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The Tuesday Discussion

March 26, 2024

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This week we asked our writers to respond to the following:


Spring Training results are of course not all that meaningful. However, The Yankees got clobbered routinely this spring and they certainly didn't look like a team that is primed to be a World Series contender. Is it time to sound the alarm? How many games can this Yankees team win and where will they finish in the Division? Can the 2024 Yankees win a World Series?


Here are their replies:

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Mike Whiteman - Among the "hot" teams in Spring Training this year have been 2023 cellar dwellers Boston, Washington, and.....Colorado. So no, I'm not concerned about that. 


I do think the team is capable of a successful season, contending for the division title and having postseason success. While the team's roster construction of last year was reasonably questioned, they also didn't seem to catch a break. 


The team has addressed many of their issues and if that can combine with a bit of luck, this could be an enjoyable 2024 season. I predict 94 wins and a tight division win over Baltimore. 

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Paul Semendinger - I don't put much stock, at all, in Spring Training stats or results. That being said, the primary weaknesses of the Yankees showed themselves all too clearly this spring. They needed another top of the rotatopn pitcher, the never got one. Then Gerrit Cole got injured. Now they have only four proven big league starters. Aaron Judge demonstrated that injury concerns will always be present for him. DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo both showed that they, too, have injury concerns. The Yankees are an aging team. Not enough was done to protect about that.


Is it time to sound the alarm? No. They should have planned better. This might be the last year their championship window is open for a long time, so, in that light if Cody Bellinger and Corbin Burnes were on the team, things would look a lot better right now. All that being said, the Yankees are still probably the second or third best team in the AL East. They can reach the post season.


Can they win a World Series? Of course they can. Is it likely right now? To me, the answer is a very strong no. I hope I'm wrong about that.

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Lincoln Mitchell - I don’t think it is time to panic yet because this team was not built to win the World Series. The Soto and Stroman moves were good, but not enough. The team has been asleep at the wheel in spring training. JD Davis was a better option at third before DJ was hurt and the Yankees could have had him for free. The management is telling the fans that magic will happen and all DJ, Rizzo, Stanton, Volpe, Rodon and Cortes will all be healthy and better. A few will a few won’t. This is a third place team that wins 88 games. I hope I am wrong.

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Cary Greene - Aside from Giancarlo Stanton's three home run mega performance recently, the Yankees haven't exactly looked like a dominant team this spring offensively. A bit of a red flag has quietly been raised this spring, as Oswaldo Cabrera has received more at-bats (47) than any other Yankee save for Anthony Volpe - who has been working on his entirely new swing this spring. When Oswald Peraza went down with a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder, Cabrera suddenly became a leading candidate to win a bench spot. The eyeball test still says Cabrera is pretty much lost at the plate and his numbers are still supporting this assessment, though he's shown a few signs of life here and there, his spring .664 OPS is still well below that of an average Major League player. In my estimation, Cabrera should ideally open the season at Scranton - but things in the Yankees camp are far from ideal as the team has some genuine issues at this point - ones that were actually fairly easy to foresee. 


With DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo all battling injuries, it appears that the Yankees could benefit from adding at least one more contact hitter to a bench role, which would help to move runners along. If the Yankees could also add more speed on the bases with one of their remaining bench positions, that would also help to ignite an offense that struggles when trying to scratch out runs when the big boppers aren't bashing. Cabrera doesn't really offer any of that, though to his credit he is a versatile player. An internal option who does fit this needed profile is Caleb Durbin, however it looks like Kevin Smith may get the job, mainly because he doesn't have any options remaining and Durbin has one left. Cashman is hoarding depth as usual, even though Durbin is having a more impressive spring. 


