Monday Links: All-Star Game, Shifts, Teixeira

After 62 games, an offensive shakeup is in order
Yankees outright Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Scranton
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Got some stray links to pass along before the Yankees wrap up their four-game series with the Royals in Kansas City later tonight.

Jeter Remains Atop AL All-Star Voting At Shortstop

MLB released the updated voting results for the All-Star Game starting lineup yesterday, and Derek Jeter remains the leading vote-getter at shortstop. He’s about 160,000 votes ahead of Alexei Ramirez and is the sixth highest vote-getter in the league overall. There’s no way Jeter belongs in the Midsummer Classic based on his performance, but he’s a megastar and the face of baseball. People want to see him in his final year and that’s what the All-Star Game should be all about.

No other Yankees are leading their respective positions in the voting, though Brian McCann does rank second behind Matt Wieters at catcher. Wieters is currently on the disabled list with an elbow injury and is not close to returning. McCann may end up starting the game in his place. Mark Teixeira ranks fifth at first base while Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Brett Gardner rank fifth, eighth, and 13th in the outfield, respectively. The full voting results are right here. Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz, Jose Bautista, Mike Trout, and Melky Cabrera are in position to start the game alongside Jeter and potentially McCann.

Bad Without Shifts, Sightly Less Bad With Shifts

The Yankees have been using infield shifts to the extreme this season, at least in part due to their range-challenged infield. It’s not just Jeter either. Yangervis Solarte and Brian Roberts aren’t the rangiest of players either. And yet, every game we see balls get by the shift, though that is unavoidable. Balls are always going to get through any defensive formation.

According to Ken Davidoff, the Yankees rate as the worst defense in baseball at -16 runs saved when not using the shift. When they do use the shift, they’re at -4 runs saved, which also rates as the worst in baseball. Compared to the rest of the league, the Yankees are terrible defensively. Compared to themselves, the Yankees with the shift are less terrible than the Yankees without the shift.

“If they weren’t shifting as much as they have been, things would look even worse. So, it’s not that the shift itself has been ineffective, but the Yankees’ infield defense overall that has been ineffective, with or without the shift,” said Joe Rosales, a researcher at Baseball Info Solutions, to Davidoff. Watching a ball get through the shift is frustrating, but without them, there would be far more balls sneaking through the infield.

The Story Behind Teixeira’s Fake Talk Show

I mentioned this in the open thread last night, but, in case you missed it, Mark Teixeira has a fake talk show on YES called Foul Territory. It’s actually pretty funny and the clips came out of nowhere. I’m not sure anyone thought Teixeira is capable of doing something funny. I know I didn’t. He’s always come off as rather business-like and uninteresting, to be honest.

Dan Barbarisi dug into the story behind Foul Territory, which was Teixeira’s idea and a way to help new Yankees feel welcome. It’s not a coincidence the only player interviews are McCann, Ellsbury, and Masahiro Tanaka (one with Roberts is forthcoming). The shows have a general framework but otherwise do not have a script and are ad-libbed. It’s pretty amazing, really. There are two more clips coming (Roberts and Jeter) and Teixeira is open to recording more if the demand is there.

“I wanted a way for the new guys to get broken in, in kind of a funny way—not necessarily hazing, because I’m hazing myself more than anything,” said Teixeira to Barbarisi. “If the fans want (more episodes), we’ll have to give it to them.”

The Wrong End Of The Hard-Hot Spectrum

And finally, ESPN stats guru Mark Simon posted some data on hard-hit balls this morning. Long story short, the Yankees don’t rank very well. They rank 23rd in the league with a .145 HHAV (hard hit average, or hard-hit balls per at-bat) offensively and 26th in the league with a .165 HHAV on the pitching side. The hitters aren’t hitting the ball hard and the pitching staff is allowing a lot of hard-hit balls. That … is a pretty bad combination. Throw in a generally bad team defense and it’s a minor miracle this club is 31-31 after 62 games. It could be much, much worse.

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After 62 games, an offensive shakeup is in order
Yankees outright Alfredo Aceves to Triple-A Scranton
  • vin

    Foul Territory with Mark Teixeira might be the best thing to come out of this Yankees’ season.

    Teixeira to Jack Curry – “I don’t drink green tea… … … because I’m a man.”

    • Chip Rodriguez

      Ells: I love the jacket by the way.
      Tex: Thank you, it’s new… my mom bought it for me.

      Tex is really hard to not like.

      • Preston

        I would say I agree, except that many on this sight really, really dislike him.

        • whozat

          It’s “site”, and what do you mean “dislike”? Are you confusing people considering him injury-prone and no longer a great player with disliking him?

          • Preston

            Thanks for the correction and see John’s comment below.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I drink green tea because no one tells me what not to drink and resent gendered labels.

