Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let's all take a deep breath

All I see after Yankees games is either complete exuberance because the team played well or complete disappointment because one or 7 of the players are not playing up to their standards. While the latter may be the case with this squad, let's all take a collective deep breath.

Brett Gardner, is a career .267 hitter. He's currently hitting .285. You could make the case he's been the team's best non-pitcher player since last year if you factor in defense.

Now that we got that out of the way, I'd like to discuss primarily Brian McCann. In another piece I wrote, I was clamoring for John Ryan Murphy to get more playing time due Teixeira's inability to stay healthy. That would in effect let McCann learn to play first base, which he inevitably will have to do, and give Murphy playing time to develop at the MLB level. The whole reason I wrote that wasn't because I wanted McCann to lose playing time, it was for Murphy to gain.

Brian McCann has a triple slash line of .218/.280/.354 which is a ways from his career norms. But let's take into consideration everything else before we start bashing him. He signed his contract with the Yankees in late November if I recall correctly, had to learn a new pitching staff. Great, right? Should be easy to learn 5 new guys and a whole new bullpen, one would think after time they would mold seamlessly. That is just truly not the case, not only did he have to learn a whole new pitching staff, the biggest cog he had to adjust to is a guy who speaks maybe 30 collective words of English. That guy is also the best pitcher, by FAR, on the staff.

Sure, learning how to communicate with a Japanese pitcher can be tough. That's also not the only thing he's had to deal with. I'm sure you all remember the infamous Pine Tar game against the Red Sox? Well after that game, Pineda had been suspended 10 games before he re-injured himself. He also had lost Nova, who was expected to be the #4 guy behind Tanaka/Kuroda. So in a span of a month, he'd lost 2 guys who he worked all Spring Training with as expected mainstays in the rotation. Then he loses CC, a guy who no matter if he's leaving everything over the middle of the plate or if he's locating, will give you 6 innings. All that? Gone.

He's now dealing with trying to piece together outs to get quality innings out of pitchers who quite frankly shouldn't be MLB starters.

The whole point of this rant, I guess, is to try to prove my point that while I guarantee he feels bad about not hitting anything, his first and upmost job is to try to work with the pitchers and be the best fielding catcher he can possibly be. I'm sure we'd all rather have McCann, who is bound to start hitting once he settles in with the pitchers, than Chris Stewart or Russell Martin.


  1. I completely disagree with your stance on McCann. While I agree that he has had a lot to learn and deal with but I do not believe his first job is defense. Jose Molina's first job is defense, that's why he isn't getting upwards of $100 million for six years.

    McCann was brought in to do both, and he hasn't. Brendan Ryan was brought in for defense, hence his salary. Derek Jeter should be the offensive guy we saw in 2012 for $17 million.

    While I'm not down on the guy because the shift is killing him but they shifted against him in Atlanta as well. I live in Atlanta, I know. I was the biggest fan of bringing him in all 2013 season long... but he has sucked and needs to turn it around. Now.

  2. I agree and disagree. While I believe McCann was brought in to be an offensive force and isn't performing, I don't view him as the problem. The problem is continually putting light hitters behind him. When he's batting 5th, and he has the likes of Roberts, Johnson, and Singles Suzuki hitting behind him, what pitcher is going to pitch to him? The first step to improving the lineup is to get rid of Roberts and Johnson. They've had their chance and aren't getting it done. Replace them with Roller and Refsnyder. You know why guys? Because it can't be worse.

  3. That logic works until you look at the times when there are multiple runners on and they are forced to pitch to McCann and he still struggles. While I agree he is not the ONLY problem he is a bigger problem than most since he is hitting 3rd, 4th, or 5th. If you want to complain about the batters hitting behind him you have to include Alfonso Soriano who is also getting paid big bucks, albeit mostly by the Cubs, to do absolutely nothing.

  4. My logic is this. Combined, Roberts and Johnson are owed less than $2million. Little easier to get rid of them. No doubt McCann is struggling horribly. And Soriano would have been released before Almonte was sent down if it were up to me.


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