Could Mike Tauchman become the latest infamous Cashman acquisition?
On July 29, 2018, the Yankees sent struggling reliever Chasen Shreve, along with Giovanny Gallegos, to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a little-known first baseman: Luke Voit, a career .240 hitter. You know what happened next. In 64 games as a Yankee to this point, Voit is sitting on a .301/.390/.611 slash with 21 home runs.
Fleecing teams has become almost routine for Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman during his 22 seasons at the helm. Nick Swisher for Wilson Betemit in 2008, Didi Gregorius for Shane Greene in 2012, Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy in 2015; the list goes on and on. The next member of the club could be here already and we just don’t know it yet - literally.
|Photo Credit: New York Post|
In a last-minute deal before the start of the regular season, the Yankees acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Rockies for minor-league pitcher Philip Diehl. Tauchman had proven to be a modest hitter at Triple-A who hadn’t been able to put it together in the majors, sporting a .153 average over 59 at-bats. With Aaron Hicks on the shelf, Tauchman was immediately thrust into role-playing duties for the Yanks, getting the nod for the final spot on their Opening Day roster.
Fast forward to April 14: Tauchman takes an 0-for-2 in the Yankees’ loss, lowering his average to .125. To say the least, fans weren’t exactly pleased. This seemed to be an everyday occurrence, as his at-bats had increased in the wake of Giancarlo Stanton too falling victim to the I.L. Does any of this sound familiar yet?
Luke Voit 2018, first 18 PAs:— Jake Story (@TalkinJake) April 21, 2019
0 HR, 6 K's, .176/.222/.399 OPS
Next 14 PAs:
3 HR, 2 K's, .667/.714/2.131 OPS
Mike Tauchman 2019, first 18PA's:
0 HR, 7 K's, .125/.222/.472 OPS
Next 15 PAs:
3 HR, 3 K's, .308/.400/1.477 OPS
The next day, Tauchman socked an RBI double and a three-run homer in the season’s first rivalry game, as the Yankees routed the Red Sox. It turns out that wouldn’t be all. He was the star of the series when the Yanks next welcomed the Royals, contributing to the three-game sweep with four hits, two more home runs and four RBIs. Tauchman would finish the homestand with a .978 OPS.
In almost 1300 Triple-A at-bats, Tauchman had put up a .312/.377/.493 slash with 37 home runs and 212 RBIs. To put these numbers into context, Luke Voit has a career .314/.398/.532 line at the same level. In the end, the Yankees took a low-cost flier on an unknown player with respectable numbers in the minors, as they did with their own first baseman, and it’s paid some dividends thus far yet again.
Admittedly, Tauchman has cooled down in the days since this article was conceptualized. However, with Hicks, Judge, and Stanton not expected back in the immediate future, he has time to get back on track. Whether he can do it or not remains to be seen.
Article by Christian DeMoro