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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

SSTN Not The Weekly Mailbag: Perspective


There has been no joy in Mudville for this baseball writer. The team seemingly has a new injury every day; Anthony Volpe, while clearly talented, has had a slow start to his big league career; the once vaunted Yankee bullpen now appears very human; the back-end of the current Yankee rotation looks even shorter than expected; and the bottom of the Yankee batting order is of questionable ability on the best days. Still, none of those points upset me in the slightest. Of far greater upset is the fact that my day job has forced me out of the country for a couple of weeks, meaning that I have only seen short highlights from the last week and change of Yankee baseball. I know that there are some negative perspectives out there on the team right now, but all of that would be more than palatable if I could actually sit down and watch a Yankee game right now. Rather than smile at the rare Yankee cap I see on the street where I am right now, it gives me a short, painful jolt realizing that I can’t watch any baseball for another week and change.


For that reason, we will not have a traditional SSTN Mailbag this week or next week. This week, you are left with a collection of random baseball and Yankee related thoughts from a displaced baseball writer who can’t watch any current baseball (other than to stay informed of what’s going on). By all means, please keep sending questions to SSTNReadermail@gmail.com, but questions will not be answered until the last week of April.


Until then, I am going to rip off a format that our Editor-In-Chief, Paul, uses with great success. Below are my current perspectives on the Yankees and baseball:

  • My understanding is that a lot of people did not like Anthony Volpe leading off the other day. Prior to that day, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu had served in the lead-off spot with great success thus far this season. I also very much understand that it is critically important to force young players to earn their playing time and their roles. However, I don’t think that’s an issue for Volpe, as it appears that he puts far more pressure on himself to perform than the team and New York media ever could. Volpe’s skillset appears to be perfect for a lead-off role. Leading off asks a hitter to take a smart at-bat and do anything possible to get on-base. Volpe had been stretching the zone when I watched him in the first week of the season, so I think it makes a lot of sense to give Volpe a specific task offensively. The guy has talent, so putting him in a place to get going is a good idea. Oh, and by the way, the only time he lead off an inning, Volpe doubled.

  • To me, the sign of a good pitcher is one that keeps his team in the game even when he doesn’t have his best stuff. Jhony Brito did exactly that in his second start of the season, working through Baltimore’s potent lineup without his best change-up and spotty command. I have seen zero highlights from last night’s game, but I understand that Brito didn’t even get out of the first inning last night. I really hope it’s just a case of a young pitcher taking a lump rather than a sign of things to come. I like Brito more and more as I’ve watched him, so I don’t want one start to totally change my opinion.

  • The Yankees need a bullpen arm or two. I am a fan of the old school method of taking minor league starters and breaking them into the big leagues by letting them take bullpen roles. I think Matt Krook, Clayton Beeter, and Randy Vasquez could all help this team right now in bullpen roles.

  • I have been saying it since he was in AA: Clarke Schmidt is not a starting pitcher. Everything he’s done this season screams reliever. Schmidt is talented and has great stuff; make him a reliever who never sees a lineup more than once, and be done with it. Schmidt has a scary injury history, and I’d rather use him in a way where he’s productive while he’s healthy.

  • I am not particularly worried about Rodon or Severino’s absences…yet. If we’re in the same place at the end of May, my opinion changes significantly.

  • Giancarlo Stanton seems more aggressive at the plate thus far this season. I haven’t taken a deeper dive into the numbers yet to confirm my suspicions, but I like the added aggressiveness. He’s hitting for more power than his first half last season, while producing a total line that’s right there with his 2021 performance, which was excellent offensively. That’s who I think Stanton is right now: a guy who can’t carry your offense, but someone who is very capable of providing significantly useful pop in the middle of the order.

  • I don’t feel like we’re talking about Aaron Judge much, but he’s every bit as good as he was last season. He and Ohtani are the best players in baseball right now, and I don’t think it’s that close.

  • It’s fun to realize that possibly the best player in baseball plays for the Yankees.

  • I predicted a huge year for Gleyber Torres this off-season. He’s making me look very smart so far, playing beautifully on both sides of the ball. In fact, while I predicted an All-Star season, I might not have been bullish enough.

  • I am still the president and possibly the only member of the Harrison Bader fan club. I don’t care if he only plays 120-130 games as long as he’s available in October. Oh, and I think he’ll help lengthen the lineup while playing elite defense as well.

  • While Harrison Bader’s career offensive numbers are below-average, he was above-average offensively in 2020 and 2021.

  • I don’t think that Franchy Cordero is THIS good, but I do think there are reasons to like him as a fourth outfielder. He was a consensus Top-100 prospect for a reason back in the day. The big arm, huge power, and solid outfield range remain. I’m glad he’s the fourth outfielder, not Estevan Florial.

  • Am I nuts for liking this team better without Donaldson around? I really wish he could just be DFA’d.

  • Rumors of Gerrit Cole’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. He’s looked pretty great to me.

  • How are the Rays 13-0? The law of averages will hit them hard, I think…I hope…possibly.

  • The new rules have been pretty good so far, even if tweaks are needed. I like the pace of play, but I do wish they gave a few extra seconds of breathing room for pitchers when the bases are empty. I also don’t think throw overs should be limited, as runners aren’t being held.

6 comentarios


Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
14 abr 2023

Even with a 13-0 start, tied for best in the modern era, the Rays have not clinched the Division. Their predecessors, the 1982 Braves (managed by Joe Torre!) and 1987 Brewers finished, respectively, first by only one game, and third, seven games back.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
14 abr 2023

Andy,


Great stuff. It's funny, I'm here in the USA, but I miss a lot of games anyway. Can't wait until you get back to the good ol' USA!


It's funny. I think I'm in the minority on the Bader trade. I know Fuster likes the deal. Mike Whiteman too. You went a long way initially to speaking of the good aspects of that trade. In the end, I hope you're right.


Franchie's been great thus far. Florial wouldn't have put up those numbers. I just wish he'd been given a chance when the Yankees needed an outfielder last year.


The odds are (I hope) that Brito bounces back in his next start. The hope, also, is that Severino an…


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Mike Whiteman
15 abr 2023
Contestando a

We'll be arguing the Bader-Monty deal in the Old Blogger's Home in our elderly years :)


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fuster
14 abr 2023

it aint only you


Bader was a fine addition to the team.... and, when he's again in the line-up, the fan club will be far from a null set.


have a good trip

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
14 abr 2023
Contestando a

Appreciate it, thanks.

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