Early Season Dispatches from the Bronx

Things are pretty good if not uneventful in Yankeeland.

Phil Hughes remains a concern, but his velocity and control took baby steps in the right direction last night and thanks to the bullpen, Joba's big right foot, and the offense, the Yankees pulled out the win anyway.  So keep plugging away Phil.

Jorge Posada is either doing nothing (i.e. he carried an 0 for 19 streak into last night – a big reason for his .189 BA) or playing the hero (5 HR in his 7 hits this season).  Why any pitcher throws Jorge a fastball anywhere near the plate I'll never know.  He appears incapable of laying off looping curves, sharp sliders, and change-ups around the ankles, but he can turn on a fastball with the best of them.  Lucky for the Yanks the O's closer Gregg tried to sneak one by him right down the middle of the plate in his first pitch of the 9th last night…I'm not complaining.

Brian Cashman continues his Ocho Cinco-esque say whatever's on your mind campaign, this time elbowing Joe Torre in the process.  Things certainly have changed when the guy simply putting his head down and getting the job done with bland media statements and sterling performance is A-Rod and the media lightning rod is Brian Cashman.  But nothing Cashman said this time around seems off to me and if I were him I'd probably want to give my side of the story from time to time.  After all, Torre's the one who wrote a book about it all.  Maybe a quick fling with Kate Hudson would settle him down.

And speaking of A-Rod, he looks as good as he has ever looked in a Yankee uniform.  He has followed up a monster Spring with a strong first two weeks, batting .412, slugging .882 and getting on base in more than half his plate appearances (.512 OBP).  Sandwiched between Teixeira and Cano is a great place for that massive bat and the anchor he is providing the offense is more than compensating for the relatively slow starts of Gardner, Jeter, Granderson, and Posada.

As for Joba, in addition to blocking the plate last night, with each appearance he appears to be getting closer to his mid-2007-season-call-up form than he has been since midges ate his face, reaching the high 90's with his fastball last night while his slider remains sharp, working quickly, and compiling some impressive numbers in the early going (0.950 WHIP, 3.5 K/BB; .200 OBA).

The Yanks are about to start a series against the impressive Rangers, in which Yankee fans will get our first look at Freddy Garcia in a Yankee uniform.

Add to these early-season stories the anticipation of Jeter becoming the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits and Mo possibly reaching 600 saves and moving into first place in career saves before October and we Yankee fans have a lot to keep us entertained this season.  I, for one, am thankful.

7 comments… add one

  • “…I, for one, am thankful….”
    me too
    i’ve got to admit that i’m worried about these yankees, despite being in first place and the slow start by boston…the pitching worries are very real…almost every start has has something for the pessimist in me to feed off of…the hughes dilemma is particularly troubling…i had hoped he’d finally arrived…
    posada is our version of toast…i don’t look forward to him coming to the plate anymore, although he was one of the heroes last night…
    good for cashman…it’s about time he stopped taking PR beatings for the sake of the team…torre was a horrid bullpen manager, and yeah, he’s the one that decided to open that can of worms with his book…
    i agree, it’s awesome that arod and joba have come out of the gate strong…hopefully they can keep it going…when some of the other guys catch up, this has the makings of a fun season…still worried about the pitching, but i guess you can’t have it all, unless you’re willing to spend this kind of money: ;)
    http://www.csnne.com/04/15/11/Breaking-news-Red-Sox-Gonzalez-agree-to-/landing_redsox.html?blockID=504506&feedID=3352
    sad to see jeter continue to struggle…i’ve heard, and seen with my own eyes, that he’s kind of morphed back to his old batting stance…the one that pounds double-play grounders to short…i guess we’ve finally uncovered a flaw [other than range…remember you can’t trust your eyes, only UZR ;) ] in a player that otherwise has seemed flawless…a stubborn denial that he is aging and will need to make the right adjustments, both to his game and in his mind…
    mo…is flawless

    dc April 15, 2011, 9:09 am
  • Eh, f*ck off, both of you.
    ;-)

    SF April 15, 2011, 9:40 am
  • I keep waiting for certified, unabashed FOJ (Fan of Jeter) YF to discuss the captain’s recent struggles, yet I am again left unfulfilled…

    Paul SF April 15, 2011, 10:15 am
  • Starting pitching is and has been a concern for sure, can’t disagree there. I just can’t keep worrying about it at this point though. Nothing can be done now, just need to be patient and hope a young arm develops quick or Cash pulls the trigger on a deal.
    As for Hughes his issues are not uncommon re: velo. Tillman (Orioles) is going through the same thing and he normally throws harder than Hughes by all accounts. Maybe the velocity comes back, maybe it doesn’t. Bottom line is he needs to learn to pitch, hit spots and throw the right pitches at the right time. He can only get better and these struggles will be beneficial IF he can adapt and learn to do what is needed to be successful when you are throwing 89, when (if) his velocity returns.
    As for Jeter and Posada: I don’t think Jeter has looked awful as far as his swing goes, he’s hit some balls fairly hard (Slider on Wed. up the middle for starters) It’s so early, I’d continue to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. Posada will adjust, he will be serviceable by the time the season is in full swing. Becoming a DH is a difficult transition, especially after being a full time catcher for so many years. Things will all even out, Hell, Wilson Betemit is hitting near .400 do we think that won’t change? ;) Keep the faith and enjoy the ride!

    John - YF April 15, 2011, 10:19 am
  • I am enjoying the lack of a go-to lefty in the bullpen, preventing Girardi from playing stupid matchup games in the late innings.
    David Robertson went 1.2 innings yesterday, Joba went 1.2 today. See how effective bullpens can be when you stick with a pitcher who has it working? There should not be a taboo on the non-Rivera bullpenners pitching more than one inning. Joba, especially, because of his starter’s stamina (sigh) can handle it.

    AndrewYF April 15, 2011, 10:26 am
  • I should say I thought YF wrote the original post. Totally missed that “IronHorse” in front of it. Somehow.

    Paul SF April 15, 2011, 10:30 am
  • “…I should say I thought YF wrote the original post. Totally missed that “IronHorse” in front of it. Somehow….”
    see, our eyes can play tricks on us…that’s why we rely on stats to tell us what’s up… ;) hmm, maybe jeter does suck…

    dc April 15, 2011, 11:27 am

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