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May 19, 2006

Bat Check

Using the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, to look at current Yankees hitting stats, this is what we see:

hit519.jpg

Some observations from this performance results data:

* We're just about at the first quarter mark of the season and it's clear that A-Rod and Damon have just been average performers with the bat. Of course, average is better than below average. But, given their salaries, being average means failure. Damon has been playing hurt, so, I can give him a buddy pass. As far as A-Rod, there's no excuse, he has not been pulling his weight so far this season.

* Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera and Bubba Crosby are not hitting like major league outfielders. Heck, Williams is not hitting like a major league pitcher. When you combine these three with the average performance of Damon, it's a big ball of outs. I know that many say the Yankees don't need another OF (to replace Matsui) - and that another pitcher is more important. But, these numbers beg to differ. Yes, Sheffield will be back soon - hopefully. Still, even with that, the Yankees need someone who can play LF and at least be an average performer - and, right now, they do not have that player on their roster.

* Andy Phillips, Kelly Stinnett, and Miguel Cairo should never play (all) at the same time. In fact, any two of these three should not be in the line-up at the same time. And, if Bernie, Melky and Bubba are playing, then none of the three (Phillips, Stinnett, and Cairo) should be in the line-up that day. There's no way that the Yankees should be willing to give up that many outs a game.

* Where would this team be with Giambi, Jeter and Posada? Of the three, Posada is the one that is most amazing to me. I never saw this coming from him this season. I hope that he does not wear down - and can be a great hitter for the whole season. But, I know that Torre will burn him out. From 2001 through 2005, Posada has played in 673 games. No other A.L. catcher is within 90 games of that mark. When the weather gets warmer, it's going to be hard for Jorge to keep up this pace.

In summary:

A-Rod, please show up.
Torre & Cashman, get another OF bat and sit Bernie down.
Jorge, great job man - keep it up.

When you look at this, these three things should not be too tough to do, right?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 19, 2006 09:49 AM

Comments

It's a little two early to condemn Melky. Replace one of his hits with a double and he looks like an average outfielder hitting .314/.375/.409

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 10:34 AM

I was reading somewhere yesterday that ARod's April/May 2005 and April/May 2006 have been pretty close so I guess the best is yet to come since ARod did a lot of damage last June-July-August. Lets hope he follows that formual to a tee.

For a guy like Cashman that pretends to be a stats-oriented guy, he sure has some explaining to do with why he brought Bernie back. I cannot believe how much of a pass Cashman gets now that he's the one calling the shots.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 10:39 AM

No offense to stat-heads everywhere, but this is such a steaming pile bullshit. Cano is further below an "average" second baseman than Bubba is under an "average" outfielder? On what planet? Anyone who watches Cano on a daily basis can see he's a good offensive player. Bubba, on the other hand, couldn't hit water if he was standing at the bottom of the ocean.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 11:21 AM

No offense to stat-heads everywhere, but this is such a steaming pile bullshit. Cano is further below an "average" second baseman than Bubba is under an "average" outfielder? On what planet? Anyone who watches Cano on a daily basis can see he's a good offensive player. Bubba, on the other hand, couldn't hit water if he was standing at the bottom of the ocean.
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With RCAA, positions are irrelevant.

Bubba doesn't have as many PA's as Cano, which is the only reason his RCAA isn't as "bad" as Cano's.

I really would like Cano to get on base more (so his value isn't completely tied to his batting average), but there is room for improvement with him, and he will improve.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 11:58 AM

RCAA isn't positional. RCAP is positional. RC is roughly OBP*TB, park adjusted. And RCAA is that versus the league average. There's nothing mysterious or projective about it. It doesn't measure potential. It just reflects what they actually did. IMO, it's one of the best offensive indicators we have. Given the number of PA for Crosby, the difference in RCAA is negligible. It's not like Cano is knocking the lights out in the Stadium, either. And Crosby can hit for average when he plays consistently. He is also the best defensive outfielder by a shockingly massive margin.

And, again, this is where I disagree with everyone about Crosby. He is a somewhat below average batter, yes. He has little power, check. And if you had an option to replace him with a better hitting OF, that could field, AT ALL, I'd jump right on the bandwagon. But what are the actual options in the OF?

Bernie Williams, who is 10 times worse with the bat and there isn't a number to describe how much worse he is in the field.

Cabrera, who is worse with the bat, and worse in the field, but has some potential.

Damon, who is considerably better with the bat (current slump notwithstanding), worse in the field, but better than we expected...and hurt.

Reese, who we don't really know about.

If they call up or trade for somebody that can hit and field at roughly league average level, then by all means, shift Crosby down the ladder, but right now, he is the best option they have at any OF position. If he's healthy, he HAS to take one of those positions.

As for Phillips, he has never started more than two days in a row. Has he been good? No. Has he been average? Nope. But has he been given a chance to get into any kind of rhythm? Hell, no. And Torre's going to do the same think with Melky, Reese, and anybody who isn't a proven out-maker..er, I mean veteran.

Cairo is a perfectly respectable defensive replacement as is Stinnett. I suspect you'd be hard pressed to find a whole lot more than -2 RCAA in a backup backstop. The problem with Cairo is that Torre won't use him as a late-inning replacement and will use him at first, where's he's not really an improvement.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 12:05 PM

I was so opposed to bringing Bernie back..... stupid Cashman....

Bernie's OPS batting lefthanded is 457!?

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 02:19 PM

And Bubba's on the DL now...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2006 03:47 PM