Thursday, June 2, 2022

Soon, in crowded Yankee outfield, something's gotta give


Normally, I'm all-in on ditching an underachieving porkchop. How many "sluggers" batting below .200 do we need? Right now, the Yankee OF harbors two certifiable albatrosses - Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo - neither of whom may ever again hit his weight. (They list Hicks at 205, but I don't buy it; Gallo registers 250, linebacker material.)

Normally, two human trapdoors like Hicks and Gallo signify a broader, teamwise malaise, pushing diehard fans to demand a roster makeover with grenades, rather than lasers. But here we are, month of June, with baseball's best record - (Dodgers are sputtering) - and five up on Tampa Toronto, (who - uh-oh, play the alarm siren) - has won seven in a row. Our rotation is ducky, and Aaron Judge is peaking. You want to freeze this moment, can the roster like a handful of sardines, but soon, we will face a game of musical chairs.  

The Yankees now have five active OF/DH types: 

Aaron Judge
Aaron Hicks
Joey Gallo
Miguel Andujar
Matt Carpenter

Soon, three will return from the injury list:

Giancarlo Stanton
Josh Donaldson
Tim Locastro

Complicating matters: In the last three games, Gallo actually seemed to play well. He went 3-10, drew a walk, scored a couple runs, made a couple nice catches in RF. It's still a paltry package, hardly compensation for four months of crapola. But yeah, it complicates everything. If he were 0-for-30, I believe Cashman would be trade him for a salt shaker. But we'll get nothing in return, and what if he's finally starting to hit? (Agh. Doesn't this ALWAYS happen? You've decided to breakup, you've made up your mind... and then she wears that red dress?)

Hicks, on the other hand, still wears a paisley pantsuit. In the last seven games, he's .217 with no RBIs. (On the season, he has a measly seven.) His lack of power is astounding. Deal him? Again, we'll get nothing.

So... what happens when the triad returns? Damned if I know. But let's think...

Carpenter: He could be gone. If the Yankees waive him at noon, he'll get snatched up by sunset. The guy has looked good - 2 HRs. Moreover, we need a LH bat. If Cashman ditches Carpenter and keeps Gallo, he could look really bad when Gallo throws another 0-for-20 onto his raging bonfire of ineptitude. 

Andujar: He could be gone. Probably to Scranton, poor guy. But the team must be running out of options. Damn if Miggy hasn't looked solid in LF, while showing a hitting spark from his old days. Who here doesn't think he'll outhit Hicks and Gallo? Show your face! At the least, Miggy should platoon in LF, but that can't happen on a team determined to carry a bullpen the size of Newark. 

Locastro: He could be gone. During the win streak, he became a great late-inning weapon. He's still third on the team in stolen bases (behind Hicks and Kiner-Falefa). He's a solid OF, can play center. But how do they shoehorn him into the roster? I remember the childhood rhyme: Hicks and Joes can soil my clothes, but Locastro never hurts me. 

So, there it is. No - wait! What about Donaldson, who now whines that his teammates didn't support him, following his ridiculously stupid racial jibe on Tim Anderson. Frankly, the guy should learn to shut his mouth. If he keeps complaining, he will keep that issue alive - to his detriment. 

A roster churn is coming. And - listen: I'm not complaining, but - whatever happens, the Yankees are atop the pecking order. That means they have nowhere to go but down. 


JM said...

If the front office shunned and punished Big Red for his displeasing behavior, Donaldson should be on the next freight train to Palookaville, or whoever will take him. Maybe we get a AA pitcher or two, or yet another bullpen lugnut.

We should keep Miggy, which doesn't mean anything. Maybe it's time to find that major nagging injury that's keeping Hicks from reaching his incredibly limited potential, and IL him for 60 days. But Gallo? Well, now that he's hit a bit, it's wait and see. That's how the front office rolls.

I still say the OF should be Miggy, Judge, Stanton, left to right, with Gallo spelling Stanton and Locastro spelling Judge for some games at DH. It's a juggling act.

But the gods are fickle and perverse. We don't know what injuries, pops, and tweaks the future holds for any or all of our outfielders.

One thing's for sure. Get rid of fucking Donaldson and let DJ play third as God intended. We don't need the distraction or his whining about not being supported. Yo, Josh, YOU WEREN'T SUPPORTED BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE. Maybe not a racist, who knows, but definitely an asshole.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Trade Gallows or cut him.
Send Hicks to Scranton to " fix his swing". He's not a 10/5 guy so he can't refuse the demotion.
Trade Carpenter now for a useful bullpen piece as one will surely be needed.
Keep Andujar and Locastro on the team.

JM said...

