LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Sweep Halos, Have 30/30 Vision For Rest of Season

Friday, June 10, 2016

Yankees Sweep Halos, Have 30/30 Vision For Rest of Season

Except for the ongoing drama at first base, things now look much brighter in Yankee Land than they did just a week ago.

The Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Angels with a 6-3 win Thursday night that brought the season record to 30-30. Ivan Nova made a solid start, pitching into the seventh inning, when the Yanks three headed monster of a bullpen took over. Carlos Beltran is hitting. So are Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. Seems as if everybody up and down the lineup is contributing. But they need a new first baseman. Again. Chris Parmalee is the latest victim of injury and it appears to be a long recovery ahead. Too bad, because the Parmalee phenomenon was great while it lasted, basically two games.

At .500, sixty games into the season, there are some thoughts to ponder. We'd like to think we're seeing the future with 20-20 vision, but we'll take what we can get at this point. Thirty/thirty it is.

The schedule seems to favor the Yankees until Texas comes to the Bronx on the 27th of this month. The Yankees play the next 14 games with Detroit (one game over .500 and 1-2 against the Yankees this year), Colorado (four games under .500) and Minnesota (with a .305 winning percentage) Time to get that boost that places .500 in the rear view mirror.

The 102 remaining games include 49 against the four AL East foes. The Yankees have hurt themselves the most in their own division to the tune of a 10-17 record, which includes a dismal 5-13  on the road. The good news is that the Yankees play in Baltimore and Toronto one more series each this season.  The Orioles have yet to play any of their scheduled ten games with the Yankees in the Bronx.  Suffice to say, the Yanks need to warm up to some home cooking, especially against the first place O's.

From the end of June when Texas comes calling, until the August 1st trade deadline, the Yankees must consider their role in the market. Will they be sellers? That stretch of the schedule may determine their fate, even if the next fourteen games go well.

Regardless of their performance, the one player the Yankees may dangle in the trade market is Aroldis Chapman, a free agent to be.  This is a golden opportunity to score more than a draft choice when Chapman hits his pay day. And since  we're not expecting the Yankees to be players for a free agent Chapman, they should think seriously about returning Andrew Miller to the closer role and getting what they can in a market that should favor the Yankees should they decide to move Chapman.  Yes, it weakens the bullpen if they move Chapman but it at least must garner some consideration, regardless of record. Nobody ever said the win now-rebuild now plan would be easy.  

If all else fails and the Yankees go through another stretch like  the 9-17 record which started their season, then more players could be marketed.  Then it's back to being sellers. A 30-30 record does not make you a contender. What you do in the remaining 102 games is what counts. The topsy turvey ways of baseball could bring us all back to the sell off speculation of a few weeks ago. For the moment, the Yanks are still trying to balance the need to rebuild with contending for a playoff spot.

But, first things first: the anointment of, yet, another first baseman. We should witness that today.

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