Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Rookie Hailing
2007-11-12 09:24
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The American and National League Rookies of the Year will be announced in a little more than an hour. In the AL, Dustin Pedroia, who hit .317/.380/.442 over 139 games while playing a strong second base, is the easy choice. Pedroia's case gets even stronger when you set aside his April struggles and consider that he hit .333/.389/.467 over the remainder of the season. Pre-season favorite Delmon Young's .288/.316/.408 just can't compete, nor can the performances of Pedroia's Japanese teammates Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.40 ERA, 15-12, 201 K, 80 BB) or Hideki Okajima (2.22 ERA in 66 relief appearances).

Though they really shouldn't even be in the discussion, the Yankees' best candidates in a year in which they had nine pitchers make their major league debut (six of them as starters) are Joba Chamberlain (0.38 ERA, 34 K and 6 BB in 24 relief innings over 19 appearances), Phil Hughes (4.46 ERA, 5-3, 58 K and 29 BB in 72 2/3 innings over 13 starts), and Shelley Duncan (.257/.329/.554, 7 HR in a mere 74 at-bats).

The NL's a far more compelling contest with four strong contenders topping a deep field that also includes Josh Hamilton (.292/.368/.554, 19 HR in 298 AB), Mark Reynolds (.279/.349/.495, 17 HR in 366 AB), James Loney (.331/.381/.538, 15 HR in 344 AB), Yunel Escobar (.326/.385/.451 in 319 AB), Peter Moylan (1.80 ERA in 90 relief innings), and Tim Lincecum (4.00 ERA, 7-5, 150 K, 65 BB in 146 1/3 innings). Here are those top four:

Ryan Braun (3B - Mil): .324/.370/.634, 34 HR, 15/20 SB, (113 G)
Troy Tulowitski (SS - Col): .291/.359/.479, 24 HR, 7/13 SB, (155 G)
Hunter Pence (CF - Hou): .322/.360/.539, 56 XBH, 11/16 SB, (108 G)
Chris Young (CF - AZ): .237/.295/.467, 32 HR, 27/33 SB, (148 G)

On raw numbers, Braun seems the obvious choice, but his defense at third base was abysmal, while Tulowitzki's play at shortstop was Gold-Glove worthy (though not Gold-Glove winning). Young nearly went 30-30 as a rookie, but his .237 average and corresponding sub-.300 OBP should eliminate him. Pence very well could have won this award if not for a broken wrist that cost him a month of the season beginning in late July. The big question is, can the tremendous chasm between Braun and Tulowitski's defensive performances overrule the fact that Tulo gives up 11 points of OBP and a whopping 165 points of slugging to Braun while also having been inferior on the bases?

Update: Turns out Tulo's defensive advantage was almost enough, but not quite. Braun won the NL Rookie of the Year by just two points over Tulowitski as he earned two more first-place votes. Of the 32 voters, 17 placed Braun first and Tulowitzki second, 14 listed Tulo first and Braun second, and one put Tulo first and Braun third. In the AL, Pedroia took it easy being listed first on 24 of 28 ballots. Delmon Young finished a very distant second followed by Brian Bannister (3.87 ERA, 12-9, 77 K, 44 BB in 165 IP), Matsuzaka, and Okajima. The first place votes that didn't go to Pedroia went to Young (3) and Bannister (1).

2007-11-12 10:20:23
1.   mehmattski
Hard to believe that after all these years, Josh Hamilton was still a rookie this year. I think Tulo will get it from the NL, and Pedroia's gotta be a lock in the AL.

Next year though, the Yankees could have an inside track with both Joba and IPK qualifying, as well as Shelley Duncan. Ellsbury slides in just under the qualifications, and Evan Longoria could be a darkhorse if he gets called up for the Rays.

