• Is Yankees Line-Up Full Of Strikeout Batters?

    Posted by on October 5th, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Yup, pretty much. So, how is this different from last season?

    Here’s 2010:

    Rk Pos   G PA SO 6
    1 RF Nick Swisher# 150 635 139
    2 1B Mark Teixeira# 158 712 122
    3 CF Curtis Granderson* 136 528 116
    4 SS Derek Jeter 157 739 106
    5 LF Brett Gardner* 150 569 101
    6 UT Jorge Posada# 120 451 99
    7 3B Alex Rodriguez 137 595 98
    8 2B Robinson Cano* 160 696 77
    9 DH Marcus Thames 82 237 61
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/5/2010.

    .
    And, here’s 2009:

    Rk Pos   G PA SO 6
    1 RF Nick Swisher# 150 607 126
    2 1B Mark Teixeira# 156 707 114
    3 C Jorge Posada# 111 438 101
    4 LF Johnny Damon* 143 626 98
    5 3B Alex Rodriguez 124 535 97
    6 SS Derek Jeter 153 716 90
    7 DH Hideki Matsui* 142 526 75
    8 2B Robinson Cano* 161 674 63
    9 CF Melky Cabrera# 154 540 59
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/5/2010.

    .

    Looks like the delta here is the call to go with Granderson, Thames and Gardner over Damon, Matsui and Cabrera.

    Comments on Is Yankees Line-Up Full Of Strikeout Batters?

    1. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:09 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Looks like the delta here is the call to go with Granderson, Thames and Gardner over Damon, Matsui and Cabrera.

      Seems like they made the right choice to me. Granderson and Gardner were far more productive as a duo than their 2009 counterparts Damon and Cabrera, strikeouts notwithstanding.

    2. Raf
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:15 am

      WAR

      CG: 2.1
      MT: 0.9
      BG: 4.0

      JD: 1.6
      HM: 2.0
      MC:-0.4

      Granderson, Thames and Gardner may have struck out more, but they brought more value to the table.

    3. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:23 am

      @ Raf:
      That’s B-R’s WAR calculation, yes?

      I’m noticing more people using the B-R calculation over the Fangraphs version of the same stat. Any reason why?

    4. Raf
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:28 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I used it because that’s where Steve got his information for the graph.

      I think more people are using B-R’s calculation because it seems that general consensus is that people don’t trust UZR yet.

    5. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:30 am

      Raf wrote:

      I think more people are using B-R’s calculation because it seems that general consensus is that people don’t trust UZR yet.

      Gotcha. I don’t trust UZR either so that makes sense.

    6. October 5th, 2010 | 11:17 am

      All season, esp. in September, the lament in Yankeeland was the lack of situational hitting. I know I heard A-Rod say it more than once. Don’tcha think that not having Matsui and Damon and having guys like Granderson, who K often, where part of the issue there, WAR be damned.

    7. EHawk
      October 5th, 2010 | 11:33 am

      You think the Yankees have a lot of guys who K….just look the numbers on the Rays.

      http://tinyurl.com/2cbtdqk

    8. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 11:53 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Damon struck out 98 times so it’s not like he wasn’t a high-K guy either.

    9. Raf
      October 5th, 2010 | 12:22 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      All season, esp. in September, the lament in Yankeeland was the lack of situational hitting. I know I heard A-Rod say it more than once. Don’tcha think that not having Matsui and Damon and having guys like Granderson, who K often, where part of the issue there, WAR be damned.

      Who’s to say that Matsui or Damon wouldn’t have struck out in that spot? WAR be damned, I’d rather have a player who brings more to the table offensively, than someone like Cervelli.

    10. October 5th, 2010 | 1:04 pm

      Damon and Matsui, give me them, any time, over a guy like Granderson, when it comes to hanging in there against a tough LHP and getting the job done – meaning advancing the runner.

    11. Raf
      October 5th, 2010 | 1:29 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Damon and Matsui, give me them, any time, over a guy like Granderson, when it comes to hanging in there against a tough LHP and getting the job done – meaning advancing the runner.

      Again
      CG: 2.1
      JD: 1.6
      HM: 2.0

      Granderson and Matsui at best are a wash, and Granderson outperformed Damon. Granderson may not “produce” against a tough lefty, but that’s maybe over a handful of at bats over a full season. All that means is that Granderson is a very good player, instead of a great one.

      Matter of fact, given the numbers you posted earlier this year about Granderson’s ability to go deep early in the count, or game, or whatever (don’t remember the exact details), it’s quite egregious that he hasn’t spent more time in the leadoff spot.

    12. October 5th, 2010 | 1:35 pm

      @ Raf:

      You want stats? Damon’s WPA/LI last year was 3.1
      Granderson’s WPA/LI this season was 1.0

      Damon was much more clutch, last year, than Granderson was this year.

    13. G.I. Joey
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:14 pm

      Let’s see what Granderson does in the postseason before we go ahead and crucify the guy.

    14. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:19 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      Let’s see what Granderson does in the postseason before we go ahead and crucify the guy.

      I wouldn’t even go that far. Granderson did a very good job this year. There’s nothing a small sample size of playoff games will tell us about Granderson that we didn’t already find out about or confirm during the regular season.

      Granderson is a good player. As Raf says above, he’s not a great player. But good players can play on my team anytime.

    15. G.I. Joey
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:33 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      Just to be clear I have no intention of crucifying him regardless of what he does in October. That was my poor attempt at poking fun at those that believe Granderson was a bust and I believe that the impact he will have this October will retract some of that hate.

      Yes, I am going on record again saying that Grandy will be an impact player this October.

    16. MJ Recanati
      October 5th, 2010 | 2:36 pm

      @ G.I. Joey:
      No, I know what you meant. I was agreeing with you and trying to broaden the discussion to demonstrate that Granderson has already done very well in his first year in Pinstripes. The playoffs won’t subtract from that, even if he has a lousy October.

      Also, yeah, I think I agree. I think Granderson will have some nice moments for the team in the next few weeks.

    17. Evan3457
      October 5th, 2010 | 10:44 pm

      There is no magic bullet here.

      Damon had a terrific ALCS and World Series last year, and a terrible ALDS.
      Matsui had a so-so ALDS, and a great World Series, and a poor ALCS

      Looking back through time…

      Damon was terrific in the post-season of 2001 in a losing series for the A’s; good in the ALDS in 2003, poor in the ALCS vs. the Yanks; great vs. the Angels in the ALDS in 2004, and against the Cards in the Series….

      …people forget this, but before his game 7 eruption, had the Sox LOST the 2004 ALCS, Damon would’ve been the goat of the series: 3-29 through 6 games, 3 runs, 1 RBI, 0 EBH, 2 BB and 8 K. Then Javy Vazquez magically appeared…

      Like the other Sox, Damon was bad against the ChiSox in 2005; did well in the 1st two games vs. the Tigers in the ALDS of 2006, then like the rest of the Yanks, disappeared in games 3 and 4; and was pretty good against the Indians in 2007, but most of his good work was the game 3 win.
      ===========================================
      Matsui, meanwhile was pretty good throughout the 2003 post-season, though he disappeared after game 2 of the World Series vs. the Marlins;
      he was excellent against the Twins in 2004 ALDS, and in the first four games of the ALCS vs. the Sox, but like almost the entire team, disappeared again after Game 4.

      In the 2005, 2006 and 2007 post-seasons, Matsui was nearly as bad as A-Rod, hitting a combined .213 in the three ALDS losses to the Angels, Tigers and Twins, driving in only 2 runs in 13 games, and slugging .319.

      ========================================
      In Granderson’s only post-season, he played well against the Yanks in the 2006 ALDS, and continued to do well in the ALCS vs. the A’s; however, like most of the Tigers’ offense he disappeared vs. the Cards in the Series, a dreadful 2-21 with only 1 run scored and 7 K’s.

      I worry about Granderson in this post-season. He doesn’t seem to matchup well with the Twins starters, or with Lee and Wilson. He had a couple of big moments against the Rays, but overall, his numbers were so-so. He does have a very good career record vs. Halladay, and also Blanton, if the Yanks and Phils get that far, but has never faced either Hamels or Oswalt.
      ======================================
      Overall in their careers

      Matsui has been superlative in post-season play, but he did have a long stretch of non-productivity in the middle (16 games worth over 4 post-seasons).

      Damon has been pretty good, a little under his career triple slash line, with a little more HR power and a little less BAVG and fewer BB.

      Granderson’s had two good series and one terrible one. His power’s a little hitter than his career averages, but his BAVG is lower (the difference is about 1 single every four games, which is about 40 points of BAVG in a very small sample of PA). His K rate in the post-season is considerably lower than it is in his regular season stats (1 in 6 AB vs. a little more than 1 in 5 AB), whatever that means in a tiny sample of AB.

      =============================
      Gardner? Eh, who knows? Thames had an OK ALDS vs. the Yanks in 2006, then hardly played in the ALCS and Series. Melky did little in the ALDS in 2007, and nothing in the ALDS and Series in 2009. He did hit very well vs. the Angels in the ALCS. His overall postseason numbers are terrible: .239/.271/.313.

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