How Good Are The 2017 Yankees?

Wingack

Yankee Mod
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
24,602
In The Quivering Forest
Still a small sample size as it has only been 20 games, but the New York Yankees are sitting at second place in the AL East with a record of 13-7.

NYY has the best ERA in baseball at 2.90 and the best run differential at +32 (not sure if today is included in this stat.)

They have done all of this with their best offensive player from last year Gary Sanchez on the DL, as well as their arguably second best offensive player off 2017, Didi Gregorious, also on the shelf.

Everyone on the site just got a chance to watch them play, so what does everyone think?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
If their rotation holds up, they're a genuine contender but that is still a big if.
 

JohntheBaptist

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2005
11,390
Yoknapatawpha County
I was absolutely concerned about them in the offseason. I don't think Headley, Ellsbury, Castro, or Romine will keep this up. I think Judge will have a bunch of HRs but go through long stretches with contact issues and I'd be a little worried about injury.

I also think Sanchez will struggle too. But if they stay healthy, they just seem like a well-balanced team that will never be an easy fight. I don't see much difference between them and Boston, especially if Price never makes it back.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
It's been a really strange month for NY, because they have done it with virtually no help from Didi, Sanchez and Bird. Meanwhile, almost every veteran has overachieved, the guys JtB mentioned, but also Hicks (1.161 OPS!), Sabathia and Pineda. Remarkably even after tonight's shutout, Tanaka has the worst ERA on the entire 12 man staff at 4.20. Like I said, very odd start to the season.

Severino and Judge are the two major developments this April, neither even had a lock on their job a month ago and now both look like potential All-Stars this season.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
There's too many question marks to predict whether it can be sustained or not. It's fun to be optimistic but it's doubtful that players like Ellsbury and Headley can keep going. Pineda and CC might have good years or dreadful years. CC looks much more like the latter right now.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
One likely factor that we have talked about some in Yankee gamethreads is that guys like Headley and Gardner and Ellsbury and Castro spent the winter hearing about how they might be moved in favor of kids (in reality there haven't been kids totally ready to be promoted to their spots yet, although guys like Torres, Frazier and Fowler are getting closer). This is often par for the course for professional athletes, but add in that everyone saw Cashman move anyone he could last trading deadline, plus the most important factor IMO, getting to see many of these kids in person for the first time at this past spring training, and I think you have a set of veterans unusually driven to preserve their jobs and possibly careers.
 

The Tax Man

really digs the Beatles
SoSH Member
Jun 8, 2009
733
Mansfield, MA
That's a very interesting point. I'm always hesitant to agree that pro athletes are just trying harder, I mean don't they have to try pretty hard to get where they are? But it is incredibly interesting that so many veterans are "overachieving" at once. Especially since they are hitters in April.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
The argument about regression assumes all or most of the players regress to a point of uselessness. No team needs this level of offensive production to keep up and the Yankees offense was projected to be very strong before the year started. If they reverted to expectations and upgraded where needed at the deadline, the offense will not be a problem.

I almost completely disagree with that article because to me, Pineda and Severino will have a much harder time keeping their production at this level than a 33 year old slugger in incredible physical shape (Holliday) or a young stud with power.
 

EvilEmpire

Dope
Staff member
Dope
Apr 9, 2007
11,097
Washington
I almost completely disagree with that article because to me, Pineda and Severino will have a much harder time keeping their production at this level than a 33 year old slugger in incredible physical shape (Holliday) or a young stud with power.
Holliday is 37, but hopefully DHing full time makes him feel like 33.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
That's a very interesting point. I'm always hesitant to agree that pro athletes are just trying harder, I mean don't they have to try pretty hard to get where they are? But it is incredibly interesting that so many veterans are "overachieving" at once. Especially since they are hitters in April.
FWIW, Mike Axisa of RAB makes the same point today, the first time I've seen anyone say this in print:

