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    Originally posted by Strategerie View Post

    My thoughts:

    1. TOR starters are so important. However, there aren't that many pitchers who obviously qualify. I don't trust Scherzer's arm and health on a go forward basis. I don't trust that Ray is a TOR starter based on his track record.DeGrom is the ultimate TOR starter if he can get healthy - I wouldn't mind using our dollars to extend a few people this year (increases their AAV in the short term) and preserving the room to get Degrom in a year as a free agent (might take 50M AAV for him).

    I think our current starting rotation is a huge strength (but there's no shame in improving it). I think Cole is a TOR starter going forward (I think his late struggles were injury related). Sevy has been a true TOR starter when healthy (but that was 2 to 3 years ago and he carries injury risk). Both Monty and Taillon had a long stretch of starts with a sub 2.5 ERA (I trust Monty more than Taillon). Cortes pitched to a 3 ERA over meaningful innings last year (I don't think that's sustainable but I do think he is quite good). We've got German and many prospects as depth (Schmidt, Gil, Wesneski, Waldichuk, Medina, Deivi, ...). For many reasons, it's important to give prospects a chance too.

    2. The strikeouts are brutal to watch. However, if we just care about winning, optimizing on OPS is a fine way to go. The problem with Gallo, for example,, was mainly that his overall OPS was much lower than expected (and would have been even lower if not for his proficiency with bunt singles).

    3. LH hitters are preferred (and balance helps) but I think the balance issue between lefties and righties is overrated.

    4. Our defense issues are mainly at C, SS, and 1B. I'm not as worried about 1B as I'm not sure how much defense matters there (I could be wrong). While Rizzo has historically been great defensively, his perceived defense with us was more hype than substance. It sounds like we will upgrade our SS defense. I fear that catcher defense (inclusive of managing a pitching staff) is much more important than any other position and we likely have a real dud there in Sanchez (I'm disappointed we didn't go after a guy like Pina, who went very cheaply, or a guy like Realmuto the year before).

    I agree that many Yankee fans are undervaluing guys who had good track records but poor 2021 results with us (DJ, Gleyber, Urshela, Voit, Gallo, Sanchez, Hicks, Aroldis can all fall in that bucket). I also think Cortes, Monty, and Giancarlo get underrated. That doesn't mean I love all the above players and, of the above, I'd be particularly open to moving Sanchez, Gleyber, and Aroldis (always dependent on what the deal is). I'd also like to see the Yankees either extend or trade Taillon.
    I can appreciate your responses, and I commend you for finding some positives about some of the players you mentioned.

    1 - I define a TOR starter nowadays as someone who is healthy and has a real propensity for being capable of facing about 25 ABs per start. Hopefully that gets about 18 outs per start. They need someone to be a solid #2 to follow Cole and to be better than a #3 (who IMO is Severino in 2022, despite being a big question mark). The rest of them are all #4-5-6 starters, filled with uncertainty and potential. I think there will be a few of these TOR types available to the Yankees before spring training begins, at a premium cost.

    2 - The Yanks need to become better contact hitters by finding new homes for some of their strikeout leaders like Voit and Sanchez ($12M in payroll between the two) and replacing them with better contact hitters. I'd of course include Joey Gallo as being expendable - if it wasn't for him being semi-valuable as a LH hitter and a pretty good OFer.

    3 - My main reason for wanting more LH hitters to replace these guys is not so much for the short porch in YS, but more so to give the opposing pitchers different looks for almost every batter they face. If they keep facing the "same type of hitter" I think they might "settle in" against the Yankee lineup.

    4 - IMO the Yanks can do without Sanchez offensively and instead replace his inadequacies defensively. Now that Seager's signed I think they can do the same @ SS - look for improved defense @ the position and value it more than the offense you get from that position.
    "Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'" -- Mickey Mantle

    Comment


      Originally posted by sjb23 View Post

      I can appreciate your responses, and I commend you for finding some positives about some of the players you mentioned.

