Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rays @ Yankees 5/9/12


28 pitch first inning for Phelps. That is why Hughes will start when Pettitte comes back and Phelps wont, way too many pitches. 

Robinson Cano looks like he is coming out of his little slump to start the season when he hit a two out rbi double, scoring Derek Jeter, to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

Rays win 4-1 as Houdini has an off night and allows four runs in the 9th inning.

The Yankees will host the Rays for the second game of this three game series at the stadium tonight at 7:05 pm ET. The game will be televised on YES and ESPN and will showcase Yankees rookie starter David Phelps making his second career start in his young major league career. He will be facing the Rays Jeff Niemann, which is never an easy task. Here is the lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Dewayne Wise LF

Mariano Rivera Has A Blood Clot In His Calf

The "complication" that was found before his ACL and meniscus tear surgery was finally revealed today and it is a blood clot in the right calf of Mariano Rivera. It is really hard for me, especially because I started watching baseball religiously in 1995, to see guys like Mariano Rivera finally show that they are human.

Rivera also said that he was leaning towards coming back for the 2013 season even before the ACL injury. He has not scheduled the surgery yet and cannot until he builds up the muscle around the ACL and has a full range of motion. 

Get well soon Mo and we will see you in 2013.

Understand Sabermetrics : On Base Plus Slugging (OPS)

OPS is a stat that combines two major functions in a baseball player's every day life, getting on base and hitting for power.  OPS is basically your on base percentage (OBP) added with your slugging percentage (SLG).

Like I said in the intro to this series no sabermetric stat is perfect and no sabermetric stat is a "tell all" stat. The biggest beef with OPS is how it weighs on base and slugging equally, which seems "unfair" for those who are not big power hitters. Slugging percentage numbers average between 75-100 points higher then on base numbers traditionally in baseball over a full season.  I do not believe in totally disqualifying stats because they are not "fair" because you have to know what stat to use for each situation and each player. You do not define Derek Jeter by his OPS because he is not a power hitter, he is a lead off hitter. A lead off hitter is defined mainly by their ability to get on base (OBP) and set the tone for the rest of the team. You want your best hitter, the #3 hitter traditionally, and your clean up hitter to have higher OPS numbers. 

OPS is set into 7 categories to determine how to rank a player. Here is the ranking via WIKI

CategoryClassificationOPS Range
AGreat.9000 and Higher
BModerate.8333 to .8999
CAbove Average.7667 to .8333
DAverage.7000 to .7666
EBelow Average.6334 to .6999
FTerrible.5667 to .6333
GAtrocious.5666 and Lower

The highest career OPS (entering 2011) is held by some guy named George Herman Ruth, with a staggering 1.1638 career OPS. He is followed closely by some names I have never heard of, guys like Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds, Jimmy Foxx, Albert Pujols, and Hank Greenberg to name a few.

Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth hold 8 out of the top 10 highest OPS seasons in baseball history, the other two are held by Ted Williams. The highest ever OPS in a season, by Barry Bonds, was an insane 1.4217 in the 2004 season.

Like I usually do, and like to do, let us use a Yankee to make this hit home a little bit. I wanted to use Mark Teixeira, but he does not walk a lot, and I wanted to use Alex Rodriguez but he barely played 100 games in 2011, so let us use the Yankees best hitter Robinson Cano. Robinson Cano, in 2011, had a OBP of .349 and had a SLG of .533 making his OPS a very respectable .882 putting him in the B category as a "moderate" OPS player. The fact that his OPS is so high with such a low OBP , compared to his batting average, and only  38 walks shows you just how good Robinson Cano is at making contact and hitting for power. 

There is an updated version of OPS, called OPS+, that is EXTREMELY complicated to understand and to use for a novice. I think it would be easier for you to read it HERE and try to understand it rather then my try to explain it.

Exclusive Interview W/ Kim Austin

I know what you are probably thinking... Who Is Kim Austin? Kim is actually the mother of Yankees super prospect Tyler Austin. Not to mention that she is a Greedy Pinstripes reader, a follower on twitter (@GreedyStripes), and an all around great person who was always more then willing to take a second for a fan!

I want to thank her personally for always taking the time to talk to me on twitter and share some of her experiences, stories, etc. She has raised a great son and I think all us Yankees fans are grateful for that. I also want to thank her for taking the time to do this interview for us and all of the "inside work" she is doing to get Tyler on board with one too. She's the mom I always wish I had, lol. With all that said let us get to this interview!

