Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Deivi v Domingo. Bruce v Tauchy. Tyler v Thairo (v. World.) Two weeks to go...

On St. Patrick's Eve, ready for the home stretch of spring training, three roster battles have emerged on the Yankee Death Star. 

A fourth - Miguel Andujar v. the vagaries of fate - could be decided today with a medical ruling on his fragile wrist. (Either way, Miggy is probably Scranton-bound.) More issues will pop up: The Yankees have several key players known as much for injuries as talent. Between now and April 1, anything beyond a hangnail means lost regular season time. We should expect two, maybe three, roster-changing injuries. That's the reality here.

But let's look at the three competitions of today: 

Deivi Garcia v. Domingo German. 

German, 28, has now pitched 9 innings, given up 5 hits and no runs. He's struck out thirteen. Lights out. Obviously, he's the fave for fifth starter (maybe fourth?) But German is coming off a long, ugly suspension, with Gammonites circling overhead, their notebooks poised. Any misstep will draw blood. Garcia, 21, has thrown 8 innings, given up only 2 earned runs, struck out 10. Yeesh. Because of his age, Garcia probably goes to Scranton. Advantage: German.

Jay Bruce v. Mike Tauchman.

Yankees players have been talking up Bruce, who is 6-20 with 2 HRs and supposedly showing competence at 1B. At 33, he won't accept a bus ticket to Scranton. He'll sign elsewhere. Tauchman, 30, is 4-18 (.222) with a HR. Still, he's a solid fielding OF and base-stealer. (He has one of the team's 10 this spring.) If Tauchy gets hot, he can still make this team. (Mike Ford, though, looks in trouble.) For now: Advantage: Bruce.

Tyler Wade v. Thairo Estrada (and maybe Andrew Velazquez.)

Wade, 26, came to camp with an advantage; he's the fastest Yankee, he bats LH, and is reputed to be the best SS glove after Gleyber. But he hasn't hit: 3-17 (.176) with 9 strikeouts. Yeow. Unfortunately, Estrada, 25, has done worse:  2-15 (.133) - three strikeouts and an attempted steal.

That has cracked open the door for the switch-hitting Velazquez, 26, a Bronx native signed off the scrap heap. He's 4-10 with a SB. Not sure how minor league options line up: Wade and Estrada must be at their limits. Also, not sure how well Velazquez plays SS; he's listed as a 3B. 

If nobody steps up, Cashman will scour the waiver wires. Finally, here's a longshot: Former high draft pick Kyle Holder, 26, is a Rule 5 draftee battling to make the Reds. If he fails, (he's currently 2-15), he'll return to the Yankees. Holder is supposed to be one of the best fielding shortstops in the game. Don't know where or if he fits in. Dunno nuthin. Advantage: Chaos.

The juju gods will decide this in the way they always do, right around now. With injuries. Brace yourselves. 


Alphonso said...

Last year, Velaquez played 20 games at SS for the Orioles. He made no errors.

He is fast, and a fine fielder. He was playing SS at the end of yesterday's game. I don't think he got any ground balls hit to him.

He walked and lined out to left in two at bats. He makes contact. Which Wade does not, unless he is hitting a two hop ground ball to the first baseman.

I think Velasquez gives us more than either of the two leading candidates for infield back-up.

He doesn't have a chance.

Alphonso said...

Devi needs about 10 stats at AAA to prove he is as good as projected. So German should be the man.

Just don't let him go out on any dates.

HoraceClarke66 said...

So the starting rotation is looking like:

Gerrit Cole

Corey Kluber

Jordan Montgomery

Jameson "Frank Lloyd" Taliesin

Domingo German

Why am I not overwhelmed?

manx said...


I hope we see a lot more of the Master calling games on YES. Perhaps a simulcast on YES and the WFAN New York Yankees Radio Network driven by Jeep could be the answer. I would to see the Master call games with Coney and The Warrior Paul O'Neill. Of course when Suzyn is off for the holidays in September we've gotten to hear the Master call games with the likes of Bam Tino and Sweeny.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Actually, Hoss -- while I am no fan of current management (or past management, for that matter) -- that starting rotation looks better than I can remember in recent years.

Of course, Monty Kluber Jameson are all candidates for one or more injuries (each).

That's why -- for me -- it's really nice to know DGarcia is in the wings.

I apologize for being an optimist.

Carl J. Weitz said...

I agree with you Joe FM. I think it's a pretty damn good rotation with plenty of upside if they stay relatively healthy. Come on...German as your #5 who won 18 games the last full season? Prettay, prettay, prettay good as a famous bald-headed big Yankee fan might say.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Joe FOB, no need to apologize. All you can say is, with this team, optimism is the way to go.