AL East Round Up: Happy Returns Edition

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees:

The Yankees currently sit in first place. While first place is still first place, in this case, it is not exactly cause for bragging. At just 16-13, the Yankees are hardly running away with the division. In fact, there are only 3.5 games separating them from the last place Toronto Blue Jays.

The past week has seen Robinson Cano come back to NY for a series, Michael Pineda discovering the injury bug and slow starts continuing for the Brians (McCann and Roberts).

After signing an obscene, Yankee type contract (one which the Yankees were not willing to pay, oddly) with the Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano made his first appearance at Yankee Stadium this week. In his first at bat, Cano came to the plate amongst a chorus of boos. Being that it was a bit of a rainy night, the crowd at Yankee Stadium was rather sparse. I can only imagine what it would have sounded like with the normal full stadium.

Apparently, Michael Pineda will miss more time than his 10 game suspension for his fake neck (pinetar) tattoo. According to Bryan Hoch at Pineda will miss 3-4 weeks with a mild back strain. In a simulated game, Pineda only threw one inning before shutting it down due to the pain. I’m no doctor, but my initial assessment is that perhaps Pineda strained his back while trying to wash off pine tar from his neck. The required strenuous motion of washing off pinetar will put undue strain on anyone’s back. There is no report confirming this, though. Just a hunch.

The Brians are struggling for the Yankees so far this season. Brian McCann has only managed 23 hits in 2014. 4 of them have been HR, but I’m sure the Yankees were hoping for more than that from a 5yr/$85M contract. McCann is slashing .228/.264/.376 Despite having a number of big names around him, surely the Yankees thought McCann would provide an offensive boost. So far, he’s not bee delivering. For comparison, Dioner Navarro (who signed with the Blue Jays for 2yr/$8M- 3yr/$77M less) is slashing .301/.337/.376. Just saying.

Brian Roberts is also off to a slow start. In a Spencer Fordin piece at, we learn that Joe Girardi has faith in Roberts even though he is off to a .235/.320/.294 start. The Yankees were probably hoping that Roberts would provide at least a part of what they lost when Cano left for a fraction of the price. Well, they’re getting a fraction alright….

*A celebratory Brett Lawrie high five to Joe Girardi as he reached the 1000 game mark as manager of the Yankees.