On Monday afternoon we looked at how the Yankee teams of the last six seasons performed compared to the league in a select group of batting splits. Today we’ll take a look at the last six Yankee teams’ tOPS+, which compares how the team performed in a given split with regards to its total OPS (i.e., a 90 tOPS+ during the 7-9 innings means the team performed 10% worse than usual in those spots).
Alarmingly, the team is currently in the midst of a five-year decline in its righthanded hitters’ performance against righthanded pitching compared to its total OPS, currently bottoming out at a 78 tOPS+. It’s a bit baffling that such a strong offensive team would find itself performing 22% worse than usual when its righties are facing righthanded pitchers — this performance appears to be primarily due to Derek Jeter (.273 wOBA vs. righties) and Russell Martin (.311), as Alex Rodriguez has held up his end of the bargain (.388).
After a one-year downturn in tOPS+ on the road, the 2011 Yankees are basically back in line with their recent historical performance.
Here’s another fairly bizarre stat: the Yankees have been trending downward in tOPS+ with 2 outs since 2008. I don’t know that there’s anything significant to extrapolate from this, but it’s a little odd that the team has performed 25% (75 tOPS+) worse than usual when the inning is almost over. At least they’ve countered it with their best performance with 0 outs (112 tOPS+) of the last five-and-a-half seasons
This is my least favorite chart. I’ve been griping about the team’s seeming inability to score in the late innings, and this just hammers it home. After peaking at a 112 tOPS+ in Innings 7-9 in 209, the team fell to a 92 tOPS+ last season and currently sits at 78.
Interestingly, the Yankees are currently experiencing their highest tOPS+ (110) against Starting Pitchers the 1st Time Through the Order of the last five-and-a-half seasons, which is encouraging, although it appears to be coming at a cost of letting these guys off the hook, as their performance against Starting Pitchers the 4th Time Through the Order is at a five-and-a-half-year low of 80 tOPS+, and even their performance against Starting Pitchers the 3rd Time Through the Order is 6% (94 tOPS+) worse than their total OPS. This supports what many of us have seen throughout this season, which is the Yankees seemingly continually being on the verge of knocking a starter out by running his pitch count up to around 50 after two innings, but the starter then settling down to finish 6 or 7 innings.
This is a bit odd, as hitters usually do their best work against starters the 3rd and 4th times through the order; and so this is certainly an area worth keeping an eye on to see whether the Yankees can get back to crushing starters later in the game — though this may be a case of wanting to have my cake and eat it, too, as it’s not as if I want the early-inning scoring to evaporate.
As we saw in the sOPS+ post, the Yankees’ performance against Power Pitchers compared to the league has noticeably declined the last two seasons, though their performance vs. Power Pitchers compare to their Total OPS actually peaked last season. This year the team’s struggling more with Power Pitchers compared to the last two seasons, while excelling against Finesse pitcers; a stark contrast from the last two seasons.
Again, I don’t know if one has any correlation to the other with regards to the way the team’s been approaching their at-bats this season, but it’s interesting that they’ve been both jumping all over pitchers much earlier in games than we’ve historically been used to, and also faring significantly better against offspeed types.
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