Friday, August 26, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:43 AM
Such is the Yankee situation: dire, with a small "d."
The fact is, we must ponder the long game: Nobody on the Yankees over age 30 really matters. Our future is in Scranton, which has - no lie - the best goddamn team in Triple A by far - and that's even without Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge.
This week, the Railriders played twice in Syracuse. Mustang and I attended both games. The stool sample analyses soon should be back from the lab. Meanwhile, some Small Sample Size/non-expert opinionated observations:
Clint Frazier: Poster boy for the sell-off trades. Our number one prospect, on the rankings. Looks like the Michelin man, but with muscles. Totally jacked. Runs like a fullback. Last night, he hit one off the wall in right-center - that's a lonnnng shot in Syracuse - and legged out a triple. (His second in two games.) Also hit a few grounders to SS. He's clumsy in LF, botched a bouncer and took a poor route on a liner. His average on the scoreboard said .230. He seemed to be pressing. Hard to say what we have. But he's 21, and sometime next June or July, we'll know everything.
Jordan Montgomery: Lefty-starter. Going into the fifth inning last night, he was throwing a no-hitter. The liner dropped in front of Frazier, and Gardy would have had it. Oh, well. Didn't matter. Montgomery pitched out of a bases loaded jam. He threw 5.2 innings and gave up only 3 hits, lowering his ERA to - no typo - 0.58. Yep. Oh, point five eight. The guy is 23, from University of South Carolina. He's 6'6" and cuts loose. Minor-fake issue: He constantly fidgets and stretches his arm, as if feeling discomfort. These days, you expect TJ surgery, right? (Note: I'm mentioning this to NOT jinx him. What are the odds of my predictions EVER being right? See? I'm indemnifying him from elbow issues.)
Ben Gamel: Man, this guy is sooo ready for the bigs. WTF is he doing down here? The Railriders are now batting him cleanup - ridiculous, he's a lead-off hitter - so what happens? He jacks a moon shot to right-center, no easy feat in Syracuse. He was the International League Player of the Year LAST YEAR. He is being completely squandered in Scranton. Will Gardy or Ellsbury please get hurt? (No tear, just a tweak, that's all I ask.) How we be so mediocre in the MLB outfield and yet this kid doesn't even get a shot?
Rob Refsnyder: Line drive machine, both nights. He's hitting .330. Didn't look comfortable at third - his new position - he threw a ball into the dirt. He also should be in NYC. I recognize that, this weekend, Joe Girardi has no recourse but to play Gards and Ells, but as soon as the Yankees are out of it - they need to be sitting. The difference between young overachievers and old underachievers might be slight, mathematically, but if you're playing the long game, it is everything. I so much prefer to watch the rookies.
Giovanni Gallegos: I know what you're thinking: Who the hell is he? A reliever, previously off my grid. Never heard of him until Wednesday night. He's 25, up from Trenton a month ago, and his ERA in Triple A is 1.43 He was - purely and simply - lights out. In the ninth, he struck out the side, with Syracuse batters flailing, helplessly over-matched. This is his fifth year in the Yankee system, and he has quietly and steadily moved up, notch after notch, pitching effectively. Remember this name. He's not Mariano, and he's not a starter. But he might be a solid bullpen lug nut. The long game, folks. That's what we're playing.