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Friday, May 31, 2013

Matthews: Can Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis rescue the struggling Yankees?

But you must also recognize that Teixeira and Youkilis are mere Band-Aids, hardly sufficient to close all the wounds from which the Yankees are currently bleeding.

After all, they can only play first and third. The Yankees are are still getting precious little production out of their shortstop, their catcher and both corner outfield spots.

And the pitching, which has been the glue that has been holding this ragtag collection together, might be starting to come apart at the seams.

Phelps had “a stinker” Wednesday night, in the words of manager Joe Girardi. CC Sabathia had a stinker on Sunday in Tampa. And on the nights Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes pitched well, they were let down by the two most reliable links in their bullpen chain.

Now, there is no reason to panic when Robertson has the odd sloppy inning, or when Rivera, as all closers will, occasionally blows a save.

But the Yankees have already played 15 one-run ballgames—they are 9-6 in them—in the first 52 games of this season. At that rate, they will play some 60 over the course of the year (they played 47, going 22-25, in 2012).

...There is no longer any argument over whether the fill-in Yankees could adequately fill in for the “real” Yankees. That they did, and quite well, for longer than many of us thought they were capable of.

But it’s the last week of May, and the fear is that maybe that crew has finally—or already—run out of gas.

Thanks to Mezzo.

Repoz Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:50 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:39 AM (#4456641)
Talk about a team that's been doing it with smoke and mirrors.

First, they've got a team OPS+ of 91, with Cano the only player likely to perform at a reliably high level going forward. I wouldn't look for much improvement there.

Second, while their team ERA+ is a solid 115, the only starter who's above 110 is Kuroda, with a spectacular 175. What's inflated the team numbers has been the bullpen, but the problem with that is that unless the starters other than Kuroda begin giving out more quality starts, the bullpen's going to start feeling the effects. About the only sliver of hope here is Nuno, but it's hard to make that much of only 5 games and 3 starts.

At the start of the year I thought the Yanks would either finish 4th or 5th in the ALE, and I'm still sticking to it. They've had a nice run up to now, but duct tape can only take a team so far.

   2. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4456642)
The Jays aren't going to catch them, I can assure you of that.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4456648)
Maybe or maybe not, but I can guarantee you that 4th is the highest the Yanks are going to get.
   4. Rants Mulliniks Posted: May 31, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4456653)
I had the Yanks finishing 4th at 81-81 with my preseason prediction (made before Jeter's absence was expected to be more than a few games in April). Of course I had the Jays pegged for 1st at 90-72, so what do I know.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4456662)
I had the Yanks finishing 4th at 81-81 with my preseason prediction (made before Jeter's absence was expected to be more than a few games in April). Of course I had the Jays pegged for 1st at 90-72, so what do I know.

Yeah, the Jays have fooled me, too. At the start of the season I thought it was going to be Jays/Orioles, Rays, Yanks/Red Sox. Obviously the Red Sox have been the real surprise, although the opinion expressed below in an earlier thread also wasn't all that uncommon among Primates who relied on mathematical projection systems and severely underrated the Orioles:

41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4353232)

Bottom line is that I can't see the Yankees beating out any team other than (maybe) the Red Sox.

That's crazy talk. You can't even imagine the Yankees winning 92 games? It's entirely clear how that happens - they just need everyone to play up to their projections in rate stats, plus good health from most of the 30-somethings.

No one in the AL East is particularly good. Anyone could win it. The Blue Jays are probably the best by a slim margin, and the Orioles the worst by a reasonable margin, but there's just not enough talent separation to exclude anything.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4456712)
Their W3 record is now below .500 at BB Pro, and yes 4th in the division.

IMNSHO they waited too long to start rebuilding and are about to lose the battle with ol' Bill's treadmill. I mean who here is solid trade bait for prospects, even if you assume that the Yanks would eat all of the salary in question? Cano?
   7. The Good Face Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4456715)
IMNSHO they waited too long to start rebuilding and are about to lose the battle with ol' Bill's treadmill. I mean who here is solid trade bait for prospects, even if you assume that the Yanks would eat all of the salary in question? Cano?


