Results tagged ‘ Don Schulze ’

September 27 – Happy Birthday Don Schulze plus the 2012 Yankee Report Card

The only Yankee I could find who was born on this date is a right-handed starting pitcher named Don Schulze. Schulze started two games for the 1989 Yankees, winning one and losing the other. He went 16-25 during his six-season big league career, during which he also pitched for the Cubs, Indians, Mets and Padres. The Yankees traded Schulze and third baseman Mike Pagliarullo to the Padres right after the 1989 All Star break for Walt Terrell. He is now a pitching coach in the Oakland A’s organization.

As the Yankees wind down their regular season this week, its a good time to share my Pinstripe Birthday 2012 Yankee Team Report Card. You can use the comments feature at the end of this post to let me know if you agree or disagree with my grading:

INFIELD -  B
1B Mark Teixeira (B-) – Its been a disappointing season for Tex. He got off to another slow start at the plate in April and then slumped again in June. He’s also had a tough time staying healthy. He’s strained his calf muscle twice and those injuries have cost him right about forty games of inaction this season. Defensively, he’s remained close to brilliant. He’s currently got 23 home runs and 81 RBIs, decent numbers considering he’s missed a quarter of the schedule.

2B Robbie Cano (B+) – A lot was expected from Robbie in 2012. He got moved to the middle of the order this year and he did hit 30 home runs for the first time in his career but he has driven in just 80 thus far. For a while, it seemed to me that he was trying to hit everything out of the park instead of spraying the ball to all fields and he was once again swinging at way too many bad pitches. He’s been hot of late and is still the best all-around second baseman in baseball, hands down. A pure hitter and superb defensively.

SS Derek Jeter (A) – I am a Derek Jeter fan. Always have been, always will be. His April-to-September brilliance this season finally quieted the media morons who kept insisting the Yankee Captain was in permanent decline.

3B Alex Rodriguez (C) – For the third consecutive season, A-Rod has experienced physical breakdowns that have limited his playing time. This year it was a broken finger at the end of July that caused him to miss approximately 40 games.   Now looks to me like his 30-40 homer, 100 RBI seasons are history. Still, when he’s healthy and in the Yankee lineup, it is a much more productive lineup.

Infield Reserves – Chavez (A-) Nix (B-) – Chavez filled in close-to-brilliantly when A-Rod was hurt this season but the Yankees had a tougher time winning with him in the line-up. Nix hit better than I thought he would and proved to be much more versatile defensively than Nunez was.

C – Russell Martin (C+) – Had a horrible first five months at the plate. Looked like he was trying to pull everything. I also think his defense was down a notch this year. I’ll raise his grade if he finishes these last few games like he’s been playing this final month.

Backup Catcher – Chris Stewart (B) – Definitely an improvement defensively over Francisco Cervelli. Offensively, he’s certainly no Thurman Munson. Still, I was impressed by the way Stewart handled pitchers when he was behind the plate. I don’t expect him to be in pinstripes too much longer but he’s certainly worn them well.

Outfield – B+
OF – Curtis Granderson (B+) – They pay Granderson to hit bombs, drive in runs and play a solid center field. He did all three with a lot more line-up shuffling going on this year than last. Yes he strikes out a lot and he appeared to have more trouble with southpaws this year than he did last season but the Grandy-Man is still this team’s stud outfielder

OF – Nick Swisher (B+) – Another solid Swisher-like season from a guy who has given the Yankees four years of maximum effort. The question now becomes will he get a chance to extend that streak as a Yankee.

OF – Ichiro Suzuki (A) – Great move by Yankees to bring Ichiro east. After an OK start in pinstripes he’s been a fireball recently and huge reason why Yankees are on their current hot streak.

DH – B
During the first part of the season, there were times Ibanez (B+) and Jones (C) carried the Yankee offense. Both went stone cold in the second half though Ibanez’s bat has certainly come back recently.

Starting Pitching -B
Sabathia gets a B+. That tender elbow slowed him down but his last two starts tell me he’s back in force. Kuroda gets a B+ too, for taking over as ace in Sabathia’s absence, though I still think he loses too many close decisions to make a huge difference to a team in a pennant race. I give Hughes a B because he’s rebounded nicely after another horrid start but I still won’t hand him the ball before a must-win game in the postseason. Nova gets a C-. He needs to watch Pettitte pitch and try and mimic him on the mound, exactly. Pettitte gets an incomplete for now. I’ll wait to give him his final grade until after the season because I think he’s got a shot at an A+. Phelps and Garcia both pitched better than I thought either would this season. We will see more of Phelps in pinstripes, I’m sure.

Bullpen – A
When the greatest closer ever was lost for the season, there were probably more Yankee fans who thought it would be David Robertson (C-) and not Rafael Soriano (A+) who tried to fill the gaping hole Rivera’s injury left in the team’s bullpen. We were wrong. The “Un-tucker” had a brilliant season while Robertson let it be known he was not yet ready for primetime. Eppley, Rapada, Logan and more recently Joba and Lowe gave the Yankees one of the League’s better bullpens in 2012.

Manager Joe Girardi – Incomplete
Managers who win their Division deserve an A for their regular season performance. Managers of teams with a ten-game lead in July that lose their Division, don’t. I’ll wait and see.

