Tag:CC Sabathia
Posted on: February 14, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am
 

Camp notes: Sabathia opting out?

CC Sabathia With spring training getting into full swing today, here's a look at notes from around baseball.

* CC Sabathia has always said in the past that he was absolutely, positively not going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract after this season. Given the chance to rule it out again Monday morning, he "did some dancing around the issue and, for the first time, opened the door that he might deploy the opt-out," according to the New York Post.

Sabathia also came in noticeably lighter, saying he lost 25 pounds in the offseason because he wants to pitch another eight to 10 years. If he stays on his current deal, which runs through 2015, he'll be looking for a new contract at 36. If he opts out, he'll be trying to cash in on a long-term deal at 31. If nothing else, he can use the opt-out as leverage to get the Yankees to extend him past 2015.

* Jayson Werth showed up to Nationals camp sporting the mega-beard he had shaved off last year. The Washington Post noted that Ian Desmond told Werth, "Your beard is strong." Werth's response: "Strong to quite strong, actually."

* Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tells WEEI.com he feels so good he thinks he can pitch more innings than his first season in 2007. Considering he threw 204 2/3 that year, that's saying something.

* Joe Girardi told reporters Derek Jeter will still lead off.

* The Pirates start camp one man down, as pitcher Jose Ascanio is having trouble getting out of Venezuela due to visa problems. Can't he just use his Amex?

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: February 3, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 6:51 pm
 

What's next for Yankees' rotation?

With Andy Pettitte choosing retirement, the Yankees now go toward 2011 in the position they didn't want to face -- with an incomplete rotation.

CC Sabathia still leads the rotation, with Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett behind him. After that? Well, it's up in the air. The internal candidates are Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. The team has added Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to minor-league contracts and there are reports they're still interested in Kevin Millwood.

Here's a look at the 2010 seasons from those hoping to fill Pettitte's shoes:
Nova: 1-2, 4.50 ERA, 10 games, 7 starts, 42 IP, 44 H, 22 R, 21 ER, 17 BB, 26 K
Mitre: 0-3, 3.33 ERA, 27 games, 3 starts, 54 IP, 43 H, 23 R, 20 ER, 16 BB, 29 K
Garcia: 12-6, 4.64 ER, 28 games, 28  starts, 157 IP, 171 H, 85 R, 81 ER, 45 BB, 89 K
Colon: (2009) 3-6, 4.19 ERA, 12 games, 12 starts, 62 1/3 IP, 69 H, 42 R, 29 ER, 21 BB, 38 K
Millwood: 4-16, 5.10 ERA, 31 games, 31 starts, 190 2/3 IP, 223 H, 116 R, 108 ER, 65 BB, 132 K

That's not quite the Sabathia-Cliff Lee-Hughes-Pettitte-Burnett rotation the Yankees had dreamed off when their 2010 season was ended by the Rangers. But it also doesn't end the Yankees' playoff hopes, either. Sabathia and Hughes are certainly good enough to get the job done at the top of the rotation, even if Burnett is a wild card. The Yankees also have a good enough farm system now that they can go out and get a starter at the trade deadline.

No, the Yankees aren't as good as they would be with Pettitte, but it's hardly time for 29 other teams to celebrate the death of baseball in the Bronx.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: January 12, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Pettitte won't start 2011 -- maybe

Andy Pettitte
The Yankees won't have Andy Pettitte in their rotation this season -- at least not for the start of it.

General manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that the left-hander, who has been considering whether to retire this winter, won't be going to spring training.

"I don't think he's determined if he's officially finished or not, but he's chosen at this stage at least not to start [the season] in 2011," Cashman said. "If that ever changes he'll call us. We're not going to hound him or bother him. ... Andy's been very communicative on these issues and right now he's not in play, and if he does decide to play he'll play for us. He's a Yankee from start to finish."

Pettitte, 38, has gone 54-34 with a 4.08 ERA in the past four years, his second stint with the Yankees after three years in Houston. New York hoped to add a starter this winter but thus far hasn't, and the top-shelf options have dried up (except Carl Pavano, who isn't going back to the Yankees). The Yankees at this point will be looking to fill in from within the organization behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.

"I'm actively out there," Cashman said. "It's a very thin market to be flying in right now. That's why we may have to rely on our strong farm system a little bit sooner than we expected."

