On the one hand, the Yankees are playing at or above expectations: 1st place, though in a weak division, but more importantly, .519 ball -- an 84-win pace. On the other hand, they sure do have a bunch of dead wood on the roster. Some may improve, some may not, but here's the ugly snapshot: over a quarter of those on the active roster (7 players) have negative WAR. That includes Chase Headley, whom I think nobody wants to give up on yet - but with a third of the season over, for some of these folks it's getting late to mumble "slow start" as an excuse. So I figured it's time for a quick "hate poll"! The poll is below a 1-2 sentence writeup of each option; feel free to pick more than one.... Carlos Beltran: Not as godawful as some others, but at age 38, with a negative WAR for over a year, with terrible fielding for five years, and with no room at DH (given A-Rod's hitting and the need to rest others there at times), maybe he's one of the most hopeless, in that it's hard to see a way he can contribute any value?
Chris Capuano: His 6.39 ERA is in just 2 starts, and comes with a 4.20 FIP that (A) is close to his 2014 and (b) reflects that his only bad peripheral is giving up 2 HR in 12.2 IP -- so it's not like he has the Beltran/Drew year-plus of stink. But he's never been more than mediocre and turns 37 in two months, so the question is: what if any use does he have with (a) four other bullpen lefties and (b) Bryan Mitchell basically ready to replace him as 8th starter, and even Luis Severino maybe soon ready to be a 9th starter? Is Capuano, at best, just good enough to be almost but not quite good enough for a big-league roster?
David Carpenter: In only 18 innings, the difference between his 4.91 ERA and a 3.93 is just two runs. But, boy is every peripheral bad: 1.5 HR/9 is awful if you want any non-blowout innings; 3.4 BB/9 is bad, not awful -- but it's awful for just 5.4 K/9, which in turn is disturbingly below his prior rate of 9.7 K/9. He's not the same guy he was in Atlanta, and this guy has no value, but - as with Jones - the question is: do you think he can get it back, or because righty relievers are so replaceable, should all his innings go to Chris Martin (who looks like a middling-solid righty), Jacob Lindgren (a bit wilder but he at least racks up the Ks), Rafael Soriano, or [Your Name Here]?
Stephen Drew: Like Beltran, he's (a) been awful both last year and this year, and (b) old (32 for a defense-first middle infielder is similar to 38 for a right fielder). Maybe he has some value as the defensive replacement and occasional lousy-hitting backup we thought Ryan would be - or is his .534 OPS for 2014-15 just too awful even for that?
Didi Gregorious: A tick less awful than Drew, but still awful, and at Didi's age, maybe a Scranton trip to improve his swing and erratic fielding? (I don't know whether he has options, but -- and this is for Carpenter too -- players without options can accept a demotion, if it's in lieu of bench-warming and doghouse life.)
Garrett Jones: His defense was always as bad as Beltran's at age 38; a bat-only guy can't run a .610 OPS. He's their only real backup 1B, but a 1B who can OPS in the .600s and field shouldn't be hard to find, so the question is: at 34, can he return to his 2013-14 unimpressive but solid low-.700s OPS?
Alex Rodriguez: Choose him if you are a judgmental tool somehow paid a full-time salary to write bar-room-conversation-level columns about how A-Rod is a cheater, and boy don't you long for the old days when real men like Mantle, Ruth, and Cobb showed the character and honest competition you want the kids to see?
Esmil Rogers: I have nothing to add to Twitterverse's well-detailed, well-justified hatred, except to channel my seven year-old in noting that if you mumble his name quickly, it sounds a little like He Smells Rotten.