In what has been a ride on the struggle bus, the New York Yankees have not played well. And that frustration has now boiled over into calls, four major moves to be made to right the ship. So in this article, we will speculate on four big moves that can be made that the Yankees can make right now.
Now we have to preface this by stating the obvious; it’s far too early in the season for the Yankees to make significant personnel and roster changes. This is no longer the era of The Boss, Mr. Steinbrenner, and Billy Martin’s hiring and firing saga. Aaron Boone will likely remain the manager through the end of the season, no matter the clamor of the fans.
Major Change #1: Call Up Deivi Garcia
We begin with the most obvious change that can and should be easily made. The Yankees need to call Deivi Garcia back up to the Major Leagues. This is an easy in-house that can bring a little life back into the team. During his short trip through the Majors in 2020, Deivi pitched well for the Bombers. And nothing is plaguing Deivi to believe that he will be unable to have some success in the Bronx.
The idea of bringing Deivi back to the Big Leagues can be the spark that the team is currently missing. The Yanks are playing a lifeless brand of baseball right now and need something to spark them. Bringing up a young player brings with it a sense of desire. And a desire to win has seemingly been void in the Bronx, and Deivi could bring that desire with him from the alternate site.
Major Change #2: Bench Gleyber Torres
Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Watching the pathetic display by Gleyber Torres on a check swing sparked an uproar for Yankee fans, myself included. On our Baseball Banter Broadcast Livestream on YouTube, in which we discuss the baseball landscape nightly, I went off about Gleyber and his lack of hustle. It was an all too familiar sight as we dealt with the same lackadaisical behavior by Robinson Cano. But Cano provided solid at-bats and Gold Glove-caliber defense, a skill set that Torres currently lacks.
The Yankee coaching staff and management must make a statement. The team is currently playing far below their expected capabilities. And by benching Gleyber Torres for the four-game weekend set, you hurt yourself as you don’t presently have another shortstop on the 26-man roster. However, by benching Torres for the Indians series, the Yankees can send a message to their team that a lack of hustle is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. A lack of hustle resonates something deeper, a lack of heart and desire, something the Yankees desperately need right now.
Major Change #3: Use Corey Kluber as an Opener
When Corey Kluber was signed to a one-year $11 million contract, fans were understandably perplexed. Kluber had one pitched one inning in 2020 for the Texas Rangers, and even in 2019, Corey was limited to a measly 35.1 innings of work. So Kluber having only pitched 36+ innings of work over the past couple of seasons adds to his inability to get through a lineup more than once. And with Kluber unable to get through five innings through his first 4 starters, the time is now to employ the Opener strategy with Corey Kluber.
Corey Kluber has shown the ability to command the early part of the game. However, the second time through the order has been where the struggles begin for Kluber. Now, the Yankees have employed the opener strategy before, usually under different circumstances. Typically, the Yanks have only used the opener out of necessity. But given the poor pitching performance of Kluber the second time through, I’d say that it facilitates the “NEED” for a new approach for Kluber.
Major Change #4: Start Kyle Higashioka
When Kyle Higashioka hit a tack-on run via homerun in last night’s game, the idea began to circulate that Higgy should be starting over Gary Sanchez. Yes, Sanchez has a plethora of power potential. However, potential unfulfilled amounts to wasted at-bats and lost time. And right now, the Yankees can ill afford to waste at-bats. Kyle is also viewed as a solid to above-average defensive catcher behind the plate and calls a very good game. Combining all of these visuals and metrics means that it is now time to sit Gary Sanchez in favor of Kyle Higashioka.