      • Kenny

        I’m sure he was kidding. It’s part of the out-of-it nerd image he is trying to represent: the kind of guy he thinks he’ll be “with it” if he says something that he thinks is macho. After all, who but such a guy would think not drinking green tea is the way to display machismo?

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

    4 current and former Yankees not too bad. 5 if you include future Yankee Mike Trout. WHY HASN’T CASHMAN GONE OUT AND TRADED FOR THAT GUY YET? DOES HE NOT WANT TO WIN???????

    Paul O’Neill for GM. That guy has some fire which this front office sorely needs.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    1. Jeter should be at the ASG because it is an exhibition and he is the game’s biggest star. This will be his farewell like Mariano last season.

    2. I’ve said before, this is the worst infield defense in the history of baseball. And what’s the solution next season, 39 year old A-Rod? Just amazes me that guys like Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts are even in the MLB, let alone on the right side of our infield.

    3. This is part of the problem, we have ballplayers more interested in being Jackie Gleason than Jackie Robinson. Start winning and then you can do some of this other stuff.

    4. So in short bad defense, bad offense, bad pitching. Well at least we have something to look forward to.

    • Buddy

      Lighten up. Its a freakin’ children’s game.

      • willie w

        these players usually make more in a day than most people make in a year

        • Michahiro Pinaka

          So?

          • willie w

            so no lighten up

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      These were done in spring training. For fuck’s sake, lighten up.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Jackie Gleason/Jackie Robinson? How old are you?

  • John

    The only thing funny about tex is his game, now that is a joke!!

    • vicki

      you mean our best offensive player tex? that tex?

  • munson

    I hope Gerardi and Cashman read this blog.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    So what if Jeter makes the All-Star team……and they bat him eighth?!?!

    • Preston

      It would be smarter to bat him 1st, otherwise you have to wait to give him an AB before you can pull him from the field.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        They can just show the lineup card with his name crossed out on the Jumbotron before the game starts.

        Someone will actually take that seriously in three….two…..

    • whozat

      They should bat him 8th and pull him after his first defensive half inning.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        The RAB populace has never sounded more banal and dumb than they have in the past 36 hours or so. This is just getting flat-out embarrassing.

        • Farewell Mo

          I suspect we ain’t seen nothing yet around here.

          Wait till September when they’re likely several games under .500 and out of the race. It’s gonna get ugly.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            That’s not an excuse for the type of stupidity we’re seeing around here lately.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    Tex has to be inspired by Zack Galifianakis’s hilarious “Between Two Ferns” skits

    http://www.funnyordie.com/between_two_ferns

    • vicki

      there’s a little chris farley in there too.

  • ropeadope

    Suzuki fifth place in the All-Star balloting.

    /Kurt

  • 461Deep

    Alexei Ramirez is having an ASG year. He may never get another chance. Jeter should be there and play but Alexei should start. Actually, considering the huge name recognition gap Alexei is not doing too badly in the vote. Tanaka great chance to start for the AL at this juncture.

  • vicki

    when teix asked if he should shake shingo’s hand and have him pass it on.

    priceless.

  • yankees=warriors

    I hate to say it, but the team is so boring on the field, they might as well do something interesting off it. Tex should definitely do more of those interviews.

  • Tom

    The Defensive runs saved is a counting stat – you can’t compare the two samples (shift vs no shift) directly to each other without accounting for chances.

    It’s not a simple -4 is better than -16 and so they are 12 runs better like Davidoff is doing.

    I assume the guy from BIS (baseball info solutions) that Davidoff is quoting is factoring this in, but it is not a 12 run improvement – the only way it would be is if they have an equal # of shift and no shift plays. They’d have to be shifting on more than 20% of the plays for it to be a net positive with those DRS #’s, which makes sense. It would have been interesting to see the guy from BIS quote what the impact is.

  • nycsportzfan

    Severino vs Trey Ball tonight. Woulden’t mind being at that game. Trey’s been a bust to this point but still very early on in his career(I hope he is a bust)

  • nycsportzfan

    Anyone know if Pedro Urena OF Dom League is prospect worthy? Hes off to a huge start in 2014 after clubbing 6hrs last yr. Is he someone worthy of keeping a eye on?

  • nycsportzfan

    Speaking of the AS game, who do we think is gonna represent the Yanks outside of the Captain, whos getting there on career accolades and not this yrs success(or lack there of)?

    Dellin Betances is close to a shoe in, or will at least be on the final vote. Then you got Tanaka, whos a shoe in, and might start the game. After that, I only see Yangervis Solarte as a possibility. Am I missing anyone? Does anyone think Solarte may get picked by manager?