Offense warning signs abound during road trip

Lifeless Yankees shut out in series finale loss to Rays
Mason Williams arrested on misdemeanor DUI charge
(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

The Yankees were flat-out dominated by Rays right-hander Alex Cobb last night, who held them to three singles and a walk in 8.1 scoreless innings. The loss capped off six-game road trip that saw the Yankees score five total runs with one extra-base hit in the final three games. Stuff like that happens, every team will have a few ugly series throughout the year, but the road trip as a whole featured some warning signs on the offensive side of the ball. Not full blown reasons to panic, but cracks in the dam.

The Schedule Isn’t So Favorable Anymore
After facing Jon Lester on Opening Day, the Yankees saw nine right-handed starters in the next nine games. It would have been eleven righty starters in eleven games had the two games against the Indians not be rained out. That was a pretty awesome coincidence because it allowed the team to trot out its very best lineup day after day for close to two weeks. It was a very nice early season routine.

Since that stretch of nine straight games with right-handed opposing starter, the Yankees have seen six left-handed starters in their last ten games. They’re scheduled to see two more lefties during the upcoming four-game series against the Blue Jays, then after that they will see the Astros (one lefty starter in the rotation), the Athletics (two lefties), and Rockies (two lefties). Those nine straight games against a righty was an anomaly, the product of some fortunate roster building (by the other teams) and scheduling. The Yankees don’t hit southpaws at all and they’re going to start seeing them a lot more regularly in the coming weeks.

Early Overachievers Coming Back To Earth
The Yankees have one of, if not the best pro scouting department in baseball. They constantly unearth productive players from the scrap heap, particularly when it comes to veteran retreads. This year they’ve struck gold with Hafner (192 wRC+) and especially Vernon Wells (156 wRC+), the latter of whom has resurrected his career after two amazingly awful seasons with the Angels. His production so far is like, 95th percentile stuff. He’s exceed expectations that much.

As great as two have been, it’s unreasonable to expect them to hit like that in the long-term. You could count the number of true-talent 150+ wRC+ guys in the league on one hand, and those two don’t belong to that club. That isn’t to say they’ll hit Quad-A players going forward, but there will be some performance decline. It’s inevitable. Frankie Cervelli (129 wRC+) belongs in that mix as well, though I don’t think Kevin Youkilis (119 wRC+) is playing way over his head. It’s tough to count on Hafner, Wells, and Cervelli continuing what they’ve done during the first 20 team games.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Underachievers Aren’t All that Great
Regression to the mean works two ways — while guys like the three I just mentioned cool off and return to Earth, the guys who are underperforming will heat up to replace some of that lost production. The only problem is that the guys who are underachieving so far just aren’t all that good to begin win.

Ichiro Suzuki (49 wRC+) was a sub-90 wRC+ guy in his last 1,400 plate appearances or so coming into 2013. Eduardo Nunez (35 wRC+) came into the year with a career 88 wRC+ in parts of three seasons. Jayson Nix (51 wRC+) … Ben Francisco (-25 wRC+) … Lyle Overbay (75 wRC+) … those guys haven’t been productive offensive players for years now. Maybe one or two of them will get super duper hot and replace whatever the Yankees lose from Wells & Co., but we’re not talking about offensive dynamos having a few bad weeks here. They’re poor hitters hitting poorly.

The Calvary Is Coming … But Who Knows What To Expect
If things go according to plan, Curtis Granderson (forearm) will return to the lineup in mid-May, Mark Teixeira (wrist) will return in late-May, Derek Jeter (ankle) will return right after the All-Star break, and Alex Rodriguez (hip) will return shortly after that. Those are four pretty significant bats the team could be welcoming back to the lineup in the coming weeks, but there’s no way of knowing how they will perform once they return.

Wrist injuries are known to both linger and sap power, so Teixeira is very much a question mark. Maybe he’ll be fully healed, maybe he’ll struggle to put together quality swings. A-Rod now has two bad hips and who knows what that means going forward — will he be able to use his lower half in his swing? Jeter’s ankle is a concern because he’s already suffered one significant setback, plus he’s a 38-year-old shortstop who needs to be able to make quick side-to-side movements. Players like Jason Kendall and Stephen Drew have suffered significant ankle breaks in the not-too-distant past and it took both guys weeks before finding balance at the plate and returning to their previous levels of production. It’s great these guys are coming, but we won’t know how much they can contribute until they actually get out on the field and back in the lineup. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have them than not have them, but I don’t think they should be counted on as offense saviors. There are just too many unknowns.

