Yankees: It’s time to move on to Plan C, the one with a jolt

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees suddenly have too many holes to fill and the magic wand of Brian Cashman is challenged in deciding which fire to put out first. Plan C is underway, well – sort of.

The Yankees began the season with a legitimate candidate for the Cy Young, a bullpen that was the envy of baseball, a first baseman who had hit a gazillion home runs in Spring Training. They had a catcher who was pegged as Jorge Posada, and Thurman Munson all rolled into one and ready to pick up where he left off last season.

A month later, the team stood atop the majors with a record of 20-9 and rolling, despite having to go to Plan A when the Yankees lost shortstop, Didi Gregorius, Sanchez, and first baseman, Greg Bird, forgot how to hit and landed on the DL, with no predictable end in sight before he returns to the Yankees lineup.

Yankees fans recall that the team had a ready-made plan to fill the gaps with Austin Romine, Ronald Torreyes, and even Chris Carter, who supplied a home run threat in the lineup.

The Yankees rolled on until Jacoby Ellsbury ran into a wall and their best starter of the young season, CC Sabathia, went down with a Grade 2 hamstring injury.

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Plan B was immediately put into effect, but this time the Yankees had only half of the answers needed to stem the tide of a team that looked beatable.

Aaron Hicks came up big as a replacement for Ellsbury, earning serious consideration as a reserve on the American League All-Star team.

But filling Sabathia’s spot proved to be more troublesome, with the team calling on Luis Cessa after much debate surrounding the pros and cons of calling up Chance Adams from the minors.

Enter the abyss

Fast forward to today, and we find the Yankees no longer in first place, with a collapsed middle relief core, and only three everyday outfielders who are healthy. They have an ace who hasn’t put back-to-back quality starts together since April 19 and April 27, no word as to when Sabathia or Bird will be able to return, an All-Star second baseman in Starlin Castro nursing a hamstring, and let’s see, did I miss anything?

I did miss something. There is no Plan C. There’s only a wish and a prayer that Tyler Austin will not pull a Greg Bird, hitting .100 over the next month with more strikeouts than even Carter would have had.

Together with the hope that Michael Pineda has not reverted to his days as Mr. Inconsistency and lightning doesn’t strike Aaron Judge in the outfield during a summer thunderstorm.

Other than that, Brian Cashman can lay back and dream about next year. Okay, okay, I’m the cup half-full guy . I get it, and I still am. But let’s face it. Luis Cessa is not the answer, and neither is Tyler Clippard or Rob Refsnyder.

Call the team dentist

We need teeth replacement and not just filled cavities. And more than that, the team needs a jolt like the one it received last year at about this time. Something that gives the team a new look and a new feel.

Brett Gardner, bless his heart, cannot continue the pace he’s been playing at as a 35-year old ballplayer. He was given the day off last night, but he needs two more. Ditto Didi Gregorius, who will be given the night off tonight. And unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before Ellsbury tweaks this or that and he disappears for another stint on the DL.

Austin Romine, bless his heart too, is not a first baseman and the question is becoming as my colleague, Cory Claus, asks in a just-published story, how many first basemen will the Yankees need this year?

So, when you stand back looking at the big picture, there are reasons why the Yankees are stumbling and bumbling right now, and there’s no mystery to it, save for the allergic reaction Matt Holliday had to something.

And now, the foot race is on. Everyone needs a starting pitcher and middle relievers. Soon, we’ll hear the buzz of Indy 500 cars as teams go into overdrive to beat the competition for the likes of Sonny Gray, Chris Archer, Jose Quintana, Jason Vargas, and Rocky Racoon if he can deliver seven quality innings.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

In the meantime, all we can do is sit back and wait. 25 men in the Yankees clubhouse tonight are not the team that can even get the organization into the playoffs. To reiterate, we need one of your jolts, Brian. And we needed it yesterday.