If you were to judge New York Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman's off-season today, you might be tempted to toss Cashman into the Hudson River. There, he could float along with the rest of the debris.
- Javier Vazquez (1-3, 9.78 ERA) has been putrid. Right now, his fastball looks allergic to Yankee pinstripes and he seems on his way to becoming an albatross around Cashman's neck.
- Curtis Granderson has a .225 batting average, a pulled groin, a spot on the disabled list and most likely won't play again until some time in June.
- Nick Johnson walks a lot, but he is hitting just .134. Seems the Yankee DH has forgotten that he carries a piece of lumber to the plate.
- Former prized prospect Austin Jackson is starring in center field for Detroit. He is hitting .377, has five stolen bases, has played excellent defense and is drawing raves.
- The apparently unwanted Johnny Damon is hitting .316 and showing no signs of slowing down.
- Phil Coke is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
- Hideki Matsui is hitting .260 with four home runs for the Angels.
- Ian Kennedy (1-1, 4.45 ERA) has pitched decently in Arizona.
- Only Melky Cabrera (.212, no home runs, 6 RBI) has really struggled.
As it stands today, the scorecard on Cashman's off-season does not look good. If this was a fight, the Yankee GM would be battered, bloodied and the action might have been stopped already.
But, it is not a fight. And it is way too early to pass judgment on the moves made by Cashman. Twenty-five games have been played. There are 137 to go and, hopefully, a post-season to follow. Remember also that Cashman's moves were made with an eye toward the upcoming off-season with free agents like Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford likely to be on the market.
So, let's wait and see what happens.
Johnson is not going to hit .134, just like Jackson is not going to hit. 377. I doubt Granderson hits .225 for the season -- he is too good a player for that.
Vazquez? Who knows at this point. The guy has been a quality pitcher everywhere he has gone throughout a career that has -- amazingly -- spanned 13 seasons. Considering how he left New York after 2004, was it a good idea to bring him back this time? Right now, it sure doesn't look like it. Again, though, we are still early in the story. And yes, you can make the argument it is getting late early for Javy.
What will Cashman do, or be able to do, with Vazquez if he continues to pitch like this? I really don't know.
I just know it is way too early to pass judgment on Cashman's decisions.