh. Granderson >>>> Jackson and Nova >/= Kennedy >>> Mitre >>>>>>>>> Coke.

      • MannyGee

        same Coke who barely held his bullpen job in pinstripes??? yeah, you guys would have been gorilla shit if Coke was shooting for the 5th starter job here…

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

    .275/.365/.490

    Is that really so bold?

    Yes, I think so. I’m thinking .265/.340/.470 or so, though the points about his walk rate and ISO are definitely valid.

    • Thomas

      I have similar with a .265/.350/.470 line.

    • Rob

      yea i’d agree. I’d probably say .260 BA, I’d think .265 would be about the max I can see him hit, though I’d love if Joe’s prediction is correct lol.

      • Chris

        Depends on what he thinks he should be doing on the team. If he dosen’t see the team hitting home runs early his average will take a hit for the year as he tries to provide power. On the other hand he can also be a guy at the bottom of the order trying to get on and move guys and hit .285. Should be interesting.

    • brockdc

      I’d take that .365 OBP in a heartbeat, especially with that power. Also, is it me, or is Marcel annoyingly conservative in its projections?

    • Esteban

      Yea, I think Joe’s reaching a little, but I would be satisfied with the line you proposed.

  • SRB

    Even taking the projections as fact, I’d still rather have the trio of Austin Jackson in center, Phil Coke in the pen, and Ian Kennedy as my #4 or #5 starter (beats Mitre and probably Nova)- Don’t forget the $ saved not just from the Granderson contract but what they spent upgrading the left side of the pen

    • pat

      Something that is not sustainable: Austin JAckson’s 2010 BABIP.

      • Mister Delaware

        Something that would likely be a disaster: Ian Kennedy in the Stadium in the AL East

        • pat

          Not to mention batters hit .275/.350/.348 vs Coke last year.

          • pat

            With LHB touching him for .273/.344/.336. Not so good for a Loogy (which is what he’d be in Girardi’s pen.)

            • Thomas

              You what is sustainable? Phil Coke pointing to the sky on every HR he gives up.

              • pat

                Pop fly, pop fly!

    • Chip

      No chance the Yankees would be trying Coke as a starter, they gave up on that one a long time ago. They’d give Phelps and/or Noesi a shot before that happened

    • Esteban

      Topics this post is not about: An evaluation of the Granderson trade. Will people still be bringing it up next year every time Curtis’ name is mentioned?

      • Klemy

        Come on Esteban. You know the answer to that question already. lol

    • CMP

      I agree with you at that so far, considering IPK would be our 4th starter ahead of Nova and Mitre/Garcia and that in 2010 Jackson matched Grandy’s WAR at a fraction of the price, you’d have to say the Yanks got the short end of this trade. That being said, it’s premature to give out a final grade. Grandy could easily have a 5 WAR season in 2011 and Jackson’s BABIP could fall back to earth and IPK could turn out to be nothing more than a 5th starter with decent stats in the NL west. Coke is a dime a dozen and will get detroyed if they make him a stater.

  • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

    This would likely make Granderson the best true CFer in baseball, no?

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but that’s one hell of a betting line.

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

      Top three, definitely. Not counting CarGo and Hamilton, who spend considerable time in the corners, it’d be Granderson, McCutchen, and Rasmus as the top 3, with Alex Rios lurking somewhere.

      • RL

        Good power numbers last year, excellent defense, plenty of upside at a resaonable salary. That’s why the Yankees traded for him.

      • kosmo

        That just goes to show the lack of talent playing CF in MLB.Granderson “can rake “ makes me laugh .260 hitters don´t rake.Bernie Williams could rake.
        If Granderson remains healthy throughout 2011 he´ll also K 150 times .

        • kosmo

          Granderson over the course of his career has almost twice as many HRs (35)in the months of Sept-Oct then in any other month so I wouldn´t put much emphasis on his work with Kevin Long.Who has Kevin Long turned around on the Yanks ? Swisher?
          Granderson is a .268 lifetime hitter who struggles against lefties ,doesn´t hit that well in the clutch,strikes out a ton ,has some pop and is a solid defensive CF.
          He projects to his career norms.

          • Ted Nelson

            “I wouldn´t put much emphasis on his work with Kevin Long.”

            There’s a pretty strong cause-effect relationship: he was taken out of the line-up, worked on his swing with Long while getting a few days off, and came back hitting a lot better. Could be a coincidence or could have been the time off more than the work… but people didn’t pull this out of nowhere.

            “He projects to his career norms.”

            What are his career norms exactly??? In his 5 full seasons he’s had OPS+s of 98, 135, 123, 102, and 109… all before his 30th birthday. Which one of those is his “norm.”

            • kosmo

              His career perfomances in Sept have shown an unusual power burst.35 HR career which is on average twice as much as any other month while hitting if I remember about .255.
              I should have said to his career averages.So were looking at .268
              with
              70 RBI
              25 HR
              145 Ks
              .341 OBP
              .792 OPS
              I say his Sept 2010 is just coincidence .Kevin Long has done very little to improve any hitter on the Yanks.Sure Swisher´s average went up and his walk totals went down.

              • Ted Nelson

                “His career perfomances in Sept have shown an unusual power burst.”

                It’s his 4th best month in terms of OPS. http://www.baseball-reference......r&t=b

                In 2010 he absolutely crushed his career Sept. line: http://www.baseball-reference......0&t=b

                I don’t think people can say 100% it was long, but I also don’t think you can say 100% it wasn’t.

                I don’t generally believe that a hitting coach can do that much to help veteran major leaguers revolutionize their games. Their work is more at the margins and very hard to quantify.

                “Kevin Long has done very little to improve any hitter on the Yanks.”

                He’s dealing primarily with proven players at the top of the game, and you nor I are in a position to say who he is or is not helping. A certain Robinson Cano has broken out. Is that Long? I don’t know, and Robinson Cano might not even know really.
                They’ve been the top offense in baseball 3 of his 4 seasons, so I would find it hard to believe he’s that terrible a coach.

                “I should have said to his career averages.”

                But he’s been so volatile that it’s hard to look at averages. Career averages are a fair guess, but I think there’s reason to expect a more volatile return with him than your average hitter.

        • Mike Pop

          .260 hitters don´t rake

          Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, and Troy Glaus beg to differ.

          • Ted Nelson

            2010 Jose Bautista might too… .260 BA, .422 wOBA, and 6.9 WAR. 2010 Prince Fielder, David Ortiz, and Mark Teixiera too…

            • kosmo

              OK granted although Bautista will never approach those totals again.Tex is actually a .290 hitter who was playing through injury much of 2010.To me someone who can rake hits .300 with power or like Ichiro ,Tony Gwynn or Wade Boggs hit for average hitting to all fields.

              Adam Dunn stands at home plate trying to hit homeruns all the while striking out 200 times.Burrell and Glaus don´t even enter the discussion.

              • Ted Nelson

                The point is that batting average doesn’t mean that much when considered by itself.

        • Ted Nelson

          You realize that batting average is not a complete measure of a player’s offensive output, right?

  • SRB

    OK- so everybody would rather pay $4 million per year for Feliciano (I believe Coke has a ring!?), watch Mitre (instead of Kennedy)get shelled, and pray the projections allow for Granderson to at least hit a foul ball off a lefty

    • Esteban

      That trade happened well over a year ago. Get over it. It’s not on topic to discuss that trade just because Granderson is the topic of a post.

    • Chip

      He made an adjustment and looked visibly better against lefties afterwards, he looks fine against them here:

      http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play......d=12507195

    • pat

      2010 vs LHP

      Player X-.234/.292/.354
      Player Y-.226/.295/.305

      Guess who?

      • Dismortologist

        who already?

        • Esteban

          It’s Granderson and Jackson (right?)

          • pat

            Yup, Grandy actually hit LHP better than Ajax did.

            • It’sATarp

              butt but…AJAX WAS THE BEST PROSPECT EVERR

              • Preston

                I think it’s misguided to compare Jackson to Granderson. I think the main impetus to the trade was that we didn’t want to have two players in our outfield that couldn’t hit for power. We decided that we wanted to keep Gardner over Jackson. Which makes sense seeing as he’s the better defender, base-runner and draws way more walks. He was also older and had fewer years of team control so he would have brought back less in a trade. The Ian Kennedy part of the trade is regrettable given our current lack of pitching, but when you’re dealing unproven players for young proven ones you have to overpay.

    • Sayid J.

      Yes. I MUCH rather pay Feliciano $4 million per year than have Phil Coke. Without a doubt.

    • Thirty5Thirty6

      It’s ok if Mitre gets shelled. He’s got a ring.

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

      Phil Coke had a 13.50 ERA that World Series, but it’s okay, he’s got a ring.

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

        I forgot the !?

    • Esteban

      I think that although Pavano was terrible the first time around with the Yankees, they should have signed him this year because it’s ok, he has a ring.

      • Ted Nelson

        He was hurt his first time with the Yankees. And, yeah, they probably might have signed him if Minnesota hadn’t given him 2 years.

        He’s enter the season as their #2 starter.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          He’s enter the season as their #2 starter.

          Until he hit the DL with an ear lobe strain.

          • tomaconda

            IETCVM

        • NJYankeeFan

          Signing Pavano would have been a huge error by Cashman. GMs and Managers are supposed to put players in a position to suceed. Pavano is a good pitcher at this time but if he struggled coming out of the gate or had any type of injury early on, the fans would have turned on him so viciously that I don’t think he could have overcome it. It would have been unbearable any player and it has nothing to do with the “he can’t play in NY” argument. Too much bad history to make a Pavano-Yankee relationship work a 2nd time around.

