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Yankee Tripper
07-14-08, 01:53 PM
Well we are at the All-star break and since we’ve got a few days until more Yankee baseball I thought this might be a good place to discuss the team in general and where we stand with players in specific outside of the individual performance threads.

Overall the team is 50-45, ahead of last year’s place but not sure this team has the same second half run in it that last year’s did. Yanks have a +24 run differential and their x-WL record is = to their actual WL record.

Yanks stand at 6 GB in 3rd place in the AL East and 5.5 GB of the wild card in 4th place of that race. Neither is insurmountable.

Various playoff odds simulators give the Yanks between an 8% chance on the low end and 16% chance on the high end of reaching the post season for 14th consecutive year.

Offensively in the AL the Yanks rank 7th in runs scored with 436 and 5th in OPS @ .751.

Pitching Yanks rank 7th in the AL overall with a 4.12 ERA (starters – 9th @ 4.51, relievers 5th @ 3.47)

Defense Yanks rank 11th in defensive efficiency.

Getting our projected lineup to stay on the field will be critical to the offense improving in the second half

Damon LF/CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod 3B
Matsui LF/DH
Giambi 1B/DH
Posada C/DH
Cano 2B
Cabrera/Garnder/Betemit/Molina (depending on who DHs) CF/1B/C

The offense – where it can improve – Damon & Matsui need to return healthy, Cano & Jeter need to hit closer to career norms, CF needs to be closer to league average (is a 95 OPS+ too much to ask?), Giambi needs to stay healthy, Abreu needs to increase OBP, Posada needs to catch as often as he can.

The bench – it’s been awful. Moeller is a waste of a roster space; Molina is a nice back up who is exposed offensively when asked to play too much, Betemit has been OK but not great. Adding Sexson and keeping Gardener as a PR would be improvements neither will put us over the hump.

Rotation –
Moose - better than expected this year by a wide margin. Has had poor second halves each of the last 3 years though so will bear watching closely.
Pettitte - has had stretches where he has been brilliant and some where he hasn't been that good. Has been a better 2nd half pitcher most of his career as well as the last few seasons. he's really the only spot in the rotation I'm not worried about.
Joba - has been awesome - but he's a rookie and no one knows for sure how he'll hold up as he goes past his prior career high in innings.
Ponson - I was against this from the start and while he's been great runs wise in 2 of his 3 starts, He puts too many men on base, doesn't strike enough out and has gotten by on smoke and mirrors. He's really nothing more than a stop gap IMO.
Rasner - I could live with him as 5th starter if the other 4 spots were in good shape.


An upgrade of Ponson/Rasner would be nice, without it I’m concerned about 40% of our rotation

For internal options they have -
Pavano - may be ready in August - probably not - not counting on anything here
Hughes - won't be ready until September - was bad early this year was good last September. Which one will show up?
Wang - if he comes back at all it will be September and be a big boost.
Kennedy - close to returning physically - not sure if he is ready to pitch in the bigs. Had 3 good starts last September - hasn't pitched well in the bigs at all in 2008. See Hughes.
Aceves - young Mexican league pitcher promoted though system - cashman darling - seems more like a 2009 option.
Horne - touted coming in has been both injured and ineffective at AAA this year not expecting anything form him except maybe Sept call up for pen.
McCutchen - pitching pretty well at AAA but not really a lights out option. May or may not be better than Rasner/Ponson this year. Could he give us a Masterson like boost for a few starts? Maybe.
Karsten - more of AAAA guy. Probably about the same as Rasner.
Igawa - yuck

Bullpen – this has been surprisingly good. Getting Bruney back should make it stronger as should removing one of Hawkins or Traber who he will likely replace. Though it would still be nice to add a quality lefty to the mix.

All in all the Yanks have every appearance of being a slightly better than average team but it will be an uphill climb to make the make the playoffs - fortunately no one has run away and hid.

Any other thoughts? Should we buy, sell or hold. I think we are small buyers for a mid-level starter, lefty reliver and/or stop gap CF.

surge511
07-15-08, 03:24 PM
We've got problems. Damon and Matsui are still going to be a little while until they get back. And the pitching has been holding up for now, but eventually, Ponson/Rasner are going to expose the whole staff. Mussina stepping up has been keeping the rotation, and maybe the whole team, afloat giving the staff 3 quality starters.

The bullpen has been surprisingly good, and with Edwar/Veras/Farnsworth/Rivera, they really aren't missing Joba too much. Hopefully Robertson can really come into his own in the 2nd half and add another dependable arm out there. Bruney returning eventually should help out as well.

If everyone was healthy, with Damon and Matsui in the lineup, and Wang/Pettitte/Joba/Moose/Hughes rotation, I would be very confident going into the 2nd half. However, there are injuries everywhere, and things are not looking so bright. The offense really needs to get hot and take advantage of a relatively good stretch by the pitching staff.