Fan Confidence Poll: March 28th, 2011

The Ultimate Small Sample Size
2011 Season Preview: Baltimore Orioles

Record Last Week: 3-2-0 (18 RS, 18 RA)
Spring Training Record: 13-14-3 (109 RS, 124 RA)
Spring Training Schedule This Week: vs. Rays (Mon. on YES), vs. Tigers (Tues. on YES/ESPN), Weds. OFF
Regular Season Schedule This Week: vs. Tigers (Thurs.), Friday OFF, vs. Tigers (Sat. & Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results
The Ultimate Small Sample Size
2011 Season Preview: Baltimore Orioles
  • Yank the Frank

    A solid 7. Not sold on the rotation but it’s getting there. A Mitreless Yankee team can only be good.

  • Brandon W

    I went with a 7. I thought about going with an 8, but I tend to be a harsh critic. There are a lot of injuries at the end of ST that could end up nagging throughout the year (particularly Feliciano, by the sounds of it) and I’m not sold on the back end of our rotation (though they could certainly surprise).

    The offense is looking good though. Jeter’s stride-less stance seems like it will help with his OBP, if not his power, and Alex has been mashing. Overall, I have some concerns, but I’ll feel better once the season is in swing.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Feliciano’s injury has you going from an 8 to a 7?

      • CS Yankee

        Good thing Drob is OK; as that would of meant a 6.

        • Ted Nelson

          I think everyone is entitled to their own grading scale on this… below you yourself say that if just one of their better pitching prospects is promoted you would raise your grade by 2 points. 2 points based on a pitcher jumping from AA to AAA is more arbitrary than 1 point for guys who actually look like they may miss games at the MLB level.

          • CS Yankee

            My thought process is that if Dellin or Manny go MLB this year, it means that they have been killing batters for months and would likely contribute come post-season.

            I was just funning that Drob is a better guy than Feliciano…of course everyone has their own scale and i’m not ripping on that but just adding some humor (or trying to). Nothing to see here…

      • Klemy

        Well, to be fair, I think his particularly reference was about the injury being nagging, not it being the reason he dropped to a 7. He did say a few things had him concerned…so probably a misunderstanding or his intent.

        • Klemy

          *”of” his intent

  • A-ROD fan


  • YanksFan

    My usual 9. Starting to get excited about Nova. Believe Garcia/Colon will be just as effective as any #5 in MLB. Most fans don’t understand just how crappy other teams back-end of the rotations are. I would be a 5 if I read Wallace Matthews & believed him.

    • pat

      157ip 4.59 xfip
      153ip 4.73 xfip

      One was Freddy one was Dice-K. Same sh*t, different smell.

    • Big Apple

      Agree…very few teams have two good starters let alone 4. And those with the best often have issues in the pen.

      • CS Yankee

        The difference is that if our 4th or 5th starters blow we have like 2-5M$ wasted whereas if the BoSox 4th or 5th starters blow that will be 25M$ wasted.

        The low cost would also likely equate to a quicker trigger finger. Boston isn’t gonna dump either, just like we were (hopefully not are) with AJ. So, if Garcia or Nova don’t get it done, Colon or Millwood will get the next start. beckett & Dice-BB will have much more rope to pull (or choke on).

        • Ted Nelson

          Javy last season is a good example of this, granted it’s not always a simple decision in real time… Javy did turn it around and make some good starts for a while. It can be as much of a mistake to pull a guy after one lousy start as to stick with a guy too long.

          • CS Yankee


            I would think if Nova couldn’t locate and was getting pinched and giving in which led to getting whipped for a start or two…they know that.

            However, if either are slipping regularly and Colon is piching well in relief or Millwood looks good…they are so much more to do a change because the dollars do/will play somewhat of a role.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, I agree. Just not always as easy a call as a lot of people sometimes make it out to be.

        • Big Apple

          good point..gotta love these “low cost, high reward” guys, huh?

          • CS Yankee

            The Giants & Phillies have the best option possible…four studs with a decent 5th guy but beyond those two teams I would think the Yankees aren’t as bad as MSM has them.

            Boston has big money on three starters (Beckett, Lackey & Dice) with questions, the Yankees have big money on one starter (AJ) with questions. The Yankees seem to have 5-6 other possibilities within their system as possible solutions; if one catches lightning they will be promoted…Boston is set in stone for the most-part.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, I agree. And even the Giants and Phillies have big question marks on offense.

              I would have to give Boston the edge, but I do think the pitching gap between Boston and the Yankees is pretty marginal on paper while the MSM is reporting it as if it’s huge. Last season the Yankees team ERA was actually lower than the Red Sox, and while people will point to losing Pettitte… one can also argue his 21 starts were largely cancelled out by Javy, Moseley, and Mitre combining for 38 crappy starts.

              The Sox do have a couple of options in Wakefield and Doubront, though. There’s not the long-term upside some of the Yankees prospects have, but both could step in tomorrow.

    • jsbrendog

      scary thing: our #5 is probably better than the entire royals rotation. luke hochevar is their opening day starter. and they employ bruce chen…

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Has Romulo been traded yet?

  • Big Apple

    8 for me..I’m happy to finally have a decision on the rotation and with Mitre.

    Ready for games to count…

    is it just me or has this offseason and spring training garnered more attention than any other? All due to Lee/Pettite, jeter drama, rotation issues, excitement about prospects, jorge to the DH drama…combine that with all going on with the BoSox.

    • Tank the Frank

      You obviously don’t remember the 2008 offseason where:
      a) the Yankees missed the playoffs
      b) signed CC, AJ, and Teix while simultaneously ruining baseball c) A-Rod admitted to using steroids
      d) afer a lovely tell-all book examined everything from his childhood to his tipping habits
      e) A-Rod also had hip surgery, his career was over and the Yankees as we know them were DOOOOOMED!!

      • Big Apple

        no..I took that into consideration with my assessment.

        • Bob Stone

          I agree with Tank the Frank. I thought that this off season was really boring after the Cliff Lee decision . . .one of the least notable Yanks off seasons of all time.

          • Big Apple

            I can see that…I guess I’m looking at it from the media attention/yankee hater just seemed like there was more attention than ever before. A lot of bullcrap written about the yanks this off season for no real reason.

            regardless, i’m ready for the games to begin.

            • Klemy

              Several outlets have really enjoyed picking apart our starting rotation this offseason. So, I think you definitely have a base for your position.

              • Bob Stone

                There is some truth to that but I mostly ignore that type of story as pure sepculation.

                Boston has just as many questions in its rotation between Beckett and Dice-K. I would agree that the Sox did not get as much scrutiny and negative press regarding the question marks in its rotation as the Yanks did.

                • Ted Nelson

                  The fact that you personally ignore it, though, doesn’t mean the attention’s not there. I personally found it a lot easier to ignore crap about how the Yankees were ruining baseball in 2008 (change the system if you don’t like it, in my opinion, the Yankees were playing within the system 100% so there’s really no room for criticism) than constant “expert” opinions on how great the Red Sox are and how much the Yankees are old and suck.

                  • Bob Stone

                    All good points.

                • NJYankeeFan

                  The major difference between the Yankees and Red Sox in my eyes at this point is the Yankees have far more flexibility with all their AA/AAA level prospects, especially pitchers available to the for promotion or trade and while the Red Sox are probably maxed out in their payroll, the Yankees could easily add another $10-15 million if need be.

                  • Bob Stone

                    I agree completely.

            • Bob Stone

              I agree with being ready for the games to begin. I am really ready.

              At least March Madness (as a UCONN fan) has given me my sports fix.

        • Tank the Frank

          2008 was the worst IMO. It was open season on the Yankees. That’s why that championship is SOOOO sweet.

          Jeter’s contract got messy and that was Casy Close and Cash’s fault for taking it to the media. Lee not signing was a big blow and Pettitte’s retirement was a sad day. But players switching positions (Jorge) and #4 and #5 rotation issues are things every team has to deal with. It’s magnified on the Yankees. The prospect excitement has been nice to follow though.

    • Ted Nelson

      I would qualify it by saying it’s sort of more useless negative attention about nothing than any other offseason. Other offseasons Yankees make big moves (the team itself or their players off-the-field) and get a corresponding level of attention. This offseason, to me, has been defined by missing Lee. Since then everything the Yankees have and have not done has in some way related back to that miss. When they make a move it’s basically criticized in part because it’s not Cliff Lee. When they don’t make a move to make-up for missing on Lee, they’re also criticized. And then, as you say, the Sox made big moves that are garnering them positive attention.

  • bonestock94

    7. Great farm and bats obviously, the rotation is kinda scary. Then again, if the 3 questionable pitchers pitch mid-4 era ball the Yanks will most likely be in a lot of those games.

    • Big Apple

      If CC, AJ and PH pitch like they are supposed to the #4 and 5 slots won’t matter so much!

  • CS Yankee

    8, and climbing.

    Chavez and Jones on the bench…Soriano as the 8th (which means joba/Drob in the 6-7th), viable promises of Jeter, Arod, Grandy, & Teix rebounding with the stick.

    However, the rotation isn’t great. Besides CC, no sure thing but Hughes is improving and AJ should correct some of his issues…Nova & Garcia seem to be meh with some upside. Colon was robbed but hopefully takes it better than he did in Boston and having Millwood as a delayed starter is smart.

    If ManBan, Brackmonster or Dealin Dellin emerge strong enough to get promoted, I would be a 10.

    • Klemy

      While I do like having a lot of good BP guys, the only thing that scares me about having all of them with set roles is just that…set roles for so many guys. Having guys for the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th if it ends up being that seems to increase the chance that one of them has a bad game. I’d really rather see a starter go deep in the game than 4 relievers make appearances.

      This doesn’t have much to do with your post, other than mentioning the 4 arms. It’s just my general thought/fear.

      • CS Yankee

        I too would like to go with the “hot” hand or starters that go 7-plus.

        However, just think that we don’t have a CHoP, Dustin or Gaudin (plus others) in the pen. These guys all seem to be real solid and I’m so much more comfortable already knowing that the 3-run comeback from a bad start won’t be squandered before Mo can close it to a “W”.

        Joba or Drob to the 6th has to be a luxury that no one else has and with our rotation questions known it might make some of the other teams swing earlier as the “Mo” cloud has been extended over more of the game.

  • NJYankeeFan

    I love the offense, bullpen,bench and farm depth but the rotation isn’t good enough especially until Burnett shows he’s not what we saw last year. I’m also skeptical they’ll be able to acquire a good starter at a palatable price since every conversation is gonna start with ManBan and Montero and the other 2 B’s

  • Bob Stone

    I’m still in the shrinking group that’s rating the team a nine. I stand by it. The Yanks will be in the playoffs, if not AL East Champs. The offense is terrific, the farm system looks really good and the business side is great. The rotation is problematic, but Cashman will figure out a solution.

  • BigDavey88

    I gave em a 7. We’re making the playoffs. I’ll say that much.

  • David

    I’m up to an 8 this week, I’m usually in the 6-7 range. What has me up is AJ working on his body coming more directly to the plate, which I believe will result in better control, and Nova and Phil working on Sliders.
    Perhaps I should say it’s due to Rothschild’s influence

  • Klemy

    Still at an 8. We’re going to score a lot of runs. The offense will turn a lot of mediocre starts from the bottom of the rotation in to wins, so I have no doubt that we’re in the playoff mix.

