Jun
17

Yankees need to continue shaking up the roster

By
(Dustin Bradford/Getty)

Boesch. (Dustin Bradford/Getty)

Fresh off three offensively inept losses to the Athletics last week, the Yankees called up outfielder Thomas Neal from Triple-A and inserted him right into their lineup during the first two games of the Angels series. The move wasn’t just a response to the 18-inning marathon game either — Neal told Chad Jennings he received the call at 2:15pm ET on Thursday, more than an hour before the marathon game started. The team made the move as a direct response to their struggling offense.

It was just one very small move, and the Yankees shouldn’t stop there. Despite yesterday’s six-run outburst, this is still a club that struggles to put more than four runs on the board on any given night, and lately scoring more than two runs has been a chore. With so many high-profile injuries and scrap heap replacements, the Bombers actually have some roster flexibility and can replace players without having to worry about salaries or contract statuses or egos.

In no particular order, here are four moves the Yankees can make to potentially improve the position player side of their roster. None of these moves are going to transform the offense into a juggernaut, not even close, but even slight upgrades are worth making at this point.

Bring back Brennan Boesch
Boesch, 28, hit .283/.341/.458 (117 wRC+) with 16 homers as recently as 2011. He had surgery to repair the UCL in his right thumb (so the thumb on his front/power hand) following that season, and the lingering effects contributed to his .240/.286/.372 (77 wRC+) line in 2012. The Yankees picked him during Spring Training and outside of a one-week stint with Triple-A Scranton last month, Boesch has not played regularly or been able to get into a groove this season. He managed a .275/.302/.529 (123 wRC+) line during his sporadic appearances with the big league team, and now’s the time to see what he can contribute with regular at-bats. The club’s corner outfielders have been just awful overall this year.

Now, there’s a small problem: Boesch is currently on the Triple-A DL with a shoulder injury. Ken Davidoff said it was a minor issue in multiple articles last week and indicated he could return relatively soon, however. As soon as Boesch is healthy and ready to be activated, the Yankees should call him up and stick him in the lineup everyday. Against righties, against lefties, at home, on the road, whatever. Let him sink or swim. There’s a non-zero chance he can contribute to the team both this year and in the future — Boesch is under control as an arbitration-eligible player through at least 2015 — and this is the time to see what he has.

Swap David Adams for Ronnie Mustelier
It feels like an eternity since the 26-year-old Adams burst onto the scene and went 10-for-31 (.323) with two doubles and two homers in his first eight big league games. Since then, he’s gone 6-for-44 (.136) with one double to drag his season batting line down to .213/.234/.333 (49 wRC+). He also has yet to draw a walk in 77 plate appearances. Adams has gone from everyday third baseman to seldom-used platoon infielder.

(Presswire)

Mustelier. (Presswire)

Mustelier, on the other hand, has put up an unimpressive .280/.319/.408 (96 wRC+) line in 166 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton this year, at least unimpressive compared to the .314/.371/.488 (~140 wRC+) line he managed between Double-A and Triple-A last summer. The 28-year-old Cuban defector has picked it up of late following a slow start, hitting .324/.359/.468 over the last month. He plays third, he plays left, he plays right, he’s hit ever since signing two years ago. The defense is not great (or even good), but if not now, then when?

Of course, we run into another problem: like Boesch, Mustelier is hurt at the moment. He is currently sidelined — not on the DL, just day-to-day — with what amounts to a minor grain strain. I don’t know what the timetable is for his return, but I assume it will be relatively soon since they’ve yet to put him on the 7-day minor league DL. By swapping the two, Adams can go back to Triple-A to get regular playing time and rebuild his confidence while Mustelier gets the opportunity to play third everyday.

Drop Reid Brignac for Alberto Gonzalez
Brignac, 27, is the best defensive shortstop in the entire Yankees organization. He is also hitting .182/.217/.261 (18 wRC+) in 94 plate appearances overall this year, including a .100/.122/.125 mark since joining New York. Big league pitchers are hitting .138/.165/.186 (-9 wRC+) this year, for comparison. There is a minimum standard of acceptable offense and Brignac does not meet it, even at the low standards of shortstop.

The Yankees actually dumped the 30-year-old Gonzalez for Brignac last month, opting for better defense and the left-handed bat. Gonzalez has gone 8-for-35 (67 wRC+) in limited big league time this year, and at Triple-A Scranton he currently owns a .269/.355/.312 (85 wRC+) line. Neither of these guys can hit, but Gonzalez can’t hit slightly less. He’s no slouch with the glove either, in fact he’s probably the second best defensive shortstop in the organization. There isn’t much sense in keeping Brignac around for platoon reasons when he can’t hit at all. Gonzalez could provide a slight upgrade overall, and even if he doesn’t, no big deal. The Yankees really wouldn’t be any worse off.

Shoppach. (Presswire)

Shoppach. (Presswire)

Swap Austin Romine for … someone
Three (three!) competent big league backup catchers were designated for assignment last week, meaning they are freely available to the other 29 teams. One of those catchers (John Baker) has since been claimed by the Dodgers, but the other two (Ramon Hernandez and Kelly Shoppach) are still out there for the taking. Hernandez has hit .208/.291/.438 (103 wRC+) in 55 plate appearances for the Rockies and Dodgers this season while Shoppach put up a .196/.293/.346 (82 wRC+) line in 125 plate appearances for the Mariners.

