One word that can best describe the New York Yankees season so far is inconsistent.
As of June 2nd, the Yankees have played 56 games with a record of 29 wins and 27 losses and are in 2nd place in the American League East. In those 56 games, there has been 1,940 at bats, 48 Home runs and 215 RBI and a overall batting average of.256. With all of the injuries piling up, it is a miracle that they are 4.0 game back behind the East leading Toronto Blue Jays.
Injuries have basically hurt this team. Carlos Beltran is out, Mark Teixeira been bothered with wrist problems. It actually gotten so bad that manager Joe Girardi had to be creative and put Brian McCann (a catcher by trade) at first base for the first time in his career. Also Kelly Johnson is playing at first (every time I see him play first base, he looks scared.) Also, CC Sabathia, the Yankees ace starting pitcher has been missing in action and there is no timetable for his return.
The injuries are not the only problem. The Yankees are hitting .256 as a team which is 8th best in the majors. Derek Jeter in his farewell season is batting .267 with one home run and 16 RBI’s. He was also responsible for a mental gaffe that helped caused the Yankees lose the game last night against the Mariners. The Yankees are desperately missing the services of Robinson Cano, who carried the team last season. Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson have not been able to provide the power that the Yankees need at second base. One huge surprise for the Yankees so far is third baseman Yangervis Solarte who has been the unlikely hero for the Yankees season. He is 15th in the American League in batting average and has delivered the power needed at third base. Brian McCann was suppose to help bring the power back to the catchers position but he only has 7 home runs to show for it but is coming around.
The problem with the Yankees is their pitching. Masahiro Tanaka is the best pitcher that the Yankees have and has been as advertised with a 8-1 record and a sparkling 2.06 ERA which leads the American League. However, what about the rest of the pitching staff? Michael Pinada was doing well until he got caught with pine tar in his hand on Sunday Night Baseball in April and oddly enough he went on the disable list. Hiroki Kuroda hasn’t been consistent all year with a ERA of 4.58. The back end of the rotation hasn’t really showed up this season.
Now we get to the biggest problem of the Yankees. The Bullpen. David Roberson have not been great as a closer. Usually when a Hall of Famer such as Mariano Rivera retires, it is really hard to fill those shoes. Robertson has not lived up to his closer’s role with a 0-2 record and a 4.50 ERA. The most surprising pitcher the Yankees have in the bullpen is Dellin Betances who has been lights out. Betances has been better than Robertson in just about every facet, from ERA (1.38 to 4.50) to WHIP (0.74 to 1.17) to home runs allowed (one to three) to walk rate (2.5 BB/9 to 3.5). And while Robertson is striking out a career-high 16.0 per nine through his first 18.0 innings, Betances’ 15.4 K/9 is right there—in more than twice as many innings (32.2). Perhaps Joe Giradi should replace Robertson with Betances as closer pretty soon.
Let’s all face facts. The Yankees are not doing so well right now. With all of the injuries and inconsistant play, it is certain that the Yankees will miss the playoffs for the second straight year.