I have had so many comments I wanted to make, but once again being after the fact I want to make a few points.
1) I was told from one of our long time readers that when the Yankees lose he doesn’t like to even read the papers so he doesn’t like when I am negative. I said that I have to call them like I see them and I try to point out the positive too…It is what it is and when we are not playing well, so the comments are probably more negative.
2) Girardi’s poor job allowing the guys who were pitching well to not pitch more innings in tight games caused Betances to be the top guy in pitches thrown out of the bullpen. There was no reason on numerous occasions that Betances needed to pitch more than 1 inning (something he has been asked to do far too often).
3) Part of the above, Girardi has really done a disservice to Warren pulling him from the rotation when he was doing well and then not using him in leverage situations and then not leaving him when he was doing well. I hope this has not stunted his growth as I think he can be a very solid pitcher for us, but they need to allow him to settle into ONE role
4) Cashman has done a pretty good job. While I really disliked the Ellsbury signing (giving elite money for a good player is a bad idea) and I stated we didn’t address 2nd base, there are a lot of very promising things going on. The minor leagues are starting to produce major league talented players. We are seeing it from the pitchers (Betances, Severino and Warren were not traded) and the position players. Bird has done a very solid job filling in at 1st base (losing Tex is a huge blow though) even if I still haven’t seen him hit a fastball since I mentioned it. Bird’s defense at scooping was good, but he has struggled on bunts and plays where he needs to flip to someone covering. Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams both got hurt but both seem like legitimate major league OF’rs. I really liked the move to get Gregorius and his play has been fairly solid of late playing good defense and giving us some offense as well. In fact, since the All Star break, a period of 193 AB’s, he has an OPS of .786! His 7 walks during this time is too low, but it is fair to say he has been very good all-around player since the All Star Break.
5) Ellsbury – I am ticked at him; he needs to play better. I can’t expect him to be elite (like he is paid), but I expect him to be good and he simply hasn’t been. His OPS is .660! That is what I would expect from a minor leaguer being called up to help us when “Ellsbury” gets injured. He hasn’t even stolen bases well only gaining 2 extra bases (18 SB’s and caught 8 times…each CS takes away 1 SB). Now you know why I was so against the signing.
6) Beltran has cooled in September (.656 OPS) and needs some days off. Overall at .806 that is about right for him. He is huge for us with Tex out; he must be a factor.
7) Our 3rd base coach is a huge upgrade from Thompson…nothing else needs to be said here
8) I know ARod has been struggling, but as long as we give him a blow here and there, I think he is fine. Outside of him swinging at pitches that were so far out of the strike zone (something he had not done all year), his swing is fine. Once he gets the eye back again, he will swing pretty well for us (even if not the .897 OPS before the All Star break)
9) Losing Eovaldi hurts as it causes more pressure on everyone else and the bullpen. Further, he obviously was getting a lot of wins for us as well and that is hard to replace. His stuff has gotten better as the year has gone on (he was consistently throwing 100 and his change/splitter was vastly improved). BTW, another nice pickup by Cashman…(see I can be positive)
10) Shreve has been struggling a lot of late. He is really struggling with throwing his changeup for strikes and quality pitches. Teams have been just waiting on his fastball and doing damage. In 36 IP before the ASB he had allowed only 22 hits, 13 walks and 3 HRs. In the 20 IP since he has allowed 18 hits, 17 walks and 5 HR’s. He has not been good. 17 walks in 20 IP is awful. I like his stuff, but he needs to find his release point again as he can’t be trusted. Wilson has struggled of late as well, but I actually think he has been throwing better and has been a little unlucky…but still he hasn’t been good.
11) Stephen Drew - He has his batting average over .200, but more importantly he has had a reasonably, almost acceptable OPS of .710 since the All Star Break. But, his defense has taken a step backward. The other day when he just whiffed on a weak throw from Headley that would have taken us out of the inning and instead allowed Toronto to tie the game, was just as bad as the play earlier in the game when he whiffed on a routine DP ball and it went off his face (he was able to make the out at first at least). Still not a good spot for us, but as we move into the playoffs (we should still make the playoffs) maybe he can find a few big plays/hits for us?
12) The last comment I want to make was in the Toronto game where we were losing 6-0 and we came back to make it 6-4 and still had 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out. Chris Young was at the plate against a lefty and popped up and then Ellsbury failed again. This was a huge spot, but we still closed the game to 2 going into the 7th. Then Girardi let Capuano stay in the game to pitch the 7th! I had people over and exclaimed “WTF is Girardi doing? How can Capuano be allowed to pitch any high leverage situations? This is Toronto and we are coming back!” Fast forward to later that inning and Capuano is being pulled with the score 8-4 with 2 outs and 1st and 3rd. This was just idiotic and another one of the many blunders Girardi has made this year. His game management is not where it needs to be. He and Coughlin must discuss “strategy”