Tag Archives: A.J. Burnett

Season Preview: AL East


With Spring Training well under way and the first games starting very soon, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made.

Last Year’s Records
Tampa Bay – 96-66
New York – 95-67
Boston – 89-73
Toronto – 85-77
Baltimore – 66-96

Notable Additions

Baltimore – Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds, Vladimir Guerrero, J.J. Hardy, Justin Duchscherer

Boston – Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler

New York – Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez

Tampa Bay – Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Felipe Lopez, Sam Fuld, Chris Archer

Toronto – Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Juan Rivera, Scott Podsednik, Brett Lawrie, Rajai Davis

Notable Losses

Baltimore – Kevin Millwood, Julio Lugo, Ty Wigginton, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio

Boston – Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Bill Hall

New York – Javier Vazquez, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood

Tampa Bay – Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Carlos Pena, Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit

Toronto – Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum, John Buck, Miguel Olivo, Scott Downs

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Season Previews in Review: American League East


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I’ll be going a division at a time, starting with the American League East.

Baltimore Orioles

Predicted Record: 70-92            Actual Record: 66-96

It was a tale of two seasons for the Orioles, as they spent the first half of the season clearly as the worst team in all of baseball. Nothing seemed to go right for the team, and it ended up costing manager Dave Trembley his job before too long. This left interim skipper Juan Samuel to try and right the ship, while the Orioles also continued to look for his (and Trembley’s) replacement. By the August 31st trade deadline, the team had managed to ship just one of its movable pieces for prospects with Miguel Tejada being traded to the Padres. But they had also hired Buck Showalter to manage the team, and the team has already seen a drastic improvement. This record would have actually been much further off if not for the late-season turnaround.

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Trade Retrospective: Marlins Firesale Edition Part 3


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, Part 2 here, and this part covers the trades made through the start of the season.

The Trades

February 6, 1998 – The Marlins acquire Robert Stratton, A.J. Burnett, and Jesus Sanchez from the Mets for P Al Leiter and 2B Ralph Millard.

The Moving Pieces

In New York, Al Leiter was slotted into the starting rotation, and Ralph Milliard was slotted in as the starting 2B for their AAA team.

In Florida, A.J. Burnett was sent to the Midwest League to work in the starting rotation. Jesus Sanchez was slotted into the starting rotation for the Major League team.

What Happened Next

In New York, Al Leiter went 17-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 193 innings pitched for the Mets. Ralph Milliard received a late-season call up for the Mets, and appeared in 10 games but only got 1 at bat in 1998.

In Florida, Burnett went 10-4 with a 1.97 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. Sanchez went 7-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 173 innings for the Marlins.

The Net Moves

NY Mets – First Level

  • Al Leiter spent 7 seasons in Flushing, posting a 95-67 record with a 3.42 ERA. He threw 1360 innings total, striking out 1106 batters and helping lead the Mets to two playoff appearances in his time there. He left via free agency after the 2004 season.
  • Ralph Milliard only played in 1998 in the Majors for the Mets, and was out of the organization in 1999.

Florida – First Level

  • Jesus Sanchez spent 4 seasons in Florida, mostly in the starting rotation. He posted a 23-34 record with a 5.06 ERA and 368 strikeouts in 494 innings pitched. He was traded on December 11, 2001 to the Cubs for Nate Teut.
  • A.J. Burnett spent 7 seasons in Florida entirely in the starting rotation. He posted a 49-50 record with a 3.73 ERA and 753 strikeouts in 853 2/3 innings pitched. He left via free agency on October 27, 2005, and signed with the Blue Jays. The Marlins received 2 compensation draft picks for this, which they used to draft Chris Coghlan and Torre Langley.
  • I honestly can’t find any information about Robert Stratton, as the Baseball Reference page links to a player who played in the early 1970s.

Florida – Second Level

  • Nate Teut only made 2 major league appearances with the Marlins (or any team for that matter). He was released by the Marlins on 4/15/03.
  • Torre Langley is currently in the minor leagues with the Phillies, after spending the previous 3 seasons in the Marlins minor league system.
  • Chris Coghlan has appeared in 219 games so far for the Marlins, hitting. 299/.367/.428 with 14 homeruns, 75 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases. He also won the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year award.

