• Time For Melky To Grab Some Pine?

    Posted by on August 4th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Playing around with the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia today, I ran a sort of Yankees batters – setting the filters for: Seasons 1973-2008, AGE <= 24, PLATE APPEARANCES >= 425, ranked by worst RCAA totals. Here’s the result:

    PLAYER		YEAR	RCAA	PA
    Bobby Meacham	1985	-22	566
    Melky Cabrera	2008	-21	425
    Melky Cabrera	2007	-14	612
    Robinson Cano	2005	-5	551
    Nick Johnson	2002	-3	441
    Jim Mason	1974	-3	487
    Bernie Williams	1993	-2	628
    Melky Cabrera	2006	2	524
    Derek Jeter	1996	3	654
    Willie Randolph	1976	6	500
    Willie Randolph	1977	6	624
    Willie Randolph	1979	6	682

    Note Melky Cabrera, for the last two years, through yesterday’s games. That’s 1,037 PA and -35 RCAA. Where does Melky rank, over the last two years, for all batters with 1,000+ PA, in terms of worst RCAA? See the following:

    PLAYER		RCAA	PA
    Felipe Lopez	-44	1034
    Melky Cabrera	-35	1037
    Chris Young	-33	1111
    Ryan Theriot	-28	1066
    Jose Lopez	-26	1038
    Stephen Drew	-25	1059
    Jeff Francoeur	-23	1149
    Khalil Greene	-22	1082
    Juan Pierre	-21	1060
    Freddy Sanchez	-18	1080

    This is painful for me – because I truly like the guy. But, the last two seasons have shown us that Melky Cabrera is over-matched by major league pitching…really, really, over-matched. And, he doesn’t deserve to have a full-time job.

    But, what do you do? Justin Christian is not a full-time answer in center. He didn’t even play CF on a regular basis in the minors. Brett Gardner is not ready. I don’t think you want to play Johnny Damon out there. Do you rush Austin Jackson? Probably not…

    So, as much as Melky deserves to lose his full-time job, the Yankees do not have many options here, do they? Looks like Cabrera will continue to play on…

    Comments on Time For Melky To Grab Some Pine?

    1. Raf
      August 4th, 2008 | 2:18 pm

      Since it’s only temporary, I’d rotate Nady, Christian & Damon in/out of CF.

      I don’t see a full time benching in Melky’s future, given other options as well as what he brings to the table defensively, but a “break” may do wonders for him.

    2. East Hill
      August 4th, 2008 | 2:29 pm

      Gardner did look good in his time. I know his batting average did not indicate this, but he took a lot of pitches and always had a good AB, and I think over a larger sample size it would bear out that he is a more productive player than Melky Cabrera.

    3. August 4th, 2008 | 2:57 pm

      If that title is a question, the answer is a certain yes. Sit him down. Even if it’s not full time, just get him out of the lineup every now and again and see if someone else can provide some more value from the CF spot.

    4. antone
      August 4th, 2008 | 4:12 pm

      I have been waiting for someone on the internet to do a post of the most unproductive players because I had a feeling Melky was the worst starter in all of baseball. Thanks for running these numbers Steve, so that I could see I was almost correct in thinking he was the worst starter.

      Sunday’s game was the first game I’ve been to on the season and I couldn’t believe how much worse Melky looked in person than on TV. It looks like he is really struggling to get the bat through the zone. His swing is just awful right now.

      I’m surprised that Giradi hasn’t sat him more because I think he really needs a break in order to regroup. I don’t mind having Damon in center every once in a while, it’s only a problem to me if he’s out there more than 25% of the time or more. 20-30 games of Damon in CF would not hurt the team too much.

    5. GatorGossage
      August 4th, 2008 | 5:32 pm

      Brett Gardner did not look good and his numbers reflect that. He had more problems making contact than Melky does and he demonstrated even less power. Gardner – at least what we saw from him – is not the answer.

    6. Tex Antoine
      August 4th, 2008 | 5:56 pm

      Hmmm and how many elite centerfielders were on the open market this past winter? What a shock that Cashman saw fit to bid on precisely none of them. Anyone with eyes could see that Cabrera is nothing but a fourth outfielder—if that.

    7. August 4th, 2008 | 6:18 pm

      FWIW, it looks like Christian is starting in CF tonight.

    8. Raf
      August 4th, 2008 | 6:48 pm

      Hmmm and how many elite centerfielders were on the open market this past winter?
      ——–
      Define “elite”

      Andruw Jones? Torii Hunter? Mike Cameron? Aaron Rowand?

      Don’t think the Yanks would’ve signed Hunter to the contract that the Angels signed him to. Cameron’s a bit up there in years. While I was surprised that Jones lasted on the market as long as he did, I don’t think the Yanks were ever players for him. Cameron would’ve been an interesting gamble, given his defensive rep.

    9. Corey
      August 4th, 2008 | 8:17 pm

      I used to watch the mets rather frequently (i had more free time) and when he was on that team, he was terrible. I’m glad he wasn’t signed.

    10. May 15th, 2009 | 11:37 pm

      [...] in 2006, I was a big Melky Cabrera fan. But, as I noted last season, Leche was bad in 2007 and terrible in 2008 with the bat. (And, some suggested that his attitude [...]

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