Last Updated on November 9, 2023 at 6:13 am by Michael Bennington
During his tirade against critics on Tuesday, Brian Cashman’s intense attack on those questioning his Yankees strategy also involved a dig at a former prospect Ben Ruta. However, the former prospect immediately took to social media to respond to the general manager with equal fervor.
Ruta was the first to blow the lid on Cashman’s analytic-heavy approach when he slammed the Yankees as “dumb” in August this year. While talking to host Scott Braun of the “Foul Territory” podcast, he made bizarre revelations about the Yankees training in the minor leagues. The ex-prospect, who was picked by the Yankees in the 2016 draft but released in 2021, came down heavily on Cashman for ignoring baseball and embracing analytics.
Cashman called out ex-Yankees prospect
On Tuesday, Cashman referred to former Yankees minor leaguer as “Bitter boy” and expressed his frustration with a player who had criticized the organization’s player development department. He mentioned that the player ended up with another organization after being part of the Yankees and was not as successful there.
The Yankees GM also pointed out that the player misunderstood certain data, specifically referencing (HITf/x) and its inclusion of strikeouts. He found it embarrassing that such issues were being discussed, but he understood that when a team is facing losses, criticism, and negative narratives tend to surface.
Cashman definitely had some grievances to address during his extensive one-hour session on Tuesday, and it seems that Ruta’s comments from this summer had gotten under his skin.
Ruta joins the fight
Ruta reacted on social media to a tweet mentioning Cashman’s comments.
Ruta, who was part of the Yankees‘ organization from 2016 to 2021, expressed disapproval of the team’s minor league procedures. He initially shared his insights during a conversation on an episode of the “Foul Territory” podcast, where he discussed the nature of instruction provided to young players in the Yankees’ minor league system.
Ruta expressed his concern by sharing an anecdote from 2020. He mentioned that in a game called ‘pitchers vs hitters,’ the only way to score a point was by walking or hitting a ball at 95 mph or faster. According to him, there was a lack of fundamental baseball being taught, including aspects like base running and moving runners.
Subsequently, Ruta participated in the podcast and expressed his belief that the Yankees place excessive emphasis on HITf/x, a point that Cashman disagreed with in his remarks on Tuesday. Ruta also contended that the organization’s approach aims to mold all players into a uniform style.
Ruta criticized the metric, stating that it doesn’t penalize for strikeouts. He also mentioned that this metric is used in the minor leagues and in making free-agent decisions. According to him, players are being signed and trades are being made based on this metric.
Ruta’s journey with the Yankees began in 2016, and he progressed to Triple-A in 2019, achieving a .260 batting average with eight home runs, 55 RBIs, and a .726 OPS.
In 2021, he transitioned to the Padres’ organization but struggled with a .178 average while playing in Triple-A and Double-A before eventually joining the Atlantic League in the following year.
Yankees fans enjoyed the fight
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