Category Archives: Spring Training

CC Officially Announces 2019 is it.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia officially announced Saturday what was known for a while (since he signed his 2019 contract)—that 2019 will be his last season. CC turns 39 in July.

Here are the highlights of his career so far:

246 wins. Needs 4 for 250, 10 to tie Andy Pettitte on the all-time list.
2986 strikeouts. Needs 14 for 3000.

Cleveland 2001-2008, Milwaukee 2008, Yankees 2009-2019. If a Hall of Famer, it may be difficult to distinguish between Cleveland and the Yankees for the cap for the Hall of Fame Plaque (much like Mussina couldn’t decide between Baltimore and the Yankees).

6X All-Star. 2009 ALCS MVP. Won 1 WS (2009 Yankees). 2nd in ROY in 2001. Twice led the majors in wins (2009 and 2010). 21 game winner in 2010.

Led league in starts 2x, CG once, shutouts once. IP once. 2007 CYA winner.

Got MVP consideration 5x, finishing 6th in 2008. In 2008 he led the majors in GS, CG and IP (didn’t lead league because he split time between the AL and NL). CYA consideration 5X.

15 or more wins in a season 8X.

162 game average 16-10, 3.70, ERA+ 117.

10-7, 4.31 in the postseason.

.212-3-15 as a hitter.

With the Yankees, he’s had three careers.

The first of staff ace, 2009-2012, when he averaged 18-7, 3.22 in those four years.

The second of struggling, aging pitcher who appeared finished. From 2013-2015, he went 23-27, 4.81. An average of 8-9, 4.81 per season. He missed most of 2014.

He kicked alcohol addiction and reinvented himself from 2016-2018 to be a serviceable backend-of-the-rotation pitcher, going 32-24, 3.76 over the past three seasons. If he can maintain that average and go 11-8, 3.76 in 2019 as the #5 starter, I think we’ll take it.

Hall-of-Fame? We’ll see. Some votes have me confused.

For example

CC 16-10, 3.70 162 game average. ERA+ 117. 10-7, 4.31 postseason. 1 CYA, 5x MVP consideration.
Black ink 22/40 (2nd # average HOF); Gray ink 174/185; HOF standards 113/100, HOF monitor 46/50. He is ranked 71st in JAWS for Starting pitcher, and his WAR numbers are about 80% of the average Hall-of Famer. WAR numbers:  62.7/39.4/51 (HOF are 73.4/50/61.7 average). With 10 wins he matches Pettitte’s 256.

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, averaged 17-10, 3.85, ERA+ 117. 19-11, 3.81 postseason. 5x WS Champ as opposed to CC’s once. Never won the CYA, finished 2nd once, considered for it 5x, same as CC. 3rd in ROY 1995. MVP consideration 2x (CC was 5). Pettitte won 20 games in a season twice (CC once). 8x 15 or more wins in a season (same as CC). But black ink 7/40; Gray ink 103/185 (both less than CC). HOF standards 128/100 (better); HOF monitor 44/50.   JAWS 90th. War numbers 60.2/34.1/47.2.

Andy is slightly below CC, but Andy only got 9.9% of the vote this year from the writers. The HGH usage hurt him. There is no HGH hints with CC, but if Andy got only 9.9% of the vote, how is CC THAT much better than Andy where CC gets the 75% or more to get in (he won’t be eligible until 2025).

This isn’t a knock on CC’s HOF credentials, but a puzzlement on Andy only getting 9.9%. Andy wasn’t a strikeout pitcher (didn’t get 2500 K, while CC is almost at 3000) but to me, there isn’t THAT much difference between the two ….

But then, you wonder …. CC at 246 wins … HOF or not? Andy 256 has a long way to go to get 75% of the writer’s vote. Mike Mussina with 270 wins finally got in on his sixth year on the ballot.

