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Winter Leagues--YANKS NEWS--RUMORS
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:33AM #1
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

WINTER  LEAGUE  REPORT   1-24-10            BigGuy

The Caribbean leagues are having their playoffs at this time.   A few Yankee players are still playing.  


MEXICAN  WINTER  LEAGUE:

Ramiro Pena--INF--Culican---Pena’s  Culican team has been eliminated  from the playoffs.    He  had an excellent postseason  hitting at a .414 clip with 1 homer,  4 rbi,  and 5 runs scored.  During regular season MWL action he hit .247 in 26 games.   Pena has a good chance to be the utility infielder for NY in 2010.  

Jon Weber--OF---Mazatlan---Weber has had a very good postseason.    His Mazatlan team has reached the championship round in the Mexican league.   In the first 2 games he’s 6-9 with 2 rbi and a double.   His overall postseason marks,  .379 average,  with 7 rbis, 5 runs and 3  doubles.   He had an outstanding regular MWL season  hitting .396 in 40 games with 7 homers,  29 rbis,  and 13 doubles.   Weber was signed to a minor league deal by the Yankees and should starting the year in the SWB outfield.   He was in the Tampa organization last year and played for their AAA Durham team hitting .302 with 14 homers and 26 doubles.  
 
Jorge Vasquez--DH--Culican--Vasquez had a rough postseason,  going just  3-21 a solo homer  for his only rbi and run scored as the DH.      He showed some real power during regular league action with 11 homers and 26 rbis in 32 games.  He played at AA Trenton in 09 hitting .329 in 57 games, with 56 rbis and 13 homers.  He should be starting 2010 as the DH at SWB.


DOMINICAN  WINTER  LEAGUE:

Juan Miranda--1B--Licay--Miranda’s Licey team was eliminated from the playoffs.  He finished the postseason hitting at a .273 clip with  4 rbi,   9 runs and  2 doubles.   He played in 13 regular season DWL games hitting. .409 with 2 homers and 11 rbis.  In 2009 at SWB he hit .290 with 19 homers,  82 rbis and 30 doubles.  


VENEZUELAN  WINTER  LEAGUE:

Romulo Sanchez--RHP--Zulia--Sanchez appeared in 1 game this week as his Zulia team was eliminated from the playoffs.   He tossed 1 inning,  1 run on 2 hits with 1 strikeout.  He had a rough postseason.   In 6 games  he threw  4.2 innings,  8 runs,  8 hits,  4 K’s--3 walks.       During the VWL  regular season action he tossed 33 innings,  14 earned runs,  26 hits,   45 K’s---18 walks.   In 2009 he relieved and started for SWB tossing  64.2 innings with a 4.04 ERA,  29 earned runs,  66 hits,   64 K’s--34 walks.   

Reegie Corona--INF--Maganelles--Corona had been used mostly as a pinch hitter-pinch runner during the regular season but has been a starter in the playoffs.  This week he went 7-18 with 3 rbi, 4 runs scored and 2 doubles.   His Maganelles team is now in the championship series.  In the first 2 games he’s 5-10 with 2 rbi,  3 runs,  and 2 doubles.     His overall postseason marks so far he‘s hitting at a .343 clip,  5 rbi,  6 runs,  2 doubles.   In the VWL  regular season he hit  .317 in 40 games.   He split 09 between Trenton and as a backup for SWB hitting a combined .257.   He was added to the 40 man roster. 

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:34AM #2
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015
FINAL REGULAR SEASON WINTER  LEAGUES STATS        BigGuy

 


ARIZONA    FALL  LEAGUE:  

Colin  Curtis
--OF--Curtis had a  terrific fall league.   In 20 games he hit .397 (31-78),  with 5  homers,   7 doubles,  18 rbi,  19 runs and an OBP of .472.   He’ll be  starting 2010 at AAA SWB.

