There have been 86 homeruns hit in MLB through April 17th this year against LHP. The Yankees have one of those 86 HR.
At least two of these guys will end up on the disabled list for an extended period before the season is over. Others may likely face PED scrutiny at some point this year. And, some will just see their production fall closer to the lower levels that has been their recent norm.
Can you name who is who?
Yankees have scored 32 runs in their last 3 games. They scored 17 runs in their first 5 games this season.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 10, 2013
I think the 16 games that follow their series with the Indians will tell us a lot more about the Yankees (now) than these games in Cleveland.
Prediction: The Yankees will be 12-14 when the Astros come into Yankee Stadium on April 29th.
Players with 10+ ABs this season so far with zero hits:
Man, really tough start for B.J. (0 for 14 with 9 K’s).
I blame sabermetrics. Those familiar with the study of Run Expectancy are always quick to add that “going down on strikes” is merely another vanilla form of being retired – and that the “K” was no better or worse, for the most part, than any other way of being retired as a batter. And, there’s no longer any stigma applied to having a high whiff total. This, batters don’t care and they hack away…
Do these numbers mean anything?
Here are the numbers:
|1||NYY||as PH for DH||2012||19||1.474||19||2||9||0||0||2||.526||.526||.947||.533|
|8||NYY||at Def. Pos.||2012||162||.799||2761||113||331||26||232||497||.269||.337||.462||.295|
|9||NYY||at Off. Pos.||2012||162||.783||2659||99||334||43||260||493||.260||.338||.445||.287|
Last year, DH and 2B were huge for the Yankees – and, LF and catcher were not so much. I suspect that catcher will be weak again in 2013. And, I doubt that LF could be much worse this year. The bigger question is DH. Will that be a plus for the Yankees this season or a minus?
In 2006, Jerome Holtzman, a legendary Chicago baseball writer who became MLB’s official historian in 1999, told Selig that he thought the reaction to the “Steroid Era” had been overblown. That the game had been filled with this sort of stuff from its inception. Selig responded with an assignment: Put something on paper for me. Give me some context to what we’re seeing now.
Holtzman responded with a document that went back to the start of the 20th century. It mentioned gamblers and segregation, corked bats and scuffed balls, amphetamines and steroids. Selig still has it in his office today.
Holtzman died in 2008. His successor as MLB historian, the great John Thorn, said this to me on Friday: “No number is pure, and no number can be given a rich understanding absent context. Every number has a virtual asterisk alongside it.”
He added this: “I believe that the average fan looks at numbers like 511 (Cy Young’s wins) or 714 (Ruth’s homers) or 755 (Aaron’s homers) or 762 (Bonds’ homers) as a royal road to understanding. There is no royal road. There is no short cut. They are imperishable remains of events that are vanished. This is all we have. That’s why we venerate them.
“We look at the numbers differently than other sports in part because baseball is a stop-action game. The memories adhere. That’s one of the reasons that baseball is the great game of memory and conversation.
“Statistics help, but sometimes they get in the way of understanding.”
I dunno. I still think that stats, in context, are useful – when you look at them in terms of relativity to the era of play and the body of work a player has crafted. And, if someone who was always “just” a 30-homer guy all of a sudden starts hitting 50-long balls a year, and it’s not the result of his park, then you have to look at the rest of the league. And, if he’s only one of a few doing it, then something is wrong. And, that’s worth noting.
Just yesterday, I was thinking, to myself, how incredible it is that ESPN and the MLB Network now throw around WAR statistics in their broadcasts like everyone has been throwing around RBI and ERA for a zillion years.
I don’t think I have ever seen such a polarizing sabermetric stat gain acceptance in the mass media as quickly as WAR.
I mean, really, it could have died faster on the vine that you can say “Win Shares.”
Great stuff on Godzilla via Vince Gennaro –
Over his seven year Yankee career, [Hideki Matsui] averaged 20 HRs per season, batted .292 and logged an OPS of .852—23% above the league average OPS for those years. What fans will remember most about Matsui was his penchant for the big hit, capped off by his World Series MVP performance in 2009. He came to bat 36 times in the two World Series in which he appeared (2003 and 2009—his first and last years as a Yankee), but managed to hit 4 HRs. He batted .387 in the World Series and put up a remarkable 1.216 OPS. In fact, in 235 postseason plate appearances his OPS was .933.
