2017 Yankees Coaching Staff Have a Lot of Questions to Answer

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Though the future is bright for the New York Yankees, 2017 may not be all rose petals and cotton candy clouds. Especially for the coaching staff.

Let me start out my saying that this article (which is the first in a set of three) isn’t meant to be a pessimistic look at the Yankees as they are currently assembled for next season. Instead, it is being used to make fans aware that there are a lot more question marks than definitive exclamation points regarding the makeup of the 2017 Yankees.

Let’s begin with coaching staff. Manager Joe Girardi cannot continue to gameplan for the twists and turns of each and every contest via his enormous binder. I get that he is a student of the game, but what happened to coaching on the fly, allowing the game to dictate prevalent moves that can’t always be strategically planned for days in advance.

Girardi isn’t an X’s and O’s guy like Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, so why is he so steadfast when it comes to ignoring the nuances of an all important late-inning at-bat–or trying something new and exciting that may spark his team out of a losing streak. Oh, right, because the binder didn’t call for it!

Perhaps Girardi needs a new bench coach to bounce ideas off of–to act as a magic eight ball of sorts–someone that may inspire him to react more like the player he was for 15 seasons, rather than the inopportune bystander we’ve seen for the better part of this season.

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The biggest complaint that needs to be addressed is the inconsistency that the Yankees offense, pitching, defense, and baserunning has been plagued by.

Here one day, gone the next.

In 2017, who are the three best/most cohesive outfielders to get the bulk of ABs? Why doesn’t this team use the little bit of speed it has? Do the Yankees even have a reliable No. 4 or No. 5 option in house for the rotation? I’ll go further in depth regarding these questions in the next two parts of this series.

Now obviously, you can’t fire all the players–so why don’t the front office big wigs bring in some fresh coaching blood. There are plenty of ex-Yankees that the club uses for color commentary–that would be better suited for an on-field role.

How about David Cone, Al Leiter, or John Flaherty as pitching coach; Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, or Jorge Posada as hitting coach, and Rickey Henderson or Bernie Williams as base coaches.

I know many fans absolutely adore Tony Pena, and believe that his continued work with Gary Sanchez behind the plate will continue to pay off dividends. I totally agree with this, although I feel Pena’s tenure is tied at the hip to Girardi’s.

In Joe’s defense, as I wrote about the other day, don’t expect the front office to go out and make many (if any) acquisitions this winter–as the team still owes $150MM in salary.

As currently constructed, how many more games do you really see this team winning in 2017? Three, maybe four games?

If the Yankees were to underachieve in a big way before the All-Star break, don’t be surprised to see the Steinbrenner boys use Girardi as their scapegoat. They certainly won’t take the blame for failing to usher funds to a potential upgrade via free agency.

Next: Much of the Same In Store for 2017

84 wins (give or take) probably isn’t enough anymore to win a Wild Card. So let’s hope Girardi get’s a little daring next time around and abandons that pesky binder of his. Otherwise, as he enters the final year of his contract, his days in pinstripes might be all but kaput. And with that, so will the rest of his staff.