Fans and readers, we’ve reached a milepost in the 2010 baseball season. The first two months have come and gone, and the season is beginning to take shape. Where do the Yankees stand? To put it quite bluntly, they stand in a pretty damn good spot. They’re 31-20, good for second place in the American League East and also good for the second best record in the Majors (damn you, Tampa Bay!). This record comes after a tough middle of May and what seemed like mostly road games for the first 51 games of the year. Generally, we’ve got to be feeling good about the team. They’ve survived a fair amount of injuries–mainly Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson–and have battled bullpen inconsistency to get where they are. Obviously, there have been ups and downs for this season. Let’s begin by addressing them.
Pleasantly surprising, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher have definitely been big “ups”. Phil Hughes has been phenomenal and Andy Pettitte is pitching out of his mind. Among the downs, there’s been Chan Ho Park and the now “departed” Randy Winn. Mark Teixeira has been cold, but has recently shown signs of life, while Javier Vazquez is struggling to find a groove.
Since we all love awards, let’s hand out the Yankee awards so far. I’m going to do this two ways. The first will be my “eye test” winner and the second will be the very technical (that is, leading in WAR version) of the MVP and CY for the first two months.
Eye Test Winner: Robinson Cano. He’s been, seemingly, the most consistent player on the team–despite a cold mid-May–and has frankly hit the cover off of the ball. He’s really taken another step forward this season, and I think we’re all incredibly impressed. He is now fully realizing his incredible talent and potential and this could be his best season to date.
WAR Winner: Also Robbie Cano at 2.6 WAR (FanGraphs, not incl. Monday’s games). Cano is followed in the “voting” by Nick Swisher (1.9), Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez (both 1.4).
Eye Test: Phil Hughes. Young Phil has been absolutely great this season. Like Cano, he is realizing incredible talent that we all knew was present, it just needed an extended shot. We’ve been looking forward to seeing this out of Phil since his first cup of coffee in 2007. Hopefully, he keeps up his strong season.
WAR: Hughes again, with 1.6 WAR, followed by Burnett (1.4) and Pettitte (1.1). This isn’t surprising at all.
Going forward, it’s hard to not feel confident about the Yankees. For the next few weeks, they’ve got a relatively light schedule and they’ve already finished what will likely be the toughest part of their season. They should soon be getting back to full strength as well. When that happens, this team will be very dangerous. In fact, it could reach 2009 levels of dangerousness, and we all know how that ended up.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees