Monday, June 6, 2011
Yankees Daily Briefing 06/06/11
After going 6-3 on a road trip that involved facing some of the best pitching in the American League, the Yankees have an off day on Monday before facing the Red Sox. The Yankees are just 1-5 against Boston in 2011, but they've won 10 of their last 15 games, and are now tied for the best record in the American League.
Indeed, the ability for Yankees' pitchers to escape jams is becoming a hallmark of the pitching staff. Prior to Sunday's game, with the bases empty, opponents were batting .246/.308/.367, but with the bases loaded, only .188/.200/.292. David Robertson is perhaps most emblematic of the trend; opponents have a .371 on-base percentage when no one is on base; this drops to .188 with the bases loaded. The issue, of course is that regression to the mean would suggest that it's unlikely for the Yankees' luck in said situations to hold out long term -- and their best option is to avoid creating their own leverage situations in the first place.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect in the anecdotes is the difference in the level of attention given to an early round pick, such as Teixeira who was drafted fifth overall, and later picks, such as Robertson, who was so far down the ladder he stopped listening to draft announcements. That said, with the well-developed minor league system currently in place, it's usually a few years before players drafted make their major league debuts, and even lower round draft picks can leave their mark while top picks can bust.
4) Pete Caldera writes that while the Yankees don't have a first round pick for the first time since 2002, it doesn't mean disaster.
Recent first round picks for the Yankees haven't always worked out -- C.J. Henry never made it to the majors, while their 2008 first round pick, Gerrit Cole, never signed with the Yankees (Cole is projected to go early in the 2011 draft). On the other hand, as Caldera notes, the Yankees have had no shortage of success with international signings -- Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano both came to the Yankees that way, and Manny Banuelos could very well be on his way to join that list. With their resources, the Yankees have more options to construct their roster than many other teams, and while not having a first round pick is not optimal, it's unlikely to prove a debilitating setback.