Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across Major League Baseball. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in New York Yankees fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.
As unlikely as it sounds, the Yankees are, as of Tuesday afternoon, in last place of the AL East. Their record of 19-17 is still a touch over .500, but as recent history has taught us all, that is not good enough to thrive in the toughest division in baseball.
While it’s fair to note that the Yankees’ lack of depth has been exposed in recent weeks, it’s also true that their terrible injury luck has left them short-handed in several areas of the roster. The bullpen is in slightly better shape than the rotation or starting lineup, but it’s still one of those affected fronts.
The Yankees are currently without Scott Effross, Jonathan Loáisiga, Lou Trivino, and Tommy Kahnle. Those pitchers have the potential to be the top four options on any team, and their absence has combined with other factors such as Clay Holmes’ recent struggles.
Michael King, predictably, has been a life-saver for manager Aaron Boone. In 20 innings, he has a fabulous 1.35 ERA, 1.85 FIP, 30-percent K-rate, and no homers allowed. We are here to ask readers who they think is the most trustworthy reliever in the Yanks’ bullpen after King, as he would almost undoubtedly be the top pick if he was included in the poll. It’s a pertinent question, especially given Josh and Estevão’s recent articles encouraging the Yankees to use King as a more versatile fireman and not a traditional one-inning closer.
Wandy Peralta and Ron Marinaccio, as expected, have been terrific in their follow-ups on strong showings in 2022. The emergence of former non-roster invitee Ian Hamilton as a legitimate option (1.35 ERA in 20 frames, just like King) has been a pleasant surprise, though, and Holmes does still have his supporters given the way that the 2022 All-Star’s sinker moves when he’s at his best.
The second question has to do with one of the Yankees’ breakout performers last year: Oswaldo Cabrera. There is no denying there is enormous value on his defensive versatility, but we can’t just ignore the fact he is hitting .204/.236/.311 with a 45 wRC+ for the season.
It’s not like Cabrera has been a complete zero. He has contributed two homers and five stolen bases, but hits just aren’t falling for the talented switch-hitter. Some underlying metrics might suggest he could be on the verge of turning things around, and his home run on Monday—even against the subpar A’s—is certainly a positive sign. However, roster spots are very valuable and the Yanks might be forced to make some decisions soon.
Should the Yanks take the possible longview on Cabrera’s future and demote him to let him work out the kinks in a low-stress environment? Or should they keep him in the majors, hoping he makes adjustments against MLB pitchers? It’s certainly an interesting debate.
Vote below in our polls and, if you are up for it, you can spark the discussion in the comments section! Results will be published later this week.