Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taking a Fifth

  The baseball season is one fifth done and the Yankees have a record of 22 wins and 12 losses, even after losing 3 out of 4 games to the Tigers this week. They have the second best record in baseball and normally would be good enough to lead the division, except the team with the best record, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at 24-10 is in the same division. A record of 96-66 is normally good enough to get in the playoffs. I measure the progress of the season by how many more wins than losses a team has. If the Yankees can get to +30, then I know they just have to win half their games to get in the post season.

  Despite the gaudy record, I see some dark clouds in the Yankees’ future. The front line talent is good and there are promising young players on the roster (Cervalli, Gardner, Hughes, Chamberlain), but there are quite a few players who have no business on a playoff team. Yesterday against the Tigers, Alex Rodriguez was the DH and backup infielder Roberto Pena played at third base. He is an OK fielder, but the Tigers kept walking the hitter in front of him and he could not deliver a hit in the 2-0 loss. A better backup infielder is needed. Javier Vasquez pitched again yesterday and lost again. I suppose it was a moral victory because he pitched well, but exceeding low expectations is what this guy does best. David Robertson has been awful in relief, but since he has lost his job to Boone Logan, I expect him to be in the minor leagues any day now.

  The lack of talent in the outfield is most troubling. Gardner is young and is playing like an all-star, but Swisher, Winn, and Thames are run of the mill veterans and Golsen has never done anything at this level. None of these guys are going to make me forget a player like Johnny Damon who was a proven winner. Hopefully, when summer arrives, the Yankees can pick off some talent from some losing teams players to fill in their holes. It’s either that or pray that all the high priced talent stays healthy and deliver so the has-beens and never-weres aren’t needed come playoff time.

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