Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
New York Yankees:
The Yankee are stuck in first place 4 weeks in. They’ve been able to attain a good grip as the best of a mediocre group. While everyone else is playing .500 ball (or so) the Yankees are doing just a bit better. And, at the end of the day, teams need only finish first in their division to make the playoffs. It doesn’t need to be pretty. It can be as ugly as pine tar all over your bat, helmet, gloves, hand, neck…
Collectively, the Yankees are hitting well. As of Saturday night, they’re 5th in the AL with a .269 batting average, 6th in runs scored with 100 and 1st in double with 51! 51 doubles in 24 games is pretty nice. They sit in the middle of the pack in HR with 19. They are also 2nd in the AL with 19 stolen bases. Overall, this is a well balanced offense that has a good combination of speed and extra base hits. They sit 2nd in the AL with 216 hits (averaging 9 hits per game) and 4th with 332 total bases. All of this comes as no surprise to anyone, really. What is a surprise is that they continue with aging veterans like Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter. What is perhaps even more surprising (at least to me) is the contribution they are getting from Yangervis Solarte. The 26 year old from Venezuela is hitting .301 with 13 RBI. The fact that the Yankees are producing with an aging lineup is a surprise to me. If Jeter and Teixeira can stay healthy and productive, look out!
The Yankees have committed 15 errors and sit 9th in the AL with a .982 fielding percentage. The defense hasn’t been the calling card of this team thus far. I’m not so sure it was expected to be. Jacoby Ellsbury is a good defender in CF and when he’s healthy, Teixeira is a Gold Glove caliber firstbaseman. Other than that, I just don’t see any improvements to the Yankees D. Jeter is not a spring chicken anymore and has lost some pep. But, when the rest of the game is clicking, you can learn to live with a few errors, etc. The only thing saving the grade for this Yankees defense is the fact that they turned the year’s first triple play against the Rays. That’s about it.