If there was one word to describe the Yankees over the first half of the season, it would have to be streaky. But their inconsistency hadn’t put the team in a gigantic hole, mainly due to the inconsistencies of the other four teams in the American League East. With the second half of the season beginning tomorrow, the Yankees need to continue their trek to winning the AL East. But the formula they had in the first half might not work in the second half, especially if the other teams become more of a threat. So what are some expectations the Yankees have as they begin the second half?
1. They expect to find consistency: The Yankees had been inconsistent during the first half of the season but the main reason they’re in first place is because the American League East hasn’t been as competitive in years past. If the Yankees want to win the American League East, they need to overall maintain consistency. You’re more likely to win the league when you’re on a winning streak versus a losing streak.
2. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann need to continue their offensive production: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann were the players the Yankees could count on during the first half of the season. Rodriguez and Teixeira’s production somewhat mirrors the 2009 season which led the Yankees to their 28th World Series Championship. Could Rodriguez and Teixeira keep up that production? And will Brian McCann join them in being an important player offensively and defensively throughout the second half?
3. The starting rotation, mostly CC Sabathia, needs to turn things around: All of the starters have experienced some form of inconsistency during the first half, but the pitcher that needs to turn things around is CC Sabathia. Sabathia has been easily the Yankees worst starter, but the respect he has in the clubhouse not to mention his current salary is preventing the Yankees from making the move to the bullpen. If the Yankees expect to make the postseason, they’d want Sabathia to pitch well. Sabathia would want to pitch well.
4. The bullpen needs to be their strength again: In years past, the biggest threat the Yankees had was their bullpen. For the first half of the season, their Achilles heel was their pen. By the All-Star break, the pen was in better shape with Adam Warren joining the fold, the dependability ofChasen Shreve and the two-headed monster in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. Can the bullpen be that dominant force during the second half of the season?