"2. As great as Judge as been — and he’s been awesome — the story so far this season has been more about the veterans than the rookies. The Yankees are where they are despite getting basically nothing from Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez, mostly because veterans like Castro, Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Matt Holliday have started the season well. Holliday is new to the team, but the other three guys were with the Yankees last season and they all underperformed. Now they’re big time contributors. I wonder how much of that, if any, has to do with the farm system being so strong. The veterans saw all the talented young players in Spring Training, the Gleyber Torreses and Clint Fraziers and Dustin Fowlers and everyone else, and it pushed them to be better. Think about it. Castro has already been traded away by one rebuilding team. Now he’s with the Yankees and sees what a kid like Gleyber can do? It can be easy to think that kid is coming for your job. Players always say they worry only about their game and things they can control, but it’s human nature to look over your shoulder a bit. Perhaps a byproduct of this total awesome farm system is the prospects pushing the veterans to be better. That’d be neat."
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
We should find out this weekend how good they are, how ready they are to play on the road against the defending champs, in front of a packed house not unlike Fenway Park.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,041
Hingham, MA
We should find out this weekend how good they are, how ready they are to play on the road against the defending champs, in front of a packed house not unlike Fenway Park.
It's a marathon. We've seen a 40-17 Red Sox team go 53-52 the rest of the way and miss out on the playoffs by several games. The Yankees are likely pretty good. Will be interesting to monitor their progress.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
It's a marathon. We've seen a 40-17 Red Sox team go 53-52 the rest of the way and miss out on the playoffs by several games. The Yankees are likely pretty good. Will be interesting to monitor their progress.
Well, if they are still pretty good in July, Cashman will be under pressure to add a quality starting pitcher and try to win the World Series. Or he could rush one of the farm system pitchers.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
Well, if they are still pretty good in July, Cashman will be under pressure to add a quality starting pitcher and try to win the World Series. Or he could rush one of the farm system pitchers.
It would be very difficult to do but if Gardner is playing well, he could still be part of a trade for a starter.

Cashman is not known to go after big fish at the deadline. He's far more likely to target a Morton or Graveman than he is a Quintana. Right now, the team doesn't need an ace, they need someone who can give the ball the bullpen after 6 good innings.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
They will wear down the bullpen at this pace.

The new question about the 2017 Yankees is whether they are built for 162 games. Lots of kids never in a pennant race before.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
They have Chance Adams internally, he walks a bit too many and doesn't go past 6, but he is 20-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 216 Ks in 190 IP since NY drafted him in summer 2015.

http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=664856#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
And need is a strong word right now. The expected need will obviously be a starter.But right now, only CC is a problem. I don't think they will drop him at any point this season but there's a good chance that if the rotation stays healthy, he's going to lose his spot.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
And need is a strong word right now. The expected need will obviously be a starter.But right now, only CC is a problem. I don't think they will drop him at any point this season but there's a good chance that if the rotation stays healthy, he's going to lose his spot.
CC needs to conveniently get hurt in late July so the Yanks can either bring up Chance Adams or trade for a solid starter.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
That is one of the better things I've read in The Ringer, Florial is a guy I've been meaning to bring up in the prospects thread, a superior athletic outfielder who is actually outperforming his just-turned-20 teammate Blake Rutherford (although Blake seems to be heating up finally), and he is six months younger, another top 100 candidate if he keeps it up:

http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=664314#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
NY is coming back to earth, 3-7 in their last 10 and Tanaka looking like Kei Igawa, plus Chapman on the DL and such non-existent production at 1B that they've had to move Holliday there on occasion even though he didn't play a single inning there in spring training.

The more they lose this year, probably the better long term for them. They have at least a couple of guys in the minors right now who would be immediate upgrades, Fowler for Ellsbury (defensive upgrade, offensive push IMO) and Torres for Headley. If they are still playing well in late July, it will be hard to move veterans and they still have a bunch of guys who need to go at some point.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
They have been exceedingly lucky in only having to use 5 starting pitchers so far, especially since their depth there currently is very suspect. Warren/Green/Mitchell are all currently in the big league bullpen and Cessa is getting abused in AAA again tonight, 19 ERs given up in 12 innings in his last three starts there. They have guys like Ronald Herrera (on the 40 man) and Chance Adams (not on the 40 man) going very well in AA/AAA, but one of the reason they've got this record is SP health so far.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,041
Hingham, MA
That is definitely not great. But, they still have the best run differential in baseball and they have lost a ton of one-run games lately.
Right - if my math is right they are 6-6 in their last 12 with a +39 run differential. So they have been way better than deserving that 6-6 record.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
18,789
Newton
I haven't watched that much but two of those games were the massive blow-outs of the Red Sox -- 8-0 and 9-1. I mean, I know how run differential works -- if you have a good record but a big run differential that means you've had some blowouts in there w great pitching and hitting combined.

But my point is, 43% of what we're talking about over the course of a dozen games happened in two games. So while I'm sure they're more "deserving" I'm not sure how much more deserving they are. If that makes sense.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,041
Hingham, MA
I haven't watched that much but two of those games were the massive blow-outs of the Red Sox -- 8-0 and 9-1. I mean, I know how run differential works -- if you have a good record but a big run differential that means you've had some blowouts in there w great pitching and hitting combined.

