Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Castro is hurt: Wait... no, Brendan Ryan? No Reid Brignac? No Brent Lilibridge? What gives?

Last night, before the mini-monsoon hit Syracuse, I had the chance to watch perhaps Tyler Wade's last-ever minor league plate appearance. He lashed a line drive single into right, igniting a small rally. Minutes later, as the temps were unfurling the infield tarp, the Yankees pulled Wade from the Scranton-Mudville lineup. Starlin Castro had tweaked a gonad, and Wade was headed to Chicago's Your Name Here Stadium to join the mother ship. If there is a God, Wade will be in tonight's starting lineup.

On this blog, you may occasionally encounter a rather vile or even unhinged comment directed toward our esteemed Yankee brain trust. And make no mistake: I'm not yet ready to absolve Cashman & Co. for the current six-year barf, which has netted us a total of three twaddling hits in one October Wild Card game. But today - hell, it's water under the Tappan Zee. Today, let's celebrate the bittersweet fact that a key Yankee infielder just got hurt, and we are not replacing him with a spare part culled from the Chad Moeller Memorial Scrap Heap. Nope. We are not turning to Luis Cruz, or Alberto Gonzalez, or Chris Nelson, or Jayson Nix, or Dean Anna, or Scott Sizemore... (I can keep going, huh? oh, you don't believe me? okay...) or Antoan Richardson, or Gregorio Petit, or Dustin Ackley, or Cole Figuroa... (please, somebody stop me)... or Casey McGehee- THAT'S IT, DAMMIT, NO MAAS, NO MAAS! 

For the first time in a thousand years, instead of driving to the junkyard outside Moosic and returning with a 29-year-old Pete Kozma retread, the Yankees are replacing Fidel with a player whose career is in front of him, not entombed in the fossil record. We don't know if Tyler Wade will be a quality Yankee, but listen: We'll get to see! And if he does make it, we will have raised the guy from a pup, developed a homegrown Yankee, and what's that thing they say about New York? "If I can make it there, I can make it... anywhere?" Because there is nothing like a player who grows up inside the cauldron. It's not like starting in Milwaukee and then coming here at 30. This is like that scene in The Lion King where they hold the tiny cub on the ledge for all to see. A new character is being unveiled on the Yankee TV series, and he's not being played by John McGiver or Bea Arthur. He's actually young!

Wade was a 2013 fourth round pick. He is 22 and has performed at every level. At Scranton, he was hitting .313 with 5 HR and 24 stolen bases, playing four positions - SS, 2B, 3B and OF. Occasionally, I will likely call him Tyler Webb, who is the 26-year-old lefty; ignore those mistakes, my meds will need adjustments. He is another piece to the vanguard of youth.

Last night, right around the time the Yanks pulled Wade in Syracuse, Tyler Austin homered in Chicago, a ray of hope for our troubled first base situation. Austin, you might remember, will forever be tied to Aaron Judge as the player who homered - back-to-back and belly-to-belly - with Judge in their first plate MLB plate appearances last August. It's no small metaphoric feat that Austin replaces the aging, creaky Chris Carter - another veteran bat that the Yankees found washed up on the beach, and who stank out the joint for three excruciating months before being stuffed into a bottle and put out with the Japanese tide.

In my frazzled mind, there is sharp line - a "BC" and an "AD" - in the ancient Yankee calendars on that day last August when Judge, Austin and Gary Sanchez arrived. From that moment on, we have been an organization with a plan, instead of a road map to the nearest bottle deposit redemption center. Last night was probably not Tyler Wade's last-ever MILB at bat; odds are, he'll go back to Scranton once Castro is healthy enough for sex again. But who knows? Maybe - just maybe - we're watching the birth of a Yankee hero. This isn't Reid Brignac, folks. This is the future, and tonight, it might just be playing 2B.


John M said...

So how many kids were named Tyler in the mid 90s? A million? Three million? Did they all sign with the Yankees? Are there any more Aarons out there we should be scouting?

At this rate, the entire lineup will be Tylers and Aarons in the near future. We'll have to start calling everyone by their last names.

Can we please sign someone named Tyler Austin Romine? Just to make it a little worse. Or maybe we can find a Tyler Aaron or Aaron Tyler. That works, too.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Drew, anyone?? NOPE - - I'd rather have Steven Tyler playing second base...or Austin Brignac - - or Brendan Aaron; hell, I'd rather have Aaron Boone. How 'bout it, Cash-Puss?? LB (No J)

Leinstery said...

John M, this team is pretty much the ancient Romans, where they had about 5 first names and 9 last names and used nicknames and accomplishments to distinguish one from another. Tyler Austin will be remembered in time as "Expulsoris" for when he drove off Chris Carter.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I'm changing my name to Tyler Aaron Austin. Or some combination thereof (Aaron Austin Tyler?).

BY THE WAY: Impressive listing of the mediocrities for whom I've rooted -- including Dean Anna.....great name, no hit, no field, no nothing.

MY QUESTION: Did you run off those names from the top of your head? Did you have a list you keep handy for a Five Minutes' Hate? Did you know all of that by heart, or did you have to do some research? Just askin'!

el duque said...

Dean Anna is seared into my mind, but some of them needed to be looked up, if only to know how to spell Liliquist.

joe de pastry said...

Um, let's wait until Tyler Austin's batting average and OBP are higher than Carter's were before we get excited.

Anonymous said...

I STILL think we should sign Steven Tyler - - first, he's from Beantown, and might jinx the 2017 World Series Team of Benintendi (aka, Destiny); plus, I hear he can play any BASS!! Love in an El-e-Vay-Tuh...Doodle-doo... LB (No J)

Anonymous said...

Livin' it up while we're goin' DOWN... LB (No J)