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Posts Tagged ‘Randy Winn’

The trade deadline has come and gone and Brian Cashman was certainly busy over the final 48 hours, landing three new players. With Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood now wearing Pinstripes, let’s look back at what were generally considered the Yankees biggest needs heading into this year’s trade season and see how well Cashman did in addressing them.

  1. Bullpen: The struggles of Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Chan Ho Park this year, along with injuries to Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre and Damaso Marte turned what looked like a major strength at the beginning of the season into a major question mark. Cashman picked up Wood hours after the Indians activated him from the DL. And that’s been Kerry Wood’s big problem throughout his career – the guy just can’t stay healthy. At one time, he was supposed to be the Next Big Thing; now, his career has devolved into that of middle innings guy. Still, Wood has a plus fastball and curve and hitters don’t like to face him. Additionally, acquiring him gave the Yankees the perfect excuse to send Park and his thrill-a-minute pitching style packing, so that’s a plus right there. Also, Cashman gave up virtually nothing to get him, other than money and a future low-grade prospect, so there isn’t much risk involved here. Of course, this doesn’t really address the eighth inning role, but adding a power arm is never a bad idea. Grade: B-
  2. Outfield bench: Replacing Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon and Eric Hinske with Randy Winn and Marcus Thames didn’t exactly pan out. Thames has demonstrated that his all-hit, no-glove reputation is well deserved and Winn played so well he was asked to run away from Yankee Stadium. Enter Austin Kearns. Kearns represents a serious upgrade to this unit. Unlike Thames, he is a better than league-average defender at both corner spots and league-average in center, if needed. He has better than average speed, although it’s never translated to stolen bases. He has decent power from the right side, although not enough to ever be considered a power hitter. In other words, he is the epitome of a fourth outfielder even though his past teams were so awful he found himself thrust into starting roles. Once again, Cashman brought a solid player in from Cleveland for cash or the infamous PTBNL (btw, I want to meet that guy one day – he gets traded A LOT), so there isn’t much risk involved, either. The only thing keeping this from being an “A” is that Kearns doesn’t project as a guy you want starting 3-4 weeks in a row, should a serious injury occur. Grade: B+
  3. Infield Bench: This is the one area that still needs some work. Neither Ramiro Pena nor Kevin Russo are guys you really want to see with a bat in their hands, but the Yankees were unable to find any help. A waiver trade is always a possibility, but Tampa, Boston and Texas will know what the Yankees are up to and probably try to block any such move. Grade: F
  4. Designated Hitter: A full-time DH wasn’t a serious need, even if Nick Johnson is likely done. Using the DH role to rotate some of the Yankee vets would have been fine, if a strong utility guy could be found. None were, so Cashman did the next best thing: bring in some big-time thunder for the DH role. Although undeniably on the downside of very good career, Lance Berkman’s arrival means the Yankee line-up gets lengthened, with legitimate power threats from 2-8. The undeniable shocker of the trade deadline. Grade: A

Overall, I give Cashman a B- for this year’s deadline dealing, although that stands to improve if the Yanks can swing a deal for utility infielder.

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The first half of the season is over and the Yankees are right where we expected them: in first place in the brutal AL East with the best record in baseball. That they’ve accomplished this feat is nothing short of incredible, considering the tepid seasons so far from Mark Texeira and Curtis Granderson, and the non-seasons from Nick Johnson and the departed Randy Winn.

The reason the team has done so well is that the starting rotation has performed even better than most people anticipated. That’s saying quite a bit, as this was expected to be one of the five best rotations in the majors. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the majors-leading48 wins (against only 21 losses) is beyond all expectations. That the Yanks have three starting pitchers on this year’s all-star team is proof that other players and teams agree the Yanks rotation has been the best in baseball.

So why dominance beyond that expected of other outstanding rotations? Could the answer be that Dave Eiland is a modern-day pitching genius?

Um, actually…not so fast.

A case can be made that Eiland has been anything but a pitching genius. And that the rotation, while very good, has actually been pitching below what could have been expected of them. I realize that much was written about how Eiland’s return from a still unexplained leave of absence seems to have rejuvenated AJ Burnett. And undoubtedly, Burnett’s horrible June and July resurgence coincided with Eiland’s disappearing act. But, on the whole, the staff has pitched below what might be expected of them based on their career averages. Consider the chart below:

Name

ERA

fIP

fIP-ERA

WHIP

H/9

HR/9

BB/9

SO/9

SO/BB

Andy Pettitte

2.70

3.73

-1.03

1.147

7.5

0.9

2.8

6.9

2.49

Pettite Career

3.86

3.70

0.16

1.353

9.3

0.8

2.8

6.6

2.34

CC Sabathia

3.09

3.69

-0.60

1.137

7.4

0.8

2.8

7.1

2.54

Sabathia Career

3.59

3.58

0.01

1.226

8.2

0.8

2.8

7.5

2.68

Phil Hughes

3.65

3.55

0.10

1.178

8.0

1.0

2.6

8.1

3.14

Hughes Career

4.01

3.70

0.31

1.246

8.1

0.9

3.1

8.2

2.65

Javier Vazquez

4.45

4.70

-0.25

1.221

7.4

1.4

3.6

7.6

2.11

Vazquez Career

4.20

3.82

0.38

1.244

8.8

1.2

2.4

8.1

3.40

A.J. Burnett

4.75

4.66

0.09

1.472

9.4

1.1

3.8

6.8

1.76

Burnett Career

3.90

3.85

0.05

1.310

8.0

0.9

3.8

8.3

2.19

Rotation 2010

3.68

4.04

-0.36

1.227

7.9

1.0

3.1

7.3

2.34

Rotation Career

3.91

3.73

0.18

1.286

8.7

0.9

2.8

7.6

2.75

A real danger sign that a pitcher is getting better results than ought to be expected is when FIP is more than .2 runs higher than his ERA. Put another way, when FIP is significantly higher than ERA, it’s an indication that the defense is making a habit of bailing a pitcher out of trouble. Right now, as a staff, the rotation’s FIP is .36 runs better than their combined ERA. Three pitchers are, based on the numbers, getting more defensive support than should realistically be anticipated: Andy Pettite, CC Sabathia and Javier Vazquez. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their individual ERA’s rise to more closely resemble their FIP by the end of the season. Unless the offense gets untracked, the results will be a dismal second half performance in the W/L column. For Pettite especially, that would spell disaster – but the reality is, his FIP in 2010 is remarkably consistent with his career FIP, so figuring he gives up an additional run per game in the second half is not unreasonable.

[By the way, for those of you who aren’t part-time sabermatricians or are otherwise unfamiliar with the alphabet-soup of baseball statistics, FIP stands for “Fielding Independent Pitching.” It’s a measure of how well a pitcher controls the parts of the game that don’t rely on defense: walks, home runs allowed and strike-outs. ERA, or “Earned Run Average” measures the number of how many runs a pitcher has actually allowed per 9 innings pitched, after removing runs allowed because of a fielding error. When you compare the two, you get a sense of how well a pitcher’s defense has contributed to their success. For example, this year Andy Pettite has a FIP that is more than 1 run per game higher than his ERA – an indication that the Yankee D has bailed him out quite a bit. Were he pitching for a team with a more porous defense, Andy’s ERA would likely be significantly higher. A great primer FIP can be found here.]

The real reason I’m not about to anoint Eiland as a genius just yet, though, has to do with those career numbers. As a whole, the rotation is pitching to an ERA that is .23 rpg better than their career aggregate. But I have a feeling that number is about to get flipped: the FIP is .31 rpg worse than the career aggregate, with only one starter – Phil Hughes – pitching to a better FIP in 2010 than in his career. Equally disturbing, the FIP/ERA differential is upside down by .54 rpg from the aggregate career average. And you can’t put either of the career to season discrepancies on Burnett’s June implosion – if you took his numbers out of the rotation, they get worse: the FIP difference goes up to .56 rpg and the career FIP difference goes up to .34 rpg.

