That tweet summarizes it all right now. The Yankees are for sure folks, they are on the precipice of success and need to continue to dominating other teams. The Yankees are in Cleveland this weekend and they will be lining up the newest Yankee, Sonny Gray tonight against the reigning AL champs. The Yankees went all in on the trade deadline and the way they played last weekend has forced me to declare them undead, something I said that might not have done. With Red Sox having many issues of their own, the Yankees need to start distancing themselves from the pack and start focusing on the postseason.
The Yankees’ blue print for the 2017 season was to shed salary and evaluate their young prospects. With the success of young players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Luis Severino, the Yankee front office was forced to go all in for the 2017 season. The Yankees were buyers at the deadline and were able to acquire meaningful talent without losing any of their priced prospects. Part of the moves at the trade deadline was acquiring Sonny Gray, to acquire him, they gave up three prospects that are highly ranked, but two of the players are seriously injured. People around Major League Baseball believe that the Yankees won the deal with the Oakland Athletics because they were able to acquire a pitcher that they have under control for three years. Gray is a very good pitcher and can be a future number two starter for the Yankees for the next two seasons. Gray has been lights out over the last month and hopefully his run will continue and he will lead the Yankees to the promised land. Gray will make his start for the Yankees against the Tribe tonight, which will be very important. Some players rise up after dawning the pinstripes, some do not, we will see which way Gray goes starting tonight.
A big reason why the Yankees were really good in the first half of the season and were consider a buyer at the trade deadline was the success of Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Both players are currently in a slump and it is important for the Yanks to get them hitting again. Judge has been chasing a lot of pitches outside of the strike zone, which has led to fewer hits and more strikeouts. Chasing pitches was the major reason why he struggled last season, when he struck out half of his plate appearances. The Yankees hitting staff needs to work with Judge to calm him down and get him less anxious to look for pitch that can hit over 500 feet. Gary Sanchez has been a streaky hitter, so I would say he is due to break out of his slump. The Yankee offense is being currently led by Didi, People’s MVP Chase Headley, and Brett Gardner, who are good hitters, but you have to wonder how long they can sustain this great hot streak. The Yankees need Castro to get healthy and Judge, Sanchez, and Holliday to break out of their slump to get the offense fully loaded again.
The Yankee rotation has been good over the past few games. Luis Severino has been exceptionally great and looks like a staple in the Yankee rotation of the future. Sabathia and Tanaka have been streaky, but have done a good job in limiting the damage and allowing the offense to get back into games. The real conundrum with the Yankees is what they do with two of their rotation spots. Along with acquiring Gray at the deadline, they also acquired Jaime Garcia for low ranked prospects. They have three pitchers, Gray, Garcia, and Montgomery hoping to fill two spots. The Yankees are going with a six man rotation this week, but have said that is something they do not want to do long term. I think they will send down Montgomery to the minors for a couple of weeks to get his innings under control and bring him back up when the rosters expand on September 1. The rotation is doing its job in keeping the game competitive and allowing the offense to get back into the game.
The third and important part of the team is the bullpen, which has been lights out of late. The bullpen struggles were among the reasons why the Yankees had a really bad month, but now that the bullpen is having good outings again, the Yankees are returning to their form. The Yankees acquired many great arms for the bullpen at the deadline and I would say that they have the best bullpen in baseball. Their bullpen is extremely deep, so if one pitcher is struggling, they can slot in someone else who can still get the job done.
I have not been regularly blogging about the Yankees recently, but I have been giving my two cents on them over on Twitter, so be sure to hit that follow button across all social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter