Crazy Talk

Although it’s been a fantastic week or so on the field for the Bombers, who are back in first after some dramatic moments and series wins over Detroit, Baltimore, and now Boston, there’s also some disturbing news. Sheffield’s wrist, it seems, is more seriously damaged than thought; he may well be out for the year, and in need of surgery. That’s a massive loss for the Yankees. As much as we love Melky—and we most assuredly do—he’s not going to be an adequate/suitable replacement for Sheff. Matsui, perhaps. Not Sheff. But in the NYT today, that seems to be just what the Yankees are thinking about (though it’s hard to see where the line is between the Yankee thinking and Tyler Kepner’s imagination.) This line is telling: “He has no home runs and no slugging percentage to speak of (.352), but that hardly seems to matter.” [my italics] Well, it’s a writer’s throwaway phrase. He was probably on deadline. And it leads into a quote from Joe about how Melky’s been producing (sample size alert!). But. Still. For a potential right fielder, the lack of power seems to matter a lot. Which is not to say we don’t adore Melky, and think he can’t be a valuable asset for a long time to come. But a replacement for Sheff? That’s a tall order.

13 comments… add one
  • Why do we need to replace Sheff? Assuming he would have had 100 RBI’s this year and that the Yanks were on pace for 1000 runs, they should still score 900. What’s wrong with the following lineup:
    Shouldn’t that be good enough to win. Maybe they also get Matsui back in September, maybe they don’t. If Cabrera starts to slow up a bit they could move him down in the order. I don’t see any need to freak out just yet. Sheff wasn’t exactly tearing sh*t up, and his defense was average at best. If the kids (Phillips/Cabrera) really start to stink then we may have to worry. But if they play half-way decent the Yanks still have enough firepower to win the whole thing. They will still be a better hitting team than any of the Yankee World Series teams.

    Bozo June 8, 2006, 9:31 am
  • I don’t know Bozo. I hope so. It would be great. I would love for this to be true, and so far it has been. But it puts a huge amount of pressure on Giambi and A-Rod and Jorge to produce. There’s not a great deal of power elsewhere in the lineup. When you start stacking up the numbers that the Yankee outfield will produce against what can be expected from other top teams (like Boston, egads), you’ll find the team at a big disadvantage.

    YF June 8, 2006, 10:00 am
  • So I guess the next question is, do the Yanks offer Sheff arbitration or not?

    Nate June 8, 2006, 11:15 am
  • If he does not return next year, I have one name for Sheff’s replacment:
    Carlos Lee! Carlos Lee! Carlos Lee!

    bloodyank78 June 8, 2006, 11:44 am
  • Paul O’Niel wasn’t a prolific HR hitter either, but he played good D and he had a good approach at the plate–like Melky. I’m more worried about these guys maintaining success at the big league level. This has been fun, but let’s be honest with ourselves here YFs, it’s a long season and these kids have a lot to prove. The Yanks’ farm wasn’t a goldmine that somehow slipped under the national radar. Let’s keep having fun with it and hope for the best, i.e., that we are seeing some clutch, real-time development.

    tom yf June 8, 2006, 12:16 pm
  • YF – isn’t power the last thing that comes to hitter in the bigs? Do we know how many dingers Melky hit in AA/AAA and how that compares to Duncan (or even AP), for instance? That would give us a better yardstick about his power than is first two months in the majors.
    I’m more worried about AP than Melky. The latter is a 21 year-old that the front office apparently has been high on for a while. The former is a 29 year-old who was fast approaching never-to-be status before we realized that Giambi’s more suited to DH these days.

    Sam June 8, 2006, 12:21 pm
  • I saw Melky hit a granny at Columbus last year, so he can put one out occassionally. But I’m not sure his record indicates there’s that much power in there. Anyway, there’s plenty of time for him to develop. I don’t have concerns about AP; I don’t think anyone’s fooled into thinking he’s going to be more than what he is, hopefully a solid journeyman contributor.

    YF June 8, 2006, 12:30 pm
  • Oh yeah bloody. El Caballo in NYC. I’m sure George can make him a reasonable offer…and by reasonable I mean totally ridiculous to pass on. I just hope we don’t get the post-contract regression that seems all too common on MLB.

    Nate June 8, 2006, 12:58 pm
  • Melky’s line from 2005 in Trenton:
    AVG/OBP/SLG: .275/.322/.411
    Games: 106
    AB: 426
    Runs: 57
    Hits: 117
    2B: 22
    3B: 3
    HR: 10
    RBI: 60
    BB: 28
    K: 72 (glad to see he worked hard on fixing that)
    SB: 11
    CS: 2

    attackgerbil June 8, 2006, 2:55 pm
  • I think the main issue with the Yankees outfield is how much playing time Bubba is going to get when he returns. If he’s playing for Melky and not just rotating with Bernie it’s going to be a very rough few months.
    Is there any new news concerning Bobby Abreu’s availability and Philie’s asking price?

    walein June 8, 2006, 2:56 pm
  • My biggest fear is that the Yankees will pay (in youth and money) the same price for a Tori Hunter (who I don’t want–except for free) versus getting someone like Abreu.

    walein June 8, 2006, 2:58 pm
  • Thanks, AG. Evidently Melky isn’t a Monster Masher. Whoops.
    Isn’t that a basic requirement for corner outfielders?

    Sam June 8, 2006, 3:21 pm
  • Carlos Lee can mash. :)

    bloodyank78 June 8, 2006, 4:46 pm

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