Romine, 24, has been an absolute disaster even by backup catcher standards, going 7-for-53 (-24 wRC+) with two doubles. Both the 37-year-old Hernandez and 33-year-old Shoppach represent upgrades, allowing Romine to get the regular playing time he desperately needs in Triple-A. Shoppach is particularly appealing because he a) has  hit .239/.333/.428 (112 wRC+) against left-handers since 2010, and b) is familiar with CC Sabathia from their years together with the Indians. As we saw with Romine, the Yankees are obviously concerned about the pitcher-catcher relationship. Shoppach and Sabathia already have a bit of a rapport, which should ease the transition. The backup catcher is pretty much the 25th man on the roster, but an upgrade is an upgrade.

* * *

Obviously these moves aren’t as simple as swapping one guy out for another. Each requires a 40-man roster move and that can get complicated, especially when making multiple moves at the same time. The 40-man is full right now, but guys like Chris Bootcheck, Melky Mesa, Neal, and Brignac are easily cuttable. Remember though, the team is expecting five (!) players to return from 60-day DL at some point this summer barring setbacks. Clogging up the roster with someone like Mustelier might not be ideal. Then again, neither is struggling to score four runs a night.

Categories : Offense

138 Comments»

  1. Romine to me is the most obvious of the moves. I have no idea why Cashman is so loyal. Is he trying to give Romine a taste of the bigs? I’d say he’s gotten that, and he’s not catching regulalry, so what’s the point?

    Get him to AAA and let him do his thing there.

    Other 2 guys are on the DL, but I’m all for Boesch and Mustilier getting a chance.

    • The Bastard says:

      The problem isn’t Cashman’s loyalty. It’s that he had no plan for when Posada retired. I mean, how many years did he have exactly to anticipate that? Guys like Salty and Ianetta were passed around for relative peanuts. The Yankees should have been all over those two. Then, when we thought they were satisfied by Martin, they let him leave for the Pirates and less than they are paying Vernon freakin’ Wells.

      Fo shame.

      Same deal, really, on SS and RF. Those openings were obvious. And what was done to address them?

      • MannyGeee says:

        Not entirely AT ALL true. At one point before Posada’s retirement the Yankees had Montero, Sanchez, Romine, Murphy AND Cervelli in various levels in the system. And speaking of getting guys for peanuts, Martin was acquired as a non tender for like $5M.

        Cervelli has been hurt and inconsistent, Montero has turned in to a pumpkin, Romine is apparently not ready, Martin went on to greener pastures, and Sanchez/Murphy are a few seasons off…

        He had a plan, it just didn’t pan out. And regardless of who you have out there, Jorge’s shoes are damn near impossible to fill.

        • The Bastard says:

          Puh-leeze. Folks knew that Montero wasn’t long for the position. Romine was classified by most observers as a backup at-best. Cervelli was never thought highly of, not even in the Yankee organization (see why they sign Russell Martin). And Murphy and Sanchez were so far away as to be non-existent.

          The *plan* is similar to the one at SS, draft poorly then hope and pray. They’ve done nothing at the MLB level to address the position, even as good players were moving all around.

          • jjyank says:

            I’m guessing most teams don’t have a plan at C and SS then, by your logic. There aren’t very many good ones in existence.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            When you tell them these things, do they return your calls?

            “Brian, there’s a Mr. Bastard on line one. Forward him to voicemail, or send him right through?”

            Injury played a big part in changing Romine’s trajectory and, for a while, no, he was not projected to be a back-up at best. Yanks had their internal opinion on Montero which, while they never truly made clear to us, was made pretty clear in his being dangled in every trade rumor out there.

            All of this, of course, still remains moot because of the fact that the solution to Posada’s retiring was to sign Russell Martin, which is a THING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

            • The Bastard says:

              Yup, Romine was projected to be a backup by most analysts, Law foremost.

              How did Martin work out, again? And for this season?

              • Captain says:

                it seems like Martin worked out pretty well as a plan for Posada’s retirement no? the fact that he wasn’t part of the plan moving past 2012 has nothing to do with how he enabled the Yankees to move past Posada’s last season and retirement.

      • Crime Dog says:

        So, what were your alternatives to what Cashman did in those years? No free agent is gonna sign with the Yankees when they know Derek Jeter is the SS, same with catcher in those years. I guess they could have made a better run at other SS/Cs that were veterans, but then you get the people who complain about not letting the young guys get the reps.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        “The problem isn’t Cashman’s loyalty. It’s that he had no plan for when Posada retired.”

        So I guess two years of Russell Martin never happened. Must have been a mirage.

        Perhaps you want to change that to a lack of plan after Russell Martin left. That we may all agree on quicker.

        • The Bastard says:

          Martin fell into their laps. And he was hardly a saving grace. Still, he wasn’t a long-term solution like Salty or Ianetta would have been. Where is he now?

