Apr
25

Fan Confidence Poll: April 25th, 2011

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Record Last Week: 3-1 (32 RS, 14 RA)
Season Record: 12-6 (109 RS, 82 RA, 11-7 pythag. record), three games up
Opponents This Week: vs. White Sox (four games, Mon. to Thurs.), vs. Blue Jays (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 (new and improved!) 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?
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Categories : Polls

103 Comments»

  1. Big Apple says:

    solid 8 for me…so far, so good.

  2. Jorge says:

    Solid 8 again. Concerns continue to be more long-term than short-term. In the end, though, they are the Yankees, and I don’t see the clock rolling back to 1992 anytime soon.

  3. Marshall Brown says:

    Between the (ominously) bad starts we are getting from the table setters Jeter, Gardner, and Swisher, lack of endurance from our starting pitching outside of Sabathia, and consequently an already overworked bullpen, I am concerned. Boston and Tampa Bay are recovering with shutdown pitching. They can each reel off an eight game winning streak with their pitching. I don’t see the Yanks having that capability unless or until Hughes is right, A.J. stabilizes, and Colon and Garcia continue to turn back the clock. Nova — a swingman for now it seems.

    7

  4. steve s says:

    9 last week so remain at a 9 after another winning week. More than a little troubled though about Jorge going 3 for 53 when not hitting HR’s. A Vasquez/Chavez DH platoon would work for me if Jorge doesn’t come around in next 100 at bats or so, Even CC hitting for himself would be better than Jorge as DH so far.

    • Chris says:

      Some of those hits will start falling in soon – the BABIP will eventually even itself out.

      Speaking of BABIP, I haven’t heard too many people clamoring to have Austin Jackson back instead of Granderson recently…

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      I think I’d prefer Montero as the callup DH but that would mean no Cervelli. Like I said, bring up Montero if Jorge continues as a 3/53 hitter.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      His BABIP is .086… And it’s not like he can’t be replaced by Chavez, Jones, and/or Montero is he struggles all season.

      If those weren’t HRs, some of them might be doubles. You can’t just cut out the HRs.

      “Even CC hitting for himself would be better than Jorge as DH so far.”

      It’s too small a sample to be getting worked up about, but Jorge is #7 among qualifying DHs with a .306 wOBA. #10 among DHs with 50 PAs. Having Jorge is not only better than CC–career .280 wOBA–but also as good as or better than Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, Hideki Matsui, Vlad, Magglio Ordonez, or Jack Cust so far this season.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        And Jorge is actually doing quite well from the left side… all 9 of his hits are as a lefty and his wOBA there is .383. It’s as a righty he’s struggling (.082 wOBA as a righty). It was the other way in 2010 so I don’t know if it will continue, but the Yankees could start to rest Jorge more against lefty starters in favor of Jones, later Jesus, and even Chavez (I know he’s a lefty…).

        • steve s says:

          Not a Vasquez fan?

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Didn’t even think about him. Worth a look, and could grow his trade value with some hitting at the MLB level or be bench contributor for a few years… Between Tex, A-Rod, Jorge, Chavez, Jones, and Jesus, though, I’m a little skeptical if he’ll get a shot short of injury occurring.

  5. bonestock94 says:

    7. Epic offense, scary pitching. Scarier than anticipated with Hughes and Feliciano out. The farm is top 5.

  6. AndrewYF says:

    8…looks like the Rays and Red Sox are back in business. The Yankees need to keep pace.

  7. Mike HC says:

    Gotta agree with the masses. 8. After many weeks at 9, I move down to 7 last week, now evening out to an 8. Good team with a couple of problems.

  8. I really think I value objectivity over striving for positivity, but I feel like everyone’s talking about Jeter/Gardner/Hughes and the other negative stories and kind of ignoring the hot starts we’ve seen. Perhaps ignoring is the wrong word, but I don’t see as much notice of them. So, just to throw this out there… CC Sabathia is the man, A-Rod looks like he’s going to have a ridiculous season if he stays healthy, Mark Teixeira is having an excellent April (!!), and Curtis Granderson is on an absolute tear and could be a major cog in the lineup this season. (And throw in unexpectedly solid performances from Garcia/Colon, etc.)

    I’m a bit bearish on Jeter at this point in his career, and I think Gardner could use some time off to get his game together, but I feel like most of the negatives we’ve seen so far will not be nearly as negative for the duration of the season as they’ve been in April. And while the hot starts will cool off a bit, I think the likelihood of improvement from the poorly-performing pieces will outweigh the regression we see from the hot-starters (who are all good players and won’t exactly fall off a cliff).

    • Yeah, despite having two and a half auto-outs in our lineup (Jeter, Gardner, and the feast or famine Posada), we’re still the biggest, baddest offensive juggernaut in baseball. Jeter/Gardner/Posada probably won’t be this bad all year, and the hot bats will probably cool off just a bit, but this looks like a top-3 offense any way you slice it, and we haven’t even promoted Montero yet.

