Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Robinson Cano Wins Fourth Consecutive Silver Slugger

Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees has won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger award tonight. Cano easily won the award with a .314/.383/.516 triple slash with 27 home runs, 107 RBI, 41 doubles, and 190 hits overall. Omar Infante was the only other second basemen to have a higher average when he batted .318 this season and no second basemen in the running had a higher on base percentage or OPS than Cano. Dustin Pedroia had three more hits and one more double than Cano but Robbie had 10 more home runs than any other finalists and 23 more RBI's then his closest competitor. Congratulations to Robbie!

Raicel Iglesias The Latest To Defect From Cuba

We have seen an absolute flurry of guys defecting from Cuba this offseason haven't we? Maybe it's just me, anyway Raicel Iglesias has defected from hit native Cuba in hopes of coming to the United States to play in the major leagues. This is actually Iglesias' second attempt after his first attempt ended with him running out of food and water while hiding in the mountains but this time Raicel took to the seas and fled the country. The 23 year old right handed starting pitcher is said to currently be in Mexico trying to figure out the whole Visa and getting approved thing.

Iglesias has a fastball that sits comfortably in the 92-95 MPH range and also possesses swing and miss stuff  on his breaking ball. His only concern right now is his control, which is considered to be questionable right now, and will likely start his professional career in the minor leagues. Iglesias being 23 years old and having more than three years of professional baseball means that he will not count against your teams International Free Agent spending cap and is a true free agent.

I think the Yankees should definitely take a look at this guy as he would presumably not be that expensive if he were to start in the minor leagues. Also he may become our most major league ready starter in the system right away and depth is never a bad problem to have. Sign me up!

Yankees Interested In Grant Balfour

The New York Yankees have a gaping hole in the back end of their bullpen and may be looking to fill it with Oakland Athletic's closer Grant Balfour we learned today. Balfour did not receive a qualifying offer from the A's and is coming off of a 2.59 ERA in 62.2 IP with 38 saves in 41 chances. The Tigers, Rockies, Angels, and Rays are among the teams interested in the soon to be 36 year old closer.

Balfour is fly ball prone and is a little too home run friendly for my liking and needs to stay in a bigger ballpark like the Oakland Coliseum to be successful. He would get blown up in New York in my opinion so I hope that we pass on him.

All Time New York Yankees Team - Position Players

1B: Lou Gehrig
2B: Tony Lazzeri
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Graig Nettles
LF: Joe DiMaggio
CF: Mickey Mantle
RF: Babe Ruth
C: Yogi Berra
DH: Reggie Jackson

Obviously Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Babe Ruth are absolute no brainers here. They would probably be on a All Time Team if we included every single team and player in major league history so they need no explanation here as why they are on the list.

First of all I know many of you are probably jumping up and down because Joe DiMaggio played the bulk of his career in center field, and yes I know that, but he also played left field and I was not going to put one of him or Mickey Mantle on the bench so frankly... get over it. :)

I had to include Graig Nettles because I simply did not want to include Alex Rodriguez on this list. If he was clean he may have finished the best baseball player of all time, sorry to all those Babe Ruth fans out there but it's the truth. While I forgive A Rod and I support A Rod he should not be on this list. Yes I know Andy Pettitte is on this list but Andy did not do it twice, Andy did not make the Bronx is Burning ESPN mini series look like a tutorial to causing havoc in a clubhouse, and Andy is a class act and a gentleman. Plus it's my list so get over it, again. :)

The DH position was hard because the Yankees have not had an eye popping, long termed guy at DH. I thought about putting Ron Blomberg in there as he was the first DH in Major League History, I considered guys like Chili Davis, Don Baylor, Ruben Sierra, even Jason Giambi but ultimately I ended up settling on Reggie Jackson. I did not want to put him in the outfield or on the bench but thought his World Series and post season numbers, and the fact that in only four years his number was retired by the Yankees was enough to include him on the list.

To Hell With The Austerity Budget

There has been so much talk about "$189 million" that I think it's time for a break. Let's have some real fun and just put the best team on the field.

"Thank God, as this will take a lot less thought."

Let's start with starting pitching. The Yankees lost Andy Pettitte to retirement, and may lose Hiroki Kuroda to Japan. They also are losing Phil Hughes, however I don't think anybody is shedding any tears over that one. That leaves only two pitchers... CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. So what about the other two spots?

While it's been said that he's not as good as Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka is still expected to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in Major League Baseball. The posting fee for Tanaka will likely be in the neighborhood of... WAIT! Who cares? We're just getting the best.

I'm not a big Ervin Santana fan, but how can you not be impressed by his average of 210 innings per season the past four years? And those four years includes a sub-4.00 ERA, along with a WHIP a little above 1.20. Santana is a bit homer-prone, and doesn't strike out a ton of people out, but his durability and low walk rate sounds good to me.

While the Yankees have two kids that could possibly fit into the rotation, we've opened up the wallet here so I'm not stopping. Although he was injured in 2011, Matt Garza came back and started 24 games while posting an ERA of 3.82. He was also able to maintain a strikeout rate of about eight per nine innings, and also kept his walks down to below three per nine innings.

Moving on to hitters, we're going to sign Brian McCann. I think he's a bit overrated, as his triple-slash the past three years of .252/.329/.441, but those 20+ home runs a year would be nice. Not to mention the fact that McCann plays pretty good defense.

Then there's that Robinson Cano guy. I think I've talked about him a few times, so I'm going to say we bring him back and move on.

