With the Yankees off to a woeful 8-15 start to the season, the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff opines that it’s time to make some significant changes to the lineup. Chief among them, writes Davidoff, is the benching of struggling third baseman Chase Headley in favor of Ronald Torreyes. While he notes that such a move wouldn’t be a long-term fit, Davidoff feels Torreyes would provide quality at-bats on a more consistent basis. Davidoff also calls for a demotion for right-hander Luis Severino if his struggles persist much longer, writes that aging veterans (Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira) should receive less playing time and adds that the Yankees should make it known that they’ll eat a large portion of Jacoby Ellsbury’s salary in a trade.
While the Yankees could certainly look to move Ellsbury, that’s far easier said than done, even if they’re eating a huge portion of his contract. Ellsbury has nearly $107MM remaining on his contract through the end of the 2020 season (including the $5MM buyout on his 2021 option). While the Dodgers were able to move Matt Kemp with nearly an identical amount remaining on his deal, Kemp was significantly more productive at the plate prior to his trade, and the Dodgers still had to eat $32MM of his deal. L.A.’s inability to move Carl Crawford and the longtime struggles the Braves faced in trying to shed Melvin Upton Jr. serve as reminders that it would be exceptionally difficult to move Ellsbury.
More from the AL East…
- Fangraphs’ David Laurila spoke with Headley about his struggles at Yankee Stadium. Headley explained that he’s in somewhat of a catch-22, as with the exception of the short porch in right field, Yankee Stadium plays fairly large. His swing from the left side is more geared for power to center field or to left field, which negates some of the advantages of hitting left-handed there. However, because of the increased shifting against him, he does feel the need to try to hit the ball in the air, which has resulted in a number of fl-ball outs. Headley tells Laurila that he’s working on pulling the ball in the air with more authority, though clearly he’s still enduring some troubles at the plate.
- Also within Laurila’s notes column, he speaks to Rays right-hander Danny Farquhar about the increase of data that he’s received now that he’s in the Tampa Bay organization. “They’re presenting me with more than anyone I’ve been with,” said Farquhar. The former Mariners setup man feels that the increased data is good information to have to provide context when he’s struggling.
- Orioles infielder/DH Jimmy Paredes will see his minor league rehab assignment end in two weeks, and Baltimore will face a decision on the out-of-options 27-year-old at that point, writes MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Kubatko doesn’t see how the O’s can keep Paredes on the roster unless they view him as their backup second baseman over Ryan Flaherty, who is expected to be recalled from Triple-A this week. It does indeed seem as if Baltimore has some trepidation about playing Paredes in the field with any form of regularity. Last season, he logged just 72 2/3 innings in the field despite appearing in more than 100 games. The Orioles, in fact, elected to play Steve Pearce at second base over Paredes despite a complete lack of experience for Pearce at the position. With Pedro Alvarez locked in at DH, Paredes does appear to be squeezed out of a role unless the club feels comfortable with his glove, which hasn’t been the case in the past.
- The Red Sox optioned infielder Marco Hernandez to Triple-A, which will clear a spot on the 25-man roster for right-hander Carson Smith to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow, tweets ESPN Boston’s Scott Lauber. As the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich writes, manager John Farrell explains that he plans to be careful with Smith early in his season. “We’ve got to be mindful that Carson comes back to us with a limited rehab (stint), so we’ve got to be careful on his frequency of use,” said Farrell. “It’s not being ruled out that we would go with an extra pitcher for the short term.”