Friday, May 8, 2009

Things Are Getting Ugly

The injuries keep piling up. Here's my brief list

Closer - Rivera
Set up man - Bruney
Lefty specialist - Marte
Number 2 pitcher - Wang
Catcher - Posada
Backup catcher - Molina
Right fielder - Nady
3rd baseman - Rodriguez
Backup 3rd baseman - Ransom

A-Rod should be back today. Let's also not forget other guys who have not been 100% but haven't missed a lot of time like Mark Texiera.

With this many injuries to so many key positions - the biggest bat on the team, the greatest closer of all time, the decade's leading offensive catcher, it's no wonder the team is below .500 and far out of first place.

Still, all things considered, this is the Yankees and fans (who were spoiled by the success of the late 90s and early 00s) expect more from a team, even one riddled with injury.

There's still hope. When A-Rod comes back the offense should pick up. Texiera will find his stride before long and hopefully the starting rotation will settle in a bit more. Then again Nick Swisher is fading, Damon and Jeter and mandy others are getting old and finally there really aren't any bright spots in the bullpen.

Losing Posada and Molina could be very troublesome. Posada has a devastating bat and Molina has a great arm. Both know the pitchers well and have plenty of big league experience. Anyone brought up to fill in will be a young, unproven talent which is not what a struggling pitching staff needs at the moment.

Injuries aren't the fault of the manager, but it's his responsibility to keep everyone at the top of their game. If a guy isn't performing well, it's about 70% the fault of the player and 30% the fault of the manager. I've called for Girardi to be fired and I stand by that. It won't happen anytime soon though. There aren't any suitable replacements ready to fill in mid-season. Toward the end of the year, if the Yankees are doing poorly, Girardi will be canned and an interim coach named. If the team is still in contention, the firing won't come until after the season. If the team makes the post season and does well in the fall, Girardi could still save his job.

The season is still young and there is a lot of time for the Yankees to find their rythm and hit their stride. Then again, that's what most of us were saying all of last season. I try looking for the silver lining in this cloud, but lately all I'm seeing is an old team of overpriced veterans failing to live up to expectations. Par for the course with a New York franchise.

So what do we have to look forward to? A-Rod coming back is big. Hopefully Posada is just out for the short term and will return. With both Alex and Jorge in the lineup, the offense should start tacking on a lot more runs. You just have to believe that Sabathia and Texiera will start playing better. Even if they don't live up to their star potential, it's almost certain they will elevate their games from the pitiful point they are now. The bullpen is a big questionmark and no one, including Rivera, can be relied upon. If the starting rotation gets on track then hopefully the bullpen will be used less and less and this won't be such a big issue. Upcoming series like the one against the Orioles can go a long way to boosting a team's confidence and may provide the spark the Bombers need.

1 comment:

Lisa Swan said...

Jeff, just so you know, I've added Pinstripers to the Subway Squawkers blogroll. Could you do the same for us, please?