Monday, May 2, 2022

Done with tomato cans (for now), the Yankees face a true threat

Over the last few weeks, we've pleasured ourselves with some old-fashioned, jolly-good, family fun - waterboarding the likes of Cleveland, Baltimore and KC.

All we needed was a can-opener.

Such a joyous time... early leads... blowouts... late rallies... If we botched something, they gave it back. Nobody touched our bullpen (Mean Chad Green notwithstanding.) Joey Gallo hit two HRs, DJ LeMaheiu returned to 2020, and Aaron Judge formally launched his contract year surge. Even El Chapo - pitching himself in and out of sweat-dripping deliriums - did not melt down. Good times, good soups, enjoyed by all... 

This is how you win the division: Go 9-0 against Lehigh Valley. 

Now comes the rub. Toronto. Last time we engaged, back home in Gotham, we split a knock-kneed, four-game series, winning twice by shutting them out. In the most memorable game, Vladimir Guerrero hit three HRs, humbling Gerrit Cole, who did well enough just to pitch into the fifth. 

Cole won't see the Jays this week - and probably not next week, either, when Toronto returns to NY for two.

By then, we should have an honest read on the 2022 Yankees. At least a few questions answered: 

1. Is our pitching staff that good?  Thus far, at 2.72, the Yankees have the 2nd best team ERA in baseball. (The Dodgers, with an unbelievable 2.33, are first; the Mets right behind us, at .299.) Toronto ranks 19th, between Clevo and Balto. 

The jury remains out on Luis Severino, and Nasty Nestor could turn out to be an April mirage. Still, the coronation of Michael King and (newly plunged to Scranton) Clarke Schmidt could provide insurance against a collapse. Speaking of the Railriders, we have seven Triple A pitchers with ERA's below 2.00 - plus Manny Banuelos, everybody's comeback fantasy, at 2.16.

We have one of the deepest arsenals of Show-worthy pitching in baseball. 

2. Can we keep hitting? The Yankees are tied with Toronto for the most HRs in baseball, with 31. (We are fifth in team batting, at .249; the Blue Jays are eighth, at .243.) Giancarlo Stanton rises and falls, and who knows what to expect from Gallo? After that, no one Yankee is suffering an existential slump. (Donaldson at .208 and Gleyber at .222 might be closest, but both have recently delivered big hits.) 

3. When will the injuries hit? This leads to a massive, fantastical theorem of quantum Yankee physics: Is there a random sequence - an algorithm, to the Elon Musk crowd - to our perpetually tweakable gonads?

After a decade of absorbing huge battlefield injuries - and replacing trainers every winter - could the Yankees enjoy a season without losing the entire of cast of Glee to strained and sprained whatevers? 

Frankly, I dunno. But I can't imagine a season without setbacks. Brace yourselves for something bad. Something tells me, Suzyn, we're not in Kansas anymore... 


Parson Tom said...

Best team in May! Every year, it seems, the Yankees are the best team in May. The pitchers are unhittable, the sluggers are swatting balls all over the place. Best team in May. Yay!

JM said...

This is so 2021. We go on a tear, have an amazing win streak, even do well against our main rivals, then we crash and burn and everything falls apart and we're back where we started.

I'm not buying it. I did last year, and as bad as my memory is, not this time.

The Archangel said...

The Boys are taking a bus to Toronto.

The Jays await.

As always in the Great White North;


ranger_lp said...

As expected...

05/02/22 New York Yankees optioned RHP Clarke Schmidt to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
05/02/22 New York Yankees optioned 3B Miguel Andujar to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

ZacharyA said...

No team is as good as they look during a winning streak and no team is as bad as they look during a losing streak. The truth is somewhere in the middle. The Yankees won't continue to play .900 ball every ten games, but there's a lot to like about how they played in April. Last season the Yankees went 22-16 (.579) against the Orioles, Royals, Tigers, and then-Indians. So far this year they're 12-3 (.800).

Maybe it's not sexy to beat up on bad teams, but that's how you win the division.

On May 2, 2021 the Yankees were 13-14 and 3.5 games back in the division race. They were playing catch-up for the rest of the season. It's nice not to be looking up at another team in the division race, even if this feeling only lasts two more days.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Hmmmm, I think taking a bus from Buffalo to Toronto bypasses the need to be vaccinated for the plane ride,,, is this the loophole for unvaccinated players?

