Archive for Chris Dickerson

The search for a DH is essentially in wait-and-see mode at the moment, meaning the Yankees are waiting to see who drops their prices before getting serious about a move. I still think it’ll be Johnny Damon, but you’re welcome to disagree. If it’s not Damon (or anyone else) and the Yankees wind up going into Spring Training or even the regular season without a set DH, then Chris Dickerson‘s chances of making the roster are pretty good. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either.

Dickerson, 30 in April, is actually Eric Dickerson’s cousin for all you NFL fans out there. He fell short of qualifying as a Super Two by a matter of days this offseason, and that might have saved his 40-man roster spot. Had he qualified as a Super Two and been arbitration-eligible, there’s a chance the Yankees would have non-tendered him rather than increase his salary by 200% or so. Anyway, he’s still on the team and is actually a useful player, albeit a limited one.

First, let’s talk about what Dickerson does well, starting with his athleticism and everything that comes with it. He has a reputation of being a strong defender in all three outfield spots, though he doesn’t have enough big league time for the advanced metrics to tell us anything meaningful. You’ll have to take my word for it.. Dickerson also has some speed and has been a highly efficient base-runner at the upper levels, swiping 24 bags in 30 tries in the majors (80%) and 75 bags in 92 tries at Triple-A over the years (81.6%). Defense and base-running are classic fourth outfielder traits, though Dickerson can hit a little, especially against right-handers.

More than 80% of his career plate appearances in the show have come against righties (490 of 582), and he’s tagged them for a .270/.355/.415 batting line, which works out to a .341 wOBA. Most of his power is into the gaps (21 doubles and seven triples) rather than over the fence (nine homers), and his 11.2% walk rate is very good. In 846 Triple-A plate appearances against righties, he’s hit .286/.387/.443 with 13.9% walks. That’s over 1,300 plate appearances at the two highest levels of baseball with better than average production against pitchers of the opposite hand. Against left-handers though, it’s a different story.

Dickerson hasn’t hit southpaws at all in the bigs (.292 wOBA in 92 plate appearances), and his 247 Triple-A plate appearances against lefties have resulted in a .246/.345/.339 batting line. The OBP looks solid enough, but it’s also inflated a bit by eight hit-by-pitches, six or which came more than three years ago. He’s a platoon player, and that’s fine since he’s on the dominant side of the platoon (unlike Justin Maxwell). Dickerson does strike out quite a bit, even against righties (26.3% in the bigs, 27.2% in Triple-A), though that can be partially explained by his walk rate. When you work deep counts, you’re going to strike out, it’s inevitable. That said, a whiff rate that high is a knock against him.

Aside from striking out a bit too much and not being able to hit lefties, Dickerson’s biggest drawback doesn’t even have anything to do with him as a player. He’s out of minor league options, meaning he can’t be sent back to Triple-A without first clearing waivers. Given his defense, base-running, and ability to not embarrass himself against righties, he’s also most certain to be claimed. An NL club (the Mets!) will gobble him right up for a bench spot. Being out of options alone shouldn’t be a reason to give him a spot on the 25-man roster, but it could serve as a tiebreaker if not one stands out from the crowd.

The Yankees do have two position player roster spots to fill at the moment: a DH and one on the bench (Eric Chavez‘s spot). If they end up carrying Dickerson on the roster to open the season, I assume he would take the DH spot and the Yankees would bring in another backup infielder/utility type (like Bill Hall). That doesn’t mean he has to DH though, and frankly it would be a waste of his defense. They could use him in right field against righties and let Nick Swisher DH those days, or they could let Swisher play first to give Mark Teixeira a day at DH. Point is, he’d give them more flexibility than a traditional DH-type like Damon, Raul Ibanez, or whoever else is out there to be had.

Dickerson has what amounts to one full big league season under his belt, though his 582 plate appearances are spread across four years. He did spend all of 2009 with the Reds as a platoon bat/fourth outfielder before an ankle injury effectively ended his season in late-August, but otherwise it’s been a bunch of up-and-down stuff. He could be a Quad-A hitter than will get exposed with regular at-bats, but his defense and speed figure to keep him valuable in some capacity, even if it’s not in New York. The Yankees have to figure out what they’re going to do with Dickerson one way or the other, and it’s not out of this world insane to think he might end up on the roster come Opening Day.

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MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported on Thursday that this year’s Super Two cutoff is two years and 146 days of service time. By my unofficial count, Chris Dickerson will fall short of that cutoff by just seven days. He came into the season with two years and 48 days of service time according to Cot’s, and I have him on the active roster for 91 days in 2011. That brings him up to two years and 139 days of service time, or one week short.

