Showing posts with label 2013 Lineup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013 Lineup. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013 AB4AR Season Review: The Lineup

(Too many ABs for these guys.  Courtesy of the AP)

I gotta be honest, people.  These first 2 weeks of season recap posts have been much tougher to write than I thought they'd be.  I figured after taking a week off from the long, slow, disappointing but ultimately predictable death that was the 2013 Yankee season, I'd be recharged and ready to look back on everything that happened with a sharp analytical mindset.  Instead, I've just ended up reverting back to the feelings of sadness and boredom I had while covering this team this year.

But whatever, we've reached the final week and it's time to look back on the 2013 edition of the New York Yankees.  We've reviewed the major storylines that defined the season, we recapped the lessons learned, now it's time to put it all together and put a bow on it.  The Yankees entered 2013 with a lineup that had been decimated by their intentional downgrading of it through a few key free agent decisions and the unintentional and unexpected rash of ST injuries that cost them more than a few of their big names.  It was an uphill battle for the lineup for most of the season and a battle the lineup was incapable of winning.  Years from now, people will look back on this season and recall how they got to watch some of the worst Yankee lineups ever to take the field.  That tells you everything you need to know.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reassessing The Yankee Lineup At The Break

(Courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Last and most certainly least in our quick little ASB reassessment series is the lineup.  By now, everybody's well versed in how weak this year's offense has been so the less said about it the better.  They rank in at least the bottom third of almost every major offensive category in baseball this season, and since the start of May they've been neck and neck with the Marlins for worst offense in the game.  Injuries have played a major part in the lineup's struggles this season, as have the cheap stopgap replacements for those injuries that have unfortunately had to take on bigger roles.  The lineup is the clear cut weakness of this team at the break, and if the Yankees don't end up making the postseason this year it will almost assuredly be due to the lack of offense.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Upgrading The 2-Spot In The Lineup (So Cano Doesn't Have To)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

With Derek Jeter around, the #2 spot in the lineup was never a problem.  Just pencil him in there and fill in behind him or pencil him into the leadoff spot and just plunk somebody in behind him.  The loss of Jeter, paired with the injury or free agent losses of a few other guys, has left the #2 spot in order an absolute dead zone this year.  Of all the issues the platoon-heavy and injury-shortened roster has caused in 40+ games, the biggest and consistently most noticeable is the gap in the 2nd spot and the problems on the back end of that get caused by Robinson Cano hitting there.

Cano has spent the bulk of his time hitting 2nd this season, and in 94 ABs there he's posted a .362/.406/.681 slash with 16 XBH, 16 R, and 22 RBI.  The 77 non-Cano ABs from the 2nd spot have resulted in just 14 total hits (3 for XB), 7 R, and 4 RBI.  Those results aren't surprising when you consider that it's been the Nixes, Ichiros, and (yeesh) Franciscos of the world occupying the spot, nor is the frustration that comes with having to watch those guys hit there.  Based on some recent roster additions, there might be some upgrade options available and opportunities to bump Cano back down and lengthen the lineup a bit.  Options like ...

Monday, March 25, 2013

2013 AB4AR Season Preview: The Lineup

(Courtesy of the AP)

At long last we've made it.  From the disappointing ending to the 2012 season to the generally slow and boring offseason to the injury-riddled/roster hole plugging preseason, we've now arrived at the doorstep of the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season.  This time next week, we'll all hopefully be in front of a TV (or at the game), Yankee gear on, ready to put all the badness behind us and just enjoy the fact that baseball is back in our lives.  I know I will be.

To kick off the 2013 AB4AR Season Preview series, we'll look at the lineup.  It's a group that's going to include a lot of unfamiliar faces for at least the month of April as regulars like Jeter, Teix, and C-Grand recover from injuries, but if and when it gets healthy and complete it's a group that can still do a lot of damage.  The Yankees lost some key members of the lineup from last year's team, members that didn't have their production adequately replaced as far as numbers and projections are concerned.  To try to counter that loss of production, the Yanks will look to transform their offense into a more balanced one, a lineup capable of playing small ball to scratch runs across when it needs to but still able to flex the HR muscle as well.  How they go about doing that remains to be seen.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Opening Day 25-Man Roster Prediction

