What was already a pretty long turnaround from day game-win in Kansas City to rematch-night in New York got even longer, courtesy of storms raging through Gotham on Friday.
The Pale Hose send out “Yankees killer” Dallas Keuchel to the mound, to start things off right. Laugh if you will, but Kid Keuchy actually threw a strong game his last time out vs. the Yankees, pitching the White Sox to their only win of the series. Keuchel went five scoreless, giving up four hits and three walks against three Ks.
Nonetheless, let’s pause a bit before coronating Keuchel a Yankees Killer for real, because his season numbers still look like those of a long reliever, and not a particularly good one: 26 innings in six starts (YIKES), 5.54 ERA (yep, EVEN WORSE than his horrible 2021 pace) and a rally-forming 1.96 WHIP that’s just screaming for back-to-back-to-back baserunners. Also, is 15 walks against 16 Ks good?
At this stage in his career, Keuchel can’t be trusted for more than five innings, and if Tony La Russa reverts to 2021 form and starts letting him dip his toe in the sixth or seventh, better do so with a bullpen sauna-sweaty and ready to go, because the whole shithouse can go up in flames right quick with the southpaw holding the pill.
(Yes, in looking up Keuchel’s numbers I have now learned his MLB nickname is Big D, which is somehow even more embarrassing than his personal choice of Kid Keuchy.)
Now, as we’ve eviscerated the Big Mouth that is Keuchel fully enough, we can head into Yankee Stadium confident in the knowledge that La Russa has put a big-boy lineup together for the opener, loaded up with righties up top. It was met with plaudits on Twitter yesterday, and remains intact for today. Yoán Moncada is not your ideal No. 7 hitter, but sliding Andrew Vaughn in at No. 2 just to take a little pressure off of Yoyo seems a fine temporary measure.
And can we get off of Moncada’s hiney for a minute? Yeah, he’s not going to be a Hall-of-Famer, and he’s probably going to be like a max-120 games player for the rest of his career, but just drop any notion that trading for him or extending him was a bad move. He’s already produced 13.2 WAR for the team, which at a minimum equates to about $52.8 million in value (and you could argue that Moncada’s extension falls under FanGraphs’ “free agent” WAR value, which just about doubles the value Yoán has produced for the team), and has two-and-a-half seasons to justify another $17.2 million in value and make the contract equitable. That’s 4.3 additional WAR in 2022-24, or a sub-starter 1.4 WAR per season. Moncada, even this “bad” year (through nine games!) is at a 2.7-WAR pace if he plays in just 120 games. So Moncada shouldn’t only provide value for his full extension by sometime next season, he should easily meet his $25 million team option for 2025 — before 2025 begins.
Here are the Yankees. They’re the Yankees, they’re good, they seem to have a weak spot for the Orioles, but they’re they Yankees and who wants to discuss those jagbags in detail?
It’s a 12:05 p.m. start, and Di Billick is back from her pandemic wedding cancellations-rescheduled tour of the lower 48 to provide us some of her unique recap coverage later today, with Rachael Millanta on the Six Pack. And of course on Sunday, we’ll have wall-to-wall doubleheader coverage, featuring Jacki Krestel, Kristina Airdo, Ashley Sanders.
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