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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Passan: Yankees shouldn’t brag about recent track record of homegrown arms

Heinold and in the way…

Over the last half-decade, the Yankees have developed pitching depth almost as poorly as any team in the major leagues.

For this study, we tallied the pitchers who debuted between 2008 and 2012 and tied them to the team with which they arrived. Then we compiled their Wins Above Replacement, via Baseball-Reference, with that first team only. By this measure, actually, the Yankees actually are one of the better teams in baseball, with 16.4 WAR, more than three-quarters of which come from reliever David Robertson, since-jettisoned Alfredo Aceves and Nova, who will compete for the fifth-starter job with Phelps.

Beyond that is mostly a pitching wasteland, and that is where the last five years get so damning. Robertson, Aceves and Nova are the only pitchers who debuted with the Yankees to throw more than 100 innings for them. Just as bad, Phelps (99 2/3 innings) and the departed Phil Coke (74 2/3) and Hector Noesi (56 1/3) are the only others with 25 or more innings. Only one other team has fewer than six homegrown pitchers with 25 or more innings: the Boston Red Sox, with five.

Don’t view this data in a vacuum. Coke was part of a trade that landed Curtis Granderson. Noesi went to Seattle for Pineda. The innings cutoffs are arbitrary, too. And considering the Yankees lock up a roster spot every time they spend big money in free agency, it is ostensibly tougher to crack their roster than most.

Still, it puts in perspective the Yankees’ stated philosophy – develop pitching, especially starters – and the inability to do so that prompted them to pursue Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte for the last two seasons in free agency. The average starts from homegrown pitchers over the last five years among the 30 major league teams is 197.9. The Yankees have 82.

Repoz Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:43 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics, yankees

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   1. philly Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:17 AM (#4371706)
Still, it puts in perspective the Yankees’ stated philosophy – develop pitching, especially starters – and the inability to do so that prompted them to pursue Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte for the last two seasons in free agency. The average starts from homegrown pitchers over the last five years among the 30 major league teams is 197.9. The Yankees have 82.


I like young players as much as the next guy (ok, probably more), but it should be worth pointing out somewhere in the article that Kuroda and Pettitte on one year deals are much better pitchers (and values for a team like the Yankees) than the majority of the "homegrown" pitchers that count as "successes" for other teams.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4371708)
If you're studying development I don't see why you would only count performance with that team.
   3. Blastin Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4371734)
They were bragging, or was Cashman asked a question that he answered?
   4. KronicFatigue Posted: February 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4371815)
If you're studying development I don't see why you would only count performance with that team.


Agreed. Yankees have a poor draft position (good record + losing picks when signing free agents), have a ton of money to spend, and are almost always in a "win now" mode. It makes perfect sense that they'd ship out cost controlled pitchers to other teams who value their cheapness more. I'm not saying every trade has worked out for the Yankees, but the strategy of trading young pitchers b/c they don't have time to suffer through potential growing pains is defensible.
   5. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4371903)
They were bragging, or was Cashman asked a question that he answered?

This is what Passan said on Twitter: "@jay_jaffe I didn't think to do this story until speaking to Cashman yesterday. He gave me quote. I thought, "Hmmm. Really?" And off I went."

Jaffe and him have been going back and forth on Twitter the last hour since Jay had some issues with the article.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4372097)
By this measure, actually, the Yankees actually are one of the better teams in baseball, with 16.4 WAR,

So ... it would be better if they had those 16.4 WAR and a lot of replacement-level innings thrown by AAAA starters?

Only one other team has fewer than six homegrown pitchers with 25 or more innings: the Boston Red Sox, with five.

To drive it home further ... the Cubs have had 14 (I think, I can't guarantee that each debuted with the Cubs). Wells leads the way with 6.7 WAR followed by Samardzija with 1.7 and nobody else above 1. It includes -1.1 WAR from Dolis, -.9 WAR from Coleman, -.8 WAR from Jeff Stevens, -.5 from Chris Rusin, -.9 from Brooks Ralye (who doesn't even make the 25 IP cutoff) and another -1.5 WAR from guys who didn't make the 25 IP cutoff.

The Yanks had (apparently) a good total WAR from their developed pitchers AND didn't get 165 IP from Casey Coleman -- that's not a sign of a problem.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4372104)
Everytime I've tried to research this, I come to the same conclusion, no team has a good track record with homegrown players. (I haven't read the article yet) my memory is that the best teams seem to be the Blue Jays, White Sox, Giants, and a couple of others, but the truth is that nobody has had great success at developing pitchers.
   8. Tippecanoe Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4372121)
nobody has had great success at developing pitchers

Then where do they come from?
   9. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4372140)
It's hard when you are always drafting low. The Braves debuted Kevin Millwood in 1997 and Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen in 2009. In between it was nothing but Kyle Davies, Chuck James, Damian Moss level washouts. For the most part they kept winning which makes me think that developing young pitching isn't as important is it is proclaimed.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4372155)
Seems like Pettitte should be counted as Yankee-developed, even if it has been a while, rather than a free agent signing. Ian Kennedy also turned out pretty well, although he was used in a trade. Still some guys that could contribute down the road, too. Not really seeing a "wasteland" - but one always likes to have more pitching.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4372174)
Then where do they come from?


Many are rehab projects(failed and find out what is going on under different management or after surgery)

But ultimately my point is that, there is no franchise that has shown any greater propensity to produce major league pitchers than other franchises over the past 10-15 years, at least not in any recognizable way.


Edit: Mind you one problem with the article, is the methodology they used for this was horrible. There is no reason to ever use war for relievers for anything. Of course the real problem is that there isn't a good stat to use for relievers, but War is barely better than raw era.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2013 at 01:53 AM (#4372394)
Then where do they come from?

Your parents should have covered this during puberty.
   13. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: February 20, 2013 at 02:27 AM (#4372399)
I find it hard to believe that the Devil Rays are not doing something right whether it is scouting or developing. Just looking at pitchers who they drafted themselves and pitched for them in 2012 you get:

James Shields (Drafted in the 16th round, 2000)
Jeff Niemann (Drafted fourth overall, 2004)
Wade Davis (Drafted in the 3rd round, 2004)
Jake McGee (Drafted in the 5th round, 2004)
Jeremy Hellickson (Drafted in the 4th round, 2005)
Alex Cobb (Drafted in the 4th round, 2006)
David Price (Drafted first overall, 2007)
Matt Moore (Drafted in the 8th round, 2007)

That doesn't even include pitchers like Matt Garza who they traded away, or Chris Archer who they did not draft. Tampa's developing enough pitchers for "luck" to seem like an unlikely explanation to me.
   14. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: February 20, 2013 at 08:33 AM (#4372443)
nobody has had great success at developing pitchers

Then where do they come from?

Your parents should have covered this during puberty.


"Well, son, when baseball scouts and general managers love each other very much, something very special happens...!"

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