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Series Preview: Angels @ Yankees 7/13 – 7/15

Pitching Matchups

Friday, 7/13/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda RHP
Last Appearance: (ND) 5.2IP, 6ER, 10H, 1HR, 3K, 1BB
On the Season: 8-7, 3.50era / 1.94WHIP / 4.06FIP / 3.97xFIP, K/9 6.92, BB/9 2.67 in 108.0IP

Pitching for the Angels: C.J. Wilson LHP
Last Start: (L) 7.0IP, 3ER, 4H, 1HR, 4K, 3BB
On the Season: 9-5, 2.43era / 1.16WHIP / 3.64FIP / 4.13xFIP , K/9 7.11, BB/9 3.96 in 111.1 IP

Saturday, 7/14/12, 1:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Freddy Garcia RHP
Last Start: (W) 6.2IP, 1ER, 6H, 0HR, 5K, 2BB
On the Season: 3-2, 5.23era / 1.35WHIP / 4.16FIP / 3.94XFIP, K/9 6.70 BB/9 2.09 in 43.0IP

Pitching for the Angels: Jerome Williams RHP
Last Start: (L) 3.1IP, 4ER, 7H, 0HR, 1K, 3BB
On the Season: 6-5, 4.46era / 1.38WHIP / 3.86FIP / 4.01XFIP, K/9 6.10, BB/9 2.83 in 82.2 IP

Sunday, 7/15/12, 1:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova RHP
Last Start: (W) 6.0IP, 1ER, 6H, 0HR, 10K, 2BB
On the Season: 10-3, 3.92era / 1.38WHIP / 4.32FIP / 3.79XFIP, K/9 8.16, BB/9 2.69 in 110.1IP

Pitching for the Angels: Jered Weaver RHP
Last Start:  (W) 8.0IP, 0ER, 3H, 0HR, 5K, 1BB
On the Season: 10-1, 1.96era / 0.90WHIP / 2.94FIP / 3.93xFIP, K/9 6.80, BB/9 2.05 in 96.2 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

Derek Jeter – 10 for 25, 4 runs, 1 stolen base, .400 in the last 7 days.

Alex Rodriguez – 7 for 19, 3 runs, 1 triple, 3RBI, 3 Stolen bases, .368 in the last 7 days.

Who’s Not

Russell Martin – 1 for 9, 3 strikeouts, .111 in the last 7 days.

Jayson Nix – 2 for 13, 3 strikeouts, .154 in the last 7 days.

LAA Offense

Who’s Hot:

Mike Trout – 6 for 17, 5 runs, 2 home runs, 4 rbi, 4 stolen bases, .353 in the last 7 days.

Mark Trumbo – 6 for 18, 4 runs, 2 homer runs, 2 rbi, .333  in the last 7 days.

Who’s Not:

Albert Pujols – 3 for 16, .188 in the last 7 days.

Howie Kendrick – 3 for 14, 5 strikeouts, .214 in the last 7 days.

Enjoy the series everyone!

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Angels a better fit than Yanks for Wilson


C.J. Wilson had an interest in the New York Yankees, if not for nothing more than to drive up his price. Wilson tried to set up a meeting with the Yankees, but the Yankees denied him.  As a result, the market for Wilson was not as good as he probably anticipated.Wilson ended up signing a 5 yr, 77 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees were wise to lay off him, but I do feel as though he is a pretty good fit for the Angels.

I felt as though C.J. Wilson would be vastly overpaid by somebody due to the fact that he was the best pitcher in an extremely weak starting pitching market.  However, his awful postseason hurt him in a major way.Wilson was 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA despite the Rangers making the World Series. I see him more as a number 3 pitcher which is exactly why he was a good fit for the Angels and not the Yankees. With the Angels, Wilson can slide nicely behind Jered Weaver and Dan Haren.  That should limit the pressure on him along with Albert Pujols taking a lot of it.  With the Yankees Wilson would be forced into a pressurized situation as the number 2 starter. He showed last year in the postseason that he may not be able to live up to that. He is not the guy the Yankees are looking for in my opinion, so they made the right decision in not paying a guy they are not sure about into his mid 30s.

