Welcome To The Bronx!
By Sal Maiorana
September 2, 2023
Sal Maiorana, a friend of the site, will be sharing some of his thoughts on the Yankees here on SSTN.
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The Yankees came very close to sweeping a four-game series in Detroit for the first time since 1926. Alas, it didn’t happen, but that’s OK. The big news is that the youth movement that needs to happen is finally underway.
This has been quite a start to the week for the Yankees. They won a series for the first time in their last 10 tries, taking three of four from the terrible Tigers. But way more important than that, they made some smart decisions regarding the roster.
First, they told Josh Donaldson to get out of town. Finally. They should never, ever, ever have traded for this bum, and it will go down as one of the worst trades of Brian Cashman’s career. Yes, it got Gary Sanchez off the roster, but what a horrible price it cost - $56 million of wasted payroll space on Donaldson who was literally one of the worst hitters in MLB. I never liked him, especially when he was a Blue Jay, and my distaste only grew as he soiled the pinstripes for nearly two years. Good riddance.
Next, they put center fielder Harrison Bader on waivers and Thursday the Reds claimed him. It’s a smart play because they weren’t re-signing Bader as a free agent, they saved a little money, and it opens center field for Dominguez. Bader’s time in New York went exactly the way the rest of his career has gone - excellent defender, barely average hitter, and injury prone.
But unlike Donaldson, I really liked Bader. Loved his energy, his passion, his enthusiasm, and his media friendliness which, as a reporter, is always a nice bonus. All you had to do was see his last interview with the New York media Thursday to understand how good a guy he is and how much it meant for a kid born in the Bronx to play for the Yankees. Unfortunately, outside of his brief and surprising power surge last October, it didn’t work out for him in his hometown, but I love how appreciative he was for the opportunity.
Those moves ultimately created the roster spots that will be filled by Dominguez and Wells who will join the two prospects who were called up a week earlier, Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza. The Yankees have officially turned the page on 2023 and they are planning to give these kids a full month of playing time which will hopefully help them as they try to win roster spots in 2024.
Dominguez is the main attraction. I know it’s very early, but so far Peraza and Pereira look completely overmatched at the plate. Peraza is hitting .136 and Pereira .114 and neither player looks like they have the type of star talent the Yankees desperately need.
At Double-A Somerset, he was among the Eastern League leaders in runs (1st, 83), walks (1st, 77), hits (2nd, 108), stolen bases (2nd, 37), RBIs (4th, 66), total bases (4th, 176) and on-base percentage (8th, .367). He also hit 15 homers and was Somerset’s team leader in batting average (.254), multi-RBI games (17) and multi-hit games (31).
He went up to Triple-A a couple weeks ago and played only nine games, during which he hit .419 and had a 1.094 OPS with 10 RBI, though no homers. He also stole three bases and played flawless defense. With Bader gone, Dominguez should be given every game in center field the rest of the year.
“I'm in the camp that I think he's going to be a really good player in this league,” Aaron Boone said a few days ago. “He's a really special talent. After getting off to a little bit of a slow start this year in Double-A, he's really played well here over the last few months. He's a guy that obviously impacts the ball and is athletic and can run, but I liked the fact that at a very young age, he really controls the strike zone. Hopefully that's something that, when he does get up here, will really be something that serves him well.”
Well, let’s hope Boone’s evaluation is correct. The Yankees need a young, potential superstar for us to get excited about.