21 May 2010
I know, the Yankees lost 4-of-7 on their recent homestand and looked pretty bad against Tampa. But, I would argue that the 3-4 record on the homestand was ok considering that they played the three best teams (besides the Yankees) in the AL and they played most of the games without four of the original players in the starting lineup this season.
But enough about excuses because now the Yankees have a period where execution is the name of the game. Over their next 19 games they will play the Mets, Twins, Cleveland, Baltimore, Toronto and Houston. Apart from Minnesota, what team in that group do you consider a challenge for the Yankees? (Yes, I know Toronto is off to a great start, but do you really expect it to last?) The point is, even with a depleted lineup, the Yankees should be able to run off some wins over the next three weeks. 12-7 over these 19 games is certainly attainable.
Interesting move by the Yankees yesterday recalling Kevin Russo instead of Golson or a different outfielder. I hope it means the Yankees will let Russo fill in around the infield when they want to rest a Jeter or A-Rod and reduce Pena to defensive replacement only. What I am unsure of is how much defensively Russo can contribute in the outfield. But, with Swisher back, Winn should be the predominant choice in left and Thames can go back to a DH role.
Lost in the hoopla of the last few games has been some positive signs from David Robertson. Robertson is looking more like his 2009 self and that is a HUGE development for the Yankees. I assume Joba will straighten out, but if he doesn’t the Yankees have a real problem on their hands. A 2009 version of Robertson would greatly reduce that problem.
Where it certainly looks like they are having a problem is with Chan Ho Park. Eight innings pitched and five home runs allowed is a reason for concern. Thankfully, he hasn’t walked anyone or his ERA would be enormous, but his strikeout rate is also way down. He is getting lucky on balls hit (only a .250 average against him) and his fastball velocity is actually a tick higher than last year. Put it all together and Park may not last the remainder of May with this team.