In 2005, at mid-season, the Yankees earned an Overall Team Grade of C+ here. In 2006, the Overall Team Grade was B- (half-way through the season). And, last year New York earned an Overall Team Grade of D (through the first half of the season). What will it be this season? Read on…
Overall Team Batting: C
Comments: In terms of scoring runs, the Yankees currently sit near the middle of the pack, team-wise, in the A.L. However, they’re much closer, in terms of run totals, to the teams near the bottom of the heap (like the Blue Jays and Royals) than they are near the top teams (like the Rangers and Red Sox). Hence the so-so grade of “C” here.
Batting at Home: C
Comments: Ditto the above. Word for word.
Batting on the Road: C+
Comments: In terms of team road OPS, the Yankees rank high in the A.L. Yet, in terms of team road runs scored, the Yankees are a middle of the pack team. So, here, they get credit for setting the table – but, they take a ding for not getting runners home.
Batting with Runners in Scoring Position with 2 Outs: C
Comments: Again, the Yankees are a middle-of-the-road team here. In terms of OPS for this split, New York is about 100 points behind the Red Sox and about 100 points ahead of the White Sox – who are, respectively, the best and worst in this split at this moment in the league.
Overall Team Pitching: C
Comments: In terms of overall ERA, the Yankees currently sit near the middle of the pack, team-wise, in the A.L. (Maybe the Yankees theme song this season should be “Middle of the Road“?) New York is about three-quarters of a run better, in ERA, than the Rangers and about three-quarters of a run worse, in ERA, than the A’s – who are, respectively, the worst and best in overall team ERA at this moment in the league.
Starting Pitching: C-
Comments: In terms of starters’ ERA, the Yankees currently sit near the middle of the pack, team-wise, in the A.L. (Yeah, it seems like this Yankees mid-season report card is being brought to you via the Cut-and-Paste feature of Microsoft XP.) However, they’re much closer, in terms of starters’ ERA, to the teams near the bottom of the heap (like the Mariners and Rangers) than they are near the top teams (like the A’s, White Sox and Angels). Hence, the C- mark here.
Comments: Hawkins offsets Rivera. Ohlendorf offsets Veras. Farnsworth offsets Ramirez. I think you get the idea here. For every good story in the Yankees pen, to date, there’s an equally bad story.
Outfield Defense: C
Comments: This is the average of a “B-” in LF, a “B-” in CF and an “D” in RF.
Infield Defense: C
Comments: On the whole, I would say the infield defense as been “O.K.” for the Yankees in the first half of 2008. There has been an occasional error here and there – as well as an occasional great play. But, nothing huge, either way, that warrants a great or terrible grade here.
Catching/Game Calling: C+
Comments: Yankees catchers have thrown out about one-third of the runners attempting to steal on them, to date, this season. Most of that has been Jose Molina. On the whole, in terms of defense, there’s not been a lot to complain about with the Yankees catching so far. Of course, this could change in the second half now that Posada is back.
Overall Fielding: C
Comments: The Yankees defensive efficiency mark, to date, is .688 – and that’s not good. Ideally, you’d like to see that be 10 to 15 points higher. That’s where the good teams sit in this stat. Hence, the so-so grade here.
Overall Team Grade: C
Comments: Reading all of this, were you expecting something else?
In a nutshell, this Yankees season, to date, has been better than the first half of 2007; but, not as good as the first half of 2006. It’s pretty much on the mark with 2005. Check out the following:
Yankees current record: 41-36, 5.5 GB of 1st
Yankees 2007 record at this mark: 37-40, 11 GB of 1st
Yankees 2006 record at this mark: 45-32, 3 GB of 1st
Yankees 2005 record at this mark: 39-38, 6 GB of 1st
In 2005, the Yankees got lucky with Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon in the second half of the season and made a surge in the standings. And, they’re going to need the same thing to happen this season as well.