Tuesday, July 3, 2018

At this point, it's insane to bat Gleyber Torres ninth

For the last two months, batting Gleyber Torres ninth has been one of Aaron Boone's fatherly, insightful, kindly and creative ways of breaking-in the fuzzy-cheeked rook. It's a throwback to the days when young Bernie Williams batted ninth, and it dovetailed into modern baseball psychobabble about "the second lead-off hitter, blah-blah-blah," which happens when the order turns around. Boone even batted Gleyber ninth, behind the pitcher, in an inter-league game, without suffering proper condemnation. (When your team wins, nobody asks questions.) 

Last night, Boonie's bonehead, idiotic, hubris-laden idea cost the Yankees a game. 

It's one thing to bat a solid hitter ninth when your lineup is bursting with bats. It's another when you have a struggling Greg Bird and a defense-only Kyle Higashioka in the order. 

Four times last night, four fucking times! Higashioka's lineup slot made the final out in an inning with runners on base, and Gleyber kneeling in the on-deck circle. Higgy went 0-3, while Torres - one slot below - went 3-4, lifting his average to .296. (In fact, if you're looking for "the second lead-off batter" bullshit, Torres should be leading off the lineup, instead of Brett [.251] Gardner.

In the second, Higgy flew out with a man on second. In the sixth, he struck out with a runner on first. In the eighth, pinch out Neil Walker fanned with men on first and third. In the tenth... ahh... the horrible tenth... arguably the biggest at bat of the game - two outs, bases loaded, game on the line - Austin Romine, the new catcher, fanned with Gleyber waiting on deck. 

Stupid, stupid, stupid. 

One other thing, while I have you... It's becoming impossible to ignore the domination of young, ascending talent in baseball. Look at Atlanta. Look at Philadelphia. Look at last year's Astros, and the Royals and Cubs before them. Teams relying on veterans - see the Nationals, O's, Mets, et al - are getting pounded. And right now, the Yankees have the best of both worlds - vets and rookies. But we're about to do a terrible thing: We're on the verge - and everybody knows this - of trading Clint Frazier for some tin can starter, such as Cole Hamels, even though it's possible that Frazier would be more productive in LF than Gardy. Yes, I'm sorry to speak blaspheme about our de facto captain, but it's now been half the year, and Gardy is still hitting .251. (OBP is .346, fourth among starters.) Isn't it time for a platoon, at worst? Wouldn't Frazier have been a better pinch hitter than Neil Walker? Are we really going to bundle up one of the most exciting young hitters in baseball and trade him for AJ Happ? Because this "final puzzle piece" mentality is just another chunk of Gammonitic crapola, and if we think veterans can take us to Xanadu, then take a good look at the Blue Jays, because that's where we'll be in three years. And like them, we might have nothing to show for it.

Gleyber Torres... ninth? THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW! 


TheWinWarblist said...



TheWinWarblist said...

I hate to say this, but Gardiner's offensive skills are eroding. If only there was something we could do to help.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

1 - Gardner's 2nd halves (of seasons) have sucked. It's a solid-gold bet. So.....a platoon (at least) makes sense.

2 - NEWS: Johnny Lasagna was sent to AAA . . . after seeing the sights of Trenton, now he gets to indulge in Scranton.

3 - AJ Cole returns from DL. Now he and Hale make up the back end of the bullpen, according to Boone.

4 - NJ.com reports Lasagna might be brought back on Monday to pitch in the double-header (vs Bawlmore) as "the 26th man" ......

ranger_lp said...

Cole could end up as a #5 starter...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Cole has been intriguingly good for us so far—when healthy.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Duque, and Joe FOB are right on, as usual.

I love Gardner—and I love Didi. But both of them are killing us.

Didi, after that great start, has been doing so for sometime, and like almost everyone else in the lineup is hitting in a bizarre spot for him.

But as Joe points out—and as I pointed out last season—Gardner melts down in the second half EVERY YEAR.

The baseball-reference splits tell the story, in case you can't see it for yourself. Here is Gardy lifetime:

First Half:

63 HRs, 147 SB in 185 attempts, .274/.356/.412/.768

Second Half:

26 HRs, 101 SB in 121 attempts, .247/.333/.361/.694

With all he does in the first half, Gardy hits for less power, steals fewer bases, and gets on base less often in the second half.

And...nonetheless, we'e playing him every game even with his current injuries. Smart!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with this post and the comments.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

Oooh, Doug K, you silver tongued devil!

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

My hope is Cashman is too smart to trade Frazier for a 4.00+ ERA or 30+ year old pitcher. While he has resisted similar moves like that in recent years, that is not a guarantee he won’t do it this year, due to the pressure. We can only hope. Like most Yankee fans , I would rather stay in house. However, if we can get a proven pitcher with several years of his contract remaining,under 30 years old with a consistent record of success as a number one or two - Frazier could be the price.