With pressure from owner Hal Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees are facing one of their toughest seasons yet.
“They’ve got to step it up and they know it,” Steinbrenner said before the Yankees faced rival Baltimore Orioles last week.
The team took what he said and used it as motivation as they won two out of their three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays and slid into second place in the AL East. Now 63-59, something tells me they won’t have a problem “stepping it up” in their series against the Astros who are currently 52-73 and almost dead last in the entire American League. Following that, the Yanks play the White Sox, so needless to say I’m expecting a clean sweep by the Bronx Bombers.
“I am confident.” Dangerous words, but Steinbrenner believes in his talented team. While the Yankees may have convinced him, I’m not quite sure if I’m satisfied with their efforts myself.
Coming off of a season where they didn’t make the postseason the year before already meant there were going to be high expectations. Have the Yankees exceeded those expectations? I don’t think so. Injuries happen, I get it. It’s the actions that take place to rebound from them that I look for.
What have we seen so far? Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, David Phelps all out for either all or most of the season. All are pitchers, meaning their shortcomings stem from the bullpen.
What has been done about it? Pineda comes off the DL after barely finishing rehab and starts the game well, but it ends in a loss for the team. In one of their most important games of the season, Chase Whitley and Adam Warren together give up seven runs resulting in a whopping 11-3 loss for the Yankees. The losing pitcher of that game was Chris Capuano who was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in July.
It’s difficult for me to see any of the newest Yankees pitchers make the cut for the 2015 season besides Brandon McCarthy who turned his own season around, beginning with a 5.01 ERA and now is down to 4.24. Maybe the team needs another postseason off in order to get their team together and back into good health.
We’ll definitely see the return of Tanaka next season and Steinbrenner said he’s expecting Alex Rodriguez‘s comeback after his suspension in January.
“That’s what he’s planning for. That’s what we’re planning for,” Steinbrenner said. “Alex will be ready.”
I understand the Yankees need to take risks in order to progress, but maybe they’ve taken one too many this season. I would like to say I’m confident in the team and management, but honestly none of their actions seem reassuring to me. This week should be a breeze for the team and if we see any different then what’s left of my confidence will be lost.