Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:31 AM
We've seen this movie before. If the Yankees were still blindly chasing the lost Wild Card, Sanchez would waited until September. Girardi would be reluctant to use him. He'd get maybe 50 at bats, play once a week, and poof - season over. Next spring, he'd need to prove himself. With McCann a fixture and Austin Romine a solid backup, they'd decide that Sanchez needs to play everyday, so he'd start 2017 in Scranton. Depressed and disillusioned, he'd go into a prolonged slump. Then we'd trade him, tell everybody he just isn't in our plans.
Yep, The Frankie Cervelli Story.
Which brings me to CF Ben Gamel, a lug nut of the Scranton arsenal. He homered last night (his fifth) for the Triple A Railriders. Gamel is on a 12-game hitting streak, batting .400 over that period, lifting his average to .313. Last year, he hit .300 at Scranton. Next year, unless the dead wood is cleared, he'll return. The guy is 24. He's a candidate to rot there.
Last night, Gamel's teammate Mason Williams went 2-3. He's hitting .311, though only in 74 at bats, recovering from an injury. The scouts seem to like Williams more than Gamel, who merely produces. At age 25, I guess you can say Williams has been successfully wasted in coal country. (To be fair, the injury cut his chances.) He's making his own movie: The Slade Heathcott Story.
(Slade is batting .231 for Triple A Charlotte. He's fallen from last year's output in Scranton, when he hit .267. Shows what happens when a guy has no hope.)
Speaking of no hope... last night for Scranton, Rob Refsnyder went 2-5. Nobody wants to hear about him. Ref has no position, right? He's a Scranton icon, finishing his third season there. The first year, he hit .300. Last year, just .271. This year, he's at .333. Hell, nobody cares! He'll be in Scranton next year, or at least until we release him, right? He's 25. We have a raft of young OFs from the bullpen deals. None of these guys - throw in Jake Cave, too - will ever get a shot.
Last night, the mother ship lost in Seattle. The top-of-the-lineup Bobbsie Twins - Gardner and Ellsbury - went 2-8, with a run. The game ended with runners on second and third and one out. A single would tie the score and keep the season - theoretically - alive. Girardi pinch hit Teixeira for Tyler Austin. On a 3-1 count, Tex popped to left. Then Gardy grounded out to second. (If Gardy worked for CNN, his name could be Jake Tapper.) Game over. Wild Card race over. With runners in scoring position, Yankee batters went 0-4.
It was an especially hurtful defeat for reasons that are too painful to elaborate. Our bullpen lost the game, but why rail about Anthony Swarzak and Kirby Yates? They are merely the fodder we used to replace Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Four weeks ago, we had the best bullpen in baseball. We traded it for a future. Can't complain about the deals. You can't have your Chap and trade him too.
But while YES toasts the Yankees' sell-off, and while we celebrate Gary Sanchez, I can't help but wonder if Gamel should be playing CF and/or Refsnyder in left. As Trump would say, What the hell do you have to lose? Gardy is hitting .257. Ellsbury is hitting .262. Neither hits for power. Neither has more then 20 stolen bases. But none of this matters. Our team is dead, and some of our most interesting players are still in Scranton. Hooray for Gary Sanchez. Why did it take so long?