Saturday, May 28, 2022

In Matt Carpenter, the Yankees have given Joey Gallo an inspiration to change - or to ponder his replacement

Last night, the long and winding tale of Matt Carpenter took an interesting twist: His HR helped propel the Yankees to a 2-0 win over Tampa, ensuring the Death Barge, at worst, a split in the four-game series. 

It was Carpenter's first HR since April 30, 2021, when he was mired in a career-crushing slump with the Cards, the only team he'd ever known. Last year, he was horrible - .169 with 3 HRs in 249 at bats. For three seasons, he'd only gotten worse.

In essence, he is Joey Gallo, one year from now.

Over the winter, Carpenter sought out several "swing doctors," an MLB cottage industry, whose proponents include JD Martinez, Justin Turner and Aaron Judge. About 20 years ago, radical new techniques revolutionized hitting - the Ted Williams upper-cut replacing the "Charlie Lau" theory of hitting, which dominated most of the previous century.  

Carpenter rejiggered his swing and signed a minor league deal with Texas. In Triple A this season, he was hitting .275 with 6 HRs in about 100 at bats. His contract contained an OUT clause, allowing him to walk. He invoked it, the Yankees pounced, and last night, he might have launched his golden journey on the Road to Redemption. 

Or maybe I'm watching too much YES.

Which brings us to Gallo... 

Listen: Carpenter won't replace Gallo in the OF. Over 12 seasons, he's made only 25 appearances - 117 innings - in the outfield. But he ought to get Gallo thinking, because unless Joey changes his ways, it's only a matter of time before the Yankees cut bait.  

Gallo is - well - awful. I can't watch anymore. Last night, he actually got a hit - a single! going 1-4 with two strikeouts - lifting his average to .169. In his last seven games, he is 1-for-24 with 13 strikeouts - which leads to today's question:

How long do the Yankees go with Gallo? Let's do a multiple choice: 

a. Until they fall out of first place, or hit an extended losing streak.

b. Until everybody is healthy again - Giancarlo, Hicks, Donaldson, Locastro, et al.

c. Until he does something incredibly bone-headed, costing us a big game. It could be anything. Think: What would Gary Sanchez do?

d. Until, say, the all-star break. Gotta be a point where Boone goes to Cashman and says, "Enough is enough." 

e. Until a replacement appears. Miguel Andujar, maybe? Another minor league retread? Triple A is brimming with guys like Carpenter, and unless their agent is Dopey Dildox, their contracts feature exit ramps. If the Yankees see somebody - anybody - Gallo isn't giving them reason to sit and wait. (Note: As painful as this is to write, I say NO to Robbie and Gardy.) 

Just on the basis of last night's HR, Carpenter may have already leapfrogged Gallo and Aaron Hicks as a LH batting option. If he continues to hit - and the bar is low here - Carpenter will take playing time from both.

Finally, Gallo needs to take a good hard look at Carpenter - and at his future. Time is running out.  


Mattingly's Mustache said...

Matt Mercury!

Mattingly's Mustache said...

Queen jokes aside, looking at this team, what Cash needs to pull off here is a mid-season David Justice type trade. Assuming and Gallo/Hicks are jettisoned to the bottom of the Atlantic, the lineup goes back to last year's problem of being RH heavy. The other option? bring up Dominguez and throw him to the wolves. So the question becomes, which starters are the biggest trade bait here?

el duque said...

The Yankiverse would go crazy if they brought up Dominguez (2-4 last night.) But it would probably ruin him. Interesting idea, though. You may be the first person in history to call for him to be brought up to The Show. (You won't be a last though.)

JM said...

Does Gallo have any trade value whatsoever? I can't imagine a team--in contention or not--who needs a sub-.200 home run hitter who doesn't hit home runs.

Hicks only has "tightness," which means he might be back fairly soon. Or if he meets expectations, that will develop into something more serious that puts him out indefinitely. I hate to wish something bad on the guy, but anything that would keep him out of the lineup would help.

Meanwhile, Stanton also has "tightness." We need the big guy back. Put him in the outfield, try Miggy, Judge, Stanton left to right. Miggy looks more comfortable lately, though he's not exactly a great left fielder. But he's good enough. And last night he hit a ground rule double, bringing back memories of his pre-injury days.

The $64,000 question (millions after inflation is factored in) is, has Gleyber come back to being the old Gleyber? Huge boost if he can keep it up.

And leave Chapman on the IL. Holmes looks like the closer we need. Now if only King would sort things out...

Carl J. Weitz said...

@ Duque....I've mentioned bringing up The Martian a few times, mostly in jest. However, even last year my main point was that as bad as Hicks and Gallows are, could Dominguez be any worse? Clearly, he has better fielding abilities than either.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hear, hear, Duque!

Yes, time for Gallo to get it together or get gone. Long past time, in fact.

Earth to Martian? I can't see it. Though I do see that Andujar has the old flair back in his swing, that finishing flourish that led me to call him, "El Matador." At this point, I think you go with him in LF or at DH until he proves he can't do it.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also: it would be a big mistake to deal a pitcher of any worth for a Gallo replacement. Pitching is the heart of this team right now, and its ONLY chance of being a contender. And you know Coops won't do well in such a deal.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Yup, Horace, the last thing Crashman should contemplate is dealing starting pitching or anyone they see is " next up" should a starter be injured.

el duque said...

It wouldn't take much to replace Gallo. If Trevino could play the OF, his bat would replace Gallo's. Could Florial actually do worse? Can Greg Bird play OF?

Brigadoon Refsnyder is hitting .321 at Triple A. Does he have an OUT clause?

Kevin Pillar, 33, is hitting .315 in the Dodgers system. OUT clause?

Really, we're not asking for much.

AboveAverage said...

Yep - what you said . . .

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

So Matt Carpenter has had five at bats, one home run, and crossed the bag three times… meanwhile causing a half dozen pregnancies in this blog alone.

Don’t we recognize this pattern from previous Cashman retreads? Haven’t we brought up/bought up has been 36+ retreads that look good for a week before? This is not going to end well, and what’s worst, it’s not going to end! That good first week buys months of horrible baseball.

TheWinWarblist said...

If AnDU is healthy, he can hit a ton.

TheWinWarblist said...

Half dozen pregnancies!? [Spit take!]

BTR999 said...

About the OF

I get all the hand-wringing over Gallo. My hands are rubbed raw too. JM is correct in that he has very little trade value right now. I’d say the best we could hope for in return is a lottery type prospect. But it’s clear he has no future here. I’m afraid we’re stuck with Hicks longer due to his contract. At some point the team will release him, but I don’t think that will be this year. Sorry, but there’s no reason to think that Carpenter is the answer to anything. For now, Andujar should be given a shot. I would expect we’ll see more of Florial and LoCastro. (Haven’t heard any updates about LoC; shouldn’t he be close to returning?) I think a Strawberry/Justice/Chili Davis type bat will be brought in at the TD in exchange for prospects. Ian Happ, anyone? Lastly, leave Dominguez alone and let him progress. Or not.

Hopefully Cole will continue our string of lights out pitching today. Our inconsistent offense remains a worry. It would be very Yankee-ish for Cory Kluber to shut us down today.

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

Is it me, but there was a shot of Carpenter in the dugout last night, and damn, he looked wall eyed.