Replacement Level Yankees Weblog
The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 








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NY Post: Yankees in surprising push for once-celebrated prospect
(135 Comments - 11/20/2017 10:08:16 pm)

Yankees.com: Unanimous decision: Judge named AL ROY
(75 Comments - 11/16/2017 10:18:50 am)

NJ.com: What Yankees manager candidate Eric Wedge revealed about interview
(39 Comments - 11/13/2017 7:20:55 pm)

NYDN: Yankees can pay most for Shohei Otani, with one exception
(112 Comments - 11/11/2017 3:08:24 am)

Yankees.com: Judge up for ROY & MVP; Sevy for Cy Young
(64 Comments - 11/9/2017 1:48:23 pm)

NJ.com: Which prospects will Yankees protect from Rule 5 Draft?
(47 Comments - 11/7/2017 9:40:41 am)

Yankees.com: Tanaka declines to opt out, will stay with Yanks
(61 Comments - 11/6/2017 1:58:25 pm)

NY Post: Masahiro Tanaka is Yankees’ first offseason domino
(48 Comments - 11/3/2017 7:34:09 pm)

Yankees.com: Judge, Gardner among Gold Glove finalists
(113 Comments - 11/2/2017 11:30:29 am)

NY Times: Joe Girardi Is Out as Yankees’ Manager
(250 Comments - 10/30/2017 8:43:59 am)


Look what people have to say about the RLYW!

CAIRO just takes the Marcels and changes the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
-alskor

Wow, two stupid posts in one day. I think you’ve reached your yearly quota.
sabernar

I don’t know if any of you current posters were around for that, but if so, I just can’t understand how you can call yourselves Yankee fans. Pathetic quitters is what you sounded like. Of the lame posts I could stand to read, the only person who had any confidence in the Yankees at that point was a (yeesh) Red Sox fan.
Jeter is King

Quite the attitude you have SG. Maybe you should shitcan this blog and join Steve at WasWatching? Or follow some other stupid team that has made the PS 15 of the last 17 years. Jeez… and some people think Yankee fans are entitled.
OldYanksFan




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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Yankees.com: Yankees add top prospect Torres to 40-man

The Yankees added six players to their 40-man roster in advance of Monday’s 8 p.m. ET deadline to protect players from being selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. It completes a busy day of roster moves for the club that also included a pair of Minor League trades earlier in the day to clear space on the roster.

The list of players added is headlined by infielder Gleyber Torres, ranked as the Majors’ No. 1 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, infielder Thairo Estrada, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handers Albert Abreu, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo Acevedo.

Besides the absolute no-brainers like Torres, Abreu and Acevedo and the near-no-brainers like Estrade and McKinney, the Yankees made two deals to clear three guys off of the 40-man so that they’d have room for those five as well as Jonathan Loaisiga, who I don’t even remember being a hot shit prospect. It will be interesting to see who is Cash’s current “cut in case someone better comes along.” Cash made two of his vaunted “trade 40-man guys for younger players who don’t need to be protected” deals. They have worked every other time he has done them, so I just assume that these will work, too. Ronald Herrerra, Garrett Cooper and Caleb Smith are hard to miss too much. Cooper and Smith went to a non-rival and it got the Yankees more money to spend on Ohtani.

Good stuff all around!

--Posted at 1:50 am by Brian Cronin / 69 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, November 16, 2017

NY Post: Yankees in surprising push for once-celebrated prospect

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Yankees are still trying to make a trade or two before the Monday deadline to freeze 40-man rosters for December’s Rule 5 draft, and one player who has surprisingly caught their attention is Texas’ Jurickson Profar.

The Yankees are deep in infield prospects, so there is no obvious place for Profar – once the top prospect in the game – to play.

But it seems the Yankees would be willing to take on a single player with upside and pedigree in exchange for multiple players who are crowding their deep 40-man roster.

Texas is interested in the Yankees’ excess pitching whether Profar is in a deal or not. The list of pitchers who are at least a debate whether to stay on the 40-man or be put on despite eligibility includes Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith, Chasen Shreve, Ronald Herrera, Ben Heller, Jonathan Holder, Gio Gallegos, Cale Coshow, J.P. Feyersien and several others.

Sure, why not take a flier on a youngish player with some upside if you can get him for some of the excess players on the 40 man roster?

