Hi all, I am thrilled to join the fantastic staff at Pinstriped Prospects. Having been a follower of their site, they bring great insight on all things Yankee related, and I hope I can provide something similar with snapshots into the big club. I look forward to contributing the rest of the season and beyond. As I get started, I had a few thoughts on this current 2018 season. Here we go.
This 2018 Yankee edition entered with enormous expectations. Coming off of a wildly successful 2017 campaign, New York saw young stars cement themselves all around the diamond as they reached new heights. So far this year the club has been as good as one could have hoped, entering Tuesday night with a 74-44 record.
For comparison sakes, they were only seven games above .500 (62-55) on August 14th, 2017. Some perspective is needed, as a bit of doom and gloom has surrounded the current team of late from some fans and media. Coming off of a brutal sweep in Boston last week, things aren’t pretty. Nobody expected to see Shane Robinson and Luke Voit in important mid-summer baseball games for the 2018 Bronx Bombers. And the club has played roughly .500 ball for over a month now.
With big boppers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on the mend, and depth such as Clint Frazier (injury), Brandon Drury (trade), Tyler Austin (trade), Billy McKinney (trade), and Ronald Torreyes (family matter), unavailable or not in the organization anymore, the Yanks stood pat at the deadline rather than acquiring any type of bat outside of Voit.
However, panic should not set in. There is still the reigning NL MVP, Giancarlo Stanton, anchoring the lineup, with talents around him such as Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner, Greg Bird, and Miguel Andujar. That should be plenty of offense to navigate through the rest of what should be an accommodating August schedule before Judge and Sanchez return.
The pitching has been bolstered by some veteran additions, JA Happ, Zach Britton, and Lance Lynn. Happ and Lynn look to bring stability to a starting staff that ranks solidly 10th in fWAR (Fangraphs). While Britton makes a rich bullpen richer (1st in fWAR), which will be quite a luxury when the postseason arrives, and a starter’s leash becomes short.
With Boston comfortably up in the AL East and Oakland hard charging in the wild-card standings, it’s a good time to take a step back and note that 30 games above .500 is nothing to sneeze at.
The Yankees are on pace to win 100+ games and have earned that record over the first four and a half months. A baseball season is never linear, nor is the progression of a club from year to year.
Expectations were sky high for this club, and still are, but if they falter before Game 7 of the ALCS (where they got to the previous season), that shouldn’t mean this season or team is a failure. For starters, the other AL teams are incredibly talented, so an October run will be challenging for whoever makes it to the World Series.
Secondly, the Yankee future is ridiculously bright, and a core foundation has been built for sustained success. No need to overreact, enjoy and embrace these moments and look forward to many years of this group competing at a high level. It wasn’t too long ago the roster was filled with old, aging players and mid-80-win seasons. Good times are ahead, the rest of this year and beyond.