Weekend Open Thread

Details of changes made to player development staff and minor league complex
Fan Confidence Poll: February 10th, 2014

With pitchers and catchers due to report one week from today, this was the last Yankees baseball-less Friday until hopefully sometime in late-October/early-November. No, the actual games are still more than two weeks away, but camp starts in a week and that’s good enough for me. This time of the year is always exciting. Here are the weekly links:

  • Stephanie Storm at the Beacon Journal wrote a feature about the Indians’ analytics department, which includes ex-bloggers Sky Andrecheck (SI.com) and Keith Woolner (Baseball Prospectus). They discussed their roles with the team and how they turned a hobby into a career, among other things.
  • Jeff Zimmerman at the Hardball Times explained that all fly balls are not created equal, which is something I think a lot of us forget from time to time. Fly balls, especially those hit high in the air, tend to be easy outs. There’s a reason fly ballers like Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander tend to have low BABIPs. Yankee Stadium and Phil Hughes have scarred us, but being a fly ball pitcher doesn’t automatically mean being a bad pitcher.
  • Jason Lukehart at Let’s Go Tribe looked at how the game’s best players were ranked as prospects by Baseball America. Eight of the top 30 pitchers and six of the top 30 position players in bWAR from 2011-13 never appeared on a top 100 list, including Doug Fister, James Shields and, of course, Robinson Cano.
  • I have not read this yet but I am going to pass it along anyway: Kate McSurley and Greg Rybarczyk put together an introduction to the FieldFX system, which is basically PitchFX for defense. I’m not sure if FieldFX data will ever be made available to the public (it’s supposed to be proprietary to the 30 clubs), but either way it will be an information goldmine.

This will be your open thread for Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night. The Winter Olympics have started, so you’ve got that in addition to the various local hockey and basketball teams for entertainment. Talk about anything and everything right here.

Details of changes made to player development staff and minor league complex
Fan Confidence Poll: February 10th, 2014
  • Darren

    Man, the 2009 post season was FUN! After last year, it seems like about 100 years ago. And not to harp on how awesome Jeter is, but watching that at bat in the video is a good reminder of how freakin’ talented he is at laying off close pitches. That 2-2 pitch was a tiny hair low and he just watched it go by. Damn. Can’t wait to see the Captain have a huge comeback year! I GUARANTEE IT!!

    • Darren

      (And yes, I know he struck out on a ball down and away. But that’s besides the point!) :)

    • forensic

      That 2-2 pitch was a tiny hair low and he just watched it go by

      The 2-2 pitch that bounced in the dirt was a tiny hair low?

      • Dalek Jeter

        I think he meant the 1-2 pitch that JUST missed.

        • Darren

          Yes, thanks, I meant the 1-2 pitch. Tough to lay off that one in a huge moment, 9th inning, tie game World Series, crowd going nuts, etc.

          • forensic

            Ok, that one was close, but he also may have gotten lucky.

            Either way, I wouldn’t really say Jeter is especially talented at laying off close pitches. He’s very good at fouling them off and spoiling them sometimes, but, patience, long counts, and walking aren’t things that really going to be remembered as traits of his.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      2009 feels like yesterday to me.

      The bad news is that it makes 2004 and 2001 feel like a couple of weeks ago.

    • nycsportzfan

      Great post. I’m with ya 100pct. Cappy has big 2014!

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    Arroyo gets 2 years, $23.5 million guaranteed from Arizona?

    Cashman failed.

    /stop posting the same boring meme and get back to your accounting homework, you idiot’d

  • Dalek Jeter

    Man, I remember watching this game live with my buddy who is a Met fan. (He was rooting for the Yankees, because in his words “fuck the Phillies, only the Braves are worse.”) During the 2 base steal we were screaming “WHAT THE FUCK ARE…A FUCKING GENIUS?!!!”

    • Dalek Jeter

      Also, I just got WAY TOO excited over A-Rod’s double…as it happened over 4 years ago.

      • Darren

        Yeah, I kind of went nuts when Posada came through with the nail in the coffin double. Goddamn I miss him!

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      I was on a call at work. They had the TV’s showing the game, but I was still seeing a small picture at a distance. So when I saw Damon take off for third, I almost started yelling, “You idiot! The ball didn’t get past the guy!” Then once he’s on third base, I finally realized that no one was covering. I was just a bit dumbfounded.

