New York Yankees: Yoenis Cespedes

W2W4: Yankees at Athletics (July 19)

July, 19, 2012

Garcia Stats to Watch

Freddy Garcia has won four straight decisions, including two in three starts since returning to the Yankees' starting rotation. He doesn’t have the best history in Oakland, with a 4.14 ERA and 11 home runs in 58 2/3 innings pitched, but did earn a win there last season.

Garcia was a little off his game in his most recent start against the Angels in that he walked five in five innings (though among them were Mark Trumbo and Albert Pujols. He had trouble particularly with his slider, walking four hitters with it.

He has been able to keep the ball in the ballpark, allowing two home runs in his last 25 innings pitched.

Griffin Stats To Watch

A.J. Griffin has opened his major league career with three no-decisions and a win in his first four starts. He’s worked six innings in each of the four, yielding two runs twice, three runs once and no runs once (against the vaunted Rangers offense).

Griffin’s numbers have been helped by a defense that has gotten outs on 24 of the 28 ground balls he’s allowed, and five of 12 line drives hit against him. His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) numbers (in other words, his 16 strikeouts, six walks, and four home runs allowed) are indicative more of a pitcher with an ERA around 4.65.

Streaks on the Line

The Yankees have all sorts of streaks going into this game, including their stretch of 42 straight games scoring at least three runs (second-longest in the Live Ball Era) and Robinson Cano’s 21-game hitting streak (the longest in the majors this season is 22, by Michael Brantley of the Indians).

My W2W4-writing colleague, Katie Sharp reminds us that the Yankees have another amazing streak entering the day. They’ve won nine straight games in Oakland, their longest road win streak against the Athletics since a 10-gamer when that team played in Kansas City, spanning 1955 and 1956.

Tex Message

Remember that the last time the Yankees visited the Athletics, Mark Teixeira feasted on Oakland pitching. He was 8-for-14 with three home runs in the series.

Straight A’s

The most recent time the Yankees visited Oakland, they swept the Athletics three straight, leaving in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. But since that skid ended, the Athletics are 25-14 and in the hunt for the AL wild card.

Since June 2, the Athletics have averaged 4.7 runs per game and hit 53 home runs in 39 games. They averaged just 3.2 runs per game and hit 42 home runs in their first 52 games of the season.

The hitter with the best numbers in that span is Cuban-born rookie outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has returned from injury and solved some of the plate discipline issues that plagued him earlier this season. He’s hitting .339 with six home runs, 21 RBIs and a .981 OPS in his past 30 games.

The key to that was cutting his miss rate from 37 percent of his swings prior to the injury to 24 percent since returning.

Yankees interested in Jorge Soler

February, 14, 2012
So tweets ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

The Yankees are "heavy in interest'' in 19-year-old Cuban defector Jorge Soler, who is in the process of obtaining his free agency and is considered a potential major-league power bat, although not as highly touted as The Showcase, Yoenis Cespedes, who signed this week with the Oakland A's.

It was previously assumed that Soler would sign with the Chicago Cubs -- but Olney says the two sides are not close and the Yankees are now not only kicking the tires, but considering a test drive. Stay tuned.

Cespedes: No Yanks for me

January, 13, 2012
Wally and I have only written this a thousand times, but Yoenis Cespedes has now spoken and he says the Yankees are not one of the six teams most interested in him.

Dionisio Soldevila of the AP tweets the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians are the ones who have been the most persistent.

Yanks are intrigued by Cespedes, but don't have the desire to spend $30-to-$50M they suspect it will take to sign him.

Conspiracy: One reason to think Yu or Cespedes

December, 2, 2011
The Yankees are moving slowly, acting like they may be quiet all winter. That could be the case.

But as we pointed many times on our Twitter account and in some stories, the new CBA is going to make it harder for the Yankees to out spend teams on the international market in future years so maybe the Yankees will try harder this final year if Yu Darvish posts or for Cuban outfield prospect, Yoenis Cespedes.

