Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yankees finally reshaping organizational roles in farm system

As the Kansas City Royals are set to host Game 1 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants Tuesday night, the New York Yankees are knee-deep in organizational changes surrounding their farm system.

The Yankees, long scrutinized by farm system experts, have named former hitting coach and scout Gary Denbo their next senior VP of baseball operations replacing Mark Newman, according the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand. The Yanks also removed Pat Roessler who was the team’s director of player development since 1995. Newman was in his role for 15 years.

The Yankees have stated since last season that they would be taking a different approach where it concerned the farm system and this seems to be the first step in that direction. It is also believed that the Yankees will split the responsibilities into four distinct areas; pro scouting, amateur scouting, international scouting and player development as described by New York Post columnist George A. King III.

Splitting the responsibilities makes absolute sense. The fact that this was not the case is telling, considering the Yankees inability to create stars through their system, whether to place on their own roster or use as trade chips. It’s possible the team’s failure to structure the department Denbo is taking over caused overlap which reflected in poor decision making. Nothing is assured in scouting players but placing emphasis on a single aspect for one or two executives could help the Yankees gain some ground in each sector.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yankees should replicate Royals' bullpen scheme

The New York Yankees could learn something from the Kansas City Royals -- how to lengthen the bridge from starter to closer and make it as secure as possible.

For much of this season and particularly in the postseason the Royals have marched out a three-headed beast from the sixth inning on. The trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland have made manager Ned Yost’s job fairly easy. The hard-throwing combination has been lights out in the playoffs, virtually untouchable at times.

Besides providing a better chance to win, the Yankees have another reason to try to replicate the strategy. It would cut down on the innings pitched of their starters. The game has just a few players who can go end to end anymore and there isn’t one on the Bombers who necessarily can do that on a start by start basis.

Much of the issue is with the starters coming off injuries or simply trying to prevent them. CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova missed much of 2014 and both will try to come back from major surgery. Masahiro Tanaka is one throw away from Tommy John surgery. No one knows when his UCL will completely tear, but it is going to happen at some point. Michael Pineda missed a chunk of 2014 as well and has had his share of maladies in years’ past. Whoever holds the final spot in the rotation; Brandon McCarthy if the Yankees sign him, or one of the young arms in the organization, either would benefit from minimized innings.

So, if the Yankees want to develop the same strategy, who are the players they’d turn to?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New York Yankees: Easy does it Mr. Lupica

Since the New York Yankees recently extended the contract of general manager Brian Cashman, there have been a slew of articles written by those “in the know” -- namely the Bombers beat writers and others in the New York print media -- about how the Yanks will fare in the upcoming season.

Today, I’m going to delve into the work of one of the most well-known members of New York’s (and the nation's) sports media, Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, and provide my commentary on his observations and remarks from an article published Oct. 11.

Somehow Yankees continue to perpetuate Bronx tale that they are close to winning World Series every year — they’re not


First off, good lord that’s some headline. And I struggle for pageviews.

For all those that despise the Yankees and relish in their “demise,” this is Lupica in his finest I can’t stand the Yankees rant. His dislike and the simple narrative actually makes it easier for me to counter.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Hardy’s deal with Orioles impacts Yankees’ shortstop plans

The Baltimore Orioles might have put a kink into the New York Yankees offseason plans to fill the hole left by the retirement of Derek Jeter. Thursday afternoon, the AL East champs agreed to a three-year, $40 million contract with a fourth-year vesting option with J.J. Hardy according to multiple reports.

With Jeter gone, and not a single player ready in the minor league system, the Yankees will likely look to the free agent market. Of course they could swing a trade, but trying to determine who fits with what team is a crapshoot. I’m not privy to internal discussions so why speculate?

Looking at options that are available on MLB’s open market and have tangible evidence to compare is easier to analyze and that’s what I’ll try to do here. This means I’ll also exclude South Korean power hitter Jung-ho Kang from this discussion since no one really knows how his body of work would translate to MLB.

With Hardy gone, the Yankees have a handful of players they could look at; Asdrubal Cabrera, Stephen Drew, Jed Lowrie and Hanley Ramirez.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why the Yankees don’t need a captain

Once New York Yankees icon Derek Jeter retired, there was a general sense of who might take on the role of captain and it's been discussed on the beat? Is it a player on the roster already? Or is it someone who will come up through the system? One thing is for sure, there is no need to jump from Jeter immediately to another named captain.

This isn’t to say the job Jeter did was not helpful. Rather, he would be the first to say the role was somewhat of a figurehead thing; in that there were others on the team who stepped up as active leaders on and off the field during his time as captain.