Offense a no-show as Dodgers shut out Yankees

Murphy homers again in Triple-A win
2013 Potential Trade Targets -- Part I

It’s tough to sweep a doubleheader, but it’s also tough to not get greedy and hope for that sweep after the Yankees took the first game on Wednesday afternoon. The Dodgers earned the doubleheader split on Wednesday night with a 6-0 win, a game that knocked New York’s run differential down to an even zero on the season — 276 runs scored, 276 runs allowed. The surest sign of mediocrity.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Another Dud
For the third time in four June starts, Phil Hughes failed to put up something that even resembled a good start. Your definition of a “good start” may vary, but I think we can all agree on that. The Dodgers had four hits and two runs before Phil recorded his first out, and through five innings of work he allowed five runs on ten hits (two doubles and eight singles) and 80 total pitches. Hughes went to a two-strike count on eleven of 28 hitters faced and five ended up with base hits. Three struck out. That’s bad. His night ended after six innings of five-run ball.

We’re pretty close to the halfway point of the season and it’s clear Hughes is the weak link in the rotation. That’s not exactly breaking news. Vidal Nuno is still on the Triple-A DL and Michael Pineda is a little less than three weeks away from completing his rehab assignment, so the only alternative at the moment is Ivan Nova. I guess they could pull Adam Warren out of the bullpen, but I don’t really like that idea. He’s fine right where he is. I have no faith in Nova — he’s been good in three Triple-A starts so far, to be fair — so Phil has three weeks at the most to show he belongs in the rotation. If he shows no improvement, like real tangible improvement and not just two or three okay starts, the Yankees have to stick him in the bullpen and go with someone else, his impending free agency be damned. Hughes has made his bed and the lineup is too weak to deal with these type of performances every five days.

No Use For An Offense
After scoring six runs in each of their last two games, the Yankees got back to their roots on Wednesday night and were shut out for the sixth time this season. This was their 71st game. They were shut out six times in 162 games last summer, for comparison. That shouldn’t be a surprise though, it’s really hard to take this lineup seriously when it features Jayson Nix batting second, Vernon Wells batting cleanup, and Thomas Neal batting fifth. At some point the front office will show some urgency and get another bat or three. At least I hope.

Cy Capuano. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Cy Capuano. (AP/Frank Franklin II)

The Yankees put a total of four men on base in the entire game: a Lyle Overbay (!) infield single, a Nix infield single, and a Robinson Cano legitimate line drive single to the outfield. Robbie was thrown out trying to stretch it into the double though, so it might as well be a fly out in the box score. Nix took a pitch to the ribs with two outs in the ninth and that was it, that’s the offense. Two runners managed to go beyond first base — Nix went first-to-third on Cano’s single, then he took second on a defensive indifference in the ninth — and 17 of the final 18 men they sent to the plate made outs. Believe it or not, the Yankees are now averaging 3.64 runs per game at Yankee Stadium and 4.12 runs per game on the road. Half-a-run per game difference!

Leftovers
Warren was nice enough to pick up Hughes and allow the #obligatoryhomer to the first batter he faced, on the first pitch no less. On the bright side, he was the only Yankees pitcher to retire Hanley Ramirez on Wednesday. Hanley went 4-for-4 during game one and 2-for-4 in game two. Warren picked up the bullpen in the second game of the doubleheader by soaking up the final three innings. He allowed just the one run.

I’m not sure what else to put here. Wells went 0-for-3 and is down to .224/.266/.372 (70 wRC+) for the season. It’s just a slump though, he’ll turn it around any game now. David Adams went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter and is down to .200/.220/.313 (39 wRC+) on the year. Zoilo Almonte did make his big league debut with a pinch-hitting appearance in the ninth inning, grounding out sharply to third against Brandon League. Welcome to the show, kid.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Go to MLB.com for the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs for the nerd store, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles and Blue Jays won while the Rays beat the Red Sox, so the Yankees are two back of Boston, one back of Baltimore, three up on Tampa, and four up on surging Toronto. They need to start stringing some wins together.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Rays are coming to town for a four-game weekend series starting Thursday night, when Andy Pettitte matches up against fellow left-hander Matt Moore. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the game. Plenty of seats available.

