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Friday, July 9, 2021

Waist deep in Big Muddy: The Yankees have few moves to make

Last week, you had to laugh when the Death Barge traded for Tim Locastro. 

It seemed almost zany, outlandish, a madcap hoax cooked up by TV's Impractical Jokers or Russian hackers. (Note to Putin: Between now and the Aug. 1 trade deadline, please hack and disable the Yankees computer system, using the password: foodstampshal100. In return, we will send you Tucker Carlton and a Newsmax host to be named later.)  The Yankees obtained Locastro - a 29-year-old, light-hitting, RH outfielder - in essence, a castoff from baseball's worst team, the totally tanking Diamondbacks of the 115-degrees, boiling-asphalt QAnon outpost in Phoenix. 

Wait... did you read that correctly? Another outfielder?  Didn't we already have a surplus? Wasn't our outfield - like our vaunted bullpen - a traffic jam of strength and depth? 

Well, it's gone. Poof. Vanished. At the all-star break, we're already down to stems and seeds.

Clint Frazier, 2021's greatest disappointment, is out with vertigo - an ailment that vexes trainers and family. It could be nothing. It could be something. Whatever it is, Clint wasn't hitting, and it's hard to see dizzy spells improving his game. He'll probably need a rehab stint in Scranton. Frankly, I wonder if we'll ever again see him in a Yankee lineup. Time is running out. He might need to declare 2021 a mulligan, and find a fresh start somewhere else. 

Miguel Andujar, 2021's second-greatest disappointment, his having an MRI on his hand. Miggy seemed to be coming around, but his numbers - 6 HR and .253 - were hardly impressive - Chase Headleyish. He suffered hand soreness in spring training, and he's now missed two years with injuries. Once, we saw Miggy as a future plaque in Monument Park. Now, he's just another Greg Bird, a guy who looked good and floundered. The Yankees have a long list of such entities. If this were a Julia Roberts movie, they'd be analyzing the soil in Yankee Stadium for carcinogens. 

Brett Gardner is now our CF. In March, he was supposed to be our fifth OF, or maybe a coach somewhere. Next month, he'll turn 38. He's hitting below .200 (and last year batted .223.) We keep waiting for Gardy to heat up. In fact, we're watching an aging veteran being run ragged. 

Aaron Judge - our only all-star hitter - faces leg issues. He'll need occasional rests in August. But Giancarlo Stanton hasn't played one inning in the field - not one - and he probably never will. We've used options on Estevan Florial, who looks overmatched in Scranton. 

No sooner did we trade Mike Tauchman than our OF depth collapsed. Now, the guy we got for Tauchman - Wandy Somethingorother - is out. Remember Aaron Hicks? Doesn't he seem like somebody from the 1980s? And Jay Bruce... did we imagine Jay Bruce? And - gulp - Ryan LaMarre? Yes, I recall a fever dream a sighting of Ryan LaMarre. It's in the fossil record. He came up seven times. Still waiting for a hit. A regular Moonlight Graham. 

And waaaaaaaaay down in the dirt league, our favorite Martian - Jasson Dominquez - has not been looking like the next Mickey or Mike Trout. He went 0-4 last night with two strikeouts. Okay, he's too young to be hanging crap on him. But we must wonder: How could the Yankees have hung such an albatross of expectations around a kid's neck? Can he ever be anything but a disappointment? Was there no one looking out for him?  I mean, they've been releasing YouTube videos of the kid - hyping him like an Instagram influencer. WTF? 

Now and then, I see Gammonites proposing Yankee targets for the upcoming Aug. 1 deadline. I cringe. Dear God, save us from the Aug. 1 trade deadline. It is the biggest reason why we are currently underwater, in this coffin, wearing the straight-jacket. This is when the Yankees obtain players that other teams cannot wait to unload. 

