Hello everyone! I don’t think to continue to apologize for not being able to write often is very useful, so I will say that with my crazy schedule just watching the games (on video) is about all the extra time I have had. I have had things to say, but just not the time to get them down. Therefore, if you are NOT getting my email message that I have posted and you would like to get on the email list so you know when I do post, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I blind copy so you won’t get responses from people you don’t know. This way you can wait for me to let you know to go to the site.
I have been watching the games and I will make a few comments:
- The lineup is really toothless when Youklis is added to the MIA list.
- I think Kuroda is our best pitcher right now. The guy is a pitcher with good movement, location and also has enough power to keep you honest. CC throwing only 91 is a concern. He can still be effective, but unless his location gets stronger he will not be as dominant. Pettitte has a similar repertoire now as CC which says Pettitte is pretty amazing for 40 and that CC has come back some. They are both good though and while Pettitte’s last outing was not his best stuff, he was still good. I am not sold on Hughes, even though his last outing was his best I have seen in some time (not talking about the results as much as the actual pitching) and the outing before had great results, but I felt he was very lucky. He just makes far too many bad pitches for my liking. Look at the game Cobb pitched against us yesterday, he hit spot after spot, I am not sure Phil is capable of that. Nova has more upside that Hughes, but Nova has the same location issues (but better stuff than Hughes)
- Our bullpen should be good but we need another lefty. Joba has looked very good regardless of his overall numbers; he will get better. While the results for Robertson have not been as good, I think with regular work, he will get his control back. His curve was nasty the other day.
- It is great to see Rivera look good and have movement. His control won’t be as deadly accurate, but he will still be good and that is one thing I was really hoping for. I surely didn’t want to see his last year to be one where we said, “we can’t have him close anymore.” It appears he can still do the job and so far has (6-6).
- I don’t understand how Ichiro doesn’t know how to slide after all there years? He was clearly safe the other night but slid in a way that made it easy to allow him to be tagged easily and also like he was trying to slow down before he hit the base.
- While on Ichiro…he had a huge hit the other night and is showing some signs of not being horrible of late, he still is not good and as the poster child of why I thought giving him 6 mil for 2 years was a blunder, I am frustrated. I have given my reasons a few times why it was a bad move, but my hope was he wouldn’t be so awful (.566 OPS) and in fact, I would have loved to eat crow. Bottom line is that the guy is not a productive player and if he doesn’t hit .320 will not be a very good player. His defense is above average and solid, but he is no Gardner, his SB ability is not as good, and his offense for a corner OF is mediocre IF he improves a lot; right now it is awful. For perspective, an awful hitter, Chris Stewart has a career OPS of .595.
- Like that transition to Stewart? He and Cervelli have probably been the most surprising events of the new season. Stewart is a really good defender and thrower (even if the first few games of the year he was a little stuff) and he actually picked a guy off the other day but the ump blew the call. But he is off to a good start offensively with an .809 OPS. This will not continue; I can virtually guarantee that, but so far so good.
- Cervelli is off to a good start as well with an OPS of .817. While he probably won’t keep his OPS above .800 (I would be thrilled with a .750 OPS) he is 27 and has shown some more pop in his bat. Further, I was shocked when I looked at Cervelli’s splits and noticed that he is actually a decent hitter against lefties over the last 3 years with an OPS of .826 (.648 against righties). Stewart is a better thrower, but so far the two of them have done far better than I expected. I still have not seen a lot of Cervelli’s defense this year (his throwing has not been tested), but I will be watching closely…so far so good!
- In my posts for the offseason, I liked the Travis Hafner signing (always liked him), loved inking Kuroda again, was understanding of the Youklis signing as a need and only for one year, was indifferent with Brennen Boesch as a cheap fill in if needed (and at least he is young-27), was not fond of rolling the dice on Vernon Wells but it was OK from the cap hit standpoint, hated the signing of Ichiro and Ben Francisco and was annoyed we didn’t get a lefty specialist. I also liked the cheap signing of Overbay to be our best defender at first (I like specialists on the yanks). So far, Wells has been great so that role of the dice has worked…the others I have been pretty locked in on.
- While on Wells, I have been impressed that he has taken the ball to the right side, something he was not doing well the last few years. That being said he is playing above his head right now, but still with all the injuries and the fact our RF is poor, he will help a lot and as I said prior, I expect Wells, Granderson and Gardner to be our starting OF when Granderson comes back.
- Ben Francisco is not as bad as he is playing, but it was horrible signing from the beginning (getting a mediocre guy who is better against righties to be your guy to hit against lefties is simply dumb) and he has 2 hits in 25 AB’s. Just admit the stupid signing and move on to some young guy in the minors who will do better and have upside.
- Nunez…where to start? His hitting has been awful so far; he is better than this, but how much? I am not convinced he will ever be a reliable defender, but maybe he can become average with his athleticism. So far he has been just OK defensively, but he made an outstanding play in last nights game that we have not see a SS make for us in a decade. Jeter never had great range and the play Nunez made going up the middle was as good as any you will see…really great!
- Overall, the team is doing just fine with all the key guys out and the issue with depth. We have an incredibly weak bottom 4 or 5 guys in the lineup. At 11-9, I am pleased; it is a pace for 89 wins. I think if we can hold that until the help arrives we will be making a run.
I had a lot of game specific items to mention while watching but because they are old, they may have no bearing, but the one thing that stood out more than anything was when Girardi pulled Kuroda in his game. It was a terrible decision and it proved costly with Robertson not getting the job done. I was also critical of him bringing Logan against a lefty when Joba was throwing well, but Logan did do the job. My consistent behavior is that when a guy is throwing well in extra innings, you let him throw as much as you can stretch him safely because you never know how long the game will go. Unless the matchup is critical (there was nobody on in this one), you let the pitcher go.