Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tough Roster Decisions Loom

I've been tweeting about the lineup once this team gets back a few hitters currently on the Injured List, and the decisions to come. It doesn't look easy.

I'll start with the fact that Giancarlo Stanton has been hitting off a tee and may very well return by the end of this month. Then there's the reports that Miguel Andujar is feeling and looking good, and could also be back by the middle to end of next month. The timetable on Aaron Hicks return isn't clear, however he's been ramping up baseball activity lately.

Assuming those three are all back by the end of May this is what the lineup could look like...

1. Aaron Hicks CF
2. Aaron Judge RF
3. Giancarlo Stanton DH
4. Gary Sanchez C
5. Miguel Andujar 3B
6. Gleyber Torres SS
7. Clint Frazier LF
8. Luke Voit 1B
9. DJ LeMahieu 2B

And remember, that doesn't include the return of Didi Gregorius by mid-season. Well, that's not the problem. Here are a list of players to fill out the batting portion of the active roster...

Brett Gardner
Greg Bird
Austin Romine
Tyler Wade
Mike Tauchman
Troy Tulowitzki

Like it or not, Brett Gardner is not going anywhere. While he's not exciting, his ability to play anywhere in the outfield (most importantly in center) makes him valuable. And he's not a zero with the bat, either.

Austin Romine will be there too, as the team needs a backup catcher.

That leaves one more spot for a batter, as I don't see the Yankees going with only 12 pitchers. Nor should they as long as they keep relying on the bullpen to give them four to five innings every other game.

Now, you can take Tulo and Tauchman out of there. Tauchman is only around for depth, and he may be gone as soon as one of Stanton or Hicks returns, anyway. And Tulowitzki is making the league minimum, making it very easy to DFA him. Plus, with guys like Tyler Wade and Gio Urshela around, his loss doesn't hurt the team's infield depth.

So it comes down to really two guys... Greg Bird or Tyler Wade.

By the way, I'm not "married" to Luke Voit, but his power upside makes me want to keep him around. Sure, Bird may be the better defender, but his bat has not come around yet (one home run on Opening Day and no doubles). I'd like to see him stay healthy and start hitting in Scranton before taking Voit out of the lineup.

Honestly, if it just came down to the better offensive weapon I'd keep Bird around, but I can't ignore the fact that we'd be going without any backup infielder. He's not exactly tearing the cover off the ball, but the Yankees would have to keep Tyler Wade on the active roster at least until Didi returns.

So here it is...

1. Aaron Hicks# CF
2. Aaron Judge RF
3. Giancarlo Stanton DH
4. Gary Sanchez C
5. Miguel Andujar 3B
6. Gleyber Torres SS
7. Luke Voit 1B
8. Clint Frazier LF
9. DJ LeMahieu 2B

Austin Romine C
Brett Gardner* LF/CF
Tyler Wade* 2B/SS

*-left-handed hitter

Of course, this does assume that Clint Frazier continues to look impressive (besides in the field). I could see Boone giving Andujar some more rest than normal to ease him back into things, meaning we could see him not only get a full day off but DH some, too. That would help give Stanton some regular rest as well to make sure his bicep is okay. That's especially true if Boone wants another lefty bat in the lineup, meaning Wade goes to 2B and LeMahieu to 3B.

The biggest takeaway from this is that while the offense hasn't been killing it lately, when healthy they can be an absolute force.

Now if only they can get things straightened out on the run prevention side of things.


Yankees Off Day Walk-Up Music Recommendation: DJ LeMahieu

The Yankees are off today, so enjoy this walk-up music recommendation from the team. Every time DJ LeMahieu walks up to the plate inside Yankee Stadium the song "Ready" by Wide Awake blares through the speakers in the Bronx. Now it can also blare through your speakers this morning. Enjoy.

TGP Trivia and Fact of the Day for April 11th, 2019

Good morning Yankees family!

On April 11, 1912, the Yankees debuted their now famous pinstripes in what was their final home opener at Hilltop Park. It took until 1915 for the pinstripes to become a permanent part of their home uniforms, though.

And it took a little longer than I would have liked, but I am forever grateful that you, my Kari Ann, are my wife. My only regret is not finding you sooner so that I could spend even more years being yours. I love you.

This Day in New York Yankees History 4/11: Bob Sheppard Takes a Vacation Day

On this day in 2006 Bob Sheppard misses his first Yankee Stadium home opener since 1951 due to a hip injury he suffered the day before at his home. The injury wouldn't keep Sheppard out long as Bob was back for the next Yankees home stand behind the microphone.

Also on this day in 1954 the New York Yankees traded two minor league players with right handed pitcher Mel Wright to the St. Louis Cardinals for 38 year old right fielder Enos Slaughter. While Slaughter would head to the Hall of Fame when his playing career was done he would only hit .239 in 79 games for the Yankees. Bill Virdon, one of the prospects in the deal, would win the Rookie of the Year Award in St. Louis in 1956.