Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Blood: The Yanks Need To Call Up Some Kids

Jorge Vasqez leads the International League with 16 HRs.
This morning, Mike Silva of the New York Baseball Digest wrote that the Yankees need some fresh faces. Couldn’t agree more. In fact, I think they should go even further than Silva suggests.

The Yankees average age of 31.5 is the oldest in the American League. Their average pitching age of 31.2 is the oldest in the majors. In short, they are old.

And it shows. Despite the immense talent on the roster and the good start to the season, the bats have been a bit slow. Overall the Yankees look a bit creaky and are starting to slow down in all phases of the game.

The Yankees don’t trust their farm system—I’ve written that before. Due to the fact that the Yankees’ core tenet is to win and win now, they have no patience to let a kid go through the growing pains to become a the good player. If Ivan Nova had a few bad starts in a row, he’d be out of the Bronx faster than you could say “George Washington Bridge.” And could you honestly say that the Yankees would have had the patience to let Gio Gonzalez get shelled for a couple of seasons until he became the 2.31 ERA, 170 ERA+ pitcher he is now? Fuhgeddaboutit.

However, times have changed. And with the Yankees ship looking a bit shabby, now might be the perfect time for the Yankees to actually go down to their number 5 ranked farm system and bring up some new blood to try to invigorate the flagging big ballclub.

Obviously, Jesus Montero is the evident 1st option, and as I’ve written, why not bring him up? And as Silva wrote, another good choice to bring up would be Jorge Vazquez. I mean all he’s done is go 5 for 13 in the last 4 games with 4 HRs, 7 RBIs and 3 walks. Why keep him Scranton when Posada is batting .179 (even with the 2 hits last night), Swisher is batting .218 and Andruw Jones is .220?

Wilson Arias is 30 years old and has been in Trenton since 2008. He has a 1.74 ERA as a lefty reliever this year. Batters are hitting a total of .162 off him this season and lefties haven’t scored a run off him yet. What are the Yankees saving him for? And are you really saying you want to rely solely on Boone Logan as the only lefty out of the pen for the next couple of weeks? What exactly is the hurt in giving a 30-year old lefty with some evident success a shot?

Bartolo is a little too chunky to be counted on to pitch the entire season
After a nice start, Bartolo Colon has a 5.26 ERA in his last 3 starts. He’s 38 next week, hasn’t pitched 100 innings in a season since 2005, and to put it a smidge overweight. Meanwhile, in AAA, D.J. Mitchell has a 1.14 WHIP, a 2.50 ERA and is holding opponents to a .192 BAA. When—not if—Colon craps out, would the Yankees actually try out a prospect like Mitchell—or Adam Warren or David Phelps—or go to the waiver wire and pick up another castoff? Armando Galarraga is available.

No one is promising that these kids will turn around the season and lead New York to a championship. But the Yankees have the talent in their farm system. And the big club is old and creaky and in need of a jump. The time seems ripe for the Yankees to tap their farm system—not for a trade this time—but for young talent and the spark it could provide.

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