"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

What to Do?

Who comes up short?


Over at River Avenue Blues, Joseph Pawlikowski considers what roster moves the Yanks will make once Brian Bruney rejoins the team.

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 5:01 pm

Ah, the good ol' 5 train. Yunnow, Dyre Avenue station looks like a time warp to the seventies. The only thing that stands out there is the Golden Crust restaurant (not a fan; talk about blanding opportunities...)

2 Raf   ~  Jun 15, 2009 5:01 pm

That sounds about right; Tomko out for Bruney.

3 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jun 15, 2009 5:42 pm

[1] Don't you miss the huge yellow, cranking turnstiles of old? God I loved those.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 6:18 pm

I do remember those, but only a little. I was a child visiting the city fairly often until we moved to the Mid-Hudson Valley in 1979, but my first memory of riding the subway was actually 1980, and that was also the first time I went to Yankee Stadium. Until then, I never rode underground (my Mom expressly forbid my siblings to take me on one until I got a little older.) I paid more attention to the train itself and the above ground vistas; I love trains, though I was not unhappy to see the redbirds retire. My grandfather worked for New York Central Railroad for a long time and retired before I was born, so the train love runs in the family. Yet today I prefer driving myself around than taking the subway; my experiences on and with the subway have not always been pleasant.

5 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 7:00 pm

Assuming Bruney comes back and does as well as he's capable, I look forward to a lock down 7th and 8th provided by he and Mr. Joba Chamberlain.

6 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 7:04 pm

Are we guessing, or hoping?
Guessing: Tomko DFA'd.
Hoping: Veras DFA'd.

If Pena or Robertson are optioned, I'll be very disappointed. If it's Tomko instead of Veras, I'll be mildly disappointed but I don't think it will hurt the team much. (I just particularly dislike Veras.)

7 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 8:08 pm

CC Sabathia, 37th among ML starters in ERA+.

Guess $161 million ain't what it used to be...

8 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 8:30 pm

Joe Mauer's OPS+ is 229.

Holy fuck. That's Ruthian.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 15, 2009 8:42 pm

[7] Remember, he starts off slow...

10 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:05 pm

[9] Biggest contract for a pitcher in ML history...37th place.

And his buddy with the $82 million deal is sporting the league average ERA+ of 100.

Very impressive.

11 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:08 pm

Sabathia's Career ERA
April 4.54.
August 3.21
Sep/Oct 2.77

Also, CC is currently 7th in WHIP, 5th in IP.

12 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:35 pm

[11] So the games in April, May and June count any less than the games later in the season?

$161 million. What's Doc Halliday worth?

13 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:41 pm

[12] So, you are evaluating the contract on the basis of 2 months? Doc Halladay is worth what the market will pay him. He didn't sign his deal as a free agent, so it's silly to compare his contract to C.C. Sabathia's. Instead, Halladay signed his three year extension before the 2006 season, following seasons in which he pitched 130 and 140 innings. Had he waited until he was eligible for free agency after 2007, maybe he would have done better than $13mn/year.

14 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:42 pm

DFA Burnett.

15 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:43 pm

[12] No, they count the same. The point is that you've seen him at his worst this season, and his best is going to be really, really good.

Halliday is really good too. I guess we'll see how much he's worth next year. He's three years older than CC, so he'll get quite a bit less total money, but his annual salary is sure to be huge.

16 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:43 pm

@ 13

He's asking what Doc is worth on the open market if CC get 161.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:44 pm

[12] [13] Also, C.C. has probably been better than Halladay over the last 4-5 years and he is four years younger.

18 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:44 pm

@ 15

That's what kills me about Burnett. He doesn't just block the rotation for kids. He blocks it for another big signing.

Just terrible. An awful contract and signing.

19 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:46 pm

[13] Not to quibble, but Halladay is making $14.25 M this year. And another $125K if he makes the All Star team, and I should say when, not if.

Okay, when I said "not to quibble", I guess I mean "to quibble."

20 RIYank   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:49 pm

[18] Who did you want to sign (who AJ will be blocking)? Halladay? Too old, I think -- he could turn out to be worth it, he could turn out to be Clemens. But it's unlikely.

21 Bum Rush   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:51 pm

Oh, and thanks Alex for the recommendation. I hit the hookah tonight just for old times! Mmmmm, tasty kind buds...

22 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:51 pm

[19] The average salary of his extension is $13.333mn, which I think is more relevant.

23 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 9:55 pm

[17] No way. And forget about that NL Central stuff. We'll see what happens pitching almost half his starts against AL East teams, as Doc has for his whole career.

24 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:00 pm

[15] Better yet, for about $40-45 million easy, the Yanks could have had K-Rod as their 8th inning guy. For an extra $5-10 million, he would have set up for Mo. Nobody wanted to pay him.

