Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Yankees' Zeroes Brigade might be the most promising aspect of Spring Training, and why Redsock fans are bio-terrorists

Before tromping too far into the weeds, let's note the obvious: Spring training stats mean nothing... nada, zilch, moogah, skleeg...yes... seriously unmitigated skleeg.

Case in point: Last spring, when it didn't matter, DJ LeMahieu hit .205. Yep. You can look it up. He did skleeg. Meanwhile, Greg Bird - our annual King of Spring - batted a crisp .333. (Fun fact: This spring, playing for the Texas Rangers, Birdie is 0-13 with 4 strikeouts. Clearly, he's on the verge of a breakout year.) 

Before tackling the chart on the right, let's ponder an amazing, mind-blowing concept, known to big-time mathematicians as "Small Sample Size." It's pretty complicated, so I won't even try to explain. Most of you wouldn't get it. "SSS," as it's known in the biz, is sort of like a cross between string theory and the way they inject peanut butter into those tiny pretzels. Let's just say that, because of "SSS," the above stats are meaningless... unless, that is, they aren't. 

That said, I want to note the most positive development in Tampa since the Dali Museum opened its exhibit of Augmented Reality: The wave of young arms that lists between 15 and forever on the Yankee depth chart. The above list shows all the Yankees who have yet to give up a run this spring. It's a masterworks of pure, unmitigated "SSS," but I've found that it helps me pass gas. 

Some - like Luis Cessa, now 28 - seem to have been around since the dawn of time. (It's worth remembering, at times, that Cessa was the brighter prospect in the 2015 trade that sent Justin Wilson to Detroit for him and Mean Chad Green.) Do we dare hope that the Yankees' insane loyalty to Cessa - if he had options, he'd have spent most of last year in Scranton - will pay off? Baseball is full of pitchers who figure it out around age 30. Is he another J.A. Happ?

Others, like 25-year-old Brian Keller - a 39th round pick in 2016 who busted through three levels last year, finishing in Scranton - might make an impression that warrants a call-up in May or June. 

Then there is Dan Otero, 35-years-old, who would be attempting a comeback, if he ever did enough to come back to. Could he be one of those guys who get by on guile? 

But right now, the battle for the rotation's fourth and fifth slots seems to be between Cessa, Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga, the man of a thousand misspellings. (I'm leaving out Deivi Garcia, because I don't believe the Yankees would subject the 20-year-old to such early season pressures; they'll let him get his bearings in Scranton.) And I am delighted - rejoicing! - to report that none has yet surrendered a run. Loaisiga, in particular, has thrown three perfect innings, striking out five of the nine batters he's faced. Montgomery has struck out seven of his 14 hitters.

Listen, none of this amounts to skleeg. But we have a tendency here to dwell upon the storm clouds - it's been 10 years since the last parade - even when rain is good for the hemp crops. So, today, with the coronavirus hanging over all of us, I want to leave you with these positive thoughts:

1. We have an abundance of young pitchers. It's not a mirage. It's not YES propaganda. It's real.

2. Nobody in our infield has been hurt yet.

3. The Redsocks new best player, Xander Bogaerts, has an ankle injury and might miss opening day. Yes, Virginia, the juju gods are tweaking other teams.

4. We still have the coolest fan base - as always evidenced by your comments -  and by this gem (from Reddit): 


Unknown said...

Keith Law just ranked the NYY farm system 6th overall. That’s something positive

JM said...

You know the drill. Stanton, Judge, Hicks, Sanchez on the IL, or us wishing maybe they were. Castoffs and slag heap acquisitions and, yes, the infield get us where we want to go. All or most of them abandoned when Stanton, Judge, Hicks, Sanchez become available to flail and fail in the postseason.

Plus Cole, minus Didi and Romine, minus IL Maple, Sevvy, minus abuser German, with Chapman and Betances plus one day and minus the next via their inconsistent performances.

Frazier is still trade bait and will never get a fair shake in the Yankees organization.

Same old, same old. Maybe worse.

Three cheers for Monty, who's ready for El Alamein and I wish him the best.

Anonymous said...




ranger_lp said...

7-1 Yanks over the Nahsox top 4...

We're in good shape sans Judge and Stanton....

DickAllen said...

Chris Sale: MRI, Dr. Andrews.

Repeat after me: TJS

Bye bye

HoraceClarke66 said...

ALL-CAPS, the sad fact is that barring stunning advances in medical technology, Aaron Judge will never be an everyday player.

However, the longer he's out, the more likely Clint Frazier will get a real shot.

JM said...

9-1 now. Sox pummeled. If only it counted.

DickAllen said...

Horace, I think we’ve got five solid contact hitters each capable of 270 or better:

LeMahieu, Andujar, Torres, Frazier, and Urshela.

If Sanchez can wake up and remember how to hit, we’ve still got a solid lineup capable of doing terrific damage. I hope beyond hope that Gardner continues hitting into his dotage. We might even see the return of station-to-station baseball instead of watching guys flailing away at pitches two feet outside.

TheWinWarblist said...

Sing it Richie.

Scottish Yankee fan said...

Brian Keller is my new project after my champioing of Mike Ford on here for ages which Im sure bored everyone

I think Ive mentioned him a good few times on here he just seemed an interesting so called non prospect drafted right at the very end

In the Minors he threw a no hitter and apart from a wee bit of setback at the highest level I think it would be great of he makes the Majors even if it is just a spot start or out of the bullpen

Celerino Sanchez said...

Don't forget the greatest ZERO - Brian Cashman!

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