Losers of five of their last six, the Yankees find themselves dealing with frustration and the inevitability of a long major league season…
The Yankees are not alone in feeling the effects of a brutally long major league season. Despite having overcome injury after injury while still awaiting the return of their royalty stars Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the team is well aware there are still 100 games to play on the schedule.
Newer players like Gio Urshela, Clint Frazier, and Luke Voit have already played in more games in one season than in their entire careers. Domingo German is already dangerously close to being held to a pitch count or a move to the bullpen. Breaking News: German has been placed on the 10-day IL. And the Tampa Bay Rays just won’t go away.
Losing five of their last six and two straight series, the Yankees are nowhere close to pushing the panic button. But it is becoming increasingly clear that CC Sabathia cannot overcome what is for all practical purposes a broken knee. And his ride into the sunset (alas) may come sooner than planned.
Even the return of Didi Gregorius and his already demonstrative impact in the lineup has not been enough to awaken his Yankee teammates.
Yankees: Signs Of Frustration From An Unexpected Source
A seasoned and wily veteran, Brett Gardner, after having warned teammate DJ LeMahieu about throwing his helmet, does the same thing himself, requiring stitches when the rebound catches him on a finger. Frustration.
Meanwhile, Brian Cashman is back on the phones after finishing second by a few dollars in the race to sign Dallas Keuchel, who was snagged by the Atlanta Braves. Maybe it was all about shaving his beard but it’s also just a sign of the times for the Yankees.
And the list of misfortune goes on. Dellin Betances, thought to be on the rebound and close to returning from injury, removed himself from a scheduled throwing session placing him almost back to square one again. Breakdowns in the bullpen in Betances’s normal role as the eighth-inning set-up man for Aroldis Chapman are noticeable.
The good news as all fans of the Yankees know is the team has faced and plowed over adversity all season. It’s nothing new. Except for the mental strain of having to do it over and over again while realizing it’s only June and the dog days of summer still loom ahead.
After the always competitive Subway Series at Yankee Stadium though, the Yankees play four in Chicago against the White Sox before returning home to engage Tampa Bay in a showdown series for first place. The White Sox, however, are well ahead of their rebuilding plan and the Yankees will be facing Lucas Giolito (9-1, 2.28 ERA) in one of the four games.
With the clock ticking on German (innings) and Sabathia (health), the burden shifts to Brian Cashman to find not one but two reliable starting pitchers before July 31 when the transaction wire shuts down for the season.
My pitch yesterday for Madison Bumgarner was met with criticism from well-informed readers who pointed out Bumgarner’s listing of the Yankees in his no-trade clause, as well as the issue regarding the hair and the beard. Stranger things have happened when Cashman’s at the wheel and his success in the postseason should not be overlooked.
Apart from the team that takes the field, Aaron Boone is having a splendid sophomore season. His calm demeanor reminds of Joe Torre and Boone clearly has the confidence of the clubhouse. No one, at least publicly, is bitching about playing time.
The Clint Frazier “story” has subsided and the entire team is reserved in their talks with the media. Overblown stories such as the one I wrote a few days ago have vanished, and talk has returned to play on the field.
Yankees: A Case Of The Hiccups
Plain and simple, the Yankees are in a momentary funk, showing a 4-6 record over their last ten games. Concern is not yet in the Yankees vocabulary when describing their play over that span. It’s a hiccup and nothing more.
The headline in today’s New York Post describes the Yankees as being in “free fall”, but as you go on to read George King’s story aside from his editor’s inflicted headline, the picture changed dramatically. Always the realist, Brett Gardner explains it this way:
Slow and steady. Up and easy. Good teams don’t panic. They reach down and find another gear. Watch and see.