--Posted at 10:52 am by SG / 135 Comments | - (0)




Monday, November 13, 2017

Yankees.com: Unanimous decision: Judge named AL ROY

Aaron Judge was unanimously named the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s American League Rookie of the Year Award winner on Monday, becoming the first Yankee since Derek Jeter in 1996 to garner the honor, and the ninth overall.

Judge, who recently won his first AL Silver Slugger Award, is also an AL MVP Award candidate following a 2017 campaign in which he hit .284 with an AL-leading 52 homers, 128 runs, 114 RBIs and a 1.049 OPS.
Judge’s 52 taters set the Major League rookie record for home runs in a season, breaking Mark McGwire’s mark of 49 homers that had stood for three decades. He also set the rookie record for walks, with 127, passing Ted Williams’ 107 in 1939.
The 25-year-old earned an All-Star nod—while winning the Home Run Derby along the way—and was a finalist for the AL Gold Glove Award for right field.

It was a foregone conclusion, but still nice to see. Congrats to Judge (good on him for the Silver Slugger Award,as well - Sanchez won it, as well. Can you name the last Yankee to win the Silver Slugger award? It’s sort of surprising).

By the way, if he hadn’t had that big September, do you think some yahoo would have still found a way to convince themselves to vote for someone else #1?

--Posted at 6:44 pm by Brian Cronin / 75 Comments | - (0)




Saturday, November 11, 2017

NJ.com: What Yankees manager candidate Eric Wedge revealed about interview

Yankees manager candidate Eric Wedge has a presence just talking to reporters in a group interview over the telephone.
His booming voice exudes confidence, and he comes across as friendly and likable.
While listening to him answer questions for 12 minutes, you can see why he’s still a relatively young man and has 10 years of big-league manager experience.

He’s a tough guy, too: He had a mini stroke in July 2013 and was back managing the Seattle Mariners 33 days later.
Wedge, 49, met with the Yankees management on Friday—the second candidate to interview for Joe Girardi’s old job.
Rob Thomson, a top lieutenant on Girardi’s coaching staff for the last 10 years, interviewed on Wednesday.

ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcaster Aaron Boone, a former Yankees third baseman, reportedly is a candidate. Former Yankees pitcher David Cone and catcher John Flaherty, both veteran YES Network television analysts for the club, have expressed interest.

Is it odd that I don’t particularly care who winds up as the manager?  I mean I guess I’d prefer it not be Flaherty but other than that I don’t really have any opinion or concern.  Unless we suddenly hear Bobby Valentine is a candidate…

--Posted at 9:52 am by SG / 39 Comments | - (0)




Thursday, November 9, 2017

NYDN: Yankees can pay most for Shohei Otani, with one exception

MLB rules prohibit the Yankees from blowing away the competition when it comes to paying Shohei Otani.

But they’ll still have advantage over 28 other teams when it comes to how much they can offer the 23-year-old, two-way star from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League, assuming he’s eligible to come to the majors in 2018.

The Bombers can offer Otani a $3.25 million signing bonus, according to a report from the Associated Press. Only the Rangers, at $3.535 million, can offer more. The Twins are next, at $3.245 million.

Other big market clubs can offer the following: Red Sox ($462,000), Cubs ($300,000), Dodgers ($300,000).

It must be noted, however, that Otani isn’t coming over strictly for the money. If that were the case, he’d wait until he turns 25, when there is no limit on how much teams can offer.

I’d like to think this is an advantage, but Otani doesn’t seem to be the type who cares about money as the last sentence notes.

I’m fairly certain the Yankees will pursue Otani heavily, and they should.  But so should every single team in baseball.  I would think AL teams will have an advantage as he’s pretty much strictly a DH when he’s not pitching now (has not seen the OF since six games in 2014).

The question we obviously must ask is how good will Otani be?  We can look at what he’s done so far in Japan, courtesy of Baseball Reference  First, here are his offensive numbers.  As noted,  although he played some OF his first two years, he’s been strictly a DH for the last three.

 Year  Age  Tm  Lg  Lev  G  PA  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB  CS  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
 2013  18  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 77  204   189  14  45  15  1  3   20  4  1  12  64  .238   .284  .376  .660 
 2014  19  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 87  234   212  32  58  17  1  10   31  1  0  21  48  .274   .338  .505  .842 
 2015  20  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 70  119   109  15  22  4  0  5   17  1  0  8  43  .202   .252  .376  .628 
 2016  21  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 104   382  323  65  104  18  1   22  67  7  2  54  98   .322  .416  .588  1.004 
 2017  22  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 65  231   202  24  67  16  1  8   31  0  1  24  63  .332   .403  .540  .942 
 Total      403  1170  1035  150   296  70  4  48  166  13   4  119  316  .286  .358   .500  .859 

That 2016 line really grabs your attention.  He has fought some injuries in 2017 but his production is still pretty solid, albeit with a bit less power.

