Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Your Classic Catch-22

I want to make sure this is perfectly clear... I love the youth movement.

I can't get enough of seeing this, and apparently neither can he.

In the past I've been all about winning, whether that meant top prospects like Jesus Montero were left to rot in the minors or not. As long as the Yankees had a shot I didn't care who was on the Active Roster. Just win, baby.

But everything changes. Sure, the Yankees and I still want to win, but at the same time we have an eye on the future. Not long ago Chris Carter would have been the starting first baseman coming out of Spring Training instead of Greg Bird. Instead of Jordan Montgomery winning a spot in the starting rotation the team would have signed some over-the-hill starter from the free agent scrap heap.

And another change is my attitude towards prospects. It took me longer than some, but I strongly believe the Yankees have a very bright future as long as they are patient. Which is why this season has been a bit concerning.

See, history has made it clear that winning is more important than anything in New York. So as long as the team is winning they aren't going to make any significant changes.

That means we're not going to see Gleyber Torres called up anytime soon. Especially when Starlin Castro is hitting .360/.402/.550, Chase Headley is batting .307/.402/.489, and Didi Gregorius is... well... healthy.

Nor are we going to see Clint Frazier wearing Yankee pinstripes, especially while Aaron Hicks is hitting .300/.419/.640, along with Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Jacoby Ellsbury being healthy.

The starting pitcher with the highest ERA on the team at the moment is Masahiro Tanaka, and he's not about to be demoted. CC Sabathia has the next highest ERA, and he's not getting demoted either. Luis Severino has had three nice starts book-ended by a couple of bad ones, but the team is clearly giving him plenty of rope, so I don't see him being demoted anytime soon. Michael Pineda has done a good job since the Rays roughed him up in his first start of the season, and even if he struggles I highly doubt he loses his rotation spot. And Jordan Montgomery has been solid at the back of the rotation. That means the only way we're going to see somebody like Chance Adams get an opportunity in the big leagues is if somebody gets injured.

This is not the face of somebody that wishes ill will on anybody.

I'm not saying the Yankees can't win if Torres, Frazier, and Adams were to be big leaguers. Hell, I don't believe Chase Headley is going to continue hitting like he has (he's actually hit .200 over the last 9 games), and if he falters then Gleyber could very well be a better option at third base.

I don't believe Aaron Hicks is a .300 hitter that will sock 25 home runs with regular playing time, either. Not to mention that I'd rather see Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury play for somebody else. And just one of those three current Yankee outfielders going down could mean seeing Clint get the call.

Oh, and I certainly don't believe Severino will give up 2 ER over 7+ innings like he did in back-to-back-to-back starts last month. Luis Cessa's future is not in the Yankees' starting rotation. And since the Yankees don't seem keen on Adam Warren being a starter, I'd guess that Chance Adams gets a start or two should something in the rotation change.

So unless injuries happen (sadly injuries keep hitting those that we definitely don't want them to, such as Gary Sanchez), and as long as the team is winning, they aren't going to shake things up. What we're seeing is your classic catch-22.

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