Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of the Ask Pinstripe Alley Yankees mailbag. This week we received 11 questions. While I can’t answer all of them this morning, I’ll try my hand at a few. If I didn’t get to yours, don’t feel bad. Another editor could always answer it later this weekend.
#UsetheOpener!!! asks: Do you see Greg Bird remaining on the Yankees once he returns from (his latest) injury?
The Yankees have an unlimited supply of patience when it comes to Bird. The team loves him. It’s not difficult to see why: he hits left-handed and owns a sweet swing. That said, injuries have sapped him of his ability to hit the ball with authority.
In particular, he has struggled to catch up to good fastballs. That doesn’t bode well for being an effective big leaguer in 2019. It’s not fair to call him a flash in the pan, because he did have the makings of a good hitter. Injuries just derailed his bat.
So, should the Yankees find a way to make room for Bird? Probably not. He should spend time in Triple-A. Will the Yankees find a way to get him on the roster though? Almost certainly.
John asks: What do you think the lineup will look like when all the regular players are back? Didi, Judge, Stanton, and Troy. Who stays, who may go?
Assuming everyone returns healthy, I believe the lineup should look something like this:
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Aaron Judge
DH Giancarlo Stanton
C Gary Sanchez
1B Luke Voit
SS Didi Gregorius
3B Miguel Andujar
LF Clint Frazier
2B Gleyber Torres
The bench would consist of Austin Romine, DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner, and Gio Urshela. The Yankees will have to do without an extra bullpen arm in this scenario. Unfortunately I can’t find any room for Troy Tulowitzki with everyone at full health.
I think the Yankees would go about things differently, though. I suspect they would split up Judge and Stanton by placing Gregorius in between them. I could also envision a scenario where Stanton gets into the outfield rotation and Frazier goes to Triple-A. Not ideal, but it wouldn’t be entirely surprising.
Larry asks: With the glut of Yankees infielders, would it be wise to offer Didi a qualifying offer at the end of his contract and hope he rejects it to gain a compensation pick, especially coming back from surgery?
On the contrary, it would be wise for the Yankees to extend Gregorius an offer and hope he accepts it. That probably represents the best case scenario for the team. The salary will be high, but a one-year deal makes for a great opportunity to see how he looks following Tommy John surgery. If he plays like the Sir Didi of old, then sign him back up on a multi-year deal. If the procedure changed his game, then it’s only a one-year deal.
Mark asks: Any predictions on who will lead the Yankees in wins, holds, saves, home runs, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage, walks, and steals at the end of 2019? No pressure, we’ll check your answers at the end of the year though.
I can do you one better, Mark. I give you Pinstripe Alley’s 2019 Yankees and MLB predictions. We don’t address all of the categories you listed, but we dive into different ones as well. Please bookmark it and hold us to it!