    • trr says:

      There is no point in Romine being on the roster now.
      He is not MLB ready, and playing once a week won’t help this. He needs to play regularly, and that means the minors. Either Shoppach or Hernandez would represent an upgrade. What would we do if Stewart was injured. Cervelli is progressing, but no target date yet for his return.

      • The Bastard says:

        Except he won’t play regularly in AAA. JR Murphy is there and is the better prospect. They could send him to AA, but Dirty Sanchez is due for a promotion soon. And O’Brien should be on his way to A+.

        All are better prospects than Romine.

        No, Romine is the back up catcher now and long-term. This is a “Andy Phillips, I’m Brian Cashman” moment all over again. Expect to see Romine for another season or two in the Show.

        • trr says:

          Except at some point Cervelli will return; no way they keep Romine ahead of Cervelli. It may be that Romine will be gathering dust on some MiLB bench somewhere

        • jjyank says:

          That doesn’t mean Romine can’t get regular ABs in the minors. As I mentioned below, the Yankees have done a C/DH rotation before with Montero and Romine. Why not Murphy and Romine? It can be done. Maybe you favor Murphy a bit on that rotation, but I don’t see why Romine can’t play 3-4 days a week. That’s a lot better for him than what’s happening now.

          • The Bastard says:

            Because:

            a) Montero was never a proper C
            b) Romine kept getting hurt
            c) Murphy is a legit C prospect and deserves the playing time
            d) Murphy has been good for full-seasons behind the dish

            Why hamper Murphy’s development? It won’t happen. Romine has done nothing to deserve the playing time. They fast-tracked Murphy this year for a reason…

            • jjyank says:

              Who said anything about hampering Murphy’s development? How do you know that such a plan would have that effect? Will DHing 2-3 times a week really hamper him? Or maybe it will keep him fresh. Many people credit Posada’s ability to age behind the plate with the fact he didn’t catch when he was younger. Romine had a 122 wRC+ in AAA before being called up. He’s not completely toast as a prospect yet.

              It’s an option. Just because you take on a condescending tone doesn’t make you a major league caliber player developer.

              • The Bastard says:

                Yes, it will hamper him. He’s a catcher, period. There is no reason to DH him, ever. It’s idiocy just to assume because the DH hits, young position players should get reps there. That approach does nothing for their development. That’s why you never see it happening, not even with Dirty Sanchez or even Peter O’Brien. This is the first year they’ve done it at all for Sanchez and that’s because he’s been healthy and getting a ton of time behind the dish.

                As for Romine in AAA this year, look up small sample size. Clearly you need the refresher.

                • jjyank says:

                  So getting reps at DH does nothing for development? Hitting doesn’t count then?

                  You’re not listening to me, so we’re done here.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    No, not enough to force them into the DH routine. That’s why you rarely see it.

                    Guess how many DH at-bats Posada got in the minors.

                    Zero.

                    How about Giambi?

                    Zero.

                    Heck, Mattingly must have had a few games at DH, right!?

                    Nope. (though he did get twice as many in the OF as at 1B).

                    • Crime Dog says:

                      Posada also played somewhere between 95-125 games a season in the minors. So, someone has to catch those other games. So why the heck wouldn’t you have Romine catch those games? It really amounts to 2-3 games a week.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      You do realize that mL teams don’t play 162 games, right? Right!?

                    • Crime Dog says:

                      Yea, AAA plays like, 145 games? So, if you’re being conservative with Murphy you can have him play 4-5 games a week and have Romine play the rest. it doesn’t need to be exact, but there’s no reason they can’t split the playing time with JR getting more reps than Romine as well as both getting some DH reps.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  Again, I don’t disagree, and I do think Murphy should be catching as much as possible as he is both the younger prospect and appears to have the better trajectory now. I also agree with Romine and SSS, although I’ll say again I am surprised at how poorly he’s looked, even in the short-term.

                  However, we have to find balance somewhere and, if a vet sitting on waivers can offer something better for a team that’s not hitting for shit right now, I’m open to considering it. Murphy can catch 5 of the 7 days a week in AAA, or whatnot.

                  Balance.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    Balance ain’t sitting JR Murphy for a guy who is behind him in every way. And If Murphy plays 5 games a week, that’s no different than the suckfest in the Bronx.

                    • Crime Dog says:

                      The only difference is that coaches in AAA can focus more on Romine’s approach at the plate. I heard somewhere that Long had not even worked with Romine yet, and this was a couple weeks back. The team wants him to focus on his receiving skills.

                      In the end, it’s sort of a silly argument either way. Catchers are a fickle position and injuries always somehow sort this stuff out. I don’t think Romine is complete trash though, and I think he can still become a viable major league player in some role in the future.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I actually agree with about 2/3 of this, but I don’t think any of it keeps Romine on the active roster necessarily.

          • The Bastard says:

            Cashman keeps Romine on the MLB roster. Nothing more or less.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              He told you this himself?

              Let me guess, it’s obvious because blah blah blah.

              This is what we need Theodore around for. We could outsource him to keep guys like this who are looking to pick a fight on the internet otherwise occupied.

              O:S

  2. Robert says:

    Bring up Z.Almonte now.Better option than Boesh. All these re treads have been made available to the Yanks because no one wanted them!!!