  • nycsportzfan

    Our old friend Jimmy Paredes is available..lol He just got let go by the Marlins. Woulden’t be a bad idea on a Minor league contract. Put him in the competiton. He does have expierence at 3rd, 2nd, SS, and OF. Hes blazing fast. I think hes a swith hitter?

    • Dalek Jeter

      I mean…I’ll never say no to anybody on a minor league contract but…he’s never OBP’d above .320.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      What has he ever shown to demonstrate he’s any better than the options we’ve got? Even with this crew, he’s an Option C, at best.

      • nycsportzfan

        Thickens the competition. Hes still only 25yrs old. In 2011, his rook season, he was pretty solid. He was pretty good in AAA last yr. Hes SH with speed and plays multipe spots. You never know.

  • Dalek Jeter

    /Taking over RAB one post at a time

    During the game they show’d a shot of Cliff Lee in the dugout and his smug face reminded me of that douchey ass catch he made while he dominated against us in game 5 and it reminded me how much I hated Cliff Lee. As good as he is, sorta happy he never became a Yankees.

    • forensic

      That was Game 1, not 5, but I agree with his attitude and being too full of himself. He didn’t dominate nearly as much in Game 5 as he did in Game 1. But hey, the Yankees got the last laugh in th series anyway!

      • Dalek Jeter

        Was it Game 1? Either way, you know the catch that I mean…it was honestly one of the most arrogant and douchey things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field, up there with some of Ortiz’s bat flips.

        • Chip Rodriguez

          Yeah, the yawning catch while Joe Buck went off about how easy he made it look.

          And yet he wasn’t the biggest douchebag starting for the Phillies in the WS.

  • Nathan

    Man, the 2009 season seems so long ago but I remember it vividly. F’in Cliff Lee was making everything look easy, CC couldn’t get Utley out, Pedro getting the usual treatment and AJ saved the series.

    I hated Cliff Lee, was thrilled when the Yankees supposedly had an agreement to obtain him then wanted him so bad as a FA, and then went back to hating him again when he went back to Philly. Call me a jilted lover but I enjoy seeing Philly suck.

    Oh and Ayala signs elsewhere. Are there any legit bullpen arms out there left…not that the Yankees will sign them but I can day dream a little.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Roster crunches in ST may make additional arms available. Still nothing to make me lose sleep over, except for the legit closer types who’d have little interest in pitching for us anyway.

    • forensic

      I could be convinced to take a flyer on Madson, but other than that there really isn’t much out there.

  • BigLoving

    Anyone read MLBtraderumors saying te Yanks are planning to spend up t $15mil in international signing for 2014-15…

    • forensic

      That report is nothing new. It first came out nearly two months ago.

    • Eselquetodolosabe

      As forensic mentioned, this news is old hat, but I sure as heck would love to know who keeps leaking this sh** to the media. I can’t see any benefit of leaking these pretty significant plans. Moreover, it might even be detrimental. Unless these leaks are premeditated – for whatever reason – they should find the culprit, and remove his scrotum.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        There was some speculation that the leaks were to help convince IFA’s that the Yankees offers were legit.

        It’s been said that in the past, some teams willing to exceed the cap lost out on some players because those players agents didn’t believe the team offer was legit, as it wouldn’t fit under the cap.

  • http://randb.com Michael Cutler

    MIKE AXISA what about Jummy Paradese back with the Pinstripes on a minor league deal, any chance?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      He’s been released by the Astros and Marlins this winter. That tells you all you need to know about his usefulness.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        The entire Internet reads that and says “ouch.”

      • Alkaline

        So….you’re saying there’s a chance..

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          I laughed.

          • Havok9120


  • Dalek Jeter

    I’m so sick of hearing about “cleaning up the game” in regards to steroids. You are NEVER EVER FOR THE REST OF THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL/ THE HISTORY OF PED’S going to “clean up the game” enough for the press/BBWAA/The Office of Major League Baseball. They, on MLB Tonight, are talking about how the penalties aren’t strong enough because Peralta got a contract…saying that the 50 games was “nothing.” 50 games out of 162 is 30% of the season. I personally think that’s more than enough, and I know that it is more than the NFL (unsure of NHL or NBA)…let it go. The game will NEVER be 100% clean, and it is clean enough for me right now as a fan.

