Derek Jeter, Lou Marson

Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hits: the victims

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It shouldn’t take anyone more than a couple of guesses to figure out which pitcher Derek Jeter has the most of his 3,000 hits against.  It is, of course, the one pitcher who has has been on a rival AL East team for the entire duration of Jeter’s career.

Here are the 12 pitchers Jeter has at least 20 hits against:

1. Tim Wakefield – 34-for-130 – .279/.315/.402
2. Pedro Martinez – 29-for-107 – .271/.350/.439
3. Sidney Ponson – 29-for-81 – .358/.402/.580
4. Rodrigo Lopez – 26-for-61 – .426/.493/.672
5. Josh Beckett – 25-for-83 – .301/.358/.422
6. Jamie Moyer – 23-for-74 – .311/.354/.432
7. Aaron Sele – 23-for-72 – .319/.367/.403
8. Roy Halladay – 22-for-94 – .234/.294/.277
9. John Lackey – 21-for-72 – .292/.378/.417
9. Derek Lowe – 21-for-73 – .288/.342/.301
9. David Wells – 21-for-67 – .313/.324/.522
12. Curt Schilling – 20-for-68 – .294/.324/.397

Nine of the 12 pitched for the Red Sox, though Moyer was with Boston only briefly, going 7-1 for the team in 1996. Most of Jeter’s hits off him came while he was with the Mariners.

Some other notables:

Cliff Lee – 19-for-47 – .404/.462/.553
Johan Santana – 19-for-43 – .442/.478/.628
CC Sabathia – 13-for-29 – .448/.484/.552
Greg Maddux – 12-for-26 – .462/.500/.462
Hideo Nomo – 12-for-20 – .600/.680/.800

Jeter has fared quite well against some terrific hurlers.  It goes hand in hand with his strong postseason performance.  Jeter has an approach and swing that has tended to make him just as effective against great pitchers as he is against mediocrities.

Jeter has hit 1.000 against 78 different pitchers. Most of those are in one or two at-bats, of course, but he’s 4-for-4 against Dennys Reyes, Matt Riley (with two homers) and Bob Tewksbury. He’s also 5-for-6 against longtime teammate Ramiro Mendoza and 7-for-10 against Jeremy Sowers.

The most at-bats Jeter has against anyone without picking up a hit is 14. He’s 0-for-14 against former Orioles reliever Jorge Julio, 0-for-11 against Casey Janssen and 0-for-9 against Rick Porcello.

Among pitchers he’s faced a bit more, he’s fared particular poorly against Ricky Romero (2-for-20), Jered Weaver (3-for-23), John Smoltz (2-for-18) and Scott Kazmir (7-for-45).

His worst OPS against any pitcher, min. 20 at-bats, is Travis Harper (.374), followed by Danys Baez (.382), Joaquin Benoit (.399) and Jon Garland (.442).

The best, using the same min, is Nomo (1.480) followed by Eric Milton (1.342), Ervin Santana (1.284) and the late Joe Kennedy (1.253).

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.