8/19-8/21 Series Preview: Houston Astros

Caldera: Yankees have "ended any pursuit" of Rusney Castillo
Phelps throws for first time since elbow injury, could return in 3 weeks
No George Springer this week. (Presswire)
No George Springer this week. (Presswire)

After a six-game turned five-game because of a rainout road trip, the Yankees are back home in the Bronx for a six-game homestand. They’re going to face two really bad teams and winning four of the six is the bare minimum at this point if they want to get back in the postseason race. The Astros are in town for three games starting tonight. The Yankees lost two of three in Houston way back in April, the very first series of the season.

What Have They Done Lately?

Like the Yankees, the Astros were off on Monday. They split a four-game series with the Red Sox up in Fenway Park over the weekend and have lost eight of their last 13 games overall. Houston is 52-73 with a -91 run differential in 2014, both the third worst marks in baseball. To their credit, Houston has already won more games this year than they did last year (51-111).

Offense

Manager Bo Porter’s club averages 4.01 runs per game with a team 97 wRC+, so they’re just a touch below-averageoffensively. Better than the Yankees (3.94 and 92, respectively), anyway. The Astros are currently without OF George Springer (125 wRC+) and OF Alex Presley (82 wRC+) due to quad and oblique injuries, and neither will return this series. Bummed we won’t see Springer. UTIL Jesus Guzman (56 wRC+) is out with a back problem but could be activated off the disabled list sometime this week.

Altuve. (Getty)
Altuve. (Getty)

The Houston lineup revolves around 2B Jose Altuve (131 wRC+), who leads the league in average (.339) and steals (46). His reputation outweighed his production the last few years — I’m convinced it’s because he’s really short, similar to how Melky Cabrera was overrated while with the Yankees because he had a cool name — but he is definitely performing like a true star right now. 1B/OF Chris Carter (127 wRC+) strikes out a ton (30.4%) but he has ten homers and a 186 wRC+ over the last 30 days. OF Dexter Fowler (129 wRC+) just came off the disabled list a week ago. Altuve, Carter, and Fowler are the stars of the show with Springer injured.

The rest of Porter’s lineup includes former first rounders C Jason Castro (94 wRC+) and 3B Matt Dominguez (72 wRC+). Castro has had a disappointing follow up to last summer’s breakout year. OF Robbie Grossman (94 wRC+) and OF Jake Marisnick (53 wRC+) both see time in the outfield and 1B Jon Singleton (87 wRC+) plays first. He signed a five-year, $10M extension before ever playing in a MLB game. I bet the lefty swinger takes advantage of the short porch at least once this week. IF Gregorio Petit (100 wRC+ in very limited time) and IF Marwin Gonzalez (96 wRC+) share time at shortstop. 1B/OF Marc Krauss (78 wRC+) and C Carlos Corporan (88 wRC+) fill out the bench.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday: LHP Chris Capuano (vs. HOU) vs. LHP Brett Oberholtzer (vs. NYY)

Oberholtzer, 25, has gone down to Triple-A a few times this year despite a solid 3.87 ERA (3.68 FIP) in 17 starts and 104.2 innings at the MLB level. He excels at limiting walks (1.89 BB/9 and 5.0 BB%) and does keep the ball in the park (0.77 HR/9 and 5.9 HR/FB%), but both his strikeout (5.68 K/9 and 14.9 K%) and ground ball (37.0%) numbers are unimpressive. Righties (.326 wOBA) have hit him a bit harder than lefties (.300 wOBA), and he’s been more successful on the road (.305 wOBA) than at home (.330 wOBA). Oberholtzer is a classic finesse southpaw, sitting right around 90 mph with his fastball while throwing both his changeup and curveball in the low-80s. He held the Yankees to three runs in 5.2 innings back in April.

Wednesday: RHP Michael Pineda (vs. HOU) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (vs. NYY)

The Astros finally decided to spend some money this past offseason, and most of it went to the 31-year-old Feldman. He got three years and $30M. Feldman has a 4.45 ERA (4.40 FIP) in 22 starts and 129.1 innings this year — he missed time with a biceps injury — even though his walk (2.78 BB/9 and 7.1 BB%), homer (0.84 HR/9 and 8.4 HR/FB%), and ground ball (44.7%) rates are more or less in line with his career norms. His strikeout rate (4.94 K/9 and 12.6 K%) is way down though, plus he has minimal platoon and home/road splits. Feldman is primarily a low-90s sinker/upper-80s cutter/mid-70s curveball pitcher, though he will throw the occasional mid-80s splitter that serves as his changeup. The Yankees did not score in 6.2 innings against the right-hander on Opening Day.