    • Kenny

      For the American people, baseball has to be pure as the driven snow. As for the NFL, all it seems to need to be is pure as the driven slush (Mae W).

      • Wheels

        It’s funny how nobody talks about the NBA either.

        • Kenny

          Yep, that also.

          And leave us not omit the equally amazing growth of lineman in college football. That’s where I think the public may one day come to its senses about these other sports.

    • nycsportzfan

      Its not enough. Enough would be the amount of games that would make players not consider it. You slap a couple full season suspensions down, and guys will think twice. 50 games isn’t that much when your talking about guys that make 4-25 million dollars a season. And the guys who are trying to become a ML player and are close but not quite, aren’t gonna let the chance of 50game suspension stop them from trying to become a regular pro and make millions.

  • RetroRob

    Not all fly balls are created equal? You’re right. There was rarely doubt when Hughes gave up a HR. They were cannon blasts.

  • Jarak

    My favorite moment from 2009 Series is the Yankees running out of the dugout before the final out was completed at first.

  • nycsportzfan

    Sleeper team 2014 is Florida Marlins.

    Jose Fernandez
    Steve Cishek
    Carlos Marmol
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Christian Yelich(kid looks like the real deal)
    Garrett Jones/ Jeff Baker 1st base platoon(solid enough)
    Salty(switch Hitter with power, big FA signing for fish)
    Hechiveria( a SS phenom, although coming off bad debut)
    Eovaldi(young kid with good stuff should come into his own this yr)

    Thats a nice little nucleus. I was checking out Stantons numbers for Fantasy Baseball and noticed there roster and thought it looked better then i expected, and i’m baked = Marlins ramble.

    • nycsportzfan

      I’m saying surprise playoff team in NL

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Could be. You have to wonder if Redmond learned enough his first season on the job. As long as one of his assistants doesn’t get accused of physical abuse (what the fuck were you thinking, Tino?), that should help.

      But if no one shows up to watch them, does it really matter?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        They’ll show up in droves if they’re in the playoffs, then stop coming again the next season. It’s the Miami way.

        • Operation Shutdown

          Thanks for that self-description of yourself you jack wagon.

          • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

            Right, because he’s never not around here. Schmuck.

            After all, internet stalker is internet stalker.

          • jjyank

            Pretty sure we all know which one the “jack wagon” really is here, Mr. Guy Who Changes His Handle Every Day To Make The Same Insults Over And Over.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            As opposed to a self-description of someone else?

    • Grit for Brains

      Hechavarria a phenom?? I think he’s more likely to be an all glove type than a phenom

      • Gonzo

        Remember when the Yanks were in on him, and the word was he was scared of the lack of playing time in NY? Good times.

      • nycsportzfan

        All phenoms don’t pan out. Either way, phenom or not, hes got upside. Regardless, they still got a nice array of talent. Yelich is gonna be a beast. Stanton and Fernandez are all ready beasts.

      • nycsportzfan

        I may of jumped the gun on the Phenom part. Still, a big part of the future and talented player, whos still far away from being able to judge for sure on how good he’ll be overall.

    • The Thumb

      Fun Fact: Adeiny Hechavarria scored 30(!!!!) runs last year in 578 plate appearances. Brendan Ryan scored 30 runs in 349 PAs. That should be all you need to know about phenom Adeiny.

      • forensic

        Are you trying to say a .227/.267/.298 line isn’t good???

  • nycsportzfan

    I was thinking about the worries with infield defense around here, and I don’t really get it? Brendan Ryan is a sick fielder and hes gonna be mixed all around and Brian Roberts is solid(untill he gets hurt), and Kelly Johnsons versatile and at least decent. Jeters a big question mark, but I can’t see him being overly terrible in the field, just because he always surprises and think he’ll do it for one more yr. Nunez was getting better defensivley at 3rd toward the end of the yr. That might be best spot for him, and maybe he’ll get alittle better. At least he can make some specatcular plays to offset some of the bad errors.

    So what am I missing? Tex at 1st is awesome as well. Are we really gonna be that bad defensivley? I don’t see it.