    • steves says:

      I agree Robert. Bring up the switch hitting Z, put Tex on the DL, sit Wells and let’s see what happens. Talking about bringing up the freshly injured or any barely better guys is sort of nonsensical.

  3. Frank says:

    Agree pretty much with your assessement although I’m not inclined to cut the cord on Neal just yet.

  4. jjyank says:

    Without thinking about who needs to be cut for who, I can endorse all of these moves. I like Adams, but Musty has gotten hot of late and he could probably use some time in AAA to either make an adjustment or just get his confidence back.

    Romine also needs regular at bats. I’m not super optimistic that he can be a competent big leaguer, but we’re not gonna find out this way. If Stewart is going to start, Romine should be in AAA. Although that presents a problem with Murphy now in AAA. I suppose they could always find a rotation between C and DH, similar to what they did with Romine and Montero a couple years ago.

    Yes to Boesch. That experiment may fail, but he’s had a successful big league season in the not-too-distant past, is still relatively young, and has apparently been above average in limited duty in 2013.

    As for Brignac/Gonzalez, that one’s just “meh” for me. Neither can hit well. Maybe Gonzalez can hit slightly better. Not a slam dunk upgrade though. I don’t care either way on that one.

    • The Real Me says:

      Brignac for th AG is probably the easiest move to make. If you cut Brignac, big deal. It’s likely no one wants him anyway. The other moves take more in the way of roster moves, but I’m in favor of both Adams and Romine getting regular playing time in AAA. And, with Boesch being under team control for 2 or 3 more years, defintely time to see what he’s got and determine if he’s a keeper.

    • Manny's BanWagon says:

      Agree with all of this. I think Murphy has passed Romine as a propect and I would want to see him taking playing time away from Murphy’s development so maybe Romine could be backup catcher, DH, 1st base, etc.

      • Manny's BanWagon says:

        wouldn’t

      • The Bastard says:

        Romine doesn’t deserve playing time at 1B or DH. Remember, you can’t just put players wherever you want. There are other players competing for those same at-bats and Romine hasn’t earned any special treatment.

        Mike is wrong, Romine won’t get regular playing time in AAA. He’s either a backup there or in the Show. His prospect days are numbered.

        • Manny's BanWagon says:

          Worried about taking ABs away from scrub organizational guys like Dan Johnson, Cody Johnson and Luke Murton ?

          • The Bastard says:

            No, but giving those org guys at-bats is part of building a good organization. You can’t have good prospects surrounded by guys playing out of position.

            More to the point, what has Romine done to deserve special treatment? This isn’t a charity…

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              “More to the point, what has Romine done to deserve special treatment? This isn’t a charity…”

              Lol.

              You mean besides do better at a younger age at every level? Besides have the tools to be a potential ML catcher? Besides be thought of higher than any of the 3 guys MBW mentioned?

              “You can’t have good prospects surrounded by guys playing out of position. ”

              Yes, yes you can. Most minor league systems have guys playing out of position.

              • The Bastard says:

                Heh-heh. Sure, Romine has “done better”. Shows what you know. The guy is a hacker who can’t catch either. He’s not a DH/1B. I haven’t seen a more ridiculous suggestion on this board before. What are the Yankees going to do? Prepare him to replace Tex or Hafner. Heh.

                And again, Romine deserves no playing time over Murphy. The Yankees are dumb, but not that dumb.

                • jjyank says:

                  Your reading comprehension is pretty bad here.

                  Nobody, and I repeat nobody is suggesting that Romine is a DH or a 1B for any length of significant time. The point is he could get some ABs there in a rotation with Murphy and others, in AAA only. Nobody said Romine should come be the new Yankee DH.

                  Romine is a prospect too. Maybe not as good as Murphy, but you’re banishing him to the bench for the rest of his career based on 22 MLB games? He was hitting well in AAA before the call up. It is perfectly feasible to get Romine a few starts behind the plate per week, maybe DH or play 1B another game or two a week, and sit on the bench another game per week.

                  It doesn’t need to be so black and white.

                  • The Bastard says:

                    Romine is not a prospect, period. The only reason you think so is because of the team he plays for. Romine has no future at 1B or DH. He will never, ever, ever get at-bats there. I dare you to bookmark this comment just in the hope of one day throwing it in my face.

                    As for my reading comp, funny how no one is answering why at-bats and playing time should be taken away from JR Murphy…

                    • jjyank says:

                      You just proved my point again. Nobody is saying he has a future at 1B or DH. It would only be a strategy in AAA to get him regular ABs with Murphy also getting regular ABs.

                      And yes, Romine is a prospect. Not a highly regarded one, but he is.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      A “not highly regarded prospect” is not a prospect. Clearly you need some help understanding the term. A back up catching prospect is not a prospect. A guy who can’t hit a positive RC is not a prospect. Age doesn’t make someone a prospect. Position doesn’t make someone a prospect. Romine doesn’t hit like a prospect. He doesn’t catch like a prospect. Ergo, he’s not a prospect.

                    • jjyank says:

                      Well the fact that he’s been listed on prospect lists in the organization disagrees with your assertion. But it’s clear that you don’t want to listen to anyone else, so O:S.

