As a blogger, I have to spill a lot of internet ink almost every day. Most of the time I write, I’m writing in retrospect; I’m analyzing some situation that’s already happened or some numbers that are indicative of past events. Naturally, a lot of predictions flow from this. If I notice a certain trend, I try to take a guess at what future performance will be. Sometimes I’m right and sometimes (probably more often than I think), I’m wrong. There are a few “narratives” that I definitely got wrong this year, so I thought I’d own up to them now.
First off is something that I’d been saying for a long time. I thought there was no chance that both Brandon Laird and Austin Romine would be in the organization this long. The way I saw it, at least one of them would be gone via trade, and likely both of them. Hell, I was shocked that the Yankees didn’t flip Laird in the offseason after his strong showing in 2010. But, here they are. Romine, who wasn’t even on the 40 man roster coming into the year, has started two games at catcher already and Laird has had a handful of PAs. Perhaps they’re still around because the next two guys are still around.
Remember what we all thought at the beginning of the year when it became evident that both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon would be in the rotation for a long time? We figured it would be okay for the time being, just let the club ride them until the ran out of gas and the Yankees could trade for a starter at the deadline. So as it turns out, neither one of those things happened. Not including yesterday’s start by Freddy Garcia, he and Colon have combined for 292 innings and 5.0 fWAR/5.3 bWAR. That’s about 100 more innings and 2.0 more WAR than I would’ve dreamed at the beginning of the season. Because of that performance, the Yankees didn’t need to go out and grab a pitcher at the trade deadline. For all our hand-wringing about whom the Yankees could acquire, from Chris Carpenter to the guys on the White Sox to Ubaldo Jimenez, none of it happened and the Yankees are ending the season with a rotation that looks just like the one they started with.
Then there was the Jesus Montero plan. Like many of you, I thought that the Yankees would, like Garcia and Colon, ride catcher Russell Martin as hard as they could and then, around mid-season, bring up Montero to help shoulder the load with catching. Luckily for the Yankees, though, Martin proved to be a valuable asset behind the plate and started the season hot at the plate. Montero didn’t quite light it up in his second go ’round at Scranton until later in the season, and that could have contributed to the delay of his promotion.
At the beginning of the year, trading Romine and/or Laird seemed like a sure thing. Colon and Garcia breaking down was a guarantee and of course the Yankees were going to trade for a starter and promote Jesus Montero mid-season….and none of those things happened. Well, Suzyn, you know what they say about baseball…