The Bronx Tales: 10 Thoughts After 10 Games. Early observations after the first week of Yankees play
Baseball in April is a double edged sword. On one hand, the excitement for the return of the sport is enthralling, and you feel every moment matters to get on the right foot. On the other hand, it's the first week in a 162 game and six month season, there is a lot of baseball to be played. It's hard not to overreact when your team performs or doesn't, but that is the beauty of the sport, and why baseball fans are the most passionate out of any league. So what are my thoughts as an avid Yankee fan?
Don't get me wrong, with the makeup of the roster because of injuries, I am pretty content with how the team is doing. They're 6-4, they have a +18 run differential, none of their losses were blowouts, things are just fine. The AL East should be theirs, but again, it's a very competitive division of teams. Yes, the Rays have started 10-0, but let's not roll out the championship parade for them just yet, they are beating up on all of the last place teams from the year prior.
So after ten games this early in the season, here are my ten thoughts off the dome for the Yanks.
1. Gerrit Cole is pitching CY Young Ball
Baseball fans were quick to criticize Gerrit Cole, from giving up homers or being overpaid, but Gerrit Cole is truly the ace of New York. The strikeout machine has already fanned 19 batters, has two wins on two quality starts, and is boasting a 0.73 era. With Rodon and Sevy sidelined, Cole is leading from the front, and if he keeps it up, he'll earn his first CY Young of his career this season.
2. Back to back MVP's for The Captain, Aaron Judge?
A .333 batting average with 4 homers, and not to mention stellar defense, Aaron Judge continues to be that dude for the Yankees. He continues to rake, get on base, and man center field with ease, don't be surprised with another successful season of Aaron Judge dominating the league.
3. How can't you love Gleyber Torres?
Trade rumors, position battles, uncertainty? It never mattered for the 2x All-Star. Gleyber Torres is having himself a helluva start. The second baseman has been tearing it up at the plate, batting .387 and a 1.286 OPS. He's only struck out three times and has swiped 5 bases. The comeback tour is on, and I am loving every second of it.
4. Give Volpe some time, but damn, that boy is QUICK
We as fans need to realize that Anthony Volpe isn't superman. It his first ten games at the major league level, he will be just fine. Give it time, he will find his stride. His bat will come, but at least his defense is superb. Speaking of quickness, Volpe has collected three stolen bags and a triple. It's refreshing to have a young and quick infielder in the lineup.
5. Aaron Hicks, IKF, and Donaldson have to go
Josh Donaldson is on the IL with a hamstring issue, but he was batting a whopping .125 in 12 at bats. Okay, take him out for now. Enter Hicks and IKF, who combined have two hits and a 0.79 batting average. They offer nothing to the table. IKF, I guess can provide stability at multiple positions off the bench, so that's fine. But Aaron Hicks? That guy is useless. He cries to the media, he complains to Boone, yet he is God awful at the plate and in the field. You have minor leaguers coming up and lapping him. The Yankees need to cut the line, NOW. If not, when Bader comes back, his time has to be up.
6. Oswaldo Cabrera is a defensive wizard and should never
And if I see Cabrera getting sat for Hicks one more time, I might riot. Cabrera has a better attitude, better glove, better bat, better speed, better hustle, overall he is better. Get the picture? The blackmail Hicks has on this team must be damming because I don't understand why Oswaldo has been on the bench so much.
7. The injury bug is continuing, but the "next men up" are making the most out of it.
Franchy Cordero, Willie Calhoun, Jimmy Cordero, Johnny Brito, Ian Hamilton, you name it. The Yankees have always had bad luck with injuries, but however, their sparkplugs that come in, always help in the time of need.
8. What's wrong with Clarke Schmidt?
Not ready to hit the panic button yet, but Clarke Schmidt does not look good as a starter. 6 innings, 7 earned runs, and close to a 10 ERA, he just looks lost out there. I would prefer him as the long relief option, and have a Mike King redemption arc, because things are not looking to hot as a starter. Could say the same thing about Domingo too. I cannot wait until Rodon and Sevy return...
9. Matt Blake pitching lab should win a Nobel Peace Prize
What Matt Blake has created in the Arm Barn is truly magnificent. We knew what he is capable of last season, when we saw hidden gems like Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta absolutely dominant innings. But now, this early on, we are seeing guys like Jimmy Cordero and Ron Marinaccio becoming weapons. Not to mention, Ian Hamilton is shining brightly too. He has two pitches, and one of them is this slambio pitch, a mix between a slider and changeup, or in Spanish, cambio), and it is absolutely filthy.
10. Johnny Brito is rock solid
We have found our fifth starter. He is dicing up opposing batters and he has been quite the surprise in his two call-up starts.