Yankees’ third base coach Rob Thomson has been with the Yankees for 25 years, starting out as a minor league coach in 1990. He has risen through the ranks of the front office and the coaching staff. He has worked in the minors, in scouting, in coaching, holding several positions through the years, including manager, as has filled in for Joe Girardi on a handful of occasions. However, he may need to find yet another position to fill in the organization.
Sixteen Yankees have been gunned down at home already this season, up from thirteen in all of 2013 and easily leading the American League. While total blame cannot be left at the feet of Thomson, he certainly deserves a good portion of it. For a team that struggles to score runs, those sixteen extra runs that were turned into outs could certainly be worth a few wins. A few wins is all that separates this team from first place.
The Yankees have been one of the worst base running teams in the majors this season. On top of their propensity for being thrown out at home, there have been several other base running mistakes including forgetting the number of outs, getting picked off, foolishly trying to stretch singles to doubles and what seems like a daily run down. Aggressiveness on the base paths is good, but foolishness is not. There are guys on this team that can run like Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, Ichiro, and Brian Roberts. There are guys who simply cannot run like Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Beltran. Likewise, there are certain outfielders in this league that one simply does not test. Lastly, you have to take into account the jump the runner has gotten in reference to how the ball was hit. All of this information must be taken into account when the decision is made whether or not to hold a runner at third or have him try to score. Rob Thomson and the Yankees have been the worst team in the league at making that decision this season.
When you have a lineup that lacks power and struggles to score runs, you have a much greater need to manufacture runs in order to win ball games. Because of that lack of production, often a team will get too aggressive on the bases and take too many chances. The Yankees have taken too many chances on the bases this season and have ran themselves out of too many innings. The Yankees need to dial things back on the bases, especially when sending runners home, so as not to take points off the board. Thomson is the key here as he is the one giving the red or green light. He needs to tone back his aggressiveness for the good of the team. If he can’t, and the Yankees continue to get thrown out at the plate, it may be time for someone else to line up in the third base coaching box.