Finally and with no help from Mother Nature, we have made it a week into the season. Yes it is a long season and after only seven games it is difficult to judge how a team will finish but let’s dive right in and see what we can take away from the Yankees first week back in action.
First off let’s start with what we know, the Yankees can hit. Yes there have been some early struggles against left-handed pitchers but the Yankees rank tenth overall in the Big Leagues for run scored. Jacoby Ellsbury is starting to shake off the rust and produce at the top of the order, knocking in five runs and stealing seven bases so far. Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran have been exactly what they were expected to be, aging veterans who mash home runs, and that’s about it. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Brian McCann’s hot start came to a screeching halt due to a toe injury that forced him out of Tuesday’s game in Toronto. Do not worry Yankees fans, after tests came back negative, McCann rested on Wednesday night and he is already set to return to the lineup Thursday night to finish up the series in Toronto. The big question mark in the Yankees lineup is Designated Hitter, Alex Rodriguez who has started off the season worse than sluggish. A-Rod just cannot make contact. He is batting a paltry .136 with only two ribbies in twenty two at-bats. It has been a difficult start to the season for A-Rod but again it’s still so early that he is bound to turn it around, especially with the rest of the lineup producing around him. The most promising piece of the lineup that needs to be highlighted is production Starsky and Dutch. Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius have both started off very strong. Both are batting above .330 with twelve RBIs between the two of them and all this production is coming from the bottom half of the batting order. It is exciting to watching these two put all questions about their abilities to bed. The partnership they are building is the future Yankee fans, keep an eye on them.
Now let’s turn to the elephant in the room; the Yankees starting rotation. It is obvious that the Yankees season will go as far as their boom-or-bust rotation can carry them. Through one week the starting pitchers for the Yanks have looked shaky at best. With the exception of CC Sabathia, yes you read that right, none of the starters pitched more than five innings in their first outing. All of them, Tanaka, Pineda, Eovaldi, and Severino flashed moments of brilliance but those were just that, moments. Luckily for the Yankees the bullpen has been incredible. Before Ivan Nova’s total meltdown last night against the Blue Jays the pen boasted an MLB best 0.84 ERA, .190 BAA, 32 K, in 21.1 IP. Unfortunately Nova did some damage to this very impressive stat line and for someone who is trying to win back his spot in the rotation that is certainly not the performance he needed to give. The rest of the bullpen has been lights out and with Aroldis Chapman available to return May 9th it will certainly be upgraded instantly to one of the best in the majors. It is ironic to note that both the starting pitchers and the first half of the batting ordering are struggling while the bullpen and the 7, 8, 9 hitters are all producing much more. Again we are only a week into the season and there is still a lot of baseball to be played but the Yankees need their starting pitchers to reach their full potentials. They are certainly a talented bunch, that is undeniable, and with a good offense and exceptional bullpen, the biggest question mark for the success of the New York Yankees lies with the starting pitching.
Biggest Surprise of Week One:
Ronald Torreyes. Where did this guy come from?! He is off to the hottest start of any Yankee hitter posting a .667/.667/1.000 in a limited number of appearances so far. Yes he has only made nine plate appearances but they are as good as it gets. Unfortunately because we are only seven games into the season it is difficult to even speculate on how the rest of Torreyes’ season will play out but I am going to be bold here and suggest the idea of him playing DH considering he has been tearing it up and A-Rod has been a complete dud. Yes he is not the typical DH we see that comes up with the big home runs but this young gun, only 23 years old, is producing and you never leave the table when you’re on a heater. Yankees faithful, let’s home we continue to see more Torreyes and the rest the young players on the roster.