With all of the injuries and unexpected (and expected) cold starts, I don’t think the Yankees have much to worry about with their April record. They finished 12-10 for the month, their best since 2006.
I’m going to keep this post short. I’ve been sick since Saturday morning with what is a bad sinus attack. Plus I’ve been running ragged since arriving home from the Academic Bowl Nationals and finding out I got a promotion at my job. I guess my immune system crashed. Good thing I didn’t keep my original plans to go to NYC and ride in the 5-Boro Tour of NYC ride yesterday. Heard it was raining (like, duh, the game was postponded.)
We all know a few things have happened with the rotation. CC Sabathia has not been the pitcher we were expecting him to be. He went 1-2 in April (now 1-3 due to his Saturday loss). I think CC is trying too hard to fit in and get himself acclimated to the culture in the city. He even has stopped tweeting! A few pleasant surprises: AJ has been mostly decent, going 2-0 with an abysmal 5.40 ERA. Andy Pettitte has been strong, going 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA. However, I am very concerned that he will suffer from arm fatigue later this season. He needs to take it easy.
We all know that Chien-Ming Wang has had a disastrous start to the season, with 0-3 and his famous 34.50 ERA. He is now working on his mechanics, his hip and foot problems and hopes to get this corrected. If not, it’s time to give him the boot. He may not be the #2 or #3 ace the Yankees were looking for.
The bullpen has been 1/3 efficient and 2/3 disastrous. Kudos to Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, and Mark Melancon for providing the glowing pitching the Yankees needed. Joe Girardi needs to better manage his bullpen and so do Dave Eiland. The 2/3 I am talking about comes from Damaso Marte, Jose Veras, Jon Albaladejo, and Edwar Ramirez. All of them have a combined 37 appearances with an ERA of over 8. That is pitiful.
Mariano has been pretty good, except for one blown save against the Sox. If you omit that, he’s been nearly lights-out.
As for the batting line-up, we have a few lone stars. We had Robinson Cano’s hot month, which is unsual for him. We’ve also seen Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Johnny Damon have solid months. After a poor start, Hideki Matsui is back to hitting the ball effectively. Nick Swisher was the “Man of the Month” for his hot few weeks until the last couple of weeks when he cooled down considerably.
We have had some flashes of brilliance from Brett “the Jet” Gardner. We sorely need his speed, but his bat isn’t what it can be. Instead we have Melky “I can hit home runs and strike out too” Cabrera. We basically need someone better in CF. Third base is a huge black hole. Girardi puts too much confidence into Cody Ransom. If he cannot deliver, put in Ramiro Pena. That has given the Yankees a good glove to use. If Pena cannot deliver, put in *shudder* Angel Berroa. I’d rather vomit, but until Alex Rodriguez comes back, it’s not even worth it to get into discussion here.
Mark Teixeira has been abysmal. His wrist is bothering him and he isn’t hitting, but he is earning his walks.
The Yankees need to do 3 things.
1) Address their bullpen woes, and get their rotation in order. If Phil Hughes can keep this up, keep him in there and send Wang to the bullpen.
2) Get all the injuries fixed. It’s time to have the players ‘fess up if they hurt. Marte did not after the WBC and look at where that puts him.
3) Start hitting the damn ball.
The Yankees can get off to a good May if they can play well against the Red Sox and Rays this week. That will give them momentum.