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Posts Tagged ‘David DeJesus’

The AL West shapes up as a showdown of pitching vs. offense, with the team that used to set the standard now entrenched as an also-ran and a rebuilding effort in the Great Northwest. In what should be essentially a two-team race, the nod goes to the A’s and their young guns.

Oakland surprised many by posting the best rotation ERA in the league last season. Despite trading Vin Mazzaro to Kansas City this offseason, the A’s still look to have easily the best rotation in their division, while adding Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes to what was an already impressive bullpen may give the team the best top-to-bottom staff in the league. Given their ages, one can only expect the rotation, led by Brett Anderson and strike-out machine Gio Gonzalez to continue to improve. While the offense is still underwhelming, adding Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus to the under-rated Daric Barton and Kurt Suzuki should provide enough punch to lead the A’s to their first division title since 2006.

The defending league champions will miss the departed Vladimir Guerrero‘s bat, but that’s not the piece that looks to derail the Texas Rangers bid to repeat. Losing Cliff Lee and not replacing him with anyone has led them to scramble to find starters from their relief corps and a few reclamation projects, such as Brandon Webb. The Rangers will still hit – any team that includes Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young and Ian Kinsler will score runs. Adding Mike Napoli should help, but the Adrian Beltre signing is one of those “buyer beware” type deals: Beltre’s bat has a history of coming alive only in contract years, although his glove work remains impeccable. Expect Texas to be involved in a lot of 10-8 type games.

The Angels once were considered the standard of excellence in the division, making the playoffs 6 times in an 8 year span from 2002 – 2009. Last year, the team finished below .500 and they’ll struggle to reach that mark again this year. Provided Scott Kazmir can recapture some lost magic and Joel Piniero can continue to wiggle out of jams, the rotation looks to be better than average. But the once-feared bullpen is no longer a sure thing, now led by the erratic Fernando Rodney as the closer. The line-up is ill-suited to playing manager Mike Scioscia‘s style, featuring aging players now playing out of position – with the curious addition of Vernon Wells joining former stars Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu, as well as rookie Peter Bourjos in the outfield rotation. The Angels will be further hampered by 1B Kendry Morales uncertain status; reports suggest he may not return until May from last season’s freakish broken leg.

Finally, there’s the Mariners. Last year’s pre-season Cinderella pick collapsed by April 30th and went downhill from there. At least, this season doesn’t bring those types of expectations to Seattle – which is a good thing. If Erik Bedard is healthy again, he could prove a nice one-two pairing with reigning Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez. CF Franklin Gutierrez seemed to regress last year, but the talent is still there and he may have experienced the dreaded “sophomore slump.” Seattle fans will also be able to root for Ichiro Suzuki to make it 11 consecutive seasons with 200+ hits and 25+ steals, a feat never before accomplished in major league baseball.

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The season is more than half over.  Most of the questions the Yankees have are relatively minor and I fully expect the front office will address them via trade or waiver pick-ups.

But there is one question that the Yankees bet the House that Jeter Built on that has yet to get a satisfactory answer. That question is, will Curtis Granderson ever hit left-handed pitching? The answer seems to be a pretty resounding, “No.” The worst part about this is there isn’t a obvious answer to the problem. Granderson was brought in to be the everyday center fielder and to do it, the Yankees sent away the  CF of the Future, Austin Jackson.

Consider the following splits:

  Split R HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG BAbip tOPS+
Career vs RHP 380

92

264

67

15

246

476

0.289

0.365

0.525

0.334

117

2010 vs RHP 23

6

19

5

0

17

27

0.244

0.336

0.48

0.263

128

Career vs LHP 87

17

58

7

2

50

192

0.209

0.268

0.338

0.263

49

2010 vs LHP 9

1

4

2

0

5

23

0.203

0.250

0.291

0.273

54

                           
  Career Totals

467

109

322

74

17

296

668

0.269

0.341

0.478

0.317

100

  2010 Totals

32

7

23

7

0

22

50

0.228

0.304

0.408

0.267

100

As you can see, Granderson’s struggles with left-handed pitching this year are in line with his career totals. The principle reason his overall batting line is sub-par this year is mainly due to the much lower BAbip, which may be as much a result of bad luck as anything else. But the L/R splits for this year are pretty much the same as for the previous six, and they are dramatic. The OPS+ difference is particularly striking, revealing a player who is well above league average when facing a right-handed pitcher but hits more like Mario Mendoza when facing a lefty. Equally depressing are the run production differentials: against righties, Granderson produces a run in 28.7% of his plate appearances, but against lefties it’s 14.6%. In other words, a Granderson at bat against a RHP is twice as likely to yield the Yankees a run as one against a LHP.

