By Deven Del Priore
What’s up everyone. As I sit in this quiet room with my roommates after a tough Yankee loss to the Texas Rangers, I couldn’t help but to think how this season is going to pan out.
I’ve liked the Yankees ever since I started playing baseball, I don’t remember a time where I didn’t like the Yankees. I looked up to guys like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada my whole life, and along with those guys, I have seen some really great teams. Its safe to say that this isn’t one of the best teams the Yankees have had in the years I’ve been watching. We are old, and not deep on our bench. With guys like McCann and Headley thinking it’s okay to take a day off every three days is out of control. The thing is, it isn’t Joe Girardi’s fault. He has to manage the team according to how it is assembled. He doesn’t have much to work with, and I don’t believe it is on him this time. It is easy to blame a manager for losing, but to blame a manager when he has a bunch of old men with a mixture of a few young guys isn’t reasonable or fair. For the rest of this article, I’ll give you the positives and negatives of this year’s New York Yankees.
On a positive note, our bullpen is outstanding. With Andre Miller and Dellin Betances at the back end, along with Ivan Nova and John Barbato in long relief is a good mixture of crafty and hard throwing guys who leave it all on the field. The Yankees bullpen is good now, just wait until the 100+ MPH throwing Aroldis Chapman who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in the off season for four minor league players. Another inquiry is the newest second Basemen named Starlin Castro who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs. Castro has been a solid player at the bottom of the lineup, and in the field. He’s shown that the New York spotlight isn’t fazing him one bit, and if he stays consistent can definitely be picked to be in the All-Star Game this season. Castro’s partner-in-crime in the middle infield, Didi Gregorius, has also been impressive with a .942 fielding percentage. His lefty bat in the lineup has also been a huge help, along with his speed and ability to bunt. He might not be an all-star but he is a key contributor to this years team. But, you are only as good as your weakest player and there are a few of them on this team.
As I said before, there are a bunch of old men on this team. Between Alex Rodruguez, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, and Ryan McCann the total age is like 300 years old. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are forced to be a key part of this team, but there time to lead a team is over. They had there time at one point or another. This should be a time for them to cruise along, helping out the young guys on the team by giving them good leadership and a couple big hits when you need them. The leadership is present, but the production isn’t with the exception of Beltran being somewhat consistently good at the plate. This team is going to depend on these guys more than they think and if they don’t start producing, it is going to be a long year. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira are a complete other story. Ellsbury is getting paid 20+ million dollars a year to barely hit his own weight in the lead-off spot in the lineup. You can’t even say his defense keeps him in the lineup because he is a sub-par center fielder at best. Tex is solid because he is a good hitter from the left side and the short porch at Yankee Stadium compliments his power. Also, at one point in his career he was a Gold Glove first basemen. But, those days are long gone. The downside of having tex is that if he sneezes the wrong way he will be put on the DL. Another story is the Yankee pitching staff. With Tanaka as the ace of the staff, he is going to give you a solid start seven times out of ten. Pineda, Eovaldi and Severino are all hopeful for years to come but as of right now are getting hit around because of their lack of control, along with missing spots in bad positions. With Sabathia at the back end of the rotation, he is getting old and has lost a lot of velocity on his fastball. Although he hasn’t been pitching awful, he hasn’t been giving us strong innings. He used to be the ace of the rotation but father time caught up to him quick.
Bottom line is, the Yankees have a lot of figuring out to do. If they don’t figure it out quick then they are going to see themselves in dead last of the AL East. I don’t think any Yankee fan wants to see that. Including me.