Friday, April 29, 2016

Yankee barf machine already pushing 2017

It looks like a Met year. Today, the Gray Lady anoints them as NYC's better team, and the way the Yanks are floundering, you half expect them to add Carly Fiorina to the ticket. (I think the signing of Nick Swisher was the baseball equivalent of Cruz adding Carly.) This weekend, we hit Boston, which is already trying to look "presidential." Can Suzyn play the Woman Card?

It looks ugly. In mid-May, Aroldis Chapman's woman-choking, garage-shooting ban ends. Unfortunately, El Chapo is at the wrong end of the pitching staff. With him, Miller and Dellin, we have the nuts, chocolate sauce and cherry - but it's still a banana split without ice cream.

But I am here to say the Yankee propaganda mill is alive and well. In Scranton, manager Al Pedrique is explaining away Aaron Judge's less-than-encouraging month of April.

"He has no issues when they throw him a fastball inside," Pedrique said. "His hands are quick enough that he's going to be able to drive the ball to the left-center gap all over the park. It's a matter of time until he feels comfortable where he can do something with those pitches middle away and drive it the other way.

A matter of time. Unfortunately, time takes too long, sometimes. Judge is 24 - no phenom anymore, in his second tour of Triple A. His average has dipped to .267 - small sample size - but he's striking out at an intolerable 33 percent rate. I'm not giving up on him, but if Judge burns another year in coal country, waiting for Beltran to mulch, we're looking at another Yankee prospect on the wrong side of 25.

Today, the hype apparatus is selling a new Luis Severino. His name is Domingo Acevido, who is 6'7" and sure fills a cab. The new head of the farm system, Gary Denbo says.

"He looks like he's going to move quickly through the organization."

(Jeez. I can remember when Denbo was a prospect with Cinncinati. If anybody understands being stuck in a farm system, he does.) Acevido is 22 with a 2.21 ERA in four starts. Supposedly, he once hit 103 on the radar gun. If so, they better move him fast and get some of those bullets, before the ghost of Tommy John arrives to claim him.

Sadly, there is no breakout prospect in Trenton or Scranton who could generate buzz. There is a pitcher at Trenton - Dietrich Enns - on a 23-inning scoreless streak. But he turns 25 next month. Baseball America says of Enns:

Never rated among the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, Enns is pitching his way into consideration, despite pedestrian stuff. 

Yep. All he does is get guys out. Generally, Yankee scouts discount performance, trusting their superior instincts, which are evidenced in the team's incredible success rate at developing players. Do I sound cynical?


JM said...

"His hands are quick enough that he's going to be able to drive the ball to the left-center gap all over the park."

Are you sure Yogi isn't alive and well and managing in Scranton?

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

This site writes about how the 2016 season (so far) resembles 2015. Or worse.

My memory runs longer. I was a youth (living in Brooklyn, taking the "D" train to the Bronix) in the late 1960s, and a college student (hiding out from the draft) in the 1970s.

The team really, really sucked. Mickey Mantle even played (a shadow of his old self)-- for a while.

I looked it up: 70-and-89 in 1966. I recall that it felt A LOT WORSE. Went to 72-and-90 in 1967.

I can remember a friend back then who described how his father got all kinds of crazy every time someone said the words . . . "Horace Clarke." Of course, that might have been some kind of racism.

Why was the feeling "worse" back then? My childhood included the Yankees in the World Series EVERY YEAR. My earliest memory (as a 7-year-old) was of watching Mazeroski's HR to end the 1960 series

. . . and then . . . the team and its players collectively faded to invisible.

Today, there are some interesting players. But we have A-Roid hanging on, Beltran trying not to look like a statue, McCann (who can't remember the name of that other field, the one that's not "right") . . . Sabathia with his personal struggles, Ellsbury and Headley trying to make all of us forget that they aren't worth 10% of what they are being paid -- and Texeira trying not to get hurt again.

And some of us hold our breath every time Gardner slides into a base or to make a catch.

It feels all too familiar. At some point, I expect to see Steve Hamilton coming out of the bullpen.....replete with his favorite pitch "The Folly Floater."

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