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Hubbs discusses all things New York Yankees (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Baseball

Yankees Q&A with Barstool Hubbs

I had the pleasure of having a nice phone conversation and Q & A with Barstool Hubbs. Hubbs is the Yankees writer for Barstool Sports and an avid Yankees fan. We got into everything, including whether or not Gary Sanchez would be a terrible catcher again this year. It was a fun call and he’s a very informative Yankees writer.

Tell me why the Yankees won’t win the World Series

Haha, well for starters, the American League is absolutely stacked. For the most part, everyone has gotten better.  The Astros added Gerrit Cole and they just won a World Series. A lot of people really like the Angels and are expecting them to take the next step. I see them taking the other Wild Card spot from the Twins because they’re not competing.

The A.L. East is tough as always. The Red Sox definitely got better with J.D. Martinez and the bullpen they assembled. The Indians are still the same team. If they don’t win the World Series it’s not even their fault. The path to get to the World Series is so hard. Injuries can always be a factor, but that’s with every time. If they were in the National League they’d almost be a lock for the pennant.

The starting rotation worries me. Thoughts?

I’m not worried about the starting rotation at all.  They were actually very solid last year, especially from August on.  Severino is only going to get better, Tanaka was inconsistent but found a groove.  You know what you’re going to get with C.C., he’s consistent.

Sonny Gray wasn’t great last season, but he didn’t get any run support.  He would only give up maybe two or three runs a game and get nothing in return.  Granted, he didn’t go all that far in games so he needs to work on that but I expect him to be better. I also love Jordan Montgomery. I love him. I think he’s going to be great again this year.

Do you think there will be any animosity between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton over playing time?

No, that’s almost a complete non-factor.  From what I’ve heard, Stanton called Judge immediately to let him know he was traded.  Judge was ecstatic, it’s a non-issue.  Judge was in awe of Stanton all last season.  They like each other a lot, and Stanton sees a lot of himself in Judge.  We’ll definitely see more of Judge in left field than Stanton, because Judge is the better overall fielder.

Also Judge is the last guy to worry about that stuff.  He’s like a Jeter, only even more so.  Jeter and A-Rod always had a weird relationship because the Yankees brought in another shortstop. Judge isn’t worried about any of that stuff.

Will Gary Sanchez suck behind the plate?

He’ll definitely improve, but he won’t be great.  It looks like at least so far he’s actually putting his mind to it.  The old habits are still there however.  He needs to be able to get in front of balls fully instead of half-assing it.  He still has that rocket arm so he should be fine.

Apparently Aaron Boone is all over it, whatever that means. I’m sure he’s working on it, but he needs to put his full effort into it in order to improve.

Who has impressed you most in Spring Training?

Well there are three guys, at least batting wise, that have really impressed me.  The first is Florial. He’s running around everywhere. He beats out ground balls. He turns routine plays into triples. He’s not even close to making the team this year, maybe not even next year.   The outfield is really crowded but a few years down the road unless they go after Bryce Harper or someone like that he should be in the mix.  At worst he’s a great trade piece.

Obviously Andujar has been a superstar. He has four home runs and looks like Adrian Beltre up there at the plate.  He looks totally comfortable with both the stick and at third base. I can confidently say that I would be perfectly fine with having him as my Opening Day third baseman. He’s looked much better and I have confidence that he’ll be just fine.  It actually would work out great because you can move Drury to second and stash Gleyber Torres in the minors to control his contract. I think he even might stay longer than two weeks.

The third and most surprising is McKinney.  It really shouldn’t be a surprise because he shouldn’t have come from nowhere.  He’s the Yankees 18th best prospect.  He has four home runs also and is coming in hot.  He’s an outfielder by trade but is playing first base, which is a vital position for the Yankees.  You know what you’re going to get with Tyler Austin, he’s a decent fielder and a decent hitter, but McKinney looks to really know how to hit.  He could wind up backing up Greg Bird, who you know is a fragile dude.  Say Bird plays even 140 games, which is high, so 120 games.  That means you need 42 games out of your backup first baseman.  McKinney could be that guy.

You mentioned Montgomery before.  Is he your #5 starter?

I don’t even think it’s up for debate. The only thing up for debate would be whether or not to move to a six man rotation.  I love Montgomery. He’s very good at pitching out of chaos. I’m interested to see what he has this year.  

Chance Adams will start the year in AAA. He’ll probably at some point get moved up as a reliever. If one of these starters gets hurt though, I would want him to get the first crack at it.  I would much rather see him than someone like a Luis Cessa.

How do you think the bullpen shapes out? Is there a set 7th, 8th, 9th inning guy?

Nowadays in baseball there really isn’t any of that anymore.  No one is so rigid with their bullpen anymore.  If you need a guy to get some outs or get out of a jam you now just go to him. If I were Boone, I would use Chad Green as my Weapon X. You can throw him in any situation. He’s the guy that can pitch wherever needed.  He’s to the Yankees what Andrew Miller is to Tito Francona and the Indians.

Chapman is definitely the closer, and I guess Robertson is the 8th inning guy. Robertson or Kahnle would work. Dellin Betances should not be that guy.  I don’t trust him at all. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game when he’s on, but his command has been way too inconsistent and he can’t even sniff the strike zone.

When’s the parade?

LOL, don’t count your chickens just yet.  It’ll probably be in early November hopefully.  In all seriousness, it’s a tough road to get there.  If there is a team to do it this year it’s this Yankees team.  Carrabis (Barstool’s Red Sox writer) thinks the Red Sox will be up 11 games in May. He’s delusional.

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