• The Javier Vazquez Question

    Posted by on March 30th, 2010 · Comments (16)

    Via Ed Price today –

    There are two kinds of ex-Yankees.

    Those of whom Brian Cashman thinks, “Never again.”

    And everyone else.

    While Cashman says he has never specifically thought, “I’d like to bring him back someday,” after a player departs the Bronx, he did just that with three players last winter.

    Cashman signed free agents Nick Johnson and Marcus Thames, one-time Yankees prospects traded away in 2003.

    The least popular return of the trio, at least among some Yankees fans, is right-hander Javier Vazquez.

    “I’m looking forward to this year,” [Vazquez] said. “I’ve answered a lot of questions since I’ve been here [about] the past and I just want to look forward. … I feel good and I feel like this is going to be a good opportunity.

    “I’ve had other years where one of the two halves was good or bad. Obviously in New York it gets bigger.”

    Six years ago, Vazquez and Kevin Brown came in to restructure a rotation that had lost Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte to Houston and David Wells to the Padres after winning the AL pennant.

    “It’s a different situation for me because it’s just a different team,” Vazquez said. “We’ve got three horses at the front of the rotation with CC [Sabathia], A.J. [Burnett] and Andy [Pettitte]. I’m thrilled to be part of that rotation.

    “I look at it the same way. Every year when I go out and pitch, I want to help the team every day. I don’t see it as different expectations.”

    In between Bronx tours, Vazquez went to the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Braves.

    “I really didn’t think about if I wanted to come back or not,” he said. “In my mind, I’ve always thought if you go to one place and get traded or something like that, you’re probably not coming back.”

    I can’t wait to see Vazquez’ performance for the Yankees in 2010. I would be shocked if he did not make 30 starts and throw 200 innings. Why? He’s always good for that – check the record. But, I would also be pretty surprised if his ERA this season was below 4.30 and if he won more than 14 games this year. In summary, I expect 30 starts, 200 innings, 14 wins and an ERA of 4.30 from Javy this season. Anything above that would be a bonus and a pleasant surprise. And, anything less than that would be considered a failure – and it should be…based on his overall history.

    Of course, the X-factor here is that it’s his “walk year.” Some guys thrive off that – and some do not. Which will Javy do? That’s anyone’s guess…if you ask me.

    Comments on The Javier Vazquez Question

    1. Corey Italiano
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:10 am

      Jasquex has looked fantastic all spring, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up being the second best pitcher on the team by the end of the year. Seeing him live and up close was a real treat.

    2. Corey Italiano
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:11 am

      @ Corey Italiano:
      Javy Vasquez* Not sure what happened there, lol.

    3. YankCrank
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:19 am

      I can’t wait to see Vazquez’ performance for the Yankees in 2010.
      —-

      I’m right there with you. Never wanted him traded away, and I was very excited to have him back.

      Here’s hoping he has a good 2010.

    4. clintfsu813
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:36 am

      I saw him my first ST game and will be seeing him again Saturday. He looked really good last time and has so far this year so far. Of course the proof is in the pudding, but I’m really high on him for now. I think he could be that guy to push us over that overrated Sox rotation.

    5. Evan3457
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:36 am

      But, I would also be pretty surprised if his ERA this season was below 4.30 and if he won more than 14 games this year. In summary, I expect 30 starts, 200 innings, 14 wins and an ERA of 4.30 from Javy this season. Anything above that would be a bonus and a pleasant surprise. And, anything less than that would be considered a failure – and it should be…based on his overall history.

      And why is that? His ERA has been over 4.30 in 3 of the last 5 seasons; he’s walking back into the toughest division in the tougher league in a ballpark that is conducive to one of his two main weaknesses (i.e., HR to LH hitters). As far as I can tell, it’s 50/50 whether he’s over or under 4.30 in ERA. Also, the plexiglass principle comes into play here. Last season was very much better than career average, so he might be expected to be slightly worse than career average this year.

      In the community projections page, I projected him for a record of 15-10 and a 4.33 ERA. If he does better than that, it’s all gravy. To me, at least.

    6. MJ Recanati
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:40 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      projected him for a record of 15-10 and a 4.33 ERA.

      If that’s what it ends up being, that’s tremendous.

      The Yanks won the World Series with league average performances from two of their top three starters. Adding another league average starter to the mix certainly wouldn’t hurt the team’s chances any from a pitching point of view.

    7. MJ Recanati
      March 30th, 2010 | 10:41 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I should clarify that their starters pitched better than league average in the playoffs, I meant that comment with respect to the regular season.

    8. Evan3457
      March 30th, 2010 | 12:11 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      projected him for a record of 15-10 and a 4.33 ERA.
      If that’s what it ends up being, that’s tremendous.
      The Yanks won the World Series with league average performances from two of their top three starters. Adding another league average starter to the mix certainly wouldn’t hurt the team’s chances any from a pitching point of view.

      Well, I’m weighing the ERA, starts and decisions of their #2, #3, and #4 starters from last year in that:

      Burnett 13-9, 4.04
      Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16
      Chamberlain, 9-6 4.75

      If Vazquez starts 34 games, he can reasonably expect somewhere between 23-25 decisions, and taking the average of those ERA and WPCT above, that means something like 14-9 and 15-10 for an ERA of 4.33.

