Five Strategies to Ensure Postseason Success for the New York Yankees
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Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been on record stating that the Yankees currently have a championship caliber team. However, the common consensus amongst those around the league is that while the Yankees are good, they are not good enough to make it to the World Series—let alone have a shot at winning it.
Here are five strategies that may help improve the Yankees' chances of returning to the glory land.
5. Place A.J. Burnett on the Waiver Wire
His days in the rotation appear numbered. What about in Pinstripes?
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In hindsight, the A.J. Burnett signing after the 2008 season was by far the worst signing the Yankees made that year. With a five year, $82.5 Million contract, the Yankees expected a far better performance than the one they have received thus far.
In 548 innings since joining the Yankees in 2009, Burnett has posted a 32-33 record, with a 4.61 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Those are numbers one would hardly tolerate from a number five starter, let alone the guy that was supposed to fill the second spot in the rotation.
The Yankees should place A.J. Burnett on trade waivers. Maybe they'll get lucky and have a team place a claim on him, or if he passes through, be able to work out a deal with any team in the league.
Any way to get this guy out of NY would benefit the Yankees.
4. When Alex Rodriguez Returns, Keep Him Fresh by Utilizing the DH.
A-Rod Must Stay Healthy for Yankees' Chance of Success
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Surprisingly, the Yankees have done remarkably well since A-Rod has been absent from their line-up. They have posted a 21-11 record since A-Rod opted for knee surgery.
However, they still need him in the lineup.
Few people will disagree that the Yankees are a better team when A-Rod is present. Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez have been playing well in his absence, however neither are All-Star caliber players. With A-Rod back in the line-up, that helps shore up the offense for the remainder of the season.
The Yankees must give A-Rod some more exposure with the DH position in order to keep him healthy for the rest of the season.
3. Find a Spot on the Roster for Jesus Montero
Montero, the #1 prospect in the Yankees farm system, is major league ready.
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Jesus Montero is an absolute hitting machine. Projected as a future 1B/DH due to his catching abilities, Montero can help strengthen the DH position for the rest of the season.
The Yankees must find some roster spot in order to call-up Montero. Posada was removed from the DH position and relegated to bench duties in the series against Boston in the beginning of August. Since then, the Yankees have been riding the hot bat whenever they could find one, whether it be Chavez, Nunez, Andruw Jones, or Posada. Montero will provide stability to the constant flux of players going through the DH spot.
They may wait until when the rosters expand in September; however, it's time for his audition.
2. The Bullpen Must Remain a Strength
David Robertson. Shut-down reliever.
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Entering the season, many disliked the signing of Rafael Soriano. Through the beginning part of the season, the critics were right, as Soriano struggled to a 5+ ERA before heading to the DL.
Since his return from the DL, Soriano has been lights out. In his 7.1 IP since returning, he has allowed 3 H, 1 ER, and struck out six. That is the type of performance the Yankees expected when surrendering their first round draft pick for this season.
David Robertson has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees. Since losing Joba Chamberlain and Soriano to the DL, Robertson stepped up big to help bridge the gap from the starter to Mariano Rivera. He owns a 1.29 ERA in 48.2 IP this season, while striking out 73. His solid season needs to continue.
And, Mariano Rivera just needs to keep doing what he does best -- close out the games for saves.
1. Target Starting Pitching on the Trade Waiver Wire
Wandy Rodriguez: A target of the Yankees?
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Rumored to be a target of the Yankees at the trading deadline, the Yankees should once again target Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros.
There has been speculation Rodriguez will be traded from the last-place Astros, and he matches up well with the Yankees. The Yankees have a very questionable rotation, with the only sure-thing being CC Sabathia. While Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have provided some much needed depth and enjoyable success to the Yankees this season, there is no telling how much longer they will be effective.
Wandy is currently 8-9 with a 3.50 ERA for the Astros. With a little more run support, he should be able to pick up some more wins with a team like the Yankees. Not to mention, he has to be better than A.J. Burnett.
Another intriguing option would be Rich Harden of the A's. Harden was placed on waivers this past week, and despite his injury history, could be quite a pick-up for the Yankees. Boston targeted him at the deadline, only to have the deal fall through on July 31. With Harden only being owed about 316K, plus performance incentives for the rest of the season, this would be a low-risk, high-reward pick-up.
Regardless, the Yankees need pitching help. Badly.
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Those are my top 5 strategies for the Yankees to reach the post season. What do you guys think? Do you agree with my strategies, or is there something else that you would place at a higher priority?
Is there one of my strategies that you completely disagree with?
Let's talk it over in the comments section!