Derek Jeter may be back, but I don't think anybody really wants him to be playing shortstop regularly. Heck, some would say they don't want DJ playing short at all. I would be okay with him playing there a little, but as for a regular shortstop I think we should sign Stephen Drew. Outside of some freak injuries, due to running into team mates, Drew has been a solid contributor both with the bat and with the glove.

You may think that means I'd move Derek to third base, but you'd be wrong. Let Jeter be the most expensive bench player of all time. He can sit back and have his $12 million. I'm going out and signing Jhonny Peralta for third. Jhonny has lost a step or two, making some people think a move to the hot corner is inevitable. He's been an all star in two of the last three seasons, and knows what it's like to player in pressure situations. So I'm bringing him aboard.

The only outfielder on the team that I'd like to see regularly is Brett Gardner. So what do we do about the other two spots?

For starters, I say we put Carlos Beltran in right field. Beltran may not be a great defender, but right field at Yankee Stadium isn't exactly "sprawling", so I'm not too concerned there. The reason Carlos would be in pinstripes is because of his 25 or so homers a season, along with a batting average around .290. The on-base percentage is nothing to scoff at either.

That leaves us with left field. I've mentioned Shin-Soo Choo a few times, but I can't deny the fact that his trouble with left-handed pitching and sub-par defense would be a problem. So I'm turning to Jacoby Ellsbury. He's spent a lot of time injured, but those injuries were not due to him being fragile, but due to him being a bit reckless on defense (both of his long DL stints were due to running into other players). Ellsbury's combination of speed along with some power would be a welcome addition to the Yankees.

Like I said in a recent post, we can't forget about the bullpen. While Robertson is primed to be the closer next year, Mariano Rivera's retirement still leaves a massive hole. I suppose Shawn Kelly could be a decent set-up man, but with a blank check we can do better. So I say we bring in Edward Mujica. I know... I know... why not Joe Nathan? Well, I just can't see Nathan taking a non-closing role. Besides, Mujica has had plenty of success as a closer and as a set-up man, to go along with having pitched some stressful innings for the St. Louis Cardinals.

So here's my "To Hell With The Austerity Budget" roster...

C - Brian McCann
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Stephen Drew
3B - Jhonny Peralta
LF - Jacoby Ellsbury
CF - Brett Gardner
RF - Carlos Beltran
DH - Alfonso Soriano

SP1 - CC Sabathia
SP2 - Masahiro Tanaka
SP3 - Ervin Santana
SP4 - Matt Garza
SP5 - Ivan Nova

Closer - David Robertson
Set-Up - Edward Mujica

As for the bench and the rest of the bullpen... who cares? It's not like it's going to happen anyway, so why get too in-depth with it? Now it's your turn to tell me what you'd do if money were no object.

Yankees Fans & JuJu Believers, It's Time To Forgive Again

Remember back at the beginning of October when I asked everyone who believed in bad juju and all Yankees fans to forgive Alex Rodriguez for the benefit of the team? Well if you don't HERE IT IS again so you can get caught up because it is time to forgive again. The Yankees had another, albeit lower profile and name, player linked to Biogenesis and the steroid clinic down in Miami run by Anthony Bosch in catcher Francisco Cervelli.

If we can forgive Andy Pettitte for taking it "one time" to "heal an injury" then, and just as an FYI check the video of his send off this season in New York and in Houston to see if we really forgave him as a fan base or not, we can forgive Cervelli. I have a serious issue with players who do not hustle, do not play the game like they love the game, and players who treat this like a paycheck and not a passion.Say what you will about Cervelli but he has fun every day, plays the game the way it should be played on the field, and has worked his butt off more than once to get his shot with this club.

The guy screwed up, bottom line, and the guy lived up to his mistake and admitted it eventually. I am totally not cool with the fact that he denied it at first but he got there eventually and I can respect that. He did not appeal his suspension, and no he wouldn't have if he were healthy anyway in my opinion, and took the suspension on the chin with class and a humble character. You could tell Cervelli knew he screwed up and disappointed the game unlike Alex Rodriguez who has a holier then though aura around him. Another FYI here is that you still have to forgive him too though if you haven't already, thank you.

Long story short is Cervelli messed up, confessed, and shows no reason to believe that he will not do it the right way from here on out. He does not have the $300,000,000 contracts to "live up to" and all that and just wants to play the game  and sometimes that is enough. Think about it this way when you go to church this Sunday are you sitting in a room full of saints or a room full of sinners? Enough said, I hope anyway. The Red Sox forgave David Ortiz and I really think that is a lot of the reason that Ortiz is beloved while Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are so hated. The Yankees and their future depend on this, the juju is bad and only we can do something about this.

Repeat after me....

"My name is (fill in the blank), I love the New York Yankees, and I forgive Francisco Cervelli."

No Yankees In The Finalists For Major Awards

The big award finalists, your MVP's, Cy Young's, etc, were announced and no New York Yankees made the cut. I am sort of surprised that Joe Girardi was not nominated for Manager of the Year or that Robinson Cano was not talked about a little more for the MVP Award but what can you do. Here is the list:

AL Rookie of the Year: Chris Archer, Jose Iglesias, Wil Myers
NL Rookie of the Year: Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, Yasiel Puig
AL Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Terry Francona, Bob Melvin
NL Manager of the Year: Fredi Gonzalez, Clint Hurdle, Don Mattingly
AL Cy Young Award: Yu Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma, Max Scherzer
NL Cy Young Award: Jose Fernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Mike Trout
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina

This Day In New York Yankees History 11/6

The Yankees have never played a game this late into the season and this is generally the slow and quiet time for hot stove news, signings, etc. I will update daily when we have some news but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not abandoning you guys or laying down on the job, just nothing going on in history on this day. No news is good news?