Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Trade Rumors

The Yankees are apparently begging for someone to take Farnsworth away. I`d be shockedto see him stay. It looks like we're out of the Gagne chase to which is okay. The majority of the reports I`ve read have the Sawx as the frontrunners.

BREAKING NEWS- Proctor to LA for Wilson Betemit

Scott Proctor has been traded back to LA for Wilson Betemit. Its to bad we had to give up Proctor. He seemed like a great guy and ate innings. Still, his periphereals were terrible this season thanks to Torre's abuse of him. I wish him the best of luck in LA. Wilson Betemit is a super utility man and will probably be mostly used at first. Overrall its a pretty decent deal. Proctor wasn't a great reliever but he was solid and ate innings and Betemit will improve our terrible bench. It should be interesting to see what Torre does with the bullpen. This might actually force him to look at the different options in the bullpen instead of just going to Proctor all the time. Good luck to Proctor in LA.


Lost in all of the trade deadline news Albreto Gonzalez has been called back up to AAA. He seemed to find his stroke in AA again hitting .330. Reggie Corona was called up to AA hitting .271 with a .708 OPS. Eduardo Nunez was called up to Tampa despite his terrible hitting just to fill a spot. Same deal for Luis Nunez who was called up to take Eduardo's spot. Finally Ryan Wehrle was called up to Staten Island to give him a chance to prove he is still a prospect.

The Trade Deadline Approaches

As I type this we have slightly over five hours until the trade deadline. It looks like the Yankees are focused on signing Eric Gagne. I`ve heard of two possible trades. They're also trying to deal away Farnsworth and I`ve heard the Proctor for Wilson Betemit deal is still possible. I think Cashman has to make both of those deals happen. From what I`ve heard about the cost of Gagne Cashman should probably be trading for him. The Betemit for Proctor deal sounds good to me to.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Trade Deadline

Well, the trade deadline is approaching and it looks like the Yankees are going to deal away Scott Proctor or Kyle Farnsworth to make room for Joba Chamberlain. I`m also hearing a lot about Eric Gagne being traded for some combination of Jeff Marquez, Tyler Clippard, and maybe another prospect. I think this a decent deal. I`m not crazy about it but the Yankees have a ton of pitching depth and a combination of Gagne and Rivera would make it a 7 inning game

Joba Dominates in Relief

Joba pitched one inning to prepare for being called up to pitch in the ML bullpen. He dominated pitching a perfect inning and struck out the side. This guy can't be stopped.

Series Split

The Yankees won yesterday to split the series. Wang pitched solidly but the offense really came through this time. Farnsworth came in with a big lead and pitched terribly. Their was a Tiger's scout there and I bet that their interest has suddenly decreased a lot. In other news Chamberlain has been moved to the bullpen and will probably be called up soon. That makes me think that Farnsworth and/or Proctor will be traded after all.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The bullpen blows another one

The offense got shut down for most of the game against Jeremy Guthrie but they scored a few runs late in the game. Clemens pitched well for 7 innings allowing three runs and one inherited runner to score. Mike Myers came in with one out and a runner on first. He got one out and allowed a single. Luis Vizcaino came in and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. He then allowed a bloop base hit to let the game get away. The Yankees had a 9th innings rally but it wasn't enough. My question is why was Myers pitching then? Now the Yankees are looking to split the series today with Wang against Cabrera.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kei Igawa to Mariners?

The Seattle Times is reporting that the Mariners are interested in Kei Igawa.

Kenji Johjima and Ichiro both expressed pleasant surprise in the clubhouse after overhearing a TV report about the Mariners' rumored trade interest in Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa, who is also Japanese.

I`d like to see him dealt but we better get something decent back. Igawa doesn't have a huge contract that needs to be dumped on someone. Igawa also gets a decent amount of strikeouts. He needs to improve his control. He has a whole new culture to adjust to and I think he`ll be a lot better next year. If you can get a solid middle reliever for him then its a great deal but it isn't addition by subtraction.

Doubleheader Split

Well the first game worked out well. Rivera had to come in and get the five out save and he made it a one run game but they still won. In the second game though Pettitte pitched beautifully for 7 innings with only one bad inning but the offense blew it. This team for whatever reason can't hit with RISP. They need to do this to catch Cleveland. Proctor came in for the 8th inning and quickly gave up a solo HR to make it a 2 run game. Villone came in and got the last out of the inning. I think it really is time to trade Proctor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yankees International Signings

This is from Baseball America on the Yankees international signings.

The Red Sox' rival in the Bronx had signed more players so far, with five of the Yankees' signees considered among the elite of this year's market. And that begins with Dominican outfielder Kelvin DeLeon, who was tagged as the top outfielder available.
"I wouldn't say he's at all like Melky Cabrera, however," said Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, referring to an earlier scouting report. "Body-wise, he's more like Ruben Rivera. This guy's got all kinds of potential. He's an above-average to plus runner and he could be a big power guy.
"He's probably a right fielder with a plus-plus arm, but he could be an average to slightly above-average center fielder also. We'll play him in different spots out there, but he's probably going to be limited to right just to allow the bat to play."
Newman refused comment on DeLeon's signing bonus, but several sources indicated it was well below the $1.6 to $1.8 million initially reported. One source verified it was in the $1.1 to $1.2 million range.
The Yankees also signed four other impact players considered among the top talents in the Dominican Republic market: righthander Andogious Vizcaino, third baseman Elio De La Rosa, and outfielders Henry Pena and Edwardo Sosa. Vizcaino has a projectable body with a plus fastball that is already in the low 90s and repeats his delivery well. Newman called Vizcaino the top pitcher in the Dominican, according to the Yanks' international scouting department.
Pena is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder that will likely be designated to a corner spot. "We like his bat a lot," Newman said. "He's a left-left guy who throws very well and has good instincts. He uses the whole field and has a smooth, advanced swing."
Sosa is more of a slashing center fielder in the mold of a young Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras, with plus speed and outstanding range.
"Definitely a plus run guy," Newman said. "We like the bat. He's a guy who's going to hit for a high average, be a threat on the bases and we think there's some power in there to come. But his strengths are plus speed, plus quickness in the outfield."

Yankees International Signings

Some news from Baseball America on the Yankees international signings this year

The Red Sox' rival in the Bronx had signed more players so far, with five of the Yankees' signees considered among the elite of this year's market. And that begins with Dominican outfielder Kelvin DeLeon, who was tagged as the top outfielder available.
"I wouldn't say he's at all like Melky Cabrera, however," said Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman, referring to an earlier scouting report. "Body-wise, he's more like Ruben Rivera. This guy's got all kinds of potential. He's an above-average to plus runner and he could be a big power guy.
"He's probably a right fielder with a plus-plus arm, but he could be an average to slightly above-average center fielder also. We'll play him in different spots out there, but he's probably going to be limited to right just to allow the bat to play."
Newman refused comment on DeLeon's signing bonus, but several sources indicated it was well below the $1.6 to $1.8 million initially reported. One source verified it was in the $1.1 to $1.2 million range.
The Yankees also signed four other impact players considered among the top talents in the Dominican Republic market: righthander Andogious Vizcaino, third baseman Elio De La Rosa, and outfielders Henry Pena and Edwardo Sosa. Vizcaino has a projectable body with a plus fastball that is already in the low 90s and repeats his delivery well. Newman called Vizcaino the top pitcher in the Dominican, according to the Yanks' international scouting department.
Pena is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder that will likely be designated to a corner spot. "We like his bat a lot," Newman said. "He's a left-left guy who throws very well and has good instincts. He uses the whole field and has a smooth, advanced swing."
Sosa is more of a slashing center fielder in the mold of a young Juan Pierre or Willy Taveras, with plus speed and outstanding range.
"Definitely a plus run guy," Newman said. "We like the bat. He's a guy who's going to hit for a high average, be a threat on the bases and we think there's some power in there to come. But his strengths are plus speed, plus quickness in the outfield."

Sounds very nice. I just want to hear what HR call Sterling figures out for Andogious Vizcaino. :D

Proctor for Wigginton Rumors

Their's a lot of talk about a Scott Proctor for Ty Wigginton trade. I don't see how Wigginton really fits. Phillips is doing a great job at first base right now and next year Damon might be at first base. That means Phillips gets sent down who has been doing a great job. The other possibility is that Damon will go back to CF and he will kill the defense that way. Proctor does have terrible periphereals this season and his arm should fall off any minute now so it wouldn't be a bad idea to trade him but I don't see how Wigginton fits. If you can trade Damon or Giambi I think its a fantastic trade but I don't see that happening which leads me to suspect that Damon will be going back to the OF which I don't want. Of course their's the possibility that Cashman just wants a backup plan in case somebody else signs A-Rod but I don't think the Yankees can take the huge drop off from A-Rod to Ty Wigginton

Kei Igawa :(

Terrible game. Igawa was terrible as usual. Luckily this is probably his last start as a Yankee. I think he could do well in the bullpen. He strikes a lot of guys out and usually does well for a few innings but then just collapses. The offense also blew a million opportunities with RISP. Boston beat Cleveland so they're probably out of reach now unless Boston totally collapses or the Yankees play ridiculously well. Neither of those things are happening. Cleveland is still in reach though.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Climbing Up in the Standings

The Yankees won again today and are one win away from sweaping the "Improved" Royals. Mussina actually pitched very well today and to Jorge Posada as well. That's very important because a) Wil Nieves is gone and b) Posada is not sitting on the bench in a playoff series so Mike can have his personal catcher. I`m disgusted by the way Torre managed to find a way to use seven pitchers in a 7-1 game but hopefully that won't matter. I`ve heard rumors about Farnsworth going to Detroit and Damon going to Atlanta. If either one of those happened I`d be happy. I want Farnsworth out for obvious reasons and Damon is looking like he`s declining quickly. He`s a DH at this point with no power and medicore on base ability. Besides we have Giambi as the DH anyway. Damon can't play RF with his arm and LF is filled by Matsui. So for now its easy to use Damon as the DH but what happens when Giambi comes back? Then Torre has three decisions to choose from. Bench Giambi and use him only as a pinch hitter which Torre doesn't have the guts to do. Play Damon at first and take Phillips who has been a big part of this team out of the lineup but Torre probably won't force a well liked veteran like Damon to learn a new position. Or Torre can make the easy (and dumbest) decision and take Melky out of the lineup and put Damon in center. Personally I like the first one best but next year you can't do that. Damon doesn't fit in with this team. The Yankees would be smart to trade him.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Boring Win

Another day, another Yankees win. This one was so boring I actually switched over to "The Bronx is Burning." Wang wasn't at his best today but he got the job done pitching solidly. The bullpen shut the Royals down and the offense continued to roll over the opposition. Boston beat Cleveland 1-0 so now we're only 4.5 games out in the Wild Card and 7.5 out in the division. In other news Hughes was dominating again. I think he`s ready to be caleld up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Poll

I`ll go back to the series of top prospect polls after this one on the Yankees biggest trade deadline moves

Movements within the Organization

Today Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy were called up to AAA. Chase Wright and Tyler Clippard were sent down to AA to make room for them. Steven Jackson was also sent to AA. Brett Smith and Kevin Whelan were both promoted to AA.

Obviously the big news is the promotion of Chamberlain and Kennedy. I think this means that Chamberlain won't be called up to help the bullpen after all and he`ll probably get a September call up. I think it also means that the rest of Kennedy and Chamberlain's season will decide who will replace Clemens next year. I think these moves also show that Clippard is pretty much trade bait at this point. I think the Yankees should trade a few of their many B prospects like Clippard or Wright for a setup man that can be relied on like Gagne. Before his injury I like Otsuka but he could still be traded as a player to be named later and be used when he gets back from his injury and for the rest of his contract beyond this season.

Results of the Last Poll

Joba Chamberlain won the spot as the second best Yankees prospect with four votes. Jose Tabata and Ian Kennedy both got one vote. I personally agree with this choice. Tabata hasn't hit with enough power to overtake Chamberlain and Kennedy's stuff just isn't as good as Chamberlain. Chamberlain will probably be in the ML rotation next year.

Yankees beat Royals

The Yankees lead for this entire game. Clemens pitched another gem going 7 innings and allowing only 2 runs. Vizcaino and Villone combined for two scoreless innings. A-Rod had his 100th RBI and is probably having the best season ever by a 3B. Boston beat Cleveland so now we're only 5.5 games back in the Wild Card Chase

Monday, July 23, 2007

Been Busy

Sorry I haven't posted lately. Friday was my brithday and I wasn't home at all. Saturday I was at the game.

Anyway, I`m pretty happy with the Yankees lately and I like the Jose Molina trade

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ugly Game

Ugly loss. Mussina was just throwing meatballs. A lot of people are calling for Ramirez's head now but you can't blame him for his performance. He hadn't pitched in two weeks. I hope he isn't sent down. I don't really want to recap this game.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Game 95: Tampa Bay Devil Rays versus New York Yankees

Pitching Matchup:

Mike Mussina goes against Edwin Jackson tonight. Jackson is having a terrible season which means he`ll shut down the Yankees. Mussina looks like the type of pitcher that can shut down the Devil Rays though.

Key Players:
  • Mike Mussina- Mussina has had an up and down season. His last few starts have been pretty good. This is a big start for Mussina
  • Edwin Jackson- Jackson has had a terrible season with an ERA over 7.00 so the Yankees could easily score a lot of runs tonight.
  • Shelley Duncan- Duncan was called up today and is playing DH and batting 9th. Tonight is his ML debut. He`s put up monster numbers in AAA.
  • Johnny Damon- Damon is playing CF today to rest Cabrera. Damon needs to start hitting in order for the Yankees to make a comeback

Recap of Game 94


Yesterday was a terrible loss. It started out well with the Yankees scoring two runs without making an out on two walks and a double. That was all they got though. The Yankees stranded four runners in scoring position and left five men on base. They should have scored a lot more than just two runs. Wang pitched beautifully shutting the Blue Jays out through six innings striking out three and walking none.Then in the seventh everything fell apart. He gave up a leadoff single to start the 7th. The next batter hit a slow roller down the third base line. Thinking it would go foul nobody touched it. It stayed fair and the guy got a hit. The next batter got out. With runners on second and third with one out a slow roller down the first base line scored the runner on third. So with two outs and the tying run on third Aaron Hill hit a triple to tie the game. Gregg Zaun drove in Hill with a GB single past Cano. Wang came out their for the 7th and got the first batter he faced. He then allowed a single and was taken out of the game. Mike Myers came in and finished the 7th without allowing a run. Luis Vizcaino pitched the 9th. I think Edwar Ramirez should have been used. Also I think Myers might be deserving of a shot as a regular middle reliever. He can't get lefties out but he`s worth a shot as a middle reliever. He can't do any worse than Farsnworthless anyway. In the 9th inning though it looked like the Yankees still had some life in them. A-Rod led off the inning with a single. I would have liked for him to have stolen second their but Torre decided not to send him. Matsui got out and Cabrera moved him to second on a GB out to the SS (it wasn't hit hard enough for a double play). A single would have tied the game but Cano popped out to center. This was just a really ugly loss you'd like to forget about. A couple fans in the upper deck put up signs for GB's Wang got instead of K's.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Game 94: Toronto Blue Jays versus New York Yankees

Pitching Matchup:

With the Yankees looking for a sweep they have their ace pitching. Wang will go against Justin McGowan who has an ERA over 5.00. The edge clearly goes to the Yankees. A four game sweep would be a huge blow to the Blue Jays and a huge boost to the Yankees

Key Players:

  • Chien Ming Wang- The Yankees have had solid pitching performances so far this series and they need Wang to follow up on that to win this game and sweep the series.
  • Justin McGowan- The Blue Jays bullpen has been getting crushed this series. They need him to go deep into the game for them to have any chance of winning this game
  • Scott Proctor- With pretty much the entire bullpen collapsing around him he needs to step up and take the role of set up man. He hasn't done this. He`s struggled lately and Luis Vizcaino has done very well but the role is probably still open
  • Alex Rodriguez- He has yet another big hit yesterday in the 7th inning. He`s still only a few homers away from 500.


Yankees win 6-3. Wang will have another good start. A-Rod will have two homers off of McGowan as well. This is a big game for the Blue Jays and would be a nice win for the Yankees

Recap of Game 93

Clemens pitched very well yesterday. He allowed only one run in the first inning. He did allow nine hits and a walk but he was very good at getting out of jams. He also struck out 3 through six innings. Shaun Marcum also pitched very well for the Blue Jays. He shut out the Yankees offense until the 7th inning. With the Yankees down 1-0 Jeter lead off the 7th inning with a single against Shaun Marcum. The next batter, Abreu, also got a hit. Jeter moved to third. A-Rod came up with runners on the corners and nobody out and hit a double to left field to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. By the time the inning was over the Yankees had a 4-1 lead. The bullpen still did its best to blow the game. Proctor came in for the 7th and got two outs but allowed two walks and a hit to load the bases. Mike Myers came in and got out of the inning. Brian Bruney came in and struggled. Ron Villone was brought in next and walked the first batter he faced. Rivera came in for the five out save and didn't allow a hit or walk while striking out one. In the top of the 9th the Yankees blew the game open. I think Rivera should not have pitched the 9th. It would have been smarter to pitch Ramirez. Now Rivera might not be as sharp today as he would have been if he has rested.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Game 93: Toronto Blue Jays versus New York Yankees

Pitching Matchup:

Roger Clemens is looking to follow up on a great pitching performance by Andy Pettitte. He didn't have a great start last time but he`s had a pretty good season. Sean Marcum has also played well this year

Key Players:

  • Roger Clemens- Clemens got a huge contract and needs to justify it. This is a huge game for the Yankees. If they win today they have the chance to sweep tomorrow. I think Clemens is going to need to have a very good start today to win this game
  • Sean Marcum- Marcum has a fantastic ERA this year (3.68) and it doesn't look like it because of luck. He has a 2.55 K/BB this season. He doesn't have a great GB% but his K/BB makes up for that. His FIP is 4.94 but that's at least partially due to a terrible HR/FB%
  • Johnny Damon- Damon continued to play terribly yesterday. If the Yankees are going to come back then they need better production from the leadoff spot.
  • Alex Rodriguez- He`s only 4 HR's away from 500 and drove in a key run yesterday and scored the game winning run.


Yankees win 3-1. I think Clemens and Marcum are going to have a pitchers duel. After yesterday's game I have a feeling the Yankees offense is going to be shut down. I`m hoping Clemens can rise to the occasion and give us 7 great innings allowing only 1 or 2 runs. Today is also the anneversary of David Cone's perfect game in 1999.

Jeff Karstens Rehab Start

Jeff Karstens made a rehab start for Trenton yesterday. He pitch five solid innings allowing one run, five hits, and two walks. He struck out five. Karstens might be ready by now and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to call him up to pitch instead of Igawa. I think Karstens might be scheduled for one more rehab start though.

Brayan Pena?

The Braves are stacked at the catcher position with Jarod Saltalamachia and Brian McCann. Both of them look they they're going to be good players and are both young. They also have Brayan Pena in AAA. He`s 25 years old, a switch hitter, and batting .324/.354/.452/.806 (BA/OBP/SLG%/OPS) in AAA this year. The Braves would probably be willing to trade him and he could definitely be the Yankees backup catcher. He could probably be had for very little. Maybe a couple relievers or a low level prospect or two.

