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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: It All Changed

by Paul Semendinger

September 4, 2023

***

I wanted change, and it came. Finally. But, boy once it came, the impact was immediate... and wonderful.


A few days ago, I was not enthused, at all, about the prospects for 2024. I saw a franchise that had been mired in the muck of its ways for far too long. I saw a team that had no understanding of the need for athleticism, hustle, left-handed power, and good baseball.


And then, as if they had seen my articles that we were for hire, the Yankees suddenly went in a direction we haven't seen for a long long long time. It seems the Yankees are moving on from the old, slow, boring, tedious, and frustratingly frustrating team of recent years and now have a young, youthful, energetic presence (maybe a core) that could be the players the next championship era is centered around.


I don't want to get ahead of myself, but....


Jasson Dominguez arrived. And he's arrived with an exclamation mark. He might not be ready for the big time, but, then again...maybe he is. If he is, and it seems the Yankees are committed to him, then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, the Yankees have their centerfielder for next year (and hopefully for many more to come). Best of all, he's a switch-hitter. All of a sudden, the Yankees just might have a young outfielder with power from the left side. They might finally have the player (and I'm getting way ahead of myself) that fills the gaping hole they've needed to fill for so long. Aaron Hicks wasn't that guy. Bryce Harper could have been that guy. Maybe Dominguez is that guy. Three games is, of course, nothing, but Dominguez had a heck of a start to his career in Houston.


Likewise, Austin Wells seems very comfortable as a batter. It would be great to have Wells prove he belongs as a lefty bat, whether he's a designated hitter or a catcher.


Just like that, out of the blue, the Yankees just might have two lefty good hitting batters in the lineup. (I'm not entirely convinced Wells will hit based on his minor league numbers, but, over the next month, we'll get a glimpse into what he can possibly do.)


If Oswald Peraza demonstrates that he belongs, then the Yankees just might have an infield with three players under 30, and two under 25. Wow. I like the idea of a 2024 infield of Anthony Rizzo (1b), Gleyber Torres (2b), Anthony Volpe (ss), and Oswald Peraza (3b). I love the idea of DJ LeMahieu being the utility guy, the sage veteran presence, and not relying on him to be a starter. With this configuration, the Yankees will be able to move on from IKF. Oswaldo Cabrera seems that he can be an ample enough fill-in as well. (I also like that he can switch hit. The more lefty bats, the better.)


I'll be the first to say this (and if other writers and media types share the idea, it sure would be nice, and proper, if they gave credit where the idea originated), but, all of a sudden, the young, raw, rookie... Anthony Volpe, just might be the wise aged veteran who the other young stars turn to. I have seen a different Anthony Volpe in ways I can't explain or measure the last few games. It feels like he's showing his new teammates how to acclimate and find big league success. He seems more mature, more sure of himself, more ready to lead. He might never hit like Derek Jeter, but his leadership qualities might just be like the player so many compared him to from the start.


By bringing up Dominguez, Wells, Peraza, and Pereira, the Yankees just might have helped to make Anthony Volpe the leader he just might be destined to be. I have written, a lot, about the missed opportunities of the last many years, but this might be an unintended positive consequence from the decision the Yankees made this year. Great teams are comprised of more than just great players - there are other intangibles. Teams need players to be leaders. I'm hoping Anthony Volpe can be that player.


Of note, Gleyber Torres will be the other "sage" young veteran presence of the infield, but I don't see him as much as a leader. The fielding and base running mistakes take away from his excellence and prevent him from attaining greatness, at least so far. That being said, Gleyber has proven to be a solid big league hitter which is also essential. I like the age balance that Torres brings - a young almost-star with years of experience makes this (potentially) a very impressive infield.

I'm hoping Everson Pereira hits well, and shows that he too belongs, but I wouldn't mind to see him traded for one more lefty bat. I'd love the Yankees to grab another left-handed power bat for the outfield. If Pereira proves he is a starting outfielder (as much as a player can prove that over a season's final weeks), he might be a good trade piece. If the Yankees feel he should stay with the club, Oswald Peraza might be the player who needs to be traded for a left-handed third baseman.


