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Entries in Travis Hafner (2)

Wednesday
Jul242013

Why the Yankees have gone 23-28 Since May 26

This is not a look at the injuries, turmoil, or the budgetary restrictions of the 2013 New York Yankees.

To quote Dragnet's Joe Friday, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Since May 26

After play on May 26, the Yankees were 30-19 (.612) and basically tied with the Red Sox who were 31-20 (.608) for first place. Since that date, the Yankees have been 23-28 (.451) the third worst record in the AL, only "better" than the Astros 20-29 (.408) and the White Sox 15-34 (.306).

With their victory last night, Boston for the 58th consecutive day remained in first place in the AL East, but don't be misled by that, they have only pulled away from the Yankees and Jays (24-25). Boston and Baltimore each have played 30-21 ball since then and the Rays have a 34-18 record, the best record in baseball since that date. 

So what's gone wrong for the Yankees?

Nine to Know since May 26:

  1. The Yankees are hitting .238 as a team, the Astros at .223 are the only team with a lower batting average.
  2. The Bronx Bombers have hit 27 homers, only the Giants with 24 have hit fewer long balls.
  3. The Yankees have a .303 OBP, topping only the Marlins (.299) and the Astros (.284).
  4. Travis Hafner has hit .160 with four homers and Vernon Wells has hit .207 with no homers.
  5. The 3-4-5 batters have a slash line of .221/.294/.337.
  6. From the 7th inning on, the Yankees are hitting .213 tied with the Brewers for the worst BA in baseball.
  7. Yankees from the right side of the plate are hitting .206/.267/.253. Their .520 OPS is the worst in baseball (the Tigers righties' OPS is .807).
  8. Andy Pettitte is 3-4 with 5.04 ERA and 1.410 WHIP.
  9. CC Sabathia is 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.212 WHIP. 

Should Joe Girardi be manager of the year?

This has been a trying season for Yankee Universe and there is no indication that it is going to get much better.

Brian Cashman keeps working the phones, Joe Girardi keeps working on keeping his non-injured players looking for wins, and the press keeps working on the impending Alex Rodriguez bombshell. 

The fact that the Yankees are just seven back in the AL East and just 5.5 back in the AL Wild Card race has some people talking about Girardi as Manager of the Year.

While Girardi would appreciate this memorable honor, I'm sure in future years Girardi will be doing everything he can to forget this season, not remember it.

 

 

Friday
Jun242011

2011's Best Bad-Ball Hitters

We praise hitters who lay off pitches thrown out of the strike zone, and for good reason: hacking at out-of-zone offerings leads to pitcher's counts and easy outs. Batters have a collective .194 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) when swinging at pitches thrown out of the zone, compared to .335 when taking a cut at in-zone pitches.

But, as anyone who has ever seen Vladimir Guerrero gulf a curveball at his shoetops over the fence or drive an eye-high fastball into the gap knows, some hitters can do damage on junk pitches. Here's a list of the top 10 bad ball hitters of 2011, sorted by wOBA on pitches swung at out of the strike zone:

  1. Victor Martinez, .383 wOBA
  2. Travis Hafner, .375 wOBA
  3. Casey Kotchman, .374 wOBA
  4. J.J. Hardy, .366 wOBA
  5. Ike Davis, .355 wOBA
  6. Juan Miranda, .348 wOBA
  7. Jamey Carroll, .342 wOBA
  8. Jose Bautista, .338 wOBA
  9. Albert Pujols, .334 wOBA
  10. Matt Holliday, .317 wOBA

Given the small sample sizes involved here and the overwhelmingly lousy performance of most hitters when swinging at off-the-plate pitches, this is more of a fun list than one with predictive value. That said, check out V-Mart's in-play slugging percentage on pitches thrown out of the zone (left), compared to the league average (right):

   For those wondering, Vlad has a .225 wOBA when swinging at out-of-zone pitches. He's still hacking, but no longer impaling.