« "Vinegar" Bill Essick | Main | Some Administrative News »

January 03, 2007

It Always Comes Down To Pitching

Neutrals Wins [NW] is a projection for how many wins a team would win had their pitchers had average run support. Using the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I was able to match up the Yankees Neutral Wins for each season against their actual win totals.

The results confirmed something that I've always suspected. The 2002 through 2006 Yankees basically had the pitching to be a team to win about 85 games a season - but it was their hitting that turned them into a 95-to-100 win team.

The 1996 through 2001 Yankees were teams where their pitching, even with just average offense, for the most part, meant they were teams that should win at least 90 games a season.

By the time the 2007 season begins, the Yankees should have turned over about 40% of their pitching staff (from 2006). Hopefully those subtractions and additions mean a return to the 1996-2001 type staffs as opposed to those from 2002-2006.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 3, 2007 11:10 PM


The last couple years, the pitching has been sorta "feh"

In 2002, the Yanks were 4th in the league in ERA (behind the A's, Angels and the Red Sox)
In 2003, the Yanks were 3rd in the league in ERA (behind the A's & M's)

What I found odd was that in 2004, they fell to 6th in the league, behind the Twins, A's, RSox, Angels, and Rangers (!). Well, that's not what I found odd; their pythagorean win total (89) vs. their actual win total (101) was what was odd.

FWIW, the Cardinals had the highest ERA of all the playoff teams (4.54)

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2007 11:59 PM

Pitching, pitching, pitching. Yes. Thaat's why I'm happy to see what Cashman is doing, stockpiling a bunch of good young arms. Most of them will not pan out, but if 2-3 do, then along with Wang and Iagawa it'll be the core of a solid rotation in a couple of years.

(and I've got enough lunatics to deal with. Verbose, off topic commentators aren't needed.)

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 08:35 AM

Sorry to get off topic (sort of), but "Newsday" is saying that the Johnson deal is basically done with Arizona (just some money issues to be worked out). They also say that the Yankees will be getting back Luis Vizcaino and ONE of the big pitching prospects talked about (Dustin Nippert, Ross Ohlendorf or Micah Owings).

So after all those talks the Yankees might end up with an older reliever who they have no use for and who can't pitch in the AL (if you look at his numbers, he can't strike anyone out in the AL) and one good prospect.

Meh. They shouldn't have bothered with Vizcaino and held out for another youngster.

If that is what they're getting back, I hope they don't pay a dime of RJ's salary.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 09:48 AM

Thanks for throwing out the trash.

Posted by: TomP [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 09:50 AM

baileywalk's right about that rumored Newsday package. I still think that they'll get more if only because I don't think Cashman would bother trading him only for Vizcaino and Owings.

That's an interesting anaylysis, Steve. Are there enough games to do this type of analysis for post-season games only? I sort of knew that the pitching during the season has been much worse than it had been over the 96-00 seasons. But lately, it seems that it has been the hitting that has been letting us down in the playoffs.

Posted by: jonm [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 09:59 AM

If the Yankees only get Vizcaino and Owings, I really hope they aren't sending any money to Arizona to cover Johnson's salary. Medders, Owings, and Ohlendorf might merit a few dollars, though.

Posted by: Mr. Furious [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 10:02 AM

LoHud is saying the Yankees have pretty mich signed Mientkiewicz to a one-year deal as well. I don't know about this one. I'm still not sure I want the Yanks trading Johnson, unless the prospect they get is really a stud. The last thing they need now is a C-level reliever.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 10:13 AM

Trust me, I'll have comments on the RJ deal when it is done.

jonm - I don't have that data - but, that would be interesting to see!

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 4, 2007 10:21 AM