Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Are the Yankees in for a rough June?

MSN Sports published an article laying out ten bold predictions for MLB as we head into June, and right away I wasn't disappointed.

Even Chuck Norris gave it two thumbs up.

The very first prediction involved the Yankees, where author Michael Dixon said that June would be a rough month for the Yankees. You might be thinking "why does that prediction not disappoint you?" Well, to be completely honest, I'm not disappointed with that prediction because I agree with Mr. Dixon. And if you click that link you'll read his reason why he made that prediction, and that reason falls right in line with why I worry the Yankees' success will not last.

In case you don't want to click that link I'll fill you...

Starting Pitching

  1. While he may not strike out 13 hitters every time he starts a game, Masahiro Tanaka is much closer to the pitcher we saw against the Athletics last Friday night, than the pitcher we saw in his previous two starts. But, at least for now, 'Hiro is the only starter that I believe this team can count on.
  2. Five of Luis Severino's nine starts this season have been really good to downright awesome. Another if his starts (May 19th vs. the Rays) was good... certainly not great, but good. That's six of nine starts where the Yankees had a good to excellent chance of winning. Unfortunately, after just 31 starts in MLB, I'm not ready to lean on this guy to start a game in the postseason. Don't get me wrong, I think he'd do a fine job, but I wouldn't be going into that game feeling all nice and cozy.
  3. Prior to 2017 Michael Pineda's ERA+ as a Yankee, which spanned 72 starts, was 101. That, my friends, is as close "average" as you can get. In his last five starts he's failed to finish the 7th inning, and couldn't get through six innings in the previous two. You know how many times, last September, that Pineda completed six innings? None. You know how many times, after the 2016 All Star break, Michael completed seven innings? Once. Look, a quality start every time your starter takes the mound is nice, as it gives his team a shot at winning. But a mere quality start does not make a fan like myself feel great when the next time he takes the mound... particularly in game two or three in the postseason.
  4. Jordan Montgomery has been a great story. I don't think I heard anyone during the offseason predict that Montgomery would make the starting rotation out of Spring Training. And in nine starts this year Jordan has posted a respectable ERA of 4.11. In fact, if Jordan could gain a little more control, thus keeping his walks down, then he'd be somebody the team could depend on in the home stretch of the season and beyond. But I just don't see it happening. His changeup and slider are good, his curveball is okay, and his fastball stinks. I don't know much about him, but I don't want to see him starting a postseason game.
  5. CC Sabathia? Let's just say that if the Yankees need Sabathia to carry any load, of any size, during the season's home stretch and into the postseason we're in big trouble. 
"Sorry to keep dogging you, but don't be sad. I'll look back fondly on your first four years in pinstripes."

Michael Dixon went on to say that having a rough June could be a good thing for the Yankees, as it would push them to make improvements to the team. If they were to have another really good month, Cashman and Co. may hold off on doing anything to really improve, which could very well hurt their chances down the stretch. And I can't help but agree with him there, too.

I've said it in the past, and I'll say it again...

I don't want the Yankees to deal away good prospects for a rental. I absolutely do not want to sit here a year from now and see somebody we traded for playing elsewhere, while one or more of our good prospects is playing in another organization. Then again, a World Series title would make that okay, but 2016 is about the future as much as anything else.

Man how I salivate thinking of what this team could look like in 2019.

Yeah, yeah... this could be a very good year too.

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