Yanks offense can overcome the pitching problems

The World Series Hangover Effect
Once again, Yanks among the best at working pitchers
One of the few pleasant memories of April 2007. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Every time we post about a position player, there is one inevitable response. Commenter Yanks the Frank provided it in the Michael Young thread. “Can he pitch?” The Yankees’ pitching problems have taken center stage this winter, highlighted by the retread pitchers they’ve invited to camp. There will be opportunities to acquire another pitcher or two as the season progresses, but until then they have to find a way to stay close to the Rays and the Sox. As has been the case in years past, the offense provides the key.

If we look back to 2007 we can see a Yankees team that faced massive pitching problems early in the season. They had brought back Andy Pettitte that winter, but as a whole the staff appeared weak at worst, fragile at best. Carl Pavano actually started Opening Day that year, because Andy Petitte’s back had disrupted his spring training schedule. Pavano, Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Jeff Karstens, and Kei Igawa composed the rotation to open the season, while Chien-Ming Wang sat on the DL with a hamstring problem. That cast of characters, plus a shaky bullpen, led to a 5.02 ERA and 5.34 FIP. The former was the fourth worst in the majors, the latter the second worst. The starters, as expected, took the brunt of the beating, to the tune of a 5.94 ERA, third worst in the majors.

A high-powered offense as the Yankees can overcome such pitching ineptitude. But in April 2007 they failed to overpower opposing pitching staffs. Their .339 wOBA ranked seventh in the majors, but it was also their worst month of the year. Numbers are typically down across the board in April, but as the Yankees showed throughout the year, their offense was far better than seventh in the league — the team’s .362 season wOBA ranked first in the majors by a decent margin. If they had produced the best offense numbers in April maybe they would have scored more than 131 runs and won more than nine games. Instead, it was Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter producing numbers. No other Yankee had a wOBA over .330 in April 2007.

Offensive struggles continued in May, too. In fact, the team scored fewer runs per game in May than they did in April. That month the team .344 wOBA ranked fifth, but again it was a small handful of players producing, while others, such as Bobby Abreu, batting in the three spot, fell off. The pitching had actually improved, but with the offense stalling again, the Yanks couldn’t get much going. And so they stumbled again, finishing 13-15 on the month and owning a cumulative 21-29 record on the season. It was only then that the offense really kicked in.

Once the offense started producing everything started to come together. Adding Roger Clemens and, eventually, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy to the staff helped further solidify run prevention unit. But even as the team’s pitching improved after April — the team ERA went to 4.28 in May and 4.05 in June — the team didn’t really start rattling off the wins until everyone in the offense started hitting to his ability. This could be a familiar situation for the Yankees in 2011.

While 2007 stands out as a team that stood out offensively and faced pitching challenges, 2008 is perhaps a better example. The team again struggled out of the gate, and again it was mostly related to the offense. The staff was bad, a 4.56 ERA in April, seventh worst in the majors, but the offense couldn’t get anything done. Their April wOBA was .322, which was middle of the pack. The team, despite injuries and down years, finished with a .338 wOBA, seventh in the majors. Had they produced the 7th best wOBA in April, maybe they would have overcome the poor pitching. But they didn’t, and everything went downhill from there.

This year the Yankees’ staff could produce Aprils as bad as 2007 and 2008. It’s the reality they face with the current construction of the pitching staff. But the results need not be similar. If the Yankees can open the season in a similar manner to last year — .362 wOBA in April, best in the majors — they can overcome the back end of the pitching staff and keep pace with division foes. That should buy them time until they can improve on the staff. The situation might appear bleak, and it’s tough to ignore the pitching issues. But the Yankees have an offense that temporarily overcome poor pitching. If they can perform at a level they couldn’t in 2007 and 2008, they should be able to weather the storm until more pitching becomes available.

The World Series Hangover Effect
Once again, Yanks among the best at working pitchers
  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    With this offense and bullpen, they just need to get to the playoffs. Once there (and with a possible deadline deal or other reinforcements) this team will be hell to deal with. They got 78 starts last year out of ineffective starters in AJ, Javy, Moseley, Mitre and Nova, yet still cruised to the Wild Card with 95 wins (3rd most in baseball).