Recap of Game 92


The Yankees won a fantastic game yesterday. Pettitte and Halladay were both scored off once in the first inning. Pettitte had exactly the kind of game he needed to have. A-Rod's had his 90th RBI in the 1st. Robinson Cano had the opportunity to break the game open in the first when he came up with two outs and the bases loaded but he grounded out. After that Halladay and Pettitte matched each other through seven innings. Pettitte had 126 pitches. Krazey Kyle Farnsworthless came in for the 8th inning and allowed a lead off single. Next he tried a pickoff with the runner still on the base and threw it away letting him take second. He then gave up the lead on a double but the run wasn't even charged to Farnsworth because of the pickoff error. In the bottom of the 8th the Yankees started a two out rally but Cano struck out to end the 8th. Brian Bruney pitched a scoreless 9th and gave the Yankees a chance to tie it up in the bottom of the 9th. Phillips led off the inning with a single and Miguel Cairo was used as a pinch runner. Cairo stole second. Johnny Damon hit a GB to the second baseman but it got past him. Bowa waved Cairo home and he was out on a collision. Bowa himself was standing almost next to the umpire by the time Cairo hit the catcher. Damon moved to second on the throw. The Yankees continued with their aggresive play and Damon stole third. Melky Cabrera walked. Then Damon scored on a balk by Jeremy Accardo. Abreu and Jeter went quietly. Vizcaino pitched a scoreless 10th. In the bottom of the 10th A-Rod led off by getting hit. He then went to second on a passed ball. Matsui missed a walk off HR by about a couple feet and worked the count to 3-2 before striking out. Posada was walked intentionally and Cano got another chance to win the game. On the first pitch he saw he lined a single to LF past the LF'er to win the game.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Yankees #1 Prospect

I`m making a series of polls where you can vote on the top ten Yankees prospects. The first one just closed. Phillip Hughes won getting nine votes. Joba Chamberlain also got a vote. Jose Tabata got none. The results were really no surprise. The next one should be closer. I voted for Hughes in the last one. I don't really understand how you could make a case for Chamberlain or Tabata though if you have one please post it in the comments section.

1) Phillip Hughes

Game 92: Toronto Blue Jays versus New York Yankees

Pitching Matchup:

The Yankees are playing well right now but they have to face one of the best pitchers in the AL, Roy Halladay. Halladay has a mediocore ERA this year but if you look at his periphereals you can tell he's still the same pitcher. This is a big start for Pettitte. He hasn't been doing that well and his ERA has jumped all the way up to 4.27 because of it.

Key Players:
  • Andy Pettitte- Pettitte has had a couple bad starts recently and needs to pull it together. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays hit very well against lefties so Pettitte could be in trouble.
  • Roy Halladay- Halladay has outperformed his periphereals by far and is one of the best pitchers in the league. The Yankees hit well against righties though and could score some runs off of him.
  • Bobby Abreu- Abreu has been insanely inconsistent this season but he`s played fairly well lately and he`s batting .279/.368/.434 against right handed pitchers so look for him to have a good game
  • Alex Rodriguez- A-Rod is only four HR's away from #500. Its shocking that with all the publicity he`s gotten this season I`ve heard so little about him hitting #500.


Yankees win 5-3. The Yankees will score a few runs off of Halladay but he will get knocked out after six innings because of his pitch count. Pettitte will pitch well going seven innings allowing two runs. We will also finally see Edwar pitch.

Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero made his debut yesterday. In his first AB he had a solo home run. He was hitless in his other three AB's though and K'ed twice. Lets hope he can become Posada's eventual succesor. I know this has been noted before but their is no way he is as young as he says he is.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Trade Deadline

Their's only about two weeks left before we hit the trade dealine and the Yankees need to decide whether to be buyers or sellers. In the past Brian Cashman has made deadline deals that have been key to a playoff push. If the Yankees are still nine games out though at the trade deadline Babe Ruth himself couldn't push this team to the playoffs. Their's been a lot of speculation about Mark Texiera going to the Yankees but I don't think they need him. Even if they're only five games out at that point. Their are three reasons why a Texiera trade is a bad idea.
  1. He`d cost top tier prospects like Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain and its not worth it for a guy who will be a FA in two years
  2. Even a player having an MVP type season only adds about 12 wins to his team's win total over what a replacement level player would do. During the two months after the trade deadline is one third of the season. That's four wins. That's what an Albert Pujols, A-Rod, or Johan Santana will give you. Texiera isn't even that good and Phillips is playing better han replacement level
  3. Andy Phillips has been playing very well lately. He has good defense and can hit pretty well.

So basically you're giving up top tier prospects like Joba Chamberlain to save the season to a guy that can't save it. Not to mention that first base isn't really the problem with this team. I believe the problems are minors and can be solved easily by looking within the organization. If I where the Yankees I wouldn't exactly be a seller but I`d be looking to cut dead weight. Getting rid of Farnsworthless, Myers, Nieves, Villone, Torre, and Damon is addition by subtraction. Maybe trade for a backup catcher or a reliever like Otsuka or Gagne but please protect the prospects

Recap of 7/15/07

Yankees- 7
Devil Rays- 6

  • I missed yesterday's game and most of today's game
  • Jeter was 2-4 with the game winning single and a HR
  • Nieves actually had an RBI double, shocking isn't it?
  • Phillips had a great day going 2-3 with a triple. He also made a key diving play to save the game in the 8th
  • In the big 8th inning rally A-Rod had a double
  • Mussina was okay pitching 6 innings of 3 run ball but his K/BB was 0-2
  • Villone pitched terribly giving up 2 runs in 2/3 innnings. He`s a waste of a roster spot
  • Vizcaino got out of a jam facing one batter, getting him out, and cleaning up Villone's mess
  • Rivera proved that he is still one of the best closers in the game this series. He gave up a bloop base hit to lead off the 9th, the next guy reached on catchers interference, only to get the next guy to GIDP and make Carlos Pena pop out to win the game
  • Farnsworthless truly earned his nickname today. He gave up one run, 2 doubles, got one guy to pop out, and allowed a LD that was miraculously turned into a DP by Andy Phillips.
  • The Yankees are now nine games behind Cleveland in the WC and nine games behind Boston in the division so they`ve gained ground this series. This was a pretty good series all things considered.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The statistics I use

I`d like to make a a post to explain how I evaluate pitchers. I`ll make a seperate one for hitters. If you understand the concept of DIPS then feel free to skip this post.

