Sep
04

Thoughts following Monday’s loss to the Rays

By

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

So are you panicked yet? I don’t really panic or worry since I have zero control over how the team plays, I just get frustrated and annoyed. At the end of the day is basically the same feeling happening in different ways anyway, worrying and getting frustrating.

Anywho, the Yankees are playing like complete trash and when you watch them these days, you wonder how the hell they’ll ever win another game. There is just so much going wrong between the dormant offense, the sketchy middle relief, the starters turning in underwhelming outings … a prolonged slump like this takes a total team effort. It’ll get better at some point though, it almost has too. Even the Astros won four of five a few weeks ago. It can happen!

1. I think the Yankees really need to start playing some of their younger guys regularly. Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, and Ichiro Suzuki have been automatic outs for the last few weeks, so I think getting them out of the lineup for a bit might help. Obviously it’s tough to do with Curtis Granderson (hamstring) and Mark Teixeira (calf) injured, but when they come back hopefully later this week, Chris Dickerson (who actually isn’t all that young) and Eduardo Nunez should take some of those at-bats. By no means am I declaring Dickerson and Nunez stars or anything, but the other three guys haven’t done anything lately and the Yankees can’t afford to wait around for them to figure it out at this point. The call-up guys will add some much-needed speed to the offense, plus they’re surely eager to prove they belong as well. Might as well give them a chance to prove it, not like they could actually be a downgrade from the other guys anyway.

2. If the Yankees do end up continuing this slide through the end of the season and wind up missing the playoffs, I don’t see how in the world Joe Girardi survives the offseason. Blowing a ten-game lead with a $200M+ payroll usually results in someone being scapegoated — I assume it would anyway, it’s never actually happened in baseball history — and the manager is as good a bet as any to get the axe. I don’t think Girardi’s a bad manager nor do I think he’s a great one, he’s fine, and neither am I endorsing his firing should they miss the postseason. I’m just saying that I can’t imagine his job being safe if this continues even though Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner hand-picked him for the job.

3. When is the last time the Yankees made a trade that you can look at and say “alright, they made out well with that one?” I’m not talking about the random Chad Qualls-for-Casey McGehee or Steve Pearce-for-cash swaps, I mean when they gave up a player(s) of legitimate value. Here’s a list of the team’s recent trades courtesy of MLBTR for you to reference. The last one is the Nick Swisher trade, isn’t it? That was a long time ago, four years ago this November. That’s a mighty long time to go between “winning” trades*. All of the moves they made to improve the team this season — Ichiro Suzuki, Chris Stewart, McGehee, Pearce — have had zero impact, which is contributing to this downward spiral.

* Obvious disclaimer here is that the book has yet to be written on some recent trades, specifically the Jesus Montero-for-Michael Pineda swap. Right now though, that one looks like an unmitigated disaster.

4. We know that RBI don’t have much analytical value, but it’s going to be very weird when the Yankees finish the season with zero 100+ RBI guys. It’ll take a big final month from Teixeira (81 RBI), Granderson (79), Nick Swisher (77), or Cano (71) for someone to get over the century mark, otherwise the Yankees will have their first zero 100+ RBI team since 1992, not counting the work stoppages in 1994-1995. Obviously injuries and RISPFAIL play a part in that, but it’s still just weird.

Categories : Musings

132 Comments»

  1. tipsie says:

    Somewhat surprised that you think Joe goes; agree that he’s neither great nor terrible.

    His usual ability to formulate a great pen by year’s end hasn’t worked out. Most guys down there are either mediocre or tired now.

    Do you think any manager in baseball would have brought in Robertson to face Reynolds in the sixth (on Sunday), knowing that the game would be won or lost right there?

    Hope tomorrow’s initial post is not “Thoughts following officially blowing the lead…”

    • JohnnyC says:

      Several. Robertson’s a set-up man and was often used as a fireman in previous seasons. In a game against your closest pursuer, at home, you do everything you can to protect your slim lead. It’s actually a no-brainer.

  2. Better off Eddard says:

    1. Thank you! I’ve been saying this since the kids came up. They hustle and give the team energy. These old, washed up players are just taking up space. Nunez should be in today along with Dickerson.

    2. Been saying the same thing. Girardi should be fired just as Francona was. You don’t preside over one of the biggest collapses in baseball history and live to tell about it. Injuries is an excuse. Manage better.

    3. All the more reason to send Cashman packing along with Girardi. He’s the one who saddled us with all of these old platoon players. He’s the one who has $200 million at his disposal and couldn’t get any depth outside of Eric Chavez.

    4. It’s because they all hit solo HRs. And notice now that it’s September that we aren’t hitting them anymore? You can’t hit 4 solo HRs every game against good pitching.

    • Christopher says:

      Losing both the GM and manager at the same time worked out nifty keen in Boston.

      • JohnnyC says:

        Totally different situations. This will be 3 seasons in a row the Red Sox miss the playoffs with the second highest payroll in the sport.

      • rogue says:

        Christopher says:
        September 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

        “Losing both the GM and manager at the same time worked out nifty keen in Boston.”

        That’s not accurate. After Boston fired both Theo and Terry, they hired Cherington to be GM (ex-hub to ESPN’s Wendi Nix – his loss). Thereafter, Cherington proceeded to hire Dale Sveum as manager, but was overruled by Lucchino. Bobby V is Larry’s pick.

        Moral: always let your GM pick his manager. That was Boston’s mistake.

        I’m all in favor if getting rid of Cashman, at this point. He’s become long in the tooth and it’s time for a new vision for this team. Sadly, Giradi must go if this happens.

    • Kingslayer says:

      Well said Better off Eddard!! Girardi’s overmanaging (5 pitchers in one inning!!) has cost the Yankees too many games. Cashman’s poor track record involving player moves has cost Yankees at least a chance to go ddeper in playoffs during last few years and even before that. Time for both to go!! BTW, lets send Hal Stienbrenner packing also.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I think you meant to say “Cashman’s *strong* track record involving player moves.”

        He put together a very good and very deep team. An unlucky number of those players are hurt. How many other teams could survive 3 SPs and their top AAA P prospect all hurt at the same time as 3 regulars (A-Rod having just came back, but Cano maybe being down now)?

        Without all that depth Cashman and co. built the Yankees would not have been able to survive all this attrition to still put up the 2nd best record in the AL.

      • rogue says:

        Cashman provided Joe with a bevy of platoon players and specialist relievers. How could Joe (or anyone else) not overmanage this team?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Once the starters got hurt, sure. All the “platoon players” were back-ups entering the season. Gardner got hurt. A-Rod has been hurt. Tex has been hurt. The specialist relievers also came in largely because they didn’t have Mo, Wade, Joba…

          What team has got well-rounded studs on their bench?

      • DC says:

        Yankees win – Girardi had nothing to do with it

        Yankees lose – Girardi’s fault

    • Ted Nelson says:

      LOL. I thought the division was wrapped up in June… What happened to that?

      After that disaster of a comment string might you take some time to examine your level of baseball knowledge and stop making mindless proclamations about things you don’t seem to understand?

  3. DERP says:

    Does the Kerry Wood trade count as one where the Yankees made out well? They didn’t really give up anything of value, but then again they didn’t really give up anything for Swisher either.

  4. chins up – sweat Freddy has a history of excellent success against the Rays. Maybe the beads of perspiration distract the hitters but for whatever reason, he’s at his best against them. The fact he’s allowed just five extra base hits to the current roster of hitters is impressive and he fits the mold of the type of pitcher the Rays struggle against most; someone who changes speeds, works the corners, and keeps the ball down.

  5. Bryan V says:

    Thanks to Montero’s .259/.298/.403 season, while only playing 46 games at catcher, it won’t take a Cy Young season from Pineda in order to turn that “unmitigated disaster” into a wash.

    • JonS says:

      Nope. As Axisa has said in the past, it doesn’t matter how Montero turns out. The Yankees had a top 3 prospect and could turn out to get nothing for him.

      • Hardy says:

        I am fine with using this standard to evaluate trades. However, by this standard the Granderson trade was a very good trade because Jackson and Kennedy weren’t big time prospects and they got a rather cheap 4.5 WAR player.

      • DC says:

        Pineda could win back to back Cy Youngs and you would still think its a disaster.

    • Rob says:

      Montero has played well this year.His numbers are being hurt by Safeco. On the road .311/.340/.468

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Safeco certainly has an effect, but it shouldn’t be nearly to the degree that Montero’s home/road splits indicate. Timing of hot/cold streaks would also play into that.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        He can’t hit righthanded pitching. Most pitchers are righties. Ergo, Montero is useless the majority of the time.

  6. AdamC6 says:

    I don’t post often, but get ready for a rant.
    I’m with Mike on this one. This goes back to the confidence poll of a few days ago as well. (I went 6, down from my usual 8)
    The question isn’t just about what is currently transpiring, but about the trend.
    This team simply goes up there and tries to hit HRs. Is it because everyone is after an even bigger contract?
    Too many older players who have made their money and don’t play with much enthusiasm or hustle. Yeah Cano, I’m looking at you.
    The energy and drive of youth is nowhere to be found on this team.
    I’d be fine with tearing this team up as much as contracts will allow over the next two years and building anew.
    I honestly believe the organization is in a tailspin that will reach its deepest point within the next 18 months. I also believe within 36 months, the new foundation of a dynasty will be in place.
    With Yankee resources, its just takes some good decision making — especially on contracts.
    DO NOT RE-SIGN CANO or GRANDERSON or SWISHER or ICHIRO or TEX when their contracts are up. Use the money (and less of it) on younger players and deal from the organizational pitching depth (if it remains healthy) to acquire 1-2 young positional studs. You’ll have AROD (unfortunately) taking up the DH spot and Jeter providing leadership. Gardner will be back. Williams, Austin, the Almontes, Sanchez, Heathcott, the 2b prospects…..there’s some hope down there on the farm, even if the best guys are a few years away.
    The Yankees fixed themselves in the early 90s (through a painful process) by not using the cash for short-term gain. With the new “reduced payroll” I see the potential for a similar renewed outlook on talent and potential rather than on past production.
    Rant complete.

    • Christopher says:

      Wow – can you imagine gutting the team that deeply? It would be years rebuilding. Well, they haven’t lost yet and I don’t follow baseball to face reality – I follow it to escape – so my fantasy says they gut it out and win.

      • JonS says:

        If those high dollar players aren’t contributing or costing $15m for 2 wins, the “gutting” won’t be as deep as you make it seem.

    • Slugger27 says:

      Too many older players who have made their money and don’t play with much enthusiasm or hustle. Yeah Cano, I’m looking at you.

      did you mean a different player? cano’s young, and he hasn’t made his money yet (FA in 16 months)

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Seriously… Cano might be the most bang for the buck of anyone on the team… he’s their best player and by far not their most expensive player.

