Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Morning After Didi... a bipolar exposition on the fundamental Yankee human condition

Well, the first days are the hardest days. Don't you worry anymore. Because when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door. Think this through with me...

Ah, Jerry... where are you? Yesterday, upon hearing the Yankees will lose our best player, Didi Gregorius, for six weeks, my thoughts turned to Jerry - who died 22 years ago within days of Mickey Mantle, of all people. In a perfect world, I would grab some sour diesel, roll 40 fatties - one per day - and check in with you all on May 1 - Mayday - to see where the team stands. But the Yankees are my self-medication, and for the last 18 hours, why lie? I've ping-ponged between hope and despair. 

My immediate thought: It's not so bad. We only play 24 games in April. (I looked it up.) A few get rained out. (Only three in a dome, Tampa.) It's a long season. Everybody gets hurt. We're lucky this didn't happen in July...

Then the equal, opposite reaction, as required by the law of thermodynamics: This is the worst thing that ever happened. It's just the kind of injury that wrecks a guy's season. Didi was on the verge of stardom. It'll take him into June to catch up with pitchers. What if it's the start of shoulder issues? In April, we play 15 games within our division. Fifteen. Every loss will haunt us all season. If it happened in July, Gleyber Torres might be ready. Now, we're sunk...

I bounced back to hope: Ha! Another reason not to trade for Jose Quintana. (I think it's Reason #304; the pile is taller than Mt. Marcy.) Whenever someone goes on about why we should trade prospects for Quintana, they sound like a toaster oven trying to pass the Touring Test. So much for that. This is a transition year. We must think of 2018 and 2019. No trading prospects!

Then... despair: Fuck me. Right now, Cashman surely is working the phones, offering Gleyber, Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield for a Brendan Ryan. We already have two Ryans - Brendan Tejada and Brendan Kozma - but they're not enough. He'll trade for another. Six weeks is just long enough for Cashman to wheel and deal. Hell, maybe we'll sign Brendan Ryan off the Tigers scrap heap. After all, he hit .077 last year for the Angels.

Then... a giddy twinge: Wait... WTF! Tyler Wade! He's 22, bats lefty (platoon with Torreyes). He played 133 games last year at Trenton. He hit .259 with an On Base Percentage of .352. That's a shitload of walks (And he stole 27 bases!) This spring, he's 13-for-33 in Tampa - has yet to make an error. (Torreyes and Tejada have each made three, and Gleyber Torres - bless him - made four.) They've been grooming Wade for a utility slot. Push the button, Cash! Throw us a bone! Let's "Wade" into 2017. 

Then... I saw Girardi's lineup last night: Torreyes at SS. (Went 0-3) That's Joe's immediate reaction - his current plan. Shit. Listen: I like Torreyes as a utility piece. He's pesky, he's quick, and he's not Brendan Ryan. But I don't see him playing everyday for a month without being undressed... and certainly not at SS. Jeez. I dunno.

But I'm not leaving in transcendental despair. We'll get through this. Forty days. And it's a long-term tumbler clicking into place. Next year, Didi should play 2B, with easier throws. (Yeah, he got hurt at 2B, but overall...) If Castro is a part of our future  - (big "if," considering his refusal to walk: his OBP last year was only .300) - it's at 3B. Our SS must be Gleyber Torres. This injury sucks, but it's a reason not to turn Gleyber into a 2B - and maybe to bring Gleyber up in July and never look back. In the meantime, 2017 is a transition year. So let's transition, goddammot! Tyler Wade, baby, TYLER FUKKING WADE!


JM said...

It's likely Cashman will do something stupid and Girardi will do something even stupider. This is how it goes, year in, year out.

13bit said...

I agree, John M, Cashman and Girardi will revert to the mean, will do what they have always done. Sigh.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I think we'll get Stephen Drew from the Nationals. He's a proven commodity, ain't he?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Sorry to be Johnny One-Note -- but on another site, I just read that the NYYs might not "have to" get Manny Machado if Gleyber pans out . . . in a while.

I have lived in the DC-MD-VA area for a while now. I remember when Machado appeared, like magic, out of nowhere. I just now went to look at his stats in the minors, to compare with Gleyber's --

Machado: Now 24 years old. Nearly 2,500 major league ABs under his belt. Came up in 2012. Had 219 minor league games before that. Minor league batting average; .269

Gleyber: Now 20 years old. Has 301 minor league games to his credit NOW. Minor league batting average: .282.

Clearly, you might not decide that Gleyber is now where Machado was at the end of the 2011 season. However, there is a chance -- just a chance -- that our guy is BETTER right at this precise minute.

Not a sure-thing. A long shot. So what? What's going on in the 2017 season in the Bronx that makes the season a sure thing....???? How horrible would the team's results be if we try Gleyber and he fails, vs. how horrible the team is gonna be if we play Tejade or Torreyes or another?

If you wonder from where other teams get their stars -- and I find Machado to be a significant pain in my ass as an Oriole -- THIS IS HOW THEY DO IT. Sorry to yell, but it is so freaking obvious.

They push young players into the majors. They play them.

Some fail.

Some become Manny Machado. His on-base-plus-slugging is .811 in his major league career. For reference, Didi's OPS in 2016 (his career-best year) was .751.

FINAL NOTE: Machado never played above AA (and hee did only one season in the Eastern League, hitting a sharp .266 with 11 HRs in 400 ABs).

You want a Manny Machado on our team? Take a shot. Don't wait until Manny's is a free agent and drop a boatload of cash on him. If Gleyber turns out to be a success, he'll be an awful cheap ride for a few years......

Parson Tom said...

JFOB: Right on!

JJ in MA said...

Manny had Buck as a mentor and clearly that relationship helped him adjust. Gleyber would have Joey Binders. He's better off in the minors, at least on opening day.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Just had a mini flashback.

Thanks for the rememories.

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