Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Random Musings

  • I hope that one of the things that comes out of the Yankees' dreadful start this year is that the lie is finally put to the idea that a team can accept sub-par performance at a particular position because they are getting excellent performance at other, harder-to-fill positions. This has always been a bad idea in theory, since it wastes whatever advantage a team may be reaping by filling hard-to-fill positions with All-Star caliber talent, but now we see how it hurts you in practice. The Yankees are (shockingly) struggling to score runs. In particular, they've gotten terrible performance at second base, which was one of those positions that they expected would "pick up the slack" offensively for first base. Now they're getting production from neither second nor first, and it shows in the team's record. If they had acquired an adequate offensive first baseman, they would be much better prepared to suffer through Robinson Cano's craptastic start. You can't ever afford to punt a position because you expect others to make up for it.
  • Todd Jones Watch: he's third in the AL in saves with 15. Of course, he's blown three as well. He's pitched 21.1 innings, allowing 21 hits and 9 walks while striking out only 7 men. He's probably fortunate that his ERA is only 4.66. Again, pitching like crap, racking up saves. It's not that hard, folks.
  • The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog had a very telling post about Johnny Damon's range in centerfield this year. Normally, I'd blow something like this off as a small sample, but the graph is pretty stark and is supported by the observations of those following the Yankees regularly. Damon is obviously hurt and should not be playing centerfield. Again, it would be easier to stomach Melky's bat in the lineup if first base was hitting at even replacement level (which it isn't).
  • To this point, the Yankees have played (according to runs scored and runs allowed) like a 26-27 win team (with 21-22 losses). They've been roughly 5.5-6.5 games worse than one would expect. Would anyone be worried if this team were 27-21? No. This team is going to start playing well, it's just probably dug far too large a hole to get out of.

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