"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

It’s (Basically) Spring Again…

It might as well be anyway if you live in the Northeast.  The weather has been as changeable as a Coinstar machine, so why not start the festivities in mid-February? Well, I dunno about Florida’s weather, but it seems the Yanks are all in and ready to work… well, except for a couple of key IL entries like Frankie Montas and Nestor Cortes; no insignificant absences from the playing field to be sure.  Considering where the team has put themselves in regards to the tax threshold, one can’t really blame them for not following in their crosstown rivals and treating that line like a cigar smoke ring, especially since the talent/money ratio doesn’t really add up for now.

At any rate, I’m certain you all were waiting for a chance to discuss doings of yours and theirs, so have at it. The training wheels will come off sooner than we know, so enjoy the talk and let’s see where they walk…

Categories:  1: Featured  Chyll Will  Spring Training  Yankees

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1 RIYank   ~  Feb 21, 2023 4:46 am

Yeah, I dunno, it's snowing here in Rhode Island.
But okay, I'll bite!
I'm not too worried about Cortes, but Montas is a bummer.
And I'm intrigued by the new rules and looking forward to seeing them in action. When I play it through in my mind, the anti-shift rule seems preposterous, and I expect the Rays to hack the new rule. (Maybe that last thing is wishful thinking.)

2 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 21, 2023 2:56 pm

[1] I figure these rules are meant to make the game expedient as opposed to exciting (except perhaps the larger bases and the intended consequences of eliminating the shift). What bothers me the most is the lack of actual engagement with the fans on game matters that are important to them. Marketing players has slid down a long hole as neither the game nor in a lot of cases the players themselves seem interested in fan interaction or promoting the history and intricacies of the game.

Of course the way fans act and interact with each other, never mind the players, has changed a lot as well and it seems that they aren't likely going to meet in the same room anytime soon. The fans they want are on the internet. They themselves are very much not; they are stuck on TV and radio, which has proven itself to be a bother with blackouts for local fans and diminishing revenue for the broadcasters.

They have to figure out a way to appeal to fans they have AND the ones they are looking for by highlighting the things that make the game special and interesting, not as some oblique digital chess match with interchangeable figures. Nor should it be a prefab Lego theme that is unique to nobody.

Yeah, the weather here in lower NY is... okay? Pretty mild, can't make up it's mind if it wants to be unusually warm or freezing cold, and neither do people know whether it's appropriate to wear long johns or shorts...

3 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 23, 2023 7:21 am

Ben Rortvedt hurt again. Surgery. Out a month. I say he gets hurt again during rehab. He's taken the American Idle crown.
Will Montas ever throw another pitch in a Yankee uni? I wouldn't bet on it.
Great job, Cashy.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 23, 2023 10:43 am

[3] Dumb trade or signing that amounts to a season-long charley horse, that’s a Cashman specialty. You could have a full team with All-Stars and every position and he’ll stub his toe with a rotten bench player he’s infatuated with or an injury-prone pitcher who was counted on as a steady innings-eater. If that’s not bad enough, they’ll ride the bullpen to oblivion. But, they’ll win 90+ games and slip’n’ slide right into the playoffs as always, so nothing to see here >;)

Revisiting the last gamble before Montas:

- Josh Donaldson is still here and the team is counting on a bounce back from him (seeing as they can’t get any value whatsoever on a trade at this point), so unless another contending team has a catastrophic injury at 3rd and has room for all of his baggage, Mr. Sunshine will be manning the hot corner for the foreseeable future.

- Ben Rortvedt is not so much a player as he is a concept that needs to be workshopped a lot more. Whoever’s idea it was to focus on him as the antidote to Gary Sanchez… well, maybe that’s why Sabean and Minaya are here now?

- IKF, the pièce de résistance of that remarkable trade, is also still here (see: Josh Donaldson), though his days as a starter are likely as done as a Sears in Chicago.