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Murphy homers again in Triple-A win
2013 Potential Trade Targets -- Part I
  • LK

    Let’s play a game.

    True or false: when Cervelli returns from his broken hand, he’ll still be 3rd on the team among position players in fWAR?

    • forensic

      heh, that’s kind of depressing.

      Also, how do they have Wells at +4.8 in fielding??? Cano and Romine in the positive on baserunning…

      Sometimes these things just can’t be explained.

      • Tom

        The baserunning #’s are a joke (if you are looking at the Fangraphs #)

        It looks at advance rates (vs league average) based on what fielder the ball goes to and I’m pretty sure that is THE only variable (maybe they look at outs?)

        So it sets up things like this
        – you get as much credit for tagging up on a shallow flyball as one that goes to the wall.
        – You get as much credit going 1st to 3rd on Johnny Damon as you would on Roberto Clemente (if they played the same position).
        – If you play it safe and don’t tag on a marginal flyball because there are no outs or because it’s a 10-0 game, it doesn’t matter – you get negative value for it.
        – Scoring from 2nd on a long single down the line is treated the same as a sinking line drive that might get caught and you have to hold up on.
        – If your 3rd base coach is a riverboat gambler and just waving you in or gets a bad read and holds you up – that’s on the baserunner.

        Baserunning is highly dependent on context and Fangraphs has managed to strip out all context, because context doesn’t matter. Over a large sample it may start to migrate toward the truth, but single season data is probably noisier than the defensive metrics.

        And Wells can be +4.8, the same way Andy Dirks can be the best defensive OF in the American League (and is on pace for a +30 season!). Because who doesn’t think Andy Dirks when they think about the best defensive OF’rs in the game.

        • LK

          Baserunning, like defense, requires a decent sample size before it really tells you something meaningful. Over the course of a season that stuff tends to even out though (it’s pretty unlikely that the ball is hit to an OF with a great arm every single time you’re on 3rd, it’s pretty unlikely that all flyballs hit with you on 3rd are shallow, etc.). In cases where a guy hasn’t played much, like Romine, things can definitely get screwy for the reasons you mention.

          The coaching thing will never get stripped out, but that’s true of any statistic. A terrible hitting coach vs. a great one makes some difference I’m sure, but you’re never going to find a way to adjust for that, at least not effectively.

          • Tom

            The problem is most people don’t have any idea what “decent” sample size is. You get on base what 150-200 times? And not every AB after you is a chance at advancement.

            Just look at how many sacrifice flies a team has in a given year and divide that by 9. There’s no way you should assume that evens out within 3 years, yet alone 1 year – and that is the problem.

            UZR is equally problematic. Back when Fangrpahs used to publish home/road UZR data, Derek Jeter had an ~10 run home/road split… and that was over a 16 year sample! And what made it somewhat more odd is his #’s on the road were the better ones – a lot of time fielders have slightly better defense at home.

            The data is far more limited that people realize – if folks like to use 3 years as a rule of thumb for defense you probably need to double it for baserunning

            • LK

              I’m not sure I totally agree with what you’re saying.

              I would agree that it would take a long time for sacrifice flies specifically to stabilize, but the baserunning stats aren’t just based on how often a player scores on sacrifice flies. Think of it this way – it would take a really long time for the number (or rate) of singles a hitter has to stabilize, but it takes less time for an all-in-one stat like wOBA to give a good indication of how well a guy is hitting. Similarly, if you include everything a guy does on the bases – how often he steals, gets caught stealing, advances on wild pitches, scores from 2nd on a single, scores from 1st on a double, etc. – you’re going to start seeing more signal than noise faster than when you only examine one particular facet. Another aspect of baserunning that’s going to make it inherently volatile is that outs made on the bases are far more harmful than “good” baserunning plays are helpful. Since a given player is only going to make a few outs on the bases a year, it’s not uncommon for that number to vary pretty significantly from year to year, and a true measure of their baserunning value will vary along with it.

