Mike Moustakas is once again on the Yankees’ radar. Before the 2018 trade deadline in July, Brian Cashman was looking for some infield depth and settled for defensive specialist Adeiny Hechaveria instead of Moose. The Milwaukee Brewers were able to reel in 2007 second overall pick on a rental deal for their playoff push.
Moustakas helped propel the Brewers past the Chicago Cubs in game 163 to decide the NL Central and then helped the Brew Crew get one game from the World Series, including this walk off hit against the Colorado Rockies in the first game of the NLDS.
Now the Yankees seem to be out of the Manny Machado race which leaves Machado’s suitors to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox.
Prior to the Yankees disappointing departure from the Machado sweepstakes, it seemed that Moustakas would be pursued by the two teams that did not sign Manny Machado as well as the Brewers. Because the Yankees have signed Troy Tulowitzki and DJ Lemahieu, they do not have delay their pursuit of Moustakas. Instead of competing with the Brewers, and whichever team does not score Machado, they Yankees can just compete with the Brewers for Moose.
Moustakas is a player the Yankees seriously need to consider.
First of all, he adds a power bat from the left side of the plate. Lefty power…and lefty presence at all, is something the Yankees desperately need. Without Didi Gregorius for the first half of the season, the 2-8 spots in the lineup are right handed. Aaron Hicks as the leadoff man will bat lefty against right handed pitchers and Gardner will bat 9th against RHP.
While seven right handed hitters back-to-back-to-back and so on is a nightmare for left handed pitchers, it will be a field day for right handed pitchers.
Let’s check out the Yankee lineup OPS vs RHP as compared to the batters overall OPS in 2018:
S Hicks .833 (.845 vs RHP)
R Judge .919 (.901)
R Stanton .852 (.792)
R Sanchez .697 (.636)
R Andujar .855 (.869)
R Voit 1.069 (1.015)
R Torres .820 (.785)
R LeMahieu .749 (.675)
R Tulowitzki-2017 .678 (.750)
L Gardner .690 (.712)
There is a visible drop off for players on the Yankees roster when facing a right handed pitcher. OPS shows the on base percentages and power numbers are down for this lineup when facing a righty.
Opposing teams are aware of all the right handed bats in the lineup and roll out righties more often than lefties against the Yankees. Last season, even with Gregorious and the switch hitting Neil Walker, the Yankees had 4,576 plate appearances against righties and only 1,695 plate appearances against lefties.
Moustakas adds a left handed bat into the middle of the lineup. He wouldn’t completely solve the right handed heavy lineup, but with the aid of the 314 foot Little Leauge wall in right, he could see his power numbers sky rocket.
Moose hit 28 bombs in 2018 and 38 in 2017. He would certainly help the Yankees add onto their mammoth HR totals from last season when they set the ML records for homeruns with 267. Click here to see the record breaking homer from Gleyber Torres.
Obviously Moustakas is not as high caliber of a player as Machado, but he improves the Yankees lineup regardless.
Moustakas not only is an offensive improvement, but defensively, he has a positive Rdrs at third base with 2 defensive runs saved compared to Andujar’s MLB-worst -25.
Moustakas would be the everyday third baseman, moving Andujar to the DH role and inserting Stanton in left field instead of doing a majority of the DHing.
The Yankees need to act quickly and add Moustakas before the Brewers sign him. The Yankees definitely need to make a move before Machado is signed. Once Machado is finds a home, another team is added to the competition for Moustakas with the loser of the team that does not ink Machado.
Although not as glamours, Mike Moustakas, as a lefty, adds a lot of offensive and defensive value to a right hand heavy Yankee lineup.
Featured Image: Lone Star Baseball