He's entering free agency, so it would be a rental; I can't imagine you're going to get any blue chippers for a couple of months of Cano. Plus he's the team's best player and is a homegrown guy; there'd be some serious fan backlash if the Yankees behaved as sellers, but even moreso if they dumped Cano.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4456719)
I mean who here is solid trade bait for prospects, even if you assume that the Yanks would eat all of the salary in question?

Kuroda.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4456727)
2 games out and in a WC spot and you guys want a white flag trade? The Germans haven't even bombed Pearl Harbor yet! SMH...
   10. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4456752)
Obviously the Red Sox have been the real surprise, although the opinion expressed below in an earlier thread also wasn't all that uncommon among Primates who relied on mathematical projection systems and severely underrated the Orioles
"Underrated" as in "projected them for the whole season to be worse than they have been in the first two months"? You should have bolded his very next clause: but there's just not enough talent separation to exclude anything. He's saying pretty much any order of teams in the AL East at the end of the year has a decent chance.

Observing that the subset of the season played so far has an unexpected order relative to some projections is pretty easy, and your point is valid; but I think you picked possibly the worst example of such a projection. He's saying anyone who "can't imagine" any given order of finish among AL East teams this year is suffering from a lack of imagination.

EDIT: Well, he was saying that before the season. As the Jays dig themselves a deeper hole, some things become harder to imagine.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4456764)
2 games out and in a WC spot and you guys want a white flag trade? The Germans haven't even bombed Pearl Harbor yet! SMH...


If my favorite win team had a .566 winning percentage but I felt it was flukey, I would want them to add more talent rather than the opposite.
   12. Loren F. Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4456767)
Oh, I think the Yanks could end up in third place, behind Boston and Baltimore. How's that for an excited fan? I think that going forward, the team could be helped simply by playing Nuno more and playing Ichiro a lot less.

Then in the second half, the team will get a jolt of energy just by getting some players back:
Cervelli: Back in late June? A clear upgrade over Stewart/Romine.
A-Rod: Sure he's weird, but he's a pro with loads of talent. I expect him to put up an OPS+ of 95-105, which'll be an upgrade over Nix/Adams. (And I like Adams.)
Youk: Can be a plus if used sparingly.
Pettitte: Back around the All Star Game? Good for an ERA+ of 100-110, which is a plus. And he'll be another starter who can reliably pitch beyond the fifth inning, which will help the tiring bullpen.
Jeter: No idea when he'll be back. Unlikely to be worse than Brignac, etc., even if 2013 Jeter will be a 90 wRC+ hitter.
Tex: Okay, given that he's a slow starter and Overbay has been better than I'd expected, I don't expect Tex to be much of an upgrade over Overbay -- but I also think that in the end he won't be a downgrade either.
Grandyman: This is some kind of cursed season for him, so I don't expect him to come back. In 2014 he'll sign with the Rangers and given them a .260/.350/.550 season.

Any projections are pulled out of my ear. I don't think I'm indulging too much in fanboy wishcasting -- I am just less pessimistic than Andy.
   13. ColonelTom Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4456770)
Shopping Cano ain't gonna happen. They've hung in there without most of their starting lineup, and guys are about to start coming back from the DL. They will be buyers, not sellers.

They have to trade for a shortstop sometime soon, don't they? They're running guys out there who wouldn't start at SS on many AAA teams. I suspect we'll see Jimmy Rollins or Asdrubal Cabrera in the Bronx before this year is done.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4456776)
Pettitte: Back around the All Star Game?


How about back Monday?

The Yankees aren't without their flaws but as #12 notes the cavalry is coming. I really think the biggest concern is Sabathia and Pettitte. If those guys can give them 35 starts the rest of the year I think the Yanks can piece together the offense enough to let the pitching carry them.
   15. Loren F. Posted: May 31, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4456779)
To be clear, even with reinforcements I don't really expect them to make the postseason. I'd be surprised if Cashman adds any significant pieces at the deadline.

And I don't know what the Yankees do in 2014. Beyond Cano (who I expect the Yanks will sign), there's not much of a core to build around.
   16. DKDC Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4456793)
Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs both have depth charts that they update throughout the season to try to account for current rosters and playing time for the rest of the season (and in Fangraphs case, updated player projections incorporating 2013 performance).

Both sites still think the Orioles are going to be the worst team in the division from here on out, and both project the O’s to finish 4th ahead of the Jays only due to the edge they have in the standings year-to-daet.