Brandon Laird--Laird had a very  good fall league hitting .333 (30-90) in 22 games.  He added  homers,  9  doubles,  24 rbi,  18 runs and an OBP of .406.

Austin  Romine--Romine only played in 4 games at the AFL hitting .400 (6-15)  with 2 rbi.  He had no extra base hits.   He’ll be starting 2010 at AA  Trenton.

Grant Duff--Duff appeared in 10 games in relief  picking up 2 saves.   9.1 innings,  3 ER,  7 hits,  BAA .212.


DOMINCAN   WINTER  LEAGUE:


Ivan Nova-- The righty pitcher had a  terrific winter league.   He made 5 appearances,  4 starts going 1-0  with a very impressive 1.05 ERA.   In 25.2 innings he allowed only 3  earned runs,  17 hits,  17 K’s--4 walks.    Whip 0.82,   BAA .187   Nova  will be starting 2010 in the SWB rotation.  

Edwar Ramirez
--The  righty reliever appeared in onl 3 games.   He tossed 2.2 innings  allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk.  He added 3 strikeouts.   Whip  1.88,  BAA .333.

Zack Segovia
--RHP--recently picked up by  the Yankees on a minor league deal.   Segovia converted 6 of 7 save  opportunites with a 0.71 ERA.  

Jonathan Ortiz--The righty  reliever appeared in 6 games for 4.0 innings.   He did not allow a  run,  4 hits,   3 K’s--1 walk.   Whip 1.25,   BAAA .267.

Wilkins  Arias--had a busy winter league relieving in 26 games.   17.0  innings,  9 earned runs,  17 hits,  18 K’s--7 walks,   Whip 1.41,  BAA  .258.

Noel Castillo--Castillo appeared in only 3 games.    2.0 innings,  5 earned runs,  5 hits,  1 K--4 walks.  


MEXICAN   WINTER  LEAGUE:
 
Ramiro Pena--Pena appeared in 26  games hitting .247 (21-85).   He scored 10 runs,  with 4 rbi,  3 doubles  and 1 triple.   OBP .340.

Reid Gorecki--recently signed  to a minor league deal by the Yankees.  Gorecki hit .250 with 5  homers.   He added 17 stolen bases,  4th in the MWL.  

Jon  Weber--Weber was signed as a minor league free agent.   He’s a lefty  hitting outfielder who played in the Tampa organization.   Weber had a  great winter league hitting .396 (65-164) in 40 games.   He pounded 7  homers and 13 doubles to go along with 29 rbis and 30 runs scored.   OBP  .429,  OPS 1.032.   He’ll be playing at SWB in 2010.

Jorge  Vasquez--Vasquez played in 32 games and showed some great power,   hitting 11 homers and 5 doubles.   He hit for a .252 average (31-123),   with 26 rbi and 16 runs scored.   He also struck out 25 times.  OPS  .877.

Walter Ibarra--Ibarra played in 34 games,  hitting  .250 (16-64) with 4 rbi and 10 runs scored.  


VENEZULAN   WINTER  LEAGUE:

Francisco Cervelli--Cervelli only  played in 6 games,  hitting .214 (3-14) with 1 double,  4 K’s--3  walks.   OBP .389.

Jesus Montero--Montero got in 9 games  as a DH hitting just .115 (3-26) with 1 rbi.  He had 3 K’s--3 walks.   

Reegie  Corona--Corona had a very good winter league.   In 44 games he hit  .317 (44-129) with 2 HR,  17 doubles,  36 runs,  18 rbi,   OBP.  .435.

Luis  Nunez--Nunez played in 17 games hitting .289 with 7 rbi,  3 doubles  and 2 runs scored.   OBP .319.  

Romulo Sanchez--Sanchez  appeared in 24 games in relief.   35 innings,  14 earned runs,  26  hits,   49 K’s--22 walks.   BAA .218,  Whip 1.42.   

Josh  Schmidt--Schmidt had a solid winter league.   In 13 starts he posted  a 3.58 ERA in 75.1 innings.   30 earned runs,  61 hits,  71 K’s--31  walks,  Whip 1.22,  BAA .222

Pat Venditte--The  switch-pitcher only appeared in 7 games posting 4.82 ERA in 9.1  innings.  5 earned runs,  11 hits (2 homers),  7 K’s--3 wlkas,  Whip  1.50,  BAA .314.

Eric Wordekemper--Eric had  rough winter  league,  relieving in 5 games.   8.1 innings,  9 earned runs,  12  hits,  3 K’s--5 walks.   Whip 2.04,  BAA .343.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:36AM #3
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Johnny Damon's E-7: Faith in agent Scott Boras  turns out to be Bronx Bummer




Johnny Damon's future - either with or without the Yankees -  remains unclear.

Jacobsohn/Getty

Johnny Damon's future - either with or without  the Yankees - remains unclear.





Johnny Damon has been spending the last few  days in the Bahamas, hanging out with Derek  Jeter, CC Sabathia and scores of other notable  professional athletes at Michael Jordan's celebrity golf tournament. This we know.  What we don't know - and what, presumably Damon doesn't know either - is  where he is going to be playing baseball this year.






It could've been the Yankees. Should've been the Yankees and might still  have been the Yankees as recently as Saturday if Damon wasn't being  misled and mishandled by his rep, Scott (Avenging Agent) Boras.


To borrow one of Yogi  Berra's most famous observations, the free agent market got late  early for Damon and Boras this winter. And since the outfielder music  has all but stopped, Damon is left without a chair, or, at the least,  without an offer even remotely close to the multi-year deal of $10  million per that Boras was promising to get him as late as two weeks  ago.


Before they signed Nick Johnson to a one-year deal, the  Yankees made one last pitch to Boras for Damon, offering a two-year  deal for $14 million. "No go," said Boras, who said he had to have at  least two for $20 million while convincing Damon that they had already  made the supreme sacrifice of coming down from their previous demand of  two for $26 million.


Not long after, the Yankees acquired Javy Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves, adding another $8 million (Vazquez's $11  million minus Melky Cabrera's $3 million) to their 2010  payroll, and GM Brian Cashman essentially said there was no  more room at the inn for Damon; that when it came to filling their left  field void they were going to approach it like the Pittsburgh Pirates and take someone off  the scrap heap on the cheap.


Still, as recently as a couple of days ago, there was renewed  dialogue between Damon, Boras and the Yankees in which the Yankees made  one last attempt to have a good Yankee remain a Yankee.


"Tell us your bottom line for what you're willing to play for," they  said, "and if it's in the realm of where our budget needs to be we can  go to ownership (Hal Steinbrenner) and see if something can be worked  out." But instead of giving them a number, Boras came back with more of  his patented "mystery team" hogwash, claiming he had a couple of other  offers they were still considering.


So that's where it stands, and unless Damon comes to grips with the  reality of the situation, expect the Yankees to sign oft-injured Reed Johnson or Randy  Winn to platoon in left field with Brett Gardner. And do you think Damon even realizes that at  the same time Boras was talking to the Yankees about Damon, he was also  pushing the case with them for his other outfield client, Rick  Ankiel?


Previous Page 12 Next  Page


Read more: www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yank...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:39AM #4
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Yanks: No deadline, only $2M for Damon


Mike Puma   NY POST


Johnny can come marching home again, but only on the cheap.


The Yankees have spoken with Johnny Damon's agent, Scott Boras, in  recent days about the possibility of a Bronx encore for the outfielder  -- even though club officials aren't exactly holding their breath.


With only $2 million or so remaining in the Yankees' budget (perhaps a  few extra dollars would be available in incentives), Damon is expected  to say "No" one final time and hope for a better offer elsewhere.


An Internet report yesterday indicated Damon had been given the  weekend to decide on returning. However, general manager Brian Cashman  denied that was the case.