I do believe Wilson will have success for the Angels because the fit is a lot better for him.  Some players are not right for the Yankees, but are right for a lot of other places. Brian Cashman has chosen to not to throw out money this offseason and so far he has done a nice job of being patient. Cole Hamels and Matt Cain are much better free agent options next offseason. Cashman does still need to improve the rotation and it will be interesting to see what he does.

Yankees Mailbag: Part 1

Thank you to all who asked questions for this mailbag – let’s get started!

(If you don’t see your question, it will be answered in tomorrow’s Part 2.)

Billy Beane is willing to listen on anyone at the moment.

@AJ_Rotger asked:
What would you give up for Gio G. from Oakland?

I would give up anybody except Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos. However, considering Gio Gonzalez is under team control for quite awhile, Billy Beane has no reason to ask for anything less than one of those two. Gio is young, talented and has plenty of low-dollars years ahead of him. However, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Banuelos for him. Although he generates a lot of striekouts (8.6 career K/9), I am not keen on his fastball command issues (4.4 career BB/9). If the Yankees are to give up Montero or Banuelos, it has to be for a sure thing elite starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez, in my opinion, is not a sure thing. Would I like to have him pitching in pinstripes? No doubt about it…but not at the price Oakland is asking for.

@PrimoBledBlue asked:
Which prospective pitcher would you consider to be in the NYY rotation: Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson or Roy Oswalt?

Out of all those three, my favorite for the Yankees to acquire would be Yu Darvish. Although there is always the “Japanese-import” risk, its money the Yankees can afford to gamble on. Cashman may say he’s on a budget, but you can never put too much weight into comments like that. I think he has the highest “upside” of the three you mentioned. Also, if they were to make a trade for a John Danks etc., in addition, there would be less of an absolute necessity for Darvish to be as elite as he was in Japan.

C.J. Wilson would be a great pitcher to have…on a three-year deal. However, he is reportedly looking for a six year, $120MM deal, which is absolutely absurd. If I’m Brian Cashman, I walk away after the four year mark. His upside simply doesn’t match up with the enormous risk of a 5-6 year contract. Delia took a look at whether the Yankees should pursue Wilson, earlier in the month, before we found out what kind of lucrative contract he was looking for. I would take a pass on Wilson.

 

Oswalt would be a nice addition, since it would be on a relatively short contract, such as a two-year deal. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, never having a FIP over 4.00 in 11 MLB seasons. Matt examined the idea of Roy Oswalt on the Yankees earlier in the month. Oswalt has consistently manufactured plenty of ground-balls, and successfully limited the walk. However, his back is definitely something to think about, as back problems are a tricky thing to come back from, although there are always exceptions. I would not want Oswalt to be the one pitcher the Yanks acquire for the rotation next year, as if his back problems flare up again, well…

 

@GITGUYfoREVer asked:
What are your thoughts about Albert on the Yankees?

Although it’s impossible as a Yankee fan to not want to see Albert Pujols in pinstripes, there’s really no spot currently open for him. Ricky, a few weeks ago, shared his thoughts on Pujols. Some have said they could trade Tex, but that’s just typical Yankee-fan greediness. His ability to drive a pitch anywhere in the ballpark at a far distance is something we would all drool over to have on the team. But as long as A-Rod, Tex, and Montero are on the team, there’s no reason to sign Pujols. If, however, Jesus Montero was traded for an elite starting pitcher, then there is a scenario where I would absolutely, positively go after Albert. You could sign Pujols to play third base, move A-Rod to DH, and keep Tex at first. That is, if Montero is traded, which I don’t exactly advocate.

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 1. Anybody that asked any questions that weren’t on today’s mailbag, will be answered tomorrow by Ricky. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

Open Thread

There really isn’t much going on in the Yankee Universe today, other than Joe Girardi’s press conference. Therefore, I’ll just recap some of the “Hot Stove” events of the day.

