Why the Yankees Will Make the Postseason
The NY Yankees have not missed the postseason since Derek Jeter was called up back in 1996. In addition, I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t make it this year either? The Yankees got off to a slow start this season and currently have a 26-27 record and are 5.5 games out of first place in the AL East. Last year at this time, they were 13.5 games out of first and had a record of 22-29.
Therefore, they are not in as bad shape as they were last season. They are also currently 4.5 games out of the wild card and last season at this time, they were 7.5 games out. With the return of A-rod the Yankees offense has really shaped up and looks like what it is supposed to be on paper. They have been hitting better since his return and everybody in that lineup has fed off that.
In addition, with the soon return of catcher Jorge Posada that should make this lineup even more dangerous and better. Giambi has been swinging a hot bat lately with 11 homeruns and his batting average is at .244, which has improved of late.
Other players like Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano have gradually picked up the pace and have shown some signs of improving. All these players have the ability to hit over .300. I don’t know if that’s going to happen but its possible.
Matsui has probably been the most consistent hitter of the season with a batting average of .330. Jeter, Bobby Abreu, and A-rod are their usual selves and are hitting well, I wouldn’t have any worries for them this season, that is to say if they remain healthy they will continue to hit and play well.
The pitching is the one problem facing the Yankees. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are both sidelined on the DL. Two of their five starters are out and others like Darrell Rasner have really been a big influence on the team. Rasner has a 3-1 record while being up with the Yanks this season and is sporting a 1.80 era, which is very impressive. If he continues to pitch well, then I see no reason for him being sent down back to the minors.
No matter when Hughes or Kennedy come of the DL, if Rasner is pitching well then they need to keep him up here. Wang too has been his usual self with a 6-2 record. His last couple of starts have been rough but he hasn’t really gotten enough run support to win, but I think that he will be fine and probably will win at least 20 games this season.
Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina have a combined record of 12-9 and the two of them have look liked they are showing signs of improvement. The two of them probably could win at least 15 games each this season. Both of them have had their share of off games but I do see them improving. If they have no injury problems then they will continue to pitch effectively.
The bullpen too has looked shaky at times. The only consistent arms that they have in there are Edwar Ramirez, Joba, and Mo.
Hawkins, Farnsworth, Ohlendorf, and Veras have looked lost at times. They haven’t showed their potential and are struggling this season. The key to the Yankees push to the postseason will be to improve their bullpen with either calling up youngsters from the minors or trying to make a trade for a good arm.
The Yankees have a tough task the rest of the season with the Red Sox as usual but the O's, Rays, and Jays look like they are going to give the Yanks are run for their money, as they all have looked sharp this season. I see the Yankees being the Wild Card team in the American League this season. This of course depends if the offense continues to hit well and if the pitching improves especially their bullpen if they want to make a run at it.
The Yanks always find a way to pull it out at the end, and I see them doing it again this season.
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