      • DC says:

        Cano is the most recent lightning rod for the ledge jumper crowd. It will be someone else next week.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Exactly. Cano has about $200 million reasons to play hard. He’s going to cash in huge soon.

        • AdamC6 says:

          Did you see him playing hard this year?

          Fair enough that he’s not as old or as highly paid — I guess I’m trying to preempt some Pujolsian-sized/length contract that the team will likely give him.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            He’s the best player on the team, whether you think he plays hard or not…

            • AdamC6 says:

              He may be, and maybe at $16 million he is a relative “bargain”……but the he’s not who I want to build the next dynasty around.

              I love it how he’s so great, but no one thinks he’s going to want, or command (Boras command) $30 million plus.

              Sorry guys, you cannot have it both ways.

      • AdamC6 says:

        Fair ….his problem is hustle and enthusiasm and not age/contract.

        I do not want to sign him when he’s a free agent. He will want 6-8 years at 35 mill per. He’s not worth the damage that will do to the rest of the roster.

        • DC says:

          $35M? Snap back to reality.

          • AdamC6 says:

            “Agent Scott Boras, who represents Cano, said it costs elite prices to buy elite players out of free agent years. Boras pointed out that the Yankees generate far more revenue than most teams and said clubs sometimes have to commit to ten-year deals for the privilege of locking up an elite player for his prime years.”

            Sure, Cano and Boras will settle for a small, short contract…..he’s going to make $16 mill next year.

            He’ll actually show up next year and play hard and want 30 million plus per year. You actually doubt that?

            Talk about not being realistic.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      DON’T RE-SIGN THAT AROD GUY EITHER WHEN HIS CONTRACT IS UP.

      I mean, really? I can see the Granderson and Ichiro stuff, but Mark Teixeira isn’t going to be a free agent for about four more years.

      Being a Yankee fan often gives some fans the license to fantasize what it would be like to be a fan of an actual bad organization. It’s a nice thing.

      I’d quote “Common People” by Pulp right now, but just go look up the lyrics yourselves.

  7. MC says:

    I agree that Dickerson and Nunez should get more ABs. You can bunt, hit and run, and steal with these guys (if they get on). Jeter walked yesterday in the 8th and I winced that Swisher was up next. It seems he doesn’t walk late with runners on? I was actually hoping he’d strike out rather than hit into the DP, but it was the DP.

    The bullpen pitched great all year, so it’s not a surprise they have hit a rut. That said the bottom line is the reliance on HRs has caught up with them. The Ray and O’s can get game winning hits from no names like Giminez, while Swish, Grandy, Ichiro, et al can’t buy a base hit after the 6th.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Swish is hitting 295/361/581 in innings 7-9 this year. He’s had no problems hitting after the 6th. In fact, he’s hit better after the 6th.

      • MC says:

        I would like to see that split between games they are tied or behind with runners on

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          Don’t know how to find that, but his late and close split this year is at a very solid 281/329/625. His B-Ref high leverage split is 301/374/613.

  8. Bartolo's Colon says:

    i think granderson is a huge reason why the yankees suck lately. he really made the lineup so much better in the two spot and was really good in the the first half. the lineup is just so much weaker with him being an auto out at this point. to make matters worse, his defense is a disaster

  9. Hall and Nokes says:

    It’s getting harder and harder to blame RISPFAIL when the overall batting line (.262/.332/.452) is starting to approach the RISP line (.250/.346/.423).

    • JohnC says:

      Well, 2 innings in a row they had the leadoff man on and both were erased on DPs. They count. Also, tying run at 2nd with 1 out in the 9th and they don’t get him in. Those failures do count.

      • JohnnyC says:

        The point is that the RISPFAIL is consistent with the overall failure of the offense. They’re not being un-clutch. They’re performing exactly as they normally do. Mediocrity is its name. The team simply doesn’t have enough good pitching to cover for a mediocre offense.

        • Hall and Nokes says:

          I guess the depressing part is that we all expected the RISP numbers to correct upward to reflect the true nature of the offense. Instead, the overall numbers are correcting downward it seems. Injuries are a part of that obviously.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          Overall offense 110 wRC+
          wRISP 102 wRC+
          MLB average offense 96 wRC+
          wRISP: also 96 wRC+

          Yankees are second in MLB in overall wRC+
          There are 10th w RISP.

          There is a definite spread. And it has definitely hurt.

  10. Countryclub says:

    Girardi isn’t going anywhere. It would take 2 bad yrs in a row.

    I think they make the playoffs this yr anyway. I think they will ultimately give up first place, but end up taking it back before the season ends. they’re going to get hot once they get the lineup back together.

    • Bartolo's Colon says:

      i hope they do have another hot streak in them. keep in mind their last 10 games will all be against teams well below .500, but at the same time, they will all be doing their best to play spoiler

  11. Luisergi says:

    On Girardi.

    I gotta say, that i wanted Donnie… shit i wanted Joe Torre to stay (seriously).
    Time went by, and i found that may be i was wrong and Girardi
    was 0k as the manager. But he certanly hasn’t been at his best this year, injuries and all.

    I don’t think he is going anywhere should the team miss the playoffs (i don’t think they will anyway), but Francona taking over would be an appealing option.

  12. TomH says:

    1.) Yeah, give more playing time to the call-up guys. If the slide continues, call up more and give them time too. Too much of a routinized business-as-usual attitude on this team.

