Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Yankees need to start pondering the possibility of life without Aaron Judge

It's now 17 days since Aaron Judge cracked his forepaw on a KC purpose pitch - an injury that was supposed to cost him about three weeks. But according to the Internet, Judge still feels pain and cannot swing a bat. Considering that he'll need a rehab stint in the minors, he could be gone until September. Moreover, ailing wrists can reduce sluggers into slumpers - (see Teixiera, Mark) - and the Yankees cannot afford to have Judge return and be ineffective or - worst case scenario - re-aggravate a minor injury into long-term consequences.

Still, the most amazing part of this story is that Cooperstown Cashman has sat on his own wrists, doing nothing to fill the void. (Or the Voit.)

Last night, 33-year-old Shane Robinson appeared in his 12th game of 2018, mostly coming since Judge's injury. It's hard not to root for Robinson, who has kicked around the minor league scrub-lands since 2006 and, at 5'9," looks like Queen Margaret inside a batting helmet. His signature Yankee moment - a seemingly pivotal BB against Boston last Sunday - was later obliterated by Aroldis Chapman's meltdown. (Considering Chapman's psycho-implosions, it's starting to become clear why he once shot-up his garage door; the man should not be allowed to possess firearms.) After his 0-3 last night, Robinson is hitting .148, without power, a non-entity who hits ninth.

The upstairs reference to "Voit" refers to Luke Voit, a first-baseman whom the Yankees obtained from St. Louis during a dizzying set of pre-deadline deals that ended Tyler Austin's time on the Scranton merry-go-round. I recognize that you need two teams to cut a deal, and no GM ever wants to be accused of helping the evil Yankees, but it was crazy then that we didn't demand an outfielder, and it gets nuttier every day that Robinson plays in RF, as the Yankees seek to avert what was once unthinkable: a catastrophic generational disaster.

The Yankees seem to have given up on chasing down Boston. Fine. They might get their revenge in October. But a wrist is the Achilles heel for big hitters, and the last thing the Yankees need to do is rush Judge back, merely because no suitable replacement has been found. 

Listen: I am an unabashed, unrepentant prospect-hugger. And the fact that Baseball America now ranks us in the lower tier of MLB farm systems should raise alarm sirens throughout the Yankiverse. We cannot empty the tank much further. Still, it's hard to believe we cannot wrangle a salary dump waiver deal on someone better than Shane Robinson. I love the guy's Cinderella story. But hitting .148 without power, that's not going to cut it. Other teams are still wheeling and dealing. Where are the Yankees?  


13bit said...

We don't have nearly as many chips as we did a month ago, before we dealt them for a couple of awful rentals.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

If I'm repeating this too often please tell me to STFU -- I can take it!

- - -

The ownership/mgmt of the Yankees thought 2017 was an apparition. They saw 2018 as another year of rebuilding, as well as training Ma Boone as a manager.

They acted EXACTLY as if these directives remained operative in making the July deals.

I know what you are thinking in response (because I am also thinking it):

A. Well, they gave up on 2017, and look how well that almost turned out. Sure. You expect that to happen a lot, duya? Yeah, but Verlander......

B. Just b/c they gave up, we don't have to surrender, do we? Well......they've made it pretty hard to go another way, haven't they? Have you looked at the since-the-A.S. break W-L lately?

C. If this is so, what are the hopes for 2019? More pitching. Another closer. Another couple of catchers. Another couple of outfielders. Maybe trade Bird and Didi, move Gleyber to SS, and go on from there. In other words, 2019 might not be much better (esp. if Judge is not gonna be the player he appeared to be en route to becoming).

I remain in awe of the leftover optimism around here. If ownership/mgmt were trying to WIN, Justus would be with us. So would Toe. They ain't. Think about it!!!

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Wise wise words Joe Formerly!!! URGGGGGGGGGGG

Anonymous said...

Wrists are tricky. Life without "The Big Galoot" is an unnerving thought. Sevi is getting scary as well.

Also, I'm starting to think that the real reason they got Britton wasn't to improve the pen as much as insurance for Chapman who is clearly not healthy. They should shut him down now, drain the knee and let him take the rest of the month off.

So we needed to make that trade to stay competitive. It hasn't worked out yet but it should. But they need to shut Chapman down.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

As far as next season... what if we did this?

