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April 12, 2004

by Larry Mahnken

Well, I think it's quite obvious that the Yankees are a mediocre team.

I kid, maybe I'm just getting punished for not being worried--it's unnatural. The Yankees haven't been hitting, but they have been getting on base, which adds to the frustration of their lack of scoring, because they're stranding runners constantly.

Of course, these offensive problems aren't going to keep up all season, and they'll probably break out in a big way sometime this week, but that doesn't make the games any less frustrating. There is comfort in the sports pages though, since whenever you glance at the standings and see that the Detroit Tigers are in first place--or anywhere near first--you know it's really early. And it's REALLY early.

So, no worries. If the Yankees miss the playoffs by a couple of games, they'll have had bigger problems than having split the first two series. I don't think they have those problems yet.

I've been working on the DIPS numbers--it's a pain in the ass, it's time-consuming, and I really don't want to do it; but I want to see the numbers, so that's what I have to do. I'm trying to figure out how to easily transfer the data to a text file for distribution, and when I do that, I'll publish the numbers more or less daily for all of you to see. For now, here's the Yankees' numbers:

Name              dIP dER  dERA ERAR
Brown, Kevin     13.6   3  1.90  5.7
Contreras, Jose   5.4   4  7.32 -1.0
De Paula, Jorge   7.5   5  6.26  -.5
Gordon, Tom       3.8   1  3.13  1.1
Heredia, Felix    3.5   3  8.65 -1.2
Mussina, Mike    17.2  10  5.33   .6
Osborne, Donovan  1.2   0  2.53   .4
Quantrill, Paul   4.9   2  3.60  1.1
Rivera, Mariano   4.5   1  2.13  1.8
Vazquez, Javier   6.8   2  2.78  2.2
White, Gabe       2.9   1  2.02  1.2
Total            71.2  33  4.22 11.3

Nothing particularly enlightening here, the team's 4.22 dERA is right in the middle of the pack, but I think they'll likely finish the season under 4.00, and one of the top teams. Kevin Brown's 5.7 ERAR makes him the most valuable pitcher in baseball so far (He's tied with Beckett, and Schilling is third with 5.6), and having seen his first two starts, already makes me eager to see his next one.

As for the ex-Yankees, Rocket's first start gave him a 1.35 dERA, which is second only to teammate Wade Miller's 1.03. My friend Rob Moses commented that Andy Pettitte looked pretty good for most of his first start, and indeed, his dERA is 2.98. Of course, he's on the DL now, and the injury might have had something to do with the 6 ER he gave up.

Jeff Weaver was great in his first start, with a dERA of 2.19. But his BABIP against was .348...

Boomer didn't give up any earned runs in his first start for the Padres, but he didn't strike anyone out either, giving him a 4.50 dERA. Antonio Osuna's in San Diego, too, and his dERA is 8.37. Chris Hammond is doing better in Oakland--with a 6.59 dERA. Jeff Nelson has a 4.01 dERA in Texas. Yeah, the Yankees' did well upgrading their bullpen.

* * *

I like Bubba Crosby. I guess everyone does right now, but it's understandable. He's a former first round pick who didn't work out, barely made the team in the spring, and is doing very well with the chance he's getting. He's not going to do this all year, and while he's made some nice catches in the outfield, that's largely because he's taking poor routes to the ball. He's not the kind of guy who you look at and say "That's a good player!", but he's the kind that you like to root for. Go Bubba.