I’ll resume reports tonight, but some thoughts on what has happened to the Yanks since I left to visit family across the country (and in so doing, seeing games at Dodger Stadium and Petco Park).
The Yanks are trying to keep their heads above water. They are currently 43-37, 3 games behind Boston in the AL East, in second place. They have the top wild card spot.
Injuries have hit this team hard. Even callups have been getting hurt, none more cruelly than OF Dustin Fowler, who received a terrible knee injury in his very first MLB game before he even took his first MLB at bat. Fowler, who needed immediate surgery, is done for the year.
As you can see, injuries haven’t only hit the big club. Gleyber Torres, done for the year, and James Kaprielian, who has missed and will miss the whole season, have been hit by it too.
How else to explain the return of Chris Carter, who was DFA’d by the Yankees, turned down by everyone else, who accepted a demotion to SWB, but before reporting to SWB, had to return to the Yankees because of an injury to Tyler Austin?
It’s still unknown whether Greg Bird will make it back this season.
As for the usual regulars, Aaron Hicks is on the DL. CC and Adam Warren are expected to come off maybe tomorrow, July 4th. Matt Holliday is still on it, recovering from God knows what—allergic reaction, viral infection—do they really know? Starlin Castro is on.
Mason Williams had to be let go because of some moves the Yanks had to make to fill holes elsewhere.
Jacoby Ellsbury had to be rushed back from his rehab stint because of Hicks’ injury.
We’ve seen spring training like lineups recently. 1/2 regulars, 1/2 backups or minor leaguers just brought up because of injury.
One silver lining in this dark cloud is that now you are seeing some of these minor leaguers and what they can or cannot do. They are getting MLB experience, maybe earlier than expected due to necessity.
Tyler Wade, Miguel Andujar, Dustin Fowler (oh, so briefly) and Clint Frazier have made their MLB debuts. In the cases of Andujar (3 for 4, 4 RBI) and Frazier (double, HR) they were excellent MLB debuts.
I am hoping Chance Adams comes up soon. Unfortunately Luis Cessa (0-3, 5.82) hasn’t filled in well for CC Sabathia. Maybe Adams would have done better.
The bullpen has had problems, esp. with Warren out. Clippard had really bad struggles, now Betances had trouble. Chapman just came off the DL recently.
Even here, we’ve seen youngsters like Gallegos and German already. Tyler Webb was just brought up, too. Ronald Herrera was brought up, same with Ben Heller.
Over my vacation, the Yanks have resembled a M*A*S*H* unit. It was hard to recognize some of the lineups, especially when you had the likes of Austin Romine or Ronald Torreyes hitting sixth.
The Yanks need to start winning the close games again. At 43-37, they are six games below what their expected record (based on runs scored vs. runs allowed) should be. There have been a couple of excruciating one-run losses lately.
The OPS+ is 110 and the ERA+ 116, meaning they are 10% and 16% above the league average offensively and defensively.
Things are rocky right now. The Yanks for now, have to tread water until they get people healthy or make a trade. There are needs to be filled. 1B, 3B, another starter, another reliever.
Maybe one of these kids gets hot and proves worthy. As I mentioned, a silver lining amidst these injuries is that you get to see what these minor league prospects I have been writing about can do. If they succeed, then a trade may not be necessary.
Tread water and hold the fort until reinforcements (via trade or coming off the DL) arrive.
That, for now, is what the Yanks have to do.
One notable baseball passing lately: Anthony Young, ex-Met, Cub and Astro, at age 51. He was not as bad as his won-lost record of 15-48. His ERA was league average at 3.89. But he set a MLB record of 27 losses in a row. 51 …. gone too soon.
Five Yankees were named to the All Star Game: Judge (starter), Castro, Sanchez, Betances, and Severino. Didi Gregorius could be voted in also, in the last-man voting.