The New York Yankees do not have a natural first baseman on their current active roster. Is that good?
Why is this team allergic to filling needs with natural solutions? How do you explain to someone that your favorite team, the one you waste countless dollars and hours of attention on is, in fact, stupid?
When the Yankees demoted slumping first baseman Mike Ford in the middle of the night Tuesday — just after he’d finished batting fifth against Tyler Glasnow! — hopes were high. Perhaps this was finally the Bombers shakeup we’d been waiting for. With Luke Voit laid up and Ford now gone, surely this was the perfect avenue to promote Chris Gittens, the 27-year-old Triple-A bat with organization-leading exit velocity and 80-grade power.
Of course, pessimism remained. The Yankees haven’t made a correct decision in three years. Why start now? It’d probably be a boring move for a fresh reliever instead, while the first base issue remains unsolved.
If you like disappointment, then you’re in luck!
Wednesday afternoon, after raising the “anticipation,” the Yankees promoted reliever Brooks Kriske, the 14th man in the bullpen and someone nobody wants to see, to be tonight’s gas can. You see, in addition to not having a first baseman (in the technical sense), the Yanks also don’t have a bullpen backing Jordan Montgomery in Game 3 against the Rays.
The Yankees brought up Brooks Kriske instead of Chris Gittens in Mike Ford’s place.
That’s how you win, right? No pitching and no hitting?
In 11 games at Triple-A this season, Gittens is putting on a show — and that doesn’t even account for his pregame BP sessions, which reportedly consist of liners directly off the scoreboard. He’s triple-slashing .323/.523/.774 with four bombs, and the underlying numbers give credence to the veracity of this power surge.
Instead of seeing what kind of shot in the arm Gittens can provide, though, the Yankees seem intent on playing a slumping DJ LeMahieu out of position, as well as Miguel Andújar WAY out of position.
The only silver lining here is that maybe the Kriske maneuver is extremely temporary. The depressing fact is the Yankees bullpen went all out to compete for and split the previous two games, and only Aroldis Chapman is available Wednesday out of the back-end arms you’d like to see.
Sadly, Kriske mopping up in garbage time (either a blowout win, or more likely a loss) before Gittens joins the team after a Ryan LaMarre DFA/Corey Kluber 60-Day IL stint later in the week is all we now have to hang our hat on.
It’s a depressing reality that one of the richest teams in the league, both in terms of cash and talent, is desperate enough to cling to its bottom 40-man spots being used exclusively for slop relievers. Alas, just like the Yankees lineup, we’re powerless here.