LADY AT THE BAT: Rain-Out Caps First Week Of Season For Yankees

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rain-Out Caps First Week Of Season For Yankees

With the Yankees Sunday night game against the Detroit Tigers rained out, the Bronx Bombers wrapped up their first week of the season with a 3-2 record against those Tigers and the Houston Astros. They outscored their opponents 32-15. Their losses were disappointing but, at least partially explained away by a bad rule and the benching of several starters.

Five games in (3% of the regular season) is obviously too soon to draw even the most basic of conclusions, but there were still some surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. With that small sample size caveat delivered, here are some best and worsts after Week 1:

Best Newcomer: Starlin Castro showed off his complete game in Spring Training and, while the hope was that it would carry over to the regular season, there was still some skepticism as to how the 26 year old would handle the shift to New York and his continued transition to 2B. Five games in, he seems to be handling it very well, batting .450 with an .850 SLG percentage, also having picked up his 1,000th career hit. He has also looked good in the field.

Best Holdover: Either Gregorious or Brian McCann could take home this award but we’ll give it to Sir Didi as the youngster has played in all five games and continued to shine offensively and defensively. He’s continuing his second half improvement from last year and, although he’s mostly hitting singles, he’s making his presence felt. Carlos Beltran finishes third with his quiet but good start to the season.

Best Starting Pitcher: This goes to CC Sabathia after his 6.0 IP, 3 ER performance against the powerful Tigers lineup on Saturday night, but Luis Severino, despite taking the loss on Friday afternoon, also pitched well. He was the victim of some shaky defense and a silent supporting offense but overall he handled himself well.

Best Reliever: Andrew Miller, fractured bone and all, has continued his dominance. Aroldis Chapman has been guaranteed the closer spot upon his return, but Miller is making sure the Yankees know they have options should Chapman falter under the bright lights of the big city.

Worst Newcomer: The Yankees had a quiet off-season, so it’s not too shocking that no one has faltered just yet. From backup infielders to bullpen additions, all have been serviceable.

Worst Holdover: If not for his bases clearing triple in Saturday’s game, this might go to Jacoby Ellsbury but, instead, the dubious honor goes to Chase Headley. Headley had a disappointing first year with the Yankees, with the bat and especially with the glove. While he seems to have sorted out his defensive woes in the early going, his offense has been non-existent. Ellsbury, meanwhile, does not trail Headley by much on this list.

Worst Starting Pitcher: Michael Pineda won his first game of the season but he looked incredibly shaking doing it as he barely got through the 5 IP required to get the win. Given a 6-1 lead going into the 2nd inning, he quickly gave back 4 runs on some well struck balls from the powerful Astros lineup. His next start will be in a dome environment so we’ll see if it was the weather that threw off the continually enigmatic starter.

Worst Reliever: By default, this would be Kirby Yates but this is truly a case of small sample sizes. He’s been in two games, one in which he pitched a very good inning and the other where he struggled across 0.2 IP. The bullpen has largely been solid.

So that's it for Opening Week 2016. Let the meat of the season begin.

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