Lifeless Yankees shut out in series finale loss to Rays
Mason Williams arrested on misdemeanor DUI charge
  • coolerking101

    Agree with everything said here except lumping Nunez into the group of has-been and never was type players. He’s been banged up this year, which explains his poor start. He’s shown real hitting ability in the past. Certainly 290/340 is possible. For a SS, that would be great. Not to mention his play in the field is much improved. Made two great plays last night.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      290/340 is very optimistic for a career 264/313/366 hitter (271/314/365 career MiLB).

      • WhittakerWalt

        Another Nuney acolyte who’s somehow convinced themselves that he’s a REAL HITTER.
        Based on nothing other than he’s one of our guys.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Based on the fact that he’s a career 88 wrc+ guy.

          He’s not amazing, and he’s below average, but slightly below average hitting is still hitting.

          • WhittakerWalt

            I just get tired of people saying “we all know Nuney’s going to hit, he just needs a chance!”
            1. All evidence indicates he’ll be a below average hitter at best. IF he can be a 88 wrc guy with great defense, I can live with it. If not…
            2. He’s getting all the chance he could ever want. Stop making excuses.

            • Jim Is Bored

              What excuses am I making?

              • WhittakerWalt

                Sorry Jim. I didn’t mean you. I meant the likes of Mark Feinsand who thinks Nuney’s focusing so much on his defense now that he’s neglecting his offense.

            • Voice of Reason

              He’s never going to play great defense (if he did, who needs Jeter?), but let’s be serious: he’s not going to hit anywhere near this poorly for the rest of the year, there’s next to no chance of that. I don’t think anyone serious expects him to be an above ML average hitter, but in his career he’s hit easily well enough to be a more-than-passable fill in SS. He’d make a crappy starter, but that’s not what he is. The problem lies with his defense.

    • RetroRob

      I think Nunez’s potential hitting abilities are overrated by some, but I do think he can hit and run well enough for a MLB shortstop. It’s the fielding that will be the main question. In the regards, I think he will do a better job than most expect, as long as he is limited to SS.

  • mitch

    Nobody could possibly expect the yankees to be a legit title contender with the current roster. April is almost over and they should finish at or above .500 for the month. I know i would have signed for that before the season started.

    • upstate yanks

      Getting Tex and Grandy back will be huge. We need to eliminate guys like Overbay and Bosche/Franciso/Nix being in the everyday lineup.

  • Jim Is Bored

    There are always “warning signs” if you want to look for them.

    All I know is we wanted to be at or slightly above .500 when the cavalry returned, and with our pitching and surprise offensive contributions, we’re well on our way to that.

    • Steve

      That’s true, but when that number was arrived at Jeter was expected to be part of that cavalry in early May.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        How many wins between May and July will Jeter be worth on his own?

        • Steve

          Couldn’t even begin to guess. 3 or 4 maybe? Between his positive contributions and the Nix/Nunez combinations negative contributions.

          He also has a positive impact on the game that doesn’t show up in his WAR, such as lengthening the lineup, moving runners up, etc.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            3-4 wins? Even 1999 Jeter wouldn’t likely make that big a difference in that time span. 2013 Jeter?? Forget it.

            • Steve

              Well in less than a month his replacements have combined for -.5 losses already. Give them 3 more and who knows where they land. That’s without factoring in any positive contributions from Jeter.

              • Steve

                -.5 wins that is

              • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

                Nunez is Jeter’s replacement. Nix really has nothing to do with it. He’s the backup, as he was last year.

                I’m going to go out on a limb and say Nunez isn’t going to hit 184/276/204 until the All-Star break, since there is no reason to expect him to hit that badly over that long of a period. Most likely, he’ll end up somewhere right around replacement level over that span. Realistically, Jeter wouldn’t be worth much more than about 1 win in that span, if that much.

        • MannyGeee

          My guess is ONE. TOPS.