      1 - I define a TOR starter nowadays as someone who is healthy and has a real propensity for being capable of facing about 25 ABs per start. Hopefully that gets about 18 outs per start. They need someone to be a solid #2 to follow Cole and to be better than a #3 (who IMO is Severino in 2022, despite being a big question mark). The rest of them are all #4-5-6 starters, filled with uncertainty and potential. I think there will be a few of these TOR types available to the Yankees before spring training begins, at a premium cost.

      2 - The Yanks need to become better contact hitters by finding new homes for some of their strikeout leaders like Voit and Sanchez ($12M in payroll between the two) and replacing them with better contact hitters. I'd of course include Joey Gallo as being expendable - if it wasn't for him being semi-valuable as a LH hitter and a pretty good OFer.

      3 - My main reason for wanting more LH hitters to replace these guys is not so much for the short porch in YS, but more so to give the opposing pitchers different looks for almost every batter they face. If they keep facing the "same type of hitter" I think they might "settle in" against the Yankee lineup.

      4 - IMO the Yanks can do without Sanchez offensively and instead replace his inadequacies defensively. Now that Seager's signed I think they can do the same @ SS - look for improved defense @ the position and value it more than the offense you get from that position.

      There are very few, if any, pitchers in the world that better fit the description of TOR starter than Scherzer, and he definitely fits it better than Cole, give how questionable his effectiveness has been without spider tack.

      Who would you pick above him? He had the lowest WHIP (0.864) by a good margin and tied for the 2nd highest ERA+ (166)* in baseball. He has finished in the top 5 for CY EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2013, except the shortened 2020 season. Since his rookie season in 2008, he has started at least 30 games EVERY SINGLE SEASON except for 2019, where he started in 27 games.(and obviously 2020, but projected over 30).

      There are probably 4 or 5 other pitchers in the conversation, and none of them are available.

      Cole has only once, ever, been above 166 era+ for reference.
      Q: Who’s the guy on your roster that would have been overlooked if not for analytics? CASHMAN: Ronald Torreyes. He’s an analytical darling.

      Comment


        Originally posted by False1 View Post
        Just my two cents... but I don't hate the "three-outcome" approach. I mean, home runs are exciting. Strikeouts can make you jump out of your chair or disappear into it depending on whether it's the top half or bottom half of an inning. Walks aren't really boring as they put runners in play and sometimes stem from exciting duels with pitchers. For me it's less about "style of play" than it is just sheer entertainment value.

        What I find exciting in terms of offense is a balanced dynamic when hitters put the ball in play, especially if the contact is good contact. I don't want to see a ball with a 30% or 40%probability of being a hit based on contact of quality become a routine out 90% of the time. For two reasons... one, it creates suspense around whether a ball is going to find a hole, get in the gap, get over a traditional defense's head, etc. Second, it creates some drama and excitement around whether a defender can make an elite defensive play. The simplest way for me to frame up my perspective is... do you find it entertaining when a hitter makes strong contact and puts the ball in play and a shortstop has to range far out of their position, scoop the ball on the run, throw across their body to get the runner by a half step? Me too. That same ball hit into the teeth of the shift, where third infielder/outfielder on the right side easily scoops an atom ball and makes a lazy toss to first to record the out? Not so much.

        So yes, it might raise scores and batting averages that's not the point. It raises excitement. Even when the outcome is good for the Yankees, I've not once jumped off my couch cheering wildly for whichever analyst called the infield positioning to get a routine out. I don't have a Fishman jersey. I want to see elite athletes put on elite athletic performances, both at bat and in the field.
        I just don't like the idea of legislating a mandate to play defensive players out of position, which is essentially what a shift ban is. No other major sport I can think of does that, and there's a reason. Suppose the NHL made a rule in which they draw a couple of 10-foot-by-10-foot boxes along the boards, halfway between the goal line and the blue line, and dictated that while a team is in its defensive end, the wings must station themselves inside those boxes. Sure, it would "raise excitement" -- imagine the attacking team having something close to a 5-on-3 on every offensive possession? -- but it would be farcical, because to me, it's anathema to competition to tell a team it can't deploy its defenders where they'll do the most good.

        There are ways to make the shift obsolete organically, though it would take a little time. Trying to legislate it smacks to me, anyway, of the instant-gratification impulse, codified.
        I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up.

        Comment


          Originally posted by HelloNewman View Post

          I just don't like the idea of legislating a mandate to play defensive players out of position, which is essentially what a shift ban is. No other major sport I can think of does that.
          The NBA kind of does with a 3 second defense rule.

          Comment


            Originally posted by philleotardo View Post

            The NBA kind of does with a 3 second defense rule.
            That's true ... though I'd argue that limitation is far less restrictive than a shift ban would be.

            I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up.

            Comment


              Originally posted by HelloNewman View Post
              That's true ... though I'd argue that limitation is far less restrictive than a shift ban would be.
              Eh. Both increase their respective game’s watchability, so what difference does it make?
              “Nobody teaches life anything.” - Gabriel García Márquez

              Comment


                Problem with banning the shift is it encourages dead pull hitting. Keeping it will encourage development of players that can hit the ball for average, across the field.
                Q: Who’s the guy on your roster that would have been overlooked if not for analytics? CASHMAN: Ronald Torreyes. He’s an analytical darling.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by HelloNewman View Post

                  I just don't like the idea of legislating a mandate to play defensive players out of position, which is essentially what a shift ban is. No other major sport I can think of does that, and there's a reason. Suppose the NHL made a rule in which they draw a couple of 10-foot-by-10-foot boxes along the boards, halfway between the goal line and the blue line, and dictated that while a team is in its defensive end, the wings must station themselves inside those boxes. Sure, it would "raise excitement" -- imagine the attacking team having something close to a 5-on-3 on every offensive possession? -- but it would be farcical, because to me, it's anathema to competition to tell a team it can't deploy its defenders where they'll do the most good.

                  There are ways to make the shift obsolete organically, though it would take a little time. Trying to legislate it smacks of the instant-gratification impulse, codified.
                  Soccer and Hockey have offsides, the NBA has the 3 second rule, the NFL has illegal formations. In fairness not quite the same, but there's a precedent. Not saying I'm in favor of it, but I do miss the time when that ball up the middle was usually a hit instead of an easy out. Also 3 outcome baseball is boring need to start giving guys that put the ball in play more of an advantage or less of a disadvantage. It doesn't have to be from banning the shift as you suggest, but hope they do something and to your point it can and probably should be a gradual thing to give players and teams time to adjust.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by primetime714 View Post

                    Soccer and Hockey have offsides, the NBA has the 3 second rule, the NFL has illegal formations. In fairness not quite the same, but there's a precedent. Not saying I'm in favor of it, but I do miss the time when that ball up the middle was usually a hit instead of an easy out. Also 3 outcome baseball is boring need to start giving guys that put the ball in play more of an advantage or less of a disadvantage. It doesn't have to be from banning the shift as you suggest, but hope they do something and to your point it can and probably should be a gradual thing to give players and teams time to adjust.
                    Offsides (hockey) and illegal formations (football) are offensive infractions. There's no illegal formation for a football defense, unless you're talking about lining up offsides.

                    More to the point, I just don't like legislative solutions when non-legislative ones are available. It'll just require a little patience, though I acknowledge we don't live in a very patient age.

                    I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd, when they said "sit down" I stood up.

                    Comment


                      The shift came as a result of a change in offensive strategy (making 3 outcome, dead pull hitters). Banning it would only encourage that.

                      Really, the problem is pitching got too good. It was getting very hard to get one hit, let alone two or three in one inning. That's why low average/high power hitters became more valuable and high average/low power hitters became less valuable in the eyes of GMs. So the offense adapted. And then the defense adapted. And then the good pitching pitched to induce hitters to hit into the shift, to make it worse.

                      I'm very curious to see how the enforcement of the rule against foreign substances plays out 5 years from now. I'd love to see a return of high average hitters and stolen bases. I also miss "complete" hitters. Hitters that could hit 30 homeruns and hit at or above 300.

