Karpin’s Korner: A Jake Mistake? Order in the Bronx?

Even if Jacob deGrom would never go through with the threat of limiting his workload, even hinting at it is a dangerous road to travel on the “public relations highway.”

As much support as the NL Cy Young Award winner has now, (from fans and the media) that would dry up in a hurry if he ever put himself above the team. deGrom is a team player and a competitor so it would be a total shock if he was ever in that unenviable position.

If you’ve followed baseball, you know that to expect deGrom to duplicate last season is not realistic. If it happened, then the Mets would really be under the gun to sign him to an extension but I’m sure his agent realizes that there will be some kind of drop off, so they want to strike while the “iron is hot.”

That doesn’t mean deGrom can’t go out and have a terrific season, have more wins than last season and help the Mets contend for the playoffs, but what he did last season was historic and it will be very difficult to do it again. The Mets still have control for two years although they would be playing with fire if they let deGrom go into spring training in 2020 without a new contract.

Yankees Mgr. Aaron Boone said Miguel Andujar has been working on his defense. That’s great news because that’s where the soon to be 24-year old needed to work on his game and he has shown that he has the desire to be better. Hopefully, whoever is working with Andujar on his defense has put the focus on his footwork. Andujar can manage throwing sidearm, as long as his footwork is solid. If Andujar is hitting like he did last season, he will be in the lineup.

Andujar can take a cue from a career path that will likely land Adrian Beltre in the Hall of Fame. When he came up, Beltre had the same kind of fielding problems, in part because of a sidearm throwing motion, but he worked at it and became a perennial gold glove winner at third.

As good as the Yankees offense appears to be, they still lack a dynamic lead off presence and left handed hitting and if they once again become too reliant on the home run, they will come up short in the post season for a third straight year.

Boone has said that Aaron Hicks could occupy the lead off spot in the everyday lineup. I know he draws a decent amount of walks but Hicks is not a dynamic enough player to strike fear in the opposition when he comes to bat.

Speaking of the Yankee batting order, Aaron Judge should hit third, not second. I want my best hitter to have two opportunities to hit with at least one runner on base when he comes up in the first inning. I can’t stress enough how important that first inning can set a tone for a game and it’s the only inning that a Manager can dictate who bats and in what order.

LAST LICKS: Still hard to believe that high profile free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have yet to be signed. Harper has waited this long, he may want to wait a little longer. Some outfielder could always get injured. The Padres are being linked to Machado but does he really want to play in San Diego?…..Scary times for labor relations between MLB and the players. There are still three full seasons to be played before the CBA expires but the two sides will have to do a lot of collateral damage to avoid what would be a crushing work stoppage. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail but there will have to be a shift from these past two off seasons, as far as free agents are concerned

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