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Tag: pinstriped bible

Never Enough

Spotted in midtown. The Score Truck? The Yankee Score Truck? Nah, but close enough.

Never mind the offense and head on over to the Pinstriped Bible and check out this post by Rebecca Glass on the Yankees’ pitching.

Bible Studies

Over at the Pinstriped Bible, Jay writes about Bill Hall:

At some point, Hall began working out in the offseason with Yankee hitting coach and noted resurrectionist Kevin Long, who’s done a magnificent job of straightening out both Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson over the past couple of years. Traded to Boston for Casey Kotchman, Hall found plenty of playing time in left field, at second base and in spot duty at five other positions (including an inning on the mound!) for the injury-wracked Sox, and he turned in a season whose overall line is almost a dead ringer for his career numbers, hitting .247/.316/.456 with 18 homers in 382 PA. Underneath the hood, he had a strong rebound against righties at the expense of a brutal year against lefties, some of which may have had to do with habits developed to succeed in Fenway; he took advantage of his natural pull tendency and hit a lot of fly balls off of and over the Green Monster.

In all, Hall would bring an intriguing skill set to the Yankees, as well as liabilities. Unlike Peña, he can competently fill in at six positions (second, short, third, and the outfield) for weeks at a time in the event another player hits the DL, and he can pop a ball out of the yard every now and then. But he’s got a history of contact woes and widely variable performances; anyone who’d be surprised if he were to be suddenly released in June while hitting .141 in minimal playing time because he’s suddenly forgotten how to hit to the opposite field hasn’t been paying attention. Still, for a few million dollars — and particularly with Long on hand to monitor his swing — he’d be a big upgrade on what the Yankees had on the bench last year.

While Steve takes on the Justin Upton rumors:

Upton is one of the most talented young players in baseball. The first overall pick of the 2005 draft, he tore the cover off the ball at two levels at 19 and made his major-league debut that same year. His age-20 season wasn’t great by the standards of right fielders, but was fantastic given his age. In 2009, he followed with one of the better seasons ever produced by a 21-year-old. His hitting .300/.366/.532 in the majors when most players his age were in Single- or Double-A compared favorably with any number of current or future Hall of Famers, a list stretching from Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx to Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.

This season was a different story. Like his older brother B.J., who had a big season at 22 and then went backwards, Upton disappointed with a .273/.356/.442 season in 2010. Ironically, if he had been a 22-year-old rookie, we might look at the season and say, “Not bad. A little inadequate for a right fielder, but he’s only 22 and maybe he builds on this.” Upton had already set a higher bar for himself, so his season was inevitably seen as a letdown.

It is difficult to pinpoint is the reason why Upton had such an off year, but at 23 it is far too soon to give up on him. He has speed, power, good speed in the outfield, and is probably still several years from the center of his prime. He is also right-handed, and though he didn’t hit lefties very well in 2010, in 2009 he murdered them, hitting .377/.445/.762. In games started by left-handers, the Yankees were 31-27 (.534) versus 64-40 against right-handers (.615).

Running on Empty?

Over at PB, Steve Goldman reflects back on the 1958 Whirled Serious. The Yanks won, coming back from a 3-1 hole:

Casey did some things that Joe Girardi can’t do. He can’t/won’t ask CC Sabathia to pitch in every game, he can’t ask Mariano Rivera to throw four innings—hell, it seems like he can’t ask Rivera to throw at all—but Joe also has some things that Casey didn’t have, like a bullpen stocked with pitchers, some of whom aren’t Sergio Mitre or Dustin Moseley. He has far more freedom to make moves with pitchers than Stengel had, and at much less of a risk to anyone’s health. In short, if there is any lesson to be taken away from the 1958 World Series, it is this: HEY, JOE: QUICK HOOK.

Back to the (immediate) future, Cliff wasn’t moved by yesterday’s Yankee win:

Perhaps its because, even if they do come back to tie this series, they’ll still have to beat Cliff Lee in Game Seven to win it. Perhaps its because, after being dominated by the Rangers for four games, a single win, even a lop-sided one such as the 7-2 Game Five, doesn’t carry enough weight to restore balance to the series. Whatever it is, Game Five felt like a repeat of Game Three of the 2007 Division Series against the Indians, a face-saving but empty victory that did little other than postpone the inevitable series loss suffered in the following game.

The Price is Right

I think David Price and the Rays will find a way to beat Cliff Lee and the Rangers tomorrow night. Either way, neither Lee or Price is likely to start Game One of the ALCS against the Yankees. Over at the Pinstriped Bible, Steve Goldman takes a look at the possible pitching rotation for the New Yorkers:

Now, we know that the Rangers are reluctant to use Lee on short rest, but perhaps young Price won’t be subject to the same limitations. Yet, moving up Price, or Lee for that matter, doesn’t change anything. Whether they pitch Saturday (three days) or Monday (five days), they’re getting two starts in the seven games. If they pitch on regular rest on Monday, they have the benefit of their usual recovery time, and the manager retains the option of asking them to come back on short rest for Game 6 or regular rest for Game 7.

After the first four games, determining the matchups becomes difficult and depressing. Given Andy Pettitte’s fragile physical state, it seems spectacularly unlikely he would pitch on short rest for Game 5. That means A.J. Burnett or Ivan Nova or Waite Hoyt or someone who wouldn’t ideally start is going if Game 5 is necessary. One alternative, and it’s probably not a good idea or even a realistic one, is Hughes pitching Game 2 . This would open up the possibility of shis tarting Game 5 on three day’s rest. Then Pettitte would pitch Game 3 and would line up to pitch in the seventh game if, for some reason, Sabathia couldn’t make another short-rest start.