                    • The Bastard says:

                      Where? Where is Austin Romine listed as a prospect? Baseball America dropped him. John Sickels had him just above Corban Joseph (also not a prospect). Keith Law certainly doesn’t think highly of him.

                      So where? Yankee sites like this one?

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      You mean a top prospect? No, the fact that he’s now in his mid-20′s AND missed a season with a back injury would have done a number on that.

                      You’re also moving the goalposts on him. I could have sworn I read something about you citing SSS with Romine above.

        • MannyGeee says:

          It wasn’t long ago that Frankie Cervelli was a light hitting backup scrub catcher, much like the treatment Romine is getting today. Meanwhile, right now he is your best option for a starting catcher.

          All this to say, don’t dismiss him as a non-anything yet. He is still has value, and you will be the first in line to throw a “Cashman FAILED” bomb if he is DFA’d or non tendered next year and is starting games in Oakland shortly there-after.

          • The Bastard says:

            Heh, that you think something has changed with Cervelli shows how little you know or how much you want to believe small samples. He could barely crack a .650 OPS last year *in AAA* and because he had a few hot weeks, like Vernon Wells, all of a sudden he’s the best option for a starter? Puh-leeze.

            • MannyGeee says:

              Right now Cervelli is the best equipped man to start behind the plate, injury not withstanding.

              He had a few hot weeks, but he is also the better hitter of the 3 catchers OVERALL, at lease on par defensively with Chris Stewart, and has the most experience with this pitching staff.

              So while he is not the best option in the world, or the league, or even the division for starting catcher, he is the best styarting catcher in the Yankee System (again, injury not withstanding)… Which, back to my earlier point, makes him valuable, as would Romine be in the same situation.

              And I have to say, I am not in love with your tone. You’re being kinda dicky.

              • The Bastard says:

                So says you. Stats say Cervelli is no better than Stewart. Love how you think “experience with the pitching staff” matters. Aren’t you cute.

                And you are troll who only believes your own B.S. Good luck with that.

                • Oprah says:

                  You’re a troll! He’s a troll! Everyone’s a troll!

                • MannyGeee says:

                  Ironically, the guy who is arguing with EVERYONE today couldn’t possibly be the troll. And the guy who’s arguing point have included “LOL”, “puh-leeze” & “aren’t you cute” isn’t trolling for a fight at all.

                  Yup, I’ve had enough.

                  O:S

            • jsbrendog says:

              you need to work on your reading comprehension brotherman.

              O:S

  5. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Boesch is the move I’d agree with the most here. If he were healthy, he’d be up instead of Neal anyway.

    Gonzalez for Brignac seems like splitting hairs but, if one’s not hitting, you might as well see if the other could. Guys like this will always be available throughout the year. Gil Velazquez sheds a tear.

    I honestly still want to see how Adams rebounds, although Musty probably plays more positions less well.

    Whatever on the catching situation. I’m still pretty surprised Romine hasn’t looked better. I definitely expected more out of him. If we can get Shoppach as a stopgap for Eddard’s boy Frankie, sure. Just make sure the path is clear for the JR Murphy 2014 Revolution Tour.

    • Manny's BanWagon says:

      I don’t think Adams is a lost cause either but he needs regular PT in AAA.

      As for Romine, I’m not overly surprised. The guy has lost a ton of development time over the last few years with injuries and Keith Law was always pretty meh on him as a prospect projecting him as a BUC at best. I didn’t think he’d be this putrid though.

  6. mike_h says:

    DFA Melky Mesa, send down David Adams and call up Ronnier Mustelier is pretty much the only move the should seriously do as Mustelier is a true utility man (he can play 3B/2B/LF/CF/RF) so they can keep his bat in the lineup pretty much every night.

    Bottom line Romine should be getting more playing time, its either sink or swim for him. And I really wouldn’t add another catcher if Cervelli is a few weeks away.

    • jjyank says:

      Not sure I’d count 2B and CF. Since 2011, I count a total of 8 games at 2B (mostly in 2011) and 6 games in CF (5 in 2011, 1 in 2012). Yes, I’d like to see him up, but he’s a 3B and corner OF.

      • The Real Me says:

        And (based on what I’ve read) if by “play” you mean stand in those positions and possibly field the balls hit at you, then yes, he can play 3B & a corner OF spot.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Yup, as our boy ‘that guy named after a fish’ said above, Future HoF Ronnier Mustelier can play more positions less well.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      When I look at that picture of Musty above, it sure screams “true utility man.”

      He can play all those positions. So can I. Technically.

  7. Jersey Joe says:

    Boesch: I completely agree with this one. I’m still somewhat surprised that he was sent down in favor of Ichiro’s playing time. I would love to see more of him at 1B/DH with the Hafner/Overbay duo becoming more and more overused.

    Musteiler: I would love to see what Musteiler has to offer; that said, I think that David Adams will have a bigger role with the Yankees in the future than Musteiler. I could go either way with this one, but in the end, the Yankees need to win right now and Musteiler gives them that chance; not to mention we would need a righty OF in Neal’s possible absence.

    Gonzalez: I really don’t think that one player is better than the other in this situation, but right now Brignac is so horrible that giving Gonzalez a shot is almost a no-brainer.

