Weekly Mailbag: Preferred Playoff Match-Ups, the Case of Greg Bird, Gardy Bragging, and Loaisiga's Playoff Role!

Weekly Mailbag: Preferred Playoff Match-Ups, the Case of Greg Bird, Gardy Bragging, and Loaisiga's Playoff Role!

It’s finally here: the last weekend of the regular season.  The Yankees have made it clear that they are prioritizing resting key players over gaining home field advantage through at least the AL portion of the playoffs.  As frustrating as it can be to watch the team lose in semi-listless fashion, I think this is a good call.  The team has been so banged up this year that giving guys a break during the last week of the regular season gives the team the best chance for a good outcome in the playoffs.  Even without the injuries, the Major League Baseball season is a physical and mental grind; all of these guys could use a breather.

In this week’s mailbag, we’ll talk about preferred playoff match-ups, lament the case of Greg Bird, brag about Gardy, and ponder Loaisiga’s playoff role.  Let’s get at it:

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No Longer an IL Baker's Dozen; Clint Frazier's Back and Updates for the 12 Names on the IL

No Longer an IL Baker's Dozen; Clint Frazier's Back and Updates for the 12 Names on the IL

After last nights rain-shortened win, the Yankees optioned LHP Stephen Tarpley back to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders in preparation for the call earlier today, activating OF Clint Frazier off the 10-Day IL.

In a season that has been plagued by injuries, the list is finally starting to shrink as a lot of players have been recently returning from injury (Andujar, Sabathia, Sanchez), and more seem to be coming back soon.

This past week, we have seen the return of 3B Miguel Andujar, but also saw the Yankees placing LHP James Paxton on the 10-Day IL with left knee inflammation.

But, times (should be) looking up for Yankee fans, as many of the names on the IL are making big and important strides towards returning to the Big Leagues. Let’s take a quick look at them:

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Who Is Mike Ford?

Who Is Mike Ford?

Greg Bird is down with yet another lower body injury, this time succumbing to plantar fasciitis. The Yankees have stated that Bird will be out for at least a month, but based on their track record in estimating IL time and Bird’s propensity for extended absences, the Yankees will likely have a hole to fill for longer. The Yankees have allowed Bird to occupy a spot in the lineup despite the fact that his production when healthy over his last 500 plate appearances has been abysmal. The injury to Bird’s foot finally allows the Yankees to give Mike Ford a shot. Ford has started this season scorching hot at Triple-A Scranton, but there’s more to his story than just a flash in the pan.

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Very Quick Roster Update: Bird to 10-Day IL, Ellsbury to 60-Day IL, and Ford to MLB

Very Quick Roster Update: Bird to 10-Day IL, Ellsbury to 60-Day IL, and Ford to MLB

Once again, it appears that the Yankees Injury List is even beyond what Spinal Tap could’ve imagined, as we turn the number up to 12 yet again, as the Yankees have moved Greg Bird off the active roster and onto the 10-Day IL.

The Yankees official tweet can be found here, and within the article.

Here are some questions to ask about these moves:

Is this the end of Greg Bird’s Yankee Career? Is the experiment finally over?

Will Jacoby Ellsbury ever come back to the MLB?

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Looking Ahead...The Day Before Opening Day!

Looking Ahead...The Day Before Opening Day!

The Yankees offseason strategy seems to have been that the Red Sox won the division by eight games last years, but it is very unlikely so many things will go well again for Boston. There is a possibility they are right about that, but that can hardly be called a strategy in any meaningful sense. When the Yankees were eliminated by the Red Sox in the ALDS last fall, they had some clear weaknesses that needed to be addressed. Their starting pitching was not strong enough; defense at third base was a problem; first base was at best a big question mark; and the injury suffered by shortstop Didi Gregorius created a hole at that position. 

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Early Spring Training Thoughts and Musings

The doldrums of winter are mercifully coming to an end - unless, of course, you live in the Northeastern part of the United States. For those of us still suffering through a winter season that refuses to recognize that baseball season is here, at least we can take solace in the fact that the chilly free agent signing period is finally thawing into a proper Spring Training. Here are some things I have been thinking about as the calendar has turned to March:

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Who's on First-And Do the Yankees Care

Who's on First-And Do the Yankees Care

Although many fans would still like to see Bryce Harper, Manny Machado or both in pinstripes before the season starts, the Yankees have been very good at addressing major needs, such as adding James Paxton to the pitching staff, as well as more minor ones like adding Adam Ottavino to an already strong bullpen and LeMahieu and Tulowitzki to help fill in for an injured Didi Gregorius. The Yankees, by contrast, have studiously ignored the first base situation. It is possible that Luke Voit will continue to hit the way he did after coming over to the Yankees late last season, but if he does not, the failure to address the first base question could come back to haunt the team. Spring training would be a good time to see if aging veterans, career AAAA players or players trying to come back from injuries, could contribute at first base. Auditioning people for the job of left handed hitting most of the time first baseman during the season is a much less appealing idea. 

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