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About the Off-Day: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Day: Meanderings of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

September 18, 2023


The Yankees had an off-day yesterday, after a very successful road trip during which they went 5-2. They are 76-74 after 150 games and have a dozen games left to finish out the season. Tonight, they start their final six game homestand of the season. The off-season will begin for the Yankees on October 1st after they play the Royals in Kansas City. Because the Yankees were off yesterday, this is again the perfect time to discuss multiple topics.

  • Austin Wells came up to the Majors with questions about his catching ability, but he has been a pleasant surprise defensively. He seems to communicate very well with the pitchers and takes pride in his ability to call games. His offense has been picking up a bit lately and hopefully, he will continue to make strides in that area. Considering the other three candidates at catcher for the Yankees, Wells should be able to make the team and catch regularly next season. Jose Trevino should be back from his injury and will probably share time with Wells. Kyle Higashioka's days as a Yankee may be numbered. He will be 34 years old next year and could easily go somewhere else. Ben Rortvedt could stay in the minor leagues as insurance.

  • Jasson Dominguez will have elbow surgery tomorrow. Shortly afterward, he and the Yankees should be able to develop a rough timetable for his recovery. However, it will be exactly that, a rough timetable. It will not be carved in stone, and his actual recovery time may be longer or shorter than what is estimated. The important thing to know is that he will be coming back at some point in 2024. He made quite an impression in those eight games he played. In addition to the physical ability, there seems to be a maturity and focus well beyond his 20 years.

  • Many Yankees' fans are torn about what to do with Gleyber Torres. He will be 27 years old in December. He is still relatively young but has now emerged as a very solid Major League second baseman. He does have some defensive lapses occasionally, and base running is not his best thing, particularly when it comes to decisions. However, when you consider the other options for the position, he looks even better. If the Yankees are committed to Anthony Volpe at shortstop and Oswald Peraza at third base, keeping Torres at second will give them a young infield, with the exception of either Rizzo or LeMahieu at first base. They also have a left-handed hitting catcher/first baseman named Ben Rice in AA, who may arrive in the Majors fairly soon.

  • One of the biggest moves the Yankees could make this off-season would be to rid themselves of Giancarlo Stanton's contract, if they can. While it is true, he does have 400 career home runs and is a former MVP, he is extremely streaky, injury-prone, and disappears for long stretches of time offensively. Besides, the team is looking to become more athletic and younger. Aaron Judge is still the star of the team and will be for the foreseeable future. Keeping a few veterans who can blend well with the youngsters is ideal. Having Stanton on this team is like playing the old game from the Imus in the Morning Show, "Which doesn't belong and why?"

  • It is quite possible that John Sterling will broadcast his last game of this season on Sunday. I don't imagine he will be going to Toronto and Kansas City to wrap up a season that will not include the playoffs. This has been a rough season for him. Not only was he hit with a foul ball by Justin Turner, it seems that every other day, they are playing footage of the incident on broadcasts or other programs. Hopefully when he returns to the booth next year in a suit of armor, he will find a retooled Yankees' team that will allow him to broadcast well into October.

  • Many fans seem resigned to the notion that Aaron Boone will be given another year as manager. Remember, we were all shocked when they let Joe Girardi go and he had actually won a World Series during his tenure. I think it is time for a change and the youth movement is only part of it. I could definitely see Don Mattingly as the manager of this team next year. Sean Casey could certainly remain as hitting coach, and perhaps Shelley Duncan could have a role of some kind as well. It is time to move on from Boone. It's not just because of this year, either. He has won nothing in 6 years.

  • Brian Cashman is a different story. He is not going anywhere. Just consider this: Brian Cashman was recently in Japan with Omar Minaya to watch 25-year-old Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who pitched a no-hitter while they were in attendance. Hal Steinbrenner would not send Brian Cashman to Japan to scout a pitcher he is considering making a major investment in if Cashman is not going to remain the general manager. If you're getting a divorce, you don't have your spouse go out and pick out new furniture for the house.

  • It seems as if the Yankees are very serious about Yamamoto, which would probably be a very good investment. Hopefully, it mirrors their success with Masahiro Tanaka. Imagine a healthy rotation of Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, Yamamoto, and either Clarke Schmidt or Michael King. That would be an impressive group.

