Can Yankees win it all with Gleyber at shortstop?

terrynever

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Not a pressing problem at the moment because Gleyber makes most of the plays. Just not the tough ones. His throwing can be erratic and his hands are not the softest when it comes to scooping grounders. His bat usually more than makes up for his glove. But when you get in close games, do you really want Gleyber playing short? His best position is second base. DJ can play third.

Does Gleyber’s mediocre glove and arm at short make Gio Urshela trade bait? Can Tyler Wade play a quality shortstop? How about Abbey’s favorite, Kyle Holder. Yanks seem like their lineup can cover for a weak-hitting shortstop. Or maybe they can package 2-3 prospects for a solid big league shortstop.

This question about Gleyber‘s questionable shortstop skills has been with us ever since Didi departed. It is not based on yesterday.
 

EvilEmpire

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The Yankees have experience winning with a good bat, poor glove shortstop. So I know it can happen.

Is Gleyber's glove worse than Jeter's? I'm not sure. Jeter seemed to be able to handle things he could get to, but couldn't get to much. I'm guess I'm leaning yes right now, but more experience there could make Gleyber more consistent and better.

It's a good question.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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They won 5, went to 7, and were a perennial powerhouse with Jeter's statuesque range in an era when defense at SS was more important. SS defensive plays have declined about 18-20% since 2007 (it's down across the board too since everyone strikes out constantly now). Defense at SS is valuable but a good enough bat can outweigh bad defense to a degree.
 

Kliq

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I think there is an interesting discussion here about the value of defense of a SS in today's game as @Comfortably Lomb notes. Shortstop was always seen as a defense first position and most teams would be fine having an above-average fielding but below-average hitting SS. Now, with the SS less involved in the defensive side of the game, and the current wave of Shortstops (and players in general) being more offensively minded, does it really matter if your SS isn't an ace defender?

You look at some of the better Shortstops in today's game; Story, Correa, Bogaerts, Seager, Tatis, Torres, etc. They are big guys, 6'2 to 6'4" and well over 200lbs and they all hit for power. There are some that still fit the "classic" build of a SS like Lindor and Javier Baez, but a lot of these guys are built like cleanup hitters and they perform like that at the plate. A-Rod was once kind of an anomaly as a 6'3", 215lb SS and now that is almost the standard.
 

jon abbey

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When Gleyber initially came up as a rookie, I noticed that he didn't seem too comfortable playing in cold weather, and I'm hoping that was the problem yesterday. He got into a lot better shape this offseason than he was last year and he looked good defensively in the spring, so I'm going to hope yesterday was an anomaly.
 

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For context, the 86 Mets won a WS with a team SS fielding percentage of .959, with Rafael Santana OPSing .539 in 139 games.
 

Dduncan6er

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When Gleyber initially came up as a rookie, I noticed that he didn't seem too comfortable playing in cold weather, and I'm hoping that was the problem yesterday. He got into a lot better shape this offseason than he was last year and he looked good defensively in the spring, so I'm going to hope yesterday was an anomaly.
This would make me a bit nervous if I was a Yankees fan. Not too many warm October nights in NY.
 

jon abbey

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This would make me a bit nervous if I was a Yankees fan. Not too many warm October nights in NY.
Yes, hence the whole premise of this thread.

Also Terry doesn't get into it above, but this is a crucial year for Gleyber with guys like Story and Correa ready to hit free agency and NY's self-imposed spending limits gone. DJ isn't moving to 3B (he isn't that good there), Urshela is likely the 3B through 2023. IMO Gleyber grabs the SS job longer-term this year or is traded in the offseason and NY signs a better defensive SS.
 

jon abbey

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Also I meant to post about this before, but someone on the outskirts of this discussion is Oswald Peraza, maybe the least discussed member of NY's current 40 man. He is 20 years old, 21 in June, and has jumped up prospect lists in the last year or two, Fangraphs has him up to #67 overall. I'm mentioning him here because if he keeps rising like evaluators expect, he could be in this conversation sometime this year.