I've done some predictions for roster spot contenders, but nothing on the actual 25-man roster yet.  Good thing too because all of them would have been rendered meaningless after the injuries to C-Grand and Teix.  But with it being just two weeks from Opening Day and the ST roster getting cut down more and more every couple days, the outline of the real roster spot contenders is starting to become more clear.  We know who's not going to be ready (C-Grand, Teix, A-Rod), we know who is after this week of in-game appearances from Jeter, Mo, Andy, and CC, and there's one guy who's still not a guarantee one way or the other in Phil Hughes.  That's enough for me to make a pretty good educated guess, so here's the first attempt at predicting the 25-man roster we'll see on Opening Day.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teix Now Front And Center On The "Needs To Produce" Radar

(More swings like this, please.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

2013 was already going to be an important year for Mark Teixeira.  After a stellar Yankee debut season in 2009, the last three have been a downhill trend of offensive regression and 2013 was shaping up to be the tipping point for the rest of Teix's Yankee career.  He could either bounce back and prove that he still had enough in the tank to be a consistent middle-of-the-order threat, or continue his decline, officially enter the downside of his career, and become the latest contract anchor on the payroll.

Teix's comments to Dan Barbarisi a few weeks ago showed that he was very aware that he had reached this stage in his career, and his candor and openness about his regression was refreshing to read in a modern sports world full of excuses and cliches.  But that position became much less acceptable when A-Rod had his surgery and even more unacceptable when Curtis Granderson was shelved over the weekend.  Teix is now more important than ever to the lineup and the Yankees' chances for success this season, a point Mike Axisa touched on earlier in the week.  After spending four years flying under the radar in the Bronx, the spotlight is going to shine brighter on Teix than it ever has, and he needs to step up and meet the challenge.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who Really Needs A Platoon Partner In 2013?

(How many lefties should this guy be facing?  Courtesy of the AP)

"Platoon" is a word that's slowly worked its way into the collection of words typically associated with the Yankee lineup over the past few seasons, right next to "patience" and "power."  Older veterans on the downside of their careers who are drawn to New York to chase a ring, lack of impact bats coming up from the farm system, and the newly implemented payroll restrictions have all combined to make the Yankee lineup a safe haven for the still productive but no longer well-rounded hitter.  This season, the reliance on platoons will play an even bigger role in the everyday lineup as the Yankees have their fair share of guys who only excel against one category of handed pitchers, guys like Ichiro, Hafner, Gardner, and Youkilis.  Joe has shown before that he's not afraid to mix and match and play with the lineup, but how necessary is it for every one of those players to be platooned?  Does the Yankee lineup really need to be turned into Version R and Version L?  Let's take a look.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Building The 2013 Batting Order- Take 2

(Where to put Pronk?  Courtesy of the AP)

It's like revision week here at AB4AR when it comes to roster discussions.  Spring Training is bearing down upon us (and the players who will actually be participating in it), and the Yankees continue to add pieces to the roster competition.  First it was sorting through all the cheap 1-year signings and MiL players to determine who were the leading candidates to take the final 4 open roster spots.  Now with the additions of Juan Rivera and Travis Hafner, and the ever-uncertain situation surrounding Alex Rodriguez's future with the team, it's time to once again take a look at the potential batting orders for the Yankees in 2013.  I probably don't need to remind anybody of this, but I use the word "orders" because there is more than likely going to be a lot of lineup juggling and platoon splits from Joe this season to maximize the output potential of the players he has and keep everybody as healthy as possible.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thinking About The 2013 Batting Order

I know a lot of people are going to say it's way to early to start talking batting orders for next season, what with there still being a solid 2 months left in the offseason and the Yankees possibly being without a couple key members of their everyday lineup when the regular season starts on April 1st.  But I don't see it that way.  Injured or not, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are going to be part of the everyday lineup when they do return, and with the signing of Kevin Youkilis and the pending signing of Ichiro Suzuki, the starting 9 for 2013 is all but intact.

The lineup next year is going to be flush with platoon bats, which likely means a lot more of the lineup juggling that we started to see late last season.  The presence of Youkilis and return of Brett Gardner should bring back some of the classic Yankee "grind it out" at-bat tactics, but the middle of the order has lost some of its luster with the injuries and natural decline of A-Rod and Teix.  Even without a good everyday catcher, there is still the potential for the Yankees lineup to be relatively deep and dangerous next season, but a lot of things are going to have to turn around.  After the jump, check out my preliminary ideas for next season's batting orders.