The New York Yankees have had the epitome of an up-and-down season in 2013, and there have been a number of players that have both surprised and disappointed the team.
Entering play on Thursday, the Yankees are 80-72. This puts them 2.5 games back in the American League Wild Card. To make the playoffs before the end of the season (10 more games), they'll have to pass the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and either the Texas Rangers or the Tampa Bay Rays. Plus, they'll have to stave off the Kansas City Royals, who also enter play on Thursday at 80-72.
This season has been a wild one in New York. Several strong performances have kept the Yankees afloat while their injured stars have taken time to come back, but a plethora of poor performers have done their best to keep the Yankees away from making the postseason.
Even if the Yankees don't seem like a threat given their inconsistencies, the playoffs are a time for teams to make historic runs. It's unlikely that a team this beaten and bruised can make a run at the World Series, but every playoff team has an equal shot. All the Yankees have to do is get there.
Expect this offseason to be a strange one for general manager Brian Cashman. He'll be looking to make moves to improve an aging, inconsistent team, and expect a huge roster shake up as a result. He'll look for proven guys to make some noise in the rotation and lineup, rather than relying on surprises to carry the load.