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

151 Comments»

  1. Regis says:

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

  2. Mike Axisa says:

    .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 says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

      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 says:

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

  3. SRB says:

    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 says:

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

    • Chip says:

      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 says:

      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?

    • CMP says:

      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.

  4. 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.

    • 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 says:

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

      • kosmo says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            “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 says:

              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 says:

                “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 says:

          .260 hitters don´t rake

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

          • Ted Nelson says:

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

            • kosmo says:

              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 says:

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

  5. SRB says:

    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

  6. Mike HC says:

    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.

  7. Mike Myers says:

    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.

    • 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???

    • Ted Nelson says:

      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 says:

      Based on this analogy:

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

    • MannyGee says:

      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…

  8. SRB says:

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

    • Esteban says:

      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 says:

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

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Requirements for posting privileges…

      -Degree in sarcasm
      -Groupthink
      -Ring

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

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

      • Ted Nelson says:

        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) says:

          yeah but they have rings?!

        • Johnny O says:

          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 says:

            “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 says:

              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 says:

                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.

  9. BavarianYankee says:

    The Grandy-Man can!!

  10. FachoinaNYY says:

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

  11. SRB says:

    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)

    • BigDavey88 says:

      “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 says:

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

      • Esteban says:

        mentioned*

      • Ted Nelson says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

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

              • Ted Nelson says:

                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 says:

                  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 says:

                    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 says:

                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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

                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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

                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 says:

                  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.

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

  12. Pinky says:

    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!

  13. BigDavey88 says:

    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!

  14. NC Saint says:

    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…

  15. nsalem says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 ???

      • CS Yankee says:

        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 says:

        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 says:

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

    • CS Yankee says:

      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 says:

      “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 says:

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

        • Ted Nelson says:

          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 says:

        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.

  16. It'sATarp says:

    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.

  17. David says:

    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.

  18. AndrewYF says:

    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).

  19. Bones says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • 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 says:

        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

  20. Preston says:

    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.

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