Aaron Boone Evaluation Survey: October 7, 2019

Results through last week.

Pretty great start to the postseason, huh? Hopefully the Yankees can take care of business tonight which would give them four days of rest before the ALCS begins on Saturday.

As I mentioned in last week’s edition of this feature, we’ve finally gotten a better look at Aaron Boone’s in-game strategy. The Yankees pretty much coasted through September, and Boone’s only real responsibility was to get the team healthy and well rested for October. Now that the playoffs have begun, the importance of his lineup and bullpen usage is pivotal. Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks about how he’s done with that in this week’s strategy poll question. Before we get to that, let’s summarize where Boone’s club stands.

2019 Regular Season Record: 103-58 (AL East Champions!)
ALDS: Yankees lead best-of-five series against Twins, 2-0.
Upcoming: Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) at Minnesota on Monday and Tuesday. Game 5 (if necessary) at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

Recent Aaron Boone News:

  • First and foremost:
  • ESPN’s Jeff Passan profiled Aaron Boone in advance of the ALDS.
  • Bobby called for Boone to bat Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back-to-back this postseason, but the skipper didn’t oblige. It certainly hasn’t stopped the Yankees from producing as they’ve scored 18 runs in two games. Somewhat surprisingly, this comes with Brett Gardner manning the three-hole.
  • Boone’s relied heavily on his bullpen in the first two games of the series.
    • In game one, Boone had a number of pivotal decisions to make:
      • In the fifth inning, the manager let James Paxton face the Twins’ top of the order for the third time. With a runner on second, one out, and the Yankees ahead 3-2, he struck out Mitch Garver. Then, Jorge Polanco tied the game with a single to left field. That was it for Paxton.
      • Boone summoned Adam Ottavino to face Nelson Cruz right after the Polanco hit. Otto walked him and his night was done.
      • Enter Tommy Kahnle, who escaped the fifth unscathed. The Yankees took a 5-3 lead in the bottom half of the inning, but Kahnle surrendered a solo homer to Miguel Sanó to make it 5-4. He stayed in for two more batters before getting pulled with one on and one out.
      • Chad Green recorded the last two outs of the sixth inning. The Yankees tacked on two in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-4.
      • Somewhat surprisingly, Boone elected not to have Green pitch another inning in spite of him being accustomed to multi-inning outings. Instead, Zack Britton pitched a clean seventh inning.
      • Since the Yankees made it 10-4 right after that, we didn’t have to see how Boone would handle the 8th. Would he have gone another inning for Britton if it was a three-run game? Boone said yes in the postgame. But with the big lead, he used JA Happ who pitched a scoreless eight.
      • Aroldis Chapman closed the win with a six-run lead in the ninth.
    • In game two, he probably could have let Masahiro Tanaka pitch longer than five innings considering the team’s 8-1 lead. But, no harm, no foul.
  • One more game two anecdote: in the pregame presser, Boone talked about how Didi Gregorius may just need one hit to break out of his funk. Well, perhaps the manager was prophetic. Didi hit that awesome grand slam later that day. But more importantly, it just goes to show how much faith he has in his players, even when they’re struggling.
  • Boone explained the rationale to roster Luke Voit in spite of his rough finish to the season. In short, he likes the idea of Voit off the bench against Twins’ left-handed closer Taylor Rogers. That scenario hasn’t come up so far. Mike Ford was the runner-up to Voit.
  • Speaking of Voit, Boone chose to pencil in Edwin Encarnación over Voit as the starting designated hitter. EE’s health was in question before the series, but he’s put an end to any concern with his strong performance thus far.
  • Per the skipper, It sounds like Aaron Hicks may not need surgery after all. That’s good news, of course. It’s the difference between him being ready for Opening Day 2020 vs. May or June next year.

Please take a moment to vote in the three polls below:

[democracy id=”46″]

[democracy id=”47″]

[democracy id=”48″]

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3 Comments

  1. Greg

    Quick meta-critique of how these posts are constructed, but you might consider putting the new polls above/ahead of past results. I took this for the first time and immediately my responses were biased by the rolling average. Otherwise, the content is great

  2. dasit

    i seriously doubt that boone sets the line-up
    assume that comes from the front office/analytics

  3. The more people piss and moan about Boone’s strategic decisions, the higher I rate him.

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