Here’s Brian Cashman, talking about the Yankees’ need for Cliff Lee:
“I don’t feel like we are in a desperate situation here. I think we have a lot of quality players on this team that won 95 games and fell two games short of a World Series.”
To the extent that you’re never “desperate” when you’re the New York Yankees and that one player does not make all the difference in the world, yes, he’s right.
To the extent that anyone takes this comment to mean that Cashman’s number one priority this offseason isn’t to get Cliff Lee signed, they’re crazy. Improving the pitching staff without signing Lee is just way, way more difficult otherwise, and I’m sure Cashman would enjoy the holidays approximately 349% more if Lee is signed.
That quote aside, it’s a good article about Cashman and Lee, with Cashman talking a bit about his visit with the Lees in Litte Rock on Wednesday. Guess what? According to Cashman, Kristen Lee loves New York.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.