When I put this exact scenario to Brian Cashman, he wouldn't shoot it down -- nor up, for that matter.

"I wouldn't say," Cashman said.

The non-answer is just a scrap to think that Cashman will go big into the international game. We'll see.

Question of the Day: Is this all there is?

November, 28, 2011
Let's start this conversation here:

As one of the insiders who talks to insiders, I, too, have been told that the Yankees might just sign Freddy Garcia and not do much else this offseason. This is what is emanating out of the Bronx.

Now, Yankees GM Brian Cashman's history shows that he likes to lower expectations, if he can. In cases, like last year with Cliff Lee, when it is so obvious, he shows some of his cards. But when the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira during green winter of 2008-2009, insiders suggested early that the Yankees weren't going to be players for Teixeira. And, then, boom.

That brings us to today. Unless the Yankees trade Nick Swisher, it is hard to see where they add to the offense. Maybe Yoenis Cespedes could be signed as the Yankees look toward Swisher's free agency after this year.

On the pitching side, the Yankees don't really like the prices vs. talent of any of the starters. Could they make a huge splash with Yu Darvish? That seems possible, even with their Kei Igawa experience. There is almost no way they are signing C.J. Wilson. Mark Buehrle may be better suited for the National League, in their opinion. Edwin Jackson is no better than what they have. Roy Oswalt has a back issue that concerns them. Hiroki Kuroda likes life in Los Angeles or Japan.

But with all that said, I have a question for you: Do you still believe the Yankees will make a major move this offseason?

Video of Cuban legend Cespedes returns!

November, 16, 2011
In cased you missed it, we originally wrote about the Yankees' interest in Yoenis Cespedes here. The Cespedes video in which he hits homers, catches balls behind his back and roasts a pig was then taken down.

Now, it is apparently back.

Enjoy, it here, live and in living color, it is Cespedes being Cespedes.

Brian Cashman has watched this video. The Yankees have scouted Cespedes heavily. And potentially Cespedes could be the huge winter splash, perhaps easing into the majors this year before taking over for Nick Swisher in right in 2013.

Or maybe they just trade Swisher and 2012 becomes the year of Cespedes. (What will Sterling say?)

Cespedes reportedly is not going to be open to bidders until later in the offseason.

Awesome Video: Cuban defector to Yanks?

November, 7, 2011
Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes is going to be on a lot of (if not all) teams' free agent lists very, very soon. If you watch him play, he sort of looks like Gary Sheffield at the plate, Vernon Davis working out and Magic Johnson in the field.

How do we know all this? From his amazing, weird, hilarious video that he reportedly wants teams to evaluate him on. And who is one of those teams possibly vying for Cespedes? The New York Yankees.

Cespedes is a center fielder, who presumably could play a corner outfield position in the Bronx. He supposedly is going to be a free agent soon and will command $30 million or more. Everyone is going to be interested. The Marlins, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, are sending a contingent led by owner Jeff Loria to meet with Cespedes this week.

The 26-year-old might just take over this offseason. There is a lot of mystery around this man, starting with his age. Is he really 26?

But this video will have the whole baseball world talking.

First off, let me warn you the rap music in the background is not suitable for work. But it is a must-watch show. You see him work out, hit home runs, catch a ball behind his back and roast a pig. It is just 20 minutes of Cespedes being Cespedes.

For more on the video check out Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein's take.

Yahoo's Jeff Passan did a long story on Cespedes and mentioned the Yankees up high.

Oh, and how could he fit in with the Yankees? Well, you could see him transitioning this season as the team's fourth outfielder with a bullet. He could adjust to the majors slowly as a right-handed outfielder and then when Nick Swisher becomes a free agent after this year, the Yankees could let Swisher walk. Or they could trade Swisher now. Cespedes doesn't strike us as the type who will wait for anyone.

UPDATE: As of 2:30 p.m., the video has disappeared from YouTube.



Jacoby Ellsbury
.271 16 70 71
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146