    Catchers: Shoppach makes a lot of sense right now; Romine needs more AAA ABs. I would love to see Shoppach, I just don’t think we can make an offer that is better than any other team’s offer with the current offense situation.

    Another possible acquisition is Ryan Roberts. He has played the same positions as Musteiler, and he was just sent down to AAA. He can also probably hit better than Nix, but there has not been any recent evidence to prove that. So there’s one candidate.

    Our old friend Xavier Nady has been hitting well with the Royals AAA affiliate (.902 OPS!). With Hafner and Overbay needing help against lefties, not to mention Wells and Ichiro being completely horrible lately, going with Nady could make sense. He might be done, but so are Wells and Ichiro. It might be worth it to see what he could do in YS3.

    • Jersey Joe says:

      I didn’t really make it clear, but if we get Nady, I would stock him in AAA for a week or two to make sure that he is still hitting. I definitely prefer Musteiler over Nady, but if Musteiler doesn’t work out, than Nady seems like a good choice.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Add to that the fact that Ryan Roberts looks like CM Punk playing baseball.

  8. Hassey says:

    Does Ben Francisco still have his cell phone on?

  9. viridiana says:

    Adams needs to play more — and he can succeed at big league level. He gets the only two Yankee RBIs the other nite then sits. No way to get his stroke back. Big mistake to send him down when he’s at low ebb. I’d love to see Musty, sure, but not at expense of Adams. Adams is no Willie Mays but even Mays began his career 0 for 24.

  10. Bavarian Yankee says:

    I see, Mike is back on track. Good one Mike, I agree with everything.

    The Yanks should really claim anyone off waivers that is borderline decent and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle once again. Also hope that some of the injured guys come back soon. Musty and Boesch likely aren’t any better than league average but then again that would be a huge upgrade over what they have right now.

  11. Cuso says:

    Any one of these moves are realistic, but before you get to that point the FO would have to determine who they’re ready to release. That’s where the decision begins.

    My initial reaction was that Brignac should be on the chopping block to clear way for either Mustelier or Shoppach. But I’m pretty sure Cashman would not like having only one SS on the roster. Unfortunately unless it is Gonzalez for Brignac, Brignac is not going anywhere.

    Signing either Shoppach or Hernandez seems like an obvious move.

    First person out the door and off the 40-man seems like it would have to be Bootcheck to me. Warren and Claiborne are just a phone call away; the loss of Bootcheck is negligible.

    • The Bastard says:

      Signing another catcher isn’t obvious when you have nothing to do with Romine. He’s either sitting on the bench in Scranton or in the Bronx. When Cervelli returns, it will be Scranton.

  12. mitch says:

    Boesch for Neal is definitely the first move i’d make. I know he hasn’t been given much of a chance, but it’s pretty clear why Neal has the 4A label….he can’t handle breaking stuff.

  13. Kosmo says:

    I endorse all these moves . I´d take Hernandez over Shoppach. What will happen to Boesch when Granderson returns ?

    • MannyGeee says:

      At the rate we’re going, someone else will be hurt in time to not have to worry about it. Also, LoverBay…

  14. stuart a says:

    Brignac move a no brainer….THey cannot me a automatic out, hit 200 or better should be a minimum standard…

    ALmonte also would be a reasonable try in the OF..

  15. Vern Sneaker says:

    Boesch (cut Mesa) and Mustelier (option Adams) make sense to me. I don’t have to watch the team go .500 any longer (14-13 since May 13)to decide they’re not going to make the playoffs with this lineup. Every bit of offensive upgrade helps. Shoppach (Romine optioned, Bootcheck cut)also makes sense for obvious reasons and it’s a no-lose even with Cervelli coming back sooner or later. Brignac/Gonzales doesn’t matter to me. Brignac can realy pick it; so can Gonzales but not quite like Brignac and Gonzales may not hit .200 over time with the big club any more than Brignac will.

  16. The Bastard says:

    Mike is wrong. There isn’t regular playing time to be had for Romine in AAA. JR Murphy deserves the ABs there. He’s the better prospect and if he hits this year in AAA, he could actually debut this year.

    • Bill says:

      Romine can DH and rotate in at C. Its not like the Yankees have a ton of major league talent in AAA that they need to get ABs for at DH and Romine’s defense is already ML caliber.

  17. -B- says:

    These suggestion are okay, at best.

    I would not swap Adams for Mustelier. Adams seems like the better hitter if you compare minor league stats. Plus, if Mustelier has any value then it’s trade value. Bringing him up could ruin that.

    As for Brignac, …. let’s not forget that he was brought into the Yankee fold in mid-May, when the team was in first place and to occasionally spell for Jayson Nix.

    As for the catching situation…Romine appears to be as competent a catcher as Hernandez and Shoppach are. Offensively, those two are slightest of slight upgrades, but really…I would hardly call Shoppach’s .196 AVG to Romine .130 an “upgrade” to warrant the move claim him. Especially since the team’s #1 catcher (Cervelli) is close to returning.

  18. mitch says:

    Brignac might hit a little if he didn’t take such a huge cut.

