Yankees 2013 season report card

A+

With the 2013 season behind us and with no postseason, the only thing left to do is to grade the Yankees (and for them to hope that they get a good grade). Here are the grades I gave to players from highest to lowest:

Mariano RiveraIn his final season, Rivera once again dazzled everyone with his dancing cutter and his ability to get hitters out. The fact that this was all after getting knee surgery AND battling arm soreness in September makes Rivera a grind-out, legendary pitcher. I might have raised his grade up just for making me emotional when he cried in his final home game of 2013. 

Final Grade: A+

Robinson Cano: Robinson Cano’s average and RBI numbers are amazing. His defense is flawless and he’s one of the best second basemen in the league. However, I had to dock a few points off his grade because of his failure to hustle at all times.

Final Grade: A

Alfonso SorianoAlfonso Soriano was easily one of the best trades this season. For a player that apparently can’t play the outfield or can’t run, he seemed to have done all of that and probably made the scouts look a bit foolish. He even inadvertently made Brian Cashman look foolish by saying he didn’t want to trade a minor league prospect for him. Still, good for Soriano and can’t wait to see him in a full year in pinstripes.

Final Grade: A

Joe GirardiHow can you not look at what Joe Girardi has done with this team. This team was not supposed to even be in playoff contention with the lineup they had, yet Girardi found a way to at least make them an over .500 team. Sure they were out of it by the last week of the season, but Girardi deserves “Manager of the Year” considerations.

Final Grade: A

Brett GardnerBrian Cashman and Joe Girardi are probably Brett Gardner’s biggest fans in the front office, and he did not disappoint them this season. He set career highs in RBI’s, home runs, doubles and triples. He was beginning to heat up again until an oblique injury sidelined him for the last two weeks of the season. Overall, Gardner had a very good year.

Final Grade: A

David RobertsonOverall, Robertson had another great year, however he faltered towards the end of the season and was one of the many pitchers in the bullpen that imploded in games that really, really mattered.

Final Grade: B+

Andy PettitteAlthough Pettitte retired after the season ended, he looked like he could have pitched another two-three years. Although Pettitte got off to a rocky start, the month of September has been all about Dandy-Andy. It’s a shame he had to retire, but at least Pettitte knows that he still has it in him to pitch.

Final Grade: B+

Hiroki KurodaIf you took out the last six weeks of the season, Kuroda would have easily gotten an A. However, I have to count the entire year. I’m not sure if it was fatigue or age, but Kuroda really faltered in September after having such a great year. Yankees could of had a chance for the postseason if he had pitched well. We don’t know what’s going to become of Kuroda in the future, but it was nice having him around for the last two years.

Final Grade: B

Ivan NovaIvan Nova looked to be a lost cause the first half of the season. He was so lost that he had to go to Triple-A. He came back with a vengeance, even winning the Pitcher of the Month award in August. Nova has the stuff to be an ace of a staff, and he showed he has dominance when every pitch is working for him. 

Final Grade: B

Boone LoganOverall, Logan had a great year for the Yankees, but like everyone else in the bullpen he let leads slip away. Unlike the others though, Logan was actually hurt. He had a bone spur in his elbow which he’s taking care of this offseason.

Final Grade: B

Adam WarrenAs the long-man, Warren had a great year for the Yankees. He might actually have a chance to compete for a starting role in 2014, if the Yankees don’t sign anyone for the rotation during the offseason.

Final Grade: B

David PhelpsBefore Ivan Nova developed his pitches, David Phelps had taken Nova’s spot in the rotation, and he did a great job–before he was injured. Since coming back, Phelps has done well, but he was a little rusty which was understandable. Phelps has to potential to be a starter and also has a chance to be in the rotation next season.

Final Grade: B

Lyle OverbayLet’s start by saying, Lyle Overbay is not Mark Teixeira. However, although he’s not Teixeira, he has done a great job filling the gap at first base while Texeira was out with injuries. He also wasn’t bad with the bat, having the second most RBI’s on the Yankees, behind Robinson Cano.

Final Grade: B

Alex RodriguezPutting all feelings aside for A-Rod, he actually did better than I thought he would do, especially after being out battling hip injuries. Of course, he did poorly towards the end of the season as he couldn’t buy a hit. We’re not done with A-Rod however, since A-Rod has drama that could last all through the offseason.

