Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Unable to beat the powerhouse Phillies, are the roller coaster Yankees showing signs of terminal rot?
Posted by el duque at 7:02 AM
Maybe instead of auditioning Cole Hamels today, the Evils should consider jettisoning some of their own once-prized, currently leaky contractual barges. We are now 2 games behind Tampa and on the verge of being overtaken by Showalters Shrubs. It's way too early to start throwing furniture overboard, but it's almost July - late enough to pinpoint some cancer signs.
Last night brought a storm, not only of wind and hail, but of omens that 2015 will turn out to be Year III in a long and rancid Yankee barf. (That's not Jose Pirela playing 2B. It's Lenn Sakata.) Let me count the signs...
1. With Tex out, our IF defense reverts to pumpkin pie. Headley made his 16th error last night - he's becoming a costly, contract-choked version of Yangervis Solarte. Nobody ever touted Pirela's defense; the hope was that he'd hit well enough to justify a Wilson glove made of granite. (The answer looks like NO.) And then there is Garrett Jones, the lug nut who was supposed to protect us, if and when Tex tweaked a thingy.
Used to be, John Sterling routinely marveled about Teixeira's ability to make one big defensive play in every game. Garrett Jones somehow manages to mangle a big play in every game. Last night, he flubbed a third out, and the Phillies scored three. The other night, he nearly threw the game away against Miami - a routine throw to home plate was high - but he was bailed out by a video challenge that was as close as any call could be. When Cashman got Jones last winter in the Evaldi-Phelps-Prado deal, the Miami fan message boards cackled over Yankees' claims that Jones can play 1B. Wherever he stands in the field, the guy looks like a DH. And we already have one.
Get well, Tex. We're dead without you.
2. Our pride and joy, Dellin Betances, is clearly faltering. Listen: Nobody can be as perfect as Betances was, and I'm not throwing in the towel on him, but his last few outings have been shaky, and nothing - nobody - lasts forever.
But listen: If you take Betances from this bullpen - or compromise him - no lead is safe. We are already at the Sergio Santos stage of the season - anything with an arm - but we could soon fall into the abyss, rather than staring into it. Is Alfredo Aceves in our past or our future?
3. CC is lost, and let's face it: He might never return. One day it's his location. The next, it's his stamina. Now it's the "one bad inning" problem. It's starting to look like an infinite series of issues, stemming from a once great pitcher who is simply past his sell-by date.
Of the three big free agent signings in 2009 - Tex, CC and AJ Burnett - the record will show that we kept the two faltering stars and pitched out the good one. (Didn't we do that with the three wunderkinds - Joba, Hughes and Ian Kennedy? We traded Ian, kept the others.) Oh, well... there are still Yankee fans who are glad that we "punished" AJ by exiling him to Pittsburgh for a can of creamed corn. I guess we take victories wherever we find them.
4. The farm is hardly dead - Aaron Judge and Luis Severino may be coming - but we have no breakout prospects this year, even in the low minors. The Charleston team at Single A placed only one guy in the all-star game yesterday, and he didn't play. Some of highly touted youngsters from last year - Tyler Austin and Greg Bird, most notably - have floundered. They're not done, but they look a little stuck in place. Last year, Bird vaulted up from the pile, creating a buzz. This year, there's no buzzing around the hive. Considering the Yankees failed system over the last decade, should we be concerned? I dunno. But it's worth noting.
5. Lately, we can't even blame the all-purpose Yankee whipping mule Carlos Beltran. He's been hitting - sort of. His average has been lifted to the magical .260, though he's still a manhole cover in RF, and he's on line to hit maybe 17 HRs. Trouble is, Beltran is hitting, and we're still losing.
Anyway, please Cash... It's no time to bundle the future for Cole Hamels. Let's just wait and see. Might be time to test the market for Ivan Nova.