  19. Mike says:

    Francessa said Cash has a 3pm presser…wonder if its concerning a minor move ( Shoppach ) or Tex hitting the DL

  20. Nick says:

    Great post- I think calling up boesch and mustelier should be steps 1 and 1a. The other moves, while certainly will help, don’t have the long term upside of the boesch and mustelier moves.

  21. EndlessJose says:

    Mike Francesa said Brian Cashman is doing a conference at 3:00.Does anybody knows whats it’s about?

  22. Duh Injuries says:

    Bringing up/back Boesch and playing him every day is a no-brainer considering he’s 28, as you (Mike) said under control through 2015, he has power, bats lefthanded, and is making only $2M in 2013. Ichiro is dreadful because he hits like a girl. Seriously Ichiro must lead the league in softest outs and soft out average. Wells has at least hit for power, collected timely hits, and driven in runs, and check this: if he smacks a homerun and drives in 14 runs over the next dozen games, he’d have 11 HR and 40 RBI through the first half of the season, a 22 HR 80 RBI pace – not bad for a player who has looked cooked for the better part of a decade and for well over a month this year. Even if he drove in only 7 runs through Game 81 with no homeruns, that’s 10 HR 33 RBI a 20 HR 66 RBI pace – again not bad as who the hell expected him to even reach half those HR and RBI? Not me.

    I wanted Ramon Hernandez to back up Russell Martin in 2012 and this season (since I wanted Martin back for the two years he signed with Pittsburgh), Cervelli after Martin signed elsewhere, but now that Shoppach is available, too, oh I agree snatch him up in a heartbeat – reunite him with his old pal Sabathia as I believe they are good friends as well. Even better: Get Shoppach and see if Hernandez would be willing to accept a minor-league contract on the condition he is called up on or before September 1 so he’s guaranteed to make MLB money. The guy doesn’t have a World Series ring yet, so if the 2013 Yankees somehow, some way win the World Series and Hernandez has even just one appearance, plate appearance or no, he gets a World Series ring. I’d sign both guys for as little as I could. Signing both puts pressure on Stewart to play better defense Romine can further develop as an everyday catcher in AAA with Hernandez as his veteran mentor. Hypothetically, the Yanks could call up Hernandez and Romine for September and both could work together on Romine’s defense while observing big league games – have them room together on the road. This would be a good first step to a post-player coaching for Hernandez if he has such aspirations. Who knows? Maybe Romine is the 2014 Yankees starting catcher with Hernandez has his backup/mentor if both play well enough in 2014 spring training and the Yanks want to remain going cheap at catcher. Unlikely but again who knows? I wouldn’t just hand Cervelli the everyday catcher job for all the time he’s missed as who knows what he would’ve done had he not got injured?

    I’ve wanted Mustelier in big-club Yankee pinstripes as far back as last year as the guy has never stopped hitting at any level of minor-league baseball. I would prefer it if Adams continued to play 3B every day with Youkilis out with yet another injury and was given a little more of a chance than 77 plate appearances. I know he hasn’t drawn a walk yet but he hasn’t been a complete oaf at the plate with only 15 strikeouts, but I wouldn’t be bent out of shape if he was sent back down so we could see what “Musty” can do. I say send down Adams only after he reaches the 110 plate appearances he needs to qualify for the $490K rookie minimum salary as it would not be cool if they sent him down with him having 100-109 PA / 1-10 PA shy of 110. 109 is fucking him royally and you better believe agents would take notice like they took notice of the Angels’ RIDICULOUS ten grand raise they gave to Mike Trout for his 2012. Adams isn’t Trout of course, but you have to be careful with how you handle young players. Maybe Adams posts a 2011 Chase Headley type year in his walk year and remembers being sent down 5 PA shy of making $490K.

    Cutting Brignac (for no way does he clear waivers with his glove) and replacing him with Gonzalez is not a good move because who backs up Nix if Gonzales gets hurt and what if Gonzalez is just as bad with the bat as Brignac? You can’t replace Gonzalez with anyone from the minors. If the Yanks are to upgrade at backup SS (since Nix is essentially the everyday SS until Jeter returns if Jeter returns), they will have to do it via trade.

    • Duh Injuries says:

      *2012 Chase Headley type year one day.

    • mitch says:

      keeping up Adams so he can hit a certain PA level is ridiculous and should not even be a consideration. If Adams gets sent down 5 PAs short, the only thing he should remember is how he blew his opportunity.

      • Crime Dog says:

        I would also imagine he would be up again at some point (September especially), and he should get those ABs anyway.

  23. Da Zhang says:

    The problem with sending Romine to AAA is that JR Murphy has already been promoted there and is the current starting catcher. If you send Romine down, what happens to Murphy, who deserved the promotion? Two guys battling for playing time isn’t good. Romine won’t play everyday and Murphy’s development would probably be stunted.

    • Duh Injuries says:

      Call up JR Murphy.

      What has Romine done to keep his job? He’s still batting below his weight and isn’t that great of a catcher.

      Why are the Yanks the ONLY team in MLB to not promote position players from below AAA considering most of the good minor league players come from A and AA?

