Monday, April 21, 2008

Off Day Notes

What's this, a day without baseball? Whatever are we to do with ourselves?

Well, don't worry--the Yankees might not be playing, but there's plenty of baseball elsewhere, not to mention hockey and basketball playoffs if that's your thing, or, if it's as gorgeous outside as it is in Syracuse right now, go on outside and throw a Frisbee around. Days like this don't come around often enough.

That said, this is the only off day the Yankees have for another thirteen or so, so it might be a good time to take stock of what the season has shown so far. There are a couple of things that everyone should have noticed by now:

1) The starting pitching has been healthy and...uh, outside of Chien Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte, not very good. Granted, I'm not sure anyone expected that every start from Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy would have gone six innings, and I'm not sure anyone expected anything significant from Mussina, but there's only so long the inability to get to the sixth inning really hurts the bullpen and the team. Phil Hughes looks like he's getting on the right track, his most recent start better than the first two, but he still has to mind the pitch count. It looks like Ian Kennedy will need to make some mental adjustments, and Moose...well, he's Moose.

1a) Outside of his most recent start, Chien Ming Wang has been excellent. Maybe he's not an Ace, but without him, we'd be 7-13 at best right now.

1b) Andy Pettitte has improved with each start to the point that yesterday he was perfect through 4.2 innings. He is showing why he's been worth every penny of the $16 million.

2) The offense has had a couple of good games, but needs to step it up, especially with runners in scoring position. Right now we're getting more production out of the eight and nine spot (Melky and Molina/Moeller) than we are out of six and seven (Giambi and Canò).

2a) As Damon goes, so goes the offense, and Damon has been struggling. He's shown a few signs of life so one hopes that he'll be able to pick it up, but we can't wait forever.

2b) Jason Giambi has been so bad that he makes albatrosses look like swans. Check out this post from Replacement Level to see just how bad it's gotten.

2c) Guys whose first or last name begins with "M" have been hot. I'm looking at Hideki Matsui, Melky Cabrera, Jose Molina, Chad Moeller, and to some extent, Morgan Ensberg. They have been carrying the offense this far.

2c1) It's not likely that Moeller will continue to produce at the level he's been producing at, but one hopes the Yankees ride it all the way through.

2d) Derek Jeter has been on fire since coming off of the DL, and A-Rod has regressed to "superhuman" as opposed to the "immortal G-d" he was last year.

3) The bullpen has, for the most part, done an excellent job. They've been over used, especially Ross Ohlendorf, but with the exception of the one game in Tampa where Canò had to pinch-hit homer for the Yankees to win, they have done what's been asked of them.

3a) It might be too much to hope that Brian Bruney has changed, but it's a strange feeling of not panicking that comes over me when he comes into the game.

3b) Same with Kyle.

4) It's much too soon to come to a decision on Joe Girardi as manager. Given the awful weather the first two weeks, the spate of injuries and the lack of sufficient pitching and offense, Girardi should be given some credit for the fact that the Yankees are 10-10 right now. He's had some questionable in-game calls, but so has every other manager.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with what you said. I also think Posada's injury has hurt because he was not DL'd and they are trying to keep him in the line-up as a DH. This is affecting the outfielders because Matsui has to play instead of being the DH.