We’ll forget about Clemens and his 354 wins (Steroid allegations), but just note two others not in the Hall: Jim Kaat (283 wins) and Tommy John (288). In the cases of Kaat and John, maybe they hung on too long. Both pitched into their 40s and maybe that is what people remember the most—them hanging on possibly a bit too long. As for John, only two pitchers (Clemens with the steroid issue and Bobby Mathews, a pitcher from the 1870s and 1880s) have more wins but are not in the Hall. Only one more (Tony Mullane 1880s and 1890s) isn’t in the Hall before you get to Kaat.

Those pre-1900 pitchers are a far different breed and ballgame.

But still, I’m scratching my head over who is HOF material and who isn’t from those guys I listed.  It’s a fine line between them getting in or not.

 

 

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New Daddy Betances reports in a few days.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Dellin Betances and his wife became parents of a baby boy, Dellin, Jr. the other day, so Betances will be reporting to the Yankees spring training camp a little later than his pitching mates. Probably Monday, according to manager Aaron Boone.

 

Yanks sign Severino to 4 year, $40MM extension.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees avoided arbitration with Luis Severino by signing him to a 4 yr. $40MM extension.

It will be interesting to see who has a bounce-back year this year. The Yanks won 100 games last year despite Gardner hitting .236, Sanchez .186 and Bird .199. Imagine if they would have been their normal selves.

Speaking of Gardner, will he lead off this year or bat 9th? There is a case for Aaron Hicks leading off. The only problem is, on a team so righty-leaning, Hicks’ switch-hitting bat may be needed in the middle of the lineup.

But according to a recent article (I believe NY Post?) here are some interesting numbers from Hicks last year. .248-27-79, 11 SB, drew 90 walks.

In the three places where he had 100 or more plate appearances in 2018,

Batting first .276-11-21
3rd .222-6-19
6th .223-5-20.

Hmmm… interesting. And Hicks is more likely to lead off a game with a HR than Gardy.

We’ll see.

Pitchers and catchers report and guess who is hurt again?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So as pitchers and catchers report, guess what Yankee player will miss the first couple of weeks of spring training because he is hurt again (foot)?

If you said Jacoby Ellsbury, this decade’s version of Carl Pavano, advance to the head of the class.

Personally, I’d like to just cut Ellsbury, eat the two years and $47mm and move on with Gardner and Frazier platooning in LF.

Anyone surprised at this news?

Manager Aaron Boone all but appointed Luis Severino the Opening Day Starter (barring something unforeseen). No shock there.

CC will have a press conference Saturday. Apparently to confirm his retirement at the end of the season.

Bad news concerning top prospect Michael King, who rose from High A to AAA last year. He’ll be shut down for 3 weeks due to elbow soreness. You fear TJ surgery.

 

Posada to work for Marlins and Jeter. Yanks’ pitchers and catchers report today.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jorge Posada will be working for Derek Jeter and the Marlins. The former Yankees’ great will work as a special adviser to CEO Jeter. Just like with Jeter last year, it’ll feel funny to see a Yankees’ great working for another team.

Pitchers and catchers report today for the Yanks.

Pitchers and catchers to report this week. Minor news.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You can’t report what isn’t there to report. A lot of top free agents are still out there (Harper, Machado, Keuchel, Kimbrel, Gonzalez and more).

Former top Yankees prospect (traded to Oakland in the Gray deal) James Kaprelian still has problems. He hasn’t pitched since 2016 and now more shoulder problems have arisen.

At least pitchers and catchers report Wednesday for the Yanks. The start of spring training.

Now maybe, just maybe, some movement on the free agent front is forthcoming.

Ex-Yanks’ coach Down dies at 68.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

One-time Yanks’ hitting coach Rick Down passed away Saturday Jan. 5th at the age of 68.

Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson will once again visit and work out with the Yanks in spring training. It’s expected he’ll get an at bat in an exhibition game. It’s more a publicity thing than anything else.

The Phillies hired a former mentor of Manny Machado in an effort to lure the slugger to Philadelphia.

Rumors are that Machado wants Stanton-like money or more. If that is the case, good luck with that, because the Yanks won’t go there. If Machado really wants to come to NY, it’s going to be on the Yankees’ terms.

Update: The Yanks and Greg Bird agreed to a 1 yr., $1.2 MM deal. A raise from $582K, but you can’t really say he deserved it.