HORNS OF A DILEMMA: Contrary to an Internet report, the  Yankees have not given Johnny Damon a deadline of tonight to re-sign  with the team, but they have a meager $2 million to offer the  outfielder.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

HORNS OF A DILEMMA: Contrary to an Internet  report, the Yankees have not given Johnny Damon a deadline of tonight to  re-sign with the team, but they have a meager $2 million to offer the  outfielder.



"There is no deadline," Cashman said. "We'll spend when we feel  comfortable."


In a text message to The Post, Damon indicated he  was vacationing and not aware of a deadline. More likely, Boras gave  the Yankees a deadline of this weekend to make their final offer.


If the season started today, Brett Gardner would be the team's left  fielder -- or perhaps Curtis Granderson, with Gardner in center -- but  the Yankees also are expected to add free-agent depth from a pool that  includes Reed Johnson, Xavier Nady and Jermaine Dye.


The  36-year-old Damon originally sought a two-year deal worth $20 million  from the Yankees, but it appears he'll have to settle for one year  wherever he lands. The possibility remains strong that he might be  without work by the start of spring training -- Boras has a history of  waiting.


The Giants and Braves are two teams to which Damon has  been linked, but given his history of leg problems, he seems better  suited to sign a contract with an American League team.


The  Tigers also have been mentioned as a possibility.


mpuma@nypost.com



Read more: www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/johnny_b...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:42AM #5
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Award touches A-Rod


Howie Rumberg    NY Post


Alex Rodriguez looked at the award he just received from Babe Ruth's  granddaughter with big eyes and a broad grin. It was as if he almost  couldn't believe it was his.


"Postseason MVP. Wow," Rodriguez  said last night. Pausing for effect he added, "What's next, the good guy  award?"


Less than a year ago, it would have been difficult to  decide which would be more preposterous for the troubled star to earn.


Rodriguez completed a tumultuous season that began with an awkward  confession to past steroid use and then hip surgery that kept him out  until May by being selected the winner of the Babe Ruth Award as the New  York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America's  postseason MVP.



A-Rod picked up the hardware at the 87th annual New York baseball  writers' dinner.


Rodriguez used his time away from the team to  rehabilitate his hip as a period of reflection. He returned with a  mantra: simplify things.


And after he told fans at the dinner  that "he'd stick to the script of 2009 and keep it very, very brief," he  choked up, taking a long pause -- save for a nervous laugh -- to look  down at the podium and smile awkwardly.


Unlike the extended  pause he took during his steroids news conference, this one was broken  when an attendee -- the dinner was crowded with Yankees fans -- shouted,  "You're the best, A-Rod!"



Read more: www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/award_to...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:52AM #6
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Who wants free agent Johnny Damon?



NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE



There was no reason for Kenny Lofton to retire after the 2007 season. He  was 40 years old, but he was still good. He had played a full season  and hit .290 with a .367 on-base percentage for Texas and Cleveland,  helping the Indians come within a game of the World Series.

Lofton was not great on defense, but he was a useful and productive  player, and he knew it. He had just made $6 million, part of the $60  million or so he had earned in his long career. When the suitable offers  did not come his way as a free agent, he simply stopped playing.


According to Baseball-Reference.com, the second-most comparable player  to Lofton in baseball history is Johnny Damon. As Lofton did in 2007,  Damon has reached a career crossroad sooner than he expected. But when  asked in a text message this past week if he was considering retirement,  Damon replied, "I want to play."


d

Damon has four children, including two young daughters with his wife,  Michelle. By all accounts, he has a good life at home, and he has earned  about $100 million in his career. He has 2,425 hits (three fewer than  Lofton) and, at 36, he is young enough to make a run at 3,000. But he  does not have a team.

"Just been busy w kids and moving," Damon wrote in a text message. "I'm  sure things will work out somewhere. I'm off on some charity trips  tomorrow." Later, when asked if he still considered the New York Yankees  a possibility, he wrote, "I never say never anymore."

