LADY AT THE BAT: As May Begins, Yankees Still Waiting For Some To Hit Their Stride

Friday, May 1, 2015

As May Begins, Yankees Still Waiting For Some To Hit Their Stride

The month of April is in the books, representing just shy of 15 percent of the season. On the season the Yankees record stands at 13-9, a .542 winning percentage. That translates to a full season record of 88-74, perhaps good enough for at least a wild card berth. While we can assert that it's still early, which it is, we can identify some early season trends.
The Good
The offense has shown some life this month. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner at the top of the order each have on base percentages over .400, and have combined for 14 steals. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, though not hitting for average, are hitting for power (13 home runs between them) and getting on base. After a slow start, Brian McCann has started to hit and Chris Young has a .305 average with five home runs in 59 at bats, which is pretty good for a fourth outfileder.

The bullpen has been magnificent, and Andrew Miller has settled into the closer's role quite well. Dellin Betances has been everything he was in 2014 lately. The rest of the bullpen has done well and depth wise it reaches all the way to Scranton.
The Not So Good
The rotation just took a hit. Masahiro Tanaka will be out for at least a month. When was the last time a pitcher was out of action just for the the length of time that was initially thought? Suddnely the return of Ivan Nova and Chris Capuano seems more relevant and somewhat urgent. Looming over Tanaka is the possible need for Tommy John surgery, though not indicated at this point with the current injury. A year from now will we be thinking of Tanaka's return as we are of Nova's return right now? Time will tell. 
No matter how long he is out, Tanaka's loss is a concern. The rotation has two starters who have not pitched much beyond five innings in their starts: Nathan  Eovaldi and Adam Warren. Chase Whitley is good for just that much as well. In fact the top pitchers for eating innings so far are CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda at a little over six innings each. Hopefully Pineda stays healthy because he is the staff's likely ace going forward. The only starter at AAA that may help is Bryan Mitchell. Forget Luis Severino for now. Though pitching well, he seems to be stuck at five innings per outing and he is only at AA Trenton.
Didi Gregorius is a work in progress with his entire game. Carlos Beltran has not hit, though in fairness there are countless players who have suffered through horrible Aprils, only to turn it around as the season progresses. Management thinks Beltran will start hitting. The question is when?
So what's next for the Yankees? First, Boston tomorrow night. It might be wishful thinking, but I still say Gregorius will settle in soon and become a productive player. Remember, I picked Didi to hit for the cycle. (So far he has been lucky to get one hit in any game.) Beltran will start hitting, we all hope, and Sabathia may well begin pitching like he did in Detroit two starts ago, possibly winning this time.

Baseball is a game of streaks. Bad streaks can suddenly turn around. So for our under-performers, CC, Beltran and Didi among them, have faith my friends. Their day is coming.
Lets hope it's soon.

No comments: