May
02

In search of an outfielder

By

While the Yankees currently feature a 13-man pitching staff, that won’t last for long. They’ve found a 12-man pitching staff a bit much at times, and if Vazquez’s turn gets skipped this week then Mitre might not get into another game for 10 or so days. Adding Melancon might help the Yankees with a fresh arm this afternoon, but it won’t go far in solving the team’s roster problems.

Baseball Prospectus’s injury guy Will Caroll forecasts a two to four week absence for Curtis Granderson, which doesn’t seem bad for a groin injury. Since it’s a lower body injury I’ll assume the longer estimate, so the Yankees will likely be without Granderson until June. The solution, for now, is a combination of Randy Winn and Marcus Thames in LF while Brett Gardner slides over to CF. I’m not sure those two present the best possible option, even in a temporary substitution scenario.

When Thames starts Winn will likely sub for defense later in the game. Nick Johnson will also DH, so there’s no real issue here. While Thames’s weaknesses are exposed much more against lefties I’m sure the Yankees would like to pinch hit for him later in the game if possible. Problem is, there’s no one to do that at this point. I doubt they’d pinch hit Winn, unless he starts to show something with the bat.

When Winn starts, the real troubles arise. Again, there’s no one on the bench to pinch hit for him except Thames, and that only works against lefties. Even then, the only other outfielder on the bench is also Thames, so that makes the team much weaker defensively. True, if they’re pinch-hitting for Winn then they need the offense more, but as we saw yesterday, little is more frustrating than taking the lead late in a game and then losing it. It will be triply frustrating if Thames’s bat puts them ahead and then his glove costs them the lead.

This makes me wonder if they’ll go with someone like Chad Huffman, who flashed some power at AA and AAA in the past two seasons, or Greg Golson, who is around for his defense more than his offense. Golson has flashed some power in his first month in the International League, and is on the 40-man roster. So is Huffman, so I think we’ll see one of the two headed up in the next few days. Do they go with the bat, or do they go with the speed?

Categories : Injuries
  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    I’d like to see Huffman get a try. DePodesta had high praise for him and his MiL numbers are solid.

  • Hughesus Christo

    If only we had gone with Matsui! He could easily slot into le… damn.

    • http://www.yfsf.org AndrewYF

      Matsui is a worse fielder than Thames at this point.

      • Poopy Pants

        (Someone didn’t get the joke)

  • AJ

    Wow there we goes my entire fantasy outfield. Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz and now Curtis Granderson…uy…This is not good for anyone…

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      That sucks, dude. At least you don’t have Mike Cameron?

  • WIlliam

    Elijah Dukes?

    • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

      heh, I forgot he existed. It’s a good thought, but that ship has sailed. Also, it’d probably take him a few weeks to get game ready. That kind of negates the point.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        Not necessarily. He’d still be a better bench option than Randy Winn.

        • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

          You’re preaching to the choir. I just don’t see Cash bending on this issue.

          • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

            Pat has an in. Maybe he can get into Cash’s ear.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Something tells me we’ll be beating this drum for a long time and no one will listen.

    • http://twitter.com/riddering Riddering

      I’d JIMP but that option is more of a fantasy than real possibility.

  • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

    I’m all about giving Golson a shot. My hopes is that he returns to 2008 form, power and speed. He has K issues but I’d imagine he’d see a fair amount of fastballs/strikes if he’s hitting in front of El Capitan.

    I’d be cool with Weber if he wasn’t absolutely sucking it up in AAA and if he was on the 40. Though, that shouldn’t be an issue, a guy like him could be added then DFA’d as soon as C-Grand comes back.

    I think we have a small shot of catching lightning in a bottle for a few weeks with either Golson or the Huff.

    Bottom line, if Winn plays like a big leaguer there isn’t much of an issue. If he still looks like an old man in the next 4-6 weeks, I don’t see him sticking around too long.

  • Adam

    Letting jamie hoffman go back to the dodgers for nothing is looking worse and worse, he hits lefties well and unlike Winn and Thames he’s not an absolute waste in the field, the guy should’ve got a chance.

    • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

      Eh, it’s not like we “let him go for nothing.” He was a Rule V and had to be returned because he didn’t have a spot on the team. Who knows what the Dodgers were asking for.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      He’s hitting .275/.280/.400 as a 25-year-old in AAA this season. There’s a reason the Yanks didn’t try too hard to keep him around.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Mayor of the Draft

        That.

        He had some decent upside, but the decision to dump him to keep Thames was 100% the right one.

  • Zack

    Any scouting reports on how Huffman is in LF?
    Average, below average, bad?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Below average.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec. 105

    Bat/Speed is a little less of a worry for me.

    I’d go with Golson, and sure them up defensively. With the lineup the Yanks run out there everyday, they aren’t hurting for O; especially with Brett Gardner’s early success.

  • Long Legs Johnson

    WILY MO PENA

    guys got power and defense

    dont worry about the strikeouts

  • Louis

    Jermaine dye anyone? :p

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Preferably someone who can actually, you know, please defense.

  • http://deleted Richard Deegan

    Jermaine Dye??? Yuck!!! (Same for disruptive Sheffield) At least Bernie or Paul O’Neill would be get some “pies”.
    Goldy Golson has cut down his Ks in sss-around 10 for 70 ABs versus his 130-170/season.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a The Mayor of the Draft

    We should sign this guy Elijah Dunes. I’ve never heard of him before I found this clip of him on YouTube, but apparently he’s got some solid power and big league experience playing for the Nationals.

    Let’s see if he is available.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MLqoJxVXYI

    • V

      Elijah Dukes, minus the death threats? Sign me up!

  • DSFC

    Golson’s defense better be phenomenal, because he’s an awful offensive player. I don’t think there have been many guys with a .300 minor league OBP who have found much success in the majors.

  • scooter10

    This is no brainer. Bring up Huffman. He is a better all-around player. Both Huffman and Golson have about 600 AAA at bats. Golson’s OBP is under .300. If all you’re looking for is speed and defense, I guess you could consider Golson. Otherwise, it’s all Huffman.

    AAA stats (both in about 600 AB’s)

    Huffman – .262, 23 HR, 73 RBI, 72 R
    Golson – .258, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 55 R

    • yankswin27

      Huffman can’t play CF, so that ultimately makes Golson the favorite.

  • sleepykarl

    Gardner=CF, so don’t worry about that aspect.

  • scoopemup

    Eric Byrnes? No,let me answer that one…..NONONONO…..double NO!