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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: A Reminder and Lots of Thoughts

by Paul Semendinger

June 17, 2024

***

The Yankees are 50-24. That is an amazing record. The team is on pace to win 109 games. There are a lot of optimistic Yankees fans out there. I think it's fair to say that the Yankees are exceeding even the most hopeful expectations.


That being said, that does not mean that there is not room for improvement and that there are not concerns. The last two games against the Red Sox highlighted a host of concerns that could derail the Yankees' path to the World Series.

***

BUT, before I list the concerns I have regarding the Yankees, just a reminder to all who read, follow, and/or comment on this site that we have rules and expectations and standards here. Some of these expectations (etc.) have been ignored or blatantly disregarded of late. I have tried to address this in various ways, but it continues.


I do not always read the comments. I don't have time to monitor them all closely. I don't watch every game. But some of what I am seeing is bothersome. And it needs to stop.


In yesterday's comments, a player was called a "gutless punk." That's uncalled for. Completely. Comments like that are not, at all, what this site is all about.


There has also been a fascination with calling players all sorts of snarky nicknames - many including different ways to say "excrement." Enough. It's tired. It's old. It's immature.


Going forward, when I see comments like this, even if they are part of an excellent discussion thread, I will delete them. Will I catch them all? Probably not. But, actually, I'm hoping this just stops - now.


We can critique what the players and the organization do - but the expectation here is that we do so respectfully. One can say, "That wasn't a smart play," but that does not mean that the player or the manager or whomever is dumb. A player can perform poorly. We all have performed poorly in various aspects of our lives, including our work. That doesn't make us excrement.


In short - please stop with the dumb nicknames, the condescending comments, and the fascination with the bathroom.


And please don't try to come up with funny or snarky ways to get around what the expectations are. This isn't going to become, "Let's see what I can get away with." The answer to that might be that I'll just turn the comments completely off. That would be a shame for a community of fans who have been respectfully discussing the Yankees and baseball on a daily basis since 2017.

***

In regard to the Yankees...


Something is wrong with the catching. Jose Trevino has hit well enough at times this year, but for a guy whose main skill is defense, there is a problem there. Yesterday the Red Sox stole bases, at will, even slow runners, on Trevino. A catcher who cannot throw out base runners cannot be catching in the big leagues. We saw that clearly last night. And what the Red Sox did was telegraph to all of baseball that players can steal bases, at will, against the Yankees.


Is Trevino hurt? Does he no longer have a good arm? Whatever it is, something is wrong. And the Red Sox demonstrated that this is a gigantic problem for the Yankees.


As a team, from the pitchers to the catcher, to the coaches, and the manager, the Yankees had no answers, no clue, how to stop the Red Sox from running. Again, all of baseball now knows this.


This might be the biggest problem, among many, the Yankees face as they move forward.

***

The bullpen, an area the Yankees have solved for so long with castoffs, is no longer functioning well, at all. At all. Each game seems to now be managed by hope as in "I hope this pitcher is good tonight." The Yankees do not have any middle relievers who inspire any confidence. Clay Holmes, as the stopper, has been good, not great. This, too, is a huge weakness.


The Yankees will not go far in October if they do not address the weak bullpen. Also, just hoping that any of the injured relief pitchers return (and pitch well) is not the answer. At all.

***

Speaking of players returning...


I was one of the few, in fact, I might have been the only person saying that Jasson Dominguez's recovery may not be quick and straight forward. So many said, "He'll be back by June." So many wanted him brought to the big leagues as quickly as possible. I urged caution. Time. Patience.


Dominguez is on the IL again. You cannot rush someone's health.

***

Anthony Rizzo and D.J. LeMahieu, even at their best at this point in their careers, are not, absolutely not, the answer at first base for a team that aspires to win a World Series.


They are not the players they once were. At all. They're not even close defensively or offensively. The Yankees need a first baseman.


Mike Whiteman and I talked about this on the SSTN Podcast last week and I presented an interesting question to our writers for tomorrow's Tuesday Discussion. (Stay tuned.)


If Anthony Rizzo is day-to-day with his injury, the prudent action would be to put him on the IL and call-up one of the Yankees' hot shot prospects for first base. Is Ben Rice ready? I don't know. What I do know is that his clock is ticking.


Quick quiz - How old is Ben Rice?


Answer - He is 25-years-old. Yes, just like Juan Soto. 25.


Ben Rice's future, if he has one, is now, or very soon. The Yankees should see what he can do for a few games rather than playing the "day-to-day game" with Rizzo.