So it’s not unreasonable to believe the Orioles are the worst team in the division, but the fanboy in me hopes that their projections continue to regress to the mean of their W-L record.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4456800)
And I don't know what the Yankees do in 2014.

They suck. Badly.
   18. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4456832)
I suspect we'll see Jimmy Rollins or Asdrubal Cabrera in the Bronx before this year is done.

Rollins, maybe. Why would the Indians trade Cabrera?

Also, I've been somewhat out of the loop lately and just saw the insane season Chris Davis is having. Holy wow.
   19. John DiFool2 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4456891)
Shopping Cano ain't gonna happen. They've hung in there without most of their starting lineup, and guys are about to start coming back from the DL. They will be buyers, not sellers.


I dearly hope that the Yank front office continues to think as you do.[/RedSoxFanMode]

It's been obvious for several years now that this team was getting old, that their superstars would eventually suffer performance declines and/or get injured, and that the price for all of that would have to be paid at some point. It could be paid in a calm, prescient, and proactive manner, two years spent below or around .500 and then a resurgence back to the top, or it could be paid only after it all falls apart, in a sudden panic, with all of that potential trade value now worth diddly, 3-6 years spent in or near the basement. All that their current overacheiving ways are doing is postponing that moment of reckoning; if they were below .500 like they should be the mindset here would likely be radically different (well, at least for those who would be able to emerge from their current state of denial that is).

Cavalry? That will most certainly not be in the form of these guys coming back right into anything remotely resembling the primes of their careers. An A-Rod with a 105 OPS+ is the best you can hope for? That won't be nearly enough, with the only possible saving "grace" being that teams with true qualities below .500 make the playoffs anyway, almost every year (which will as I said...ah the hell with it).
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4456906)
./RedSoxFanMode
...
and that the price for all of that would have to be paid at some point. It could be paid .... in a sudden panic, with all of that potential trade value now worth diddly, 3-6 years spent in or near the basement.


As a Sox fan, I applaud your optimism regarding the Yankees' impending demise. However it would be a heroic display of ineptitude for a team with a $200 million payroll to be in or near the basement for 3+ seasons and so I find it highly unlikely that NYY will suffer that fate.
   21. catomi01 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4456926)
I suspect we'll see Jimmy Rollins or Asdrubal Cabrera in the Bronx before this year is done.

Rollins, maybe. Why would the Indians trade Cabrera?

Also, I've been somewhat out of the loop lately and just saw the insane season Chris Davis is having. Holy wow.


Not yet clearly, since they're only 2.5 back...but any chance hardy could be had inter-division if they fade? Not exactly fantastic with the bat the last two years (but still an upgrade over nix/nunez and brignac) - and i've always heard good things on his defense.

From the O's side, I would assume the plan is to get machado over to short eventually, right?
   22. philphan Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4456936)
I suspect we'll see Jimmy Rollins ... in the Bronx before this year is done.


You can just shut
your
mouth
right
now.

It would kill me to have to hate J-Roll, if only for a year or two.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4456947)
Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs both have depth charts that they update throughout the season to try to account for current rosters and playing time for the rest of the season (and in Fangraphs case, updated player projections incorporating 2013 performance).

Both sites still think the Orioles are going to be the worst team in the division from here on out, and both project the O’s to finish 4th ahead of the Jays only due to the edge they have in the standings year-to-daet.


That's interesting, given that the Orioles lead the AL in both offense and defense. Obviously their Achilles heel is their pitching, and at this point the Red Sox are a better team, but behind the Yankees? I'm still taking bets on that.
   24. SG Posted: May 31, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4457007)
As a Sox fan, I applaud your optimism regarding the Yankees' impending demise. However it would be a heroic display of ineptitude for a team with a $200 million payroll to be in or near the basement for 3+ seasons and so I find it highly unlikely that NYY will suffer that fate.


But Hal wants a $189M payroll, not $200M. So it's much more likely.
   25. Srul Itza Posted: May 31, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4457021)
I suspect we'll see Jimmy Rollins or Asdrubal Cabrera in the Bronx before this year is done.


I was thinking more along the lines of Omar Vizquel. He's more their demographic.

But Hal wants a $189M payroll, not $200M.