Remember Sonny Gray? (Yesterday, he pitched 7 innings of 2-hit ball for the Reds.) We gave up James Kaprielian - current ERA: 2.84 - and spent two years congratulating ourselves for outsmarting those stupid A's. 

Even in the deal for Locastro, we gave up a 25-year-old pitcher named Keegan Curtis, who was in Double A. All I can say is, write down that name. The Diamondbacks are not stupid, and they are not our friends. They did their homework and saw something in Curtis. The YES announcers will fawn over Locastro - (and I mean him no disrespect; he's from Auburn, outside of Syracuse, my bad) - but they won't gauge the reality of that deal. Another prospect, out the  door. 

So, the writers now blather about moves the Yankees can make, chasing the final wild card birth. Good luck with that. Nobody will absorb Giancarlo's contract. Aroldis Chapman will veto any trade. They cannot deal LeMahieu, who looks overpaid, and they cannot trade Judge, their only star. All their trade chips look severely undervalued, and - here's a shocker - 38-year-old Darren O'Day has tweaked a gonad and might not return until September. 

The Yankees made this quagmire, and they must sleep in it. They have no magical deals to make. Waist deep in the Big Muddy... and the big fool yelled to press on. 

43 comments:

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Can we trade Isiyku for Dr. Olu?

Carl J. Weitz said...

I wouldn't check the Yankees Stadium soil for carcinogens but I would suggest the grounds crew fan out on the field and use divining rods to locate the voodoo powered Red Sox jerseys buried somewhere.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

I'll bet there's at least two Red Sox jersey's buried in the cavities of what should be holding Cashman and Haligator's brains,,,,,,

Carl J. Weitz said...

LOL!

el duque said...

We know they found Big Papi's jersey, which was supposed to be planted by one of their terror stooges. Who knows what they missed.

JM said...

I object to Gardner playing as a regular more than I see Locastro as a big mistake. Judge should be in center, with Gardy spelling him once in a while. I'm not yet giving up on Miggy. Locastro can fill for him in left until he comes back (hopefully, he does..I think he needs playing time to get over the injury year-plus). That leaves right to deal with. Hello, Giancarlo. Or even Wade sometimes, although two fast OFs who can't hit is not a good look.

There was a guest on WFAN today--I didn't catch who--making the point that you fill out your lineup card every day and put in the same guys in the same positions. Remember those days? Injuries are something everyone has to deal with. But the consistency gives a lineup and a defense time to gel and either show they can win or that they can't.

Right now, we have so many moving parts, I can't keep track of who's on the IL and who isn't, who fits and who doesn't, what works and what sucks (although most every spit and baling wire patch we've tried falls in the latter category).

It's not a great team. It may not even be a good team. But it doesn't even feel like a team. It's like a touring company of Oklahoma where every guy gets to play Curly for a night here and there. There's something to be said for playing the same role every night and really learning every aspect of it and adding subtleties that take it up a notch.

Anonymous said...

DJ LeMahieu said, “It was a frustrating game for us. We were frustrated how he threw a couple of pitches, but it is what it is.”

Aaron Boone said, “It's frustrating we got held down, but also credit to Gilbert. He was tough and on his game today. We just couldn't mount anything against him, and it's certainly frustrating.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1FG7ZwSioI

HoraceClarke66 said...

First, HIT JUDGE AND STANTON BACK TO BACK.

Don't the Yankees have some fantastic record when they do this? Stanton is indeed a millstone. But if you're going to have this ridiculous, all-righty lineup, stop pretending that someone like Luke Voit—who I find very likable—is the answer to put between them.

Second, BRING UP THE SCRANTON OUTFIELD already.

Are Estevan Florial, Socrates Brito, and Trey Amburgey the OF of the future?

No, they are not. But they have this going for them:

—Great names.

—They could not possibly be worse out there than Gardy, Locastro, and Stanton, the man who can't even step foot on the field.

—They might easily give you a terrific month before pitchers figures them out. Which, if you're serious about getting the Wild Card Play-In spot, might be all you need.

