Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Post Where I Argue ONCE AGAIN That The Jesus Should Be Called Up

The Yankees are 5-3 in the 8 games since the Horse had his surgery.  They're still comfortably in 2nd in the AL East and the Wild Card race and right within striking distance of Boston for 1st.  On the surface, all looks well.  But the reality of the situation is that the offense is struh-gull-ing right now with A-Rod on the shelf.  The rest of the team has not stepped up and picked up the slack to account for his absence, and with his return still probably a month away, a shakeup might be in order to add a little muscle to the lineup.

For the season, the Yankees are averaging 5.12 runs per game, but in the last 8 games they have scored just 32 runs (a 4 R/G average for the mathematically impaired).  14 of those runs came in 2 separate 7-run outings, so that's them down to 18 total runs over the other 6.  And looking through the lineup, there are a lot more ugly numbers to be had than pretty ones.  Robbie Cano and C-Grand are both having solid months in July right on par with what they've been producing all seasons, and Jeter has actually produced pretty well since coming off the DL (.286/.314/.429 in 49 July ABs).  But Mark Teixeira is having a brutal July (.237/.318/.288 in 59 ABs), and the combination of Jorge (.135/.214/.162 in 37 ABs) and Russell Martin .170/.264/.234 in 47 ABs) has been so bad that I'd rather see some cancer kids from the ESPN "My Wish" thing hitting in their spots in the order instead of them.  Even Swish has slowed down after his torrid June (.260/.321/.320 in 50 ABs), and the bench, save for Andruw Jones and his very limited ABs, is a bare bones collection of Triple-A guys.  The only guy who you can say is having a GREAT month is Brett Gardner (.365/.431/.462 in 52 ABs).

And it seems like teams are starting to realize it.  Save for the semi-boneheaded decision by Joe Maddon to intentionally walk Swish the other night, you don't see pitchers trying to tip-toe through the Yankees lineup right now.  They recognize that guys are slumping, they recognize that A-Rod isn't there, and they're attacking the Yankee hitters.  And a slumping, weakened lineup is an easy one to beat.

So what's the solution?  Seeing as how the biggest black hole of production is coming, once again, from the C/DH spots, it makes perfect sense to me to call up The Jesus.  He's back off the DL, he's hitting again, and quite frankly, I'm getting fed up hearing about how he's bored, not focused, pressing, etc.  Even if it's not the level of power production that the MSM and uninformed baseball fanbase would like to see, the guy is still hitting .282/.340/.412 on the season, and he's still one of the top 3-5 prospects in all of baseball.  I don't feel like I have to remind people of this, but I will anyway.  Some scouts have compared Montero's bat to that of Miguel Cabrera.  That isn't a comparison that gets thrown around a lot.

(Not to mention the fact that he's the son of God)

 Before he got hurt, Alex Rodriguez was still valuable to the lineup.  At best, he was getting hits, drawing walks, and helping the team score runs.  At worst, he was still a presence in the lineup that pitchers were aware of and had to think about facing.  Montero could be that same sort of presence, at a lesser level, because of his reputation and the fact that pitchers haven't faced him yet.  Bare minimum he provides more than what the team is getting from Posada and Martin, gets to show what he can do catching at the Major League level, opens up space for Romine to be promoted, and showcases what he can and can't do for prospective trade partners.  Anything more than that is gravy.  If it doesn't work out, you can send him back down to SWB, no big deal.  But if it does, and he catches fire, then the lineup becomes even deeper and more dangerous when A-Rod does return.  Isn't that scenario better than what the Yankees are rolling out there every day right now?

Just a little over a week ago, the Yankees ranked 2nd in baseball in wOBA, OPS, and WAR.  In only a handful of games since then they have fallen behind the Rangers to 3rd in all of those categories, actually dropping 0.1 points in total team WAR.  It's indicative of a small sample size and also the good baseball the Rangers are playing, but it still classifies as proof that the offense is struggling, and it doesn't take a genius to realize that The Horse's absence could be a major determining factor.  Brandon Laird, Greg Golson, and Chris Dickerson are nice and all, but they aren't going to get it done in the everyday lineup.  The Yankees need to make a move to bring a little more depth and danger back to that lineup, and the move that makes the most sense is calling up Jesus.  End the drama, patch up the biggest hole(s) in the lineup, and give the team a better chance to win.

Last Night's Loss In Dramatic Pictures



"It's OK, guy.  We know you suck."

Double sadface

That's some pretty heavy shit right there, people.  Teix and Swish look so distraught that they are currently receiving aid from FEMA.  But that's what happens when you're playing in the shittiest stadium in professional sports and have a big left-handed doofus on the mound who can't make a play most kids in Little League make on the reg.  I'm chalking the 7th inning up to the baseball gods balancing things out after the Yankees benefited from all the walks on Monday night.

Photos courtesy of The AP