2007-11-12 10:49:45
2.   Cliff Corcoran
1 No need to include Shelley there. He will have his uses, but he really shouldn't be in this conversation.
2007-11-12 11:26:18
3.   mehmattski
2 Oh I agree, just pointing out that Duncan will still qualify as a rookie next season.
2007-11-12 11:40:57
4.   OldYanksFan
Some defensive numbers on Cano and Melky
And Dustbin takes ROY.
2007-11-12 11:41:41
5.   Jeteupthemiddle
Hughes pitched more than 50 innings so this question doesn't apply to him regardless, so in hypothetical land.

What if that injury back in May kept him out the entire season. He only would have had a small handful of innings, but he would have spent the season on the 15-day DL.

Do those 15-day DL days count toward time on the roster? If he were out for the remainder of the season, would he be considered a rookie in 2008?

2007-11-12 11:42:36
6.   The Monk
Is Joba the favorite for 2008? If he's a reliever and continues his shutdown work, he could win; as a starter he likely won't because he'll hit the wall and also take a couple of lumps during the season.
2007-11-12 11:56:29
7.   JL25and3
Give me a choice of having Pedroia or Delmon Young on my team, and I'll take Young every time.
2007-11-12 12:12:31
8.   Marcus
7 Just curious, but why? Higher ceiling?
2007-11-12 12:20:24
9.   Bob B
Posada is close to being signed. "My heart is with the Yankees". Sounds like four years.Good move by Cashman. No replacement for him behind the plate or in the batting order, especially with A-Rod gone.
2007-11-12 12:38:44
10.   Start Spreading the News
4 interesting info there

I had no idea that Melky's defensive numbers were that low. I assumed Melky would be above average...

The numbers show that Damon was a better center fielder??? Clearly DER doesn't take into account throwing ability.

2007-11-12 12:52:12
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
here's something that hadn't crossed my mind:

what if bernie puts on the dodger blue to play for joe?

seeing don mattingly in another uniform will hurt me as it is. this would be the added insult to the proverbial injury.

2007-11-12 13:08:25
12.   Start Spreading the News
11 That would be highly unlikely.

But Bernie would be 40 next year, moving to a league with no DH. I don't see it happening. Even Torre noticed that Bernie lost fielding ability.

2007-11-12 13:10:52
13.   pistolpete
11 At least he won't be wearing #23.
2007-11-12 13:14:32
14.   YankeeInMichigan
7 Pedroia: 35.9 VORP
Young: 5.7 VORP

By the way, the VORP leader among all AL rookies was Jeremy Guthrie (38.2), and he got completely snubbed.

2007-11-12 13:21:33
15.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 i hope for his sake that he realizes that his time is up, but pride can talk people into doing some regrettable things.

13 that news made me smile. thanks.

also, i read that the yankees might release some guy named carl pavano to make room on the 40 man roster. just eat his contract and call it a day. (i also saw speculation that if that is done, the mariners might pick him up. desperate times...)

2007-11-12 13:22:24
16.   YankeeInMichigan
10 I believe that PMR is based on converting batted balls into outs, so it would take throwing into account for an infielder but not for an outfielder.

Though Melky covers more ground than Damon, his instincts have yet to mature. Bad reads have cost him some misplays.

2007-11-12 13:23:32
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 15 oh... i misread that as mattingly would be wearing #23.
2007-11-12 13:26:36
18.   Schteeve
If Pavano goes somewhere and pitches halfway decently I will start drinking full time.
2007-11-12 13:31:38
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 why wait? no time like the present.
2007-11-12 13:39:13
20.   JL25and3
8 Yeah, it just looks to me like there's more ballplayer there. Delmon is 2 years younger, he's got at least as much speed and is almost certain to develop considerably more power. He's got the makings of a good outfielder - despite at least one horrific gaffe - and a great arm, 16 OF assists this year. The one thing he doesn't do is walk, not at all, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

As for attitude: well, at least he said the right things after being suspended last year. Also, as long as he's got Elijah Dukes in the same organization, he doesn't look so bad.

