Blog Archives

Morning Bits: Pettitte, Joba, Granderson, Sabathia

Good morning all.  No small talk this morning let’s get right to the links….

* Andy Pettitte battles through rust and fatigue in bullpen session.

* Joba announced yesterday that he plans to pitch this season.

* Granderson is to have an MRI on his elbow today.

* Sabathia’s command was very sharp yesterday over six innings.

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Morning Bits: Empire State Yankees, Girardi, Sabathia, Hughes

Empire State Yankees

Good morning all as we inch closer to Friday.  Yankee game today but it is not on TV or radio.  Oh well just have to check back with us later for the latest from the game.

and here we go with the links….

* ESPN’s Wallace Matthews say the time is now for Phil Hughes.

* Bryan Hoch of reports Yogi has arrived at Yankees camp.

* The Scranton Wilkes Yankees will be known as the “Empire State Yankees” for the 2012 season.

* reports that Sabathia shoulders the burden of the Yankee staff.

* The story about the motivational speaker Girardi invited to talk to the team yesterday from Sports Illustrated.

Enjoy this video interview with Mariano after his first bullpen in spring training.

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Pineda, Wife Swap, Mariano, Swisher

Good morning all funny how those weekends go by so quickly.  By the end of the week the Yankees will be starting with actually games.  Can’t wait!!! Tonight at 7PM our own Matthew B. will be hosting a live chat to talk about anything Yankee related so make sure you check that out.

Let’s get right to the links….

* The New York Times writes the Yankees pitchers Sabathia and Pineda blaze wide trail for one of baseball’s beefiest rotations.

* The Yankees wife swap story from the 70′s is coming to the big screen.

* The Star Ledger reports Mariano took the mound on a rainy day to throw his first bullpen session of spring training.

* Nick Swisher has worked with a sports psychologist as he prepares for his walk year reports The Daily News.

* Also from The Daily News Mark Teixeira has reported to camp 15lbs lighter as he looks to raise his batting average and playoff fortunes.

* has player previews and projections for the 2012 season for the Yankees.

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Spring Training, Burnett, Ibanez

Good morning all I assume many of you are off on this holiday.   So enjoy the day and keep checking back with us for all the latest.  Let’s get right to the morning links…..

* The Washington Post says the Yankees are looking for slimmer Sabathia to revert to dominate form.

* Chad Jennings of Lohud writes that the Yanks take unique road as spring training opens.

* ESPN has the full report of the done deal for AJ Burnett.

* From Ibanez remains at the top of the Yankees wish list.

* Sports Illustrated reports on the lighter side of Sabathia.

* From The Daily News Cashman admits the Yankees didn’t try to win the AL East in 2010.

Here is a youtube video sent it to us from Paul who is one of our readers.  Hope you enjoy it as it’s pretty good.

Ranking AL East Starting Pitchers

Our week long series of ranking every position in the AL East with the starting pitchers continues.

Starting Pitcher #1

1. C.C. Sabathia, NYY

2. Jon Lester, BOS

3. David Price, TB

4. Ricky Romero, TOR

5. Zach Britton, BAL

Sabathia gets the edge over Lester due to being an absolute workhorse. Sabathia has averaged 226 innings per year compared to 211 for Lester over a much longer career. Sabathia has also outperformed Lester the last two years, with Lester being a big reason for Boston’s collapse last season. Last season, Sabathia had a 7.1 WAR and Lester had a 3.7 WAR. Price had a bit of a down year last year going 12-13, with a 3.49 ERA, and a 1.13 WHIP. However, with his outstanding fastball and slider he should bounce back fine. Romero had a fabulous season last year going 15-11, with a 2.92 ERA, and a 1.13 WHIP. Despite having a lesser year I will take Price in the long run over Romero. Britton came out firing for the O’s but fell off drastically. The Orioles at #5 on these pitching lists will be a pattern.  Read the rest of this entry

A.J. Burnett’s Effect on the Yankees

A.J. Burnett has been one huge rollercoaster ride for the Yankees over the last three years. Most of it has been disappointment, which makes people forget that he has had good moments. This is a very appropriate time to write this article, considering there is a chance Burnett may not be in the Yankees rotation this year.  While Burnett’s contract is now seen as an albatross, he did help deliver the Yankees to a World Series championship. That contract is holding the Yankees back now for sure, but it has not been restricting the Yankees as much as people would think over the last three years.

How much would the Yankees be different had they not signed A.J. Burnett? Who would they have spent that money on? In 2009, it came down to A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe as pitchers the Yankees wanted to sign to go along with CC Sabathia.  Lowe pitched egregious in Atlanta for three years, and would not have been a better signing than Burnett. In three years for the Braves Lowe went 40-39, with a 4.57 ERA, and a 1.46 WHIP. Burnett’s numbers were not much better if any, but his 2009 season alone makes him for successful than Lowe ever was.