              As far as the defense goes, are you saying Jeter’s UZR was 10 runs apart home/road or his UZR/150 was 10 runs apart? If it’s the former, over 16 years that amounts to less than .7 runs a year – i.e., not that big of a difference.

              I would say that both the baserunning and fielding stats are inherently imprecise, but that they both do a better job than not trying to account for them at all. Part of the problem is that measuring against average makes it look like swings are larger. People see -3 one year and +3 the next and think it looks implausible, but (for example) Robinson Cano had a 13 run difference offensively between 2011 and 2012 and no one bats an eye.

              • Tom

                UZR/150 for Jeter – should have said 10 runs a year (which is a potential 0.5 WAR systemic error per year on top of whatever random error there is in UZR). 10 runs over 16 years would obviously be well within the noise. There are other player with these sort of outliers. Carl Crawford was 15 runs (per year) better at the Trop than the road (over a 6 year sample). Unfortunately that data is no longer public as far as I know.

                One year baserunning stats are good for “above average runner”, “averagish”, “below average” any attempt to quantify 1 year impact beyond that is just not sound statistics and is confusing modeling with measurement. If you ran any sort of statistical test between two samples to see if they were meaningfully different you would almost certainly get a null result unless you were comparing one extreme to another. Of course this is a bit of a guess as you never see anything published on standard error or standard dev around these figures.

                It’s like using FIP based WAR as a proxy for past pitching value – when you eliminate 50-70% of all events you are no longer measuring what happened in the past you are modelling the past. Looking forward? It’s a powerful and fantastic statistic.

                I remember reading a quote from one of the A’s analytics department (or maybe it was a quote from a SABR guy who spoke to them at the Sloan conference) who mentioned the A’s own internal systems had Trout and Cabrera at nearly identical value last year. Yet you have the spokespeople of SABR community (or wannabe spokespeople) screaming ~10WAR vs ~8WAR and there could be no debate if you were enlightened and used advanced stats and telling people don’t be confused by RBI’s and average and triple crown as if that was the only reason you could find them similar. All many of these folks have done is trade misusing a conventional stat with misusing a more advanced stat.

                • LK

                  Thanks for the clarification re: Jeter and UZR. It would be nice if they still published those stats. It seems like the speed of the IF grass could affect the difficulty of playing SS at various ballparks, though that’s just me speculating. Certainly 10 runs a year seems far too large to be plausible.

                  I think we’re on the same page that the baserunning stats are very rough in terms of diagnosing true talent/having predictive value. However, I think there’s a bit of a disconnect in what you’re saying. It seems like you want a baserunning stat that’s more like FIP. If you start adjusting how often a guy scored based on the type of batted ball/arm strength of the outfielder/etc., you start modeling the past instead of measuring it as well. If we’re going to give a pitcher credit for line drives that find gloves and take credit away for bloops that fall in (which I think we should do when measuring the past), it seems to me we ought to give baserunners credit for tagging up on a warning track fly ball as well.

                  One note on the A’s guy speculating the Trout/Cabrera debate was too close to call (I’ve heard that story as well) – supposedly the vast majority of front office personnel supported Trout for the MVP (while the vast majority of coaches supported Cabrera). I think people on both sides dug in their heels far too much, but I also think that the only way for Cabrera to come out ahead is if you give him full credit for the context in which he was hitting; I don’t think that’s an illegimate opinion in the context of MVP, but it’s also not one I fully agree with.

                  As a final note, I agree that not posting any type of standard deviation on these statistics is a massive shortcoming that undermines the credibility of many of them.

  • Eddard

    Fool you once shame on you. Fool you twice shame on you again. I’ve seen the writing on the wall for weeks now with Phil Hughes but people keep giving excuse after excuse. But he’s untradable, but his value is worth more to the Yankees, but he shows flashes of brilliance. I thought we weren’t supposed to look at small samples.

