Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lost But Not Forgotten

"I feel like we have a better team than we had last year, and we were second in the league in runs scored. I don’t think everybody just forgets how to hit or get on base overnight." 
That is what Brett Gardner had to say after last night's loss to the Orioles. And while we hear lip service like this from players and coaches all the time, I can't help but agree with him.

Mark Teixeira is no longer in his prime, and was actually out of his prime before he even donned a Yankees uniform, but he hit 31 home runs just last year, and had an slugging percentage of .548. If he were injured since last season then I would buy into his lack of power this season, but that's not the case.

Didi Gregorius is not going to be among the better hitting shortstops in Major League Baseball, however I don't believe he's going to continue to hit nearly 30 points lower than the .251 batting average he's accrued during his 368 MLB games. Nor will his on-base percentage remain 62 points lower than his career average in that department.

The chances of Chase Headley repeating his great 2012 season, in which he slashed .286/.376/.498 with 31 home runs, are as close to "none" as you can get. But do you really think he's going to finish with an OPS nearly 300 points lower than it was last season?

And while Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever again receive a legitimate vote for American League MVP, I don't believe he's going to go from a .250 batting average last season to a sub-.200 one this season.

It's not just the offensive side of things that's not living up to expectations either. Two of the team's starters have an ERA over 6.00 right now, and two others have an ERA over 5.00.

"Come on, guys, I can't win every start."

Nathan Eovaldi is probably not going to give the Yankees the same 3.39 ERA that he had in 2013, but something closer to the 4.20 he put up last season is hardly preposterous.

Michael Pineda may never win a Cy Young, but you can't tell me he's going to go from a 4.37 ERA in 2015 to 6.33 the following season.

And Luis Severino may not be as good as the sub-3.00 ERA pitcher he was in 11 starts last year, but I don't believe he's as bad as the 6.31 ERA so far this season indicates.

Every team is going to have a player or two performing below expectations. It's rare for everybody to be firing on all cylinders at the same time, but it does happen. Unfortunately I think we're seeing the opposite end of that... just about every Yankee is playing their worst at the same time.

You see, this team doesn't need an overhaul. Sure, give Ronald Torreyes a couple starts a week in place of Chase Headley, until pitchers inevitable catch up to him and show us why he played with three different organizations last season. Perhaps call up Rob Refsnyder once he's more comfortable playing third base, and let him give Chase a break every few games or so.

Believe it or not, this team is not that bad. I'm not saying they're World Series contenders, but they shouldn't finish last in the AL East, either. I think this team simply needs a little shake-up. They need something or somebody to light a fire under their butts. And I can't believe I'm saying this, especially when I kind of bashed the guy when he was signed, but you can't deny this guy's ability to fire his teammates up...

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