Thursday, May 30, 2019

Second-Team Yankees (Can Still Win Games)

What's so...intriguing about this Yankees team, is that the Yankees spent most of the offseason putting together a team that would win them the AL East. And they worked so hard on putting all these pieces together, like getting James Paxton and Troy Tulowitzki, and keeping JA Happ, that you could tell how badly the Yankees wanted this team to win.

What's that the team that is currently leading the AL East, while it is still the New York Yankees, is not the version of the Yankees that Cashman and company remotely thought would be leading a division.

Most teams, you rid them of 75% of their marquee stars, then that's it. Then you just get tickets for next season. Not the Yankees. We're without Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Didi Gregorius and Miguel Andujar, the bulk of the power-core from last year...and we're still not only in first, but THRIVING.

Look at D.J. LeMahieu. The Yankees signed multiple-ASG-appearance LeMahieu to a multi-year a backup to Troy Tulowitzki. They were prepared to use this guy as a backup, which...wouldn't have been the greatest use of this guy's time. So thankfully Tulo and Andujar wind up hurt so Torres can swing over to short and LeMahieu can A) become a starter at 2nd, and B) get a shit-ton more at-bats, and promptly become the single best Yankee of the first two months.

Not Judge. Not Torres. Not Sevvy. D.J. LeMahieu. And he's excelling with flying colors, winning some definite fans, and becoming a fixture in a lineup he was supposed to be a backup for. Which, by itself, is fantastic.

But you also have Sanchez and Torres stepping out of the shadows of bigger Yankee personalities and excelling, Luke Voit hitting a ton of home runs, Domingo German becoming...much more than just a low-rate Severino, James Paxton getting back to throwing strikes, and Aroldis Chapman having his most dominant season as Yankee closer since joining the team. They're still an incredibly strong team that has regrown around its losses, and have ascended to the top more concretely than the 2018 squad ever could.

Now...where do we go from here? Up. Definitely the alternative to allowing the Rays to take 1st again, or even worse Boston. They need to stay in this sweet spot between total dominance and complete inefficiency, and not get too cocky. It'd help if Kendrys Morales and Aaron Hicks started hitting for average, but we can't always get what we want.

Already I'm proud of this team, though. Defied expectations in multiple ways.

Coming Tomorrow- Despite some competition from some ubiquitous rookies and second-year stars, he's still the leadership figure in Atlanta.

No comments:

Post a Comment