Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yankees guy has a new home

We Have Moved Please click here and enjoy 


Were making a move

For a couple of months now the staff here at Yankees Guy has been developing a new blog. (Ok you cau.ght me I'm the staff) We are going to the dark side and switching to word press. Now I know many of you blogger.com faithful will call me a traitor and say that I sold out. In all seriousness this is going to be a strong power move for the blog. For the first month I will simultaneously post on both blogs to give everyone a chance to update their blogrolls, bookmarks, feedburners, ECT... 

 The new blog can be found at Yankeesmagazine.wordpress.com

It’s a power move more hits off search engines ect... Now I know what you are saying. "Mike you spent so much time building up Yankees Guy why change now" To be honest with you I like what word press has to offer and I think you will find the new blog to be just as good if not better. I appreciate all your support and your patience during this transition.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Now

Ok fans of the evil empire what do the Yankees do next? Answer the poll to the right.  

I. have recently discovered feed burner. If you don't use it you should. It lets you read multiple blogs very quickly. Check it out you won’t be disappointed. You can get my feed by clicking the link on the right. Allot of people are also choosing to subscribe to Yankees Guy by E-mail. Sometimes it feels like I’m talking to myself but according to stat tracker we are averaging 20-50 hits a day and many return visits. I want to thank you all for your support and the outpouring of E-mails I have received. Your input is always appreciated. If you have Ideas for stories leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail @ mdrook6206@hotmail.com. Myself and a couple of other bloggers are thinking about putting together a monthly e-magazine which articles will be written by all of you and posted once a month. Could be allot of fun still in the works but hoping to come out with first issue next month. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading.

Deep Deep roving right field

Continuing with our series evaluating the AL East position by position the Rays house the newest of the outfielders in Pat Burrell. Without knowing exactly what the Rays are planning I am assuming that he is going to play Right field. I suppose he could play left but we have already looked at Carl Crawford so for comparison sake we will look at him now. Pat has hit 20 or more HR every year since 2001, 30 or more three out of the last four seasons. He doesn’t really hit for average, .257 lifetime (very Gambish) and strikes out allot. He is an average fielder but will add some right handed pop to the Rays offence. Kind of a poor mans answer to Tex. Grade B-
Xavier Nady joined the Yankees midseason last year and made an immediate impact filling in for the injured Matsui. He hit a combined .305 25HR 97 RBI between Pittsburg and NY last season. This is a little better than his career average .280 which is still very respectable. He is an above average fielder and is well liked by everyone he has played with. The Yankees avoided an arbitration hearing and agreed to a 6million dollar deal for 2009. Among much speculation that he may be traded He remains the Yankees best option in 2009. Grade A-  
 However their remains the possibility that Nady could be delta prior to the start of the season. If this happens the Yankees will go with newly acquired Nick Swisher. Swisher also hits for power but unlike Nady doesn’t hit for average holding a career average of only .244. He does however have a great arm, the ability to play all three outfield positions and first base and he is 4 years younger than Nady. Swisher is expected to have a bounce back year after only batting .219 in 2008. I look for Swish to back up Tex and be a fourth outfielder for at Yanks. But don't be surprised If Nady is dealt now or at the trade deadline. Grade B-
Jd Drew has been a prize for the Red Sox that most teams would love to have. If nothing else he is consistent. A ten year Vet with a great arm and a career .280 average has started 100 or more games every year since 1998. Drew has been awesome in the post season for the Red Sox batting .314 with a Homer and 11 RBI's in 14 games. Grade B+
That pretty much wraps up position players. Next we will compare the Starting rotations starting with the Aces on Tuesday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why do the Yankees set themselves up

  The Yankees stood by Andy Petitte through thick and thin. They let him come back after he turned his back on them, they stood by him when he admitted to steroids, and finally they offered him 10 million dollars to come back in 2009 after posting a 14-14 record and an ERA over 4. Not to mention that he was horrible after the all star break. Then Pettite slaps them in the face saying he doesn’t want to take a cut in pay from the 16 million he made last season. Let’s put this in perspective here is what the Yankees starting rotation will make in 2009

1. CC $11 million 

2, Wang $4 million

3. AJ Burnett $13.2 Million 

4. Joba $390,000

Yet somehow Pettite believes that he is worth $16 million in 2009??? Now the Yankees are embarrassing themselves further upping their offer to $10.5 Million. 

