Monday, April 30, 2018

The Yankees greatest fear could be... gulp... health

Yesterday, in scattered locations across the Yankiverse, the horizon boiled with impending storms. 

In Scranton, Brandon Drury doubled and walked. In Tampa, Clint Frazier homered. And wherever they are, Greg Bird and Jacoby Ellsbury likely set new personal highs on Minecraft. Soon, all four could be knocking on the door, with no room at the Yankee Inn.

Before continuing, let me acknowledge that is is a pure, unadulterated First World problem, the kind most GMs would kill to have. Overcrowded rosters don't stay that way. Gonads are always getting tweaked, and the reality is that too many cooks don't ruin the broth; one gets pushed in, adding a strange, rather unsavory taste. 

But with nine wins in a row, it's time to wonder - gulp - what if everyone gets healthy?

Drury is closest to a return - maybe even tomorrow. He could replace Neil Walker, who has swung the bat like Neil Sedaka. But maybe not. Walker plays 1B and switch hits, adding a LH bat in a right-tilting lineup. (They claim Drury can play 1B, but in his four year career, he's played only one game at that position.) If Drury replaces Walker, we might be better off talent-wise, but are we balanced? Why keep two RH first basemen? (Three, if you add Austin Romine.) Also, realistically, can Walker be that bad? 

Maybe Drury will "spell" Miguel Andujar at 3B. That's a defensive improvement (I think.) Offensively, not so sure. Everyone knows that Andujar needs to play every day. Does that mean sending him to Scranton? Have you seen Tyler Wade's death spiral in Triple A? He's hitting .158, clearly disillusioned. He's gone from being the breakout star of Yankee camp to a career-blocked afterthought. Would the Yankees exile Andujar to the same fate? That's bad juju, folks.

Maybe they'll drop one of their 13 pitchers. AJ Cole, for example! But that will leave Aaron Boone one extra-inning marathon meltdown from summoning another arm? It's early in the season to be going through pitchers like popcorn.

Then there is Frazier, who looks to be a few weeks away. Theoretically, he can play the summer at Scranton. (Next to Billy McKinney, who should also return eventually.) But what if Red Thunder goes on a certifiable hitting tear? The Yankees could promote him and go with five outfielders (like many other teams), but still... somebody's gotta go? Can't be Romine. Shouldn't be Ronald Torreyes. Walker?

Then... oh, shit... I forgot about Bird. He should return in May, reshuffling the infield. Does Bird reclaim 1B or platoon with the incredible Tyler Austin? And finally, there is Ellsbury, whom our outfield needs like Trump needs another porn scandal. He would add speed and guile, I guess. Moreover, the Yankees will want to showcase Ellsbury for other teams. If he hits, maybe somebody will take him. But who gets thrown overboard?

What I'm avoiding here is the dreaded "t word:" Trade. Soon, Cooperstown Cashman could be flush with position players and - unless Sonny Gray improves - the Yankees will be glaringly weak in the rotation. Many fans blame Cashman for trading three prospects for Gray. In fact, Cash's career pursuit of "power arms" has been his greatest blind spot. Still, he might have no other choice. 

Brace yourselves. If the Yankees get too healthy, something's gotta give. 

13 comments:

KD said...

Oh, duque, duque. why can't you simply live in the moment and enjoy this run? why bum our trip with all this "health" talk? ugh. who thought that the juju gods are so pernicious that they could find a way to torment us with HEALTH?! a new winkle in an old game, for sure. Ugh, sir. UGH I SAY!!

Local Bargain Jerk said...

I would follow KD's advice and live in the moment, but Sonny Gray and his corpulent 7.71 ERA take the mound tonight.

John M said...

Trade Wade and Walker. Doesn't solve any problems, really, but, come on. Stanton's a DH if Red is available. Rest Gardy a bit before he blows a gasket. The Austin Bird plays first. Drury? Beats me. He's only 25 and they say he's good. I don't know if he's AnDUjar good...at the plate, that is. Maybe they split, Drury one series, Andy Matador the next.

You're right. This is basically impossible. If Ells comes back, he's gonna get a lot of splinters.

Trades are actually the only way out. Either that, or 30-day DL type of injuries.

Why don't we put together another team? New York Yankees 2? Wouldn't it be great if two Yankees teams walloped Boston in the same year? What if both teams made the playoffs? Wow, this could be interesting.

KD said...

The New York Yankees 2 would be the NL team. It'd be win-win if we face off in the Series!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Don't see how you can justify sending Torres, Andujar *OR* Austin down.

DFA walker when Bird comes back.

Drury can be super sub.

Wade stays in Scranton until he loses the Toonces psyche.

Keep Toe and churn up the Scranton relief shuttle.

Unfortunately, this also means Frazier stays in Scranton until there's a few more tweaked nads.



Alphonso said...

This is what Managers get paid the big bucks to do.

Leave it all to Aaron.

But do not touch: Andujar or Torres.

Send Drury to Scranton to learn FB or to pitch.

We can't give up any more top prospects; the revolver is getting close to empty. No one wants the Wards and Walkers of the world. Or the Ellsburys. Unless, of course, another team tweaks several gonads in the same positional area. Then, our players fill needs, even if they are not flashing. Then, trades can happen that don't deplete us.

KD said...

Fret not, O Great LBJ! The clouds will dissipate and the Gray skies will become Sunny. It's bound to happen some day, right?

KD said...

will Mr. Sunny ever live up to his Sabermetric reputation? YES. Tonight he shows us what he's got.

You gotta believe. If Sunny comes through for us and prolongs The Streak, I will purchase his jersey (if I can find one). There's your incentive, Sunny Boy!

HoraceClarke66 said...

John M., I love the idea of Yankees 2. Or maybe we can make some kind of deal to give these guys to the Mets, who are rapidly running out of players, as "loaners."

And hey: Sonny Gray, Boy Pitcher, threw five stout innings against the Cosmonauts last October. So who knows...

Anonymous said...

IF WE EVEN THINK ABOUT MOVING ANDUJAR OFF 3B, THEN WE ARE THE DOPIEST ORGANIZATION IN HISTORY.

ALPHONSO IS DEAD ON...DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT MOVING ANDUJAR OR TORRES.

DUMP WALKER
DUMP COLE
DUMP HOLDER

FLOAT WHOEVER IS NOT HOT AT THE TIME ON THE "MYSTERY 10 DAY DL".

ROTATE THE MYSTERIES.

Anonymous said...

Here is what I do not understand.

AnDUjar was supposed to be our 3B of the future. Cashman wouldn't trade him for Cole. Then they sign Drury who, like Didi and Hicks, was a player who Cashman always wanted to acquire.

(By the way Hicks is expendable. You heard it here first. Maybe not this year but he looks better than he is. I was ahead of the curve on Starlin and I'm telling you... not as good as he looks)

Drury was supposed to serve as a bridge to AnDUjar because his "defense" wasn't ready.

But since AnDUjar appears ready whats with all the organizational love for Drury? We've been grooming AnDUjar for this. Let the kid play! Drury? Never heard of him. How is this not a no brainer?

Doug K.


13bit said...

Somebody somewhere must need Drury.

Anonymous said...

I LIKE WHERE YOUR HEAD IS AT DOUG K.

ABOUT ANDUJAR, RIGHT ON.

.....AND I CONCUR ON HICKS TOO.