Since the Yankees have won 11 of 13 games without, as we all know, pretty much everybody, there has been some chat assigning credit. To whom or what do the Yankees owe their pleasantly surprising recent success?
I’m here to tell you this: In spite of what the shills at Simpleton Summer Camp tell you, it is NOT Brian Cashman and his ability to build a roster so deep it can withstand multiple player absences. (And it certainly is NOT “small ball” in the absence of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Hicks. More on that later…)
Let’s start with this myth that Cashman has used his stellar (cough, cough) general managing skills to create a roster so deep that it could handle 6 of the 9 regular starters to be on the IL, while 2 of the remaining 3 need to play out of position.
Cashman knew for months that a long term fill in for Didi Gregorius was necessary. His solution to the problem was to sign a shortstop who hadn’t played in almost 2 years because (all together now) he couldn’t stay healthy. Gleyber Torres playing out of position, which causes a drop in defensive efficiency at the 2nd most important position on the field, is on Cashman. Not only was roster building depth not saving them here, but his poor judgment in assessing Tulowitzki is what lead to the problem in the first place. And to make matters more comical, Simpleton Summer Camp shill Meredith Marakovits in an effort to cover for Cashman or just out of stupidity, I’m not sure which, tells us that Tulowitzki’s calf strain “isn’t connected” to his heel surgeries. That’s like saying the money missing from the bank isn’t connected to the guys who were there with masks and guns. Pro tip: The calf muscle and heel are literally connected.
Another question: Why, when your center fielder goes down with an injury, do you not get a center fielder to replace him? That would seem to be the obvious m.o., right? Don’t get me wrong, I liked the Mike Tauchman move and I liked seeing Clint Frazier get at-bats – but neither can play center field. As a result, a second premium position now has someone playing out of position to cover for an injury. And in this case, Gardner isn’t only out of position, but he’s one of the best defensive left fielders this century – moving him to center downgrades two positions. We’re now literally left with 1/3 of the field and two premium positions negatively affected by poor general managing.
“But he did add D.J. Lemahieu! And when LeMahieu plays second, the defense is greatly helped out!”
Both of those things are true, but let me ask this: How many GMs have the resources allotted to them to sign a two-time all-star, three-time gold glove winning player to be an insurance policy for infield depth? My guess is none. Signing LeMahieu wasn’t an example of Cashman being smart, it was an example of how he has resources other GMs do not. Again, if Neal Huntington or Billy Beane had Cashman’s resources they’d have more rings than fingers at this point.
Oh, and remember when Gary Sanchez got hurt (again)? As I’ve written here before, playing eight seasons in the big leagues and having a negative career WAR is hard to do. Generally, if you aren’t providing value, you’re gone after year two, three at the most. And going six straight seasons with a negative WAR is almost impossible to do – Austin Romine is the only player in history to do so. So when you have a catcher like Sanchez for whom you need injury insurance, in addition to letting him DH and get days off to keep him fresh, your answer to roster depth is a guy who has spent eight seasons literally proving he is not a major league player (…?) Eight seasons and Cashman can’t find a backup catcher who’s better than a AA player. Eight seasons. Talk about biding your time. No rush, bro – give it another eight seasons to see if Romine improves.
There are reasons the Yankees are winning, which we’ll delve into tomorrow as we’re out of time for today. But this idea that Cashman deserves credit for building a deep roster is nonsense and needs to stop.
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