      And the pitching concerns are vastly overrated, IMO. Hughes’s scuffles are problematic, but CC is still dynamite, Burnett’s shown nothing that worries you yet, and we seem to have plenty of solid if unspectacular options to fill our slots 3-5 in Nova, Garcia, Colon, and eventually Millwood, Noesi, and Silva. At least three of those six guys can probably at least be league average. And some of our most desirable targets on the trade market are on teams that have gotten out to poor starts, increasing their likely availability. Guys like Edwin Jackson and Francisco Liriano, who would both offer quality production for a decent but not astronomical (read: not Montero or Banuelos) price in trade.

      A month before the season started, I thought we had the inside chance to win the wildcard and a solid bet to win the division. Now? I’m not even really considering the WC; this solidly a division-winning team, IMO.

      I’m at an 8 moving toward a 9.

      • Big Apple says:

        good comment on the pitching…show me one team that doesn’t have a concern in the pitching department….that’s right…it doesn’t exist.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        As bad as the Twins have started, Liriano has started worse… It’s only 4 starts, but at this point not trading for him is looking like a strong call. If nothing else, the asking price has got to have fallen considerably. Coming off a 6 WAR season I don’t see how the Twins let him go without receiving a top prospect or two. At this point, though, it’s kind of the opposite extreme where his value has got to be so low that they can’t justify giving him away. Maybe it evens out a bit over his next several starts.

      • Chris says:

        I think you have to throw Hughes in with “Nova, Garcia, Colon, and eventually Millwood, Noesi, and Silva” as a potential 3-5 filler. No guarantees, but he’s probably as likely a choice to be successful down the stretch as any of those others.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Good point. There’s a lot of focus on the negatives. And even the negatives have good in-house plan B’s.

      Jorge’s BABIP is .086 and his wOBA is still .306… He’s struggled, but he could still easily have a good, solid season. All the top FA DHs are struggling as badly as Jorge or worse, so short of in-house options (Chavez, Jones, Jesus…) it’s not like the Yankees are missing out. Dunn, Martinez, Vlad, Hideki, Manny (obviously)… none has a wOBA over .310. Damon is at .330.

      Gardner’s .189 BABIP is also pretty unsustainable. And like with Jorge and other DHs, Carl Crawford is also off to a terrible start with a wOBA of .212 and Werth is only at .302.

      And in those two cases, the Yankees have very suitable in-house replacements all lined up if the struggles continue. Jones can play LF and the Yankees can bring up a 4th OF from AAA between Parraz, Maxwell, Golson, Dickerson, and even Brewer or Laird. At DH Chavez, Jones, and Jesus are all options.

      Jeter’s not going anywhere, but at least he plays a light hitting position and should get better than his current .270 wOBA. Nunez probably isn’t a drop off if he does start stealing some PAs from Jeter.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        The pitching is a bit more loopy with Hughes pitching the way a lot of people expected Garcia to pitch, and Garcia starting hotter than we could have even hoped Hughes would. Who knows what will happen there. The depth is a positive there, though, and the Millwood/Silva signings could be just as important as the Garcia and Colon signings have been to date.

        • Marshall Brown says:

          A very enjoyable read, and lots of reasons to hope during the regular season. But if the Yanks are to advance in the playoffs, they need a second ace. Hughes has to get right, A.J. has to listen to Larry Rothschild. They can afford testing enough retreads to get average innings out of the back of the rotation. Then in the playoffs along comes a team with 2 or more stud starters. The Yanks have to prove this year they can win it all without the Lee signing, without that second ace.

    • Sean C says:

      You left out Russell Martin. Dude’s been in beast mode all season, both at and behind the plate.

  9. Johnny O says:

    I’m a 7 due to starting pitching, but still very happy with the overall start to the season. Looking forward to Granderson and Martin appreciation threads. I also say that you might as well give Millwood a few turns through the rotation. Nova’s got options, use them.

    Seems as though the trade for another SP is more “when” than “if”.

  10. murakami says:

    We have 1.5 games potentially to add over our lead on Boston. 2 on Tampa IIRC. Just win, baby, and they won’t catch us.

  11. Monteroisdinero says:

    8. Gardner’s inability to bunt out of a slump is sad. Surely 4 bunts would be better than 4 k’s. Jeter had 2 full swing bunts for hits yesterday. I think a 5 man infield is the way I’d defend the Captain. 1B guards the line, 3B plays in for a full swing bunt and the other 3 guys play behind 2B and to the right side of 2B. 2 OFers are all you need.

    Thank God for Fretolo Colarcia.

  12. dkidd says:

    8

    despite hughes, jeter, gardner, and several bullpen implosions, yanks are 5 games up in the loss column

    i wouldn’t trade for a SP unless things are looking dire in july. who’s out there that would make an impact without emptying the farm?

