Yankees GM Brian Cashman has a tendency to tell things like it is.
That’s why it wasn’t a surprise when Cashman singled out Jacoby Ellsbury and a few others when it came to needing production during the 2017 season.
Ellsbury, who was the main source of Cashman’s disappointment, was signed to a $153 Million contract more than three years ago. Since then, Ellsbury has had issues living up to his contract. Ellsbury’s “runs created” stat was the third worst among all center fielders in 2016.
Cashman said there needs to be changes.
“I’m not going to single (Ellsbury) out because as I point to him, I’m pointing to (Michael) Pineda, (Starlin) Castro and Didi (Gregorius) amongst others that they have the ability, if you’re still growing in the game like some of those guys are, there’s benefits that still could be delivered and tapped into — with Ellsbury as well,” Cashman said on Thursday to reporters at George M. Steinbrenner Field,
Over the course of the season, the Yankees banished Ellsbury from the lead-off spot in favor of Brett Gardner, who outperformed Ellsbury in the outfield and on the bases. Gardner had a .351 OBP and won a Gold Glove for his impressive defense in 2016.
Pineda, who is in the final year of his contract, has shown flashes of brilliance. However Pineda has been unreliable for the Yankees. He went 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA last season.
Castro hit 21 home runs, but he had an abysmal .300 OBP and struggled at second base.
Gregorius had for the most part a good season, but the Yankees were concerned with his patience at the plate and his inability to field simple plays at shortstop. Cashman did acknowledge Gregorius has a knack for highlight reel plays.