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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

Not The Weekly Mailbag: Thoughts And Reflections


It's been a better week to be a Yankee fan. I said it somewhere, but there's nothing like playing the Twins to help the Yankees break out of a slump and into the win column. With more timely hitting and competent umpires (seriously, this crew was awful...like, Angel Hernandez or CB Bucknor levels of bad), the Yankees should have had a sweep. 3 out of 4 is great, but a little more momentum heading into Friday would have been nice.


Now the real test comes. The Yankees remain 4.5 games up on the Rays as they come to New York for a 3-game set. If the Yankees don't win this series, September will become a very difficult month.


As always, thanks for the great questions, and keep them coming to SSTNReadermail@gmail.com. The regular SSTN Mailbag will return next week, but I have so many strands in my head (and not enough time to write proper analytical articles with a newborn at home), that I thought this might be a good place for some brain dump to encourage discussion. Without further ado, let's get into it:


  • I'm going to start with the most controversial topic in the Yankee Universe, one that's been beaten to death: the Harrison Bader for Jordan Montgomery swap. I analyzed Bader's possible fit early last month in much greater detail than I will here, but while I was always the high-man on Jordan Montgomery (I actually find it hysterical to see many of the same people who called Monty a good 5-starter waxing poetic about his performance in the NL), viewing him as a good #3 or a soft #2, I think what's occurred over the last month and change shows how thin the Yankees are in the outfield. While we can argue over what it cost to bring in a true centerfielder, there's little doubt but that the current Yankee roster would be far better with a plus-plus defensive centerfielder who can hit at a +/- average level. Even at his worst, Bader can do that, and even some cursory research (which you can find in the linked article above), shows why Harrison Bader should be a great fit for the Yankees and Yankee Stadium.

  • I am also going to argue with the idea that Bader is a light hitting bat similar to Tim Locastro. If Locastro could even hit to an 85 OPS+/wRC+, he'd be playing everyday right now; he can't and neither can Estevan Florial (who, by the way, is getting eaten alive by big league offspeed and breaking stuff). Bader's recent track record shows he can hit (114 OPS+ in both 2020 and 2021), and even in a down 2022 while playing hurt, he's still in earshot of average (94 OPS+), maintaining all-world defense and tying his record for stolen bases in just 264 plate appearances. Bader will bring a lot to the Yankee offense, even if he's roughly average at the plate (a solid bet).

  • To those asking about the injury: all reports are he's healthy and ready for a rehab assignment - it's set to begin early next week, from all reports. The boot appears to have done its job for Bader. Acquiring an injured player was always a risk, I'll grant the detractors of the trade that much. However, there is very little evidence that this was a trade meant just for 2023. The Yankees went into the trade deadline with a huge lead. They saw an opportunity to add a piece that was functionally different from anything they had on the roster: an outfielder with great speed, all-world defense, who can run the bases and hit enough to carry his weight (and possibly a bit more). The timeline for recovery was September, and Bader is on-track for that. As frustrated as all of us are with the Yankees (myself included), I think we have to wait until October to properly evaluate this trade.

  • Onto a different topic: the Rays. They seem to be peaking at the right time, going 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Rays are peaking at the right time, and also appear to be getting healthy at the right time, with Wander Franco coming back in time for the series against the Yankees. That's a scary prospect!

  • The Yankees have grinded out some wins, and the pitching staff is getting healthier, but they don't seem to be getting healthy enough on offense. DJ LeMahieu is back on the IL for the toe and Stanton doesn't seem healthy either. Those are two major bats the Yanks are counting on in the top of the order to protect Aaron Judge and provide consistent offense. That hasn't happened since the end of July.

  • Flying under the radar: Jose Trevino has really looked bad the last week and change, and I can't help but think he's banged up or tired. Trevino got the most starts and plate appearances in a single month in his entire career in August, and he performed admirably, nearly matching his hot May and June. He's really dragging in September, producing his worst stats of the season (.111/.111/.111), and ceding some playing time to Higgy. Catching is the most demanding position on the field, and I hope the Yankees can balance getting Trevino some rest for the stretch run while trying to win as many games as possible.

  • When the Yankees win games, Trevino hits .296/.337/.495. They need him healthy to balance the bottom of the order.

  • Wow, does IKF look more comfortable playing 3B, or what?!? His defensive actions are so much cleaner, and he suddenly looks freer at the plate as well. If IKF keeps this up, I have no problem playing him over Donaldson at 3B - particularly if he keeps hitting and getting on-base, as IKF can be a demon on the basepaths.