      AAA is merely a pit stop or where AAAA players i.e. players too good for AAA but not good enough to be on the big club go. Murphy is not the latter. He will be the backup catcher next year if not the starting catcher by mid-late 2014 or 2015 at the latest if he does good, maybe the starting catcher to start 2014 if he kicks ass with the bat. Call him up now and let’s see what he can do. Romine can further develop in AAA and too bad if it means Murphy has leapfrogged over him. Murphy is a better catching prospect despite being in the lower level. Romine is a Yankee only because the AAA team needs a catcher. I say let Romine be the AAA catcher and sign Shoppach or Hernandez or call up Murphy to share catching duties with Stewart.

      • The Bastard says:

        They’d need to give Murphy a 40-man slot, I think. Why rush his development? Leave him alone and let Romine suck at being a back up.

        • WFAN Caller says:

          I honestly don’t know why people are still in love with Romine. He is not very good and he has done a great job demonstrating this. In five years nobody is going to trading him for some other loser.

          I think outlines the strange uniqueness that some Yankees fans envelope – some fans just want to hold onto prospects of years past as if they are darling little children. Let them go. We will all be better off in doing so.

          • WFAN Caller says:

            *complain about trading him

          • Crime Dog says:

            I don’t think anyone is “in love” with Romine. He’s been crushed this year in the big leagues, which isn’t uncommon for a 24 year old guy really getting a first taste in the bigs.

            I honestly think this taste of the majors for him will help his development, even if/when he gets sent down in the near future. He’s still 24, and has value if he can duplicate or put up close to some of his career minor league numbers. There’s value in a catcher who can put up a .700 OPS especially in this run environment.

  24. mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    Agree with Mike 100%.

    Nice to see someone coming up with some realistic solutions rather then just bitching or making up unrealistic trades.

  25. fabricio says:

    can we also maybe try eric young jr? he can play all outfield spots and 2nd base

  26. Crime Dog says:

    I agree with most of everything, except maybe the Brignac for Gonzalez swap. I think the depth right now is more valuable than risking losing one of the only viable MLB shortstops in the organization. If you lose Brignac to waivers, your one injury away from Gil Velasquez, MLB backup. It also doesn’t seem to be something the club would do with their past history just for a marginal upgrade.

    I would rather they just put Nix out at SS everyday and let Adams or Musty (if they made that move) play 3B a majority of the time. The offensive output that Nix and a 3B can put up far outweighs the defensive benefits of playing a lifeless Brignac at SS.

    I really, really would love to see Shoppach or Hernandez in as the backup. It would be nice to send Romine back down to AAA to play and get some regular reps. He looks lost in the majors, and Girardi has no faith in the kid. It really makes too much sense not to do.

  27. LarryM Fl. says:

    I have indicated long before Boesch was sent backing to AAA that he should at least get all the swings against RHP and some lefties in RF. Ichiro was signed to be our 4th OF as I see it. Boesch can hit the seats in RF on a regular basis if he plays.

    As far as Romine is concerned. The kid needs to play at least split the time with Stewart. Romine has been able to get his bat on the ball. His catching is no worse than Mr. Stewart’s. The kid is regressing if he does not play. Kelly S. should be left unattended. He muddles the picture and is no better than present guys in the system. Mike I believe your words that Romine has been and “absolute disaster” are harsh. The kid needs to play. He can’t hit or develop if he plays once a week.

    As far as Gonzales, he should play everyday at SS with Nix playing 3rd and second. We need players getting consistent time at the same positions for optimum results. Round pegs in the round hole.

    Ronny M. deserves a shot on the team at third or OF. He would have made the club in ST except for an injury. I’m sure Girardi could get him 4 games a week.

  28. Cuso says:

    Did you know an anagram for Reid Brignac is “Acid Bringer”

    (as in to my stomach? as in ulcer?)

    I think I found my new meme….

  29. Cuso says:

    Did you know an anagram for Ronnier Mustelier is “Seemlier Iron Runt?”

    He does kinda seem that way doesn’t he?

  30. Crime Dog says:

    Also, one more move that needs to happen is Tex to the DL. The Yankees can’t play shorthanded for the next 7-10 days. So just give him the DL trip and I guess bring up Co-Jo.

  31. vicki says:

    it took a miserable month, but it’s nice to see so many on the boesch bus now.

  32. B the Cashman says:

    I don’t understand why they didn’t let Romine be the main catcher. He is losing major developmental time as back up.

  33. Bill says:

    Until the Yankees make a significant move I’m perfectly fine with throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks. The current lineup is clearly not cutting it, so why not mix and match and see if we can’t at least catch lightening in a bottle with one of these guys.

    Boesch if healthy should be a no-brainer. Zoilo Almonte should get a shot as well.

    At backup C I think Romine should go down and the Yankees should sign someone like Shoppach, but I doubt this happens because the Yankees seem committed to defense first at catcher.

    At SS unfortunately the Yankees are in a real bind here. Other than Nix who is likely to see time at 3B now they don’t have anyone that can hit here. And its exaggeration to say Nix can hit, but he looks like a superstar next to the next best options. In short nothing inside the organization outside of a healthy Jeter can fix this mess.

    In summary though Cashman needs to do something a little bigger than these moves. Even with the injured guys back how long until the next injury and which of them are actually going to hit (Tex and Youk sure didn’t before getting injured again)?

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