    2.) That attitude would be the major argument (in my opinion) for firing Girardi were the team to miss the play-offs, inexcusable, given the payroll and that quondam 10-game lead.

    a.) And Cashman? I’m still agnostic on this. However, a team of solo-hr-hitters with low batting averages and declining obp is more his fault than Girardi’s.

    b.) But I wouldn’t fire either of them unless I were sure there were high-end replacements available. I don’t know enough about other teams’ managerial and GM talent to offer an opinion on this.

    Did Hal Steinbrenner play that important a role in picking Girardi? Actually, this question is a place-holder for the real question: what exactly do we know about this man and his knowledge of baseball or attitude towards the Yankees? We knew what his father’s attitude to the Yankees was (Victory or Death). Maybe Hal’s is more muted (Let’s All Do Our Best). Maybe he sees them only as some kind of hobby or investment. Owners are not without importance. Ask the O’s. Ask the Dodgers. Ask (so to speak) the Giants of the era when they were out-ownered by Col. Jake.

  13. Klemy says:

    “It’ll take a big final month from Teixeira (81 RBI), Granderson (79), Nick Swisher (77), or Cano (71) for someone to get over the century mark”

    Cano really has no excuse on this one, because he’s had plenty of opportunities to get to that plateau.

  14. steve s says:

    I agree with all of Mike’s points plus I don’t see Cashman surviving if the playoffs are missed. Is Francona the obvious first choice to replace Girardi? I wouldn’t mind giving Pena a shot.

  15. DERP says:

    If they do fire Girardi, I really hope they have someone good lined up. I am sure everyone will want Mattingly, but give me Francona.

  16. Kentucky Bomber says:

    1. Girardi has over-managed so many games to death, and loss, that one has to wonder if his time has come. Of course, with the end of the season approaching, the lead diminishing by the minute and the team in a tie game, he abandons all semblance of small ball and waits for the 3 run home with the bases empty to fix all problems.

    2. Cano is driving me nuts. Stands in the box watching the 3rd baseman fumble his grounder, then goes out to the field and makes no attempt to keep the game winning single on the infield. He and Boras want the bank in 2014? Let them get it elsewhere.

    3. Fire Cashman? No way they should, but it’ll be a moot point. You think he’ll re-up with the idiot Steinbrenner boys, one of whom saddles him with the worst contract in team history, the other who tells him to reduce payroll? He’ll go somewhere and build a winner.

    • JohnnyC says:

      If he goes elsewhere to “build” a winner it’ll be the first one for him. Even his 2009 championship was “built” around the $400 million purchase of CC, Tex, and Burnett.

  17. stuart a says:

    this is the big reason for the fade.

    cano has been in there every day, tex has missed 10 games on the season.. these guys simply cannot get a hit with RISP..

    expecting eric chavez to be a stud is not reasonable but ; swisher, grandy, cano, and tex have just not been good enough plain and simple. and arods fade has been accelerated. that is 5 middle of the order guys who are just not that good…

  18. mt says:

    RANT ALERT.

    There has got to be some more work done by sabermetric community with RBIs – yes, I know it is dependednt on others and place in line-up but I have seen the Yanks All Star and HOF caliber players fail too much to even hit a ground ball or fly ball (or the worst can’t even hit a double play grounder when there is zero out). Cano has 3 homers this week – of course, all solo – someone has to look at conversion of men on base to runs and sort of like xfip and FIP and comparing standard HR/FB percentages versus the player’s actual HR/FB (Phil Hughes, come on down) give WOBA and the like but also have average conversion of runner at plate to a run versus average conversion of runner on first to a run and so on. Given that runs are the lifeblood of baseball, there has got to be some calculation of when hits are made. Hitting 40 home runs is great but if you hit 35 solos and only 5 with men on base when you had numerous opportunities to hit some of those 35 solo home runs when runners were on base should somehow be measured. Like Granderson has hit one home run in the last two weeks or so and of course it was when we were losing 6-0 to Baltimore in ninth inning on Friday. Even if he had hit only one home run this week just think if it had come in any of the numerous times men were on base.

    For Yanks I think they excel (and may even lead league) in solo home runs and strangely enough, grand slams but anything in middle – singles driving in a run, doubles, two or three run homers, ground balls/fly ball RBIs as a percentage of runners, – they would be in bottom half.

    To boil it down, if HR/FB versus standard HR/FB is soemthing to track for pitchers as a “non-random” stat, why isn’t runs convcerted as a percentage of (men on base at time plus batter) versus the ratio in standard situations – no runners on, one man on, two men on, bases loaded.

    • jim p says:

      Long before sabermetrics, there was a rule of thumb which said you look at a homerun hitter’s HR & RBI totals: if the RBI’s weren’t 3x the homeruns, then you didn’t have a really productive HR-hitter. Think Dave Kingman.

      Applied to our guys, say Granderson’s 34, well, you’d expect 102 RBIs at this point to see if he was really helping out.

      I know, not very precise, pretty fuzzy, etc. But as a rule of thumb, it holds some weight, imo.

      • Rick in Philly says:

        The problem with that rule of thumb is that is completely disregards who else is in the lineup.

        • jim p says:

          That’s why I say “rule of thumb.”

          There’s a problem with every numbers-approach. According to all of sabermetrics the Orioles shouldn’t be this close to first place either. Is the problem with the Orioles, or that numbers don’t fully encompass reality?