    • Steve H says:

      Agree I wouldn’t even think of trading for a starting pitcher right now. Anyone really on the market now isn’t going to be a major upgrade. As teams fall out of it, maybe Liriano actually is on the market and you take a look there. There’s not much point in getting a guy who might only be 5% better than the Garcia/Colon/Millwood/Silva conglomerate.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I’m not sure you take too hard a look at Liriano. Depends what the Twins are asking for, of course, but he’s probably not coming cheap and has a lot of question marks.

        • Steve H says:

          I think if he’s actively shopped on the market he’ll come cheaper than what it would take to pry him away now. I don’t think that happens though. Twins don’t have much motivation to move him unless they expect his arm to fall off.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            After 3 poor starts and 1 good start… who knows. I’m not sure his value is all that high anymore anyway at this moment (not so low as a 7.6 ERA would indicate, but probably a nice drop off from the offseason where he’s coming off a 6 WAR season… I think there was probably already a large gap between asking price and offers this offseason, and a poor start may only have widened the gap).

            Who knows the truth of these kinds of rumors, but if the Yankees really offered Nova and Pena for Liriano… they’re probably not too serious about getting him.

            I just think he’s a guy where the asking price will be higher than the expected return. He’s volatile, so the expected return isn’t as good as with a more steady pitcher. Plus, as you say the Twins aren’t in a situation where they have to rush to trade him for any reason other than if he continues to be so ineffective. So unless he’s a total disaster they’re giving away, I don’t see the price being that low this season. They can continue to hold for a higher price this offseason or next season.

            The Twins can try to sell him as a young long-term fix, which drives up his value compared to some of the other possibilities. I think a high level old guy could end up being a good fit for the Yankees, since he fills their immediate need but his value is limited by his age. Not only could they keep most of their young arms in the trade but also have rotation spots for them… who knows, though, it doesn’t seem like they’d trade Manny or Dellin for Liriano anyway.

            Liriano’s as much a possibility as anyone, I suppose, but I just don’t feel like he needs to be singled out as the guy to look at.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Even if things aren’t looking dire, a SP could be a good value and a good upgrade. Right now I don’t think anyone’s really out there. I don’t know that anyone who will require emptying the farm will even become available. The Yankees can pick up a solid veteran starter without giving up too much.

  13. Jared says:

    7 — Tophat lawsuit could prove to be a clubhouse distraction.

    Also still concerned over the starting pitching.

  14. JerseyDutch says:

    I was going to move up to 8 from 7 but decided I’m at about 7.49. I like what I’ve seen from Garcia and Colon but it’s too early to quite yet declare those successful Cashman experiments. Jeter and Gardner are showing a bit of life so that’s all well and good. Otherwise, you can’t complain about the offense and the bullpen is, well, the bullpen.

    • The plan all along was to survive with Colon/Garcia/Nova until reinforcements could be traded for. So far they’ve been able to knock a month off the schedule with them and generally got more than you could have hoped for. So far, so good. The Yankees are in excellent shape, it’s unfortunate they’ve had a few bullpen meltdowns already but they happen. The team has been in position to win nearly every game.

      • JerseyDutch says:

        Definitely agree with you on the Colon/Garcia/Nova situation. If we can get to the trade deadline in good shape with those guys, I’ll be more than happy.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        “The plan all along was to survive with Colon/Garcia/Nova until reinforcements could be traded for.”

        That’s largely speculation… the commonly accepted interpretation of the plan all along was that. Not necessarily the Yankees’ actual plan.

        Are the Yankees really going to trade for 3 separate starting pitchers, though? 3 guys who are all upgrades over Garcia, Colon, and Nova? Depends how those guys pitch of course (an upgrade could be easy if they don’t pitch well or get injured), but it might take largely cornering the market for starting pitchers and would probably not come cheap in terms of prospects.

        I think there’s a pretty good chance they continue to need in-house options all season (not just those 3, but also Millwood, Hughes, Silva, Noesi, Brackman, Phelps, Warren, Banuelos, Stoneburner… whoever). Outside of CC they have no sure things, and even CC could always get hurt. Burnett has been solid-enough, but not all that good and not even as good as he started last season. No real guarantees with him. The Yankees might have 4 holes in their rotation after CC at some point if there plan is to get rid of Garcia, Colon, and Nova.

        I think more likely the plan was to see how those guys did and react to situations as they arose. Certainly one or more trade(s) are a good possibility, but the Yankees might not want to sacrifice the future for stop-gap solutions to the 2011 season. So, it’s got to largely depend on how the Yankees are doing and what trade possibilities present themselves.

        • Jorge says:

          That can’t possibly be “just speculation.” I don’t think anyone in their right mind is looking at this as them being able to contribute in 2012.