1B Justin Smoak - Free agent. Very Yankee kind of guy. Didn't live up to his potential for a lot of years and then figured it out. I'm done with BLP. Smoak is a real 1B too. An off our current radar signing.


P Happ - This guy is as good a 4 as you can get.

P Keuchel or Corbin.

That's a lot of money but not an insane amount.

Keuchel or Corbin

Lynn to the pen because Robinson will be gone. Not too bad a rotation.

Batting order.

CF Hicks
RF Judge
DH Stanton
1B Smoak
3B AnDUjar
SS Didi
2B Gleybar
C Sanchez
LF (Frazier)

or if you want to go crazy, Harper and put him 4th and move everyone down one.

CF Hicks
RF Judge
DH Stanton
LF Harper
1B Smoak
3B AnDUjar
SS Didi
2B Gleybar
C Sanchez
(with Frazier as 4th outfielder)

These are formidable lineups.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Joe FOB, I think that the opposite is true: they thought they were only a couple rented pitchers away from winning it all.

Or to be more precise, I think they thought they could have it all: stay below the salary cap, restock the farm system, pick up key players at the trade deadline, AND win the World Series.

This, I believe to be the major malfunction of Brian Cashman. He can not prioritize, or think in terms of simple, direct goals—quite possibly because the Steinbrenners give him an impossible and contradictory set of tasks; possibly just because of how his brain works.


—He didn't bring up Sheffield, Carroll, Rogers, or any of the others, because like the Gammonites he always thinks of any veteran player as still able to play at the highest level said veteran achieved anytime, ever—and to be inherently better than any rookie.

No data—no listing of the number of times hot rookie pitchers, especially, came up late in a season and baffled major-league hitters,at least for a crucial few weeks, will ever convince him otherwise.

—For all his dumpster diving, Cashman has a curious problem with anticipating the almost inevitable wear-and-tear a season takes on players (and a team), and how much depth is necessary in baseball.

True, he traded one of our remaining Triple-A outfielders—I forget which—BEFORE Judge got hurt. But it was after Frazier had already had his second incident, and we were already on thin ice. Trading the second one was pure madness.

Yes, McKinney has played poorly all year in Triple-A, perhaps because of his injury, but he did have 13 homers in 56 games down in Scranton. There would at least be the possibility that, unlike Shane Robinson, he could put a couple 3-run jobs into the seats. Maybe being free of Scranton would spark a revival.

Tyler Austin has been playing somewhat better in Triple-A—9 homers, .255—and he had also hit 8 homers for the big club, and got into that brawl with the Sox that had seemed to turn this team around.

But no, both guys had to go, with not even an attempt at replacing them.

For that matter, Cashman could not have anticipated that he might need another catcher. I mean, one could see not anticipating the utter, Montero-like meltdown of Sanchez. But what if he had simply tweaked a gonad—which is, after all, the company line still? Not a catcher in the system.

The bottom line with this team, just as it has been ever since the juggernaut that the Holy Trinity of Michael, Watson, and Showalter created finally began to need new parts in 2001, is that we have a poor general manager.

He does not anticipate well, he does not have a clear purpose, he cannot judge talent, major or minor, very well; he has a grandiose mentality regarding his own ability to find "bargains" that others have passed on, and he maintains an almost religious, Stakhanovite belief that any player acquired will always remain at his very best level of performance.

If he were not GM of a team that has spent most of his tenure ready, willing, and able to throw money around lavishly, he would have been fired many years ago. If he were not GM of a team that was owned by a dysfunctional wreck of a family, he never would have been hired in the first place.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Doug K:

I like your line-ups, but I'd make two additional substitutions:

     Replace Aaron Boone with John Q. ManagerWithActualExperience

     Replace Larry Rothschild with John Q. AlmostAnyone

Alphonso said...

It takes 4-6 weeks for any fractured bone to heal. And that doesn't mean you get up and play ball the next morning.

Wrists are comprised of multiple, inter-related bones and movements to function well. In other words, healing a broken wrist takes longer and is more risky.

So Judge will not be back until September at best. Likely mid-September, given his need to get back into baseball shape.

By then, we shall be out of everything.

