A look at the stats now that the season is over. Part 1. General and Offense.
Part 2 will focus on the pitching.
Wins: 84. One less than last year. At 84-78, it is the worst record for the Yanks since 1992. Second straight year with no postseason and second straight year where their Pythagorean record (what the record should have been based on runs allowed vs. runs scored) was under .500. According to this formula, the Yanks should have gone 77-85 this year. They should have been 79-83 in 2013 when they won 85. So whether it’s luck or Girardi, they actually won six and seven more games in the last two years than they probably should have. Considering how mediocre they are, that’s probably not real good, esp. if the coin flips over and the luck runs out.
Offensive stats (and they are offensive): Brian McCann led the team with 23 HR and 75 RBI but only hit .232. No 30 HR guy. No guy with over 75 RBI. As for batting average, the highest by any player who could have qualified for a batting title was Ellsbury at .271 (Ichiro at .284 didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title).
The team hit .245 (11th in AL). They were 13th in runs scored, hits and doubles. Next to last in on base pct.
The middle of the lineup: McCann .232; Teixeira .216; Beltran .233. Throw in Soriano, who was released after 67 games, not quite half the year, at .221. Soriano had 6 walks and 71 strikeouts. Ugly. As for next year? Teix turns 35. Beltran will be 38. Oh yeah, A-rod comes back. He’ll be 40 next July, missed all of 2014 and only played in 44 games in 2013. It could get uglier.
Teixeira as Yankee: 2009: .292; 2010: .256; 2011: .248; 2012: .251 (but missed about 35 games); 2013: .151 (played in only 15 games). 2014: .216 (missed about 35 games). See a trend here?
Cervelli actually hit .301 as a backup C.
Unfortunately, of the positions Prado plays, he hasn’t played much SS. Just 16 MLB games. Mostly LF, 2B and 3B. Yes, the Yanks have Rob Refsnyder at SWB (and Jose Pirela did nice in the one week he was up, but Pirela is a minor league free agent and could leave). You wonder if Prado will be at 2B and if they’ll give Refsnyder more time at 2B at SWB to start 2015. There are a couple of ways to go here. Prado at 2B, re-sign Headley (Headley could platoon with A-Rod and Teix at 1B/3B giving each rest). Or if Headley leaves, maybe Refsnyder (24 next year, .318-14-63 in 2014 between AA/AAA) can play 2B with Prado at 3B. Anyway, the Yanks should get a legitimate 1B backup for Teixeira. One option: Have A-Rod play some 1B in spring training as well as 3B.
Headley (.262-6-17 in 58 games, OPS+ 118) and Prado (.316-7-16, OPS+ 143 in 37 games) were excellent pickups.
As for SS in 2015. Who knows. Jeter retired with 3465 hits, a .310 batting average, 200 postseason hits, 260 HR, 20 postseason HR, but his 2014 wasn’t Jeteresque. .256-4-50, OPS+ 75. Those are numbers Bucky Dent might put up in the late 1970s. A trade for Tulowitzski? What would you have to give up? He’s 30 and injury-prone. He missed 110 games in 2012, 30 in 2013 and about 60 this year. Great player, but it means nothing if you aren’t on the field. Since becoming full time in 2007, Tulo has played in 130 or more games in a season just 3x in 8 years. Free agent signing of Hanley Ramirez? 31 and scouts think he’s more of a 3B right now than SS. Had issues in Florida. Great player who missed 60 games in 2011, 70 games last year and about 30 this year. Like Tulo, great player with injury issues. J.J. Hardy is available as a free agent. 32. Not as good as the other two, but more dependable and less injury prone. Maybe a better fit would be a trade for 24 yr. old Starlin Castro of the Cubs, now that the Cubs have traded for a SS prospect in the Samardzija/Hammel deals. Given that the Yanks need to get younger, maybe trading for Castro is the way to go.
They need to add a righty-power bat in the OF. They thought they had that with Soriano. Ellsbury (.271-16-70, 39 SB, OPS+ 110) and Gardner (.256-17-58, 21 SB, OPS+ 110) were ok. Gardner, in fact, was the Yankees’ best player, according to WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Ichiro gave them a good defensive OF, but Ichiro gave three lefty hitters and no power. Only 16 of Ichiro’s 102 hits (.284) were for extra bases and at 41, he won’t be back. He did steal 15 bases but drove in 22 runs. You can’t have an OF where one guy (Gardner) doubles his HR high with 17 and another regular OF hit just one HR (Ichiro).
As for DH, someone wrote a good article on it earlier this year. The Yanks are using the spot to rest tired people or play injured people there. They will probably do so next year too, what with A-Rod, Teix and Beltran. It isn’t working. The Yanks’ DH numbers are among the worst in the league b/c their DHs are playing tired or hurt. Think back to when the Yanks had a healthy full-time DH, be it Chili Davis or as recent as 2009, Matsui. Just look at Boston with Ortiz.
Ok, I got to get to work. Part 2—the pitching, later.