Thursday, September 8, 2016

A great Yankee night, and something's gotta give, because Boston, Baltimore, Toronto and Detroit will now play each other

Scranton won last night, taking game one of the IL playoffs against the dreaded Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Go Railriders, chew-chew, woo-woo!

Mason Williams - (remember him? he's 25, same as Tyler Austin) - hit his first HR of the year. A lefty named Jordan Montgomery - (he's 23, and 6'6" tall) - threw seven shutout innings; his ERA at Triple A is 0.82. Dietrich Enns, a 25-year-old lefty starter, now on a season innings limit - pitched two scoreless innings. He's been lights out all year.

I note this not to get Trumpy about the Governor's Cup returning to Wilkes Barre. but to remind us that "next September" is still the reigning mantra of the Yankiverse. Next September, barring Zika or fracking quakes, we could be leading AL East, not scrambling for the last crumbs of October.

Trenton won last night in the EL playoffs. Rumble you Thunder! Close their bridge! Dante Bichette Jr. - (remember him?  he's 23, but I bet you thought he's 30) - doubled and scored the game-winner. On the eternal Yankee prospect rankings, Bichette sits somewhere between Edwar Ramirez and Sean Henn, but there he is, folks, preparing to turn 24 in a few days. Aaron Judge is 24.

Last September, no Yankee fans in captivity predicted Austin, Judge, Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine to be leading a September wild card charge. Who knows what next September can bring. Good grief, maybe Cito Culver will get a call. (Actually, we'll probably lose him this winter to free agency.) And then there is a 23-year-old Trenton righty named J.P. Feyereisen, who has given up just one run in 19 innings since coming over in the Andrew Miller deal; he's stuck out 24. The point isn't that we have a handful who'll make the Top 100 prospects; it's that we have a wave of talent - from which a few will fertilize the eggs - around next September.

We have 24 games left to pick up 2 losses on 3 teams. This looks easier than it actually is. Unless Toronto, Baltimore and Detroit - three solid teams - tank, we could play our best all season and still fall short. And if Houston gets hot, well, screw it. There's a limit to how much hope you can generate without even a five-man rotation. But here we are, teeing up four games with Tampa, and if we take three, we'll gain on somebody. Toronto plays Boston, and Baltimore plays Detroit. If we take three from Tampa - pay them back for July - we pick up on somebody.

Speaking of Tampa - our Tampa lost last night in the High A playoffs. Nineteen year old SS Gleber Torres - (remember him? the main cog in the Aroldis Chapman deal) - went 2-for7. In his last 10 games, he's hitting .319. (Over the season, .270.) Rashad Crawford - a 6'3", 22-year-old OF who came over in the same deal - hit a HR. The guy's hit .291 since joining Tampa. The Yankees characterized him as a lottery pick. Thus far, he looks great.

Listen: Our farm system is humming. Next September, we should be even younger. For the past eight years, Hal Steinbrenner advanced the notion that the Yankees never rebuild - that we always sign veterans and chase the pennant. The fact is, every year should be a rebuilding year. We must not be afraid of sell-offs, especially if we can get great talent in return. This is how you build a dynasty, and for Yankee fans, an occasional wild card won't cut it. We are having a great autumn. But the key is next September, NEXT SEPTEMBER, NEXT SEPTEMBER.

And mooning Papi. Get your t-shirt now. They will be collectors items.

1 comment:

JM said...

We have to start wiping the mat with lousy teams, and the Rays are first up.

4-0 isn't a necessity, but it's a near-necessity. 3-1 at the worst.

Most of the year, we played to the level of our opponents. That has to stop for good. Tonight. Now. The next four games.