So, it seems fair to say that Dave Eiland is not the reason for the Yankees pitching prowess and may actually be doing something to mess things up. In fact, it seems that the real reason the Yanks have bolted out to the best record in baseball may be their defense. This starts to become even more evident when you take a close look at the peripherals: K/BB ratio is down, BB/9 are up and yet, overall WHIP is lower than the career numbers. That’s evidence that a lot of balls that used to find grass are being turned into outs.

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Ever since the injury to Nick Johnson, there have been debates to who should be the right person to bat second. I am reminded of some very wise words, stats don’t lie. As you can see from the table below, Brett Gardner and Nick Johnson both have had the most AB in the 2 hole. Johnson having the better OBP — by .050 — but with Gardner having 8 more hits and thus almost .100 higher batting average. I do realize that Granderson has a .429 OBP, but that is over 12 at bats and is likely to go down with more time in the 2 hole.

AB ? R H HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP
Brett Gardner 75 13 20 1 4 4 6 16 .267 .321
Nick Johnson 71 12 12 2 8 0 22 23 .169 .379
Nick Swisher 45 8 11 3 5 0 7 7 .244 .346
Curtis Granderson 12 4 4 0 0 0 1 2 .333 .429
Marcus Thames 3 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 .333 .250
Jorge Posada 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
Randy Winn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Greg Golson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Total 207 37 48 6 19 4 36 50 .232 .352
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/2/2010.

If Swisher continues to hit the way he is, I don’t see why the Yankees would need anyone else to hit 2nd. Time will tell.

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From The LoHud Yankees Blog:

Randy Winn has been designated for assignment to make room for Curtis Granderson.

“It’s the worst part of my job,” Joe Girardi said.

The Yankees chose to keep Kevin Russo for his versatility.

It’s about time the guy was DFA. Hitting .213, with 1HR and 8RBI’s just doesn’t cut it in this town.

  Randy Winn #22 Of The New York Yankees Runs

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Let’s file this under ‘Ugly Week,’ shall we? It was about time the Yankees hit a slightly rough patch as they went 3-4 over their last 7 games and welcome in the Red Sox (2 games), Rays (2 games) and head to Queens for a 3 game tilt as interleage baseball starts. One question, who makes up these schedules? 2 series of 2 games? C’mon, MLB can do better than that.

The Good

Even though it was a bad week, there is still plenty of things to be happy about. Phil Hughes keeps chugging along as he easily dispatched the Tigers in game two of last week’s doubleheader and Andy Pettitte successfully came back from some time off as the Yankees defeated Minnesota 7-1.

Furthermore, Teixeira continues to pound the ball as he hit .333 last week with 1 long ball and 7 RBI’s.

The Bad

Damaso Marte, you have only one job and that is to get lefties out, yet last week allowed Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to walk all over you before you IBB the bases loaded and luckily get Jason Kubel to pop out to LF. I know you built up some good will during the playoffs, but not every left handed hitter is as gullible as Ryan Howard, get it together! (more…)

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 Sergio Mitre #45 And Jorge Posada #20 Of The New York Yankees Talk On The Mound

The Pitching:

Sergio Mitre toed the rubber last night instead of Andy Pettitte, who was out for precautionary measures. I kind of felt that they were just giving this game away with Mitre on the mound, especially since Andy said he was ready to get back out there.

Mitre wasn’t very effective, giving up 3 runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. His pitching line was: (L, 0-1) 4.1IP 5H 4R 3ER 2BB 4K (69 Pitches, 37 for Strikes). Joe Girardi turned to David Robertson to offer some relief, and he did just that. D-Rob tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, giving up only two hits and struck out two in the process. His ERA moves down to 10.61.

Boone Logan pitched the 7th inning, giving up one run, on a hit and two walks. In the 8th inning, Joba Chamberlain lit up the radar gun (throwing 96-97 mph) and struck out the side. He gave us that flash of greatness we saw back in 2007.