    • David

      Completely agree. Anybody who dismisses them is nuts. They are loaded with talent. I am expecting a major deal, likely including Montero.

      • tim randle

        I’d rather lose Jorgie and Jeter at this point than Montero…

        • Camilo

          I know, right. I thought Judas was the one that sold Jesus out


  • Mike

    The Yankees offense may overcome the pitching problems in the REGULAR SEASON .. but come playoff time—- Pitching is what wins.

    • MannyGee

      well….. the Rangers would disagree. They rode Cliff Lee and a bunch of kids to the WS last season. They beat much better pitching staffs on their way as well, including a stacked Rays rotation and a clearly better front 3 from the Yankees.

      that was all lumber, kids… ALL lumber

      • It’sATarp

        whoa whoa slow down there. The Rangers may not have had 4.5 Aces like the phillies or the 2394209u430 ACES the Sox have..but CJ wilson and Colby Lewis behind Cliff lee are far from bad pitchers. For the record Wilson had a 3.56 FIP last year and Lewis had a 3.55 FIP. CC last year posted up a 3.54 FIP so basically on our team these guys would have been a number 2…borderline number 1. That is why last year when hughes rather than Andy was match up against lewis i had a big problem with it. Everyone assumed Lewis was some scrub and hughes was better…far from it. As statistics shows, last year Lewis by far the superior Pitcher.

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s a good point. I would add, though, that the Rangers starters also had the advantage of a lot of games against the worst, second worst, and 5th worst offenses in the AL last season in terms of wOBA. Yankees starters were going against the 2nd, 4th, 8th best, and 3rd worst. That changes what the stats say from a straight FIP-FIP comparison.

          More importantly to me–and not directly to your comment–going into the season the Rangers did not expect that from Wilson or Lewis. Sometimes pitchers exceed expectations, but everyone has already decided the Yankees pitchers can’t. The Rangers opening day rotation was awful, headlined by Feldman and Harden. They caught some lightning in a bottle with a few guys they projected as back-end or out of the rotation guys and added an ace via trade. That much luck is rare, but the Yankees shouldn’t need that much luck to have a passable rotation. Good health, meeting expectations, and one pleasant surprise (maybe two) would probably do it.

          As far as the original comment, I would say that just saying “pitching wins in the playoffs” is a huge oversimplification.

      • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

        And those Rangers got it handed to them by the Giants, a mediocre offensive team with an incredible rotation.

        • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

          You know how the old baseball cliche goes, Suzyn. Good pitching, beats good hitting.

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

          The Giants didn’t exactly act like a mediocre offensive team in the WS. They hit Cliff Lee very well, and destroyed Texas’ bullpen. Also, I would hardly call the 2009 Yankees a team with an incredible rotation. Good, yes.

          • Ted Nelson

            But why actually examine facts when you can oversimplify and make blanket statements?

  • Pipes

    And lets not forget 2005 with aaron small and shawn chacon!!!

    • vin

      No… lets.

  • Januz

    I am not exactly sold on their offense either (Perhaps only third in the division behind Boston & Baltimore (I really think the Sox offense will be sick with Gonzalez & Craword, and full years from Pedroia, Youkilis & Ellsbury)). I think this will be a transition year, waiting for the young pitching in the pipeline: “Killer “B”s, Bryan Mitchell, DePaula, Stoneburner, Encinas, and perhaps the best of the bunch…. Brett Marshall.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      I really think the Sox offense will be sick with Gonzalez & Craword, and full years from Pedroia, Youkilis & Ellsbury)).

      Don’t forget they lost Beltre (who had a monster year) and Martinez.

      Also, full years from Pedroia, Youkilis and Ellsbury are far from a sure bet.

      As far as the Orioles offense goes, it doesn’t even come close to the Yankees.

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        JD Drew’s back is already acting up, Ellsbury isn’t a good hitter, the reanimated corpse of Jason Varitek and Saltalamacchia make up the two headed catching monster.