First of all I hate ERA. I don't think it measure pitchers talent well for these reasons:

  1. A pitcher with a team that has good defense will have a better ERA than a pitcher on a team with bad defense
  2. The location of a batted ball is mostly due to luck
  3. Whether a run is earned or not is not a fact. It is an opinion.
  4. ERA needs many adjustments for the offensive enviornment even within one season

Because of this I created my own statistic RCA. It is based on K's, BB's, HBP's, GB%, FB%, LD%, the value in runs of these events, and the percentage of the time they are outs. Unfortunately, I don't know a website that shows the batted ball data needed to calculate it for minor league players. Because of this I use statistics like K/BB, HR's allowed, BABIP, FIP, and LOB% to evaluate minor league players. K/BB is obvious, it is the ratio of SO's a pitcher has to the BB's he`s allowed. This event is totally in control of the pitcher HR's allowed is also in total control of the pitcher. BABIP shows how lucky a pitcher has been with the location of the batted balls he`s surrendered. FIP is a statistic that puts together K/BB and HR's allowed to form a number that is scaled to ERA to make it easier to understand. LOB% shows how many runners a pitcher has stranded on base and how lucky he has been with his distribution of hits.

Well that wasn't exactly my best post I figured that I should explain my ramblings.

Recap of 7/13/07

Yankees- 4
Devil Rays- 6

  • Clemens pitched 5 and 1/3 innings allowing 5 runs on 5 hits. He also walked 4 guys and struck out only 2.
  • Brian Bruney pitched 2/3 of a perfect inning.
  • Mike Myers displayed his skill at getting lefties out again by allowing a double that eventually scored. Can we please release him now?
  • Proctor inherited Myers' mess and allowed the runner on second to score giving up two BB's and striking out nobody.
  • Vizcaino pitched a perfect inning with a strikout.
  • Posada went 2-3 with a double and a HR. He also walked once
  • Matsui and Posada had back to back HR's in the 8th inning
  • The offense stranded a lot of runners otherwise they might have won that game

Friday, July 13, 2007

How much money is A-Rod really worth?

In December 2000 Alex Rodriguez signed a 10 year 252 million dollar deal with the Texas Rangers. The deal included a NTC, possible milllions in incentives, and an opt out clause after the 2007 season. The opt out clause seemed to be unimportant. After all why would anyone walk away from 90 million dollars? Now almost seven years later the possibility of A-Rod opting out of his huge contract opt out isn't a remote insane possibility. It is speculated on constantly and considered very likely.

A-Rod has had a monster season becoming only the second Yankee to hit 30 home runs in the first half. Its very likely that A-Rod will break the record for HR's by a right-handed Yankee and breaking Roger Maris' record is possible. He`s batting near .320 and already had over 80 RBI's. A-Rod also has played a fantastic third base. He is batting .317/.413/.665/.341. Combine that with his fantastic defense from third base he`s having an amazing season. Not to mention his insanely clutch hitting. I`m not going to comment on the off the field stuff and how ridiculous it is.

Last offseason contracts were ridiculous. Alfonso Soriano got 8 years, 18 million dollars a year. Soriano is at basically the same age as A-Rod but is clearly nowhere near the impact player he is. Ichiro Suzukihas agreed to a five year 100 million dollar deal and he is 34 years old not 31 like A-Rod. If these guys are getting this imagine what the best player in baseball still in the prime of his career could get. Another 200 million dollar deal? 30 million dollars a year? 40 million dollars a year? Rumors have started that he might want part ownership in the team when he retires as part of the deal.

A lot of Yankees fans are just getting sick and tired of the whole saga and want him to leave. The off the field stuff he` s been in has been annoying and their still is a perception that he chokes in the clutch. Writers in Newsday have suggested that he be traded for middle relief help. Others have suggested that they trade him to the Angels for pitching prospects and then trade for Miguel Cabrera. I think this is all ridiculous. A-Rod is the best AL player since Mickey Mantle and the best right handed hitter since Rogers Hornsby. I think the Yankees should give him whatever he wants. Tom Hicks still pays about 10 million dollars a year on A-Rod's salary. As a result the Yankees get the best player in baseball for the same or less than Alfonso Soriano is getting paid

Baseball Prospectus has a statistic called WARP. It stands for Wins Above Replacement Level. It uses the statistics BRAR and FRAR to measure how many wins a player contributes to his team. WARP3 adds on a bunch of adjustments including projecting out the season to 162 games. They don't give the exact formula so I don't use it to much but its a quick way to evaluate players. A-Rod has a WARP3 of 12.7 this season. Now based on what he has done the past three years we can get a pretty accurate idea of what we can expect from A-Rod for the next few years.

2004- 10.0

2005- 13.0

2006- 7.3

2007- 12.7

The farther you go back the less important the statistics are though so we'll have to weigh them differently. We`ll say 10 percent for 2004, 20 percent for 2005, and 35 percent for both 2006 and 2007. The weighted average is 10.6. That is what his true talent level appears to be. Take out 2006 which seems to be just a blip and it gets a lot better. We`ll say his true talent level is 11.5 WARP3

A-Rod already has a 3 year deal. If you give him a 4 year extension of 30 million dollars a year you have him until he is 38 years old. Assuming he has a normal decline he should still be a productive player for his entire contract. However, A-Rod is a five tool player and can be expected to age better than most players. He should still be A-Rod into his mid 30's and as he gets into his late 30's and loses some of his speed he could easily become more of a Gary Sheffield type hitter. That's not necesarily a bad thing either. Sheffield is still a very good hitter even if he isn't an MVP type player. So A-Rod is definitely a player worth keeping around.

Genius sabermetricians have also somehow figured out that one win is worth 2.5 million dollars. We already know that A-Rod's true talent is 11.5 WARP3. So 11.5 wins time 2.5 million dollars per win equals A-Rod's true worth. That is 28.5 million dollars. You may look at that and say that he`ll get more than that and when he declines it will be terrible but it isn't that bad for three reasons.
  1. A-Rod should be chasing the all-time HR record by the end of his contract and will generate extra revenue that way
  2. The amount of money a win is worth is almost constantly going up
  3. Major League Baseball Players are overpaid most of the time

By the last one I mean that the average player is paid more than 2.5 million dollars per win over replacement level. On average it actually costs 4 million dollars per win over replacement level. Now multiply 4 million dollars per win by 11.5 wins. You get 46 million dollars. That's how much money it would take to replace A-Rod on the FA market.

So A-Rod is actually a bargain. Yankees, please do anything you can to bring A-Rod back to the Bronx. I don't care if it means giving him part ownership, making him co-captain, or giving him a huge deal. Just make him come back otherwise you're costing the fans the chance to see one of the greatest players of all time.

