Who are these imposter New York Yankees? And why is the vaunted rollcall from the bleachers almost muted? It’s no secret, meet the 2019 Bombers…
Brett Gardner is no longer Brett Gardner. James Paxton is looking like a left-handed Sonny Gray. Aaron Hicks is not the fastest healer in baseball. Clint Frazier is not Giancarlo Stanton, but he gets an A for effort. Aaron Judge is not Charles Atlas, and the more he presses to hold his team up the worse it gets.
Dellin Betances is a product of overwork, and so is Aroldis Chapman dating all the way back to the butchering he received at the hands of the Chicago Cubs in the final two months of their Championship Season in 2016. Tyler Wade is Tyler Wade and that’s why he didn’t make the team to open the season.
Luke Voit is not coming back to earth from last year’s season wind-up, he’s just trying to hit a five-run home run on every at-bat. Greg Bird, ironically the healthiest Yankee, should be ashamed to put on the Yankees uniform, and Brian Cashman is asleep at the wheel for not trading him.
Zach Britton isn’t fooling anyone and Chad Green, surprisingly, seems only to be fooling himself. Aaron Boone has his hands full just giving injury updates to the media every day, and Marcus Thames, his Hitting Coach, clearly is not getting through with his message to hit the other way and take smart at-bats always.
DJ LeMahieu is looking like the professional hitter he always has been, and at the moment is the Yankees Most Valuable Player. Quietly, Masahiro Tanaka has inherited the role as ace of the starting staff, continuing to pitch effectively and consistently when the Yankees need it most.
J.A Happ is not helping his team, and he’s beginning to look like this year’s whipping boy by fans and the media. Duly merited, so far. Gleyber Torres remains a breath of fresh air, continuing to develop physically with an increase in power, as well as mentally with increasing ability to slow the game down.
Larry Rothschild, the Rip Van Winkle of pitching coaches, may or may not have had an original idea in the last decade, but if he has one now would be a good time to let it be known. CC Sabathia is earnest in his attempt to give it one last try if only he can keep his pitch count down to make it through six innings.
Luis Severino may be built like a workhorse, but the innings have piled up over the years and arm woes were inevitable. His second-half performance of the last two seasons should have been portended by the Yankees.
With the exception of Estevan Florial, there is no one remaining at the top levels of the Yankees farm system who is worthy of a call-up – and Florial himself is injured and unable to play. Jonathan Loaisiga will be bounced up and down as needed, but it’s clear his command is not where it needs to be facing major league hitters.
Gary Sanchez is on the Injured List with a balky calf. For overs and unders on how many games Sanchez will play at 130 – take the unders. But, at the same time credit Sanchez with 30 home runs and a batting average just over the Mendoza Line (.200). The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
These are the New York Yankees as of April 13, 2019. Not a pretty picture, is it? Losing to the Orioles, Tigers, and White Sox haven’t been pretty either, so expect the two-game midweek series with the Red Sox to be hyped and oversold as a means for the Yankees to save face for what has been a horrible start to the season.
Rock bottom? Who knows? What we do know, though, is the lowly teams the Yankees have been playing don’t seem impressed at all by the Bombers and the imposters wearing Pinstripes. Who would have thought…
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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