        I think the Sox offense will be just as productive as last year when all is said and done.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          But they lost a catcher with a .844 OPS and a 3B with a .919 OPS and picked up a LF with a .851 OPS and a 1B with a .904 OPS. 1000 runs here they come!

          Also, Pedroia’s foot isn’t 100%. Youkilis, who had trouble staying healthy at 1B is now moving to a much more demanding position, Gonzalez is coming off of a shoulder injury. Scutaro is a year older and if they give the job to Lowrie, he’s not exactly Cal Ripken in the health department. Big Papi is another year older as well and has clearly been slipping. Maybe this is the year he never breaks out of his early season funk (there were DFA rumors early last year).

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

            Adrian will hit for more power in Fenway than he did in Petco, but I’m not penciling him in for a .400 OBP lock like some are. He’s been intentionally walked 75 times in the past three years.

      • The Real JobaWockeeZ

        If we’re being optimistic with the Yankees bunch it’s only fair to be optimistic for every other team in analysis.

        Youk, Pedroia and Ellsbury being injured at the same time was bad luck. It won’t happen again.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          Ellsbury is not that good of a hitter and is injury prone and was essentially replaced by McDonald and his 103 OPS+. Pedroia was replaced by Bill Hall and his 103 OPS+. Youk has never been a beacon of health and is moving to 3rd. 2 of these 3 regularly miss games, and Pedroia’s foot is still bothering him. Their replacements last year did pretty damn well. Their offense will be very strong, but it’s not going to be some insane improvement over last year,

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

      Baltimore’s got a good lineup, but the only guy on their roster that’s better offensively than the corresponding Yankee player is Luke Scott in LF. Maybe Wieters over Martin, if he figures it out this year.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        And even if you take Wieters over Martin, that’s one spot where the Yankees have a huge reinforcement to go to if they need to.

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

          That’s assuming Montero hits. Everyone was convinced Wieters would.

          • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

            Yeah, I’m not necessarily saying that Montero>>>Wieters, but offensively, if any position on the Yankees struggles, C is where they have the best potential reinforcement.

    • Ted Nelson

      Baltimore? That’s a bold prediction. They were 27th in runs scored last season. They should be better, but the guys they added are still question marks. I mean if part of your contention is that the Yanks are old, why would you assume Derek Lee and Vlad defy age this season? With that pitching staff they’re also going to have to score a whole lot to win games. I don’t think their offense competes with the Red Sox and Yankees anyway, though.

      Yankees were the best offense in baseball last season. They bring everyone back. Three of their top of the line-up hitters had career worst type seasons in 2010: Tex, A-Rod, and Jeter. Russell Martin should at least repeat what Cervelli did, and they have one of the best hitting prospect in baseball knocking on the door. If a hole emerges, they have the resources to make a trade.

      Certainly there is no guarantee they are as good in 2011 as 2010, but I don’t know why you’d just assume everything is going to go wrong.

      Red Sox should be better offensively than the Yankees with health. AGon and Crawford are replacing a .390 wOBA from Beltre and a .364 wOBA from VMart, though, so it’s not like they are big additions. They *should* be better, but depending on how things break I certainly think the Yankees could be better offensively. Possibly in terms of pitching too.

      • Klemy

        If a hole emerges, they have the resources to make a trade.

        Do we need to call names? ;)

      • Dustin P

        Look like the OP discusses Baltimore because he is dismissing the Red Sox. With all the injuries last year, Sox still were in the hunt until the end. And Sox have better SP than NYY. And pitching wins ballgames.

        And how can you not say Sox will be about the same as last year? They added more speed and power to the lineup.

        • Ted Nelson

          “And how can you not say Sox will be about the same as last year?”

          I have no idea what this is in reference to. “Red Sox should be better offensively than the Yankees with health.”

          “They added more speed and power to the lineup.”

          They lose as much from 2010 as they likely gained. The key to improving is more so health.

          “And pitching wins ballgames.”

          If you’re going to be a troll, at least make sensible comments. Winning a ballgame necessarily means you not only allowed fewer runs than the other teams, but that you scored more too. It’s a balance.

          “And Sox have better SP than NYY.”

          Not necessarily.

          • Dustin P

            The goal of the story is to say NYY can outscore their opponents and overcome their pitching shortage.

