Now thirty games into the season I feel it’s a good time to review how the New York Yankees are doing. Well, 18-12, 1.5 games out of first place isn’t to shabby at all with all things considering. To be quite frank, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi and Yankees owners and management have handled the time masterfully up to this point.
If you told me the Yankees would be only 1.5 games out of first place with eleven guys on the disabled list through thirty games, names like Teixeira, Youkilis, Granderson, Jeter, Pineda & Rodriguez I would have told you flat out nuts. But Brian Cashman has pieced together a winning ball club if I’ve ever seen one. He brought in guys like Hafner, Youkilis, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Brennan Boesch and they’ve played fabulously for the Yanks. All the production the Yankees lost in Free Agency and to the Disabled list hasn’t really skipped a beat from last season. The Yankees are tied for third in the entire Major League’s in home runs (40) and tied for the American League lead with Cleveland, same position they were in last year with the daunted lineup they put forth night in and night out. Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay have picked up a lot of the homer production the Yanks lost in the off-season or through injuries. Let’s compare; Nick Swisher, lost to Cleveland has 3 homers and 10 RBI’s while Lyle Overbay a player the Yanks brought in to be a role player has 5 home runs and 15 RBI’s and has played an excellent first base. We also lost Russell Martin to Pittsburgh and Yankee fans began to panic about what was going to happen at the Catcher position. Well, I’m here to tell you, offensively, our platoon of Cervelli and Stewert have produced the same numbers as Russell and a few more RBI’s actually. Defensively behind the plate has also been excellent; Stewert and Francisco Cervelli have thrown out over 50 percent of the base runners trying to steal on them. Martin has only thrown out 8/23 runners, a 35% clip. It’s crazy though, 18 wins and I’ve yet to mention one of the top five best players in baseball in Robbie Cano and he just happens to lead the team in Batting average (.325), Home-Runs (8), Runs Batted In (19) and Hits (40).
Onto the pitching, where the Yankees have been thriving in some categories. They’re tied for fourth in the American League in Quality Starts (17), 5th in all of baseball in the leas amount of walks (78) and on the flip-side of that, seventh in total strike outs (250). With our top four of the rotation pitching well, Hughes included who’s pitched four consecutive quality starts, the Yanks are looking to cement that fifth starter to the rotation to start seriously thinking about contending in the American League East and beyond. With Ivan Nova on the 15-Day DL, David Phelps is now in line as that fifth guy. He pitched very well last year and has shown flashes of it again this year but has yet to be consistent. With Nova out, this could be Phelps chance to take over that fifth spot because Girardi has shown he has confidence in David and is not afraid to throw him out into the fire. Also, Phelps needs to pitch well with Michael Pineda slated to debut by June. The bullpen, has been somewhat of a struggle. The Yankees finally figured out a plan that was working very well; Joba in the 7th, D-Rob in the 8th and the greatest closer ever to close it out in the 9th, Mariano Rivera. Plans have now changed since Joba hit the 15-Day DL, along with half of the team it seems like at this point. D-Rob, also day-to-day after pulling his hamstring and the only thing to stay consistent thus far in the pen seems to be Adam Warren in long relief spots and Mariano closing out the game. I’m still not sold on Boone Logan being the only lefty in the pen, the resigning on Rapada may be the answer, but the Yankees need to find another lefty arm for that bullpen sooner rather than later.
Thirty games in, eleven big time contributors trips to the DL later the Yankees have the seventh most wins in all of baseball, what’s not to love about this team. We as fans are used to the high priced players that are going to go out there hit home runs and strike everyone out, this years team plays defense, plays small ball and oh yeah, they seem to be doing just okay in the home run department.