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Rivera on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show!

9 May

Fun Stuff. As Jon Steward is a diehard Mets’ fan, you can imagine he would certainly joke about it.



The Past Week + A Hilarious Video of Robinson Cano! XD

2 May

It’s been a week! I’ve been BUSY with a bulk (100,000+ words) medical editing project. Besides very little (2 or 3 hours) sleep per day, I was literally working. =’= I even had meals while working though I had live Yankees games on while processing the editing files, too. Ha. Anyway, here is a hilarious video, more like a Laugh Out Loud trick, about Robinson Cano on Jimmy Fallon Show. Enjoy! XD



What To Make Of Yangervis Solarte

22 Apr

When Solarte came up with the Twins, he showed promise as a contact hitter. In 2010, as a 22 year old in rookie ball, high-A, and double-A, the infielder hit .292/.328/.401. In his next full season at double-A in 2011, Solarte hit .329/.367/.466. His lack of strikeouts unfortunately came with a lack of both walks and home runs. Yet New Britain Stadium is a notoriously tough ballpark to hit in, and Stat Corner gave the park just a 74 rating for home runs to lefties and a 72 rating for home runs to righties that season. Solarte’s park adjusted wOBA was an impressive .370 in 2011, ever after hitting just 7 home runs.

Despite his strong performance in Double-A, Solarte was granted free agency at the end of 2011 and signed with the Rangers for the next two seasons. Even with a new hitter friendly home ballpark in Dell Diamond, Solarte had a lot of trouble hitting at home. His splits in 2012 had him OPSing .822 on the road, but just .652 at home. Likewise, his right-handed swing produced an .809 OPS that season, while his lefty swing held just a .716 OPS. Of course in 2013, he hit better at home than on the road, OPSing .753 at Dell Stadium and .700 everywhere else. His right-handed swing again outhit his left-handed by a considerable amount, though the majority of his home runs came from the left side.

The more you look at Solarte’s splits, the more back and forth they go. Though he remained very good at making contact over his minor league career, his platoon splits as a switch hitter bounced back and forth year to year. Over his last few years in the minor leagues, Solarte looked like a very tough out, more willing to take a walk, and less willing to take a strike out. His splits indicate that he did this better from the right-handed side of the plate, and from the left-handed side, he was slightly more prone to strike out, as well as poorer contact numbers, but more power. There’s a lack of data to justify this assumption, but it looks like Solarte was a ground ball and line drive hitter from the right-handed side, while he was a fly ball hitter from the left-handed side.

So now we’re in 2014, and Solarte has crushed the ball from both sides in his small sample of spring training and 53 MLB plate appearance. As a left-handed hitter, he owns a .393/.485/.536 slash (33 PA’s), and from the right-handed side, he’s hitting .278/.350/.389 (20 PA’s). Again, we’re seeing more pop from the left-side of the plate, while he’s more contact (less strikeouts and walks) from the right-side. One key difference for Solarte so far is that he’s taken his walks (5 BB’s to 4 K’s) from the left-handed side as well, an indication that he’s laying off bad pitches out of the strike zone.

In terms of contact, Solarte is batting .188 on ground balls, .444 on fly balls, and .833 on line drives. We can actually expect him to get more hits on ground balls going forward, presumably helping him increase his contact rates from the right-side. His line drive rates are a bit lucky, and we’ll probably see that fall slightly to around a .700 average once he gets a larger sample size. His fly ball rates are the most interesting numbers, which is where all 6 of his doubles came from. For someone that’s watched Solarte hit, I wouldn’t call his .444 average on fly balls lucky, however it will not continue. In his first few games, outfielders played Solarte in, as they didn’t expect a career minor league infielder to hit many balls over their heads. He did just that, and the 6 doubles that came in his first 27 plate appearances were all shots to the warning track. As outfielders saw his power, Solarte hasn’t hit an extra base hit since.

Over his last 26 plate appearances, Solarte hit just .227/.346/.227 with 5 singles and 4 walks. He hasn’t looked overmatched though, and as I indicated above, he’s been fairly unlucky with his ground balls. He’ll be a tough out, especially if he continues to take his walks. With a great eye at the plate, he needs to prove that he can make more than just contact with the ball, but hard contact. The Twins and Rangers soured on him because of the lack of power, and over the last 26 plate appearances, we’re seeing exactly that. His early season at bats indicate that he can make that contact, but at what rate?

Solarte looks very much like what we saw from a young Melky Cabrera, and Cabrera’s 2006 .280/.360/.391 slash isn’t out of the question. Given a full season, he probably won’t hit many more than 10 home runs, but a respectable average and on base percentage as a utility infielder could go a very long way for a Yankee team relying on Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts in the middle infield.



2010 ~ 2013年流浪雙城和遊騎兵小聯盟的Solarte是個巧打型打擊者,三振少,保送少,全壘打也少。身為左右開弓打者,他的左右打擊分歧不固定。站右打時,巧打型;站左打時,被三振較多,但也較多砲瓦。雖然樣本數不足以佐證,但Solarte站右打時,看起來是滾地型和飛球型打者;站左打時,擊出飛球比較多。

現在2014年,春訓到4月17日的53次大聯盟打擊小樣本數,顯示他左右打都很猛。站左打時的打擊三圍.393/.485/.536 (33個打數);站右打時的打擊三圍 .278/.350/.389 (20個打數),且他站左打時飛球比較多,而站右打時比較巧打 (少三振和保送)。唯一不同的是目前為止他站左打時也能被保送 (5個保送/4個三振),顯示他不追打壞球

以擊出的球來說,Solarte的滾地球比率是0.188、飛球0.444、平飛球0.8333。因為他站右打時的高擊球率,可以預期他滾地球比率會增加。他的平飛球比率則有點幸運,他打數多一點時,我們可能會看到比率降到0.700。他的飛球比率是最有趣的數字,他的6個二壘安打都是飛球。我不是說他0.444的飛球比運氣好,但應該不會持續下去。在他前幾場比賽時,對方外野手站較淺,因為他們沒有想到一個生涯的小聯盟內野手能把這麼多顆球打那麼遠 (飛過他們的頭頂),但他就是能把球擊那麼遠。Solarte前27個打席出現6隻二壘安打,且全都打到警戒區。隨著外野手知道他的砲瓦後,Solarte再也沒擊出過長打…=.=a


Solarte看起來很像年輕的牛奶弟Melky Cabrera。2006年Cabrera的打擊三圍 .280/.360/.391看起來對Solarte來說不是不可能。整季打下來,Solarte可能打不到10隻全壘打,但身為內野工具人,有水準之上的打擊率和上壘率,在仰賴Jeter和Brian Roberts為內野手的洋基隊應該可待長久


David Letterman – NY Yankees Jeter, Pettitte & Posada

18 Apr

It’s an old video in 2009 when Yankees won the World Series championship! Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada were invited to David Letterman’s Late Show. I’ve seen this video a lot of times and came across it on a Yankees beat writer blog today. So, why not post it here & enjoy the video again? XD~



Jeter is quick-witted, isn’t it?


Sports Illustrated on Tanaka

15 Apr

Sports Illustrated had a very insightful profile on Tanaka:

Because Americans discourage splitters, Tanaka has a distinct advantage over major league hitters: They are not trained to hit it. They don’t see it regularly. Against the six pitchers who threw it the most last year, for instance, major league hitters batted no better than .201 against the pitch. (Kuroda and the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma threw it most often.)

As much attention as Tanaka’s splitter gets, his slider, which he throws more often, is underrated. Yankees scout Brandon Duckworth (Tanaka’s teammate last year with the Eagles) needed to watch him throw only one live batting practice session this spring to see that Tanaka’s slider had even more bite than he remembered. “Best I’ve seen it,” says Duckworth. The slicker surface of the major league ball creates later and sharper tilt on the pitch.

If you get a good grip of the ball, the slider is more crisp than in Japan … a better slider,” adds Tanaka. “The problem could be that sometimes the balls can slip.” Says Darvish, who has held major league hitters to a .160 average on his slider, “I totally agree.”

Very few pitchers throw a slider where the dot disappears,” says Yankees special assistant Trey Hillman. “A hitter looks for that dot on the baseball as it spins to identify the slider. But only a few pitchers spin the slider so fast that you can’t see the dot. I’ve only had two of them: Darvish and Zack Greinke. Now I’d put Tanaka’s slider with them. It’s that good.

If there is vulnerability in Tanaka’s repertoire, it is in his fastball, even though he has good velocity and commands it well on both sides of the plate. Unlike most American pitchers, who stay tall through their deliveries to generate a downward plane and movement on their fastballs, Tanaka is a drop-and-drive pitcher, a technique that generates power through the legs but results in a lower release point, which limits the downward plane of his fastball.

“He’s definitely not Darvish,” says one talent evaluator for a team that bid on Tanaka. “We see him as a No. 2. He’s not a No. 1. His fastball is pretty flat. There’s a good chance in Yankee Stadium he’s going to give up a lot of homers to lefties. But he’s got a legit split, he commands really well, and he’s a competitor.”


Just like RAB had it, one of the two reasons Tanaka might not be so successful this season is that Tanaka likes to pitch up in the zone. Pitching up in the zone is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself — it’s a great way to get swings and misses — but in the Bronx more fly balls mean more homers. Also, RAB reckoned that Tanaka has two above-average offspeed pitches. We all know about the splitter …but he also throws a very good slider. It’s not as good as the splitter, but it’s not a show-me pitch either. Tanaka isn’t some two-pitch pitcher. Far from it.


運動畫刊 (Sports Illustrated) 精闢側寫田中 (Tanaka)
因為美國不鼓勵指叉球,這對田中面對大聯盟打者而言是個優勢,因為他們沒訓練過打指叉球,也不常見到此球種。去年投最多指叉球的六個投手,面對大聯盟打者的對戰打擊率是0.201 (黑田和水手的Iwakuma最常投指叉球)。


洋基特別助理Trey Hillman說:「很少投手投滑球時球上面的“點”會消失,當球旋轉時,打者找球上面的點來判別滑球,但只有一些投手可以把球快速旋轉到看不見那個點,我只看過兩位投手可以做到那樣:達比修和Zack Greinke,現在我把Tanaka也算進來。他滑球就是投得那麼好」。




譯者感想:如同River Avenue Blues (RAB)講的,Tanaka這一季可能表現不會很好的原因之一是Tanaka喜歡投高球進好球帶。投高球進好球帶本身不是壞事,很容易讓打者揮空,但在洋基球場,越多高飛球表示越多全壘打。另外RAB也認為田中有兩種平均水準之上的變化球,其中之一是大家都知道的指叉球,但他滑球也投得很好,雖然沒有指叉球來得好,但他的滑球不是投投看而已,完全不是那樣。