Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Golden Oldie
2008-08-12 05:37
by Alex Belth

Tyler Kepner has a nice piece on tonight's starter, Mike Mussina, today in the Times:

The question now is what Mussina will do next season. He said he would wait until November to decide if he wanted to keep pitching, if he had the patience to deal with the struggles that might come up. Not knowing the answer, he said, is one reason he is having more fun than ever.

"Before, there was always some future in front of you," Mussina said. "At 39, I don't know what it's going to be. It's like being a senior in high school. You enjoy it because you don't know what the next year's going to bring."

Mussina is 22-6 lifetime against the Twins. With the Yanks desperate for a win, they'll need another strong outing from Moose tonight.

2008-08-12 06:37:59
1.   unmoderated
and they're gonna get it.

pre pregame prediction (more pres in there than oregon):

yanks 9, twins 0
8 strong for moose, 7 hits, all singles, 5 k 0 BB

2008-08-12 07:22:49
2.   Alex Belth
I like that prediction, I like it.
2008-08-12 07:28:23
3.   Mattpat11
Who the hell is he kidding? He's pitching somewhere next year. He can smell 300 now.
2008-08-12 07:40:39
4.   rbj
The question is, do the Yankees resign Moose? Will he be the 2007 model or the 2008 model?

Rotation could be:
Hughes? (I'm not high on IPK at the moment)
CC? (big bucks, but at least no need to spend on periods)
??? Moose/Pettitte/???

2008-08-12 07:51:01
5.   Shaun P
4 If the price is right, I'd like to see both Moose and Pettitte back next year. The trick is to have other pieces in place, ready to go, if they are hurt/ineffective, which is likely due to their age. Whether that's Horne or IPK or Rasner or someone else, I don't know.

Speaking of the future, RIYank if you're out there, I will be in Pawtucket tonight to see Hughes pitch.

2008-08-12 08:11:34
6.   williamnyy23
5 If Rasner or IPK figure prominently in the plans of the 2009 Yankees then don't be surprised if we are in the same boat this time next season.

4 I'd like the rotation to be Wang, CC, Hughes, Chamberlain, Pettitte and Moose. With Joba and Phil still facing innings limits, Moose and Andy getting up there in age, Wang likely feeling his way back from an injury and C.C. coming off another 240+ innings year, six starters seems the way to go.

2008-08-12 08:21:03
7.   Raf
6 I'm not ready to give up on Kennedy yet. Rasner should slot in as an injury replacement #5 starter.

From a pitching standpoint, the staff has actually improved from last year and the pitching hasn't been the problem this year.

A team that was supposed to slug their way to a division title or the wild card cannot afford to have lousy production from 3 spots. Last year, they averaged 5.98 R/G, this year it's 4.78. Pitching wise, they averaged 4.8 R/G, this year it's 4.47

2008-08-12 08:33:36
8.   tommyl
7 Yes, but offense in the league is down overall. How do their team ERA+ and OPS+ numbers compare to last year?
2008-08-12 08:36:58
9.   tommyl
Oh hell, I'll do it myself:

2008: 105 OPS+, 98 ERA+

2007: 118 OPS+, 99 ERA+

So indeed the problem is the offense this year, but to say the pitching has improved is not true at all. Relative to the league they are basically the same or slightly worse.

2008-08-12 09:02:07
10.   Shaun P
9 Just a moment there. ERA is a crappy way to evaluate relief pitching. (I'm not sure its the best way to evaluate starters either.)

So at least on the reliever side, let's look at BP's WXRL. In 2007, the Yanks totaled 7.967 WXRL in 162 games. In 2008, in just 119 games, they are already at 6.92 WXRL. This suggests to me that the relief pitching at least has improved.

2008-08-12 09:07:23
11.   tommyl
10 Ok, that's fair enough and you're right. My comparison was crude at best, I just wanted to make the point that just because the team is giving up less runs than last year does not necessarily mean the pitching has greatly improved. The whole league is hitting worse and pitching better. If we're not pitching better relative to the league than last year we're sort of in trouble. Wait, we are in trouble. Sigh.
2008-08-12 09:19:21
12.   Shaun P
9 As for the starters:

Last year's staff totaled 19.3 SNLVAR (support neutral lineup-adjusted value over replacement; basically what the pitcher, on his own, added in terms of wins, over replacement). This year's staff is at 12.5 through 119 games. Something tells me you can't be "on pace" with SNLVAR, so we'll have to wait until season's end to see what happens there.

VORP doesn't separate out starters and relievers, and I have no idea how to account for Joba's VORP as a starter vs as a reliever. Overall, however, last year's staff accounted for 184.9 VORP; this year's has 119.6 so far.

So while I think the bullpen has improved, the rotation has not . . . but it will next year. A full year of Joba, a full year of Wang, and Hughes can't possibly be as bad as he was (nor will IPK).

2008-08-12 09:20:33
13.   Shaun P
11 And of course you are right too.

The indicators for next year, on the pitching side at least, continue to point in the right direction though.

2008-08-12 09:32:01
14.   tommyl
13 Agreed, I think we're saying the same basic thing, you're just doing it a bit better and with more research. I'm just tired this morning and in a foul mood (and my code is taking forever to run, the origin of the Universe can't be that complicated). I remain optimistic for next year, this year, not so much.
2008-08-12 10:09:18
15.   JL25and3
14 Bang. Everything expands. What's the big deal?
2008-08-12 10:19:35
16.   Raf
9 -13 Thanks

14 It's 42;

2008-08-12 10:32:28
17.   tommyl
15 Trust me, you'd rather not know.

16 What's the question?

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