April 11, 2011

Nate’s Takes: Soriano, Logan, Burnett, Jeter, Hughes, A-Rod

Well I wanted the Yankees to walk out of Fenway with the Red Sox 0-9. Instead the Yankees find themselves just one game over .500. The Yankees are now two weeks into the season and have basically confirmed what we thought we knew about this team. They can hit and hit with power (18 homers in their first nine games is insane). If they lead after six innings they are very hard to beat (minus a Rafael Soriano meltdown). Their rotation is very shaky and you don’t know what you are going to get besides C.C. Sabathia.

Last week I predicted they would have a 6-3 record going into Sunday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t cooperate and the Yankees went 5-3 (I am still counting that as a correct prediction by me). So here is what I have learned/ observed about this team this week.

I disagreed with bringing Soriano into the Twins game up 4-0 (I said that before he came in, I swear). That was a Joe Torre move by Joe Girardi. If you have the best and deepest bullpen in baseball you have to trust David Robertson to get the job done. While Soriano should not have blown that game, it was unnecessary to pitch him back-to-back games with that kind of a lead.

Boone Logan has proved that you can’t predict relievers in baseball. Last year, no one could get a hit off him. This year he can’t get anyone out. Hopefully he recovers soon or Pedro Feliciano comes back quickly (I still wish we didn’t trade Phil Coke, but he hasn’t looked too hot this year ether). He did an OK job against the Red Sox Sunday night, but he wasn’t throwing 97 like he did last year.  I am also still waiting for Joba Chamberlain to become consistent.

A.J. Burnett looks better, but I am still not convinced. Burnett looked even better than this last April and we all know how that turned out.

When do we hit the panic button on Derek Jeter? I will give him at least a month, but the top of the order may need to be shuffled around soon. He also looks late on fastballs (just an observation).

While it is still early I can’t help but make a bold statement. The offseason that Brian Cashman doesn’t sign a huge name, he has the best two small signings that I can think of the Yankees having in the last five years. Russell Martin looks like the best No. 9 hitter in baseball, while Eric Chavez might be the best backup infielder in the league.

Is anyone else nervous about Girardi comparing Phil Hughes to Jaime Moyer? I thought Joba was supposed to lose his velocity in the rotation, not Hughes. This may be a long season for Phil of the Future.

Can Alex Rodriguez become a .300 hitter again? And how do you miss a Sunday night Yankee-Red Sox game from being sick? I bet Jeter would have played (that’s a joke).

That’s it for this week. The Yankees take on the first-place Orioles (yes, that’s not a typo), starting Tuesday, and then they host the Rangers for a weekend series. I really think this is going to be a tough homestand for the Yankees. I am predicting them to go 3-3. Hopefully they can prove me wrong and take two out of three in both series.

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