  19. WhittakerWalt says:

    I’m so tired of the “RBIs don’t mean anything” meme.
    Are they scoring rungs? No. Why not? Because no one’s getting any RBIs.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Not getting any RBI isn’t the problem, they are just a symptom. There is a reason — likely multiple reasons — why they aren’t getting any RBI that is the real problem.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      It’s not RBI’s don’t mean anything.
      It’s RBI’s aren’t an accurate measure of a player’s performance, largely because they are teammate dependent and don’t account for the number and quality of opportunities a player has had.

      Driving in runs is vitally important.
      RBI’s just aren’t an accurate measure of how good a player is at that.

      For example, by RBI’s, Cano has been much better at driving in runs than Jeter this year (71-46). The reality is, Cano has been worse. Jeter is hitting 304/395/382 114 wRC+ wRISP. Cano is hitting just 238/362/381 92 wRC+ in those situation. Jeter has plated 33 of the 281 runners that were on base in his PA’s (11.7%, which is still below the 15% league average), while Cano has plated 43/385 – 11.2%.

  20. Andrew says:

    The biggest problem is that they are getting old. Is it a coincidence that so many players players are breaking down? Look up Baseball Reference and scan the productivity of good players in their late 30′s. Their stats seem to drop off a cliff. There are no bold moves anymore. I check Monteros’s stats every day. They let a home grown player leave for a pitcher that showed a tired arm the second half last year. I’m a Yankee fan all the way.

  21. hornblower says:

    Talking about managers when the team is playing poorly is silly. Girardi is fine. Payroll is based on past performance not present. Refering to a 200 mil. just says that the Yanks have a bunch of players with past success. The systen requires that you pay for that.
    The team was built to score 5 runs a game, have decent starting pitching and a strong bullpen. Unfortunately, right now they score 3 because their top players are out. Their only hope is to get healthy. If not they need lights out pitching. They are not built that way. They’re margin for error is very slim at the moment. Please forget this manager stuff. It just shows a lack of knowledge of the game.

  22. TLVP says:

    After 134 games:

    Jeter, Cano and Granderson are the only position player to miss less than 14 games

    From the planned for 5 starters of

    CC
    Nova
    Kuroda
    Pineda
    Pettitte

    We have had 79 starts only…

    From our top two relievers last year we have had 58 appearances

    We are still in first place.

  23. JV says:

    Got think Frankie C. can hit better than .195 at this point. No amount of defense can make up for a .195 average. Plus the defense and game calling hasn’t been all that great lately.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Why do you think that he could? He hit 246/341/316 at AAA as a 26 yr old. He is not the answer.

      • Bubba says:

        Maybe Frankie can, maybe he can’t. We have a year and a half of Martin definitely not hitting. At this point I’d go with the possibly sucky over the definitely sucky.

      • JV says:

        Not an “answer” just a better hitter than martin right here and now. Not next year, not the next Jorge Posada. Just a better hitter right now.

    • Jose M. Vazquez says:

      I have been saying the same thing. This guy (Martin is done at 30) just like Andruw Jones was. He has not hit in one and a half years. It’s time to give Cervelli a chance.

    • JonS says:

      He barely hit better than that at AAA. Cervelli SUCKS.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Batting average is not a comprehensive offensive metric. It measures one small part of offense.

      Martin isn’t hitting well this season, but he’s hitting better than his average would suggest. He’s actually around average offensively for a C.

      And of course, you are just ignoring defense all-together. You know, half the game. Maybe more than half for a C.

  24. mt says:

    Given yesterday’s game Thread discussion, interesting that Buster Olney’s column (Insider Only) today starts with concerns that Sabathia may not be a “true ace” like Verlander. Some scouts are saying pitch selection (lower velocity and less fastballs) may be affected by injuries.

    • Mike HC says:

      He certainly hasn’t been a “true ace” this year.

      • DC says:

        Funny how his numbers are right in line with his numbers when everyone said he was an ace. But I’m sure that doesn’t matter.

        • jim p says:

          On the other hand major league hitting stats are down significantly over previous years, so having the same numbers as when he was called an ace doesn’t mean the same thing in a declining offensive environment.

        • Hardy says:

          “his numbers are right in line with his numbers when everyone said he was an ace”

          No, they are not. His 2012 ERA- is 81. From 2006-2011 his ERA- ranged from 63 to 75. He has currently 163 IP. From 2007-2011 he never had less than 230 IP.
          He is – at least results-wise – on pace for his worst season since 2005.

    • JonS says:

      So are people going to make fun of Olney now that he writes about what we’ve been saying for a few months?

  25. maniv says:

    This team is failing in the biggest stretch of the season. We are 1-3 and frankly the only game won against our direct rivals was mismanaged by Showalter, when he pulled out Chen against Ichiro. Maybe it is time to evaluate the whole coaching staff. Because I think this team is not preparing well to play each rival. You can see that in the at bats where they have no game plan or adjustments for the pitchers. They are not working counts properly and most of this pitchers are going deep in the game because the team is swingin early in the first few innings. My opinion is that this team did not address the main reason why we lost against the Tigers in the first round last year by a grand total of 4 runs: offense. They really needed to have a better lineup but they decided to go with the same team, hoping the overpaid players(Tex, ARod) would have better season and they have not. Sadly by the end of the week we may be in 3rd place.

  26. VCR1111 says:

    I think it’s very very important not to single out one person for the Yankees recent slide in play. This is not the doing of one man. The bad play falls on several key points: bad hitting, bad bullpen, bad defense, average starting pitching.

    When Teixiera went down with an injury, the Yankees were already playing poorly. I remember saying to myself that the starting pitchers would have to “step up” and pitch top notch baseball. That has not happened. I remember saying to myself, now is the time for the other guys (aka the replacements) to step up. That has not happened.