Here’s are his lines on the mound.

 Year  Age Tm  Lg Lev  W L  ERA RAvg  G GS  IP H  R ER  HR BB  IBB SO
 2013  18  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 3  0   4.23  4.38  13  11  61.2   57  30  29  4  33  0   46 
 2014  19  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 11  4   2.61  2.9  24  24  155.1   125  50  45  7  57  0   179 
 2015  20  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 15  5   2.24  2.24  22  22  160.2   100  40  40  7  46  0   196 
 2016  21  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 10  4   1.86  2.12  21  20  140   89  33  29  4  45  0   174 
 2017  22  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 3  2   3.2  3.2  5  5  25.1  13   9  9  2  19  0  29 
 Total      42  15  2.52  2.69  85   82  543  384  162  152   24  200  0  624 

Injuries have kept Otani off the mound for a lot of 2017.  For what it’s worth, here’s how a couple of other recent Japanese pitchers that came over to MLB did through age 22.

 Tanaka  Age Tm  Lg Lev  W L  ERA RAvg  G GS  IP H  R ER  HR BB  IBB SO
 2007  18  Rakuten  JPPL Fgn 11  7   3.82  4.01  28  28  186.3   183  83  79  17  68  2   196 
 2008  19  Rakuten  JPPL Fgn 9  7   3.49  3.7  25  24  172.7   171  71  67  9  54  3   159 
 2009  20  Rakuten  JPPL Fgn 15  6   2.33  2.42  25  24  189.7   170  51  49  13  43  0   171 
 2010  21  Rakuten  JPPL Fgn 11  6   2.5  2.73  20  20  155   159  47  43  9  32  1   119 
 2011  22  Rakuten  JPPL Fgn 19  5   1.27  1.39  27  27  226.3   171  35  32  8  27  0   241 
 Total      65  31  2.61  2.78  125   123  930  854  287  270   56  224  6  886 
 Darvish  Age Tm  Lg Lev  W L  ERA RAvg  G GS  IP H  R ER  HR BB  IBB SO
 2005  18  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 5  5   3.53  3.53  14  14  94.33   97  37  37  7  48  1   52 
 2006  19  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 12  5   2.89  3.31  25  24  149.7   128  55  48  12  64  0   115 
 2007  20  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 15  5   1.82  2.08  26  26  207.7   123  48  42  9  49  1   210 
 2008  21  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 16  4   1.88  1.97  25  24  200.7   136  44  42  11  44  0   208 
 2009  22  Nippon Ham  JPPL Fgn 15  5   1.73  1.78  23  23  182   118  36  35  9  45  0   167 
 Total      63  24  2.2  2.37  113   111  834.3  602  220  204   48  250  2  752 

On a rate basis, Otani’s been just about as good as Masahiro Tanaka and Yu Darvish were through the same age, although they both were able to log significantly more innings.  Darvish pitched for the same team as Otani but Tanaka also pitched in the Pacific League, which uses the DH.

Anyway, what he’s done so far in a different league may give us some inkling of his talent but it doesn’t necessarily tell us what he would do in MLB.  I’ve finished up my first set of CAIRO 2018 and although it may change, here’s the first crack at projecting Otani as a DH.

 Percentile  PA AB  R H  2B 3B  HR RBI  BB SO  SB CS  avg obp  slg ops  oWAR
 80%  385  346  61   104  24  3  18  57  39   76  8  0  .301  .387   .546  .933  2.5 
 65%  368  330  54   94  20  2  16  51  35   77  6  1  .286  .363   .504  .867  1.6 
 Baseline 350  315   48  85  17  2  13  45   30  78  5  2  .271  .340   .461  .801  0.7 
 35%  280  252  36   65  12  1  9  33  22   66  3  2  .256  .316   .419  .734  0.0 
 20%  210  189  25   46  8  0  6  23  15   52  2  2  .242  .292   .376  .668  -0.5 

The average slash line for DHs in the AL last year was .243/.317/.418.  Given Otani’s youth and the fact that he bats left-handed, it’s not crazy to think he could give you that 65% forecast out of DH if he were a Yankee.

Otani isn’t really being looked at for his offense though.  While there’s some potential to get some offense out of him, teams want him for his arm.

