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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Billy McKinney featured on Yankees Hot Stove TV program. Why?

Aroldis Chapman:
Yankees interested in Jose Quintana, twice released by Brian Cashman. Tuesday, December 20, 2016 4:10PM

Adding to the Brian Cashman list of you can't make up stuff like this.

The Yankees have a TV program on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network. On it people like former New York Times sports writer and current Yankee TV analyst Jack Curry tell Yankee fans what a great job is being done by Yankee general manager Brian Cashman...


The Cubs traded four players, including Gleyber Torres, for relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman. Any four for one trade suggests that none of the four are anywhere as good as the one, especially if the one pitches fewer than 70 innings in a full season and Chapman was acquired just to pitch in the tournament. Chapman became a free agent after the season, the Cubs made no attempt to sign Chapman ...
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On that same Yankees Hot Stove TV program Jack Curry extolled the virtues of outfielder Billy McKinney. They put on the screen McKinney's minor league numbers, which came to an unimpressive .764 OPS.

The problem is that it includes OPS:
A+ .804
AA .714

Even worse, and Curry did mention this, McKinney's AA numbers went down in his second AA season, 2016:
2015 .766
2016 .680

McKinney has been a pro since 2013, four seasons. McKinney has never played at AAA. Until a player performs at AAA that player is unproven at best. If, in addition, the player has mediocre numbers, what the heck are the Yankees doing suggesting that he could possibly become an impact player on the Yankees?

Yankees interested in Jose Quintana, twice released by Brian Cashman.

Adding to the Brian Cashman list of you can't make up stuff like this.

The Yankees have a TV program on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network. On it people like former New York Times sports writer and current Yankee TV analyst Jack Curry tell Yankee fans what a great job is being done by Yankee general manager Brian Cashman. On last night's program:

http://web.yesnetwork.com/media/video.jsp?topic_id=101120862

Yankees interested in Quintana 12/19/2016 2:42 Bob Lorenz and Jack Curry discuss the Yankees potential interest in trading for White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana.
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Watch the video yourself. Curry makes no mention of:

Jose Quintana twice "Granted Free Agency" by Brian Cashman, Yankee general manager. Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After twice messing up on Quintana, Cashman did this:

Brian Cashman strikes out on Gleyber Torres in 2013, then trades Aroldis Chapman to make up for that failure. Tuesday, July 26, 2016

... the Cubs outbid the Yankees by offering $1.7 million. The Yankees couldn't afford that or was Cashman too inept yet again? Either way, it's another failure by Cashman.

Had Cashman already signed Torres, then he could have traded Chapman for other "assets" ...
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The Cubs traded four players, including Gleyber Torres, for relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman. Any four for one trade suggests that none of the four are anywhere as good as the one, especially if the one pitches fewer than 70 innings in a full season and Chapman was acquired just to pitch in the tournament. Chapman became a free agent after the season, the Cubs made no attempt to sign Chapman and ...

Yankees are beyond stupid: bad and boring. Sign Aroldis Chapman: $86 million, five years. Thursday, December 8, 2016

... Yankee management continues to delude itself and the media and Yankee fans into thinking that the team is a contender ...

The Yankees top three starting pitchers are Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda.

For 2017 the Yankees project to have one batter better than average at his fielding position: catcher Gary Sanchez.

The Yankees are counting on 25 year old rookie Aaron Judge to play right field and improve on his 42 strike outs in 84 at bats in late 2016...

The Yankees needed to add two batters who could hit at least 30 home runs. Instead they are hoping that rookie Aaron Judge can hit 30.

The Yankees also needed to add two starting pitchers. They added none. They must be hoping ... it's difficult to even imagine what.

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Why are so many so blind to the blind spots of Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin? Blind faith?

Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge were the August 2016 Baby Bombers who supposedly inspired and led the Yankees the rest of the 2016 season. Actually, there was only one Baby Bomber: Sanchez. There should be no confusion on this but there is. Why?

Fritz Brickell and Bobby Richardson hit their first home runs in the same game in 1959, a bit like Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge yesterday. Sunday, August 14, 2016

Yesterday the Yankees beat Tampa 8-4 in Yankee Stadium bringing their record to 60-56 still with a shot of qualifying for the tournament...


Three of the Yankees were in AAA August 1 when the Yankees traded DH Carlos Beltran, supposedly starting a youth movement. Sanchez was brought up two days later but Austin and Judge played their first major league game yesterday, August 13. The Yankees were preoccupied with Alex Rodriguez who was released yesterday making room for one of them.

Anyway, in their first plate appearances (PA) Austin and Judge homered, back-to-back jacks. Supposedly it's the first time in history that teammates homered in their first PA in the same game. PA is more specific than at bat (AB), since PA could include BB, HBP, SF, sac. Austin and Judge homered the very first time that they had the opportunity. Hicks, Gregorius and Castro also homered. All five are younger than 27, supposedly the first time that had happened for the Yankees.
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At best Judge and Austin had mixed results. Judge had a really good start, then nothing. Austin started and finished well but in between hit poorly and sat often.

Is Aaron Judge legally blind against lefty pitchers? Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is Tyler Austin legally blind on the road? Sunday, December 18, 2016 10:05 AM


Reviewing the blindness of Judge and Austin should merely confirm what was readily apparent when they were playing. Both were over matched, especially Judge. Under ordinary circumstances Judge would have been sent back down to preserve his confidence and to let him work out his problems. But Yankee general manager Brian Cashman had too much of his credibility invested in the youth movement, especially after giving up on the season with more than one third of the games to play. It's a disgrace that will haunt the Yankees, though outside of this blog little, if any, criticism can be found.

Should Judge and Austin be tossed aside? No, of course not. But they should be among a group of minor league players who might make the team in 2017. Neither should be considered a likely impact player like Sanchez.

So why are so many so blind to the blind spots of Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin? Is it the blind faith of the baseball fan? Fans often vacillate between despair and euphoria, both out of all reasonable proportion to reality and facts.

The caution to Yankee fans is that their faith is in Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner. Think about that long and hard.

Is Tyler Austin legally blind on the road?

Tyler Austin: Baby Bomber? Then why did Yanks acquire Matt Holliday?

Positions: First Baseman and Outfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2", Weight: 220 lb.

Born: September 6, 1991 in Conyers, GA (Age 25 years, 103 days)
High School: Heritage HS (Conyers, GA)
Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 13th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Signed June 24, 2010.
Debut: August 13, 2016 (Age 24 years, 342 days)
Rookie Status: Still Intact through 2017


See previous post on the blind spot of Aaron Judge. Tyler Austin has two blind spots.

SplitGGSPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBBROEBAbiptOPS+sOPS+
vs RHP256360412203710326.200.238.383.62123100001.2906366
vs LHP12272338102500410.348.444.6521.09715000000.545190195
Austin can't hit righty pitchers. Austin has OPS v. righties even lower than Judge: .621 to .679. And Judge is even worse against lefties, his blind spot.

But check out Austin's home/road splits in his only major league season. Yeah, yeah, small sample size.

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
Home 18 14 55 50 6 15 2 0 5 11 1 0 5 26 .300 .364 .640 1.004 32 1 0 0 0 0 0 .526 161 162
Away 13 9 35 33 1 5 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 10 .152 .200 .182 .382 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 .217 6 8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/18/2016.

.382 OPS on the road. That's ridiculous, though not as ridiculous as the fact that I may be the only person who has noticed.

Tyler Austin may be legally blind on the road. His only value may be in Yankee Stadium against the 28% of pitches thrown by lefties.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is Aaron Judge legally blind against lefty pitchers?

Aaron Judge: Yankee phenom in the mind of Brian Cashman, Yankee general manager.

Position: Rightfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 7", Weight: 275 lb.

Born: April 26, 1992 in Linden, CA (Age 24 years, 235 days)
Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (32nd pick) of the 2013 amateur draft.
Signed July 12, 2013.
Debut: August 13, 2016 (Age 24 years, 109 days) vs. TBR 4 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
Rookie Status: Still Intact through 2017

So, on April 26, 2017 Aaron Judge will be a bouncing Baby Bomber eligible to be 2017 Rookie of the Year at the ripe old age of 25.