          The organization is, hopefully, rightfully stoked by the potential of, at least, two of the three “Killer B’s,” as well as guys like the forementioned. They also believe the market for a starter will look much better later, and that they’ll also have a clearer idea of who’s a keeper and who’s a trade chip in the organization.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            You’re not responding to my comment, which was made in response to this comment:

            “The plan all along was to survive with Colon/Garcia/Nova until reinforcements could be traded for.”

            The Killer B’s are already in the Yankees org and therefore do not need to be traded for. That quote also seems to imply that the survival will only last short-term and the trades will happen soon, so I was not even discussing 2012.

            My point is that they do not have a set-in-stone plan and will evaluate situations as they arise. You might want to go back and read my comment.

            • Yes, perhaps I should have dropped the “traded for”. I don’t think anyone expects the rotation to look like this in August. Colon and Garcia are pitching on borrowed time, it’s highly likely one or both of them won’t last through the summer. My point was that we don’t expect or need them to – they’re just here to get us by until an internal option or a trade brings in reinforcements.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I don’t think it’s so clear, though. Maybe one doesn’t last, but the Yankees could really, really use one to last. Right now they have 3 holes to fill should Colon and Garcia both go down, with a 4th very possibly emerging (AJ or a CC injury). 3 new pitchers emerging via trade or promotion and outperforming what Garcia did last season doesn’t seem all that likely to me.

                I don’t think the rotation will look like this, but I do think Garcia or Colon could remain in it all season.

                That Garcia is very unlikely to last the season is also something I disagree with. He’s been healthy for a few years now. That he got cut by the Mets and didn’t pitch again till late 2009 has not been linked to a shoulder flare-up in any way publicly that I’ve seen. Since late 2008 his shoulder has held up.

                • Again, I never said they needed 3 new pitchers. All they really need is one solid pitcher to lessen the load on the back end of the rotation. The Yankee FO can’t go on the assumption that Garcia and Colon will be able to be adequate options through the entire year and it’s unfair to expect them to. Which was my original point – you ride these guys for as long as you can until better options present themselves. The chances that all three are productive until the end of the season is practically zero.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Again, I disagree that it’s unfair to expect Garcia to be an adequate option for the season. He was adequate last season. It’s not going to be a shutout every outing, but he was adequate for an offensive juggernaut like the Yankees just last season.
                    Colon… maybe, I don’t know…
                    Between the two, I think there’s a decent chance that one lasts the season as at least a solid #5.

                    We’re talking past each other mostly. Your wording comes across as though you are suggesting none of them will be around all season. If that’s the case, I’m not so sure. That all 3 are unlikely to be around, sure I agree. It’s early, but Nova’s spot is looking tenuous already.

  15. Frank says:

    Overall, a 6 for me. Pitching is still a big concern despite great showings so far from Colon and Garcia. I’m not sold on Nova; in fact, I feel he’s not long for this rotation, and Burnett to me is still the same, inconsistant pitcher. Offense is doing great and I have no reason to think it won’t continue. Gardner, however, is a concern. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he’s riding the pine by next month. Finally, props for to Cash for getting Martin- a great signing. This guy is an absolute beast.

    • Big Apple says:

      if Martin stopped playing today, his production would still be higher than saltamlastreptochaccus’ full season stats…helluva pickup by cash.

      • Mike HC says:

        The Martin pick up goes right up there with the Swish trade and the decision to pass on Johan Santana to wait for CC in Cashman’s GM highlight reel. It could end up even higher, but it has only been one month and Swisher and CC has already paid off for two plus years.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Helluva mistake by the Red Sox not to at least drive up the bidding higher.

        It’s still really early, but it’s not like Martin was expensive or signed to a long-term deal. For only $4 mill guaranteed, they could have already turned around a -1 WAR position for them into a +1.2 WAR position… and it wasn’t exactly hard to see Saltalamacchia and Varitek’s struggles coming. That was a big thing that really bugged me about the MSM coverage of this offseason… There was a lot of people saying the Red Sox “out-maneuvered” the Yankees, butthe Yankees weren’t in on Crawford or AGone and managed to get Martin who the Red Sox were in on. The only real example was Aceves, who the Yankees had the option but decided not to keep. Jury’s still out with Al, since his ERA is strong but he’s actually been below replacement.

      • Bob Stone says:

        I was waiting to see if someone mentioned Martin and was going to do it myself. So far, he’s been an outstanding pick-up.

        I’m still a 9. So many good things on the farm and busienss side are getting too little attention from most voters. Seems like most place a higher weight on short term than long term.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      The nice thing is that Gardner is a concern, but the Yankees have Jones right behind him and a bunch of potential 4th OFs in AAA (possibly all AAAA guys and 5th OFs, but maybe one has a nice hot MLB streak in him). Some veteran bat in LF also shouldn’t be too expensive around the deadline. Not that it will necessarily work out, but an option.