          • Ted Nelson

            Or he could have pitched the way he has the past two seasons, been the #2 starter, and been a great feel good story of coming back to NY and overcoming what happened last time.

            • CMP

              Yeah just like Javy did last year.

              • Ted Nelson

                Because Vazquez and Pavano are the same person?

                • CMP

                  No, Javy was a 2 time loser with the Yanks and Pavano was only a one time loser because he has enough sense not to come back for more.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Very logically sound argument.

            • NJYankeeFan

              That sounds more like a fairy tale than reality but then again you’re the guy holding out hope for this big turn around from Burnett too. Always the optimist I guess, even if unfounded .

              As for Pavano, the first time around, the guy never seemed to want to pitch until he was about to become a free agent and he had a reputation of not wanting to pitch and not taking his rehab seriously among his teammates. If ever a player took the money and ran, it was Pavano.
              His opportunity with the Yanks has come and gone.

            • NJYankeeFan

              In case you forgot, this is how Pavano was perceived by his teammates.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02......html?_r=1

              • MannyGee

                should not put too much stock in what Moose says…. (no ring)

    • Esteban

      The Yankees should have made Gaudin their 4th starter, I believe he has a ring!?

      • Thomas

        Wrong, it should be Yogi and Sojo for the 4th and 5th spot. They have 10 and 5 rings respectively.

    • Esteban

      The Yankees should have just kept Melky Cabrera. I believe he has a ring!?

      • Klemy

        Bring back Hideki Irabu. He has multiple rings.

    • Esteban

      The Yankees should have made Brian Bruney their setup man. I believe he has a ring!?

    • Esteban

      The Yankees should look into Jeff Weaver. I believe he has a ring!?

    • FIPster Doofus

      Freddy Guzman has a ring too. Who gives a shit?

      • Slugger27

        Is cody ransom available?

        • Esteban

          I believe he has a ring!?

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      (I believe Coke has a ring!?),

      thank you for starting a new meme.

      • Midland TX

        I think the new theme is precious, precious.

  • Mike HC

    I don’t think Granderson gets enough credit for how well he played last year. He was a machine down the stretch and in the playoffs, when it really does count the most. I would rather he have a year like last year rather than rip it up in the first half and tail off down the stretch and into the playoffs, even if it did end up being a better overall offensive year. Not that I’m saying he can’t have a great overall year and play well at the end too.

  • Mike Myers

    I think it always just hurts to give up a player. When they do well (Ajax/IK) or have the potential to do well (Coke…starting?!) it hurts even more.

    Kinda like peeking into your Xmas gift a month eary. Then when you open the box you trade that give to your brother. You will miss your gift all that much more even though you got somethine awesome.

    • http://www.cerealblogger.com Russ has a last name

      But then I remember I’m the favorite of all the children which entitles me to the highest allowance which I can then use to buy other even better toys to go with it!

      Unless that particular christmas there is an unprecidented lack of cool toys and the one I really wanted chose to go home with another kid even though I offered more money…. where was I going with this???

      • Mike Myers

        Hahah

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, all three of those guys had basically best possible case seasons. We’ll see what happens this season and going forward.

      Coke was already a very solid relief pitcher last season, so even if the starting thing doesn’t work out he’s got value. His 1.1 WAR last season would have made him the Yankees’ 3rd most valuable reliever behind Mo and Joba.

    • Thomas

      Based on this analogy:

      Felix Hernandez = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFlcqWQVVuU (safe)

    • MannyGee

      if Granderson had a BABIP north of .350 or played in the NL West he would have LOU FUCKING GEHRIG #s… apples to cumquats, dude…

  • SRB

    I guess you have to have a degree in sarcasm or hold the majority opinion to post!?!?!?

    • Esteban

      No, but you should know how to use the reply button and respond to the actual topic of the post (hint: it’s not “Do you think the Granderson trade was a good one? Why or why not?).

    • pat

      No, you just have to have solid reasoning behind your opinions.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Requirements for posting privileges…

      -Degree in sarcasm
      -Groupthink
      -Ring

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        +1

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      if you can’t form an educated argument and have evidence for your thinking then you deserve it.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think the argument speaks for itself, though SRB might not do the best job of presenting it.

        The one season returns on the deal have been a net loss of 3.7 WAR for the Yankees. They got 3.6 WAR and sent out 7.3 WAR.

        There are reasons to believe that may change going forward, but right now there is plenty of reason to think the Yankees didn’t get the best deal.

