Thursday, August 8, 2019

Despite the Yankees' current great play, a Superstar Correction looms

As hard-bitten, caustic, regularly negative Yank fans, we all know what's coming: 

The Correction. 

We won't win 9 of 10 forever.

So be it. We can't complain. Hell, it's been a fantastical season, courtesy of the New York/Wilkes Barre Railriders. (By the way, Scranton is about to clinch its division, so the vein of Triple A talent runs deep; I bet Scranton would beat Baltimore in a seven game series.) But we know what's coming.  

Soon, the regulars will heal, reassembling the millionaire, dream team, all-star lineup that has only existed in the zeitgeist of spring training. Then what? Well, there's a decent chance that we will return to the tired ways that won us nothing - zilch - over the last decade. Don't snicker. It could happen. Let me give you Exhibit A: The Case of Gary Sanchez.

Last night - to kill time during the massacre - the YES network flashed a graphic showing the production of backup catchers Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka: In 15 games, they've batted nearly .370 with 8 HRs. At one point, the announcers suggested this was an output worthy of Gary Sanchez. 


In case we've forgotten, before Gary tweaked his left titmouse, his batting average had plummeted to .229, and he hadn't homered since the all-star break. To suggest his output would come anywhere close to what Romine and Higashioka have done... good luck with that. I'm fine with attributing Gary's slump to nagging injuries, which he was shouldering stoically. But he had become our Chris Davis. His whole game was withering, threatening even the defensive improvements he'd made. Batting cleanup, he was killing us.

Meanwhile, Romine's pivotal HRs led to huge victories, including the final game in Fenway. He lifted this team. When Sanchez returns, I, for one, am here to suggest that Romine deserves more - if not equal - playing time. I understand that traditional rule: An injured player doesn't lose his job. But unless Gary starts hitting, I see no reason why Romine - and even Higashioka, after September 1 - should not get more at-bats. And maybe a true assessment of Gary Sanchez should not balance upon his first two months in the majors, when he produced in ways he has never been able to duplicate.

Then there is Giancarlo Stanton, now on the verge of becoming the new Ellsbury. (Which begs a question: Whatever happened to Jacoby? Aren't we supposed to hear updates? Last we knew, he had a bum whatever. Is he so down on the depth chart that the Yankees no longer bother to say his name? He used to be a gamer, a clutch hitter. Has he de facto retired? Same with Greg Bird. Have these become Voldemort-level creatures, so loathsome we no longer speak their names?) 

As my esteemed colleague Alphonso loves to point out, the most defining image of Stanton's Yankee career is his 5-strikeout Platinum Sombrero, which - if memory serves - he's accomplished twice. (When he turns in his fifth - a platinum Platinum Sombrero - MLB should halt all games to celebrate.) This season, Giancarlo has 1 HR and 7 RBIs. Unbelievable. 

They now say he is "resuming baseball activities." (For me, that means reading box scores.) That's good, because if he doesn't return soon, the Triple A season will be over, and he will have to play himself in shape during major league games. That usually means a slump. Same with Edwin Encarnacion, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and - if they mess him up - Gleyber Torres: 

Unless they return soon, they'll have to rehab at the major league level. 

The Yankees are playing their greatest baseball of the season. Every player is contributing. But the lineup has maybe two "stars:" Aaron Judge and the emerging MVP, DJ LeMahieu. After that, it's all hungry overachievers. 

And soon, they will disappear. We will see fading veterans, working themselves back into shape.  

And that, my friends, is the looming Correction.


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Along these same lines: I can't wait for GStanton to reinjure something or other.

Yeah, I know that's cruel. So what? He's got a ridiculous amount of money coming in to console him.

IMO, his contributions (in 2018, anyway) seemed very one-dimensional. He can't hold a candle to anyone now playing the OF. And the DH spot should be filled (at least some of the time) by Sanchez - Voit - Eddie E - and maybe Gleyber/Didi/Gio (as they move DJL around).

Not only do I think this team DOES NOT need Stanton, I think his return will hurt.

Seriously, I know Stanton hits a lot of HRs. After the past 3 games in Bawlmore, and the total for the year -- duya think we need MORE HRs??? Note: NYYs are 2nd in HRs in MLB (with 203 in 114 games) - Twins have had 224 in same # of games.

I'd rather see Maybin playing. Mike T is playing so well that they can't shed him (and he's a LH hitter).

So if/when Stanton comes back, if it's not Maybin who goes......then who?

JM said...

We thrive without Stanton and Sanchez. So why do we need them? We never did need Stanton, and Sanchez has had those two Maas-like months and a decent first half this year. But Romine and Higgy play better defense (don't start with Sanchez' great arm, which is hardly ever used), plus they hit phenomenally better, and they don't pout, and they seem to work hard.

Am I willing to write off our two supposed powerhouses? You bet I am.

Who needs them?

As for guys not losing their jobs, Wally Pipp. That's that.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Stanton and Sanchez are streaky hitters. Both capable of carrying the team for a month (and both have). Chances are one or both will get hot during the playoffs.

Still... the expectation is that both with be 'almost' back when the Yankees lose their last game of the season disappointingly. And it will be due to two consistent outs right in the middle of the lineup, playing their way back.

The season will be declared a wonderful success (even though the Dodgers are celebrating their win over the Astros), where the guys overachieved despite all the injuries.

HAL will get that fourteenth Swiss bank account he's always wanted.

Next year will be a repeat without Sir Didi. Or Maybin. Or Tauchman.
And probably without Eddie E. and possibly Romine.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

"Last night - to kill time during the massacre - the YES network flashed a graphic showing the production of backup catchers Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka: In 15 games, they've batted nearly .370 with 8 HRs. At one point, the announcers suggested this was an output worthy of Gary Sanchez.


That was my exact thought when I saw that. I had the radio feed on for audio, so I had no idea what the yesmen were saying, but I think I said "what the fuck are they talking about" out loud.

TheWinWarblist said...

I have no idea what they are feeding the kids down on the farm, but I could use a few bushels of it.

Fuck you Hal! [Tehehee! That makes me laugh every damm time!] [Yes, I am that childish.]

Rufus T. Firefly said...

What, no french?

Anonymous said...

Some numbers.

Stanton 22,000,000


Aaron Judge $684,300
Gleybar $605,200
Urshala $555,000
Maybin $471,472
Tauchman $443,260
Higashioka $242,080
Valera $199,928
Sanchez $669,800
Voit $573,200
Domingo $577,500
Green $540,792

Approx $5,563,000

Or only 1,563,000 more than they are STILL paying Arod.

Doug K.

13bit said...

Exactly, Duque. Once again, we shall see how they do when Cashman's "A" team is back together. As we saw two years ago and so far this season, a bunch of guys scooped up from the bargain bins, drawn to of a hat, and cobbled together from the farm are better than Casholo's hand-picked, carefully curated super teams of destiny. When all the chickens come back from the coop, then we shall see what happens. Put Tiny Judge on the IL now, though. He's hurt. Send Sancho to long-term rehab in another country. Keep Stanton doing macrame in the rec room. Let Ellsbury do arts and crafts in the next room. Keep the current ball rolling the way it is. Why fuck up a winning situation? We don't want the shitfaced cavalry to ride in to the rescue.

JM said...

Wait a minute...I thought WE were the shitfaced cavalry.

HoraceClarke66 said...


For some reason, this all reminds me of the 1988-89 Knicks. They came out of nowhere, under Rick Pitino, and were terrifically exciting. As I recall, they beat the Pistons, that year's champion, all four times they played. They were fun.

But the whole season, the drumbeat was that they HAD to have a set, outside shooter for the playoffs (these were the '80s.). So finally, they swung a deal for Kiki Vanderweghe, a "proven" star and veteran.

Kiki slowed the whole offense to a crawl—and didn't shoot all that well, either, as I recall. He took all the starch out of the team, just in time for the playoffs, where they foundered.

We may be about to see that again—although the pitching would probably do us in anyway.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

We may be about to see that again—although the pitching would probably do us in anyway.

Amen, brother.

BernBabyBern said...

Yankees have 16 HRs in last 3 games: Tauchman 3
Maybin 2
Higashioka 2
Urshela 2
Gardner 2
Romine 2
Ford 1
Gregorius 1
LeMahieu 1

Judge, Torres, Hicks, Sanchez, Stanton, Voit, Encarnacion, Frazier, etc. - 0

Just sayin' ...

Anonymous said...

Bern, Yeah. Pretty amazing!

Hoss, The Kiki trade! Wow was that bad. Destroyed the team. I pretty much forgot about that debacle. Fortunately baseball doesn't have "flow" like basketball so all Stanton can do is kill rallies. Lots and lots and lots of rallies.

Plus, he seems extra tweeky this year. Sanchez too. So who is to say?

Doug K.

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

I know it makes too much sense, but why not bat Sanchez down in the order, where Romine hits, when he comes back. Why not bat Stanton eighth? Of course they won't do it. But it would be better than watching them hit loud foul balls and then strike out and listening to Suzyn intone "he's almost there". Let "him" be almost there at the end of the line up.

13bit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parson Tom said...

Roger that. The line-up is driven by contracts and then reputation followed by actual production. So cool to see Urshela batting third last night now that so many of the guys with big money or star power are now injured. After The General, Urshela's the second most productive and consistent hitter this season? (I'm guessing without looking at stats.) And, of course, he "drilled" a couple of HRs -- to use Ryan Ruocc's and Michael Kay's favorite word. That was nice, but the doubles have been coming all season, a lot like AnDUjar last year. Maybe -- just maybe if we all hold our breath and think good thoughts -- the braintrust can figure out how to use people like Andujar or Urshela or Tauchman or Maybin or Frazier to acquire an actual pitcher. (Yes, I like Tauchman, too, and maybe he stays rather than Frazier although I'd prefer to get rid of Hicks.)

Seems like there's a decent chance the Yankees could muscle their way to a World Series -- if this remarkable season of top-to-bottom hitting continues, but it sure seems to help if you have people who can also throw the ball effectively for more than an inning at a time. The Bostons and Baltimores suck at pitching, and they made the Yankees look like world beaters, which of course is an illusion.

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