                      There were only 15 hitters that hit .300 last year (that qualified). 4 hit 30 or more HR. A total of 38 hitters hit 30 more HR.
                      There were 38 in 2006 (I swear, I picked a random year). 11 of them hit 30 more more HR. A total of 34 hitters hit 30 or more HR
                      Q: Who’s the guy on your roster that would have been overlooked if not for analytics? CASHMAN: Ronald Torreyes. He’s an analytical darling.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Mixwell View Post
                        I sure do disagree with a lot of the above post.

                        - Scherzer is absolutely a TOR starter. He's the Mets #2 starter and the best one of those in baseball by a wide, wide margin.
                        - Severino has NEVER proven to be an ace for a full season, and is a much larger health question mark based on his track record than even an "elderly" Scherzer
                        - in addition to the positions mentioned, there is a major defensive gap in CF. So with 1B, SS and C being also closer to "BAD" than "AVERAGE", it's only the 4 most critical positions on the field defensively
                        - A balanced lineup is critical to not allowing a pitcher to get comfortably in a zone
                        - Hicks has no track record to speak of. Urshela is a nice role player in a n otherwise dominant lineup. But overall an average player who is simply more likable than most of the duds on this roster. As a result, he's severely overrated. Voit is a DH and Sanchez is barely a major league caliber player, and definitely not a catcher. Cortez and Monty are admirable roster pieces if they are the #5 starter.
                        1. I would agree that Scherzer has absolutely been an ace in the recent past. I just don't trust him on a go forward basis to be the same durable ace (due to his age and the wear and tear on his arm). That doesn't mean I wouldn't take him on the Yankees because there is some probability that he continues to replicate his recent results. I just don't think that possibility is worth the risks involved (and the contract that would have been needed). If he was signable for 3 years, $90M, I think it would have been a risk worth taking.

                        2. Severino had 190 IPs each season during 2017 and 2018. During those years he had ERAS and FIPs around 3 (when offense was higher) and strong ERA+s. He finished in the top 10 of the Cy Young award each year. To me that qualifies as being "an ace for the entire season". If that isn't good enough to qualify as being an ace for those 2 years, that seems to support my point that there's a very narrow set of pitchers who meet the "ace" definition. It is fair to question his ability to stay healthy and perform going forward (since he is detached from those great 2017 and 2018 seasons). Before I get misinterpreted, this is not to say he is a better bet to be an ace going forward than Scherzer (but Sevy is a great deal going forward at essentially a 2 yr, $20M contract). I do think Sevy has a reasonable chance to be a top 10 Cy Young award finisher in 2022.

                        3. Defensively, I would say CF is slightly below average, Sanchez is well below average (I think I'd prefer Higgy to start who is above average), and SS and 1B are pointless to comment on since there is a lot of uncertainty as to who will be there (eg, if it ends up being Simmons and Rizzo/Freeman/Olson, we would be well above average defensively at both positions). Even CF is uncertain since I'm hoping we sign Suzuki to a $10-$14M AAV thus pushing Gallo to get most of the reps in CF (with Hicks as an often used 4th outfielder and insurance policy). I am very concerned about abysmal defense at the most important defensive position of catcher (hence my disappointment that we didn't go Pina, Stallings, etc this year or Realmuto last year).

                        4. I agree that a balanced lineup is preferable. That being said if we upgraded Gallo to Mike Trout we would be less balanced but better offensively. It depends on what the options are. All else being equal, I would prefer the balance too. But if the marketplace gives us a better righty hitter than a lefty hitter (for the price), I'd be fine taking the righty.

                        5. Your assessment of the players you mentioned seems low (particularly Monty as a #5). I simply have a higher assessment on them going forward (and think the marketplace has a higher assessment too).

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by HelloNewman View Post

                          I just don't like the idea of legislating a mandate to play defensive players out of position, which is essentially what a shift ban is. No other major sport I can think of does that, and there's a reason. Suppose the NHL made a rule in which they draw a couple of 10-foot-by-10-foot boxes along the boards, halfway between the goal line and the blue line, and dictated that while a team is in its defensive end, the wings must station themselves inside those boxes. Sure, it would "raise excitement" -- imagine the attacking team having something close to a 5-on-3 on every offensive possession? -- but it would be farcical, because to me, it's anathema to competition to tell a team it can't deploy its defenders where they'll do the most good.

