An Open Letter To The Yankees GM
Dear Brian Cashman,
Nice job in assembling the 2017 Roster. The team had a great start with both pitching and big bats carrying the team but we know forty four games do not make a season.
The past two weeks have exposed two major flaws in your grand plan. The starting pitching, as expected, has been questionable since day one. My other concern is that I am not sure how much confidence I have in the boys playing first and third base. There is very little production from positions that are usually keys to any successful team. I cannot believe Chris Carter led the National League in home runs last year with 41 dingers. We need Greg Bird back as soon as possible or maybe even give Aaron Hicks a shot. And don’t forget Tyler Austin who, like Bird, is also rehabbing down in the minors.
Chase Headley has regressed to his poor performances of the past two seasons. Every time I see him up in a big spot I think how great it would be to have Manny Machado up in that situation. Hint, hint, Brian. In the meantime, how about platooning Ron Torreyes who did a wonderful job filling in for Didi Gregorius when he was injured to start the season. A little pressure on (or taking the pressure off) Headley might be a good thing.
Kudos on picking up Starlin Castro to fill in at second base, sticking with Brett Gardner in left field, and your commitment to youth with Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. Both are showing plenty of potential to be All Stars for years to come. And let’s not forget the trade for Hicks and sticking with him after a horrible last season.
When it comes to starting pitching you have your work cut out for you. There are some big challenges and decisions to be made in the short and long term. The staff’s ERA over this two-week period ballooned up to over 7.00 and the pitchers have been giving home runs as fast as Judge, Gardner and Matt Holliday have been hitting them out for the Bombers.
Masahiro Tanaka has given up 7 homers in less than 5 innings of work over his last two starts and his ERA is at an all-time high for him of 6.56. I hope you have a plan to right the ship with him or a helluva Plan B. Both CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery are pushing ERA’s of 5.00 and are very close to averaging a hit an inning pitched. My thinking, Cashman, is we need more out of our lefties.
Michael Pineda, with a record of 5-2 and a 3.35 ERA, has been our ace and has gone above and beyond expectations to date. But if others do not step up, Pineda will be under tremendous pressure come July and August for peak performances.
So let me ask you Cash, how long do you think this formula you have is going to work? Starting pitching goes five innings and we pray. We go to middle relief for two innings and hope to hold them down. Thank you Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard. Keep up the good work in this role. The Bombers out slug the other team along the way or find a way to come from behind to grab the lead in the seventh or eighth innings. Then we turn to the back end of the bullpen, our strength, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman to shut them down and “ The Yankees Win, the YYYAANNNNKKKEEES Win” (thank you John Sterling for the great signature call!).
So far, so good, one could say. Your approach is the acceptable trend in baseball these days and has worked for others. But, Mr. Cashman, I say be creative, be aggressive but smart. Do not sit back. Let’s go for it!
photo: baseball-news-blog.com (Cashman); yanksgoyard.com (Castro)