Good afternoon everyone, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Byron Fear asks: Why the hell bench Voit after he was named player of the week, we can see he can produce when he’s played regularly. Why not keep Stanton in the field, he can play it and play it well, he did win an award for his field playing skills after all. Any thoughts?
Voit’s playing time has been a frustrating thing to watch of late. He came roaring back off the IL, and seemingly adjusted well even after Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup and took the majority of the starts at first base. Aaron Boone noted that they wouldn’t be playing the Gallo-Judge-Stanton outfield that enables Voit to get regular reps at DH exclusively, but the idea was to play it the majority of the time — and that hasn’t been happening of late.
The Yankees have been sliding, and they’ve undergone a good portion of this losing streak with one of their best bats on the bench. Stanton’s play in the outfield hasn’t been concerning in the slightest, and Judge seems acclimated to center field well, so the tradeoff in having Voit in the lineup versus someone like Brett Gardner seems to be a net positive. It’s far from the only thing this team needs to fix to get back on track, but it should be the simplest change they can make.
Psycho Bred asks: If the Yankees do not make the playoffs, or if they do and get knocked out quickly, do you think Cashman and/or Boone will be replaced next season? Who do you think would be a good replacement for Boone?
I don’t think Cashman’s job is in jeopardy unless the wheels truly fall off and the team turns on itself or something, but this is definitely a hot seat situation for Boone. Failure this year would mean falling well-short of expectations in three of his four years as manager, and an outright failure like not making the postseason or losing the wild card game would be a tough blow to take. I’m not one to put major emphasis on the manager’s job, but this has been a turbulent year filled with major highs and major lows, and whether you agree with it or not Boone takes credit for both of those occasions.
The way this season has gone, there’s still time for things to shift back up, and potentially even shift down again — whichever way it ends on will be indicative of whether he gets an offer to return or not. It’s also way to early to get into potential replacements, so I’ll end on this: Boone’s shown the potential to rally the troops before, and even in this season. It’s just a matter of managing to do it on a consistent basis, and not just when things are going well.
Michael G. asks: With Torres’ poor defense and his inability now to out hit his defense, do they trade him, switch his position, or send him to the minors? Who do we bring in to play shortstop next year?
As far as the rest of the season is concerned, I think you have to roll with Torres at shortstop. Peter made the argument a few weeks ago, but the replacements in-house were playing out of their britches for a bit, helping to propel the 13-game streak. Torres (and Gio Urshela) returned and promptly brought the floor down on the team a bit, but their ceiling is simply higher than Velazquez or Wade. Keeping them around is doable with the expanded roster, and Torres and Urshela deserve to be on a short leash this year, but their best lineup features the regulars.
Next year, however, is a void waiting to be filled. The Yankees could go whichever route they please — be that keeping Torres long-term, holding onto him for now while waiting for prospects, or getting a replacement immediately. I haven’t spent much time contemplating the 2021-22 free agent class, but I’m partial to the second option here. It’s rare that a Yankees prospect will truly get me to buy into the hype, but Anthony Volpe is rising into the upper-echelon of prospect rankings, and those are the guys that you look to give a shot.