Saturday, April 5, 2014

And So It Begins

If you all read El Duque's message you don't have to read this one.  He gets up much earlier than I do.  I think we all know the reason for that, but I digress.

Since the Yankee fade into irrelevance last season, it has been an on going issue that the team is far too old, and for too long has been without any exciting prospects.  Add to that the retirement of Mariano, and the in-process retirement of Derek, and you suddenly have issues.

There are great players like Jose Reyes whose strength ( in his case, speed ) are also their weakness.  He almost never plays and he has been in the league a long time now.  Mark Tiexiera may be following a similar pattern, although his strength is certainly not speed.  But he used to have power; he used to get big moment hits; and he always saved a ton of errors from the left side of our infield, while fielding flawlessly himself.  Inside of four games this season, he has made two obvious errors; shown an absence of pop in his bat; and is now injury-tweaked.

So, I must ask, who is next?  Jacoby?  Roberts? Carlos?  Derek?

Hopefully, no one gets hurt, Tex returns, and we make a run.  But I can see disaster over the hill, just as Duque forewarns.

We won yesterday behind an initially shaky, but then solid effort by Tanaka and our relievers.  But take a closer look;  Solarte at 3rd ( although this kid looks amazing for the moment…..let's see what happens when they stop feeding him fastballs ); that career AAA guy at short ( got his first major league hit yesterday ); Roberts ( a short-termer even if he remains healthy ) at second; and Kelly Johnson at first.

Does this not remind one of the line-up circa September, 2013, even though the names are changed to protect the innocent?

The thing of it is:  we don't have quality depth waiting in the wings for our position players.  Our best depth may be at catcher, where we have the least vulnerability ( at present ) at the major league level.

And we have at least one quality outfielder and some more good pitching in the minors.  But third, short, second and first ( sometimes called the infield ) seem wastelands as far as quality depth is concerned.

Kelly Johnson, by the way, had only played 12 ( minor league ) games at third before he started there.  Now he is starting at first where he has even less experience.

Although I thought he looked pretty good over there last night.

Keep your fingers crossed.

P.S.  I had two years ago predicted that Pineda would never pitch for us.  Now let's see if he can.

See you at 1pm.


John M said...

I think you and Duque are missing the point. CC showed he was in midseason form. Tex has also now shown he's in midseason form, on the DL, which is where we all really expected him to be by then. And he hasn't even bumped his wrist yet, he used his secondary hamstring backup injury area.

Now if Ellsbury gets a hangnail and the Ace bandages holding Beltran's legs together give out, the season would nearly have fulfilled it's true promise.

Keep your eye on Jete's ankle. That sends us directly to Palookaville.

KD said...

Pineda did us proud. But Phelps? Looks to be the new Joba.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

And so it Ends,,,,,, urrggg.

Francis said...

All this Nervous Nellie lip chewing over such a small sample of play. Phelps is the new Joba because of one bad outing? Good thing such frail types weren't running the Yankees when Mantle dived right in the toilet on his debut with the team--he'd have gone to the Hall of Fame wearing a Tigers or Indians cap. Phelps is the least of this team's problems--he would almost certainly better as a starter (his accustomed role) than either Sabathia or Kuroda are likely to do this season.

The problem with the Yankees isn't the small-sample burps of a few players over five games. It's the large-sample probabilities of most of the starting players for the whole season. Using this more reliable yardstick, factoring in age and injury history, the following items are a safe bet:

1. Johnson, Teixeira, Jeter, Roberts, Anna, Soriano, Suzuki, and Cervelli, Kuroda, and Sabathia will all be mediocre at best. Teixeira and Jeter might be in minus-WAR territory, even if their geriatric joints cohere. Because of their bloated contracts, Sabathia and Kuroda will be indulged in subpar pitching for at least two months, by which time they will have inflicted irreversible damage to the team's prospects.

It's the big statistical picture, not the microscopic snapshot of a few games, that tolls the bell of doom for this mis-spending, mis-directed pastiche of a team.

KD said...

Phelps has stunk up the joint twice now. although a small sample, I think there's a problem. He should be brought in during low leverage situations only.