3. Oswald Peraza, SS
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (NYY)
[TH]Age[/TH] [TH]Height[/TH] [TH]Weight[/TH] [TH]Bat / Thr[/TH] [TH]FV[/TH]
20.66′ 0″176R / R50

Tool Grades (Present/Future)
[TH]Hit[/TH] [TH]Raw Power[/TH] [TH]Game Power[/TH] [TH]Run[/TH] [TH]Fielding[/TH] [TH]Throw[/TH]
45/60 40/45 30/45 60/60 55/60 55

Last year, Peraza emerged from a group of prospects I had initially evaluated as likely utility or second division regular types. He added strength to a contact/defense foundation and his exit velocities moved very close to major league average, which was impressive for a 19-year-old. Peraza got some reps early during big league spring training before heading home for the summer. He then played sparingly for Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. There he showed a modified stance and hand set-up, but he played so little that it’s hard to say how it might impact his quality of contact without more looks and/or data to support it. I do think he’d benefit from taking a longer stride, though. Either way, this is a contact-oriented shortstop who’ll likely be an above-average defender, maybe better than that. I have conviction in the hit tool due to Peraza’s curt, short swing, his visible barrel control and his track record of hitting as a young-for-the-level player so far. He may only ever hit for doubles power but on a good-gloved shortstop, that’s an everyday player.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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If the past is any indication, after one of the top SS's signs their big insane contract next year, Cashman will somehow acquire one of them a couple years later for some prospects and the other team subsidizing half the contract.
 

jon abbey

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There is a pretty obvious internal sequence plan possible, Gleyber (controlled through 2024), then Peraza, and then Roderick Arias, who is 16 and the top int'l FA in the class that can sign in January, and who is seemingly never photographed without a Yankee hat. Of course, that necessitates Gleyber playing a competent SS, which brings us back to the original question.
 

terrynever

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Thanks, everyone. Interesting stuff from Lomb and Kliq. I would rather the Yankees solve this internally. Jon just showed us all the details of that approach.
But as Joel Sherman wrote two days ago, this Yankee team is looking a lot like the Cleveland team from 1994-2000 that averaged almost six runs per game but never won a WS. When does the window close for this Yankee team? Sherman hints end of 2022.
It’s up to Gleyber to tighten things up. This is really a minor issue, I think.
 

jon abbey

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But as Joel Sherman wrote two days ago, this Yankee team is looking a lot like the Cleveland team from 1994-2000 that averaged almost six runs per game but never won a WS. When does the window close for this Yankee team? Sherman hints end of 2022.
Joel Sherman has lost a lot off his fastball the last couple of seasons, he was quite good before then.

1) Historical comparisons like the Indians one are almost always not worth the 'ink' spilled on them. Why not the Dodgers, who won seven NL West titles in a row before breaking through last year? Equally relevant/irrelevant. Those nineties Indians teams had almost no pitching, they just tried to outhit their opponents. NY's pitching staff is just as loaded as their lineup, dumb comparison.

2) I have never seen this spelled out, but i believe that Cashman's plan has quite a ways to go still. The entire 40 man roster except for Kluber is under contract through at least 2022, and by then the idea is for some of these young pitchers (Deivi, Schmidt, Medina, etc) to have blossomed so that they don't have to be replaced by pricy free agents. By 2023-2025, the hope is for the high ceiling teenage position players in the system currently to take over (Dominguez, Arias, Alex Vargas/Kevin Alcantara are also both already top 100 MLB prospects at 19 and 18 respectively).

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2021-prospect-list/summary?sort=-1,1&team=nyy
 

terrynever

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Joel Sherman has lost a lot off his fastball the last couple of seasons, he was quite good before then.

1) Historical comparisons like the Indians one are almost always not worth the 'ink' spilled on them. Why not the Dodgers, who won seven NL West titles in a row before breaking through last year? Equally relevant/irrelevant. Those nineties Indians teams had almost no pitching, they just tried to outhit their opponents. NY's pitching staff is just as loaded as their lineup, dumb comparison.

2) I have never seen this spelled out, but i believe that Cashman's plan has quite a ways to go still. The entire 40 man roster except for Kluber is under contract through at least 2022, and by then the idea is for some of these young pitchers (Deivi, Schmidt, Medina, etc) to have blossomed so that they don't have to be replaced by pricy free agents. By 2023-2025, the hope is for the high ceiling teenage position players in the system currently to take over (Dominguez, Arias, Alex Vargas/Kevin Alcantara are also both already top 100 MLB prospects at 19 and 18 respectively).

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2021-prospect-list/summary?sort=-1,1&team=nyy
Sports writers don’t lose their fast balls until they turn 65, or suffer their first stroke.

Sherman did mention the Dodgers as a second example of his window theory. Your points are well taken. But the jury is still out on Deivy and Schmidt as big league rotation starters. 2021 is a big year for both. Minor leagues are starting a month late due to COVID.
 

jon abbey

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Sports writers don’t lose their fast balls until they turn 65, or suffer their first stroke.
That's not true, Mike Lupica is only 68 and has been unreadable for at least 15 years (and he was quite good at one point). I read every Sherman column, there is a noticeable decline from just a few years ago.

Edit: An even better example, Dan Shaughnessy is only 67.
 

terrynever

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That's not true, Mike Lupica is only 68 and has been unreadable for at least 15 years (and he was quite good at one point). I read every Sherman column, there is a noticeable decline from just a few years ago.

Edit: An even better example, Dan Shaughnessy is only 67.
Bob Ryan was sharp right up until the day Twitter killed him. Think he was 70 when he retired. But overall, point taken. Most people should retire as soon as they can. Your clock is running, too! I give you 11 more good years.
 

j-man

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what the yankees need is better 2-out hitting esp in oct and a better middle of the pen yestday was on the Off u have to score at least 1 run in the 7th other than DJ everyone one else is just worry about the hr
 

jon abbey

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We call it Andujar these days, that one was the worst thus far but I have been talking about this since 2019.
 

crow216

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Gross. Seems like this will be the topic of the year. Gotta find a late inning defensive replacement at SS.
 

jon abbey

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That's not a solution, maybe half of Sherman's columns are half-assed clickbait these days. NY isn't going over $210M this year (Sherman does say this) so NY would probably have to give up a package like Torres/Deivi/Clint Frazier (if not more) to get back Story and Marquez and get COL to pay their full salaries this season (they are not trading four years of Gleyber for one of Story). That seems like a panic move, I think once they started the season with Gleyber, he is their SS for 2021. Next winter the financial constraints will be off and Cashman can sign a $200-$300M SS if he thinks that is the way to go and he can trade Gleyber for pitching.
 

terrynever

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That's not a solution, maybe half of Sherman's columns are half-assed clickbait these days. NY isn't going over $210M this year (Sherman does say this) so NY would probably have to give up a package like Torres/Deivi/Clint Frazier (if not more) to get back Story and Marquez and get COL to pay their full salaries this season (they are not trading four years of Gleyber for one of Story). That seems like a panic move, I think once they started the season with Gleyber, he is their SS for 2021. Next winter the financial constraints will be off and Cashman can sign a $200-$300M SS if he thinks that is the way to go and he can trade Gleyber for pitching.
I think Sherman got hung up on the Epstein angle and tried to fit it into 2021 Yankees. Your analysis is better. I would also suggest that Post editors sometimes pressure their writers to pursue their own sports desk fantasies. You can call it clickbait but sometimes a writer, even of Sherman’s rank, is pushed into something, or coaxed in.
 

jon abbey

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One thing I don’t understand is why Oswald Peraza isn’t playing in the alternate site games in Scranton, he is already on the 40 man roster and they could still send him wherever they wanted once minor league games start.