Gio Urshela is no longer with Minnesota; traded to the Angels for a minor leaguer this off-season after a relatively decent season for him; he and Brandon Drury (remember him?) are the new super utility duo there (more Loggins & Messina than Hall & Oates); that was the player we missed the most in this trade and despite the defensive upgrade, we’d have probably rooted much harder for last season’s team if he were the starter at 3rd…

- Gary Sanchez… is playing in the WBC, but not for any MLB team. He had a (now itypically) rotten year for Minnesota after getting off to a decent start and they cut bait. NO team has interest in him? Not even the Mets?? It has been posited that he could look to resign with the Yanks on a minor league deal, but do you really think anyone involved would care for that to occur? The Yanks are counting on Treviño and Kyle as it is; hoping that Jose can at least maintain the surprising amount of production he provided while also maintain his mantle as the King of pitch Framers, not to mention the pitchers love pitching to him, or at any rate Anyone But GS. He’s got a huge stigma to overcome apparently (as opposed to Josh Donaldson???) and he might be better off working that out in the Pacific Rim or the Latin independent leagues before making another run at MLB, but I actually would not be surprised if he did take a minor league deal somewhere (even here) to remain close by until someone gets desperate. To be sure, he’s no longer in the plans here as the Yanks have a couple of rising prospects they’d rather focus on, but again with two new sets of eyes in the front office, don’t be surprised if he shows anything promising during the WBC that we start hearing his name again.

So, all that being said, Yankees scratched out a win on this trade, but mainly by default. If the two remaining direct active pieces show even a modicum of improvement, then you have to give Cashman some credit. Right now, it stands as a “Meh” with footnotes…

5 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 23, 2023 1:52 pm

I will say this though, although his misses stand out for obvious reasons, his hits have also been standouts that are widely admired throughout the league. Plucking Gio Urshela from the scrap heap to begin with was a great move, and likely moving on from him when they did will turn out to be for the better in the long run. Then of course there's Jose Trevino; no one was expecting what they got offensively from him, and his play behind the plate stabilized the rotation and the bullpen for the most part (which was expected).

Harrison Bader? Most of us wanted to kill Cashman on this deal because he essentially hamstrung the rotation by trading Jordan Montgomery, who at the time was putting together a run and helped St. Louis immediately when he landed, while Bader was on the IL with a foot injury. Who knew what you were going to get under those circumstances? Well, you saw what happened; when Bader finally came in an played, he was an instant star while Montgomery faded down the stretch. Good for Cashman for making good on that deal, which as far as I know is not complete because they still get to choose a PTBNL.

Of course, the downside of that trade was it created the void where they ended up trading again for Frankie Montas, so that was the dark side of Cashman's trade acumen rear it's ugly head again. Like most, I would have not traded Waldichuk and Sears that easily given their potential and what they already proved in the minors. However, if the lesson in all this is to be patient, then we should be patient for Montas to recover and see if he returns to pre-trade form.

I am rather critical of Cashman for real, but I'll give him credit where credit is due. He's succeeded and failed and succeeded in one place where others have succeeded and failed and such in several in the same amount of time. Though he's never been moved out of the organization he began with, he's never jumped ship either. At any rate, the Yankees have always been contender during that run, so it'll be world-wide news when they fall out of it.

6 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2023 8:11 am

Ugh... I'll say it first, umpires are going to feature in a lot of game outcomes this year. It'll be all fun and games until somebody loses a playoff series (or even a chance at the playoffs)... well, they have a month to work it out, but I anticipate some unintended horror across the board this season. Maybe next year everyone will be all in (at least they're trying).

7 rbj   ~  Feb 26, 2023 1:37 pm

Second inning of game two and I’ve seen two steal attempts. Both were thrown out. So the bigger bases may not be such a boost to the offense

8 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2023 2:17 pm

[7] How are you watching?

9 rbj   ~  Feb 26, 2023 4:13 pm

MLBN. It’s the Toronto feed.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 28, 2023 10:20 pm

Psst... Dodgers need a backup shortstop now that Gavin Lux is on the IL and with Miguel Rojas working his way back from injury... think Cashman can get a box lunch or a PTBNL for IKF?

11 RIYank   ~  Mar 4, 2023 7:16 am

Pitch clock? Wandy laughs at your pathetic pitch clock.


12 rbj   ~  Mar 4, 2023 9:08 am

[11] saw that. The days of Al Hrabosky are over.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver