You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Yankees.
It seems the Yankees have given up on Miguel Andujar. He has not been given equal opportunity to get his timing, like [Clint] Frazier, [Mike] Ford and even [Tyler] Wade. … Why after he proved he’s an elite hitter, run producer, have they quit on him? — Michael Torres
Andujar is in a tougher spot than Frazier, Ford and Wade because Gio Urshela is a much better player than Andujar. Urshela provides Gold Glove-type defense at third and is no longer the out he was in Cleveland and Toronto at the plate. Andujar’s rookie season was terrific, but it was followed by right shoulder surgery that limited him to 12 games a year ago and sporadic playing time this year, when the Yankees experimented with him in the outfield.
Frazier benefited from Aaron Judge getting hurt. Ford hits left-handed, so he can compliment Luke Voit at first and serve as the DH. Wade offers versatility and can play in the middle of the infield.
With Urshela going on the IL on Friday, Andujar will get the chance to play third more than in the past.
The Yankees remain woeful at contact hitting, swinging for the fences in every at-bat. How much of this is the fault of [hitting coach] Marcus Thames? Isn’t it time for a change? — Ray Roberts
If teams changed coaches because of players failures, there would be nobody left to coach. Nobody was calling for Thames to be fired when Giancarlo Stanton and Judge were healthy and they are two of the premier free swingers in the game. The Yankees’ calling card, seemingly forever, has been home runs, hence the nickname “Bronx Bombers.’’ That isn’t going to change. And it’s not like one through nine come out of their cleats swinging. DJ LeMahieu and Mike Tauchman hit the ball the other way as does Frazier. Though Voit is a power hitter with a big swing, his plate discipline is very good. If you want Thames out who do you want in?
Why aren’t Yankee hitters with runners in scoring position disciplined to just to put the ball in play instead of striking out so often and killing rally after rally? Isn’t this something the manager can stress to all of them? — Bruce McBride
A manager can stress a lot of things to players, but established big league players — which the Yankees have a lot of — don’t change their DNA. You want Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit moving a runner from second to third with no outs? Ditto Stanton or Judge putting the ball in play when they are capable of hitting it in the gap or over the wall?
Seeing what the Marlins gave up for [Starling] Marte, why didn’t the Yankees make a better offer? — Edward Lewis
According to a person familiar with the trade, the Marlins “overpaid’’ for Marte in talent and the Yankees listened but passed on an offer. According to the scout, Humberto Mejia will either relieve or be a back end of the rotation starter and Caleb Smith is a middle-of-the-rotation arm. Plus the Marlins are paying $1.1 million of Marte’s salary for this season and will likely decline a $12 million option for next year. In the scout’s mind, the Marlins gave up too much.
You wrote six weeks ago that the Yankees would be satisfied with Sanchez hitting .250 with 30 HRs for a full season. He’s currently hitting (.130 entering Friday) with 6 HRs. Can Voit catch and play first base at the same time? — Paul Bickel
Based on Sanchez’s track record, those numbers weren’t farfetched for 162 games. What has transpired this season is mind-boggling. Entering Saturday’s action, he was hitting .135 (13-for-96). Seven of those hits were homers and he had struck out 44 times.
And for those who want Sanchez out of The Bronx, GM Brian Cashman said recently the club still believes in the 27-year-old catcher.
Has this latest Judge injury proven to management that he should never get any kind of long-term contract? Maybe 3-5 years but heavily incentivized? At this point, it seems no one over 6-foot-4 should ever be drafted. — Carl Wallnau
Who knows what the financial landscape will look like when Judge reaches free agency, because the economic rebound from this season will be slow. What happens if he plays in 150 games in 2021 and 2022, and produces like he did in 2017? What happens if he misses large chunks of time again? At this point, it is hard to gauge what lays ahead for Judge from a financial standpoint because of the time missed.
Submit your Yankees questions to be answered in an upcoming mailbag
The Yankees have seemingly endured more injuries during the Aaron Boone era than for any previous manager. The majority of the training staff was replaced, yet injuries continue. Is it a lack of commitment from the players or is it a management issue that we can’t seem to find the right medical and training staff? — Lynn Jacobsen
When it comes to injuries and athletes, there is no right or wrong answers as to why they happen. In assessing Carl Pavano’s long list of injuries a teammate surmised, “Some bodies aren’t built to do what we do.’’ The Yankees aren’t alone when it comes to high profile players getting injured, so to blame their staff for the injuries the past few years isn’t fair.
Have you noticed any difference in the Yankee pitching since the new pitching coach has arrived? It still seems to be the same old Yankee style, pitchers nibbling too much, rather than attacking the strike zone. Or is there too much credit/blame given to the pitching coach? — Mike Goldberg
When Gerrit Cole is pitching, Matt Blake looks like a real good pitching coach. When J.A. Happ and James Paxton get hit, Blake doesn’t look so good. Coaches in every sport get too much credit for the good and too much blame for the bad.
Can the Yankees acquire [J.T.] Realmuto next year? — Antony Mathew
Can they? Yes, because he is a free agent. Will they? Not unless they can figure out what to do with Sanchez. First base? No need to do that with Voit showing signs of being an asset at first. DH? Not with Stanton around. Trade? Possible, but the Yankees haven’t been shy about Sanchez being their regular catcher.
What date and year was Roger Maris traded from the K.C. Athletics to the NYY? — Jerry Oliver
Dec. 11, 1959. K.C. also sent Joe DeMaestri and Kent Hadley to Yankees — who moved Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern and Marv Throneberry to K.C.
Is there any chatter around the Yanks that [Tommy] Kahnle’s injury was exacerbated by video games? — andychan
If playing video games resulted in Tommy John surgery, there wouldn’t be enough players to field teams, since this generation of players spends hours logged into video games.
What are the chances the Yankees resign LeMahieu in the offseason? — Pool Noodle
Without knowing what the financial landscape for free agents looks like, it is difficult to tell. However, LeMahieu likes being a Yankee and they love having him. Those are two important factors. I say he stays
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