Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 12/27/13

Well here we are, the last Linkapalooza of 2013.  I probably said this last year too, but I really can't believe how quickly this year has gone by.  It seems like just yesterday I was rolling my eyes at the signing of Travis Ishikawa and just 2 or 3 days ago I was trying to talk myself into the Kevin Youkilis signing.  In a bit of pseudo-full circleness, I'll be spending my day today at the casino, just like I was on a Friday in April some 18 months ago for my buddy's bachelor party.  I walked out of that weekend up $150 and I'm hoping to repeat that feat today.  We'll see how it goes.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Mike Axisa of RAB profiled Stephen Drew as a FA target now that he's reportedly waiting on the Yankees.

- Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes explained why A-Rod being acquitted of his steroid suspension and on the field to start 2014 is at the top of his Christmas list.

- Michael Eder of IIATMS/TYA commented on the hold up that the A-Rod decision is causing for a lot of the remaining free agent market.

- SJK of NoMaas analyzed the current state of the starting rotation, which could change for the better if the Yanks can win the competition for Masahiro Tanaka.

- On Tuesday, el duque of It Is High... expressed his displeasure with the idea of signing Mark Reynolds this offseason.  I don't think Reynolds would be as bad a signing as the comparison ED made, but he is admittedly far from a perfect fit.  And that's coming from somebody who wants the Yanks to sign Reynolds.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud looked at the big questions that still need to be answered during the holiday hot stove break.

- Jason Evans of Yanks Go Yard compared Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza to see who would be a better fit in the 2014 rotation.  Just in case they don't end up landing Tanaka.

- On Thursday, Harlan Spence of Pinstripe Alley broke down the competition for Tanaka now that he's been posted.  It's going to be tough with the new rules, but I still think the Yanks are the easy favorite.

- Delia Enriquez of Bronx Baseball Daily examined the Yankees' Plan B options in the event they aren't the team to sign Tanaka.  We all know how much of a step down those plans would be, so I'd rather not even think about them now that Tanaka is out there.

- On Friday, Chris Mitchell of Pinstripe Pundits compared the projected platoon splits for the Yankees next year to get an idea of what they're lineups might look like against righties and lefties.

We're kicking it old school for the final Friday Jam of 2013 with some Styx.  I've heard this song 3 times in the last 5 days and it's reminded me how good a song this is.  Styx wasn't always the best, but when they got it right they had some good shit.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.  See you in 2014.

Where Does Zoilo Fit In Now?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

It was an up and down 2013 for Zoilo Almonte.  He hit .297/.369/.421 (.361 wOBA) in 293 Triple-A plate appearances in his first experience at the level, showing improved plate discipline and on-base skills that had yet to be part of his offensive repertoire.  When the barrage of injuries struck the Major League club, he got called up to the show in the summer and the results weren't nearly as good, .236/.274/.302 (.257 wOBA) in 113 PA.

A hamstring injury ended his season early, but he's picked it up back in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.  If you haven't been following the comings and goings of that league closely, and I don't blame you if you haven't, Zoilo has hit .316/.343/.454 out there and has seen time at all 3 outfield positions.  What does that mean as far as his Major League standing for 2014 goes?  Probably not much.  Almonte has hit in this league before, and with the new acquisitions made by the Yankees to upgrade their outfield it's not a stretch to say he's the 7th outfielder on the 40-man right now behind Ellsbury, Beltran, Gardner, Soriano, Ichiro, and Wells.