25 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:01 pm

[23] Sabathia spent half of one season in the AL Central. Also, for most of Halladay's career, pitching in the AL East has meant getting to face very bad Orioles and Rays teams. According to fangraphs, C.C.'s WAR since 2004 has been 27.6, while Halladay's has been 26.7.

26 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:01 pm

[25] That should be half of one season in the "NL Central".

27 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:04 pm

[24] I don't think that would have been a better use of resources. It doesn't really make sense to lock down the 8th inning, but lose the only pitcher who consistently gives you the first seven.

28 Joel   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:10 pm

Oh, and that's $94 million when you throw in the $12 million they gave to Marte after his scintillating 2008 performance of a 5.40 ERA and 82 ERA+ in 25 games.

29 The Hawk   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:38 pm

It makes no sense to judge a player's season before the season's over.

30 Rich   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:46 pm

CC's Home/Road splits:


Home: 4.07
Road: 3.35

I think the new Stadium is affecting pitchers in tangible and intangible ways.

31 Rich   ~  Jun 15, 2009 10:48 pm

Most closers don't want to be set up relievers. TBH, K-Rod is better than Mo right now. It would be kind of absurd for him to be the set up reliever here.

32 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Jun 16, 2009 2:48 am

The new stadium and the old catcher perhaps? Kepner's article is the latest in the whisper campaign ~ it's only taken 15years for acknowledge, a 2nd base convert might not make a great catcher


33 RIYank   ~  Jun 16, 2009 6:31 am

[32] Take a look at Pete Abe's defense of Posada. Pete has been just great these past few days.

34 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 16, 2009 7:33 am

I am getting a little tired of the all the excuses being conjured up to explain why this staff has performed well below expectations.

The Jorge excuse is a perennial that seems to pop up when convenient. Of course, the notion that Jorge is a drag on ERA doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Going back a bit, in 2000, Posada had a CERA of 4.67, compared to the team ERA of 4.76 (Turner had a CERA of 5.13). In 2001, Posada had a CERA of 3.77, compared to the team ERA of 4.02 (Greene had a CERA of 4.83 and Oliver’s was 5.03). In 2002, Posada had a CERA of 3.78, compared to the team ERA of 3.87 (Widger had a CERA of 4.58 and Castillo’s was 3.93).

From 2003-2005, the Yankees had a stable duo in Flaherty and Posada, so maybe we can find a trend in that range?

In 2003, Posada had a CERA of 4.12, compared to the team ERA of 4.02 (Flaherty had a CERA of 3.72). In 2004, Posada had a CERA of 4.65, compared to the team ERA of 4.69 (Flaherty had a CERA of 4.93). Posada had a CERA of 4.65, compared to the team ERA of 4.52 (Flaherty had a CERA of 4.12).

Considering the small sample for Flaherty (about 25% of the playing time), I think it’s pretty easy to see these outcomes as random. One year, Flaherty had a lower ERA, the next Posada and the third Flaherty again.

More recently, in 2006, Posada had a CERA of 4.36, compared to the team ERA of 4.41 (Fasano had a CERA of 4.78 and Stinnett’s was 4.38). Finally, in 2007, Posada had a CERA of 4.49, compared to the team ERA of 4.49 (Nieves had a CERA of 4.37 and Molina’s was 4.62). In limited time, Posada’s CERA was 4.61, compared to the team at 4.28, Molina at 3.71, Pudge at 5.59 and Moeller at 4.20.

I am sorry, but unless Posada all of sudden forgot how to call a game, using him as an excuse for this staff’s struggles is ridiculous. If we are going to blame Posada because Joba couldn’t pump fastballs past Martinez, Cora, Castillo and Schneider, we might as well just dispense with the charade and just blame that on Arod.

As for the YSIII excuse, if you look deep into the peripheral splits, you can’t demonstrate a noticeable difference between how the team pitches at home versus the road. The only meaningful difference is the HR total, but even that is way too high on the road as well.

In other words, the Yankees pitching staff has been disorganized and performed well below expectations. This team needs to worry less about excuses and more about improving their performance. And, if Eiland/Girardi can’t get them to do that, then the Yankees need to find someone who can.

35 RIYank   ~  Jun 16, 2009 8:36 am

Wait, why is it that citing the Stadium or the catcher is an "excuse", but mentioning the manager and the pitching coach isn't?

(Personally I prefer "explanation".)

36 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jun 16, 2009 8:39 am

[34] I loved that right up until the last sentence.

37 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 16, 2009 8:46 am

[29] Best line in the thread.

I'll also ask, again, why people use ERA+ of all things to evaluate any pitcher. ERA is, IMHO, a flawed metric, because it fails to account for the quality of the defense behind the pitcher, not to mention its reliance on what the official scorer thinks is, and is not, an error, and its inability to account for what happens to runners left on base when a pitcher is pulled mid-inning. Its not quite as bad as using AVG and nothing else to evaluate a hitter, butI changed my mind - it is as bad as using AVG and nothing else to evaluate a hitter. FIP, xFIP, WAR, PRAR, WARP, SNLVAR - any of these do the job much better.