Recap of 7/13/07

Yankees- 7
Devil Rays- 3

  • Andy Pettitte got the start and after two terrible starts had a solid one. He allowed 3 runs in five and 2/3 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1.
  • Abreu was the player of the game. He was 3-4 with a HR and a double. He also made a nice running catch. We need him to make a second half run.
  • A-Rod had HR number 31. We desperately need him to come back.
  • Vizcaino pitched well again. He pitched 1 and 1/3 innings striking out 2 of the first three batters he faced and walking nobody.
  • Farnsworthless of course provided some excitement almost making it a save situation. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out only one.
  • Rivera came in to finish it and was Rivera. He struck out two in his one inning and destroyed yet another bat on a weak GB to first.
  • Melky saved what probably would have been a double that would have made this game interesting with a leaping catch. He really should be out CF'er next year.
  • Jeter also had a HR
  • Overall this was a nice game but we need to win more of these during this "easy" 28 game stretch coming.

I`ve decided not to recap all of the minor league games every day. Its just to much work for me to do on my own. I`ll do it occasionally but not every day.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Yankees Overrall Report Card

Overall- C+
Offense- B
Starters- B
Bullpen- C-

Catcher- B
First Base- C-
Second Base- B-
Shortstop- A-
Third Base- A+
Right Field- C
Center Field- C+
Left Field- B+

Minor Moves that Need to be Made:

  1. Fire Joe Torre and hire Joe Girardi
  2. Trade Farnsworth, Vizcaino, Villone, Myers, and Nieves for a backup catcher
  3. Send down Brian Bruney to work on his control
  4. Call up Shelley Duncan, Jim Brower, Sean Henn, Ben Kozlowski, and Chris Britton

These moves are very easy to make and very realistic. They will also help the team a lot. The relievers I want to call up all have great numbers in AAA and can't do worse then the four I want to trade can they? They might even be pretty good. All good players played in the minors at one point. We also fill our big hole at backup catcher. Shelley Duncan could also be a nice bat off the bench. He`s having a great year and deserves a shot. Joe Girardi would fire up the team and couldn't possibly be worse at managing a bullpen then Torre.

Coaching Staff- F

Joe Torre needs to be fired for this team to win. He`s cost the Yankees at least six games with his terrible bullpen management. He`s on pace to cost the Yankees 12 games this season. 12 games can make a huge difference. 12 more losses for the Yankees last year and the Blue Jays might have won the division. Right now if you give the Yankees back the six games Torre's cost them they're only a few games behind the Red Sox. That doesn't even count the times Torre has pinch run for Giambi late in the game only to have the other team come back and have Kevin Thompson or Miguel Cairo in the DH spot instead of Giambi. Torre can't hit for Damon but he can bench him until his many injuries heal. Torre can't pitch for Kei Igawa but he can take him out of the game when he gets tired. Torre can't run for Posada when he gets picked off second base in extra inning but he can have Kevin Thompson running instead of him. A good manager also has the ability to inspire his players. Do these guys look inspired? Does Abreu look like he`s playing to win when he jogs after a fly ball that should be an easy out that turns into a triple because he's afraid of the walls? Torre is the worst manager in baseball please please hire Joe Girardi next year.
The Bullpen- C-

This was expected to be one of the Yankees' strengths. They were thought to have one of the top 5 bullpens in the league. After all they had one of the best LOOGY's in baseball in Mike Myers, a workhorse in Scott Proctor, flamethrowing Kyle Farnsworth and Brian Bruney, another solid reliver in Luis Vizcaino, another hard throwing lefty in Sean Henn, a nice young reliever in Chris Britton, and obviously Mariano. Instead what happened was everything collapsed. Britton was left down in the minors, Myers suddenly couldn't get lefties out, Farnsworth and Bruney lost any control they once had, Vizcaino couldn't throw a SO, Torre seemed to want Proctor to break the record for IP by a reliever in a single season, and Mariano was underused and as a result pitched poorly. In Scranton though Edwar Ramirez had an ERA close to 1.00 with a changeup that's earned him the nickname El Cambio (The Change). Chris Britton, Ben Kozlowski, and Jim Brower were also pitching very well. Cashman refused to call up any of these guys until close to the ASB when Ramirez was finally called up. In Ramirez's first start he pitched one inning and struck out the side in a perfect inning. The Yankees can make this bullpen a lot better just by looking within the organization. Luis Vizcaino has also seemingly turned his season around. Ron Villone has also done well while pitching in blow outs. Rivera has done better since getting regular playing time. This bullpen can be great but right now is just mediocore and sometimes terrible.
#5 SP- C-

Kei Igawa was supposed to fill this spot. Opinions on him differed greatly. Some though he would be a solid pitcher with an ERA around 4.50. Others though he`d be a complete bust. Igawa has an ERA over 7.00. He was sent down to the minors to work on his mechanics with Billy Connors and and Nardi Contreras. It seemed to work in the minors were he put up great numbers. Tyler Clippard wasn't ready so Igawa was called back up. Since then he's made two starts. He`s been okay but given up a ton of HR's. He alone probably deserves a D-. Carl Pavano (Who?), Chase Wright, Darrell Rasner, Jeff Karstens, and Phillip Hughes have all been tried here. All of them either got injured or just were plain bad. The only hope for this is Hughes coming back and filling the hole here. When Hughes comes back we should have a very good rotation.
#4 SP- C+

After the 2000 season the Yankees had won 3 championships in a row and 4 in 5 years. That year they decided to use their money and give Mike Mussina a ridiculous contract. Mussina has been a dissapointment since his signing and the Yankees have not won a championship since then. He was given a two year extension worth 23 million during the off season. In an off season were mediocore pitchers got similar deals to what Mussina got it looked like a steal. However, Mussina has been pretty much average this year and annoyed Yankees fans with the way he makes excuses seemingly after every start. Average isn't really a bad thing for a #4 guy though and since getting off to a terrible start he`s turned it around so I give him a C+. His contract will probably be a bad one next year and while I don't think the Yankees shoulod actively try to trade him I think they should at least consider it.

Recap of 7/11/07

AAA Ball

International League- 7
Pacific Coast League- 5

  • The AAA ASG was today which is probably more interesting than the ML ASG.
  • The Yankees had two representatives on the International league team, Shelley Duncan and Jim Brower.
  • Duncan was the starting DH and went 0-2 striking out twice. He also had a BB.
  • Brower faced one batter and got him out.

