Former Yankees Manager Joe Girardi lauds Juan Soto as a ‘nightmare to get out’
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In an interview with Yes Network as a baseball analyst, the former manager of the Yankees, Joe Girardi, reflected on his time with the organization as both a manager and player, highlighting them as the pinnacle of his career. He then offered insights and evaluations regarding the Yankees’ recent roster moves.
Praise to Juan Soto
Expressing his approval of the additions to the Yankees‘ lineup, he singled out the acquisitions of left-handed batters like Alex Verdugo and superstar Juan Soto. However, it was Juan Soto who captured his attention the most. Having managed against Soto for three years, he emphasized Soto’s prowess as a formidable opponent, describing him as a nightmare to get out with a tremendous eye, plate discipline, power, and ability to hit all fields. He hailed Soto as a genuinely exceptional hitter, acknowledging the challenge he poses to opposing pitchers.
“I had a chance to manage against Juan Soto for three years, and let me tell you: he is a nightmare to get out and has a tremendous eye, works the count, doesn’t chase bad pitchers, has powers, hits the balls in all field, he’s just a really really good hitter.” Said Joe Girardi to Yes Network during this Tuesday evening.
Verdict on how much further the Yankees can go
Delving deeper into the lineup dynamics, he underscored the significance of the batting order and the pivotal role it plays in determining the team’s success. He pointed out that the position of the hitter behind players like Soto and Aaron Judge could significantly impact the team’s ability to drive in runs and succeed offensively. Protecting key hitters like Juan Soto and Judge becomes paramount for maximizing offensive opportunities and ensuring a successful season.
Assessing the overall impact of the Yankees’ recent moves, he praised the team for bolstering the potency of their lineup and acquiring players whose skills align well with Yankee Stadium’s dimensions. He expressed confidence in Verdugo’s ability to excel in the outfield and emphasized the importance of adding depth to the pitching rotation to sustain long-term success.
“I like what they’ve done with the lineup; I think the most important spot in this lineup will probably determine to some extent how far they go. It’s just who hits behind: soto or Judge. Those guys could have a lot of opportunities to drive in runs and have a big year, and you want to protect those guys as much as you can.”
Girardi’s views on Stroman as a Yankee game-changer
Reflecting on specific additions like Marcus Stroman, he highlighted the diverse skill set Stroman brings to the mound, noting his emphasis on inducing contact and quickening innings. This distinctive approach, he suggested, provides the Yankees with a valuable alternative to pitchers like Gerrit Cole and Carlos Rodon, diversifying their pitching options and enhancing their overall competitiveness.
“I had the chance to watch Stroman a lot, and he’s different from many pitchers because he pitches more to contact than many pitchers do. As an infielder, you have to be ready, but they are quicking innings, and you have to get a quick out, he’s just a different look than maybe a Gerrit Cole or Carlos Rodon, so I like what they’ve done.”
In summary, the former Yankees manager commended the organization for its strategic acquisitions and expressed optimism about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season. He identified key areas of strength, including lineup potency, defensive prowess, and pitching depth, while acknowledging the need for continued improvement and adaptation to ensure sustained success in a competitive league. With the addition of dynamic players like Soto and strategic moves to fortify various aspects of the roster, the Yankees appear poised for a compelling and potentially successful campaign ahead.
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