Or, what Carl says.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Trade as many of the problems as possible. Forget about getting a decent return. Just shed the dead weight.

Addition by subtraction. It works. If you question that, see Trade Of Gary Sanchez. Perhaps the one brilliant thing Cashmoney has done. If he's still on this team, they'd be 21-and-28.

BTR999 said...

Unfortunately for us, 10/5 applies to trade refusals. Hicks has accumulated more than enough service time to refuse a demotion to the minors. He could opt to become a Free Agent, but the team would still be on the hook for his salary, so it would really be tantamount to cutting him. Signing Hicks to a 7 year contract was a stupid, totally indefensible move by Cashman.

Barring any kind of phantom IL shenanigans, I’d say Andujar heads back to Scranton, and LoCastro stays there for the time being.
Yes, trade options should be pursued; perhaps the watered down playoffs will help us if more teams feel they’re in contention and would like to improve. However, it’s obvious many teams simply don’t give a damn about contending. Steinbrenner may have to eat significant money to make any deal happen. Don’t like it, Hal baby? Get rid of Cashman. I believe Stanton will see less time in the OF after his recent injury.

As far as Donaldson is concerned, no really one knows if there was racial animus behind his remark, or if he was simply being obnoxious. The Anderson article in question is 3 years old and should be considered ancient history. I do want to mention again that Anderson should be criticized for comparing himself to an icon like Jackie Robinson, and that La Russia should also receive heat for fanning the flames of the whole incident. I would rather have kept Gio than trade him for Donaldson, but not because Donaldson is perceived as a jerk or a distraction; he was simply too old, too injury prone, and waaaay too expensive to add to a roster like ours.

Carl J. Weitz said...

BTR...let me clarify. A player with 5 years of service can refuse demotion. Then the option is simply to "outright" the person to the minors which means he has to first clear waivers. In most cases, the overpaid athlete will surely clear waivers because no team wants the player at his current salary. If someone does claim him then so much the better because if he goes unclaimed the current team must then eat his salary. So in Hicks case they would try to find a trade partner who believes they can fix his problem with the Yankees most likely eating part his salary.

A player without 5 can be sent down without his consent.....but only once. After that, the player can refuse to be demoted and then he becomes a free agent with the MLB team off the hook for their salary.

In either scenario, Hicks would no longer be on the Yankees MLB roster. They would force Hicks to make a decision. Try and work out his problems in Scranton and eventually be recalled, be traded, or, in essence, be cut from the team. That was the point I was making.

ZacharyA said...

They'll send down one of the extra relievers (David McKay or Manny Bañuelos). No reason for a 14-man pitching staff when the backend guys are never used.

They'll also send down Andujar. Just accept it now because you know it's going to happen.

Locastro has a minor-league option remaining, so they can send him down to get plate appearances in AAA until they need him. Or, alternatively, they can put Hicks on the IL for whatever to buy themselves some time.

I can't see this organization cutting ties with Hicks completely with 3.5 years of control remaining. Just not Cashman's style.

AboveAverage said...

So much intense pressure-cooking roster drama with this team, our NY Yankees.

Can you image if Gallo went on a month-long epic streak, 8hrs, 14 rbi, clutch hitting, clutch fielding . . .? He'd be the toast of the town. The feel-good, come back story of the year. Adidas would even be inspired to create a tv campaign called THE TWITCH.

It would be a remake/update of the El Duque spot, once again featuring David Cone as the befuddled balcony spectator. Masked clubbers all doing a dance choreographed from a looped cut reel of Gallo's best convulsions. OH GOD - I just gave myself another writing project.

OK OK OK - I'll punch that out today. But first - because of yesterday's rainout I must do my Nasty Nestor routine again.

My work is never done. . .

Doug K. said...

AA -

"Masked clubbers all doing a dance choreographed from a looped cut reel of Gallo's best convulsions"

Good one. Just be sure you include the "may induce epilepsy" warning. Actually they should put that on screen whenever he bats anyway.

All --

The logjam...

as opposed to the higher end, log preserves...

It's not so much eating the money with Hicks it's the lack of a CFer to replace him.

Again who do we trade for?

What would it take to get Bryan Reynolds? (currently having a tough year)

* Hicks (because they will need a CF)

* One of our minor league SS/2B. This is OK because if Gleyber is going to fulfil his promise we won't need them all. And if he doesn't we have who ever is left.

* One of Schmidt/Sears/???

That should get it done. They get an MLB centerfielder and two top prospects. We get a former all star who is struggling, young and still under control. Plus he's about to hit his arb years which will be expensive for the Pirates.

Mildred Lopez said...