AA Ball

South- 2

North- 2

  • Jeff Marquez and Alan Horne both pitched for the North
  • Marquez started the game and allowed 1 hit in 1 inning.
  • Horne pitched one perfect inning with two SO's. Can he please be called up to AAA now?
  • The game was postponed due to fog

A+ Ball

Tampa- 8

St. Lucie- 7

  • Reggie Corona went 2-4 with a double. He's now batting .273 from SS. The bad news is his SLG% is .347. If he could develop some power he could be a nice prospect.
  • The great Austin Jackson continues to tear up pitching and went 2-5 with a homer.
  • Jose Tabata ironically was the only one without a hit. He went 0-5.
  • Chris Malec went 3-4, he has great numbers but he`s a little old to be considered a prospect.
  • Tim Battle and Kevin Russo were both 2-4. Battle had a HR.
  • Daniel McCutchen pitched five innings of one run ball. He struck out 2, walked 2, and gave up a HR. He now has a 2.71 ERA. Considering his age I think he really should be called up to Trenton.

That was a lot more work than I expected. I`m just going to stop with Tampa for now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

#3 SP- B+

Roger Clemens' shocking return to the Yankees almost caused Suzyn Waldman to have a heart attack. His prorated 28 million dollar deal is obviously to much and is why I don't have him as an A or A-. He's had some bad starts but overall he`s been pretty good. The main knock on him was that he was basically a 5 inning pitcher. He`s pretty much destroyed that argument with his last two starts. He had 8 innings of one run in each of them. He could help turn this season around.
#2 SP- B+

Andy Pettitte got off to a great start this season but the Yankees offense let him down time and time again casing him to have a very low win total. He was getting GB's at a rate close to Wang's and had a better K/BB. The lack of offensive support caused him to question whether certain players cared as much as he did about winning. Its possible that he was just speaking out of frustration but Posada made similar comments. Up until that point Pettitte had made an interesting debate of whether he was the Yankees ace or Wang was. However, since then Pettitte has made 2 terrible starts bumping his ERA all the way to close to 4.00. I think Pettitte is tired and the All Star break will probably help him. Pettitte should bounce back and be a very good #2 guy or maybe even a #3 or #4 guy behind Clemens and/or Hughes.
Ace SP- A +

I consider Wang the ace of this rotation. He`s a rock for this team. He`s been pitching for about a month with his middle finger really screwed up. As a result his control has suffered but he`s still pitching well. Have you heard a word of complaint from him? If it was Mike Mussina you know he would be making excuses after every start he made and pitching terribly. Wang just goes out there and pitches like the ace he is. The main problem with Wang is that he doesn't strike guys out. He is one of the best in every other category. Wang has that fantastic sinker so he gets a ton of GB's. You can't hit a HR on a GB and the GB doubles are very very rare. Wang takes away the possibility of a big hit. Wang's GB's also result in a lot of double plays which erase the runners that get lucky on a GB that finds a hole or on the occasionally hard hit single. Wang also has good control making the amount of free passes very low. So now basically the only hits you get are singles, you need to constantly try the hit and run to stay out of DP's, and you can't get on for free. You need an awful lot of lucky GB singles to beat Wang. Now he's striking out guys a bit more so now the amount of GB hits are decreased, the hit and run is more risky, and Wang gets more free outs.
LF- B+

Matsui is an overrall solid, steady player. He's one of the few projected starters who have lived up to expectations. He's batting .274/.358/.464/.278 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA). He's played a solid, not great but solid LF. Considering that he's coming off a wrist injury he's doing all right. I`ve heard that it takes 18 months for a broken wrist to completely heal so I think he`ll be having a big second half. Damon might also be used in LF a little more which I think would be pretty dumb. I suggested that Matsui be moved to first base this offseason to make room for Cabrera in the everyday lineup. Now that Matsui's consecutive game streak is over Torre is able to give him a few days off every once in a while which helps. The general impressions seems to be that he is having a terrible year and is as big a waste of money as Giambi, Damon, and Abreu but in reality he has had a solid year especially considering that his wrist isn't fully healed yet.
CF- C+

In 2006 Johnny Damon had a career high in HR's. He appeared to have a perfect swing for Yankee Stadium. He seemed like a perfect fit in the clubhouse and a rare leadoff hitter with both power and speed. His arm was weak but it seemed like he still had pretty good range. He figured to be a catalyst at the top of the lineup. Instead the years of Damon playing hard finally seem to have caught up with him. He`s had a ridiculous amount of injuries but continued to refuse to go on the DL for the first time in his career. His arm has gone from weak to being worse than Bernie Williams' arm the past few years. His range has also detoriated. He is not a CF'er anymore and doesn't have a good enough arm to play RF. Matsui is entrenched in LF. He was tried at 1B but Phillips looks like he's the answer there actually hitting better than Damon so far and clearly Damon is the worse defender. As a result Damon has become a second Giambi only without enough power to get on base. With his injuries he`s not fast enough to hit triples or steak bases. He`s not an on base machine like Giambi and has nothing near his power. Luckily Melky has stepped in and since getting regular playing time has done even better than I predicted. Melky has pretty good range and an awesome arm. Melky also has gotten on base at a good rate since getting regular playing time. I tried to find a balance between Melky's greatness and Damon's awefulness. Melky has a very bright future ahead of him.

Bobby Abreu was acquired in a trade along with Cory Lidle (RIP) for a few low level minor league players and Matt Smith. Abreu had an incredible second half and was one of the best players on the Yankees after the Trade Deadline. Gary Sheffield was on the DL and when he returned played first. He played terribly on defense. Early in the off season the Yankees had an option on Gary Sheffield for 13 million dollars. Sheffield demanded that the Yankees not pick up the option and let him go. Cashman ignored him and picked up his option. Sheffield was then traded to Detroit for Kevin Whelan, Ryan Clagget, and Humberto Sanchez. Whelan and Sanchez were both very very good prospects and Clagget was pretty good. The Yankees were sick of his whining and were happy to get these prospects for him. He was coming off a wrist injury and the Yankees had no position for him. Unfortunately, Sanchez got injured and now needs TJ surgery amd Sheffield is hitting like crazy. Abreu meanwhile has been insanely frustrating. He is batting .264/.352/.373/.259 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA). He has also been terrible in the field. He currently has a rate 2 of 96. That all adds up to a below average player. For this Abreu earns 16 million dollars a year. To put this in context another Yankees OF'er last year had a .274 EQA with a 96 rate 2 in 58 games in RF. This player clearly did better last year and Abreu has this year. This player earned a ST invite which he refused. Yeah, Bernie Williams last year outperformed what Bobby Abreu has done this year. Yet still Torre continues to bat Abreu 3rd. Please can we bench Abreu and give Shelley Duncan or Thompson or even Kevin Reese a shot? We don't have much to lose. Maybe one of them can do for the Yankees this year what Cabrera did last year. It can't hurt can it?
3B- A+

