Sunday, May 12, 2019

Call your mother, and Luke Voit's, too

Last night, in the 8th with the game still close, Luke Voit came up with something to prove. Earlier, he'd been whacked by a pitch, and the Yanks were still muy pissed-off. He needed to drive one, do his trademark hop-step, and bring the Death Star to within one. But as Luke stepped to the plate, something looked amiss. His stance? No. His face? Nope. Ah, I figured it out...

His batting average. For the first time in Yankee memory, it had fallen below .240 - to .239. Two-thirty-nine... this from a bench-pressing brute who not long ago won AL Player of the Week. On his fourth pitch, Luke blasted a high fastball, danced his little dance, and watched the ball disappear into the rafters of Tropicana Dome - unfortunately, almost straight up... a routine fly to right. 

Next time Luke appears, the graphics will say .237. Two thirty seven...

In his last six games, Voit is 1 for 20, an anemic .050. Suddenly, the fears we had last winter - that Luke, the career minor leaguer, would circle the league once and then vanish - have returned. He's still got those 10 HRs - (more troubling, his lone hit over the last six games was a HR) - but if he plummets into the .220s - the Mendoza line for first-basemen - there will be cause for alarm. Not even Mark Teixeira could survive the .220s, and he was a gold glove. Worst of all, Voit bats second in the lineup, the slot reserved for Aaron Judge and the best Yankee hitter. 

Maybe this will pass. We always knew Voit would hit his first slump. It happens to everybody: The league writes a book on him, and he flounders until making an adjustment. Last fall, he was wondrous. This spring, he was better. When Greg Bird went out with another bad bunion, nobody batted an eye. We just yelled "Luuuuuuuuuk."

The concerns have returned. Two thirty seven. One of these days, they won't be yelling "Luuuuuuuuk." And here's another troubling fear: The Red Socks are two games above .500 and winning with football scores. 

Finally, there's the predicament: If Voit's slump continues, we have no replacement. (Bird isn't close.) There's Mike Ford in Scranton, but his glove is even sketchier than Voit's. Would we try Ryan McBroom and hope for another once-around-the-league? Jeeze.

Last night was a clunker. Everything looks bad after a clunker, and the Yankees recent winning streaks were marked by occasional clunkers, when we bundle all our foibles into one ugly, blowout loss. Better that than two heart-breakers.

But when Voit came up last night, the game was still on the line. If he falls into the .220s, alarm bells will signal. At the least, he needs to drop in the batting order. At the worst, the fears of winter may have been justified. 

Oh, and call your mom. 

(ADDITIONAL NOTE ADDED LATER: To answer the question of who's next? Veteran Logan Morrison played 1B for Scranton last night. He went 0-4 with 2 Ks.)

11 comments:

Parson Tom said...

Nestor Cortes Jr is the second coming of Giovanny Gallegos? A tragic trend is emerging in the eyewitness scouting reports from el duque when he's down on the farm. Almost as destructive to the hopes of our prospects as IIHIIFIIc declarations that this team is going to win the world series. You're playing with fire here.

13bit said...

Thank god we have the best hitting coach in the league to help Luke make his adjustments.

I can rest easy while we all await the inevitable trajectory back to a respectable batting average.

Alphonso said...

Not for nothing, but when the Red Sox were 5-12, I predicted that they would be in first place, and running away from everyone else, by the all star break.

People scoffed and scorned me.

Called me an idiot who doesn't know baseball at all.

I know his: Boston is the best team and they have the best pitching. And likely, the best front office.

We are trying for the wild card.

A;ways have been and always will be.

It is a miracle we are still in the mix at all.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

WHY CAN'T WE GIVE ANDUJAR A FIRST BASEMAN'S MITT AND LET HIM START TAKING GROUNDERS THERE?

IF HE CAN HANDLE 3RD BASE IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES, THEN HE CAN SURELY HANDLE FIRST BASE.

I BELIEVE, WE OVER DRAMATIZE THINGS LIKE THAT... HE SHOULD BE WORKING OUT AT FIRST DAILY.

WE LOVE TO KILL OUR KIDS' CONFIDENCE...

FRAZIER MESSES UP IN THE OUTFIELD, WE START WHISPERING "SCRANTON".

ANDUJAR MESSES UP AT 3RD, WE BENCH HIM,(PLAYOFFS), AND/OR WHISPER, "TRADE HIM".

OUR KIDS ARE STILL BABIES!

FOR CRISSAKES, LET THEM PLAY!

SHOW SOME FUCKING BELIEF IN THESE KIDS!


HoraceClarke66 said...

We also should make Stanton try a little first base, assuming he ever gets off the DL.

Andujar, it makes more sense to try him in left with his rifle arm. Buuuut...that's assuming he still has a rifle arm, after his injury to MLB's decision to turn the bases into stone citadels. Right now, he looks lost at the plate.

Of course, everything looks worse, always, in Tampa. That miserable park just sows despair. Right now, I'm just hoping one of the Yanks hits a single, so I can turn to the Mets game.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You are right as usual, Alphonso, and I for one regret my mild optimism from the other day.

The key, though, is the Red Sox managing and management.

If you look at their roster, they have some terrific talents but it's not very deep at al,l and there are mediocre-to-bad players at several positions.

But they maximize the talent they do have by refusing to play home run-or-nuthin' ball, and they know enough to get the stud hosses for the starting staff—a key element in the 3-4 rounds of playoffs we must now endure.

The Sox understand that nearly anyone can be a decent short reliever for a season or so, and that so many "star" relievers you pick up will flame out for a year—or for good.

The amazing thing is, no matter how much they win, no one emulates them.

Ideology is a very powerful force.

Leinstery said...

Can anyone tell me why Andujar is playing? He's clearly a shell of himself so get him into operation room.

Leinstery said...

CHAD GREEN? Oh God please not him.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


To inject a bit of reality here:

NYY's May record = 7-and-5. Played teams with better records, with a bunch of retreads and barrel-bottoms, and held their own. Today's SS was Estrada (who?). 3B was a guy none of us knew about as of mid-April. Sent out pitchers like Lasagna and German as starters. GAINED on the 1st-place Rays in that period.

TODAY: Beat arguably the best pitcher the Rays have; Snell was 23-and-5 in 2018. Do you remember: He took home the Cy Young honor for last year. NYYs beat him with Voit having problems, Andujar invisible, Gardy hitting .199 coming into the game, Romine at .228, and Tauchman at .213 (both of those averages are higher than at the game's start, each guy went 2-for-4). BE HAPPY!!!

CHAD GREEN struck out the side in the 9th. Meaningless, really. But you gotta have just a bit of faith. Last year was 8-and-3 (62 games). He's now 27 years old. He's making $600K this year, with arbitration in 2020. He's got a lot to gain if he gets back to what he was. If he does, the Yankees probably will trade him. But that doesn't speak to his motivation!

ANDUJAR: If he has options left, they should send him out to play at AAA. Obviously needs time to straighten things out. This seems a no-brainer.

RED SOCKS: 5 of their wins in the past 2 weeks came against White Sox and Bawlmore.
Orioles = 13-and-26. White Sox = 18-and-21. They just swept Seattle (3 games), NYYs took Seattle 3-1 in games in Bronx. IN OTHER WORDS: The Sox have had it, more or less, easier than the NYYs have in this period. Clearly, it's not yet time to surrender.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Amazin'. Simply amazin'.

I would not have taken 100-1 odds on this team winning today. Blake Snell was churning through the lineup like a power drill through Swiss cheese. The deep drear of the Tampa park seemed soaked into their bones.

And then—surprise! Two more key hits for Tauchman. Two more ribbies for Gio. A homer for Thairo the Pharaoh. Great game for Tanaka. A terrific Chad Green appearance. Great fielding everywhere.

EVEN A SACRIFICE BUNT AND A SAC FLY! IN THE SAME INNING!!

I must retire for the moment. This team has given me the fan tams.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And yes, Leinstery, El Matador is not looking up to snuff. Maybe an idea to have him go in when Stanton rejoins the team?