Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Which is crazier? That the Yankees are MLB's hottest team, or that Tyler Wade last night was their best player?

In a sane Yankiverse - (no such thing?)last night's victory over Tomato Kansas City should terrify us, down to our sagging and shriveled Colter Beans.

Our bullpen cannot hold leads. Our big hitters cannot drive in runs. Our umpires cannot even do video reviews. And we lost yet another player - Gio Urshela - whose tweaked gonad will set him back another week. 

Terrifying, Midsommar, all around. I shiver over the outcome, had we faced a contender instead of a stretch of potholed pavement, 15 games below .500.

But but BUT... we should enjoy this moment. Despite losing 15 players to injuries or plague, the Death Barge possesses MLB's best record - (16-7) - since the All-Star break. 

The team seems revitalized since trading 10 minor league prospects for four veterans, a ballsy - if not desperate - move by GM Brian Cashman. Some bloggers and cheerleading outlets have already proclaimed the Yankees "winners" in the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Me, I dunno. Time will tell. If this team reaches the World Series, we'll launch the conga lines. But one hallmark of the 2021 Yankees has been that hot stretches turn into cold ones. Whenever you proclaim victory, the juju gods take note. And they are not our friends. 

Still, something needs to be noted here: 

Last night, the regularly maligned Tyler Wade was - gulp - our MVP.

Wade reached base four times, two with hits, one with a walk, and one with a nifty flick of the bat on an 0-2 count, which slapped the catcher's mitt for interference. (He should perfect that swing and make it is signature move.) Wade is now hitting .247, which is the new .277. This puts him in the upper tier on these Yankees, who probably won't finish with anybody batting .300. He plays fine defense - better SS than Gleyber? - and last night stole his 8th base, a speed steal that beat the throw, making him our best baserunning threat short of Greg Allen, who is mired in Scranton, due to inscrutable GM roster moves.

I've always liked Wade, who is only 26, even though it seems like he's been here 20 years. He hit well in the minors, batting .310 at Scranton in 2017 - a season that with most teams would have ensured a starting shot. (But not with the Yankees; they sent him back down the following spring.) Two years ago, before the pandemic mini-season, Wade delivered some key hits in the pennant stretch. He seemed to have figured it out. But the following spring, he disappeared.

In his career, he has stolen 21 out of 26 bases, and I believe if he ever gets a chance with a team, he will prove to be a serviceable MLB shortstop, maybe even with an Urshela-like transformation. But it will not happen in New York. 

So, here we go. Wade gets at least another week to show his stuff. Is there something there? Dare we believe?


Wezil1 said...

Historically, if .247 is the new .277 is Wade our latest Randy Velarde? He took the Columbus Express pretty often too, I think

JM said...

Wade was always a no-hit, good defense speedster. But this isn't his first run of offensive performance, as I recall. Of course, any such run has come to naught because he was sent down or benched as soon as somebody got off the IL.

I never maligned him, but I will malign Anthony Davis like crazy. The idea that, for some bizarre reason involving arcane rules and paperwork, Greg Allen isn't with us really rankles. Davis is a good defensive CF, but may be the worst hitting outfielder in recent memory. He's a guaranteed out. When he's up, the best outcome is a walk, and he doesn't seem prone to walking. Wade's continuing stay with the club I can understand, but Davis's pickup and addition to the lineup at any time is inexplicable.

That said, we can't close out games against tomato cans, it seems, and that's a problem. Gardner's resurgence is great, but the bullpen has issues. Again.

TheWinWarblist said...

21 of 26 is a 80.8% success rate. That's a worthwhile success rate.

13bit said...

to quote The Who:

"we won't get fooled again..."

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was 10 minor leaguers for three players (and a handful of games by
Rizzo The Un-Vaccinated. If he's symptomatic he might not be back for a while and could easily be weakened when he returns. We only have him for the rest of the year.)

Doug K.

ZacharyA said...

Giancarlo Stanton has just 2 extra-base hits this month and 5 extra-base hits since the All Star break. He has just 9 extra-base hits in his last 40 games (170 PA). It's terrifying how our $30M man has become a groundball hitter.

Last 40 Games

Gallo 20 XBH
Judge 17 XBH
Sanchez 17 XBH
Urshela 15 XBH
Odor 14 XBH
LeMahieu 13 XBH
Rizzo 13 XBH
Torres 11 XBH
Stanton 9 XBH

40 games is 25% of the season. How is it possible Giancarlo is our worst power threat lately (among the regulars)?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Excellent question, Zach. And yes, Stanton also hit into his 15th DP of the year last night—as opposed to 17 HRs.

I suspect the Mets' canny announcers had it right when they opined that Stanton is hiding—or trying to hide—a core injury at the plate.

The millstone that this guy is just boggles the mind—even if he is playing the occasional game in the outfield now. Stanton put in one, okay year for us in 2018, and had a nice, 7-game run in the playoffs last season.

That's it! Versus nearly two entire seasons out with injury (he even managed to miss two-thirds of the Covid year), and this year, in which he has become an active detraction from the team's performance.

And we still have him for another 6 flipping years! At salaries way too high for him to possibly consider retiring, no matter how badly he deteriorates. Incredible.

TheWinWarblist said...

So we take the starting pitchers out early because they get hit "third time through the lineup." And because of that we have to carry 47 bullpen lug nuts. Which means we have no bench of hitters or position players. But the bullpen torches every lead. All the time. We have dozens of middle innings guys who can't get anyone out the first time through the lineup. I mean if the bullpen guys were any good, they'd be starters, right?

So why are we pulling the starters early??

Having a basket full of statistics does not help you if you are an INNUMERATE FUCKFACE.

Anonymous said...

All this complaining about Stanton is perplexing. The critics must not realize that his DP last night was hit at 120 mph. Also, don't worry about Wade: Now that he's producing MLB is testing him every hour for covid until they get a match.

- Melquíades

TheWinWarblist said...

Well said Melquiades.

Anonymous said...

"I suspect the Mets' canny announcers had it right when they opined that Stanton is hiding—or trying to hide—a core injury at the plate." I don't know when the Mets announcers talked about this, but I can document the fact that I advanced this theory on this blog several weeks ago. I know you bear a personal grudge against me, HC 66, but you ought to get over your peevishness and give credit where it's due.