The Yankees will close out Spring Training next year with an exhibition game at Nationals Park on Saturday, April 4th, the team announced. Neat. They’ll make the quick stop in D.C. on their way up from Tampa before opening the 2015 regular season at home against the Blue Jays on April 6th. The full Spring Training schedule is right here.
Here’s a great little piece of open thread fodder: long-time RAB reader Jeff Fleishman interviewed Aaron Small. In addition to his time with the Yankees, Small also discussed what he’s been doing since he retired, the start of his career, and all sorts of other stuff. Make sure you check it out.
This is your open thread for the night. Panthers and Eagles are the Monday Night Football game, plus the Devils and Knicks are playing as well. Talk about those games, the Small interview, or anything else right here.
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To the surprise of no one, White Sox slugger Jose Abreu was named the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year on Monday night, the BBWAA announced. He won unanimously and deservedly so. Dellin Betances finished third in the voting behind Abreu and Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Masahiro Tanaka finished fifth behind those three and Astros righty Collin McHugh.
Betances received seven second place votes and six third place votes (27 points) while Shoemaker received 12 second place votes and four third place votes (40 points). Tanaka received three second place votes and seven third place votes (16 points). The full voting results are available at the BBWAA’s site. This is the first time in history the Yankees had two players receive Rookie of the Year votes in the same season. No, really.
The Yankees do not have any finalists for the other major awards. Joe Girardi will surely receive a few Manager of the Year votes and Betances and/or Tanaka may pull down a Cy Young vote or two. The bottom of the MVP voting is always kinda fun and I’m sure a Yankees or three will pop up there. Rookie of the Year or not, Betances had a marvelous season and there’s no shame in finishing third in the voting.
As expected, David Robertson declined the one-year, $15.3M qualifying offer prior to today’s 5pm ET deadline, according to Jack Curry. The Yankees will get a supplemental first round draft pick should their closer sign elsewhere as a free agent this winter. They won’t get the pick if they re-sign him. Last we heard, the two sides were not particularly close to a deal.
Robertson, 29, has been as good as any non-Craig Kimbrel relief pitcher in baseball these last four years, so of course he declined the qualifying offer. This is by far his best (and possibly only) chance to get a huge free agent contract. Sure, accepting the $15.3M qualifying offer would have made him the highest paid reliever in baseball history, but that’s on a one-year deal. Robertson is likely to get a multi-year contract worth twice the guaranteed money on the open market.
The Yankees did not make Hiroki Kuroda the qualifying offer, which surprised me a bit. Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley were not eligible to receive the qualifying offer because they were traded at midseason. A total of 12 players received a qualifying offer this winter and all are expected to declined now that Michael Cuddyer signed with the Mets.
This season review could be a simple two-paragraph summary of Beltran’s debut in pinstripes. Or it could be a monster tome like Mike’s review of Brian McCann.
Instead we’ll do this Vox Media style: 12 charts that explain Carlos Beltran‘s season. Because what’s more fun than looking at a bunch of depressing charts?
But first, an encouraging one.
While Beltran’s elbow injury did seem to affect his overall numbers, perhaps it only really bothered him while batting right handed. His left-handed numbers aren’t all that bad.
Perhaps he could be useful in a platoon role next year? The Yankees did just bring Chris Young back to serve as their right-hand hitting fourth outfielder.
This trend seemingly started in 2013:
Because his splits in 2011 and 2012 were much more even:
The loss of power against LHP is a huge dent in Beltran’s game. It appears that a platoon role might be the best case scenario for the future, although it’s difficult to see the Yankees sitting him against left-handed pitchers.
Another chart that illustrates his complete lack of power against left-handed pitching:
At the same time…
Beltran’s plate coverage as a left-handed batter declined quite a bit in 2014. Here’s his batting average heat map for 2012 and then 2013:
And now 2014:
That can’t bode well for his future productivity. Hopefully the elbow injury was mostly to blame and he can regain some of his plate coverage in 2015. Because if he’s going to decline further as a left-handed hitter, it’s hard to see his remaining value.
He’s not walking
He might have improved on his 2013 rate, but in 2014 he still walked about league average. The Yanks clearly need him to get on base more often.
And there’s not much pop left
Rising ground balls isn’t a problem, but if they’re coming at the cost of line drives, well, I don’t need to tell you that’s not good.
Remember when we were like, yeah Beltran?
There were brief periods of awesomeness for Beltran in 2014. He started off hot, and hit a hot streak coming out of the All-Star Break and into early July. But those streaks were short-lived. Most of the season Beltran played ineffectively. If it was due to injury, there is some hope for 2015. But for a 38-year-old, most of these charts portend trouble.