For those of you who have been following this blog, you know about the work I’ve done in measuring a hitter’s performance against different quality levels of pitching. I’ve racked up the batter—pitcher matchup data (starting pitchers only) from 2009 through 2011 to see how hitters perform against the best pitching vs. the weakest pitching. This study was of particular interest to me because the quality of pitching is one of the most defining characteristics that differentiates the regular season from the postseason. The pitching is far better in the postseason. Nearly two-thirds of the postseason starting pitcher innings are thrown by the top one-third of regular season starting pitchers (as measured by their OPS against). Not surprisingly, Matsui has an uncanny ability to hit top pitching, which helps explain his postseason prowess.
Against the top two quintiles, the MLB average for a left-handed hitter is a .641 OPS. Matsui had 387 plate appearances against this group of pitchers over the 3-year period of my study and banged out a remarkable .830 OPS. Over that time period here’s his record (OPS) against some of the top pitchers—vs. David Price, 1.333; vs. Greinke, 1.267; vs. Josh Beckett, 1.032; vs. King Felix, .838; vs. Verlander, .778, vs. Halladay, .752. Matsui also had his nemesis, as Jered Weaver held him to a puny .315 OPS in 27 career plate appearances. I take it that Matsui is not fond of the change-up from righthanders—a pitch Weaver is known to use extensively on left-handed hitters.
Here’s the data:
Clearly, 2011 was the fluke here. And, based on the last four years worth of data, a reasonable person would expect Granderson to have an OBA this season in the range of the low .320′s.
Seeing that, how can the Yankees bat Curtis in the top or middle of their line-up in 2013? Why would you give someone who makes so many outs more chances to bat?
The trend line:
Mark Teixeira’s OPS+ is playing limbo…it wants to see how low it can go.
And, the question is: Will it stay over 100 in 2013?
If you’re a fan of WAR, then these two players had the same value in 2012:
But, if you believe that homeruns are more important than defense, then, you may not think that Granderson was just as valuable as Crisp last year.
Here’s Alex Rodriguez’s career post-season stats, in terms of a BA/OBA/SLG line, broken down into four time periods:
- October 8, 1995 to October 20, 2004: .330/.395/.583 (in 115 PA)
- October 4, 2005 to October 8, 2007: .159/.327/.250 (in 55 PA)
- October 7, 2009 to November 4, 2009: .365/.500/.808 (in 68 PA)
- October 6, 2010 to October 8, 2012: .169/.282/.203 (in 71 PA)
I’m not sure what to say about these numbers. Is it just the nature of the beast? Or, something else? You tell me.
Since June 4, 2010, through the end of this regular season, Alex Rodriguez has played in 306 games and has the following BA/OBA/SLG line: .268/.347/.461 (in 1,158 AB).
And, over the last three seasons, that’s basically what A-Rod has been (no pun intended). He’s a .270-hitter with 25-HR power (assuming he plays a full-season).
Think: Casey Blake or Doug DeCinces.
I suppose that’s not terrible. But, it’s not in line with the expectation that many have for a player with Rodriguez’ resume and salary.
But, whatever it is, unless the Yankees can do something creative, Yankeeland might as well get used to it. A-Rod’s under contract with the Yankees for the next five years.
In terms of batting, could these two seasons be any more alike?
To date this season, batters are hitting .198 against David Phelps when he’s pitching at Yankee Stadium. (This is over a period of 15 games, 55 innings pitched, and 224 batters faced. So, sample size provisions apply.)
The Boston Red Sox, who Phelps will be facing this evening in the Bronx, in their last 12 games, have a BA/OBA/SLG line of .208/.251/.307 (in 389 PA).
Is this a match made in heaven, for Yankees fans?
The New York Yankees have been smoking hot in their last 15 games – winning eleven and only losing four games.
So, what’s been working during this 11-4 run for them?