And we have drained our farm system of pretty much everything. What remains is Frazier and Sheffield. Period.

Just saying.

13bit said...

Joe F said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe F said...

Chad green had some interesting things to say regarding Ma Boones bullpen setup

True to form the bullpen ala Zack "it took prospects to get me" Britton .Blew another good start from Lynn.

Why couldn't we just get Lynn and hope to catch some relieverlightning in a bottle waiver claim. Thanks Cash

Need I mention I hate Boone....

Anonymous said...

BOONE!!???? R u trying to ground Chapman into 'Ol Roy' Dog food good God why is flop sweat out there AGAIN and in those conditions


John M said...

This is the guy you bring in to lock down a Game 7, huh? Jesus.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

re: Anon's 2019 lineups

a. I no longer think Severino is a #1 starter. For us or anybody.

b. I am hoping they find somewhere else for Gary Sanchez to play. Or some other position. Having a reliable catcher matters, on so many levels.

Penciling these 2 guys "in" seems hopeful to me. I honestly would like to think Sevi is a #3 or #4 starter. I am hopeful that Gary goes.

To go with the "hope" approach means finding out what's wrong with Sevi, and fixing whatever the F is wrong between Gary's ears.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I don't think Smoak is nearly enough. He is already 31, and he has all of 18 homers on the year. You take away the 15 or 16 he hit against us, and there's not much left. Plus, there are plenty of guys we can find to play the just-about-adequate defense that Bird gives us.

No, bottom line, the Yanks lost two bats this year they were counting on to to be huge: Sanchez, and Slo-Pitch Bird. If we want to challenge next year, we have to replace those, and free agency is the only way available.

—OF: You get Harper, and your outfield is Judge, Harper in center, and (we hope and pray), Frazier. Hicks can be a No. 4 outfielder, which he is well-suited for, and Stanton can fill in some.

If Red Thunder can't go or doesn't hit, we put Harper in left and Hicks in center, and try to get another backup. Stanton fills in, and DHs, maybe plays a little first.

—INF: If you get Machado, you want to talk or bribe him into going back to third. Then, maybe, if you still don't like El Matador's defense, you put him on first, though it would be a waste of his cannon-like arm (Maybe they should also think of having Andujar learn a corner outfield spot.) That would produce a helluva lot of offense, and still give you some pretty good infield D.

The pitching, you sign Corbin, you maybe sign Lynn and Happ if they show you anything, you give the kids a shot. That should you give us enough, though it's always hard to say you have enough pitching.

The big remaining worry then? Catcher. The Yanks are likely to ignore our sentence of "Death by Cincinnati" and give Sancho another shot. That will be a mistake, but in any case we need a better backup than Romine.

I'd love to get Realmuto from Miami, but you know Jeter is not going to give that up cheap. Still, we have to at least get a good defensive catcher, to pick up when Mr. Motivation implodes again.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and the magic number is 9!

Anonymous said...

Here's a succinct precis of Cashman's incompetence and stupidity: If Brandon Drury had not developed migraine headaches, Andujar would still be riding the bus for Scranton. That's the extent of this moron's foresight and planning and trust in young talent.

Anonymous said...

LBJ - I agree (about Cashman and Boone)

Hoss - I was going to say how about McCann as the back up? He's a free agent. Having a pretty bad year offensively .206 but I just read that his knees are shot.

If they do Harper I think its Harper, Hicks, Judge (with Stanton as the DH /#4 guy.) That would be it for Frazier sadly. Part of trade for pitcher?

If they do Machado it has to be to only play 3rd. It would mess things up though. I think you mentioned trading Didi at one point. I don't like that but if they did then -- Machado, Gleybar, AnDUjar (at 2nd?) Bird? Interesting.

In the above scenario Didi and Frazier can be traded and get us what? Just speculating. I like Didi and Red Thunder.

Doug K.

Joe F said...

All anger aside...

The BIGGEST problem is not the players on this team...remembe r this is essentially the same team that was a game away from W.S

-The biggest problem with this team is the coach/managerial staff.

Girardi had more influence last yr than Rothschild im convinced.
Rob Thompson (good)
Tony pena (good)
Joe Espada (good)
Alan cockrell must have been the one teaching hitting adjustments cuz the team regressed this year.

