I’m about to fly down to Los Angeles, but before I go…
Last night had to be rock bottom, right? How much worse could it get? Players very rarely acknowledge that they might be pressing, and last night all of the Yankees seemed to dismiss the idea, which seems easy to do with a veteran group like this.
“I don’t know,” Joe Girardi said. “I know everyone wants to get a hit in that situation and guys are doing their best. I’ve never been able to tell when a guy’s pressing or not pressing. That’s hard for me to read, but you’ve got to turn the page.”
Only way to move on is to actually get something going at the plate. If the Yankees take two out of three in Anaheim, this will be a .500 road trip, which isn’t bad three cities on the West Coast. But two out of three seems like a tall task at this point.
A few thoughts heading into Anaheim…
• I can’t see any way to fix the offense by simply shuffling the lineup. Five Yankees got hits last night: Brett Gardner (2), Jayson Nix (1), Robinson Cano (3), Ichiro Suzuki (3) and Chris Stewart (1). It seems like those are the only guys who have gotten any hits in the past two weeks, but Cano’s the only real middle-of-the-order bat in the bunch. Hard to see a way to rearrange these guys to be more productive.
• Girardi made it clear last night that the Yankees will bring up a pitcher, which could be awful news for either Adam Warren, Preston Claiborne or Shawn Kelley. It’s especially bad for Warren and Claiborne, because they won’t be available for a few days. Amazing that Warren might have pitched so well that he has to go to Triple-A for the first time this season.
• To me, either Lyle Overbay can play the outfield or he can’t. If he can, then he has to play against right-handers. Vernon Wells was signed to be a platoon guy long-term, and that looks like it needs to be his role going forward. The Yankees got lucky with that month of April, but it’s time for Wells to sit against righties. He actually has a .795 OPS against lefties, so he can help against them. If Overbay can’t play the outfield against righties, then maybe it’s time for Zoilo Almonte to get a shot. He’s a switch hitter who’s always been better from the left side.
• Ultimately, I believe David Adams will be a productive big league hitter, but it’s hard to blame Girardi for not giving him a ton of at-bats right now. Same for Austin Romine. Same for Reid Brignac given his limited past success as a hitter and the fact Nix has been playing well.
• That said, the Yankees do face a lefty tonight, so there will automatically be some sort of lineup shakeup. Adams should be in there. Romine will be in there. Wells and Youkilis will be facing their more comfortable side. Maybe a different look will help, but this lineup needs to get something going before facing Jered Weaver on Sunday.
• The Yankees need for a long man could open the door for a guy to jump from Double-A. The only non-DL minor league pitchers currently on the 40-man roster are Ivan Nova, Brett Marshall, Dellin Betances, Nick Turley and Jose Ramirez. Marshall pitched last night, so he’s out of the mix. Nova pitched five innings on Tuesday, so he’s not ideal. Betances pitched two innings on Tuesday, so he’s probably available but not exactly a true long man. That leaves Double-A starters Ramirez and Turley, each of whom is on five-days of rest.
• For whatever it’s worth, Teixeira said he felt like things were getting better at the plate. “This series was a lot better,” he said. “The last series was tough. This series was a lot better. … I didn’t get it done (last night), but the first two games of the series were good.”
• Wonder how Angels fans will react to Wells. He’s a wonderfully nice guy, but his numbers were brutal during his time in L.A. “I just want to win,” Wells said. “I don’t really care about anything else.”
• This wasn’t the most confidence building comment from last night: “You never know, after these games, how you wake up the next morning,” Youkilis said. “But hopefully yeah everything’s good.” Even I felt beat up and exhausted last night.
Associated Press photos