            That will obviously work against the KC’s and Seattle’s of the league.

            Good luck with that rationale in the playoffs. I think Lee showed that theory is BS in 2010 ALCS!

            • Ted Nelson

              I didn’t write the story, and the Yankees have outscored their opponents and overcome their pitching shortage for years.

              The Red Sox haven’t won a playoff game in the past two seasons…

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

              Lee pitched one game in the ALCS, he certainly helped but he wasn’t the reason they won.

              Hey, what do the 2009 Phillies have to say? They got two starts from Cliff Lee against the Yankees!

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

          Look like the OP discusses Baltimore because he is dismissing the Red Sox

          (I really think the Sox offense will be sick with Gonzalez & Craword, and full years from Pedroia, Youkilis & Ellsbury)).

          Go back to getting ready for Spring Training, Mr. Pedroia

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      i’ll bet you right now youkilis’s body can’tn handle fulltime 3b duty and is on the dl at least once, maybe twice, and if not he ATLEAST has a nagging hand/upper body injury that “limits his offensive outpout”

  • http://unclemikesmusings.blogspot.com Uncle Mike

    Kindly stop making sense. You know Commissioner Selig doesn’t allow that!

  • nsalem

    In 2007 our relievers (until Joba came along) consisted of the likes of
    Myers, Farnsworth, Vizciano, Bruney, Bean, Villone and Ramirez. We also had a manager whose secret agenda was to ruin as many arms as possible. I think our bullpen and the man managing it will be much more beneficial to the Yankees in 2011.

    • Ted Nelson

      2007 Yankees had the #22 bullpen ERA and #23 bullpen WAR.

      The groupthink machine has already decided, though, that bullpens are stupid and you can’t win a game unless your starter exits with a lead.

  • bakekrukow412

    2007 was my favorite non-penant winning team out of the group from ’04-’08. I seem to remember periods that summer where that team’s offense was completely unstopable. I though for sure we would win it all that year. Stupid midges.

    • nsalem

      stupid Torre

      • bakekrukow412

        That too. Not just for the bugs, but also he should have started Hughes instead of Clemens in Game 3, and also went with Mussina instead of Wang in game 4.

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

          Meh. They won game 3. And Moose had a 5.72 ERA in the second half that year.

          • bakekrukow412

            Yeah, but if I remember correctly, Moose had been removed from the rotation for a while, and then in September they gave him a couple of starts and he did pretty well. If it was up to me, I would have started him, considering Wang got destroyed in Game 1. But it’s a tough call to make.

      • gc

        stupid Chien Ming Wang.

  • Dream of Electric Sheeps

    I think Po will put up pedestrian numbers at the DH spot. I rather have Manny or Branyan at lower cost and possibly better productions. But it is what it is, Po is in his last year and getting pay what he is getting pay. I hope he does well.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Why do you think that?

      • Dream of Electric Sheeps

        Health and age Sir.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          I can definitely see age as a factor, though by not catching, I’d expect health to be much less of an issue. If you bring in Branyan or Manny, health and age, without any guaranteed production increase, would also be factors.

          • Dream of Electric Sheeps

            No Guaranteed by any means. More of lower cost and same risk move IMO. Except we are paying Po what he is getting. So…kinda of a moot point really i suppose. Just a thought…

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, completely moot. The Yankees didn’t go out and sign Posada this offseason.

              “Pedestrian numbers” is a strong statement for a guy whose wOBA the last two seasons are .357 (2010) and .378 (2009). Getting at least 438 PAs in both of those seasons. Unless he falls apart this season his production should be fine at that spot.

              Jorge had more plate appearances than either last season and hit better than Branyan.

              Manny: 320 PAs, .382 wOBA
              Branyan: 428 PAs, .350 wOBA
              Jorge: 451 PAs, .357 wOBA

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

          I don’t see how you can suggest that Jorge will put up pedestrian numbers because of health in age in one breath, and then in the next suggest Manny or Branyan.

