Time For A Shake-Up

Burnett melts down as Yanks lose sixth straight
2011 Draft: Baseball America's Updated Top 60 Prospects
More high fives, pls. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Six losses in a row and ten in the last 13 games is cause for panic around these parts, but I thought Joe Girardi put it perfectly last night when he compared the team’s situation to a trip to the tooth man: “It’s like when I have to go to the dentist,” said the skipper. “I know I’m going to get through it, but I still dread it every time I go.” They will get through it, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees should just sit back and wait for things to happen. I think they need to be a little more proactive right now.

Don’t get me wrong, when I said shake-up in the headline by no means did a major one. You start releasing players or firing coaches or whatever and all you’d be doing is adding to chaos. Minor tweaks are the best place to start, especially with a roster like this one. Dip your toe in the pool before diving in, know what I mean? So here’s what I have in mind…

Alex Rodriguez

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

To say A-Rod is slumping would be kind. The Yankees clean-up man is hitting just .180/.253/.281 following last night’s 0-for-4 with three strikeouts  in 23 games since that stiff back/oblique issue in mid-April. He’s either popping up or fouling off pitches he should at least hit hard, even if it’s into a defender’s glove, and that’s when he’s not swinging through low-90’s fastballs or over top of anything with some break to it. There’s no other way to say it, Alex has been horrible lately.

This isn’t the first time he’s slumped though, you don’t play in the big leagues as long as he has without going through some rough patches. After coming back off the disabled list in 2009, A-Rod went through a 21-game stretch in which he hit .176/.337/.297 from late-May into June. Joe Girardi took advantage of an off day to give Alex two consecutive days off in mid-June, sitting him in a series opening contest against the Marlins. The third baseman came back seemingly rejuvenated, hitting .324/.490/.730 over his next 11 games and .317/.415/.561 over the remainder of the season. Maybe a few days off would do Alex good right now. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

The Lineup

Something has to happen here. You can only run the same lineup out there so many days in a row and watch it not play to its potential before changing something. Doesn’t have to be drastic, but sometimes moving pieces around just works. Brett Gardner is hitting well (.373/.484/.490 over his last 18 games), maybe it’s time to give him another shot at hitting leadoff. Russell Martin is hitting just .196 over his last 14 games but you know what? He’s also getting on base 35.1% of the time during that stretch. Maybe he gets move up ahead of the (supposed) big bats. After A-Rod’s hiatus you could flip-flop him and Mark Teixeira in the three-four spots. I’m just spit-balling here, there are a lot of different things they can try. They just actually have to do it instead of running the same order out there day after day and expecting things to magically fix themselves.

A Sensible Bullpen

Major League salary and I don't even have to pitch! What a country! (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

A seven-man bullpen is probably overkill, but I can live with it. An eight-man bullpen is just nutso. Hector Noesi has been on the big league roster for a total of 14 days this year and has yet to face a batter. Give me a break, get the kid back to Triple-A so he can pitch and develop while that roster spot isn’t being wasted. If Rafael Soriano‘s elbow is bad enough that he has to do back to New York to see the doctor, then just retroactively DL him and stop wasting a roster spot.

With Noesi down and Soriano on the shelf, that frees up one bullpen spot since the Yankees should get back to a normal 12-man pitching staff. Amaury Sanit if the de facto long man, Luis Ayala that only-when-losing short relief guy. Fine. Give the other spot to one of the short relief kids that can miss bats in Triple-A and see if they can help take some of the load off Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson. Kevin Whelan is a fine candidate, but there’s also Ryan Pope (8.59 K/9, 0.00 BB/9 in limited time back from injury) and George Kontos (23 K in 23 IP this year, 61 K in 68 IP since coming back from Tommy John surgery last year). Remember, Robertson got his first real chance this same way in 2009. The Yankees have options, they just have to try them out. You’d be amazed at what could turn up.

Another Offensive Weapon

If they cut the bullpen down from eight men to seven, Girardi’s going to have another bench guy to play with. Eric Chavez is still a few weeks away, and I’ve already suggesting waiting just a little more before turning Jesus Montero lose on unsuspecting AL pitchers, but he’s not the only option. Justin Maxwell (.401 wOBA, RHB) and Chris Dickerson (.340 wOBA, .366 OBP, LHB) are both on the 40-man roster and could be more useful than a pitcher that never pitches anyway. I’m not bullish on Jorge Vazquez (.403 wOBA, RHB), but sheesh, it’s worth a try. Given all the slumping bats, a few more days off for the regulars and pinch-hitting appearances wouldn’t be the end of the world.

* * *

Again, these aren’t major changes, but they’re changes nonetheless. Give A-Rod some time off to forget about baseball and heal up any nagging injuries, rearrange the lineup some, optimize the bullpen, add a usable bench player and go from there. I’m all for patience, and I still recommend it, but a little tweak here won’t kill anyone.

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Burnett melts down as Yanks lose sixth straight
2011 Draft: Baseball America's Updated Top 60 Prospects
  • Fairweather Freddy

    Not bad ideas Mike, but you know as well as I do that they will most likely fall on deaf ears

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    Not DLing Soriano right now is just a blatant waste of a roster spot. Even if the doctor says he needs a week off to rest and then start throwing again, his DL stint can be back-dated since he hasn’t pitched since what, Friday?

    JoVazquez makes sense at this particular moment as a call-up since a) it rewards him for crushing AAA, b) he can at least fake/tread water at 3rd base if they want to DH A-Rod or give him an outright day or two off.

