AL East Round Up: A Quick Look at the Numbers
Jun 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees designated hitterAlex Rodriguez
(13) sits in the dugout after hitting a two run home run and rbi 2001 of his career in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
New York Yankees
Part of the reason for the Yankees’ leading the division has to do with the resurgence of Alex Rodriquez and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod (love him or hate him) has come back form his year long suspension like he never missed a beat. In fact, you could make the argument that he came back better. Maybe the time off allowed him to rest his hip. Regardless, in 58 games, he’s collected 56 hits including 12 HR. His 32 RBI put him 3rd on the team behind Brian McCann and Teixeira. He’s putting up an OBP of .374. We should all age so well.
If you combine A-Rod’s performance with that of a healthy Teixeira, you have pretty good insight into the team’s success. Tex is hitting just .255, but his 46 RBI have him leading the American League. Oh, and he’s currently tied for 4th in HR with 17. IF that weren’t good enough, take a look at this: He has 34 walks and just 35 strike outs. Make all the jokes you want about an aging team, clearly their eye sight is working just fine.
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So, what is the problem? Why aren’t the Yankees walking away with the division? How about pitching? How about the fact that the crown jewel of the Yankees’ rotation, Masahiro Tanaka has made all of 6 starts. He’s been avoiding surgery on that elbow for a while now. As a result, he’s made fewer starts than Marco Estrada has for the Blue Jays. When he does start, he can be downright unhittable. But, thus far, he hasn’t been able to stay out there very 5th day. As someone who has him on his fantasy team, this is disappointing. As a Yankee fan, it would be more so.
The rest of the rotation has not been great. C.C. Sabathia has been a mere shadow (albeit a large one) of himself. In 13 starts, he’s 3-7 with a 5.38 ERA. Why? He’s not walking anyone, really. Just 15 free passes have been issued by the big man. As well, in his 13 starts he’s collected 67 strike outs. So, what’s the problem? Well, he’s also given up 14 HR and 96 (!) hits…in 13 starts.
The rest of the pitching staff shakes out thusly: 9th in the AL with a 3.85 ERA, 13th with 25 quality starts, 7th with 236 earned runs, 11th with a .253 batting average against. How far can the offense carry the pitching? Time will tell, I suppose.
Next: The Pesky Tampa Bay Rays