But there are obvious concerns based on his small sample size of 2016 plate appearances with the Yankees. One has been mentioned a lot: 42 Strike Outs in 84 At Bats. Another has been overlooked.

SplitGGSPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBGDPHBPSHSFIBBROEBAbiptOPS+sOPS+
vs RHP26776910142041001632.203.273.406.67928210101.29412282
vs LHP1118151000000310.067.222.067.2891000000.2004-15
Against lefty pitchers: one hit, a single, in 15 AB. Even worse: 10 SO in 15 AB. TEN!

What the heck is that? Judge has only a .679 OPS against righty pitchers but .289 against lefties. That makes Aaron Judge bad against righties and so bad against left handed pitchers that he might be declared legally blind.

Sycophants will offer the lame pun that it's a rush to judgement. But they have no inhibition supporting Judge despite data that suggests that he is not able to perform at the major league level.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Edwin Encarnacion: all but one team will regret NOT signing him.

Home Run leaders 2012-2016:

Rk Player HR AB OPS+ PA From To Age G R H 2B 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Chris Davis 197 2688 130 3095 2012 2016 26-30 743 442 669 130 1 496 341 36 968 42 1 23 26 11 8 .249 .340 .518 .858 *3/D957H1 BAL
2 Edwin Encarnacion 193 2678 146 3133 2012 2016 29-33 727 451 728 145 3 550 392 33 474 31 0 31 80 27 6 .272 .367 .544 .912 3D/57H TOR
3 Nelson Cruz 178 2790 134 3098 2012 2016 31-35 734 408 775 144 4 472 259 26 712 28 0 21 59 22 12 .278 .343 .524 .866 *9D/7H TEX-BAL-SEA
4 Miguel Cabrera 169 2812 166 3224 2012 2016 29-33 745 469 922 177 4 569 368 76 507 18 0 26 113 9 3 .328 .406 .574 .980 *35/DH DET
5 David Ortiz 163 2425 154 2825 2012 2016 36-40 666 360 712 176 3 502 364 93 415 6 0 30 83 6 2 .294 .383 .570 .953 *D/3H BOS
6 Mike Trout 163 2874 173 3423 2012 2016 20-24 771 580 890 169 37 481 468 46 754 46 0 35 37 139 28 .310 .410 .564 .975 *87/D9H LAA
7 Jose Bautista 152 2303 140 2783 2012 2016 31-35 634 423 590 118 4 424 429 18 452 24 1 26 82 28 10 .256 .375 .509 .884 *9/D385H TOR
8 Adam Jones 150 3110 113 3321 2012 2016 26-30 770 451 864 148 9 451 141 10 612 46 1 23 75 42 12 .278 .317 .476 .792 *8/DH BAL
9 Mark Trumbo 149 2613 112 2838 2012 2016 26-30 692 344 658 114 10 428 205 14 728 8 0 12 64 13 10 .252 .307 .474 .781 93D7/H5 LAA-ARI-SEA-BAL
10 Chris Carter 147 2171 116 2521 2012 2016 25-29 649 304 480 101 4 367 298 10 834 24 0 27 47 11 5 .221 .318 .474 .793 *3D/7H9 OAK-HOU-MIL
11 Albert Pujols 146 2826 123 3119 2012 2016 32-36 721 379 752 147 1 488 239 51 349 23 0 31 104 23 6 .266 .325 .474 .799 *3D/5H LAA
12 Todd Frazier 142 2759 113 3069 2012 2016 26-30 750 377 693 141 11 407 246 8 667 35 4 25 62 57 28 .251 .318 .465 .782 *5/3H7D9 CIN-CHW
13 Jay Bruce 141 2798 107 3113 2012 2016 25-29 756 395 678 161 17 460 271 44 760 13 1 29 46 41 16 .242 .309 .463 .772 *9/HD38 CIN-NYM
14 Josh Donaldson 140 2658 139 3068 2012 2016 26-30 704 460 743 157 12 446 348 13 553 33 5 24 69 30 4 .280 .367 .506 .873 *5/DH236 OAK-TOR
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/16/2016.