    Bullpen spot? Can’t be less impressive than Luis Ayala, be it Pope or Kontos. I would lean towards Pope just because he’s more of a K guy. Whelan I don’t see him having the control to not walk a ton of ML hitters, always struggled with that in the minors and it’s a risky bet to see him avoiding it in the bigs.

  • Fairweather Freddy

    One move to make is to cut ties with Andrew Jones and try Justin Maxwell. I know Maxwell strikes out alot but what has Jones been doing? Same thing. He could fill Jones’s spot just as good, maybe better

    • Clay Bellinger

      How crazy is it that Maxwell has one more HR than he does singles this year? 13 to 12.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Guess you missed where he homered off Lester. J-Max has made a career of murdering AAA and stinking it up in the majors, not sure why it’d be different now.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Yeah, that insanely high K-rate doesn’t inspire much confidence. I’ve always liked Maxwell but I think it’s eminently likely that he is probably a downgrade on Andruw at the moment. The homers are nice, but a bunch of homers off of AAA pitchers isn’t enough to make me overlook the fact that Maxwell’s batting average on the year is still a measly .237.

        I’d like to see Maxwell spend more time in AAA focusing on making more progress with is new ARodian swing and see if he can improve his contact rate. I viewed his acquisition as more of a low-risk, long-term project to see if we can turn him into a servicable fringy starter by 2012 or 2013.

        If we’re going to cut ties with Jones to try out one of our Scranton outfielders as an upgrade, I’d pick Jordan Parraz and his current .289/.355/.430 Triple A slashline.

        • Tim

          I think the real problem with Andruw Jones (or the “perceived” real problem) is that the guy hasn’t played hardly at all until recently. There’s no reason to replace him on the roster with anyone right now – the only sensible thing to do is put him in the line-up. If that means platooning him at DH against lefties, or putting him in the OF against lefties and moving A-Rod/Jeter/Teixeira to the DH slot in those games, then so be it. This appears to finally be happening regularly, and I hope it continues.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Yeah. I personally see no real need to dump Andruw Jones, he’s still perfectly servicable in the role we’re asking him to fill.

            I was just saying that if you absolutely wanted to dump him, Maxwell’s probably not the guy you dump him for.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Maxwell is already 27 though, I don’t think we can view him as a prospect capable of making drastic improvements. At this point in his career he (more than likely anyway) is who he is.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I don’t think I said I expected him to make drastic improvements, just smaller ones as he continues to refine his new swing.

            And remember that we only got him for Adam Olbrychowski. We simply traded one lottery ticket for another. If he suceeds, found money. If not, meh.

        • Tim

          One thing I know for sure – Jones will likely never play OF against lefties in lieu of Granderson. And this was something we all thought would happen at some point in the season when they signed Jones.

          Fun fact – prior to 2011, Granderson 20 HR in 777 AB vs. lefties.

          2011 Granderson, 7 HR in 40 AB vs. lefties.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I was more anticipating a Jones/Gardner platoon, not a Jones/Granderson platoon. Given Granderson’s good finish to 2010 (and overall better ceiling and larger organizational importance), the team seemed committed to ensuring Granderson was a true everyday player. Jones was never intended to be his caddy (although he was his insurance policy in case 2010 was a mirage).

            • Tim

              Not suggesting you were saying otherwise. I just thought it was amazing how Granderson’s career arc against lefties has changed ever since his remedial swing class with K-Long last August.

  • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

    Jerry: Did you shake it up?
    Elaine: No.
    Jerry: You gotta shake it up!

    Real talk though, I’d love to see them bring up Jorge Vazquez. Only problem is he doesn’t draw a lot of walks and doesn’t have that good of an eye.

    • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Ha… I wouldn’t mind seeing Vazquez get a shot, this isn’t a criticism of the substance of your comment, but the way you worded it is pretty hilarious. ‘Only problem is the GIGANTIC RED-FLAG GAPING HOLE IN HIS GAME.’

      • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

        Yeah. I think with a little bit of work it can be fixed though.

        • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I’m skeptical. Dude’s 29 years old and has had this problem his entire career (including in the Mexican League, to a lesser extent). I’m all for trying to catch lightning in a bottle, if the situation allows it (roster-wise), but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Vazquez to work on his plate discipline problem and have some sort of breakthrough.

  • Nedro

    One reliable arm and a bat with some pop. Is that so much to ask? What good is having one of the top-rated farms if you just let your product rot on the vine?

  • pat

    Bring Vazquez up for Pena then give Chato a start or two at 3B while Arod rests.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Umm… Peña is already down.

      • pat

        Yea, but is he down to clown?

  • Fairweather Freddy

    Pena was sent down last week when Sanit was brought up

    • pat

      Well, there goes that idea.

  • ansky

    How can it not be time for Jesus?
    Cervelli is not a good defensive catcher. Let Jesus catch 2 or 3 games a week, let him DH 3. God forbid someone gets hurt, let Jorge catch an inning or two until the next day when you can bring Cervelli back up.
    Jorge can’t hit lefties anyway. Lets see what we have.
    It makes no sense not to try. If he hit in Spring training he would be up already.

    • pat

      Less PT for Martin isn’t something we should be aiming for.

      • ansky

        Do we really expect Martin to perform well catching 6 games a week?
        He already looks overworked. Ease Jesus in, let him catch some and DH some. Cervelli is a waste anyway. You aren’t hurting Martin, you are helping him. Let him DH a game.

      • David, Jr.

        Yes it is. He will get worn down.