Pettitte told Cashman the decision to stay home was related to his family, but he also expects to be called upon in the federal prosecution of former teammate Roger Clemens, who is slated to go on trial in July.

UPDATE: Apparently there's some kind of semantic uncertainty regarding Cashman's comments. He's now saying he just used a poor choice of words and should have said "pitch" instead of "start." I'm not sure how "he's chosen at this stage at least not to pitch in 2011" makes it any different, but now Cashman is trying to say there's no news after all. See if you can make sense of it here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:26 pm
 

Yankees to keep Chamberlain in the bullpen

Joba Chamberlain The Yankees "paid a price" for waiting on Cliff Lee, general manager Brian Cashman told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger , as the team is still looking for a starter (or two) to round out its rotation.

"There's not much available, to be quite honest," Cashman said.

The Yankees have requested the medical records of Freddy Garcia. The team apparently isn't interested in Brandon Webb, but Cashman wouldn't comment either way.

"Bottom line is there is a price to pay for waiting for Cliff Lee," Cashman said. "Now, part of that price is definitely going to be loss of previous opportunities that [existed]. At the same time, now it's going to have to be some patience. Now it's going to be a steeper mountain to climb, which is fine, because we can climb it. Steeper meaning it's going to take a longer way to get there. IT's a harder road to travel. That's OK. You can still get there."

One person the team won't consider in the rotation is Joba Chamberlain, who battled for a rotation spot last spring and then spent all of 2010 in the bullpen.

"His stuff plays so much more significantly out of the pen," Cashman said. "We've given him the opportunity to show what he can do out of the rotation and the velocity dropped. It's just not the same stuff."

Cashman has repeatedly said he's moving on as if left-hander Andy Pettitte will indeed retire. That means their current rotation is CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and then whoever else is ready, likely Ivan Nova.

In addition to starting help, New York is also searching for right-handed bullpen help, a right-handed hitting outfielder and a utility player.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb    on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: December 20, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:48 am
 

Yankees unlikely to trade for pitching

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn't thrilled about the prospect of heading into the season with two unproven starters. But he's not thrilled with the alternatives, either.

"Could I go out and get a starter? Yes, I could. But there's just not much out there," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. "I have March, April, May, June and July, really, to come up with someone."

The only top-tier starter left on the free agent market is Carl Pavano, but there's zero chance he returns to the Bronx. Andy Pettitte is still undecided on retirement, and Cashman said he's "not waiting for him."

So at the moment, the Yankees' rotation includes CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and some combination of prospects. Ivan Nova seems likeliest to get a spot, but he's the only option with any big-league experience. Still, Cashman isn't panicking, and said he's not planning on trading away top catching prospect Jesus Montero for pitching.

"There's just nobody out there I would consider trading Montero for," he said. "In the past, we might have gone out and traded away prospects just to get someone in here. But realistically, I have until July to get this solved."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:17 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 5:52 pm
 

Bill James dishes on Cy Young, Greinke, etc. ...

Hot Stove League
In an interview with CBSSports.com's MLB Facts and Rumors, Bill James indicated that while he would have voted for Felix Hernandez to win the AL Cy Young Award, CC Sabathia should have gotten more love. He also added that the Royals should not trade Zack Greinke unless they get two Greinkes in return.

Bill James is an influential baseball writer, historian and statistician who published the Bill James Baseball Abstract in 1977 and helped to usher in the statistical revolution in full force today. James is responsible for such statistics as Range Factor, Win Shares and Game Score. He was also crucial in the understanding that statistics should be adjusted for park factor. James was hired by the Red Sox in 2003 and continues to work for Boston along with publishing the Bill James Handbook . MLB Facts and Rumors profiled some of James' statistical projections for the 2011 season in late October.

Below is the interview with James:

CBSSports.com: If you had a vote, who would you have selected for the AL Cy Young?

Hernandez Bill James: I would have voted for [Felix] Hernandez; however, I do think [CC] Sabathia got short shrift in the voting. Sabathia got surprisingly little support, presumably because people wrote him off because of the 91-point difference in ERA between Felix and CC. [Hernandez had a 2.27 ERA, Sabathia 3.18.] But of that 91 points, about 60 points is just a park effect. Hernandez WAS the best pitcher in the league, but I think it was close between Hernandez and Sabathia.

