Posted tagged ‘Jim Thome’

Andy Pettitte partially retires

January 13, 2011

Which opens the door to Andy announcing his comeback sometime in May from the Yankees front office brass suite, causing Suzyn Waldman to blow her load live on-air.

I will wait to talk about Andy’s career until he officially retires. But I will talk about the Yankees current rotation.

So far the definites are CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Phil Hughes. Obviously I would love to see Joba Chamberlain return to the rotation, but I doubt that happens this season so I will assume that is not a possibility.

So the Yankees have two spots to fill. On Opening Day, possible in-house options are Sergio Mitre, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi, and David Phelps. Come opening day, we will not see Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances in the rotation short-running. I do not think Phelps is ready and the same goes for Hector (although I love Hector). Mitre is trash as a starter, which leaves Ivan Nova. I am willing to give Nova a shot and come May if he sucks, try out Phelps or Noesi. Nova could be a pretty good reliever, but if he can pitch similarly to his end of season stint from 2010, then I think he will be a capable 5th starter.

Now, onto the FA market. Players that interest me are Jeff Francis, Justin Duchscherer, and Kevin Milwood. Honestly, I would sign all three. Depth is going to be HUGE for the Yankees. In a typical season, the Yankees will use an about eleven different starting pitchers. Even with our minor league depth, we could use those three FA pitchers. Neither of them are great, but at a cheap price they have the potential to be some of the better 4 or 5 pitchers around.

Jeff Francis would be #1 on my list. He is a lefty, which is useful for Yankee Stadium and useful since they will be competing with lefty heavy lineups in Boston, Texas, and Minnesota (especially if Jim Thome re-signs there). Francis isn’t great, but he should be good for about a 4-ish FIP. He doesn’t walk many batters, which is good since he is a hittable pitcher.Francis is also 29 and could parlay a nice season into a draft pick or a worthy extension.

Next, I would go after Milwood. I know he made $10mil plus on his last contract, but there is no way he sniffs that. Considering his type B status, I can’t imagine him signing for more than $5mil. Milwood is not the pitcher he once was. But he eats innings. That is going to be vital for the rotation. Outside CC, there is no reliable pitcher in the rotation. Milwood is good for 30+ start. He was hit hard last season and gives up his share of walks, but like Francis, he is a 4-4.5 FIP pitcher. As the last guy in the rotation, that’s not bad if he can throw 180+ innings. A team like the Yankees would prefer more production, but given their options Milwood is one of the best options still available.

As for Justin Duchscherer, I like him. I think he can be a good starter. But I don’t trust him. He is always hurt. We will sign him and he will get hurt and we’re back to square one. I think signing him to relieve will help and reduce his injury potential. For a low, $1mil or $2mil deal I would sign him. For depth and to see what he could possibly do in the pen.

Pettitte walking away- for now- hurts. The Yankees can manage if they follow any of the aforementioned strategies. It’s not ideal, but it’s making the best of a bad situation.

Yankees ALDS rotation

October 5, 2010

The Yankees ALDS rotation is official. CC Sabathia will start game 1, Andy Pettitte will pitch game 2, and Phil Hughes will start game 3. CC Sabathia will go on short rest in game 4 (which makes me happy since I’ll be in attendance assuming there is a game).

My one area of concern is the decision to start Andy game 2 and not Phil Hughes.

PROS

– The Twins big bats are lefty- Joe Mauer and Jim Thome. By throwing Pettitte game 2, the Twins lefties ideally will be at a disadvantage for the first two games.

– If CC pitches game 4, the game 2 starter would have to pitch game 5 if there is a game 5. Obviously, the Yankees would prefer Andy to pitch in game 5 because 1)they don’t want Phil to go too far over his innings limit and 2) Andy is the “proven vet”. 3) The lefty issue talked about above.

CONS

– Phil is much better on the road. He is a fly ball pitcher so Yankee Stadium is not very kind to him. Considering how spacious Target Field is, Phil could potentially excel there for one game.