A-Rod has had an insane year. He is only the second Yankee to have 30 HR's by the All Star Break (Roger Maris was the first). He will probably break his own record for most HR's by a right-handed hitter in Yankee Stadium (48 in 2005). He's also played a great third base. If he opts out we are going to be one of the worst teams in the league. Not only has he put up these amzing numbers but it has happened in clutch situations. He had 2 walk off HR's in the month of April. A-Rod also had a game winning HR in the 9th at Fenway Park off of Jonathan Papelbon. He clearly deserves the MVP but might have it robbed from him by Maglio Ordonez because of the Yankees performance this year. If I were the Yankees I`d offer him a 120 million dollar extension for 5 years in addition to his current 3 year deal worth about 80 million. Ultimately he get 200 million dollar for 8 years. That's about 25 million dollars. Theirs no way he gets more than that. I`d be shocked if Boras didn't accept that deal. The Rangers are still on the hook for almost 30 million dollars so the Yankees are paying him 170 million dollars for 8 years. That's basically about 21 million per year for 8 years. The end of his contract will be bad but its worth it. Consider that Alfonso Soriano is getting 18 million a year for 8 years. Its worth it without a doubt. We need A-Rod next year.

Recap of 7/11/07

Rookie Ball

GCL Yankees- 4
GCL Indian- 0

  • Jairo Heredia pitched 5 innings of shutout ball. He gave up only 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 8. He had a 3-4 GB/FB ratio. He's only 18 and now has an ERA of 1.83 on the season. I`d keep an eye on him
  • Noel Castillo got the 4 inning save. He gave up no runs, 3 hits, and 1 BB while striking out 4. He has a 1.00 ERA now and is 24
  • Ryan Wehrle went 0-4 but is still batting .309/.371/.455/.826 (BA/OBP/SLG%/OPS). He's a SS to but he`s 22 years old.
  • Gerardo Rodriguez and Gerson Manazillo were both 2-4. Rodriguez had a double.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

SS- A-

Jeter has been one of four players on the Yankees that have performed to expectations. The other three are Posada, A-Rod, and Matsui. Jeter is on track to win the Silver Slugger award again. He is batting .336/.408/.463/.294 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA). He has also been one of the most consistent players in baseball. It seems like every time you turn on the pregame show he has another 10 game hit streak going. Of course, his fielding has been terrible as well. He has absolutely pathetic range and he is starting to make a lot of errors to. Even the talking heads on ESPN have started to speculate on how much longer he can play SS. Of course Michael Kay and John Sterling both think he deserves another GG. I think Jeter would be a great defensive OF'er but he's terrible at SS particularly with his range. Overrall he is a hit machine with some speed but his defense takes a lot away from that. With even average defense he'd be an A. With good defense he'd be an A+
Second Base- B-

The general impression seems to be that Cano is a lazy player who is wasting away his talent. The general impression is that he has no plate disciplince and is so lazy in the field he hurts the team there to. I disagree with this. Cano is batting .274/.314/.427/.247 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA). Coming from second base that's pretty good. He's also a very good defensive second baseman who has mental lapses occasionally that stand out in your memory. He set the bar very high last year after hitting .340. He's still only 24. Their is a lot of teams that would love to have a guy like this. I think the reason people think he is so lazy in the field is that he is naturally so smooth and effortless in the field he looks like he is not trying. People then jump on him for this when he does make an error. He doesn't look like he's fielding well but he is producing and giving us results. The opposite of this would be Jeter who had such terrible range that he turns what are normally routine plays into webgems. On the balls that guys like Cano make good plays on Jeter dives and misses. Cano is a very good fielder and has offensive production from 2B that is pretty good. He is only 24 and should have his peak years ahead of him.
First Base-C-

We came into Spring Training expecting Phillips and Phelps to battle for the righthanded half of the first base plattoon. Instead what happened was Phelps hit at a ridiculous level with a .500 BA for a while and Phillips missed most of Spring Training to be with his mom who was in a car accident. Phelps won the job obviously and we came into the season expecting Mientkiewicz to hit at around an average level wuth an EQA of about .270 with good defense and Phelps to hit similarly with pretty bad defense. Mientkiewicz did play good defense, Phelps did hit decently (not as good as expected though), and Phelps was a butcher with his glove. The only problem was Mientkiewicz hit in the .100's most of the time he played. Torre continued to play Mientkiewicz even when Phelps was hot. Mientkiewicz finally began to pick it up when he was injured in a nasty collision at first base in Boston. The logical decision was to make is to make Phelps the starting first baseman right? Not in the eyes of Joe Torre. Instead, Miguel Cairo became the starting firstbaseman. He had a nice BA with good fielding and speed for a while but he never walked and had no power. Eventually he cooled down, Phelps was DFA'ed (he was picked up by the Pirates), and Phillips was called up. Before all this happened though Damon and Posada were both tried out at first. Since being called up Phillips has done a very good job. I don't think its worth it to trade for Mark Texiera or Adam Dunn. Shelley Duncan could help and Juan Miranda is raking in Trenton. Saltalamachia could also become our catcher. Then Posada could be our first baseman and maybe he won't burn out at the end of the season like most catchers. We don't need to make a trade or even sign anyone this off season. Phillip's performance might be due to the small sample size it has occured in but I think he can be a solid .270/20/90 guy. Thats pretty good for a #9 hitter.
We've hit the ASB so now is as good a time as any to do a Mid Season Report Card on the Yankees. I`ll do a post on each position and the bullpen and rotation all together.

Catcher- B

Jorge Posada has had a great contract year so far. He has a .305 EQA which would be the second best of his career (first is .308 in 2000). Posada has been critizized a lot for his defense but his throw times are great. The Yankees pitchers in general are pretty bad at holding guys on. He should definitely be starting the ASG instead of I-Rod. if A-Rod wasn't having such an insane year he would deserve some consideration for MVP. However, Wil Nieves is a historically bad backup catcher. As pointed out by Steve Lombardi he is the worst catcher in the history of the Yankees. The Yankees have been around since 1901 (counting their years as the Orioles and Highlanders) and he's the absolute worst ever offensively. He was mainly picked over Todd Pratt though for his defense. He has only caught 5 of 22 steal attempts. If you have over a 75% success rate stealing bases you are heping your team. Nieves is not only the worst ever offensively but he is also hurting them defensively. The Yankees desperately need to make a trade to improve this position I`d like a trade for Jarod Saltalamachia of the Braves but please at least trade for somebody. A guy the could hit .200/.300/.350 would make this an A-. Saltalamachia would make it an A+