    Let’s look at the total body of work for the season – 5.16 ERA. AJ Burnett was tossed out of town for those numbers! If Cashman wanted to trade Hughes straight up for AJ the Pirates wouldn’t do it, that’s how far Phil Hughes’s star has fallen.

    If you can’t trade him, hide him in the pen. Start anyone else- Nova, Warren, Nuno. Surely they can pitch better than a 5.16 ERA. This offense can’t afford to trot Hughes out there every 5 days. I know Phil was a blue chip prospect and people don’t like being wrong, but you were wrong and it’s time to cut Phil Hughes’s ties with the Yankees. Maybe he can be an improvement over Jobber in a 1-2 inning role.

    Hughes and Joba, two guys who were supposed to carry the rotation for years to come and they’re both colossal failures who won’t be on the club this time next season. The less important innings these two pitch the better for the Yankees.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Nova has a 6.48 ERA as a starter this year. 5.15 since the beginning of last year. There’s no guarantee he’ll be any better.

      Worth a shot though. They don’t have much to lose at this point.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Eddard, I need you all to explain to me how Phil Hughes could be traded.

      Who would want him, who would we get back? You keep clamoring for a trade, but no one wants him. Please stop with that.

  • 28 this year

    Can they just have Pineda be optioned to the minors now instead of completing the rehab process and recoup the year of FA in just two weeks or whatever time it takes for him to gain his strength back instead of 3 more weeks of rehab plus two weeks in the minors? Or would that just piss off the MLBPA? I mean, that is probably his fastest way to the big leagues, the Yanks could use another starter and it wouldn’t hurt to see what they have in Pineda for the rest of the year in order to evaluate their needs for next year.

  • forensic

    Maybe there’s hope for a little offense against Tampa? I’m sure Moore will still shut them down (despite him getting destroyed his last 3 starts), but after that it’s Alex Colome (only made one start this season and that was 3 weeks ago) and then Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer who both have ERA’s over 5.

    My fantasy team misses Alex Cobb, but I certainly won’t miss him shutting the Yankees down easily again.

    So, at least there may be a little hope for the offense this weekend. It’d be really nice to drop Tampa back to .500, and maybe even drop them under .500.

    • trr

      yeah division rival; gotta take 3/4 somehow…

    • LK

      There’s always hope, because it’s baseball. As insane as it seems after this game, them going out and putting up double digit runs tomorrow is in the realm of possibility.

      Unfortunately, this offense is bad. Like 27th in MLB in wRC+ bad. And as much as we all want them to go out and pound these mediocre pitchers, right now there are people on Rays blogs saying, “Yeah they have to start Colome, Hernandez, and Archer this weekend, but at least they get to face the Yankees. Maybe there’s hope.”

      I’m not going to lose hope, but I sure as hell have lost confidence.

  • PFOJ

    I wonder if there’s an “Offense a no-show as _____ shut out Yankees” macro on Mike’s computer yet.

    • WhittakerWalt

      If not, there should be. Just run a script.

  • Greg Yaris

    Two mediocre teams with enormous payrolls. Each team has more salary on the DL than total payroll for either Houston or Miami.

  • Big Mmember

    Hello river avenue blues ive been away for a while because i had lot of work. But now i quite my job and id like to announce im trying to get yself involved with yanks front office. i made careful ideas and sent my master plan to yaks on what 2 moves they need to do to become offensive yougurtnuts again. you’ll probably see these moves in the post tomorrow but i’ll post them here so tha rab readers will get the first views.

    1. yankees need to trade mark teixera, joba and phelps to mets for matt harvey. harvey is of to a great start, kid is a beast with 2.16 ERA. his 6 wins match kuroda and he would slot nicely behind him and cc. mets are in rebuilding stage hughes and joba offer them a young core to build around on the comming years. teix fills in there holes at 1b.

    2. trade a-rod straight up for ryan braun. my inside souces told me that both players will soon be suspended for steroid usage but if both teams act fast and swap players they will confuse bug selig and he will have to put suspension on hold. its a win win for both clubs and a chance for both players to redeem themselves.

