Daily Archives: February 9, 2012

Is A.J Burnett Really Better Than We Think?

A.J Burnett is the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde of baseball. There are times where you want to say, “thank goodness we have A.J” and there are times where you want to say, “why on earth do we have A.J?” Fans think that A.J Burnett is mostly bad based on the last 2 years he’s been in the Bronx, but Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York doesn’t seem to think that A.J is all bad. As a matter of fact, Matthews think that A.J is pretty good and that we are only looking at the big picture. As a matter of fact, take a read at this:

The list of American League starting pitchers with the highest rate of strikeouts per nine innings pitched in 2011 is as follows: Brandon MorrowMichael PinedaJustin Verlander, Gio GonzalezDavid PriceCC SabathiaFelix HernandezJon LesterC.J. Wilson – and Allan James Burnett.

In addition, there are only 11 starting pitchers in the AL who induced more ground balls last year than A.J. Burnett.

Of course, a strikeout or a ground ball are two of the best results a pitcher can hope for once he lets go of the baseball, and Burnett was among the league leaders in both. That combination usually means a sub-4.00 ERA and a W-L record to match.

And if you want to get all Saber-Geeky about it, Burnett’s xFIP of 3.86 — an advanced measurement of a pitcher’s effectiveness on plays not involving fielders — was comparable to that of Matt Cain (3.78) and Jered Weaver (3.80) to name two pitchers any Yankees fan would take over Burnett in a heartbeat.

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Q & A With Dante Bichette Jr.

I was able to have the honor to interview the 2011 Yankees first round draft pick Dante Bichette Jr. I would like to thank Dante Bichette Jr. for the opportunity of this interview. If you are on Twitter, follow him at @Dante19Jr. I would also like to thank Fishjam for helping me come up with questions for the interview. You’ve been a big help! The questions of the interview will be in Purple.

How important was it to sign quickly and get a full season in the Gulf Coast Lg?

It was extremely important to sign early and get playing. I really felt like getting out on the field quickly was one of the big reasons I did well this year.

You got off to a slow start-what adjustments did you make to turn things around?

I actually didn’t make too many adjustments. I stayed with my same approach and as I started getting used to the speed of the game, things started to happen or me.

Baseball America rated you the top prospect in the GCL, did you think you’d have so much success this early?

I mean I knew I would figure it out eventually, I am just happy it was early enough in the season to make an impact on the team and help the guys win a championship.

How do you feel growing up around MLB players/parks has helped you as a player?

Well I was young when my dad was playing. So I spent most of the time in the family rooms, but the parts that I do remember definitely helped in the fact that it makes me want to make it there even more.

What GCL teammates impressed you the most with their talent?

To be honest, I was absolutely blown away with all of my teammates last year. But if one stood out to me it had to be Mariel Checo. He ended up to be our closer, and I know everyone in the stadium knew the game was over when he came in to close the championship game.

What do you feel you need to improve upon most to become a Major Leaguer.

I just need to continue to get more consistent. Also hit the gym hard in the off-season.

Describe your approach at the plate. Do you like to work the count or jump on the first fastball you see?

I like to keep it very simple when I’m at the plate. Look for a pitch that I can drive and crush it.

How was your adjustment to using Wood bats full time?

I actually use wood bats throughout the whole summer since I was a freshman in high school so the adjustment there wasn’t too hard.

Critique yourself defensively. Has the team asked you to work out at any other positions besides 3B?

They haven’t asked me to move positions. I feel good at third and I’ll stay there as long as that’s where they’ll want me.

What are your goals for 2012?

For 2012, I just want to get better from last year and I really want to end up with another championship.

What was running through your mind when you found out you were the first round draft pick for the New York Yankees in the 2011 draft?

It was a surreal feeling. It’s a dream come true. The entire dream isn’t fulfilled but that’s definitely the beginning.

YES Network analyst Bob Lorenz arrested on DUI

YES Network analyst Bob Lorenz arrested on DUI

By Delia E.

YES Network analyst Bob Lorenz has been charged with drunk driving in Connecticut as police report that he was found passed out in his car in Westport.

Lorenz was arrested early Wednesday morning. Officers attempted to wake up Lorenz but he drove away slowly and hit a utility pole. His speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol. He was arraigned Wednesday and his next court date is February 29.

YES Network declined to comment.

Morning Bits: Branyan, Spring Training, Kuroda

Good morning all we are now 10 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.

Let’s get right to the links….

* The Daily News mentions the Yankees powered up by adding Russell Branyan.

* Here is a list of a bunch of players the Yankees have invited to spring training.

* The New York Times says little mystery surrounding Kuroda.

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