Now in 2010, the Yankees offered Cliff Lee more money than humanly possible with Burnett on the roster. They could not have offered him any more money, so Burnett had no effect on Cliff Lee not being a Yankee.  There was no other free agent pitcher in 2010 that would have made a huge difference. The Yankees may have made a run at Carl Crawford if they did not have Burnett, which would have been a mistake considering what he did for Boston last season. However, maybe without Burnett’s presence Cashman would have been more aggressive then he was in trading for a starting pitcher, before he acquired Michael Pineda. Cashman might have been able to acquire Cliff Lee or Dan Haren in a trade if he was more aggressive.

This year maybe the Yankees sign C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish to an A.J. Burnett like contract if Burnett was not here. I would not have been crazy about that either. Even though the Burnett contract was a mistake, there does not seem like there were a whole lot of great free agent starting pitcher options over the last three offseasons. However, if the Burnett contract does not allow them to sign Matt Cain or Cole Hamels next offseason it would be a big issue.

While Burnett has been a huge disappointment, the Yankees do not win the World Series without him in 2009. That is a fact. He saved the Yankees with a huge clutch performance in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series.  Burnett went 7 innings, allowed only 1 run, 4 hits, and had 9 strikeouts. If Burnett does not come through, the Yankees would have lost the first two games at home, and lost the World Series.  Burnett also won game two’s in the ALDS and ALCS, while throwing stinkers in both game five’s as well. In the last two years Burnett has represented himself pretty well in the postseason as well. He was pitching well against Texas in 2010, but Joe Girardi left him in to long and gave up the lead to Bengie Molina on a homerun. Burnett saved the Yankees season for one day last year by pitching winning well against the Tigers. Say what you want about Burnett, but he has come through in the clutch for the Yankees at times. This does not make him a complete bust, like say Carl Pavano.  Burnett has at least given the Yankees an average of 194 innings for 3 years, which is more than Pavano can say. Those innings are a lot tougher to replace than many people realize.

Obviously Burnett has done things over these past three years that drive you crazy. He has had unbearable stretches that make you really scratch your head. He has also had a sorry attitude at times, and has cursed the manager out when walking off the mound.  He has had times where he could not find the plate no matter what. Unfortunately at this stage in his career he is what he is, and is unlikely to change.  All of this had made Yankees fans despise him, and rightfully so.  However, Yankee fans should also not forget that he did help deliver a championship that the Yankees had been seeking desperately for.

Morning Bits: Darvish, Cano, Yogi, Sabathia, Jeter, Girardi

Well Darvish Day is come and past; hopefully we find out sooner than later if the Yankees bid was a success.  Come back often for updates.

Tons of links today let’s get right to it.

* The Yankees are monitoring the Darvish Sweepstakes.

* Cano is willing to hit anywhere in the Yankees lineup.

* Yogi slated to receive Munson Legend Award.

* Yankees hold food drive to help neighbors.

* Sabathia is shocked by Braun’s positive PED test.

* Jeter hopes to one day own a team.

* Girardi is in favor of expanded replay.

* Sweeny Murti who works closely with the Yankees for the WFAN & YES has his take so far about the team.

Morning Bits: Piniella joining YES, Sabathia, Jeter, Martin

Hello all and good morning.  We have reached the mid-week.  Some Yankee related things going on.  As well as today is Darvish day the last day for teams to make a bid on him.

Let’s get right to the links…

* Lou Piniella is close to joining the YES Network team.

* Sabathia hosts kids from Boys & Girls club.

* Jeter giving out autographs to his dates?  If this is the only bad thing they find about him than i don’t care.

* Yankees consider giving Martin a long term deal.

Evaluating the AL Cy Young Candidates

Tomorrow, the AL Cy Young Award will be announced. Justin Verlander is the clear favorite in everyone’s eyes, but let’s see how the overall perception of his candidacy matches up with a purely statistical evaluation of the candidates.

First, I created 8 different categories with 2-3 stats per category:

Each category was worth a certain percent out of the total 100. Command, stuff, and durability were valued the highest, which was 15% each. The outcome of all these categories was added up for each pitcher, giving each a score. Scores were given based on the percent above average, for each pitcher’s stat. The 5 main candidates are C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Josh Beckett, and James Shields. Here are their point values (percent above/below average) for each stat:









As you can see above, those are the point values by stat. Below, are the averaged scores for each category:

Since this is a Yankee blog, we’ll trace Sabathia closely throughout the evaluation.

As far as command goes, Justin Verlander had the best. His K/BB and BB/9 numbers were simply outstanding, outshining the second-best, Jered Weaver by 1.6 points, which is a lot. Sabathia was right behind Weaver, but still slightly above the average of the five starting pitchers.

According to the statistics, C.C. Sabathia in fact had the best stuff this season. So any time analysts talk about Justin Verlander’s tremendous stuff, we know that statistically speaking, C.C. Sabathia had the better stuff. Although his K/9 wasn’t the greatest, he manufactured plenty of ground balls, which is also a sign of “stuff”. In addition, he surprisingly got more swing-and-misses than Verlander. James Shields was close behind Sabathia’s 5% above average, for Swing-Miss%, at 4%.

