Fan Confidence Poll: April 18th, 2011

Chavez steps in, buries Rangers in rubber game
This week's annotated box score

Record Last Week: 4-1 (27 RS, 21 RA)
Season Record: 9-5 (77 RS, 68 RA, 8-6 pythag. record), 2.5 games up
Opponents This Week: Monday OFF, @ Blue Jays (two games, Tues. & Weds.), Thursday OFF, @ Orioles (three games, Fri. to 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
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Chavez steps in, buries Rangers in rubber game
This week's annotated box score
  • ADam

    A weak 8… Soriano will be the death of me…. Thanks Randy

  • Jorge

    Down to 8 from 9. I slightly worry about where Russell Martin’s success will land Montero. I probably irrationally worry about how it seems like a chore and half to get this franchise to develop a young pitcher smoothly. Otherwise, the team is dealing with adversity nicely, and I’ll take a 9-5 start any year.

    • pat

      The team will need a full time DH when Posada leaves. Jesus can DH and spell Martin at C a day or two a week.

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

      I slightly worry about where Russell Martin’s success will land Montero.

      I don’t think this is a big deal, and should really be looked at as a positive. Assuming Martin stays healthy and Montero continues developing behind the plate, next year you can either DH Montero and have him catch a few days a week, or make him the fulltime catcher and trade Martin.

      Since Martin still has an arb eligible year left, he’d probably get you a decent return. If Montero isn’t comfortably ready, you have a relatively cheap top-level catcher already in the fold. It’s a win-win to me.

      • Tampa Yankee

        I truly think Martin’s success will be a good thing as well for what you laid out. With this most likely Posada’s last year, next year you can break Montero in as the back-up catcher/DH getting him at-bats. After that you can hand over the C position to Montero.

        • OldYanksFan

          Absolutely! It’s silly to think it’s bad when someone overperforms. I believe the Yanks will keep Jesus, but what they ultimately do with him has nothing to do with Martin.

          Next year, Po’s bat is gone, Jeter’s bat is impotent and ARod is a year older. The truth is the Yankees will need all the offense they can get. Furthermore, looking at Mauer and other C’s, as sexy as it is to have a stud Catcher, it might not be best to shorten the career of a premium bat by making him wear the tools of ignorance.

          One question is: Has Cervelli improved enough to be a legit BUC?

          In general, I am very confident in Cashman. For all our money, it is tough to get decent youth when you always pick from the bottom of the barrel. To continue to always be a contender is a very difficult task. Cashman must walk a fine line of winning and developing at the same time… a near impossible task.

          Every GM makes mistakes, as Cashman has. But in general, I think he is excellent at the most difficult job in professional sports.

          • Ted Nelson

            Agree on Cashman being a strong decision maker.

            I think Cervelli is already a legit back-up, just not a legit 50% starter like he was last season.

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

      Wait…
      are you really looking at two well-hitting catchers as a problem?

      • Jorge

        I slightly worry about the team putting too much stock in Martin as a long-term option, looking at Ivan Nova’s crapping the bed when he sees the same hitter for a third time the same game, trading away Montero for another pitcher, and having Martin turn back into a pumpkin later. I don’t think that’s exactly 2:00 AM poster panic. :)

        • Ted Nelson

          If they trade Montero, I don’t think it will be for anything less than a top-of-the-line starter. I know that people always say “the Yankees were willing to trade Jesus,” but it was for two of the best pitchers on the planet: Halladay and Lee. Jesus getting off to a red hot start this season probably helps cement that. So, if they do trade him for a Felix Hernandez or Josh Johnson (not that those guys are available, that they’re not going to trade him for much less) I wouldn’t exactly be pissed. Those guys are great players. It’s hard to expect even a prospect of Jesus’ caliber to be a 6+ WAR per season guy.

          I just don’t think the Yankees are going to trade Jesus for a 3rd starter. If they wanted to do that, they would have already. Even for a #1 starter like Greinke who they didn’t love they pulled out.