If he doesn't take it let the bum go! They can probably get Sheets and Garcia for not much more than that or let the kids fight it out for that spot. Time to focus on the Bench and the Bullpen let’s get the Rotation settled yesterday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Curious case of Benjamin Button.... I mean Kei Igawa

Kei Igawa’s has been considered a bust by most everyone in the Majors and rightfully so in his MLB career with the Yankees he has pitched 71 innings and given up 89 hits 15 of those going yard. But what is really disturbing is his ERA being 6.66 all biblical jokes about him being the Lefty antichrist aside why has he been so good in the minors and so bad in the majors. In AAA Scranton last year he pitched 156 innings only giving up 141 hits with 117 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.47. This again brings me to the case of why is he so horrible. Let’s break it down, the good: He has a good speed ratio between his fastball and changeup. 92mph FB and 76 Mph Change. That’s a good if not great difference. He pitches to both sides of the plate and isn’t afraid to come in on Lefties. Ok now the bad: He pitches up in the strike zone, he has poor arm speed, and he relies too much on a below average curveball and he over strides causing his hips to open prematurely. Frankie Piliare of Saber Scouting describes this better than I ever could by saying "Take note of how Igawa’s leg swings open as oppose to just a normal stride forward. This also causes his hips to prematurely open. By doing this, he is causing his front foot to turn open also. Notice that his foot lands very hard on his heel and not on the ball of his foot. Because he is landing on his heel, as he begins to drive with his legs, his heel will rotate slightly before the rest of his foot comes down. It’s a small millisecond but that is more time for his front side to premature open up. Especially since he is a leg drive oriented pitcher this is especially true, but a pitcher’s upper body and arm follow and are dictated by the actions of the lower body".
In Lamons terms he needs to start listening to the Yankees pitching experts most of his problems can be corrected. He’s still a young guy at 29 and he’s a Lefty. He may never be part of the regular Yankees rotation but it’s my belief that he could be an effective lefty out of the Pen if he can overcome some of these issues. Allot of it could be mental as well in April of 2007 he came out of the pen against the Red Sox and pitched 6 inning only giving up 2 hits no runs and had six strikeouts. He didn't have time to psych himself out and he pitched well. Don't give up Yankee fans there may yet be hope for our former Japanese superstar, or perhaps we should just take the 46 million dollars we spent on him as an expensive lesson.

Center Field

  Here it is the long awaited Center Field comparison. Let’s start with the easy ones. The Rays feature B.J. Upton as their deep man. He has showed great speed and decent power. 2007 was his best year when he batted .300 with 24 HR. Last year was down from that but he had more hits overall and 44 stolen bases. He had 16 assists against only 7 errors. One thing to note is that he can also play the infield and in 2007 split his time between second, short and center. Overall a young talented player that can play muti positions. Grade B+

The Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury is a Gem of a Center Fielder. At only 25 years old he is a five tool player. Although he hasn’t shown allot of HR power I believe it’s there. He has a plus arm and is super fast with 50 stolen bags in 2008 and boy can he cover ground. In his short 2 year career he has yet to make an Error. He batted .280 in 2008 and you can tell if he stays healthy he will have more years over .300 than under. Grade A

With the Yankees it gets more confusing. Last year the position was shared between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Melky started the season for the Yanks and after a poor showing was optioned back to AAA in August in favor of Brett Gardner. Gardner added a dimension that Melky did not provide. Speed, and allot of it. He didn't hit well but showed some signs of life in September after some adjustments to his swing were made by hitting Guru Kevin Long. It has been stated that the barring a trade made prior to spring training the two of them will compete for the Job. If Gardner can continue to hit like he did in September he definitely has more value. Both Cabrera and Gardner are thought to be stop gaps for Austin Jackson who is by far the organizations best Athlete. He like Gardner is very fast and has the potential to be a power hitter and great defender in the future. Unless something unusual happens in spring training he is probably a year away from the majors. Based on what the Yankees have now they get a B
The Center field edge goes to Boston but it could be different my mid season

Musical Blog, tunes to read to

Now you can listen to music while you read.  Yes it sounds distracting but its fun. I made sure to add some Madonna content. Just click on a song from the list and enjoy. Yes I do take requests if you want me to add a tune you like to read to.

Yankees front runners for Garcia

 Fox sports and MLB Hot Stove report that the Mets and The Yankees appear to be the lone suitors left in the race for Freddy Garcia. Garcia is a 10 year veteran with a career record of 118-77 however he is coming off serious shoulder surgery in 2007 that has limited him to only 73 innings over the last 2 seasons. My best estimate would be that he would have to except a minor league deal and attempt to win a spot in the rotation at spring training. A Garcia that is healthy and back to pre surgery form was definitely a winner that could eat up 200 innings a year. Its one of those roll of the dice low risk deals that the Yankees are famous for. Garcia, 32 is said to be looking for a major leauge contract that would give him termination pay if he does not make the club.

  My opinion: sure what the heck nothing ventured anything gained. A low risk deal with minimal financial commitment. Heck he’s only 32 and hell we took a risk on Ponson, I would think Garcia would spend less time at the donut table.

Update: Those pesky Mets signed Garcia to a Minor Leauge Deal with big leauge provisions expected to exceed 7.5 Million. Certainly more than he is worth 


You can now subscribe to Yankees Guy via E-mail just enter your e-mail address on the right and start enjoying.

The poll results are in from our whose going to start in Center field poll. Here are the results

69% Brett Gardner

23% Melky Cabrera

7% Johnny Damon

0% Mike Cameron

I would have say that the results of this poll pay a tribute to the intelligence of my readers. (except for you Idiots that voted for Damon, sorry )

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More free agents to sign.. Advantage Yanks

The Yankees now have an advantage when it comes to signing type  A free agents. Because they have already signed 3 higher ranking free agents. Sabathia, Tex and Burnett the Yankees would not have to forfeit any more than a 4th or 5th round draft pick if they signed another. Ken Rosenthal hints at the possibility that the Yankees might not be done and might have an interest in Ben Sheets or Juan Cruz. We all know the ups and downs with Sheets. I think that the Yankees are waiting to see what happens with Pettite and what other packages sheets has on his table before they make a move on him, but Juan Cruz? Hummm now there’s a name I have not heard in association with the Yankees. To me this makes more than perfect sense, he’s a 30 year old right handed reliever whose ERA has gotten better every year for the last 4 years . In 2008 he was 4-0 in 51 innings pitched only giving up 34 hits and striking out 71.  Impressive eh? In 2003 and 2005 he had bad years that have inflated his career ERA but last year it was 2.61. He made just shy of 2 million last year and could probably be had on a 2 or three year deal worth around 7 or 8 million. These numbers are based on nothing more than what I feel he is worth , like my opinion has any weight right.? Here is a Great analysis of what he throws from the guys over at Behind The Boxscore. (Hat tip to them). So what do you think is this a guy that you could see as a set up guy for Mo? I think so.

Melky gets big payday

Are you @*#!ing kidding me? Ok last season Melky made $461,000 he batted .249 and sucked so bad that he was sent down to AAA. So just because he was eligible for arbitration he asks for 1.7 million dollars. Then the Yankees settle with him for 1.4 million. Granted He has a heck of an Arm and is young but is his upside worth that big of a raise? I'm voting no. Actually I believe he is going to end up as a bench player if he is lucky. Can't tell I'm a Brett Gardner fan can ya? I'll leave the comparisons for when we talk about center fielders tommarow

