It should not surprise anyone that after the Yankees' season-best 17-7 month of July, Pinstripe Alley's ratings of Brian Cashman were better than they have been all season long, all the way up to 70 percent. PSA has not thought this highly of Cashman since the beginning of this series back in January;
August, however, might be a little dicey if Cashman's previous few months of ratings are any indication. The fact that the Yankees had an 8-11 stretch at one point almost made it a little surprising that they finished August at 14-14, exactly .500. The only month worse this year was the ugly 13-16 May; Cashman's approval rating tumbled from 68 percent to 40 percent back then. Will August lead to the similar results?
There is no doubt that a decent portion of Yankees fans continue to grumble about the team's deadline inactivity, particularly while top targets David Price and Ben Zobrist excelled for the AL rival Blue Jays and Royals, respectively. Toronto's rampant activity and surging results from hitters like the red hot Edwin Encarnacion led to a fantastic 21-6 month, a 126-win pace over a full season. The Jays thus surged from eight games behind in the AL East on July 28th (when they were under .500 at 50-51) to a game and a half ahead of the Yankees when August ended,
For as frustrating as the month might have been though, there are certainly reasons to defend Cashman. Acquiring Zobrist or Price would most likely have involved surrendering his top pitching prospect, Luis Severino, who came up at the beginning of August and had an excellent debut month, recording a 2.17 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 innings. Another rumored trade possibility, Greg Bird, was also promoted, and he hit a solid .250/.328/.393 with a 101 OPS+ in 16 games filling in for the injured Mark Teixiera. Adding Price or Zobrist meant that Severino and Bird's contributions might not have actually happened, so would the big guns have really added so much more value, particularly while considering each prospect's potential future? Furthermore, the offense also badly struggled as a whole at times, and even if they had Zobrist, Robinson Cano demonstrated in 2013 that one dangerous hitter cannot fully power a lineup by himself.
You make the decision, Pinstripe Alley. How would you rate Brian Cashman's August? Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts.