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  1. I’ve gotta say I disagree with you, Joe. It’s not how Tex has done in the small sample size so far, but how he would have done going forward if healthy, and how Thames/Berkman (whoever wouldn’t have played otherwise) will do instead. You can’t project Tex to have continued to do poorly based on his last week’s worth of play.

    Also, you’re ignoring the humongous defensive loss. Berkman is a poor defender and Thames is a butcher.

    Comment by Ari Collins — October 21, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  2. Berkman is not a poor defender. His UZR/150 this season was 6.5, and his career UZR/150 is 3.1. The Fielding Bible’s DRS roughly agrees with this assessment.

    He has always been a good defensive first baseman.

    Comment by OremLK — October 21, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  3. You can’t predict anything over a small sample.

    The Yankees lineup *may* have one game without Teix, and they may have 3 without him.

    We cannot predict with a high level of accuracy how Teix would have done in those 1, 2, or 3 games.

    I agree that it does not hurt as much since he has been doing nothing at the plate, and when you lose “nothing” it’s not noticeable. However, most of us know that’s not how it works. Still, it’s something to consider.

    I also agree that you lose something defensively with his absence, as most evident in last year’s playoffs.

    The deeper, more talented, the team … the less affected they are with injuries. We all know that.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 21, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

  4. Given Teixeira’s talent we can assume that his futility wouldn’t have lasted forever. But there didn’t appear to be any signs that he was going to turn it around in this series.

    There were no signs that he wasn’t going to turn it around either. Slumps and hot streaks don’t have predictive value going forward.

    Buster Posey was 1 for 11 in the NLCS going into last nights game, and “there didn’t appear to be any signs that he was going to turn it around in this series.”

    Comment by Kazinski — October 21, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  5. Yet Tex hadn’t been healthy for over a month now, with multiple injuries, including a broken toe and problems with his thumb.

    Comment by delv — October 21, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  6. This is a defensive loss, but an offensive gain.

    Tex was playing on a broken toe and is struggling with a bad thumb. His .000 BA was also in the 3-hole.

    Now the 3-hole goes to Robinson Cano, then Yankees most dangerous hitter & MVP so far in the series. This could very well be addition by subtraction, both for this series and the long run (if Cano is moved to the 3-hole next year). Berkman & Thames taking up the bottom of the lineup is not the end of the world. The next two games are Colby Lewis (R) & if necessary Cliff Lee…and I don’t think handedness will make a big difference in that one.

    Defensively it’s a bigger hit. Tex makes difficult plays on a routine bases and has fantastic instincts at his position. Berkman is only an adequate 1B at this point in his career & struggles dealing with errant throws from our weak right side of the infield. Still, he’s better than solid RF and occasional reliever Swisher, who lacks 1B reps and looked lost in Game 4. Thames is solely a DH, and his time in RF in G4 was cringe-inducing.

    Comment by moebius — October 21, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  7. In a vacuum the Yankees probably lose around 1% on their expected win probability by having Teixiera out and Berkman replacing him. You can have two versions of this number if you believe one of these players has an extreme lefty/righty split, but the 1% is your average starting point.

    For example if the Yankees had a 50% chance of winning a game with Berkman playing 1B, they would have a 51% chance of winning that same game with Teixeira at 1B.

    X = (Difference in True Talent WAR / 150)

    I used a 5/3/1 weighting on the last three years to estimate each players “true talent WAR”. Feel free to plug in your own. This is the simplified way for calculating the wowy – and only an exercise.

    1 WAR difference: 0.0067
    1.4 WAR difference: 0.0093 << what I used
    2 WAR difference: 0.0133
    3 WAR difference: 0.0200
    4 WAR difference: 0.0267

    Comment by Xeifrank — October 21, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  8. Good post but I have to quibble with one thing.

    Discussing Thames you said, “That success has not carried over to the postseason, though, as Thames has gone just 4 for 20 with a homer and two walks. “. The implication was that Thames has had a poor postseason so far.

    Projected out over a full season (702 PA) though, that would give him 32 HRs, 64 walks, and a .250 batting average. Compared to Teixeira’s 2010 stats (712 PA, 33 HRS, 93 walks, and a .256 batting average) the difference is small.

    I’m not saying Thames has been great, but given the small sample size (22 PA) I don’t think one can fairly conclude that he’s underperforming.


    Comment by stratobill — October 21, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  9. This is just the Teixeira v Berkman at 1B part of the equation. You’d also need to look at the effect of having Thames at DH instead of Berkman. I will leave that part up to someone else. :)
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — October 21, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  10. Oops! I should of proof-read my previous comment. Thames is only batting .200 in the post-season, not .250 as I mis-calculated. My bad!

    But it kind of re-inforces my point about small sample sizes. When a difference
    of a single hit changes a batter’s average 50 points it is simply not practical to
    draw any conclusions about how well he is performing. Especially when he is
    facing a playoff calibre pitching staff.

    Comment by stratobill — October 21, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  11. The big thing that people are missing here is there are underlying structural concerns (ie injuries) that make the assumption that Tex wouldn’t improve this post-season pretty reasonable.

    Comment by moebius — October 21, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  12. If one were interested, they could likely look up post-season stats and see just how often a 0-for-10+ AB player has responded with big games versus just keeping with the struggling trend.

    Given the quality of pitching that batters face in the post-season, it could very well be that the majority of players that struggle early in a series continue to struggle throughout the series.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 21, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

  13. small sample size is one part of it, the other part is the fact that we have the information that teix is injured. sss may be the be all and end all in an idealized random sample scenario, but since we have this extra information on his health situation it is not unreasonable to assuem a lower than normal performance going forward, at least in the duration of the injury.

    Comment by awayish — October 21, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

  14. “worst since his rookie campaign” is disingenious at best. Yes, this is his second worst season but still much better than his (still above average) rookie year. Quick table of wOBA and wRC+

    Rookie (’03) .345 106
    This Year .367 130
    Average .388 137
    Next worst year (’04) .389 132

    So it was closer to his average than his rookie year and by no measure bad. To try to pretend that he had anything remotely approaching a bad year is either trying to justify something that’s not true or just cherry picking stats to have an article to write. It would be just as acuurate to say that Pujols had the third worst year of his career and his worst year since 2002. And just as misleading

    Comment by MikeS — October 21, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

  15. The Yankees actually might want to consider playing Kearns in the outfield and Swisher at first tonight. Given Phil Hughes’ flyball tendancies, you’d ideally want your rangiest outfielders out there, and that’s Gardner/Granderson/Kearns, left to right. Swisher’s really not bad in right field, but Kearns is much, much better. You might lose a little bit going from Berkman to Swisher at first, but it’s not going to be magnified the way the right field gain is. And while Thames is a better hitter than Kearns, even against righties, you can leverage his bat better against a lefty situational, offsetting some of the loss, and if Thames takes over for Kearns in right later in the game, it won’t be as harmful given the Yankees’ high-strikeout relief corps.

    Comment by Kevin S. — October 22, 2010 @ 10:25 am

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