    • LK

      Well done overall. I especially liked how you mixed up Hughes and Phelps in #1.

    • JohnnyC

      Not since the days of Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows has such a keen sense of humor been on display. It’s remarkable how this perfectly simulates the random stillborn thoughts emanating from the mind (such as it is)of a Yankees fan with severe emotional issues, probably stemming from the loss of a strong maternal figure at an early age.

    • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

      Gooooood…..goooooooood.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Work? Work?! Bitch, your job is right here in the comment section of this site.

      Bravo.

  • 28 this year

    I think the Yanks should sign Manny. The distractions are nonsense cause frankly theres nothing good going on that Manny would distract from and perhaps he could hit a bit, you never know. Theres a very low bar for what would be considered an improvement over the current situation and maybe a chance like this could motivate him. I don’t think it could possibly hurt the offense.

    • jim p

      Bernie keeps himself in shape. Call him.

    • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

      At this point in time, I’d actually be in favor of taking the chance on him. He shouldn’t require too much in the way of salary to sign. If he doesn’t produce, or if there is too much difficuly with the rotating DH when (if) A-Rod and Jeter return, then you cut him. I say, go for it.

  • Nathan

    Hughes is officially a bum. I think most of us knew it already but he is what he is at this point.

    Maybe it’s just the Yankees FO and how they evaluate pitchers. It seems that the Yankees have bad luck with pitchers (drafting, developing and signing) than they have good luck.

  • Eddard

    And I just want to clarify one point – Phil Hughes should not be in the starting rotation. Mike says well just wait 3 weeks so Phil can prove himself. He’s had months and years to prove himself! AJ was run out of town for having the numbers Phil has right now. How much longer do we have to put up with this? If a 5.16 ERA is the baseline surely someone else can do better. Hell, even Freddy Garcia has a better ERA.

    • JohnnyC

      You should change your handle to Captain Obvious. Just wanted to clarify that one point. Thanks.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      But, hey, IVAN NOVA! Who knows with him, right?!?!?! Just an ace waiting to fucking blossom.

      I think I’d rather see Brett Marshall pitch the world’s shittiest complete game.

  • Pat D

    I don’t know if anyone remembers when I said Hughes would have to really fall apart in order for Pineda to take his place at the end of the rehab window (I really hope no one remembers that)……but I think we’re almost there.

    You broke my heart, Phil-redo. You broke my heart!

    (Sorry, couldn’t come up with a better way to combine Phil and Fredo.)

    • forensic

      I bet they’d love a re-do on Hughes…

      Sorry, first thing that popped into my head.

    • Wheels

      Maybe Phil should avoid going fishing on Lake Tahoe for the time being.

      • dkidd

        or say a hail mary every time he throws a pitch

        • Wheels

          heh

    • LK

      It’s gotta be Phredo, no?

      • Pat D

        But that doesn’t really have enough “Phil” in it. I mean, just changing the “F” to a “Ph” still pretty much makes it “Fredo.”

    • WhittakerWalt

      Phredo

      • LK

        This guy’s picking up what I’m putting down.

        • vicki

          it was my first thought as well. the brain trust has spoken.

  • Fin

    I heard Olney talking on baseball tonight. He said the Phils could get quite a bit for Paps because there will be very few relievers on the market at the TD. If that is the case, the Yankees should send Hughes to the pen and see if he can build some value there by the TD. Its clear he isn’t going to be on the team next year (the Yankees sure as shit aren’t going to risk a QO on him), so might as well see if Nova can pitch or not, if he cant, Pineda or Nuno should be ready to go soon enough. I don’t see any reason to keep Hughes in the rotation at this pt. I think its reasonable to think Nova will be at least as good as Phil and the bullpen would be better with Phil in it. I see no down side in Huges to the pen.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Won’t happen. It may or may not help the team long term but we will never sell.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        However when Pineda comes back, making Hughes into 2009 Aceves could work really well.

  • Tom

    Mike – isn’t it more than 3 weeks for Pineda?

    At this point don’t they pretty much need to keep him down in the minors for 2-3 weeks to get back that extra year of team control?