          As far as Martin, it’s just as likely he’s a long-term answer at C as Jesus. Jesus has yet to prove he can hit MLB pitching or actually catch. Martin has. This is still a 28 year old guy with 18 career fWAR including a 5.8 fWAR season. I think it’s just as likely you end up upset that the Yankees traded Martin only to realize that Jesus wasn’t the HOFer everyone expected or if he is it’s at DH. There is a ton of value in his upside, but let’s not act like he can’t fail or at least come up short of expectations. Or at least not come out of the gate as a rookie and set the league on fire.

          Teams make mistakes, but I’m not particularly worried about the Yankees panicking. What in their history suggests that they would? Anything in their handling of prospects? Anything in their actions that would lead one to suggest they are dumb enough to think Martin will wOBA .412 and hit 40 HRs on the season?

          Having Martin around a. to ease Jesus into the big leagues as a C and b. to hedge against him not being able to catch or even make it at all in the bigs is a great situation for the Yankees.

          • OldYanksFan

            That’s a great point. As much as I can’t wait to see Jesus, just look at Matt Wieters, who had a MiLB OPS of 1.000+, but has a .716 MLB OPS. So, ya never know.

    • A-Rod’s Wingman
    • YanksFan

      We had a few responses about the C position & I’ll point out the pitching. How many teams develop young pitchers smoothly? King Felix & Lincecum are the only 2 that come to my mind. All other pithcers have had growing pains. We are also not in those other cities where their bloggers & fan base might go nuts after a bad start or two.

      • Ted Nelson

        Agree. It’s really hard to grade an organization as a whole on developing pitchers… to separate it from the individual pitchers in question. If Banuelos is a stud and Betances never makes the bigs does that mean the Yankees developed Banuelos right and Betances wrong? If Hughes career is over with a shoulder injury, is that the Yankees fault? Did the Marlins develop Johnson wrong to force TJS and then develop the heck out of him after that? Did the Tigers develop Verlander well, then poorly, then well and not develop Procello well?

        Sure, there are differences from org to org that will impact what kind of pitchers they acquire and how their pitchers develop on average… but as an outside observer it’s really hard to just make a blanket statement . The amount of luck involved is huge and a lot of responsibility is in the hands of the individual pitcher.

        If the Yankees get Prior, Felix, and Cole to sign (all of whom they tried to sign as amateurs), I bet people are talking about how they are the best in the league at developing pitchers…

  • Kiersten

    I went up to a 9. Our pitching still has a million question marks, but there’s not a team in the AL whose doesn’t. And our offense is more than good enough to make up for it.

  • steve s

    Strange week as the results were great but there were enough negative things going on to make the short-term future seem a little shaky. I’m voting a 9 on the results but sooner or later the one run wins will not sustain themselves and the early home schedule advantage will be over and done. Hopefully by that time the starting pitching will be stabilized and the OBP will rise to more acceptable levels.

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

      If anything, though, the team is built to win 1 run games with the arms in their bullpen. Yeah, 4 one-run wins (to one one-run loss) in 14 games is an unsustainable rate, but it’s good to see them locking down those wins when they can. Those games that can swing either way can make or break a season.

      • Klemy

        It is not unsustainable, if they get it to the 9th. Amen.

  • Jared

    7 – A little nervous about some of the injuries to Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova’s effectiveness.

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

    The Yankees went 7-5 against Texas, Boston, Minnesota, and Detroit. Probably the top 4-5 teams in the AL that aren’t the Yankees. I’d take that kind of start every day of the week and twice on Sunday considering the state of the rotation. As long as the Yankees keep winning series it’s all you can hope for. Building a good record early gives you more margin for error during the long haul.

    I think the goal coming into the season was to tread water until July when hopefully they can trade for a starter. So far, better than expected.

    • 28 this year

      I think thats the best look at it, i mean, we versed some of the best teams in the league and fared very well. Thats the goal, once the Yankees start facing worse teams, it’ll get easier, the Yanks are doing what they need to now.

    • YanksFan

      Totally agree. The team will start hitting some of those pesky singles, maybe a few doubles & have a few more rallies. Cash will pick up another starter.

