Enough is enough. The slides won’t stop, and something needs to be done. After getting swept by the Boston Red Sox (again) at Fenway Park, the New York Yankees followed that up with another lifeless outing on Monday, which featured awful play in all facets of the game to bring them another loss. Four straight. They’re 41-38 after capturing a non-negotiable victory on Tuesday night.
Even worse? Manager Aaron Boone, prior to Monday’s game, declared the Yankees’ season was on the line and they the team is considering roster changes. The response? More lifeless at-bats, terrible defense and passive pitching.
If the Yankees want to survive 2021, they probably need to go 8-3 in their next 11 games before the All-Star break so general manager Brian Cashman can assess if the team will buy at the trade deadline.
But there are moves that can be made before then. Not trades. Message-sending roster transactions that will let the team know these performances are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on a World Series-aspiring team.
Who are we kidding, though? The Yankees won’t do any of these. They need to preserve their precious button-up reputation to avoid rocking the boat even further with the media.
But if this front office and organization had any concern whatsoever in regard to holding players accountable, they’d consider these three moves. Right now.
3. Remove Jameson Taillon and Michael King from the Rotation
Two incredibly easy decisions that any resolute front office would’ve made by now, but here we are. The Yankees love “waiting to see how things play out” and pressing their luck with players who simply … aren’t performing.
That’s been the case with both Taillon and King, who have actively contributed to losing games for the Bombers. We can talk at length about how the Taillon trade was the wrong deal to make (and how some of those prospects already dominating for the Pirates are making things worse), but there’s no sense in rubbing salt in the wound right now.
Taillon has a 5.18 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across 14 starts. He’s pitched beyond six innings just twice. He averages less than 4.2 innings per outing. He’s killing the bullpen and putting the Yankees offense in a hole almost every time he takes the mound. Sadly, his season-best outing against the Royals last week isn’t going to fool us. And if he has another bad start, he should be taken out of the rotation. 15 tries is enough to at least show some progress. He’s hardly shown any.
As for King, he’s in the rotation because of injuries. Corey Kluber is gone until … September? Luis Severino suffered a setback in his rehab. King’s had his chances, though, despite being bounced between the bullpen and rotation. He’s now made six straight starts and not ONE has been good.
He averages four innings per start. He provides no length, walks a ton of batters, and can almost never get an out when it’s needed. He’s allowed 10 first-inning runs in those outings and then revealed after his losing effort on Monday that he “gets cute” the first time around through the order because he wants to set himself up to better face hitters the second and third time around. Um, how many times has he faced a lineup the third time through? Maybe one? Maybe.
Where’s pitching coach Matt Blake? He’s allowing King to execute this plan which has failed … every time he’s taken the mound as a starter? Ridiculous. Back to the bullpen for him, and Taillon can contribute there as well until he finds his bearings. It’s not like either are being stretched out because they can’t provide length anyway.
As for replacements? It literally doesn’t matter. Again, it cannot get much worse than this. Bring up Luis Gil and Deivi Garcia. At least it’ll be an injection of youth.