Yankees Daily Briefing 07/19/11

Bartolo Colon's last start was so poor that he couldn't make it out of the first inning. After another poor start, there are concerns that Colon's comeback season is in danger of ending sooner than the Yankees would like. He'll have a chance to prove that the last two starts were an aberration and not a trend on Tuesday; he and the Yankees will face the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson (8-7, 3.21)

Discussion of the Day: Who do you consider the Yankees' most valuable outfielder? Share your answers in the comments.

1) Johnette Howard writes that Derek Jeter is both loved and hated. Howard refers to a Sports Illustrated poll in which the Yankees' shortstop was voted the most overrated male athlete, and a Harris Interactive poll in which he was voted the most popular male athlete in 2011.

That Jeter is considered overrated probably should not come as a surprise; after a Hall of Fame-worthy prime, Jeter's last few seasons have not been nearly as good -- and by OPS+ he's been a below average player in both 2010 and 2011, though he hasn't missed the All Star team since 2005. Jeter's popularity likewise stems from his early and prime years, and given the way he usually avoids off-field controversy, and reminds Yankees fans of many championship teams, it's hard to see his popularity declining any time soon.

2) Mark Feinsand writes about the recent success Brett Gardner has been having.

Gardner has been excellent since the All-Star break, but he's been playing well since the middle of June, when he took over in the leadoff spot for an injured Jeter. For someone who was a walk on for his college team, Gardner's success at the major league level is even more remarkable -- by wins above replacement, Gardner has been more valuable than any left fielder not named Ryan Braun.

3) Larry Koestler takes a look at the Yankees' starters, looking at their preseason predictions and what their actual performance has been.

CC Sabathia and Colon have been better than projected; the results are more mixed for others. While sabermetric-related predictions are seldom exactly right, it is still fascinating to look at how close they can get. For example, while Sabathia has outperformed his ERA and FIP predictions, his WHIP and K/9 numbers are almost exactly the same as the predicted numbers (which, if anything, argues that Sabathia's ERA will regress). On the whole, the results seem to be what you would expect for any team, with some players outperforming expectations, some underperforming, and some -- like Ivan Nova -- who are performing exactly as expected.

4) There were losses for almost every team again for the Yankees' system.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Columbus, 7-6.

Jesus Montero hit a home run to left-center for his only hit in five at bats.

Andrew Brackman allowed one hit over three innings of work. He walked three, struck out three, had three wild pitches and hit two batters.

Double-A Trenton lost to Erie, 5-4.

Dellin Betances allowed four hits and four runs in five innings; he walked five and struck out seven. Mike Ashmore has video from Betances' start.

Ashmore also spoke with Yankees' GM Brian Cashman about which prospects are impressing or otherwise.

High-A Tampa lost to Jupiter, 4-2.

J.R. Murphy was hitless in four at bats.

Low-A Charleston lost to West Virginia, 3-2.

Gary Sanchez was hitless in four at bats, including three strikeouts.

Short Season Staten Island beat Tri-City, 12-4 while the Rookie GCL Yankees lost to the GCL Phillies, 3-2.