Tuesday, March 19, 2019

With Gio Gonzalez, Yanks recapture spirit of 2018 wild card trophy

Lately, I've been a-whinin' again - feeling sorry for myself, as usual - that the Yankees this winter have simply recreated the same outfit that won the 2018 AL East Silver Medal, finishing 8 games behind Boston, and which dropped three out of four to them in the playoffs, including one tortuous contest - in Yankee Stadium, no less - by a score of 16-1. Woe is me. How sad I am.

My argument was to study this winter's acquisitions:

J.A. Happ - same as last year.*
Zack Britton - same as last year.* (But spells name differently.)
Adam Ottavino - replaces David Robertson.

Brett Gardner - same as last year.*
CC Sabathia - same as last year.* (But with heart disease.)

Troy Tulowitzki - replaces Didi Gregorius.
DJ LeMahieu - replaces Tulowitzki, when he gets hurt.
James Paxton - replaces Sonny Gray.

* = But one year older in career twilight.

Ahh, but some of you detected the flaw in my analysis. What about Lance Lynn? you demanded. What about that dutiful, 31-year-old war horse we obtained from Minnesota for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo? The alliterative Lynn Lion gobbled up 54 innings for us, with a 4.14 ERA. Until yesterday, the Empire had not replaced his illustrious presence at the Harold Z. Steinbrenner Steakhouse & Crabs Buffet.  

Well, we have our man: The equally alliterative, 33-year-old Gio Gonzalez, is said to be signing a one-year-pact. Last year, Gio went 10-11 for two above- .500 teams, with a 4.21 ERA against lineups without the DH. I think George King of the Murdoch Post puts it quite succinctly: 

Looking at Gonzalez’s 2018 season, it’s hard to determine if he is better than Cessa, German or Loaisiga. 

My sentiments exactly. But there is one difference between Gonzalez and the other three: He is guaranteed to go north, regardless of how poorly he pitches. The Yankees have spent some of Hal's hard-inherited money, so whatever competition existed for that opening - it's a thing of the past.

So, yeah, I guess I'm an ingrate. The Yankees sign someone, and all I do is complain. But we seem to always be shopping in the bargain basement, while Dallas Keuchel is still out there. The Yankees have all the money in creation, yet they love to shake their empty purse and pretend the cupboard is bare. Come August, they will be scrounging the trade wires, preparing to deal whatever prospects have risen through the system, for some other team's salary mistake. And the roots of every mid-summer crisis stem directly from the cheapness of winter.  

So there you have it, folks. The Frankensteinbrenner recreation is complete. We are the 2018 Yankees.* 

So here is my question: Are the Redsocks, without closer Craig Kimbrel (unless he turns around and signs with them), eight games worse than they were last year? If so, we can win the AL East! If not, well, maybe Gio can pitch the fourth inning in the Wild Card game. Because that's where we'll be: 2018, all over again.*


KD said...

do you really think we'll win 100 games (same as last year)? sorry, I just don't see it.

88 wins.

Vampifella said...

Are we close to giving our predictions for the year?

I'm going with 104 this year as the schedule is very favorable to the Yanks during the last two months. Assuming they won't do something stupid like go 50-50 by the All Star break against the tougher teams (like most of the NL will be doing) they should have a great year, despite not signing any players to make the team any better.

I don't think they'll beat the Red Sox though, just like I said last year. They'll be either 2 or 3 games behind them for most of the entire season again and will be comfortable with that. They should be safely about 5 to 8 games ahead for the first Wild Card and they'll constantly phone games in like last year loosing obviously easy win games against the O's just because they don't really have any urgency to win them. I think this will upset me the most this year. It's like they don't really care to win. They appear to just do enough to keep second place and are perfectly content with that.

TheWinWarblist said...

Is it really that hard to determine if he is better than Cessa, German or Loaisiga?


13bit said...

Brian takes another dump in our faces.

Vamp, I'm vacillating between 89 and 93, but I don't want to be too optimistic here...

JM said...

Gio got signed to a minor league deal and is in camp to duke it out with the other hopefuls. If he isn't brought up by April 20, he can walk.

Well, walking would be better than the gopher balls he gives up.

Matt Skibinski said...

I dunno, even though we haven't done that much roster-wise, we can expect to have some improvements beyond what's stated here. A full year of Gary at full health SHOULD yield more production than the combo of Romine-Higgy-Injured Gary did. (And, yes, a lot more strikeouts.)

Bird or Voit could result in a more productive 1B combo than we had last year. The potential, at least, is there.

Happ is not same as last year because we only added him at the end of the season, and he did well for us.

Judge was injured for a good chunk of the season last year. If he stays healthy, that will be a big plus. (Of course, he could also tweak a gonad and we'll be fucked.)

Andujar and Torres could continue to improve, as players their age often do.

And our bullpen is dope.

Honestly, my biggest concern is our starting pitching. I think we're just about scraping the bottom of the barrel and I don't understand why we can't sign Keutchel or find some solution to this. I like Johnny Lasagna as much as the next guy, but I don't want him on the mound against Boston in a big series. We have no ace. We don't even have a #2 guy. Our rotation is bunch of #3 starters and a few guys who have just about maxed out their stamp card on the Scranton express--next ride is free.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I had wanted to withhold this to the end of my thrilling series on the team's prospects.

But just to jump in: I claim 85—though I'm uneasy about that number.

I suspect they probably have enough power and enough relief pitching to win 85 games and contend for the One-Game Wild Card Play-in for most of the season, before finally losing out to Tampa Bay and Oakland, and finishing third in the AL East.

However, this team's starting pitching is now so weak, and it has so little depth in most other places that it would be very, very easy for it to collapse, and sink down to 71 wins, or even lower. Really. If this Yankees team lost 100 games or more it would not surprise me. But I'll make my official pick 85.

Carl J. Weitz said...

I agree with much of what Matt S wrote.

I say we win 103-105 and here's why:

Boston won so many one-run games than probability should warrant. I know it's not the flip of ta coin because talent is involved but luck does figure into the equation and last year the Sox far exceeded what is normal. Conversely, the Yankees were poor in one-run games. You win those type of games either eking out a run with a single, a bunt/hit and run and a sac fly. Or with a HR. The Yankees will probably get 20 more this year, if healthy. Some will come in extra innings.

Bird and Sanchez will surely hit better, right?

Yankees pen is tops and Sox will blow at least 8-10 late inning games by more than a run due to their bullpen mediocrity. They might even be worse than mediocre.

Yankees starters including what they patch together in the early part should be good enough. Even Montgomery will likely pitch again this year even if it is just in September.

Their infield defense should be better and so should Andujar and Torres as hitters.

Finally, the rest of MLB except for maybe 7 other teams are putrid. That gets us to a bit better than the 100 wins of 2018.

Anonymous said...

Loaisiga and German are likely to be dominant pitchers if given the chance. People here gripe about the team never giving young players a chance and over-relying on washed-up mediocrities, but most of the posters here--including duque--replicate that mindset to a tee.