In their last 15 games, Yankees batters have a BA/OBA/SLG line of .249/.332/.429 with 117 strikeouts in 589 PA. That’s not really smacking the snot out of the ball – even if they had 23 homeruns in those 15 games.
On the pitching side, in their last 15 games, Yankees hurlers have an ERA of 3.63 (in 139 IP). And, that’s probably a bigger reason why New York went 11-4 since September 12th this year (to date).
Further, the Yankees won a lot of close games in those 11 wins. Four wins were by two runs each and another four were one-run wins for New York. That’s 8 out of 11 which were tight and may have gone another way with a bounce here or there.
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees batter, pitchers and luck works out for them over their last six, all important, games this season.
If the Yankees lose this afternoon against the Twins, then you can break their season down, to date, as follows:
- They went 21-21 in their first 42 games.
- They went 36-13 in their next 49 games.
- And, they went 32-32 in their last 64 games.
Kind of a stale bread sandwich, no?
In his last 14 games, Russell Martin has a BA/OBA/SLG line of .277/.393/.574 (in 56 PA).
He’s picked the right time to get hot.
I wonder if this will fool the Yankees into signing him for next year?
Look at Phil Hughes’ 2010 season stats compared to what he’s done on the season so far this year:
Could the numbers be any closer?
Maybe they should be called the “DNR Geriatrics”? Check out the stats, this season, through yesterday’s game:
- When the Yankees are trailing in the game after the 4th inning, their record in these games is 13-41.
- When the Yankees are trailing in the game after the 5th inning, their record in these games is 15-49.
- When the Yankees are trailing in the game after the 6th inning, their record in these games is 11-51.
- When the Yankees are trailing in the game after the 7th inning, their record in these games is 8-54.
- When the Yankees are trailing in the game after the 8th inning, their record in these games is 0-54.
Pretty much, if the Yankees are losing after 6 innings, they’re going to lose that game 80% of the time, based on their record in these situations to date. And, if they are losing after 8 innings, it’s game over.
But, then again, how many teams are much better than this? Probably not many…
Most losses by two runs or less, so far, in the A.L., this season:
If the Rays miss the post-season this year, they’ll have a lot of games to look back at, with regret.
Here are Hiroki Kuroda’s career splits, to date, by month, in terms of OPS allowed:
He’s off the charts great, over his career, in August. And, it’s not a fluke. It’s been that way for him three years running now.
Here are the numbers:
|Joba Chamberlain||9||0||0||0||0||7 2/3||2||5||5||10.57|
|Derek Lowe||8||0||0||1||1||9 1/3||2||2||8||5.79|
|Cody Eppley||15||0||0||2||0||11 2/3||0||4||9||5.40|
|Freddy Garcia||8||8||3||3||0||45 2/3||7||13||42||4.53|
|Boone Logan||18||0||2||2||0||13 2/3||1||7||16||3.95|
|Clay Rapada||19||0||1||0||0||9 2/3||1||2||9||3.72|
|David Phelps||11||4||2||1||0||33 1/3||5||10||34||3.24|
|Rafael Soriano||17||0||0||1||11||17 2/3||2||2||19||3.06|
|David Robertson||21||0||0||2||0||20 2/3||1||4||19||2.18|
|Cory Wade||1||0||0||0||0||1 2/3||0||0||0||0.00|
Boy, has Ivan Nova been terrible, or what? Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia have been what you should expect from them. But, CC Sabathia has been just O.K. – for him. Thank goodness for Kuroda.
The pen? Right now, you can only trust Soriano, Robertson and Phelps. Other than that, you don’t know what you are going to get…unless it’s Joba (who just sucks).
Here are the numbers:
Aren’t we overdue for a “Boy, the great Kevin Long has turned Curtis Granderson into a MVP!” story?
Seriously, one of the biggest problems with the Yankees right now is that they have too much Curtis Granderson, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin in their line-up. (Hey, those are all Cashman guys, right?) And, A-Rod and Teixeira need to stay in the line-up and produce when they are in it. Lastly, Cano and Ichiro aren’t killing the team. But, are they helping it much now?
Here they are, as of this morning.
Can Derek Jeter win the batting title this year? Or, is it between Trout and Cabrera?