  • Fairweather Freddy

    Who is Chato? You don’t mean Chavez do you? He’s on the DL. If anything, sit Arod for a couple of days and let Nunez play 3rd. I nknow he made another error last night but he also made a nice play on a bunt to start the game and started a nice DP. He’s a work in progress. He also had a key 2 out 2 run single in that 2nd inning.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      “Chato” is apparently Jorge Vazquez’s nickname.

  • http://yankeesfansunite.wordpress.com/ Matt

    I like the move of bringing JoVa up. Give him a shot. If he does decent it helps his chances of being trade bait.

  • Beamish

    With almost no one performing consistently well with the bat I think it is time for the old managers trick of pulling the line-up from a hat. It might be hack but at this point it could not be a bad thing. Break everyone’s perception of their “role” in the line-up and tell them to just go up and hit.

  • jackstrawelf

    can we bring up a hitting coach too, something is wrong when 1 guy out of your whole team is hitting up to par, if you can get credit for the one success then you can take the credit for the nine failures on your team as well, new hitting coach please!

    • Clay Bellinger

      This isn’t going to happen.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      On behalf of Kevin Long, I apologize for whatever it is that he did to you.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      if you can get credit for the one success then you can take the credit for the nine failures on your team as well,

      Only if you actually did something to those nine failures to make them fail.

      Kevin Long provides advice and coaching to all the players constantly. It’s up to them to do something with it. The handful of players he’s worked with on a thorough, “let’s totally retool your swing from the ground up” basis, all those players have shown marked improvement (at least in the short term).

      Your analysis of Long is deeply flawed.

      • ledavidisrael

        Not all the players (Jeter) took Long’s changes.

        According to O’leary Jeter is a back hand hitter and O’leary said “What’s unusual is that I have never seen a hitter manage to stick in the major leagues with this flaw.” Hitters like are commonly refereed to as AAAA players. Guys who rip it in the high minors but can’t handle the bigs.

        Maybe its time for Cash to sit Jeter down and discuss how he has been such a unique player but in his final years he needs to make some adjustments. If Jeter lead with his hands and hits the ball at a better point of contact, he’d hit for power. A player with his talent can make these kinds of adjustments.

      • jackstrawelf

        he is the hitting coach, team isnt hitting, he throws batting practice and talks with every hitter and some dont do what he does because they are all worse then they were before they came to NY. Give me Chambliss or someone like Dave Magadan-guys who played and hit well in the MLB

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          some dont do what he does because they are all worse then they were before they came to NY.

          Patently false.

  • Fairweather Freddy

    Agree. Send down Noesi. He should be AAA pitching every 5th day instead of rotting in the pen up here. Bring up Maxwell or Vazquez

  • Matt :: Sec110

    Are the Yankees the only team in baseball that doesn’t have their best hitter hitting 3rd?

    I’d go:
    Jeter
    Grandy
    Cano
    ARod
    Teix
    Martin
    Swish
    Posada
    Grandy

    Agreed, call up a bat. I think it’s time we take training wheels off Jesus and let him hit in the bigs.

    • Clay Bellinger

      I know Grandys been awesome and all, but the other clubs might take issue with them batting him twice in the order.

      • Matt :: Sec110

        haha, worth a try…

        “Gardy”

    • JerseyDave

      I’d go with this

      Gardner
      Granderson
      ARod
      Cano
      Tex
      Swish
      Jones
      Martin
      Jeter

      • YanksFan77

        You guys just don’t get it. Texiera makes way too much money to bat anywhere but 3rd. We signed him to hit 3rd, and he’ll remain in the 3rd spot. Hey, we got to get our money’s worth per plate appearance.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I’d love to see this but Joe would need balls to do this…

        Gardner
        Martin
        Granderson
        Cano
        Tex
        Posada/Jones
        Nunez
        Swisher
        Jeter

        Give ARod time off to rest that oblique and return to Beast Mode.

      • JerryNYG

        I think a little bit of a tweak:

        Gardner
        Granderson
        Cano
        A-Rod
        Tex
        Martin
        Jeter
        Swisher
        Jones / some kid from the minors / Chavez / ….. I guess Posada

  • Fairweather Freddy

    Could they be waiting on Montero til June because of the service time issue as far as arbitration eligibility after 2 years goes?

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      It could play a role but I tend to doubt it being a main reason why they aren’t calling him up. They are still giving Posada a shot (at least vs. RHP) despite all the bullshit over the weekend. They may get to a breaking point with him soon but I don’t think it comes before he’s given a longer run of consistent starts at DH. He almost needs to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s done as an every day player before they commit steady playing time to Montero at DH.

  • It’sATarp

    maybe grandy would be hitting 3rd or clean up. The dude is raking.

  • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

    It’s time for Jesus Montero. I don’t care how they get him into the lineup, they just need to get him in there.

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

      I hate when someone posts a comment when I’m in the process of writing essentially the same comment. I apologize for the repetition, but I think Montero could have a similar impact that Cano did when he came up in 2005.

      Depending on how the next few series go, the Yankees crowd could be pretty ravenous when they come back home. Calling up Montero to start the next home stand would be a nice way to soften up the crowd a bit. I know baseball operations doesn’t work that way, I’m more just trying to further convince myself that he should be called up soon.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Jorge Vazquez=Izzy Alcantara (but without the great Youtube moment)

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    I bet we get Noesi’s debut tonight (after Nova gets bombed).

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Time For A Shake-Up
    By Mike Axisa

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe0KW3DJ1rI (NSFW-profanity)

  • BKLYN

    Holy shit this team is stinks.