— Now former Red Sox closer, Jonathan Papelbon has signed with the Phillies. It is a 4 year / $50MM deal, with a vesting option for a fifth year. It really tells you how desperate the Phillies were for a closer. 4+ years, and 50 million – yikes. Have fun with that contract, Philly!

— Speaking of the Red Sox, they are not overly committed to having Daniel Bard as their full-time closer. They are expected to pursue Ryan Madson and Heath Bell.

— The Miami Marlins so said “ability” to spend has been continued. They are rumored to have made offers to Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Mark Buehrle.

Talk about whatever you’d like on this thread. Have a great night.

Yankees not interested in Pujols; Find C.J Wilson an “attractive candidate”

Yankees not interested in Pujols; Find C.J Wilson an “attractive candidate”

By Delia E.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning & Cashman had confirmed what was the obvious: The Yankees were not interested in pursuing Albert Pujols.

“Despite him being fantastic, it’s not an efficient way to allocate our resources.” Cashman explained. “Offense is not an issue here. Our priority this offseason is pitching.”

It’s not that Brian Cashman doesn’t want Pujols. Let’s face it; Pujols is one of the best power hitters in the league, but Cashman feels that by giving Pujols the full-time DH spot that he is locking up a player who may perform well now, but can decline well into their 30’s. Cashman had planned to use the DH spot for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira since he had offered them both long contracts.

On C.J Wilson, Cashman finds him the most attractive candidate out there since he is the one that everyone seems to be after at this point.

“I’d say it’s fair to say C.J Wilson is probably the best pitcher in the marketplace right now since CC Sabathia’s been taken out and retained here” Cashman said. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to let anybody know that he’s an attractive candidate.”

So is Brian Cashman going to show all of his cards and attempt to lure C.J Wilson with lots of money? No. C.J Wilson wants one thing; a big contract and the Yankees can easily offer him one, but it is up to Cashman to decide whether C.J Wilson’s asking price matches with the talents that he has, and also if he can keep up in the New York environment.

Hot Stove Targetting: Matt Cain

The San Francisco Giants were able to win the 2010 World Series largely because of their tremendous starting pitching. They had a young group of electric starters, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner. With their 2010 victory, the Giants looked well poised to make another run at it this year. However, the team declined greatly in the second half of 2011, and San Francisco didn’t even make the playoffs. One of their problems, is that they are offensively deprived. Because of this, GM Brian Sabean may be open to trading some of their plentiful starting pitching for offensive production. The name that pops out, besides Lincecum (who is untouchable), is Matt Cain.

Positives

Since 2007, Matt Cain has been one of the top pitchers in the National League. Cain has averaged roughly 211 innings pitched, each year, since his first full year of 2006. When looking at his stats, one thing that immediately jumps out is consistency. Since 2007, Cain has either maintained or improved his BB/9, K/9, HR/9, and H/9 every single year, with only a few minor exceptions.

BB/9 K/9 HR/9 H/9
2007 3.56 7.34 0.63 7.8
2008 3.76 7.69 0.79 8.5
2009 3.02 7.07 0.91 7.6
2010 2.46 7.13 0.89 7.3
2011 2.56 7.27 0.37 7.2

Throughout Cain’s career he has kept his platoon splits very much the same. Right-handed batters have hit Cain for .228 AVG / .295 OBP / .365 SLG, while left-handed hitters are similarly hitting .227 AVG / .301 OBP / .359 SLG. One thing we’re looking for is the ability to get lefties out just as easily as right-handed batters. We all know what a short porch right field is at Yankee Stadium, so a right-hander who struggles against lefties is of little desire. Matt Cain is not that way, as evidenced by his platoon splits. And, although he has been pitching in a very pitcher-friendly ballpark, his numbers on the road are still pretty darn good: .236 AVG / .307 OBP / .376 SLG. Another great quality of Cain’s is his consistency throughout the season.