(Brian Garfinkel/Getty)
(Brian Garfinkel/Getty)

Thursday: RHP Brandon McCarthy (vs. HOU) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (vs. NYY)

Keuchel, 26, has broken out in a huge way this season, pitching to a 3.11 ERA (3.31 FIP) in 23 starts and 156.1 innings. His strikeout (6.91 K/9 and 18.8 K%), walk (2.30 BB/9 and 6.3 BB%), and homer (0.58 HR/9 and 10.6 HR/FB%) rates are lower than the league averages, and his 61.8% ground ball rate is the highest in baseball by roughly five percentage points. Also, as Mark Simon notes, Keuchel has the tenth lowest hard-hit ball rate in baseball, so he’s getting a ton of weak contact on the ground. That’s a great way to keep runs off the board. Righties (.311 wOBA) are a bit more successful than lefties (.286 wOBA), though he does not have a significant home/road split at all. Keuchel gets all those weak grounders with upper-80s two and four-seam fastballs, plus he’ll mix in some mid-80s cutters. An upper-70s slider is his top secondary pitch and he’ll also throw a handful of upper-70s changeups per start. He’s basically a two-seamer/slider pitcher who will show a four-seamer and changeup. The Yankees did not see Keuchel when these two teams met in April.

Bullpen Status

The Astros spent some money on relievers this year, and ex-Yankee RHP Chad Qualls (3.11 FIP) has taken over as closer. RHP Jesse Crain has not pitched at all in 2014 due to continued arm problems and RHP Matt Albers has missed most of the season with a shoulder issue. Veterans LHP Tony Sipp (2.87 FIP) and ex-Yankee RHP Jose Veras (4.92 FIP) are Qualls’ primary setup men, though RHP Josh Fields (2.17 FIP) will see important innings as well.

The rest of Porter’s bullpen includes RHP Jake Buchanan (4.36 FIP), LHP Kevin Chapman (7.88 FIP in very limited time), LHP Darin Downs (3.29 FIP), and RHP Mike Foltynewicz (5.26 FIP in very limited time). Foltynewicz is a top prospect who was called up not too long ago and he throws very, very hard. Like every other team these days (it seems), the Astros are carrying eight relievers at the moment. Both of these teams were off Monday, so the bullpens are as fresh as it gets in mid-August. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for details on Joe Girardi‘s bullpen, then check out Astros County and Crawfish Boxes for the latest and greatest on the Astros.

Update: The Astros activated Guzman off the disabled list and sent Downs to Triple-A, the team announced. There you go.

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Caldera: Yankees have "ended any pursuit" of Rusney Castillo
Phelps throws for first time since elbow injury, could return in 3 weeks
  • Michael Pineddarda

    We need a sweep but I just don’t think we have the offensive firepower needed to level over a team 3 straight games. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see us lose this series like we did to start the season.

  • Aaron Juez

    .185/.288/.371 line for Singleton. Striking out almost 35% of the time. Its only 10 million and still really early, but ouch!

    • Kevin Wrong

      He will probably have a big series vs us

    • Preston

      As bad as he’s been his offense has still been an improvement over what they were rolling out there before. Jesus Guzman got 160 PAs to hit .200/.275/.269.

  • Pkyankfan69

    Sweep or bust

    • Rick

      Not when you look at the pitching matchups.

  • andrewyf

    Altuve is the reason my fantasy team is fighting for first place. He’s a cheap keeper for me in the 12th round next year, so this is great to see. He’s playing out of his mind and has been on a hot streak pretty much all year.

  • Mick

    the scoring on Jeter’s disputed 3,430th hit (one that tied Wagner)
    was changed from hit to error.

    • Preston

      It probably should have been.

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        It ultimately doesn’t matter because he’s got enough hits to still be past Wagner.

        • Mick

          Now I can’t say I was at the game where he passed Wagner.

          • Preston

            And most people who were at the game where he passed Wagner probably aren’t even aware of it because there wasn’t the fanfare.

        • blake

          Yea I really wanted him to at least get into the 5th spot but just wasn’t really possible when he shut it down last year then announced his retirement……6th all time ain’t bad nonetheless

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            I think everyone would’ve loved him pass Speaker and Musial, but being 6th of 28 amazing people is insane enough.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Not that there’s time or room for this, but I’d normally say this looks like a trap series with the two young pitchers.

    • UnKnown

      Yeah losing to terrible teams is no longer allowed.

      • ACX

        Yankees dont always wake up for these games. Lost 2-3 to Houston in April, often get shut down by bad pitchers…. It’s crazy to think how much ground we lost in games we should have handlly have won.

        • Preston

          The worst team is all but guaranteed to win 50 games the best team is all but guaranteed to lose 50 games. These things happen. It’s easy for fans to think that this game or that game should be a “lock” but that’s just never been the reality for any team.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Exactly.

            I also don’t think they’re facing bad pitchers in the least and, heck, I’ll include a back-ender like Feldman in that.

          • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

            Unless of course, the worst team was the 1962 Mets. (Humorously, the 1963 Mets were a worse team statistically than the 62 but won more games.)

          • UnKnown

            That’s fine. Bottom line is if they don’t clean up this week against these bottom feeders at home there will be lots of time in the month of October to spew out all kind of cliches. Yankee baseball won’t be on TV.

  • Mick

    Brett Gardner LF

    Derek Jeter SS

    Jacoby Ellsbury CF

    Mark Teixeira 1B

    Carlos Beltran DH

    Martin Prado 2B

    Brian McCann C

    Chase Headley 3B

    Ichiro Suzuki RF

    • vicki

      prado’s getting a little batting order respect.

    • TB

      I would have started cervelli over McCann tonight – very tough left handed pitcher on the mound

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Let’s try and pick up some ground…please…

  • Mick

    One to go….

    • blake

      Was I off topic? Apologies

  • blake

    @E_Lipsman: It’s been a while since @LuisSeverino94 has been on the mound for @TrentonThunder. He starts for us tonight vs NH. http://t.co/7UGCKJyrWQ

    This is good obviously

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      DUCK!

      • Alkaline

        Goose!

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      A strong finish to the year in Trenton would be fantastic. Opens up there again next season, could see Scranton a few months in and then maybe even a September callup and penciled into the rotation 2016.

      All of this is contingent on a million little factors, of course.

  • ACX

    Altuve is a stud.

  • Bigdan

    Sunday, Girardi played his best lineup, offensively and defensively, that he has against a righty with Drew at SS, Prado at 2b and Jeter at DH. Today he’s doing the same thing against a lefty, with Jeter back at SS, Prado at 2b, Beltran at DH and Ichiro in RF. It’s nice he’s finally getting it. Especially the reverse split thing with Ichiro.

    • Preston

      I wonder if that’s his actual reason for having Ichiro in the lineup tonight. Somehow I doubt it. Reverse platoon splits are complicated.

    • TWTR

      A reasonable case can be made that right now his best lineup includes Cervelli and his 131 OPS+.

      • Preston

        Interestingly enough McCann has a reverse split, hitting .300/.346/.520 against LHPs this year, while Cervelli has a reverse split hitting only .250/.308/.458 against LHPs this season. Probably small sample since both have traditional platoon splits for their career.

        • Bigdan

          I was gong to mention that. For some reason McCann just looks a lot better against lefties this year. He seems to keep his front shoulder in better and doesn’t pull off the ball.

        • TWTR

          Ich is only hitting .196 in the 2nd half of the season (SSS, 55 PA). Cervelli is hitting ..315, and McCann, .217.

          So you could have both Cervelli and McCann in the lineup.

          I have more confidence that either or both could do more damage than Ich at this point.

          I just think Cervelli needs to play right now.

          • Preston

            Agreed, I cringe watching Ichiro. Honestly now I cringe watching his defense too, because he’s clearly no longer a plus defender in my opinion, so what is the point of him on the roster at all.

          • vicki

            we could see some cervelli+mccann lineups after the rosters expand; meanwhile it’s obviously not ideal to ride without a catcher on the bench.

