LADY AT THE BAT: Big Roster Moves, Big Injury, Big Loss: What's Next For The Yankees?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Big Roster Moves, Big Injury, Big Loss: What's Next For The Yankees?

For starters, the Yankees wound up with a split in the four game series against the White Sox, losing the last game 4-3, a game that was delayed almost three hours at the start. A lot has happened with the roster and probably more will happen, too, when the Yankees arrive at their Houston hotel Friday morning, I'm guessing well after sunrise. So it is time to sort out the Yankees comings and goings (and comings again) of the last few days, along with other assorted thoughts.

1. The list of injuries is growing rapidly
Tough break to lose all those players to injury. In the span of a few nights while in Chicago, the Yankees lost CF Aaron Hicks, 2B Starlin Castro, DH Matt Holliday and newly anointed first baseman Tyler Austin. The worst injury happened in the bottom of the first of Thursday's loss. Dustin Fowler injured his leg so severely he was sent to immediate surgery in Chicago. Reports are he ruptured his patella tendon.  Fowler has gone from Major League debut to lost for the season, perhaps longer. Add all of them to the list of the walking wounded from before this week: 1B Greg Bird (now on the 60 day DL and possibly down for the rest of the season), left handed starter CC Sabathia, (who pitched a simulated game in Chicago, and might be ready to return soon),  and relief pitcher Adam Warren.

2. What to make of the Chris Carter situation and effects on Miguel Andujar
This is frustrating many Yankees fans in the blogosphere, but here is my take: Can we agree first base is a mess? If the Yankees had just recalled Fowler and had left Andujar on the roster, then Andujar could play third base, his natural position and Chase Headley could move across the diamond and take over first base. The only other options on the roster are backup catcher Austin Romine and Rob Refsnyder. Re-enter Chris Carter. Why? Seems that Andujar needs more work on defense at third bas,e and sticking in the big leagues to be the regular third baseman with the Yankees is apparently not a good option right now. So Carter is, at the moment, the best option. None of this stuff with Carter would have likely happened if Carter had just hit a fly ball in his last at bat before he was designated for assignment. So, like it or not, Chris Carter is again a New York Yankee, playing for his 3 plus million dollar contract, rather than collecting it at home while waiting for a phone call.

3. Is there a method to this madness?
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi are taking a lot of heat from the many blogs out there. With Carter back I can resume my position that Carter does not last the season in pinstripes and will be a DFA candidate sometime in the second half. Looks like Austin will be out awhile and Bird may well be finished for the season. But the list of first base trade candidates is taking center stage in the rumor mill, so this time there may be some substance to these stories. Cashman is most certainly working the phones, but the problem is some deals are difficult to work out until the deadline arrives. So it would seem the Yankees will likely acquire a new first baseman and it will happen on or before July 31, with the last minute being the most likely time-frame.

4. Who do they call now??
With the Fowler injury and an anticipated stint on the 60 day disabled list there will be an open spot on the 40 man roster. Is Clint Frazier next in line? Is he ready? What other outfielder would the Yankees consider? The Yankees designated Mason Williams for assignment, and he would have to clear waivers before they get him back. Whoever it is, he will probably be waiting at the team hotel in Houston, well before the rest of the team arrives from Chicago. 

5. Trades, Trades, Trades
So acquiring a first baseman, knowing what we know now, would be a no-brainer. If CC returns soon then the rotation is back to full status, with Luis Cessa still a fallback option and Chance Adams looking good at AAA. It would appear the Yankees will do something about the bullpen along with exploring the first base options. We are exactly one month from the deadline, just in case you forgot.

6. One final note
I saw the Yankees in person on Tuesday in Chicago. Unfortunately it was that awful, worst loss of hte year. Despite it, however, the Yankees have several players right now who could be a part of their next championship. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino are the team's future, and we were reminded  this week there is more young talent close to being ready. Despite all the injuries, the June losing streak and all the shuffling of players this season, the Yankees overall have been a pleasant surprise. A lot of that revolves around Aaron Judge, and I witnessed a buzz around the stadium every time Judge came to bat.

Now, on to Houston. Good to know the Astros have a roof over their heads following the Chicago deluge Thursday night.

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