Spit it Out

Over at the Pinstriped Bible, Cliff, Steven and Stephani say Bring on the Rangers. Jay’s like, nah, bring on the Twins.

Mix n Match

Over at PB, Steve Goldman writes that Joe Girardi is not to be confused with John McGraw (or even Billy Martin).

A is for Albaladejo

Over at PB, Jay Jaffe smokes ‘em up, Johnny:

The Yankees would do well to take another look at Albaladejo as another middle inning option down the stretch; contrary to what Kevin suggests, he might still find a home on the postseason roster. Even as more of a one-inning proposition than a multi-inning guy, he’d be more valuable than Chad “Second Coming” Gaudin given that he doesn’t have such infernal platoon splits; righties are hitting a microscopic . 105/.179/.124 against him this year, with two measly doubles the only extra base hits in 105 at-bats. Meanwhile, lefties are hitting a still manageable .226/.280/.348. Given that the Yankees now have Javier Vazquez in the bullpen and Ivan Nova in the rotation — a situation that could eventually reverse — they have less need for a craptacular long man than another middle-inning arm.

Furthermore, it’s not as though they can count on Alfredo Aceves to fulfill that role once he returns from his rehab assignment. After allowing just one hit and one run in five innings in his first three rehab appearances, Aceves has been cuffed for nine hits and four runs in 3.2 innings over his last two appearances — against Double-A hitters, mind you. Five of the six hits he allowed on Wednesday night were doubles, not a good sign. At the very least, he’s a ways off from helping the big club.

Skip to my Lou

Over at the Pinstriped Bible, Jay Jaffe weighs in on Javier Vazquez being skipped a turn:

Like an injured wasp, Javier Vazquez is still able to sting once in awhile, but he’s desperately in need of being relieved of his misery with a rolled-up newspaper, or at the very least swatted to the sidelines. On Saturday, his season reached another low point, as he yielded four runs in three innings against the Mariners, the majors’ lowest-scoring team. While the Yankees nonetheless emerged with a win thanks to strong work from Chad Gaudin and a late offensive burst which produced five unanswered runs, the start marked the third straight time that Vazquez had failed to reach five innings.

Alas, this should surprise exactly no one. After Vazquez allowed 10 baserunners and six runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings during his first start of the month, manager Joe Girardi admitted that his velocity was down, while pitching coach Dave Eiland conceded, “He has a little dead arm,” which isn’t as serious as it sounds. “Dead arm” is a term for muscular fatigue, a warning sign from the body but something which will improve with rest, rather than a structural problem with ligaments or cartilage which would require intervention.

Splitsphil

Over at PB, Jay Jaffe takes a look at the two-halves of Phil Hughes’ season:

On both sides of the line, Hughes has received virtually identical defensive support from his teammates, above-average support at that, given that the league batting average on balls in play is .294. He’s got two main problems: he isn’t striking out hitters at nearly the same clip as early in the year, and his home run rate has more than doubled. The latter is a byproduct of him generating fewer groundballs (which don’t go for homers) and getting a bit more bad luck on his increased number of fly balls (which do, given enough of ‘em).

Power Trio (Rub-a-Dub Dub)

The new bible study group: Steven Goldman, Cliff Corcoran and Jay Jaffe.

The Pinstriped Bible: New and Improved.

Don’t sleep.

Drought

The Young Perfessor Steve Goldman examines the Yankees’ offense:

Can we call what the Yankees are going through right now, with the Yankees pushing past four runs just once in the last seven games a slump? Sure we can, because it has gone on a lot longer than that. After hitting .286/.367/.452 in April and May and scoring an average of 5.7 runs per game, they dropped off to .245/.333/.401 and 4.8 runs per game in June. It wasn’t just the Mariners or the six games played without the designated hitter in NL parks. The Yankees didn’t hit much in the first half of the month, then slid off as the days went on.

You can pick a half-dozen culprits. Brett Gardner (.383/.472/.533) and Robinson Cano (.333/.398/.510) had good months. Mark Teixeira was about average for an AL first baseman, which isn’t saying much this year. Everyone else was different flavors of slumpy. Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez hit some home runs but had on-base percentages around .300. Derek Jeter hit .243/.339/.379, which isn’t terrible only because the average MLB shortstop is hitting only .264/.321/.371. The worst slumps took place in the DH/catching axis. Francisco Cervelli’s good luck on balls in play ran out and he hit .180/.275/.246 on the month. Jorge Posada was better because he was willing to walk but hit only .203/.337/.351.

The question here is, who can you expect to get better? Teixeira should continue to heat up. A-Rod was great in May (.330/.408/.534) and seems to be waking up again. Curtis Granderson might find some consistency if the Yankees would just stop asking him to do things he’s incapable of doing, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now, so don’t expect much more. Jeter has been roughly consistent at his current level since the end of April, and at 36 he might not find his way back to the light. Posada is 38; the same thing goes for him. Nick Swisher has changed his style, so while we can note that so far he’s had one major hot streak bookended by two very mediocre months, we can’t know where the ride is going to stop. Cano might maintain something like consistency; Gardner is going to get worse.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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