ERA WHIP K/BB
March/April 3.38 1.23 1.83
May 3.71 1.26 2.00
June 3.44 1.23 2.39
July 3.05 1.2 2.10
August 3.01 1.16 2.92
September/October 3.53 1.12 2.5

Unlike certain pitchers the Yankees have, cough-cough-A.J.-cough, Cain seems to pitch well in every single month of the season. There are no Burnett-Augusts, etc. Consistency goes a long-way in stabilizing a rotation.

As far as Cain’s repertoire goes, he has three above-average pitches: a low-nineties fastball (90-94mph), a mid-eighties slider, and an excellent change-up of about the same speed. He also features a curveball, but it is an overall lesser pitch.

FB SL CH CV
Usage 63.9 12.7 11.9 11.3
Mph 92.4 85.8 85.5 77.9
+/- 14.6 2.5 4.2 -1.

A huge factor of the Yankees’ search for starting pitching, postseason pitching. Although the sample size isn’t too big, Matt Cain has started 3 games in the postseason, all in 2010, and pitched tremendously well. He did not pitch less than 6 innings in one start, and didn’t even allow an earned run. Cain certainly came in the clutch for San Francisco in the playoffs, and that is exactly what the Yanks are looking for.

Negatives

If you were to only read the positives from above, Cain would be the perfect pitcher for the Yankees to acquire. However, unfortunately, Matt Cain is not a perfect fit for the Yanks. Earlier, I mentioned how he has been pitching in an extremely pitcher-friendly ballpark. Cain is a pitcher that would be classified as a moderate strike-out, fly-ball pitcher. Although by a slim margin, he gave up more ground-balls than fly-balls this past season, in other years, Cain has been a decisively fly-ball pitcher.

GB/FB GB% FB%
2007 0.89 39.4 44.5
2008 0.76 33.2 44
2009 0.92 38.9 42.4
2010 0.78 36.2 46.6
2011 1.07 41.7 38.9

Because Yankee Stadium is an undoubtedly hitters-ballpark, fly-ball pitchers typically don’t fare too well. However, there is such thing as pitching-to-the-score, or in this case, pitching-to-the-field. One of the reasons Cain has such a high fly-ball rate, is that he knows he can get away with giving up fly-balls. If he were traded to the Yankees, Cain would absolutely have to make adjustments.
One last disadvantage of trading for Matt Cain, is that he will be a free agent after this coming 2012 season. That means, if a trade was made, you would be giving up prospects for 1 year of Cain. You could, however, give the “Cliff Lee Argument”, that by letting him get a year’s taste of New York, you increase your chances of re-signing him in the 2012-2013 off-season.

A Fit for the Yanks?

In my honest opinion, despite the negatives I brought up above, Matt Cain would be an excellent fit for the Yankees needs. Although he may give up more home-runs, the really good pitchers adjust their game, and I believe Cain could do that. He would bring stability and consistency to the Yankees’ #2 spot. These are qualities you simply aren’t assured by other potential free agent / trade targets out there.

From the Giants’ Perspective

Matt Cain is in line to make $15MM this next year. There have been indications that the Giants will not be in the running for big-time offensive free agents like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder. However, that could change, as the Giants will need improved offense if they want a shot at winning next year. They might possible trade Cain and his $15MM contract to someone, to clear up room to spend on Pujols or Fielder, to improve over Aubrey Huff. It makes even more sense for the Giants to trade Cain, considering his contract his up after next season.

Cost for Yanks?

The Yankees would likely have to give up a considerable amount of talent for Cain. Think somewhere in line with Cleveland’s deal for Ubaldo Jimenez. I really do not want to trade Montero unless it is for someone who is a clear #1, like King Felix, or Cliff Lee, for that matter. One possible route would be to pick up Nick Swisher’s option and include him in a trade for Cain. Carlos Beltran is a free agent, and the Giants will have to replace him. They have a very good prospect in Brandon Belt who played a good amount of left-field for them last year, so Swisher could complete their outfield along with center-fielder Andres Torres. San Francisco did lose their top pitching prospect, Zach Wheeler, trading for Beltran, so throw in Dellin Betances and you’re certainly getting somewhere. The only players I would hesitate to put in a deal for Cain would be Montero and Banuelos.