But my point is, 43% of what we're talking about over the course of a dozen games happened in two games. So while I'm sure they're more "deserving" I'm not sure how much more deserving they are. If that makes sense.
If you continually outscore your opposition by 39 games over 12 game stretches you are going to win a hell of a lot of games.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
They just lost six straight games by a total of nine runs, they really missed Chapman and now he's back. They were 24-12 in one run games in 2016, they are currently 7-12 in one run games this year.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
I haven't watched that much but two of those games were the massive blow-outs of the Red Sox -- 8-0 and 9-1. I mean, I know how run differential works -- if you have a good record but a big run differential that means you've had some blowouts in there w great pitching and hitting combined.

But my point is, 43% of what we're talking about over the course of a dozen games happened in two games. So while I'm sure they're more "deserving" I'm not sure how much more deserving they are. If that makes sense.
They had five blowouts in a row, the three against BAL too (8-2, 16-3, 14-3), their run differential in those five was a +46. But I think more to the point is that it's not easy to lose six games in a row with a -9 total run differential, which is what they just did.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much any of that matters, what will determine how good this team is is health and reinforcements, internal and external. Cashman has many options to improve the team internally if he chooses to do so, but he has the long-term picture in mind and doesn't seem to want to rush anyone even if it will help the big league team immediately.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
Are they going to close games? That's the only way this team will start winning again, if Betances and Chapman go back to being themselves.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
It's been a rough go, no doubt. But the return of Holliday and Castro soon should help immensely.
As obvious as it is, the only thing that can really help this team is stability in the pen. Not dominance on April levels but reliability that Betances doesn't have to remember what pitching from the stretch is supposed to look like. He looks as comfortable as a newborn horse trying to walk out there.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
Pythag: 52-31
Actual: 44-39
It is a hundred percent second guess and I continue to be on record as not especially caring about the results of this year's Yankees, but not trading Andrew Miller and doing everything else identically would have NY a lot closer to that Pythag, albeit without Frazier and Justus Sheffield.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
And thinking about it more, Cashman also traded Justin Wilson and James Pazos away in the last 18 months, three lefty setup guys. I have no issue with any of those three moves at the time and he got back useful players in each case, but one of NY's biggest needs right now is a late inning lefty reliever to share setup duties with Betances, Miller and Wilson could certainly have helped NY a lot this year and maybe Pazos too.
 

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
Yanks are not in terrible shape after losing 17 of 24. Just two back of Boston in the loss column. The All-Star break comes at a good time. Most of the walking wounded will return right after the break ends.
A flawed team like the Yankees will go through its ups and downs. Maybe they will get some confidence back with the return of Holliday and Castro. Not sure how they fix the bullpen, or the starting rotation, but maybe the offense gets hot again. They'll probably face Sale, Porcello and Price to start the second half. In Fenway.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
49,220
They do have bullpen options, but none of it matters if Betances and Chapman aren't their normal dominant selves. Warren is back now which helps, Green has been pretty good, and there are maybe more minor league options than I thought, Heller and Holder are up now, Gallegos is back off the minor league DL and Nick Rumbelow is on the way back after his April 2016 Tommy John, rolling through AA and AAA, he had 2 2/3 scoreless in AAA today:

http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=592705#/gamelogs/R/pitching/2017/MINORS

Clippard should be DFAd ASAP though, not sure why they're being so stubborn about that.
 

Wingack

Yankee Mod
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
24,602
In The Quivering Forest
Bumping up this thread with a new consideration after the deals the Yankees have made and may still make. And the fact they are sitting in first place.

Can this Yankees team win the World Series?

It is not something anyone would have considered coming into the season and this factors into whether they push their chips in on a Sonny Gray, etc. I think there are three teams that are clearly better than NYY (LAD, HOU, WAS), and they would likely need to beat two of these teams to win a title. And in the playoffs, anything can happen.

I know this isn't any incredibly deep analysis, but at this point, I think the Yankees can consider themselves a real WS contender. And that may change the calculations of what they do here at the trading deadline.
 
Last edited:

terrynever

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2005
16,550
pawtucket
When the Yankees held first place for a couple months, I just thought they were place-holding until Boston awakened. But now I think they have a legit chance to win the East, based on recent trades and Boston's continuing inability to maximize the talent on its roster.
 

crow216

Dragon Wangler
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
16,290
Astoria
Aside from the cherry picking of using k/9 to display how great the pen has been, that all makes perfect sense.

You can attribute that 9 win differential to a couple explainable things. 1) Chapman’s unexpected blown saves 2) w/l record in 1 run games and 3) My game thread titles