FF to 2018
The only member of the coaching staff worth keeping is Phil Nevin.

Bard??? I don't even know where he is during the game most of the time let alone making impact
Thames sucks
Boone sucks
Rothschild fuhgetaboudit!

THis good ol boy pasty bland coaching staff has gotta go if Yanks are going to succeed.

U think Carlos betlran, Muelens, CORA, would be putting up with stupid defensive lapses, or Mr ice cream sandwich,the overall lack of hustle, grinding chapman to a pulp, advocate to KEEP walker over torreyes or preach "Dare to take strike 3" analytical shit philosophy???

13bit said...

Now we’re talking, Joe F!

Anonymous said...

"Dare to take strike 3 analytical shit philosophy"? Where does this appear in any sabremetrics writings. Here's a small suggestion to the idiot savants--mainly idiots--who comment in this blog: try reading JUST ONE BOOK on the subject of sabremetrics before spraying sputum all over your week-old undershirts.

Joe F said...

Awe somwon forgot their blankie and warm milk tonight...and you must like the idiot savants who comment here if you're still reading them

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

I am sorry to NOT participate in the wholesale fun -- name-calling, reading, and blankie-clutching -- BUT....

Interesting article on -- what 22 guys NYYs traded are doing elsewhere. Includes Jabari Blash(!), Garrett Cooper(!), Shreve, Warren, Gallegos -- and this on Dillon Tate:

"...since joining Baltimore’s Double-A team, giving up five runs in each of his last two starts and four in his debut."

Note: I am in no way affiliated with, or any one or thing associated with New Jersey.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Joe FOB (and I'm assuming you are the same as Joe F.)—great points! As has oft been said, a fish rots from the head down, and the coaching/managerial staff on this team is from hunger.

I was really stunned when I read Boone/Cashman talking in the Times about they want everybody to "Dare to take a third strike." I have never heard that before, even from the New Baseball advocates but, there they were, saying it for The Paper of Rrecord.

Which brings us to the real problem with management—it keeps going up the fish bones. Ma and the coaches are there because Coops is there, and Coops is there because Hal is there...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., you're right, I have written about trading Didi in the past, and I don't think there is anyone on this Yankees team just now who should be beyond at least CONSIDERATION in a trade.

BUT...Didi is an excellent glove, and I think is the glue that holds the infield together. The problem is trying to ALSO make him into THE key left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, backing up the Twin Towers. That was forcing him into a role beyond his capability.

If we can get our mitts on both Harper and Machado, though, that will provide enough firepower to allow us to keep Didi, who would be splendid as a 7-8-9 hitter. While I don't think Andujar is nearly the liability at third that some claim, he would be the choice to move over to first and replace Slo-Pitch.

(All this, of course, is predicated on our getting Manny to move back to third, which is key.)

And no matter what we do, we need to keep Frazier. This year has demonstrated once again—though it should not have needed demonstrating—how much built-in redundancy you need on a baseball team.

The bottom of our lineup yesterday:

Neil Walker—in right field!—hitting .227.
Higgy, hitting .157
Robinson, hitting .138

If all goes well, Red Thunder can start in left. If not, he can be a good No. 4 outfielder.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Walker hits 2 HRs, sits next game.

Bird gets 2 doubles, sits next game.

Sonny Gray gets yet another shot, poops all over the Bronx.

I think I can screw up this badly as manager for a lot less money than Ma Boone. And there's no doubt that Hoss can stink up the joint as GM as well as Cashman, but cheaper.

Are youse listening, Hal?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Exactly! We would be a terrific combination.

Also, I would make our Leaders, Peerless and Dauntless, the Chief Executive and Official White Ford Chairman of the Board.

ALL-CAPS would be head of player development, 13bit could run scouting, Doug K. would be in charge of coaches and managers, TheWinWarblist would run the Stadium, etc., etc. A job for everyone!

I guarantee, we would make going to Yankee Stadium, watching the Yankees, and listening to the Yankees a better experience.

Unknown said...

2nd best record in baseball.
Quit whining you bunch of bitches.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Whining is what we do! And bitches get things done!

KD said...

you expect us to be happy with second best?

KD said...

ESPECIALLY when it is the redsocks who are best?