      • A-Rod's Wingman says:

        The Mets will probably let Beltran go at a good price, MLB’s looking to find a new minority owner for them so they don’t go the way of the Dodgers.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Definite possibility. (At the right price, of course.)

          • A-Rod's Wingman says:

            He’s a 34 year old outfielder getting paid 18.5 million a year (with some money deferred, IIRC) and he hasn’t played a full season since 2008. I’m pretty sure he won’t cost a whole lot in terms of prospects. Would you trade Eduardo Nunez for a half season of Carlos Beltran?

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Berkman cost Melancon and wasn’t really worth it. I can see Beltran as a possibility, but who knows? If he keeps up this hot start he might cost a bit more than he’s worth, considering after a hot start the second half could easily be a disappointment (like Berkman, whose OPS dropped like 100 points from Houston to NY). Also depends who else is bidding on him. If there aren’t any other clubs with cash to burn interested, the Mets might rather give him to the Yankees than chip in $ for better prospects… then again, they might not I don’t know.

              • Berkman was more about filling a need. They needed a DH/1B option who could hit RHP, and they got one. Melancon was a middle relief prospect who hadn’t impressed anyone, and was a relatively small price to pay. Berkman did what he was brought into to do: get on base, hit for some power, and perform well in the playoffs.

                Beltran isn’t really a need at this point, it’s too early to look for options to replace Gardner unless you’ve cool giving up on him after 50 at-bats.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I disagree about the Berkman trade. I can see why they made it, it just didn’t work out.

                  A. Berkman didn’t perform well in NY. His regular season wOBA in NY was .314. They could have gotten that from Juan Miranda or Marcus Thames.
                  In the playoffs he hit against Minnesota, but OPS’d .750 against Texas. Solid, but his 3 hits and 2 BBs were not really much of a help.

                  B. Melancon had impressed plenty of people, he was just having a rough season. I didn’t and don’t have a huge problem with it, but they sold when his stock was low. They had to know it might rebound and make them look foolish. It did. The Yankees often look to sell prospects when their values are low. Look at Jesus mid-season last year. Sometimes this can work out as they continue to lose value, but with a good prospect in a funk… selling low can easily be a mistake.

                  “Beltran isn’t really a need at this point, it’s too early to look for options to replace Gardner unless you’ve cool giving up on him after 50 at-bats.”

                  Where are you coming from? No one is talking about this trade right now. We are specifically talking about it *if* Gardner doesn’t get better and it *is a need.* Gardner is a concern… if it continues, the Yankees have options in Jones, AAA, and trades. That’s all.

                  • I’m glad we now know that all a reliever needs is 29 decent innings with another team to make the Yankees “look foolish”

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      He was a strong prospect the whole time he was in the Yankees’ system. A whole lot of people thought he was their closer of the future… over Joba, over D-Rob… Melancon as the heir to Mo. It’s not about the 29 innings. It’s about him doing what everyone thought he’d do.

                      They sold low, the deal didn’t work out for them anyway, and ultimately the Yankees got poor value out of a good prospect in Melancon. If you want to ignore reality, ok… I don’t know what to tell you.

                      As I say below, my point was actually that all they gave up was a reliever for Berkman and it still was too much. Trading for Beltran in the event that they’re looking for an OF might work, but there’s also a downside.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Basically, Berkman was replacement level in the regular season for the Yankees: 0.0 fWAR. He was very good in a series the Yankees won easily and then solid in a series they lost. The Yankees lost Berkman this off-season with no compensation.

                      Melancon has already produced 0.5 fWAR for the Astros. He is 26 years old and under team control for almost 5 more seasons.

                      If you think the Yankees got good value in that trade… I don’t know what to say.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    “Berkman cost Melancon and wasn’t really worth it.”

                    I was actually trying to say that he didn’t cost all that much, and it still wasn’t worth it.

                • A-Rod's Wingman says:

                  That’s not what what I’m getting at in re: Gardner, is that he’s had one good year, a bunch of mediocre seasons in the minors at his first go at each level. I’m not giving up on him after 50 at bats, just suggesting that finding a replacement for him may be something they’ll look for in the future.

  16. jsbrendog says:

    8. colon = comeback player of the year

    • A-Rod's Wingman says:

      Colon’s fat and out of shape, he’s got an injury history longer than a list of shitty columns written by Bill Plaschke. He’ll break down, don’t get me wrong…enjoy this shit while it lasts, but comeback player of the year isn’t in the cards for him. Russell Martin is probably the Yankees’ best candidate, I hope Derek Jeter is able to have a legitimate claim to this award too.

      • MannyGeee says:

        done and done… I am already handing the Aaron Small Award to Colon for 2011. but lets enjoy it while it lasts.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        In projecting future outcomes, it’s really rare that something WILL happen with 100% certainty. There is a chance Colon holds up physically for one season, though the chances of him holding up physically and performing this well as very, very slim.

