Morning, everyone, happy Friday! We were a little light on the mailbag submissions this week, seeing as many of them were repeats relating to the Astros and sign-stealing. I still had fun with this one, so I hope you enjoy it as well. Remember to send your questions in our weekly mailbag call or by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
#UseTheOpener!! asks: While Rob Manfred is trying to get the baseball world to move on from the Astros cheating scandal, all he seems to be doing is unite people against him, between his playoff proposal and him calling the World Series trophy “a piece of metal” in a recent press conference. Is it reasonable to presume that some owners could be discussing right now possible removal later in the future?
No, if anything I’d say the owners are likely to discuss ways to keep Manfred around. He works for them, remember. The Commissioner has gone out of his way to protect Jim Crane through this ordeal. Make no mistake, Manfred has lost all credibility with his handling of the sign-stealing scandal. Unfortunately the owners will likely see that as advantageous to them.
Todd asks: Is there a possibility that the Yankees keep Frazier? And if they do trade him, what might that look like?
While spring training trades do happen—remember Brandon Drury?—my hunch is that if the Yankees haven’t traded Clint Frazier by now, they don’t plan to before the season starts. I thought he was a goner this winter after the club essentially refused to play him down the stretch. Nevertheless, he reported to camp with the Bombers, and he brought along a pretty fun glove with him.
The Yankees could definitely keep Frazier around, especially with an extra bench spot open thanks to the 26-man roster. His bat plays, even if it’s not at a superstar level. If he can field just somewhat adequately, he makes sense as a bench option.
As for Frazier’s trade value, that proves a little more difficult to pin down. The 2019 campaign appears to have lessened interest in the outfielder. “Not where it was a year ago,” was the evaluation of an anonymous rival executive of Frazier’s value, as explained to Ken Davidoff. “I’d be surprised if he could be the centerpiece of a big trade, which could motivate them to keep him.”
That, of course, sounds like a team trying to gain leverage over the Yankees. The Bombers refused to include Frazier in a deal for a pitcher at the trade deadline last year, yet also made no effort to play him. What a bizarre situation this is.
David asks: What do you project to be the opening day lineups for Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Trenton, assuming no major injuries happen during spring training?
Oh, this is a fun question. I called on Dan Kelly, PSA’s in-house expert on all things minor leagues, to consult on this answer. The lineups follow no order, so don’t read anything into the placements. I just wrote them down as they came into my mind.
LF - Clint Frazier
CF - Zack Granite
RF - Trey Amburgey
SS - Kyle Holder
2B - Thairo Estrada
3B - Mandy Alvarez
1B - Mike Ford
DH - Chris Gittens
C - Erik Kratz
RHP - Deivi Garcia
Double-A Trenton Thunder
RF - Ben Ruta
CF - Rashad Crawford
LF - Zack Zehner
SS - Diego Castillo
2B - Hoy Jun Park
1B - Brandon Wagner
3B - Angel Aguilar
C - Kellin Deglan
DH - Isiah Gilliam
RHP - Clarke Schmidt
Dan also likes Oswaldo Cabrera and Alexander Palma as candidates to crack Trenton’s roster, with Pablo Olivares a touch behind them.