If all works out, and if Anthony Rizzo shows he is recovered from the head trauma, I see first base (Rizzo), second base (Torres), shortstop (Volpe), center field (Dominguez), and right field (Judge) as set positions for 2024. I'd love the Yankees to move on from Giancarlo Stanton to open the designated hitter spot and I've love them to use the other open positions (third or left field) to get one more lefty bat. All in all, though, things look a lot brighter today than just a week ago.

***

QUICK NOTES:


Ethan has commented, and I agree, that Jasson Dominguez should have been given number 88. Judge is 99. The center fielder should be 88, and whoever becomes the left field star should be number 77.


I am impressed with Anthony Volpe's 20 stolen base/20 homer season. But, let's remember that the league did make stealing bases easier this year. 2023 can't be compared to any year previous in regard to stolen bases.


I just read Marty Appel's book Pinstripes by the Tale. It is a very enjoyable read. There was so much great content, so many great stories, that it made for a great way to relive much of Yankees history. Appel has been involved in so much history and he tells the stories in so many great ways. . This book is a quick, but great read. I highly recommend it!


For tomorrow's Tuesday Discussion, our writers will share their hopes for the Yankees for the remainder of the 2023 season. That will be fun to read.


Let's Go Yankees!





10 Kommentare


jjw49
04. Sept. 2023

For the most part what this sweep in Houston provides is HOPE which has been in very short supply this year. The youth provides the breadth of fresh air for Yankee fans and its a welcome change. September will provide some answers on these youngsters and make Yankees more entertaining and hopefully end this horrible season on a higher note.You give these guys playing time and they should improve i.e. Volpe is good example so this season is the wake up call for ownership on down. Should be a very interesting off season.

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
04. Sept. 2023

The statistical nadir of the season was Aug. 27, when the Yankees lost a series at Tampa Bay and went 6 games under .500. I think we were numb at that point, so the emotional nadir was Holmes blowing a four-run lead in the ninth against Miami two weeks earlier on Aug. 13. It's truly amazing that in the week after the Ray debacle, the Yankees are 6-1.


Today is the emotional high point of the season, even if May 30 was the statistical highlight (11 games over .500). The League is going to catch up to the Yutes (and heaven help Periera if the League catches up to him even more!). Remember Oswaldo Cabrera had a .740 OPS, 1…

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lenjack
04. Sept. 2023

Too much pie in the sky, but I do feel good about this.

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cpogo0502
04. Sept. 2023

I too am very excited to see the young players in the lineup. Even on TV I can see the increased spirit and enthusiasm. I'm glad the Yankee management finally were honest with themselves and realized they had only one option to reverse this Cashman-made debacle: let the young players play, see what we have in them, and decide if they belong in the majors. Peraza and Peirera look overmatched right now but Dominguez and Wells show real promise. Most of all the organization is using the time remaining in the season to begin planning for 2024. There is still lots to do such as what to do with Stanton; acquiring left-handed pitching; deciding who is the closer; LeMahieu's ro…

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cpogo0502
04. Sept. 2023
Antwort an

I suppose it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that what we need is a GM and a field manager with demonstrable experience and success in developing and managing young players. Neither Cashman nor Boone are those guys. Hello Hal, are you there?

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Alan B.
Alan B.
04. Sept. 2023

With all the Bobby Murcer references this weekend because of how young Dominguez was, the last youngest was Bobby, i want to give him 22. Bobby #2 (his number from 79-83). I want to wipe Donaldson out if my mind, so can we give Wells #28 please.


Just remember how bad Judge was in 2016. Then from his first AB that Spring (a HR hitting on the big clock sign), we knew everything was different.


Just let these kids play.


With all his super utility work, IKF made himself some money this year, probably a multi year deal too, so no threat of him coming back with Cabrera here.

Remember what Stick used to say about prospects. Out of 5,…

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
04. Sept. 2023
Antwort an

I wanted to stay positive in the article, because I feel positive right now, but it is my hope, as I have written a million times, that I hope a new leadership team, top to bottom, is also in place for 2024.


I have also said that it would be best to have them in place now to allow them to see the organization top to bottom before the off-season.

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