Final Grade: B-

Shawn KelleyShawn Kelley was an absolute strikeout machine throughout the season, however towards the end of the season he fatigued, started giving up runs and didn’t look the same as he did in the beginning of the season. His first year in Yankees pinstripes was impressive, and I would re-sign him.

Final Grade: C+

Preston ClaibornePreston Claiborne did have his moments on the Yankees, but overall he was an OK pitcher. He wasn’t exactly jaw dropping the entire year, but hey…he’s better than some of the other pitchers in the bullpen.

Final Grade: C+

Curtis GrandersonHe’s not getting an average grade because of the injuries (the injuries weren’t his fault). It’s pretty much because the hits he had just weren’t exactly–memorable. Granderson just blended in with everyone else, which caused Girardi to put Soriano in the OF and Granderson the DH. Granderson was a great sport about it, so good for him!

Final Grade: C+

Austin RomineAustin Romine became one of my favorite Yankees this season. He did struggle mightily when he first joined the team, but he worked so hard with Kevin Long and eventually he started to hit. He still isn’t ready to be a starter, but I could see him as a backup next season.

Final Grade: C+

Chris StewartChris Stewart didn’t have a terrible year as everyone is pointing out. He wasn’t exactly A+ worthy either. The fact that Stewart had a lot of passed balls and wild pitches overshadowed he caught runners on base and the way he called pitches. He also was great at framing pitches, sometimes fooling the umpires into thinking the pitches were strikes.

Final Grade: C

Jayson NixFor a utility player, Nix did an okay job but the problem was he was used more than he was supposed to be used. Nix replaced injured players until he was injured himself. He gets bonus points for managing yesterday’s game. He could be a manager in the future.

Final Grade: C

Mark ReynoldsMark Reynolds either hits homers or he strikes out. But his home runs are memorable because of how far they go–also the last home run he hit in the 2013 season was the most memorable because he literally went home afterwards.

Final Grade: C

Eduardo NunezNunez’s defense has improved (when he’s playing 3B), but his offense wasn’t there until the end of the season. At least we know the bat was there towards the end–it would have been nice if it was in games that mattered.

Final Grade: C

Brian Cashman: Brian Cashman made trades that just didn’t work. Vernon Wells only worked in April, then Wells didn’t help the rest of the way. Travis Hafner also only hit in April, stopped hitting, then got injured. Kevin Youkilis, he hit a bit…then got injured. The only trade that did work was Alfonso Soriano, but Cashman even complained about the Soriano trade, not wanting to give up Corey Black for him. The minor leagues are in shambles, and there’s no one that major league ready to come up. If it wasn’t for the Soriano trade, then he’d have a much lower grade.

Final Grade: C-

Ichiro SuzukiAs a person, Ichiro seems really awesome, he’s hilarious and I like him. Now that we’ve cleared that out of the way, I have to grade Ichiro on his numbers. Sure, Ichiro had about the same numbers as Gardner, but there was once a time that Ichiro was able to hit .300 consistently each year. He hasn’t been able to do that lately. He’s regressed and he’s at least a fourth outfielder on the Yankees. Notice Girardi barely touched Ichiro going down the September stretch.

Final Grade: D+

Vernon Wells:  He hit in April and finally just stopped hitting. His defense was so-so, but his bat looked like he was asleep most of the time.

Final Grade: D

Travis Hafner: Another one that started hitting but then stopped hitting. Also, Hafner was battling injures and didn’t make an appearance from July to the last game of the season. He was a DH that couldn’t hit…and didn’t own a glove.

Final Grade: D

CC SabathiaLet’s put this as nicely as we can: Sabathia was not an ace this season. Not sure if it had to do with his velocity, or if it had to do with the recent weight loss, but Sabathia pitching well or pitching poorly could have made a huge difference in the Wild Card race.

Final Grade: D

Joba ChamberlainFrom a promising pitcher in 2007 to a failed mop-up man (I say failed because he can’t even mop-up when the Yankees have the lead correctly). It’s safe to say Joba will not be back next season, and honestly I don’t think he’d really be missed in the Yankees bullpen.

Final Grade: F

Phil HughesI have to feel a bit bad for Phil Hughes. He was a dominant bullpen pitcher in 2009 and looked as if he had a promising career–until he was transformed into a starter. Hughes being a starting pitcher–a fly-ball starting pitcher at Yankee Stadium is not the best thing for his career, and he proved it again this season.

Final Grade: F

Derek JeterDerek Jeter never really had a chance to get his season started. He got injured, came back, got injured, came back, then got injured again before the Yankees realized that he wasn’t going to contribute in 2013. I do have to admit, the first-pitch home run when he came back the second time felt like it was a Hollywood script–until he got injured again.

Final Grade: Incomplete

Mark Teixeira: Mark Teixeira had an off-year as well, due to the injury in his wrist. He injured his wrist during the World Baseball Classic, felt fine after a stint on the DL, had a 15-game cameo, then got injured again. It was a frustrating year for Teixeira, but good news is, he should be ready to go by Spring Training. You’d have to wonder if Teixeira was a game-changer if he were healthy.

Final Grade: Incomplete

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13 Responses to Yankees 2013 season report card

  1. Jack says:

    The writer of this piece states Ichiro and Gardner had about the same numbers. He forgets that Gardner struck out over 130 times. Also that genius Girardi kept taking Ichiro in and out of the lineup. Makes a lot of sense giving Ichiro a c minus and Gardner and A , makes sense too me. Girardi and his book should take the plane to Chicago. He ruined his bullpen and his lineups sucked , but the writer gives him an A Are you kidding me

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      The reason Gardner gets an A and Ichiro gets a lower grade is because Ichiro isn't the same player he used to be. Gardner is getting better, Ichiro is getting worse. And Girardi deserves an A because any other manager would have had this team under .500. Girardi found someway to keep the team over .500.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      Also, Gardner may have struck out 130+ times, but he set career highs this year in other categories.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      You'er the one that must be kidding. Compare these two stat lines: .273 BA/ .344 OBP/.416 SLG and
      .262/.297/.342. It's night and day. Plus Gardner led Suzuki in hits, runs, RBIs, SBs, HRs, triples. doubles, and walks. Gardner has 539 ABs, Suzuki 520 ABs. There is clear separation between these two players.
      Additionally, Suzuki had terrible splits, hitting .321 against lefties (!) but a woeful .235 against righties. A player with bad splits and no power is not a valuable hitter, beyond platooning or as a 4th OF.
      Because of his defensive skills and speed he can still be useful, but the only thing saving his roster spot for next year is how bad Wells was, even his splits against lefties was .269/.318/.379. Look for the OF to be Gardner, Soriano, Granderson if he accepts the qualifying offer, Almonte if he doesn't , and Suzuki.

    • There is a big difference between this line — .273/.344/.416 — and this line — .262/.297/.342. Personally, I would have given Gardner a B and Ichiro an F, but I think Delia is pretty much on the money.

      As for Girardi, sheesh. I don't think I've ever seen a guy have a better year as manager of the Yankees in my entire life. Instead of second guessing small moves that have a negligible effect on the season and focus on the big picture. The guy had a minor league lineup and a beat up team and kept them in playoff contention all year. Manager of the Year in my book!

  2. Matt says:

    I love Rivera, but I can't give him an A+. If he doesn't blow 7 games, we may be in the playoffs. Granted, there were enough blown saves to go around, especially in September, but this team deserves no A+'s.

  3. Great job on this. I feel the same way about most of these players although I would have bumped nearly all of them down a letter grade, except for Girardi and Nova — an A and B both well deserved.

  4. ray says:

    what rating system are you using? lol

  5. Very good and interesting to read.

    Gardner grade was very high.
    Rivera should not be an A+ (I know it's Mo and he is retiring but he had a good amount of blown saves, he was no better than Robertson, A for both).
    Nunez and Stewart should get a D

  6. Now that Nunez has been brought up, I think that might be the biggest mistake on the list.

    The guy can't hit. He has no patience either and a severe lack of any power whatsoever. And he's even worse in the field as he has no range and makes plenty of throwing errors. Literally, the only thing he can do is steal a base and he was much better at that two years ago. His WAR this year was -1.5 and I think that says it all.

    No hit, all glove Brendan Ryan was a big upgrade for the Yankees at shortstop.

  7. tom says:

    I can't accept Phelps and Overbay as B members. Both are C at best.

  8. Michael R says:

    Though I have never been a fan of Joe's managing style, he certainly cannot be blamed for the Yankees not making the playoffs. Too many injuries and an inadequate farm system doomed this team. Not Joe's fault, he didn't have the players. I still wish that he would go with his instincts and baseball intellect instead of the binder.