  • Matt :: Sec110

    8 – offense is starting to pick up as a whole…Swish and Jeter heating up..Cano/ARod/RussMart keeping strong.

    the down, obvs hughes/nova…and gardy looking lost.

  • http://www.YankeeAnalysts.com MattW

    7/8 – Floating somewhere in that range. Taking the series against the Rangers was great. Although CC didn’t have his best stuff, he still kept the team in the game. I’m also a bit leary of the rest of the rotation although A.J. Burnett — who always tricks me into false hope — has been pleasant so far.

    The offense hasn’t fully clicked yet and has still produced some solid results. Love the bench depth.

  • Mike from Jersey

    There is a significant difference with having a bench of veterans that have been successful full-time players at one time. I am feeling very confident with this club. They are gonna do some special things this year.

  • Frank

    6 for me. Pitching, pitching, pitching. It’s CC and a bunch of ?. And CC hasn’t been all that great although I would hope he’ll get better as the weather warms up. If not, this team will be in a world of hurt. Also, Girardi needs to stop with “Joba is my 7th inning guy” and learn to trust D-Rob a little more.

    • CS Yankee

      Hmm, CC has a 2.45 ERA thru 24 IP (or close to those #’s).

      It does seem like his FB is down (the new thing for ’11) a few and his location isn’t fine-tuned to date, but I recall early 2009 when he didn’t look in shape and hearing all the stuff (heating pad, fat, overworked in Milwaukee, etc) of him not being the same guy.

      He is about as money as money can get.

  • JFH

    our starting pitching is lacking. i still do not know what “overall future” means. how far down the line is overall future? but, as for the future in terms of this season, 5. i am much more optimistic beyond this season, however.

    • RL

      Wow … 5 for this season? Do you think they’ll be unable to make the playoffs? Unable to pick up someone at the trading deadline that fills an area of need? I can (somewhat) understand pleople voting a 6 (kinda, if they’re looking at only the first half of this season) or a 7, but a 5 or lower? I just don’t understand what your expectations are.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah. I guess everyone has their own scale, but if a 90 win team is a 5 or 6… what are the increments above and below that?

        • Chris

          It could just be a rating of the percent chance of winning the World Series this year. So a 50% chance of winning would equal a 5 confidence rating.

          • JD

            Next time you do this, I would propose some definition. Try this.

            5 = 85-87 wins
            6 = 88-90
            7 = 91-93
            8 = 94-96
            9 = 97-99
            10 = 100+

            On this scale, I see this as a 6-7 team. The Nova/Hughes problem is very big and they are overusing the bullpen. I do see better hitting as a counterbalance, but right now we have CC, Burnett and Garcia (iffy) as your top three. That is not cutting it.

            We need a big trade for a pitcher to make it work and someone like Hughes/Brackman/Banuelos to step up.

            Millwood is faking it. Colon will not last.

            We have big problems and should not kid ourselves despite a surprising good start to the season.

            • OldYanksFan

              I like your idea, but you might be too strict. At 7 = 91-93, this is almost always a WC winner. At 8 = 94-96, that’s almost always a Division winner.

              • JD

                I had it that way at first but thought that 91 was too low for a WC birth over the long hall.

            • Epy0n

              Why do you think Colon won’t last? He has showed us so far that he can pitch.

              • JD

                He is old and has not done it for a long while. His weight worries me too although less so because he has never been thin.

            • Ted Nelson

              I guess these are dynasty Yankee rankings, but for the league these rankings are pretty stilted. For 2010 you have almost 25% of the league finishing at a zero confidence ranking, 0% at 10, 3.3% at 9, 10% at 8… The bottom 25% are at zero, and the top 25% from 7-9. If you’re in the 25th percentile of the league you’re a 1, but if you’re in the 75th percentile you’re only a 6. If my team is winning 90+ games and making the playoffs, I am very confident in them.

              “We have big problems and should not kid ourselves despite a surprising good start to the season.”

              … I disagree. The rotation was awful last season and the Yankees won 95 games.