    Sincerely,

    Dog poop

  • Chris

    Its days like this I wish George was alive. He would put out some statement and the team would go on an 8 game win streak.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Or he’d fire the manager and make some ill-advised trade.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Or he’d put out some statement at no 8 game win streak would follow, and then we’d later have some 8 game win streak unrelated to anything Steinbrenner did or didn’t say.

        I love George Steinbrenner for his passion for winning all the time and his constantly putting his money where his mouth was to make that constant winning possible.

        His bluster and impetuousness? Meh, they usually hurt more than they helped.

  • Monteroisdinero

    It was another slap in Posada’s face last night when Gardner was sent up to pinch hit. A homer was needed. How many times did Joe send up Thames last year when a long ball was needed? Our best lefty power hitter did not get a shot to tie the game. With Gardner, you need 2 hits to score. Not saying Jorge wouldn’t have struck out too but that was an insult to a great Yankee with 257 career HR’s and still powerful when making good contact.

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      You know that Posada was on deck right? And Gardner was pinch hitting for Jones, pinch hitting Posada for Jones means you have to lose 2 players and the DH if Jorge does in fact run into one and tie the game–then you’re putting Gardner into the game in LF, Rodriguez is leaving the DH spot to play 3rd, and Posada’s bat is out of the lineup in extra innings. That’s also reducing your bench to Cervelli, and you have no DH. They don’t teach that in manager school.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        Oh, unless you want to leave Nunez in (who Jorge was originally pinch hitting for), forgot about that, so you’re not losing the DH. But the bench is still just Cervelli.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Posada was on deck to bat for Martin who made the last out? I am confused.

        • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

          He was on deck when Martin was at the plate, set to bat for Nunez. The lineup crunch would have been unavoidable if he hits for Jones, but Girardi seemed to be hedging/saving the bullet in the event that Swisher/Gardner/Martin produced something other than 3 outs. If Swisher, Gardner or Martin had reached, you use the Posada bullet and deal with the consequences if he succeeds.

          • Monteroisdinero

            Ok thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      It was another slap in Posada’s face last night when Gardner was sent up to pinch hit. A homer was needed.

      Brutal honesty time: Brett Gardner gave us a better chance of getting a homer (or even a hit) than Jorge Posada did in that situation.

  • YANKS1FAN

    Jorge Vazquez should absolutely be called up to New York!! Vazquez is on pace for 55hr, 150rbi and hitting .300!!! Plus, Posada has had enough time, put him on the DL and work on his swing that has a lot of holes. They say they lost a left handed bat when Chavez got hurt…but Chato crushes rightys. They complain about his glove. He has been very good at first this year, and is very playable at third. He made some very nice plays at third the other day, and has a very strong arm. He is no gold glove, but playable. Who would you want to see right now……eighth inning, runners on second and third, down three, two outs….Posada, or Vazquez?! They say experience?! He hit behind Cantu and AGON in the WBC and hit a 500ft grand slam his first WBC ab! He was Carribean Series MVP. He was a superstar in Mex lg..Gatorade ads, etc., everyone knows Chato in Mexico, he is like Matsui is to Japan. Just last week he hit a bomb off of the scoreboard against Cy Young winner Peavy, and hit a bomb over the scoreboard against Carrasco!! Both started in the bigs a couple days later. Over the weekend he beat the RED SOX(Pautucket) by himself. Both rbi in the 2-1 win, and then two bombs the next day. One he hit straight center over the high wall on to the concession stand roof! He is ready. Yes he strikes out a lot, but a strikeout is just the same as a ground out. It doesnt affect his average. It is not like he strikes out a lot and is hitting .220(aka, Maxwell)? It is better than hitting a double play. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think Dunn and Howard K a lot!! He does not walk a lot, but that is not what he is there for. He is an rbi machine with runners on. He is a clutch hitter. Similar to Cano in that department. Cano never walks. It is a shame that a player like Vazquez does not get a shot just because of a stupid 40man spot!! There is no reason for Chato not to be in NY right now. I can see if the Yanks were hitting, but the whole lineup is not. AROD .242, Posada .160, Swisher .219, etc. Give ‘El Destructor’ a chance!! That’s his other nickname in Mexico! He is a BEAST!!!!! Montero…Where is his home runs. 2hr from the guy everyone said had the most powerful bat in the minors…. Oh, wait, thats Chato!!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Commenting Guidelines:

      10. Do not post the same comment in multiple threads. If you post something just before a game thread is closed, feel free to repeat it in the spillover thread, but do not abuse the privilege. Any repeat comments will be deleted, and if you continue to repost comments you’ll be banned.

      http://riveraveblues.com/about.....uidelines/

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Jorge Vasquez=AAAA

      • YanksFan77

        How does anyone know this for a fact? It’s not like he’s a career minor leaguer, he’s just been blocked by high priced corner IF/OFs the few years he’s been here.

        Why write off a guy without even giving him one AB in the majors?

    • Matt :: Sec110

      also, way too long…anyone get past 5 or 6 lines?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I got past 5 or 6 lines the first time I read it, when he posted it weeks ago.

        • Rick in Boston

          I think he’s posting the same thing for a year. I see the name and scroll right past.

  • BigTimeBartolo

    Here’s a shake-up for ya: FIRE GIRARDI!

    Lol in all seriousness though, nice rant. Alex Rodriguez really needs to get it together because he’s just killing the team right now. It’s so frustrating to watch him hit pop-up after pop-up and swing and miss at pitches he would normally annihilate. Along with Teix’s slumping bat, our big bats are producing nothing for us right now…no wonder the offense has been so bad.