Other raises to note. Nady gets a raise from 3.35 to 6.65 Million dollars. I'm not knocking this raise. He batted .305 with 25 HR and 97 RBI's. Brian Bruney also is getting a raise not sure of the details but I'm guessing around 1.3 million for 2009. I'm getting so anxious for spring training. This time of year is when things always start to get exciting. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Left Field

The Yankees Johnny Damon will be starting in LF in 2009, although thought to be on the downslide of his great career he doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet. In 2008 he batted .301 with 17 HR and 75 RBI. In the last three seasons he has stolen at least 25 bases and is all that and a bag of chips compared to when he played for Boston. In a contract year I think he will have another big season and the Yankees will bring him back on another 2 or three year deal. His weakness is his arm. He really does not have a good one at all. However he is much better suited for LF than he ever was for CF. Grade A

Carl Crawford is the shining jewel of the three at 27 years old he gets better every year. Last year was a little down due to injury but he has 50 or more stolen bases in 4 of his six full seasons. He consistantly bats .300 and is a great fielder. In six seasons he has 2 all star appearances and with his speed and abilities I would assume he will have many more. Grade A+

Jason Bay the newest of the Red Sox outfielder was acquired mid-season last year to fill in Manny's shoes. Although nobody hits like Manny, Bay was the next best thing. You can’t argue with 31 HR and 101 RBI's and he seems to do it every year. A decent fielder and a plus hitter at only 30 he is a star that the Red Sox should hold on to for many years to come. Grade A

Left field was a strong position for all three teams with the edge going to the Rays. CF is going to be a little bit different. Check back on Thursday.

Which Blogs do you read???

I am always discovering new Yankees Blogs there are so many us out there. I try and put the really good ones on my blogroll. If you have a Yankees Blog and want me to check it out and put it on the roll just drop me a note in the comments. I'll check it out and if I like it you’re in. Hopefully if you are reading mine you will reciprocate. A couple of new blogs I have just added are Bronx Baseball Daily and Zells Pinstripe Blog. I'm a new reader to them but I really like what they are doing over there. This brings me to what blogs do you all read on a daily basis. Hopefully mine is one but who else. I like

Confessions of a she Fan, New stadium insider, Al Leiters bullpen catcher, This Purist Bleeds pinstripes, Respect Jeters Gangster, Sliding into home, and of course Pete Abrahams blog. I used to be a big fan of Yankees Chic (my inspiration to create Yankees Guy, we used to be Yankees Muse) But Maureen seems to have vanished from the blogging world hopefully she will return she has allot of fans out there. I only wish I was as funny as her. So lets hear it what do you read??

Baseball and Politics don't Mix

Along with the separation of church and state there should be a definite separation between politics and baseball. Now I'm far from un-American, I’m a registered Republican and always vote. What I don't understand is why the MLB Network has chosen to air the inauguration???? Couldn’t they just replay the world series of something?  I hope they don't choose to start airing Senate baseball hearings next. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vote in the poll for CF who knows maybe Cashman is reading

To the right you will see a poll on who will be the Yankees starting CF. I believe it will be Brett Gardner. He started to show signs of life with the bat last September after some instruction from Kevin Long. (who I believe to be a hitting genius) Hopefully this will carry over into the spring. Plus he has good defence and amazing speed.

     Also you may notice I have a follow this blog link as well. I want to start a list of followers so that I can do promotions and contests for Yankees merchandise and apparel once the season starts. So become a follower now for your chance to win in April.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Third Base

Third base for the Red Sox is held by Veteran Mike Lowell a ten year veteran has been a solid presence and a great team leader for the sox for 3 seasons now. Last season he hit .274 in 113 games. Hampered by injuries in 2008 he was sown from his career .279 average. The days of him hitting 25 HR and 100 RBI's probably behind him at 35 he is still a solid fielder and who the Sox are hoping can return to his 2007 form when he batted .324 with 120 RBI. Not really representive of his career numbers. All and all a very serviceable piece for 2009. I give him a B

The Rays Willy Aybar is more of a utility infielder than a true anchor at third. Hitting .253 with average power only had 82 hits in 324 ABS. I’m reserving judgment until we have a full season sample of his abilities. So far not to impressed Grade C+ (ok I lied about reserving judgment)

