Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Bovine Opinions asks: If Aaron Judge’s foot needs to be amputated, what do they do to acquire a RF? If his foot requires him to be out until August? July? Seriously, there’s no freakin question that needs to be asked ahead of this one.
Fair enough, let’s address the elephant in the room. The Yankees are without Aaron Judge at the moment, and it could be for an extended time — Aaron Boone and company didn’t want to attach a timeline to Judge’s recovery, describing it as a feel situation. That makes it a lot harder to tell just how long he’ll be out, but if we assume it’ll stretch longer than the remainder of this month, then the team has to go out and tackle the poor depth that they’ve got in the outfield currently.
Whether it is a right fielder specifically or just any outfielder at all, considering the team is currently grappling with Judge and Harrison Bader being out they should be proactive at this point in making a move of some kind. To be more precise, they should honestly be looking to make two — an immediate band-aid to buoy the outfield, and a deadline-esque move for a starter who can take over left field once the cavalry arrives. Combing through the potential rental players out there, the Rockies have a pair in Randal Grichuk and Jurickson Profar that could be had for cheap, and familiar names in Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger will be available throughout the next few months. Striking early on at least one of them, and possibly bidding for two would go a long way to rebuilding the floor of this offense.
Sol W. asks: Why did the Yankees sign Billy McKinney instead of Estevan Florial? Florial is 22 and can play center field, and is hitting well at Scranton. With Judge on the IR, Florial could get playing time. McKinney is a journeyman with a weak bat and is not a center fielder.
At this point, it feels like the Yankees know something about Florial that the rest of us don’t. They might view both players in mere Quad-A territory, but with Florial still holding some veneer of former top prospect status and being the significantly younger player there may be some hope of flipping him during this trade deadline. It would make sense if a team that’s out of commission wants to deal one of their expiring outfield contracts but needs talent at the position, offering a better baseline for the Yankees while they can further develop Florial elsewhere. Other than that, I can’t point to much — despite his numerous cameos in the majors, Florial really hasn’t gotten more than a cup of coffee in the bigs, and has historically shown that he takes time at each level before his game improves. He’s seemingly found that improvement at Triple-A now, but the team doesn’t have the leeway to add another bat that’s going to flounder day-to-day.
thor14 asks: With the explosion of betting sites regarding baseball, isn’t there any concern of something akin to point shaving happening? For example the line is Pitcher A throwing 25 pitches in the first inning, the umpire or pitcher can deliberating hit or miss that mark.
I can’t speak to how real a threat this is from the players — I’m of the opinion that they’re there to compete, and there’s a far greater reward from performing on the field than what could be made in risking it all on incremental bets. Still, gambling casts that shadow of a doubt on the league, and I’m not a fan of its increasing presence league-wide. There’s also a harder bar to clear to tell what is going on from an umpire’s perspective, and as we’ve seen in other leagues it’s far from impossible that they would act maliciously. It’s just one of the grosser aspects of sports that has to be tolerated to a point — though the league’s active courting of it brings that point to less and less tolerable levels.