              “they are overusing the bullpen”

              A. They are not. There are 20 relievers in the league who have been used as much as or more than Joba (in terms of IP). 33 relievers who have been used as much as or more than Mo. If the Yankees are overusing their pen, then so is every team.

              B. Robertson could be used more and they can find relief help via trade or from the minors as need arises.

            • RL

              Seems a lot of people look at this as a “What do I think today” poll. I look at it as a “this year and going forward” measurement.

              While I acknowledge that right know we have questions with the SPs, the bull pen use might be questioned, therer are some struggling players at the plate and we have an aging SS that hits at the top of the order, I also see that the organization has the ability to pull off a big trade within the next few months (quite possible, but not a guarantee), should be able to make the playoffs as a WC or Div. champ) even without a major trade due to the current depth and has a very strong farm system. I can’t vote any lower than a 7, and actually voted an 8 because really feel that I’m about a 7.5 and round up. Just can’t get myself lower than that looking at this season as a whole and then beyond that. If I look at only this week or this month, maybe I’d be at a 6 or 7.

      • JFH

        RL: I think they are probably playoff caliber team, not a championship caliber team as of now. Sure they will go after someone at the deadline; but who knows who that will be?

        JD: I like your idea of a scale, and based on that, I agree they are 6 or 7.

        Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.

        • Ted Nelson

          I think the difference between a playoff caliber team and championship caliber team often just comes down to who is hot at the right time.

          • JFH

            Ted Nelson: The hot team does play a factor. Agreed.

            But sometimes one can see when a team really strong,or not. In the 2nd half of ’09, it was easy to see the Yanks were championship caliber. I remeber telling my incredulous friend (Sox fan) that “this team has it.”

            On the other hand, there were several years in the 2002-2008 run, where it seemed that the Yanks were not championship caliber. Great offense and spotty starting pitching was the formula for several of those teams. This club reminds me of those.

  • Reggie C.

    6.

    The rotation looks downright patchwork after CC & Aj.

    • Ted Nelson

      It is… They can still win plenty of games with a patch-work rotation, a strong bullpen, and an offense that scores 5+ runs a game, though.

  • Klemy

    8.

    I love our bench and some people are starting to heat up, others are carrying the load in the meantime. I feel like we’ll be scoring a lot of runs this year.

    Pitching scares me. I’m sure guys will be better as it warms up. Right now though, Hughes is a pretty big concern.

  • bonestock94

    7, the offense is phenomenal but the pitching is pretty scary. There are no guarantees beyond CC at this point. I’ll probably go down to a 6 if Hughes ends up needing surgery or something.

  • CS Yankee

    8

    They are doing what they are suppose to do…9-5 is right where you would want to be & that we have 3 1/2 over Tampa & 5 over BoSox is really good considering it is only mid-April.

    Despite it being tax day, all is well. Yes, we have Phil on the 2nd year slump (ala Verlander), Ralphie isn’t locked-down yet, Joba is great/below avg. & Drob is the dry-hump wonder.

    Upside is the extreme power (and yes that is always good), Martin playing like an All-Star (can’t believe people are worried about Montero…remember he is still baking), and our Broke-d!ck starters doing well.

    I’m worried about the people voting a 6…heck, i bet BoSox fans have them higher…err, maybe not.

  • http://Facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

    7. Hughes’s “Dead Arm” scares the shit out of me. And now he’s on meds? Ugh. Get well soon Phil!

    • Mike HC

      He should have been on “meds” all season.

  • Monteroisdinero

    8

    Pitching woes. Brackman tonight and Banuelos tomorrow. Hope springs eternal.

  • JerseyDutch

    Still at 7. Pitching and the top of the order is still a concern. Gotta love that bench though.

  • Mike HC

    7. This does not look like it is going to be the smoothest of years, but what year is? Watching Jeter is becoming increasingly more depressing. As the only athlete I ever really looked up to, and tried to mirror some of his game and attitude, watching his decline has been no fun at all.

    Also, no Pettitte, and the non CC pitchers are all basically who we thought they were. Except Hughes, who is actually worse.

