Thursday, March 25, 2021

Philosophical question: Which do we prefer... Tawky or Bruuuuuuuce?

Within the next 48 hours, the Yankee Brain Trust must decide between boxers or briefs, between paper or plastic, between peanut butter or jelly, between Dino or Jerry... between Jay Bruce and Mike Tauchman. 

It's the annual, late-March musical-chairs battle for the final roster slot - a competition between chess pieces - before the team closes Camp Tamp and flies drunkenly to Gotham. One man will stay, and the other will likely become a future trivia blip, forever linked to soggy and sad memories of the pandemic. 

Like any parent, I love all my Yankees equally, as sons. It's distressing when forced to choose one over the other. Especially when the consequence for one is oblivion.

Still, in this case, I believe the decision tells more about the direction of the 2021 Yankees than the two players.

Who do we keep... Bruce, a slugger approaching career twilight, seeking a few final signature moments on the Broadway stage? Or Tauchman, the overachiever who dazzled us two years ago, then fell apart in last year's dwarf season? 

A central question: In what scenario will the Yankees use either?

Obviously, each represents an injury replacement. Bruce can play RF and 1B. (But Brett Gardner can play OF, and DJ LeMahieu can handle first.) Tauchman can play all three OF slots (as can Gardner.)  

Bruce is the wily LH slugger who faces the big righty bullpen lug nut, maybe a side-arming specialist. He might hit a HR or work a walk (then be replaced by a pinch-runner, such as Gardy.) 

But in that situation, why wouldn't we pinch-hit Gardner, to begin with?  

In fact, we would. No matter who is pitching, Bruce won't pinch hit for LeMahieu, Judge, Stanton, Hicks (switch-hitter), Gleyber or Urshela. He might come in for Clint Frazier (though I'd prefer Frazier) and/or Luke Voit (who hits RHs well.) 

In fact, there is only one candidate for Bruce to pinch hit for: Gary Sanchez, assuming Gary slides back into incompetence. Both are big swingers. And in each case, the question looms: Wouldn't Gardner be a better choice? 

Tauchman represents late-inning defense and speed. He  can reduce stress on our OF and maybe steal a base. If he returns to anything near the form of 2019, he'll add more punch than Bruce. 

This spring, I wanted Bruce to knock down fences and force the issue. He would hit so well that the Yankees had no choice but to keep him. He started hot, then tanked. Yesterday, he came up twice, struck out twice. (Tauchman didn't play.) The Yankees don't need another big swinger. They don't need another old guy. Choosing between Dino and Jerry is always a tough dilemma. I say, Hey laydeeeeeeeeeeee!  


J.P. said...

I think the answer has to be tauchman. Guys like Bruce are always getting released and the one thing Coops has a knack for is finding guys who can fill in as position players. We really don’t need either of them, having 5 OF on the roster seems like poor construction to me. Hell, if you were really desperate give DJ a 13” glove and have him play left. Superman can do anything according to the 4 hours of Justice League I just watched. If you can’t get anything of value for Tauchman on the market, and why would you given his 2020, treat him like Sanchez and ride it out. Now that I think about it, once we cut Bruce he will likely go to Boston and hit 30 bombs.

JM said...

Tauchman wins in not even a contest.

"In fact, there is only one candidate for Bruce to pinch hit for: Gary Sanchez, assuming Gary slides back into incompetence."

Duque, your spellcheck must have changed "as" to "assuming." We all know it's suppose to be "as" harm, no foul.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Easy question... devil you know. See you in the Bronx Mike!

Anonymous said...

Everything that JP, JM, and Beauregard said.


The year is 1999. Jerry Lewis is attending a game at Yankee Stadium. Ricky Ledee comes to bat. Lewis let's fly with a "Hey laydeeeeeeeeeeee!"

A much younger version of myself, sitting substantially higher up in the stands hears this and says to the guy sitting next him, "Fuck Ricky Ledee."

Doug K.

Alphonso said...

It has to be Tauchman, now that they have sent Socrates to Hades.

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Finally Judge finds something he can hit. Juan Sterling is a fine announcer btw.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Definitely Tauchman. He is younger, and can do more things. Also, turns out he was playing while hurt in last year's freakishly short season.

P.J., I would say that we don't need 5 outfielders, except that by May, at least two of them will be hurt.

But hey, what about Estevan Florial? I hear he has a high ceiling.

Publius said...

"Why not both?"

- The Black Swan