I have not been able to watch the last few games due to travel and only saw highlights so I will comment on a few trends and some questions people have sent as well as some random thoughts…in no order…
We are now at the 80 game mark; only one game shy of the half way mark…this will help with some trends.
The Yanks are 12-3 since Jeter went on the DL. Before we throw Jeter under the bus, I think it is a little coincidence, a little more having Gardner lead off rather than Jeter against righties and mostly the competition. Unfortunately, Jeter is our best SS right now, which is sad, especially against righties. Pena is the best player defensively, but hits even less than Jeter (although against righties he may be on par right now) and Nunez just isn’t getting it done defensively and more important just looks a little too stiff defensively at SS. His offense is also nothing to write home about with an OPS under .700 (even after his 4 hit game). I am not saying Nunez might not have a bright future, the guy has just turned 24, but it might be more utility or at a non SS position. He could also improve defensively, but some guys just look more fluid than he does at SS. Nunez has done well against lefties this year with an OPS of .830.
The Yanks should do what I have been saying for a year and that is leading Gardner off against righties and Jeter against lefties. If the Yanks don’t make the switch when Jeter comes back now, they will struggle with doing it later (and my entire issue with Girardi is it takes him FAR too long to see the obvious things).
I was reading the paper and looked at the disabled list. The Yanks had 11 guys on it and the closest team, the Pirates, had 9.
Colon is scheduled to pitch today. I am sure you are like me and are really hoping he just continuous what he was doing. If you remember in pre-season I said I really liked his stuff well before he had done anything and in fact was statistically doing worse than others. His stuff shouldn’t have suffered from the hamstring, but a guy with past arm problems gives one pause when a hamstring can impact the leg lift and stride which causes the arm to either lag or be out in front of where you want it to be…and thus put too much pressure on it. Hopefully, he is locked on his mechanics and he doesn’t compensate with them.
The Yanks picked up Mitre for Cash and dropped Buddy Carlyle. Not sure Mitre will stay with Colon and then Hughes coming off the DL (hopefully followed by Soriano, Feliciano and Marte), but as I said from the moment they picked Carlyle up, I had no idea why they bothered? Either way, Mitre for Carlyle is a good move.
Considering the Yanks are 1-8 against the Red Sox and the injuries to the pitchers, it is pretty encouraging we are 2.5 games in first place. The Red Sox have gained 7 games on us in h2h play yet are 9.5 games behind us for every other game.
I have written this in the past, but wanted to bring up the Expected win total (Bill James’ Pythagorean Winning Percentage) and how it relates toward the standings. The basic idea is that for every 10 runs you score more than you allow the expected win total should be 1 over .500. For example, the Yanks have scored 119 more than they have allowed and have played 80 games. Therefore at “120” the Yanks should have 12 games above .500 or 12 games greater than 40 and their expected win total should be 52 (we have 49 wins). This is a positive in that one could argue the Yanks are a little unlucky because the expected win totals give a better future predictor than the actual win totals. Of course other trends such as are your players playing above or below expectations are an even larger predicting gauge in my view. There are a few more complicated %’s that are used in the actual stat that can change the win/loss but almost all the time it stays the same or adjusts by only 1 so the above method works well. The Yanks Expected win loss did move by 1 as it shows them at 53 (or 4 off)...which is also rare in that only 3 teams have an expected win loss that varies more than 3 off their actual. Let’s look at a few other teams:
Boston has won 47 and should have 49.
Tampa has won 45 and should have won 44
Minnesota has won 35 and should have won 31
San Fran has won 47 and should have won 42(this could make that race very tight in the 2nd half)
Tex is on pace for 50 homers and 130 RBI (OPS of .897)
Granderson ‘s OPS is .938 and is the only Yankee above .900
Gardner is on pace for only 40 SB’s. I felt he was a lock for 50 if he played every day. I still think he could have a shot at 50 if he leads off.
It may surprise some people but Posada has a higher OPS than Russell Martin .746 - .730 and they have the same amount of AB’s. If you take the SB’s Martin has his OPS would be ever so slightly higher. It would be better if they each were about .800.
Andrew Jones has not been very good this year, but he does have an OPS of .811 against lefties (a pathetic .311 against righties in 17 AB’s). With Nunez doing well against lefties, he may be better off playing LF instead of Jones and this would free up a spot when Chavez comes back. Jones has not been good, but has been adequate against lefties only. Overall, not as valuable as one would want for a roster spot; Jones is an old 34.
Colon can make us make us feel real good today!