  • Brian in NH

    I’m still a 7. AJ has been encouraging. I’m not gonna say CC is a slow starter, but he heats up with the thermometer and pitches best in Summer. Phil and Ivan have us all wringing our hands and while the bullpen is a good one, we’ll never escape death by bullpen. Still feel like the hitting has been inconsistent but that could just be small sample/negative confirmation bias. I’m always skeptical i guess.

  • A-Rod’s Wingman

    I’m at a six.

    Reasons for joy: Alex, Teixeira, Robbie, and Posada are crushing the ball. Before last night’s game all of them were slugging over .500. Granderson got three HRs off of lefties and over all has been looking pretty good. The bench has been downright awesome, providing good replacements for top flight starters across the board. Jeter showed signs of life, hitting some balls with authority, he almost crushed one to CF on Saturday but the gods had other plans that day. AJ’s having a revalation, he’s been pretty good in each of his first three starts providing some much needed help to a struggling rotation. The bullpen aside from Soriano has been pretty good too.

    Doom and Gloom: Hughes, he’s pitched no more than six innings where he’s resembled a major league pitcher. His velocity is down, that cutter isn’t working, and he doesn’t have the curve that made him a top prospect many moons ago. While Jeter is showing signs of improvement he’s still struggling mightily and seeing him signed until at least 2013 is concerning for now and the future. Brett Gardner, need I say more? He’s absolutely lost up there at the plate. His lack of power my finally be coming back to bite him in the ass.

    I’m not worried about: Alex Rodriguez. He got a bit stiff on a day where they probably shouldn’t have been playing baseball anyways, some time in the sauna and on the massage table and he should be brand new. The rotation after Phil Hughes isn’t a huge concern for me, it’s pretty bad after AJ, but I have a feeling that they’ll be able to acquire another starte sooner or later. The Twins are going to lose Joe Mauer for a while, Morneau doesn’t look like the same guy anymore, and there’s some rough patches across the team.

    Minor annoyances: As of last night Alex Rodriguez was the only regular with an OBP above .360. The team isn’t getting on base at the rate it should be. The team’s 13th in OBP (2nd in wOBA), and while I expect it to improve, it’s annoying seeing these low OBPs. Nick Swisher not getting going is a bit concerning since he’s always somewhat of a streaky hitter, and it may be “one of those years.” It’s too early to get too concerned about that, but it’s something that’s looming large in my mind.

    Look out! Boston looks to be turning it around, we knew it would happen. The poor start doesn’t mean much since A.) The 2009 Yankees got off to a rough start and B.) they’re clearly the most stacked team in the majors. They easily have the talent to go on a ten or fifteen game winstreak like the 2009 Yankees did or win 22 of 25 or gon on some ridiculous run like that.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

    7. There’s no way the Yankees are going to keep high scoring games. All of the games continue to be separated by a 1 to 2 run difference because the pitching sucks. The pythag will probably peg them as an 80ish something win team.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Oh and they haven’t played an away series outside of a struggling Boston. It’ll be interesting to see how their first road trip works out but I’m not exactly optimistic.

    • Ted Nelson

      The Yankees have scored 5.5 runs/games this season, after scoring 5.3 last season and 5.65 in 2009. This is very much a sustainable pace for the offense. They’re not going to hit as many HRs all season, but they’ll start getting on base more.

      Pythagorean W-L: 8-6… which is a 92.6 in team.

  • JD

    sorry for the double post.

    Next time you do this, I would propose some definition. Try this.

    5 = 85-87 wins
    6 = 88-90
    7 = 91-93
    8 = 94-96
    9 = 97-99
    10 = 100+

    On this scale, I see this as a 6-7 team. The Nova/Hughes problem is very big and they are overusing the bullpen. I do see better hitting as a counterbalance, but right now we have CC, Burnett and Garcia (iffy) as your top three. That is not cutting it.

    We need a big trade for a pitcher to make it work and someone like Hughes/Brackman/Banuelos to step up.

    Millwood is faking it. Colon will not last.

    We have big problems and should not kid ourselves despite a surprising good start to the season.

    • Zack

      The poll isn’t asking what you think their win total will be for 2011 though.