In my estimation, Durbin could be a real spark plug type player, he's not only a versatile infielder, but he gets on base and he's a superb base runner - one who pressures the defense by stealing bases while avoiding being thrown out. If Anthony Volpe's new contact oriented approach makes him a candidate to bat leadoff, Durbin would look pretty good as a utility infielder, hitting in the number nine spot when he plays. That said, it really feels like Cashman isn't going to recognize that Durbin could be an answer and since he hasn't had enough reps this spring to help the Yankees best assess his potential value, it seems like the Yankees offense is going to be overly reliant on the home run again this season. I'm not sure Cabrera and Smith are the right choices to open the season with, so I expect a bench that isn't very impactful and I feel like the offense will be inconsistent and too reliant on three outcomes - so this concerns me, but this spring has had some reasons to get excited. 


Encouragingly on the pitching front, Marcus Stroman has looked good this spring and it appears he's poised to have a strong first half. He is looking like a Bronx bulldog this spring, I think he may turn out to become a very good signing.


However, Carlos Rodon's stuff still looks a lot like it did last season and that is concerning, especially when factoring in how bad Nestor Cortes has looked when navigating an opposing lineup for the second time around. Additionally, it doesn't appear that Clarke Schmidt has taken much of a step forward this spring, he still looks like a low ceiling pitcher who really ought to be a swingman. 


With the injury concerns surrounding Gerrit Cole, it doesn't seem like Brian Cashman did enough this offseason on the pitching front. Still, I'm cautiously enthused by a few developments that went on this spring as there have been some intriguing bright spots. What I don't know is whether or not Brian Cashman will be slick enough to recognize and use internal options to fortify the roster. 


Auditioning this spring at a high level - Luis Gil, Clayton Beeter and Will Warren (who will be starting the season in the Minors) have each merged as, dare I say, probably the best options to bolster the Yankees pitching that are currently available. Other than Jordan Montgomery, each is a pitcher who can probably provide "ready now" help the Yankees rotation and overall pitching.  If the Yankees don't reunite with Monty, I would mind seeing all three of them get sincere shots at starting the season in the Yankees rotation. Gil's command is still shaky but he's got great stuff and he's now won a job as he'll become the Yankees fifth starter. Beeter also looks to have won a job as a swingman coming out of the bullpen and in my assessment, Beeter looks like he flat out belongs in the League.  Warren's spring was also really impressive and he's likely the first starter up if someone gets injured or needs a rest.  Warren may become a reason to potentially move Schmidt to the bullpen as the season grinds along. 


Making Gil the fifth starter is a good decision, though personally I would have groomed him to be a late inning flame thrower and instead would have chosen Beeter as my fifth starter, I'm excited to see both pitchers will be ams that the Yankees entrust with Big League opportunities. Still, with Rodon and Cortes both looking pretty shaky, I don't think the Yankees have the pitching that it's going to take to win a World Series. I think the Yankees will continue to struggle offensively - though they'll get runners on base, they won't be able to advance them into scoring position and like last season, they'll struggle to plate runs. 


Not enough was done this offseason to help the Yankees rotation and the bullpen was kind of overlooked as well, so I'm definitely not forecasting that the Yankees are a World Series team. I think that Baltimore will easily win the American League East this season, topping out at 99 wins. Though the Birds aren't getting a lot of love from the projection services, I think that the sheer quality of their system will help them prevail as they continue to run lean and mean financially. 


Trailing Baltimore and also qualifying for the playoffs will be Tampa and Tornonto - with each ball club winning 95 to 96 games. Despite adding Juan Soto, the Yankees will quietly miss the postseason for a second year in a row, as they'll win 88 to 92 games. Eventually, Brian Cashman will have to build a better lineup, but his biggest problem is that he can't put a championship rotation together. 

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Andy Singer - No, I don't put any stock into the Yankees' Spring Training record. There's just too many performance variables - guys are working on specific mechanics, pitches, and approaches without worry, necessarily, about bottom-line performance and there are tons of at-bats and pitches thrown by guys who will never see the MLB field. When the Yankees were playing with their MLB guys versus another team's MLB guys, they were either winning or very much in the game, so I'm not worried at all from that perspective.


I will be straight: I think I differ from most people around here as to what the AL East landscape looks like. I think the Orioles are a very good team, but I also think a few of their guys had basically the 95th percentile outcome last year, and will regress somewhat. I don't think the Blue Jays have enough depth or pitching...oh, and they don't have enough left-handed hitting either. The Red Sox are a dumpster fire. And the Rays...one of these years, the magic will end, and I'd bet on it being this year. I think the Yankees will win the AL East and I think they have a roster that is capable of reaching the World Series. I think they will need supplementation either from the farm or from the trade market to get there, but I think the core of the roster is capable of reaching the World Series.

13 comments

13件のコメント


fuster
3月26日

Baseball Reference is projecting the Yankees win 71.6 games in 2024 – coming in last in the AL East – with a 2.7% chance of making the playoffs.


https://www.nj.com/sports/2024/03/yankees-will-finish-dead-last-in-al-east-after-historically-bad-season-latest-projections-say.html

いいね!
Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
3月27日
返信先

The stats that Baseball Reference used when they made that determination were based entirely on last season's roster. Their projection did NOT take into account that the Yankees improved their offense significantly by acquiring Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo and by having Austin Wells for at least half of a catching duo for an entire season which significantly upgrades the offense at the catcher position over last year. It also doesn't factor in the acquisition of Marcus Stroman and a healthy and possibly a significantly improved version of Carlos Rodon.

いいね!

Cary Greene
Cary Greene
3月26日

Let's cut to the chase. How many games will the Yankees win? I'm going with what I said above - 88 to 92 games max. 4th place finish. They'll miss the playoffs. Hate to be bearish on the Bombers, but I think it's a case of a still one dimensional offense and too many question marks both in the rotation and due to age related decline and the usual injury issues. Plus, Aaron Boone isn't the right manager - IMHO and Cashman can't build a dominating rotation to save his life. Hal is spending way too much money for a team that is this thin and as poorly coached as the Yankees are.

いいね!
Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
3月27日
返信先

The great equalizer is that all 30 teams are going to have injuries to key players throughout the season. Maybe they won't have the QUANTITY of injured players that the Yankees typically get, but if tomorrow, we were to stop following the Yankees (NEVER happen!) and start following the every day activities of any one of the other 29 Major League teams, we will see on whatever team we follow, injuries to KEY players, injuries to players they were depending heavily on. That's why depth is so important, because it's those players who DON'T make up the 9 players in the starting lineup and either have to ride the bench or get sent down to AAA, are the most importa…


いいね!

jeff
3月26日

"The Yankees are an aging team. Not enough was done to protect about that"


This is the reason why I advocate saving as much of the farm system as possible and giving as many prospects as possible a chance to be homegrown big league stars. (Spencer Jones, Jasson Dominguez, etc, etc). Aging players are replaced with more cost efficient and energetic youth, and the youth are the "core" upon which a sustainable championship team is built around, a team that can win MULTIPLE World Championships instead of what happened in 2009, when the Yankees won ONE World Championship, but followed it up with many many years of relative mediocrity.


As far as the pitching. Clark Schmidt had an excellent spring,…

いいね!

fuster
3月26日

Making Gil the fifth starter is a good decision, though personally I would have groomed him to be a late inning flame thrower


not mutually exclusive


with Cole sidelined they are giving Gil a shot at being an early-inning flame thrower.

the hope is that Gil succeeds while opening

and that he gets moved to the later innings

when Mr Cole returns in June


いいね!

Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
3月26日

"it doesn't appear that Clarke Schmidt has taken much of a step forward this spring"


3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP for Spring Training. What, exactly, are you looking for from Schmidt, Cary? Sidd Finch numbers?

いいね!
Cary Greene
Cary Greene
3月26日
返信先

I actually submitted a revision to my statement on Schmidt, but it missed the cut off time early in the day yesterday. Here is what the revision said (I recanted my opinion)


-Clarke Schmidt is becoming a solid Major League starter and he may be primed to take a step forward this season, though he got off to a very “meh” start to camp, he’s looking a lot better now, as camp comes to a close. I know the faithful are hoping he generates better results this sesaon. His start yesterday was the best he’s looked all spring and it actually changes my mind a bit as to what he might be capable of. He buzz sawed through actual major…


いいね!
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