Open Thread: Tight back for Soriano

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Like many of you, I was wondering what the hell was up with Rafael Soriano when the Yankees had a one-run lead in the eighth inning today and he was nowhere to be found. Joe Girardi announced after the game that his Eighth Inning Guy™ has some tightness in his lower back, and he was unavailable yesterday as well. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow to see if he can pitch. Hopefully he’s okay, because it’s unlikely Mariano Rivera will be available on Monday after throwing 30-something pitches today.

Anyway, here is the open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night game features the Reds and Cardinals (Sam LeCure-Jake Westbrook), plus I’m sure there’s NHL and NBA playoff action on somewhere. Talk about whatever you like, go nuts.

Montero hurt in Scranton win

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Syracuse)
Greg Golson, RF: 0 for 4, 2 K
Kevin Russo, 2B, Chris Dickerson, LF, Jordan Parraz, DH & Ramiro Pena, SS: all 0 for 3, 1 K
Jesus Montero, C: 0 for 1, 1 K – left the game after taking a foul ball to his, uh, groin … hopefully he feels better and soon, because holy crap does that suck
Jose Gil, C: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 K – took over for Montero
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Justin Maxwell, CF: 0 for 2, 1 R, 1 K
Brandon Laird, 3B: 1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 K
Andrew Brackman, RHP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 9-4 GB/FB – 60 of 98 pitches were strikes (61.2%) … allowed the first three batters of the game to reach (double, homer, walk), then he sat down 18 of the next 23 he faced
Andy Sisco, LHP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0-2 GB/FB – half his 16 pitches were strikes
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 1.2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 19 of 23 pitches were strikes (82.6%) … now that’s a save

Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa, and Low-A Charleston all had scheduled off days. That seems odd, minor league franchise are always looking for ways to maximize attendance and revenue, and yet the league schedules off days on a weekend? Weird. (I’m An Idiot Update: It’s Easter, duh.)

A Little Entertainment: Extrapolating 2011 Statistics

"Maybe we'll be as good as you sometime." (AP/Kathy Willens)

One of the best things about the beginning of the season is that we are presented with statistics that are mildly nuts to absolutely absurd. It’s not unusual for players to go through slumps and streaks, but when they happen in July or August, the numbers are evened out by what the player in question has been doing for the rest of the year. If he’s absurdly hot for two weeks, he’ll be bogged down by his crappy season, and vice versa. The beginning of the season doesn’t have any of that.

In light of this dramatic game (and the not-so-dramatic game from yesterday), I’d like to present some of the streaks and slides the Yankees have been going through so far, only extrapolated to fill the entire season. Blowing the numbers up to 162 games just makes them look even sillier than they do now, and hopefully the craziness of the numbers are enough to calm down anyone freaking out about some of the struggling players on the roster.

Here are some crazy hitter numbers:

Jorge Posada: 86 hits in 152 games (last year, he had 95 hits in 120 games). 57 of those hits will be home runs. He’ll also strike out 152 times.

Russell Martin: 162 hits, 54 home runs, and a 1.132 OPS. He’ll steal 18 bases and not get caught once.

Mark Teixeira: 54 home runs (he’s only had one 40+ homer year), 154 hits (one more than last year), and 144 RBIs (he had 108 last year).

Alex Rodriguez: .370/.483/.826 with almost as many homers (45) as strikeouts (54). Also, his 99 walks would be better than every year except 2000, when he had 100.

Robinson Cano will have 9 walks all season. On the other side, Nick Swisher will have a career-high 108 walks. Swish will also rock a career-low 72 RBIs, which might have something to do the fact that he’ll hit zero home runs.

Derek Jeter’s projected slash line? .243/.308/.271 with 36 RBIs and 18 doubles. That RBI number is pretty depressing, but considering  he’s batting after Brett Gardner (projected: 72 hits, 18 doubles, and a .207 OBP), you can’t really blame him.

And some pitchers:

Bartolo Colon will throw 172IP with 191 strikeouts and only 48 walks and 67 ER.  I’d take that for sure.

With today not factored in, Freddy Garcia’s numbers look like this: 117 IP, 9 ER, 81 Ks. Yes please.

AJ Burnett: 210 IP, with 210 strikeouts (that would be the second best in his career, behind 2008), and 95 walks (also two behind his career high of 97). He’s also projected to give up a whopping 38 (!) home runs.

It’ll be an even worse season for Soriano, though, who would, in 76 IP strike out as many as he walked (57) and give up 57 ER.

Luckily, Mo is slated to have another awesome season behind him. 86IP with 19 ER and 67 strikeouts.

It just goes to show you that early-season numbers can turn into some crazy longer season numbers. I’m pretty sure Burnett won’t be giving up 38 homers, and if Soriano is striking out and walking the same amount of people, we have a major problem. Likewise, if if Teixeira really does hit over 50 homers this year, I think that would be a pretty awesome surprise. Nick Swisher will eventually get something out of the park. Don’t put too much stock into what players have done already, because while it may be impressive (or really depressing), things tend to even out.

Game 18: For the mini-sweep

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

These makeshift two-game series aren’t helping the “just win series” cause, just because sweeping any big league team is tough to do. The Yankees really, and I mean really took care of business last night; if the offense hadn’t scored a zillion runs they were still in good shape because CC Sabathia was awesome. Freddy Garcia brings his slow, slower, slowest approach against a hacktastic offense, but he doesn’t need to be great, just keep his team in the game and the offense figures to take care of the rest. Here’s the lineup…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

Freddy Garcia, SP

Not sure I get running Martin out there in a day game after a night game, though they did have three days off last week, and Frankie Cervelli is close to coming off the disabled list. You know he’ll play more than we want once he’s back. Anyway, game starts a little after 1:30pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Video of the Day: Destroying Yankee Stadium

Ever wondered how the old Yankee Stadium bathrooms were cleaned and destroyed once the team moved across the street? Here’s your chance to see how. This upcoming Thursday, the National Geographic Channel will air “Break it Down: Yankee Stadium.” The show starts at 10 p.m. so Yankee fans can watch it after the team finishes up their evening affair with the Chicago White Sox.

After the jump, another clip from the program showing the seating sections from the old park coming down. A tip of the hat to Alex Belth at Bronx Banter for this one. [Read more…]