    • Michael

      I think Nunez will be playing everyday at AAA, probably shortstop but maybe 3B. Scott Sizemore is the wildcard for 3B…could be nothing, but could be Brosius. And defensively, Jeter will probably be taken out late in games, so that also supports your thinking. I think the bigger IF question is health, since every position has contenders who are dealing with injury histories.

      • nycsportzfan

        Ya, I agree about the injury worries. I’m just trying to assume health until proven differently. Im for Team Nunez in the competiton for backup IF during spring training. I just think his offense makes up for alot, and if he played 3rd, it’d make up for his defense. Sizemore will be right in the hunt though.

    • whozat

      Kelly Johnson is average at 2B, and has so little experience at 3B that it’s likely he will be below average. Brian Roberts is at best average, and has injury problems. Ryan will play so little that he’ll be a non-factor.

      Really, it all comes down to playing a bad defender coming off a terrible leg injury at the most important defensive position on the infield, and then surrounding him with average defenders and/or guys playing out of position. When your best infielder, defensively, is your 1B then you’re going to see a lot of ground balls getting through for singles.

  • Kenny

    I don’t usually watch much mlb.tv, but today I saw part of a program described as identifying the “biggest blunders in baseball history.” I had to leave midway through because a neighbor stopped by, and I then saw the last 10-15 blunders. One was a film clip from 1941, when Mickey Owen dropped Tommy Henrich’s third strike. The rest (of those I saw) seemed to be from the 90’s up to about the present, with a few from the late 70s and from the 1980s.

    Are they always so historically challenged on this network, or did they mention the Merkle play when I was out of the room? It seemed as if, basically, history, for them, meant “history for which we have good video.”

    • forensic

      Merkle was #35. There’s always a little bias toward the somewhat more recent plays, because they do want somewhat better video (or at least any video) of the plays.

      If you’re curious, you can actually see the full countdown of 50 by flipping through the 8 parts of the videos of it (I would recommend just looking at the plays at the bottom and not listening to whoever felt the need to add his own commentary to the video).


      • Kenny

        Many thanks!

    • Dalek Jeter

      When it comes to history, especially in the early days of MLB Network, it was just the opposite. Up until this off season they showed a bunch of things about the history of baseball. A show called “Baseball Seasons” would select a certain season and basically highlight the biggest moments of the season as well as parallel the baseball season with the world at the time. They also would do “World Series Highlights” and “Prime 9,” the latter of which was a countdown show, counting down the top or best 9 anything relating to baseball you can think of…mostly focusing on best players and biggest moments and such. They were also good to play “Ken Burn’s Baseball” in it’s entirty at least 2 or 3 times in the off season. This offseason though, for whatever reason, they completely changed their line up, focusing on…I’m honestly not even sure.

  • Mustang

    “The Yankees are making upgrades to their minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla., including a cafeteria for players and field refurbishments, reports Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The Yankees have also added to their player development staff, bringing in more scouts and a statistics guru, following a season that saw struggles up and down their farm system”

    Fix minor leagues CHECK!


    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      My position as team/RAB liaison starts Monday.

    • Preston

      Can’t hurt.

    • Havok9120

      I like it.

  • Farewell Mo

    What a game by Melvin Ejim from Iowa State today.

    48 points and 18 rebounds on 20-24 shooting including 2-2 from 3 point range and 6-6 from the foul line. Amazing.

    • Havok9120

      You got me really excited, because all I could remember about Wichita State was that they were playing a team from Iowa tonight.


      • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

        Why do care about what Wichita State does? Your team is doing just fine.

        • havok9120

          We’ve had a lot of great starts tge last five years, but us never being the last undefeated has made it a lesser deal.

          Plus, as a fan of a majpr program it offends me that a team who has played ABSOLUTELY nobody is so highly ranked.

          I know that’s beem your beef with Cuse in the past, but at least we always had to go through the Big East.

          • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

            And you know that my criticism of Syracuse was always their non-conference schedule. Syracuse’s non-con schedule was pretty solid this year.

            Wichita State’s non-con schedule is not terrible, either, but they still end up playing a lot of other small schools because they’re from the MVC. But the MVC is certainly not as good as it’s been advertised to be in some recent years.

            And what’s with not capitalizing your handle?