    While he could be sent down anytime, once he’s up I don’t see him getting sent back down. Unless the Yankees pull the trigger on Nuno or Nova, Hughes probably has until at a little bit after the allstar break to prove he should stay.

    • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

      If Hughes is continuing to hurt the team every five days, I think this team will have a very hard time explaining to an already restless fanbase that they’re keeping Pineda off the team to get another year of team control.

      That doesn’t really seem like something that would fly with fans that already want Hal’s head.

      • Fin

        LOL that is nuts. You think the Yankees are going to loose a year of eligibility with Pineda because of a few fans being unhappy for 2 weeks? I would guess that most of the fans that even remember Pineda is on the team, know why the Yankees would be keeping him in MiLB for a couple extra weeks and would be pissed if they didn’t.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Most fans forgot who Michael Pineda was already.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Phil Hughes hasn’t made real tangible improvement since at least 2010 and he’s never been in any danger of losing his job. I don’t think anything will change in the next three weeks.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Everyone is right about Hughes stinking up the joint.

    But even if he stays in the rotation, the damage will be negligible.

    Would it have been easier to lose 3-0 tonight instead of 6-0?

    Hughes won’t be back next year, don’t worry. Whacking him from the rotation right now won’t serve any real purpose. He gives up 5 runs tonight, he’ll give up 3 runs next time….whatever. If we scored 4.5 runs/game, it’d wouldn’t be that big a deal.

    But when we’re whacking Hughes with the purpose of putting someone else in there that gives us a better chance of winning, you’re saying that we have someone that has a chance of going out there and giving up ….what? Zero runs? One run? Two runs?….over 7 innings every single time out?

    If that person was actually IN the organization right now, that person would be IN the rotation. Please don’t respond by telling me that Nuno who threw 5 shutout innings one time is THE answer. We’re talking taking the ball every fifth day giving innings and at least assuring a quality start.

    Hughes? Doesn’t do that, no. But believe it or not, the probability of him doing that every 5 days is greater than the probability of Nuno or Nova doing that combined.

    • Fin

      Ehh, I happen to think that putting Hughes in the pen would help the Yankees win. I think he would be great there and reduce the usage of every one but Mo or shorten games to 6 innings when the Yankees have the lead. I think pretty much all the guys mentioned to replace Hughes in the rotation will at least be as good as him.

      • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

        Agree to disagree then. If people say Nova, all you have to do is go look at any game thread from April or all of last year on the dates he pitched.

        Nuno you might get away with for certain matchup a every once in a while. Just handing him a rotation spot? With his finesse, it easy to project him getting blown out of the water and having to rely on 6 innings of relief. Hughes stunk tonight but he did give 6 innings don’t forget.

        Pineda will get his chance, but the yanks are definitely going to try a FA year.

        Warren is actually useful now. And he could be a piece of the rotation solution next year. Let him stay right way he is and don’t mess up his game in a panic move. Let him stay with the big club all year in long relief (perhaps a spot start or two) like they did with Phelps last year. Heaping responsibility on him is a waste of time (see IPK).

        • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

          ***to SAVE a FA year (with regard to Pineda)

        • Fin

          Well seeing that Hughes has only gone 4.1 innings in 2 of his last 4 starts not to mention and early start in the year where he went .2 innings. For the Year Hughes is averaging under 5 1/2 innings per start so I’m not sure I buy your point about innings.

        • WhittakerWalt

          People want to bring Nova back because the grass is always greener. They forget that Nova sucked even worse than Phil, and there’s no real reason to believe he figured anything out at AAA.
          We always want something else, in the mistaken belief that will bring us the answers we seek. It’s the same reason we keep hearing “bring up Adams, bring up Romine, bring up Musty, bring up Melky.” Then we bring them up and they stink.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            ….and we turn on them.

            Give me three more weeks of Phil. Thank you.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      If you rearrange the letters here, it spells “voice of reason.”