And at least with him you don't have to hear the Spunky McScrapstein stuff.

2007-11-12 13:46:48
21.   Schteeve
Loved this from Cashman:

"Is he the ideal first baseman? No. Can he play there seven days a week? We haven't had him do that for a while," Cashman said of Giambi. "He's too good a player to do anything but play. He's not a bat off the bench, I can promise you that."

Music to my ears.

2007-11-12 13:52:47
22.   Shaun P
5 Jete, yes. Service time does not include time spent on the DL (of any kind), and so Hughes would have qualified as a rookie next year under your scenario.

More than 45 days of service time = not a rookie anymore.

Note that time on the roster in September also doesn't count as service time under the rules, due to roster expansion. So even though Joba spent more than 45 days on the roster, he's still got less than 45 days of service time.

2007-11-12 14:41:37
23.   YankeeInMichigan
Strange happenings here in the Motor City. First the Tigers trade Omar Infante (IMHO one of the best offensive utility infielders around) for Jacque Jones. I realize that they needed a lefty bat to replace (gulp) Sean Casey, but Jacque Jones?

But now I see that the Tigers are just trying to keep up with the Joneses, as they re-signed Todd to 1 year/7 million. Now I can breathe a bit easier regarding Mariano.

2007-11-12 15:53:54
24.   RIYank
Hm, but was some other team Jonesing for Jones, and now about to turn its sites on Mo?

The Griddle notes that Fukudome is now on the market. I wonder if we're bidding.

2007-11-12 18:26:01
25.   JL25and3
22 No, time on the DL does count. Article XXI, Section A(2) of the CBA:

"For purposes of calculating credited service, a Player will be considered to be on a Club's Active List if:
(a) placed on a disciplinary suspension by a Club, the Vice President, On-Field Operations or the Commissioner, or on the Disabled List..."

2007-11-12 18:32:12
26.   JL25and3
23 Actually, Jacque Jones makes as perfect a replacement for Casey as I could imagine:

453 AB, 30 2B, 4 HR, 39 BB, .296/.353/.393
453 AB, 33 2B, 5 HR, 34 BB, .285/.335/.400

2007-11-12 20:07:58
27.   unpopster
HIP, HIP!!! Jorge resigns for 4 years / $52mm.

Now let's ink Mo and get Johan!!!

2007-11-12 20:15:51
28.   thelarmis
ah, ya beat me to it...

jorge's back! $13/yr, 4 seasons.


HIP-HIP!!! : )

2007-11-12 20:36:57
29.   monkeypants
27 28 Well, I said all along that any deal for Jorge should be considered as if it were three years (in other words, forget about how many total years on the contract--is the total aceptable assuming three productive seasons?). 3 years at about 17.5 million each is probably too steep, but it's not too much higher than the 3 year/45 million figure than many here (myslef included) were tossing around.

IF (and it's a big if) Jorge defies nature and keeps hitting a bit in the fourth year, this will be a nice contract. If he turns into a pumkin, then like the Damon deal, you have to hope they get three good years out him and eat one year, rather than two and two.

2007-11-12 20:51:03
30.   51cq24
29 so then how about we say it's 3 years for $45 million and then one year for 5, with a $2 million signing bonus.
2007-11-12 21:02:45
31.   jkay
Big offer for Mo....

Rivera, 38, is the other star free agent the Yankees had hoped to
retain before other teams could talk money with him. The Yankees
recently improved their offer to Rivera to $45 million for three
years, which would easily surpass the salary of the Mets' Billy Wagner
for the highest among closers. Wagner averages $10.75 million a year.

2007-11-12 21:05:22
32.   monkeypants
30 Okay.
2007-11-13 06:59:40
33.   Shaun P
25 I admit, I don't have a copy of the CBA lying around like I know you do, but every source I checked online said DL time did not count. Maybe it changed in the new CBA and I/my sources missed it; in retrospect, I'm not sure if I had read anything dated 2007 when looking.

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