To the mats with reader comments


Just a couple of quick ones from this morning’s entry:

Frequent correspondent let’sgoyankees says:

Good article, but I want to make one point…Melky should not be taken out in favor of Gardner. Swisher should. He plays awful defense and is a terrible baserunner. Since both he and Melky are slumping, those other two categories have Swishy beat. Swish is a useful player but he should be platooned. He’s exposed playing every day.

And Charlie F responds:


Swisher does NOT play awful defense. He plays incredibly UGLY defense, but he’s actually quite a good defender. His UZR/150 is above average as is his range factor per game. Don’t confuse ungraceful and lumbering for bad.

To which I, your humble servant, will add that there’s not a lot that’s pretty in Swisher’s game, but he’s a productive player and one the Yankees can’t afford to take out of the lineup. Even when his bat went on vacation in May, he still drew 19 walks, making for a .311 on-base percentage despite a .150 batting average. This month he’s hitting .267/.397/.500. You show me a team that benches a guy with those rates and I’ll show you a team that needs its head examined. Swisher has faults, and when a team is not playing well, those faults — the strikeouts, sub-Speaker agility in the outfield, become exaggerated. This happens to every team in a bad place — the urge to punish someone strong, and it frequently seizes on the wrong player. Swisher has been productive against both lefties and righties, has hit well by any reasonable standard, and has left something to be desired only at Yankee Stadium II, where, despite his struggles, he has posted a .373 on-base percentage. He’s part of the solution, not the problem…

…And yet he’s still going to lose playing time to Xavier Nady. That’s the way of things, and it’s depressing.

…If anyone wants to talk about this or anything else, I’m about to begin a chat (1 PM EST) at
Baseball Prospectus.


Okay Steve, I’ll take your reasons of OBP and June avg. (though I wonder what he’s been doing for the past couple weeks, but whatever) but all that UZR stat tells me is that it’s an unreliable stat. Anybody with eyes can see he plays awful defense. At any rate his defense is worse than Melky’s defense.

Whole Heartly disagree with your assessment of Swisher. He is nothing better than a 4th outfielder with an average arm. You can quote all the stat reports you have at hand and it doesn’t translate into on field production. As for his OBP, don’t forget the number of times he has failed to come through with RISP: bases loaded batting .143, 2 outs-.200, overall .220–anyone can use #’s to make their point but this guy is truely not an everyday player.

Nady in rightfield will mark the beginning of the end for the 2009 Yankees. What are the Yankees trying to be F Troop?

Hey Steven, what do you think about switching Tex and A-Rod in the batting order? It’s apparent that pitchers are pitching around Tex to get to A-Rod, and they don’t fear Cano so he’s offering very little protection.

Steve, he’s an above average bench player. That’s what he is. I don’t care what he did in may. Hitting .111 and an OBP of .311 is TERRIBLE! You’re trying to justify bad play. Bottom line is that he is not the answer if the Yankees expect to win a championship. I’ll take Swisher on my team anyday but the group of guys around him is just below average. Robinson Cano probably has the worst at-bats I have ever seen. I don’t care that he’s hitting above .300, he doesn’t get on base, he’s not clutch, he just doesn’t produce.

Stats are stats. That means NOTHING when it comes to playing baseball. Look at this stat.. he’s a career average .250 hitter and maybe will hit 20+ homeruns. Sounds about right the way he’s going.

What happened to the intelligent and researched (still stunned) comments of a few posts ago? Why would anyone who doesn’t believe that statistics are crucial in evaluating performance be reading Goldman in the first place?

I read Goldman to get the opinions of different people about the Yankees. I think stats are sometimes overanalyzed or downright wrong, but I’m still interested in what Steve has to say about the Yanks.

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