The Yankees love Damon. They love his personality, they love the way he  gets on base, and they love his swing at Yankee Stadium. They loved him  in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the World Series, for sure.

But they offered him only two years at $14 million because they saw no  reason to bid higher. The Yankees — correctly, it seems — forecast a  limited market for Damon as teams focus more on younger players and  strong defenders. They did not want to bid against themselves, and they  chose instead to spend money on Nick Johnson and Javier Vazquez.

There is a path for Damon to return, but it seems highly unlikely. Would  Damon take a low base salary (say, $4 million or $5 million) and  incentives for one year? Would Yankees general manager Brian Cashman  persuade the managing general partner, Hal Steinbrenner, to exceed the  projected payroll to bring back Damon? Would Steinbrenner agree?

My hunch is the answers to those questions are no, no and no.

I think Damon has too much pride to play for a third of what he made  last season, when he played very well. I think Cashman believes the  Yankees can do fine with Johnson, an on-base machine, batting second and  the speedy Brett Gardner, a better defender, batting ninth. And  Steinbrenner seems more serious about payroll guidelines than his  father.

So where does that leave Damon? The Giants just spent $4.5 million to  retain catcher Bengie Molina. The Braves say they have reached their  payroll limit. And they are National League teams, anyway. Damon would  seem to fit best if he could be a designated hitter now and then.

So what about American League contenders? The Mariners re-signed Ken  Griffey Jr. as their DH, the Angels signed Hideki Matsui, and the  Rangers signed Vladimir Guerrero. The Tigers have a need, but they have  denied interest in Damon. The White Sox signed a different Scott Boras  client, Andruw Jones, and they have Mark Kotsay. The Twins and the Rays  have low payrolls and no openings. The Red Sox are set.

Maybe Damon would sign with a noncontender and hope for a midseason  trade; it happened to Lofton three times late in his career. Maybe an NL  team will swoop in. Maybe the Yankees somehow retain him; until they  sign a Reed Johnson type, they still have an open roster spot.

Maybe Damon waits for a team to develop a need through an injury in  spring training. This is what another Boras client, pitcher Kenny  Rogers, did in 2003. Rogers was coming off a three-year, $22.5 million  contract with the Rangers, and he rejected their two-year, $10 million  offer. He signed with Minnesota in spring training for just $2 million  after another lefty starter, Eric Milton, got hurt.

Did Rogers regret passing up the Rangers' offer?

"Not for one second," he told The New York Times that spring. "Most  people won't believe that, but that doesn't really matter to me. I know  what type of pitcher I am. I know what I meant to that club. I just  couldn't in my mind take that kind of a cut knowing the responsibilities  I was going to have on that team if I stayed there."

I do not know how Damon's future will play out. But I could picture him  saying the same thing at another team's camp in March.


www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:54AM #7
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Cafardo  On Sheets, Lowell, Pineiro



Nick  Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders why more teams don't take  advantage of arbitration hearings. Clubs do have a history of winning  cases against their players in recent years. Here are Cafardo's latest  rumors:

  • A Red Sox source tells Cafardo that it's unlikely the team signs Ben  Sheets. Not a surprise, given Boston's rotation depth.
  • One scout is certain Ron Mahay will be on a  major league roster by the time Spring Training starts. 
  • An NL scout considers Miguel Batista a "very  serviceable piece."
  • Since Miguel Cabrera was in rehab for alcoholism  this offseason, teams weren't eager to trade prospects for the first  baseman and pay his $20MM salary.
  • As we  heard last week, the Twins are interested in signing Jim  Thome. 
  • The Red Sox and Angels considered swapping Mike Lowell for Gary Matthews Jr. before concerns about Lowell's  thumb emerged. 
  • An AL GM considers Joel Pineiro "another  middle-rotation guy."
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:54AM #8
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Odds  & Ends: Ankiel, Tigers, Damon, Rockies



Some links to browse through before the football games begin...

