Sunday, May 20, 2007

Are the Yankees Jason?

The other Jason, one of the premier trivia questions of all time, what is Jason's last name (VOORHEES), can't be killed. Are the Yankees Jason?

I can't help but borrow this quote from a Wonkette blogger, "My mother always told me to speak good of the dead. The Yankees are dead. Good."

Despite their inability to win a championship for what seems like an eternity to New Yorkers, the Yankees have a formidable lineup. What does that mean for a playoff berth, at least from a probability standpoint?

Baseball Prospectus has their Monte Carlo simulator including the odds of making the playoffs. While past performance doesn't guarantee future results, the Red Sox check in with a 94 percent chance of making the playoffs, and the Bombers are at 16 percent, just below the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners. But as Mark Twain might say, "there are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and statistics." BP reminds us that they run their simulation 1 million times to generate these probabilities.

Amidst the hard to interpret stats available at Baseball Prospectus, one that is intriguing is defensive efficiency, that is the percentage of balls hit in play that are converted into outs. The Sox rank eighth. Toronto, Chicago, Oakland, and New York all rank higher in the AL than the Sox.

Minor League Notes: Jon Lester worked 3 2/3 innings last night in his debut with Pawtucket, throwing 48 pitches, allowing one hit, one walk and no runs. Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and raised his OPS to .703 at Pawtucket. Ellsbury has also stolen 15 bases in 18 tries between Portland and the Pawsox.

20 year-old Michael Bowden had a 5 inning one-run performance in his debut for Portland. With Lester, Bowden, and Clay Buchholz, the Sox have three top shelf pitching prospects in the high minors, with Buchholz and Bowden checking in at age 22 and 20.

Sox' California League entry Lancaster got bombed to the tune of 30-0 in a Friday night game. Lancaster returned the favor 14-12 last night. According to the 2007 issue of Baseball Prospectus, Lancaster has a very high offensive park rating.

Although tied for the team lead in homers, Greenville Drive outfielder (and former top choice) Jason Place is hitting only .192, with 51 strikeouts and 14 walks in 130 plate appearance.

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