Thursday, July 21, 2022

Starting over after the break, here are the Yankees with the most to gain and lose

Traditionally, the all-star break is just that - a break with all that has happened until now. It's like the discovery of fire, or the invention of the wheel, or the death of JC, or the closing sequence on St. Elsewhere, where everything turns out to be the dream of an autistic child. Suddenly, everything that humankind has ever known is different, and the entire universe hath been reborn! 

So, what Yanks have the most to gain - and lose - from this looming new paradigm? 

Potential winners:

1. Joey Gallo. Obviously. If there is any microscopic chance for him in NY - (frankly, I do not see it) - it happens today in Houston, where the Yankees play two. Gallo will probably play in one game, and he better hit for the cycle.  In his last swing before the break, he hit a meaningless HR against Boston. Over his last 15 days, he batted .160 - surprisingly consistently wretched for the year. I believe he will disappear on Aug. 2. But a mini-streak would boost his trade value. 

Higashioka's first half, captured in 
this iconic photo

2. Kyle Higashioka. Coupled with the rise of Jose Trevino and impending return of Ben Rortvedt (a LH hitter and supposedly decent catcher), Higgy needs a brand new bag. Over the last 15 days, he hit .250 with an OBP .368. Let's not forget that he led the Yanks in HRs during spring training, and then - after the opening bell - went nearly three months without one.  A reboot can only do him good. He'll catch at least one game today.

3. Josh Donaldson. This bozo was staggering into the break - 1-6 with 4 Ks, capping a disappointing and, at times, embarrassing - ("Jackie?") - first-half. I still see him botching the DP grounder that would have beaten Boston. Over the last month, he's hitting .192. Now, he's got a second chance. 

4. Aroldis Chapman. Yet another reboot for El Chapo, whose first-half was so awful that it sparks debate on whether he's finished. I suspect we'll see him today/tonight against his nemeses.  

Potential losers: 

1. Matt Carpenter. Nobody wanted a break less. Over the last month, he's hit .417 with 7 HRs. Clearly, he cannot continue at this pace. But Carpenter was an all-star in 2013, 2014 and 2016, so where is the baseline, where his new swing will intersect with his former skills? He's 36. He's obviously wily. How long can he go?

2. Nestor Cortez. He's had a mythic first-half, consummated by a scoreless all star inning and a marriage proposal to his sweetheart. But over the last month, Nasty Nestor's ERA stands at 4.50. By now, everybody in baseball has seen him, and smart batters made adjustments. Nasty Nestor readjusted in June. Now he needs to re-readjust against the readjustments. 

3. Jameson Taillon. He's been ragged in recent weeks - an ERA of 7.00 over the last month - and Domingo German is knocking at the door. He's on the verge of losing his spot in the rotation - (which actually might be a blessing, to keep him viable in October.) 

A new season starts today. What better way to begin than by sweeping Houston in their home park? Now, that would make a great episode of St. Elsewhere!   


JM said...

I'm still reeling from the guy on ESPN's website who said Boone makes better decisions than Dusty Baker. Has he watched many Yankee games? I mean, really.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


To be fair, Dusty Baker is a horrible game manager. Could be backhanded equivalent to "your cologne smells better than dog diarrhea".

BTR999 said...

Glad for BB to return. I ignore everything during the break, especially the “game” and I swear to god I don’t even know who won. I did see Stanton hit a HR on an awful pitch and got some kind of glycerine bat.

For me the potential winners seem more like sure losers. Together Donaldson and Chapman are being paid 41M for the sort of production a raw rookie could easily provide. Because of his contract, Donaldson will be back again next year, even older and worse, but we can cut ties with the others whenever we choose.

For the potential losers, well yeah, Carpenter’s gonna crater, but I’d be happy with some quality AB’s and a few clutch hits down the stretch. Cortes will be steady, not dominant- and that’s OK! I wouldn’t be shocked to see Taillon hit the IL at some point.

The keys to success in the 2nd half remain the same - pitching, steady defense, and enough offense to power us through. We could use another starter and high end reliever. Soto is nice to write about and create imaginary trade proposals for, but I think the chances of the team actually acquiring him are near zero. The Nats would have to blink (or at least squint a little) and I can’t think of one reason in the world why they should..

October? That’s a whole ‘ other topic…

ZacharyA said...

Josh Donaldson will probably get a hit or two in Houston and have a good series in Baltimore. Then he'll go right back to being shit at home.

Donaldson 2022 (Home)
.174/.277/.265 (.541 OPS)

Donaldson 2022 (Away)
.268/.340/.500 (.840 OPS)

Donaldson Career at Yankee Stadium
.170/.269/.290 (.558 OPS) in 299 PA

I just can't get past the fact that our crack analytical team OKed a trade for a player (and his $50M contract) who cannot hit at our home ballpark.

AboveAverage said...

"your cologne smells better than dog diarrhea"

Not the kind of early morning prose to ponder whilst leaning into your first sip of morning coffee.

On this day, this Thursday the 21st of July, I will no longer be able interpret any moment without first processing it through that thought filter.


Does it pass the "your cologne smells better than dog diarrhea" test?

A different kind of ear worm...if you will.

I promise to update you all on any applicable moments and experiences as they occur.

A Dog Diarrhea Cologne - live tweet - so to speak.

Bon appetit!

Doug K. said...

"Donaldson Career at Yankee Stadium
.170/.269/.290 (.558 OPS) in 299 PA

I just can't get past the fact that our crack analytical team OKed a trade for a player (and his $50M contract) who cannot hit at our home ballpark."

As the other JC, not the one El Duque mentioned but also dead, was fond of saying, "I did not know that."

AboveAverage said...

Doug -

You must try, TRY to get past it.

The "Donaldson Dilemma" (not to be directly confused with dog diarrhea - but it is closer than one would think) is something that will lock jaw onto the privates of our collective consciousnesses for years to come.

This team (OUR TEAM) will continue to do well in the second half.

Any of the possible, upcoming changes made to the roster for the better will likely only strengthen our long term chances to make it back to the promise land.

Once again, the season so far has been an unexpected pleasure and I'm hopeful it will continue along the same path.

And - dare I say it - Carpenter will remain consistent.

I see his face every morning in my toast.

And it's fun to knife my jam into his porn stash . . .


Doug K. said...

Are you saying a Carpenter has been resurrected to save our season? That's some heavy metaphysics there pal.

AboveAverage said...

HE could be . . . the ONE

Carl J. Weitz said...

Duque...In reference to St Elsewhere, that great 1980's medical show, you better hope that Tommy Westphall doesn't start shaking a snow globe filled with a replica of Yankee Stadium.

Carl J. Weitz said...

AA...Personally, I'd rather see the face of Jesus created by the barista at my local coffee house in my latte rather than on a dry slice of toast. Just my preference.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

On the subject of backhanded compliments, one of my favorites has always been "You don't sweat much for a fat girl!"

BTR999 said...

I see the lumber is back in slumber. Plus a little tough luck. Not a good sign

Say, I’m watching on YES, and you know what? No commercials!
Must have something to do with something…
Don’t tell Steingrubber!