Friday, April 5, 2024

Juan Week Later


The Juan Soto era of Yankees baseball is already off to a blistering start. Getting to watch this guy in pinstripes has been insanely fun, because every game you're guaranteed at least one insane Soto moment. Like either he pounds a liner where nobody would even think of being, he makes an unbelievable play in the outfield, he throws out a runner from Mars or he power-hits like a pro. 

So much seems to be brought into line with Soto's addition to the squad. He and Judge have gotten along like gangbusters in the outfield, and provide even more of a boost back-to-back in the lineup. He's also a guaranteed contact guy in a lineup that predominantly values power, and getting Soto, as well as other contact guys like Alex Verdugo and Jon Berti, in this lineup has rounded us a little more. Even our best guys can have days where they don't show up, like...a lot of them did today. But even in those games, Soto is usually getting something done for us, and that's a great feeling.

Soto is just one tremendous piece of a Yankees team that has been impressing me almost overall. The bullpen have been off to an amazing start, with that crazy stat of not allowing any runs for the first three or so games. Despite losing Jonathan Loiasiga immediately [as, usual], we have Ian Hamilton, Clay Holmes, Caleb Ferguson, Nick Burdi and even Luke Weaver pitching dominant baseball in the spots where we need them most. We've had decent bullpens lately, but this seems to be a new level, and remember that we'll be getting Tommy Kahnle back soon enough as well.

I've also been really impressed with the starting pitching, even if we're without Gerrit Cole [and J.T. Brubaker] for a bit. The goal was always just to keep the balls in the park for a bit and not have to do anything flashy, but already I'm impressed with Marcus Stroman, Luis Gil and Carlos Rodon with just how skillfully they've been keeping opposing offenses at bay. Yes, the Yanks couldn't show up against Yusei Kikuchi, but what made the game suspenseful today was that the Jays weren't exactly showing up against their old compatriot Stroman. The dude's still got a lot of upsides, and he might be are best surefire weapon without Cole. Having Rodon seemingly back to his old, consistent self is also a plus. If all of Gil, Rodon and Stroman stay healthy for a while, we could be alright, but these are guys that have missed entire chunks of season lately, so I'm not exactly holding my breath.

The Yankees quite obviously have some flaws still [,Giancarlo], but the team looks insanely good and so much is working that seemed broken last year. It's gonna be a tight division this year, and the Orioles and Red Sox are closing in, but I'm already optimistic just from what I've been seeing so far.

And if we can get a longer deal for Soto if this is how he hits in his first week? That would be...incredible.

Coming Tomorrow- A shortstop for a team the Phillies are having no trouble whapping around.

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