Overall Reactions

The clear piece of most value to the Marlins was A.J. Burnett, which is still a lot more of a return than the players that they got in return for a lot of their other stars. Leiter became one of the more famous players for the Mets, and ended up being known for representing the Mets. Burnett gave them 7 seasons with a lot of inconsistency, but a lot of upside as well, and the draft picks he netted the team when he left definitely helped to bring in current talent in Chris Coghlan. This is one of the few trades that went well for the Marlins overall.

The last post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the trades made through the 1998 season and part of the 1998-1999 off season.

Original Draft Series: #26 – New York Mets


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #26: New York Mets

General Managers(since 1994)

Joe McIlvaine (1994-1997): 283-298
Steve Phillips (1998-2003): 502-469
Jim Duquette (2004): 71-91
Omar Minaya (2005-Current): 427-383

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
0 1 3 1 6 4 3 2

The Mets have actually had some pretty solid years over the past 16 seasons. With a trip to the World Series in 2000,  and 3 playoff appearances overall, the Mets have done well with what they’ve had. The key being that as time has progressed since 1994, they have continued to spend money in addition to developing players, sometimes one to the detriment of the other. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Josh Thole 2005 – 13th Rd 5 17 gm, .321/.356/.396, 9 RBI, SB, 2 R Currently with Org.
1B Ike Davis 2008 – 1st Rd (18) 2 51 gm, .258/.346/.451, 8 HR, 22 RBI, SB, 31 R Currently with Org.
2B Ty Wigginton 1998 – 17th Rd 6 288 gm, .270/.327/.440, 29 HR, 131 RBI, 20 SB, 137 R Traded to PIT – 7/30/04
3B David Wright 2001 – 1st Rd (38) 9 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers
910 gm, .308/.388/.519, 152 HR, 611 RBI, 130 SB, 585 R
Currently with Org.
SS Jose Reyes Int’l FA – 1999 11 2 All Star Appearances, 1 Silver Slugger
851 gm, .284/.336/.430, 66 HR, 348 RBI, 318 SB, 587 R
Currently with Org.
LF Angel Pagan 1999 – 4th Rd 7+2 181 gm, .293/.345/.446, 10 HR, 71 RBI, 31 SB, 102 R Purchased by CHC – 1/25/06
CF Carlos Gomez Int’l FA – 2002 5 58 gm, .232/.288/.304, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 12 SB, 29 R Traded to MIN – 2/2/08
RF Nelson Cruz Intl FA – 1998 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to OAK – 8/30/00
SP Scott Kazmir 2002 – 1st Rd (15) 2 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to TAM – 7/30/04
SP A.J. Burnett 1995 – 8th Rd 3 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to FLA – 2/6/98
SP Mike Pelfrey 2005 – 1st Rd (9) 5 37-33, 4.25 ERA, 334 K, 212 BB, 565.2 IP, 1.448 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Brian Bannister 2003 – 7th Rd 3 2-1, 4.26 ERA, 19 K, 22 BB, 38 IP, 1.474 WHIP Traded to KC – 12/6/06
SP Jonathon Niese 2005 – 7th Rd 5 5-4, 4.27 ERA, 74 K, 36 BB, 97 IP, 1.505 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Hisanori Takahashi Int’l FA – 2010 1 5-2, 3.48 ERA, 52 K, 20 BB, 54.1 IP, 1.325 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jenrry Mejia Int’l FA – 2007 3 0-2, 3.04 ERA, 16 K, 13 BB, 26.2 IP, 1.575 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Octavio Dotel Int’l FA – 1993 6 8-3, 5.38 ERA, 85 K, 49 BB, 85.1 IP, 1.383 WHIP Traded to HOU – 12/23/99
RP Aaron Heilman 2001 – 1st Rd (18) 7 22-33, 4.24 ERA, 395 K, 185 BB, 450.1 IP, 1.328 WHIP Traded to SEA – 12/11/08
RP Matt Lindstrom 2002 – 10th Rd 8 No Major League Appearances with Organization Traded to FLA – 11/20/06
CL Heath Bell Amateur FA – 1998 8 1-5, 4.92 ERA, 105 K, 30 BB, 108 IP, 1.472 WHIP Traded to SD – 11/15/06
BN Kaz Matsui (2B) Int’l FA – 2003 3 239 gm, .256/.308/.363, 11 HR, 75 RBI, 22 SB, 106 R Traded to COL – 6/9/06
BN Daniel Murphy (1B) 2006 – 13th Rd 4 204 gm, .275/.331/.437, 14 HR, 80 RBI, 4 SB, 84 R Currently with Org.
BN Lastings Milledge (OF) 2003 – 1st Rd (12) 4 115 gm, .257/.326/.414, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 4 SB, 41 R Traded to WAS – 11/30/07
BN Jesus Flores (C) Int’l FA – 2002 4 No Major League Appearances with Organization Rule 5 Draftee – WAS – 12/7/06
BN Guillermo Mota (RP) Int’l FA – 1990 6 + 2 5-2, 4.66 ERA, 66 K, 23 BB, 77.1 IP, 1.241 WHIP Rule 5 Draftee – MON – 12/9/06
BN Ryota Igarashi (RP) Int’l FA – 2009 1 0-1, 10.03 ERA, 4 K, 9 BB, 11.2 IP, 1.971 WHIP Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

