Monday, July 16, 2018

Infielder Grades!

All right, here are some more to chew on:


Bird was headed for a big, fat "F" until he managed to show signs of life over the last week or so.  One can't help but sympathize with his struggles, but yet another major leg injury has put him on the edge of Nick Johnson territory.

Bird could be—should be—a key piece of this reforged Yankees contender, a Stadium-built, left-handed hitter to wedge in between our wavering Twin Towers.  We got a glimpse of what that could look like last October—but now comes another half-season lost to the knife.

The second half of this year will be critical for Bird's Limitless Potential (BLP).  There is only so much more time the Yankees can or should give him to become a productive, everyday player, with any number of potential first basemen—Sanchez, Stanton, Andujar, Drury, McKinney—lining up.


El Conquistador has been pretty much everything as advertised.  A few points off for some foibles with the glove at an unfamiliar position, but otherwise he has been a remarkably poised and productive young man.  It's with The Gleyber—not Judge, or Stanton, or Sanchez—that another Yankees dynasty will rise or fall.

One bit of foreboding:  a second major injury in as many seasons.  Might just be a fluke, but we need to keep The Gleyber on the field.


Who doesn't love Didi?   But frankly, he's been a puzzlement this year.  Sure, nobody thought he was going to go on hitting .327 with power, but that .149 May and all of 22 ribbies since April seems like a bit of an overadjustment.

Shoving him into the designated BLP spot didn't help, even if he is a lefty, but Ma Boone just keeps on doing it, no matter how disappointing the results.  The shame of it is, Didi seemed to be moving from acceptable to elite shortstop over the past three seasons; now, suddenly, he seems to be backsliding considerably.

If this keeps up in the second half, the Yanks should seriously consider trying to sign Manny Machado, who is both better and over two years younger.

Yeah, yeah, he tilts them too far to the right, Didi is a great clubhouse presence, etc. But as the poet wrote, it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing.


El Matador has done pretty much everything we prospect-huggers could have hoped for.  Tremendous poise and power for such a young player, more than a little flair, and a better glove than advertised.

Sure, not Brooks Robinson, and he's been slumping lately.  But trading him for some happless hurler—or even Manny—would be a travesty.


Toe has been, once again, everything we wanted, and more.  Let's hope his pressing family problems—which must be terrible—are over soon.


It pains me to write this, because I keep thinking this guy has such tremendous potential, but maybe that's an illusion.  There have been a couple signs of life recently, but I'll be amazed if he isn't a throw-in to some bad and hasty deal.  A shame.


Same old, same old.  Flashes of excellence, hints of something more, then injury, and a lapse into mediocrity.  I hope he gets a more extended shot somewhere before he's through.


It's nice we got the migraines fixed, and everybody and his brother seems to see something in this guy.  But he fell on his face when he got another (very brief) shot, and even the production in Triple-A has not been THAT amazing.

I suppose the Yankees will subject him to Death By Scranton now, in their inimitable way.  He deserves better, especially since the one guy still in front of him is Neil Walker.


Here's your head, what's your hurry?

I suppose I should break into the choral rendition of A.E. Housman's "To An Athlete Dying Young," but in Walker's case it is would be more like, "To An Athlete Retiring Young With $50 Million."

Seriously, this is what his marginal career with mostly marginal teams has gained him, an ode to what a good union can do for anyone.

Walker is worse than a stopgap, worse than merely bad.  With so many deserving players stacked up in the Yankees' system like planes over Shea, he has taken 216 plate appearances away—and counting!—from guys we really needed to look at.

Is any of this his fault?  Of course not.  But he's still through.  Get the hell off my TV screen.


Leinstery said...

I'll get you started on the outfield. Judge C, Stanton C-

HoraceClarke66 said...

Wait for it...

Alphonso said...

We are all waiting with bated breath. Seriously, it is always fun to read intelligent rankings of performances. And yours are good. Especially when it comes to Neal Walker.

And nice credit also to the Toe. He has been everything one could want in a utility player. What the hell is going on at home?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Alphonso! Don't know how intelligent my rankings really are—but it's fun to do, just like those real tab reporters!

Speaking of which, I'm hoping the latest rumors are false:

El Matador for Carlos Martinez of the Cards, PLUS some of our minor leaguers. Oy.

TheWinWarblist said...

Carlos Martinez would be a HUGE upgrade over Sunny, but he's not worth El Matador.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Precisely, Warbler.

And buyer beware: Martinez is the Cards' second-best starter right now, 26, with 3-5 years of team control. That is, they have him for 3 years at the relatively low price of #11.7 mill a pop, and then have to pay him more OR get rid of him with a $500,000 buy out.

This seems like a perfect team deal. Why are they so willing to get rid of him?

el duque said...

Neal Walker is this year's Chris Carter.

Why does every year have to have a Chris Carter?

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