Tuesday, July 16, 2013

2014 Yankees = 2013 Astros?

Catcher Jason Castro is the lone representative of the team with the worst record in Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros.

"I don't want your sympathy."

A catcher hitting .269/.331/.475, with 12 home runs by the All Star break, is not bad at all. Heck, those are Hall of Fame numbers compared to what Yankee catchers have done this season (.228/.299/.320 with 6 HR). And I like that Castro is unfazed by the fact his inclusion in the All Star game may only be thanks to the rule stating that at least one player from every team must be selected.
"I'm grateful to be here," the modest 26-year-old said. "I haven't even thought about the fact that I'm the only one."
But Jason and Astros fans shouldn't fool themselves. The Houston catcher is third in the American League in wOBA and wRC+. His homer total is tied for 2nd among AL catchers, behind leader JP Arencibia (16) and tied with Matt Wieters. Not that I think Arencibia or Wieters deserved the All Star nod over Castro, but Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana probably should have made the team instead of him.

I'm not writing to dump all over Jason Castro, though. He's a young kid that has a nice future ahead of him, and I wish him the best of luck (it helps doing so when he plays for a team that likely won't ever challenge the Yankees). However, this news got me thinking about the fact that there are only two Yankees on the AL All Star roster... Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera.

Don't get me wrong, both of those players absolutely deserve to be a part of tonight's game. Cano leads all AL second baseman in wOBA, bWAR, home runs, and RBI. While Rivera is... well... Rivera. But what happens next season? Mo is going to *sob* retire, and Robbie could sign with another team when he likely becomes a free agent, at the end of this season. That could mean that a player for the Yankees could find themselves in the same position that Jason Castro is in this year... wondering if he would have even made the All Star game if not for that "every team must be represented" rule.

I don't see that happening, as I feel very strongly that Cano is going to re-sign with New York, and will continue to be the best second baseman in the American League (actually, I think he's the best two-bagger in MLB). I also believe, although not as strongly as I feel about Robinson returning to the Bombers, that the Yankees will acquire a player that will be worthy of an All Star selection in 2014. Beyond that, CC Sabathia could really settle in and return to his ace-like ways, Hiroki Kuroda could return and continue pitching incredibly well, and Derek Jeter may be an All Star as 2014 could be his final season (his contract expires after next season, assuming Derek exercises his Player Option).

It just makes me shudder to think of how close the Yankees are to being on the same level as the Houston Astros.


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