Gritty, gutty…and the Yankees best slugger?
Here are the numbers on the Yankees offense, so far, in this 2013 season:
|as PH for DH||7||7||3||0||2||3||0||2||0||.400||.571||1.600||426|
|at Def. Pos.||56||904||104||33||27||89||19||71||176||.253||.317||.411||106|
|at Off. Pos.||56||902||90||35||26||85||7||49||162||.246||.293||.388||80|
Basically, the Yankees line-up has three sticks: Second base, Center Field, and Designated Hitter.
The corner outfielder positions are a joke. (On Left Field, you can say that the Granderson injury hurt. But, for Right Field, clearly Brian Cashman deserves some blame for going with aging Ichiro as his corner OF there in 2013.)
First Base will get better with Teixeira’s return. And, Third Base, while below league average, is not as bad as he holes the Yankees have at Catcher and Shortstop. And, when will those get fixed? You think Cervelli is the answer at backstop? He’s injury-prone and unproven. And, who knows when Jeter comes back at short – or how effective he will be?
Catcher, short, left and right. That’s half the line-up. And, until they start to hit, the Yankees are going to continue to have a bad offensive team.
Yup, the Yankees, to date this season, have batted as well as the lowly Houston Astros in the A.L. in terms of team OPS+:
The worst part is that there’s no reason why to expect this is going to get any better in the near future.
Probably not what he imagined it would be:
As of this morning, the New York Yankees are 30-21 in 2013. That’s a winning percentage of .588 (over those 51 games).
That overall mark is good for second place in the A.L. East (one game back of Boston) and the third best winning percentage in the American League.
When a Yankees fan sees this, they go “Yeaaaaaa!”
However, look inside the numbers. To date, the Yankees have played the Toronto Blue Jays nine times and the Kansas City Royals three times. Both of those teams have not done well this season, so far. Check out these numbers:
The Blue Jays are 22-30 and in last place in the A.L. East. They have a “winning” percentage of .423 this season. The Royals are 21-28 and in last place in the A.L. Central. They have a “winning” percentage of .429 this season.
Basically, Toronto and Kansas City are the among the worst teams in the league this season (along with the Astros, Twins and Mariners). Got it?
O.K., the Yankees, this season to date, are 11-1 when playing the Blue Jays and Royals.
Do the math from there. This means the Yankees are 19-20 this season when they don’t have the benefit of beating up on the crappy Jays and Royals. And, that’s not good.
Sure, there have been injuries. No A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira yet this season. And, Granderson’s just about been out the whole year. Also, Youkilis, Pettitte, Nunez, Chamberlain, Nova and Cervelli got hurt. But, that’s just an excuse.
Vernon Wells got off to a good start this season (before hitting the skids recently). In addition, Travis Hafner, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Lyle Overbay have done as well as reasonable expected – if not better. Further, on the pitching side, could the Yankees bullpen be any better than shown this year? And, in the rotation, Hiroki Kuroda has been lights-out, CC Sabathia has been not terrible and David Phelps has been solid. Therefore, it’s not like the Yankees are going out there with a Miami Marlins or Houston Astros type roster. There’s no excuse for being a game under five-hundred when not facing the crap teams in the league…other than the fact that they are not playing well.
In summary, that’s it. The New York Yankees are not playing well this season, even if their won-loss record is 30-21. And, it’s time to wake-up and realize that in Yankeeland.
Does anyone even talk about this anymore?
Since July 1,2011, through last night, Ichrio has a BA/OBP/SLG line of .273/.301/.365 (in 1,106 AB).
If you expect anything more than that from him now, you are fooling yourself. And, yes, Mr. Cashman, this includes you.
In his first 37 games of 2010, Vernon Wells had a BA/OBP/SLG line of .306/.369/.611 (in 160 PA).
And, over his next 120 games in 2010, he had a BA/OBP/SLG line of .262/.319/.484 (in 486 PA).
In his first 37 games of 2013, Wells’ BA/OBP/SLG line is .300/.353/.521 (in 140 PA). That looks just like 2010, no?
If Wells follows his form from 2010, he could be a low on-base hacking guy at the plate…just like he was in 2010.
Man, are they good, or, what?
|Rank in 15 AL teams||1||14||2||3||10||4||5||3|
Nolan Ryan, Mike Maddux, and his brother, Greg, are doing a great job with this, no?
Pretty interesting. For the last 30 games, they’ve all been playing about the same. Will these be the top five teams in the league at the end of the season? And, if the Yankees continue their magic in one-run games, will everyone consider them a fluke, like they did with Baltimore when the Orioles won all those one-run games last year?
The New York Yankees are 18-12 to start the 2013 season.
They are 6-1 when playing the Toronto Blue Jays and 12-11 when playing everyone else.
Toronto is 11-21, so far this year, and sit in last place in the A.L. East.
Safe to say the Yankees record looks good because of all those games against the struggling Blue Jays?
Here are the numbers:
BA/OBP/SLG allowed: .225/.259/.333 (facing 108 batters). His ERA is 1.93 (in 28 IP).
It’s amazing what a carrot on an end of a stick can do, eh?
The ball is not put in play on 81 percent of the pitches, an all-time record of inactivity.
Great stuff, as usual, from Tom Verducci.
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.