State of the Yankees at the midway point
Think back to mid February, when fans and media were questioning Brian Cashman on his off-season acquisitions. What is he thinking signing Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, what is this pitching rotation going to look like? Is a question that many fans asked. Well after Saturday’s 5-2 win over the New York Mets, the Yankees get to the halfway point of the season with a 50-31 record. The most staggering part of the record is that the team is 1-8 against the 2nd place Boston Red Sox, a team that coming into the season, the prognosticators had them running away with the AL East.
While it is easy to say that Mark Teixiera has had a great season to this point or Curtis Granderson is on his way to the best offensive season of his career, don’t overlook that the 2011 Yankees have their share of problems. As of late some have corrected themselves, there are still some issues that need to be addressed.
Derek Jeter hitting lead off: While Derek Jeter has been on the DL for a strained calf, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher have filled in just fine and have flourished in the lead-off spot, but the stress an anxiety caused by Jeter’s impending return maybe causing on players like Gardner who is in flux as to where he will hit in the lineup come Monday. The argument of many fans an media comes back to is having a 37 year old lead off hitter going to help the Yankees in the short and long term? Well due to the platoon that Gardner is still in with veteran outfielder Andruw Jones is truly keeping Gardner out of the lead-off hole in the order, but this brings up another question while Gardy has lead off against RHP’s since June 14, and Swish has lead off against LHP’s is another one of the decisions facing Yankee Manager Joe Girardi. The move for the short term is to bring Jeter back into the lineup as the lead-off hitter but give him a very short leash especially, if he doesn’t turn around his season by August 1st. The other position that the Yankees are now in is to see if Jeter is the ultimate team player that everyone since 1996 has made him out to be. The move that keeps the Yankees at the top of the AL East and keeps them as a World Series favorite is Gardy 1, Swish 6, Jeet 7, but let’s if THAT happens.
Bullpen: The Yankees bullpen has been downright fantastic this season, without Pedro Feliciano, who has been out since spring training, Rafael Soriano, who has been out since mid-May, but even before his DL stint, he was awful. Joba Chamberlain who was quickly showing that he could be the 8th inning man or closer of the future, has been lost until late 2012 or 2013, the overwhelming need of a 2nd lefty that can help Boone Logan going forward. Between David Robertson and his near 1 ERA and Mariano Rivera doing what Mariano Rivera does, the Joe Girardi bullpen management is again a reason why he is in the discussion for American League Manager of the Year.
The Yankees have 2 major problems heading into the 2nd half of the 2011 season, but they are full on ready and up for the run, as fans the good thing is we get to sick back enjoy a nice tall Samuel Adams Summer Ale, in a perfect pint glass or straight out of the bottle and enjoy the 2nd 81 of the MLB season.
Posted on July 3, 2011, in New York Yankees and tagged Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon, Boone Logan, Brett Gardner, Brian Cashman, Curtis Granderson, David Robertson, Derek Jeter, Freddy Garcia, Joba Chamberlain, Joe Girardi, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixiera, Nick Swisher, Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.