The Yankees finished up the first half on Sunday with an 11-7 win against Cleveland that should have been a 10-1 win but got them back to 44-44 on the season. With that record, I guess you can’t give them an F but anything more than a D would be a joke. Yes, they did start the season at 9-17, only to claw back to .500, but after going 6-5 against Minnesota and Colorado you can’t say this team is playing at an acceptable level.
Almost everything we thought would happen this year with our rotation has been wrong. For the most part they have stayed healthy. CC Sabathia has not been terrible, the whole season. Pineda and Severino have. However, one thing that has happened as predicted is that our starting pitching stinks. Tanaka has been pretty good and at times these guys have kept us in games but it hasn’t been enough. Our starters are 26 and 34 on the season. They have been hung out to dry several times by the lineup so the first reaction is to blame that, but with the 22nd ranked era in the MLB (4.81) it’s hard to blame anyone but the starters.
When you look at our bullpen it’s easy to see the back end of the bullpen and think this is an easy A. If we were grading on just those guys, it would be. However, thanks to our rotation having issues with going deep into games, we have had to use middle relievers that haven’t delivered. Many of those guys have been being shipped in and out of the Bronx back to Scranton because none have made a positive impact. With 323 strikeouts, our bullpen leads the MLB, but with a 3.78 era we rank 13th in the league. That right there shows you how much our bullpen is “a tale of 2 bullpens” with the good half probably being traded.
It’s actually amazing how bad our lineup has been at times. Chase Headley started the season as literally the worst player in baseball, only to climb back to decent. Teixeira and ARod have shown their age while missing time for both injuries and talent level. All while Carlos Beltran has put together an amazing season that will probably get him traded and Didi has shown that he can be an everyday player and possibly a future All-Star. Somewhere in between, Gardner has been a roller coaster, Castro hasn’t played as expected and our 2014 signings have played well but still looked like a huge mistake. All while Aaron Hicks takes at-bats away from Rob Refsnyder who is batting almost a hundred point higher. It truly is amazing what a cluster our offense has been in 2016.
Overall, this team is mediocre at best. I thought they would be better and with the players they have they should be. But at .500 heading into the 2nd half, it’s time to decide whether you want to buy or sell. If the Yankees buy, they may win a few more games but the only name I’ve heard them tied to is Rich Hill and if Rich Hill is the missing ingredient to this World Series recipe, I don’t want to watch baseball anymore. Not only would buying not make a big difference, it would mortgage our future, and we would be looking at an even worse 2017-2020. The same holds true if they do what they’ve done the last 2 years and stand pat. If we just keep going like this we could maybe get over .500 and make a run, but it’s not likely.
58 of the Yankees remaining 74 dames are against teams that are above .500 today. 13 of the 16 games against teams with losing records are against the The Rays, so there is a bit more juice in those games anyway. Based on those numbers alone, it is highly unlikely that the .500 Yankees have better results than they have all season so far. It stinks that it’s come to this, but as fans we wanted this team to spend and spend for years and 2016 is our comeuppance. Unlike the last 2 years though, we do have an opportunity to move some desirable players to contenders while securing our future in return. Beltran and Chapman have to go, and it seems like the team has changed their tune to Andrew Miller as well.
I’ll support the team and still be at games no matter which direction they decide to go, but no one goes from D to A in the same year so it’s time to think about the future.