Tagged: Angels

Source: Cuban LHP Chapman to the Reds

Chapman 1:10.pngJeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports has now confirmed (via Twitter) that the Reds have signed the Cuban lefty, Aroldis Chapman, to a five-year deal worth $30 million. The Angels and Blue Jays were long thought to be the front runners, with the Marlins and Red Sox also in the mix.

Chapman, 22, will join a highly talented and young staff that includes Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Aaron Harang.

Chapman burst onto the scene in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, when he struck out eight batters in six and a third innings pitched for the Cuban team, despite going 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. The lefty also went 11-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2008-2009, striking out 130 in 118 1/3 IP.

As many as 15 teams went to see Chapman pitch in Cuba earlier this offseason, one of which was the Yankees. Among many perks, teams were most impressed by his triple digit fastball.

From a Yankee perspective, you can just be happy he didn’t end up within the divison. The Yankees were never really serious about him anyway. You can also be happy he didn’t end up on the Angels, which were for a long time the front runners.

But, to every team and fan in Major League Baseball, I think we can all now be worried about this staff out of Cincinnati. If you ask me, there is no younger more talented group of pitchers. Props to the Reds officials for putting that together.

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Poll of the Day:
Is Chapman too much of an unknown for five-years, $30MM?(polls)

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The Buzz: 1/4/10

Here are some of the latest news stories from various sources:

  • ESPN.com reports that the Cardinals are getting closer to a deal with Matt Holliday. The deal could be a seven-year deal.
  • Wang’s agent told 1050 ESPN
    that he has heard from 15 teams who are interested in Wang. The Yankees
    were one of them, while the Mets were not. No other teams were
    mentioned.
  • The Red Sox have made an offer for third baseman, Adrian Beltre, according to ESPN.com. Other teams are also interest including the Angels, Athletics and Orioles.
  • Buster Olney tweets that the Athletics have pulled their offer off the table for Adrian Beltre.
  • According to SNY, Jason Bay has passed his physical and is officially a New York Met, to be announced tomorrow.
  • An AP source tells NBCSports.com that Bay’s deal with the Mets will have a $17M option for 2014.
  • Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues says that the Yankees should go after the A’s, Travis Buck, to play the outfield.
  • The NY Post reports that David Cone will not be returning to the YES Network. Tino Martinez is a possible replacement.
  • 7:40 p.m. SI.com has learned that the Red Sox are now close to a deal with Adrian Beltre. The deal is believed to be at least two-years with an opt-out option after this season.
  • 9:19 p.m. Peter Gammons says via Twitter that the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal worth $9M, with a player option for $5M. 9:31 p.m. FOXSports.com confirms.
  • 9:25 p.m. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets about a possible trade that would send Luis Castillo to the Red Sox, and Mike Lowell to the Mets. The deal would work out for the Red Sox with Beltre coming, and with Castillo gone, the Mets could go after Orlando Hudson.
  • 9:29 p.m. Chad Jennings of The Journal News reports that the Indians have signed Shelly Duncan.

The Top Three’s

Here are this weeks top three…

teams on the rise:

  1. Seattle Mariners
  2. Baltimore Orioles
  3. Philadelphia Phillies

teams on the decline:

  1. Anaheim Angels
  2. Toronto Blue Jays
  3. Boston Red Sox

free agent signings:

  1. John Lackey to the Red Sox
  2. Chone Figgins to the Mariners
  3. Hideki Matsui to the Angels (edit: thanks to Evan Coleman for the correction.)

trades:

  1. Curtis Granderson to the Yankees
  2. Cliff Lee to the Mariners
  3. Milton Bradley to the Mariners

available free agents:

  1. Matt Holliday
  2. Jason Bay
  3. Ben Sheets

If you have any questions or comments on any of the picks I made, leave a comment on this entry and I’ll reply to you.

To CC or not to CC?

Two proven pitchers… two good options.

CC 10:24.pngNobody questions the importance of game 6 — or any postseason game for that matter — nobody but Girardi. When your up 3-2 in the LCS, you better go all out to win. Game 7 will bring out every bad possibility, and will turn it into the ultimate failure. Game 7 is what to avoid. 

