Two weeks into the season and already there is chaos on the performance of many MLB teams. Some teams got off to a hot start, some are playing at a consistent level and some are off to very slow starts. The New York Yankees are, in fact, one of the hottest teams in baseball after the two week mark. The Yankees were the first team to hit 10 wins on the season, after playing through an eight game winning streak.
They have seemed to cool off a little bit after losing the series in Pittsburgh this past weekend, but that doesn’t mean the talent is gone. The Yankees, who are supposed to be in a sort of “rebuild” mode and aren’t supposed to have real championship hopes for at least a couple years, are proving people wrong. It seems the Yankees Baby Bombers are blooming earlier than many thought, and that’s bad news for everyone in the league besides the Yanks. Some of the reasons why the Yankees are off to such a good start are as follows:
The Yankees pitching staff coming into this season was by far the biggest question mark on the team. If the Yankees could stay healthy and pitch consistently well, they’ll be a playoff team and that’s all they’ve done so far. From 1-5, every starting pitcher has shown that they are capable of doing big things this season. After getting pounded on Opening Day, Masahiro Tanaka has quieted down and pitched quite well since then. He’s 2-0 in 3 games since Opening Day and has given up 7 runs since then, the same amount he gave up on Opening Day. He’s also pitched a lot deeper into games, advancing bout an inning each time he’s gone out there since.
C.C. Sabathia has also been a huge X-factor for the Yankees. C.C. is also 2-1 and only gave up two runs in the game he lost. He also leads the team with the lowest ERA, posting a 2.70 in four contests.
The #3 guy in the rotation, Michael Pineda, has lost been lights after after his iffy first outing earlier in the month. Pineda flirted with a no hitter against the Rays, throwing an absolute gem giving up only tw0 hits and a run. He showed consistency in his outing after that as well against the Cardinals.
Finally, the two young guys in the rotation are huge reasons why the Yankees are winning ball games. Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery have been dominant thus far and continue to show potential for their future. Severino was the Yankees biggest question mark in the rotation after a rough year last year. He has another shot to show he can be the ace one day and he’s taking complete advantage of that. Montgomery also won the final spot in the rotation after competition with Chad Green. Montgomery is a power lefty who reminds me a lot of Andy Petitte. Both of these guys still have a lot of growing and developing to do, but if they continue to contribute to this baseball team, the Yankees will win lots of ball games.
The Yankees bullpen has once again been superb and has shown that they are not to be messed with. All the Yankees need from a starter is six innings because the combination of Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman is a great one. All of the middle reliever guys have also been lights out, showing that the Yankees do have one of the if not the strongest bullpen in the league.
You can’t win games if you don’t score runs. The Yankees are currently in a tie for third in the league, scoring 92 runs on the year. They were in first earlier last week but their offense is slowing down since the winning streak. The best part about all of the run scoring the Yankees have been doing is that everyone is playing a part.
The Yankees currently have five players batting over .300 (Starlin Castro, Chase Headley, Austin Romine, Aaron Hicks, and Jacoby Ellsbury). Romine has taken over the starting catcher role while Gary Sanchez is dealing with an injury. He has also proven to be a legit backup and a potential starter on another team. Romine consistently gets hits and comes through in the clutch. He also is stellar defensively which adds to his value. Its going to be hard to see him not destroy pitchers so much when Sanchez comes back, but hey, I’m not going to be complaining about at at all.
Aaron Hicks has also started the season off very well and making a case for him to play almost everyday. Brett Gardner has struggled a bit at the plate so Joe Girardi has been playing Hicks in for Gardy, Ellsbury, Judge and even Holliday when he needs a day off. If the man keeps hitting he’s got to keep playing.
Aaron Judge is also having a great start to the season. The adjustments he made over the offseason are showing clearly during this time span and he’s loving the starting right field job. Judge is becoming a star, and his strength is on display over the last couple weeks, blasting home runs for over 450 feet. Another bright light of optimism towards the Yankees future.
One of the biggest notes keeping many Yankees fans optimistic is that the team has been playing lights out baseball. Even more surprising, it has been without their top two players in Didi Gregorious and Gary Sanchez. Those to guys are arguably the two best hitters and defensive players on this team and both are out for about a month. Didi will hopefully return in early May as he is currently playing in rehab games. Gary is also throwing again and has says he feels great. He looks forward to getting back on the field. Once this two guys come back the Yankees are going to be, if they’re not already, one of the most feared teams in the league.
While the majority of the team is having a field day hitting baseballs and scoring runs, there are a few guys who just can’t seem to get going. The two veterans are Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday, both batting under .220 and haven’t found their groove. It’s still very early in the season, so there is a lot of time to fix mistakes.
Greg Bird has been the most depressing player to watch on the Yankees thus far. After an insane Spring Training, Bird has had lots of trouble making contact with the baseball. His slumped seemed to be over the other night against the Cardinals where he went 3-3 with a single, double, home run and walk. Girardi then sat him the next game and started Chris Carter because the Yankees were facing a “tough lefty” in Greg Holland. Plus with Bird getting experience against tough lefties only makes him better at facing them. That move just didn’t makes sense at all to me, especially because Chris Carter was the person who was starting over Bird.
With all of this going on now and some key guys returning to the lineup soon, Yankees and their fans should look forward to this season and all that’s comes along with it. This is a talented and young team and each and every player has shown what they are capable of. The Yankees bloomed a lot earlier than many people thought. They’re a scary and hungry team and they won’t stop until they win number 28.