Strange Moves

The Yankees made two curious moves in last night’s 1-0 loss, one looked good, the other looked bad.

The first move was the choice of outfield alignment. We have all seen the cannon that Aaron Hicks has for an arm, so logic would dictate that he play in either right or center field with Dustin Ackley taking left. That’s not what the Yankees did, putting Ackley in right and Hicks in left. Ackley vindicated the move with his game-saving catch against the wall in the 9th, but it still wasn’t the correct move.  You have to put Hicks’ arm in right to cut down on runners advancing out of respect for his arm. Worth also noting that whatever scouting the Yankees used to make the decisions (they wouldn’t specifically comment on it) Hicks didn’t have a defensive assist or putout, while Ackley had one and two, so the ball still found the guy the Yankees tried to hide.

The second move was more egregious because it didn’t make any sense, starting the 10th inning with Johnny Barbato instead of Andrew Miller. Girardi said they did it because they wanted to save Miller for when the Yankees had the lead. The fallacy in that logic is that they may never have the lead and while you can’t win the game in the bottom of the 10th, you can lose it. The second problem with that logic is why do you use Betances in the 9th then?

And now we come to a homestead that could well determine if this season is fixable. Ten games against two first place teams and the defending World Series champions. If the Yankees want to make a statement, the opportunity is there. If they are going to roll over and die, that opportunity is there too. They will have to avoid some raindrops, especially this weekend, but I suspect our worst fears will either be confirmed or rejected by the time we hit May 15th.