Rolling?

Posted by Baseball Bob at 10:31
Jun 102017

The Yankees got a solid start (GS 66) from rookie Jordan Montgomery, and lots of late offense, led by Aaron Hick’s sixth and seventh inning homers to bomb the Orioles 8-2. Since this game was 2-2 after 5 and 3-2 after six, it was a lot closer than the score. But one difference between this team and other recent Yankee teams is their ability to tack on runs. Last year NY led all of baseball in first-inning runs, but was below average from the sixth inning on. This year the opposite might be true (no data).

Fun fact one: this is the Yankees first 3-game stretch with at least 8 runs in each game for several years. The last time they accomplished the feat, they lost all three games!

Fun fact two: the Yankees are back to 12 games over .500, their season high. The last time was at 21-9 (they are now 35-23) so they went 14-14 over that stretch.

I thought I might take a moment and revisit the report cards that I used to produce. It has been years, so let me briefly state what they are meant to show, and how they are calculated: for offense, hitters are graded together based on runs each game. In 2017 run environment, 4 runs is considered a half a win, 5 or more a win. Individually, hitters are graded on OPS+ compared against an arbitrary scale, as follows: C 85 SS 90 2B 95 CF 100 3B 105 RF 110 LF 115 1B 120 DH 125. The actual grade has to do with how far above or below these lines a player is. For starters, I use Bill James’ game scores (available at espn and baseball-reference) and consider that a GS below 40 is a loss, 41 is .05 of a win, 42 .10 etc. By this scale 59 is .95 of a win, and 60 and above is a win. Thus each starter gets a W/L record. For relievers it is trickier, and I won’t bore you with the math, but each outing is rated as Effective, Ineffective, yikes or YIKES! These in turn are given the value of +1, -1, -2, and -3 respectively. The sum of these values is the player’s value – a positive number suggests value.

Too much information! But wait, there’s more: each record W/L or OPS+ by position or relief scored divided by appearances is then converted by an arcane formula into a grade from F to A+. Too much work to do by hand, but I used to have a spreadsheet to do it. But the spreadsheet depended on B-R and buying a subscription, and when they changed their stat format so I would have to redo the formulas, I dropped it. Whew! Good thing no one much really reads this stuff.

Anyway, here goes (for the Yankees, naturally):

Team offense: (Source)

Games scoring 3 or fewer runs: 22

Games scoring 4: 7

Games scoring 5 or more runs: 29

Offense deserves a record of 32.5 – 25.5 .560 Grade B+

Numbers are OPS+

C Sanchez  118 A+++

Romine    55  F

1B Carter    75  F

Bird       23  F—

2B  Castro  126 A+++

SS  Gregorius  115  A++

3B  Headley      75  F

LF  Gardner    127  B

CF  Ellsbury    105  B-

RF  Judge        185  A+++ (many as you want 145 is A+++)

OF  Hicks        186  A+++ (better than Judge! And a more valuable fielder, too)

DH Holliday   134  B-

IF   Torreyes     75  D  (rated as a SS)

Comment: this SEEMS like an A+ offense. But the fact that they score a LOT of runs in their wins is a slight detriment – if they took a few runs from those 9 and 10 run outbursts and put them into making the 3s into 4s and the 4s into 5s they would rate better. Also, if you look at the individual grades you see some real holes: 3B, 1B in particular, and they are not bad, they are BAD. So B+ seems right.

Rotation:

The Yankees are one of only 2 MLB teams to use exactly 5 starters this year, and that will change tomorrow, it was announced. But for now:

Tanaka 12 GS, deserves 4.55-7.45 .379 F

Pineda 12 GS, deserves 8.5-3.5 .708 A+++

Sabathia 12 GS, deserves 7.2-4.8 .600 A

Severino 11 GS, deserves 8.05-2.95 .732 A+++

Montgomery 11 GS, deserves 6.35-4.65 A-

TEAM 34.65-23.35 .597 A

Bullpen (listed by IP) – numbers are rating/games/grade

Warren          6  22  B+

Holder           3  26  C

Clippard        9  27  A

Betances      19  21  A+++ (off the charts 8 of 21 is A+, 19 is impossible)

Green             5    7  A+++

Shreve            9  11  A+++

Chapman       6  14  A++

Mitchell        -1  11  F

Layne            -2  18 F

Gallegos         0   6  D-

Cessa             -1    1  F

TEAM           53  164  A

Overall record 35-23 .603 A – that’s what you get when you have a B+ offense, an A rotation and an A bullpen. And (scarily) room for improvement: 1B has to be better, and at some point if Headley doesn’t improve we’ll see Torres at third. Room to falter, of course, as well: Sabathia could return to 2013-15 form, Montgomery could fall back to expectations, people could get hurt, etc. But the report card suggests that the record is no fluke – and it was compiled with Sanchez and Gregorius both out for a month.

Lots of work, but worth it if anyone cares. Does anyone have a team they would like a report card for?

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