          3 to 4 if we’re talking about 2002 Jeter, but at 38 and coming off an ankle injury, he is a marginal offensive upgrade and a wash defensively over Nunie/Nix.

          • Steve

            Again, you’re ignoring that his replacements have literally been less than replacement level. If Jeter puts up even replacement level numbers over 3 months he’s going to be worth at least a win or two. His replacements have been worth -.5 already

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              You’re assuming Nunez continues to hit horribly. There is no logical reason to think he’ll continue to perform that badly. You’re also assuming Jeter would play everyday. He wouldn’t.

        • qwerty

          -10. I have doubts we’ll see Jeter this year, but if he comes back it almost certainly be as a DH.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’m not normally a fan of the more NEGATIVE VIBE posts from Mike but, yeah, pretty much all of this.

    Of course, as Mike said, while every single one of these things could happen, and some likely will, it’s not likely they all will happen at the same time. I still think this current makeshift lineup is going to continue to exceed expectations a bit.

    I’m also glad Mike mentioned that the regulars returning isn’t exactly a cure-all. They all have to continue getting their stride back, avoid bad habits in the name of “pulling weight after being out” or “carrying the team” (and some of these guys are pretty prone to stuff like that), and work themselves back into a sort-of-established chemistry. The grass isn’t necessarily 100% greener on the other side, but that’s baseball. If it’s new to you that the team was going to face adversity in 2013, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Nix is a career fill-in. Overbay is a BU1B at this point. Francisco’s an ESPN8 analyst-in-training. I’m actually strangling Brennan Boesch with my other hand at the moment, although that relationship is salvageable. I’m not quite sure what I’m looking at with Nunez and Cervelli. I think Cervelli settles back in into something that approaches or slightly exceeds Russell Martin (I’m very open to being wrong in either direction there), and my already-short fuse with Eduardo Nunez isn’t getting any longer.

    Troll filter, Jim?

    • MannyGeee

      I would like to add to this point to mention that along with the cavalry returning and returning to ‘bad habits’, there is also the ‘bigger than that’ theory.

      Example: If you have a man on 2nd and no outs with Nix coming up to bat and you’re down a run, you KNOW he’s bunting. With A Rod batting in the same situation, you KNOW he’s grounding out to SS. Same situation, two different players, two VERY different outcomes.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Agree with pretty much everything, which means trolls will disagree with pretty much everything.

      Just, to me, a “warning sign” would be something new. We all knew that Wells and Hafner wouldn’t hit like HOFers all year. We all knew at best Nunez was going to be an average hitter, below average defender. We all knew that Cervelli was going to outperform Martin :)

      We’re working with spare parts that were never supposed to be the backbone of a long term contender. All we can hope for is that some people play over their heads, and the people who under perform don’t cripple us. And that our pitching keeps us in games.

      The “warning signs” Mike is referring to are nothing new, basically.

      • Jim Is Bored

        But for some perspective, take a look at some of the other lineups in the AL East. You’ll all feel better for it.

  • Monty

    Ben Francisco must be banging Cashman’s side piece for him to still be on the team batting .080 as the DH. OR Adam’s must have pissed off Girardi more than Frankie Cervelli did last year to be overlooked so much that hes rotting away in AAA while Ben Francisco puts up that .080 and Youk sits on the bench with a bad back.

    It makes zero sense at all why they are doing what they are doing with this simple 1 for 1 Adams for Francisco.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Who in David Adams’s family are you banging, then?

    • Fuzzy Dunlop

      I agree. Now is the time for Adams. It is a simple one for one. Adams has proved he can hit in the minors when healthy. Francisco has proved he can’t hit in the big leagues when healthy. Give Adams some AB’s at 3B against lefties and allow Nix (for now!) to stay on the bench for emergency use only.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If he’s healthy, I actually think the Francisco slot is tailor-made for a certain Future HOFer nursing a bruise in his rodilla.

        • MannyGeee

          hehehe… I see what you did there.

  • Fuzzy Dunlop

    Maybe its time for David Adams to make an appearance in the Bronx. He’s healthy and hitting. It would also allow Youk to play first against the lefties without having to play Nix. Benny Francisco can then pursue his ESPN career.

