The Yankees unofficially made it official. They’re going all in with their Baby Bombers. Good for them.
The Yankees took their 3-11 record into the game last night with many an old face missing and with fresh young faces to replace them. And sometimes, you can make lemonade out of lemons, and that’s exactly what this organization is doing, whether it ever intended to or not.
In a story published yesterday, I asked Brian Cashman to give the team a jolt, similar to the one he provided last year at the trade deadline. And viola. You couldn’t ask for more. In a series of moves, all due to injuries, Tyler Austin (also now injured), infielder, Miguel Andujar, master of all positions, Tyler Wade, and now, just called up today, outfielder Dustin Fowler, are all wearing the Pinstripes.
Coming on the heels of the latest news putting Matt Holliday on the 10-day DL with a viral infection, where he joins Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks, both out with hamstring issues, the Yankees clubhouse now has an unprecedented Baby Bombers feel to it.
And as Joe Girardi has said many times, you don’t bring a young player up sit on the bench. This is their chance, their opportunity to make a statement and to stand out. And if not for Austin’s hamstring injury, they all would be in the starting lineup when the Yankees end their series with the White Sox before heading to Houston for the weekend.
Arguably, there is not another team in baseball who could do what the Yankees just did in drawing quality players from their minor league system in a blink of the eyes to quell what has turned into a M.A.S.H. unit instead of a team of mashers.
The energy injection given to the team by Cashman is precisely what the doctor ordered. And that’s not to suggest that Holliday, Castro, and Hicks were plodding their way through the season. Hardly. It’s just that the infusion of these kids, who will have no trouble identifying each other in the clubhouse, is the kind of jolt a team needs when it’s going poorly – a wake-up call if you will.
There’s still a few in the womb
Which brings us to the next and most obvious question. Actually, it’s two questions. When is the next batch on the way and how will this impact the Yankees activity in the trade market?
The hole at first base still needs filling. And once again the organization finds itself with a ready-made answer to the problem their 24-year old New Jersey product, Mike Ford. In 60 some games with Double-A Trenton, Ford batted .277 with eight home runs, forty RBI, with an eye-catching .404 on-base percentage.
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Recently promoted, he’s continuing the same trends with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and already has four home runs with ten batted in only nine games. Why not?
And then, of course, there’s what will be the Last of the Mohicans, Chance Adams, who carries a 25-4 record over three professional seasons with a 2.03 ERA while giving up less than a hit an inning (147 in 244 innings).
The only hold up with Adams is that the Yankees might know something the numbers don’t tell. But usually, stuff like that doesn’t stay secret for very long. So again, why not?
All of which might mean that the Yankees do not have to join the team of bloodhounds who will be engaging in the July trade market. They could, but they don’t have to. And there’s a big difference.
The crush at the door
So then the question becomes what happens when everyone is healthy, and locker room space is at a premium again?
First of all, don’t ever count on a team staying healthy in baseball and there will always be a need to juggle one’s roster, especially as the games and the heat build up.
And secondly, what a wonderful problem to have. And over the next few weeks that the Baby Bombers have a chance to play together, maybe they can also win together, turning this team around from its wayward course. And if that happens, watch out.
Because that could just be the impetus that Hal Steinbrenner needs to part ways with a few million by trading Jacoby Ellsbury or Chase Headley, or maybe both while picking up the tab for most of their salary.
Everything will unfold over the next few weeks. One thing is for sure, though. The excitement is back in New York Yankees baseball.