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Yes the Yankees are not looking so hot in the first week of the season but the bombers are no strangers to the slow start. Last season they started 0-3 and ended up just a few games from the World Series. Nobody can forget 1998 when the Yankees had a 1-4 start and ended up with 114 wins. I’m not going to lie and say that this team is even close to the talent level of that team but I truly believe that once the pitching starts to perform to the level that they should the Yankees will stay competitive until they get some of their wounded players back on the field.
Yes the Yankees are badly banged up and we all know that with the age of their line up that this has been a risk. The Yankees have a lot of talent on the DL right now with Jeter, Granderson, A-Rod , and Texeria out of the line up how well did you expect them to play. The good news is they are going to get them all back at some point this season and then some. The plan is for Granderson and Texeria to return on or around May 1st. Jeter shortly there afterwords. Then there is Michael Pineda and A-Rod who the Yankees hope to get back around mid season the roster will be dramatically different and obviously of a much higher caliper. This all sounds to optimistic so I’m going to add a few grains of pessimism to it. I don’t believe Jeter will be back any time soon and their is a possibility that he will not return at all or not be effective all season. He is 38 years old and is coming off a serious injury that is going to make his comeback a long hard road. There is also a possibility that Texeria’s injury will require surgery In order for the Yankees to be competitive they need two of three back between A-Rod ,Texeria and Granderson. Right now they also don’t have Nunez who I have allot more confidence in this year than in the past. He will when healthy be more than an adequate replacement for Jeter and I believe, as do the Yankees, that he will be their shortstop for many years to come. He has proven he can hit and he has great speed. Once he gets over his throwing issues, which is getting much better, he has allot of up side.
Starting tomorrow its back to the top of the Rotation and an opportunity for CC Sabathia to right the ship and pitch like the Ace he is. Its a tough bill consider he is facing Verlander who is probably the only pitcher in the American League who is better than he is. The Yankees just need to stay in the game and let Robertson and Rivera do their thing. Its a tough start to the season but they are against two of the better teams in baseball. Detroit being probably the best in the American League.
This game was exactly what the Yankees needed. It had some key elements that will get the Yankees out of the mini slump they have been sliding into.
1. Dominate performance from AJ: Actually it was his second great outing in a row. The two unearned runs hurt him a bit but his teammates picked him up with a five run seventh. Being able to go out and pitch the eighth with a pitch count already over 100 and recording two k”s was huge.
2. Mark Texeria feeling and looking like himself again. His three run homer in the Seventh was a Monster into the bleachers and you could tell he was feeling more comfortable and confident even with two strikes on him. Look for Tex to be the best hitter in the league in June, Id bet money on it. Except maybe Robinson Cano who Is my early bet for MVP and most certainly an all-star appearance. Cano is hitting .362 with 10 homers and 37 RBI. Even if he was mediocre for the rest of the season he would still have great numbers. Don’t count on that happening. Its a bit early but is it possible he could take a run at .400?? Like I said a little early but I wouldn’t be surprised if you see him around .380 in August.
3. Mariano looking like Mariano: Mo had a rough couple of outings giving up the grand slam and all but his last three appearances have shown that he is not slipping even one little bit.
4.Brett Gardner: Although his batting average has slipped a bit he still has hit safely i8n six of his last ten games. I don’t care what anyone says having Granderson back in the two hole will let Gardner steal more bases. It will also give Jeter more hits. Pitchers make mistakes when Brett is on base. Nobody hits mistakes better than Derek Jeter.
5. Speaking of Derek Jeter do you realize he is hitting close to .300 now and has 19 hits in his last ten games. He has two or more hits in 7 of his last 8 games.
6. Who said Granderson cant hit lefties? Seems the last couple of times he has been up in a big spot against a lefty he hit a double.
So there is a lot of things to be happy about right now to be only 3.5 out at the end of May compared to where we were at this time last year looks pretty good.
There are also a couple of concerns. Beyond Rivera the Bull pen has not been good as a team their ERA is over 4 and are among the worst in the league. Chamberlain is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Robertson has looked a bit batter of late. Aceves is on the DL and that is a killer they need him healthy he is very important. Mitre has been solid and that helps but he cant go out there every day. Domaso Marte has been horrible and Logan was sent back down because he wasn’t performing either. So the Yankees have made a couple of moves in bringing back Chad Gaudin, who was crucial for the Yankees last year and Josh Towers who I am a big fan of. Towers was released by the Dodgers on Friday after pitching horible in tripple A. But Towers is one of those guys who has a funky delivery and can strike guys out and hell anything is better than putting Marte out there against a right handed batter. Id would bring back Jesse Orosco if I thought it would help.
Bottom line if the starters keep going seven or eight innings it wont matter, and the rotation is why the Yankees are a better team than last years world champs.