Monday, October 22, 2018

Who's on first? Maybe Abbott and Costello can figure it out.

Let's say this - boisterously and for posterity: Going into 2019, the Yankees have no viable first-baseman.

Yes, Luke Voit deserves our love, and Greg Bird deserves our pity, and if you believe in magic, or maybe the mathematical sequences behind winning lottery picks, maybe one of the pair will cobble together a decent MLB career. But Voit plays 1B like a Steelers linebacker, and Bird has now floundered for three straight seasons. Both are rapidly hitting their sell-by dates, and we have nobody in the system, nobody, unless you're ready to throw in with Ryan "Boom Boom" McBroom.

Our vaunted Yankee farm system - praised constantly for great depth - has nothing. The MLB.com list of top 30 Yankee prospects holds one 1B - ranked 29th - the converted 3B Dermis Garcia, whose rank probably still hinges on the $3 million signing bonus he received during the 2014-15 international spending splurge ($17 million, shot to hell.) The 20-year-old Garcia played last season in low single A Charleston, where he hit 15 HRs and batted .241 - as high as he's ever hit. But he struck out 111 times in - aww, you don't wanna know, let's just say 1/3 of the times. Moreover, the Yankees are said to be trying him as a pitcher, never a good sign for the guy in the field, eh?

I've already mentioned McBroom, whom we received for Rob "Brigadoon" Refsnyder, and who starred in the home stretch of the International League pennant race. He hit .295 with 11 HRs this year at Scranton - numbers suspiciously close to Voit's. That when Voit came to Scranton, McBroom was moved to RF says all we need to know about his fielding. 

Our other Triple A first baseman was Mike Ford, who hit .253 with 15 HRs and a shitload of walks. (He tied Tyler Austin, a part-time Scrantonian, for the team lead in walks.) The Yankees have never given Ford the time of day, and I doubt they will again. So... who's on first? Here are some options...

1. Trade for somebody. The fifth-grade fantasy bloggers want us to acquire six-time NL all star Paul Goldschmidt of Arizona, but he would cost several arms and legs, and he bats RH, a problem. We really need a big lefty bat, which is why Bird has received so many opportunities - and may get another.

2. Move Miguel Andujar to first. But then, who plays third? Manny Machado? Well, we have another all-righty lineup. And if Miggy can't play 3B, why think he can play first?

3. Move Gary Sanchez to 1B. Or Giancarlo Stanton. Either way, we have a clog dancer, a butcher, a slob. It would be nice to have a professional first-baseman.

4. Find a cheap glove guy and go with defense. The Redsocks struck gold - gold glove, that is - with Mitch Moreland this year. They recognized how a glove-first 1B would save their infielders a ton of errors. Maybe the Yankees should do the same. Could a Mattingly playing first make Andujar a viable 3B?

5. Sign Bryce Harper and move him to first. Trouble is, Harper probably doesn't want to play 1B... yet. (He will eventually.) And see Number 3. We don't know if Harper can play infield. (But he sure would solve the LH bat issue.)

6. Just go with Bird and Voit, and pretend 2018 never happened. Maybe even throw in Neil Walker. Have a "competition" in spring training. But, generally, those things never happen. Cooperstown Cashman will have a plan. He always has a plan. What he doesn't have - what we don't have - is a first-baseman. 

9 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


I don't know about Bird + Voit, but I am on-board with pretending 2018 never happened.

KD said...

I am shallow enough to be bugged by the way Voit leaves the top of his shirt unbuttoned without any high tech undershirt showing. Looks sloppy. I hate sloppy. I also hated him gazing at a long fly ball in the playoffs. Plus, he is no Shane Spencer. we'll never win another ring with Voit on first. Have to give Bird another chance, if only to make him tradeable.

You all know how I feel about Miggy Mantle. He stays at third. maybe the Yankees can develop and improve his fielding skill set? Yes, I know....

Harper is as good as signed. I accept that. It makes sense. Move Stanton somehow (or DH him or put him at 1B if Bird is lost) and put Harper in Right, where he belongs. Why "hide" Judge's amazing skill and arm in Right? Judge moves over to Left. Red Thunder comes in once Hicks is injured.

Please no Manny. I'd rather have Cano back at a bargain price.

Alphonso said...

None of this matters.

When the wild-card pay-in is your goal, you are a team of fodder.

We have no first baseman; we have no shortstop; we have no third baseman; we have our defensive .250 hitter in center; we have a lump of laundry at catcher. we have no pitching.

We have a manager who got lucky his rookie season, despite a boat-load of injuries. Now, the " sophomore jinx " will kick in.

Time to write the obit for 2019, not mess around with who can play first.

Neal Walker can play first.

He is versatile, remember? And good enough to replace a potential rookie of the year in the biggest game of the season, when we needed someone to drive in runs.

Anonymous said...

IT'S AMAZING HOW I AM ALMOST NEVER HAPPY WITH THE PLAYERS WE SWOON OVER.

I SEE THE NAME PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT COME UP AND I KINDA WANT TO PUKE.

NEVER LIKED HIM. ALWAYS THOUGHT HE WAS OVERRATED.

WATCHED HIM AGAINST THE METS TIME AND TIME AGAIN, AND DO NOTHING.

HE WILL TURN 32 DURING NEXT SEASON.

SHIT.

MAYBE I JUST DON'T SEE HIM ENOUGH.

I DON'T KNOW.

I GUESS HE'S BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE.

Anonymous said...


I'm a big fan of the professional first baseman concept. But Goldschmidt probably costs way too much. As Duque points out having a real one might solve a some of AnDUjar's issues. He still needs to stop double clutching.

Oh from earlier Hoss, I didn't say I wanted Dozier I just think he's going to be our new Neal Walker. A guy we get who is a former name and less than adequate at second so we can hate on him all next year.

Alphonso - you forgot no left fielder.

As a complete aside. I recommend the Animainiacs version of "Who's on First" called "Who's on Stage." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdqv5xIsFLM It's a nice take.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., I didn't think it was you. I guess I didn't remember you writing that, but a number of people have. I would rather give Tyler Wade another shot there—but why not Toe?

I agree with the general feeling here that first base is indeed an important fielding position. BUT, it's also one where we can at least get by with someone who does not have a great arm, or great speed, or even amazing range.

I would go back to my own, earlier suggestion: Have no first baseman.

That is, give Bird another shot in spring training (why not; we won't get anything for him as is). If the results are all too predictable, try Voit. if he, too, reverts to his mean, at least try Ford and McBroom.

BUT, if as likely the case and by, say, May no one is working out...make it a position where everyone and no one plays. Put Sanchez there some games, Stanton some games—maybe even Judge, with that height. All I would say is don't waste Andujar's arm in the position.

Joe F said...

Goldschmidt..32 sounds like the"PERFECT" candidate for a patented 10 year contract from the Yankees front office goons

Anonymous said...

Why not just play Voit, period? That seems like the soundest choice.

ranger_lp said...

Thought I heard that Harper would be willing to play 1B...

https://yanksgoyard.com/2018/07/05/yankees-bryce-harper-bronx-first-baseman/