Back in August, the Yankees were a .500 team with a +19 run differential. The scorching hot Blue Jays passed them in the AL East standings, but given the rise of rookies Luis Severino and Greg Bird, Pinstripe Alley readers were understanding of Cashman's decision to not deal them at the deadline. So Cashman's approval rating actually remained about the same, moving up two ticks to 72% approval:
In a sense, Cashman was back to square one because when these approval ratings began back in January, he rated at 72% as well, and he fought through an up-and-down stretch early in the 2015 season to return to this level.
September was the epitome of mediocrity. The Yankees went 14-14, scored 121 runs, and allowed 121 runs. Despite their recent struggles, they remain in a position to enter the AL Wild Card game with home field advantage. They just need one more win to secure the postseason spot, and they are three games ahead of the second Wild Card spot jumble to host the one-game playoff at Yankee Stadium.
Cashman's roster moves have fared relatively well during the home stretch. Finally healthy after battling a herniated disc in August, trade acquisition Dustin Ackley became perhaps the team's hottest hitter by batting .289/.327/.667 with a 165 OPS+ in 20 games. Rookies Rob Refsnyder and Slade Heathcott provided value as well, with the former capably stepping in for the possibly-concussed Stephen Drew against lefties and the latter crushing a huge home run in Tampa that almost single-handedly won a game. Speedster Rico Noel did not have a single plate appearance and spent just two innings in the outfield, but his remarkable agility led to a 5-for-5 month as the team's designated Terrance Gore-like pinch-runner. On the flip side, none of the bullpen additions have really provided much help, and the bullpen beyond Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Justin Wilson looks shakier than ever.
Has the September performance been enough to earn Cashman's roster construction a passing grade? Is it solely dependent on when the Yankees can actually resolve their Wild Card clinching troubles, or do they not matter as much to you? It's your call.