            • TWTR

              Except that would only be an issue for the remainder of one game. And if it should happen, another catcher can be recalled for the next one.

              Their credible offensive options are so thin, and their margin for error to remain in contention is so small, that I think it’s worth the risk.

              I would bet that jack of all trades, Martin Prado, has a catcher’s mitt deep in his locker in case of emergency !!!!

              • vicki

                i’ve grown to appreciate vernon wells and andruw jones. sort of.

    • Kevin Wrong

      Actually he isnt – his best lineup vs a lefty would include cervelli over McCann

      • Bigdan

        see below.

        • Kevin Wrong

          Dan i dont care about a small sample of this year…

          • Bigdan

            Doesn’t that apply both ways?

            • Preston

              RIght, you either believe the small sample, in which case McCann is the better hitter against LHPs this season or you believe their career numbers in which case McCann is clearly the better player. Even taking into account his terrible season Zips projects McCann to outhit Cervelli ROS.

  • Hankflorida

    The Yanks could win the next six games against Houston and Chicago and creep up nearer to the top of the 2nd Wildcard race. Since 1937, the Yankees have given me many joyous moments, and in 1947 under their new manager, Bucky Harris, they won nineteen games in a row and went from 3rd to 1st and never looked back, so, six in a row is a good start to solidify our quest for the Wildcard.

    • vicki

      that team was the best offense in baseball, and they were in first from june 15 on. this ain’t the 1947 yankees.

    • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      I read RIchard Ben Creamer’s book on Joe DiMaggio several years back, and recall reading that the 1948 team, stuck in third place behind Cleveland and Boston, went on a big end-of-season run. Alas for them, both teams they were chasing kept the same pace, and the Yankees didn’t make up any ground; time eventually ran out for them.

      I think my favorite little historical nugget out there comes with the ’54 team. That team won more games than any other Casey Stengel-managed Yankee team won, yet that was one of the mere two times under Stengel’s stewardship that the Yankees didn’t win the pennant. Lucky Giants, too; the Yankees likely win that World Series, but the Indians had one of the best seasons in MLB history with a 111-43 record, a stunning .721 WP% (almost 20 points better than even the 1998 Yankee team). Projected out eight more games, and that Indians team would’ve edged out even the 2001 Mariners and their 116 wins. From there, damn, probably only the 1906 Chicago Cubs (.763 WP%) finished with a better regular season record.

      • Bigdan

        And lost to the Giants

      • vicki

        that book, like joe D’s life, was ultimately so depressing. i read it within a year of reading stefan kanfer’s groucho marx bio. i came away from the two stories thinking it was better to be harpo or dom.

        • Mick

          Joe might have been having a good time if he were there when your avatar was taken.

          • vicki

            oh, no doubt there were good times, very passionate good times. but she made him crazier than anything.

  • Bigdan

    If you been poking around ESPN and the Post, there’s some stuff going around about why is Jeter now playing SS with Drew on the team. Way back when, probably in March, I listed about six reasons why the Yanks wouldn’t sign Drew, number one being that the Yanks see Drew as a SS and won’t pay him over $10MM a year to play out of position. But I also said having Drew on the team and not having him play SS would be a big embarrassment for Jeter and the franchise as a whole. It would become clear to the fans and players alike that Jeter wasn’t half the SS Drew was and there would be pressure to play Drew at SS.

    Well, the Yanks did go ahead and acquire Drew, albeit at a much lower price to basically play 2b this year while auditioning for SS next year. But sure enough, as I predicted, once Drew fills in at SS, problems will arise with Jeter. Apparently Girardi danced around this issue after Sunday’s game. But there’s no question now, that Sunday’s lineup was the Yanks best lineup against a righty. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    • Preston

      Jeter will see plenty of time at DH and also have days off, I don’t think it will be a problem because Girardi isn’t going to address it, Jeter isn’t going to address it and Drew certainly isn’t going to demand to start at SS everyday. The papers will get tired of spinning their wheels.

      • Bigdan

        Maybe. But what if the Yanks get to that WC showdown day?
        What happens then?

        • Preston

          Jeter will probably play SS and it won’t really bother me that much.

          • Bigdan

            You hope it won’t lol.

