The Tower of Terror, Bronx Revisited…
The beginning of the season was a tease. Well, late April and early May were a good ride as the Yankees raced to first in the AL East. However, and inevitably, reality hit as the Yankees have been clobbered by the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers. They are currently on a 6 game slide and are 1-9 in the last 10 games. They are surprisingly only 1 1/2 games out at 22-22, however, the gap is much larger than that. For a few weeks, the Yankees were getting a wonderful mix of pitching and hitting, but the lack of production from the bottom half of the order was eventually going to catch up with the team…and it did.
Michael Pineda, after his 18 strikeout performance, has looked like CC Sabathia and is not currently giving any illusions of being the staff ace. Sabathia has looked even worse, almost Ed Whitson-like. He had a quality start earlier in the year, but the last couple of starts have looked pathetic and he was pulled the earliest since 2009 in his most recent start. Nathan Eovaldi, after showing early signs of some promise, looks hittable, as do the other arms in the rotation, Chris Capuano and Adam Warren.
I realize that Ivan Nova will soon be back but it generally takes time for post-TJ surgery pitchers to recapture what they once had (if at all). Generally, they say, it takes a year after returning so realistically, if Nova plays to the averages, he will not be a reliable starting option until 2016.
I am glad to see youngsters like Slade Heathcott and Jacob Lindgren get their opportunity. However, it’s time for the Yankees to start thinking about bringing up Rob Refsnyder. His bat would be an immediate improvement over Stephen Drew. I know the team feels that Drew will eventually hit, but after a couple of years, how much longer are they going to wait? I am not convinced his bat will ever come around again. Heathcott has had a tough road to the major leagues due primarily to injuries, and he was almost lost to the organization this past off-season until they re-signed him. Carlos Beltran has been nothing short of dead weight, and it would be good to see Heathcott take advantage of his time in New York to keep Beltran on the pine. I know everyone is keeping right field warm for the eventual arrival of Aaron Judge, but for now, I’d like to see what Heathcott can do.
If hitting coach Jeff Pentland is not able to turn around Didi Gregorius, I wonder if he’ll be a one and done. Actually, that could go for both of them…
I knew this was going to be a challenging year for the Yankees. I do not expect this team to be in it come October. But it was fun watching the team have some early success. Obviously, I wish that reality could have been a bit more gradual. The Texas Rangers were having a sluggish start to the season, but the Yankees were just what they needed to get their bats going.
With the Kansas City Royals on tap for the Yankees, it certainly is not going to get any easier.
Bern Baby Bern…
I am glad the team was able to finally recognize the accomplishments of former outfield great Bernie Williams.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Another number is out of circulation, but Bernie deserved the recognition and the opportunity to have ‘his’ day. It was also good to see the other Yankees greats from the 90’s dynasty team in Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and others.
If Bernie had left the Yankees to sign a free agent deal with the Boston Red Sox (which almost happened), I do wonder if yesterday would have happened. But it didn’t, so we’ll never know. I am glad that Bernie opted to return to the Yankees and cement his place in franchise history.
I didn’t think that we’d see Derek Jeter back at Yankee Stadium so soon but Bernie Williams Day ensured that he couldn’t stay away too long.
Congratulations #51. I am looking forward to seeing the number during my next trip to Monument Park.
Thank you to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and a heavy heart and deep debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives so we could continue to be free. We stand stronger because of your efforts.