  • Ted Nelson

    Of course I’d rather have a great starting rotation. However, I don’t really see a trade-off between a great bullpen or great rotation in the Yankees case… they wanted Lee and Pettitte but couldn’t get them.

    I’d rather have a starter go 5 or 6 and a great bullpen than overextend a mediocre starter late in games where he’s already struggling in the early or middle innings (getting his pitch count up and/or creating a situation where he may need to be relieved to preserve a lead or keep the game competitive). Especially if/when the situation is especially unfavorable for the mediocre starter in term of specific match-ups or the heart of the order coming up and you can insert a reliever for whom those match-ups are more favorable.
    Last season, for example, the Yankees starters combined for a 4.48 FIP and their relievers for a 4.06 FIP (didn’t list ERA since runs given up by relievers can be credited to removed starters and that seems a little messy)… I don’t know if it’s clear you want a mediocre or even solid starter out there late in a game in a tough spot over a good reliever.

    In terms of more relievers increasing the odds of one poor performance… I’m also not sure about this logic. I can see why theoretically you’d say more guys trotting out means one might be having a bad day. However, the cold hand is as theoretically likely to be the first guy you bring out of the pen as the fourth. It also assumes guys generally have hot and cold days, and that a hot start to an outing isn’t going turn into a cold outing.

    In practice there isn’t always a lot that distinguishes a hot and cold day… one pitch can be the difference between a good day and a bad day for a reliever.

    Instead of looking at it as guys being hard slotted into roles, you could look at it as the Yankees having more flexibility to mix-and-match to get the best match-ups and keep their relievers fresh. Some teams don’t have the luxury to take one of their top relievers out of the game for a LOOGY or if it looks like a “cold day” for him, because there aren’t other top righties behind him. That’s less a problem for the Yankees. Or to give their closer the day off even late in a close game.

    Best case, the bullpen is well rested and the Yankees can play the match-ups and ride an even hotter hands than they otherwise might be able to. Medium-to-worst case, bullpen is extended or over-extended and the depth helps not totally overuse the best relievers and not have to turn to poor relievers on a regular basis.

    • Ted Nelson

      Meant as a reply to Klemy above

    • Bob Stone

      The rotation definitely has the question marks that have been chronicled here and elsewhere. But two pitching plusses are the bull pen quality and potential starting rotation depth. A third pitching advantage is the payroll flexibilty mentioned earlier in this thread by NJYankeeFan. And lastly, the Yankees have minor league talent that could be used in a trade.

      After pursuit of Lee and Pettitte failed, the team pursued the next few most logical options . . Namely low risk, possible high reward starters and quality bull pen arms (despite Cash’s disagreement with management regarding Soriano).

      The name of the game is to get the MOST QUALITY INNINGS. I’d like to see a better starting rotation, but as long as the Yankees get more TOTAL quality innings from the combined effort of the starters and relievers than any other team (combined with their excellent offense and above average defense), they stand a good chance to go deep in the play-offs.

  • Simon

    7 still. Until they get another at least a decent starter, it will go up a notch, maybe even 2 spots depending on the starter they can possibly get and the trade deadline. Also, just a tidbit, I feel I’m on my own island when I say that I think A-rod will have a monster year this year. This spring has (hopefully) shown that he has been haulin’ ass with the bat. Hopefully his 100% healthy status and him returning to his usual hardcore training can be shown in his numbers. And I think he will have an MVP caliber season. Just my 2 cents.

    • Andy in NYC

      You’re actually not alone on A-Rod, there have been several commenters noting that he looks great–and let me jump on that island as well–and predicting a big year for him.

      I moved up from a 7 that was induced by missing out on Lee/Pettitte retiring/the continued mishandling of Joba, to an 8 earlier this Spring. The smaller, but still helpful free agent signings, combined with the exciting steps forward taken by our prospects, pushed me back to 8, and I’ve seen nothing in the last week to change that.