YANKEES : Off Season UPDATES ( October 10th )

VIDEO

Coach Bill’s COMMENTARY

*****  He may have another year on his contract, but I have NO idea how Robby Thompson is returning (especially if he will continue as 3B coach )…with the news other members of staff being replaced. He is at best an “Avg” 3B coach in my view. 

*****  Brian Cashman returning was fully expected. he like most GM’s is good in some areas, and could be better in a couple. Moving forward he certainly need to be held accountable for plan, competency of Minor League player development.  In my view, He ALSO needs recognize 2 major developments trending within MLB moving forward.

1) Possessing a Deep, Dominating  Bullpen is critical.  Including having 2 quality Lefty relievers. Minor Leaguer Jacob Lindgren appears to be a legit candidate. I would also heavily consider making a run at FA Andrew Miller (Orioles ).

2) Even with short porch in RF…it is becoming important in current / future MLB to have a lineup with as many guys as possible that hit to all fields / are not One dimensional.  AND a batting coach that preaches, drills that approach.

*****  IF the Yankees do not decide to REsign David Robertson (due to Money & Years he might command )…effectively making Dellin Betances their closer, I would strongly recommend they make a hard run at Free agent ANDREW MILLER (mentioned above ) . He will come cheaper than Robertson and has emerged as a dominant back end of Bullpen reliever. He has proven to be More than just a Lefty specialist. He finished this past season with 103 Strikeouts in 62 Innings pitched….facing Lefties AND Righties consistently. If a better option if another dominant arm does not prove worthy of the 8th inning / set up role…Miller could potentially step in.  And at minimal he could / would be a dominant 7th inning piece. He also comes with a a strong Post Season (won Title with Red Sox ) & AL East pedigree.

*****  While it appears the Yankees have talked with Alex Rodriguez about working on playing some 1B…I also believe that Cashman / Girardi need to consider the Vision of having Brian McCann playing more 1B, especially against RH pitchers. Not only to potentially keep him more Fresh (wear & rear of catching ) which could help him have a better overall year as a Hitter….but to also take games / AB’s away from Mark Teixeira. Which “may” help Teixeira navigate a 162 game season physically, but  also remove his consistently declining Hitting ability (stubborn 1 dimensional hitter whose AVG continues drop distinguishably )

This would also allow for Francisco Cervelli to get more playing time. Cervelli has been Offensively the last 2 seasons, and IMO provides a better overall ability behind the plate than McCann. He also provides the an infusion of energy, competitive spirit, Passion that the Yankees could sorely use moving forward. Yankees players admitted that they needed it during the last month or two of the season.

*****  I contend that the Yankees would be WELL served to seriously consider signing VICTOR MARTINEZ  (one of the game’s ELITE hitters) to Fix their middle of order issues…IF his need to primarily be a DH is too much of an issue (which it should not be to get a serious IMPACT hitter and how much they Yankee lineup is starving for an ELITE hitter )…

then…I would strongly suggest they consider signing FA Melky Cabrera this Winter. Not only do I believe that they need to have serious reservations about having Carlos Beltran play  RF everyday at this point .  But along with that, Melky has been a .300 hitter 3 out of last 4 years. Including this past season after PED suspension. Over the last few years he has proven that he is a GOOD hitter (switch hitter ) / .300  that hits to all fields, can certainly play in NY, has a track record for being a “gamer” in big games, with a clutch hitting capacity. He is obviously younger, will cover more ground in RF than Beltran. He also brings Energy & Passion !

I would certainly consider batting him in #3 spot .  A .300 caliber hitter, SWITCH hitter… He had 16 HR’s (could spike a little at Yankee Stadium ) and 72 RBI’s (hitting in #2 spot ) for the Blue Jays last year. Coming out of last season, it is quite evident that he Yankees would strongly benefit from being able to have new / better hitters in the #3 & #4 spots. Melky Cabrera warrants strong consideration to being their new  #3 Hitter and RF .  He EASILY would have been their best overall hitter last season, as the Yankees did not have anyone close to hitting .300 .    Ellsbury (their #3 hitter Most of year ) led them with a .271 AVG.   Melky was literally 30 points better than that, which would  translate to to more RBI’s …especially if Ellsbury returns to Lead off spot where he belongs, thrives . Brian McCann (batting in middle of lineup ) led the team with 75 RBI’s. Melky finished with 73 RBI’s while batting in the #2 spot AND missing almost all of September with an Injury.

ARTICLES

Yankees, Brian Cashman agree to NEW contract – Details, Comments, Reaction                         ( bleacherreport.com )

With CASHMAN back – Yankees look to Future                                                                                           (  wsj.com   )

Yankees FIRE Kevin Long                                                                                                                                     ( NYpost.com )

MLB Hot Stove : Yankees considering Pablo Sandoval                                                                              ( nj.com  )

YANKEES continue to Destroy  other Teams in TV ratings                                                                     ( businessinsider.com )

TWEETS

Brian Cashman says he told Mick Kelleher and Kevin Long today they wouldn’t be returning. No immediate replacements yet.

 

Cashman: “The overall direction of the staff as we move forward will be better served with some personnel that we’re going to interview.”

 

Cashman said the rest of the coaching staff will return. All are signed through next year. So it appears Kelleher was indeed fired.

 

Cashman: Mick Kelleher was not responsible for deficiencies on defense. That was more personnel-related.”

 

Cashman: “I don’t make changes lightly.” Noted that he has never made a coaching change during a season. “It’s tough.”

 

Cashman on KLong: “He’s an exceptional hitting coach… I think trying to bring a new perspective in will better serve us.”

 

Cashman says Long was good with mechanics, but might have needed a new voice

 

Cashman on Long: “Even when I talked to Kevin today he said, ‘Cash, I wouldn’t have tried anything different because I tried everything.’”

 

More Cashman on Long: “…Ultimately, we struggled. He’s our offensive coordinator.”

 

Sounds like the Kelleher firing has more to do with opening a spot for someone else rather than something Kelleher himself did wrong.

 

Yankees pro scouting meetings begin Monday and will go all week. Winter program in full motion.

 

Yankees AAA Hitting Coach Butch Wynegar was also let go after the season so he is not a candidate to replace Kevin Long.

 

AA Hitting Coach Marcus Thames has received high praise within the organization but is not considered a candidate for the big league job.

 

Will also be interesting to see if Yankees adopt two hitting coach philosophy that many teams have tried lately.

 

Fans clamoring for Tino/O’Neill. Nostalgia is great but interesting name is James Rowson, roving instructor, former Cubs HC, well respected.

 

Cashman says Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder could compete for an everyday job at 2nd this coming year.

 

Cashman says he expects A-Rod will want to play everyday at 3rd, but says he has to have alternatives ready to go.

 

Cashman says they can’t count on A-Rod at 3rd: “I don’t think it’s safe just to assume that he can play third base.” Says need contingencies

 

Cashman: have spoken to Alex Rodriguez about playing first base

 

 

Look for Mike Harkey to return to the Yankees as bullpen coach. Gary Tuck could become Girardi’s bench coach again, which he was in Miami.

 

The Harkey/Tuck concept is purely my guess; not based on any solid information. In that scenario, Tony Pena could become the 1B coach.

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