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 10:57AM #9
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


Washington Nationals: Trade Josh Willingham? Why? [Updated]




Trade Rumors? Again? Will Washington Nationals' left fielder still be with DC on Opening Day? (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

More photos »David Zalubowski - AP


Trade Rumors? Again? Will Washington Nationals' left fielder still be with DC on Opening Day? (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)




It's the same message that he sent out via Twitter last night, but now it's reprinted as part of ESPN.com's Buster Olney's latest blog post, (for INSIDERS only) entitled, "Reports on Matthews Jr. aren't kind", so Mr. Olney's not backing away from the rumor he's heard about Washington entertaining offers for left fielder Josh Willingham:



"The Nationals have Josh Willingham back out on the trade market, perhaps to give them the option of shiftingAdam Dunn back to the outfield."



But as I said yesterday, the first half of the sentence is so much harder to believe when followed by the second. Why would the Nationals want to put Adam (-39.5 UZR/150) Dunn, who had a combined .947 FLD% in 2009 as an outfielder and had trouble finding a job in the NL last winter because of his defense, back out into left field, especially after Washington traded away Nick Johnson to make room for Willingham in left and Dunn at first, and with no one in the system set to take over at first for Dunn, who had an "acceptable" (is that a good word?), .986 FLD% in 67 G at first in '09 (-25.0 UZR/150 at 1st)...Are all these rumors really based on the Mike Jacobs talk? Jacobs takes over at first and Dunn goes back to left...? Does anyone who watched the Nationals last year think putting Dunn back in left is a good idea?


Star-divide


The SB Nation's Seattle Mariners site Lookout Landing definitely picked up on Mr. Olney's Tweet, examining the possibility of acquiring Willingham in an article by "Matthew" entitled, "LF Option: Josh Willingham", wherein it was determined that the idea of putting Adam Dunn back in left is "insane" and trading the Hammer makes no sense, because as they point out, and as DC GM Mike Rizzo asked rhetorically in Washington Post writer Chico Harlan's July '09 article entitled, "Rizzo Has No Plans For A July Firesale":



"Why would you want to dump Willingham? We control him for two years, he's [30] years old, and he's a good hitter," Rizzo said. "I still think it's a young team. Willingham and Zim, those are guys in their primes or entering their primes. Including Dunn."



(ed. note - "Of course, in the very next sentence of Mr. Harlan's article, Mr. Rizzo's quoted as stating that the Nationals weren't looking to trade Nick Johnson...")


A December 9th MLB.com Bill Ladson tweet from the Winter Meetings reported the New York Mets had inquired about Willingham's availability, but according to Mr. Ladson, "...the Nats told New York they planned to hold on to (Willingham)." Then there's the Washington Post's Thomas Boswell, who twice since January 1st has mentioned the possibility of Willingham being dealt. First in an article entitled, "Rizzo's checklist for the Nats is halfway there", where he wrote:



"Josh Willingham, coming off a .927 OPS year, plus any '09 starter not named John Lannan, for a rotation-ready young starter of higher quality? Absolutely. Then they would use the millions they don't pay Willingham to sign a free agent hitter who is better defensively, such as Xavier Nady."



...and more recently, Mr. Boswell let slip a rumor he'd heard in a chat with fans about a potential, "Willingham-plus-somebody-for-a-young-pitcher deal," that had fallen through. It must have been a good "young pitcher" or pitchers this mystery team was offering, at least according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's interview with Willingham entitled, "Willingham not bothered by trade rumors", where Mr. Ladson writes:



"...the only way Willingham is leaving Washington is if the Nationals are overwhelmed by the players they get in return."



What do the Yankees, Mets, Ranger, Mariners or Braves have to overwhelm Washington with? Will Willingham be in left for the Nationals come Opening Day? How about after the 2010 deadline?