  • Nasty Nestor looked great until he hit a wall last night. Without a rehab assignment, I think he just ran out of gas. I'm not concerned; he'll be fine, and the Yankees really need him.

  • Luis Severino returns shortly. I can't wait. Never mind that the rotation looks so much deeper with him there, I just love watching Sevy spin. He's an absolute bulldog on the mound, and I think the Yanks could use some of that swagger to lift them up right now. Cole has fantastic skills, but I don't think his demeanor lifts those around him the way Sevy can. That's an intangible that's hard to measure.

  • I love the kids, Cabrera and Peraza. I've been beating the drum for both guys since late-2019, and feels good to watch them both make an impact here in a playoff race. I still think Cabrera will hit more eventually, but with the defense he's playing, it almost doesn't matter that he's not hitting. Watching the kids play well with energy is a shining light following a really dark month.

  • This series against the Rays will really set the tone for the rest of the season. Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'll be holding my breath all weekend.

23件のコメント


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
2022年9月09日

"Even at his worst, Bader can do that"


At his worst, Bader can't do anything, languishing on the IL forever with Mussolini Windowbox, I mean Plantar Fasciitis. It's an inflammation in the arch of the foot, it hurts like hell, and it goes away if when when it wants to. I still remember what it felt like when I was going through a growth spurt when I was a kid; I fantasized about having someone cut out my fascia and dip it in a bowl of crushed aspirin for relief (yeah, I wasn't too clear on how anti-inflammatories worked back then).

いいね!
Andy Singer
Andy Singer
2022年9月09日
返信先

If I pulled that, I don't think I'd have hands to type with!!! :-)

いいね!

Andy Singer
Andy Singer
2022年9月09日

Some good points here, however watching Trevino move around, I'm almost positive he's banged up, like most catchers this time of year. As good as Trevino has been, remember I was still calling for acquiring a catcher instead of an outfielder prior to the deadline...not due to a lack of belief in Trevino specifically, but because of how physically draining the position is.


Sean Murphy, the guy I wanted from Oakland (more than Montas), has been as good with the bat since June as I expected, while playing great defense. Even if he and Trevino split time behind the dish, Murphy is good enough at the plate to DH occasionally, offense the Yankees could use.


I hope Trevino gets a…

いいね!
Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
2022年9月09日
返信先

If these were the olden days with unlimited call-ups, we'd see Rortvedt now.

いいね!

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
2022年9月09日

As for Trevino...

GREAT POINT...

He also illustrates a Yankees trend...


The Yankees are masterful at finding guys who underperform who them come to the Yankees and play way above all expectations for a short time. The list of guys who have done this is legion:


Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks, Gio Urshela, Didi Gregorius, Matt Carpenter, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier, on and on and on... Even guys like Enrique Wilson, Mariano Duncan, Jose Vizcaino and others from years and years ago...


Even Rick Cerone in 1980...


But what happens is that the Yankees of today fall in love with that success and believe in the Cinderella Effect (my new term). They believe, in defiance of all statistical evidence, that th…


いいね!

fuster
2022年9月09日

Andy, does Peraza stick and hit .275


and does that push Volpe to the other side of the second base bag?


or do the Yankees decide that they can move forward with Torres/DJ/Cabrera at 2B

and make a trade?

いいね!
Andy Singer
Andy Singer
2022年9月09日
返信先

Next week's Mailbag! I'll give you the shortest answer to the first part: no, he won't hit .275; yes, he should be here to stay.

いいね!

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
2022年9月09日

Hey Andy,

Reasonable minds can disagree on Montgomery vs Bader, but the evidence is clear...

a) Monty is a solid pitcher. He always has been. The Yankees were short on pitching at the deadline. Rather than building the rotation, they traded one guy and acquired one back in a different trade. That's a net gain of zero.

b) They replaced Monty with a guy (Montas) who is basically his equal statistically over their careers. Again, a net gain of zero.

c) Plus they (in effect) swapped a lefty pitcher for a righty, A net negative.

d) Whether he was a #4 or a #5 or whatever, Monty was a lifelong Yankee and the guy who was second in innings since…

いいね!
Mike Whiteman
2022年9月10日
返信先

I keep reading in different sources how the Cardinals are such a well run organization that "duped" Cashman in the Bader deal, etc. etc. It seems to me (and anyone please correct me) if the Cardinals knew something about Bader's health, they had to give it up. In the end, I just think they had some depth to deal from, and desperately needed a starter. The Yanks had what they perceived as depth in the rotation. Looks to be the rare, old school "baseball trade". Is is a good one? Time will tell. I like Monty, but IMO the only significant help he would have been to this team would be if he could play left field and hit :)

いいね!
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