    I’m starting to see a lot of blame being sent the way of Robinson Cano, and that is just bizarre. He had an awful game yesterday with some mental errors but to start with the “Don’t resign Cano” or “Let Cano walk” nonsense is just plain wrong.

    It’s hard to watch the team play because we have so many players who are just not that talented anymore getting big playing time. Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Ichiro, Russel Martin are unfortuantely who they are now. Add that to the poor play of Swisher recently and you basically have Jeter, Cano, and a recovering Alex Rodriguez as your offense.

    It has been disappointing years for Teixiera, Granderson, and the aforementioned gang of 4. Those are 6 hitters in your lineup. Nova, Hughes, Sabathia have also had disappointing years. If I would have told anyone about all of these aspects mentioned above, along with Mariano Rivera missing the entire season, and said that on September 4th they would be in first place, anyone would have thought I was insane. To look at this and to realize the Yankees are still in first place…that is simply amazing.

    We still have a month of baseball to be played. The Yanks may not hold on to the division lead for the entire season, but I predict as Rodriguez, Teixiera, and Granderson return, the team will get on a small hot streak and pull out the division.

  27. Mark L. says:

    Regardless of this month’s outcome, I think the August swoon has shown us a few important things. I think the team needs to seriously consider trading Granderson this offseason while he still has some value. He will be 32 in spring training and he is starting to bear a disturbing resemblance to Alfonso Soriano. Sure he walks a little more and hits a little less, but if the Yankees have no intention of extending him, they may as well see if they can trick an offense-starved team into forking over something of value (San Fran?). A .240/.320/.475 left fielder with above-average baserunning (but no steals) is actually fairly replaceable. The remaining $13 million on his contract may be something of an obstacle, but the Yankees can eat a little to bring back worthwhile talent.

  28. Jose M. Vazquez says:

    I think the Yankees have to borrow Joe Hardy from the Nationals (Senators) to win this year. For those too young to Know who he was,he was the main character in “Damn Yankees” a musicalfrom the fifties. All kidding aside we are still in first place and a turnaround is just around the corner. I can see it. It’s coming.

  29. Vinny S. says:

    The Boone Logan trade!

  30. Travelbug83 says:

    When Girardi had Jones pinch hit for Dickerson last Sunday it was a telling sign, or just another reminder how much this team loves its veteran players, whether they are productive or not. They prefer a corpse who has been good once over any young (yes yes, I know Dickerson isn’t all that young) player…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Right… Other teams want Chris Dickerson so much that he cleared waivers.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Were other teams lining up for the corpse of Ichiro?
        Or even Ibanez?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Every team in baseball had the chance to claim Dickerson for free. Not one did. That chance was not around for either of the other two.

          • Travelbug83 says:

            You were missing the point here. I am annoyed because Girardi took out on that day productive player X to replace him with player Y who has been slumping for quite some time now. Whether it was Dickerson, Wise, Ibanez, Ichiro, Jones or Marcus Thames or Lance Berkman for crying out loud is not the point here.

      • jim says:

        So did Wise! I’d still rather have him than ANDRUW JONES or Ichiro. When McLouth and Markakus and Francisco made those diving catches….well, you know….ANDRUW. Mike…Wizard Girardi and the Yanks will be talked about like the Sawx and Braves of last year. But, I’m sure the Wizard will get a pass as will Cash because of the injuries. PS: Does anyone look for jinx moments, like The Michael Kay saying Reynolds only has 12 homers because he’s in a slump and now doesn’t play much! A minute later he hit his first of four. Well, he now has at least 16 with four more visits this weekend.

  31. coolerking101 says:

    A little perspective. There is no team in baseball that could survive the injuries the Yankees have had to deal with. 4/5 of its starting rotation have been injured, its closer, various set up men, LF, 3B and 1B have all missed time. Even the team’s top 3 pitching prospects flamed out. Not to mention that guys in their prime who aren’t injured badly have not had monster years, i.e. Cano, Martin, Swisher (and now Grandy).

    You can blame Cashman for constructing such an old team or Girardi for running guys into the ground…. but there’s limited merit to both points. No one could have predicted this level of attrition. Luck is a factor and whether we like it or not and this year, luck has not been on the Yankees’ side.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Agree. Luck is definitely a factor.

      For a little more perspective… the Yankees still have the 2nd best record in the AL… You’d think this were a Red Sox blog reading some of these comments.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Agreed. Even for an old team the level of injuries has been above and beyond the expected. In a the huge rubber game against Baltimore they were missing Gardner, Granderson, ARod and Tex. You can make a strong case that those are 4 of the 5 best every day players. Add in the pitching injuries and it has been a devastating year for injuries, and yet they’re still hanging in there with the 2nd best record in baseball. If they can get healthy at all they’re still in good shape.

  32. effthisnoise says:

    I just keep waiting for them to wake up. For someone to step up and carry them. Instead its just one disaster after another. Tonight they face a pitcher that they should completely bash and take their frustrations out on. Instead I see this guy taking a 1 hitter into the 8th inning while Molina goes 3 for 4 with a homer.

  33. 28 in 2012 says:

    Mike is so pissed I feel like i should panic a little.

    Playoffs? Playoffs? You talking about, playoffs? Playoffs?

    All will be fine in Yankee land. We will make the playoffs and then go and lose to Detroit in 4 games. No worries.

