Monday Mail: May 6, 2019

Aaron Boone's managing, CC Sabathia reaching 3,000 strikeouts, the back injury of Aaron Hicks and the Yankees' expected record

The Yankees answered their two-game sweep to the Diamondbacks by returning home and taking two out of three from the first-place Twins. Not only did they win the series and beat Michael Pineda, but they got Miguel Andujar back, Clint Frazier is due back tonight and Aaron Hicks isn’t far away either. Things are looking up for the injured Yankees.

This week’s questions and comments are about Aaron Boone’s managing (as always), CC Sabathia reaching 3,000 strikeouts, Aaron Hicks continuing to be out and the Yankees’ expected record in May.

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Analytics don’t make Boone’s lineups, nor his off days, nor his substitutions. He is utterly unqualified to be a minor league manager, much less manager of the Yankees. If it was analytics setting the lineup, it would leave feature Gardy in leadoff, just as the most glaringly obviously analytics. – Andrew

I love Andrew’s fire and feelings toward Boone. I’m really not sure who creates the Yankees’ lineup, manages the bullpen, schedules off days and makes the in-game decisions. I’m really not. If it’s Boone, well he’s an idiot. If it’s the analytics team, then it might be time to get some new members on the analytics team. I have a feeling it’s more the front office than Boone since he’s managing the team exactly the same way Joe Girardi did (just a little worse).

Boone isn’t qualified to be the manager of the Yankees when you consider he has no coaching experience at any level, let alone managerial experience. But in today’s baseball, he’s qualified because anyone is. Anyone can be a nice guy, friend of the players, kind to the media and then serve as a puppet in the dugout.

I get on Boone nearly every day and that’s because his title is manager of the New York Yankees, when in reality, I should most likely be getting on the front office and analytics department. Unless Boone writes a tell-all book once his Yankees manager tenure is over, we’ll never know who really “manages” the Yankees. And I don’t think he would do that because it would be embarrassing for him to admit he had no say in managing the team if it is true.

Why does a professional athlete need days off one month into the season and he was doing it two weeks into the season. What are you saving them for? What to get hurt in September instead of May? I don’t get. They say athletes today are bigger, stronger and in better condition, but they are babied like never before in history and this is in all sports. – Dave

Dave is right that Boone and the Yankees are out of control with days off and extra rest. But it wasn’t happening even earlier than two weeks into the season. I wrote on Yankees Overdoing Off Days for Position Players on April 3! The season started on March 28!

The Yankees do “baby” their players and it’s proven to be unsuccessful. The most recent example happened just this weekend when Miguel Andujar returned to the Yankees on Friday, but wasn’t in the lineup until Saturday. He really needed another day off before being activated? Unfortunately, that’s commonplace with the Yankees.

The Yankees have put more than half of their expected 25-man roster on the injured list this season, and yet, they continue to operate the same way. If they’re not willing to change and admit they can’t prevent injuries after what’s gone on this season, they’ll never change.

CC is as classy a Yankee as anyone. To reinvent himself from a hard-throwing ace to a finesse pitcher relying on off speed pitches working the front of the strike zone takes incredible courage and swallowing your pride a bit. He’s unselfish and puts team first. CC deserves to go to the postseason once more and be a major part of the Yankees winning World Series championship number 28 in 2019. – Mark

No matter what happens for the rest of CC Sabathia’s final season, I will remember his career in three parts. (Well, three parts as of now.) Part I being 2009-2012 when he went 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA, made 13 postseason starts and one postseason relief appearance and helped the Yankees win the 2009 World Series. Part II being 2013-2015 when he went 23-27 with a 4.81 ERA and made $69 million for 69 starts. Part III being 2016 until the end of this year when he made the transformation from power pitcher to finesse pitcher and saved his career. (Let’s hope there isn’t a Part IV where he becomes the 2013-15 pitcher again).

I get that after 20 years and pitching on an aching knee, Sabathia wants to retire and give his body a rest and spend time with his family. But if he wanted to keep pitching, I’m sure the Yankees would keep giving him one-year deals for as long as he wanted because this version of Sabathia can seemingly pitch forever.

Check to see if Aaron Hicks is playing any golf. He loves golf. – Vincent

This made me laugh. Today is 68 days (February 27) since Aaron Hicks hurt his back on a 35-minute bus ride from Tampa to Lakeland in spring training. Andujar tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder on March 31 and has already returned and played two games for the Yankees.

Hicks is set to play in his first rehab game tonight and could join the team within the next two weeks, which is good because enough is enough with him.

If some of the injured list players are back sooner, I’ll say 20-9. – Michael

Michael’s comment is in response to me writing the following:

Back when the Yankees were 5-8, I wrote that I thought a 16-13 record at the end of April was doable. After losing Tuesday’s game, they finished April at 17-12, one game better than the goal I set for them. Looking ahead to May, they have 29 games this month, and outside of seven games against the Orioles (anything less than 5-2 against the Orioles will be considered a disaster), their schedule is full of games against potential postseason teams, including six against the Rays and two against the Red Sox.

Since my Yankees record goal magic worked so well in April, I’m going to say they should go at least 17-12 in May.

Here’s how I came to 17-12:
– They lost to the Diamondbacks, so that was already 0-1 in May before I wrote it
– Go 4-3 against Twins and Mariners
– Go 3-3 against the Rays
– Go 5-2 against the Orioles
– Go 2-1 against the Royals
– Go 3-2 against the Padres and Red Sox

That would get them to 17-12. I certainly think they could do better, especially as their regular everyday players return, but I think they should at least go 17-12.

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My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!