The Saturday Morning MLB notebook, edition 1…by Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

  • Launch angle and exit velocity…the first stats from the age of analytics that I’ve actually bought into; you learn a lot about a player by the launch angle of a hit ball and velocity with which it is coming off the bat.
  • Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez…not Maris and Mantle, but they sure are fun to watch at the plate; Judge has incredible power to all fields, steals bases, and plays a great right field.  Meanwhile, Sanchez covers the whole plate and crushes the ball; like Judge, many over 400 feet.  Behind the plate he has rocket for an arm..exciting times ahead for my Yankees.
  • The Baltimore Orioles are in free fall, mainly because of really poor starting pitching.  You don’t have pitching, you don’t win!!!
  • The Blue Jays are a mess…yes, they have been hurt by lots of injuries, but so have many teams  (in the past five days, the Yankees lost CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez to injury)…I don’t think the Jays have overcome the loss of EE and their starting pitching is not what they expected.
  • Put up your hand if you thought the Minnesota Twins would be battling for first on June 17th…I had them finishing last again; I don’t think they’ll hold off Cleveland, but nice to see a bright future for the Twinkies.
  • Detroit, Kansas City and the White Sox…BORING!!!!
  • Houston Astros have run away with the AL West…their talent level is outstanding…Carlos Correa and George Springer are great young players, while Dallas Keichel is back to his great pitching.  The Astros are an example of the trend in all sports (Hello NY Jets, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia 76ers) of teams gutting their roster and rebuilding on high draft picks.

    MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals

    Love watching Max Scherzer pitch for the Nationals.

  • If the Washington Nationals could ever get late inning bullpen help, they’d be tough to beat…but, far too many leads are blown in the 8th and 9th inning.  They may have to pay big to find a closer.  The rest of the division, Mets, Phillies, Braves don’t instil confidence in their fan base.
  • Who saw the Milwaukee Brewers and Eric Thames giving the Chicago Cubs a run for their money?  I think the Cubs are still in hangover mode from last year’s historic World Series win…if they get out of their funk, they’ll pull away, but that’s not a given.

    Blackmon

    Charlie Blackmon is a tremendous lead off hitter for the Rockies.

  • I really, really like the Colorado Rockies lineup…Charlie Blackmon is some kinda talented, as is Nolan Arenado…and they finally have some pitching.  Though the Dodgers freely spend Magic Johnson’s money, the only thing that will allow them to compete is the youth on their team.  Who saw the San Francisco Giants nosediving like they have this year?
  • MLB wants to do something about the pace of the game, shortening the length of games…so they do something ridiculous like having the intentional walk automatically go to first with no pitches; i have seen far too many mistakes made by the pitcher and catcher on an intentional walk to just shelve it.  So, two minutes are possibly saved here.  But then…instant freakin replay!!!  Some replays are so tedious, they take up to two to three minutes per challenge…and if you have four or five per game, you’re adding, not subtracting, minutes onto the game.  Leave the game alone, it was just fine as it was, thank you.  Oh, and Chase Utley, thanks for nothing…your slide into second base now has taken away exciting plays at both second and home; this isn’t ballet (which I like), but rather pro sports.
    Utley

 

Yankees News and Notes:

  • Yankees were on a great 5 game winning streak, handling both Boston and Baltimore at home; then the dreaded West Coast trip to Anaheim and Oakland; bullpen falls apart, CC put on the DL, Sanchez and Hicks injured, and suddenly you’re down to a one game lead int he AL East.
  • Love the double play combo of Dee Dee Gregorious and Starlin Castro…great gloves and both can really rake.
  • Matt Holiday has helped Aaron Judge a lot this year, teaching him how to be a pro and his approach at the plate.  Great signing by Cashman in the off season.
    holliday-judge-15c13793a19c4945
  • Chris Carter has Dave Kingman written all over him; it’s either feast or famine for him…he either crushes a ball to deep centre field or strikes out…
  • I like waht I have seen so far of the Yankees 5th starter, Jordan Montgomery; a crafty young lefty who mixes it up like Andy Petitte.
  • Masahero Tanaka sure hasn’t given the Yankees Ace like pitching this season; his pitches are flat with little movement on them.
  • I could listen to Michael Kay and Paul O’Neil on the YES Network 24/7; smart baseball guys, and even more importantly they have fun with what they are doing.  I love how self-deprecating Paul O’Neil is…so much fun.

    Michael_Kay,_Paul_O'Neill,_Ken_Singleton_in_broadcast_booth

    Michael Kay, Paul O’Neil and Ken Singleton in the YES broadcast booth…so entertaining and knowledgable about baseball.

  • Jon Sterling and Suzy Waldman on WFAN are a joy to listen to …takes me back to the days of listening to baseball on the radio..they paint a great picture of what’s going on in the game…so entertaining.
  • Aaron Hicks has turned into the great CF the Minnesota Twins thought he would be; another great move by Brian Cashman.
  • Never been a big Brett Gardner fan…but he’s done a nice job in the leadoff spot this season…a surprising 13 HR’s already.  He and Holiday are having a “bald guys challenge”…to see who hits more HR”s this season…loser has to try and grow his hair out for a month…love it.
  • When the YES Network used to pan around Yankee Stadium, you’d still see thousands of Jeter jerseys…but, watch now and all you see are Judge, t-shirts and jerseys…they can’t make them up fast enough!!!
  • I don’t know if Aaron Judge can continue at this pace, but, there are no signs that he can’t; he’s sitting at a 23 HR’s, a batting average of .345, 52 RBI’s and when he’s not hitting home runs, he’s either walking or getting a hit.  Last night he flew around the bases and got a triple after crushing a ball against the right field fence.  The measuring stick is Mr. Jeter, but somebody raised Aaron Judge really well, because I don’t think i’ve seen a more humble young athlete in my life.  Lots of Jeter and Mark Scheifele in him.
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