  34. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Let’s just skip the rest of the nonsense and get to the big comment Mike made, which is about Girardi. I have to say that I completely disagree with Mike on this one.

    Even if the team loses the lead and misses the playoffs (which I actually think is a distinct possibility, although not my preferred one, obviously), there’s enough going on here that making the manager a scapegoat isn’t needed. I think injuries will be made the scapegoat in 2012, whether that’s 100% factual of not, and that Girardi easily comes back as manager. I think Countryclub said it best above – back-to-back missing the playoffs would probably hasten a change, whether it’s even needed or not. To me, I think it’d be a waste of time to replace Girardi. I’d like to see who else would do better when the greatest reliever of all time goes down and Rapada/Eppley wind up moving up the depth chart.

    But……let’s think aloud and go into Fantasyland here. While I don’t think he gets fired either, is there a chance that Brian Cashman, in a “the buck stops here” moment, steps down himself at some point? It may not be this offseason, but I can, at least, picture this possibility more readily.

    Anyways, just fantasy talk here. I actually do think Montero-for-Pineda is reason to get shot in the kneecaps, even though I don’t mention it much.

    Nothing to say about the team right now. They have to win ballgames. I question the health of the regulars and talent of their replacements enough that I have my doubts as to whether they’ll pull this off. We’ll all live and tell our grandkids about 2012, one way or the other.

  35. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I agree with most of the points that Mike has brought to our attention. But I disagree with the comments to fire Cashman and Girardi from the peanut gallery. Cashman’s plan with veteran depth was a good one. When the injuries occurred he did react to the possibility of the over use of Jones, Ibanez and his replacement Ichiro has been mediocre at best. I watched him look pitiful against Shields yesterday. Cashman got caught with his plan around his knees and could not make a play to repair it at the trade dead line.

    Girardi has been supporting the old time vetreans such as Ibanez and Jones a bit too long. This has been going on for about one month with Dickerson and Nunez at AAA. They should have been called up. Their callups would provide some enthusiasm and speed to the lineup.

    Girardi and Cashman should not be fired. Hopefully, a lesson is learned about the present roster and who to trade and sign as FA’s

    The middle of the bullpen. Wade, Eppley and Rapada we are lucky to be where we are in the standings.

    Don’t blow up the team. A few days ago I indicated resign Cano but let Granderson go and possible sign Swisher if its a contract for us in time especially. If not I hope the door doesn’t hit him in the a$$.

    Cano is our best player. He knows it. He does play the best second base in the league. He does hit the best in the league. Its up to Girardi to get him to bust his butt which should have been done earlier in the year not now when every game and play is important to remove Cano from the lineup.

    Starting rotation is showing signs of tilt. Hopefully Cashman ahs a plan to rebuilt with CC, Kuroda,Nova, Hughes Pineda, Phelps and Petitte if I see sweaty freddie, I may take a leave of asence from this grind call being a fan.

    We are one game up ad not playing well. If we make the playoffs our chances are slim to none. Pettitte will not have enough time to straighten out. The offense will not turn it around to one of situational hitting. It will be an early out. People don’t change Psych.101 teams don’t change when the personnel returns from the DL and the same bodies are in place.

    It is what it is! I love the Hot Stove season!

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I agree with a whole lot of this.

      Where we don’t agree is that I won’t be taking the 7 train to Citifield if Freddy returns. I’d be fine with seeing Freddy in some role with this franchise again, although it’s probably not likely.

      I also always believe the playoffs are a crapshoot, so I’m inclined to make no predictions there if/when the team makes it.

      Other than that, yeah, I always say “hot stove season” is actually my second-favorite sport behind baseball.

    • Herby says:

      Trade Granderson in the offseason…good player, but not great…second year in a row he’s faded in the second half. Get some youth for him. Put Gardner in center if he’s healthy, but I never see him as a player that can stay healthy through a season. Don’t resign Swisher unless it’s at a lower cost deal and press on him the advantages of being a Yankee long term. Put Dickerson in his place for a year or find a one year replacement and then start sliding in some of the kids. I do think you have to resign Cano, perhaps in a couple years find a team to take Teixeira while he still has some value, and not too much contract to take over. I’d say in long term take advantage of Cano’s arm and move him to third, and see what Cojo can do.
      How good would Cespedes look on the team right now…always thought that was a stupid move by Cashman…

  36. OldYanksFan says:

    Look at what injuries have done to the records of the BJs and Red Sox. The bottom line is when studs are injured and replaced with AAA/scrap heap guys, you are NOT going to have a quality team.

    And yes, the Yankees have a lot of money, but Cashman has a 2014 limit, and he doesn’t want to gut the farm and bring in that ‘late season big bat’. And I’m can’t say I blame him.

    A number of guys have fallen off a cliff in the 2nd half, and I agree with the above, that Granderson’s demise has really hurt us, ESPECIALLY with ARod and Teix out of the lineup.

    I think we played over our heads the first half.

    Many things might happen… many things could have happened.
    But look at the lineup we’ve had on the field the last 4 weeks.
    With all the injuries, it’s a .500 team on paper. It is not a PS team.
    Every team deals with injuries…. but the truth is when you have too many….
    YOUR TEAM DOES NOT DO WELL.

  37. UpstateYanks says:

    Raul had a couple good ABs yesterday including a huge RBI triple but bench him for Nunez? Not sure how that helps Mike?

    Either way, I’m just trolling because I too am frustrated. I feel like every game now should have your patented “Just Win” label.

