Monday, May 21, 2012

Royals @ Yankees 5/21/12


Manny Banuelos' news is in, he is on the DL with left elbow soreness. You never want to hear that... and I will not even say why. I do not want to jinx it... 

Kuroda, approaching 100 pitches in the 5th inning, has allowed three runs on a two run home run and an RBI double to put the Yankees down 3-0. Where has the offense gone?

Yankees lose 6-0

How Do You Say "Consistency" In Japanese?

The Yankees will begin to host a three game series with the Kansas City Royals at the Stadium that George Steinbrenner built (and paid for). Hiroki Kuroda will look for some sort of consistency tonight while facing Felipe Paulino at 7:05 pm ET on YES.

Here is the lineup.

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

Down on the farm the Yankees have placed Manny Banuelos and Eduardo Nunez on the DL. We do not know what is wrong with Manny B yet but Nunez has a hand issue.

Also in injury news David Robertson and Brett Gardner are expected to go to Tampa this week to work on their way back to the majors. 

What Is Going On?

George is turning over in his grave.

It's not a secret that the Yankee starters have not exactly been awe-inspiring so far in 2012. They are currently ranked 10th in the AL in ERA (4.16), 11th in the AL in WHIP (1.37), 11th in the AL in batting average against (.261), and 10th in FIP (4.06).

The bats seem to be pretty quiet so far this season, however I see that the team has a batting average of .266, which is 3rd in AL. On top of that the Yankees have a .337 OBP that is 3rd in the younger league, and a .452 SLG that is also 3rd in the AL. Furthermore, the offense has a wOBA of .345, which is actually good for 2nd in the league behind the Rangers. And if you look at total runs scored the Yankees are 5th in the league with 189. What it seems to come down to is a low .231 batting average with RISP, which is 12th in the American League.

"I just don't get it!'

What I'm saying is that scoring is not the problem, and not really a problem in general, even though it seems that way. I think the biggest issue for the team can be summed up by simply looking at the team rankings as far as xFIP.

Burch explained FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, here. Dave Studeman of  The Hardball Times developed xFIP, Expected Fielding Independent Pitching, in order to calculate a pitcher's or teams' FIP using an estimate of how many home runs a team should have allowed. And what really stood out to me was that the Yankee starters are ranked 2nd in the league, with a 3.60.

The Yankee staters have given up a total of 52 home runs, which is 2nd in the AL behind the Minnesota Twins... not the type of company a team wants to have. Taking a look at some more team pitching statistics, the Yankees are 2nd in K% in the AL at 8.6, and have a BB% of 7.9 which is better than the average AL team too.

So it's simple... limit the long balls. The question is... can the staters do that?

"I have no freakin' clue."

Well Phil Hughes currently has the highest HR/9 rate on the team at 2.18. For his career, Phil's HR/9 sits at 1.17, so he should probably see a good correction in that area. Ivan Nova is 2nd on the team in HR/9 at 1.84. Nova's career mark there is 0.95, so there should be fewer bombs off his opponents bats too. Hiroki Kuroda is currently 3rd on the team with a HR/9 of 1.69, which is much higher than his career mark of 0.88. Hiro is a fly ball pitcher though, so more HRs than his career average are expected, but probably not as many as we've seen so far. And CC Sabathia's HR/9 is at 1.12, while his career number in that category is only 0.79 (which is higher than he's ever had in 3 seasons with the Yankees).

So I'm expecting the Yankee starters to give up fewer homers than they have so far, thus helping the team win more ballgames. So at that point the only question mark the team will have will revolve around hitting with runners in scoring position.

"Maybe if I try hitting while holding the bat this way."