Monday, March 28, 2016
Posted by el duque at 8:00 AM
It took barely a month for the Yankees to weed their Opening Day team of excitement.
Aaron Judge and Jorge Mateo went early, predestined for the minors. Slade Heathcott played himself into oblivion. Gary Sanchez turned no heads. Ben Gamel, really? And yesterday, Rob Refsnyder completed the royal flush; he'll serve his third year in Scranton. (Let's excuse the guy in advance for being disillusioned and slumping, which will allow the Yankee brass to say, "See, we told you.") The big wheel turns.
The Yankees have made it easy for Comcast to survive the expulsion YES network games. If all you're offering is reruns from last year...
Of course, we do have Luis Severino, and the usual assortment of Nicks and Brandons, battling for that 11th bullpen slot, that one that comes with a bus ride to Scranton every time you throw two innings. In his first radio game this spring, John Sterling mentioned the downer for those young bullpen pitchers: They wanted desperately to pitch, but each outing meant they would be sent to Scranton for a fresh arm. What a meat grinder.
Anyway, our big Opening Day attraction will be Starlin Castro!, who the STEAMER website projects will lead the Yankees in hitting this year... at .269. Two sixty nine. The numbers wonks predict the Yankees will score fewer runs than last year, and here's a knee-slapper: The next highest batting average projection is/was - of course - Rob Refsnyder, at .267.
Our lineup is a bunch of .260 hitters, the usual suspects, just a year older. When healthy, they hit. When hurt or compromised - which is a 100 percent chance - we become a concrete rowboat.
Of course, in May we'll get Aroldis Chapman, and we can beat the drums about baseball's best closer bullpen. That will be something, I guess. We can always watch Netflix. Maybe Jeter will be Trump's running mate! Anyone excited about another year of Ivan Nova? Show of hands?