  • Al

    The inimitable Manny Ramirez has opted out of his contract with the Taiwanese EDR Rhinos and has his eyes set on a return to Major League Baseball, writes FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi. After mashing eight home runs and posting a .352 batting average in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, Ramirez’s representatives Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro say that the slugger is “interested in returning to the majors in any role, including that of a pinch hitter.” Now 41 years of age, the all-time great slugger last appeared in the bigs in 2011 with the Rays.

    • Fin

      Its pretty funny that it happened today. Just a day or two ago I read an article about how Many had basically saved the team he was playing for from going under and what a great teammate he has been and how important to the struggling league he has been. At the end of the article the writer wondered whether he would do the right thing, and keep playing for his team, teammates and the league. Make it to the playoffs with a team that finished 30 games out last year and was disbanded until a company bailed them out. Or if he would leave when his opt out came, screwing everyone. LOL, he didn’t even last to his opt out, he left 9 days early. Why would anyone want that cheating scumbag who quit on his own teammates in Boston to play for their team at the age of 41 when the last time we saw him in MLB he sucked.

  • emac2

    Instapoll

    dumbest thing

    1. Paying Wells 14 million

    2. Hitting him in the middle of the lineup every day.

    3. Failing to find a left fielder to replace someone whose hit .100 for the last month or so.

    4. Expecting him to get much better trotting him out every day.

    • forensic

      You forgot playing him as the DH of all positions.

      And the answer would be, all of the above.

    • Fin

      1. That was just plain ole stupid. Its among the worst baseball moves I’ve seen the Yankees make. So its a clear winner. There was nothing anyone could see that would lead them to believe Wells could play.

      2. He might be the worst option to hit 4th, but the others aren’t far behind so its really not that bad.

      3. Eeh, u make it sound like they can go out an pick a left fielder from the garden of left fielders. They couldn’t plan on Grandy getting hurt not once but twice. I’m fine with them not trading young talent for a league average LF or taking on a bad contract…See number 1.

      4. They have brought up Amonte and Neal so, have to see how much longer that lasts. It will depend on if either one of them are any good. I wasn’t counting on Neal for anything, and from what I see, neither should the Yankees. I think Zolio needed the rest of the season in AAA, unfortunately the Yankees need him now…hopefully he can be better than Adams or Romaine (another guy who CLEARLY needs more time in AAA).

      • emac2

        I can’t give them a pass for failing to replace a hitter like Wells because there is no one on the team hitting. As a business that plays baseball you can’t just accept someone hitting 100 and if you can’t replace him you need to replace the people whose job it is to field a major league team.

        I’m not talking about a superstar at every position but talent evaluators shouldn’t be working if they can’t provide a steady stream of 200 hitters no matter what. The idea that Wells has been such a complete fail and is still hitting 4 or 5 every night can’t be written off as a result of injuries that simply couldn’t be overcome.

    • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

      dumber than signing youk, no way.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        False.
        Youk at least had a chance to be a positive contributor if he was healthy.
        And Youk didn’t cost as much.

        • Fin

          Yep, there were reasons to believe Youk can/could still play, at least to a respectable level. His real questions were health not ability. Not to mention Youk only has a 1 yr deal. We get the pleasure of watching Wells next year also.

          • TCMiller30

            There was no reason to believe Youk could stay healthy, therefore any belief that he still has upside negligible. (I think that’s very debatable, he’s been declining for the past couple years)

            The only thing that makes his signing better than the trade for Wells is that he’ll be gone after this season…

            After further thinking about this statement I would like to edit it..

            The only thing that makes his signing better than the trade for Wells is that there’s only like a 50% chance we give him another contract after this season…

  • Mike

    Not one of Hughes’ best starts but the real problem with this team is the offense. When Hughes pitches well next game we need to support him with some runs.

    • Fin

      There is no doubt about that. However, there is nothing the Yankees can do about this offense but wait and hope some guys come back healthy and produce. They actually have viable replacements for Hughes in the rotation. Hughes may infact be the least of the Yankees issues, but hes and issue they can fix.

      • Mike

        Call me crazy but I want to give him a chance to pitch out of this funk.

