Resigning Brett Gardner Makes the 2019 Yankees Better

Resigning Brett Gardner Makes the 2019 Yankees Better

What do the following players from Yankee history, Bob Meusel, Tommy Henrich, Charlie Keller, Gene Woodling, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson and Paul O’Neill have in common? All were outfielders who, except for Jackson, were very good Yankee players, but not quite of Hall of Fame caliber. Reggie was a truly great player, but spent only five years in pinstripes. However, they have something else in common as well; they all played fewer games in the outfield for the Yankees than Brett Garnder has. Currently, Garnder has played the eighth most games in the outfield in Yankee history. If he plays 50 next years, he will pass Hank Bauer an move into 7th place on that list, one hundred more games patrolling left or center field will push him past Hall of Famer Earle Combs into sixth place. The next question is a little easier. What do Rickey Henderson and Derek Jeter have in common? They are the only two players who have stolen more bases with the Yankees than Gardner. 

Read More

A Plan for the 5th Rotation Spot

A Plan for the 5th Rotation Spot

2018 may be remembered as the first year that numerous teams experimented with the idea of using an “opener”, or a pitcher that matched up specifically with the first 3-5 hitters in the opposing team’s lineup prior to giving way to the rest of the bullpen. Teams utilized openers to varying degrees of success this year, prompting many in the baseball community to rethink the composition of the traditional pitching staff. In 2018, the Yankees did not employ an opener in any of their rotation spots. Despite this fact, the Yankees kept a minimum of 12-13 pitchers on the staff for most games this season. Most of that time, the 12th and 13th members of the pitching staff would go multiple days without being used, essentially wasting a roster spot as insurance for a blowout game. While the idea of an opener can be debated as a legitimate solution for off-season roster construction as opposed to a desperate decision for a flawed team, one idea that was not really explored last season was the idea of employing multiple multi-inning relievers to fill out a rotation spot. Most teams struggle to find even 3 or 4 legitimate starters to pitch 180-200 innings each year, which leaves 1-2 rotation spots to pitchers who probably cannot achieve acceptable statistics for a competitive team over the course of 150+ innings. Based on the available options on the Free Agent market, and the abundance of intriguing pitchers the Yankees have in the high minors, I think the Yankees would be well served to explore using tandem starters in the 5th rotation slot.

Read More