Can't trade Gallows. Won't get anything in return, and besides we'll need him in RF next year when Judge signs with Los Anaheimifornia. Or the Mets.

Iron Man Hicks is on the roster until 2025. At least. 2025!

Miguel goes to Scranton, maybe gets flipped for a "bullpen piece". Locastro gets traded for a lottery ticket, comes back to haunt us somewhere down the line. Carpenter gets dfa'd, snapped up, has a pretty good season.

The more I think about it the less I understand the trade. Jettison Sanchez, sure, I guess. Addition by subtraction or some shit. But Donaldson? Known asshole Donaldson? Six teams in twelve seasons Donaldson? Combover Cashman gave up Sanchez and Urshela and took on the Twins' 50 million dollar parasite so Minnesota could afford to sign Correa...for IKF? He's a nice player and all but shit, shortstops were growing on trees. Now the parasite is our parasite.

Anyway, first place. Yay!

Doug K. said...


Not, "I guess", getting rid of Sanchez was THE move of the off season. :)

He was a joyless mope and a failure as a hitter and a fielder. Even worse he seemed to hijack the emotional mood of the dugout.

Look how happy they are now. Also you can't have a catcher that pitchers are afraid to throw their best pitch to because it's going to be a passed ball. I guessing but I would say there isn't one pitcher on the staff who wishes he was still on the team.

If Gio was the price of getting rid of Sanchez that's a no brainer. Donaldson is an asshole but he plays hard and seems genuinely chagrinned by this episode. He's the rest of this year and next and a 6M buyout. He will play well until he gets hurt. But getting rid of Gary was vital to the success of this team.

Plus we wouldn't have our current catching tandem. It would have been him and Higgy. I know the trade had the body builder guy who hasn't played yet. Maybe he can take Higgy's place if he ever recovers for m his "workout" injuries.

BTR999 said...

Hi Carl, thanks for your reply. I think we both agree on your basic point, which is expediting the departure of Hicks. While he is still on the roster he is taking playing time from Andujar, and a roster spot from LoCastro who can at least provide superior defense and late inning baserunning skills. I’m afraid the penny pinching Yanks are going to hold on to him, and Boone will keep running him out there…you know, the old “we’re paying him, so we’re playing him” thing…

Parson Tom said...

keep Miggy in the Bronx!

he hits line drives all over the place and he's looked athletic and alert in the outfield.

Parson Tom said...

This made me laugh because it was AboveAverage: "Adidas would even be inspired to create a tv campaign called THE TWITCH."

I've never seen anything like Gallo's constant back twitches. He looks uncomfortable in his own skin, literally. But as has been said, he'll probably get hot, get his place in the lineup restored just in time to start doing his post-K trudge back to the dugout thereby ruining the Yankees' season at some key moment.

Parson Tom said...

borntorun gets it right on the Donaldson thingie with Lil'Timmie Anderson, whose thin skin deserves to be pinched repeatedly.

Carl J. Weitz said...

@ got that right. They will hang on to Hicks because they are paying him 10 million.

@ Doug K...." they get an MLB CF". Ahahahaha..surely you jest. :)

@ Zach....I don't think most realize that when you say "one more option remaining" this really means one more option YEAR. So a team can option a player as many times as they wish during that option year. At least I didn't understand that until recently when I looked up the baseball meaning op option.

Doug K. said...

Wouldn't it be something if a lightbulb went off in Gallo's head and he decided to change his swing? To stop selling out for the home run because that was what WAS expected of him?

Look at Gleyber's recent resurgence. He's back to changing his swing to meet the situation. What if Gallo could do the same thing? He would probably get MORE HR's because he'd see more pitches and could jump on a bad one as opposed to jumping on EVERY one.

I'm still all in on trading him BTW but it would be interesting if he actually had more AB's like the ones he had over the last few days.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Correction: 5 times per option YEAR, not unlimited*

ZacharyA said...

Talking of Gary, Doug said:

>He was a joyless mope and a failure as a hitter and a fielder. Even worse he seemed to hijack the emotional mood of the dugout.

It was a good move to get rid of Sanchez but I don't buy the narrative of Gary ruining the dugout mood.

From the Minnesota Star Tribune (5/24/22)

"If there's one considerable difference between the 2021 Twins and this year's incarnation, it has to be the level of fun the team is having.


"Many players have remarked this season how close this version of the Twins roster is. Guys genuinely like one another and are interested in knowing their teammates beyond what they can do as a baseball player. Max Kepler said after Monday's game how last year made baseball seem more like an individual sport instead of a team one.

"There's no real way to measure if the enhanced atmosphere has led to winning or if the winning helped the team to bond. But Baldelli has a sense that some of the new players, who also happen to be strong leaders, have fostered an encouraging environment and also brought a new, sunnier perspective to the team.