Alex Rodriguez is argued by many to be one of the best players to ever play the game. His numbers have been brilliant with a career .306 BA and 553 HR it’s a hard point to argue. Although a better SS than third baseman has a cannon for an arm. He also has good speed on the bases with a 12 year average of 22 a year. Alex will probably one day be the all time leader in HR and many other categories if he plays out his current contract. Now the bad. Alex has been none as a choke artist who hits allot when it doesn’t really matter and hits into allot of DP. I think this will be the year that he discredits these critics however you can’t discount bad timing. Anyone who doesn’t give him a A however is just jealous.

As we approach the outfield we will also look at those players who only occasionally play in the outfield.

Recapping the Infield I think we have solidified some facts.

1. The Rays are based on pitching not hitting

2. The Red Sox have the best Defense of the three

3. The Yankees are going to hit allot or HR

With the additions both teams have made and the adjustments that will be made to the Rays pitching I think it’s going to be a battle between the Yankees and the Sox for the division.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Who has the best short stop??

For the Red sox last season this was a unsettled position Jed Lowrie started 81 games and although is a very slick fielder who can also play 2nd and 3rd, he doesn't hit well. Ok well is an understatement he doesn’t hit at all. He had 260 AB's struck out 68 times and only had 67 Hits. This isn't to say that he will never be a good hitter. Pedroia went through a similar season when he first came up to the big leagues too. His big upside is his glove, only 2 errors and no errors at short. His counterpart was Julio Lugo who is the polar opposite in 81 games he had 16 errors. Usually a proven hitter he wasn't such a force last year as he was in 2006 when he batted over .300. Combined I give them a C+

The Rays Jason Bartlett is not known for his Power. In 128 games last year he hit only one HR. He also had 16 Errors which was down from his 2007 26 Errors. He does have decent speed with 20 stolen bases and sports a strong arm. Grade C-

The Yankees Derek Jeter needs no introduction and will walk into the hall of fame first time up. His 13 years in the majors is highlighted with a career .316 batting average and although is only an average fielder at best, is known for his famous trademark jump throw. By the time his career is over he should have 3000 hits and with any luck at least one more Ring on his finger. 

Grade B+

Tuesday we will look at 3rd base.


Ok everyone reality check

   Ok everyone it's time for a reality check. There are certain truths that Yankees fans refuse to accept. 

1. Unless he becomes cheap the Yankees are not signing Manny

2. Unless he accepts a big pay cut Pettite will not be in pinstripes next year.

3. The Yankees probably won't trade Swisher. He is young, under the teams control for more than one year and plays multiple positions. Logic dictates that Nady has a higher trade value and will most certainly be gone after this year anyhow.

4. Joba is a starter. What is wrong with you people that want to make him a permanent set up man? Starters are more valuable and harder to come by and usually only have a couple of good pitches. Joba has 4 good pitches and was always a starter before.

5. The Yankees won’t trade Hughes unless it’s for gold. Phil is still 20 years old and will probably be a great pitcher in years to come. Have patience he will get there.

6. Wang will not be allowed to run the bases. I’d be surprised if he’s allowed to lift the bat off his shoulder.

And lastly the Yankees are not trading for Bedard or Ichiro. The Young and Healthy is what they need not the old and the crippled

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quick notes that tidy up all those little transactions

Now that the Holidays are over free agents will be signing on the cheap hand over fist. The more time that goes buy the cheaper they will be. Here are a few quick points of interest that will clean up the recent Yankees doings.

Giambi signs with the A's- At 4.5 million with an option good deal for the A's he’s a great clubhouse guy and should add a little pop to the lineup.

Angel Berroa signs a minor league deal with the Yankees
. I like this move he has great speed and although primarily a short stop he has played at 2nd and 3rd base. Could be another option for a utility off the bench kind of guy.

John Rodriguez signs minor leauge deal with Yankees. (I don’t have any information on him other than him plays OF)

Carl Pavano signs with the Indians. Wow they must be desperate!!!

