Or does he? I couldn't really make any sense of his statement on the Didi Gregorius-Brendan Ryan platoon matter from yesterday (courtesy of Chad Jennings). Here's what he said: "I’d just (say), it’s something we could consider, but Ryan’s also here for a reason. We have two left-handers in the middle infield in Drew and Didi, and we have Ryan as an alternative, so I trust that Joe — like he does all the time — he’ll dissect the matchups and try to put the best team on the field to win. If that means Ryan’s in there ahead of Didi on any given day, so be it."
A reason? What's the reason? It can't be that Ryan is a good right-handed hitter because we all know that's not true. I'd like to think that's why Cash was careful to call Drew and Didi "left-handers" and imply that they can actually hit a little bit and then call Ryan "an alternative," which implies almost nothing other than being right-handed.
I think it should be pretty obvious to Cash and everybody by now that the best team on the field this season is one that has Gregorius at shortstop over Ryan every day of the week. Didi has swung the bat better against right and left-handed pitching and he's shown plenty with the glove. It's not a stretch to think that 25-year-old Gregorius can and will be a more valuable defensive shortstop than 33-year-old Ryan this year if they were given the same amount of playing time.
So then back to this reason that Ryan is around. What is it? Is it insurance? Is it the "veteran" status? Is it the contract? Because honestly, I'd actually rather hear any of those as an explanation than just "a reason." That would be kind of refreshing to see Cash open up and be honest about the situation. Say something like...
"I'd just say, it's something we could consider, playing Didi regularly at short. He's shown us a lot this spring. But Ryan's also here for a reason. Reason being we panicked after 2013 and foolishly re-signed him to a multi-year deal on the chance that Jeter wasn't physically ready or capable of coming back and playing regularly last year. We got blinded by a few good plays in a small sample size and we didn't think things through, but come on. It's not like that's the first time we've done that, amiright??"
/a few beat guys chuckle
"But seriously, guys. It's really just about the contract. We're stuck paying Brendan millions of dollars this year so we figured we might as well keep him around until he proves he's still as useless as he was last year. When that time comes, or when Pirela's fully recovered from his concussion, we'll dump him."
That would never happen in a million years, but it would be awesome. Much better than actually being expected to believe that the GM of the Yankees actually believes that Brendan Ryan can be a productive platoon hitter.