Friday, March 12, 2021

That weird sense of optimism within 2021 Yankees may stem from what has been missing in the past: Opportunity

Yesterday, Jonathan Loaisiga threw a three-inning perfecto against Philly - (with Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutcheon and Sir Didi) -  and, you know what? At 26, Loaisiga might just be our 2021 Alexander Hamilton: He's not gonna give away his shot

Loaisiga's path on the Yankee roster is wide open. He could be our Mr. 8th Inning. Or our fifth starter. Nobody stands in his way. We have an Aaron Boone, an Aaron Hicks and an Aaron Judge. But there is no Aaron Burr.


And while we're blathering, how about Lucas "the LOOGY" Luetge? (Who should hook-up with Lucy Liu.)  Three weeks ago, he could be a Jeopardy contestant. Suddenly, he's Cashman's Big 2021 Find. (Actually, considering our dank record with situational lefties - nearly a curse, since Graeham "the LOOGY" Lloyd of 1996 - Luetge could qualify as Cashman's White Whale.) Who predicted this? (Yes, we know what John would say.) Luetge, 33, hasn't pitched in the majors since 2015, didn't throw one pitch last year and - drum roll, please - has a middle name of - wait for it... Lester. Yes, he is Lucas Lester "the LOOGY" Luetge. Best alliterative Yankee name since Roger Repoz? 

Listen, Lucas Lester Luetge's likeable legacy could enliven the legions of our legendary lineup. 

Scan the current roster, and you find something crazy rare: 

Opportunity. 

In past years, the big March question generally surrounded our 25th man: Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada? Chance Adams or Stephen Tarpley? Spring was devoted to the battle between Tyler Austin and Brandon Drury. For everybody else, it was "me time" to tour the Dali Museum. 

This year, for better or worse, opportunities abound. Yes, there are the institutional locks - Geritt Cole, El Chapo, DJ, Gleyber, Judge, Stanton, maybe Voit and Urshela. After that, this is a go-big-or-go-home year for vets, such as Gary Sanchez, Hicks, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon (maybe even Judge and Stanton, who face future contract issues.) For emerging players (whose names are not Miguel or Andujar), the future is wide open. Here are the Top 5 Yankee opportunities:

1. Clint Frazier. He's waited, waited, waited... Okay, Mr. Thunder, bring it.
 
2. Corey Kluber. The comeback is all yours, sir. Nobody in your way.

3. Jameson Taillon. Ditto.

4. Jordan Montgomery. See above.

5. Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Deivi Garcia - with Zack Britton out, every pitcher in camp.

There are even competitions in the OF, the IF, even at DH, where - I can't believe I'm saying this - Miguel Andujar might once again get sent to Scranton. (He is our new Francisco Cervelli.) 

Lately - is it just me? - I've been weirdly sensing hope across the Yankiverse. Am I nuts? Gary hits a HR, and they're mentioning him as an MVP. Deivi Garcia throws three shutout innings, and he's in the rotation mix. Good grief, Clarke Schmidt's troubled elbow gets a favorable, no-Tommy John MRI, and we're celebrating. Is the water laced with Prozac? What gives?

Well, I have a theory. It's all about opportunities. And right now, the Yankees can offer plenty. 

2 comments:

JM said...

It's Spring. Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday. More and more people are getting vaccinated. Buds will soon appear on trees and in grandstands.

It's all a sham. We're being played. Our human reaction to sunlight and wisteria destroy our logic and sense of impending doom.

Do not be fooled. Sevvy threw 20 pitches off the mound. Big deal.

Remember, in September things start dying again. The air gets colder. Hopes die. Sanchez whiffs. Stanton and Judge are rehabbing. Kluber's rubber band breaks. Urshela's freakish offensive show is closed.

Opening Day is April 1. April 1 is April Fool's Day.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Gotta go with JM on this, Duque. You're drunk on spring, I tells ya! Intoxicated on all that light!

"The night is bitter
Gary's so much litter
The winds grow colder
Suddenly Judge is older
And all because of
The Hal that wants it that way!..."