Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 6/7/13

I'm holding down the fort at IIATMS/TYA this weekend while some of the other writers are on vacation and working, so it's double blog duty and a quiet weekend for me.  Between that and my 9-5 cube monkey job, I'm probably staring at carpal tunnel sometime in the near future.  Awesome.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, SG of RLYW ran some numbers, both offensive and defensive, to show how much the Yankees are missing Derek Jeter at short this season.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog attempted to put Phil Hughes' production into the proper perspective and then questioned if the Yankees could do better than that.

- On Tuesday, el duque of It Is High... went a step further and started to think about what the Yankees could get back if they traded Hughes.

- Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes combed the Brewers roster for potential trade targets in anticipation of them possibly being sellers at the deadline.

- On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB updated his Top 30 Prospects list in preparation for the draft.

- Rob Abruzzese of Bronx Baseball Daily looked at what could happen if all the Yankees connected to Biogenesis really do get suspended.

- Brian Heyman of LoHud got some commentary from both Mark Teixeira and Joe Girardi on what it means to have Teix back in the lineup and how he feels about his swing so far.

- Mike Eder of IIATMS/TYA broke down 2 of CC Sabathia's recent starts to see if there were any mechanical explanations for the difference in pitch movement.  Hey, as long as we aren't talking velocity.

- SJK of NoMaas got nostalgic about Jason Giambi and compared his offensive output in pinstripes to that of Mark Teixeira for anyone who still hates Giambi to look at.

- On Thursday, fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite commented on the changes Brett Gardner has made to his offensive game this season.

- Andrew Mearns of Pinstriped Bible ranked the top 10 draft picks in Yankee history.

This afternoon's Friday Jam is "Highway Star" by Deep Purple.  I don't think this song needs an explanation.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Meet Your Newest 2013 Yankee Draft Picks

(You could say it was "Judge"ment Day at that HR Derby.  Thanks, I'll be here all week)

Last night was a big night for the Yankees and the future of their farm system.  They were armed with 3 picks in the 1st round of the MLB Draft after getting compensation for losing Swish and Sour Puss to free agency this offseason and needed to make a splash.  The Yanks have been criticized for going off the board on talent in the 1st round of recent drafts and focusing on guys with good makeup and intangibles, something they kinda, sorta started to move away from last year with Ty Hensley.  While there were no bad apples in the bunch of picks last night, the Yankees were clearly looking for impact talent and most early analysis shows them to have succeeded in adding that talent.  After the jump, get acquainted with the newest possible future Yankees.

Close Game Performance Regressing After Hot Start

At the beginning of May I did a little post tracking the Yankees' stellar performance in close games.  Their combination of good pitching and inconsistent but relatively clutch hitting put them in a lot of those in April and they responded with a 12-3 record in games decided by 3 runs or fewer that drove their hot start.

How did that hot start translated to these last 5 weeks?  Not too bad.  The Yankees definitely regressed from their April performance, understandable given how unlikely it was that they'd keep that pace and how many close games they've played, but still came in over .500.  Since May 1st, the Yankees have gone 13-11 in 3-runs-or-fewer games, broken down to records of 2-2 in 3-run games, 5-3 in 2-run games, and 6-6 in 1-run games.  Included in the 1-run losses are the 2 late losses to the Mets and the extra-innings loss to Baltimore on the 10th-inning Nuno HR, so the results aren't that far from being much better.

For the season, the Yanks are now 25-14 in games decided by fewer than 3 runs.  It's still a very good record and still the driving force behind their continued competitiveness.  Even with the lineup starting to come together and come back around, expect a lot of close games like this to continue to be the norm.  If the pitching holds up its end, they should continue to perform well in these close situations.

Game 60 Wrap-Up: NYY 6 SEA 1

("Good game, Hughesy."  Courtesy of Getty Images)

While the prospect huggers of the world were getting jazzed up about the Yankees' 1st-round picks in the draft, the Major League ballclub was quickly putting the Seattle Mariners to bed out at Safeco last night.  They had Phil Hughes on the mound looking to improve upon his 0.2 IP disaster against Seattle the last time he faced them.  Hughes was very good last night, his lineup gave him plenty to work with, and this late-starting game was over early.

Game Notes:

- Hughes managed to get out of the 1st inning this time.  The second too, in 6 up/6 down fashion.  And he only needed 26 pitches to do it.

- The Yanks didn't get much off Aaron Harang the first turn through the order, but they saw everything they needed to see and crushed him in the 3rd.  With 1 out, Brett Gardner singled, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back HR on 4 pitches to make it 4-0 Yanks, and the route was on.

- It didn't stop until it got to 6 either.  After Teix, it was single Hafner, double Youkilis, single Wells, single Ichiro, and time to hit the showers for Harang.  Staked to a 6-0 lead, Phil didn't have to be very good.

- And yet he was anyway.  Great start for Hughes, who gave up just 1 unearned run in 7+ innings.  He was aggressive with his fastball, efficient with his pitch count, and more than good enough to get a win.

- Interestingly enough, reliever Blake Beavan actually shut down the offense after relieving Harang in the 3rd.  They managed just a single hit off of him in the final 6.2 innings.

- With a 5-run lead, D-Rob and Mo got to rest again as the new middle relief trio handled the final 2 frames without issue.