            • Preston

              I’m having a hard time thinking of a game this season where I thought his defense cost us the game. Maybe I’m just soft on the Captain.

              • Bigdan

                I agree. When you consider his age and the ankle, Jeter has really looked good at SS. Except for those first few weeks in the cold. Remember? He kept falling down and couldn’t seem to make a good throw to 1b. But the last couple of months that’s really been cleaned up a lot. But the seeds of discontent have already been sown. Just one bad day in the field with Drew around will change everything. Hopefully it won’t happen.

    • kikojones

      I’m convinced that Jeter is the greatest Yankee. I mean Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra had to change positions in their lean years but not Jeter. Oh, no. Hell, the greatest SS of his era came over to the Yankees and Jeter did not budge. Yes, Jeter is the greatest Yankee ever. If not the greatest baseball player ever. [/sarcasm]

  • kikojones

    Melky Cabrera was overrated while with the Yankees because he had a cool name

    Huh? What?

    • Preston

      Over parts of 5 seasons with the Yankees Melky had a wRC+ of 87 and had exactly 3 WAR over 569 games. Yet he was one of the most popular players on the team. I don’t think it was just because people liked the name, but also because the Yankees had literally no notable position players from the farm since Soriano came up.

      • Bigdan

        I think you also need to add that Melky was playing regularly for the Yanks at age 21 (is that hard to believe or what?) and was traded before his age 25 season. Leaving PEDs aside, I actually think there was a lot to like about Melky’s future as an offensive player while he was with the Yanks. I mean Judge at age 22 is hitting .265 now in High A.

        • Preston

          I don’t think his talent was ever in question. But he also wasn’t showing signs of reaching it. Remember he got deservedly DFA’d by the Braves. It took the threat of him being out of baseball to get in shape and get his career back on track. I don’t think that would have magically happened with the Yankees.

          • Bigdan

            Obviously there were a lot of off-the-field issues with Melky. There were a lot whispers about him and Cano when he was in NY. But at 21 years old, he hit .280 (OPS+ 95) with 56 walks and 59 SOs in 524 PAs. I just wonder when we are ever going to see something like that from a young Yankee position player.

            • Preston

              It’ll sneak up on you, because in order to do that they have to fly through the minors. Hopefully one of this years IFA is the guy.

              • Bigdan

                It would have to be an IFA or a high school draftee. And the HS draftees with that kind of ability never fall to the Yanks. Maybe that Torrens guy. He’s 18 in SI. He def seems like he has a bat. I’m sorry Mateo got hurt. He’s 19 in GCL. Got lots of tools but he’d have to fly now to make it to the Show by 21. I remember Bill James back in the early 80’s said, a player who hits major league pitching with authority at age 21 almost always turns out to be someone very special. I believe he was talking about Ruben Sierra at the time lol.

                • Preston

                  I just read an article a few weeks ago about why Bryce Harper should get the benefit of the doubt. They listed the players who had more than 40 career homers by age 22 and pretty much all of them were great except Sierra.

        • RhapsodyInBlue

          His bat aside Melky did a few things extremely well that you can’t teach like run the bases and get the ball accurately into the infield. Very rarely did we ever see Melky make mistakes running the bases. I miss him.

      • pecos

        Are you aware that the Yankees jettisoned Melky when he was 24 years old? Think perhaps he hadn’t reached his peak yet?
        He had a great year in AAA which caused his promotion. Melky always has had talent

        • vicki

          he was traded, not jettisoned. it didn’t work out the was cashman hoped, but he wasn’t just dumped. plus the move precipitated gardner’s move to full-time center. and the Boone Logan Era.

          • pecos

            When the team pays a half million of his salary to the team he is traded to, I call that being jettisoned.
            The Boone Logan era? That’s funny. Can you provide me one highlight of the Boone Logan era?
            As far as Gardner goes, hold your water until the season is over. He fades like the long days of summer each and every year.

            • Bigdan

              Every time I think Gardner is regressing to his norm, he goes and hits a couple of dingers. This week would be a good time.

      • kikojones

        Um, Canó?

        • Preston

          But people didn’t like Cano because he didn’t hustle.

          • kikojones

            But some people didn’t like Cano because he supposedly didn’t hustle.

            Ok.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      My wife overrates him sorely on his name and cute little cheeks. Yes.

