Friday, March 3, 2017

Is it so if they say it is so?…

Yesterday, our fearless leader, Daniel Burch, posted the Las Vegas odds for the American League East and those odds are fairly representative of most predictions.  All of  the predictions that I have read show the Boston Red Sox perched atop the standings, closely followed by the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles are usually somewhere in the middle of the pack, and the Tampa Bay Rays bring up the rear.

The Bleacher Report has the 2017 standings as follows:
  1. Boston Red Sox (97-65)
  2. Toronto Blue Jays  (86-76)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (83-79)
  4. New York Yankees (81-81)
  5. Tampa Bay Rays (70-92)
While I do not feel the Yankees will win the AL East this season, I think they’ll perform better than .500 baseball.  Maybe not by much but they’ll have more wins than losses by the end of the year.  The above prediction assumes the Yankees will regress from last year, whereas I think a full season of youth and rejuvenation will help the team at least match last year’s record if not better.

I’d love to be a Yankee Homer and say the team will win 103 games and take the Division, League and World Series.  But realistically, we’re not quite there yet.  Soon, young Grasshopper…

There has been a potential monkey wrench thrown into Boston’s march to a World Series victory.*  Lefty David Price, the #2 starter in the Red Sox rotation will seek a second opinion today regarding pain in his elbow.  While Price allegedly believes the injury is not serious, the potential for possible Tommy John surgery exists.  I do not wish Price ill will, and actually hope that he does receive the best possible medical decision to allow him to pitch this year.  I’ve always believed that to be the best, you have to beat the best.  

Still, if worst case scenario plays out, the Red Sox rotation looks substantially different without Price.  As it stands, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Steven Wright are fighting for two spots in the rotation.  If Price is out, all three will make the rotation, joining Chris Sale and Cy Young Winner Rick Porcello.  Pomeranz, Rodriguez, and Wright are good pitchers but they are not David Price.  While Porcello may have turned the corner last year, I remain skeptical and feel that he may return to being the pitcher he was before last season.

This is another example of how unpredictable pitchers can be and more reason why the Yankees should not trade a boatload of top prospects for a #3 or better pitcher until they are truly ready for World Series contention.

Again, I hope David Price does not get bad news later today.  I hope it’s something that is resolvable with some rest and treatment and that he is on the mound when the Yankees travel to Fenway Park in late April.

I am sorry that this post contains so many Red Sox references, but it’s hard not to keep an eye on one’s primary rival.  Yesterday, I saw that Boston renewed star outfielder Mookie Betts’ contract at $950,000.  For Mookie’s part, he did say there is no animosity.  Yet, I thought it was interesting that the Red Sox and one of their best players could not come to any agreement.  Betts might be the second best player in the American League behind Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (no offense, Jose Altuve).   However, Trout will be paid $18.3 million more than Betts this season.  Like Dellin Betances, it is just the way the system works and Betts will eventually get his money.  It should be noted that the Red Sox President Sam Kennedy did not hold a press conference after the contract renewal to make disparaging remarks about Betts and his agents.

Sorry, we now return you to Yankees programming…

The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles last night, 8-1.  Two young players stood out to me.  

Gleyber Torres singled in the fifth inning and advanced to third with heads-up base-running after a single by Aaron Hicks.  He subsequently scored on a single by Gary Sanchez.  

Billy McKinney has raised his stock this spring.  He homered in the seventh inning with one man on, and doubled in the eighth, driving in a run.  

The game also featured another long home run by Greg Bird and Matt Holliday’s first smash as a Yankee.  With the win, the Yankees improve their Spring Training record to 7-1.

I know that it is does not work this way, but I so hope that March success equals April success.  Since Mark “The April Iceman” Teixeira, a notoriously slow starter, is now retired, I am hoping the Baby Bombers are ready for a fast start out of the gate.

Who is Matt Wotherspoon again?…  ;)

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

*The World Series prediction provided courtesy of the Red Sox Nation.

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