– As mentioned, the Twins best two hitters are left-handed. NYS is very kind to lefties. NYS is not kind to Phil Hughes. Mauer and Thome could have field days in the Bronx. But if Pettitte, a lefty, was going then that would contain the Minnesota lefties in NYS.

In the end, pitching Phil game 3 is the only scenario. Sure, he would probably pitch better on the road, but throwing Andy in game 2 lets the Yankees throw four lefties in the series to limit Thome and Mauer. That benefit seems to outweigh Phil’s potential production boost pitching on the road.

Top 100 players of all-time: 90-81

December 4, 2009

YC picks up where he left off

90. Roy Campanella
.360/.500/.38536.3

Campanella was a three time MVP, (1951, 1953, and 1955) and had good power for a catcher. He hit 242 career home runs. He made eight All-Star appearances and led the Dodgers to five pennants while winning one World Series title.

89. Mariano Rivera
1.01/80.1 %/2.78/46.8
The G.O.A.T. in the closer role and the only closing pitching on this list is the great Mariano Rivera. Rivera is still playing today and will be the last man to wear number 42. He may not own the saves record, but the man does his job. Rivera’s career ERA is 2.25. Also known for his clutch playoff pitching, Mo has the most saves and lowest ERA in post season history. (39 and 0.74).

88. Bob Feller
1.32/74.0 %/3.48/66.0

Feller posted a 3.25 ERA in his twenty years as a professional ballplayer. He had twelve one hitters and set a record for strikeouts in a season with 348 in 1946. Feller also won the Pitching Triple Crown in 1940. He was an eight time All-Star as well. Feller accumulated 2581 strikeouts over his career.

87. Harmon Killebrew
.376/.509/.389/61.2

A true power hitter, Killebrew spent his first four seasons on the bench before bursting on the scene with 42 home runs in 1959. Killebrew went on to hit forty home runs in a season seven more times. Killer was the 1969 AL MVP and was sent to eleven All-Star games. He is apart of the 500 HR and 2,000 hit clubs. (573 homers, 2,086 hits)

86. Steve Carlton

1.25/74.1 %/3.15/84.4

Carlton was a four time Cy Young winner, one time Triple Crown winner, and a one time
Gold Glove winner. He too was a strikeout pitcher and held the strikeout career record until Nolan Ryan broke it. Carlton also made ten All-Star game appearances. He also won 329 games in his career.

85. Al Simmons

.380/.535/.409/63.5

In each of his first eleven seasons Simmons drove in over 100 runs. Simmons was one of the best hitting OF’s during the 20’s and 30’s. He was a three-time All-Star and he was 73 hits shy from 3000. Simmons had a final career batting average of .334.

84. Willie McCovey
.374/.515/.388/65.1

McCovey had a cove named after him outside AT&T Park. He and teammate Willie Mays formed a powerful duo. Willie McCovey was elected to the Hall in his first season of eligibility in 1986 . He was the 1959 ROY and the 1969 MVP. He was also six time All-Star. His main strength was his power. He hit 521 long balls over his career.

83. Ozzie Smith
.337/.328/.311/64.7

Smith is one of the Cardinals most known ballplayers. The Wizard of Oz had many acrobatic moves in the infield. Smith won thirteen straight Gold Glove awards and he was a sixteen time All-Star. His strength was his defense. He had great range and and is perhaps the greatest defensive player at any position in the history of baseball.

82. Larry Walker

.400/.565/.414/67.1

Walker was a product of Colorado’s perfect hitters park. In 1997 he hit .366 with a .452 OBP, 208 hits, 143 runs, 46 doubles, 49 home runs, 130 RBI, and 33 stolen bases.  He also was won seven Gold Gloves and had five All-Star game appearances. Walker was a fine defensive player who had range and a strong arm.

81. Jim Thome

.404/.557/.406/65.7

Thome is yet another great power hitter on my list. I think he has one of the best strokes in the game. For eleven straight seasons Thome hit at least twenty home runs. Like most power hitters he was either going to walk, strike out, or hit a home run. Thome is a four time All-Star. Thome has hit 541 home runs.