The Offense:

Mark Teixeira hit a 2-run homer off of Brad Thomas in the top of the 3rd inning, to put the team within one run of tying up the ballgame. A-Rod went 2-for-4 on the game, picked up a run and lifted his batting average up to .286. Marcus Thames went 1-for-4 on the game, and delivered an RBI single in the top of the 8th inning to cut the lead to 5-3. Brett Gardner than ground out, allowing Robbie Cano to score and they were only trailing by one run. Randy Winn and Derek Jeter came up to the plate that same inning and failed to get a hit.

Final Score: Tigers 5, Yankees 4

The Yankees have now hit a two-game losing streak, and they turn to Javier Vazquez to end it. If they lose tonight, the Bombers will hit their first 3-game losing streak of the season. The Tampa Bay Rays lost another game last night, so the Yanks still stand a half game back. 

Scoreboard

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
N.Y. Yankees (21-10) 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 8 1
Detroit (18-14) « 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 5 8 0
W: E. Bonine (3-0)L: S. Mitre (0-1)
S: J. Valverde (9)
HR: NYY – M. Teixeira (6)   DET – J. Damon (2)

(more…)

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  (L To R) Boone Logan #48, Francisco Cervelli #29, Derek Jeter #2, And Ramiro Pena #19 Of The New York Yankees High

The Pitching:

Phil Hughes continued his great start to season this year, improving to 4-0 with another solid performance. His pitching line was: (W, 4-0) 7.0IP 7H 2R 2ER 1BB 7K (101 Pitches, 70 for Strikes).

David Robertson came on in the 8th, and gave up a run on two walks and a base hit. His ERA now stands at 13.50. Even with Mariano Rivera available, the Yanks didn’t need him with a 7-run lead. Instead, Boone Logan closed out the game in the 9th inning, throwing up a scoreless frame.

The Offense:

Nick Swisher is the hottest player on the team now, and he didn’t stop last night. He only got one hit, but it was a big one. He jacked a 3-run home run in the 4th inning to put the Yankees up 3-0. Marcus Thames went 1-for-2, and drove in two runs. A-Rod went 2-for-4 on the game, collecting two runs and knocked in an RBI. Randy Winn went 2-for-4, picking up two runs and an RBI. Francisco Cervelli went 2-for-3, collecting a run and an RBI.

In the process, two Yankees were lost due to injury. Cano was drilled with a 92-mph fastball off his left knee, and Johnson left the game with a wrist injury.

Final Score: Yankees 10, Red Sox 3 (more…)

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The Pitching:

Andy Pettitte didn’t have his best stuff today, but he worked out of trouble and earned his fourth win of the season. He was pulled from the game after five innings and 77 pitches, and made many fans concerned about what happened to him. We later found out that he is day-to-day with an inflamed elbow. His pitching line was: (W, 4-0) 5.0IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K (77 Pitches, 46 for Strikes). Sergio Mitre tossed 2.1 innings in relief, allowing 2 earned runs on 3 hits.

Damaso Marte entered the game with one out in the 8th inning, recorded an out and left the game. He was replaced by David Robertson, who has struggled mightily this season. D-Rob recorded the last out of the inning without any problems. Girardi sent him back out to the mound to close out the game, and that’s when it got ugly. Robertson continued his early season struggles as he served up back-to-back home runs to Wieter and Reimold, allowing the Orioles to pull within two runs. Boone Logan replaced him. Logan got one out, walked two batters and the ball was than handed to Aceves. Alfredo nailed down the victory with ease, picking up his first save of the season (S,1). This is what A World Without Mo looks like. Not pretty. 

The Offense:

Nick Johnson went 3-for-3 today. It was a huge game for him. He hit a solo blast in the bottom of the 1st inning off David Hernandez, and picked up a double and a single later in the game. His batting average is now up to .171 on the season. Nick Swisher hit a solo home run off Hernandez in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Mark Teixeira his a two-run double off of Mark Hendrickson. It was his only hit of the game. 

Brett Gardner went 1-for-3, picked up a run, a walk and another stolen base on the season (SB, 13). Randy Winn went 1-for-3, with a run and a stolen base. A-Rod went 1-for-4 and knocked in an RBI. Derek Jeter went 1-for-5, picking up two runs and an RBI.

Final Score: Yankees 7, Orioles 5

The Yankees will have the day off tomorrow, and will resume play on Friday night against the Red Sox. The team will ship up to Boston and open up a three-game series at Fenway Park. (more…)

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Before tonight’s game, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter were given their 2009 AL Gold Glove awards. This was Teixeira’s first Gold Glove with the NY Yankees, and Jeter got his fourth of his career.

The Pitching:

C.C. Sabathia gave Girardi innings today, going eight strong frames, allowing only one run on six hits. His pitching line was: (W, 4-1) 8.0IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K (106 Pitches, 67 for Strikes). His ERA now dips below the 3.00 mark and stands at 2.74.

In the ninth inning, Joba Chamberlain entered the game instead of Mariano Rivera. This made the media and fans wonder…what the heck is going on here? It was a save situation, so it was really odd. We later found out that Mo was dealing with stiffness on his left side, and would be unavailable tonight. Joba picked up the save without running into trouble (S, 1).

The Offense:

Derek Jeter, Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira went a joint 0-for-11 tonight. With that said, they still managed to score enough runs to win the game. Nick Swisher went 3-for-3 on the game (Double, 2 Singles) , picking up a run and an RBI. Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 and picked up a run. Brett Gardner went 1-for-2, collecting a walk and a run.

The player of the game was Randy Winn. He jacked his first home run as a New York Yankee in the bottom of the 4th inning off Jeremy Guthrie to put the team ahead 4-1. That score would hold up and become the final score of the game. (more…)

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From The LoHud Yankees Blog:

Curtis Granderson’s MRI results are in. He was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of the left groin. He will be placed on the 15-day DL either today or tomorrow and the Yankees will recall Mark Melancon from Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

According to Joe Girardi, they expect Granderson to be out a month. In the mean time, Randy Winn and Marcus Thames will fill in.

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For most of his career, Randy Winn has been the type of player that you can expect to hit about .280 or higher with about 10-20 HR’s and roughly 60-75 RBI’s and a handful of stolen bases. However, last year, possibly showing his age or it could have been a down year, Randy hit below all of those averages. Traditionally Randy hits lefties well, but in 09, he hit a lowly .158, which is without a doubt easy to rebound from, because face it, he can’t go much lower can he?

Looking Ahead to 2010: One hopes that his age wasn’t a factor in 2009 when looking ahead to 2010. While it is most likely that his batting average will rebound, 2009 marked the second year in a row his HR’s declined. If he becomes the starter, which some people would throw themself off the Brooklyn Bridge if it happened, wouldn’t be a bad thing per se as he still is a capable hitter. Likely Winn will be a platoon player with spot starts here and there as Gardner will likely end up as the starting left fielder.

2010 Projection: .280, 8 HR’s, 52 RBI’s

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2009 was a short season for Brett — and no, we’re not talking about his height — due to injury. However, he hit .270 in his limited time and played a decent centerfield. Out of spring training Brett had won the starting job in center field, Bubba Crosby be damned. Unforunately, his starting job didn’t last too long.

Looking ahead to 2010: Brett likely will be in some sort of a battle with Randy Winn for the starting job in left field even though some reports indicate that Winn is just a bench piece. Either way, I see Gardner being the starter as long as he can hit the ball and historically, if everything holds up, his average will rise this year. This year, if Gardner is the starter in left, expect Winn or Marcus Thames to possibly platoon in against lefties. The Daily News has also indicated that he has taken time out of his spring training to work on his bunting. About time, eh?

2010 Projection: .280, 6 HR, 50 RBI, 40 SB

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