        There’s no need to say definitively that he will or will not hold up. You can say that the odds are against him holding up. There’s still a chance he does, though.

        • A-Rod's Wingman says:

          First: Don’t use the word “slim” ever in describing things that are germaine to Bartolo Colon.

          Second: while it’s true thatt there can be a “You can’t predict baseball” moment, I’m comfortable in saying that he won’t be able to take the ball every fifth day for the rest of the season with a fair degree of certainty.

  17. A-Rod's Wingman says:

    I’m at between a six and a seven. I guess I went six because Boston seems to be picking up steam, and the team isn’t playing in a vacuum. They still have one giant opponent that they need to be better than. Anyways, here’s my current thoughts on the team:

    Reasons for Joy: Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon have been stellar band-aid solutions. They’ll break down eventually and won’t last longer than June or so, but if they can give the team options until they can pick up another starter in the trade market and a younger guy is ready, that will be aces. The offense is mashing, Mark Teixeira is off to a phenomenal, and maintainable, start. Granderson’s flexing the guns at the dish and just annihilating the ball everytime up. Alex, what can you say? People were worried about a stiff back in 40 degree weather? Yeah. Russell Martin…just fucking awesome. Great addition, and if he keeps this up they will need to rethink the Montero situation, and that’s not a bad thing by any means. Jeter’s getting warmed up too.

    Doom and gloom: While Jeter had a few balls hit with authority and is starting to look like a major leaguer at the plate there’s still a long ways to go. Brett Gardner had a fantastic catch and a HR over the weekend so he gets the week off from any criticism. Phil Hughes is still an unknown, that’s a massive short term and long term concern. The beast in Boston seems to be awakening.

    I’m not concerned with: Jorge Posada, while is OPS is a meager .711 he’s on pace for 54 HRs. He’s clearly hitting the ball with authority and pretty soon some of those outs will be come hits, with that he’ll probably get more relaxed and patient at the plate and the walks will come. Of course the downside is that some of those long fly balls will be outs or doubles (or foul balls) but I think the good will outweigh the bad in his statistical correction.

    Also:

    The bullpen. While much has been made about “The Forumla,” here, and elsewhere. I think the bullpen will be fine. There was an off day, a rainout, and a blowout. That’s three days where the bullpen was getting splinters in its ass. Relievers need regular work in order to be effective, it’s a delicate balance between making sure that they get enough work and making sure that they aren’t overworked. Some shit ended up happening, and Girardi made all the right decisions leading up to yesterday’s blown save, IMO.

    I’m starting to get concerned with: Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher. Swisher more so than Cano, mainly because players with his skill set (below average OBP, tremendous plate discipline, above average power) tend to be prone to bad seasons and extended streaks (see: 2008), while it’s too early to say “it’s one of those seasons” it’s a looming concern in my mind. Cano’s plate discipline is starting to become worrisome, and anecdotally he hasn’t been hitting the ball hard lately, players with his skill set (good power, high contact, low walk rates) tend to be prone to slumps. I just don’t want him to fall into a funk.

    Minor annoyances: Lack of walks still, yo.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      They don’t have to be better than the Red Sox, just better than the Sox or Rays.

      All players have slumps, regardless of their skill set. Even Albert Pujols opened the season in a slump. It’s also a lefty slump only for Swisher, as he’s absolutely beasting from the right-hand side.

      • A-Rod's Wingman says:

        They don’t have to be better than the Red Sox, just better than the Sox or Rays.

        Yes. They. Do.

        True, every player is prone to bad luck. Players with skill sets similar to Swisher and skill sets similar to Cano’s are particularly prone to extended slumps. Look at each of their 2008s for evidence. Now, in all likelihood they’ll be fine, but Robbie hasn’t been walking that much (though I expect that to correct this week, he was hitting the snot out of the ball every time up prior to this past week) and Swisher hasn’t gone deep yet. It’s a growing concern, I won’t be worried until mid May or so. But it’s something to watch out for.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Better than the Red Sox in the regular season is the only measure of success? If the Red Sox win 60 games and the Yankees win 62, it’s a 10 because the Yankees beat the Sox?If the Yankees win 92 games and the WC while Boston gets 112 games but the Yankees win the WS… it’s a 1 because they couldn’t win more regular season games than the Red Sox?

          Swisher’s wOBA as a righty is .471… worst case the Yankees need to find a lefty platoon partner. (If they think his health can stand it, they might have Chavez shag some balls in right to see how he looks out there.)

          “Players with skill sets similar to Swisher and skill sets similar to Cano’s are particularly prone to extended slumps. Look at each of their 2008s for evidence.”

          It’s evidence that both had a poor 2008 season. It says nothing about every other player with a similar skill set.

