Yankees: Final Analysis Logic Says Keep Tauchman And Let Bruce Go

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees Outfielder

The Yankees are keeping us guessing, but tomorrow it all ends. More and more, it’s looking like Tauchman is the keeper, and logic says so.

By this time tomorrow, the Yankees will be running down the clock on deciding who stays and who goes between veteran Jay Bruce and defensive whiz Mike Tauchman.

A prior plan that the Yankees discussed included keeping both players by sending Tyler Wade down, at least for the first month of the season, to see how things shake out between Bruce and Tauchman.

But it appears the Yankees fret about using Gio Urshela‘s health and ability to play shortstop as a backup to Gleyber Torres, despite Wade’s continuing struggles with the bat.

Yankees: Who’s The Fairest Of Them All

As we know, sentiment has no place in baseball. Therefore any attempt by a veteran with pedigree talent and performance as a proven slugger, plus the temptation of watching him have four at-bats with the short porch in right looming as a target, is not enough to place him ahead of Mike Tauchman.

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Jay Bruce, Lefty slugger looking for a shot at the short porch at Yankee Stadium

Even the lure of having Jay Brucea player’s player in the Yankees clubhouse, is not enough to turn the tide against Mike Tauchman, who can play all three outfield positions as opposed to Bruce, who is limited (at best) to playing only the corners and a bit of first base.

By no means are the Yankees averse to signing veterans to round out their roster.

Both Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, who George Steinbrenner brought in what was largely seen as an “intervention” to save their career, both had their contributing moments with the Yankees.

Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui also found their way to the Yankees, as did Chris Chambliss, Jose Canseco, and Alfonso Soriano, on the rebound in the latter stage of his career.

But for the Yankees, this is a decision about today and the best 26 they can put on the field for Opening Day April 1 against those manacing Toronto Blue Jays.

Yankees Molding A Roster For Today

Later, at the trade deadline and beyond, it will allow the Yankees to add that one role player and bench piece to put them over the top – like a Jay Bruce.

And so it is that the Yankees will likely not offer a contract to Jay Bruce, freeing him to accept what is probably going to be several calls from teams looking for his services – now!

Aaron Boone, Yankees Manager (Photo: New York Post)
Aaron Boone, Yankees Manager (Photo: New York Post)

Notably, The Chicago White Sox, who are fresh off the loss of their premier left fielder Eloy Jimenez for the next five to six months, stands as a welcome landing for Bruce.

Another lasting thought among the Yankees brass is the realization that Mike Tauchman is out of options and subject to working out a trade (which reportedly they did try receiving interest). Chances are the Yankees would lose him to another team if cut from their roster now.

With or without Tauchman and/or Bruce, the Yankees have a plethora of outfielders on their roster.

A slew of them – Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Tauchman, and Brett Gardner figure to be used by Aaron Boone periodically in his daily choice as the DH – and that’s not forgetting Gary Sanchez and the timeframe when Boone will finally surrender to the number of pitches reaching the backstop.

Are The Yankees A Balanced Team

Are the Yankees (then) a balanced team, both offensively and defensively?

The answer the Yankees are banking on, of course, is no – but who cares (they figure)
as long as they have a lineup that’s going to lead the league in runs scored again and a pitching staff that will keep opponents at bay, enough at least to rack the wins – pretty or not.

So, in the scope of things then, the Yankees’ take on Bruce or Tauchman is not of consequence either way, even though it has been good fodder for the attention of New York media here and elsewhere.

Why Is Tyler Wade A Fixture On This Team?

There is still a salient point that needs to be heard, though. Aaron Boone‘s fixation on Tyler Wade has to do with the Yankees’ “go-to” guy off the bench.

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Tyler Wade – Aaron Boone’s Golden Boy?

A .190 career hitter after four years in the major leagues, Tyler Wade (right) has to be reckoned with.

Despite pleas from the bottom of his soul, as seen in this article from Sports Illustrated, there would seem to come a time when Brian Cashman should (and would) be able to find his replacement, without making it an affront to Boone.

That aside, I will be stunned to find tomorrow or sooner than that the Yankees have kept Jay Bruce on while letting (for all practical purposes) Mike Tauchman go.

It sure would have been nice to have a player and person like Jay Bruce around for a bit longer in the Yankee pinstripes…

Here’s A Thoughtful Comment From A Reader

Good article, Steve.

I cannot imagine the Yankees letting someone as valuable as Tauchman go without some significant compensation in return.  Potential bat, position versatility, elite defense, etc…..

Here’s a thought…

I would suggest that, with the current thinking of most teams (ie: 13 pitchers), taking another look at the size of the active roster would be in order.  A bench of 4, one of whom is the second-string catcher, is simply too limiting.  Back in the day, pitchers went longer into the game, thus reducing the need for so many in the bullpen which resulted in more bench options.  A complete game today is beyond a rarity. Think Whitey and Arroyo…..

In order to accommodate this shift in thinking, perhaps MLB can keep the daily roster at 26,  but allow for a taxi squad of 3-4 players who can be moved in and out each day without concerns for options.  I think this would allow for interesting matchups, more worthy players on the Major league team, and allow for rest as needed without having to put a player on the DL.

Of course, MLBPA would be all in favor of this while the owners would plead poverty, so it will never happen…..but is the idea worthy of consideration?

Paul Pickhardt

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.