Looking at their drafting results, they have had only 20 first round picks in the last 15 drafts (not including 2010). With success comes a lack of top-10 picks, as they have had only 4 picks in those drafts. They have actually done reasonably well in the 1st round, 14 of the 20 making it for at least 1 game to the Majors. Clearly, the biggest success to this point has been 3B David Wright, who has posted a 27.2 career WAR already, despite being only 27 years old. Unfortunately, they haven’t always known what to do with their first rounders, as the player with the second highest Career WAR to this point is the notorious Scott Kazmir, traded away in 2004 for the player equivalent of 5 baseballs and some pine tar.

International Free Agency

The Mets have been extremely active in the International markets, with both professional free agents (Matsui, Takahashi) and amateur free agents (Reyes, Dotel) having success. There have been a few however, who are either too new still (Igarashi, Mejia), or never really did much for the team itself (Flores, Cruz). Overall, there is definitely an effort being made organization wide to try to ensure that they are tapping every talent pool possible.

Overall Grade

I am leaning towards C- here. While there have been some stunning success stories (Wright, Reyes), there have also been players who essentially brought nothing to the table for the Mets (Kazmir, Flores, Cruz). And while at least a few of these players who did not play for the team brought back useful players (Burnett was used to acquire Al Leiter), the fact that so many of these players were not in a Mets uniform when they had success leads me to rank them down this low. As you will probably see in the next few teams, these teams are all kind of bunched together, and if you had one ahead of another, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree.

Fantasy Preview – Starting Pitchers Part 2


Last Sunday, I ranked my top 25 starting pitchers, and will finish up my rankings of the next 50 today. Not as many stats this time, but still some notes regarding the pitchers.

26. Cole Hamels (PHI) – I wrote about Hamels over at Fake Teams, and think that he’s going to rebound quite nicely this season. I think he can post around 200 strikeouts along with a 3.50 ERA and a sub 1.25 WHIP. I think that he also could be the victim of some sleeper hype as a result of the poor season last year.

27. Chad Billingsley (LAD) – Billingsley should recover nicely from the perceived poor season he had. His ERA should rebound, and his WHIP and strikeouts were both solid last year. Pitching half your starts at Dodgers Stadium will always help also.

28. Brett Anderson (OAK) – Anderson has been getting a lot of hype this offseason, and with reason. From July onward: 98 strikeouts, 1.11 WHIP, 3.02 ERA in 101 IP. While I think that he could see some downturn due to the jump in innings from last season, I think he could very well post those types of numbers for a full season.

29. Jered Weaver (LAA) – Weaver will be asked to lead the Angels pitching staff now, and should be able to fill that role pretty well. He has posted a strikeout rate over 7 per 9 in each of the last 2 seasons, and could approach 200 strikeouts again this season.

30. John Lackey (BOS) – Lackey goes to a new ballpark, with a new team. I’m not sure that either of those facts are particularly relevant to his ability to pitch effectively as a fantasy starter. He seems likely to post similar numbers whether he remained in Anaheim or not. He should post an ERA around 3.75 with a strikeout rate around 7.5 per 9 innings. If he gets to 200 innings I could see 160+ strikeouts potentially.

31. A.J. Burnett (NYY) – Burnett is going to strike out a lot of batters, as he’s been right around 200 in each of the last 3 seasons. However, his walk rate actually increased last season, getting up to 4.22 per 9 innings. He’s likely to get more win opportunities than a pitcher on another team due to the excellent Yankees lineup. However, I think he’s just as likely to post an ERA of 4.50 or higher as he is to post one under 4.00. Caveat emptor on this one.

32. Ryan Dempster (CHC) – Dempster posted a second straight solid season in the rotation, and posted another 200 inning season as well. To me, Dempster is a solid starting pitcher, and very consistent as well. He’s going to strikeout at least 160, and should post a WHIP around 1.30. Not the flashiest pitcher you could get, nor does he possess any particular upside, but you need pitchers like this too.

33. Randy Wolf (MIL) – Wolf appears to have been really helped by Dodger Stadium, but I’m not inclined to believe it was that much. His ERA was almost a half run lower than his FIP, but the rest of his numbers could be a solid value for your fantasy team. I can see him posting a 1.25 WHIP and a sub-4 ERA to go along with 160 strikeouts. A very solid #3 starter.

34. Jorge de la Rosa (COL) – The strikeouts are wonderful. He’s likely to strikeout more than a batter per inning. The walk rate, not so much. I think that he could conceivably improve on the walk rate, but the ERA and WHIP are probably going to suffer slightly even still. I had originally thought he could be a top-30 pitcher, but unless he can show that he can lower that walk rate, he’s going to remain lower in the rankings.

35. Scott Baker (MIN) – Baker had a better season than his ERA tells us. His ERA seems like it should come around, based on his sub 1.20 WHIPs in each of the last 2 seasons. Strikes out a little more than 7 per 9 innings, and there’s a lot to like here from Baker. I think this could be the year that he vaults into the top 20 of starting pitching.

36. James Shields (TAM) – I think Shields could see some improvement in his ERA from last season. He should strike out over 150 and post a solid WHIP in over 200 innings pitched. Probably the definition of a lower-risk, lower-upside pitcher. He’s not likely to strikeout 200 hitters, but if he can do repeat hist 2009 season, he will be a solid #2 or #3 starting pitcher.

37. Roy Oswalt (HOU) – Oswalt used to be considered a top-tier starting pitcher. He looks like he may have been a little bit unlucky last season, but his strikeout rate is down which concerns me. The fact that he pitches for the Astros and their anemic offense does nothing to make me feel better. I think that if he returns to 200 IP, he can strikeout about 150-170 or so, with a sub-4 ERA and a sub 1.30 WHIP

38. Scott Kazmir (LAA) – Kazmir should post a high strikeout rate, but his WHIP is still a concern. I think he’s probably going to be above 1.30 in that category, and could very well end up causing him to have an ERA above 4. There’s a lot of upside here, but I think this is about where I’d be willing to draft him.

39. Rich Harden (TEX) – There’s a lot of upside here. A LOT. He struck out almost 11 per 9 innings last year when he was healthy. But this “health” thing remains Harden’s issue. I don’t think that the move to Arlington will affect him particularly. Look for another season of 140 or so excellent innings, and anything else from him would be a bonus in my opinion.

40. Gavin Floyd (CHW) – Floyd only posted 11 wins last season, but I think he can improve on that this season.  Of some concern to me is the fact that his strikeout rate jumped last season by a full strikeout per 9 innings. He’s likely to provide a 1.25 WHIP, and I can see him adding 150 strikeouts and an ERA around 4.00 to that WHIP.

41. Edwin Jackson (ARI) – Pitcher moving from the AL to the NL: generally a good thing. Jackson really put together a great season last year, his first truly solid season from start to finish. I think that he should be helped a lot by being around Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, along with pitching in the pitcher friendly NL West.

42. Jair Jurrjens (ATL) – Jurrjens is a pitcher who appears to have posted a very lucky ERA (2.60), but even looking at his FIP for last season (3.68), he still posted a very solid season if that had been his ERA instead. He’s going to give you a lot of innings, and a solid strikeout number as well.

43. Clay Buchholz (BOS) – Buchholz will hopefully get a full season of starts this year, as he could conceivably post a sub-4 ERA with 175+ strikeouts and a solid WHIP as well. You’ll have to watch how this shakes out during the spring, but there’s a lot of upside with Clay.

44. Carlos Zambrano (CHC) – Big Z is a tease. He struck out 152 in 169 innings last season. And walked 78 in that same workload. Take the strikeouts knowing that he’s probably going to hurt your WHIP.  He should improve slightly on his WHIP from last year, but should still be around 1.30. There’s some upside here, but I probably won’t be the one that will be taking the chance.

45. Joe Blanton (PHI) – The numbers aren’t sexy. The fact that he gets them are also not. But he’s going to give you a lot of innings, and solid ratios and strikeouts for those innings. Another one of those solid starters that your team will need to back up some of your upside plays.

46. J.A. Happ (PHI) – There’s been a lot of talk that Happ was extremely lucky last season, and his strikeout and walk rates both point to that as well. I think that he can be a very solid starting pitcher though, and there’s some upside here to me. He should post a sub-4 ERA and a sub 1.30 WHIP, along with a solid if not amazing strikeout rate.

47. Max Scherzer (DET) – I think that Scherzer isn’t going to be affected too adversely by his move to the American League, as he was a dominant strikeout pitcher last season. That said, the missed time is of some concern, and the fact that the D’Backs were willing to give him up so easily also worries me. But there’s a lot of upside with him as well.

48. Tim Hudson (ATL) – Hudson came back at the end of last season, and had 7 solid starts. I think that if he can get to 200 innings pitched, he will strikeout 140 and post solid ratios as well. But there’s that injury risk still floating over Hudson, and that’s why he’s not likely to be higher on my rankings.

49. Ben Sheets (OAK) – Coming back from a lost season, Sheets is definitely high-risk. But the upside involved with Sheets is a top-10 starting pitcher. If he pitches well and the A’s fall out of the race, he will most likely be moved to a contending team as well.

50. Wade Davis (TAM) -  Davis struck out more than a batter per inning last year in his brief time with the Rays, and I am very interested to see how he will do in a full season at the Majors. The AL East is probably going to eat a lot of starters up and spit them out, but I think that Davis is one who will hold his own.

At this point, you’re looking for either high-upside or pitchers who are extremely consistent. I have a lot of these pitchers right around the same value as each other, so the specific rankings aren’t necessarily as important. At this point you should be taking a look at what your starters are currently providing, and draft accordingly. My next 25 starters:

51. Jonathan Sanchez (SF)
52. Ted Lilly (CHC)
53. John Danks (CHW)
54. Erik Bedard (SEA)
55. Colby Lewis (TEX)
56. Brian Matusz (BAL)
57. Randy Wells (CHC)
58. Mat Latos (SD)
59. Jeff Niemann (TAM)
60. David Price (TAM)
61. Ervin Santana (LAA)
62. Scott Feldman (TEX)
63. Mark Buehrle (CHW)
64. John Maine (NYM)
65. Bronson Arroyo (CIN)
66. Rick Porcello (DET)
67. Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
68. Aaron Harang (CIN)
69. Kevin Slowey (MIN)
70. Derek Lowe (ATL)
71. Clayton Richard (SD)
72. Joba Chamberlain (NYY)
73. Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS)
74. Ricky Romero (TOR)
75. Johnny Cueto (CIN)

Tomorrow’s post: Fantasy Relief Pitcher Rankings

Team Preview – New York Yankees


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Jorge Posada SP 1 C.C. Sabathia
1B Mark Teixeira SP 2 A.J. Burnett
2B Robinson Cano SP 3 Andy Pettitte
3B Alex Rodriguez SP 4 Javier Vazquez
SS Derek Jeter SP 5 Chad Gaudin
LF Brett Gardner Bullpen
CF Curtis Granderson CL Mariano Rivera
RF Nick Swisher RP Phil Hughes
DH Nick Johnson RP Joba Chamberlain
Bench RP Alfredo Aceves
OF Randy Winn RP Damaso Marte
C Fernando Cervelli RP Boone Logan

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Javy Vasquez Trade (ATL) SP Chien-Ming Wang Non-Tender
CF Curtis Granderson Trade (DET) OF Melky Cabrera Trade (ATL)
1B Nick Johnson Free Agency DH Hideki Matsui Free Agency
RP Boone Logan Trade (ATL) LF Johnny Damon Free Agency

Top Prospects: Jesus Montero (C/DH), Austin Romine (C), Manny Banuelos (P), Slade Heathcott (OF)

2009 Review

The Yankees came into the season not knowing exactly how their year would go. Alex Rodriguez would miss the first month of the season recuperating from an injury, and it was unclear how new Yankees Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, and A.J. Burnett would perform. The Yankees had outspent the entire rest of the league in the offseason, and expectations were that they would win a World Series. After a semi-slow start (12-10 in April), the Yankees went completely nuts and never really looked back. They finished the season with a 103-59 record, winning the AL East by 8 games.

The Yankees were lead by the Captain, SS Derek Jeter, who had one of the best seasons of his career (.334, 18 HR, 30 SB), and 1B Mark Teixeira (.292, 39 HR, 122 RBI). Sabathia (19-8, 3.37 ERA) led the rotation which saw a lot of movement during the season behind Burnett and Pettitte.

The Yankees performed well in the postseason, sweeping the Twins before defeating the Angels 4-2 in the ALCS. While the World Series against the Phillies took 6 games to win, the Yankees did win it pretty handily, with Cliff Lee winning the only two games for the Phillies.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Yankees may have actually improved themselves this offseason, which considering that they won the World Series, is saying something. They’ve brought more stability to their rotation, adding Javy Vasquez, and replaced the production of LF Johnny Damon by acquiring CF Curtis Granderson. Whether or not Nick Johnson will provide what Hideki Matsui did remains to be seen, but he shouldn’t be a particularly big dropoff if he doesn’t. I think that their only real glaring problem could be at the very back end of the starting rotation. I slotted Chad Gaudin in there right now, although it will most likely be Joba Chamberlain. The Joba rules will probably be adjusted again this season, and allow him to get closer to 200 IP, if not going past it entirely. However, the inconsistency of that spot in the rotation could be of some concern. The good news for the Yankees is that they have lots of people that they can draw from to help fill that slot (Gaudin, Hughes, Aceves).

Brian Cashman has really done well again this offseason to help address some of the major problems that appeared with the major league team. The Yankees are constantly known for spending unbelievable amounts of money, but recently they have done well in how they have spent that money. They don’t rely too heavily on their farm system, which means that the players that they do develop (Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson) can be moved to help get other pieces that they will need along the way. As long as the ownership continues to allow him to do his job, and trust that he and his staff know what they are doing, the Yankees will always be competitive for not only the AL East, but the American League as a whole, and the World Series as well.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Lots of fantasy goodness here, with 3B Alex Rodriguez and 1B Mark Teixeira headlining this group. Nearly every position will provide solid fantasy value, with 2B Robinson Cano, C Jorge Posada, SS Derek Jeter, CF Curtis Granderson, SP C.C. Sabathia, SP A.J. Burnett, SP Javier Vasquez, and RP Mariano Rivera all expected to be drafted in most leagues. Even players like RF Nick Swisher and 1B/DH Nick Johnson will provide value in most leagues. There’s always a lot to like for fantasy with Yankee players.

Prediction for 2010

The Yankees have to be the prohibitive favorite to repeat as World Series champs in my opinion, but I will leave my predictions for how the playoffs will work out for another day. At this point, let me just say that I think they will be right in the thick of it again this season.

97-65, 1st in the AL East

Game 2 Thoughts


Yankees evened the series up at 1 each last night, behind some excellent pitching.

- Burnett pitched a great game. He looked really sharp, and the Phillies didn’t have a good real answer for it.
- Pedro Martinez is one of the best pitchers I’ve ever seen. Even with diminished velocity, he baffled the Yankee hitters for the better part of 6 innings, only a few minor mistakes. Otherwise a very well pitched game, but just not quite enough offensive support to help him.
- Mariano Rivera remains one of the best late inning relievers of all time. His team needed 2 innings from him, and he delivered yet again. So money.

Saturday’s matchup is somewhat of a let down in comparison to the previous 2 pitching matchups. Pettitte has been one of the best postseason pitchers in the past, and his matchup against Cole Hamels could potentially be really good, or potentially be a slugfest.