Friday, August 10, 2018

Cry Havoc! And let slip the bucks of Hal!

Good news!  Earlier this week, our esteemed, friendly rivals at River Avenue Blues reported that the problem with Greg Bird has been identified.

Using all of the latest statistical techniques, including the wRC+, ISO, Exit Velo, wOBA, and graphs—no, I am not making this up!—the good folks there (and others) have come to a stunning conclusion:

He can't hit a fastball.

That's right. Greg Bird, the guy Cooperstown Cashman's management team has been counting on to be the key piece of this lineup for three years now, who he has stuck with through seemingly endless surgeries on leg and arm...can't keep up with the big red one.

Nothing to worry about here! Why, fastballs are only about 80 percent of all offerings from major-league pitchers, and—with the notable exception of Flop Sweat McGee in our pen—they have been getting faster and faster, with more and more movement.

And Bird can't hit them.

Uh, boy.

This is, I think, the final collapse of Brian Cashman's Boy's Model Rebuilding Kit. Too much of the glue has dried up (or been sniffed), too many of the parts have been attached to the wrong places, smashed by baby sister, or eaten by the cat.

He can't hit the fastball.

This speaks to an excellent point El Duque mentioned yesterday, in recounting how the Boston Red Sox turned the dross of Yoan Moncada, into the gold of Chris Sale.  Someone in their organization went beyond the stat sheets and some flawed scouting reports on Moncada and noticed, 'Hey this guy really can't play.'

This is something we have noticed time and again, that Cashman's inside baseball knowledge never seems to extend much beyond what we can pick up ourselves, from watching or reading the stats. Greg Bird can't hit a fastball. Somehow, nobody on the Yankees seems to have noticed.

So what to do then?

Well, it won't be so hard to fill the position itself. Stanton and Sanchez could put in time at first; Andujar, too, if enough noodniks convince the Yankees that he is the worst third baseman whatever played the game.  Between them, they would easily outproduce Bird.

The bigger problem is that it leaves us short of another bat, and the answers to THAT particular problem, I fear, are becoming abundantly clear.

Bryce Harper. Manny Machado.

I know, I know.  I hear everything you're saying about oversized, overlong, millstone contracts.  I find Harper quite unlikable as well, and could easily see him being a complete bust.

But I think Coops has now put us in a position where we don't have much choice.

Over the last two seasons or so, Cashman has handed out outfielders as if they were so many caps of acid at a Ken Kesey tupperware party. Fowler, Rutherford, Gamel, McKinney, Austin, Mateo—who am I missing?

Now I'm not saying any of the guys he discarded is going to be a star someday—though several might. I am saying that some are highly likely to be decent, No. 4 or 5 outfielders...something we no longer possess, for those of you who might have missed Shane Robinson's performance in recent days.

Yes, we are actually short—somehow, organization-wide short—at a position where we thought we had 10 viable players in spring training.

Estevan Florial, let's face it, is at least 2-3 years away, with no guarantee that train will ever run here. There is, incredibly enough, NO ONE else down on the farm. Right now, Tyler Wade is playing Triple-A games in left.

And it's not going to get better. Gardy is already well into his annual, second-half swoon, and will be a 35-year-old free agent in the fall. Sadly, we can't count on Red Thunder ever getting past his awful head injuries. Stanton has long been injury prone. Incredible as it may seem, we simply need bodies.

Hence Bryce Harper, the big, left-handed bat that Mr. Slo-Pitch never will be.  Hence, Machado, to make up for Didi's regression toward the mean, and Sanchez's meltdown as well.

Hence a return to the only sort of rebuilding that our GM can handle.

Hey, I don't say it's a good thing. I don't like it. I would rather see our new colts gambol in pastures of plenty, and grow up to be thoroughbreds.

But that ain't happenin'.  We are going to physically run out of ballplayers, soon, unless we resort to Hal's big bucks this winter.

Nor will either player be the sort of old, tired vets Coops so loves to sign up. Machado and Harper will both be 26 when we sign them. It's easy enough to imagine the lineup:


Time to cry havoc.


13bit said...

Let the fire burn brightly, Hoss, as you summon up the forces that Hal has ignored...

TheWinWarblist said...

I think I just wet myself.

TheWinWarblist said...

C'mon Masahiro! My head hurts too much for this shit.

JM said...

It was always going to be thus. Shame on me for ever thinking otherwise.

Big names, big contracts. And, I'm betting, third place. For years.

ranger_lp said...

After next year you'll rename Hal "Blank Checks" Steinbrenner.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Your eloquent cry is echoing off the Alps: Havoc! Havoc!

But please: what means "noodniks?"

HoraceClarke66 said...

Ah, great question, Austria's OBF. I'd say: fools, idiots, dolts. Like the rustics in Shakespeare. Tiresome imbeciles.