With the signing of big Tex Shelly Duncan was DFA'd. (Wouldn’t it be funny if he signed with the Red Sox, you know after the Red Sox suck autograph and all) The releasing of Shelly will certainly save the Yankees some broken arms down the road.

 Pettite looking like a no go Phil Coke has been told to report to Spring Training to compete for the number 5 spot. You can never have too many lefties and Phil is a great guy.

Jason Johnson signed to minor leauge deal.  Seems  Johnson is thought to be in the mix to compete for the number 5 rotation spot. The scouts must see something in him because his numbers are far from impressive. Looking at them closer I'm not sure how he has held a job in the majors as long as he has.

Whats on Second

      The long awaited second base comparison is finally here. For all of you who keep religiously checking the blog to see if it’s written yet your wait is all but over. Ok. Ok it’s not all that serious but I feel that the key to any of these teams seasons may come down to the performance they get from their second baseman.

  Dustin Pedroia is the reigning AL MVP and certainly the cream of the crop of second baseman. With only two years under his belt the Red Sox second baseman already has accomplished more than most do in an entire career. With Rookie of the year in 2007 and a MVP and gold glove in 2008 there is no reason to believe he is a fluke. Last year he showed speed as well with 20 stolen bases. He is above average in power for a 2nd baseman hitting 17 home runs and 83 RBI's. His Batting average was .326 and played in 157 games last season. Although the likelihood of having another season like this is slim, I expect him to remain one of the leagues finest young talents who the Red Sox have under their control for the next 6 years. Grade: A++

The Yankees Robinson Cano is coming off a sub-par season. Known for his slick fielding and timely hitting the 26 year old has, with the help of Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, Revamped his hitting stance and is expected to have a bounce back year. Still considered to be amongst the premier second baseman he has comparable power to Pedroia. (Probably a little more do to his size) He doesn't have Dustin's speed and has allot to prove after batting only .271 last season. This season look for an in shape Cano to bat around .300 with 20 HR. Grade B+

Akinori Iwamura moved from third to second in 2008 and although above replacement level shows little power and strikes out allot, and I mean allot. He had 627 AB and struck out 131 times. In comparison Pedroia had 653 Ab and struck out 53 times Cano was 597/65. Defensively Iwamura had a good season with only 7 errors and turned 109 double plays. I expect another year playing second base will further solidify him in the position. However offensively don’t expect anything special from a singles hitter who only has 13 HR spread over two seasons. Grade C+


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pettite is Greedy

According to MLB hot stove Andy Pettite has formally rejected a one year 10 million dollar offer given to him by the Yankees. Under advice from his agents he does not want to take such a big pay cut from the 16 million he has made over the last two seasons. Andy, wake up! You were 14-14 last year with a 4.54 ERA in 33 starts and were horrible after the all star break. Not to mention that you are 36 years old. If the Yankees were going to spend 16 Million on a pitcher per year than they would be smarter to go three years on Derek Lowe who is only 35 and had a 3.24 ERA last year and only made 10 Million.

  I feel that Pettite owes the Yankees a little something after him leaving and then letting him come back and standing by him when the whole world was calling him a druggie because he took steroids. This is just pure greed! I would think that with the rotation that the Yankees are putting forth he would kill to come back and have one last chance at another ring. 10 million dollars is more money than most of us will ever see in our life. Frankly I think the Yankees can do better.

Friday, January 2, 2009

MLB network is finally on

The long overdue MLB Network has finally aired and is being carried on most cable and satellite formats. Check your local listings. It's very cool and also available in HD

Who's on First

Continuing our series of position by position comparison we move on to First base.

