Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Shaky Yankees: Womack?

This is pretty crazy. It's May, yet the Yankees are losing it a little. Obviously, it brings an instant smile to those of use who root for the "small-market" and "low revenue" clubs, but really it's quite disturbing. I mean, Tony Womack in leftfield? Why? Look:

Tony Womack, average year: .274/.319/.362, 4 HR (ISO - .086)
Average AL LF, 2004: .281/.347/.453 (ISO - .172)

Keep in mind also that Womack is 35 years old and hasn't played more than five innings in a season in the OF since 1999 with the D'Backs. This makes no sense at all. He has no power. He has no on base skills. He's past his prime, and was never that much of a player when he was in his prime. Yet, this guy is playing LF for the Yankees? Sure Bernie Williams in his decline, as his OPS has dropped every year since 1998. Yet, the Yankees, already with the poorest fielding team in the entire league (according to BP's DER), put Tony Womack in left. Hideki Matsui is moved to CF, and he was a terrible LF as it was (-8 runs below average in '04 and '03), and likely will be even worse than Bernie (-4 in '04) in a premium defensive position. Why did they pass on Beltran, again? To get over the hill, injured retread pitchers? Good move.

Now, since Womack moves from 2B to LF, Robinson Cano moves up from AAA to become the everyday 2Bman. Cano doesn't seem like much of a player by looking at his minor league track record. Cano had a .719 raw OPS in AAA last year, that translated into a .685 EQOPS. He does seem to be a good defender, though. According to Baseball America, Cano has an excellent arm, and has developing plate discipline. He also has below-average speed, and reportedly his range is lacking. He is raking at Columbus this year, with a line of .333/.368/.574.

These are just part of the problems with the Yankees, though. Really, if they wanted to improve their awful defense, they would move Jeter to 3B and A-Rod back to SS. Their pitching has been awful, especially relief. It seems like all of their players have gone into simultaneous decline. What a beautiful sight, let's hope it continues.

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