Girardi has Pettitte going for game 6. With the rainout on Saturday, the Yankees have a chance to start Sabathia on regular rest. Regardless, Girardi has Pettitte going for game 6. 
This brings us back to the original statement. The importance of game 6. Starting Pettitte in game 6 may be the safe route — you will have CC to fall back on should you lose — but by doing that, you are treating both games as if they have the same importance.
As I said before, you better want to stay away from game 7. You don’t want to be in a spot where one mistake ends your season. So, we come to the question, which pitcher gives you the best chance to win game 6, and avoid game 7.
The answer to that is CC. In the regular season, Pettitte had an ERA of almost 8 against the Angels. And CC, has not only proven himself to be the one in the postseason, but has beaten LA twice already. 
Then rises the question, What if CC doesn’t win? Then we are screwed for game 7? Well, if your not going to win game 6 with CC, your not going to win game 7 with CC. After all, would you rather have your best pitcher against Saunders in game 6 or Lackey — their best — in game 7.
It’s not hard to agree with Girardi here.
“We’re going to stick with Andy.” Girardi said.
It’s almost as simple as that. Again, after all, Pettitte is a darn good pitcher. There’s no reason you can’t win behind Pettitte. He is the most experienced, most accomplished and the best case for a so called “big game pitcher.” In reality, CC and Andy are both pretty damn good options. And having a chance to pitch them back to back in game 6 and 7 isn’t to bad of  a spot.
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Poll of the Day:
Who should start game 6 for the Yankees?(online surveys)

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ALCS Game 6 Preview

Angels Logo.gif2009 ALCS.gifYankees NY Logo.gif
Game 6 – LAA @ NYY
8:20 PM ET
NYY Leads 3-2

Angels probable pitcher:

Joe Saunders.jpg
Joe Saunders
#51 LHP
(16-7) 4.60 ERA 186.0 IP 101 SO 1.430 WHIP
Last Game: 10/17 @ NYY: ND, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, BB, 5 SO, HR, 105-57 Pit-Str
Postseason (Career): 2 GS (0-0) 4.63 ERA 7 SO 1.371 WHIP
Postseason (2009): 2 GS (0-0) 4.63 ERA 7 SO 1.371 WHIP
Run Support (Season): 6.55 Runs/Game
vs Yankees (Season): 2 GS (1-0) 4.72 ERA 6 SO 1.350 WHIP
Away (Season): 15 GS (8-4) 5.13 ERA 49 SO 1.597 WHIP
Opposing Hitters (Yankees):
Most PA: Nick Swisher (25)
Best BA: Alex Rodriguez (.500, 7 for 14)
Most H: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez (7)
Most HR: Alex Rodriguez (2)
Notable Stat: –3, < 2 outs: .436 BAA 27 RA
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Yankees probable pitcher:
Andy Pettitte.jpg
Andy Pettitte
#46 LHP
(14-8) 4.16 ERA 194.2 IP 148 SO 1.382 WHIP
Last Game: 10/19 @ LAA: ND, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, BB, 2 SO, 2 HR, 95-59 Pit-Str 
Postseason (Career): 37 GS (15-9) 3.90 ERA 148 SO 1.329 WHIP
Postseason (2009): 2 GS (1-0) 2.84 ERA 9 SO 0.947 WHIP
Run Support (Season): 5.52 Runs/Game
vs Angels (Season): 3 GS (0-2) 7.88 ERA 6 SO 1.813 WHIP
Home (Season): 16 GS (6-4) 4.59 ERA 74 SO 1.490 WHIP 
Opposing Hitters (Yankees):
Most PA: Torii Hunter (37)
Best BA: Mike Napoli (.556, 5 for 9)
Most H: Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Matthews (9)
Most HR: Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera (1)
Notable Stat: Night games: 3.54 ERA Day games: 5.73 ERA
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Keys to the Game:
  • First pitch: In the 2009 regular season, opposing batters hit .409 on the first pitch against Saunders. 
  • Wait it out: The third time a team faces Saunders in a game, they are hit a combined .302 in the regular season.
  • Think air: Saunders had a 1.32 GO/AO (Groundouts to Air outs) ratio in the 2009 regular season. The league average was 1.06 GO/AO. Saunders lives on the grounder, so think about keeping the ball off the ground. 
  • Swipe #2: Opposing teams are successful 82% (14 for 17) of the time when attempting to steal second base.   
Scouting Report:
  • The fastball: Saunders throws his fastball at an average speed of 90.5 MPH and throws it 63% of the time.
  • The curveball: Suanders throws his curveball 15.3% of the time at an average speed of 76.2 MPH.
  • The change: Saunders drops his change 17.9 % of the time at an average speed of 82.5 MPH.
  • The slider: The slider is Saunders least popular pitch. He throws it just 3.5% of the time at an average speed of 81.4 MPH.
Poll of the Day:
What will be the outcome of the ALCS?(answers)

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ALCS Game 4 Champs & Tramps

Yanks pound Angels, one away from the pennant.


A-Rod 10:20.png

With the Yankees 10-1 win on Tuesday night, the Yankees are just one win away from their first World Series appearance since 2003. Here are the champs of the game, and the tramps of the game.

Champs:

A-Rod
With yet another home run last night, A-Rod now has an RBI in every game this postseason. He has more home runs and RBI’s this postseason than he recorded in his four previous postseasons with the Yankees. His home run was his fifth of the postseason and the third of this series, both career bests. 

CC
Another “choker” in the postseason has come up big for the Yankees. Pitching on three games rest on Tuesday, CC went 8 innings giving up just 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Sabathia has an ERA under 1.4 this postseason and a WHIP of .750. Chances are we won’t see Sabathia again in this series.
Other Considerations: Melky Cabrera, Kendry Morales, Ervin Santana
Tramps:

Kazmir
After a great season against the Yankees, pitching to an ERA of 3.20 in 3 regular season starts, the young lefty struggled in his postseason debut in Anaheim. Kazmir went just 4 innings, giving up 6 hits and four walks while surrendering 4 runs. His control was just not there, and the results reflected that.
Umps
Just a couple of weeks after a horrible foul ball call in the ALDS, the umps didn’t have a much easier time tonight. Starting with a missed call on a pick off at second, the umps continued to miss relatively easy calls throughout the night. Swisher was called out on a sac-fly saying he left to early, when replays showed that not only did he not leave early, but the ump wasn’t looking anywhere near the play. Later on, an easy double play call was missed, where only one of the two out runners were called out. Ultimately, none of the calls lead to any runs, but MLB should certainly look into these umps.
LA’s ‘pen
Holding down this Yankee lineup when trying to bridge 5 innings is not an easy task, but this Angels pen had big trouble holding the score. Santana was the one bright spot out of that pen. The combination of Bulger and Palmer gave up 5 runs in just 1 2/3 innings. That was the defining factor of game 4.
Other Considerations: Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui
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A monumental mistake

Girardi’s decisions cost Yankees game 3.

Angels Walk Off 10:20.pngJust a few days after the heroic game 2 in New York on Saturday, the Angels and Yankees put on another show Monday afternoon. This time in Anaheim. The Yankees had the early lead, on the back of three solo home runs. After blowing a lead and coming back, the score was 4-4 as the two teams entered extra innings for the second game in a row. 

After David Robertson recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the 11th, Girardi decided to bring in Aceves. Aceves then surrendered a single then a RBI double to win the game for the Angels. 
After the game Girardi said that he “liked the matchup better,” with Kendrick and Mathis, the next two hitters.
Heres the problem. According to “The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball” batter-pitcher matchups mean nothing. Studies they did show that there is no predictive value to a so called “good matchup.” 
To show that, they used data from 1999-2001 to find the best batter vs pitcher matchup. That matchup was Luis Gonzalez vs Andy Ashby. In 1999-2001, Gonzalez had a wOBA (weighted on base average) of .798 against Ashby. The interesting thing is that in the next year, 2002, Gonzalez hit a much lower .300 against the same pitcher. That isn’t just a fluke, because the top 20 batter-pitcher matchups all had the same result.
What does all of this mean? It means that no matter what the matchups are, you can’t expect it to withstand in any given at bat. You should always expect a batter to hit at his norm, rather than his numbers against a certain pitcher.
In this case, Aceves had never faced Kendrick and Mathis was 0 for 2 in his career against Aceves. We don’t even need any data for that. That is not even close to enough information to even argue that the matchup is better, which we just established wouldn’t mean anything anyway.
Along with that mistake came two others. Gardner pinch ran for Matsui and was caught stealing on a pitch out. I had said right before that the Angels would pitch out on the first pitch. They did and Gardner was thrown out. If something is predictable, don’t do it. More recently in game four, Jeter was running on the first pitch and was picked off. Girardi has become to predictable.
All I am saying is that some 15 year old kid (that’s me) should not know more than the manager of the New York Yankees. If I were the manager, that game would not have ended in that inning, and who am I? It’s debatable how much influence a manager really has. But one thing is for certain: It takes a great manager to make a bad team win, and a really, really bad manager to make a good team lose. And Girardi is a really, really bad manager.
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