The Yankees are 4-8 in their last 12 games. While some fans would like to see major changes, that is unlikely to happen. The Yankees are saying they will not be able to add any payroll. We’ve heard that before, of course. But let’s assume for now that is actually true.
So what could they do short of a trade? Here are a few thoughts:
More Brett Gardner: The Little G is 15 of his last 43 and has his batting average up to .284 with a .358 OBP. Melky Cabrera is 12 of 62 since his shoulder injury in Texas. He is down to .282 with a .340 OBP. Melky has more power and should play his share. But Gardner could add the energy the Yankees have lacked lately and is a superior defender.
More Dave Robertson: He has 23 strikeouts in 14.2 innings (59 in 45 career innings) and deserves more late-game, high-leverage opportunities. Joe Girardi is in love with Phil Coke and that is going to come back to bite him someday soon.
Release Angel Berroa: Is this guy actually going to play once a week when A-Rod rests? Ramiro Pena is not much of an offensive player, but he can play defense and add a little small ball from the No. 9 spot.
Call up Shelley Duncan or John Rodriguez: Shelley is at .294/.369/.628 for Scranton. J-Rod is at .292/.377/.521. Wouldn’t they be more helpful than Berroa? How could they not be, especially in National League parks over the next six games?
Release Brett Tomko/Call up somebody else: Mark Melancon, Anthony Claggett, Zack Kroenke, there has to be somebody in Scranton who would be better. As Tomko himself said yesterday, everything he’s throwing is getting hit lately.
Move Swisher up: Yes, Nick Swisher is an adventure in the outfield, but his 132 OPS+ is second on the team to Mark Teixeira. It’s a waste to bat him seventh or eighth, which he has 20 times. Second or sixth would be better.
More Phil Hughes: If they’re going to use him in the bullpen, then use him in the bullpen. Let him pitch when it’s 2-1 in the eighth inning, not when they’re down by a few runs. If he is not going to be used in vital situations, he might as well be starting in Scranton.