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The Tuesday Discussion: Poor Play and 2023?

August 30, 2022

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This week we asked our writers the following:


If you ran the Yankees and they finish the season playing as poorly as they did in July and August, what changes would you make for 2023?


Here are their responses:

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Paul Semendinger - I think Brian Cashman is, and was, a fine GM. I also think there comes a time when organizations need to change their philosophies and move forward. The Yankees have not reached the World Series since 2009. That's a long time. 14 different baseball teams have been in the World Series since the Yankees were last there. That's a bad look for a team that says it's all about winning. Pick your reason, the Yankees haven't won. At some point, the person responsible for building the team needs to be held accountable.


Remember, the Yankees were one game from the World Series in 2017, but they then fired their manager and brought in a manager who had never managed or coached or had any sort of leadership experience. That manager, Aaron Boone, has not been able to get the Yankees to that next level. At some point, the GM has to also own that poor decision. He chose Aaron Boone. He then gave Aaron Boone a new contract. It hasn't worked.


If I ran the Yankees, I would start fresh with a new GM and a new manager. It's time for the Yankees to go in a new direction. Next, I, myself, as the owner would commit to the fans that the days of letting the luxury tax define the baseball decisions are over. I would use my financial strength, as the richest baseball team in the game, to put the best team on the field year-in and year-out. It's time.


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Lincoln Mitchell - If the Yankees finish the season playing as poorly as they do now which means an early exit from the playoffs I would do the following. First, it would be clear that what they are doing is not working and that begins with Brian Cashman. I would fire Brian Cashman. He had been a good general manager for a long time and I kind of average general manager for an even longer time, but the game has changed and he is no longer cutting edge. I would then invest heavily in coaches and player development throughout the organization. The fundamental problem with the Yankees is that they cannot turn prospects into impact major league players. As long as they can’t do that they are always playing catch-up.


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Ed Botti - It goes back much much further the July and August 2022. But f we focus on that period, in July the Yankees went 13-13, and so far, through August 28, the Yankees are 9-16, for a 2 month total of 22-29, a .431 winning percentage over 51 games. Not good.

My biggest concern is the August offensive decline.

In July runs per game were actually the highest average for any of the first 5 months (6.4 runs per game), in August that dropped to 3.56, by far the worst of any of the first 5 months.

Additionally, In August hits were down to 7.48 per game down from 9.3 per game in July and of course strikeouts were at a season high of 8.72 per game (through 8/28/22).


Pitching wise, June ERA was 2.94 allowing 1 HR per game and 6.71 hits per game. The July ERA was 4.00 allowing 1.27 HR per game and 8.03 hits per game. The August ERA was improved to 3.75 allowing 1 HR per game and 7.16 hits per game.

Every team has injuries, so I am not including that in my opinion. What these stats tell me is the team hit their peak in June and has dropped off on both sides of the ball since, for the most part.


Adjustments and reinforcements need to be made from the 40 man roster and trades during the season for every team. The Benintendi and Gallo trades were predicted by just about anyone who follows this sport, and I liked both of them (and would have acquired Benintendi at the 2021 trade deadline instead of Gallo). The Montgomery trade was a bad move and they over paid in the Montas trade.

Before this season started the Sanchez/Gio trade that included Donaldson and IKF was not exactly a premium trade and one I would not have made. Marwin Gonzalez? Seriously?

Don’t even get me started on Aaron Hicks and how they “leaked” the Aaron Judge contract value.

So, where does the blame fall if this year ends the same as 2010-2021? I have said for four seasons (as a SSTN Writer) and even long before 2019, that a change needs to be made at the top. We can blame Boone and some of his coaches for sure, but I have felt since the lockout ended that this team was not a championship caliber team, and I stand by that prediction today, despite the huge AL East lead.

I believe a new GM is needed, and that person should decide if a new field manager is needed (I think one is indeed needed).