Had Dickerson qualified as a Super Two, he would have been arbitration-eligible this offseason and another three times before free agency. Instead, he will earn close to league minimum in 2012 before three years of arbitration. In a way, it might have saved his job. Had Dickerson qualified as a Super Two, there’s a chance the Yankees would have non-tendered him rather than pay him a low-seven figures salary. That’s unlikely though, Dickerson’s a useful player since he can hit righties (.341 wOBA) and play pretty good defense at all three outfield spots. He’ll just do that while earning slightly less money in 2012.

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The Yankees workout at Yankee Stadium was rained out this afternoon, or rather the workouts on the field were cut short. I’m sure they got their work  in under the stands indoors. They have not yet released their ALDS roster, but bits and pieces have trickled out this afternoon. Let’s recap…

  • Joe Girardi said that Jorge Posada, who has had a total of 38 plate appearances over the last 31 days, will be the DH against the Tigers right-handed starters. That’s all four of them. Posada has hit a respectable .269/.348/.466 against righties this year, but I really have a hard time seeing him catching up to the heat Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will bring. (Mark Hale)
  • Despite rumors that he could earn a postseason job, Raul Valdes will not be on the  roster. There’s really no need for a second lefty because Detroit’s only significant lefty bat is Alex Avila, who has more than held his own against southpaws this season. Valdes will go to Tampa to stay sharp for a potential ALCS role. (David Waldstein)
  • Alex Rodriguez missed last night’s game because of some soreness in his surgically repaired knee, but Girardi said that his third baseman is healthy enough to play tomorrow and remain at third base throughout the postseason. (Chad Jennings)
  • Chris Dickerson will be on the playoff roster, presumably in that fifth outfielder/defensive specialist/pinch-runner role. (Jennings)
  • In case you missed it amidst the craziness last night, Girardi announced that Freddy Garcia will start Game Three behind CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. Sabathia will start a potential Game Four on three days rest, Nova a potential Game Five on normal rest. A.J. Burnett will work out of the  bullpen.

And finally, MLB announced umpire assignments for the four LDS matchups. Gerry Davis will be the crew chief for the Yankees-Tigers  series, and will be joined by Tony Randazzo, Eric Cooper, Dan Iassogna, Ted Barrett, and Bill Welke.

Categories : Playoffs
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Today’s the day, the day that teams can expand their rosters and the day Jesus Montero finally joins the big league team. Mark Feinsand reported late last night that three others will be getting the call: Brandon Laird, Chris Dickerson, and … wait for it … Scott Proctor! I’m dead serious. The Yankees must have promised him a call-up when they signed last month, and remember, he spoke about wanting to rejoin the team two summers ago, when we learned about his alcoholism.

Proctor made a handful of appearances with Triple-A Scranton, but he was below replacement level in 29.1 IP with the Braves earlier this year (6.44 ERA, 6.04 FIP, 5.80 xFIP). Despite all his arm problems, Proctor still has a pretty decent fastball. I’m pretty surprised they’re only calling up one pitcher though, I figured a Lance Pendleton or Aaron Laffey or Raul Valdes would also join the team just to soak up any garbage innings. They’ll certainly add a few more players once the minor league season ends on Monday, like Pendleton, Hector Noesi, Greg Golson, and Ramiro Pena. Probably a few others as well.

Laird and Dickerson will just fill out the bench, allowing the Yankees to rest the regulars in blowouts and what not. Dickerson figures to serve as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner. The Yankees will need to free up two 40-man roster spots to accommodate Montero and Proctor, and I’m guessing Justin Maxwell will be one of the moves. He’s done for the season with a shoulder injury and will be out-of-options next year, they can just outright him no problem. Steve Garrison and Kevin Whelan could also be roster spot casualties.

Categories : Asides, Transactions
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Jun
27

The 60-Day DL Chopping Block

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Bartolo's coming back for his roster spot. Also: strike three, you're out.

At the moment, the Yankees have eight players on the 60-day disabled list, which is the most I can ever remember them having at one time. Two of the 60-day DL guys are definitely done for the season (Joba Chamberlain, Colin Curtis), and one other almost certainly is (Damaso Marte). Given Brian Cashman‘s recent comments about Pedro Feliciano (“we don’t expect him back this year,” paraphrasing), the lefty makes it four players that are likely to stay on the 60-day DL all season. That leaves four players expected to come back during the season that will require a 40-man roster spot opening.