JM said...

The Mets just DFAed Robbie Cano.

Sad ending for a once-great player.

Wonder if Cash brings him back for a farewell tour at some point this year?

DickAllen said...

I'm not getting my hopes up just yet. The Yankees have built their April sand castles on the backs of less than mediocre teams, and you can get away with a lot when you're playing high school exhibition games.

The one thing that troubles me beyond everything is Chapman - he's 6 for 6 in saves so far, but he's walked seven - SEVEN - in nine innings. You can get away with that kind of crap against the likes of Kansas City and Detroit, but once things start warming up and he starts sweating more and more, it's going to get ugly.


Carl J. Weitz said...

Shelby Miller who has been lights out as a relief pitcher in Scranton had a minor-league deal with an opt out as of midnight. I wonder if he exercised that option or stayed a Yankee on their 40 man roster.
Same for Austin Romine. A midnight opt out with the Angels. He was hurt last year but appears healthy now. Lifetime avg. of .238 which makes him a great hitter by current standards. Still fine defensively and a very good pitch framer. He might make sense as insurance or as a replacement for Higgy. But who would be deleted from an already tight 40 man roster?

The Archangel said...

Yes Ken, that is the loophole.
Canada's rules.

The Archangel said...

Ken, it is the loophole for testing, not vacs.
My bad.

The Archangel said...

So hello to Romine. Ax Higgy.
He and Trevino work a tandem.

Higgy just can't handle big league pitching and he doesn't have Cole begging for him anymore.
Nice guy., but ..

Carl J. Weitz said...

Wasn't Andujar originally a second baseman? Quite frankly, I think that Gleyber has reached his zenith as a player and will never be any better. Defensively, he's average at best and has never adapted to the way pitchers modified their approach to his batting predilection. Actually, in the hitting department, he's regressed. I'd rather give Miggy a chance to prove himself as a second baseman because I believe he has more upside as a hitter than Torres.

BTR999 said...

The 162 game schedule allows for a team’s strengths and weaknesses to be exposed and explored. There is no shame in beating up on the weaker teams, especially the ones who allow themselves to be taken advantage of. As the season progresses we will see the true nature of this Yankee team emerge. IMHO, I still think we’re looking at something less than a 90 win team. A “good” team as a whole, but not a true championship contender.

Tough for Schmidt & Andujar. Schmidt we’ll probably see again, Andujar? We’ll probably dump him for a nobody, a la Luke Voit. Speaking of that trade, whatever happened to Justin Lange, who we received in that trade? I can’t find any record of him this year. Was he even a real person?

Doug K. said...

A few things...

1) I haven't posted over the past few days as I became convinced the Yankees were only winning because I wasn't able to watch. I watched yesterday so maybe my viewership didn't matter as much as I thought.

2) Canada - I drove to Montreal two weeks ago. You need to be recently vaccinated and/or boosted and show proof to Canada in advance using their govt. app to cross the boarder.

3) Cano go - Robbie Cano was just released by the Mets with 2 Year and 40 Mil left on the contract.

a) Given his injuries and TWO PED suspensions plus thee early release I'd say Cashman made the right move in not signing him.

b) Love how the Mets cut bait on a bad /unproductive player and just sucked it up and took the cash hit. Too bad we don't have an owner who cares more about winning than $$$$.

Wouldn't it be great if Cashman just admitted that he was wrong about Gallo and let AnDUjar play in his place?

Just sayin'

Doug K. said...

Born to,

"Justin Lange, who we received in that trade? I can’t find any record of him this year. Was he even a real person?"

I Hope he's ok.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Gotta bottom feed to win, which we did. And glad to hear that, after all that tsuris, everybody vaxxed. Don't understand what that was all about, but never mind.

And yes, I think Higgy's time is up.

Since his explosive April of 2021—4 homers, .258 BA—he's batting all of .167. He had another, brief power surge last August, with 3 more dingers, but that's it. And he's 32.

TheWinWarblist said...

Expect nothing from Gallo. He is a useless fuckface fucker.