Of the top 14, three are currently free agents who could be signed by any team:
2. Edwin Encarnacion OPS+ 146
7. Jose Bautista OPS+ 140
9. Mark Trumbo OPS+ 112

Trumbo hit a career high 47 HR in 2016, the most of any player. Trumbo is fairly one dimensional, which is the general knock on sluggers this off season. Encarnacion and Bautista have solid OPS+ (On Base plus Slugging averages adjusted for ball parks and era), so they are not all or nothing players in the batter's box.

One recent explanation for not signing Bautista is that teams are tired of his angry act. Bautista is already 36 years old. Encarnacion, however, will turn 34 January 7. So while he is older than teams want he is by no means ancient. Yet there he sits, waiting for a deal.

Jason Heyward was the big free agent signing a year ago. The Chicago Cubs acted according to the then prevailing wisdom that Jason Heyward would save them so many runs in the outfield and was young enough that he was worth it.

201626Chicago Cubs$21,666,6666.000contracts
201727Chicago Cubs$28,166,6677.000
201828Chicago Cubs$28,166,667Has right to opt out of contract following 2018 season.
201929Chicago Cubs$20,000,000Has right to opt out of contract following 2019 season if he has 550 PA that year.
202030Chicago Cubs$21,000,000
202131Chicago Cubs$21,000,000
202232Chicago Cubs$22,000,000
202333Chicago Cubs$22,000,000
Earliest Free Agent: 2024
2016 OPS+ 70. That means that Heyward in the batter's box was 70 percent of league average. In other words he was a good hitting pitcher, just one with 592 plate appearances. Do you think that Heyward will opt out after next season?

Encarnacion HR, AB:
2012 42  542
2013 36  530
2014 34  477
2015 39  529
2016 42  601

The guy will turn 34 in January. Who the heck couldn't use his bat for the next few years? Number five in Home Runs the last five years was David Ortiz, who was 40 years old during the 2016 season. 2012-2016 OPS+ 154.

It seems that general managers would rather follow the prevailing conventional wisdom than basic common sense. Theo Epstein of the Cubs is hailed as a genius for winning championships with two teams that had not won for VERY long times: Red Sox and Cubs. The Cubs won in spite of Epstein signing Heyward to what may be the worst free agent deal of all time.

Should Cubs fire manager Joe Maddon? Thursday, November 3, 2016

Joe Maddon just won the World Series as manager of the Chicago Cubs, their first championship since 1908. Maddon made fundamental mistakes and was lucky they didn't give the title to the Cleveland Indians.


The worst were Maddon's use of monster closer Aroldis Chapman.
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See, winning makes mistakes acceptable. But it's foolish to copy obvious mistakes. Which brings us to such an example, the continuing madness of Yankee general manager Brian Cashman.

Yankees are beyond stupid: bad and boring. Sign Aroldis Chapman: $86 million, five years. Thursday, December 8, 2016

Aroldis Chapman back in Yankee Stadium in front of hundreds of Yankee fans at 11 PM wondering how 105 MPH fastball pitcher ages. Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pay per inning: Aroldis Chapman $239,000, Masahiro Tanaka $110,000. Friday, December 9, 2016

Paying exorbitant sums for the outdated closer and passing on a slugger. Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Edwin Encarnacion from Cincinnati in 2009. It looks like multiple teams made mistakes.
Encarnacion preferred to re-sign with Toronto this off season but turned down $20 million for each of the next four years. Encarnacion may have been foolish. But what about a team like the Yankees? In addition to committing to 29 year old Chapman for $17 million for each of the next five, the Yankees also signed 37 year old Matt Holliday for $13 million but for just one year. But that's $30 million in 2017 for a team that is supposed to be committed to a youth movement. Wouldn't the $30 million have been better spent on Encarnacion who is likely to do something that no Yankee did in 2016 and are unlikely to do in 2017: hit at least 30 home runs?

It's not too late. The Yankees could offer Encarnacion the same deal that he turned down from the Toronto Blue Jays: $80 million for four years. Those would be Encarnacion playing ages 34, 35, 36, 37. That seems perfectly reasonable but maybe just not according to current and fleeting conventional Wisdom.