Although “winning” has become significantly less important in statistics, it still has significance. To please the sabemetricists, I added WPA, win-probability-added to the stat pool for “winning”. Leading this category, of course, was Verlander with 1.9 points. The competition wasn’t even close; Jered Weaver scored 1.5 points lower at 0.4. Despite Sabathia’s 19 wins, his number of losses, along with his lower WPA, resulted in a below-average “winning” score.

Now we’ll move to an un-organized category I called Run Allowance. This was basically to find a spot for ERA and FIP, two very important stats. Verlander and Weaver were the front-runners here with 1.0 and 0.6, respectively. CC was right-on average with a score of 0.0. His stats were quite skewed, as his FIP was the same above average, as his ERA was below average. Maybe xFIP should have been added to the mix, but I’m sure the end result would be similar.

Another example of this “skewed-ness” is CC’s batted-ball category. His BABIP was quite a bit sub-par, while his HR/9 was the best of the five pitchers. This gave him a mere 0.1 points, possibly because of some bad BABIP luck. I find it ironic that the #2 of this category, Justin Verlander, had a worse HR/9 than Sabathia, when the first was pitching in Comerica Park, and the latter at tiny Yankee Stadium. Angels’ pitcher, Jered Weaver led the category with his solid performances in both BABIP and HR/9.

The next category I used was “Pitching Quality”. This enveloped the stats- Quality Starts Percentage, WHIP, and Average Game Score (devised by Bill James). Sabathia did not fare too well here at all, with -1.4 points. He was by 0.8 points, the worst in this category, especially in QS% and WHIP. Like usual, Verlander led this category, with 1.2 points followed by Jered Weaver and James Shields. Beckett remained in between Shields and Sabathia with -0.6 points.

In “Value”, which encompasses WAR (wins-above-replacement) and RAR (runs-above-replacement), CC really came back into the race. He tied Justin Verlander for first  in the category, with 2.4 points. The two out-valued the others by at least 2 points, which was substantial.

The last category, Durability, essential for an ace, was much closer. For the first time, Rays’ #1 James Shields led, with 1 point. Close behind were Verlander with 0.8, and Sabathia with 0.2 points. Beckett was the least durable, and really, the least horse-like, at 3 points behind the leader of the category.


These are completely according to the statistical evaluation:

1st Place ~ Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers | 10 points

2nd Place ~ C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees | 2 points

3rd Place ~ Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | 0.6 points

4th Place ~ James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays | -2.5 points

5th Place ~ Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox | -10.6 points

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Budget, Girardi

Good morning everyone. Here are today’s links:

— Now that he has been extended, C.C. Sabathia is looking ahead.

— Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes about the Yankees budget, or lack thereof.

— Joe Girardi is looking for the Yankees to add more pitching depth for next season.

Have a great day.

Morning Bits: All about Sabathia

If you are just waking up and haven’t heard C.C. is a Yankee and did not opt out of his contract.  Great move by both sides.  This is a Sabathia filled morning bits. Here are your morning links.  Enjoy.

Sabathia and Yankees agree on contract extension.  More Sabathia even more Sabathia.

— Yes even more on Sabathia and the contract.


C.C. in his own words….

C.C. News

C.C. News

by Matt S.

CC Sabathia announced Monday that he has agreed to a contract extension to stay with the Yankees.

The news comes as a major surprise, as most expected him to opt out of the remaining four years and $92 million left on his contract and hit free agency. No word yet on exact terms, but the new contract figures to surpass Cliff Lee for the highest average annual value ($24 million) for a pitcher. Stay tuned.


Morning Bits: Sabathia, More Sabathia, Cashman

Hello all.  I hope you all on the northeast are doing well.  I was without power for awhile but now have it back.  I still have no phone/cable/internet and can now only update at work till that comes back on.  We begin a new week and the Hot Stove will soon heat up.  C.C. can opt out of his contract tonight at 11:59PM.


— Yankees make offer to Sabathia.  He will most likely decline it though.

C.C. is the priority as Yankees balance needs.

—  Yankees wait for GM to sign his deal.

Enjoy the day everyone.

Morning Bits: Swisher, Cano, Sabathia, Awards

good morning all. Here are some Yankee links to start your day.

—  Yankees pick up option on Swisher and Cano.

— Yankees unlikely to beat Sabathia deadline.

—- Yankees nominated for an MLB best 17 GIBBYs.

enjoy the day everyone.

Swisher and Sabathia News

Swisher and Sabathia News

by Matt S.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees are waiting for Nick Swisher to submit his no-trade list before picking up his $10.25 million option for 2012.

Swisher has a limited no-trade clause which allows him to block deals to six clubs. Most expect the Yankees will exercise the option, but they naturally want to get a look at the list first so that they can explore all potential avenues to improve the roster.

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, the Yankees and the agent for CC Sabathia will hold contract negotiations this weekend.

Most have assumed that Sabathia will opt out of the remaining four years and $92 million left on his contract and hit free agency next week, but Marchand hears that both sides are “highly motivated” to get a deal done. While it’s not clear what it will take to keep him in the fold, Marchand estimates that Sabathia will want a six-year deal in the $150 million range. Such a deal would surpass Cliff Lee for the highest average annual value ($24 million) for a pitcher.


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