Category Archives: Mike’s Musings

It’s time for Pineda to earn his money.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Next Wednesday, January 18, Michael Pineda turns 28. He got an early birthday present when his salary got bumped up from $4.3 million last year  to $7.4 million this year.

You can say he didn’t earn it. In 2016, he was 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA. ERA+ 90. The year before, 12-10, 4.37. ERA+ 93. An average ERA+ is 100. So in the last two seasons, 18-22, 4.60, ERA+ 91. An average of 9-11 a year. Or….. Below average.

And…..that’s one hefty raise for only six wins and an ERA of almost five.

With the Yankees’ rotation being very shaky behind Tanaka (and Pineda being a big part of that), it’s time for Pineda to earn his money. If the Yankees are going to compete in 2017, Pineda must stop being an enigma and start to realize and show the talent he has.

With Pineda it doesn’t seem to be about the arm, but what’s between his ears. (The Pine-tar on the neck, for instance?).

He’s won 10  or more games in a season just once. He is 32-37, 3.99 in his career, ERA+ 101.

He’s a free agent after the 2017 season. It’s time for him to earn his keep. Not just for the 2017 Yankees, but for his own pocketbook for 2018 and beyond.

Will Posada be one and done on HOF ballot?

Sources indicate Posada to retire

Next Wednesday, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the Class of 2017. One person following published ballots states that it appears as if Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez (despite steroid allegations against Pudge) will get into the Hall (joining Bud Selig and John Schuerholz) and that Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero are close. Reports are that alleged steroid users Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are getting more votes than before.

Reports are also that Jorge Posada may be dropped off the ballot after just one year. You need 5% to stay on. With some still on the ballot that should have gotten in already (Bonds and Clemens due to the steroid allegations), and the fact that a voter can only vote for 10, this hurts the candidacy of those who are borderline Hall of Famers who maybe should get a second or third look. For example, this is Raines’ 10th and final year on the ballot. Personally, I think Raines should get in. He was one of the greatest leadoff men ever, although he was overshadowed in his time by Rickey Henderson. Raines hit .294 and stole 808 bases. He got on base and stole bases. He averaged 86 walks per 162 games. 2605 hits. What more should a leadoff man do?

I’m not saying Jorge is or isn’t a Hall of Famer. His bat was great for a catcher, .273 with 275 HR. His defense wasn’t as good (no Gold Glove Awards, for example). JAWS (on baseball-reference.com) lists him as the 16th best catcher in baseball history. I don’t know if Thurman Munson would have made the HOF had he not passed away in that tragic plane crash, but he’s ranked #12. One person much like Posada, a catcher with a good bat and who wasn’t known for his D, Ted Simmons, is ranked #10. Simmons isn’t in the Hall.

The point is, Jorge may drop off the ballot after one year, which seems sad. And it’s strange. The 1998 Yankees are probably the greatest team I’ve seen in my lifetime. From 1996-2001 the Yanks were in six WS, winning four and narrowly missing four straight and five out of six.

Yet how many HOFers would you get off that team (Torre is already in as the manager, and the veterans committee bypassed Steinbrenner as owner this past year)? You’d be amazed how many players dropped off the ballot early.

Here is a list of some of the best players on the Yanks from 1996-2006 or so:

Cone 194 wins, 3.46 ERA. 1 year on the ballot. 3.9% and off.
Wells 239 wins, 4.13 ERA. 1 year, .9% and off.
Pettitte not eligible yet. 256 wins, 3.85 ERA but HGH usage may hurt.
Rivera not eligible yet, a sure-fire HOF on the first ballot.
Mussina 270 wins, 3.68 ERA. 20.3%, 24.6% and last year 43% and picking up more steam this year. But it takes 75% to get in.
Clemens 354 wins, 3.12 ERA. Should have been in but for the PEDs. 37.6, 35.4, 37.5 and last year 45.2% Reports are he and Bonds may get over 60% this year.
Kenny Rogers. Yeah, stunk as a Yankee. But 219 wins, 4.27 ERA. .2% and off.
Kevin Brown (yeah, I know, but I am listing him and Rogers because both did have over 200 career wins) 211 wins, 3.28 ERA(!) 2.1% and off.
I won’t list El Duque. His time in Cuba hurts because he got to the USA too late.
Posada looks like 4% and off if the current trend continues.
Tino 339 HR. 1% and off.
Giambi not eligible yet.
Jeter not eligible yet, a sure-fire first ballot HOF.
A-Rod not eligible, we’ll have to see what with the PED usage.
Raines was a part-timer for a few years when he was a Yankee, see above.
Sheffield 509 HR. 11.7 and 11.6% We’ll see where he lands this year. 500 HR isn’t as automatic as it used to be.
O’Neill 2.2% and off.
Bernie Williams 9.6%, 3.3% and off.
Soriano not eligible yet.
Sierra 306 HR and not one vote.
Fielder 319 HR (same as his son Prince, listing him and Sierra only because they had more HR than say O’Neill and Bernie) .2%
Matsui and Damon go on the ballot next year.

Robbie Cano is still playing, obviously. JAWS has him ranked #12 on all-time second baseman. At 34, three more great years could get him in.

I’m not saying all deserved to stay on after one year, esp. in some cases like say Brown, Fielder, Rogers or Sierra for example.

But it’s a bit surprising, to me at least, to see how quickly Cone, Wells, Bernie, Tino, and O’Neill for example, got dropped off the ballot. …. and Jorge may join that list.

 

First to HR in MLB game on West Coast dies: Daryl Spencer

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Daryl Spencer, an infielder, and the first major leaguer to hit a MLB home run on the West Coast, has passed away at the age of 88.

After the move of the NY Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers to the west coast after the 1957 season, it was Spencer who hit the first HR out west when his now San Francisco Giants hosted the now Los Angeles Dodgers at Seals Stadium on April 15, 1958. The HR, off Don Drysdale, helped the Giants win the game 8-0.

Spencer played for the Giants, Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds from 1952-1963. He missed all of the 1954 and 1955 seasons due to military service, thus missing out on the 1954 NY Giants WS title year.

He hit .244 in his career, playing SS, 2B and 3B, and had 105 HR. His 162 g. average was .244-15-63, OPS+ 89.

Recent baseball passings.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

There hasn’t been much going on in Yankeeland recently, so no recent posts. I will touch on a couple of recent baseball passings.

Phil Gagliano, a utility infielder for the 1967 and 1968 Cardinals teams that were in back to back WS, winning in 1967, losing in 1968, passed away recently at the age of 74.

Chris Cannizzaro, a C who was on the original 1962 Mets team and later on the original 1969 Padres’ team, passed away at age 78.

Yanks send Goody to Indians

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a minor move, the Yankees sent Nick Goody to the Indians for a PTBNL or cash considerations.

Goody was DFA’d to make room on the 40 man roster when the Yanks re-signed Aroldis Chapman.

Goody, 25,  was 0-0, 4.66, 0 saves in 27 games with the Yanks in 2016. He was 0-0, 0 saves, 4.76 in 7 games with the Yanks in 2015.

This is one of several minor moves the Yanks have made this offseason to streamline their 40 man roster, such as releasing Dustin Ackley, who missed almost all of 2016 due to injury, releasing Nathan Eovaldi, who’ll miss all of 2017 following TJ surgery, and releasing Nick Rumbelow, who missed almost all of 2016 due to injury.

Rumors have the Yanks interested in Jose Quintana now that the White Sox are apparently in fire sale mode.

The Yanks once had Quintana. The soon-to-be 28 year old was in the Yankees’ system from 2008-2011. In 2011, he went 10-2, 2.91 at High A Tampa (30 games, 12 starts). He made the majors in 2012 and has gone 46-46, 3.41, ERA+ 118 since and in 2016 made the All-Star team. He was 13-12, 3.20 last season, finishing 10th in the CYA voting. With that ERA, you wonder what his record would be like on a better team.

The Yanks let him get away as a free agent after the 2011 season to make room for David Adams and Greg Golson on the roster. Ouch. Before even coming to the Yanks, Quintana was released by the Mets. Early in his career, he was suspended 50 games for violating drug policy.

So if the Yanks do get Quintana back, it’ll be to rectify a mistake they made five years ago. He is very affordable and will just be 28 in 2017. But it’ll cost. After acquiring a bunch of front-line prospects, do they really want to give up several now to get him?

HOF Rod Carew to get new heart, kidney

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Hall of Famer Rod Carew is facing his toughest battle. A little over a year since a heart attack almost cost him his life, Carew is getting a heart and kidney transplant.

Carew, 71, played for the Twins and Angels from 1967-1985, hitting .328 and accumulating over 3000 hits. While not a home run hitter (92 in his career), I did see him hit one off of Ed Figueroa in 1977. That was a shot, way into the upper deck at the old Yankee Stadium.

Carew won the MVP in 1977, hitting .388 with a career high 14 HR and 100 RBI. He won seven batting titles in his career, including one (1972) in a year in which he didn’t hit a home run.

He was an All-Star in every year he played except for the last one. A ROY, an MVP.

Godspeed to him. For now he faces his greatest challenge.

 

Yanks sign Tejada to minor league deal.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ruben Tejada had 66 at bats last year between the Cardinals and Giants. For all intensive purposes, the last time we really saw him in the major leagues, he was getting his leg broken on a hard slide by Chase Utley of the Dodgers in the 2015 playoffs while playing SS for the Mets.

The Yankees signed him to a minor league deal today. As far as how much range he may have lost at SS due to the broken leg, we’ll see. Derek Jeter was 38 when he broke his ankle in the 2012 ALCS, but at 38, had already lost range anyway so after a wasted year of 2013, we already knew his range would not be the best during his final season of 2014 when he turned 40.

I expect Tejada, even with a spring training invite, to not make the team in 2017 but to go to SWB as insurance in case something happens to Didi or Castro. His 162 g. average is .252-3-40, OPS+ of 83. Good glove, weak stick.

A move for depth, nothing more.

Tejada has played mostly SS, some 2B and a little 3B in his major league career.