    Also I really want to see what some of those triple-A arms have to offer. We can’t just rely to send out Robertson, Joba and Soriano (whenever he comes back) for middle-relief, they will be burned out by August. We need to find a decent AAA arm that can be relied on for average leverage situations so that the main guys can get a break sometimes.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Giving Alex two or three days off sounds like a fine idea to me. Either his oblique is still bugging him a bit, or he’s healthy now but has gotten into a bad rut with his swing because of overcompensating for hitting with oblique pain.

      Give him a breather, and let him and Long watch some tape and see if he can get his timing back.

      (Of course, we need to drop that 13th pitcher to get a deeper bench in order to give ARod that rest, so, yeah, it’s probably Chato time.)

  • LockDown

    With Soriano’s elbow issues, put him on the DL, let him get fully healthy and FREE UP THE ROSTER SPOT (sorry for the caps/screaming, just frustrated).

    Now it’s time to shake things up. This is temporary

    – A-ROD (replaced with NUNEZ): A-Rod needs a couple of days off. Not sure if his oblique is hurting or he’s just off mechanically from any adjustments he made while injured. Last year, Grandy was given a couple of days off to work on swing and it worked.

    – POSADA/SORIANO (bring up/replace with VAZQUEZ): Give Posada a mental health time off & plug in Vazquez. He can even give “adequate, tho not gr8″ 1B backup to Teix. Would love to replace Posada all together, but he’s still clinging to his job. A roster spot I wish I could free up.

    – SWISHER (replace with MAXWELL): I love Swisher, but he is lost at the plate. Tell him he needs time to figure it out. Send him to AAA until he gets it together. Maxwell can’t be any worse than Swisher at this junction.

    Temporary Lineup:

    1. Jeter (cause Girardi won’t move him down lol)
    2. The Grandyman
    3. Teix
    4. Cano
    5. Vazquez
    6. Maxwell
    7. Martin
    8. Nunez
    9. Gardner

    You can basically move the bottom half around, but you get the idea. (Jones for LHP)

    • Clay Bellinger

      “Maxwell can’t be any worse than Swisher at this junction.”

      Yes, he sure can. Dude has a 43% K rate.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Seriously.

        Justin Maxwell is a good idea… for 2012. He needs to prove that he won’t strike out in like 50% of his big league at bats before he’s a realistic consideration. He’s working with a brand new swing that has given him tons of power but also tons of holes.

        Too soon.

        • LockDown

          Bring up Dickerson or WHOMEVER… Was just looking at a TEMPORARY solution to give Swisher a chance to find his swing. Maybe the dude is pressing.

          Or just leave it the way it is & hope for the best.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Or just leave it the way it is & hope for the best.

            Probably that. As frustrating as Swisher’s struggles have been, the chances of Maxwell, Dickerson, or even Parraz (who is probably the best choice of the three) being anything but a large downgrade are so slim that it’s probably not a move worth making.

            I’d pick the option of just giving Swish a day or two off and playing a Jones-Granderson-Gardner OF over the Maxwell/Dickerson/Parraz promotion idea.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Not to mention, Swish can’t be sent down as the original idea proposes above.

              As hard as it is to remember right now, Swish was an all-star last year. The chances that anyone at AAA right now would be an improvement over him are slim to none.

              The lineup proposed above isn’t even an option. There’s now way the Yanks roll two triple A players into the 5 and 6 spots because they had a rough week.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                The lineup proposed above isn’t even an option. There’s now way the Yanks roll two triple A players into the 5 and 6 spots because they had a rough week.

                Repeated for emphasis.

                If the Yankees were a team that actually did shit like that, you all would hate watching that team. Because that team would suck, and finish in last place.

                • LockDown

                  How’s this lineup.

                  1. Jeter
                  2. Grandy
                  3. Teix
                  4. A-rod
                  5. Cano
                  6. Swisher
                  7. Posada
                  8. Martin
                  9. Gardner

                  ;)

        • Rob Thomsen’s Chili Farts

          Maxwell will never be a good idea. He is shit, according to RAB.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Is that what we really said?

            There’s a difference between “He strikes out way too much right now” and “He is shit.”

  • theyankeewarrior

    Jesus and JoVa need to be called up yesterday.

    The $35M middle reliever should have been DL’ed a week ago so his arm could be ready for actual important games. What team doc’s made the call on that one? The same ones who decided that Alfredo Aceves wasn’t worth the “risk” of a 40-man spot at $400k? If the Red Sox lose him for the season tomorrow, his signing would still be justified. Genius fucking move. Almost as smart as riding your bike through the Alpines with a bad back.

    And please, for the love of god, can our $300M third baseman drive a ball into the outfield? Holy shit. And we get on our shortstop for his weak hacks? At least he’s playing solid D at a premium position. A-Rod has literally fallen off the face of the earth at the plate. He is consistently swinging at pitches that are bound for his fucking shins. This guy is being paid to be a rock in the middle of the order for another 7 years and he already looks like Joe Crede. I understand that he had another phantom oblique injury, but did he strain his eyes too?

    Memo to AJ and Joba: LEFT HANDED BATTERS LIKE THE BALL DOWN AND IN. STOP FUCKING THROWING IT THERE.

    In all seriousness, do we have any leads as to who Cash might be targeting for the rotation? Because I have a feeling the Nova/Garcia/Colon experience is about to get ugly.

    The lineup will come around, but our starters seem to have maxed out their potential… sans CC with his epic performance against the Sox on Friday. He really came through for us and made a big stop.

    Oh, and A-Gon makes Tex look like Josh Phelps.