                          There are ways to make the shift obsolete organically, though it would take a little time. Trying to legislate it smacks to me, anyway, of the instant-gratification impulse, codified.
                          I get it, it's a healthy debate we've had here forever. I don't see your comp as analogous. The example I usually think of are having a big near the rim to goaltend in the NBA or even more applicable is defensive offsides in the NFL. You could deploy a defender to do the most good in the NFL by lining him up on the opposite side of the offensive linemen, but that would make for rather boring play. The excitement is in a balanced offensive and defensive alignment, in which you have elite athletes using athleticism to make things happen on both sides of the ball.

                          I personally think the only thing that kills the shift is the commissioner. Hitters will never adjust. For every one LH power hitter that comes up through HS and college and mL and successfully learns to go the other way, there will be dozens that don't want to or fail to alter their swing. I suppose even analytics say that shouldn't happen, since you probably could generate an xBA of like .999 if you could bunt past the pitcher on the 3B side, yet these guys rarely if ever do it (even though most times I've seen it attempted it seems to work).

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by ThePinStripes View Post
                            Problem with banning the shift is it encourages dead pull hitting. Keeping it will encourage development of players that can hit the ball for average, across the field.
                            I just don't see this as a) problematic or b) practical. Even if it was, how many generations of players and fans and GMs appreciating those players would it require to fundamentally make this happen? I'd say far too many for this to self-solve, and I'm not sure it requires a solution.

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by ThePinStripes View Post
                              There are very few, if any, pitchers in the world that better fit the description of TOR starter than Scherzer, and he definitely fits it better than Cole, give how questionable his effectiveness has been without spider tack.

                              Who would you pick above him? He had the lowest WHIP (0.864) by a good margin and tied for the 2nd highest ERA+ (166)* in baseball. He has finished in the top 5 for CY EVERY SINGLE YEAR since 2013, except the shortened 2020 season. Since his rookie season in 2008, he has started at least 30 games EVERY SINGLE SEASON except for 2019, where he started in 27 games.(and obviously 2020, but projected over 30).

                              There are probably 4 or 5 other pitchers in the conversation, and none of them are available.
                              Once again let me explain that for the Yankees' roster, I am defining a TOR starter as a #1, 2 or 3 - one that can be penciled in to throw 150+ effective innings.

                              I certainly acknowledge that Scherzer is not only a TOR starter - he's an ACE. But I didn't ever think the Yanks would pay his price, which IMO is astronomical.

                              I think guys like Carlos Rodon, Sean Manaea and German Marquez could or should fill the Yankees need. Any of these three would make the Yankee rotation very formidable (on paper) IMO.

                              "Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'" -- Mickey Mantle

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by HelloNewman View Post

                                I just don't like the idea of legislating a mandate to play defensive players out of position, which is essentially what a shift ban is. No other major sport I can think of does that, and there's a reason. Suppose the NHL made a rule in which they draw a couple of 10-foot-by-10-foot boxes along the boards, halfway between the goal line and the blue line, and dictated that while a team is in its defensive end, the wings must station themselves inside those boxes. Sure, it would "raise excitement" -- imagine the attacking team having something close to a 5-on-3 on every offensive possession? -- but it would be farcical, because to me, it's anathema to competition to tell a team it can't deploy its defenders where they'll do the most good.

                                There are ways to make the shift obsolete organically, though it would take a little time. Trying to legislate it smacks to me, anyway, of the instant-gratification impulse, codified.
                                The NHL recognized that neutral zone trap was killing offense and sucking the life out of the game so they eliminated the ban on the 2 line pass. The NBA bans zone defense for similar reasons. It’s not unprecedented. I completely understand the philosophical arguments against banning the shift but I think it’s time to be pragmatic. The shift takes away hits and suppresses offense. We can sit around and wait for hitters to adjust and go the other way (spoiler alert: it’s not going to happen) but every year we wait we lose more fans.
                                David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003.

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