Tomko should be DFA'd, because at his age and with his track record, he has no value on the trade market. I could imagine a situation where the Yanks were able to acquire a B-type prospect for the fireballing Veras in a trade. Someone is always ready to be seduced by velocity . . .

38 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 16, 2009 8:47 am

[33] Pete's 'argument'?
"Jorge Posada as their regular catcher and made the playoffs every year with him catching. Then what happened last season? Posada barely played and the Yankees went home in October."
Correlation does not imply causation

I personally don't know how to feel about Po behind the plate. We know at this point, his throwing (CS%) is below average (although certainly not horrid). His blocking the plate is and has always been poor. He does not frame pitches at all. Whether his 'testy relationship' with some pitchers is par for the course or not, I don't know.

William [34] has posted some pretty good data.

From Piazza on down, any team that has had a good offensive catcher has started them, regardless of defense. The trade off appears to be worth it, so to this point, Po has obviously been a great asset.

I will say that next year, if, but more likely when, Matsui is gone, if Po is primarily a DH and BUC, I think that bodes well for the team's Catching Defense, and probably Po's offense.

While I believe Cervix is hitting way over his head, the guy seems to be a very SOLID player, especially considering his limited pro-ball experience. Pitchers speak very well of him (even with veteran Po on the team). With Po at DH, if Cervix is our weakest batter in the 9th spot, I can live with that.

Once Andy is gone next year, if they could speak honestly and anonymously, which of our Pitchers prefers to throw to Po?

39 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 16, 2009 8:49 am

[29] Please stop that. We can't have all the irrational posters on PeteAbe's site.

40 RIYank   ~  Jun 16, 2009 9:20 am

[37] Shaun, ERA really is not as bad as BA.
The problems you've mentioned with ERA all amount to the fact that it's noisy. Take a pitcher's entire career, and suppose it's long enough and he's been with enough different teams, then the distorting factors you mention will wash out and the signal will come through. What I'm saying is, at least ERA does measure the right thing, namely, how many runs the guy gives up. In the long run, that's what matters. On the other hand, BA doesn't even measure the right thing. In the long run Ichiro contributes much less to his team's offense than Ryan Howard even though his BA is much higher. Moving him from team to team, waiting for a bigger sample, that's not going to help, because BA measures the wrong thing.

41 RIYank   ~  Jun 16, 2009 9:29 am

[38] Correlation does not imply causation

That can't be a good objection. If it were, we would just laugh at all the statistics people produce in their arguments. After all, statistics only tell you correlations. You have to infer the causation yourself!

He does not frame pitches at all.
So you weren't impressed by Molina's observation that this is at most a very trivial factor? Molina told Pete that umpires don't pay attention to where the catcher catches a pitch.

While I believe Cervix is hitting way over his head

If so, then he is a very bad hitter indeed; he's currently at .644 OPS. I mean, that's David Ortiz bad!

With Po at DH, if Cervix is our weakest batter in the 9th spot, I can live with that.

Listen, I like the guy. But with Posada DHing and Cervelli wearing the mask, we essentially trade Matsui's bat for Cervelli's. That's a pretty huge drop-off. Pete Abe noted that Posada is a great-hitting catcher, but would only be a so-so DH.

42 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 16, 2009 9:37 am

[36] If players continue to underperform, should coaches/managers not be held accountable?

[40] Agree with that...ERA isn't perfect, but for traditional statistic, it's still a prettty darn good indicator of performance. What's more, even if one argues that other factors are influencing ERA, it still is a pretty good indicator of end results. Batting average, on the other hand, is not.

43 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 16, 2009 9:42 am

[41] Cervelli "looks" like a decent offensive performer because his batting average is pretty good and he runs pretty well (that last point might seem odd, but I think it does add to the perception).

When someone has a high batting average (with no walks and no SLG), their impact is very minimal, but their failure rate (i.e., not getting a hit) is also pretty low. The problem is many people still see not getting a hit as a failure, when the reality is not getting on base and not driving the ball are better examples.

44 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 16, 2009 10:04 am

[40] [42] You're both right, but you also seem to agree with me that ERA is a better stat for judging things over a long period of time than a short one. If the period of time is too short, there's still too much noise, and not enough signal, present. (I feel like I'm back in college - RI, are you an EE too?)

And for right now, given that CC has 93 IP with the Yanks, and AJ has 80, that's not nearly enough to eliminate the noise.

45 ny2ca2dc   ~  Jun 16, 2009 12:22 pm

[38] For the record, correlation absolutely does imply causation, but certainly doens't guarantee it. Semantics are fun!

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver