LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Hoping The Worst Of 2017 Is Behind Them

Friday, June 23, 2017

Yankees Hoping The Worst Of 2017 Is Behind Them

It seems like just days ago the Yankees outscored division rival Baltimore 38-8 in a three game sweep in the Bronx. They looked as though the upcoming west coast trip would be a breeze and an Aaron Judge home run late in the first game at Anaheim gave the Yankees a six game winning streak with the Bombers reaching the lofty position of fifteen games above .500.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the very next night CC Sabathia went down with an injury which may keep him on the shelf until August. Regardless of duration, losing Sabathia is a big blow. Thus began a seven game losing streak. With Thursday's 10-5 loss to the Angels, the Yankees have won exactly one game in their last nine. The bullpen, which saw the return of Aroldis Chapman, is a mess despite it. Masahiro Tanaka is hardly the guy they signed to be their ace. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks each went down with injuries, which thankfully didn't keep either of them out of action for very long. But if it could go wrong otherwise, it did.

So where do we go from here?

It is way too early to throw in the towel on this season. For one, the Yankees  remain at the top of the division standings. They are still contenders, for the moment, at least. But we have been warned. There are serious flaws, not the least of which is the Sabathia injury. Luis Cessa was struggling at AAA and was unimpressive in his first start in Sabathia's place. He is slated to pitch against Texas on Saturday. Tanaka is a mess. Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have had recent struggles. Jordan Montgomery has done okay but he is just a rookie, and not yet is he a clone of Andy Pettitte.

We may forget that these Yankees weren't expected to be at the top of the division, much less stay in contention.  We may have reached the day of reckoning and it could be downhill from here.

But  let's not lose sight of the positives, Aaron Judge is here, need we say more? We have the resurgence of Aaron Hicks and the other solid players. Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez have shown they are big parts of the new look Yankees.  And there is more on the way from the farm. Just don't rush anyone into action too fast. The Yankees did call up reliever Tyler Webb to help in the bullpen and Chance Adams may be closing in on a call up following an outstanding performance Thursday night in AAA, in which he allowed one hit in six shutout innings.

Just remember the Yankees can be both buyers and sellers for the upcoming July 31 trade deadline. As bad  as Tyler Clippard has been recently, there is still probably a market for him, particularly in the National League, perhaps a place like St Louis. Pineda being a free agent following the season is still a candidate to be moved, much like Ivan Nova was last season, but only if worse comes to worse.

And the worst might be what is happening now.

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