By Alfredo Alvarez
Miami–Every time I do a Facebook live, every time I receive your messages and every time you send me your comments, a constant does not stop appearing: “The Yankees need pitching”!! And it is true.
The offensive power of the Bronx Bombers is no joke, and they live up to that nickname, because they bombard their opponents with big home runs. Each position has players that are among the best in the league. From an Aaron Judge, to whom the myth of the “second year struggle” does not seem to affect him to a rookie sensation like Gleyber Torres, who is stealing all the lights from Time Square (and you can see that they are too many).
Despite all the changes that baseball has gone through (like everything in life),one thing will never change in this wonderful game: TO WIN YOU HAVE TO HAVE PITCHING.
In the history of the Major Leagues, very rare have been the occasions that a team has won without a couple of aces in their rotation. We remember recently, teams with an All Star lineup. But guess what? None of them have won the World Series.
Here are some of these teams:
Cleveland Indians 1995 and 1997
|Catcher||Sandy Alomar, Tony Pena|
|First Base||Jim Thome, Paul Sorrento|
|Second Base||Tony Fernandez, Carlos Baerga|
|Third Base||Matt Williams|
|Short Stop||Omar Vizquel|
|Left Field||Brian Giles, Albert Belle|
|Center Field||Marquis Grissom, Kenny Lofton|
|Right field||Manny Ramírez|
|Designater Hitter||Eddie Murray, David Justice|
Texas Rangers 1999 and 2011
|Catcher||Ivan Rodriguez, Yorvit Torrealba|
|First Base||Lee Stevens, Mitch Moreland|
|Second Base||Mark McLemore, Ian Kinsler|
|Third Base||Todd Zeile, Adrian Beltre|
|Short Stop||Royce Clayton, Elvis Andrus|
|Left field||Rusty Greer, Josh Hamilton|
|Center Field||Tom Goodwin, Endy Chavez|
|Right Field||Juan Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz|
|Designater Hitter||Rafael Palmeiro, Michael Young|
Seattle Mariners 1997 (Homerun record in a season by a team: 264)
|First Base||Paul Sorrento|
|Second Base||Joey Cora|
|Third Base||Russ Davis|
|Short Stop||Alex Rodriguez|
|Left field||Jose Cruz|
|Center Field||Ken Griffey Jr|
|Right field||Jay Buhner|
|Designater Hitter||Edgar Martinez|
I could give you many more examples and fill this article with tables and more tables. But the message is simple: NO PITCHERS NO RING.
If we look at this year’s Yankees starting rotation, we’ll see an amazing Severino, the Dominican is undoubtedly a superstar and he has become one of the best pitchers in baseball. But what’s beyond Sevy?? A Tanaka that last season had a record of 13-12 with 4.74 ERA and in this year shows a 4.58 ERA. Is Tanaka really an ace?? And what else do we have after that? Ahhh yes, Sabathia. A future Hall of Famer but his best seasons are now in the past, and although it is true that he has reinvented himself and last season did well including his big heart in post-season, he is not an ace anymore and we don’t even know if he’ll be healthy for the rest of this 2018.
Now we look at Sonny Gray. Who since arriving to the Bronx is not the Sonny who pitched for the A’s. Perhaps the most passionate fan of “Pickles” as they call him in the Yankee locker room, will say that he does not understand Gary Sanchez, or that playing in New York is hard, but the reality is this: Since he put on the pinstripes, his record is 8 and 1 with an ERA of 4.37.
From then on, Montgomery is already out with a Tommy John, Domingo German with a record of 1-4 and 5.23 ERA and now the young Jonathan Loaisiga, that although he looks great on his debut, he is just a talent that the word Post-season is still far from his mind.
My dear readers, the upcoming days are key for the future life of the Bronx Bombers. Well, it depends on the Yankees front office if we manage to go beyond being one of those All Star lineups teams, who end up loosing every year in the post-season, to one that wins the 28th Championship and become what they were in the 90’s: A dynasty.
Don’t forget that in those glorious 90’s, they were names like these in their rotations:
I know that many of you are already in love with the current players and identified more than ever with the prospects in the minors. And who wouldn’t? It is perhaps, the best union of talent in the farms that they have had in a long time. But remember that in baseball there is only 9 positions on the field and in the lineup. Right now only in the farm system, the Yankees have names like: Esteban Florial, Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney. But with names in the Majors such as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks (do not forget Ellsbury making money without playing) the question comes: Where will they play?
Same thing happen with the infielders: Tyler Austin, Brandon Drury, Thairo Estrada, Dermis Garcia among others. There are even many pitchers with a future, but to win the 2018 World Series you need: PRESENT.
Let’s see what happens and let’s trust Cashman, who has been criticized before, but is the one who managed to put these talents together and who at the end managed to create a winning and rebuilt team without going through the painful process of 2 or 3 years losing 90 or more games as it was the case for the Astros and Royals.
Sources of support: https://www.baseball-reference.com/
Images used are labeled for reused.
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