  • steve s

    This notion that the Yanks will need to “buy time” to straighten out the pitching with a signifcant trade at the trading deadline is dangerous in that the Yankee early season schedule is top heavy with home games (32 of their first 51 games are home and 33 of their last 53 are away). I see trouble if the Yanks don’t take advantage of the early schedule and put some distance between them and the other playoff contenders. The back-end of the schedule (which includes one of those mid-Sept west coast trips to LA and Sea) IMO mitigates against any help they might obtain at the trading deadline.

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

      Hey, this year a trip to LA or Seattle (barring a visit to Felix’s mound) would be a gift.

  • bakekrukow412

    The bottom line is that we really dont have any idea whats going to happen. Maybe our staff will pull itself together. Maybe the lineup will fire on all cylinders right out of the gate. Maybe everyone will suck. Maybe in May, we’ll hear Waldman scream: “Andy Pettitte is in George’s Bawx! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!”. Maybe Boston and Tampa will suck and be ravaged with injuries. Lets just get through the first few months, then analyze what we have, THEN make some moves. I’d hate to lose prospects dude to a knee-jerk reaction from a poor first month.

  • Jess

    Maybe it’s just me, but we should start playing games before we scream about pitching problems.

    This is one area where sabermetrics takes the fun out of everything. With sabermetrics, you have to win the game on paper before you actually play. Hence all the whining about the Yankees pitching. Sabermetrics doesn’t account for Nova being good or squeezing some life out of a Colon or Garcia for a few months.

    • bakekrukow412

      Probably couldn’t have predicted we’d ride the arms of Small and Chacon to the playoffs in 2005 either. I’m gonna preach patience for the 1st 2 months. If we still suck by the All Star Break, then panicing is fair game.

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

      Sigh. That’s all I can do when I read a comment that blatantly misuses sabermetrics and its intentions.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      If I have 4 flat tires I’m going to predict my car won’t run very smoothly, but until I give it a shot, I guess I won’t really know, right? I’m not thrilled with the Yankees rotation, but I’d say I’m more optimistic than most, but to just say “well everything could work out” without ignoring there are major issues is a good way to fail.

      • bakekrukow412

        But flat tires do not develop and mature, as is a possibility with Ivan Nova. Flat tires cannot just regain their air/effectivness, which is possible with Burnett. Of course their are issues, but we won’t know the extent of them until we actually start playing.

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

          But we can form a set of reasonable expectations based on what we know. I don’t think we can expect Nova to improve right at the outset. It’s possible, but it’s not something I’d bet on. Same with A.J. I think he’ll be much improved this season, but I wouldn’t say a return to his 2009 form can be reasonably expected. Same with Garcia. He was about average last year, but was hurt for the previous three.

          I’m not working with predictions and projections. I’m just trying to form a set of reasonable expectations based on what we know about the players on the team.

          • bakekrukow412

            And I totally agree with your projections. As of now, things do not look good. But there are some people who would go ahead and package Cano, Montero and some other prospects for King Felix because they think “our pitching sucks.” I don’t mean you, but there are people who would do that. I’m saying lets wait and see just make sure of what we really have.

            • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

              I wouldn’t do anything rash. I think they can get by with what they have for now and will look to upgrade if necessary going forward. That doesn’t mean it’s not okay to point out that there are some major concerns in the rotation. Pointing out concerns is not the same as panicking about it.

              • Ted Nelson

                There’s been a lot of panicking, though. Just because you’re not doing it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening at a pretty high rate.

                I mostly agree, but the point here is that concerns don’t mean negatives. The point is that while expectations for the rotation should not be high, they should be reasonable and there’s a chance they meet or exceed them (just as there’s a chance they fall short). The rotation might be average, or it might be awful. Big difference depending on which it is.

                Below I try to describe how I would set up my expectations. Instead of a straight point (Pitcher X will pitch x games with x ERA) I think a probability curve is a better representation of our reasonable expectations going into the season. The shape of an unknown like Nova’s curve will be a lot different than CCs, besides being lower overall. A lot of people who insist on using just a point just shoot for the low end of the curve with unknowns like Nova or 2011 Garcia, and the middle or high with a known like CC or to some extent Hughes. It oversimplifies things and leads to a discussion that’s not particularly dynamic: “he sucks” “well he might not suck” “no he sucks” “but he might be ok”…

          • Ted Nelson

            First, I saw little reason to include a jab at sabermetrics in the original comment. I’m not arguing that part of it. People use stats to try to say they know what’s going to happen, but other people do the same with their eyes or just nothing behind it at all.

            I think there is a valid point, though, that a lot of people have already taken a worst case scenario of the 2011 rotation and presented it as fact. I think there is a gross misuse of statistics going on, though it has little to do with sabermetrics.

            Expectations should not be set at a certain point. They should be set in a sort of band. A confidence interval around the point with a corresponding probability curve. A point is neat and tidy, but I think a “band” is much more useful. (And if you have to use a point, use the most likely case… whereas it’s already been decided by a lot of people that because they’re risky Garcia and Nova should just be assumed to be awful.)

            For example, people (in general, not pointing fingers) feel the need to just say “Garcia’s been hurt and he’s not good. He can’t repeat last season and will be bad.” Lots of issues there. He came back at the end of 2009 and pitched well there too. He didn’t get hurt during 2009, he came back from injury at the end of the season. In 9 2009 starts he had 2 stinkers and 7 where he allowed 3 or fewer runs. Then in 2010 he allowed 3 or fewer in 21 of 28 starts, averaging 5 2/3 innings a start. Why are we expecting nothing from this guy? Let’s not expect nothing. Let’s not expect everything. Let’s set a reasonable interval of what we expect around the most likely scenario. There will be outliers, but generally we’ll have a better idea of how our expectations should be distributed.

      • Dream of Electric Sheeps

        Except…Steve, Imaging this is a formula one race event or better yet, death race 2000. There is no point of no return and you face possible elimination if your tire goes flat. So, you go to the local firestone shop looking for an upgrade except they have the same shitty one you think you have now. So… what to do … what to do. I guess you go ahead and drive and hope for the best.
        Wait… I see Cashman stabbing theo’s tire with a Ninja sword.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          So… what to do … what to do. I guess you go ahead and drive and hope for the best.

          I totally agree. I don’t think right now there is anyone out there they can reasonably attain that will provide a significant upgrade. That being said, it doesn’t mean I won’t also acknowledge that the rotation is a problem.

          • Dream of Electric Sheeps

            Agree. with no upgradeable parts on the horizon. I am looking for to some possible minor contributions. In general, my expectation are lower for the Yanks than it is LY. Just looking forward to the boys play in general and hope for the best case scenario. But overall, just looking forward to baseball. Try to watch the Knicks, just can’t do it.

          • Ted Nelson

            “it doesn’t mean I won’t also acknowledge that the rotation is a problem.”

            I would say: is a weakness and could be a problem.

            If Hughes and Nova build on last season, Burnett bounces back a bit, CC has a bounce back year to be truly elite again, and Garcia continues his recent performance (3 or fewer runs in 28 or his last 37 starts… 75%… at an average of 5 3/4 innings per start)… And if replacement level or better fill-in starts come from Mitre/AAA… The rotation might be better than last season’s even without any addition. That’s a weakness, but not too much of a problem if you win 95 games and take the ALCS to 6 games.

            • Ted Nelson

              That’s maybe a poor explanation. I was going with a sort of upper end of likely outcomes.

              Most likely outcome, I’d still say the rotation is on par with last season on the whole: there were months where the rotation was top 10 last season and months where it was literally the worst in MLB. Overall they had the 22nd ERA among rotations last season, probably close to average when accounting for their division.

              Low end of likely outcomes and it starts to become an issue, but could still be passable. In-season acquisition(s) and/or promotion(s) could fairly easily rescue it back to 2010 form or so.

  • Bobby M.

    Agree. You just can’t predict baseball, Suzyn.

    • Klemy
      • Klemy

        bah…tag fail!

  • Yank the Frank

    It’s never too early to panic…

  • fire levine

    Seeing that long blue bar for july brought back some sweet memories. I was in summer camp when a bunk mate challenged me that I couldn’t make fun of his fandom unless I follow for a week. Arod was having his monster month and then came shelly and after that joba. I was hooked