The Greedy Pinstripes:
I know you cannot put this into words but how proud are you of your son and his accomplishments on and off the field?

Kim Austin:
Yes, I am extremely proud of Tylers accomplishments.  I think that I am most proud of him off the field.  Watching him giving back with his volunteer work makes everything we have been through worthwhile.

TGP: How hard is it to be away from your son while he is on the road?

KA: Since we are still living in Conyers he is always on the road to us.  It is extremely hard not being able to see the boys play as much as we would like to.  We are there as much as we can though.

TGP: You strike me as the team mom kind of mom that embraces the entire team and would have a slumber party over at the house for the entire team, am I right?

KA: Yes I am the typical team Mom!  These Young men in this organization are outstanding and I am proud to support them all, so come on over, we have air mattresses!  Some of them have already!!!!

TGP: Was Tyler always excited about baseball and being a baseball player? Or did it come in his later years?

KA: Tyler and our other 2 sons all began playing baseball when they were 4.  Its all they have ever wanted to do.

TGP: Did you have a preference to where he played his minor league ball at and what team he signed with?

KA: On draft day, we had absolutely no preference of the organization that he was drafted by.  It was alittle sweeter being drafted by the Yankees, as Tyler had grown up a Yankee fan.

TGP: How hard was the whole draft situation and scouting and such on you and your family? 

KA: The draft process?  What a kick ass ride!  I think every Mom keeps track of all that is involved there.  There are in home visits, testing, workouts, something every day!  It was an exciting emotional time.  

Draft day was excrutiating.  The rounds kept flying by, still nothing.  Finally Tyler left the House, he had to get out.  My heart sank as each round passed.  Finally during the 13 round, the phone calls began coming wanting to know if he was chosen the next round would he sign?  Then the last pick of the 13th round, his name was called, the tears began to flow.  My son was a Yankee.

TGP: Do the players moms have little get togethers and such and join an extended family like I assume the players do?

KA: As I mentioned earlier we dont get to many games so I have only met Mariana Bichette thus far.  Hopefully we will all meet up soon, I am looking forward to meeting everyone.

TGP: How scary was it to go through Tyler's battle with cancer?

KA: Many people dont know that during the draft process Tyler was enduring a fight of a totally different nature.  Not only was he battling for a draft spot, he was undergoing the fight for his life.  Cancer.  No mother ever wants to hear that word in regard to her children.  We found out the last Monday in July 09.  Tyler was scheduled to be in FL for the East Coast Pro on that Thursday.  Calling Tim Osbourne with Tylers diagnosis was by far the hardest call I have ever made.  Tim was wonderful, handling the PR.  The outpouring of support from many many organizations was unbelieveable. 

Tyler came to me the night of his diagnosis and told me, ”dont cry Mom, its going to be fine, I am going to be ok, God is going to take Care of this.  Its not over till I say its over.”  We turned It over to God.

Surgery followed, the AFLAC All American game the week after surgery (which he played), Pet scans, and finally after consulting with University of Indiana and Lance Armstrongs team of doctors,Tylers oncologists decided no chemo at this time.  Sweet relief.

We were able to breath and move on with the draft process.  That put us well into November.
Putting your son in gods hands, puts everything else in perspective.  Tyler can fly high, he has the ultimate Co pilot.

TGP: Let's finish on a high note, and dont be afraid to be bias because he is your son, how long before you think Tyler is knocking home runs out of Yankee Stadium? I mean after all he does have 8 more home runs then Albert Pujols.. Im Just Saying. 

KA: Your asking me a question that I certainly cannot answer.  The minor leagues are in place to prepare these young men mentally and physically for play at that level.  Hopefully someday Tyler will drop bombs out of Yankee Stadium.  But ultimately he will move up when the Yankee organization feel hes ready.  Thats up to the Yankees, Tyler and Tylers Co pilot!

Mrs. Austin thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview and being so helpful and willing for anything along the way. We wish and pray for nothing but the best for you and your family (and the Yankees fan greed in us especially prays for Tyler lol) in this process. We look forward to talking with you more on twitter and we hope all our fans enjoyed this interview as much as I enjoyed planning and writing it. Thanks again!!