THE WRONG EARTH, written by Mustang and published by El Duque, is out now!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Here's where the Yankee farm system comes through

In Scranton yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka pitched five and two-thirds innings, gave up two. SS Tyler Wade went 1-4 with a double and two RBIs. CF Clint Frazier went 2-3 with a double. RF Billy McKinney went 0-3 with a walk. Gio Gallegos pitched two scoreless innings. 

Any one of them could be with the Yankees next week, and doing just fine. 

Also, with the exception of Tanaka, any one could be with another team, and doing just fine.  

So goes perhaps the deepest farm system in baseball, the main reason - not free agency - why the Yankees sit high in the standings (one game, three percentage points, behind Boston; 9.5 games ahead in the Wild Card.) 

And it needs to be re-established in the minds of every fan who reads in a news story next week, or the week after, that the Yankees just obtained some cagey veteran lug nut without giving up much in return.

In another era - actually, not long ago - the Yankees would have reacted to Gleyber Torres' hip-flexor strain by trading prospects for Alphonso Soriano or signing "Mister Oriole" Brian Roberts off the Social Security waiting list. The moves always brought a burst of good will by the Yankee-owned media, and then settled into a choking malaise, as the reasons why other teams gave up on them became apparent.

This year, to replace Gleyber, they can take their pick of Wade and/or Brandon Drury, or Ronald Torreyes (who is currently out on family leave) - replacing one ascending player with another. Wade, for example, has hit .317 since June 1, resuscitating his prospect status. Drury has patiently waited since May for his chance in NY. And Torreyes remains a Yankee spark plug. Gleyber out for two weeks? No worries. And no need to make a trade. 

This comes as Boston last week signed 37-year-old Brandon Philips off the scrap heap, hoping to replace Eduardo Nunez, who was hoping to replace Dustin Pedroia, who was hoping to replace Pumpsie Green. In another universe, they still have Jed Lowrie or Travis Shaw, but in this one, the talent tap in Pawtucket looks mighty dry. This is what happens when a team has gone three years of trading prospects for quick fixes. If any of Boston's front line players suffer a hip-flexor, or something worse, we will see the catastrophic impact of those deals.

The Yankees have been so stoked with talent in Scranton and Trenton that injuries have actually been welcomed: (See Ellsbury, Jacoby.) If tomorrow, an outfielder goes down, Frazier or McKinney can get the call. With the exception of catcher, where we are currently depleted by injuries, the Yankees have backups in practically every position. (First base is a concern, but Greg Bird only recently had his 100th at bat in the season; he remains a viable hope.) 

The Yankees just beat Atlanta, yet another top tier team, in a series. Yes, they looked like pikers in Tampa, where the Rays were playing their version of the 2018 World Series. It's hard to beat everybody, every time. But injuries can't kill us... as long as we don't start trading away our farm.


13bit said...

Another sober, on-target assessment from El Duque.

I think we could put Mr Cashmania into a state of suspended animation, similar to Harrison Ford hanging up on the wall in his vacuum packaging, to consummate no deals at all for the rest of the season, and we'd be MORE than fine with the warm bodies on hand.

So yes, unless they move one of the favorite sons of this blog's mutinous crew, no problem, sure. No great loss - EXCEPT for one thing: even if we don't move a good prospect, any half-lit retread that we get BLOCKS a potential in-house prospect.


Back to oatmeal.

Vampifella said...

I had to look up this "Pumpsie Green." WOW! That's a really obscure Sux player from 10 years before I was born. He's no Marty Barrett or Jerry Remy!

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

Pumpsie Green a pioneer and a great baseball name . He was the first black to play for the red socks . Good reference by el duque to a name from the past that some of us recall.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Pumpsie was also most famous for getting off the team bus one day in New York with Gene Conley, and trying to go to Israel. It was mostly the idea of Conley, who was what was known as a character.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Very well put, Duque—the words I was searching for last night. Depth is vital. And with lesser bats in the infield now, all the more reason why we need to hang onto Clint Frazier.

Anonymous said...

We're in a quandary.

Just read that Neal "Buster" Walker is going to get most of the at-bats at second which leaves us with a Drew Two (Stephen) situation.

While I can't root against a Yankee I am worried that if he shows any ability at all we will be stuck with him for the duration. I don't understand why Drury doesn't get the at-bats.

Are Walker and Boone fishing buddies? It just makes no sense. Drury was a 2nd baseman for a lot of his career and was hot down in Scranton. Even if he doesn't hit he's got to be better than Walker. At least by my "who would you rather have up at the plate" way of deciding who is better.

Doug K.

13bit said...

Boone is not a first-rate intellect.

Alphonso said...

I, too, am dismayed but the prospect of Walker rather than Drury. Maybe another 0-12 batting run will settle the issue forever.

Tyler would be a great kid to see get another shot, and he can play reliable to superb defense, but I still do not believe he can hit well enough at the major league level.

Didn't know Torreyes had " family leave." Can someone explain? Sounds like someone is terribly ill or injured in an accident. Ugh. I hope this does not end in some form of tragedy.

Once again, the problem with the depth of our farm system is that " injuries tend not to co-operate."

Let me elaborate: if you have no depth at catcher, the injuries will occur at catcher. If you have no depth at first base, the injuries will concentrate there. The same thing happens in football. Injuries tend to strike, often and always, at your position of least depth and experience.

I mean, aren't we right now skating on the edge of desperation and maximum high risk with our catcher situation? Praying that Hikky doesn't grab a hamstring until either Romine or Sanchez can again walk? If Hikky starts game one of the Toronto series, my concern about Romine's "day to day" tweak, grows exponentially.

In summary; while we do have some nice depth in the farm system, it is not necessarily where we shall need it. This situation is
injuries' form of, " If you get put into the game, the ball will always find you."

We are hanging on by a thread.

TheWinWarblist said...

The problem with a loaded system is that every player is an asset. An asset permanently blocked in Scranton does the Big Club no good. Better to trade and get something you can use to help the Yankees? No? Yes?

Pumpsie Green.

Benedícat vos omnípotens Ruthus, et Scooter, et Mantleus, et Spíritus Jeterus.

So endeth the JuJu.

Anonymous said...


You're right. The ball will find you. The injury will be where you are thinnest.

I thought of something else this AM that should give us pause. We really need to win the division because, the one game play in aside, we need to have the best record in baseball to get all the home field advantage in every round.

Remember last year against Houston. That was the difference.

Doug K.

Leinstery said...

Please anyone but Tyler Wade...and obviously Neil Walker.

Anonymous said...

The Yankee farm system comes through, but Cashman/Boone go into deep cognitive impairment by tabbing Neil Walker as Torres's replacement. Cashman at times shows a stupid/stubborn streak that is frightening--the baseball equivalent of Night of the Living Dead.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Alphonso, we should name this, "Alphonso's Rule." It's all too true.

WinWarblist, it's all in who you trade the prospect FOR. I know this sounds obvious, and it is, but Cashman often acts as though he is dealing sour cream, with a strict expiration date, and if such-and-such prospect isn't traded for, well, ANYTHING by that date, he will curdle and mould.

The price for all of the mutts—and they ARE mutts—currently out there will drop steeply, the closer we get to the trading deadline. The idea that getting them a week or two early will give us juuuust the 2-3 extra starts we need to grab first place and avoid the "play in" is a fantasy.

It also is completely removed from everything else Coops is doing. If we are really so intent on winning every game, why the hell are we wasting so many at-bats on Walker, until he "gets going"?

As usual, Coops' thinking is unclear, and it will likely cost us.

TheWinWarblist said...

Hoss, yes, yes. It's all in the details. We can trust those to Cashman.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I'd like to think -- based on Zero Evidence -- that Boone wants to make Walker disappear, but Cashman won't deal or DFA him. After all, he got a $17 million guy for $4 million -- if Walker comes on (and does something/anything) -- it will add to the Cashmoney legend.

I'd like to think that Boone is going along with this (because he has to) and PLAYING Walker -- now -- on a regular basis, so that Walker can destroy his Yankee career right out there on the playing field. Sure, the cost of this might be a coupla losses .....but it will enable Boone to right the ship, throw Walker overboard, and get a team roster he wants before August begins.

I'd like to think all of this. I'm a positive guy. This line of thinking enables me to explain what is happening (with Walker) to myself, and to NOT think ill of Boone so soon into his period.

Yes, I already think ill of Cashmoney. After all, there is this Ellsbury guy hanging around, consuming a few million a month. The A-Rod $$$ that's gone. Etc.

After all, Boone is a rookie manager, and Cashman is a veteran GM (and praised up and down the line by every Gammonite there is). So if they are meeting and Boone IS militating for "get rid of Walker, please" .....why would Cashmoney listen?

Of course, this thinking by me is probably a bunch of horsedung. But it's what is in my brain....

HoraceClarke66 said...

Joe FOB, I think you may well be right—and, after all, how much choice does Ma Boone have?

What's crazy is Coops' stubbornness in these situations.

Walker has had almost 200 plate appearances, and his line is .188/.268/.259/.527. He will be 33 in early September, and thus 5 years past the average peak age of ballplayers. It's incredible that he should possibly think Walker can still play.

TheWinWarblist said...

That is one sexy slash line ... aahhh