Intangibles: One of the things I like most about this Yankee team is their professionalism. They play the game the right way. All they seem to care about is winning games and they keep trying to do that and believing they can, regardless of the score until the very last out is made. I love the fact that they don’t brag about themselves and they don’t disrespect their teammates or their opponents.

Use the form below to tell me if you agree or disagree with any of my Yankee 2012 regular season grades.

September 27 – Happy Birthday Don Schulze plus the PBB 2011 Yankee Regular Season Report Card

The only Yankee I could find who was born on this date is a right-handed starting pitcher named Don Schulze. Schulze started two games for the 1989 Yankees, winning one and losing the other. He went 16-25 during his six-season big league career, during which he also pitched for the Cubs, Indians, Mets and Padres. The Yankees traded Schulze and third baseman Mike Pagliarullo to the Padres right after the 1989 All Star break for Walt Terrell. He is now a pitching coach in the Oakland A’s organization.

As the Yankees wind down their 2011 regular season this week, its a good time to share my Pinstripe Birthday 2011 Yankee Team Report Card. Don’t be shy. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my grading:

INFIELD -  A-
1B Mark Teixeira (B+) -  Another typical Teixeira year. Good home run and RBI numbers and superb defensive play at first base. Only concern I have is his declining on base percentage and batting average which can probably be traced to the fact that with A-Rod missing so many games the past two seasons, big Mark is seeing fewer good pitches to hit. Love his steady and positive demeanor during both good times and bad.

2B Robbie Cano (A) – The best all-around second baseman in baseball, hands down. A pure hitter and superb defensively.

SS Derek Jeter (A-) – I am a Derek Jeter fan. Always have been, always will be. In spite of what media morons continue to spew forth about the Yankee Captain’s decline, I still, right this minute, would choose him as the starting shortstop for my team over any other shortstop currently playing in the AL. Why? Because he plays hard, he performs well, winning is his only priority and he leads. You don’t hear him make excuses when he doesn’t come though nor do you hear him brag when he does. His 3,000th hit day at Yankee Stadium will always be one of my most favorite Yankee memories, added to a collection that already has plenty with Jeter in the starring role.

3B Alex Rodriguez (C+) – For the second consecutive season, A-Rod has experienced physical breakdowns that have limited his playing time and my grade reflects that. Seems as if his 40-to-50-homer seasons are things of the past. Still, when he’s healthy and in the Yankee lineup, it is a much better lineup.

Infield Reserves – Chavez (B) Nunez (B) – Nunez did better than I expected but his bat seemed to get tired late in season. He was also sometimes shaky on defense. I loved Chavez. The only thing that held him back (and earned him a “B” instead of an “A” grade in my book) were his injuries. He can field with the best of him and he’s got a great bat.

C Russell Martin (A-) – Loved his defense and his demeanor behind the plate. He also surprisingly helped carry the team with his bat early in the season. Will be interesting to see what Yankees do with this guy next year. I think they need to keep him.

Backup Catcher Francisco Cervelli (B) – Does just fine in this role though I have to admit I’m not a fan of his over-the-top theatrics. Problem will be next year when Montero makes the team in April instead of September. If Yankees ever expect the kid to catch at big league level, using him as both their DH and Martin’s backup next year make’s a lot of sense. That leaves Cervelli on the outside looking in.

Outfield – B+
OF – Curtis Granderson (A+) – Definitely New York’s offensive MVP this year. His performance was why Yankees were able to win without A-Rod in the lineup. The difference in his ability to hit left handers from when he first joined the Yankees and now is one of the most incredible adjustments I’ve ever seen made by a professional athlete.

OF – Nick Swisher (B+) – His lack of offense was killing the team early but his second half surge more than made up for it. I was a Nick Swisher doubter when the Yankees announced he was going to replace Bobby Abreu as their starting right-fielder but I’m not a doubter any more. His eighth inning double as a pinch hitter in the Yanks Division clinching win over Tampa this year epitomized Swisher’s value to this Yankee team. He makes all the plays and has fun doing it.

OF – Brett Gardner (B-) – I continue to be befuddled by Gardner. It seems when the Yankees really truly need him to steal a base he doesn’t go or gets caught doing so. And yet, I’ve seen him start so many rallies with his bat and his base-running. I love the fact you can’t double him up and he has turned himself into one of the best left-fielders in baseball. Maybe it’s just a case of me having too high expectations.

DH – B
Posada’s early season slump was horrific but he has more than made up for it since they stopped sending him out there versus left handers. Andruw Jones did exactly what the Yankees hoped he would do when they signed him and he was near flawless when he played the outfield. Jesus Montero is a hitter. Don’t know anything about his catching ability but this kid is a hitter.

Starting Pitching -B
Sabathia gets an A. He’s the real deal. Nova gets an A too. He was this year’s nicest and most needed surprise. Colon (B) and Garcia (B+) both pitched better than I expected but I think they are now each running on fumes. Burnett (D) was horrible and Hughes (D) a major disappointment.

Bullpen – A
Robertson (A) Excellent all year long. Soriano (C+) If he was being paid $5 or $6 million a year and stayed healthy all season I’d have given him a better grade. He certainly has pitched well recently. Boone Logan (B+) Did his job well most of the time. Mariano Rivera (A+) Another stellar season. Never gets old. No one will ever do it better.

Manager Joe Girardi – A
Managers who win their Division deserve an A for their regular season performance.