It’s June 1, and that means that another month of the season is behind us. It’s time to look back and honor the Yankees’ best May performers.
Best Hitter: Mark Teixeira
Tex was by far the most productive Yankee in May. In fact, he led the majors in home runs (13) and runs batted in (34). He had more than two hits in half of the games he played and led the team in batting average (.330). If you don’t remember, he finished April with a .200 batting average. Is it a coincidence that when Alex Rodriguez came back to the lineup, Teixeira’s season batting average skyrocketed .192 to .281?
Honorable Mention: Derek Jeter
The captain hit .321 in May and led the team in stolen bases with six. After committing two errors in the first three games of May, his fielding record was clean, which is pretty spectacular for a shortstop. The great thing about Jeter is that these numbers aren’t too much higher than his career averages. He is capable of putting up similar numbers in every month the rest of the way.
Best Pitcher: CC Sabathia
Sabathia led the team in wins (4), earned run average (2.56), strikeouts (37) and innings pitched (45 2/3). Compared to April, he improved his ERA by over two runs and had nearly double the amount of Ks. If Sabathia continued pitching as poorly as he did in April, the Yankees would not be close to where they are today (in first place).
Ace didn’t pitch at all in April after failing to make the team out of spring training. But after being called up in the beginning of May, he soon became Joe Girardi’s go-to guy out of the bullpen. He finished the month with a record of 3-1 and a 2.75 ERA, but his value to the Yanks goes beyond the numbers. He has drawn comparisons to Ramiro Mendoza, the versatile reliever that was a part of all four of the Yanks’ recent championship seasons.
Gardy hit .327/.417/.538 in 52 at bats in May. All three averages were significant improvements to his April numbers (.220/.254/.271). He also hit the first two homers of his career and added two triples. Late in May when the hot-hitting Melky Cabrera injured his shoulder, Gardner filled the void seamlessly.
When Cervelli assumed the starting catcher role after both Jorge Posada and Jose Molina hit the DL, Girardi and the Yankees were not expecting much from the .190 hitter in double-A. Instead, he surprised all by maintaining a .286 batting average in 42 at bats. The Yankees went 9-3 in games he started.
Previous Monthly Awards:
2009 Yankees April Awards