***

Giancarlo Stanton is performing at his 2022 level, albeit with a few more homers. I root for Stanton. I want him to do well. But, he's not a very good player any longer. He just isn't. If the Yankees have to rely on his bat in the middle of the lineup, they're in trouble.


No one was happy with the 2022 version of Giancarlo Stanton. That's what the Yankees have in 2024 - and because the team isn't especially deep, they are expecting Stanton to be a middle-of-the-order hitter which is something he no longer is.

***

Watching the athleticism of the Red Sox on the bases, and then seeing the Yankees plodding from base to base demonstrates, very clearly, that the Yankees are old and tired and slow. The problem with that is that it's way too early in the season to be old and tired and slow.

***

Ultimately, for the Yankees to be legitimate contenders, they need to address these (and a few other) issues. The owner has to be willing to spend the money. The general manager has to make smart moves. The manager has to be able to make good and correct in-game decisions. The concern among so many Yankees fans is that those three things have not come together for a sustained period, ever, with the trio of Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, and Aaron Boone.

***

The Yankees have very dedicated and very loyal fans, but I'm not sure how many will be enthusiastic about this franchise if 2024 becomes a repeat of 2022. Unless the team addresses these weaknesses, we might be looking at 2022 again. Right now, I'm still hopeful.


Let's Go Yankees!

30 comments

30件のコメント


Mike Whiteman
6月17日

I greatly appreciate the commitment to civility. Makes me proud to write for SSTN!

いいね!
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
6月17日
返信先

THANK YOU!!!!

いいね!

sbarbeau
6月17日

Spent the last six days in Rochester watching Scranton- Based on the previous discussion and my humble opinion....

  1. Ben Rice has a major league ready left-handed bat- he alternated every other day catching and 1B- believe it or not, he looked much better behind the plate than as a converted 1B so far

  2. TJ Rumfield looks like a polished 1B, his natural position- his left-handed bat is decent, but not as good as Rice's

  3. Durbin is still on IL and did not play

  4. Dominguez was pulled on the 8th inning of Sat. game and did not play Sunday- he was MLB ready at the time of his new injury

いいね!
jeff
6月17日
返信先

Bring 'em up! Rice or Rumfield! If I have to pick, I would go with Rice, since it sounds like he is hitting better. But I would take both if we are replacing both a first baseman AND a catcher, depending on the injury status of Rizzo and Trevino.

いいね!

jeff
6月17日

This past weekend was an education. I now have a clear picture of where this Yankee team has been and where it is going if they stand pat and don't make upgrades to the team as soon as possible. Those upgrades can come from within as well as from outside the organization.


This current Yankee team, as currently constructed, is a juggernaut against all the weaker teams in baseball. The non-contenders have little to no chance of winning a series from this Yankee team. Their pitchers are often not good enough to stop guys like Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankee offense will often bludgeon non-contender opponents, or contender opponents who don't match up with the b…


いいね!

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
6月17日

OK, I'll play nicely.

いいね!
jeff
6月17日
返信先

I will suggest a new nickname for Caleb Ferguson if you need one. Fergie. That nickname is in vogue with multiple people with the last name Ferguson.

いいね!

fuster
6月17日

Dominguez is on the IL again. You cannot rush someone's health.


suffering succotash.

Dominguez not only regained his health and completed his recovery, he demonstrated that he was too good a hitter for minor league pitching.


unless you have some tangible reason that connects the post-op recovery process to the checked-swing strain, you might be wrong about not being wrong.

Dominguez belongs in the Bronx, despite being still a bit raw.


Yes, just like Juan Soto. 25.


Soto is 25 now.


younger than 20 when he reached the majors


Dominguez is 21 now, 20 when HE reached the majors.


the Yankees have a real need for Dominguez and fersure have NOT rushed his recovery from surgery.


いいね!
fuster
6月17日
返信先

Paul's caution is reasonable

Dominguez's gaudy stats as a major league player can not be considered as being conclusive given the limited exposure


similarly, Dominguez's extremely gaudy success rate during his rehab stint ( something like an OPS north of 1.000) can also not be considered absolutely to be conclusive proof that he's ready to be an MLB star

the evidence, however, is quite persuasive as bearing out that his hitting is better than is the pitching of the minor league pitchers that he's faced.


still not conclusive, but when ALL of the evidence is positive and none negative, there is no cause to be dismissive and reasonable cause to continue to believe that his hitting is MLB-level

いいね!
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