    Yankees lose tonight by 4 runs. I won’t be watching.

    See you guys in Baltimore! CAN’T WAIT.

    • BigTimeBartolo

      Yeah you just reminded me about Aceves, how fucking useful would it be to have him on the team right now? Clearly it wasn’t about the money because its the league minimum, it was about the roster spot…which doesnt even make sense because they have Noesi up there WHO HASN’T PITCHED A SINGLE INNING since being added despite several opportunities.

      Your right, both the evaluations of Aceves and Soriano have been idiotic. You’d think that with the resources the Yankees have, they’d have the best doctors available and would be extra precautious with MRI’s, etc. But nope, whats that you say you say your elbow is sore? Hmmm, lets have you throw some bullpens for a week or so and see how you feel, no MRI necessary.

      More reason to FIRE GIRARDI!

      • theyankeewarrior

        Thanks for agreeing… but those aren’t Girardi’s fault. However, I have to say that his team doesn’t exactly look inspired every night out there.

        They look more like “deer in the headlights” losers than “this shit has got to stop right now” losers. Does it matter? I’m not sure. But it would be nice to see the players show half the emotions as the fans after they lose a baseball game every single night for a week.

        • BigTimeBartolo

          haha kidding about the Girardi thing. I just like typing out FIRE GIRARDI! in all caps.

          But yeah he’s not doing a good job at all of firing the guys up. Some players (Jeter, Cano), seem to be satisfied with the fact that they make an out on the first pitch. Especially Robbie who acts like it’s no big deal and starts goofing off in the dugout. Kinda annoying to see stuff like that

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          But it would be nice to see the players show half the emotions as the fans after they lose a baseball game every single night for a week.

          I think that would probably be a bad idea. Fans fanatically overreact to wins and losses. I don’t want the players to emotionally emulate the fans, I want the fans to emotionally emulate the players, who generally speaking are way better at showing proper perspective.

          There’s a reason that “fan” is short for “fanatic”, you know.

          • theyankeewarrior

            I think I agree with you. That’s why I said half. Some of these guys have been through this so many times that they don’t even blink at a 6 game losing streak. I’d rather they be the team that starts to lose their minds after a 4 game losing streak than the one who doesn’t even think there is a problem until it gets to 10.

            But like I said, it probably doesnt matter. Just frustrating to see some of these brush off their .400 OPS like dirt on their pants.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Some of these guys have been through this so many times that they don’t even blink at a 6 game losing streak. I’d rather they be the team that starts to lose their minds after a 4 game losing streak than the one who doesn’t even think there is a problem until it gets to 10.

              Meh, I’d worry about that if we were the Mets, a team that actually had 10-game losing streaks on the regular and had a roster full of guys who have never really been around sustained success.

              We have a team full of guys who have won a lot and are used to winning a lot. They generally know how to keep perspective during a rough patch without allowing extended losing to become acceptable.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    I pretty much agree with everything except Gardner batting leadoff. I like Gardner, and I like him in the ninth spot. Plus, Jeter would probably just hit into a double play every time Gardner led off with a hit anyway.

    • BigTimeBartolo

      or Gardner decides to try and steal to avoid the GIDP and gets caught instead

  • Kostas

    So in reading all the comments, it is interesting to me that no one has questioned why the Yankees as an organization refuse to make serious moves that are common place for other teams. Cliff Lee was sent down, Halladay was sent down, the Angels are constantly using their own products as well as Tampa. But somehow the mighty $200 million dollar machine ran by a clusterfuck of insanity – yes Levine I am pointing at you and bipolar Hal – remain mired with the in ability to figure out what is best for the team. Ironically, it seems that they have reverted back to that successful formula the moved the Yankees from 2003-2008.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I’m 100% positive that fans of the Indians, Blue Jays, Angels, and Devil Rays also went batshit insane questioning “WHY HASN’T PLAYER X BEEN SENT DOWN/CALLED UP YET?!?!??!” all the time with their franchises. We just don’t know their frustration like we know ours because we’re not them and we’re not following the day-to-day of their franchises like we do ours.

      There’s not some massive, gigantic difference between what Cashman/the team is doing right now and what other teams have done. Every team in baseball gives its veterans most of the early season to hopefully straighten themselves out, and every team in baseball waits until May/June/July before promoting prospects or AAAA filler guys from the minors to plug holes.

      I think you’re overstating your case a bit. There are moves we’d all like the team to have made, but not having made them yet is not some horrendous example of organizational clusterfuckery. It’s not that big a deal.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Okay… who do you want sent down?

      Also I’m pretty sure sending pitching back down to AAA isn’t what made them a successful team.

      • Kostas

        It is not about sending people down and I am not saying that sending pitching down to AAA made the team successful. I am saying that the perception is that the Yankees solution is to just throw money at problems like a step parent rather than figure out where the process is wrong. There is too much talent on this team for it to perform like the Mariners – and it is not the losing streak but how they are losing. They are playing at a AA level right now.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I am saying that the perception is that the Yankees solution is to just throw money at problems like a step parent rather than figure out where the process is wrong.

          That’s just a perception, and it’s just yours.

          The Yankees are trying to figure out where the process is wrong, all the time. Asserting that they’re not, that’s just false.

  • Dr. O

    Really how is it that Ken Singleton returning from leave is the first person to put together that A-Rod’s struggles seemed to start after his oblique injury? No one else at YES picked up on that one?

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

      Uh, they’ve been talking about it for a week now.

