Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Closing Grades

First, I just want to alert you all to the fact that today is "Wrong-Way" Corrigan Day—something that I thought Alphonso would want to know, especially considering his pending departure for the British Isles.

Yes, on this day, 80 years ago, Corrigan landed in Ireland, after claiming he got lost on a Long Island-California flight.

As we all know, he later flew on to Gilligan's Island, where The Professor built him a SuperSonic Transport out of some jungle vines, several coconuts, and one of Mary Ann's tie-off blouses, and sent him on his way.  Unfortunately, he accidentally ate the paper which held the island's coordinates on his way back to civilization—something the castaways heard about on the iPhone The Professor made out of crab shells and one of Lovey Howell's broken high heels.

This year, we've been lucky enough to have relatively few wrong-way appearances by our relief corps...

Okay, okay!  That doesn't work as a segue at all.

But the bullpen—now the majority of the staff by far, has been doing pretty well.  In fact, the whole staff has.

The Yankees' run production after 95 games is actually down a tiny bit:  499 in 2017, to 493 this year.    The reason the team is better?  Pitching, the reason for most things in human existence.

The Yankees have allowed only 362 runs so far this season, as opposed to 403 at this point last year.  That's due to an improvement by the starters—down from 2.75 runs a game to just 2.57—and the relievers, who have gone from allowing 1.33 a game to just 1.23.

So how do they stack up individually?


"Machine Gun," as we affectionately call him, has been just short of Mariano magnificent, save for an unfortunate little misfire here and there.  Our only fear is that barking knee—yet another reason for the team not to go hard down the stretch, as if this were our only chance for a championship.  Without Aroldis, who knows where we could be?


One of the most pleasant surprises of this season.  He has really turned his head around, after a start that made it look as though things were going to be just as horrible as much of last year was.

There's still a bit of panic when anybody gets on base, of course, but you can't argue with the overall results.  Betances seems to have really benefited from Ma Boone's tender loving care, as opposed to the Randy Levine, "I'll give you something to cry about" approach.


At the beginning of the year, the main debate seemed to be over whether the Yankees should make Chad a starter, or begin grooming him to succeed Machine Gun as our closer.  So far...he's been a little bit of a disappointment.

He's still a valuable piece out of the bullpen most days, but there seems to be a little less velocity, a few more hittable balls every appearance—culminating in his pre-break inability to hold the Indians last Sunday.  Let's hope this is not the beginning of a steeper decline.  The Yanks need him bigly.


Houdini still delivers most of the time, but he's definitely fallen off from last year, leading to a couple disasters when we needed him most.  He does seem to know how to get by—usually—even when he doesn't have his best stuff, which is more and more often.


Anybody know what's going on with his status?  His loss has been a big one, seriously diminishing the bullpen's depth.  Let's hope he can come back, but I wouldn't bet on it.


A very valuable, very versatile performer when he's healthy, and right.  If he's both down the stretch, it will be a huge boon for the Yanks.


He's been even worse than his very bad statistics show—and as a rare lefty, we really need him to succeed.  No can do, it seems.  I cringe whenever this guy comes on, and at 27, he's rapidly running out of time.

A.J. COLE:  A-

Another Cashman salvage prize from the junk pile.  A very nice performance in limited action so far, and the early injury is a concern.  But still, a nice pickup.  We clamor for more


Looks to be pitching over his head, but we'll take it.  A blow-up here and there, but generally a plugger, and a good one.  A pleasant surprise.


Didn't expect much from him, and didn't get it, even before the injury.  Really, isn't there anyone else in our much vaunted farm system to give a whirl around the show?  Oh, right, David Hale.  Not even worth talking about.

September, at least, would be a nice time to give the kids a go.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

I loved that Gilligan's Island episode.

TheWinWarblist said...

Yes, Rufus. Yes.

HoraceClarke66 said...

And...Manny is gone, off to LA for five prospects. Of whom only is apparently considered a top prospect, and apparently one had a "medical issue."

The key guy was a 21-year-old, Double-A outfielder with six home runs.

What is it that makes me think the price would've been way, way higher for the Yankees?

JM said...

Horace, I share your thinking. The Dodgers basically stole Manny from the Birds. Why would they go for a deal like this? It's weird.

Oh, hold on...I meant, why WOULDN'T they go for a deal like this.


HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it!

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