The All-Star break is finally here, and it could not have come any sooner.
After witnessing a weekend where the New York Yankees lost their first series to the Minnesota Twins since 2001 put the icing on the cake of what has been a grueling first half.
First to return was the Grandyman, who lasted eight games for a total of 28 at-bats before breaking his pinky finger.
Next it was Tex, who lasted 15 games before his rehabilitated wrist tendon needed surgery.
And the latest was the Captain, who last week didn’t make it through an entire game in the Bronx before sustaining another injury this time to his right quad.
These guys were all in the DL before Opening Day so the Yankees had time to have a plan.
PRE-SEASON PLAN – C-
When you have a ball-club that is injured and old, having top-notch back-ups is critical.
The big off-season acquisition that was supposed to help soften the injury blow was ex-Red Sox Kevin Youkilis, who inked a one-year deal worth $14 million.
The Yankee brass knew that Youks has been an injury liability the last few years and that he came with a warning tag.
So it is not surprising that Youks has partaken in just 28 games, and recently needed back surgery and is on the 60-day DL. He was posting a .219 batting average, two homers, eight RBIs, eight walks and 31 strikeouts.
The rest of the fillers were made of castoffs from other teams and below average players like Lyle Overbay, Jason Nix, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells.
The plan was that these guys would hold down the fort until the everyday stars returned but the unforeseen recurring injuries left the Yankees would no choice.
What is going on with CC Sabathia?
The Yankees ace is severally struggling, which is perplexing considering how consistent Sabathia, a six-time All-Star, has been over his 13-year career. (all stats courtesy of ESPN.com)CC Sabathia - 2013 pitching stats
Whenever Sabathia appears to be back to his old self, he crumbles so maybe these days off will help him mentally him get back on track.
Overall the starting pitching has been this teams savior but at times inconsistent.
Other than Hiroki Kuroda, who has stepped in big time for Sabathia, the Yankees never know what they will get out of Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova.
David Phelps looks to have a promising future but now has joined the walking wounded with a slightly strained right forearm, but is expected only be out for the minimum 15-days.
The over grade for the rotation might have been higher because it is deep with Michael Pineda lurking in Scranton.
But after watching Sabathia crumble in his last start vs. the Twins, it was tough to add that plus sign.
BULLPEN – A+
The Yankees have a World Series caliber bullpen that could go toe to toe with any in baseball.
The incomparable closer Mariano Rivera is proving that age is just number, joined by the best set-up man in the game in David Robertson. The duo continually shutdown opposing hitters in the 8th and 9th innings. The problem is they aren’t needed enough.
A lot of credit has to go to skipper Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild for their exceptional management of the relievers overall.
THE BATS – D+
This is not the Yankees.
The bats are that bad but since they have somehow managed to do as little as possible and still stay in the hunt, I gave the hitters a D+.
Yes, a D+ grade that I do not even think exists, at least not when I was in school, but since nothing has been normal this season….why stop now.
Just ask any Yankee fans, “What state do you live in?”
The answer would be DENIAL.
I mean when was the last time you saw a Yankees offense this anemic?
I never thought the day would come when the Mets would have more runs than the Bronx Bombers heading into the All-Star Break. And remember that the Mets play in the National League without a designated hitter too.
Here are the Yankees and Mets team batting stats from the firs half of 2013, can you figure out which is which? (all stats courtesy of ESPN.com)2013 Team Batting Stats - First-Half
Obviously from the statement made above the Bronx Bombers are above the Amazins, but the stats are so close it is frightening.
Do I need to say anymore?
Well, yes as the Yankees clearly need some help.
The bottom line here is GM Brian Cashman needs to make a trade for a righty, infield hitter.
Personally, I would trade the farm to get Marlins Giancarlo Stanton who I realize is an outfielder but he is 23-years old and a five tool phenom.
It has also been said that the Yankees are dangling Phil Hughes around to see what they could get for his arm. The Yankees will not sell Hughes cheap and with such a limited market nothing has come of this that we know of yet.
Fans can go see the Yankees in action today by heading to the Yankees Ticket Exchange for the best deals in the Bronx.