The Yankees Newly acquired Mark Teixeria is a 28 year old switch hitter who has 2 gold gloves and 2 silver slugger awards to his credit. His lifetime batting average is .290 and has averaged 36 HR and 121 RBI'S over the past 5 seasons. His age + Fielding ability + Offensive ability give him a grade of A+

The Red Sox field Kevin Youkilis who is a 29 year old right handed batter who hits for power. His career average is .289 and is good for around 20HR and 90 RBI he won a gold glove in 2007 and the Hank Aaron award in 2008. If nothing else he is the biggest bargain in town being his 2008 salary was only $3 million .At 220 lbs he doesn’t run particularly well but shows great patience at the plate and plays with more passion than any other first baseman that comes to mind. Kevin also broke the record previously held by Steve Garvey for consecutive errorless games by a first baseman at 194, running the new record all the way up to 238. The Red Sox get an A 

Carlos Pena of the Rays is still a fairly unproven talent he’s the oldest of the group at 30 but has proven that when he gets to play a full season he can produce. In 2007 he hit .282 with 46 HR and 121 RBI's. He was still productive in 2008 as far as his slugging, hitting 31 HR and another 102 RBI's but his batting average dropped to more representative numbers of his career hitting at only .247. Prior to the last two seasons with the Rays you have to go back to 2004 with the Tigers when he hit 27 HR with 82 RBI to show a full season of play. Not to say these are bad numbers he certainly has power, however it seems that he strikes out allot and is prone to long slumps. The fact that he made $6million and Youkilis made $3million last year boggles my mind. Pena does bat left handed which is a plus. But do to the lack of consistency over the years and his average fielding + career .190 batting average against lefties, The Rays get a B-

In closing first base is not an issue for any of these teams right now Tex and Youk are both beasts  in the field and at the plate. The only thing that makes Mark an A+ and Kevin an A is  that Mark is a switch hitter, not as much of a hot head and has more power. Even though I am  fan of the Evil Empire I certainly respect what a Talent Kevin Youkilis is. Lets hope that the Red Sox start paying him his worth.

Next up Second Base. Be sure to come back its going to be a good one.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Al East Comparison

One of my readers brought to my attention that maybe I wasn't being completely objective when I wrote my "Yankees seal Red Sox doom" article. (Me bias?????) He said that I should compare their rosters side by side before stating that the Red Sox are finished. Ok, this seems fair. But in order to make it truly fair we must include the Rays in the comparison. (After all they did win the division last season) We will compare Position by Position then starting rotations and finish with bull pen and bench players. I will also give each player a grade and at the end we will try and sum it up with win loss predictions and perhaps an award candidate or two.

We will start with Catchers

Rays: Dioner Navarro

Dioner is still a young player, at age 24 Dioner has gotten better each of the last three seasons. Last year was his best hitting .295 with 7 HR and 54 RBI. He seems to be growing confidence behind the plate and works well with the Rays young pitching staff earning him an all-star game appearance. However he is no Carl Lewis on the base pads and with only 7 Hr hasn't shown to have allot of power. His arm is decent but not exceptional. Grade B

Red Sox: Jason Varitek (assuming they resign him)

Jason is not known as an offensive catcher but rather coveted for his leadership and defensive skills. He has slightly more pop in his bat than Navarro but in 2008 batted only .220 with 13HR and 43 RBI's . For his career he’s a .263 hitter averaging closer to 20 HR and 80 RBI. He is 36 years old and after a sub par season last year many wonder weather or not he is still the catcher he once was. But he is the team captain and an incredible clubhouse motivator. Varitek is probably the best defensive catcher or the three and a proven leader for this I give him a B+

Yankees: Jorge Posada

Posada is definitely the best of the three offensively. Although injured last year for the majority of the season he is a career .277 hitter and is usually good for 20+HR and 90-100 RBI. This is a rare for a catcher. Much like Navarro he is not very nimble around the base pads and of the three he has the weakest arm. In 2007 he showed improved defense but coming off an Injury he has allot to prove. Posada is also 37 years old and many wonder how many more years he will be able to catch if at all. Because of all the question marks lingering around Posada for 2009 I'm only giving him a grade of : B

Next up 1st base. Hmmmm wonder who will win that battle?

 For the record the reason that Toronto and Baltimore have been left out is that I feel that they are not going to be a factor in the Division Race. However at the beginning of last season I said the same about the Rays.