Hall of Fame or no Hall of Fame, that is the question

November 9, 2009

I’ve been reading Tom Tango lately, and recently he’s talked about a trick or shortcut in determing if someone is worthy of the HOF. So he’s an extended quote:

As I’ve talked about in the past, the best way to get a sense of someone’s place in history is to compare the player to his peers.  And typically, you get about 20-25 players elected to the Hall of Fame for every decade of birth years (with about one-third of those pitchers).  Seeing that the best of the new crop of eligible players were born between 1963-68, I decided to list the best players born between 1961-1970.  Here are the best non-pitchers, in alphabetical order, by position class (all have at least 50 WAR according to baseballprojection.com):

WAR born retroID player

Catchers:
59 1968 piazm001 Piazza Mike

Infielders (2B, SS, 3B):
64 1968 alomr001 Alomar Roberto
66 1965 biggc001 Biggio Craig
59 1968 kentj001 Kent Jeff
69 1964 larkb001 Larkin Barry
56 1967 ventr001 Ventura Robin

Outfielders:
172 1964 bondb001 Bonds Barry
67 1970 edmoj001 Edmonds Jim
80 1969 grifk002 Griffey Ken
65 1967 loftk001 Lofton Kenny
64 1968 shefg001 Sheffield Gary
60 1968 sosas001 Sosa Sammy
67 1966 walkl001 Walker Larry

Firstbasemen/DH:
80 1968 bagwj001 Bagwell Jeff
58 1964 clarw001 Clark Will
67 1963 marte001 Martinez Edgar
51 1963 mcgrf001 McGriff Fred
63 1963 mcgwm001 McGwire Mark
57 1968 olerj001 Olerud John
66 1964 palmr001 Palmeiro Rafael
76 1968 thomf001 Thomas Frank
66 1970 thomj002 Thome Jim

How many of those should (or will) make the Hall of Fame (based on your criteria, or those of the Holy Writers)?  If we look at every 10yr birth class, the high was the 36 players born from 1898-1907.  The low was the 13 players born 1924-1933.  More recently, there were 21 players born 1938-1947 elected to the HOF.  It’s fair to say that every ten year birth class should have somewhere between 20-25 players, more or less, with about 30% of them being pitchers, more or less.  So, somewhere around 15 non-pitchers.  The above list contains 22 non-pitchers.

If you can knock off about 7 players, the rest are likely to make the Hall of Fame.  Is there anyone out there that is knocking out Alomar or Larkin?  And how many of you are knocking out Edgar from the above list (and if you are, how many players are you left with)?  Fred McGriff would seem to me to be the cusp-player.

UPDATE: Here are the best pitchers:


born WAR retroID player
1962 128 clemr001 Clemens Roger
1963 92 johnr005 Johnson Randy
1966 97 maddg002 Maddux Greg

1965 65 browk001 Brown Kevin
1966 67 glavt001 Glavine Tom
1968 75 mussm001 Mussina Mike
1966 70 schic002 Schilling Curt
1967 65 smolj001 Smoltz John

1967 50 appik001 Appier Kevin
1963 58 coned001 Cone David
1962 55 finlc001 Finley Chuck
1964 48 goodd001 Gooden Dwight
1961 46 key-j001 Key Jimmy
1962 47 moyej001 Moyer Jamie
1964 47 rogek001 Rogers Kenny
1964 55 sabeb001 Saberhagen Bret
1963 51 welld001 Wells David

1969 47 rivem002 Rivera Mariano

So who am I leaving off?

Jeff Kent, Will Clark, Fred McGriff, John Olerud, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, and Robin Ventura. For the pitchers its Kevin Appier, David Cone, Chuck Finley, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Jamie Moyer, Kenny Rogers, Brett Saberhagen, and David Wells.

I just want to say what an amazing generation of players. This will probably go down as the best HOF generation in baseball history’s. To have this many great pitchers and hitters grouped into one generation at a single time is amazing. Steroids? Sure, but that shouldn’t tarnish the general amazingness of the generation.