    • Ted Nelson

      As I say in your comment above:

      I find that scale stilted. For 2010 you’d have 25% of the league at 0 and 0% of the league at 10. Your top 25% would be 7-9.

      They are also not overusing the bullpen.

      And last season the rotation was absolutely awful and they still won 95 games… not to say they necessarily will this season, but I see low 90s as where they are as a team even with the bad rotation.

      • JD

        Response in CAPs.

        I find that scale stilted. For 2010 you’d have 25% of the league at 0 and 0% of the league at 10. Your top 25% would be 7-9.

        THIS IS A SCALE FOR THE YANKEES, NOT TEAMS THAT DO NOT SPEND OVER $200 MILLION ANNUALLY. THEREFORE, IGNORE THE BOTTOM 25% OF BASEBALL. A SCORE OF 10 SHOULD MEAN 100 PLUS WINS. THINK BO DEREK.

        They are also not overusing the bullpen.

        ACCORDING TO A RECENT POST, THEY ARE USING THE PEN MORE THAN ALL BUT FOUR TEAMS.

        And last season the rotation was absolutely awful and they still won 95 games… HUGHES WON 18 GAMES AND THEY HAD PETITE; THIS ROTATION IS WORSE. not to say they necessarily will this season, but I see low 90s as where they are as a team even with the bad rotation. I AGREE. THAT IS WHY I RANKED THEM AS I DID.

        LOOK, THE SCALE MAY BE A LITTLE HARSH, BUT MY POINT IS THAT WE ARE THROWING OUT NUMBERS WITHOUT ANY WAY TO RATIONALIZE ONE PERSON’S 6 TO ANOTHER’S 8.

  • OldYanksFan

    As I look at past PS participants, you almost always see very strong Offense with above average pitching. If you have a RJ/Shilling type staff, you may not need great bats. And it’s rare to go far with average or worse pitching.

    But I will admit, it will be tough to go far if Phil doesn’t get his shit together.

  • Epy0n

    I am surprised you guys are not talking more about AJ. I know it is just April and AJ usually looks good in April but him adding a changeup that looks like his other two pitches upon release is DANGEROUS. Yes we need more depth after AJ and that is something I am nervous about but I feel AJ will have a great year.

    • Ted Nelson

      He also did very well through 3 starts last season. It’s encouraging that he’s doing well and discouraging that Hughes and Nova and Soriano are not… but it’s just too early in the season to say.

      He re-added the change (always had it, just didn’t use it much since coming to NY), so while I hope he’s back at normal AJ levels I’m not super excited. He’s on a 2 WAR pace right now, which would be his worst healthy season since 2001 outside of 2010.

      So, personally I’m much happier that he’s started out well than I would be if he had started like Hughes or Nova… but I’m still waiting to see how his season goes.

  • Kosmo

    It would be nice to see the Yankee starters pitching a little deeper into ballgames.
    Robertson is being slightly under used.Rivera slightly overused and is on pace to appear in 100 games.I´m sure that will change as the season progresses.
    Team OBP currently stands at .328 which is unusually low for a Yankee team but I´m sure that will gradually get up around the .350 mark.

    • CS Yankee

      Actually Robertson is being highly overused…just not in games.

      He warmed up twice the other day without getting in. I can’t even see doing that with logan, let alone a real asset.

  • Tom Zig

    Just win series baby.

  • CS Yankee

    For those who posted a 6 or below, have you realized the following;

    1) They are 9-5, and have played Detroit, Minnesota, Boston & Texas in 12 of those games. These are four decent to great teams and three of them will likely make the playoffs.
    2) They are 3-1/2 up on Tampa & 5 on BoSox and the season is not even three weeks old.
    3) They are on a pace to win 104 games.
    4) Our catcher is playing better than Mauer and is getting quite a bit of praise from the starters.
    5) The bench is doing real well and we haven’t had to use them much. Who else has guys like Chavez & Jones available?

    Other than the Hughes disappointment, the ralphie slow start and a few with low BA this team rocks.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    i voted a 9…and i clicked through to two ads.