Do you think there is an over-emphasis on defense these days? More and more teams are moving away from the sluggers who can't field to more dynamic players that can. On one hand, this is a move towards making baseball more athletic. On the other, how important is it for a left fielder to be a good fielder if the tradeoff is a 10-20 home run swing?

Well, I wouldn't generalize about what other teams are doing, and I could not say whether there is or is not an over-emphasis on defense. Baseball is about:
  • 42 percent hitting,
  • 8 percent baserunning,
  • 37 percent pitching and
  • 13 percent fielding.
Which actually is very close to the numbers that John McGraw put out in 1906; McGraw had pitching at 30 percent, but the game has changed since then, and pitching is more central than it was. 
 
But these numbers assume a level of competence. I think if you have pitchers, fielders can do a lot to help them keep the score down. If you don't have pitchers, there isn't much the fielders can do. And if you don't have fielders, then you need really, really good pitching to survive.

There's a lot of hype around Field F/X and while it's certainly going to change the game, how significant do you anticipate the changes being? Will fielding finally be able to be quantified in a reliable fashion (or is it already?) or will much of fielding prowess still rely on scouting as opposed to stats?

We can quantify fielding pretty well now. I have a good deal of confidence in the fielding numbers we have now.  
 
What we do NOT have is the ability to PROJECT fielding reliably. Because we have been looking at batting numbers all of our lives, we know almost intuitively what the range of expectations is. But because the fielding numbers that we have are fairly new to us, we have little ability to anticipate year-to-year variations in performance.
 
Really, I have no idea what will happen with Field F/X data.   I wish the young people good luck with that.

There's been a lot said about Justin Upton after GM Kevin Towers said he would listen to trade offers for the Diamondback. I read an article by Rob Neyer that essentially put forth the case that there have been many outfielders with Upton's numbers at that age that don't go on to be superstars, and those that are so good at a young age tend to not improve significantly because they are already maxed out on talent. What is your take on that?

If they're giving away Justin Upton, sign me up.

I would have to study Rob's points and research the issue before I would comment on that. Certainly there have been young outfielders who were dominant at a very early age (Cesar Cedeno , Al Kaline , Ted Williams ) who did not improve offensively after that. Upton has not been a dominant offensive player. He was very good one year; the rest of his career, not so good. A 23-year-old hitter 422 games into his major league career... my intuition would be that he would probably improve more often than he would fail to improve. I would guess that if you had 20 Justin Uptons, 15 of them would have better years ahead. But that's a guess.

One thing I noticed while perusing the predicted statlines in your Handbook is the optimism surrounding youngsters like Jesus Montero, Domonic Brown, Pedro Alvarez, etc... I've heard around the internet that the Handbook tends to be too optimistic when it comes to projecting young players with little to none MLB experience. Do you think these concerns are well founded or off base?

If someone has studied the data and can demonstrate that our projections are over-optimistic, of course we'd look at it. If someone speculates that this is true, I'm not really too interested.

Intuitively, I doubt that that is true. Our projection for Jason Heyward last year was extremely accurate -- a few points high on batting average, but an extremely good projection. For Buster Posey, we projected .270 with 11 homers, 54 RBI. He actually hit .305 with 18 homers, 67 RBI. We had projected Jose Tabata at .273. He hit .299. We had projected Tyler Colvin for 4 homers, 17 RBI; he had 20 homers and drove in 56. We had projected Michael Stanton for .228 with 9 homers, 22 RBI; he hit .259 with 22 homers and 59 RBI. 
 
As part of the process of producing the Handbook, we look at every projection that we made the previous year, and compare it to what the player actually did. I study those charts every year, looking for any systematic problems. I would be surprised if anyone else actually looks at them as closely as I do after the fact, comparing what the hitters actually did to what we had projected for them, and I would be surprised if we were systematically optimistic on young hitters. 
 
Other than playing time.

We do systematically use high-end projections on playing time for young players, but that's a choice, and I think it is the only reasonable choice, honestly. If a player MIGHT bat 300 times, we project that he will bat 300 times; if he might bat 500 times, we project that he will bat 500 times. For this reason: that what the reader wants to know is, if this player plays, what kind of player will he be?

