LADY AT THE BAT: No Road Worries as Yankees Roll Over Jays

Friday, June 2, 2017

No Road Worries as Yankees Roll Over Jays

Playing on the road in the AL East has been a struggle for the Yankees, last season and so far this season. Aside from the two wins at Fenway, the Yankees have played much like they did on the road last year in their own division. Last year the Yankees went a pitiful 11-27 in their four division rival cities. So, aside from the Red Sox,  this year the Yankees are 4-8 between two visits each to Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Thursday night, the Yankees started a four game series  in Toronto. The Blue Jays have been one of the hottest teams in the game recently.

And the Yankees proved to be up to the challenge.

CC Sabathia, who no longer has the ace-like stuff like he had circa 2009, pitched like an ace in this game, and the Yankees bats did a number on the Jays' Marco Estrada. Waiting for Gary Sanchez to turn on the power? Sanchez had two home runs.  Has Aaron Hicks advanced beyond the rough year at the plate in 2016? Has he really! Four hits, three of them doubles which, combined, plated six runners and Hicks is batting .317. Except for the corner infielders, the Yankees bats have been impressive this year. The Yankees won 12-2 and certainly slowed the Jays express for one night. Three more games to go this weekend at the Rogers Center.

Just hope the Yankees don't need some of tonight's runs in any of those upcoming games.

Who's On First, And...
Greg Bird (Tampa Class A) and Tyler Austin (Scranton Class AAA) both played in rehab games Thursday night. Austin had three hits, including his first home run of his rehab and Bird, making his first start in rehab, played 1B, and singled and walked twice in three plate appearances. There could be major changes at first base for the Yankees quite soon. Austin missed all of spring training, but is much further along than Bird in rehab.

Chris Carter was 0 for 4 on Thursday and is hitting .179. With Bird and Austin on their way back, many fans appear close to getting their wish as Carter might be  jettisoned to the baseball scrap heap. Carter knew the Yankees were signing him as insurance and he became the Yankees every day 1B due to the injury situation, and may be for a little while longer. On the other hand, we should not forget Carter led the NL in home runs just last season. His former team, the Milwaukee Brewers determined he was not worth re-signing for similar dollars he was making in Milwaukee. So, on to the open market Carter went.

The Yankees picked Carter up because the cost (really a lot of money for most of us) became low enough the Yankees were willing to risk that amount of cash. Regardless of what happens, Chris Carter is a New York Yankee and got to play on the best stage in baseball. Thank you, Chris for your efforts to help this team regardless of your Yankees future.

What to do about Masahiro Tanaka? On the one hand, I believe he is not hurt, as something should have been revealed by now. On the other hand, I'm still waiting to hear some announcement of Tanaka going to the DL and possible surgery. I think if healthy, Tanaka toughs it out in the rotation and it probably will not lead to the Yankees going to a six man rotation or just starting Tanaka  every sixth day. I do think the Yankees should skip Tanaka at his next turn and start Chad Green instead. The Yankees carry 13 pitchers, which seems to be too many, but that might be the opportunity to give Tanaka some time to work on some things, plus get extra rest. Tanaka  could be used out of the bullpen if needed. (I'm thinking if the Yankees get caught up in another 18 inning game like they did a few weeks ago in Chicago.)

So would skipping a turn do any good for Tanaka? Your guess is as good as mine. What we all do know is the Tanaka saga/mystery continues to roll.

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