Percentile W  L IP  H R  ER HR  BB SO  RA ERA  FIP WAR
 80%  16  5  187   132  66  60  12  48  175   3.18  2.90  2.98  6.7 
 65%  13  6  168   129  66  60  13  49  157   3.54  3.23  3.28  5.3 
 Baseline 10  7   150  126  65  60  14  49   140  3.93  3.60  3.60  4.1 
 35%  7  6  115   105  56  51  12  42  107   4.35  3.99  3.96  2.6 
 20%  4  5  83   82  44  41  10  34  77   4.81  4.42  4.38  1.4 

The standard caveats about projections apply, but in Otani’s case doubly so.  That being said, you can sign Otani and imagine getting 10 WAR out of him at the plate and on the mound.  But even if he just hits that 35% forecast as a pitcher and as a hitter, he’s still going to a valuable player to have.  And you can dream on his tools and the potential to market him as a true two-way player, the likes of which the game hasn’t seen Brooks Kieschnick or Micah Owings.

On the mound, Ohtani has as good a fastball as anyone in baseball. He’s been up to 102 mph and touches triple digits with some regularity. Ohtani throws a nasty splitter and a slider that’s just as good, and it all comes from a loose, athletic, 6-foot-5 frame and delivery.

“He’s every bit of a top-end-of-the-rotation starter,” said another international scouting director who saw Ohtani pitch recently. “He threw well the other day, even if his command was a little off. The stuff is there. He has all the pitches he needs. He’s 23 and everything works. He’s shown he can put it together in the Japan League. For me, he would go straight to the big leagues and figure it out there.”

That report alone—three plus pitches, with a tall and athletic frame to go along with easily repeatable mechanics—would be more than enough to have teams line up to try and sign Ohtani. But even those who feel the arm is ahead of the bat agree there are some impressive offensive tools to consider.

“He’s a big, strong guy,” the second scouting director said. “At 6-foot-5, he’s a long-lever guy. He has shortened up his swing a little and has the chance to hit for some power. When you have a top-end-of-rotation guy, he’s more of a pitcher for me. But he has the chance to be a good hitter. He’s a very, very good athlete.”

“Ohtani is already hitting really well at [Japan’s] highest level,” a third director said. “But you don’t see the pitching there that you see here.”

The first scouting director said he’d put Ohtani’s raw power among the best of any player at any level currently and also had recorded home-to-first times at 3.9 seconds, which is well above average and a part of his game not often discussed. All agreed that if Ohtani wanted to just hit, teams would be very interested in his services.

I’ve read that Otani idolizes Darvish and whomever signs Darvish will have an edge in signing Otani as well.  Combined with the fact that they have the most to offer him and are probably interested in bringing back Darvish, I’d say the Rangers are probably the favorites to wind up with Otani.  But it would awesome if the Yankees somehow managed to snag him.

--Posted at 9:46 am by SG / 112 Comments | - (0)




Monday, November 6, 2017

Yankees.com: Judge up for ROY & MVP; Sevy for Cy Young

The beginning of baseball’s awards season could see some serious hardware delivered to the Bronx. Aaron Judge’s historic season has placed the Yankees slugger as a finalist for both the American League Most Valuable Player Award and the AL’s Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, while Luis Severino stands as a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award.

Good for Severino!

Judge is up against Trey Mancini and Andrew Benintendi for the Rookie of the Year, Sevy is up against Corey Kluber and Chris Sale for Cy Young and Judge is up against Jose Altuve and Jose Ramirez for MVP.

Hey, one out of three won’t be bad!

--Posted at 8:06 pm by Brian Cronin / 64 Comments | - (0)



NJ.com: Which prospects will Yankees protect from Rule 5 Draft?

The New York Yankees have a bevy of talented prospects. But they can’t keep all of them. See our predictions on which young stars general manager Brian Cashman will protect from the Rule 5 Draft.
First, a quick breakdown of who’s available in the Rule 5, via Baseball America:

With a few exceptions, any player who was younger than 19 on June 4 of their signing year is eligible to be picked if they are not on a 40-man roster after their fifth pro year. Any player who was 19 or older on June 4 of their signing year is eligible after their fourth pro season.

I guess it’s a first world problem when you have so much talent in your organization that you won’t be able to keep it all.  Hopefully the Yankees won’t lose anyone that will sting down the line.

--Posted at 9:28 am by SG / 47 Comments | - (0)



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