The New York Yankees have gotten off to a rather lackluster beginning, as of Monday, they have a record of 8-7. A team just over .500 and currently in third place in the AL East Division race.
Yes, it is early and to base anything measure of judgment on the games so far this season would just be foolish. The Major League Baseball season is a long monumental and arduous task that teams undertake. Each and every season all thirty teams start out with a goal in mind (not all are setting out to win the World Series, mind you) and then they must quickly adjust to what the season brings them.
Injuries, ineffectiveness, and progression are the main factors that shape what a Major League team does after Opening Day. Those three factors have already played a major role in the case of the New York Yankees.
Throughout Spring Training this year the Yankees only sustained injuries to two players the oft-injured Jacoby Ellsbury (Oblique) and Clint Frazier (Concussion). Then almost to the day, Greg Bird went down with a foot injury to the same right foot. But the Yankees felt they still had enough to weather the storm. Then in the first game starting Center Fielder Aaron Hicks goes down with an injury (Oblique) testing the depth right away. Forcing the Yankees to place their top offseason acquisition Giancarlo Stanton into left-field much sooner than they would have liked to, and more often than they expected.
CC Sabathia and Brandon Drury have found themselves on the DL as well. Billy McKinney was called up after Hicks went on the DL and he took found his way onto the Major League DL after running into the wall in Toronto.
The Yankees came out of the gate hot and playing well however almost instantly got cooled off. The first two games of the season the Yankees played wonderfully and the moves that rookie manager Aaron Boone made where the Yankees have been spot on. But since then the Yankees have not found that same success consistently.
They have had days where they look like that team everyone expected them to be. Then there are days where it is difficult to watch. The bullpen that was thought to be the strength of this team has faltered early and often so far this season.
The bullpen has the kind of veterans that can turn it around and become the dominant force it was expected to be. But it is not just the bullpen that has struggles as rookies Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar have struggled offensively after having very good showings in Spring Training.
Giancarlo has struggled a bit in the early going as well, but as a notoriously slow starter, no one in the Yankees hierarchy seems to be worried about Stanton. Gary Sanchez is another Yankee Superstar that got off to a slow start. However, He and Stanton seemed to both find something in Boston last week that sparked their bats. Aaron Judge has quietly been the Yankees most consistent threat so far this season.
Judge was also able to awaken something in Boston and get a few hits off of Chris Sale, someone who will see the Yankees a lot this season. Didi has been incredible for the Yankees since coming to the Yankees. And he has continued his heroics for this team into this season as well with his two home run, eight rbi performance in the Bronx opener. Aaron Hicks has come back off the Disabled List as promptly gave us a glimpse into what Brian Cashman (Yankees GM) has seen in him all along.
Sometimes, keeping it inside the walls works too…it's an inside-the-park two-run homer for Aaron Hicks! #YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/6WK4PjQ0FB
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 13, 2018
While the early part of the season the Yankees have yet to really find their footing, reinforcements are slowing making their way back. CC should be making his way back to the Bronx soon. Clint Frazier will start getting into games at Scranton shortly and Greg Bird is said to be coming back sometime in May.
The New York Yankees have lofty goals and high expectations for this season. Much like they did in 2009, and just like in ’09 they started off rough and their prized acquisition free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira got off to his usual slow starts (similar to Stanton’s slow start). Then in May Alex Rodriguez returned from the DL after surgery on his hips, that was a recurring problem for him, much like Bird is set to return in May after a foot issue that is his recurring problem.
The New York Yankees are going to have some ups and downs as the season moves along but one thing that is certain is that just like in 2009 the 2018 iteration of the Yankees can achieve some incredible things.