Well, it’s been
a long, kinda weird journey for the Yankees this year but they have
finally made it to the top of the standings in the AL East alone. This,
of course, did not go without it’s struggles and low points; from the
A-Rod scandal/DL stint, to the newly refurbished starting rotation
woes, to the Wang debacle and of course how could we forget the series
loss to the Washington Nationals!
But it all came full circle and, although extremely early, the Yanks
have finally reached the pinnacle and are playing the best ball they
have been all year. I predicted, in the early stages of this blog, that
the Red Sox would have their usual struggles after the all-star break
and the Yankees must take advantage when that happens. This team
stepped up to the challenge and are winning at the right time. I have
to say I was nervous after they dropped 3 to the Angels before the
All-Star break, could they hang with the big boys? Once again my
question was answered by a much needed sweep of the Tigers and proof
that this team is much more than ‘very good’; they are a truly among
the MLB’s best.
The bats came back to life last night after 3 consecutive games
where they won by a score of 2 to 1, but unfortunately (even though
they still won) Sergio Mitre gave up 4 earned of his own, but still got
the win when the Yankees put 6 runs in his back pocket. Mitre might be
a good 5th starter for a short stint but the prognosis of Wang isn’t
looking too good as he reported discomfort in his shoulder during his
first throwing session since going on the DL July 5th. We might see
the Yankees go after another pitcher (most likely not Roy Halladay) to
be their 5th starter, especially if Wang still reports problems during
his session coming up on Friday. Mitre does have Major League
experience, however he hasn’t had much success and the bullpen will be
needed for the push into the playoffs. Mitre was never intended to be a
permanent replacement for Wang but now it’s looking like they might
rely on him. If yesterday’s start was any indication of what kind of
performances we can expect, the Yankees need to go shopping real soon.
Mitre, as I said, is good for a spot start here and there and he did
his job well last night. He kept the Yankees in the lead the whole way
out, but is this really what we need right now? Are the Yankees willing
give a game every 5th start? With, what promises to be, a very tight AL
East/Wildcard race the Yankees can’t afford to give any games to Boston
or Tampa Bay, no matter how the race breaks down.
I wanted to talk about last night/today’s game more but work got in
the way again…plus I am kinda on a roll with this topic so I am going
to continue to talk about it. Please add your feedback in.
With the biggest name being Halladay waiting to be traded there
isn’t much talk about other pitchers that are on failing ball clubs
that could also be moved by the deadline. I truly don’t see the Yankees
making a big push for him unless Boston comes flying in, which also
isn’t expected. It is almost locked up that he is going to the NL, but
he does have a no-trade clause so there is also the possibility that he
won’t be moved by July 31st. I have to put it out there that I would be
floored if he ended up in the AL East, but they do have the most money
and they will always be in the race. But I really wouldn’t be surprised
if he ended up in Texas or Seattle, both teams need one more push to be
a true contender and possibly take on Anaheim.
Here are a few possibilities, in my opinion of where the Yankees could look.
Seattle: Even though I just said they might be in
the Halladay bidding, I really don’t see them making a push, they just
don’t have the depth, but they do have the talent to trade away for
Halladay. I can’t imagine them getting him so expect them to shop
Washburn and Bedard to release some money. The Yankees would most
likely go for Washburn, they have had rumors in the past of being
interested in him, plus he wouldn’t expect a huge contract and a ton of
money. Plus it wouldn’t cost the Yankees even close to that much, a few
prospects and some money…Good Possibility.
Washington: It would never happen…but it’s fun to
think about. If Washington was looking for prospects they could
potentially shop John Lannan. If this kid had any luck he would have 10
or 11 wins right now and be on a winning ball club. If something tasty
was put under their nose I could see them dealing him to a contender. I
would take him in a heartbeat plus he is a local boy from Oceanside.
The problem? Might lose Austin Jackson and a starter like McAllister,
who I think will be a great pitcher in the majors, and one that should
be making moves in the minors soon…Low Possibility, not likely to
Cincinnati: Could Arroyo end up being back in the
AL East? The Reds are trying to make a point in the Central but they
are going to be huge sellers in the coming weeks, especially as that
deadline nears. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arroyo or Harang go…who
would I prefer? Harang. He is one of the best 2nd half pitchers over
the past couple of years and could really help a team in the race to
the playoffs. But to be honest I would take Arroyo he has been there
before and sometimes you have to take the good with the bad…Fair
Arizona: Dan Haren could be the best choice
here…HAHAHAH just kidding…that would never happen…but Garland and Davis
could be potential targets that wouldn’t cost the Yankees a lot. The
Diamondbacks would probably take low level prospects and cash to
release the contracts of these two pitchers. I can only see the Yanks
going after Garland, they don’t need another aging lefty in their
rotation. Garland has potential to be great, but is a decent pitcher
most of the time who can keep you in the game…Good Possibility.
Don’t be surprised if the Yankees make a move at the deadline
especailly if Wang is out for the year. Oh and one more thing, will
Milwaukee make a big move for Halladay like they did Sabathia last
year? You never know, they have the track record.
Great game today, Burnett is still on fire, Mo got another save, 6 games in a row…LET’S GO YANKEES!