  • The other major free agent acquisition I would like to see the Yankees make is Cody Bellinger. He rebuilt his career this year after injuries and a couple of down seasons. He is only 28 years old, and hits for power and average. He is an excellent fielder and can play the outfield or first base. The Yankees need a more balanced lineup, and he would help in that regard. Having him in the fold would give a little more time for Jasson Dominguez to make a complete recovery. It is conceivable that next season, the Yankees could have, at some point, a lineup with Wells at catcher, Rizzo at first, Bellinger in leftfield, and Dominguez in centerfield, all hitting lefty. That's how the Yankees used to build their teams.

  • I think it is great that the Yankees are giving playing time to their youngsters. I'm very encouraged by what I have seen so far. However, we will still need to be patient next year as they develop. It will be very early in the careers of most of these players. That is why it will be important to have the team anchored by a solid, veteran starting rotation. It will provide stability and a base around which the young offensive players can grow and improve.

  • Another area where the Yankees could retool in free agency is the bullpen. Although remember, Scott Effross will be returning from Tommy John surgery and could play a key role.

  • This was a disappointing season for the Yankees as they did not make the playoffs but, if they emerge from this season and head into next year with a young core of players at catcher, shortstop, third base, and centerfield, that will make this year much less of a disappointment.

  • Although Jasson Dominguez only played eight games for the Yankees this season, it is hard not to get excited about his future with the team. He has a blend of speed, power, and intensity that makes him almost a must-watch. Consider those eight games that we saw this season as a sneak preview for what we could be seeing regularly for the next 15 or so years. Now, there are no guarantees but, we can certainly hope, and his performance encouraged hope.

  • On September 19th, I am a lot more encouraged about the 2024 Yankees than I was on August 19th. The only thing that could rain on my parade would be an announcement that Aaron Boone is returning for next season. Again, I don't enjoy rooting for someone to be fired but, I never thought he should have been hired in the first place. The Yankees need to engage in the ultimate act of Boone-proofing. They need to remove him from the dugout and move on. He can return to broadcasting. He could be the third person in the booth with John and Suzyn. At the very least, he probably has quicker reflexes than John and could catch any foul balls that are headed his way.

  • Hopefully, Gerrit Cole has two more excellent starts and wraps up his first Cy Young Award. There is just something about the notion of Sonny Gray winning that award, or any award really, that just makes my head spin.

  • Here's a fun question that I would like as many people as possible to answer in the comments. If you were going to buy a Yankees' jersey of one of the young players right now that you think you would be wearing five years from now proudly, whose would it be? I will pick Jasson Dominguez.

4 Kommentare

19. Sept. 2023

Interesting musings..... I'm not sure about your take on SP next year... so other than Cole and so far Schmidt hoping the rest of the pitchers can remain healthy is a big ask imo.... Bellinger will get a big contract in $$$ and years so unless Yankees are totally committed to him I think he will sign elsewhere UNLESS they can unload Stanton. The other unknown is Torres.... his value is high and I could easily see him starting 2024 in Bronx and then being traded at the deadline next year. Should be interesting off season!

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19. Sept. 2023

What doesn't belong and why? Hilarious sketch from the old days of WFAN. Shirt wise, I'd grab a Spencer Jones.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
19. Sept. 2023

I don't want Bellinger. Why? Someone will offer him a 5 or 6 year, if not more years. One bounce back year, doesn't get me to buy all in. Plus in the minors are Spencer Jones (very well could be in AAA by next year's ASB), and some of theses top infield prospects will be moved to the OF.

As long as Cashman has total control over the dugout, like he has had since he fired Girardi, Mattingly will not be the manager here if he wants to keep his dignity and self-respect. Plus, Mattingly could go off script and both the fans & media will back Cap, over Cashman, and what could Cashman do then? Nothing! Unless Cashman's cont…

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19. Sept. 2023
Antwort an

With Wells looking so impressive at catcher, I think Bellinger in CF short term lets us transition him to LF until another kid pushes him to 1B. The key to the whole offseason will be Stanton - can we dump him, and what collateral damage will that entail. (I.e., who will we have to ship with him and/or who do we take back for him.) That will form the basis for many decisions.

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