Yankees GBU – This is starting to get frustrating
Aaron Boone’s comments that the Yankees are “just around the corner” must piss a lot of people off. It pissed many Yankee fans off because even if the Yankees are just around the corner, the overly positive attitude of Boone is grating. Whether it be just his personality or the ruthless fans of New York, it just doesn’t mix.
The Yankees lost their third home series of the year, and according to Eric Hubbs of Barstool Sports it was the first time that’s been done since 1982. The Yankees are historically bad right now. They’ll be just fine but losing two of three against the Chicago White Sox and losing home series to Detroit and Baltimore is a terrible look.
The series against the White Sox was blah. That’s the best way to describe it. They played well on Saturday but once again couldn’t get the pitching to stop the bleeding (including a grand slam given up by Masahiro Tanaka) or the timely hitting. Let’s take a look at the GBU from this series.
Aaron Judge is still a rock star
One of the few, true consistent players on the Yankees so far has been Aaron Judge. His defense has been impeccable, his offense has been booming, and he’s one of the only Yankees to have a pulse right now.
Judge went 2-for-9 in the series but also walked once and had three RBI, including a booming home run in the Yankees’ 4-0 win on Saturday. Judge so far is batting .278 this season with four home runs and 10 RBI. The Yankees go as Judge goes, but he can’t carry the team when the starting pitching and bullpen is crumbling around him.
C.C. Sabathia is the rock of this rotation
As mentioned previously here, Sabathia powered the Yankees to a 4-0 win on Saturday after a masterful performance. Five innings of scoreless ball and one hit given up was enough to guide the Yankees towards a win, even though he didn’t register one.
Sabathia is going to be relied upon to right this sinking ship. Whether it be his veteran leadership in the clubhouse or his ability to pitch in big games, Sabathia is the key to turning this damn thing around. He’ll never be the ace of the staff but he could be the ace in the hole.
Aaron Boone’s attitude
At what point does Aaron Boone’s positive message fall on deaf ears in the Yankees’ clubhouse. The Yankees are currently 6-9, 5 1/2 games out of first place behind the Tampa Bay Rays. It shouldn’t even be a thought that they’ll fall too far behind in the American League East, but it should be noted that this was the easy part of their schedule.
Aaron Boone can say whatever positive he wants but he better be digging into his guys to play better. Baseball is a fickle game in that effort isn’t always the reason why teams aren’t winning. However, a complete lack of fundamentals both at the plate and in the field are two of the main culprits. That’s an effort thing, and Aaron Boone needs to be able to have some kind of discipline if this team is going to go anywhere. Too many times I’ve seen them be loosey goosey in games. Those kind of bad habits carry over, and it starts at the top.
The uncertain future of Dellin Betances and Luis Severino
The Yankees are less worried about Dellin Betances, whose MRI revealed a bone spur that he’s had since high school but with a few shots should be ready to go in about three weeks. The bigger concern is with their ace Luis Severino, who has been out since Spring Training and whose future is uncertain for the rest of the season.
Severino has a lat strain and will be shut down for the next few weeks. He had some rehab assignments where he “didn’t feel great” and that’s not a good sign for the young star. Who knows what Severino will be when he comes back. IF he comes back healthy, who knows how long it will take him to get back to form. It could be a similar situation to Chris Sale, whose velocity has dipped immensely and who is pitching to a plus EIGHT ERA currently.
The continued struggles of JA Happ
JA Happ was a godsend for the Yankees last season. He won six of his starts after coming over from the Blue Jays in a trade at the deadline and was a calming presence last season into the playoffs. Unfortunately he’s been awful so far this season, sitting at 0-2 with an ugly 8.76 ERA.
Happ hasn’t been able to command his pitches, has given up big hits in big situations, and he just looks lost out there. His strikeout pitch is imaginary and he can’t seem to get hitters out when he needs to. He is also not the ace of the staff but if no one in the Yankees’ rotation is going then how are they supposed to win games?
The Greg Bird experiment should be over
Greg Bird came into Spring Training this year with two things he hasn’t had much of over the past few seasons; A positive attitude and outlook, and good health. While his health hasn’t failed him yet, he also looks lost at the plate and this should be his last shot at staying in the Yankees’ lineup.
Luke Voit has proven he’s not a flash in the pan and can be relied upon defensively. Bird’s defense, which was supposed to be his strength, has been subpar this year as well. Bird is hitting .171 with just one home run and one RBI. Let’s put it this way; Chris Davis didn’t have a hit for the entire first three weeks of the season and STILL has seven more RBI than Bird. Bird just isn’t producing and in a lineup that’s already anemic with all the injuries, they can’t have a gaping hole in the middle of it.
The Yankees next face the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night. The Sox are limping into this matchup as well, currently at 6-10. It will be a battle of two HUGE disappointments so far. It’s still Boston-New York so there will be plenty of fire there, but it’ll be a much more subdued feel this early in the season and with this little fanfare.