About the Off-Season: Scattered Thoughts
By Tim Kabel
February 2, 2023
It is Thursday, the day I have been using to focus on multiple, smaller topics, rather than one larger theme. It is also February. Spring Training starts in two weeks. We are officially in the homestretch of the winter doldrums. Unfortunately, instead of storming down the stretch like Secretariat in the Belmont, it seems like these two weeks will plod along like an old milk cow. Hopefully it won't be Mrs. O'Leary's cow.
Chad Green just signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Although he will be out most of this year recovering from Tommy John surgery, it is still sad to see him go, especially to a tough competitor in the American League East. It is also somewhat disappointing on another level. It would have been nice for the Yankees to show some loyalty to Green, since he spent his entire major league career with the organization. Not only would it have sent a positive message to Green, but it would also have done the same for other members of the organization who may suffer similar injuries in the future.
My friend Roger saw his shadow this morning, which means six more weeks of articles speculating about who should play leftfield for the Yankees.
The Yankees do not seem to have any great interest in the remaining free agent outfielders. There have been no recent rumblings about a trade. Most concerning of all, Brian Cashman has made statements that Aaron Hicks is the front runner to be the leftfielder. Hopefully, this is like when he proclaimed Bubba Crosby the Yankees' centerfielder.
Other than someone to play leftfield, I suspect the most likely person to be imported to the Yankees during spring training will be a left-handed relief pitcher.
The Yankees' careers of Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu may be coming to a close. I would be surprised if either of them was still on the roster when the team heads north from spring training.
Perhaps we could tell Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson that the Yankees will be stationed in Arizona for spring training this year. By the time they figured it out, they might have been replaced.
Other than Anthony Volpe, which minor leaguer are you most excited to see in spring training.? I want to see Austin Wells and Clayton Beeter, the pitcher the Yankees acquired for Joey Gallo last year. However, I really want to see Jasson Dominguez.
There are many retirees in Florida. Perhaps we could get a group of them to recruit Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks. Maybe John Sterling will even wander over and begin comparing notes with the nonagenarians on obscure Broadway musicals and middle infielders of the 90's. Of course, I mean the 1890's.
Do you think Frankie Montas' injury will be a big deal for the Yankees? I don't. I suspect he will be back fairly soon, and the Yankees have enough depth to overcome his short-term absence.
I believe if Gleyber Torres does get traded between now and opening day, the person who will benefit most from it is Anthony Volpe.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Aaron Boone has been binge watching old episodes of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood to prepare for the influx of young talent this spring. I can just hear it now, “Oswald, I like you just the way you are."
Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are solid bets to have great seasons again. The keys to the Yankees' success this year may well be Giancarlo Stanton and whichever kids are on the team. If Oswaldo Cabrera, Anthony Volpe, and Oswald Peraza are all regulars, they will need to put up good seasons because the Yankees will be counting on them. If any or all of them turn out to be flops, it will be a long year.
Imagine if this season follows a scenario like the film Groundhog Day, and we are doomed to watching Aaron Hicks, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Josh Donaldson struggle through a whole season's worth of games. Wait, we did that last year.
Last year, Aaron Hicks vowed to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. He came up extremely short on both counts. This season, he has promised to come in heavier, since he felt his power suffered from being overly slender last year. Perhaps he posted pictures of Fat Albert on his fridge as a motivational tool this offseason.
Gary Sanchez remains a free agent. I wonder if anyone will sign him.
2022 was a lost season for Ben Rortvedt. If he remains injury free during spring training, it will be interesting to see what his role becomes in this organization. Will he push Kyle Higashioka out as the second catcher?
Of the following three players, which one will start the most games at third base in 2023 for the Yankees? Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, or Oswaldo Cabrera?
Who will play more games in left field for the New York Yankees in 2023? Oswaldo Cabrera or Aaron Hicks?
The Yankees will open the season at home against the San Francisco Giants on March 30th. It will be a far different opening day with Aaron Judge in a Yankees' uniform as opposed to a Giants' uniform, which might have happened.
As an April Fools' prank, the Yankees could tell Aaron Hicks, Josh Donaldson, and Aaron Boone that the games against San Francisco are road games.
When will we first hear John Sterling utter the following: 1) “That's baseball, Suzyn.” 2) “You know Susan, that reminds me of a ditty from No, No, Nanette. 3) “Speaking of Wee Willie Keeler, that reminds me.” 4) “It is high, it is far, it is a foul ball. No, it's gone. No, it was caught. You know Suzyn, these monitors are very tricky.”