Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Can Reid Brignac Do For You?

In their now never-ending quest to upgrade their infield depth, however so slightly, the Yankees acquired Reid Brignac from Colorado on Friday for $75,000.  This was the second time they went back to the Rockies well in a few weeks after acquiring Chris Nelson.

As for what he can do, the honest answer is not much.  At least not offensively.  Brignac is a career .228/.270/.321 lefty hitter with a BB rate under 5% and a K rate just less than 25%.  He was only slightly exceeding those career lines in 53 PA for the Rockies, so the Yankees didn't purchase him for his offense.  What he can do is play shortstop better than anybody the Yanks have right now, and he's also useful at second or third base.  If Eduardo Nunez is going to miss another week or so, and signs point to that happening, he could be a SS platoon option with Jayson Nix.

Brignac is basically a slight upgrade over Alberto Gonzalez, and if the Yankees can slightly upgrade at a position of need for such a minimal cost then they should do it.  Gonzalez was DFA'd to clear a roster spot, and Brignac was scheduled to be the starting shortstop this afternoon, so the Yankees seem ready to put him to work and see what they can get out of him for the next few weeks.

Shut Up, Hal

(Courtesy of the AP)

Hal Steinbrenner was in the house yesterday for team photos and he took the opportunity to make what I believe are his first significant public comments on the team's performance this season.  As expected, Hal's comments were all of the positive variety.  He said he was "pleasantly surprised" but "not shocked" at how well the team had done, citing the unexpectedly good performances of some of the veteran signings and the young MiL players called up to fill the injury gaps.

I know the day after a victory to put the team 11 games over .500 and third best overall in MLB isn't the time to get salty, but Hal's comments did nothing but make me roll my eyes when I read them yesterday.  I'm sure his feelings of excitement and surprise are genuine, as they are for a lot of other fans.  I just can't help but feel like this hot start makes Hal feel like his approach this offseason was the right one, and that in his mind his continued commitment to "building a championship-caliber team" is justified by the club's current record.

The real credit here goes to Cash and his scouting staff and Joe and his coaching staff for finding cheap players who still had something left in the tank and coaching them in a way that allows them to best use what they've still got.  All Hal did was handcuff Cash into only being able to target these players and force Joe to build the best lineup he could with them.  So enjoy the early success, Hal.  Your team's performance has given you the right to do that.  Just don't pat yourself on the back too much thinking you were a key part of this and that this was your plan all along.

P.S.- "I knew that the guys we got in the offseason were veterans. Whether people thought they were worth getting or not, I felt they were veterans and this is what you expect veterans to do.”  You knew that old players who had been in MLB for years and years were veterans?  Real astute observation.  I'm sure that was the determining factor in Hafner getting signed.