Those who ignore history are denied the opportunity to repeat it. With apologies to George Santayana, that’s something Brian Cashman should keep in mind as the Yankees’ offense continues to struggle.
Ten years ago, in May 2005, the Yankees hit a rough stretch that saw the team fall five games under .500 early in the month. There were lots of reasons for the team’s slow start, but Tony Womack, a middle infielder imported from the National League, was one of the chief offenders. Womack’s shaky defense and anemic bat made him an immediate target of fan derision, and forced the Yankees to consider quickly abandoning their offseason blueprint. Meanwhile, down in the minors, a young second baseman by the name of Robinson Cano was hitting up a storm. A second base convert, Cano was often overlooked during the early part of his professional career. In fact, the Yankees seemingly did everything possible to trade him away, but scouts from around the league were never that impressed. Still, his performance at Columbus was starting to speak for itself, and the message was heard loud and clear in New York. On May 3, 2005, Cano made his major league debut at second base, displacing the veteran Womack to left field (and eventually the bench). The rest, as they say, is history…the same history the 2015 Yankees would love to repeat.
It definitely hit home in our clubhouse. There’s a sense of urgency right now. Every game is very important. It always is, but more so now, when the team is struggling a little bit.” – Alex Rodriguez, speaking about Cano’s promotion, quoted in the New York Times, May 4, 2005
It would be unfair to put all of the blame for the Yankees’ recent losing streak on Didi Gregorius, but an OPS+ of 50 makes for an easy target. The same can be said for Stephen Drew, whose bat has been almost as dormant. Having two gold gloves up the middle was part of the Yankees’ master plan, but with the offense struggling, and Drew and Gregorius seemingly giving away outs at the bottom of the lineup, a reassessment might be in order. If only the organization had a young second baseman banging on the door in the minors.
Source: baseball-reference.com Continue Reading »