Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

June 19, 2005

Will the real Yankees please stand up?
by SG

So far, 2005 has been a dizzying mix of highs and lows. After starting off 11-19, the Yankees reeled off 16 wins in 18 games to move to 27-21. This was followed by another slump, where the Yankees went 3-11 to fall to 30-32. Now, a 6 game winning streak has moved the Yankees back up to a 36-32 record, and has many Yankee fans excited again.

So, the question is, which are the real Yankees? Steven Goldman discussed this in a recent entry in his Pinstriped Blog, called 'Still Reserving Judgement'.

The Yankees have played exciting, invigorating baseball for the first time this year on the current homestand, sweeping the Pirates in dramatic fashion and then securing an equally exciting victory over the Cubs. Even so, I'm not yet convinced. This is what teams that are .500 quality do — they tease. A .500 team doesn't conduct its season in binary fashion, alternating wins and losses every other day. Rather, they have good patches and bad patches distributed unevenly throughout the schedule. It's still not certain that this is what the Yankees are doing.

I think Goldman makes an interesting point. As well as the Yankees are playing right now, if they were this good would they have had two long bad stretches like they've had? That's not to say that I think the Yankees are a .500 team, because I don't. I just think there are some problems on this team that won't go away. They should be in the mix all year, but I just want to be careful about thinking that this is the real Yankee team. Bear in mind that Pittsburgh is not a very good team, and the Cubs are injury-depleted right now and probably not that much better.

There are still many good signs coming out of the last six games. The Yankees have shown life when trailing, Hideki Matsui has come out of a long slump, the pitching has been very solid. Also, I don't think the impact that Tiger Wang and Robinson Cano have had can be understated. They bring an enthusiasm and excitement to the team that was sorely lacking early in the year. Jason Giambi has shown some contributions besides walking, with some hits and playing passable defense at times (he still can't throw, but he's made some good picks at first).

Joe Torre continues to frustrate the hell out of me with his Tony Womack fascination. Not only can Womack not hit, he's becoming a liability on defense. With Matsui injured, I guess Torre is somewhat limited, but there's no rational explanation for Womack continuing to bat in the second slot.

Tomorrow's game will be a big one for Sean Henn. He got blasted by the Devil Rays in his first start, but was hurt by his defense. With Kevin Brown's shocking injury, Henn will likely get at least 2 starts to show whether that was a fluke. Since his demotion, here are Henn's pitching lines for AAA Columbus:


5/9 4.1 10 5 5 3 4 1
5/14 7.0 4 0 0 3 4 0
5/20 6.0 5 2 0 1 4 0
5/26 7.0 3 0 0 2 6 0
5/31 9.0 2 0 0 0 3 0
6/5 5.0 9 6 6 3 4 0
6/10 6.2 8 5 5 0 5 0
6/16 3.0 3 1 1 0 4 1

Totals: 48.0 44 19 17 12 34 2

There's a couple of clunkers in there, but for the most part he's been very good. The low K rate is a little concerning, but the low HR rate and good BB rate are positive indicators. If Henn can pitch a couple of quality starts, it helps the Yankees immeasurably. It gives them further pitching depth, or perhaps someone to trade. I'd rather they hang onto Henn, but if he's able to be packaged for an ugrade in CF then it'd probably worth it.

Tampa is reeling now, 4-16 in their last 20, and the Yankees should have payback on their mind entering this series. We'll see how it plays out.