As we’ve noted several times in the past, the easiest column a New York writer has is the “if The Boss was alive …” column. You lose your press pass, I assume, if you don’t crank out a couple of these a year. Ian O’Connor works to fill his quota today at ESPN New York:
Brian Cashman was on his way home from a four-game, two-stadium, one-city sweep suffered at the hands of the New York Mets when he fielded a question that summoned a bad memory from the not-too-distant past.
What would George Steinbrenner have said to you tonight?
Cashman paused over the phone as he measured the chilling thought. An inquiring mind thought the call had dropped before the general manager of the second-best team in New York this week finally broke the silence.
“I can’t even imagine,” he said.
It’s also possible that Cashman considered the thought far more silly than chilling, what with the fact that Steinbrenner has been dead for three years and hadn’t been actively running the team for several years before that. AND that The Boss that these columnists constantly invoke — the angry, fire-first, ask-questions-later Steinbrenner — more or less ceased to exist in the early 90s when he came back from his suspension. The latter-era Boss would bark a lot, but he also let Gene Michael and Brian Cashman run the teams most of the time.
Asking “What Would The Boss Do” may be a fun game for writers who wished they had the kind of drama now that they had back in the 70s and 80s, but it’s almost completely irrelevant to the state of the New York Yankees in 2013. And explaining the state of the New York Yankees in 2013 is sorta their job.
Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda is set to make his big league debut on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Diamondbacks recalled the southpaw from Triple-A Reno prior to the game after Taijuan Walker was placed on paternity leave.
It’s been a rough season for the club’s top prospect, who enters Saturday’s contest with a 5.08 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over his first 101 innings in Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old lefty carries a 7-5 record through his first 18 starts and is coming off of his worst outing of the year, during which he issued 15 hits, seven runs and just one strikeout against the Angels-affiliated Salt Lake Bees.
Facing Banda is Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark, who owns a 4.98 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 106 2/3 innings in 2017. Roark pitched a respectable six innings in his last start, scattering four hits, three runs and five strikeouts en route to his seventh win of the season. He also has the added benefit of pitching behind one of the league’s most potent offenses, and boasts a hefty run support average of 5.68 runs per game.
The D-backs currently lead the Nationals, 1-0, and will face off for their second game at 8:10 ET on Saturday night.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers are “exploring a possible deal” for Mets’ right-hander Addison Reed. It’s not the first time the righty has incurred interest from a top contender. The Brewers, Yankees and Red Sox are all supposedly in on Reed, and Newsday’s Marc Carig adds that up to half a dozen teams have already made inquiries prior to the trade deadline.
Reed, 28, is currently in his third campaign with the Mets. He’s coming off of a career-best performance in 2016, during which he looked nearly unhittable with a 1.97 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.5 SO/9 through 77 2/3 innings. His numbers have regressed a little in 2017, but he’s still working with 16 saves and a solid 2.35 ERA, 1.2 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through his first 46 innings.
While there’s no doubt Reed would help stabilize any bullpen he’s dealt to, the Dodgers may have less of a prominent position to offer the right-hander. Kenley Jansen has already locked down the closing role in Los Angeles, which would likely see Reed in some kind of set-up role as he finishes his last season before hitting free agency.