The Yankees are all about winning, except when it comes to relying on rookies. Maybe this is a bit dramatic and overreactive, but in a season ravaged by injuries the Yankees have proven that they will try anyone out, but only veterans get to keep their spots.
Adam Warren made the team out of Spring Training, Chris Nelson was designated for assignment to make room for David Adams, Vidal Nuno and Brett Marshall were called up, Corban Joseph made his debut, and Preston Claiborne has been given a chance.
However, now Nuno's start in place of the injured Andy Pettitte has been skipped because of the rainout. I don't have a problem with this decision, what I have a problem with is that it comes when the Yankees are still letting Phil Hughes start. I'm not saying Phil Hughes should be taken out of the rotation, but tell me how he is a clear improvement over Nuno?There's a chance Phil could dominate the Orioles lineup, but there's also a bigger chance he will be the same inconsistent Phil Hughes we all know and even a chance he could blow up like he did in his last start.
Vidal Nuno has a 1.54 ERA, 0.8 BB/9, 10 K/9, 5 H/9 in 23.1 innings in Scranton this year and has not given up a run in eight innings in the majors. Meanwhile, Phil Hughes has a 5.88 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 8.1 K/9 and 11.5 H/9 in 41.1 innings in the majors. Obviously, Nuno is not going to be that good in the majors, but that line looks much better than Hughes' line. Again, I'm still not saying Hughes should be bench, though maybe he should, but if you're skipping Nuno you should also be skipping Hughes, especially after he gave up seven runs in only 0.2 innings. It's like the Yankees don't trust rookies or something.
David Adams getting called up was a great thing, especially after he was released by the organization just a few months ago. This year in Triple-A, he was hitting .316/.407/.490 with three home runs and 13 walks in 113 plate appearances. More importantly, he was hitting .364/.432/.606 against left-handers, which is what he can help the team with the most – the Yankees are hitting a collective .233/.299/.359 against them.
The Yankees recently acquired Reid Brignac to platoon against right-handed pitchers and add another option at shortstop to allow Jayson Nix to get some much needed off days. Today he was penciled in at shortstop, but took Adams' place in the lineup and Nix was moved over the third base. Jayson Nix has not had a day off since May 6, even after playing in both games of a doubleheader. He has hit .243/.375/.297 in that time, making him an easy bat in the lineup to replace, yet Adams is the one who sits.
It's obvious that Joe Girardi only looks at handedness when determining platoon match ups and probably doesn't even look at players' numbers. Otherwise Brennan Boesch would have gotten more playing time against lefties, Ben Francisco would probably get less, and Travis Hafner hitting against southpaws would not have been a big deal. Nix is a lifetime .201/.271/.334 hitter against righties, meaning almost anyone should start over him if they have the option. Everyone except David Adams, apparently, who has a .302/.382/.439 line against them in the minors between 2008-2012. Reid Brignac is a lifetime .244/.293/.330 hitter, so I have to imagine David Adams could do better than both of them, even if he is right-handed.
Yes, the pitcher's numbers versus different handed batters also come into play, as R.A. Dickey is much better against right-handers than left-handers. The problem is that you end up with the likes of Jayson Nix and Reid Brignac starting in the same lineup. I don't care what the numbers might say, Dickey is not going to struggle against them.
I hope this is a one-time thing because Adams needs to play every day if the Yankees want to find out what kind of value he can give them. Phil Hughes will be a free agent at the end of the year, but Vidal Nuno is just starting his career and could contribute to this team for years. In a year highlighted by injures to almost every starting position player the rookies should be getting their chances, not just being used as fill-ins because there aren't any better (read: veteran) options. Just because they've been playing longer doesn't mean they're better, or really any good at all.
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