        Personally I like the deal fine. I did think at the time it was an awful lot to give up, though. Granderson was coming off two straight declining seasons and a 3 WAR 2009. The Yankees offered up 3 solid major league ready players… so what happened in 2010 was an obvious risk. People have reasons to dismiss all 3 players 2010 performance–BABIP, NL West, we got Boone Logan separately–but Jackson did have a good season. Kennedy did have a good season and would at least be a nice competitor in the 4th/5th rotation spot–I know it was the NL West but he was as good as Hughes last season–plus he couldn’t have been much worse than Gaudin, Moseley, or Javy last season. Coke was a quality reliever last season, in line with what he did in the minors. It’s very possible that the Yankees gave up on him at just the wrong time. I doubt they’d be looking at him as a starter, but who knows. People wish they were looking at Joba, so Coke could also be an option.

        We don’t have to create a strawman and pretend the Yankees gave up nothing of value to like the deal. I like the deal, but I recognize that the Yankees did give up a good deal to get Granderson. If seemed like excess parts at the time, but the current rotation situation makes giving up 2 decent pitchers harder to swallow.

        • jsbrendog (returns)

          yeah but they have rings?!

        • Johnny O

          I like the deal too, and appreciate your thoughtful efforts to lend some credence to “SRB”‘s ludicrous “he’s got a ring” argument.

          however, you can’t just say the Yanks got 3.6 WAR and sent out 7.3 WAR. Boone Logan replaced Phil Coke’s production (Boone out-bWAR’d him by 0.3), and the Yankees’ 5th starters added a bit too to replace IPK’s production. Technically Hughes was the ’5th starter’ even though Javy and AJ did better impressions of a true 5th starter. To further this, IPK would’ve probably spent more time in AAA than MLB in 2010 so his accumulated WAR on the Yankees would’ve been significantly less than what he did for Arizona. Granderson also spent time on the DL and if healthy and no increase in production will still put up more WAR this year.

          To respond to the actual point of the original post, I love the Grandy Man and think he will be better in 2011 than 2010, although not sure he can match Joe’s predicted line.

          • Ted Nelson

            “Boone Logan replaced Phil Coke’s production (Boone out-bWAR’d him by 0.3)”

            Why couldn’t they have both?

            “Technically Hughes was the ’5th starter’ even though Javy and AJ did better impressions of a true 5th starter.”

            This is not what we’re talking about. Not who started the season as the 5th starter. Not that I’m totally sure why this is relevant anyway. Between Javy being pulled from the rotation and Hughes making playoff starts, it’s clear he was not the 5th starter all season.

            “the Yankees’ 5th starters added a bit too to replace IPK’s production.”

            The Yankees 5th starters were Javy and Nova basically. That was 0.3 WAR combined…

            “To further this, IPK would’ve probably spent more time in AAA than MLB in 2010 so his accumulated WAR on the Yankees would’ve been significantly less than what he did for Arizona.”

            I’m not talking about hypotheticals. They made the trade and these were the returns for the first season: 3.6 WAR in, 7.3 WAR out. It’s not an exact measurement of the trade’s success, just a general gage. (Granderson’s postseason, for example, also adds to his value.)

            If he was pitching relatively as well in Scranton as Arizona, though, I’d assume he’d get a good chunk of Moseley, Gaudin, Nova, and Mitre’s combined 19 starts, and maybe some of Javy’s too. Probably doesn’t get his 32 starts, but might have helped last season’s team win the division and be slotted in as the 3rd or 4th starter for 2011. Certainly possible.

            • Johnny O

              My point was that a straight up WAR comparison from 2010 doesn’t show if the Yankees would’ve been better with Granderson or better with AJax/Coke/IPK since the results would’ve been different. The yankees roster construction would’ve changed, and obviously the 3 guys we traded would have gotten different opportunities, and produced different results against different competition in different ballparks. I chose to consider these hypotheticals, you didn’t, which is fine. I think that a measurement of the trade is a bit more subjective, which you seem to agree with. We also seem to both like Granderson, so I’m over it.

              Can’t wait til pitchers/catchers report….

              • Ted Nelson

                Yeah, I get it.

                I meant that when looking back on a trade that did happen WAR is a good way to judge it.

                This is also a way to consider what else the Yankees might have gotten if they had traded that package for someone else/a package, or if they had traded one of more of those parts individually. (Maybe for Haren Arizona lives Kennedy and 2 19 year olds instead of Saunders and 2 19 year olds for example.)

                At some point it’s speculative whether a player would have been better or worse on the Yankees. There’s home park and level of competition, but a lot of other factors are impossible to quantify.

  • BavarianYankee

    The Grandy-Man can!!

  • FachoinaNYY

    I would be estatic/incredibly suprised to see him reach those numbers.

