Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Preparing For 2014

"So you're telling me there's a chance."

Although the Yankees haven't been mathematically eliminated from the postseason, their chances of playing beyond this Sunday might as well be 0% rather than .1% (according to ESPN.com). It's hard to believe that I'm advocating looking towards next season, as I've ridiculed fans of so many other sports teams that way, but I'm going to do so anyway.

Looking at the numbers, I don't understand why some players have gotten as much playing time as they have recently. Due to them either being veterans, or having no other good options, I can understand why Girardi has put them in the lineup a lot of the time this season. But at this point forward it makes no sense. Which is why I believe the Yankees should do the following...

  1. Chris Stewart should not step foot onto the field. Although Austin Romine has been far from great in 2013, we shouldn't give up on him. In 67 plate appearances between July and August, Romine hit .316/.394/.474. Meanwhile, JR Murphy has only had 13 plate appearances in MLB, after batting .270/.342/.430 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. I believe JR should start next season in AAA, while Romine gets more experience as the backup in 2014, but the team might as well give them some more experience in the Majors.
  2. Expanding on something else I said earlier, Suzuki and Wells should see a lot more time on the bench for the rest of the season than they do the field. Zoilo Almonte should start in the outfield from here on out, giving the team an idea for what they can do with the roster next season. Zoilo may not be the .303/.351/.485 hitter we saw in June, but his fielding ability along with switch-hitting could be very useful to the 2014 Yankees. Meanwhile, you can make arguments that neither Ichiro nor Vernon should even by on the team next year... despite the fact they are under contract.
  3. Dellin Betances  should pitch as much as possible out of the bullpen. That means if Girardi wants to take a starter out before the 8th inning, then he should turn to Dellin. He sure as hell shouldn't call upon Joba Chamberlain. Not because Joba stinks, but because Joba will be wearing a different uniform next season (maybe not even a baseball uniform), while Betances could play an important role out of the bullpen. Heck, Dellin could prove to be a fine set-up man for David Robertson. 
  4. Why start Phil Hughes this weekend? I understand that with Sabathia out the rest of the year we have a hole in the rotation, but why not fill that with somebody who has a future with the Yankees? Say, Adam Warren? Adam wasn't lights out during his time in AAA in 2011 and 2012, but his sub-4.00 ERA there, along with a sub-4.00 ERA in MLB this season, should be more than good enough to be given more than one start in MLB. With the Yankees possibly needing to fill three of their rotation spots next season, it doesn't make sense not to give Adam a start.
As much as I hate being in this position, I really don't want to be thinking this way a year from today.

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