      • vicki

        fans responded to the goofy affability. it seemed like teammates did too. and we’ll always have walk-off weekend. so much pie.

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        I have a Melky Cabrera Trenton Thunder bobblehead next to me on my desk, it’s still the only bobblehead I own.

    • pecos

      I would take Melky over Gardner 8 days a week and three times on Sunday. He can hit better, hit with more power, and doesn’t strike out half as much.
      Melky’s offensive production has been light years ahead of Gardner’s.
      Gardner’s WAR is all bullshit and is based on bullshit defensive metrics which are subjective and silly.

      • https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/ Roadgeek Adam

        Hold on, Gardner gets on base, has a career high 15 home runs and has never been a liability ever. Sure he strikes out a lot, but everyone strikes out. If we had Adam Dunn in left field, you’d have an argument, but Gardner has been everything we could’ve ever asked. Melky may have had a 2nd coming with the Giants and Jays, but no way is Melky the better overall player. The fact that Gardner has added power to his game tells me he’s becoming higher in the tools. As much as a I hate metrics myself, if WAR says it’s excellent, then I see nothing wrong with denying it. He makes sure you know in the outfield. Defensively, Gardner, Ellsbury and Ichiro is one of the best outfields in the game.

        • pecos

          Have you checked on base percentages this year? Hits? Average? OPS? Slugging? Outfield assists?

          • Preston

            This season Cabrera has been slightly better offensively. But you have to ignore last season and pretend that his steroid suspension 2012 season is somehow his true talent level to pretend he’s better than Gardner.

            • pecos

              Slightly better? That’s funny. Melky is second in the league in hits. Slightly better?
              On base percentage? Slightly better. Average? Slightly better? How about 40 points?
              Gardner has never had as many as 150 hits in any season.
              Wait until he does something before you crow so loudly.
              As far as PEDS go–that’s always going to be your trump card. The problem is–all the other players at the table have a shitload of aces up their sleeves. Including Gardner who was the subject of many whispers in 2012 when he was out with a bad elbow for months and months and then remarkably, had a magical recovery in September when HGH use was suspected. So—stick you PED argument you know where.

              • Preston

                Why is it that invariably the more ignorant a person is the more angry he gets when people disagree with them?

                • vicki

                  we all start off ignorant; some people are more open to knowledge than others. the short answer is that it takes that kind of willfulness to remain ignorant.

                  • pecos

                    And you’re so open that you feel free to call others cavemen. Here’s a guess–I’m more educated than you are, have flourished professionally more than you have, and know more about baseball than you do.

                • pecos

                  Want to dispute the facts? Of course you don’t
                  Call me ignorant instead

      • Preston

        Just looking at offense

        Gardner .333 wOBA and a wRC+ of 105

        Cabrera .331 wOBA and a wRC+ of 103

        Gardner has 81 more career stolen bases in 457 fewer career games, and is inarguably a better defender. Try again.

        • pecos

          Why don’t you look at real things–things that have defined baseball for a hundred years and still do—average–hits–slugging–doubles—outfield assists
          You try again

          • Preston

            Because all these stats do is combine those stats into one uniform number. It’s just as “real” as any other number.

            http://www.fangraphs.com/libra.....statistic/

            Maybe you could read that and expand your thinking a little bit.

            • pecos

              They are subjective Jackass. Defensive metrics mean nothing with the amount of shifting going on right now. The fact that the entire WAR
              formula was changed a short while back illustrates how much bullshit it is. Byu the way–so is fangraphs who have a bunch of 20 year olds monitor games and decide which plays made are average, better than average and beyond that.

              • Preston

                You didn’t read the article because it’s not about WAR. wOBA is entirely about offense. There is nothing subjective about it. wRC+ is slightly subjective because it adds in park factors that are variable. So harp on about defenseive metrics. I actually listened to your original argument (that WAR was BS because of BS defensive metrics) and adjusted my argument accordingly. You aren’t listening to mine, you’re just ranting on the same point.

                • pecos

                  And who decides the variability of ballparks? More nonsense. The entire AL East plays in bandboxes.
                  Hits will always count–so will average, slugging, and runs batted in–much to the dismay of this site. wOBA factors in stolen bases after the player reaches base. What if you’re on a team that doesn’t want you to steal, even though you might be able to?
                  Look at the offensive output on Baseball Reference.com. Melky is in the top ten in many categories–Gardner? Where? WAR–that’s about it.