      • Thomas

        While all the announcers picked up on the problem, only Ken Singleton was able to communicate the idea well to Dr. O. Thus, Ken Singleton’s announcing is like good coaching for Dr. O.

      • Dr. O

        excuse me for not hanging on every word that comes out of Michael Kay’s mouth.

        • Sayid J.

          Well considering the comment you made, it’d probably be a good idea to at least listen to the broadcast…

          • Dr. O

            SNARKTASTIC!

  • Billy Mumphrey

    Couldn’t agree with you more. And there were some of us that were advocating changes a week or two ago. It’s a shame we weren’t heard because we may have avoided this mess we’re currently in.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Cliff Lee walked 6 and is 2-4.

    Soothing the pain…..

    • Cris Pengiuci

      Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    I wonder how much better this stretch of games would have gone if Chavez hadn’t re-broken his perma-broken foot in that freaky triple trot. I’ve got a feeling he would have helped a ton.

    Chavez being healthy means we can easily rest ARod or Posada (or both, with Jones) and turn one (or two) of our auto-outs back into productive batters.

    Hurry back, Mr. Glass.

    • Kostas

      but don’t you think the fact that just Chavez as the only viable option on the bench speaks to how poorly constructed the team is and how invaluable the development of minor league players has been to this team? This goes back to what you responded to my comment – and yes I am overstating a bit. However, who fills in for the starters when they need a rest? Chavez was a dual postion guy 1st and 3rd. After that….. Nunez is just not there. Andrew Jones is a slight upgrade from Thames – points for defense not hitting. This is really where I was going with what I said, with all the resources the Yankees have there should be more league ready talent and there is not.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        but don’t you think the fact that just Chavez as the only viable option on the bench speaks to how poorly constructed the team is and how invaluable the development of minor league players has been to this team?

        No. Most teams in baseball don’t have an extra Eric Chavez kind of guy stashed in AAA to replace that player when he’s injured.

        When teams have injuries, they fill in those injuries with inferior players and take the brunt of it. That’s life. The Yankees are not the first team to have lost a few players to injury and had a subsequent losing streak as they struggle to cover the holes of slumping players with less-than-optimal depth.

        You’re overstating the problem again.

        This is really where I was going with what I said, with all the resources the Yankees have there should be more league ready talent and there is not.

        All the resources the Yankees have go into making sure that our BEST 15 players are better than the BEST 15 players of other teams. Our resources go to make sure that our #1 starting baseman is Mark Teixiera and not Adam LaRoche. Our resources go into ensuring that our #2 starter is AJ Burnett and not Kyle Davies or Vin Mazzaro. The extra 100-200M the Yankees spend is concentrated at the top where it makes the most impact.

        No team can spend gobs of extra money accumulating tons of extra depth in AAA, because talented ballplayers won’t take financial largess in exchange for becoming back-up options in the minor leagues. You can spend your way into having better talent on the big leagues; you can’t really spend your way into having unassailable depth in the minor leagues. Developing a robust and deep farm is a challenge for every team, regardless of their major league budget or financial resources.

        • Kostas

          Fair enough. Well stated.

        • Rob Thomsen’s Chili Farts

          Most teams don’t spend $200 million.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Thanks for not reading what I said. At all.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        However, who fills in for the starters when they need a rest?

        Bench players are bench players for a reason though. The Yankees have a very very strong bench. You can’t get starter quality players for your bench, so the guys on your bench will always be flawed.

        • Clay Bellinger

          I mean just think of the guys that they’ve had on the bench the last few years early in the season. It’s tough to find good bench players, especially on a good AL team.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            It’s tough to find good bench players, especially on a good AL team.

            That. Players like playing. So much so that they’ll sign on to take a bigger role on a bad team over a smaller role on a good one. Happens every single winter.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Yep, exactly…and you can’t blame them. Usually leaves the Yanks stuck with guys like Pena, Winn, Ensberg, Ransom, Berroa, Phelps, etc. until they can take a Hairston or Vizcaino off a non-contender. We’re lucky to have Chavy this year.

        • Kostas

          I understand bench players are bench players. And I get that you can’t get starter quality as bench players. However, the gaps mentioned below are really more to the point. The Yankees try to build a bench with the best talent available. When that talent fails, as it seems to do, they are stuck with players that may not be expansion team worthy. That is a huge gap. The replacement player for the failed bench player should be more league ready than what the Yankees use. Nothing against a Penz or Nunez but they are fillers for teams like the Astros or Pirates, not the Yankees. Stated another way, where is the replacement for Jeter? Shouldn’t that person already be within the organization and moving his way through. That is my point with “who fills in for the starters”.

  • Billy Mumphrey

    And he changes I advocated last week were many of the same Mike gave. After the Vin Mazzaro game things should have changed dramatically. Jeter should have been moved down to 9th, Gardner to 1st, A-Rod to 6th, Cano to 4th, Grandy to 5th, Martin to 2nd. Joe is scared to make the big move though. Vin Mazzaro who got destroyed by the Indians and sent down to AAA shut us down. Our problem is we have an incompetent manager.

    • Clay Bellinger

      LOL

    • Kostas

      I would go as far as moving Cano to 3rd and Tex to 4th. Cano has the ability to drive in more runs from the 3 spot than Tex. Tex would be better served at 4th.

  • Stevis

    The problem is the little twirp Girardi!
    Does anyone really think he is a good manager??
    A-Rods swing must be f#@ked up because of his oblique,
    he started to stink when he came back from the injury
    I wonder if he is still suffering from it
    too bad Jeter has no excuse and of course there is the ungrateful
    Jorge ..what a set of balls!!
    I wish I could sit on the bench and collect 13m for being a has been!!
    And while i’m at it Gardner …how can a guy not bunt who should be a great bunter since he has no power…mind boggling!
    This debacle cannot continue or we will end up in 4th place

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      If it’s all Girardi’s fault (it’s not but whatever, I’ll go with it), how can you then blame A-Rod’s oblique, Jeter, Gardner and Jorge?

      • Rob Thomsen’s Chili Farts

        To play devil’s advocate, you could blame Girardi for not standing up to Jeter and Po-Po (until now). He’s the manager, he should put his best lineup out there. Don’t worry about prima donnas.

        • Monteroisdinero

          When Reggie Jackson seemingly jogged after a ball in RF at Fenway years ago, Billy Martin took him out of the game and the two nearly came to blows in the dugout. Billy wouldn’t tolerate primadonnas and Reggie was one of the biggest.

          Billy was unique and shot from the hip. He was far from perfect-an alcoholic and far less educated than Girardi but he was in charge.

          Joe is more of a circle the wagons/conciliator/protect my guys in public type of guy

          • Yank the Frank

            Reggie was also George’s guy and resented by Billy from day 1, and not at the time a Yankee icon.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Don’t worry about prima donnas.

          I think you mean “pre-Madonnas”.

          /thatoneguy’d

    • Monteroisdinero

      Correction: 5th place

    • JerseyDutch

      Please call him by his proper name: Joey Binders.

  • Jorge

    I’d love to have a time machine to that moment where Jesus Montero is batting about .250 is his first 50 or so at-bats with about one homer.

    • Monteroisdinero

      So? Look at Posada’s stats as a 25! year old, not 21. We were patient with him and we should be with Montero. Jorge’s first full season was as a 26 year old. Jesus has 4-5 years on him.

    • David, Jr.

      If that is the case, you would stick with him. He is generally regarded as one of the two or three best hitting prospects in minor league baseball. Patience would be worth it because of the upside.

  • AC

    Years ago didn’t they bring up Cano and Wang from AA years ago? Bring someone up I think it’s time

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Montero might be Cano’s equivalent. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have a ready Wang just hanging out down there, though.

      (sets it up on a tee, walks away)

  • JerseyDutch

    At this point I’m all for wholesale changes. Start bringing up guys from AAA that can hit and pitch by the boatload. Tell Jorge his years of service are greatly appreciated but he needs to retire. Keep Jeter on a short leash. Let everyone know that no one has security in their position and they need to perform. Basically shake things up and keep people on their toes. We still have a great core group here, we just need to jolt it back to life.

    • Clay Bellinger

      “Start bringing up guys from AAA that can hit and pitch by the boatload.”

      Who are you referring to?

      “Tell Jorge his years of service are greatly appreciated but he needs to retire.”

      And just pay the remainder of the 13 mil he’s owed this year?

      • JerseyDutch

        The boatload of guys in AAA, natch.

        Yes, he needs to go.

  • CMP

    After Pettitte retired and Lee signed with the Phillies, the Yankees in my opinion started the season on paper as a 88-90 win team.

    I still think that’s where they are today and unless Cashman can upgrade things in the next few months, I see them missing out on the wild card by a few games.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Edwin Jackson and Carlos Beltran?

      • YanksFan77

        Please, no more inflated contracts/egos that management has to cater to.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Both of those men are free agents at season’s end. Jackson might be retained (but only if he pitches well). Beltran is old and would only be retained at dirt-cheap prices as a backup.

          • CMP

            I’d take them both if the cost were low in terms of prospects. I especially think Beltran could have a few good years left as part time DH/right fielder and Jackson would be our umber 2 or at worst number 3 starter right now.

  • YanksFan77

    I’d love to see Jeter step up as Captain of the Yankees and say, “You know what, I’m hitting .255. I don’t deserve to hit in the leadoff spot, drop me down to 7th, and let Gardner take my spot, cause he’s raking right now.”

    Change needs to come from the top…enough of trying to mend these major issues with band-aids.

    • Jon L

      It’ll never happen so there’s no point in even arguing for it.

      • YanksFan77

        I know…I’d still love to see it though. If our captain has such a me first attitude, how can the rest be any different?

    • David, Jr.

      Beautiful! That would make Jeter a real leader.

      I would go:

      Gardner
      Grandy
      Cano
      ARod
      Tex
      Swisher
      Montero
      Martin
      Jeter

      The tricky point will come if they rally strongly by July. Then, above anything, please don’t trade prime prospects for somebody else’s declining dog.

      • Joe P

        This is the best suggestion I have seen. I really wonder what might happen if he puts Jeter 9th. My only beef with this lineup is that Swish and Martin should be swapped. Swish can’t get a big hit for his life this year. 0/17 with RISP and 2 outs is not acceptable for a 6th hitter. But, like many others have said, Joe G needs to grow a pair and put the best team out on the field for the paying fans.

        I went to all of the games last week and there was simply no juice in the stadium. At that point, it’s clear that things need to change. This may have been the saddest week I’ve ever spent at Yankee Stadium. The

  • Avi Atkin

    A lot of good points, Mike. The bullpen issue sticks out the most in my mind. In addition to piling on the workload on Joba+DRob due to Girardi’s strategy, the Yankees haven’t really given their prospects any opportunities. These two factors coupled together don’t bode well for the overall performance of the bullpen.

    Now, I understand it’s the Yankees and the focus is on the “now” – but in the midst of this slide, one of these guys could make an impact. The Yankees will in better shape for this postseason if they began to promote some guys.