Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Yankee kids are alright. It's the Evil Empire that's messing things up.

Yesterday, a former and probable future Scranton Railrider named Chase Whitley gave the Yankees a Roger Clemens start: He pitched into the fifth and kept us in a game. In his final Yankee incarnation, that was Clemens' forte. The Gammonites would slather praise straight from their Thesauruses about Old Roger's guts and guile, as he left in the fifth, with the bases full and three runs in. In Roger's final season, 2007, the Evil Empire shelled out $17.4 million for his services. Man, that's evil.

By comparison, Chase Whitley is doing volunteer work. But he's still on a thin line. One shellacking, and Chase could be back in Moosic, visiting the Anthracite Museum. Moreover, if and when Yankees trade for a high-priced starter (aka a "salary dump"), Whitley could be gone, no matter what his record says. Back Clemens took his final lickings - his 2007 ERA was 4.18 - we just shrugged. George was paying him too much to pull him from the rotation.

And that's it, folks. That's your Evil Empire. That's why evil constantly loses in movies. The Green Goblin spends millions on gadgets, and all he needs to do is shoot Spidey with a gun show Glock.

Pay a guy $20 million, and you can't sit him down. If a kid from Scranton can do better, well, that's Chinatown, Jake.

This season, the Evil Emp has great results from the cheap meat - homegrown kids - with mixed hope from the top shelf brands. Yes, it's a small sample. Yes, the stars are hurt. But let's look at the nobodies. And I won't include Masahiro Tanaka and Yangervis Solarte - our two best players thus far - who came as free agents. Let's look at the guys who boiled up through the Yankee cauldron.

1. Dellin Betances. For the last four years, the Yankiverse has taken batting practice on this guy. He was a "Killer B," which meant high expectations and a lot of attention. He looked to be a flop, and folks never wasted words when flogging him - or the Yankees for having him. (I guess we're a little guilty here, too.) Now, for a guy who pitches the sixth inning, he's generating a huge buzz. The Gammonites see a future starter or closer. Who knows. But he certainly has outperformed Matt Thornton, who at 37, has been putrid. (He's pitched 8 innings and given up 5 runs. Yeow. But we're paying him $9 million this year and next, so... deal with it.)

2. John Ryan Murphy. YES spent the last five years pushing Austin Romine, Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Gary Sanchez - now it's Pete O'Brien - but Murphy is the one who looks like our future catcher. He's 23. In 31 plate appearances, he has a HR and is batting .400. Yesterday, he delivered a key single in the final inning. Every game, he contributes. Too bad we have Brian McCann for the next five years.

3. Chase Whitley. Covered him upstairs. He's pitched nine innings, has yet to give up a run. It won't last forever. Will we trade him for a Bronson Arroyo?

4. Zolio Almonte. Homered in his first game. Hit last year, then got hurt. Oh well, we're stuck with the decline and fall of Alfonso Soriano, who is headed to Grandy Land - .220 and 150 strikeouts. There's also Ichiro, who is hitting well and acting classy - but is still a threat to beat out an infield hit. Soon, Almonte will go back to Scranton. It won't matter if he's hitting .500.

5. David Phelps and Adam Warren. I list them together, because they came up together, they started together, and neither ever received much respect or attention, compared to the great Manny Banuelos. They have outperformed so many free agent slobs that it's useless to list them.

6. Brett Gardner and David Robertson. OK, both are "stars," in the sense that they're in New York and making decent money. Both rose through the hyper-attentive crucible of the Yankee system, with bloggers and Gammonites questioning every mistake. (A system that killed Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, though both are having decent years elsewhere.)

Yesterday, I campaigned for the signing of Kendry Morales. It beats trading for someone. But a Cuban farmhand named Adonis Garcia is tearing up the International League. He's no kid -  29. He's no monster - 5'9" and 190 pounds. He has little power (3 HR) but - yeesh - he's batting .340, with a 17-game hitting streak. If we don't sign Morales, why not give this guy a chance? Must we endure another Andruw Jones/Vernon Wells/Travis Hafner season? Are we doomed to always do this? Because Harry Osborn will never kill Peter Parker with an exploding pumpkin. All he needs is a nail gun.


JM said...

I think Joba got killed by the Joba rules. The whole pitch count thing is, aside from bogus, sometimes destructive, and we saw that here.

A terrific young pitcher completely screwed up by the mismanagement of the Yankees. Dumb, dumb, dumb, but evil often is.

JM said...
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KD said...
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KD said...

I am really loving this Murphy kid but my fear is that he will be bundled up and shipped off for a quick-fix lugnut. Let's wise-up and keep him. OK, steinspawn? Pretty please?

JM said...

Can we trade McCann? Somebody must need a great overpriced defensive game-calling catcher.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Yes, loving all the kids. As I wrote before, the best part of the team for me this year is seeing a possible future with these guys, it's been fun to watch a new generation of Yankees develop, and finally something gives me a little hope going forward.
Dear Management,
Please please PLEASE don't deal them away for a quick fix, it's a short sighted business model, and that model has failed miserably, time and time again.