Thursday, April 10, 2014

New York Yankees: Brian McCann’s offensive slump overshadows work behind plate

The New York Yankees suffered a tough loss Wednesday night to the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 5-4. Catcher Brian McCann continued to slump at the plate and received a brunt of the blame from the fans in the stands and via social media.

There were plenty of scoring opportunities along the way that went by the wayside of which McCann seemed to be a part.

McCann signed a five-year, $85 million contract in the offseason and the main component fans saw was that he’s a 20+ home run hitter. Indeed McCann possesses very good power and of course any strong lefty hitter coming to the Stadium is going to be perceived to get a boost in the home run department.

Thus far, McCann is 5-for-33 (.328 OPS) on the young season and he’s already feeling the wrath of the fans. I get it; there is a lot of money invested in McCann and fans want/expect to see immediate results. What is going unnoticed thus far is that McCann has been contributing behind the plate. It’s a measure of his value to the Yankees that is unsung by many fans.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yankees must resist signing free-agent reliever

One week into the regular season and the New York Yankees are without their newly appointed closer David Robertson. It is the second time that Robertson was elevated to the role before quickly suffering an injury forcing him to the disabled list. The Yankees will automatically be linked to any number of free-agent relievers looking for a roster spot. They should avoid the temptation of “experience,” turn their attention toward their own roster and let their talent blossom.

First, Robertson’s injury is not all that serious. He suffered a grade-one strain of the groin and anticipates the minimum time served on the DL. The concern for some is not just about the immediate future, but this bullpen was considered suspect prior to Robertson’s ailment. The Yankees should not make decisions based on the chance that the experiment could fail, certainly not eight games into the season.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New York Yankees: Ivan Nova is consistently inconsistent

The New York Yankees hoped Ivan Nova’s completion of the 2013 season was a sign of things to come. Maybe, just maybe he had figured out pitching at a high level for an extended period of time.

After two starts into the regular season, and seasons worth of ups and downs, it is apparent to me at least, that Nova is never going to be an elite starter. He might never be a very good starter.

Nova recorded the win in his first outing of the season, but was effectively wild. He walked five batters in that game but was able to induce four ground balls into double plays. The rally cry was that he was resilient and worked around his troubles. He fought hard and it would be different in his next start. Different? Yes. Good? No.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yankees win clouded by David Robertson injury

The New York Yankees won their home opener Monday afternoon 4-2 over the Baltimore Orioles in front of a sellout crowd. The celebration was short lived as Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced after the game that closer David Robertson will be placed on the disabled list due to a strained groin suffered in Sunday’s victory.

When Adam Warren came on to preserve a two-run lead in the eighth inning instead of Shawn Kelley, speculation was that Robertson was not going to be used because he had pitched in three of the last four days. Unfortunately that was not the case.

The bullpen has been a strong suit for the Yankees thus far on the young season despite being regarded as a weakness by many. Now, there will be even more questions with Robertson gone for at least a couple of weeks.