This is not rocket science!!!


HoraceClarke66 said...

The Martian, by the way, has 2 singles and 6 walks in 22 plate appearances, for a .133 BA.

Is it possible they call him The Martian because he is as clueless about baseball as an actual Martian would be?

Carl J. Weitz said...

Being him up now...he can't hit worse than Gardy and Fidel Locastro. Right? I do think he couldn't hit much worse. At least he's the best outfielder in their system. With this organization, while he might not need more seasoning in a few years, you can bet he will likely be marinatng forever in the minors.

ranger_lp said...

Calm down folks...we're not bringing up all or half of Scranton. We're heading to the end of the season with pretty much the same case, albeit for one or two players. We're not going to the playoffs. Brian has one more year on his contract. They will have to change their core values in how to construct the roster. The ball change, the foreign substance change has skewed the metrics. Can't be fixed this year...sorry.

ranger_lp said...

team=case

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Put next to Fidel LoCastro (thanks CJW, I really like that) and Gardner, corner outfielders like Paul O'Neill and Lou Pinella -- not to mention Reggie -- seem like mutants or aliens from other planets.

Did we ever have guys that good?

For that matter: Ron Swoboda, in his first season with the NYYs, hit .261. What would you give for 2 corner guys who each hit in the 250s-260s right now?

Anonymous said...

@JM It's musical outfield chairs. Then, again, we've got the same thing in the infield. Musical infield chairs too. This business of moving everyone around every few innings (and sometimes even during a single at-bat, with the infield shifts) has got to stop. The Master can't even keep up with all this shuffling, and I don't blame him. If it makes us dizzy, what's it doing to the players? It's no surprise that our team defense sucks. You can't play multiple positions and expect good results.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

@Hoss It's incredible that Gardner plays CF every day. A less than .200 hitter at the very tail end of his career, playing CF everday for the NYY. It might make sense if we had absolutely no one in the minors who could play CF. But to have a kid like Florial wasting away down there, while Gardner plays every day and sucks it up? Bat shit crazy!

@ranger_lp "Calm down folks...we're not bringing up all or half of Scranton. We're heading to the end of the season with pretty much the same case, albeit for one or two players. We're not going to the playoffs."

But if we're not going the playoffs, then why not bring up the kids and see what they can do? What's the point of guys like Gardner playing every day? I don't understand the way the NYY do things & this kind of thing has been going on since 2010.

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...

Logan Gilbert ... another guy who makes our best pitchers look like riff raff. If by some miracle we do make the playoffs, that was the archetypal Yankee playoff game of this current terrible era. Get one hit by a right handed pitcher who came out of nowhere.

On WFAN yesterday, I heard a caller who said the Yankees don't hit anyone who throws hard. True, but then they don't hit anyone who throws soft either (ex: Ryan Yarbrough). And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we hit lefties well either. It seems to me that the only pitchers who the Yankees do pummel are right handers who throw b/w 88-93 mph, who make terrible mistakes over the middle of the plate, who don't change speeds much, who don't have any late movement on their pitches, who don't throw enough strikes, and who are generally clueless as to how to get hitters out. In other words, we only hit guys who totally suck. And when your tastes are that finicky, is it a surprise that you go hungry most of the time?

The Hammer of God

JM said...

Boone just said Cortes loves the ball.

As opposed to Good Golly Miss Molly, who sure likes to ball.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I remember, Joe FOB.

Our left field platoon at one point was Roy White and Lou Piniella. White, who I loved as a kid, an absolute class act with good Yankees teams and bad. Led the league in runs scored as late as 1976, stole as many as 31 bases, hit as many as 22 homers, hit in the .290s 4 times, went a whole season without an error, set a record one year for sac flies. People used to complain that he had a weak arm!

And Sweet Lou! Tremendous hitter and a smart, savvy player in the field. Remember him saving the 1978 playoff game with that deke on Burleson? The knock on him was that he was slow.