          • A-Rod's Wingman says:

            Better than the Red Sox in the regular season is the only measure of success? If the Red Sox win 60 games and the Yankees win 62, it’s a 10 because the Yankees beat the Sox?If the Yankees win 92 games and the WC while Boston gets 112 games but the Yankees win the WS… it’s a 1 because they couldn’t win more regular season games than the Red Sox?

            Oh please, that’s hardly what I was suggesting.

            As to Swisher and Cano, I recall that their PECOTA comps all have had some extended slumps. It’s been a while since I looked there, though.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I have no idea what you were suggesting. I said that they can make the playoffs and ultimately end up winning the WS even if they’re the Wild Card–that they don’t have to beat the Red Sox and your response was: “Yes. They. Do.”

  18. MannyGeee says:

    I went to a fringy 9, begrudgingly…

    still only dropped one series this season (to the ‘bestest team in baseball(C), no less…) and when you are getting a solid 1.099 OPS from your #8 hitter, there are alot of good things happening…

    again, the fire is gonna wear out of the Colon/Garcia train, and a flukey good AJ Burnett going up against a Chicago team that is hungry to hit the shit out of the ball worries me (sidebar: tonight AJ either goes 8 strong with 10ks or is done by the 4th… can it really go any other way?)

    but all in all, hard to argue being 5 up in the loss column this early in the season and 40% of the AL East has already gone into fizzle mode…

  19. Mulva says:

    Girardi, Gardner, Jeter – 0
    Rest of team – 10
    Overall – 8

  20. Cy Pettitte says:

    Question for Mike (anyone else):
    Can the Yankees hold on to Millwood by putting him in the bullpen as the long man? Or does he have the right to walk if he’s not in the rotation?

    • A-Rod's Wingman says:

      I’m pretty sure it’s his opt out, if he wants to remain in the minors until he’s ready to make the big league club, that’s his decision.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      If Millwood won’t take a spot as a long man then let him go. He is no upgrade over Colon or Garcia at this point. I think he would take the long man role and bide his time for the inevitable implosion from one of our non CC starters. I saw him pitch Saturday and the Syracuse Chiefs hit him around pretty good without results to show for it.

  21. Hola! says:

    Gotta love the optimism (9? really?), but for an offense heavily reliant on Arod, who doesn’t appear able to play 140 games anymore, and a pitching staff with serious concerns after CC and AJ, I believe that love is naive.

    I suspect many of you have assumed the Yankees budget of 210m is a joke. For your sakes, you better be right because I can’t even imagine Colon, Millwood and Garcia, along with the other chaff, being long for this division.

    I’ll give them a solid “6″, translatable into 85-90 wins, because pitching and defense, two areas NY is lacking, is more important in this post-steroids era.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Their payroll is at closer to $190 mill right now, so they still have $20 mill to go before hitting $210 mill. Plus they added both Berkman and Wood last season, so I don’t see much reason to assume they won’t spend on improvements if they present themselves.

      “an offense heavily reliant on Arod, who doesn’t appear able to play 140 games anymore”

      How is this offense heavily reliant on A-Rod? He’s a great hitter, sure, but this is still a great offense without A-Rod. How do they rely on him more than any other club does on their clean-up hitter?

      • murakami says:

        It is so not a great offense without ARod.

        It’s still chocked with good bats, but the key to the Yankee lineup right now is that ARod and Cano are two of the best bats in terms of talent in all of baseball. Setting aside Cano’s early struggles with OBP, they are both capable of getting on base to a terrorizing degree along with crazy slugging.

        Those two make our lineup the best in baseball.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          It’s the best in baseball with A-Rod, but it’s still one of the best without him. “Great” is a pretty nebulous term, but the Yankees offense would be fine without A-Rod.

          The comment I responded to said that he can’t play 140 games and that’s a problem. Last season he played 137, had the worst season of his career, and the Yankees still had the best offense in baseball. That A-Rod might only play 140 games isn’t a huge concern.

          • murakami says:

            The lineup would be “fine” without ARod?

            Not a chance.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              What are you basing that on besides “because I say so?”

              As I said right before that, A-Rod was not A-Rod last season… His wOBA of .363 was behind Cano, Swisher, Tex (who also had a career worst type season), and Thames… it was just above Gardner and Posada. He was one of the top 6.5 hitter in the Yankees line-up in 2010 and only appeared in 137 games… the line-up was “fine.” In fact, it was the best in baseball.

              See how actually looking at facts helps you prove a point better than just throwing out unsubstantiated opinions?

              • murakami says:

                You’re the one with the phony stance.

                Rather subtract the outlier year from Alex you opt to instead to essentially subtract Alex.

                LMAO.

                I’ll take ARod’s .418 wOBA from 2008 and .405 from 2009, not to mention .410 for his career, and assume THAT’S what I’m getting.

                But by all means, just take the anomaly season and run with it. Why not just ignore his impact on the 2009 postseason…oh, wait, you did.

                The Definitive Alex = his 2010 wOBA.

