May 12, 2014

State of the Yankees: Quarterly Review

The Yankees (19-17) are 1.5 games behind the Orioles for the division lead and just a half game ahead of the Red Sox. Before the Yankees start this week's Subway Series, there's the good, the bad, and plenty of first quarter surprises to review. Let's get right down to what really matters, shall we?

Opening Day Rotation
1. CC Sabathia – 15-day DL (knee), 5.28 ERA
2. Hiroki Kuroda – 4.43 ERA, had 5.00+ ERA in August, September & April
3. Ivan Nova – underwent Tommy John Surgery, out for season
4. Masahiro Tanaka – 5-0, 2.57 ERA, 58 K's, what else is there to say?
5. Michael Pineda – 15-day DL (muscle strain) out until June, 1.83 ERA possibly spiked with pine tar

Current Rotation
1. Masahiro Tanaka – proven quickly he's the true ace of the staff
2. Hiroki Kuroda – two strong starts in a row is encouraging for 39-year-old
3. Vidal Nuno – coming off very promising start vs. Angels (W, 6.1 IP, ER, 82 pitches)
4. David Phelps – two decent starts as Pineda's replacement, 4.09 ERA
5. Alfredo Aceves – the only real candidate to replace Sabathia, hasn't made a start yet

The age-old baseball cliché "You can never have too much pitching" is just too true early on this season with all of the pitchers lost to Tommy John Surgery and the disabled list. With the Yankees, they never had enough pitching and now are in desperate need of more arms. Their bullpen has actually been rock solid. The Yankees wouldn't be above .500 without Adam Warren (21 IP, 1.29 ERA) among others.

But the real bright spot this season is, without question, Yangervis Solarte. Until about eight weeks ago I hadn't even heard of this guy. After a month of baseball, he leads New York's $100 million offense with 15 walks and 20 RBIs. He's also hitting a cool .315/.394/.463. He's also why the Yankees are above .500. This is also reflected in the odds, to read more and find out why just head over to

Season Outlook
Honestly, it doesn't look good. Not with the state of the rotation, and most certainly not with Derek Jeter still hitting second and Carlos Beltran hitting behind him with a .292 OBP. The good news is the AL East is up for grabs. The four other teams are also good, but not great. On paper, the defending champion Red Sox have the best all-around squad but their players aren't living up to the backs of their baseball cards.

There's still the trade deadline, and there's still a chance Pineda returns strong from his long DL stint. But I really don't have much hope for Sabathia. His fastball velocity has dipped 2.5 mph to 88.6, and it's not like he's hitting the corners like Andy Pettitte did at the end of his career. The worst of it is CC isn't supposed to be at the end of his career yet – he turns 34 in July – and the Yankees are on the hook through 2016 with a $25 million vesting option for 2017.

Online Marketing Specialist Harley Atkin contributed to this article.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP