Friday, July 26, 2013

The Most Underappreciated Starter in Baseball

The Good

During a bad year, it can be hard to look at the positives.  It's especially easy to overlook a pitcher who has pitched like a Cy Young candidate when he has just a 10-6 record to show for it.  The Yankees problem has mostly been with hitting, so a starter who gives up 2 or 3 runs across 7 innings is still likely to take the loss despite that being a good final line.  Kuroda has been excellent this year for us, and he put up another great start yesterday.  Kuroda pitched 7 shutout innings for a win, which was needed seeing as the Yankees only scored 2 runs.  By his own admission, Kuroda did not have his best stuff yesterday.  So now I'm really curious to see his best stuff!

The Bad

Yesterday we had 2 players that at the beginning would have been considered every day players: Ichiro and Cano.  The rest of the roster were all backups, half of which weren't even on the team when we started the season.  What would you have said at the beginning of the season if I told you that our starting lineup would have Lillibridge, Wells, Nunez, Adams, Overbay, Mesa, and Romine? 

The Ugly

The Yankees have acquired Soriano, which is really a good thing.  But as I've said in the past, if the Yankees do not acquire 2 legitimate big league hitters by the trade deadline, then they are giving up on the season.  Just getting Soriano will lead us Yankee fans to greater frustration.  He will provide some pop, but he's a one dimensional hitter.  He hits homeruns, but does not hit for average, strikes out a lot, and doesn't walk.  He cannot single handedly turn this offense around.  So let's hope the Yankees look to acquire Ibanez, who is on a power surge this year, and would be an inexpensive player to acquire.  He can easily replace Hafner, and our lineup will look very different with Soriano, Ibanez and Cano in the middle of it.  An everyday third baseman, would be a welcome upgrade as well.  Until we see more movements out of the Yankees, we cannot reasonably expect them to right this ship.

A New Record!

The Yankees haven't hit a homerun since the All-Star break.  The last time the Yankees went this long without a homerun was during the player's strike of 1994.

Travis Hafner 12hr = $24
Vernon Wells 10hr = $20
Brett Gardner 7hr = $14
Kevin Youkilis 2hr = $4
Jayson Nix 2hr = $4
Robinson Cano 21hr = $42
Ichiro Suzuki 6hr = $12
Lyle Overbay 11hr = $22
Brennan Boesch 3hr = $6
Francisco Cervelli 3hr = $6
Chris Stewart 3hr = $6
Ben Francisco 1hr = $2
David Adams 2hr = $4
Curtis Granderson 1hr = $2

Mark Teixeira 3hr = $6
Zoilo Almonte 1hr = $2

Total 87 hrs = $174


Rich Mahogany said...

You're certainly right about Kuroda. Where would the Yankees be without him?

If you had told me about that starting lineup, I don't know how what my reaction would have been, except involuntary.

Rich Mahogany said...

The Soriano signing helps the CHF more than the Yankees. Soriano might be the only player on the Yankees who actually hits home runs. But like you wrote, he's a complementary piece, not a carry-the-team player, and the Yankees are more than a complementary piece away from contention.

Ibanez would be an upgrade, but not a huge one. It's not like Hafner provides any defensive value, but with Ibanez you'd have yet another old player who is best suited for DH.

I apologize for repeating myself, but I think the team's problems this year are insurmountable:

1. It's impossible to tell how good the team is and will be because so many key players are injured, or in ARod's case injured and in danger of being exiled to the Phantom Zone. That encourages cautious moves, like acquiring Soriano and the Brignacs of the world, which are not enough to put a mediocre team over the top.

2. The team made too many bad investments or non-investments in the last offseason. (Youkilis, Wells, Hafner, not signing Martin, etc.)

3. [Insert usual complaint about entire team being injured.]

I'm getting so bitter about this team that even yesterday's win annoys me, because the team only scored 2 runs and only wins games when the starter pitches a masterpiece. The Yankees will never ever do it, and the Soriano trade shows they aren't doing it, but they should sell.

Rob B said...

If one stops reading after the first two sentences, one might think you were writing about Felix Hernandez for much of his time in Seattle.

When did the Yankees become the new Mariners?

Ichiro is now a Yankee. Coincidence?