We don't have any way of knowing, in October, 2010, how much playing time Domonic Brown will get in 2011. Nobody does, and everybody with any sense knows that. Therefore, trying to guess how much playing time he WILL get is a fool's errand. The question that you SHOULD ask yourself is, "If he does get playing time, how will he play?" If he doesn't get playing time, there's nothing we can do about it.

There's quite a powerful dynamic formed in the Mets with Sandy Alderson as GM and Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi coming in. What do you think of the Mets front office now? Do you think they'll make a positive and major difference, or was Omar Minaya underrated and/or unlucky?

Those are some really competent people there. Part of the problem is that it is surprisingly difficult to use a small-market strategy in a large market.  The gambles that you might take when you don't have options don't look so attractive when you have the money to pursue better options. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to get around that.

Greinke Dayton Moore calls you up and says he's going to do exactly what you recommend for Zack Greinke. So what do you do? Would it be fair to say Moore should go after top-end minor leaguers who are close to hitting the bigs to align with their own youngsters or should it be best player available?

Well, you can't keep pushing the future away. At some point you have to embrace it and push the start button. The idea that you can get a team of players who are all the same age or about the same age is a chimera, for the most part, and anyway if you do, that's Cleveland in 2007. So if it's me, I don't trade Zack Greinke unless I can get two Zack Greinke's in return.

Scouting vs statistics still inspires a lot of partisanship. Do you think one day both sides can ever co-exist peacefully?

In my experience, we have co-existed peacefully for years. I think that's more of a media debate than a professionals debate. None of us whose butts are on the line are under the impression that we have the whole thing figured out and everybody who doesn't agree with us is just wrong. In my experience, we're all trying to pick up as much as we can from the other guys.

What I don't understand are those that rely wholly on win-loss and ERA and denigrate "advanced" stats. Technically, W-L and ERA are stats too, except they're much older so people are simply used to them. Why is it so difficult for better metrics to be accepted by these people? Natural resistance to change can't be the only answer, can it?

People aren't resisting change; they're advocating a world view. Republicans are not resisting change when they oppose Democratic ideas, they're advocating their own world view, and the same for Democrats; they're not resisting Republicans. Buddhists are not resisting Christianity. 

I probably see the world backward, but... I've always been surprised at how many people will accept new ideas, how many people will consider what you have to say, and how many people will adapt to a new idea. I have always been astonished by how rapidly our way of seeing the world has penetrated the larger baseball universe. I certainly never expected these ideas to have the audience or the acceptance that they have received.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Posted on: November 18, 2010 2:33 pm
 

Hernandez wins in runaway

Felix Hernandez
It wasn't a surprise that the Mariners' Felix Hernandez won the American League Cy Young, but it was a least a bit surprising that it wasn't close. It was also a bit surprising that David Price, not CC Sabathia, came in second.

Hernandez, despite a modest win-loss record of 13-12, got 21 of 28 first-place votes. Price got four and Sabathia three. They were followed in points by Jon Lester and Jered Weaver (completing, ahem, the exact top five I chose).

The Baseball Writers' Association of America doesn't ordinarily publicize the votes of individual members, but made an exception in this case "because of the heightened interest in this award." Below are the first-place votes by pitcher. There were two voters from each AL city.

Hernandez:
Ken Rosenthal, Fox; Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe ; Michael Silverman, Boston Herald ; Erik Boland, Newsday ; Joe Smith, St. Petersburg Times ; Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune ; Lynn Henning, Detroit News ; John Lowe, Detroit Free Press ; Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star ; Joe Posnanski, SI.com; Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star Tribune ; John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press ; Hirokazu Higuchi, Chunichi Shimbun (LA); Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports; Jorge Ortiz, USA Today ; Ray Ratto, At Large (SF/Oakland); Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald ; Larry Stone, Seattle Times ; Richard Durrett, At Large (Dallas-Fort Worth); Anthony Andro, Fort Worth Star-Telegram ; Morgan Campbell, Toronto Star .

Price: Mel Antonen, USA Today ; Tony Fabrizio, Tampa Tribune ; Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune ; Chris Assenheimer. Elyria (OH) Chronicle.

Sabathia: George King, New York Post ; Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun ; Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal .

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com