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  • Tim Kabel

About The Off-Day: Odds and Ends

By Tim Kabel

June 16, 2023

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The Yankees had yesterday off. They are currently in third place in the American League East, 9 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay. They are in the third wild card position. They have played 69 games this season, and are closing in on the midway point of the season. This is a good time to reflect on multiple topics regarding the team.

  • Josh Donaldson Is holding steady at six hits this season. He is batting.130. Yes, he does have five home runs in just 15 games but, it seems that he just ran into a a few mistakes by the pitchers. He is like a worn-out old boxer whose only hope is to get lucky with a big punch. I think he will be off the roster before the end of the season.

  • Soon, we should be hearing about potential acquisitions at the trade deadline. I certainly hope we don't have a repeat performance of the Frankie Montas deal. The Yankees need to be very realistic in considering what deals, if any to make.

  • Aaron Hicks had reached base safely in all 12 games he played with the Orioles, until today. He is batting .245. Before you start calling me a hypocrite, give me a minute. I definitely feel that Hicks needed to be jettisoned from the Yankees. His skills had eroded dramatically, and he appeared to be a malingering malcontent. However, the Orioles' coaching staff managed to fix his swing in about 15 seconds. He is much more productive with them than he was with the Yankees. That makes you scratch your head.

  • As I have written many times, I am a big fan of Oswaldo Cabrera. However, as soon as Harrison Bader is reinstated, I believe Oswaldo should go to the minors and play every day. He needs to regain his confidence and find his swing. Playing every once in a while for the Yankees is not going to help him. That's the tooth.

  • Matt Krook is back on the Major League team, for the second time this season. He has yet to appear in a game. He has not pitched to even one batter. What is the point of having him here if the manager won't use him?

  • I was happy to read and hear that Hal Steinbrenner said Anthony Volpe is here to stay. I think the Yankees should let him develop and mature as the starting shortstop in New York.

  • Talking about Volpe, it was nice to see him get a couple of hits on Tuesday night and another one on Wednesday. Apparently, he made a tweak to his swing. This was done after he spent time with his old teammate from the minors, the Yankees' #2 prospect, Austin Wells. They were watching video of Volpe hitting last year, as compared to this year, and they both noticed that he had a more closed stance last year. He began making that adjustment on Tuesday. I think this is wonderful. It shows that Volpe it's very serious and dedicated to doing as well as he can. It also shows that Wells is a very good teammate and student of the game. However, it does raise a concern. The Yankees have three, not one, but three hitting coaches on the Major League team. They also have a manager who seems to think he was Ty Cobb when he played. None of these people noticed what Volpe himself, a 22 year old kid, and Wells, another youngster who hasn't been in the Majors yet, saw instantly. When you consider that, as well as the improved play of Aaron Hicks in Baltimore, you have to start wondering about the coaching on the Major League level with the Yankees.

  • Estevan Florial is hitting.312 with 17 home runs, 43 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in Scranton Wilkes-Barre. I think he deserves a shot at the Major League level but, if Aaron Boone won't play him regularly and give him a legitimate chance, there is no point to it.

  • Oswald Peraza has cooled off a bit, but he is still hitting close to .300 in Scranton with 10 home runs. He could certainly help at the Major League level. Again, he would need to play every day, either at third base or second base and with Aaron Boone in charge, that wouldn't happen.

  • Clint Frazier seems to be getting a chance with the Chicago White Sox.

  • When you examine the improvement of Hicks in Baltimore, the failure of the Yankees coaching staff to diagnose Volpe's hitting problem, the success that Peraza and Florial are having in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, and Oswaldo Cabrera's inconsistent playing time and failure to thrive, it is not a Gold Star for Aaron Boone and his coaching staff. As I have written many times, Boone does not seem to be capable of developing young talent.

  • Right now, the Yankees would barely make the playoffs. If that does not improve, I find it hard to believe that Boone will be back next year. In many organizations, he would not even make it until the end of this season.

  • Gleyber Torres has been more consistent offensively this year than he has in years past but his defensive lapses and what could be characterized as occasional lack of effort, make me wonder whether he will be traded by July. Oswald Peraza could certainly take his spot at the Major League level.

  • It is amazing that Anthony Volpe and Austin Wells were able to note the flaw in Volpe's swing over a plate of chicken parm and pasta. Compare that to the comments Boone makes about his hitters. He said he was encouraged because Anthony Rizzo looked good in batting practice the other day.

  • In the second game against the Mets on Wednesday night, Boone took Billy McKinney out of the game and left Jake Bauers in the game, despite the fact that McKinney is a much better fielder. It came back to bite him in the 10th inning. Boone seems to get bitten more than a shirtless man standing in a swamp during mosquito season.

  • Carlos Rodon seems to be making progress and may be pitching for the Yankees relatively soon. That would be a tremendous help.

  • The Yankees have 22 games before the All-Star break. At that point, we will have a much better view of how the season is shaping up and whether the Yankees should be trying to add pieces through trades. I predict that they will be on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go heading into the All-Star break.

8 Comments


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Jun 16, 2023

Florial has an insane 1.053 OPS at SWB. He also has 71 K's in 199 ABs (37%) and 237 PAs (30%). You'd have to DFA someone to bring him up (he's not on the 40-man roster), and with Bader coming back, I don't know where he slots in. Is he better than Bauers (.762 OPS at ML level this year in 104 PAs) or McKinney (960 OPS at ML level this year in 25 PAs) as a lefty OF? I'm not prepared to DFA Bauers or McKinney to find out.


As of 3:15 pm, I don't see Bader activated or someone (Cabrera?) being sent down. Anyone have better info?

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jjw49
Jun 16, 2023

Nice overview…..Regarding Hicks I think he needed a mental reset and a change of scenery so that might have more to do with it than the coaches. Everybody passed on Florial and if he gets called up Boone still won’t play him other than as a late inning defensive replacement. Cashman and Hal like Boone…. so he’s the manager for the rest of his contract…. it’s Boonie or Bust!

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jjw49
Jun 16, 2023
Replying to

Simply put you have defined Boones’s career as Yankee Manager.

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sbarbeau
Jun 16, 2023

When I read all the commentary and comments (most of which I concur with), doesn't it all flow back to the GM?

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jun 16, 2023
Replying to

Yes, in a way. The GM and the owner built a team lacking in many areas. And it was the GM who hired and re-hired the manager.


But, the day-to-day work is the manager's. The coaches report to him. It is his responsibility to set the agenda, the methods, the procedures, the approach, etc...

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Jun 16, 2023

First off, this is not a Boone coaching staff. Please name one coach that is squarely a Boone pick? There isn't any. Rojas was brought in for an interview then told Boone to meet with him. Harkey? Been here since 2008. Blake? Was more picked by Sam Briend. And look at how Gil, Brito, Vasquez, & Deivi have done in AAA.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jun 16, 2023
Replying to

I'll disagree Alan.


Boone is the manager. Those are his coaches.


When I was a principal, I was responsible for the teachers in the school. When I started some had been teaching longer than I was alive, but I was the boss and it was my responsibility to oversee them. It matters little, and then over time, who hired them.


Boone has been the manager since 2018. This is his team. He's the leader. If the coaches don't listen to him or reflect his values or approach that is on him.


That's part of being the leader.

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