The first one is easy, since Reegie Corona (fractured arm) could just be removed from the 40-man roster when his time on the 60-day DL is up. He’s been on the 40-man bubble for over a year now. That leaves Phil Hughes, Rafael Soriano, and Eric Chavez, all of whom will probably be back right around the All-Star break, if not sooner. Something’s got to give and relatively soon, so let’s dig around the 40-man roster and rank some of the spare parts by how likely they are to be cut from the roster. Let’s go with a scale of one through five, with five being very likely to get the axe.

Buddy Carlyle, RHP
Friday’s game was basically a microcosm of the Carlyle experience. He was staked to a seven run lead to start the ninth, and he allowed the first three men he faced to reach base, two on walks. That’s just not going to cut it. Carlyle’s an older guy (33) with unspectacular stuff and extreme fly ball tendencies (35.1% grounders in his career), which doesn’t exactly scream “keeper.” No offense to Buddy, but guys like him literally grow on trees down in Florida, somewhere along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando. DFAbility: Five

Useful in moderation.

Chris Dickerson, OF
Dickerson is in the big leagues only because Chavez got hurt, and he’s been the quintessential defensive replacement/pinch-runner. Over the last 31 days, he has just four plate appearances (one double, three strikeouts) and zero starts, and he doesn’t figure to see much playing time anytime soon with Nick Swisher turning things around. We could lump Greg Golson in with Dickerson, since they essentially serve the same purpose and are both in their final option year. Dickerson is a lefty batter and has some more veteran presents, so maybe that gives him a little bit more of an advantage. Either way, he’s a guy that you can see serving a purpose down the stretch, especially when rosters expand in September. DFAbility: Two

Steve Garrison, LHP
A groin injury robbed Garrison of a month-and-a-half of the season, and he’s just now rejoining the Double-A Trenton rotation. He’s the only significant left-handed pitching prospect the Yankees have at the upper levels (aside from 20-year-old Manny Banuelos), so that alone is likely to save his job. Garrison also has a minor league option remaining for next year, and that works in his favor as well. I think he’s safe. DFAbility: One

Brian Gordon, RHP
Signed because the team needed a little pitching depth, Gordon has been nothing more than serviceable in his two starts and the Yankees even decided to use today’s off day to skip his turn in the rotation. I still think he’s a middle reliever at best, and frankly he falls into the Carlyle category of older fly ball guys with unspectacular stuff growing on trees in Florida. The only thing Gordon has on Carlyle is stamina; he’s stretched out and can throw 100 pitches if need be. That’s slightly more useful as the seventh guy/mop-up man in the bullpen. DFAbility: Three

Gus Molina, C
The Yankees only have three catchers on their 40-man, four if you want to count Jorge Posada as the emergency guy. Teams will usually keep that third catcher on the roster just in case, but the Yankees have Jesus Montero just a phone call away if they need a long-term fill-in. Gus is more of an up-and-down, short term guy. He’s not completely safe, but he’s also not the first guy on the chopping block. DFAbility: Three

"Now pitching for the Yankees, number forty-two, Lance Pandleton, number forty-two."

Lance Pendleton, RHP
As far as I’m concerned, Pants Lendleton and Gordon are interchangeable, at least in terms of expected results. Pendleton is a little younger and has more minor league options remaining, but they’re basically the same guy when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it. DFAbility: Three

Kanekoa Texeira, RHP
Mini-Tex is currently on the disabled list in the minors for an unknown reason, but that doesn’t really stand in the way of being removed from the 40-man roster. He was horrific in his short time with Triple-A Scranton (19 baserunners, 13 runs in 4.1 IP) but that could have been related to the injury for all we know. That said, the emergence of Hector Noesi and the somewhat surprising usefulness of Cory Wade make Texeira expendable. DFAbility: Four

* * *

It’s also worth noting that Justin Maxwell will miss the rest of the season after tearing his labrum robbing a homerun in Triple-A, so I suppose the Yankees could always activate him off the minor league disabled list, promote him to the big leagues, then immediately stick him on the 60-day DL to clear a spot. Maxwell, his agent, and the union will love that because he’ll get to collect a big league salary and service time when he otherwise wouldn’t. I just can’t ever remember a team, nevermind the Yankees, doing that. It’s worth a mention though. Jeff Marquez’s shoulder issue is another wildcard; if the injury is serious enough to require a 60-day DL trip, well there’s another spot. I suppose they could also release him, Amary Sanit-style. Until then, Carlyle and Texeira should be looking over their shoulders.

Categories : Injuries
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Update (6:04pm): Feinsand says Dickerson is day-to-day and Joe Girardi is unlikely to use him tonight. Good news.

Original Post (4:00pm): Via Mark Feinsand, Chris Dickerson‘s CT scan came back normal, though the team has not yet confirmed what’s next for him. Dickerson left last night’s game after being hit by the head with a Mike Gonzalez pitch in the 15th inning. Hopefully he can avoid the new seven-day concussion disabled list, but they won’t screw around with a head injury. More details to come, at some point.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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Chris Dickerson left tonight’s game after being hit in the head by a Mike Gonzalez fastball in the 15th inning. Bryan Hoch says he’s on his way to the hospital for a CT scan, and we’re all hoping for the best. Dickerson was down on the ground for a few minutes, but ultimately walked off the field under his own power, so hopefully that’s a good sign. Scary scary scary.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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The Yankees have recalled outfielder Chris Dickerson from Triple-A Scranton, placing Rafael Soriano and his balky elbow on the disabled list in the corresponding move. Another MRI apparently showed nothing but inflammation. The moves get them back to a normal four-man bench and seven-man bullpen.

Dickerson is a lefty batter, something the Yankees have lacked on the bench since Eric Chavez‘s injury. He was hitting .248/.370/.354 with eight steals in eleven attempts in Triple-A, and that’s pretty much his game: some power (career .178 ISO at the Triple-A level), gets on base (.380 OBP), runs a little bit (65 SB in 81 attempts, 80.2% success rate), and plays sound defense at all three outfield spots. Dickerson’s useful but not a savior, though the Yankees needed to get rid of that ridiculous eight-man bullpen.

Categories : Asides, Injuries
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Mar
28

Open Thread: Injury Updates

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Kevin Millwood made it to Tampa. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

All of the roster and transactions news was posted this afternoon, but Chad Jennings offered up some injury updates as well. Let’s recap it here…

  • Tonight’s game was canceled because it’s pouring in Tampa, so Curtis Granderson was unable to do his scheduled work this afternoon. “Very close to it, if not on it,” said the center fielder, referring to being ready for Opening Day. Grandy wants to play in a game before Opening Day, but the final game of the Grapefruit League schedule will be played tomorrow afternoon. I guess the good news is that he’s not far off from returning. (Update: John Flaherty says Grandy took batting practice inside and could play in a minor league game tomorrow, weather permitting.)
  • Once healthy, Pedro Feliciano says he’ll only need “a couple of bullpens” to get himself into game shape.
  • Chris Dickerson‘s hamstring injury is “manageable” and doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.
  • Frankie Cervelli will be free of his protective walking boot for good tomorrow.

Anyway, that’s it. No game tonight like I said, so you’re going to have to dig around for something else to watch. The only local team in action is the Knicks, who’ve managed to lose nine of their last ten games. Same ol’ Knicks even with Carmelo, eh? You all know what to do, so have at it.

Categories : Injuries, Open Thread
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(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Update (11:41am): The Yankees have received OF Chris Dickerson from the Brewers. He has one option remaining and is a legitimate center fielder (+15.7 UZR/150 but in a limited sample), so think of him as Curtis Granderson insurance should the oblique thing drag on. The soon-to-be 28-year-old was awful last season (.206/.250/.268, .242 wOBA in 106 PA), but he missed close to four months after having wrist surgery.

Dickerson hit .283/.383/.440 with 16 steals while with the Reds from 2008-2009 (421 PA), and is a .282/.382/.471 career hitter at the Triple-A level. So yeah, he has some on-base skills, plus he hits righties well (career .347 wOBA). Considering Mitre’s limited value and the fact that they were probably going to release him before Monday’s 45-day termination pay deadline, the Yankees actually made out really well in this swap.

Original Post (11:03am): That’s the word from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Mitre was one of four pitchers competing for three roster spots, so this trade makes the situation clear. Ivan Nova, Bartolo Colon, and Freddy Garcia will all break camp with the team, though we’re not quite sure about the roles yet. Nova will be in the rotation, but it’s still unclear which of Colon and Garcia fills the fifth spot and which goes to the bullpen.

This also puts the Kevin Millwood signing into better perspective. He’s now essentially insurance in case something goes wrong with Colon or Garcia early in the season, when the young arms might not quite be ready.

Categories : Transactions
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