  38. Herby says:

    How much better would Montero have looked aiming at right field instead of batting in Safeco…everyone is moaning how he sucks…but would he have been a lot better with all the talent around him helping him out(aside from Kevin Long’s attempts to ruin him}. I could see him adding a lot of life to this line-up right now. Compare his stats with wunderkind Bryce Harper…not all that different. Cashman was just dying to trade him though…I get the feeling with him in his GM style of a kid trading baseball cards in the schoolyard.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Long attempted to ruin Montero? What? And Montero has a .608 OPS against righties. He’s a platoon player, of which the Yankees have several, and he’s not even the good kind of platoon player (a.k.a. one who crushes righties). That’s not to defend the Montero/Pineda trade, which has been awful so far, but Montero hasn’t exactly been anything special this year.

      • Herby says:

        No…Long and his great abilities as a hitting coach would’ve tried to ruin Montero. I’ve got my own special flip drill for him…and he’s a rookie in his first year in a spacious park that eats righties alive. He’s a 22 year old rookie…you can’t expect magic in one year…see what he develops to be before he’s labeled a platoon player…

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          He’s a platoon player right now. I don’t know good or bad he’ll end up being. As I said, the Yankees have lost the trade so far.

          • Herby says:

            sure as hell would beat Chris “passed ball” Stewart and we’d still have George Kontos. Of course then we wouldn’t have needed Steve “Power” Pearce either or Derrick Lowe. Isn’t Cashman just a wonderful GM.

  39. Cuso says:

    The problem is not what you see on the field (for the most part).

    The problem is that most of what’s on the field – veterans signed to short-term deals to hold off having to depend on younger players for one more year – is going to have to be the formula for at least one more year as well. The minor league system isn’t producing upper tier major-league quality players quick enough, whether due to injury or low ceiling or whatever.

    Phelps seemed to take a step forward, of course. But Banuelos, Betances, Warren all failed miserably to progress.

    And young”ish” guys who were supposed to take another step (Nova, Hughes, Pineda, Gardner, Nunez – although different stages of young”ish”) also failed miserably.

    So you’re left with relying on guys that are in no way part of your nucleus going forward. The only guys in their playing prime are Cano, Swisher and Martin.

    Except for Jeter, noone is having bounce-back years from their 2010-11 regressions, either. Cano’s stat line is good, but we all feel it should be better.

    Especially poignant that this team will not have a 100 RBI guy. That right there is vomit-worthy. Disgusting.

    • Cuso says:

      I rambled. The part starting with “Except for Jeter…” should have been a completely different post. In no way did it have to do with my post topic….

  40. bg90027 says:

    1. I agree with giving Dickerson and Nunez more playing time. Dickerson has to play more with the Granderson injury anyway. From a performance standpoint, there hasn’t been a single bigger disappointment than Andrew Jones this year. I’d still play him against power arms as he can still cream a fastball but otherwise he looks lost at the plate and slow in the field.

    2. While Girardi would probably have been fired when George was still actively making, I think he survives unless some news comes out that he lost the clubhouse the way Francona did. There is enough blame to go around and whenever you have such a poor record in close games, the manager has to get some blame. However, this is mainly a problem of roster construction and injuries. As such, Cashman deserves more blame than Girardi and I expect he’d say as much. It is very hard though to balance the goals of competing every year (never rebuilding), having so many aging players with untradeable contracts, trying to get younger, and positioning the team to get under the $189 million budget goal for 2014. I don’t think Cashman gets fired either and I don’t think he deserves to be fired. If anyone’s reputation has taken a hit this year, it’s KLong’s reputation as a miracle worker. Cano can’t hit lefties anymore, Granderson’s taken a step back (especially lately), A-Rod hasn’t found his power stroke all year, and Jones/Martin have been flat out terrible at the plate (mostly at least). I don’t think he necessarily deserves to lose his job either but it is frustrating that just about every hitter other than Jeter (who credits his success to Denbo) is at least somewhat underperforming. The main problem though is injuries and just how many ABs are going to Ichiro, Jones/Ibanez, Stewart/Martin, Nix, McGhee, etc. The lineup is closer to being circular bad than circular good. It’s scary that I sometimes hope that they can keep an inning going long enough for Nix to bat as I’ve lately had more faith in him than anyone else in the back 5 spots in the lineup.

    3. Kerry Wood is the last trade acquisition that was a huge win. The jury is still out on the Pineda/Montero trade but obviously if we could cancel that one, we would. That said, injuries happen and I don’t think you can blame Pineda’s injury on Cashman. All of the other trades have been relatively small and haven’t involved anyone very meaningful on either end. I’d give back Kontos in the bullpen now rather than Stewart, but the bullpen was expected to be a strength and that move was about depth/insurance at C not really about Stewart’s performance as a backup. No one was expecting to lose Rivera for the year, Joba for 2 extra months, Robertson for a month and Wade to completely stink. Even then, it would have seemed easier to find a bullpen arm than catcher depth. I’m still a little surprised that Cashman didn’t swing a deal for bullpen depth at the trade deadline.

    4. Yes that’s weird.

  41. Herby says:

    You’ll know Girardi is done when they start playing music for a conga line when he goes out to the mound to take out pitchers. Wonder if we can get Donnie back…he’d probably laugh at the suggestion with the talent they’re assembling there.
    I’ve never really seen Long as the great batting coach he’s been made out to be, best success he’s had was with Granderson by turning him into more of a pull hitter against lefties. Jeter needed to see his old batting coach to get straightened out. Alex hasn’t been right in years, wasn’t Tex a .300 hitter once…

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