  • Mustang

    Like to thank you guys for a good old RAB discussion tonight. I have been working my ass off and I haven’t had a chance to run with you dogs, but it’s nice to see that you’re still biting… Lol

    50 days, 12 hours, 32 minutes and 20, 19, 18 seconds to opening day but who is counting.

  • nycsportzfan

    If you could somehow be objective, and answer not thinking like a yank fan, who would you take in there prime, Jeter or Cal Ripken to play SS for you?

    I’d still take Jeter, but it’d be hard decison. Am I wrong?

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      In their primes, yes, it would be a hard decision. Ripken was obviously better defensively and had more power. But Ripken also had plenty of bad offensive years after his second MVP year, whereas Jeter has been much more consistent offensively throughout his career.

      But if you’re going to pick just one year during their primes, it probably goes to Ripken.

      I still think that Jeter is the second best SS of all time due to Ripken’s position switch.

  • mustang

    “Five years ago today, Alex Rodriguez admitted and apologized for using PEDs during his tenure with the Rangers. Rodriguez blamed the pressure of trying to fulfill the expectations created by his then-record 10-year, $252MM contract. Two days ago, Rodriguez voluntarily dismissed his federal lawsuit against MLB, the Commissioner’s Office, and the MLBPA and will serve his 162-game suspension stemming from his role in the Biogenesis affair.”

    It’s just sad the whole thing is sad.

    • Betty “Chip” Lizard

      It is sad.

      And I’m still longing to see Alex Rodriguez play again for the Yankees, understanding that a year off is a long time, and I may not get my wish.

      I’m also sorely tempted to change my handle to Alarms Diaz.

      • forensic

        I’m still holding out hope that A-Rod will come back strong, refreshed, and healthy in 2015 (and beyond). I’d love to see a run at 2000 runs, 2000 RBI, 3000 hits, and 700 homers, however unlikely it may be.

        • Havok9120

          Agreed. That’d be a ton of fun to watch.

          It would also be huuuuuge for the team.

          • Betty Lizard

            I’d love that. And I believe he could come back in terrific playing shape if–big if–he decides that’s what he wants.

          • mustang

            “It would also be huuuuuge for the team.”

            And that’s the only reason I would want to see it.

    • stuckey

      Sorry, if people are going to continue to raise this issue unsolicited in a discussions forum, then there will be people who are going to respond by asking, “what the hell are you talking about”.

      To call this self-inflicted situation sad devalues the REAL sad circumstances people go through.

      Alex Rodriquez has had well over 13k PA in his MLB career, earning over $350m in salary alone for this troubles. He’ll likely get paid another $61m plus between 2015-2017 for NOT playing for the Yankees.

      He’s a healthy young man with what should be a long, comfortable life in front of him and perhaps even more ML career.

      Can’t think anything he’s inflicted upon himself that can appropriately be called “sad”.

      • Farewell Mo

        Pretty much all this.

      • mustang

        The sad part is that Alex chose this path even with all his talent. He would have had a long comfortable life even before his 350mm dollar payday. The path he chose change his legacy what he leaves behind after he spend all he can spend and long after his gone.
        It’s sad to me to see someone that gifted be so much less then what he could of been.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        Sad for Yankee fans that we didn’t get to see Good Alex longer than we did.

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    You know what’s really sad? Just how terrible the movie Paranoia is.

    I’m not sure what I just watched, other than a terrible movie. Gary Oldman, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford looked disinterested. Liam Hemsworth can’t act. I’m not so sure Amber Heard can either. And can we all agree that Julian McMahon is shit?

  • Wheels

    Watching the Olympics on tape delay is b.s.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      That’s why I’m a little psyched about Rio. Only a one hour difference, so must stuff should be live.

      Also I like the Summer Olympics and kinda hate the Winter Olympics.

      • jjyank

        I’m the complete opposite. I don’t even watch the Summer Olympics. But I LOVE the Winter edition.

        I guess that just comes down to the fact that snowboarding is my single favorite thing to do ever. I am so stoked that I have the day off on Tuesday, for the Men’s Halfpipe event.

    • forensic

      I’m just waiting for them to start the best event of the Winter Olympics…


      • Betty Lizard

        Hee! Used to live in Fairbanks. Curling was big there. I never understood why. Well, in Fairbanks in what USED to be winter, virtually anything qualified as recreation. If preceded, accompanied, or followed by alcohol