Sunday, April 09, 2006

Yankees Week In Review: Unbalanced Attack

One week into the 2006 season, the Bombers stand at two-and-four, salvaging a win in the last game of the California swing, defeating the Angels, 10-1. So, in the Yanks' two wins they scored 25 runs, crushing the titular aces of their opponents' starting pitching corps: Barry Zito in Oakland, Big Bartolo Colon in Los Angeles of Anaheim. That's twelve and a half runs per game. In the four losses bracketed by those two wins, the Yankees scored a total of ten runs--that's two and a half runs per game.

That doesn't mean anything, yet. It feels a little bit like last year, but it is only one week's worth of data, and the Yanks were facing the two powerhouse teams of the West. Things should get better, quickly, as the Pinstripers receive a nice big helping of Kansas City Royals for their home opening series in the Bronx.

Player of the Week: Hideki Matsui posted a .400/.444/.800 week, slamming three homers in 27 plate appearances, leading the Yanks in homers and OPS. Still, it was a close call, since Matsui's defense in the early going has been pretty scary--you see it most clearly when we look at Marco Scutaro's game-winning hit on Tuesday. Other candidates are Alex Rodriguez (.320/.393/.560, 2 HR) and Derek Jeter (.348/.464/.565, but a big error in Wednesday's game), and on the pitching side of the ledger, Randy Johnson (1-1, 2.44 ERA, 11K in 15 IP).

Dregs of the Week: Given all the stuff that went on in Scott Proctor's family over the last week-plus, he gets a pass. Shawn Chacon's start against the Angels belied research over at Baseball Prospectus by Marc Normandin (in the Yankees' Notebook slot usually used by yours truly) which shows that Chacon is less of a collapse risk than most projection systems indicate. Still, four runs in less than five innings is not the end of the world, yet. By default, then, Dreg of the Week honors go to Bernie Williams.

Bernie posted a .222/.300/.278 line in 20 plate appearances this week, starting four out of six games. I'm one of Bernie's biggest fans, and I have been since he was in the minors. Still, when I did my HACKING MASS team this week, and for some reason Bernie (along with some other projected DHs) was listed as a firstbaseman...I put him on the team. I worry that maybe this makes me a bad person.

Story of the Week: Mariano Rivera only gets into one game in Week One, which unless there's something wrong with Mariano that we don't know about, is an indictment of the "closer" usage pattern all on its own. The Yanks played two one-run losses, but because the Yanks were on the road, the closer could not be summoned.

The C/P Ratio: Stands at 5/2, which I think speaks for itself.

Wondering what the heck am I talking about? The C/P Ratio is the proportion of plate appearances given to Miguel Cairo relative to those given to Andy Phillips. This week, Cairo got five plate apperances, with a start at first base today against Colon(?!?), while Phillips got to be a defensive substitute in two blowout wins. The only position player to have fewer plate appearances on the roster is the third catcher platoon of Wil Nieves and Koyie Hill (the former was sent down in favor of the latter this week). That's where Phillips ranks in the big scheme of things.

Note to Phillips: whatever you've done to tick Joe Torre off (welsh on a bet, or make a pass at his wife, perhaps?), apologize. Please. Just to see if it works.

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