Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Yankees are baseball's version of the duck-billed platypus

With the return of A-Rod and a looming chance that Mark Teixeira could be out with a neck thingy, today's Yankees are the airplane with 12 propellers and one wing.

We have two DHs and no 1B.

We have three closers and nobody to hold a team if we're behind.

We have five starters and no ace. (Maybe Eovaldi, but let's not anoint anyone.)

We have nobody - upper case NOBODY - at Scranton, ready to ascend.

How did we get this way? Simple. An owner bankrolls a series of bad contracts, then declares austerity, leaving the team to take whatever it can find on the trade market and the scrap heap. But it's the overall failure of the farm system that is killing us.

I'd like to explore the Scranton situation for a moment. A few weeks ago, on a whim, I compared the ages of the Scranton and Boston lineups on the same night. These were the teams:

Scranton: Coke (33), Parmelee (28), Solano (28), Diaz (31), Refsnyder (25), Judge (24), Rodriguez (30), Heathcott (25), Rosario (24) and Gamel (23).

Boston: Porcello (27), Ramirez (32), Pedroia (32), Betts (23), Shaw (26), Bogaerts (23), Bradely (26), Holt (27), Ortiz (40), Vazquez (25).

Overall, Boston's lineup was seven years older. For that reason, I never wrote about it. But if Nick Swisher (35) had played that night for Scranton, or if Ortiz was being rested in Boston, our Triple A team would have been older than the Redsock lineup.

Insert primal scream.

And if Tex is out for - say - three weeks, it's time for a primal rage. The Yankees could find themselves having to trade prospects - and it hasn't been a good spring for our prospects - for a 1B, just to chase a wild card birth, or .500, while Boston is building a dominant, long-term powerhouse. Such a thought makes me puke. We're bringing back A-Rod and moving Beltran - our best DH - to RF, where his skills diminish, with Dustin Ackley at 1B, because we've developed nobody - upper case NOBODY - over the long haul.

Should we trade for Jesus Montero? Is Lyle Overbay still playing? Ooo-ooo, jumpin Jehoziphat! I got it: Move Headley to 1B, Castro to 3B and play Rob Refsnyder at 2B. Bad idea? Of course! But bad ideas are all we have.

Right now, I'd happily trade this season for one breakout Yankee prospect - just one - to be lighting up the minor leagues. At Salem, the Redsocks have three: 21-year-old 2B Yoan Moncada  (.316 with 30 stolen bases), 19-year-old SS Mauricio Dubon (.319, 14 SB) and 21-year-old OF Andrew Benitendi (.341) (he wasi recently got promoted to AA.) Our best hope is Jorge Mateo, 20, batting .312 at Tampa. Aaron Judge, our Goliath at Scranton, is slumping badly, and Gary Sanchez, our top catcher, just broke his thumb. Nobody is coming to save this team. Upper case NOBODY.

We have the most lopsided, ill-designed team in baseball. Two DHs, three closers, no 1B, no ace, no middle innings bullpen, and no farm. Tell me... Under what metric does the Yankee front office - through its chirping surrogates at YES - so constantly declare itself a success?


Tom said...

Continuing the platypus analogy, we have a manager who is missing so many key parts but also refuses to experiment or even deviate from his preconceived plan, thereby making our shortcomings more pronounced.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

An apt image from "Duck Amuck", one of my favorites of the Warner Bros. cartoons.