Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Will The Real 2019 Yankees Please Stand Up?

The main takeaway from the first five games of the season is that we have not seen the real 2019 Yankees, just like we've not see the real 2019 Red Sox or Astros. 

DJ LeMahieu is not going to have an OPS+ of 258 for the entire season. Troy Tulowitski will not have an OPS+ of 167 much longer, either. On the flip side, Brett Gardner will not have an OPS+ of 46 nor will Gleyber Torres have an OPS+ of 72. Then there's the run prevention side of things, as Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton will probably not be as dominant as we've seen, while J.A. Happ will be better than his first start showed us. 

Furthermore, this simply isn't the New York Yankees we should expect to see for most of this season. 

Sure, we knew Didi Gregorius was going to be out until June or maybe later, but the current Yankees are going without one of their biggest power threats in Giancarlo Stanton, will possibly be without another big offensive threat in Miguel Andujar for the entire season, and their star centerfielder and leadoff hitter Aaron Hicks has been sidelined for a month. And that's just on offense, as pitching-wise they are without ace Luis Severino and star set-up reliever Dellin Betances.

While I believe starting all three of your current bench players at the same time is unnecessary, the lineup we saw last night is most likely not even close to the regular lineup we will see for the vast majority of this season. So I, for one, am not going to read too much into the very first week of the season.

A few other notes from what I've seen so far...
  • Adam Ottavino may not have an ERA of 0.00 all season, but if you look past the stats you'll see that he is indeed filthy. His ball moves all over the place. I'm glad I'm not catching him (everyone else is too).
  • Some fans will not be happy until Mike Trout is the 4th outfielder. The fact that many fans believe the Yankees were idiots to pass on Machado and Harper based solely on the injuries to Stanton and Andujar is beyond stupid. You don't sign guys to $300 million deals for depth reasons, you sign them simply because they're great and you need that greatness. Oh, and for the record, I don't think the Yankees needed that greatness.
  • After his first start Domingo German has my undivided attention. Paul O'Neil mentioned that on cold days the ball is slippery, which may have factored into German being a little wild (particularly with his fastball). If he can lean some control we could have a top of the rotation starter here.
  • Whether Clint Frazier turns into the player many have believed he can be or not, I don't think he'll be a New York Yankee all season. If he reaches his potentional, or at least looks like a regular, I believe he'll be traded. If Clint fails then he'll be sent back to AAA to try and find himself once again. I just don't see how he fits on a team with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Brett Gardner. Plus, I'd like to see Mike Tauchman get an opportunity should the team need him again, as I wonder if he's the next "Luke Voit".
We've been through just five of 162 games (hopefully more), and I have a strong feeling that the best is yet to come. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)