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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sherman: Too many HRs allowed, lack of speed contribute to Yankees’ swoon

TRIPLES — Raul Ibanez has a team high-tying three triples. He is 40. Alex Rodriguez has 11 steals, three more than any Yankee. He is 37, was on the DL for six weeks and generally runs these days as if he is carrying Robinson Cano on his shoulders.

That Ibanez and A-Rod lead the Yanks in the two traditional speed categories accentuates how one-dimensional their attack is. Now, this is not a homer-bashing exercise. Home runs are good. But the lack of diversity in ways to score has become more overt when power bats such as A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson miss extended time or when the Yanks are on the road, where they have 31 fewer homers than in The Bronx.

The Yankee problem is deeper than inability to hit with runners in scoring position (where they are actually mid-pack). They lack variety in getting even more runners into good scoring position (last in the AL in triples, third from last in steals). Also they had scored from first on a double the second-fewest times in the AL and from second on a single the fourth-fewest.

Obviously, the Yankee speed game was hurt by pretty much the nearly season-long absence of Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez’s fall back to the minors. But, also, Granderson and Derek Jeter have essentially stopped trying to steal, plus Ichiro Suzuki has lost that extra gear that used to separate him. Strategically, the Yanks feel they are always in scoring position because of their homer ability and, thus, don’t want to risk outs on the bases. But, again, what happens on the road or when some of the power bats are gone or, like recently, when the hits are hard to find?

In addition, the Yanks have essentially gone all-in on power. Their roster is not only older, but filled with extra men like Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones, whose job is to go deep.

And lack of speed also shows in range on the other side of the ball, where the Yanks are among the worst teams in defensive efficiency (turning balls in play into outs). Extra outs mean more opportunities for the opponent to hit homers of its own off that long-ball susceptible Yankee staff.

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:12 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Dangerous Dean Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:33 AM (#4226906)
Age. What is it good for?
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4226912)
The six AL teams who have stolen the fewest bases are the four first place teams, the Tigers, who are a game out, and, uh, the Red Sox.
   3. TomH Posted: September 05, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4226920)
Bwa ha ha ha.
The artricle bemoan the fact that the Yanks staff serves up to many gopherballs,
1) while admitting their team STILL HAS the best HR difference in the league (+48)
2) and ignores that if your RF playing area is smaller than my back yard, maybe it ain't all the pitchers' fault
   4. Ron J2 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4226943)
#3 On a per inning basis, Yankee pitchers are only allowing 2% more HR at home than on the road.

Yankee hitters have a large home park HR advantage (on a per AB basis, 42%). That +46 breaks down as +12 on the road and +36 at home.

If the Yankees played in a completely neutral park you'd expect the pitchers to have allowed about 1 fewer HR.

EDIT: Typo fixed
   5. TomH Posted: September 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4226951)
well, yes, IF we assume that the pitchers stats allowed completely reflect park advantage and not small sample. But I think that is a terrible assumption leading to an inaccurate conclusion.

Yankee Stadium inflates home runs by 18.4% (http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor). I'd much rather believe this is a better reflection of what the Yankee pitchers would have done in the 65-ish games they actually played at home, if they had played those 65 games on the road. Ergo, if the Yankees played in a completely neutral park you'd expect the pitchers to have allowed about *15* fewer HR.
   6. ColonelTom Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4227034)
The article's garbage, but the "lack of speed" part caused me to look at the B-R baserunning stat page, which is fascinating. The league average for OOB (outs on the bases, not counting CS, pickoffs, or force plays) is 46. The 5 teams with the fewest OOB (OOB in parentheses, followed by W-L record) are:

Atlanta (40) 76-60
Cincinnati (40) 83-54
Baltimore (40) 76-59
Pittsburgh (33) 71-64
Oakland (24) 76-59

That Oakland OOB total - 24 - is incredible. They're on pace for 29 OOB. I looked at seasons from 2004-2012 - only 3 teams posted an OOB under 40 in any season. The lowest was 33 (2007 Rangers). Oakland also has the lowest average from 2004-2012 (46.6 - league average is 55.0).

Interestingly, the 2012 A's aren't conservative in all aspects of baserunning. They are 7th in MLB in overall steals (108-for-137, 79%) and 2nd in MLB in steals of third (29-for-34, 85%). Their 79% SB success rate is 5th in MLB.
   7. Belfry Bob Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4227035)
Right, Rudy. The Orioles steal about once a month.
   8. ColonelTom Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4227076)
The Orioles are last in steals (44 - league average is 90) and second-worst in SB% (62% - league average is 74%). At least they can laugh at Pittsburgh's ineptitude at stealing (58-for-103, 56%).
   9. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 05, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4227087)
6 - Posada used to record about 30 OOB/season, or so it felt.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4227100)
Yeah, that's not very good by the Pirates. NOBODY is picking their spots well enough to make stealing a good idea.

McCutchen - 16 for 27.
Tabata - 8 for 20.
Walker - 7 for 12.
Presley - 9 for 14.
Harrison - 5 for 8.

I looked to see how often players end up with more than 10 CS, and more CS than SB. It's happened 82 times in the last 50 years. Tabata joins Torii Hunter, Jamey Carroll, Brady Clark, David DeJesus, Juan Uribe, Cristian Guzman, Corey Koskie, Jason Kendall, Peter Bergeron, and Jay Payton as those who have done it since 2000. I guess that's about what you'd expect.

The most CS in such a season was by exactly who you would expect to have the worst such season (18 SB, 23 CS in 1980).

But Greg Gross's 1974 was even worse (12 SB, 20 CS). And what the heck was Will Clark doing in 1987? (5 SB, 17 CS) These must be cases of managers going hit-and-run crazy.
   11. ColonelTom Posted: September 05, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4227112)
9 - Today's biggest OOB offenders include two of the game's biggest stars:

Albert Pujols
2012 - 14 (T-2nd)
2011 - 11 (T-2nd)

Miguel Cabrera
2012 - 10 (T-3rd)
2011 - 11 (T-2nd)
   12. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4227274)
Team speed, ferchrissakes!
   13. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4227282)
And what the heck was Will Clark doing in 1987? (5 SB, 17 CS) These must be cases of managers going hit-and-run crazy.

Yes. Roger Craig was a terrific manager overall, but his fetish with the hit & run (and the squeeze) bordered on the obsessive.
   14. Ron J2 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4227295)
#5 Could be sample size. Could be a radical and successful adjustment. In 2010 Yankee pitchers gave up 48% more HR at home than on the road. In 2011 it was 29% and in 2012 it's been 2% (so far). Very noisy. 3 year average of 26%. (Plus of course there's the issue of opponents and who pitched at home or the road.

   15. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4227364)
The most CS in such a season was by exactly who you would expect to have the worst such season (18 SB, 23 CS in 1980).


Juan Samuel?
   16. DCA Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4227436)
alfredo griffin?
   17. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4227440)
Didn't Jeter have that crazy streak of like multiple years where he didn't make an unforced out on the bases?
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4227447)
Alfredo Griffin is correct! Though his instincts for when to run were often incorrect.
   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4227453)
Griffin managed -0.1 WAR over almost 2000 games in his career. How about that!
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4227463)
Didn't Jeter have that crazy streak of like multiple years where he didn't make an unforced out on the bases?


No. Even if you exclude CS (and I don't know why you would in this particular example), he's still had more than one OOB every year of his career.

   21. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4227550)
I must be misremembering. I remember that I heard this during a broadcast some years ago and found it completely unbelievable, and couldn't replicate the results myself.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4227575)
I must be misremembering. I remember that I heard this during a broadcast some years ago and found it completely unbelievable, and couldn't replicate the results myself.


He's never had 10 in a year.
   23. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4227590)
The Orioles are last in steals (44 - league average is 90) and second-worst in SB% (62% - league average is 74%). At least they can laugh at Pittsburgh's ineptitude at stealing (58-for-103, 56%).


And you take away Matt Weiters' 3sb (0cs), the numbers are even worse.

Club is missing Roberts. But at least we can say "Omar Coming," when Quintanilla bats.

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