                Therefore, the offense without him would be “fine.”

                ok

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  You’re missing the point of the discussion completely. It’s not about whether A-Rod’s 2010 production is his norm. I specifically said it was a career worst year, so I’m not sure how pointing that out to me is a rebuttal to my point.

                  The point is how would the line-up do without A-Rod, and with whoever they replaced A-Rod with instead. Since this is the Yankees and they don’t generally sit around with replacement-level fill-ins, I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that they’d get an above average player in there. They may already have on in Eric Chavez.

                  The Yankees managed to be the best offense in baseball with 137 game of A-Rod at .363 wOBA and the other 25 games mostly of Ramiro Pena’s .236 wOBA. This suggests that if A-Rod were to be replaced by a merely above average 3B, their offense would be fine. How you can argue differently when it happened just last season is beyond me.

                  • murakami says:

                    There’s nothing nebulous about calling ARod great, however, calling the Yankee lineup “fine” without him, doesn’t even offer meaning.

                    I sure hope he doesn’t go down to test your definition of “fine,” whatever that is.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Fine means that without an A-Rod like presence in their line-up last season the Yankees were still the best offense in baseball. A-Rod wasn’t that great last season, he was replaced by Ramiro Pena for about 25 games, Tex also struggled. The Yankees still scored the most runs in baseball.

                      My theory has already been tested. It was called 2010.

  22. David, Jr. says:

    “How confident are you in the Yankees overall future?”

    Short-term (defined as this year) – 7.5. I believe that they are not as good as their record. Without going through all of it, a few comments: I believe that Martin is for real. A major positive. Jeter’s fielding is a disaster. I don’t care about numbers. All you need oars your eyes. He is a statue. Gardner’s fielding is spectacular. A human highlight reel. No reason to think his hitting won’t improve. Granderson definitely for real. It is a logical continuation of his turnaround with Long from last year. The pitching is already starting to break down. Unless Hughes comes charging back as a decent 2-3 starter, they won’t be able to get it done.

    Longer-term – 9. Enormous resources. Excellent farm system. Top pieces in place, assuming CC signs here after opting out.

  23. David, Jr. says:

    Sorry – “all you need are your eyes”. Tying error and iPad autocorrect = mistake.

  24. Dr. O says:

    I voted “no confidence” hoping to be the only one, I was not satisfied with the results.

  25. murakami says:

    I gave us an 8. Love the lineup, BP and the farm.

    My trepidation is how they’ll handle the prospects and also Joe G’s BP management. I also want to see Chamberlain revisited in 2012 as a starter if he’s not traded. He’s spinning his wheels in middle relief.

  26. Guest says:

    I’m at a likely over-optomistic 9. This offense, even with Captain Jetes and Gardner struggling, has the potential to be the best we have seen in a long while.

    I don’t know how long it will take, but the Grandy-man needs to start getting more love around these parts (though Matthews, of all people, has already jumped on the bandwagon).

    He’s of to a great start that is not sustainable at these levels, but I believe he is very capable of giving up 35+ HR’s, 20+ steals, .850-.900 OPS, and very good bordering on great defense in CF. Plus when you add in the “represents the organization in the right way” elements, yeah I think we should all show our love to the Grandy-man.

    • murakami says:

      Agree.

      Granderson deserves to be called a great defender. He gets amazing jumps even though he plays a shallow CF. A guy who gets great jumps, runs excellent routes and has speed also is a gem. The only thing he lacks out there is the arm.

      Yes, offensively he’s a rare package of speed ad power, too. His on base won’t be great, but you can’t have everything from a hitter, unless his name is Cano or Rodriguez.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I think the thing is that most people around here were already high on Granderson. His hot start isn’t really a surprise. It’s very good but not only did people know it was possible, a lot of people went as far as predicting it after his hot finish to 2010.

    • I’ve always loved Granderson, even when he struggled last year. Center fielders who play great defense and hit for power are so hard to find.

      It got really tiring hearing how much we missed Coke/Jackson/IPK every time Granderson struck out last year, so it’s nice to see him get off to a hot start. Any time you give up top prospects for a guy who doesn’t immediately perform, it brings out the haters.

  27. JD says:

    Mike,

    The last time this was presented I suggested a template for what these numbers mean in the context of the season results. You never responded. This is meanigless without some way to calibrate the answers.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        MoI believe RL means more context in terms of what the grades mean so that one person’s “6″ and another person’s “6″ are roughly the same. Whereas without defining what a 6 is and what an 8 is, when I say “8″ and someone else says “6″ we might actually be saying the same thing.

        For example, I always put 10 because I feel like it’s a good team and well-run org that I’m confident in. Other people say that if the Yankees win 90+ games in a season and have one of the best farms in baseball… it’s still a 6. The scales we’re using are totally different, and often what we’re even defining is different in terms of how we weight different points in the future.

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