Yankees Giving Fans Reasons to Get Excited Early

The Yankees have gotten off to a good start so far this season as they opened up against two tough opponents, the Red Sox and Rays, but still managed to win two-of-three games from each team to open the season with a 4-2 record.

You try to win every series,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s our goal going in. I don’t think you can be satisfied being even. Some people might say you hung in on a tough road trip, but our goal was to win both series.”

How They’ve Done It

  • Their lineup is deep. The The no. 2 and 3 hitters in the lineup aren’t even hitting .200, but the 5-6-7-8 hitters are probably the best in any lineup in all of baseball.
  • Robinson Cano: 2HR, 6RBI, .360AVG. Jorge Posada: 2HR, 4RBI, .353AVG. Curtis Granderson: 2HR, 4RBI, .348AVG. Nick Swisher: 1HR, 3RBI, .333AVG.
  • Oh yeah, Brett Gardner hasn’t been too shabby either: 4G, 4R, 3SB, .294AVG.
  • The rotation hasn’t been good, but in six games we’ve seen promise from their top three. CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett both pitched much better in their second starts, CC damn near pitched a no-hitter, and Andy Pettitte looked vintage in his lone start.
  • Mariano Rivera never ages. In his first three appearances: 3IP, 2SV, 2K, 0.00ERA, 1.00WHIP.

Why You Should Expect Them to Keep Winning

  • They’ve got a tough series coming up against the Angels, but beyond that this is a Yankees team built to win. They are filled with players that just get hotter as the season goes on. I.E. Mark Teixeira, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia. They’re deep enough to win now and they’ll just keep getting stronger.
  • Early signs that their top three starters are going well eases concerns that Javier Vazquez and maybe even Phil Hughes aren’t good enough. If their top three are winning they’ll only need minimal contributions from the other two.
  • Mark Teixeira will start hitting.
  • This lineup is already showing that it’s going to wear down pitchers. Possibly the three weakest hitters in the lineup, Brett Gardner, Nick Johnson, and Nick Swisher, are among the league leaders in pitches per plate appearance. Which means that when pitchers should be getting a break they’re being forced to work their hardest.
  • The bullpen looks good. Alfredo Aceves and Chan Ho Park have already contributed with long performances eating up valuable innings. Joba Chamberlain has struggled, but should find consistency. If not, David Robertson looks about ready to take over the 8th inning role by himself. Damaso Marte looks healthy so far.

What Could Still Go Wrong

  • It is realistically unlikely, but Javier Vazquez could just suck in New York.
  • Joba Chamberlain could have a bad season in the bullpen at that point the Yankees could take some serious criticism for how they’ve handled him and missed trading him when he had real value.
  • Jorge Posada‘s defense could regress to the point where the Yankees need to use him as their primary DH this year eating into Nick Johnson‘s at bats.
  • Members of the bullpen who have seem to have put minor injuries behind them, Marte’s shoulder, Robertson’s elbow, Aceves’ back, could have relapses.
  • Mark Teixeira could take longer to rebound from his typical early season woes. Because he’s in the just the second year of a very long contract this could even lead to a lot of media drama.
  • Injuries.

Thoughts

  • Looking at those points I made above, the good points are a lot more plentiful and more likely than the things that could go wrong. I’ve said this all along, but I’m going to keep saying it, as long as this team doesn’t deal with major injuries they should continue to win all the way to October.
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5 Responses to Yankees Giving Fans Reasons to Get Excited Early

  1. smurfy says:

    O'Neil showed in slo-mo Tex "coming around the ball," pulling one foul. The best explanation yet of (not) "keeping the hands inside the ball," heard many times, but never comprehended.

    It's what I have been trying to do with my golf swing. Tex has to know that feeling well.

    0 for 17, then three straight hits, hard knocks all. Then 0 for 4 Sunday. The frustration spring has to wind up a bit more, then he'll pop again.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Even more impressive in the two of three in Boston and two of three in Tampa is that the two of three in both cases was accomplished after dropping the opener.

  3. It's because this team has a good enough rotation that they have a chance to win every single day. So dropping one game means nothing, they have pitchers coming up behind them that give them a chance to win the next day and the next. It's just a very well balanced team.

  4. David says:

    Looking back at this article, I can't help but laugh. Rob, you delivered a superb early season analysis of the 2010 Yankees and hit the nail on the head when predicting what could go wrong with this team.

    The reason I can't stop laughing about it, is that of the six concerns you listed, all six came to fruition to one extent or the other. Yet, even with so many things going wrong (including the steep decline in Jeter's offensive and defensive abilities, along with a large drop-off in A-Rods BA/OBP/OPS) the Yankees still hold the best record in baseball.

    What a world, eh?

    • Bronx Knight says:

      All in all, an extremely prescient article (except maybe the comment about the bullpen looking good …)