I know. No need to send me hate mail. I know we’re only four games in. However…
Aaron Boone is off to a bad start. Admittedly, I have no evidence or hard data to back this up, but it seems to me that managers don’t change. Bad habits stay bad habits– until things go way south and they lose their jobs. Classify me as having my attention caught, not in the good way.
To review, in no particular order:
Four games into the season, Aroldis Chapman has been used in mop up duty twice. On Thursday he was brought in to protect a 5 run lead (FIVE), Friday with a 3 run lead. I don’t know if giving him one of those days off would’ve changed the decision making process on Sunday, but…
The Smoak situation: Chapman would’ve been a better choice than Robertson on Sunday in the 8th inning. Yes, I said it at the time so save the 20/20 hindsight messages. In the bottom of the 8th with two out and runners on 2nd and 3rd, the Yankees leading 4-3 and David Robertson on the hill, Josh Donaldson was due up for Toronto. Aaron Boone chose to walk Donaldson intentionally and take his chances with Justin Smoak.
Robertson pitching to Donaldson instead of Smoak would have been the better option. Yes, I said it at the time, so save the 20/20 hindsight messages. Smoak had been hitting ropes all over the field all weekend. Donaldson has a bad shoulder. Donaldson is right handed. Smoak is a switch hitter.
But Chapman is a better option than Robertson regardless of who is in the batter’s box. Gross negligence on the manager’s part? No. Robertson can pitch. But Chapman is better. And if you’re aren’t going to use your best with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second when you only have three batting outs left, when will you use him? Right – to protect three to five run leads with nobody on base.
We all know how it ended, no need to re-hash. It must be noted Smoak had a great at bat – remember the other guys get paid too.
Didi batting 4th: It needs to stop. I like Didi. Good player. Glad to have him on the team. (I’ve learned this must be said before you state facts about popular players or their supporters get their pinstripes in a bunch…) But there’s no reason in this life or the next that he should be batting 4th. We shouldn’t have to get into this with numbers but, since you asked:
Career OPS+: Aaron Judge 156, Giancarlo Stanton 146, Gary Sanchez 135, Didi…95. It’s like one of those “which of the following is different than the others” SAT questions.
He’s 28 and has had one season where he’s been better than league average offensively – last season when he posted a 106 OPS+ (that means he was 6% better than league average). And while we’re at it, last season he posted a 128 OPS+ vs. right handed pitching and 76 against lefties – can we stop with the “he hits just fine against” lefties proclamations?
Sorry, that last one was directed at John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, not you.
I’m rooting for you, Aaron effing Boone. I was all for the “Joe must go” move (although admittedly I would’ve preferred Carlos Beltran) but the early returns aren’t good. Four down, 158 to go.