So, what do the Yankees do? Can they live with Granderson in CF against lefties on a regular basis despite the fact it’s doubtful he will ever be an effective hitter against them? Or do they bite the bullet and call it a mistake? The Yankees have options: Brett Gardner is a very god defensive center fielder and there are corner outfielders on the market. One intriguing possibility is Jayson Werth, who is rumored to be on the trading block. Another is David DeJesus, who is constantly linked to the Yankees. Both of those players will be free agents after the season, both are respectable left fielders defensively and both represent an offensive upgrade from Granderson.

What say you – do the Yankees make a trade or live with Granderson as the center fielder of the present and future?

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From Pete Caldera:

“Our team is, for the most part, set,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday by phone from his office at Yankee Stadium.

“With the money we had to spend, we chose to spend it in those spots,” Cashman said. “We’re just playing with the bench right now.”

“We have a left fielder,” Cashman said, adding, “We do like Brett Gardner.”

It looks as if Brett Gardner will be the opening Day left fielder. All hopes of a slugging outfielder are gone. I didn’t expect Bay or Halladay, but DeJesus would have pleased me. (more…)

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Brett Gardner is good, but isn’t he more valuable coming off the bench? To be honest, when he first came up I thought that he could be a decent outfielder. It turns out it doesn’t look like he can make it as an everyday player on this club.

We heard that Damon came down from his thought of a three- or four-year deal. Johnny offered to return for two years at $20 million. The Yankees countered at $14 million, and nothing happened after that. He probably wants to stay in New York, but obviously money means more to him then winning.

Supposedly, Xavier Nady’s price “is above the Yankees’ current budget.” The Yanks also don’t appear to be a primary suitor for Jermaine Dye, according to Jon Heyman. DeRosa (Giants), Holliday (Cardinals), Bay (Mets), Kearns (Indians) are all off the board. David DeJesus, Ryan Church, Scott Podsednik, Travis Buck, Reed Johnson, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Johnny Damon are still available. It just seems like the Yankees aren’t budging on this “we have a budget” idea.

Update: 1:30PM ET: MLB Trade Rumors: “Heyman believes the Yankees would not go beyond one year and $6MM to re-sign Johnny Damon.  On MLB Home Plate Boras said Damon “would just have to move forward,” while not faulting the Yankees for sticking to a budget.  Heyman suggests four alternatives for Damon: the Giants, Mariners, Braves, and Angels”

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     Brian Cashman has done his job for the most part, but some things need to be settled. He brought in the top FA players, but they need to decide on a CF & a #5 starter. Here is a review…

The Good: Cashman signs top FA players. CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, & Mark Teixeira.

  • Brian Cashman did a brilliant job of bringing in CC, AJ, & Tex. He got two of the best FA pitchers on the market, and brought in a big bat to complete the lineup. The Yankees finally have an “ACE” and have arguably the best rotation in all of baseball. Teixeira provides higher average and gold glove defense at 1st base. That is something Giambi couldn’t supply. These moves make the Yankees early favorites to win the World Series. You can’t really ask for anything else.

The Bad: CF Solution Solution. Melky Cabrera & Brett Gardner?

  • Are they going into Spring Training with these two guys or not? They need to decide soon as players will be reporting to ST in the coming weeks. Fans are outraged that we have two young guys competing for the spot, and it will be interesting to see if they make a move or not. Are Andruw Jones, Lastings Milledge, David DeJesus, Ken Griffey Jr, & Mike Cameron possibilities?

And The Ugly: #5 Starter. Pettitte’s future uncertain.

  • Still a true Yankee? I would like to think so. Many believe that if he doesn’t come back..that it tarnishes his legacy as a Yankee. I actually want him to return, but he has refused the Yankees $10M offer and there haven’t been any negotiations going on lately. They need some depth in the rotation, so if he doesn’t come back then they might have to go after some other pitcher. I would go with Phil Hughes in the #5 spot, but as everyone knows..you can never have too much pitching. Cashman needs to step up to the plate and ask Pettitte if he is going to return or not, because this is dragging out to long and the news has become annoying. Get it done already… 

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