Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Suddenly, everywhere, you can feel the Yankees unraveling

This we know: Normalcy is an illusion.

In this modern world, everything can change in an instant.  

One day, the kids are playing soccer. The next, they're watching their town be shelled by invading artillery. 

One day, life is being restored. The next, MONKEYPOX!

Damn. Everything was going so well for the Yankees...

Even today, believe it or not, we still possess the best record in baseball. But tomorrow, well...  MONKEYPOX!

Everywhere you look - (one exception: Aaron Judge) - you see elements of the team crumbling or crashing to earth. Aaron Boone faces a wave of problems.

1. We have no closer. Right now, it's hard to imagine Aroldis Chapman holding any lead - even five runs. You see it in his eyes, or the way his fastball rises all the way to the backstop. He's lost more than his fastball. He's lost everything. But who replaces him? And how will Chapman react to being - in essence - demoted to a lesser role? This crisis has been a long time coming. Now, MONKEYPOX!

2. We still have a massive void in left field, where Joey Gallo has given the Yankees no sign of hope. The recent winning streak masked Gallo's failures, but now, his lack of production is glaring. This is no "Welcome to NY" slump. Gallo has now played four months (93 games) with the Yankees, hitting .166 with 18 HRs and only 29 RBIs. Imagine that: Take away those 18 HRs. and the guy has 11 measly RBIs. (Actually, fewer, because not all the HRs were solo shots.) Coupled with Aaron Hicks, the left side of the outfield has been a disaster.

3. We still face an inevitable plague of injuries. Last week, we lost Chad Green and Luis Gil - plus a bunch of Covids. One of these days, one of our irreplaceable players will tweak something - they always do - and the cupboard is bare in Scranton.  

The farm system has failed to produce an MLB-ready impact player who might boost the team. The high hopes for Oswald Peraza (hitting .200) and Oswaldo Cabrera (.186) are now pleasant memories of spring training. If one of our big hitters goes down, we are a staggering short distance from Greg Bird (.196) or Ryan LaMarre (.208.) And we still don't know what to do with Miguel Andujar, steadily rotting on the vine (down to .289.) 

4. Some Yankees have simply played above themselves. Jose Trevino. Nestor Cortez. Michael King. Tim Locastro (before his injury.) Much of the bullpen. How long can Clay Holmes continue to be lights-out? Some players will face a correction. That will bring pain. 

5. The Josh Donaldson thing. Have you noticed? It's not going away. Even Boone says it was a stupid move. And here's the rub: It will worsen on the road.

Donaldson will face questions in every city. He'll hear about it every time he steps to the plate. To make matters worse, his dustup might turn out to be the fulcrum point of the Yankee season. We're in a losing streak, the worse of the season thus far. 

Before, everything was going so well. 

Ah, but that was yester-MONKEYPOX!


ZacharyA said...

Over the last three games:

Aaron Judge
6-11 (.546), 3 HR, 4 RBI

The rest of the team
10-87 (.115), 0 HR, 1 RBI

It feels like we're getting a preview of 2023 when Judge is across town with the Metropolitans. And the future is hideous.

JM said...

Judge is a big guy, but even he cannot carry this team. Nobody else is helping.

We had our big win streak, and you know what's next. It's started.

Carl J. Weitz said...

The Yankees method of operation is to do next to nothing about their major league roster problems because they are paying the players good money. Overpaying, really. We all know this won't change. They will wait until the trade deadline to perhaps replace and jettison Gallows because his contract runs out in October. Hicks? Nope.....we are stuck with him because he's on the books for another 4 years after this season. Steinbrenner won't bite the bullet and eat his contract.

As far as addressing their other deficiencies, the reality is harsh. With little talent in their farm system, they aren't MLB material at this point and have little trade value. The only avenue open is for Hal to go (significantly) over the luxury tax threshold. We also know the chances of that. "We have built a championship-caliber roster and there is no need to increase payroll."

This is our future, people. Get used to it.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

During that epic winning streak, there were some games where we looked like legit world beaters, but there were just as many (or more) where the Yankees relied on a comedic level of ineptitude from shitty teams. True last year they might not have won as many, but there have been increasingly closer and closer games against terrible teams for two plus weeks. Now, the wheels are falling off /or reality is setting in and they will be facing better teams, we'll see just how brutal this pendulum swing will be.

JM is correct, we all know what's next, and it ain't pretty.

TheWinWarblist said...

Ahem. I think I have crossed into another dimension of anger at the Yankees.

BTR999 said...

The lack of development at the minor league level cannot be emphasized enough. The Scranton roster is full of MLB washout Quadruple A type of players. Cashman is no bright boy, but I’m sure he was smart enough to see this coming. He, along with his evil aide-de-camp Boone, cynically sold the vision of a championship level team to the fans. On this blog I think everyone sees right through their bullshit, but apparently millions do not.

DickAllen said...

Someone on this blog posted a few weeks ago that the Yankees could play 500 ball the rest of the season and still win 90 games.

Unfortunately, that will not be enough to win the division.


(And you know how that ends)

DickAllen said...

Has anyone noticed that Higgy is leading the league in passed balls?

I noticed the Twins have a catcher named Sanchez who's hitting pretty well this season.

Their third baseman, a guy named Urshela, also seems to be doing pretty well over there.

Just sayin...

JM said...

Making the Wild Card game is the true goal of the organization. They can say, "We've made the playoffs XX years in a row!" and then think that will shut fans up.

On another note, I saw a great Twitter exchange the other day. Jose Canseco tweeted "I'm looking for a crypto developer. DM me." So a guy DMs him, and Canseco asks him "You a crypto developer?". And the guy says, "No way, Jose."

Funniest thing I've seen on Twitter in weeks.

JM said...

Dick, Gio is hitting .237 with 3 dingers. Sanchez is at .221 with 4.

Not exactly setting the world on fire at the plate.

JM said...

And not to defend Higgy too much, but anyone who catches Torrents is going to have some extra passed balls.

Celerino Sanchez said...

Judge has 17hr and 34 RBI. I guess I'm just old school, but I remember when guys hit 17hrs and drove in 100 runs, Like Thurman Munson.

DickAllen said...

Fair enough JM. But...

Gio and Sanchez (our favorite whipping boy) have 35 ribbies between them. They Yankees combined total behind the plate and 3B is 37. That's a wash as far as I'm concerned.

Right now, catcher is a black hole, an even bigger hole than when the Sanchino disgraced the dish.

Trading for Donaldson has done nothing to improve the team. We simply didn't need him. So far, DJ is far more productive at third.

Now we have to suffer with Brantley as a catcher. A guy who brings even less to the game than Sanchez. Or Higgy.

Thank goodness we have Gallows to kick around.

JM said...

Totally agree there, Dick. We did nothing to improve C or 3B, and like you say, DJ would be a better everyday third baseman. Besides, Donaldson is a jerk.

Of course, our Voitish catcher likely won't play this year. I hear the Giants are looking for defensive backs.

ZacharyA said...

Don't look now but LeMahieu is hitting .211/.300/.310 in May.

.336/.386/.536 (.922 OPS)
.268/.349/.362 (.711 OPS)
.250/.329/.375 (.704 OPS)

LeMahieu is looking an awful lot like the 2021 version of himself rather than the 2019-2020 version I thought was back in early April.

HoraceClarke66 said...

DickAllen and JM both make some good points. But bottom line: if you can't hit, you must field. If Higgy continues to be unable to hit his way out of an oil weakened, already tearing paper bag, he needs to field. Impeccably. Leading the league in passed balls ain't that.

13bit said...

They were never raveled to begin with.

DickAllen said...

I yearn for the Higgy of February and March. Where has he gone?