"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
12 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2010 - 11:00AM #10
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Pinch  hitting: David Roher


Chad  Jennings
January
24


This morning’s addition to the Pinch Hitters  series comes from David Roher, who used his understanding of numbers and  statistics to analyze the postseason decision to occasionally start  Jose Molina ahead of Jorge Posada.


David lives in Westchester and is a history major in the middle of  his sophomore year at Harvard. He’s a coxswain on varsity lightweight  crew and the co-President of the Harvard Sports  Analysis Collective, a club on campus. HSAC revamped its blog late  last year and provides content for the Huffington Post. A fan of the  Bombers since age 6, David wrote that he spends much of his time in  Boston getting yelled at from passing cars on account of his Yankees  sweatshirt.


———


Jorge or José? If you followed the Yanks through last October, that  question was probably on your mind. In playoff games that A.J. Burnett  started, Joe Girardi sacrificed Posada’s offense for Molina’s defense,  particularly his ability to coax a “Good A.J.” performance out of the  Jekyll-and-Hyde pitcher.


Part of what made the decision so controversial was that while we had  no clue whether Burnett’s better splits with Molina were the real deal,  we had a precise knowledge of the offensive impact… right?


Not so much. As I was analyzing the decision on the offensive side, I  realized that none of the statistical tools available gave me an  adequate answer. This  study was the best anyone could do: give a  runs-per-plate-appearance estimate. So I decided to create a new stat,  Result-Change Probability, which I’m debuting on LoHud today. I don’t  want to find whether the risk was worth taking – just precisely how big a  risk it was.


When deciding which player should start over an entire season, I ask  how many more games the team will win with one player over the other. In  a statistical sense, this is usually one number – something like Wins  above Replacement. But in reality, it’s two numbers, and two  questions: how many games would the team win with Player A that it would  have lost with player B? And how many games would the team lose with A  that it would have won with B?


My idea is to apply that thinking to a single game, and to the  Posada/Molina question in this case. We have to change the questions a  bit: what is the probability that Molina’s offensive contribution would  lose a Posada win, and vice versa? We still wouldn’t know about Molina’s  effect on Burnett, but we’d have a much better idea of what it would  take to overcome the offensive loss.


There are a lot of different ways to answer the question, just like  there are many different ways to compute the number of wins a player is  worth. The calculations for some of these methods are pretty intensive,  and I’ll be developing them at our blog over the next few months.


To answer it here, I assumed that we were talking about one or two  plate appearances per game, as Molina would be pinch hit for after that  point. I created three models based on 2009 totals:


• The Yankees’ winning  percentage based on the number of runs they score.
• The Yankees’ chance  of scoring a certain number of runs in a game with only Posada,  based on work by Baseball  Prospectus and Baseball  Musings.
• The Yankees’ chance  of scoring a certain number of runs in a game with Molina starting.


As a comparison, here are the last  two together:


comparison


After a couple (hundred million) simulations, here are the  probabilities we’re interested in:


Yankees win with either: 52.02%
Yankees win with Posada’s offense, lose with Molina’s: 15.94%
Yankees win with Molina’s offense, lose with Posada’s: 14.19%
Yankees lose with either: 17.85%


That third figure is really bizarre, isn’t it? Molina is indisputably  much, much worse on offense, yet his presence on that side of the ball  alone sees an extra win roughly one out of seven times. It’s just a  product of random chance – sometimes the inferior team wins. To get the  final product, Result-Change Probability, subtract the third number from  the second: Posada’s offensive presence increases win probability by  1.75%.


Contrast that small number with the potential effect of the starting  pitcher (plus Molina’s conventional defensive skills), and Girardi’s  decision might make more sense. Even if he thought that Molina had only a  tiny effect on Burnett, it may have very well been worth benching  Posada.



Posted by Chad  Jennings on Sunday, January 24th, 2010 at 9:50 am

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
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