  • trr

    Regretfully, I must agree with much of what Mike wrote. There are no realistic options available to us at this stage of the season, unless we promote untested players from the minors. That actually should be an upgrade for us when dealing with the Ben Franciscos/Brennan Boesches of the world, but SS is really troubling me. I consider Nunez to be a borderline Major Leaguer, Nix a 25th man type. When (if?) Jeter returns, will he even be able to play the field? We need to be on the lookout for any type of SS upgrade, especially if the situation is still dire at the All Star break.

    Even with all that, a .500 April is positive in light of all the injuries. With everything being equal (I know, it rarely is!) this team’s best baseball should still ahead of it. Again, the FO must be open to dealing, especially at the trading deadline.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I agree we need an extra hand at SS. I just don’t know what the hell that looks like.

      Perhaps there’s a Melky Mesa equivalent in someone else’s system to deal for….some 25 y/o prospect with some bit of upside, with a visible AAAA floor, who could provide some depth and we could swap out our potential similar DFA fodder for.

      I think Nix can handle himself just fine in spurts as a fill-in, but he’s going to be an eventual drain on your team if he’s playing every day.

      • Fuzzy Dunlop

        You hit the nail on the head with Nix. Fill in he’s fine. More than that he’s a drain.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          We get too many comments on here lambasting him. When put in the role he’s supposed to be in, I very much like Jayson Nix. Sadly, I’m of the Suzyn Waldman school of appreciating our professional journeymen.

          Hell, even now, the defensive play he made two nights ago was one of the most important moments of that comeback.

          • MannyGeee

            The most amazing part of Nix’s game is that he is the same guy whether he’s playing 5 games a week or 5 days a month. I don’t know if that speaks better to his ability to shake off and resist “rust”, or his inability to get better with more reps.

            All that said, he is the gold standard of super-subs, but a well below average starter.

  • Eddard

    This team was asked to finish .500 for a month and they’re close to achieving that goal. They’d have to go 1-4 in their next 5 to finish under .500 for the month. The schedule does get more favorable these next 7 games. They’re back at home for one and they’re playing the Jays and hapless Astros.

    Nuney’s coming back to life. Ichiro’s coming back to life. Hafner, Cervelli and Wells will continue to mash. Youk has been out which hurt the offense. They had to rest a couple players because they were playing 6 straight games on turf. They’re back home now and once they go 5-2 in their next 7 we’ll be singing this team’s praises once again.

    • LK

      If anyone’s really bored, I’d love to see a count of the number of times Eddard has used the phrase “hapless Astros”.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Athenian can do a study.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Has he even been here since you started banging that drum?

      • WhittakerWalt

        It’s still well behind his usage of “clubhouse cancer” I’m sure.

  • http://riveravenueblues mississippi Doc

    If our major concern is the under performance of Ben Francisco, who clearly will be gone in the near future, then we all need to get a new hobby. Cashman does somehow seem to find and resurrect zombies, e.g., Jon Lieber, Aaron Small, Shaun Chacon, Eric Chavez, Marcus Thames, Raul Ibanez, and maybe now Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Pronk. Give him some credit. He is laboring under a salary cap imposed on him not made by him.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Absolutely. This Francisco stuff is silly, but it’s the stuff blog comment sections were made for.

      I don’t think Francisco belongs on the team either, but no one is dragging their feet on anything when we haven’t even reached the end of April.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      The “salary cap” doesn’t start until next year (if it happens).
      Cashman is currently “laboring” under the highest payroll in baseball.

      • Bubba

        One of those day-to-day people, huh? I guess multi-year guaranteed contracts have no impact next year. The cap exists even if the implementation is a year off.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          “One of those day-to-day people, huh?”


          “The cap exists even if the implementation is a year off.”

          I realize this. I just don’t think it would have made much/any difference to this years team. Most likely they still would have signed Youkilis, Kuroda, Pettitte, and Mo and would have had little room in this year’s already high budget to do much else significant, even if their was no restriction for next year’s budget. Even if the cap was in place now, $189M would still be more than every non-Dodger team in baseball.
          Cashman was hardly in a bad place in terms of being able to spend, at least relative to other teams. Saying he was “laboring” with the restrictions is quite the overstatement, imo.

          That said, injuries are the key reason why they are as hobbled as they are right now. I don’t blame Cashman for that. But I do think Cashman deserves a hit for a farm system with a big gap in ready talent, and for not being able to come up with a solid bench in the offseason, things that could have mitigated the damage caused by the injuries.