  • SRB

    Apparently it’s not reasonable to discuss the success, or not, of a trade made one year ago, w/ an article about the SUSTAINABILITY of that trade- Plus, whose “solid reasoning”- yours!
    Fact #1- I love the way Granderson plays and he seems like a great teammate
    Fact #2- Austin Jackson had an excellent rookie year, is young w/ much upside, and was one of those “assets” the team is always touting
    Fact #3- Ian Kennedy had a nice year for a lousy team and right now would be the Yanks 4th starter
    Fact #4- Phil Coke had a fine year for the Yanks in 09, was pretty inexpensive, and is thought enough of by the Tigers to try him as a starter

    All I was trying to say was that those three, if Granderson does NOT progress, was a high price to pay- That is my OPINION (glad to see that at least some less obnoxious posters,less enamored w/ themselves, could differ w/ that OPINION in a civil manner)

    • http://procrastinationperfected.tumblr.com/ BigDavey88

      “Opinon #4- Phil Coke had a fine average year for the Yanks in 09, was pretty inexpensive, and is thought enough of by within the Tigers organization to try him as who desperately need a starter(s) outside of Verlander.”

      Fixed.

    • Esteban

      Where are Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy, or Austin Jackson in this post?

      • Esteban

        mentioned*

      • Ted Nelson

        It’s pretty obviously implied based on Granderson being traded for them…

        What’s your problem anyway? You really think the Yankees just hit it out of the park on Granderson and got a “Hall of Fame player” without giving up anything of any value or what?

        • Esteban

          Like I said below, mentioning a player that was traded for does not imply that it’s time to evaluate the trade (again). Do you bring up Alfonso Soriano every time Alex Rodriguez is mentioned?

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s certainly on-topic IMO. Just ignore it if you don’t want to talk about it or are really that sore about it.

            • Esteban

              So you’re cool with me talking about Soriano and Betemit every time A-Rod and Swisher are mentioned? Right on.

              • Ted Nelson

                If you want to, sure. I will ignore the comments if I don’t feel like discussing it. And I’m not sure what you’re going to say… “A-Rod is almost twice as many WAR as Soriano since the trade.” People do constantly talk about how the Yankees stole Swish from the Sox, and it’s usually greeted with applause.

                Those trades also didn’t happen just last offseason, though. It’s pretty obvious the Yankees got the better end of the Swisher deal already and A-Rod baseball wise. It’s not obvious who got the better end of the Granderson deal yet.

                • Esteban

                  Easy to say, but whatever dude, let’s rehash the Granderson trade ad-infinitum on every post about Granderson, relief pitchers, or the fifth starter, because clearly that’s was implied with the post.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Yes, when you talk about Granderson it is on topic to talk about what was traded for Granderson just one year ago in my opinion. I’m sure that one year after Swisher was acquired people were talking about how it was a steal, and one year after A-Rod was acquired people were talking about Soriano. Yes.

              • MannyGee

                wait… did someone say Javy Vazquez?

                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino
                Arodys Vizcaino

                K I’m good

        • Esteban

          Anyway, did I really say that we got a “Hall of Fame player” in Granderson? Where have I said anything about the trade, one way or the other, in this thread? I just think it’s pretty annoying that we rehash arguments over this trade every time Granderson’s name is mentioned.

          • Ted Nelson

            You made about 10 posts about people who have rings and are not good as an indictment of SRB’s points. Every time the trade is mentioned you reply about how you don’t want to talk about it (which is ironic since to not talk about it all you have to do is not reply). It comes across like you are joining those who think SRB is wrong, and often go so far as to imply the Yankees gave up nothing of value to get an obviously amazing player.

            • Esteban

              It’s pretty simple. I don’t want to talk about the trade because that was not the topic of the post and also something that has been argued over for more than a year; I would prefer to see talk about Granderson’s 2011 season, because that is relevant to the upcoming season, and coincidentally, the topic of the post.

              As to your second point, you’re jumping to some conclusions that only exist in your mind. Making silly comments about ‘I believe he has a ring!?’ means I think the Yankees got the greatest player ever for a 1995 Danny Tartabull Donruss card?

              • Ted Nelson

                If that’s what you want why are you constantly engaging others in discussion over the trade by criticizing their comments? Make a comment about Granderson and then discuss it with people.

                You don’t speak for every RAB reader, and clearly some people still want to discuss the trade. Just as in most Swisher threads the fact that he was acquired for what has amounted to peanuts is brought up. Or in every A-Rod thread people call him arrogant and overpaid and lament his extension.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think you raise some valid points and have been unfairly criticized by some commenters, but you also have to consider the other side of the coin.

      A lot of Jackson’s 2010 success came from a league leading batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Some guys might naturally have a higher BABIP, but Jackson’s was ridiculously high. He led the league at .396, and there were only 3 other qualifying players in all of baseball above .355. This means that of the balls he put in play he hit about .400. He didn’t walk a lot of hit for much power, so a lot of his offensive value came from his batting average. If next season he doesn’t have the same luck on balls in play falling for hits, his batting average could drop considerably. He strikes out a whole lot and doesn’t hit lefties. He can be a quality CF which is valuable, but there are some serious red flags going forward.

      I would also like to have Kennedy around given the lack of quality starters on the roster, but people think he would get hit harder in the AL East. Probably would, but people don’t bother to quantify it and just always say “he’d get lit up in the AL East.” Why “because I say so.” Never mind that he was above replacement in his 60 innings in the AL East or that he’s at an age where pitchers are usually still developing.

      Coke wasn’t that good for the Yankees in 2009. He pitched in 60 innings and was barely above replacement level. He was better in 2008 and the minors. Yankees might have sold low there. He had a good 2010 for the Tigers.

      I agree that the Yankees gave up quite a bit. Especially in light of their pitching struggles last season and question marks this season. I also agree that people are overly defensive and irrational in discussing the deal. Trying to make it seem like an obvious home run deal when it wasn’t at the time and certainly isn’t after one season. This is a sports blog, though, people are going to be obnoxious.

      • Esteban

        All I’m doing is criticizing for bringing up a subject that is only tangentially related to what the post is about. The post is not a retrospective on the trade. The post deals with trying to project Granderson in 2011. Why don’t we compare A-Rod and Soriano or Swisher and Betemit? Mentioning that Phil Coke was on a team that won the World Series as a point in his favor is not a valid point. Besides, I heard Ugueth Urbina is looking for a job. I believe he has a ring!?

        • Ted Nelson

          You’re not the only one responding to SRB’s comments.

          I think it’s a pretty relevant topic to this post.

          A-Rod’s been a Yankee for 7 seasons. He’s almost double Soriano’s WAR in that time frame.

          Swisher is an All-Star quality RF for the Yankees, while Betemit gave the Sox an OPS+ of 53 in 50 PAs and Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez have given them 6.2 inning combined to date and mostly been crushed in the minors. If Marquez could be a legitimate rotation candidate and Betemit were the starting 3B for the White Sox… maybe people would talk more about that trade.

          There is a legitimate argument at this point about whether the Yankees would be better off with Granderson or with AJax/Kennedy/Coke.

          • Esteban

            There is an argument, sure, but the mere mention of Granderson means that it’s time to have that argument for the 1,000th time?

            • Ted Nelson

              Clearly some people think so. Why have you made 30 comments in reply to comments on the trade if you don’t want to talk about it? Just ignore them and talk about Granderson. It’s that simple.

              • Esteban

                Well, to be honest, I didn’t think this post would become the place to evaluate the Granderson trade. I tried to remind people that doing so was not really on topic. However, more people started to do so, despite my best efforts. Then you started to invent things about what I said, and since then I’ve made a point to respond to your responses to me. Sure, I’m not an administrator and have no power over you or any other commenter, but at the same time, if you’re going to continue to talk about off topic things, I’m going to continue to complain.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Again, I think it is on topic.

                  It’s the actual opportunity cost of having Granderson on the Yankees. Granderson will do x this year… I would prefer to have Jackson, Kennedy, and Coke still on the Yankees doing X this year or I would not. It’s a natural extension of the topic to me.

                  Just like Soriano was overpaid and Soriano will do X this season often go hand and hand in discussion.

                  Just like your Swisher and A-Rod examples don’t really work because 1 year after those deals people were talking about the deals still.

                  “Then you started to invent things about what I said”

                  Your responses to SRB seemed to imply that you were for the trade. That was my mistake, sorry I could not read your brain and only your annoying responses about bad players with WS rings. That poisoned the thread to me infinitely more than even semi-intelligent discussion of the opportunity cost associated with Granderson.

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

      You have done everything that you have accused others of in this thread.

  • Pinky

    I’m so happy we have a young starter in Ian Kennedy to bolster our weak rotation, and Phil Coke to add depth to the bullpen.

    Oh never mind, we traded both of them for Curtis Granderson who can’t hit .250!

    • Darebear

      You’re forgetting Austin Jackson who hit .300 in his rookie year!

    • Klemy

      Uhhhh!?

    • Esteban

      And yet, somehow, this post was not about Ian Kennedy or Phil Coke.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        bet you this is srb with a diff name

    • pete

      Batting average: a pretty miniscule component of Curtis Granderson’s overall value.

  • http://procrastinationperfected.tumblr.com/ BigDavey88

    Hoping for .320/.400./575, but settling for a more realistic awesome .310/.375/555 > hoping for .275/.365/.490, but settling for a more realistic 265/.340/.470

    If we all groupthink hard enough, IT MIGHT HAPPEN!

  • NC Saint

    Has anyone done a good evaluation of how well the various projection systems have performed in recent years? I’ve seen Nate Silver’s from 2007, but it’s hard to believe no one has done something similar with more recent seasons…

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

      The problem is that they’re scaled to different run environments. It would take a considerable amount of work to correct for that.

      • NC Saint

        After doing a little research, I’ve found a few studies — which do make that adjustment — looking at this for 2008 and 2009. Seems like the CW that PECOTA has lost its touch is true:

        http://sites.google.com/site/s.....evalutions

        CHONE/ZiPS look like the way to go, and even Marcel is doing better than PECOTA. Frustratingly, couldn’t find anyone who had included Bill James projections.

