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  • 09/02/2011, 05:22AM ET

A Yankee with Red Sox.

Marlins Fan (156-78-31) vs Dyhard (43-23-2)
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Make the best team you can consisting only of current Yankees and Red Sox players at their current skill levels. This is not an all time debate.

List first to be fair, since I can't make any changes before I see them.



C- Russell Martin
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Robinson Cano
3B- Kevin Youkilis
SS- Derek Jeter
LF- Brett Gardner
CF- Curtis Granderson
RF- Nick Swisher
DH- David Ortiz

SP- CC Sabathia
SP- Josh Beckett
SP- Jon Lester

RP- Daniel Bard
CP- Mariano Rivera



Use players at their actual positions, except you can use anyone you want at DH.

Please try to make at least two changes, if possible. Not much of a debate if there's less...


*changes in bold*

C - Russell Martin
1B - Adrian Gonzalez
2B - Dustin Pedroia
3B - Kevin Youkilis
SS - Derek Jeter
LF - Brett Gardner
RF - Nick Swisher
CF - Curtis Granderson
DH - David Ortiz

SP - CC Sabathia
SP - Josh Beckett
SP - Jon Lester

RP - David Robertson
CP - Mariano Rivera

2B and RP are my two changes...


I'm going to argue Bard vs. Robertson first.

In all honesty, you can't go wrong with either one of these guys. However, a few key stats set Bard a notch above Robertson.

Let's take a look at the stats:


Bard: 2.15 ERA, 62.2 IP, 0.830 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 4.27 K/BB

Robertson: 1.33 ERA, 54.1 IP, 1.215 WHIP, 13.6 K/9, 2.73 K/BB


So Roberston strikes out more batters than does Bard.

However, Bard has pitched more innings, and in those innings he has given up substantially less hits and bases on balls.

I would say that the two most desirable traits in a relief pitcher are 1)don't put hitters on base, and 2)get hitters out.

Robertson excels at striking batters out. So does Bard, but not at the level at which Robertson has done it this season. Advantage Robertson.

But more importantly, Bard doesn't walk anybody and gives up less hits than Robertson.

Advantage Bard.


Also, Bard has pitched 8.1 more innings than Robertson, which is a lot for a reliever.


So Bard gives up less hits and walks, and pitches for longer stretches than Robertson.


Both are great, but Bard has been a tad better.


When I'm looking at a relief pitcher, I'm looking for a couple of specific things for them to accomplish.

1. Don't allow runs to score. The point of bringing in the set-up man, which Bard and Robertson seem to be, is to preserve the score and make sure that the closer can come in and save the game to get a win. They're both at the top of the list of holds, but what Robertson has done, is that he's posted up a better ERA, which is more important than not allowing hits/walks.

2. Strike people out. When you have the first thing down, the second goal I want from these players is to strike people out. When striking people out, you don't as many things that can go wrong. You can have poor fielding which could end up causing a run, you can have an overthrow which causes a run... Multiple things can go wrong.

Robertson is my RP because he can do number 1 and number 2 better than Bard can.

My favorite stat to use for pitchers, and the stat I think is the best stat for a pitcher, is ERA+. And when you look at that stat, Robertson blows Bard out of the water.

Robertson: 327 ERA+
Bard: 193 ERA+

Robertson wins the RP position.


Ok, moving on to Robinson Cano vs. Dustin Pedroia.


Let's start with the obligatory listing of the statistics:



Cano: .307, .884 OPS, 23 HR, 99 RBI, 39 doubles, 6 triples, 283 total bases, 88 runs

Pedroia: .308, .871 OPS, 18 HR, 74 RBI, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 251 toal bases, 85 runs



Obviously Cano is having the superior year in pretty much every category.

Yeah, Pedroia has a .001 lead in BA, but that's a miniscule difference and doesn't make up for his deficit in OPS and the other stats.

Cano has pretty clearly had a better offensive year.

And before someone says Cano's AB-based numbers are better only because of an increased amount of ABs, let me just point out that Pedroia has 529 ABs, Cano 531.

Only 2 more ABs for Cano, but 5 more HR, 25 more RBI, 9 more doubles, 4 more triples, 32 more TB, 3 more runs...


And just in case you want to bring up fielding, remember Cano has played more innings than Pedroia, and therefore has more chances at 2B, more putouts, more assists, more double plays turned, and obviously more errors.


They're even on defense but Cano has a huge advantage on offense.


You're off on Pedroia's stats...

BA: .309
OPS: .872
RBI: 77
31 doubles
254 total bases
86 runs

When you want to look at statistics, I do like to look at a couple of things first & foremost. That's OPS+ and OBP.

Pedroia is sitting at 136 for OPS+ while Cano has a 131 OPS+.

OBP is a pretty considerable difference between Pedroia and Cano. Pedroia has a .396 OBP, Cano isn't even close at .351, showing that Pedroia can manage to get on base far more than Cano.

Cano strikes out more than Pedroia (80 for Cano, 66 for Pedroia) but doesn't have nearly as many walks (30 for Cano, 80 for Pedroia). That's a considerable difference.

Sorry, but Cano has played 1168 innings while Pedroia has played 1186.2.

So with Robinson Cano having 5 more errors is substantial.

Looking at fielding %, you can easily take the innings argument out of it because Cano has a worse fielding % (.987 for Cano, .994 for Pedroia).

Pedroia saved 11 runs on defense while Cano saved 2 runs.

Pedroia was worth +12 runs while Cano was worth -1 run showing that Pedroia was the better defender all around.

Pedroia, being a better hitter and a better defensive player wins.

Comment #1 has been removed
September 2, 2011  07:37 AM ET

Good luck.

September 2, 2011  08:49 AM ET

Always a fight about the second base position between these two teams both of the players numbers are very close except for home runs. Cano has Pedroia beat in that.

September 2, 2011  08:52 AM ET

I like the change in RP. Robertson doesn't come out throwing 100 mph fastball like Bard but he mixs his pitches good and is doing better then Bard this year.

September 2, 2011  09:12 AM ET

C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia- he has played less games, so his homers are a little less, but he has a higher BA, SLG, and OPS. He has a OPS+ of 109, Martin's is 96. Salty is the better catcher
1B: Gonzalez
2B: this is tough, Cano has more power with a higher SLG, but Pedroia gets on base more (higher OBP), and does more on the basepaths. Pedroia is also a better fielder than Cano. I would take Pedroia for his plate discipline, attitude, and well rounded game.
3B: Youkilus
SS: Jeter
LF: Ellsbury (can we switch positions around if it's realistic? cause Ellsbury can play LF and he's the best leadoff hitter in baseball) if not, Gardner
CF: Granderson
RF: Swisher
DH: Ortiz

SP: Sabathia
SP: Beckett
SP: Lester

RP: Robertson, and it's not close
CL: Rivera

Comment #6 has been removed
Comment #7 has been removed
September 2, 2011  10:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia- he has played less games, so his homers are a little less, but he has a higher BA, SLG, and OPS. He has a OPS+ of 109, Martin's is 96. Salty is the better catcher1B: Gonzalez2B: this is tough, Cano has more power with a higher SLG, but Pedroia gets on base more (higher OBP), and does more on the basepaths. Pedroia is also a better fielder than Cano. I would take Pedroia for his plate discipline, attitude, and well rounded game.3B: YoukilusSS: JeterLF: Ellsbury (can we switch positions around if it's realistic? cause Ellsbury can play LF and he's the best leadoff hitter in baseball) if not, GardnerCF: GrandersonRF: SwisherDH: OrtizSP: SabathiaSP: BeckettSP: LesterRP: Robertson, and it's not closeCL: Rivera

This whole thing about Pedroia beinga MUCH better fielder than Cano is absurd. I know, Red Sox fans probably invented dWAR to prove they had the best players in baseball (just like a member of the Red Sox BOD was in charge of the Mitchell Report, and he missed two of the biggest cheaters in all of baseball who just happened to play on his own team ... what a shock).

Look, Pedroia looks great at 2B. But the fact is, Cano gets to more balls than Pedey does. Yes, Cano is going to finish with more errors - probably about 7 more in total. And Cano is going to get to about 60-65 more balls this season than Dustin is. So yeah, Pedey has an edge fielding - but it isn't nearly as big as Sox homers would have you believe...

Comment #9 has been removed
September 2, 2011  10:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Always a fight about the second base position between these two teams both of the players numbers are very close except for home runs. Cano has Pedroia beat in that.

Cano also doesn't have to jump for a linedrive five feet off the ground.

September 2, 2011  10:50 AM ET

What about ARod or Crawford? I know Crawford's having a down year, but besides this season he's been good for a .330 OBP & 40 Sb. Along with +/-15Hrs should be a no doubter he's better than Swisher.

Comment #12 has been removed
September 2, 2011  11:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

What about ARod or Crawford? I know Crawford's having a down year, but besides this season he's been good for a .330 OBP & 40 Sb. Along with +/-15Hrs should be a no doubter he's better than Swisher.

There's that little part in the rules that says, "current Yankees and Red Sox players at their current skill levels. This is not an all time debate."

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September 2, 2011  10:43 PM ET

Love the title of this throwdown. Very clever. Wish I knew about baseball.

Signed,

Mets fan

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