          • Bubba

            “Laboring” might be a bit much, but the purse strings seem to have been tightened. His ability to spend has clearly been hampered. Without a cap, there’s a chance Swisher is still around and possibly Martin (though I doubt it).

            I agree somewhat on the farm.

    • trr

      I’m on record as supporting Cashman. His hits clearly outweigh his misses,(my missus is just fine, thanks) though some here seem to be in abject denial of this fact. Perhaps Francisco is simply here to to be the whipping boy until A-rod returns? Anyway, yeah, I don’t think the team can take much more of Francisco, even in his limited role. Just one key AB from the man while he’s here would be nice, though…

      • Robinson Tilapia

        They’d be pissing on the GM no matter who it was. The GM is always a favorite whipping boy of the disgruntled section of the fanbase, no matter where you are.

        I get at least three emails a day from my Dolphin fan friends complaining about Jeff Ireland. I had no clue who he even was, but they seem to think he’s the devil. It happens.

        Even when you have FIVE world championships in your tenure which, of course, Buck Showalter, Gene Michael, Fran Healy, Horace Clarke, and a batboy were more responsible for, right?

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)


          • Robinson Tilapia

            Michael was there in ’96, right? Whoops.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              Nope. Watson.

            • Piltdown Man

              Watson was GM in ’96.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Clyde King, then? OK.

        • trr

          LOL, some fans have trouble giving credit where credit is due, yet have no problem piling on when mistakes are made…

          I couldn’t give you a name right now for SS, but we all know more players are available come mid-season. I’ll put my faith in Cash & Co. to come with aan accetable upgrade when one is available.

          • Jim Is Bored

            It’s human nature nowadays.

            We’re way, way, way more apt to focus on negatives. Just the way things are.

  • gc

    Here’s a warning sign: when you know you’re about to face really good pitching (like the Yankees did these past three games), don’t be surprised if you don’t score a ton of runs.

  • Pseudoyanks

    Cavalry. Calvary is the location of the crucifixion. Perhaps a Freudian slip?

    • JRod

      Hilarious. Good one.

      • Pseudoyanks

        Let’s hope Cash man is off the crutches and able to run.

    • MannyGeee

      I laughed. Well played Mauer

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    Yep, pretty much. We knew this was going to happen eventually, let’s just hope the pitching could keep us hovering around 500 until we get some of our big guns back. Sounds reasonable to me.

  • Brendan

    Calvary is where our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ redeemed the sins of the world. Cavalry is soldiers on horses (or in tanks, nowadays). Either is an inept metaphor for the return of aging star baseball players, but I’m sure you meant the latter.

    • trr

      baseball AND proper English….what more could you ask for from your favorite blog?

  • Vern Sneaker

    What I think I’m watching is pretty much what most expected: a team that can reasonably be projected to win 85-90 games and give us more of a roller coaster ride than we’ve become accustomed to over many years. The era of the Core Four/Five/(or whatever the number
    was) is over and in truth, as far as achieving consistent playoff appearances, we’re at the beginning of a rebuilding phase. I don’t mind, hoping for the best.

  • LK

    Ben Francisco, 2013: 28 PA, .080/.179/.080
    Robinson Cano, 2012 ALDS: 23 PA, .091/.130/.182
    Robinson Cano, 2012 ALCS: 18 PA, .056/.056/.056

    Baseball players slump people. If Francisco has one game where he goes 3-4 with a walk and 2 homers, his stats all of a sudden look totally fine. Is there a good chance he sucks? Yes. Have we seen enough to determine that? No.

    • trr

      Except, good ol’ BF is also being views in light of his last few years, which include being released by the powerhouse Houston Astros…

      • LK

        I’m not saying I expect Francisco to be good, I just wanted to point out that 28 PAs tells us approximately nothing. The whole “HOW CAN CASHMAN KEEP A GUY WHO’S HITTING .080 ON THE TEAM?!?!?!?!” is getting a little tiresome. Probably everyone on the team will hit .080 for a 28-PA span at some point this year, and they can’t release all of them.

    • Brendan

      Safely disregard any comment by someone comparing small samples of Ben Francisco and Robinson Cano as though they’re significant.

  • Early Overachievers Coming Back To Earth

    Early Overachievers Coming Back To Earth

    While I keep reading the Yesnetwork forums those people are a bunch idiot. I kept saying “Early Overachievers Coming Back To Earth” ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Travis L.

    Off-topic comment….Mason Williams got arrested this morning for DUI, but blew under the limit. He was at .06 and the limit is .08. Not sure how that works…wouldnt fly up here, but that was in Tampa, FL.

    • Luis Castillo (Not the one who dropped the ball)

      Jesus, drinking on a wednesday… that’s what I’d call a nice life. On the other hand, the DUI not cool, people shoud just call a taxi, I don’t get why they don’t do it, it’s so simple.

      • MannyGeee

        I hate to be the bad immoral guy here, but I am giving him a pass on this one. A .06 is literally 2 beers, which one could have had with a meal.

        It’s not like Todd Helton getting stinking drunk and roaming the Rocky Mountains like a whiskey filled Yeddi…

        Driving drunk is a horrible horrible thing, but blowing a .06 (UNDER THE LEGAL LIMIT), by definition, is not driving drunk. He gets a pass from me.

        MannyGeee is a horrible horrible person and should die in a fire in 3…..2……

  • hornblower

    There are no salary cap issues at this time. There are no players available to trade for or buy. Expect Grandi back soon and playing against righties. There is no need to use him against lefties. He is a free-agent to be and there is no need to showcase him. Tex is the big need because he is a right handed hitter. Perhaps they are trying to get Mustelier ready to play some third and DH. Nix is playing too often. Also, I would be very surprised if Alex plays this year. If healthy he will probably be suspended. If the pitching stays strong they should be in it all year.

  • Greg C

    So, what’s this Jeter press conference about?

  • LarryM Fl

    “It is what it is”. I sit and watch the games with the knowledge that the players who are injured will return later then sooner. With the expectation of a delay of their past performances. So, I have hopes for a playoff run but realize the fate of the AL East will revolve around the players who are on the DL for each team.

    But I doubt the wild cards come from the AL East.


    So a 3-3 road trip is the harbinger of death?

    I sure didn’t expect the guys who were killing it early (Pronk, Youk, Cervy, Wells) to keep that up all season. But if you break down the roller coaster of most hitters’s seasons, there will always be ups and downs. A 10 for 20 will be followed by a 2 for 20.

    So now it’s time for Gardy and Ichiro and Nunez to pick it up, which they have recently.

    The season is way too long for this type of “Warning Signs” post. Tampa swept a HEALTHY Yankee team at the Trop last year. How’d the season turn out? Now that’s not to say this one will work out the same way, but I remember the bridge jumping extravaganza this site morphed into after that series.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I disagree. I think Mike’s assessment here is pretty fair. We need to remember that not everyone will continue to trend in the same direction, and that the return of the calvary/cavalry/vacalry won’t come with its own set of challenges.

      It’s not a harbinger of death. It’s a fair reminder of where the challenges still lie, and will continue to lie.

      • FEED.ME.MORE!

        I’m not saying Mike isn’t being fair. But I fail to see how inconsistency in an inconsistent sport is a “Warning sign”.

        Most here expected Youk and Wells and Pronk to suck from the get go. So now that they struggled against a big time pitching staff, reality sets in? The whole offense looked bad against Tampa, but it’s one series.

        Maybe I just look at things from a different perspective. I didn’t expect this team to be the ’27 Yankees. So the ebbs and flows of the season don’t inflate or deflate my point of view on the team. They were never as good as they looked in Cleveland, nor as bad as they looked against Tampa. I expect there will be an adjustment period for Granderson and Tiex. I expect slumps for some guys while other guys get hot.

      • Jim Is Bored

        The problem is not that Mike has ever been “unfair”, well except for his blind eye to the catching situation.

        It’s that every article he writes focuses on the “fair but negative” stuff, rather than the “fair but positive” stuff.

        It’s always a surprise when we win, but a sign of things to come when we lose.

        I mean honestly, every time I read a positive article on RAB recently I realize it’s been written by Joe.

        • gc

          Truth. We just faced three very good pitchers and they all pitched very well. Is that a warning sign about the offense, or just a matter of the odds being pretty good that if those three guys pitch well, they can hold most offenses in baseball down?

          • Jim Is Bored

            Yeah I mean it wasn’t a mystery that TB had some ridiculous talent in their rotation/upper minors.

            They’re going to shut down a lot of offenses this year.


    Should we put out an APB on Mustelier?

    Haven’t heard or read anything about him recently.

    Must be in the Witness Protection program or some shit.

    I think we won’t hear any news about Musty until Granderson comes back. Then PRESTO! Mustelier will reappear, ticketed for AAA.

    We should just trade Musty and Mesa to Houston for a bag of balls. They aren’t good enough to play for us, so why waste time with them?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Didn’t we read just recently that he was about ready to come back? I’d think he’d be a good fit for the role Francisco currently occupies, if healthy.

      • FEED.ME.MORE!

        I missed that article or update. I agree with you. If all Francisco is going to do is DH, and he can’t do the H part, might as well let Mustelier get some run.

        But color me cynical. I just get this feeling that the Yanks will find every excuse to keep Ben Francisco until Grandy comes back. Some injury/40 man/”What if the kid shits the bed?” excuse to keep him here.

        On one hand, we are griping over the 25th man on the team, which borders on overreaction. But conversely, if he’s playing every time we face LHP, and looks feeble doing it, we should look to get a better, or at least a different player to do that job.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Musty had a bone bruise and is coming back soon.

  • nsalem

    Hafner’s lifetime OPS vs lefties is .804 as opposed to Francisco’s .723. Unless DHing Hafner everyday will somehow wear him down or increase his health risk, I don’t understand why he is not in the line-up everyday. Admittedly his lefty OPS numbers have declined over the past couple of years but for now I have more confidence in him producing against a lefty than Francisco. I hope he DH’s tonight.
    I wouldn’t judge to harshly neither Nunez’s lack of offense so far nor Boesch’s bad error last night or his inability to catch up to the triple over the weekend (which an above average right fielder would have caught) Shit happens and so does a bad month. I think we should be patient with these two until Memorial Day’s before crying for their banishments. Cobb pitched well last night and beat us. I don;t think so much should be read into it. Road splits wont kill us in this division of parity. I’m hoping for a 5 and 2 against a couple of sub .500 teams not at full strength. I think the Yankeee’s have a decent chance at be a competitive team this season but it may be a rocky road. Getting too high or low over 1 out of 162 outcomes is a waste of energy. We stole a couple of games last week on other teams errors and it goes both ways.

  • Mike HC

    Francisco has to go. If he is in the lineup again tonight I might be in need of a new TV by the end of the game.

  • dkidd

    am i the only one having fun watching this depleted roster?

    for the last 15 years, yankee struggles would get me so irrationally frustrated. we had all-stars at every position, winning was our birthright! now, we struggle and i think “yep, gonna be a tough year. go team!”

    also, less strikeouts are refreshing

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      K% this season – 18.7%
      K% last season – 18.9%
      Over the 769 PA’s accumulated by the Yankees so far this season, that is the difference of one strikeout over the span of 20 games.


      I’m enjoying this season, same as all the others, for one simple reason:

      Even the dominant, OMG!!!! teams over the years STILL lose 60 games over the course of the season and have a bad series or two along the way. So a tough loss, or a series where your players struggle carries no more weight that a series where you bitch-slap the opposition for 3 days.

    • hornblower

      I too am enjoying the season. As a fan since the 50’s I know winning is not a birthright. They put a good pitcher out there everyday and try to score with what they have. They certainly need some help on the right side but I know that they have roster problems and it is not easy to solve. We fans should just let Cash do his job. I am sure he is doing everything he can to upgrade the talent.

  • Joel


    Calvary is not a word.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Granderson, because I can’t assume Jeter, Tex, or A-Rod will contribute anything like what they used to when they return and therefore wouldn’t predict significant upgrades from them. Grandeson’s injury was straightforward and I see no ongoing issues with it. Tex injury in particular I think is very problematic and I fear when we see Jeter play shortstop we’ll want Nunez back (the 2013 version. Jeter as RH DH will be an upgrade but not as much as Granderson’s run production. A-Rod vs. Youkilis = a wash, in my opinion.