I can go on and on about the who(s) and why(s) for this move and what moves I would make in the 2022/2023 offseason, and will do so again this October.


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Tim Kabel - Some of my moves wouldn’t be changes they would be continuations. First and foremost, I would sign Aaron Judge to a contract to make a Yankee for the rest of his career. Once that is taken care of, I would begin working on the team around him.


I believe Brian Cashman will be back so I’m not going to consider hiring a new general manager. However, I would fire Aaron Boone. I would have to consider the options to replace him but the most important thing is removing him because he has proven that he can’t effectively manage. He has numerous shortcomings and from what I have read one of them is that he’s not particularly great at working with young players. That would be a big problem considering the other moves that need to be made. Kyle Higashioka would be gone. One of the Yankees young catchers, either Ben Rortvedt or Josh Breaux could come up and share the load with Luis Treviño. I would revisit the almost completed trade with the Marlins involving Gleyber Torres. He has been invisible since the All-Star break and he’s not the same player he was prior to that. He’s too streaky and inconsistent and possibly emotionally fragile to be part of the future of this team.


I would bring up Oswald Peraza and make him the starting shortstop next year. Isaiah Kiner-Falefa can assume the back up infielder roll and Marwin Gonzalez would be gone. I would Make Oswaldo Cabrera the starting second baseman. Josh Donaldson would start the year at third base however, as soon as Anthony Volpe was ready, he could come up. If he’s not ready until 2024, so be it. If he’s ready next year, he can come up. At that point The Yankees could figure out which is the best defensive alignment between Cabrera, Peraza, and Volpe.


DJ LeMahieu could also move back-and-forth between third, second, and first. That was the original plan for him. I would bring back Andrew Benintendi, as he is a proven contact hitter and an excellent outfielder. He would be the starting leftfielder, Harrison Bader would be the starting centerfielder and Aaron judge would be the rightfielder. When needed, he could play center. Giancarlo Stanton would be the DH and get some time in the outfield. I would wait to see which pictures are healthy to determine what to do with the bullpen. I would not be opposed to bringing Jameson Taillon back next year. The Yankees would presumably have a rotation of Cole, Severino, Montas, Cortez, and Taillon.


Aaron Hicks would be simply released if he couldn’t be traded. He serves no purpose on this team. As noted above, Higashioka and Gonzalez would also be gone. The most important subtraction of all would be Aaron Boone. They could give him a video of his big home run against the Red Sox and a lifetime supply of bubble gum but, he needs to go.


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Ethan Semendinger - If the Yankees continue to play as they are, it seems that October will not be long for them. I also believe that if the Yankees are not able to put together a serious campaign with a late run into the playoffs (they haven't even been to a World Series since 2009), it also spells the end of Aaron Judge. If I was him, I can't imagine sticking by a team who tried to cheap me out on a contract and who never showed me the passion to go "all-in"...especially in the midst of, what was, a historic 2022 season.


Think about how that looks. The Yankees, who were 64-28 (0.695 WP%) at the All-Star Break and nearly guaranteed a playoff spot, missed out on yet another World Series for the 13th straight year. They also lost their superstar- and the first ever player to get his own section in the stadium. No general manager should be able to survive that. Regardless of what he did in the past. Baseball in the 1990's was much different than today's game. Cashman's clock should be clicking.


The firing (or, in this case, not bringing back) the GM who hired you is often the end for the manager and coaches that they brought in. Consider this the start of the end of Aaron Boone. (Of the whole group, the most important person to keep around is Matt Blake.) Allow a new regime to come in. If I'm Hal, I take a step back from the Yankees to pursue my other interests in soccer, stock car racing, and horses, and allow the GM and manager I bring in to run the ship with an emphasis on winning. No matter the cost.


TL;DR - Allow Cashman to walk, fire Boone. Start a new ERA of the Yankees.


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Cary Green - I have a long answer that will be the 1:00 article today.





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