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June 25, 2007

Looks Like The Yankees Could Use Some Help At First

Some W-L stats for Yankees players, to date, when they play in the line-up... via Baseball-Reference.com's 2007 Game Logs.

First, most of the team...note that the Yankees are usually a .500 team when these guys start and/or play:

Jorge Posada - Team Record in Appearances: 33-36 / in Starts: 28-32

Robinson Cano - Team Record in Appearances: 35-37 / in Starts: 35-36

Derek Jeter - Team Record in Appearances: 36-36 / in Starts: 35-36

Alex Rodriguez - Team Record in Appearances: 36-37 / in Starts: 36-37

Hideki Matsui - Team Record in Appearances: 30-30 / in Starts: 30-30

Melky Cabrera - Team Record in Appearances: 32-31 / in Starts: 28-26

Bobby Abreu - Team Record in Appearances: 36-37 / in Starts: 35-35

Johnny Damon - Team Record in Appearances: 31-33 / in Starts: 29-23

Wil Nieves - Team Record in Appearances: 10-9 / in Starts: 9-7

Miguel Cairo - Team Record in Appearances: 19-15 / in Starts: 12-7

Now, the Yankees three-headed 1B/DH combo of Phelps/Giambi/Mientkiewicz:

Josh Phelps - Team Record in Appearances: 15-22 / in Starts: 10-12

Jason Giambi - Team Record in Appearances: 20-25 / in Starts: 20-22

Doug Mientkiewicz - Team Record in Appearances: 23-27 / in Starts: 15-21

Note that, when Josh Phelps or Jason Giambi played (period) and when Mientkiewicz started at first, this is when the Yankees were really bad (in terms of wins and losses).

Phelps & Mientkiewicz. Great plan Mr. Cashman.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 25, 2007 10:15 PM


Just a thought: who else was really out there? Shea Hillenbrand? Erubiel Durazo? Travis Lee? Joe McEwing? Greg Norton? Daryl Ward? Craig Wilson? I would take Mientkiewicz over these guys any day of the week because of his defense. Phelps was a risk for the bench and wasn't guaranteed that much playing time anyway with Mientkiewicz at first and Giambi at DH.

Posted by: Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 12:21 AM

Hindsight's 20-20, but Carlos Pena was buried at Columbus last year and let go during the off-season.

But we'll never fully know what was or wasn't available to Cash during the winter, free agents notwithstanding. For instance, was Sexson available via trade? Sean Casey? Anyone else who can hit and field above replacement level? In other words, I wonder how hard Cashman looked, or was he just expecting, in his infinite hubris, that the offensive output from other positions would make up for a light hitting first baseman. Either way, poor planning on his part.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 01:23 AM

IIRC Carlos Pena had been with the Tigers before that, and he wasn't good/had some off the field issues.

Yankees have a winning record with Nieves playing. Obviously they need to trade Posada & start Wil.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 07:57 AM

Aaron Guiel was out there too. I think he signed in Japan for more $$.

Anyway Minky wasn't the answer, and if he was, the Yanks needed to change the question. If you want him in as a defensive replacement, fine, but don't start him.

I think Sexon was available, I think the Yanks could've had him for Pavano. My memory could be playing tricks on me.

No matter which way you cut it, the 1b situaton was handled poorly.

And if the Yanks were really serious about their defense, they'd flip the SS & the 3b.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 09:40 AM

I'd recommend a little refresher in causation vs. coincidence.

By your logic, Nieves is better than ARod.

Posted by: bobo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 01:32 PM

bobo, I was being a tad sarcastic there. I figured an argument for keeping Nieves and getting rid of Jorge would be self-evidently sarcastic.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 02:20 PM

RBJ - that wasn't intended for you, it was intended for the author...sorry for the confusion, you were making the same exact point I was.

I'm not saying that our 1B platoon is great or good by any means. But this analysis is fundamentally flawed.

Posted by: bobo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 02:32 PM

Never said it was fool-proof. I just offered it for entertainment value.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 03:33 PM

Thanks for the clarification, bobo. While the 1B situation is bad, I think the poor showing by the team so far has been due to the starting pitching, especially the abysmal April. Every team is going to lose 5 of six at some point in a season (unless you're the 1998 Yankees, which happens once every 50 years) so the latest garbage doesn't bother me too much. The team just dug too deep of a hole at the start.

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 03:57 PM

Steve, sorry if that was harsh - I apologize.

RBJ, I agree. Injuries to the rotation cost us so much, including rest to our pen, which was overworked. And we've just been plain unlucky - based on our runs scored/allowed, the record should be much better.

If, say, we had normal luck, and missed maybe 20% of starts, we'd probably be about 7 or 8 games better. Leading the WC and just a couple games behind the Sox.

Posted by: bobo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 26, 2007 05:54 PM