Friday, July 20, 2018

If Clint Frazier is concussed, the Yankee trade deadline plans just went poof

Today, the Yankiverse poses the most troubling question of 2018:

What are the names of Clint Frazier's cats?

If Clint can't answer, or if he slurs his words, or if he must read the lingering Sharpie-inked response he once wrote his forearm, the Yankees' trade deadline hopes just got a nose job from Dr. Lizzie Borden. 

This spring, after hitting a wall in a Grapefruit League game, Frazier famously couldn't recall his cats' names, the result of a concussion that forced him to miss April and May. Last night, after diving for a ball in Scranton, he left the game with concussion symptoms, creating uncertainty on so many levels that I can't remember where to start. Wait... what's this blog about, anyway?

Let's probe the clouds around Red Thunder's potential injury, and it's possible effect on the Yankee second-half.

1. It might be just a scare. He might be reciting phone books, performing Kreskin-like mental feats, and easily describing the furry ways of Mister Mestophiles and Mungo Jerry. This could blow over, and we'll laugh about it tomorrow. 

2. If it is his second concussion in six months, this is bad. Really bad. Repercussions-beyond-baseball bad. Studies of athletes with repeated concussions raise serious flags. I pulled this off a medical site.

A 2009 study [1] of high school soccer players, for example, found that athletes with a reported history of concussions performed significantly worse on tests of memory, visual processing and reaction time using the ImPACT computerized neurocognitive test battery than those who reported no prior concussion

That means longer recoveries. If it's another concussion, Frazier might be done for the season.

3. Obviously, this compromises his short term trade value. In the old days, you'd think it ended his trade possibilities, but the Yankees last year dealt James Kaprielian and Dustin Fowler to Oakland, and both were hurt at the time... so, me... know... nothing. For the record, I still want Frazier to stay a Yankee. Good grief, he's only 23. If he misses the season, he can return next year, wiser and more reluctant to coco-butt subway cars. All of NYC will be pulling for him. He is not done. 

4. A concussion would thin the Yankee OF. We might need Billy McKinney (.235 with 13 HRs at Scranton) or even - gulp - Jacoby Ellsbury (293 lattes, 12 beach novels at Tampa.) We'll need somebody. Historically, Aaron Hicks is a tweak waiting to happen, and Brett Gardner is 34, though he has learned to avoid walls. Frazier was our fifth OF. We'll need a replacement.

5. Now, in trade talks, GMs will press deeper into the guts of the Yankee farm system. I can imagine them calling today to tell Brian Cashman that Frazier is off the table, and they now want Justus Sheffield, Estevan Florial and Albert Abreu - and maybe even others - all for a three-month rental on a spare tire named Cole or J.A. The big fantasy deal Cash was secretly concocting - the one for Bumgarner or Thor - may have just died. 

You know what? I've barely scratched the surface on the implications. They say the butterfly flapping its wings in China creates the tornado in Topeka. The butterflies are working hard. Our short and long-term chances may have just suffered a calamity... all over a fly ball in fucking Scranton, where Frazier doesn't belong, anyway. The real takeaway here: The juju gods are dicks. And between now and October, more tornadoes will be coming.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

The Yankees have plenty of outfielders. After all, that is why Frazier went down to Scranton.

Even with another injury, a couple of the kids are serviceable in the OF.

Trade bait just got a lot shakier though.

Vampifella said...

Scary thought is that we'll surely get this year's version of Gray for him along with someone else who we liked but is injured as well and a piece of lint player so far down in the minors couch that no one has ever heard of him. I think the Yanks were hoping for something better with trading Fowler until his injury.

TheWinWarblist said...

Concussions are bad for young brains. He's out for the rest of the season. Or should be.

Publius said...

The fly ball was in cocksucking Columbus, not fucking Scranton, but we get the point.

Anonymous said...

Putting on my Pollyanna Hat (Complete with Pollyanna Polyester wig that I bought at a garage sale at Milton Berle's house.)I would like to remind us of the upside.

But first, this sucks! Baseball aside, he is a person who might never achieve his potential, have to leave the game he loves and forgo a lot of money down the road and, worst case, be cognitively impaired for the rest of his life. Bad, bad news on a human level. I hope it is minor.

OK... allow me to "wig" out. Now he's off the table. No trade for "Jamie Garcia" No putting him in a package for... anyone. Done. Remove him from our fears. When he recovers and, if he can get over the visual, he should really wear some kind of helmet cap in the field next year and just live with the mocking.

Regardless of whether he's able to come back I still don't believe the Yankees will re-sign Gardner, preferring to spend that money on someone younger.

Hal will do one of his famous insurance deals he will be replaced in free agency by any one of the competent 31-33 year old outfielders out there. There are a number of them. A stopgap 2-3 year signing to give Florial time to take over center.

That said, as a hat less side note: I would be willing to bet that (Fill in the Blank) will be number one on It Is High's, "Why did Cashman sign this turd?" list by June.

Hat back on: It doesn't change that much for this year. I know that certain Yankees have been fragile in the past (Cough! Hicks. Cough!) But that's a center field issue and since Gardner can't be full time there anyway they would have to deal with it regardless of Frazier's injury.

Done. No wait. Did I mention that this sucks? It does.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

wrt #1, that puts us in Gilligan territory doesn't it?

HoraceClarke66 said...

I hear ya, Doug K. Yes, our first concern is that this is not another concussion, and that Frazier is all right. Anything else would be a terrible thing to have happen to the young man.

It would be best if he turns out to be A-Okay, even if he morphs into the second coming of Rocky Colavito and spends the rest of his career tormenting us from someplace like Detroit—where, right now, the internet has him going WITH Tyler Wade for Michael Fulmer.

But after that, yes, in terms of our narrow, silly baseball concerns, it would be nice if this—as only a "concern," not a real injury!—were to keep him off the table.

One of those silly internet reports—and we all know how serious they are—claimed that he would be perfect trade bait (for a mediocre pitcher whose performance is steadily declining) because "there is no place for him" in the Yankees' outfield.

Well, as we've all seen, that will certainly true for about ten minutes.

If this is not a demonstration of the need for prospect-hugging, I don't know what is. I don't want to revisit our "Ten Little Outfielders" poem of earlier this season, but it is amazing how fast it got down to this, isn't t? Four guys with MAYBE Tyler Austin and Billy McKinney as serviceable back-ups in Scranton.

And why not bring somebody like McKinney up? That is, perhaps, the most frustrating thing about all this, that Frazier sustained his injury giving his all for the Scranton RailRiders. Sure, it might well have happened anyway, but come on! WTF did this guy have to do to earn a solid shot in the Bronx?

Let's stop holding back anybody, in what SHOULD still be a rebuilding year. Release Neil Bleeping Walker already! At-bats for everybody!

Meanwhile, Bryce Harper's agent is probably dancing a jig somewhere.

Joe of AZ said...

U know what I'm getting sick of, read the deals that happened and what packages these contending teams give up for superstar (see machado,hand, Cole) and what is asked of the Yankees to give up it's ridiculously lopsided, people complain but always tryna get phat off Yankees system.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You got it, Joe F. And it's been like that for a long, long time.

Remember all those guys the Sox picked up for just about nothing in 2002-2004 or so? Ortiz, Millar, Mueller, Schilling, etc.?

Partly that was our bad for not jumping in, but I can't imagine teams just cutting guys lose or dealing them off for next to nothing, if they knew the Yankees were interested.

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