Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Post this in the Clubhouse: 10 Things We Should Fear at the Solstice

We're tied for first with baseball's best record, and we're 5-up on the only team to worry about.  Nevertheless, be afraid... be very afraid... because....

1. At the rate he's going, Phil Hughes will run out of innings in August. We can start holding him back, which messed up Joba last season. Or we can pitch Phil until he runs out of gas. Neither option is good. He's been our breakout player. We have to be careful. If a leak develops, do we have a contingency plan to build a relief well?

2. Hate to say it, but Jorge has not been an effective defensive catcher. He's proud, he's tough, and he won't embarrass himself. Ever. But these injuries are nagging at him. He might be a fulltime DH. When Nick gets healthy, we'll have two.

3. Tex hasn't been the same since opposing teams started those huge, Giambian overshifts. It's almost as if he pulls the ball harder, trying to blast it through the stacked-up defensive allignment. He's gotta adjust, or else he's a .250 hitter the rest of the way.

4. We still don't know who pitches the 7th and 8th innings in a critical game. It's amazing that we've gotten this far without such a person, but when we go back to facing Division I teams, we'll be back to Square One -- running David, Damaso and Joba out there, and wondering if we'll see Dooley, Tanyon and Edwar. Last year, around this time, Phil Hughes became the bullpen stud we'd missed since the early days of Flash Gordon. Somebody has to step forward. Until then, we're throwing darts -- rather than the pitchers.

5. We haven't had a breakout minor league prospect. Don't worry about Jesus Montero -- he's too young, and maybe it's good to see him humbled; that notion of the Messiah not running out grounders didn't sit well. But last year, we sat in awe as Montero ripped through A and AA, and we were even spoiled with Austin Jackson, who hit .300 at Scranton, while we carped about lack of power. This year, our system looks flat. Is this the results of trading too many prospects (Arodys, Ajax, Tabata, etc.), making too many hail Mary picks (Brackman, Cole, Betances, etc.)  or a system that is simply overhyped by its blogger base? (IT IS HIGH, etc.)

6. Love the guy, but Robbie won't bat .370. This is his breakout year. But he's not 370. He's got a slump or two in him, and unless Tex figures it out, and Arod gets healthy, we'll have a hole bigger than Lindsay Lohan's dad in our lineup when Robbie falls to .320.

7. Some big boys will go the trade block soon, and the three-way daisy chain in the AL East will be dramatically altered. Both Tampa and Boston have more young players to burn. Hate to say it, but they sit in better positions to deal. If we chase somebody (hello, Mr. Lee?) we will have to tear apart our team.

8. Curtis Granderson has not resembled the all-star he was in Detroit. Yeah, the groin tweak hurt him. But it's the lefty thing that has us tweaked. He doesn't look confident. Boston will bring in Okajima. Tampa will bring in the Choatster. What will we do, pinch hit Marcus Thames? Yeesh.

9. Didn't want to mention Arod. How can you not? The groin, the hip, the mysterious Canadian doctor, the whole Cameron Diaz thing. He's a walking tabloid cover. That's OK -- when he's hitting. But this season is not going well. One of these days, the accumulation of injuries and distractions will take him down. You can't figure love -- but let me tell you: I wouldn't have left Kate, not after winning the World Series. NEVER CHANGE UNDERWEAR IN A HOT STREAK. He changed underwear.

10. Mo. Games don't just end with Mo. They start and end with Mo. Our mini-collapse three weeks ago came after Mo failed to hold down Boston. When Mo catches a cold, this team sneezes. He's pitching all right... but last year, if Mo went down, we'd have gone with Hughes in a heartbeat. This year... we're not the same team... Mo is a year older. That's what we must fear.


depressed alph said...

Well said, Duque.

The only item we don't have to worry about is having 2 DHs when Nick Johnson returns.

The reason?

He is not going to return.

If he does, he'll be injured again as soon as he gets his hitting stroke back, which should take him about a month.

Wthout a healthy A-Rod and an All Star Tex, there is no chance for this team.

Derek is the only aging star holding his own.

And, as I have also previously pointed out, we have no prospects.

Except , of course , for the new kid; Gufmann.

Joe said...

only aging star holding his own? thought andy was pitching pretty fucking good so far.

Jim Leyritz's Cellmate said...

This is the most serious post I've ever seen on this site.

I like to think that somewhere there is a AAA organization that will give the goods for Kei Igawa. In fact, I'm counting on it.

depressed alph said...

I was only talking about position players.

Joe De Pastry said...

I've been waiting for Guffman to get this chance. Let's hope he's the real thing.