Jackson, of course, one of the greatest World Series players there ever was. The complaint was that he struck out as many as 133 times in a season with us. Today, he'd be considered a contact hitter.

And then we had the likes of Paul Blair backing up them. He was almost done—but he could crack our starting OF today!

HoraceClarke66 said...

ranger, I agree that that is most likely what WILL happen. And don't think that Brain is going anywhere after 2022.

But Hammer is right. If we're NOT going to the playoffs, all the more reason to see if those Scranton guys have anything. And by "anything" we're now down to, "Can hit better than .189 with 3 HRs in 72 games." Not a high bar.

Hell, Gardy can't even really play the field anymore. Have you noticed? For some reason, he now gets terrible jumps on all sorts of balls. Just stands there, transfixed.

As for who the Yankees hit...well, it seems almost anybody, on days when they're on. Almost nobody, on days when they're not. Yet another sign that they are a distracted, unfocused, unmotivated team. If they're not going to care, why should we?


HoraceClarke66 said...

The good news? The Yanks have 4—count 'em, 4!—entire base hits tonight.

The bad news? They still haven't scored. Which now makes 19 consecutive innings, over three games.

Most. Annoying. Yankees. Team. Ever.

ranger_lp said...

Hammer is right, but...they are what...three games out of a wild card berth? They are not doing a thing until they are mathematically eliminated. The Yanks are like...IBM for example, they don't do anything rash...they move slowly with change. HAL...IBM...you get it right?

BTW, in Houston, it's rub it in weekend. Check out these giveaways for this series...to the first 10,000 fans...

FRIDAY, JULY 9: Replica 2019 American League Championship Trophy

SATURDAY, JULY 10: Replica 2019 American League Championship Ring

SUNDAY, JULY 11: Replica Jose Altuve white jersey

Almost as bad as Double Chili night....

ranger_lp said...

Gardner ready to kill another rally...

ranger_lp said...

Will wonders never cease...

JM said...

I don't fucking believe it.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees are 4.5 games out of the second wild card and would need to beat five other teams also within that range. Not bloody likely.

ranger_lp said...

@anon...3 behind in the all important loss column....

Anonymous said...

Oh shit. Now Gardner gets another month to clog up the roster with his worst in league performance.

ranger_lp said...

BTW someone tweeted the other day that Rolaids has been pitching so badly ever since he changed his baseball glove. Coincidence?

ranger_lp said...

Gleyber Torres is not Ozzie Smith...

Anonymous said...

The YES app ad on the upper right of the screen is way too prominent and aggressive. YES is the Steinbrenners' cash cow, so I'm surprised it's even that small.

Kevin said...

I would have thought that Boone would have gone with a right-handed pitcher there. But it turned out nicely.

ranger_lp said...

Finally, DJ 2B with RISP...

Kevin said...

Finally, three terrific running the base plays. And it didn't take a month!

Kevin said...

Gardner looked terrible on that drive off the wall.......

JM said...

That's a-one.

ranger_lp said...

Convincing win...only one this year so far...

Pocono Steve said...

Why didn't Boone put Chapman in to ruin it? You know he wanted to, so why didn't he do it?

Bobo said...

Firing on all cylinders now. Forget any concerns the words "Cash" and "Ma" might bring to mind; this team has no weaknesses. Not anymore! It's Moving Day! The back eighty-one is OURS!!!!!!

Joe of AZ said...

Jesus Christ...were doomed this mirage couldn't come at the worst of timez

Anonymous said...

And we get to draft from the #20 slot on Sunday night.
I'm sure that a gem coming off of TJ surgery will miraculously drop down to us.
Is Clarke Schmidt still among the living?
Is that even his name?

The Archangel

EDB said...

The Yankees lie about their prospects and have done so for years. There is not much at Scranton. Have no fear, The Genius will go dumpster diving to stock Scranton with more has beens and stiffs.

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