Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 28, 2005
BASEBALL: What Ails The Yankees

As you will recall, my preseason Established Win Shares Levels analysis concurred with the general consensus that the Hated Yankees had the most talented team in the American League. But the 2005 season has thus far had other plans for the Yanks. Over at The Hardball Times, we can look at the semi-current (through last Thursday, when they were 37-34) Win Shares totals for the Yankees. Where have they gone wrong? Let's compare the EWSL totals, projected over a 71 game season, to the Yankees' actual Win Shares through 71 games to identify the culprits. First, the non-pitchers:

C33Jorge Posada794+2
1B37Tino Martinez541-1
2B35Tony Womack42-3-2
SS31Derek Jeter9104+1
3B29Alex Rodriguez12159+3
RF31Hideki Matsui9105+1
CF36Bernie Williams740-3
LF36Gary Sheffield111611+5
DH34Jason Giambi752-2
C237John Flaherty10-2-1
INF37Rey Sanchez200-2
OF39Ruben Sierra321-1
INF27Damian Rolls100-1
2B22Robinson Cano--30+3
OF28Bubba Crosby--0-10

WSAB is a measure of marginal Win Shares against the number expected of a replacement-level player with a similar amount of playing time. I included it here so you can see which guys are falling short of their EWSL due to poor quality play vs. lack of playing time. I included one player here (Damian Rolls) who I had projected in the preseason but hasn't played, and two (Crosby and Cano) I didn't project who have. Of course, adding one extra player means the team should come in a bit ahead of its preseason numbers.

As you can see, while the Yankee lineup has some problems - principally the aging support players Giambi, Bernie, Tino and Womack falling short of even their modest, age-adjusted expectations - the Yanks have more than covered this by getting greater even than expected performance from their stars, notably Sheffield, A-Rod and Posada.

You know what that means. The pitchers:

SP141Randy Johnson762-1
SP236Mike Mussina563+1
SP329Carl Pavano52-1-3
SP440Kevin Brown420-2
SP529Jaret Wright3-1-2-4
CL35Mariano Rivera463+2
R237Tom Gordon432-1
R336Paul Quantrill30-1-3
R432Felix Rodriguez200-2
R538Mike Stanton200-2
SP25Chien-Ming Wang--32+3
RP34Tanyon Sturtze--31+3
RP39Buddy Groom--10+1
SP24Sean Henn--0-10

There you have it: a falloff of 15 Win Shares (5 whole wins) from the guys who were counted before the season, and a net loss of 8 Win shares (almost 3 wins) even including the guys who weren't counted. The damage was mainly done at the back of the rotation and bullpen: Mussina at +1 and Randy Johnson at -1 vs. their expected Win Shares are actually a wash, and Mariano, like the stars in the lineup, is doing his best to carry the stragglers. But Pavano, Brown, Wright, Quantrill, Stanton and Felix Rodriguez at -16 are just killing the Yanks; all that money spent on added pitching depth in the offseason went straight down the tubes.

Looking at these numbers also reassured me that my age adjustments weren't too harsh, and in some cases were too mild: the eight Yankees age 37 and over are at a net loss of 11 Win Shares against even their diminished expectations.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:24 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)

I htink you may be selling short the possibility that Randy Johnson doesn't scream enough.

Posted by: Matt at June 28, 2005 3:32 PM

Let's see, the Yanks are forecast for 39 wins after 71 games, and they actually won 37? What's the issue?

90 wins is probably the low-end of what Yanks were forecast for. If anything, this is a vindication for Crank!

Posted by: tangotiger at June 29, 2005 3:53 PM
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