The New York Yankees – The Batters in August

So the Yankees had made it into August still in the mix for a possible place in the playoffs albeit by a wildcard slot. By the trading deadline, they had brought in Chase Headley, Martin Prado and Stephen Drew to try and fix their anaemic batting line-up. Now Stephen Drew wouldn’t be everyone’s idea of how to fix a low batting average and so to nearly no-one’s surprise August proved to be one of the 2014 Yankees worst months at the plate.

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The New York Yankees – The Pitchers in July

The Yankees’ pitching is still threadbare. However, surprisingly, bringing in a few starters who were struggling elsewhere and coupling them with a bullpen that has been performing consistently seems to be working. Let’s see who was doing well in July:

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Back in town……………………………

Well, I went away for a couple of weeks but I’m back now…….

What’s happening with me?

1. Two weeks in Whitby. One of the best and most relaxing breaks I’ve ever had.

2. Protracted Negotiations. Regular readers will know I’ve been doing some soundwork for UK band Sad Cafe. Somewhere along the line I got the idea for two new albums which would include all of their songs which had not previously been gathered together on album and getting the band together to finish off some tracks that their lead vocalist had begun to record when he passed away a few years ago. This has been a difficult process but I should know in the next few days whether the last few pieces will fall into place.

3. Baseball success. The Yankees transform from a team that might make the playoffs into the team with the best record in major league baseball. I know I’ve not done the July updates yet but they’ll be along in the next few days.

Talkin’ Baseball

New York Yankees – Batting – Month – May

Name                   AB  R  H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SO SH SF SB    BA   SLG   OBP

Matsui, Hideki 100 21 35 13 7 0 2 10 12 0 0 0 .350 .480 .409
Betemit, Wilson 21 3 7 2 2 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 .333 .571 .333
Abreu, Bobby 100 17 33 20 8 2 4 13 21 0 0 4 .330 .570 .407
Giambi, Jason 73 12 23 14 6 0 6 13 14 0 1 0 .315 .644 .446
Damon, Johnny 98 15 30 13 6 0 3 5 11 0 0 4 .306 .459 .340
Cano, Robinson 95 13 28 12 7 0 2 5 6 0 1 1 .295 .432 .333
Rodriguez, Alex 41 7 12 10 4 0 3 7 8 0 0 5 .293 .610 .408
Jeter, Derek 103 18 27 11 4 1 2 9 17 0 1 4 .262 .379 .336
Cabrera, Melky 94 4 22 12 5 0 1 4 10 1 1 0 .234 .319 .270
Molina, Jose 58 5 12 4 4 0 0 2 12 3 1 0 .207 .276 .230
Moeller, Chad 32 2 6 5 0 0 0 3 8 0 0 0 .188 .188 .278
Duncan, Shelley 43 4 7 6 1 0 1 3 11 0 1 0 .163 .256 .213
Ensberg, Morgan 31 2 5 1 0 0 0 4 10 0 0 1 .161 .161 .257
Gonzalez, Alberto 20 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 0 .150 .150 .190

New York Yankees - Batting - Season to date

Name                   AB  R  H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SO SB   BA  SLG  OBP

Matsui, Hideki 190 31 64 26 12 0 6 23 22 0 .337 .495 .417
Posada, Jorge 63 8 19 11 6 1 1 3 11 0 .302 .476 .333
Abreu, Bobby 208 29 62 36 12 3 7 21 45 5 .298 .486 .362
Damon, Johnny 196 34 57 25 16 1 6 23 29 8 .291 .474 .364
Rodriguez, Alex 132 21 38 21 11 0 7 13 27 6 .288 .530 .365
Jeter, Derek 197 27 53 25 7 3 2 11 24 4 .269 .365 .321
Cabrera, Melky 181 19 48 24 7 0 6 15 24 3 .265 .403 .320
Betemit, Wilson 34 3 9 3 2 0 1 0 9 1 .265 .412 .286
Moeller, Chad 52 7 13 7 2 0 1 6 12 0 .250 .346 .339
Giambi, Jason 146 25 35 27 9 0 11 28 25 1 .240 .527 .380
Cano, Robinson 201 19 44 19 10 0 4 12 20 1 .219 .328 .269
Molina, Jose 110 9 24 6 11 0 0 2 17 0 .218 .318 .230
Gonzalez, Alberto 42 4 9 1 2 0 0 4 7 0 .214 .262 .283
Ensberg, Morgan 74 6 15 4 0 0 1 6 22 1 .203 .243 .263
Duncan, Shelley 56 7 9 6 2 0 1 7 13 0 .161 .250 .250
Stewart, Chris 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000


So as May comes to an end, time for another look at how the New York

Yankees are doing so far.


Pluses


Hideki Matsui. Hugely consistent season for Matsui so far. The whisper

before the season was that perhaps he was a year too old. He's

disproved that point of view. He could do with hitting for a little

more power but that aside it's hard to fault him.


Bobby Abreu. .330 for the month has raised his season average to .298.

4 home runs on the month and .570 slugging percentage and he's been

there in the clutch, picking up some vital hits


Jason Giambi. .315 in May and 6 home runs to bring him to 11 so far.

I'm surprised but he seems to finally pulling his weight. Performance

in the field has also been more than you'd expect.


Minuses


Jose Molina. Filling in for the injured Posada, Molina who had previously

been solid has been only .207 on the month and there has been little to

choose between him and Moeller defensively, leading him to be used only

2 days out of 3. It will good to see Jorge back and lift the weight off

Molina because he's not handling it.


Melky Cabrera. .270 OBP in May and a poor batting performance and

little power has undone the great April he had. Time for him to bounce

back and show his mettle.


Morgan Ensberg. Morgan reverted to type in May with little at the plate

and even losing his previous patience which used to guarantee him

plenty of walks. He was released on the 1st of June but we have little

infield depth with or without him.


Surprises


Wilson Betemit. Preferred to Alberto Gonzalez when he recovered from

injury. Gonzalez caught the bus back to Scranton. Betemit has been

useful at 1b as well at 3rd and has a good average on the month. Maybe

more players should go to the opticians.

 

Derek Jeter. Hasn't recovered from being hit by pitch earlier in the

month. Yankees need him to improve if they are to close the gap on

Tampa and Boston

 

Shelley Duncan. Just surprising that he's still around. Last season's

power promise has disappeared and there doesn't seem to be anything

else to offer.

Designated for assignment

In April, I said:

“Morgan Ensberg (11). Another surprise name. And another journeyman who is unlikely to be in the post-season in 2008 whether the Yankees make it there or not. Recently with the Astros and Padres, he is patient at the plate and will draw walks but it’s hard when that’s the best thing you can think to say about him.

 

Scott Patterson (no number allocated). A surprising exclusion. His time will come.”

Today, the Yankees released Ensberg and called up Patterson who is actually pitching against Minnesota at this moment, as I write. I am therefore officially clever and I should be transported to Yankee Stadium, by means of jaunting, as a reward.

Baseball – the story so far……

Well, the baseball season has begun and after thirteen games the New York Yankees lie bottom of their division. This is not as bad as it sounds. Just two days ago, we were pushing for the top slot but two consecutive defeats against Boston leaves us with a 6-7 record so far. So good points and bad points……?

Pluses

Chien-Ming Wang (p). 22 innings pitched. 3 wins – no losses. 1.23 ERA. 1 complete game. Wang continues to be our strongest starter which we have needed since the bats have been quiet. He’s worked his way out of a couple of difficult situations but it’s been smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Joba Chamberlain (rp). 4 appearances, 5.1 innings. No runs. It’s like last post-season never happened. He’s near untouchable once more.

Brian Bruney (rp). You’re always left wondering which Mr. Bruney will turn-up. So far, it is the guy who gets people out. He also gave us a surprise start. 7 innings. 2 hits. no runs.

Melky Cabrera (cf). Despite a two-day suspension, Cabrera continues to be wonderfully consistent when available. 2 home runs and a .290 BA

Minuses

Ian Kennedy (p). Was supposed to be better than this. 13.50 ERA gained in a game when we were very glad to still have Albaladejo around (see below).

Phil Hughes (p). Was supposed to be better than this. 9.00 ERA and still looking for his first win after 3 starts. The young pitchers are wobbling.

Kyle Farnsworth (rp) As predicted. At the moment, he’s eating up a few innings in games we were on the way to losing but he’s not delivered for too long and the change of manager hasn’t seen a change of performance.

LaTroy Hawkins (rp). Difficult start for Mr Hawkins but it is early days yet. 9.00 ERA in 6 appearances.

Jose Molina (c). Jose Molina became the surprise starting catcher when Posada continued to struggle with health difficulties but his strong performance was no surprise. Now he looks as though he is headed for the disabled list with ligament damage which leaves the catching spot looking barren unless Posada improves physically.
 
Derek Jeter (ss). Noticeable only by his absence through injury after a quiet first few days. We need him back and quickly.

Jason Giambi (dh / 1b) No surprises here. His first noticeable contribution was a fielding error. His .107 BA says it all.

Surprises

Billy Traber (rp). Also 4 appearances. 3.1 innings and no runs. I don’t how long this can last but our wouldbe left-hand specialist has already delivered more than I expected if he starts to lose it tomorrow.

Andy Pettitte (p). Came back from DL earlier than I’d expected. And settled into his normal role without much hesitation despite all the off-season problems. 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA isn’t world-beating but it is more than expected at this stage.

Jonathan Albaladejo (rp). One of the few on the opening day roster I wouldn’t have guessed. Made a strong early debut when Kennedy’s first start fell apart. And then he was gone….. back to Scranton (AAA).

Robinson Cano (2b). Cano had a strong spring but so far his bat hasn’t shown up since the start of the regular season. He’s usually so consistent too.

Alberto Gonzalez (ss). Shortstop looked set with Jeter installed and Betemit as occasional backup. Jeter’s injury meant we had to consider the options and Gonzalez was brought up from Scranton (AAA) as being defensively stronger than Betemit. His .385 average since arriving makes this all the better and all the more surprising. Makes Betemit’s future a little questionable.

Shelley Duncan (1b). I said there were question marks in the long term for this guy but nobody expected him to be off the 25-man roster within a week. Ensberg is delivering (surprise!) and Giambi is paid too much. It may mean that Duncan is the odd man out and not just in the short term.