      Keep in mind, he’ll have average or slightly better defensive support, very good bullpen support, and excellent to outstanding offensive support. He does have a tendency to underachieve in the W-L given his peripheral stats. (Some call that a “choke” factor, and, in fairness, some of that might be true in Javy’s case).

      It’s also possible he’ll put in an Ed Figueroa season: beating up on the dregs, and getting pummeled by the good teams. Ed Figueroa was about the least clutch player on the Bronx Zoo Yankees. He almost never won a “big game” for them (He did beat the Red Sox, 2-0, in September, 1977. I remember that game clearly. He got lucky. With the score 0-0, the Sox loaded the bases with no one out. He got Lynn to hit a solid grounder back to him and start a 1-2-3 DP, and then Yaz lined a shot up the middle, ticketed for CF for a 2-run single, but it hit Figueroa in the gluteus and caromed right to Chambliss for the 3rd out. Reggie hit a 2-run laser beam in the bottom of the 9th to win it.) Figueroa’s postseason record was about as bad as bad could be.

      But the Bronx Zoo would never have won either title without Figueroa beating up on the bad teams; they’d have never made the playoffs without him, especially backing up Guidry in 1978 with his famous 20-win season.

      As a baseline, I think that Javy is capable of something similar, even if his work in key spots is lacking. So he might wind up something like 16-8, even with an ERA of 4.50 or so.

    9. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 6:19 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I projected him for a record of 15-10 and a 4.33 ERA… If Vazquez starts 34 games, he can reasonably expect somewhere between 23-25 decisions… that means something like 14-9 and 15-10 for an ERA of 4.33…

      He might wind up something like 16-8, even with an ERA of 4.50 or so.

      2010 record: 10-10 and a 5.32 ERA.

    10. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 6:37 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Yanks won the World Series with league average performances from two of their top three starters. Adding another league average starter to the mix certainly wouldn’t hurt the team’s chances any from a pitching point of view.

      @ MJ Recanati:
      If you were referring to the 2009 World Series, that would have been false.

    11. McMillan
      November 14th, 2013 | 7:03 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I should clarify that their starters pitched better than league average in the playoffs, I meant that comment with respect to the regular season.

      This doesn’t make any sense. What does “league-average in the playoffs” mean? And in what year did the New York Yankees win a World Series with “league-average” performances from two of their top three starters?

    12. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 8:11 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      This doesn’t make any sense. What does “league-average in the playoffs” mean? And in what year did the New York Yankees win a World Series with “league-average” performances from two of their top three starters?

      @ McMillan:
      M.J. must be thinking of the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers, even though that team did pick up Don Sutton, and did not win the World Series.

    13. McMillan
      November 15th, 2013 | 6:28 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, I’m weighing the ERA, starts and decisions of their #2, #3, and #4 starters from last year in that:

      Burnett 13-9, 4.04
      Pettitte, 14-8, 4.16
      Chamberlain, 9-6 4.75

      If Vazquez starts 34 games, he can reasonably expect somewhere between 23-25 decisions, and taking the average of those ERA and WPCT above, that means something like 14-9 and 15-10 for an ERA of 4.33.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If that’s what it ends up being, that’s tremendous.

      An averaging of three starting pitchers’ statistics to arrive at a prediction for a fourth? Is this how Cashman’s quantitative analysis department produces meaningful information about the future predictable performance of starting pitching? That would explain a lot of things.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It’s also possible he’ll put in an Ed Figueroa season: beating up on the dregs, and getting pummeled by the good teams. Ed Figueroa was about the least clutch player on the Bronx Zoo Yankees. He almost never won a “big game” for them… Figueroa’s postseason record was about as bad as bad could be.

      Figueroa’s postseason record might have been as bad as bad could be because there are not dregs to beat up on in the postseason; there are only good teams to get pummeled by. It’s just a theory.

      How were Vazquez’s career postseason numbers?

      Regular season WPCT in games pitched by a team’s nos. 1-3 starters against the nos. 1-3 starters of division rivals or the winningest teams is an indicator of postseason strength that is a little bit more substantial than regular season WPCT alone.

    14. Kamieniecki
      November 17th, 2013 | 10:01 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      ERA of 4.33.

      @ McMillan:
      The math teacher even got the E.R.A. wrong: 4.28.
      @ MJ Recanati

    15. Evan3457
      January 20th, 2014 | 6:25 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      ERA of 4.33.
      @ McMillan:
      The math teacher even got the E.R.A. wrong: 4.28.
      @ MJ Recanati

      Actually, I was averaging the 3 ERA, not doing a cumulative. So it should’ve been 4.32, and not 4.33 and 4.28, either.

    16. Kamieniecki
      January 20th, 2014 | 5:46 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Actually, I was averaging the 3 ERA, not doing a cumulative. So it should’ve been 4.32, and not 4.33 and 4.28, either.

      @ Evan3457:
      Actually, that’s why you got the calculation wrong:

      Earned run average (ERA) is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched… It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. Runs resulting from defensive errors (including pitchers’ defensive errors) are recorded as unearned runs and are not used to determine ERA.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earned_run_average

      Cumulative 2009 E.R.A. of Burnett, Pettitte, and Chamberlain = ((93 + 90 + 83) * 9) / (207 + 194.67 + 157.33) = 4.282647584973166.

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