Sunday, October 11, 2015

2015 Yankees:Greg Bird 2015 Highlights

Greg Bird's highlights in his rookie season.

Bring me Ben Zobrist

The Yankees are becoming more and more mainstream each and every season removed from the George Steinbrenner and Joe Torre era. The team has adopted defensive shifting, having a fireman in the bullpen, a LOOGY in the pen and have tried their hardest to add as much versatility and youth to the lineup as a team with the pressure of a constant “World Series or bust” mentality can. The Yankees lineup and 25 man roster is basically set for 2016 without Brian Cashman getting pretty creative in the trade market but one man on the free agency market is intriguing. The Yankees need stability at second base and will presumably need a fourth outfielder that can replace Chris Young, is that where the Royals Ben Zobrist comes into play?

Would the Yankees, and more specifically would Hal Steinbrenner, be willing to go $45-$50 million for a player with no real position on the team? Zobrist could be the fourth outfielder that the Yankees thought they were getting when they signed Chris Young, an outfielder that hits left-handed pitching consistently, and at the same time be the Yankees second baseman they have presumably been searching for since the departure of Robinson Cano.

Zobrist is versatile and a good player, WAR and other stats will tell you that, that switch hits and is generally the type of player that the Yankees covet. He can play almost any position well and hits well enough to stick at any and all of them. Any team would love to either have Zobrist or emulate Zobrist which is why his price tag is expected to soar. Is he worth $50 million or more? Honestly, probably not but if the Yankees can get him for that number or less on a contract similar to Chase Headley’s I don’t think I’d be too terribly upset personally. With that said I wouldn’t be opposed to Justin Upton in the outfield and Robert Refsnyder at second base either, I’m indifferent. 

ICYMI: Joe Girardi End of the Season Interview

Bring me Darren O’Day

The New York Yankees plan over the last couple of seasons has been clear, concise and easy to understand. Get through at least five innings with the lead led by a young pitching staff and hand the ball off to the bullpen. In 2013 it was Mariano Rivera and David Robertson, in 2014 it was Robertson and Betances and in 2015 it expanded to Justin Wilson, Betances and Andrew Miller. Brian Cashman’s plan has worked, at least on the pitching side of things, and I’d bet the bank on the fact that a similar plan is already in place for the 2016 season. Cashman dropped an interesting nugget of information in a recent interview, which obviously is subject to change, when he said that Adam Warren was a starter for the 2016 season. Adding Warren to the rotation helps secure a good starting five but it weakens the bullpen considerably, and that’s where Darren O’Day comes into play.

O’Day finally gives the Yankees the super bullpen they have been searching for the past couple of offseasons while likely solidifying the starting rotation at the same time. Warren becomes likely the best 5th starter in the league, depth chart wise, while O’Day joins a refreshed Chasen Shreve, Wilson, Betances and Miller at the back end of the bullpen. This would also be addition by subtraction as the Yankees would be taking away an integral part from the Baltimore Orioles success in 2015 and their bullpen. Won’t Buck Showalter be proud?

O’Day had a breakout season in 2015 holding both left-handed and right-handed batters to minuscule batting average against averages and should command a healthy contract despite his age, 33-years old, on Opening Day 2016. If the Yankees are going to make any splashes this winter I think it has to be for O’Day, everything else is merely a want and less of a need. 

The T.G.P Game for the Yankees Bullpen

Yesterday afternoon we introduced a game we’ve all probably seen across the blogs just with a different name, we call it the TGP Game for obvious reasons. The “T” stands for tumble, or get worse from 2015 to 2016, while the “G” stands for get better in 2016. The “P” in this game stands for plateau which means the player will be around their 2015 statistics in 2016, original I know but I like playing the game and I wanted to put my own gist to it. Yesterday we tackled the starting rotation and today we’ll tackle the bullpen.

Andrew Miller – P

Miller was fantastic all season long for the New York Yankees and I see no reason, barring injury or unforeseen circumstances, that he can’t be as good or better in 2016. Miller, in my eyes, will be a great free agent signing for Brian Cashman.

Dellin Betances – P

How in the world could Betances get any better in 2016? I can’t see him getting any better than nearly damn perfect but I see no reason why he might be worse next season either. He used to be a starter and he’s used to the heavy workload on the arm. Even visibly exhausted in 2015 he was still sharp when he needed to be, he just struggled with his command overall, and will be back to 100% in 2016.

Justin Wilson – P

The same that has been said for Miller and Betances can be said for Wilson as well. Wilson was a great asset and a strikeout pitcher for New York in 2015. He was a strikeout pitcher and an asset with the Pittsburgh Pirates before that and he looked just as strong in October of 2015 as he did in May of 2015. He can’t get better but he’s still going to be awfully good.

Chasen Shreve – G

It all depends on which Shreve we’re talking about here. The first half Shreve was dominant, tough on lefties and righties and a key piece to the dominant bullpen. The second half Shreve was terrible, home run and wild pitch prone and just generally ineffective. The overall piece of work should get better as I cannot see another second half meltdown in 2016 so I’ll go with better.

Adam Warren – G

Warren is here until further notice but he could start the 2016 season in the Yankees starting rotation before it’s all said and done. Warren shouldn’t be bounced back and forth like he was in 2015 so he should be more consistent and better in 2016.

Andrew Bailey – G

Bailey is finally healthy and ready to come all the way back from his shoulder surgery that almost ended his career. Bailey has been rehabbing with the Yankees for two seasons now and finally made it all the way back to the Major Leagues in 2015. There is no replacement for live MLB caliber hitters so Bailey should be better in 2016 with a few at bats under his belt this season.

Branden Pinder/Caleb Cotham/James Pazos/Jacob Lindgren/ Chris Martin – G

Going to lump all these prospects together as they all battle for presumably the last spot in the Yankees bullpen. There is no replacement for actual MLB experience and all of these men got that in 2015. All that experience should help all of them in 2016 as the Yankees super bullpen continues to mold. 

I Love Stats: Yankees Trade Joe Gordon

I have done these posts a few times now because like the title states, I love stats. I love it when the stars align and things end the way they should. For instance, Derek Jeter finished his postseason career with an even 200 hits and Mariano Rivera finished with an even 42 saves, the number he wore on his back.

On this day in 1946 the New York Yankees traded second baseman Joe Gordon to the Cleveland Indians for right handed starting pitcher Allie Reynolds. The future Hall of Famer ended his Yankees career with exactly 1,000 games played and exactly 1,000 hits.

This Day in New York Yankees History 10/11: Four Game 5's

For the first time since divisional play began in 1995 all four American League and National League Division Series went to a decisive Game 5 on this day in 2012. The Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles knotted up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees joining the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants as they beat the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds the day before to send their series to a Game 5. In case you were wondering St. Louis, New York, San Francisco, and Detroit all won their elimination games.

Also on this day in 2006 Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor Tyler Stanger die in an airplane crash. Lidle was learning to fly the four person plane crashed into an Upper East Side high-rise building in New York.

Finally on this day in 2002 former Yankees and Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter was hired to be the manager of the Texas Rangers. The Cubs, Brewers, Mets, and Devil Rays all were courting Showalter before he decided to sign in Texas.