        • AndrewYF

          That’s because Bill James’ projections are always horrible.

  • nsalem

    Curtis will have a fine year in season number 2 as a Yankee. Much depends on the lefties he faces and their quality. I hope he is more than 2 spots away from Cano in the lineup. I understand but don’t agree with the people who miss Jackson. The ones that miss IPK and
    Coke are really being silly. I root especially hard for Granderson and Gardner because I find the “Anti-Grandites” and “Brett is just a 4th outfielder” segment of Yankee fandom to be extremely annoying.

    • kosmo

      Did you really look at IPKs 2010 season.He had a very fine season pitching for a miserable team with a AA bullpen who squandered his leads .He pitched 190 innings after not pitching that much the year before because of an aneurysm.That shows me a kind of bulldog quality.
      Arizona has publicly stated on a couple of occasions that only IPK and Upton were untouchable.Is their FO imbeciles? I guess only silly ???
      It is so much water under the bridge.I admit I was not happy with the trade.

      • pete

        IPK is untouchable? Seriously? They wouldn’t trade him for, say, Felix Hernandez? Robinson Cano? Joe Mauer?

        Not sure you understand what “untouchable” means

        • kosmo

          Don´t take it out of context ! Given what Arizona is trying to do with a lowered budget .Trading Reynolds ,Haren ,Jackson for prospects.Arizona is not going to take on the salaries of a Mauer or Hernandez any time soon.So they covet inexpensive talent.
          I´m not sure you understand the nature of FO thinking in smaller markets ???

          • pete

            If Seattle offered Hernandez for IPK, straight-up, AZ would take it. In a second. Hell, they’d probably take Felix for IPK and Upton.

            • kosmo

              At least be realistic ! Stop talking fantasy baseball.

      • CS Yankee

        Get happy!

        Because in 2011, we have a good chance to run the table.

        Why? Because Hal & CO have 20-40$M not spent, the farm is near ready (likely to produce a big bat and arm real soon) and Cashman/Levine/Hank have an itchy trigger finger.

      • j

        A 4.3 FIP in the weakest division in baseball isn’t all that special. Hes not that different from Nova or Noesi/Phelps/Warren group we have in the minors.

      • MannyGee

        wait… didnt they just shop Upton like 2 months ago? so yeah…

    • CS Yankee

      This!

      Grandy will likely add quite more value in 2011, mix in with an expected upside of the following;
      1) Arod (has another hot blonde in his stable)
      2) Jete (expected to rebound with the stick)
      3) Teix (if he bats above the Mendoza line in Apr/May)
      4) AJ (new pitching coach & likely new tatoo’s & rest)
      5) Hughes (still 24 & coming off his first full season as a SP)

      Plus,
      a) Ajax has a Grit bat…we don’t need two of those weak power guys.

      b) IPK was moved for a better gamble in Javy & Hughes (4th & 5th SP). Javy didn’t work, but it was still a better gamble.

      c) Coke only has a fastball and a smile (not good enough).

      Grandy will likely make everyone forget about the trade with his first full season in pinstripes and much improoved swing.

    • Ted Nelson

      “I understand but don’t agree with the people who miss Jackson. The ones that miss IPK and Coke are really being silly.”

      You don’t have to pick one or two to miss… The Yankees dealt all three for Granderson. It was the whole package. I tend to agree that it was the right move, but it’s certainly not obvious after one season. I would not call missing either Kennedy or Coke silly.

      We are both relatively more optimistic about the rotation than others, but I would still like to have a IPK competing for a rotation spot. And having him last season could have helped the Yankees beat out the Rays for the East (which I have mixed feeling about since they’d have played the Rangers in the ALDS…) and maybe get past the Rangers either in the rotation or the pen. He dominated the minors and I think he could easily be above average in the AL East. People like to say that he struggled in the AL East and obviously could never succeed in this division. 1/3 of his Yankee innings came in his first full professional season, and he did quite well in that brief sample. He broke camp in the rotation during his 2nd full major league season and got walloped. He dominated the minors after that, though, when healthy for the next two seasons. I don’t think it’s obvious he can’t succeed in the AL East.

      Coke is a solid reliever. He’s not particularly missed on his own, but is a part of the package sent out.

      Even at the time I thought it was an overpay considering they were buying low on Granderson, but I’m glad they made the deal. It’s not an obvious home run, though, and it may still turn out that they got the worse end of the deal. Besides just the players involved in the deal, there’s also the opportunity cost of what else that package might have brought back. If the DBacks liked him maybe Kennedy could have replaced Saunders in a Dan Haren deal, for example. After his hot start and Grandy’s weak April, maybe the Tigers deal Granderson for AJax straight-up. I’m fine with the deal, but I don’t think we can reject those who are not.