Don't think stuff like this gets published if Gary was ruining the dugout mood over there.

AboveAverage said...

Nasty Nestor chant completed. Ready for game time.

Twitch and Hicks now batting sixth and seventh. KaBoone wasted no time giving Gallo a reward for Tuesday's performance. I'M READY FOR YOU ADIDAS! (remember - its pronounced AH-DEE-DAHS). . . .

And Doug - I think we need to keep the TWITCH campaign alert free. People should watch IT and Gallo's at bats at their own risk. Or at least allow the commercial to initially cause a tidal wave of micro seizures across the land and THEN issue a warning. I'll write up and share what I think the warning should be and share it a little later on in our show . . .

Carl J. Weitz said...

( Rubs hands together quickly) I cant wait until the Yankees play the Twins and run roughshod all over the bases on Gary's arm. And watch him strike out repeatedly at sliders in the dirt with men in scoring position.

AboveAverage said...


AboveAverage said...


Doug K. said...

Zach -

Maybe you're right but it always seemed like Gary inspired collective hand wringing - never said he was a bad guy or even bad teammate but that level of failure and frustration can be infections.

Maybe freed of having to be "The Sanchize" he's happier. I hope so. It's not personal. I just couldn't watch him anymore.


Just trying to CYA. After all, I live in a state where I once saw a sign on a cliff that said "Do Not Jump Off Cliff" in several languages. One would think that one would know that intuitively and, if you were suicidal, I doubt it would change your mind.

ZacharyA said...

10 HR in 168 PA this year for Gleyber after 9 HR in 516 PA last year

AboveAverage said...


Mildred Lopez said...

Doug K...

Yeah, I guess I just don't like Donaldson. There's just certain players I can't wrap my fandom around. Donaldson, Altuve is another one. He ever comes to the Yankees I'll still despise him. As a player of course.

Platoni said...

Mildred, I'm with you on Donaldson. Always hated that guy and probably mentioned here that him donning pinstripes wasn't gonna make me change my mind. He's been a major dick for all his years in MLB. There was no reason to think he'd fare any different this year. A correct assumption, it turns out.

I have no idea if he MEANT to be racist/asshole with that comment, but he LOOKED that way. Shit like that just seems to follow that guy like a shadow.

JM said...

Ditto for me on Donaldson.

Our CF is and should be Judge. His height, his arm, his defense, his hitting --all CF quality. If they keep Hicks, a terrible idea, move him to right or left. Let Stanton play the outfield, babying him doesn't work and never has. Gallo should be disposed of somehow.

Miggy, Judge, Stanton, with Hicks and Locastro as part timers. Upgrade them if possible.

This all seems so obvious to me, so I'm sure Cashman will do something else that makes me exasperated.

PS Otani is no Babe Ruth. Not even close. He's a good pitcher and a fair hitter but with power. I don't think he'll be great at either if he keeps doing both, but he will sell tickets.

Doug K. said...

I'm not a Donaldson fan either but he will play hard and reasonably well for the duration.

Was there a better use of 25M for the roster. Yep! several actually but taking him was the price of losing Sanchez so what does that tell you about Sanchez?

That the Twins are playing well means that he really needed a change of scenery. Like I said , don't dislike the man just couldn't watch him anymore. And it was addition by subtraction.

If the Yankees want to move on from Donaldson that's ok too.

The Archangel said...

NASTY does it all

The Archangel said...

Let it rain now.

JM said...


JM said...

Hicks 3 for 3. Safe until the All Star break now.

JM said...

We have starters and a closer and nothing in between.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Twitch and Hicks now batting sixth

This brief bit of poetry made me LOL. Thanks, AA.

Parson Tom said...

I'm with Kevin on Donaldson. He may be a dick but there's a good chance the roughest edges have been sanded down. He seems to want to do well -- I guess they all do -- and when he hits the ball he hits it hard. He'll be a big part of the team if he stays healthy.

ZacharyA said...

Hicks with his annual 3-hit game, I see.

Seriously, he has four 3-hit games in the last four years.

So enjoy today, we gotta wait till 2023 to see Hicks flair three singles to the outfield again.

ranger_lp said...

Yankees Win!!!

TheWinWarblist said...

Criminy, Nestor can deal!

Parson Tom said...

how interesting that the Ji-Man is now a legit slugger for the Rays

what enticed the Yankees to get rid of him ... besides institutional impatience?

edb said...

Easy, the Yankees will play around with Miggy. Joey K. and Barren Hicks will continue to make outs and be in the lineup. Simpleton Boone will continue to tell us how well they are playing.