Overall, I would love for the Yankees to trade for Matt Cain, for the right price. If San Francisco asks for Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, or a combination of both, then I’d hang up right there. Remember, you’d only be getting a guaranteed one year of Cain. Although there are distinct disadvantages to Cain (i.e. his GB/FB rate), in my opinion he is just the reliable #2 the Yankees need.

Not the offseason for change

The Yankees concluded their 2011 season in a way that is all too familiar to us. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the sting of yet another brutal first round exit from the playoffs.  This one hurts a lot because it was all lined up so perfectly. We had Mariano Rivera and David Robertson available for two innings each, and we were coming home with momentum.  All we needed was one big hit and we could not get it. That is the main difference between the Yankees dynasty of the 90s and the last decade. Those teams had players like Bernie, Brosius, Tino, O’Neill, and Jeter who raised their game from the regular season to the playoffs. The teams of the last decade have had better regular seasons than postseasons.  However, another disappointing playoff series does not mean that this team should make radical changes this off-season.

Brian Cashman has always said you cannot make decisions based solely on the postseason. He is absolutely correct. The sample size is way too small to be considered worth more than the regular season. Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez obviously were the main goats of this postseason and. The only one of those three you could do anything with is Swisher.  Let’s say hypothetically, you do not pick up Swisher’s option, and you replace him with Michael Cuddyer.  You cannot guarantee me Cuddyer, or any other replacement, would hit in the playoffs. There is no possible way of knowing. However, I do know that Swisher will produce better in the regular season based on a larger sample size. Plus his 10 million dollar option is cheap and you can go out and find somebody else next year.  As for Teixeira and Rodriguez you have to hope they dedicate themselves this off-season to get better.  Teixiera needs to improve his mechanics from the left side as his line of .218/.327/.462/.788 suggests. Rodriguez needs to develop an exercise routine that can help him stay on the field.  Signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to big bucks is not the answer with all money they have tied into Teixiera and Rodriguez. Texeira and Rodriguez improving is the only option.

This is also not the off-season for radical change because of the big free agent class next year.  Matt Kemp is an elite outfielder who could potentially replace Swisher. He is a five tool player and is only 27. He makes much more sense than Pujols or Fielder would.  Stud pitchers also will be available like Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Grienke, John Danks, Shaun Marcum, and potentially Dan Haren and James Shields. Some of these guys may also be available at next year’s trade deadline. This is why the Yankees should not blow their money on C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish this off-season. Sure they will need to sign or trade for a pitcher or two, but it does not have to be for major money. It is also why the Yankees do not have to go completely all out to extend CC Sabathia. I say 6 years at 150 million is a good meeting point. If Sabathia is dead set on 7 years letting him walk is probably the better option. The long term risk of a man who is close to 300 pounds is scary. All those innings will have to take its toll at some point right? Th St.Louis Cardinals are proved you do not need outstanding starting pitch to win a championship. You can win with clutch hitting and an outstanding bullpen. The Texas Rangers also got to the World Series without great starting pitching. So I would defiantly try to extend Sabathia, but it is not a necessity.

This Yankee team needs fine tuning this off-season and not a major overhaul. Winning 97 games in the AL East this year was a major accomplishment and should not be taken lightly. That is the sample size that you should trust more. The postseason is a complete crap shoot that can never be predicted.  However, if next year we have similar results in the postseason, we can consider more major moves because there will be elite players out there.  The outlook for the Yankees next year is bright and winning the World Series should be within our reach.

World Series Game 4 (Open Thread)

Can he hit another homerun tonight?

Hello all.  I hope you all had an amazing weekend like i did.  Great time with great family and friends.  Tonight is Game 4 of the world series.  After all of those runs scored last night thanks to Albert Pujols, I would guess tonight could be a pitching duel.   Me personally– bring on the more runs.  Sit back and enjoy.

TEAMS TIME (ET) NAT TV PITCHERS
St. Louis at Texas 8:05 PM FOX Edwin Jackson vs Derek Holland
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