      • Preston

        With the volatility of relievers in general missing Coke is silly…

        • Ted Nelson

          Read what I said above. The exact thing you responded to.

          “Coke is a solid reliever. He’s not particularly missed on his own, but is a part of the package sent out.”

          It’s not missing Coke. It’s missing or not missing AJax, Kennedy, and Coke cumulatively. There’s no need to single them out because all three were the package sent for Granderson.

          I don’t particularly miss them because I am high on Granderson and somewhat low on all 3 repeating their 2010′s (at least in 2011 or consistently). However, I’m not going to dismiss a 1 WAR reliever being turned into a starter just because relievers tend to be volatile.

          And, anyway, “it’s silly” is not much of an argument.

      • nsalem

        I view the Granderson and the Vasquez trade as one deal. After 2009 we felt a need to upgrade our starting pitching.The Yankeese had to have an established fourth starter (Vasquez), because going through the playoffs is quite risky in the manner that we did in 2009 pitching wise. The Yankees also wanted to upgrade their centerfield situation because they were of the firm belief that Melky was not the long term solution that they had hoped he would be in centerfield. At that time we did not have complete confidence in IPK as a starter, we were’t sure what Hughes would do and now we find out that they knew Chamberlain was hurt. We also did not have a world of confidence in Coke due to his last performance in a Yankee uniform. The Yankees also believed that the days of Matsui and Damon playing left field were over.The Yankees with a good up and coming farm system gave up 6 young players some who they knew may succeed to get two more established veterans that would help us win in 2010. I feel it was sound judgement. We made the trade and a couple of weeks into the season Jackson was on fire and Granderson was cold and then injured. I felt the bellyaching that enthused about the trade was extremely shortsighted and immature.
        I’m happy for IPK that he is finding success in Arizona. I still don’t believe that his style of pitching would translate well in the AL East. I may be wrong but there are plenty of numbers to validate that opinion. What I find silly is people totally killing the front office for moves that seemed quite logical at the time. It didn’t work out (mostly due to Vasquez) as we hoped. I’m just sick and tired of hearing about Coke, Jackson and Kennedy every time Granderson’s name comes up. I feel that their are Yankee fans rooting against Granderson to validate their expertise. I love Granderson and I hope he has a great year and ends this conversation once and for all.

  • It’sATarp

    i expect a spike in BABIP. You don’t have a .270 BABIP when you have a 20% line drive rate. for the record AJAX’s line drive rate is 24.2% yet his BABIP is over 100 points higher than Grandy’s.

  • David

    The deal is exactly what a deal for a top starting pitcher is going to look like. Grandy was desired because he was a left handed hitter, with lots of power, and an excellent fielder. We had to give up a reasonable amount to get him. It was a fair trade, perhaps slightly overpaying, but not if you look at it as not having to give up players that wouldn’t have been important parts of a championship caliber team.

  • AndrewYF

    I think it’s pretty damn bold to predict anyone on the Yankees not named Sabathia, Teixeira or Cano to have a 5+ WAR season, which is what that line from Granderson would give (unless it’s over 100 PAs, or mostly accumulated in LF).

  • Bones

    I dont see much improvement with Granderson, at this point of his career I think it is fair to say he is what he is. He is average defensively, has above average power for a CF’er but doesn’t make nearly enough contact to be considered a threat offensively. His best asset should be his legs and he doesn’t get on base nearly as much as he should.

    • pete

      He’s a guy who can OBP .350 and slug .500. He’s distinctively above average defensively. He runs well and steals for pretty high percentages. His power is completely elite for a true CF’er, and quite good for any position on the field other than 1B, where it’d be average-above average. Stop underrating him.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Saying Granderson is average defensively is either selling him short or overrating the average center fielder.

      Doesn’t make enough contact to be a threat? What does that even mean? He certainly makes enough contact to be an offensive weapon in the Yankee lineup, that’s good enough for me.

      Finally, speed is an asset, it’s not a means for getting on base. The only time it comes into play are on slow hit or well-placed ground balls, which are less common than you think. Juan Pierre is one of the fastest guys in the league and his career OBP is .347.

      • Peter Gammons

        ya know whaaat guy? That Granderson is good but he’s no Crawford… Because Crawford is good… i mean wicked good guy!!!!

        and we gotz six aces. and Youk and Peddy are gonna co-MVP.

        Go Sawx

  • Preston

    Attempting to stay on topic we’re asking if a .261/.356/.564 line that he put up down the stretch is sustainable. His low BABIP during that period suggests as Joe pointed out that it’s not only sustainable but he’d be able to improve upon it (especially since he hit .280/.365 in 2008). His .564 slugging percentage has as good a chance at being repeated as a .396 BABIP that was posted by a player that need not be named. I tend to think Bill James’s projection for Granderson seems about right.