              • Bigdan

                Yea WAR is a real mess for a lot of reasons. One of it’s big flaws is that it assumes every player is worth the same to every team. Gardner is a good example of why that’s not true. I actually think Gardner would be worth more to another team that would let him play CF. Gardner is actually devalued on the Yanks because he’s not playing CF and he’s keeping Ellsbury out of the lead off spot, at least this year. Gardner is a very very good player. Just not a good fit for the Yanks.

                • pecos

                  Why don’t you wait until he has a season when he hits at least .280, scores 100 runs and has more than 147 hits before you throw the term great around?

            • pecos

              Hypothetically, if there is an outfielder who calls off other outfielders and ventures into his “zone” to make plays, his defensive metrics soar, while the other guy who gives way gets punished with this nonsense.

              • Rick

                Not to beat the proverbial dead horse here, but you should actually respond to Preston’s well articulated point. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t include defense.

                • pecos

                  What I should or shouldn’t do would never be influenced by a hint from you,Rick.
                  Has he responded to 15 per cent of my points? Melky actually “won” an NL Batting Crown in 2012— and was not awarded it because he disqualified himself.

          • vicki

            i can’t help but read this in phil hartman’s unfrozen caveman lawyer voice.

            • pecos

              Hey Vicki–stick to Jacks and Hopscotch.
              You know what people on tv tell you to know regarding baseball.

              • Preston

                Who would have thought that you were a misogynist too.

                • pecos

                  So she can call me caveman and then you want to give me grief when I respond in kind? Double standard?

                  • Preston

                    No, she’s denigrating you from the content of the argument you made, which she’s equating to caveman thinking. You’re denigrating her simply because she’s a woman.

                    • pecos

                      Nonsense–and you know it. You know what cavemen did to women–how they treated them.

                  • vicki

                    any time my gender comes up in a baseball discussion i know you’re out of arguments.

                    • Mick

                      Not when Mo’Ne Davis is pitching.

                    • pecos

                      I am not out of points and it is not arguments. Caveman reference is equally gender slamming as anything I said. You know this.

          • BearNJ

            I wouldn’t mind seeing Melky in RF .

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Yeah, Preston. Try not being smart for once. Who needs this cel phone when I have this perfectly good rotary.

            • pecos

              And who needs to have a horse when there’s always a really good jackass close-by

      • NYCORNERSTONE

        Melky, Cano, Nunez were all Arods boys Yankees didn’t want that to be the face of the team mccann ellsburry headly gardner all have one thing in common,
        ,

        • pecos

          yea,what they have in common is that they can’t hit

  • Hankflorida

    Betty Davis has a line in the movie,”Now Voyager,” Don’t ask for the moon. When we have the stars.” As a Yankee fan, I will ask for the moon which is the 2nd Wildcard hoping that Tanaka will be on the mound for that one game with a healthy arm. “Untill the fat lady sings,” I am not calling it quits, and winning the next six games playing teams who have packed it in is a good start for getting to the dance floor.

  • nycsportzfan

    Pretty cool you pretty much mentioned you weren’t really a Altuve believer till this yr. I remember when you actually mentioned on here a yr or 2(??) ago, about thinking Altuve was overrated and pretty much would come down to earth in the future. Cool you said hes full fledged dialed in this yr though. Some would be like, “I’ve always liked Altuve and hes really playing great this yr”, forgetting they didn’t care for em a yr or 2 ago..lol

    Kudos mike.

  • Mick

    Kay singing Aerosmith is disgusting.

  • UnKnown

    It’s simple. Yankees have to beat teams that they should beat and even beat teams that they probably shouldn’t beat the rest of the way to make the POST. However anybody wants to break that down is fine, but it all comes down to

    winning = POST
    losing = Golf

  • Mick

    If the Yanks win every series left they will have at least 90 wins.
    That should do it.

  • mustang

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

    Yankees fans: watching this team doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Still doesn’t stop me from cheering for them, but reality is starting to set in.

  • NYCORNERSTONE

    Astros have some great young hitters dam