        • forensic

          Ok, you’re crazy.

        • WhittakerWalt

          “Give him a chance?” What does that even mean? He’s out there. He’s pitching. He’s getting his chance, and keeps shitting the bed.

        • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

          “I want to give him a chance to pitch out of this funk.”

          His career?

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    Gardner and Cano’s combined fWAR: 4.6

    Non-pitching fWAR combined for remainder of the Yankees this year: -0.4

  • Kosmo

    It looks like Hughes is buying a one-way ticket to Philookaville.

    C.M. Wang looks good right about know.

    • high heat

      Philookaville works.

      Also acceptable: Phil Hughesless.

  • cr1

    What I saw:

    1. A beautiful day for baseball.
    2. The return of an old hero to the Bronx.
    3. A rare chance to get a good look at the latest phenom.
    4. Hilarious blooper-reel moments.
    5. A few nifty plays as well.
    6. Old guys being dug up more frequently than Melquiades.
    7. The boyish delight in the game of Hanley Ramírez.
    8. The most beat-up, broke-down teams in their respective divisions, who also have an ancient history as rivals, struggling for a split with all the grace and ferocity of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant grappling in the street in Bridget Jones.

    I’m a very old fan. I do understand and sympathize with the cross feelings of younger ones who haven’t been through decades of ups and downs.

    But I had a good time today. This is baseball. We don’t have to be on the winning side (or, worse yet, think we’re RIGHT) all the time to have fun.

    I loved the Yankees in 98 (and long before) and I loved them today. After 75 years on the planet, I hope to keep enjoying them for a while to come.

    Thanks, guys.

    • dkidd

      great stuff

      please keep posting

    • Robinson Tilapia

      1,000,000 times this.

    • Rolling Doughnut

      Number 6 is the best of your offerings. Well done sir.

    • Darren

      Please feel free to drop some stories about the old days every once in a while!

      Great post.

  • nick swishah is a stahting pitchah

    Well Mike. I think this has gone on long enough. Love your blog but I think this baseball thing has taken a toll on you. I don’t think you’re a whiner, I think you’re a great writer and a cool dude but it’s time for an intervention.

    Baseball is no good for you and it’s time to step away. You’re clearly not having fun.

    Even your analysis is off. Phil Hughes has pitched to a 4.43 FIP and you’re questioning his spot in the rotation after a 6 inning performance where he gave up 0 walks and 0 HR? I realize you’re reeling and only care about results at this point (me too) and want a big shiny win for your birthday but all your saying with your post is that Bill James knows nothing and BABIP dictates your well-being.

    Get well soon. We’re on your side!

  • neaks

    wrong WPA graph

  • TomH

    New York’s run differential down to an even zero on the season — 276 runs scored, 276 runs allowed. The surest sign of mediocrity.

    How DARE you say that? Haven’t you been reading this board, with its reminders of how close they still are to Boston? That this might very well be a “championship caliber” (or at least playoff caliber) team?

    They are worse than mediocre. They’re lousy. Toronto is now 1 game under .500 and closing fast. NY and TB are beginning a 4-game series that–depending on what the Returning Wounded will eventually bring to the table–may well be the beginning of the battle between them to stay out of 5th place in the final divisional standings.

    When you don’t do your best during an off-season to strengthen a team (rather than to allow it to weaken in order to save a buck), you leave yourself open to injury-driven catastrophes like this.

  • Paco Dooley

    This start marks the end of the Hughes error – I think he gets dropped from the rotation and sent to the pen the moment that they have a healthy replacement waiting (Pineda?).

    Will cost him as a free agent, but it’s the logical thing to do.

  • Anthony_14

    If there is one bright spot it is that this could be a chance to give some guys a chance. I am tired of hearing that Heathcott and Austin need more seasoning. The minors do not always make players better. George Brett never batted over .300 in the minors. The coaching is sub-par. It’s depressing. There is nothing to lose. If Austin bats .200, he is better in the lineup than Romine…or even Wells at this point. The yanks can save money and there’s no real risk, since the offense is non existent.