Should the Yankees be worried?
Should the NY Yankees be Worried?
The Yankees have gotten off to a hot start to begin the year. Despite all the drama surrounding A-Rod, and the questions about their rotation, the team has been playing pretty well. So far they have a 17-11 record and hold first place in the AL East. However, the question everyone would like to know… will it last?
The answer is… probably not. Even though they’ve been playing better than expected, the Yanks won’t be able to sustain their current pace over the course of an entire season. Some of the facts that lead to this conclusion include: the state of their rotation and the hot starts a number of their players have begun the season with. In recent times it seems every year the Yankees have gotten off to a hot start, only to falter towards the middle of the season.
A Red Hot Start
I’m not sure if it’s the winning culture or the rich history, but when many players initially become a part of the Yankees’ organization, they have a tendency to tremendously outperform their normal level of production. One such player is Chris Young. This year he has been absolutely crushing the ball. His career batting average is .235, but this year it’s sitting at a solid .308. He already has six home runs in an extremely small sample size, only 65 at-bats. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Young will be able to sustain this incredible pace over the course of a full year of playing time.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are two more players that have gotten off to spectacular starts for the Yankees. They surely aren’t “newbies” but Ellsbury is batting over .355, while Gardner is batting, .309. These marks are significantly higher than those of each respective player’s career average. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Ellsbury has one of the best years of his career, given the way he has been playing, but expecting any player to keep up this exact pace, or even close to it, would be pure insanity.
Starting Rotation Weakness
When it comes to their starting rotation, the Yankees clearly have a weakness. C.C. Sabathia is unfortunately not the same player he was five years ago. Masahiro Tanaka’s arm has considerable negative implications surrounding it, Tommy John surgery seemingly not too far off, and Adam Warren appears to be a below average starter. Ivan Nova is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but hopefully his return can give them a boost whenever he is recovered and ready. With Tanaka out, Sabathia showing his age and Nova not ready to return, the Yankees are essentially missing three out of five from their five-man rotation. Take that number of key starting pitchers away from any team and they are bound to have problems.
Although the Yanks’ have gotten off to a great start, I wouldn’t count on it lasting until the end of the season. Obviously nothing goes perfectly for any team. Throughout Major League Baseball’s grueling regular season injuries, anomalies and fantastic occurrences all happen. I certainly wouldn’t count the Yankees out of the playoff race or perhaps even first place in the AL East, especially given the poor play of the other four teams. However, sustaining a .607 winning percentage throughout the course of a 162 game season isn’t likely to happen. This ball club isn’t of the caliber to win 98 games. They are over achieving in the present, and it will be interesting to see how things turn out.
What do you think of the Yankees future this season? Will they make the playoffs? Let me know in the comments below..
Landin Murphy covers the Yankees for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Landinfitness