End of season press conferences: Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman

The Yankees’ manager and general manager spoke in today’s annual end of season press conference. Below are some of the highlights from this afternoon’s media briefing.

Aaron Boone

  • We’ve grown accustomed to learning about offseason surgeries scheduled in the last couple of season recap press conferences. Not this year, thankfully. The manager said that there are no surgeries needed, to his knowledge.
  • Boone noted that there are no coaching staff changes anticipated. That said, Marcus Thames’s name has come up as a managerial candidate for Detroit. That could force the team’s hand.
  • The manager reiterated how close this team is to winning a World Series. He said it a few times in this presser, in fact. Frankly, this wears a bit thin. He’s been at the helm of two ALDS knockouts and an ALCS elimination. I’m not so sure that qualifies as close. Plus, the Yankees would have fallen short of the postseason had MLB not expanded the playoffs this season.
  • Is there a starting catcher controversy next year? Boone noted that he still has plenty of confidence in Gary Sánchez and that he liked his at bats toward the end of the season. The skipper also noted that Kyle Higashioka’s performance was the driving factor in the postseason lineup cards, not Gary.
  • Gleyber Torres’s defense at shortstop was not great this season. According to Boone, it’s consistently making the routine play that will make him a better defender.
  • As you might expect, a number of questions were about Game 2 against the Rays. But how much of that was Boone’s say? The key quote, I think: “I think that room understands that I’m writing out the lineup and I’m making those decisions.”

Brian Cashman

  • The GM called the Rays a better team and better franchise right now.
  • Cashman said Boone is not a “puppet” and that he’s never ordered a manager to do anything.
  • His take on Sánchez: he’s still extremely talented and that he swung the bat better than the numbers look, but they have to evaluate the position for 2021. Cashman said it’s a fair question to ask about the starting catcher gig because of Gary’s performance.
  • Cashman was asked about the lineup being too right handed, as I wrote about this morning. It’s actually something he’s discussed with Boone already since the season ended. But that said, Cashman specifically noted that they can’t simply not re-sign LeMahieu or trade Luke Voit because they are right-handed. There has to be better alternatives to do so. He also said that in a vacuum, balance is better. It just can’t be forced.
  • Like Boone said, Cashman doesn’t expect any coaching staff changes though he still needs to talk to Hal Steinbrenner.
  • In classic Cashman style, he responded to a question about Gleyber’s viability at shortstop by saying they have to evaluate all circumstances that best fit the team. He still believes Torres is capable of better fielding, though.
  • Can Giancarlo Stanton play any outfield in 2021? Cashman says it’s a safe bet that he’ll remain a designated hitter. Nonetheless, he also mentioned Stanton’s athleticism and buy-in to Eric Cressey’s program maybe leaving things open.
  • Sounds like Cashman has no idea what to expect from Domingo German because the team could not “get their hands” on him all season due to suspension and COVID-19 protocols.
  • The GM had a few injury details to share, though as Boone noted, no surgeries scheduled.
    • Luke Voit: He’ll have a PRP injection, will be in a walking boot for week, and nothing more expected thereafter.
    • Gio Urshela: No elbow cleanup recommended. He dealt with a bone spur in the regular season.
    • Luis Severino: His Tommy John surgery rehab is going well and he’s three weeks into a throwing program. Hard for Cashman to set a specific return date now, but he did bring up June or July.
  • How is the team mitigating the loss of a minor league season this year? Some prospects will play winter ball, the organization will do as much remote and in-person coaching as possible. There will not be an instructional league.
  • It sure sounds like starting pitching will be an offseason priority. Cashman specifically stated that it needs to be improved upon.
  • Speaking of starting pitching, Cashman took some blame for putting Boone in the position to have to navigate a lack of back-end starting pitching options. He did spend a lot of time defending the team’s process for Game 2, but also that they wouldn’t have had to do that with better depth.

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11 Comments

  1. Mungo

    Any link to the full press conference(s) available?

    • Derek

      I just embedded the videos into the post. Should be able to watch them here. If not, they’re on the YES website.

      • Mungo

        Thanks. For some reason, I thought the one embedded was an abbreviated clip. No matter, I did find the full one on YES.

  2. Reilly

    They went to five games despite some mismanagement/getting too cute with Garcia and Happ in game 2. And then they lost a nail-biter. To a team that is now steamrolling the Astros. I don’t think Boone’s comment about them being “close” to a title is unfounded. But he’s gotta do better.

    • Mungo

      A fair point. I’ve felt that the teams they’ve lost too the last few years are often the best teams in the game. The Astros in 2017, the Red Sox in 2018. Rays maybe even this year. The counter is they keep coming up short. Maybe the Yankees have been the second best overall team in MLB the last four seasons, but they’ve never been able to turn that into a return to the dance.

      It’s understandable fans are down at the moment, but there’s likely also some overreaction going on.

  3. novymir

    We just stop hitting in eliminating games. I also blame Tanaka for the poor start in Game 3.

  4. CentralScrutinizer

    Sanchez “swung the bat better than the numbers look? Really? This calls to mind the Steve Jobs reality distortion field. Either that or Cashman needs glasses.

    • Brent Lawson

      Can’t listen, happy talk, we lost, own it!

    • Gary’s BABIP was extremely low, IIRC.

      • CentralScrutinizer

        So what. He struck out 44% of the time! You can’t look to a low BABIP for comfort when you’re not putting the ball in play nearly half the freaking time! You do realize that performing poorly and being unlucky are not mutually exclusive – don’t you?

  5. MikeD

    Should have simply let Garcia pitch into game 2, or started Happ, but I do understand what they were attempting. Bottom line, one of the more talented young starters in the game–Garcia–pitched all of one inning.

    That said, if Tanaka had done is job, there would have been no game 5. The Yankees win in four.

    Cashman’s comments toward Sanchez were quite telling. In the past, he’d say Gary was our catcher. Not now. Maybe this is their way of pushing in, or maybe they will look at other options.

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