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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin are hitting like good hitting pitchers.

Come on, come on. The Yankees are winning in spite of them, not because of them.

Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin are hitting like pitchers. Saturday, September 3, 2016August 13 Tyler Austin (1B) and Aaron Judge (RF) became the only teammates ever to homer back to back in their first plate appearances (PA). Judge then homered in his second game...

Aaron Judge is performing as a good hitting pitcher, maybe number four. So, how come so many Yankee fans and media people haven't noticed?
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Aaron Judge was injured last night after BB and SO, and Tyler Austin did not play. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium 3-0 on solo home runs by Jacoby Ellsbury, Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez, the only real deal Yankee August minor league call up to excel.

PA, OPS+:
Sanchez: 155, 187
Judge: 95, 60
Austin: 66, 68

AB, HR:
Sanchez: 136, 14
Judge: 84, 4
Austin: 62, 3

Pitchers with at least 60 PA sorted by OPS+:

Rk Player OPS+ PA Year Age Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Jake Arrieta 105 63 2016 30 CHC NL 28 58 6 16 2 1 2 7 4 0 27 0 1 0 1 0 0 .276 .323 .448 .771 *1
2 Adam Wainwright 80 60 2016 34 STL NL 30 54 6 11 6 1 2 14 2 0 16 0 4 0 1 0 0 .204 .232 .463 .695 *1/H
3 Noah Syndergaard 73 63 2016 23 NYM NL 29 54 6 9 3 0 3 6 7 0 33 0 2 0 1 0 0 .167 .262 .389 .651 *1
4 Madison Bumgarner 53 86 2016 26 SFG NL 32 75 6 12 3 0 3 7 10 0 38 0 0 1 1 0 0 .160 .256 .320 .576 *1/H
5 Jason Hammel 46 66 2016 33 CHC NL 33 62 6 15 3 0 0 7 1 0 23 0 3 0 0 0 0 .242 .254 .290 .544 *1/H
6 Jeff Samardzija 15 63 2016 31 SFG NL 31 59 4 10 5 0 0 8 1 0 24 0 2 1 3 0 0 .169 .180 .254 .435 *1/H
7 Max Scherzer -4 76 2016 31 WSN NL 30 63 3 10 1 0 0 8 2 0 27 0 11 0 1 0 0 .159 .185 .175 .359 *1
8 Kenta Maeda -11 60 2016 28 LAD NL 31 51 5 6 1 0 1 3 1 0 15 0 8 0 1 0 0 .118 .135 .196 .331 *1/H
9 Tanner Roark -14 68 2016 29 WSN NL 30 58 1 7 1 0 0 3 4 0 22 0 6 0 0 0 0 .121 .177 .138 .315 *1
10 John Lackey -25 62 2016 37 CHC NL 26 57 1 6 2 0 0 2 2 0 28 0 3 0 0 0 0 .105 .136 .140 .276 *1
11 Jon Lester -31 64 2016 32 CHC NL 29 49 2 3 2 0 0 4 5 0 16 0 10 0 2 0 0 .061 .148 .102 .250 *1/H
12 Johnny Cueto -32 75 2016 30 SFG NL 29 63 1 7 0 0 0 4 2 0 21 0 10 0 2 0 0 .111 .138 .111 .250 *1
13 Kyle Hendricks -35 60 2016 26 CHC NL 29 50 1 5 0 0 0 2 1 0 27 1 8 0 0 0 0 .100 .135 .100 .235 *1/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2016.

Obviously, pitchers as hitters suck. But three pitchers have higher OPS+ than either Judge or Austin. Two nights ago Judge hit his fourth home run, passing pitchers:
Syndergaard: 3 in 54 AB
Bumgarner: 3 in 74 AB.

So, the Yankees have been playing with the functional equivalent of two pitchers in their lineup. The Yankees have had others who were comparably low:
Aaron Hicks: 60
Mark Teixeira: 66
Alex Rodriguez: 57

The only Yankee with more PA than Sanchez and OPS+ above 100 (league average) was Carlos Beltran (131 in 384 PA), who was traded August 1 for three minor league pitchers who have not been called up even in September when the rosters expand.

Hicks has been on the DL with a muscle pull and Judge may now go on the DL. The Yankees may call up another OF who was not ready to be called up Sept. 1. Maybe Mason Williams: AAA OPS .689. But there has been no mention of OF Clint Frazier, who was acquired from Cleveland along with three other minor league players for relief pitcher Andrew Miller. Conventional media and fan rush to judgement was that Yankee general manager Brian Cashman was a genius, not the incompetent he's been shown to be here.

Frazier since joining the Yankee AAA team: 108 PA, .674 OPS. That must be why Cashman did not promote Frazier with all the others on Sept. 1. Frazier was in the same 2013 draft as Aaron Judge, who at least has been tried for a month at the major league level, despite 42 SO in 84 AB. None of the pitchers listed above have than many SO.

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