For one year.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 31, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4457035)
But Hal wants a $189M payroll, not $200M. So it's much more likely.

It's not yet clear how badly Hal wants that $189M payroll. Perhaps he's posturing to keep player demands (Cano) down, or he isn't willing to actually take the hit in the standings that might be required. Or maybe he will be a hard-liner. We won't know till next year. However, there are still scenarios that could get the Yankees under the luxury tax threshold without too much pain. The Yankee would probably need to find 3 starting pitchers in the mix of Phelps, Nova, Nuno, Warren & everyone else. While those guys have shown some ability, it's of the small sample size or inconsistent variety. Still, things could look different at season's end.
   27. GregD Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4457093)
It's been obvious for several years now that this team was getting old, that their superstars would eventually suffer performance declines and/or get injured, and that the price for all of that would have to be paid at some point. It could be paid in a calm, prescient, and proactive manner, two years spent below or around .500 and then a resurgence back to the top, or it could be paid only after it all falls apart, in a sudden panic, with all of that potential trade value now worth diddly, 3-6 years spent in or near the basement. All that their current overacheiving ways are doing is postponing that moment of reckoning; if they were below .500 like they should be the mindset here would likely be radically different (well, at least for those who would be able to emerge from their current state of denial that is).
What players potential trade value did the Yankees foolishly hold onto? I am no Yankees fan but don't get this at all. The Yankees 1) have a chance to make the playoffs this year and you don't blow up those chances, 2) have very few players with marketable trade value and traded the most-obvious one--Montero, 3) have 1 or maybe 2 guys with 5-6 more years of value--Cano and maybe Brett Gardner--but those guys are extremely likely to be on the next playoffs Yankees team since the Yanks will likely be good by 2015 or at the latest 2016.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 31, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4457096)
Meant to include Michael Pineda among the potential low-cost 2014 Yankee starters listed in # 26.
   29. catomi01 Posted: May 31, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4457143)
Tradeable Yanks for this season - basically Cano, Granderson (if healthy), Gardner, kuroda, along with hughes and nova if they can show any kind of consistency...then from the bullpen - pretty much anyone....outside of rivera though, none of them cost much/wouldn't bring back enough (maybe logan or robertson would)to be worth the backlash from fans.

After that, depending on injuries around the league, and how they perform over the next two months, you might get someone to bite on Youk, Overbay or Hafner.

The catch-22 is that if those guys are playing well enough to be worth anything in a trade, then the yankees are probably still in the hunt, meaning they won't be moved.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 31, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4457162)
Yankees sent Vidal Nuno and Ivan Nova to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Teixeira & Youkilis.
   31. SG Posted: May 31, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4457176)
Makes sense. Neither one is probably available this weekend.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: May 31, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4457192)
YES showed the chart of Overbay's production versus Teixeira last year through this many games. They're surprisingly similar, and that was the point. But what I took from it is that this level of production represents the best production that we could expect from Overbay and the worst production we could expect from Teixeira.

The big question that I have is that we Yankee fans have gotten used to a putrid month at the beginning of the season from Teixeira. Will he still have that month, but it'll be June? Or is he past the time of the year of his normal suckage?
   33. Curse of the Andino Posted: May 31, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4457229)
Not yet clearly, since they're only 2.5 back...but any chance hardy could be had inter-division if they fade? Not exactly fantastic with the bat the last two years (but still an upgrade over nix/nunez and brignac) - and i've always heard good things on his defense.

From the O's side, I would assume the plan is to get machado over to short eventually, right?


I think the O's like Manny playing right where he is. Hardy's a hell of a glove and an OK bat, the position is his until Schoop or whoever comes along.

Davis has been a Bible-thumping Jimmie Foxx all year, which is a surprise, but he has improved his BB/K rate, so maybe this is real. If the starters get a little more consistent, Baltimore may run away with the division. Remember, unlike Boston, they haven't even played Houston yet.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: May 31, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4457275)
Davis has been a Bible-thumping Jimmie Foxx all year

I'm rather stunned to find that Davis has a career 341 BABIP (about 1300 PA). That's nearly prime Thome (354 at his peak).

This year on-contact he's hitting 475/1014 ... that's just silly. Obviously it has to come down. Ryan Howard is probably our best recent comp.

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