Looking at the Yankees at the half way point, I was wondering do the Yankees have enough right now to win World Series? Their lineup is great and they are in a stadium tailor made for their lefty packed line up. I mean Yankee Stadium, the House that Roids Built, is a visiting right handed pitcher’s nightmare. The only two righties you are going to face are Derek Jeter who can easily slap a ball over the right field fence and A-Rod. It doesn’t get much better for lefties with three switch hitters in the lineup.
The Yankees don’t really have much of a bench to speak of. The players cannot really hit very well and outside Molina aren’t particularly great fielders, but with the regulars being so good, outside of a huge injury, the bench can get by. Considering four of the starters are 35 and over, this isn’t too comforting. However, the bench highlights the Yankees major problem, depth.
The pitching helps illustrate the Yankee’s depth problem further. Right now the Yankees don’t even have a fifth starter. They are going to be forced to use either Sergio Mitre, career journeyman and accomplished leper, or a limited pitch count from Aceves. Using Aceves really hurts the Yankees because he has been a rock at long relief, which the Yankees have desperately needed this season.
The Yankees have needed long relief because the middle of the rotation has just not been able to stay in games long. CC Sabathia has been typical CC, a complete workhorse. Cashman must have sacrificed some animals or season ticket holders to Hygieia, Goddess of Health, because what can only be described as a miracle, AJ Burnett has stayed healthy in a non contract year. Beyond those two however, the Yankees have not been getting quality starts.
Joba has been nothing more than 5 IP starter. His 1.56 WHIP leaves a lot to be desired, and he spends more time shaking off Posada then actually pitching. Pettitte looks like he drank from the wrong chalice at the end of the Last Crusade. After starting the year with four straight quality starts in April, Pettitte has only had four quality starts since then. Two of his last four starts have seen Pettitte leave before getting through five innings. Furthermore Wang, well the best thing you can say about Wang is that he did eventually get his ERA under 10 before he hit the DL again.
As the second half approaches, the race of the AL East has shifted to three teams: the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees. At the moment the Yankees will need to be extremely lucky the rest of the way with injuries to keep up with the much deeper Rays and Red Sox. The Yankees are most likely going to need to pick up another starter too. Right now as is, even with the awe inspiring lineup, the Yankees look like they need Cashman to make some moves to prevent a second year of staying home in October.